Exploring the Kiel Canal from Gdynia (Poland) to Southampton - January 2014
Gary Jenkins – 09-01-2014 – Fred Olsen – Ship Name
Gary Jenkins recently enjoyed a 4 day cruise holiday onboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Balmoral – here’s what he got up to…
After a morning walking tour of Gdansk, I headed for Gdynia to embark Balmoral for a 3 night cruise back to the UK via the Kiel Canal.
My first Fred. Olsen cruise would be short but sweet, I’m not sure what I expected but I was pleasantly surprised, the ship is well maintained and furnished.
I made my way to the Spey restaurant for a buffet lunch which turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever had on a cruise, small but well presented and the hot food was hot while the cold food was cold, sounds obvious but not always the case! I then spent the afternoon familiarising myself with the ship.
Tonight was the Captain’s farewell cocktail party, slightly strange as we had just boarded, so I had to go to the well equipped launderette to iron my dress shirt. After the cocktail party we dined in the Main Ballindalloch restaurant at 8.30pm - excellent food and service! This was followed with a visit to the disco and a relatively early night.
The whole day was free to explore and enjoy the facilities and activities available onboard the Balmoral, I had a little lie in followed by breakfast in the main restaurant, I couldn’t believe they had eggs Benedict on the buffet, my favourite! AND they were excellent! I spent the day taking part in the activities including a lecture and a spot of bingo.
Again, we dined in the main restaurant - more excellent food and service. After diner we went to see the show, very good, songs from the West End, not a huge stage but they made good use of the area they had available and I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed the show. Again to the disco and a rather later night!
This morning we had a business session from 10am to midday so had an earlier breakfast followed by an informative presentation by John Atkinson from Fred. Olsen. After lunch I made an effort and went to the gym for an hour of torture, I mean exercise. Took part in the days quiz followed by a little bingo…. missed the big prize by just one number!
After dinner, I went to the farewell show in the theatre, all the entertainers from the 14 night cruise made an appearance and as we had only been onboard for a short time it was an opportunity to experience all the entertainment passengers had enjoyed earlier in the cruise, a good standard of music both classical and popular and a very funny comic. After the show, I had a little flutter at one of the two gaming tables which serve as a very small casino - the only disappointing feature on the ship. After a last visit to the disco I put my luggage outside my cabin and headed off to bed.
Up early to go through immigration (as we joined the ship partway through the cruise), breakfast and off the ship, courtesy coach to the station and the train home!