Cruise Ratings
See Reviews For
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2014
Me and my partner went on the Australasian leg of the Black Watch World cruise 2104. We boarded the ship in Sydney March 15, 2014. When we had boarded we learnt from some of the fellow passengers that there had been a newspaper article ... Read More
Me and my partner went on the Australasian leg of the Black Watch World cruise 2104. We boarded the ship in Sydney March 15, 2014. When we had boarded we learnt from some of the fellow passengers that there had been a newspaper article about the previous legs of the cruise.The ship had broken its propeller and had it be repaired. Also we were informed that a passenger had jumped off the ship and committed suicide. Well onboard we found our cabin on deck 5, said to be a deluxe cabin. Couldn't find out where the luxury was. After a week we were informed that we had to move because of an emergent maintenance. This was informed to us through a letter under our cabin door at 10 pm! No personal information. No explanation. They wanted to move us to a cabin on deck 4 with portholes. And, as a gesture of good-will they offered us 320 British pounds in compensation! This was just what we had paid extra for not having portholes! Then they offered us a cabin on deck 8 and told us that we had to move the next day after we came back from a tour. Next day, when inspecting that cabin, we found out that they repaired the bathroom so we could not move in there. At this stage our patience with the ships staff was running out. But finally it ended with them offering us another cabin on deck 8 with a great balcony, some sort of suite. OK, it ended fine for us. But how do they treat their passengers that do not argue with them? The food onboard is very British! No real highlights. I would say... just average. You do not travel with Black Watch for the food! I would say perhaps a 2,5-3 out of 5. Definitely not more. How can they serve canned litchies when you are in ports where they have so much fresh fruit? We got the answer the last day in Singapore. They captain then announced that the ship had to wait in port for at least one more day due to a late incoming container ship from England. This ship should deliver three containers of food from - England!!! All food onboard so far had been brought from the beginning of the journey, from England. Can't British people eat other food than British? Fred Olsen do what they can do make money. So, for example you have to pay 5 pounds for the shuttle buses. 1 pound for 50 cl water on excursions which are heavily overpriced! Fellow passengers? Mainly British lower middle class/working class people in their late 70s and up. Perhaps even older than that. Not all passengers were using wheelchairs or rollator walkers but many, many. I don't know how many who died during the cruise out of old age, but it has to be quite a few. The ship priest died in Cairns. Even if not all passengers are British so do Fred Olsen treat all passengers as if they were. All entertainment on the ship catered to the British. On tv they just had British channels. If you were not British you were more or less out. We, not British, didn't really matter to them! The ship has some formal nights, but it looked more like a masquerade. Formal did not really mean formal to mane passengers. Also they had some theme nights. One of them is British! What on earth is that? How do you dress when you are not British? The ship in itself? Well, from the outside she is a beauty. But on the inside she is an old wreck, like the passengers. The water in the taps was brown/yellow from rust (?). They had close the water system quite often for maintenance. The rust on the outside showed in so many places. I just wonder how she looks on the inside. Or perhaps I don't want to know. In short: The crew saved the cruise! The captain Age Danielsen did a good job with telling us stories etc about the places we visited. The staff in the Garden Café did a very good job under the management of the Captain waiter. Would I go again with Fred Olsen? Hard to think so. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2014
We embarked in Brisbane instead of Sydney as it was more convenient for us to do so. Embarking the ship was very straight forward, easy and professional and all our details and cards were waiting for us. Yes this ship is an old girl, 42 ... Read More
We embarked in Brisbane instead of Sydney as it was more convenient for us to do so. Embarking the ship was very straight forward, easy and professional and all our details and cards were waiting for us. Yes this ship is an old girl, 42 years! we knew this when we booked so didn't expect a brand new sparkling ship, the price decided it for us. With this in mind it was still in good condition for the age, rust here and there but the crew were always trying to keep the paint up to it. This did not worry us though. The inside of the ship was kept spotless. The Food in the main restaurant was great, the service was efficient, our two waiters could not do any more for us, don't think we had the same meal served twice in 18 days. We ordered wine and never had to ask for our glass to be filled. We were on the second sitting 8.30pm this was quite late and the show for us was at 10.30pm so it did make it a late night but on the plus side a lot of times when leaving ports we were able to see the sunset and enjoy the sail away party, if you were on the early sitting you missed out. Think it would be better if the meal times were changed, second sitting was say about 8pm and the show at 10pm this would make it a better time, think it would have suited a lot of the older generation to eat at 5.30pm and their show at 7.30pm. We loved having breakfast in the garden cafe each morning as it was very relaxing, no queuing up for food, no crowds of people. One thing I did notice on this cruise was that for some reason there was an absence of coughing and people with colds. This would have been one of the first cruises I have been on that I did not catch some sort of cough or cold. They were very strict with the use of the hand wash and you were not allowed in the restaurant without using it. I did not see anybody refusing to use it as I have on other ships! So good on you Fred Olsen. Our cabin was quite low in the ship, also a bit noisy! think we were near the engines!! It did have two portholes, having single beds did make the room seem larger, you could not join the beds together, not sure but think most cabins only had single beds. The room was cleaned twice a day and our cabin steward was very friendly. No complaints. I found the doona on the bed a bit too warm at night, I suppose I could have asked for a blanket but we just turned down the air conditioner to the lowest and then it was alright. There were no children on board or even teenagers, probably as it was a world cruise. I did not see anywhere were they would have entertained children or teenagers even if they were on board. I don't think this cruise would have suited people in their 20's to 40's as it did cater for an older generation, we are both in our early 60's but didn't mind it a bit. We wanted a relaxing cruise and that is what we got. We still had fun, loved the shows at night especially the Fred Olsen Dancers, they were not only dancers but could sing really well too. Did not miss one show! not too keen on some of the other entertainers they had. There are no poker machines on board, not a poker machine player so didn't effect us. The stand out in the lectures was the man from Customs who gave us some great stories, enjoyed them all. We had been on the Balmoral the year before and personally I prefer the Black Watch, it's a smaller ship than some of the other big cruise lines but because of that it had a really nice feel and atmosphere to it. The majority of the passengers on this cruise were English having embarked in Southampton or Sydney and we found them to be very friendly and interesting, made some great friends on our table. They were also very interested in finding out all about Australia. All in all we enjoyed our cruise and would certainly do another Black Watch cruise if it came to Australia. We knew it was an old ship so yes a few things needs fixing up but it didn't deter from the overall look and feel of the ship. We got value for money and had a great time. Would love to try the other Fred Olsen ships as well. Read Less
Black Watch Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.4
Family 2.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 5.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 4.4

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise