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Sunday, 29 March 2015

Black Watch Solar Eclipse Cruise Review

The Ship

Fred Olsen Black Watch, 700 passengers and with a few miles on the clock, so plenty of maintenance to do. For her age she is not in too bad a nick, but does feel a bit dated along side more modern cruise ships. That said, she has lots of loyal followers, so she must be doing something right.

Cabin

We had an inside on deck 3 at the aft end of the ship. For an inside it was large enough, with plenty of wardrobe space, the bathroom has a shower only, and was not the biggest I have seen, but adequate for its purpose. When we arrived onboard, the sealant around the bottom of the shower had seen better days. But even without a complaint, it was noticed by staff and replaced without fuss.

Ports

All the ports were excellent, with the exception of the Faroe Island, as there did not seem much to do. The other ports, either on a tour or just a walk round gave a good varied selection.

Weather

The weather was as you would expect for this time of year, snow in Tromso and Alta where it snowed for nearly the whole time we spent there.

The cruise gods were exceptionally kind with the sea. When we were on Oriana this time last year, I remember 10 metre swells, but this year beside a few occasions where it got a little lumpy, it has been fine.

Entertainment

The Theatre Show company have been excellent, not only in their shows, but also with all the other activities they have performed around the ship.

Out of the speciality acts, I thought only Lee Caroll, the comedian, was worth watching 

Lots of quizzes during the day ( if you like that sort of thing ), but I have to say, our performance has been abysmal on this cruise.

The lectures on the northern light and solar eclipse were well attended and seemed to go down well withe the audience 

Food

We ate breakfast and lunch mostly in the Garden Cafe, which is the buffet on Black Watch. This is however no bun fight, with white table cloths and lots of staff. Far better than anything P&O has to offer.
We also ate there one night when they had an Asian buffet.
All good quality food, but nothing outstanding.
Of an evening we ate in the MDR, 1st sitting on a table of 6. Our table companions, Chris and Gordon and Jean and George were great company. The food, as with the buffet was OK, but nothing special, but the Lobster was not too shabby 😜

The crew
Excellent and can not do enough for you is all I can say really, well done to all


Conclusion
Putting aside that  Black Watch is not my favourite Fred Ship, this has been an excellent cruise. I think the Captain at the farewell cocktail party last night summed it up by saying, " you have done more in this cruise, than some people do in a life time".

For me the high light was the Solar Eclipse. I have seen them before on land, but to be at sea was quite magical and difficult to describe, but it will remain with me until I say goodbye to this world

Thank you all for taking the time to read the blogs, and to Sue who makes sure I do not have too many spelling mistakes


And just to finish with, a final photo from our trip in Alesund


So until Azura

Bye bye