Cruise Reviews

Featured Cruise Ship - Balmoral

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Cruise Line
Ship Name
Launched
1st January 2008
Tonnage
43,537 Tons
Length
715 Feet
Total Crew
510
Occupancy
1,350
Star Rating
User Rating

Customer Reviews (sorted by most helpful)

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“Balmoral Christmas Markets”

Mrs susan bishop visited on 12/13 and recommended


Posted On: 1st Jan 2014


We arrived at our allotted time and went through the check in procedure very easily. We are not too keen on City Terminal but it all went well and we boarded just after 2.15. Our luggage had already arrived so we were soon settled with time for afternoon tea in the Palms Café – where our muster took place. Sailing was on time and calm water took us to Zeebrugge.

The shuttle bus transfer into Blankenburg used boarding passes which did cause a delay as the town had only provided 2 coaches. Probably Cunard had the monopoly of this type of transportation. However, we had decided that we would spend the day in Blankenburg – a town we are particularly fond of and as it was my birthday, we had a nice lunch in a restaurant we have visited before.

From Zeebrugge, we had a day at sea and enjoyed the Captains Welcome Gala. We arrived in Copenhagen late morning, had time for a light lunch then joined our organised trip to Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market which did not disappoint. En route, we stopped at the Little Mermaid for a photo shoot and then for a walk to the Royal Palace with our Guide. We replaced the latter with a visit a couple of gift shops which for Denmark were very reasonably priced. A tour of the city and then to Tivoli where we had 2 hours to explore. It was a good afternoon, the rain tried to keep away but a light drizzle came in as we were walking back to the coach.

The following day was spent in the Kiel Canal, no snow but still very pretty and plenty of chances to use the camera.
Next was Hamburg Christmas Market using the newly opened Underground Train to get right into town. The Markets seemed smaller than before but there were plenty of bargains to be had. Bremerhaven followed and the Shuttle service was spot on. Again the Market was smaller but we had a really good time.

The final day was at sea with, as usual plenty to do. The Captains Farewell was that night and a very fitting end to a most enjoyable cruise. Overnight we had high winds which resulted in slow disembarkation at Southampton as the bad weather had prevented the crane which takes the baggage off the ship from working. Luggage was moved manually and in stead of being called off in deck order from top to bottom, the decks seemed to be called randomly. The Baggage Reclaim area was very wet as a result of the rain the UK had suffered and delayed us getting off.

None of this was a fault of Fred, it was simply weather conditions and the knock on effect.

We were on second sitting in the Avon Restaurant on a table for 8 and had a happy crowd on the adjacent table. The waiting staff were first class and we were joined by the Hotel Manager on the first formal night. The food was as good as ever, well cooked and presented nicely.

It was wonderful to have Victor Stoica as our Captain again, Mr Thomas Rennesland as the Hotel Manager and Ashley Bolton-Burrows as the Cruise Director, ably assisted by Jamie and a great team of hosts/hostesses and the theatre company.

There was a really good atmosphere on the ship, passengers were very friendly and happy and for once, we did not hear the C word (compensation) or many complaints. That was a bonus.

All the staff were great but if we had just one gripe, it would be that there was a new photographic team and not many photos were taken. We collect gangway photos but we only had one at Copenhagen and unfortunately, we were left out in the Avon and on the British Night. With that said, that slips into insignificance as it was such a great cruise.

The sea conditions were much better than expected and the only clue that it was a bit choppy one night was when a champagne flute fell onto the floor in the middle of the night.

The entertainment was first class. We went to the Lido Lounge every night where at 7.45 the show company put on musical shows, a 60’s night, an evening with Elvis, a Christmas show etc and then the main shows in the Neptune where the show company put on really good productions and then of course there was Brenda Collins who was on 3 times – such a funny lady. The Balmoral Orchestra were very good, as was Q Tones, the Rosario trio and the young man in the Morning light bar.

Thank you Fred for another great cruise on Balmoral and to Ocean World Travel for ongoing great service.





1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

“Balmoral Christmas Markets”

Mrs susan bishop visited on 12/13 and recommended


Posted On: 1st Jan 2014


We arrived at our allotted time and went through the check in procedure very easily. We are not too keen on City Terminal but it all went well and we boarded just after 2.15. Our luggage had already arrived so we were soon settled with time for afternoon tea in the Palms Café – where our muster took place. Sailing was on time and calm water took us to Zeebrugge.

The shuttle bus transfer into Blankenburg used boarding passes which did cause a delay as the town had only provided 2 coaches. Probably Cunard had the monopoly of this type of transportation. However, we had decided that we would spend the day in Blankenburg – a town we are particularly fond of and as it was my birthday, we had a nice lunch in a restaurant we have visited before.

From Zeebrugge, we had a day at sea and enjoyed the Captains Welcome Gala. We arrived in Copenhagen late morning, had time for a light lunch then joined our organised trip to Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market which did not disappoint. En route, we stopped at the Little Mermaid for a photo shoot and then for a walk to the Royal Palace with our Guide. We replaced the latter with a visit a couple of gift shops which for Denmark were very reasonably priced. A tour of the city and then to Tivoli where we had 2 hours to explore. It was a good afternoon, the rain tried to keep away but a light drizzle came in as we were walking back to the coach.

The following day was spent in the Kiel Canal, no snow but still very pretty and plenty of chances to use the camera.
Next was Hamburg Christmas Market using the newly opened Underground Train to get right into town. The Markets seemed smaller than before but there were plenty of bargains to be had. Bremerhaven followed and the Shuttle service was spot on. Again the Market was smaller but we had a really good time.

The final day was at sea with, as usual plenty to do. The Captains Farewell was that night and a very fitting end to a most enjoyable cruise. Overnight we had high winds which resulted in slow disembarkation at Southampton as the bad weather had prevented the crane which takes the baggage off the ship from working. Luggage was moved manually and in stead of being called off in deck order from top to bottom, the decks seemed to be called randomly. The Baggage Reclaim area was very wet as a result of the rain the UK had suffered and delayed us getting off.

None of this was a fault of Fred, it was simply weather conditions and the knock on effect.

We were on second sitting in the Avon Restaurant on a table for 8 and had a happy crowd on the adjacent table. The waiting staff were first class and we were joined by the Hotel Manager on the first formal night. The food was as good as ever, well cooked and presented nicely.

It was wonderful to have Victor Stoica as our Captain again, Mr Thomas Rennesland as the Hotel Manager and Ashley Bolton-Burrows as the Cruise Director, ably assisted by Jamie and a great team of hosts/hostesses and the theatre company.

There was a really good atmosphere on the ship, passengers were very friendly and happy and for once, we did not hear the C word (compensation) or many complaints. That was a bonus.

All the staff were great but if we had just one gripe, it would be that there was a new photographic team and not many photos were taken. We collect gangway photos but we only had one at Copenhagen and unfortunately, we were left out in the Avon and on the British Night. With that said, that slips into insignificance as it was such a great cruise.

The sea conditions were much better than expected and the only clue that it was a bit choppy one night was when a champagne flute fell onto the floor in the middle of the night.

The entertainment was first class. We went to the Lido Lounge every night where at 7.45 the show company put on musical shows, a 60’s night, an evening with Elvis, a Christmas show etc and then the main shows in the Neptune where the show company put on really good productions and then of course there was Brenda Collins who was on 3 times – such a funny lady. The Balmoral Orchestra were very good, as was Q Tones, the Rosario trio and the young man in the Morning light bar.

Thank you Fred for another great cruise on Balmoral and to Ocean World Travel for ongoing great service.





1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

“Titanic at Easter”

Mrs susan bishop visited on 04/12 and recommended


Posted On: 9th Apr 2012

As usual, Fred did not disappoint and another great cruise, albeit only 5 days. We were allocated a 12.15 check in but a sick person being evacuated on the way back to Southampton caused Balmoral to be 2.5hours late getting in. The ‘Meet and Greet’ parking was affected badly as folk from the previous cruise were still disembarking. However, we had to sit in the car for no more than half an hour or so but by around 12.30, we were able to proceed as planned, so with the luggage and car dispatched in different directions, it was into the Terminal for the usual queues experienced with City Terminal. Amazingly, the staff made up time and although we were certainly not the first to embark, we were still on much earlier than expected. The luggage was at the door so unpacking was started and afternoon tea beckoned. Safety drill was on time and we sailed much earlier than we thought and probably pretty much on time. Second sitting dinner was in the Avon restaurant and we were served by the same waiter, Jefron who looked after us last time. At the table we met Geoff and Rita (hello Geoff, hope you arrived home ok) who were great table companions. Another couple only sat with us the first night only as they preferred the Palm Café and on the 3rd night, we were joined by another fun couple who joined the ship at Liverpool following an unavoidable funeral. It was a fun table with lots of laughter. The first day was a sea day as we headed for Liverpool and choppy waters stayed with us all day. Naturally for safety sake, the musical show was postponed as it wasn’t safe for the dancers and a few drinks slopped around in the glass but we reached Liverpool on time and had a great morning trip. We saw the homes of Captain Smith from the Titanic. A lady called Rose lives ther now and it was her, who gave name to Kate Winslets character Rose in the film. We saw Ismays home and many homes of various officers. We had the choice of returning to the ship with the coach or to stay at the Maritime Museum and make our own way back. This was definitely the thing to do as we were able to stroll around Albert Dock and take in the ambience of the area. A very enjoyable day and we were even more delighted in Belfast. The Titanic Belfast Visitors Experience was fantastic. We were in there by just after 9am so dodged all the queues expected for Good Friday and were able to experience the virtual attractions and ride without any delays. The souvenirs shop was an Aladdin’s cave and the debit card was red hot. Once back on the coach, we had a city drive for just over 2 hours, Stormont was unbelievable and fortunately for us, the gates were open so our driver was able to take the coach right to the top of the hill. Belfast is a beautiful city and we plan to return there in the not too distant future. As usual, the staff on board were friendly and attentive without being intrusive and full praise must be given to Captain Robert Bamberg and his team of Officers and Staff. This cruise was carrying passengers from many overseas countries as well as the UK and there were more kids on board than we have seen before but they were as good as gold. Prais to the Kids leaders for obviously occupying them so well. As usual, there were the ‘Try Hard’ snobs (Those who try hard to be a snob and fail miserably) and the very noticeable moaners and compensation seekers- what cruise would be complete without them!!! So yet again, our sincere thanks to all concerned.

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
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