Exploring the Kiel Canal from Gdynia (Poland) to Southampton - January 2014

Gary Jenkins – 09-01-2014 – Fred OlsenShip Name


Gary Jenkins recently enjoyed a 4 day cruise holiday onboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Balmoral – here’s what he got up to…

Day 1

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.

Day 2

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!

Day 3

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.

Day 4

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!