Two weeks from Southampton over Christmas and New Year. Yes, the ship is old and a bit tatty in areas but the cabins and public areas were clean and the staff super friendly in the main. Reception staff flawless. This is a ship for people who just want to take life slowly – and that may not suit every silver traveller (there is silver and really silver and I would say Fred Olsen caters for really silver customers!). The food was good in the main restaurants but pretty poor in the buffet – lukewarm and repetitive. In case any of you are put off by the threat of formal nights don’t be! Although some people dress up, many don’t or simply add a jumper with a few sequins on to pass the ‘formal’ test. I didn’t see anyone being turned away from the main restaurants because their dress was not formal. We paid £90 for 15 days wifi which was slow but OK. The all inclusive drinks menu is a bit limited but a cocktail of the day is offered alongside locally branded spirits and a few beers. The gym was small but functional and there was a daily free fitness class alongside the several pay for ones. Evening entertainment was pretty low quality – a comedian who didn’t make us laugh and singers who were off key.
Fred Olsen clearly has a loyal following and for people who want a quiet, slow holiday, I can quite see why.