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Lottie A

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About Lottie A

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    UK
  • Interests
    Cruising, Playing my Violin, learning Italian and Cooking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Azamara, Celebrity, Cunard Oceania and P&O
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Meditterranean

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  1. I really like Balmoral. Was on her a few months ago. I’m on Black Watch in 10 days. The large MDR on Balmoral is Ballindaloch and most people will be seated in there for dinner. It is fixed dining...1st sitting 6:15 pm and 2nd sitting is about 8:30 pm. You stay on the same table with the same people for the whole of your cruise. You can request a table for four people and they will do their best to accommodate you but it isn’t guaranteed. They do have tables for 6/8/10. Avon and Spey are much smaller dining venues and would be my preference. They are higher up with large windows and great views. Because there are less people dining there I think service is better and generally quicker. The menu is the same in all three restaurants. You can eat breakfast and lunch in Avon or Spey anyway, but unless you are lucky to be allowed the choice, then most passengers are in Ballindaloch for dinner. If I was you I would choose Avon, but Spey is just as good. There is also a free buffet restaurant and The Grill, which is a speciality restaurant and charged extra at £20 pp. The food there is excellent and is highly recommended. You can also have the “posh Afternoon Tea” at £8:95 pp in The Observatory Lounge. There is a free version of scones and jam in the buffet every afternoon but it isn’t a patch on the “posh” afternoon tea with a variety of sandwiches, cakes and scones and delicious tea (or coffee). Have a great cruise!
  2. I might get into trouble for accosting tall men with beards Michael, but I will certainly look out for you! 🤣 Weather in Cadiz today is a sunny 20 degrees!
  3. Hi Michael and Janet, How nice to talk to someone else on our cruise. I love relaxing sea days too and I’m looking forward to the overnight in Cadiz for the Feria celebration. I don’t know if you are part of the Fred Olsen group on the site that can’t be mentioned here but we are all arranging a meeting on the first sea day in The Observatory at around 1:30-2:30 pm and all are welcome. Hope to see you onboard.
  4. Daveywavey I am a frequent Silversea and Azamara cruiser and I must confess that before my first Fred cruise I was worried about the quality of Fred Olsen’s food compared to AZ and SS too. I was very pleasantly surprised! I would rate it far above P&O and also above Cunard....unless you are in The Grills. It’s not gourmet food but excellent quality. In the MDR we had lobster, beef wellington, sole stuffed with prawns, a fabulous authentic chicken curry, an Italian night with great pasta dishes and the desserts tasted just as good as they looked. And as someone above said....the food was served hot. Even on SS they don’t always manage that. I went to the speciality restaurant The Grill on Balmoral twice. I have done two more Fred Olsen cruises since my Braemar one that I reviewed on here...that’s how much I like Fred Olsen. 😄 For the first visit I had scallops to start, then Filet Mignon and Pina Colada panna cotta. On my second visit I chose Goat’s Cheese and Red pepper cushion, Grilled Lobster and Vanilla Mille Feuille. Both meals were absolutely delicious. I can also recommend the wonderful “posh” afternoon tea in The Observatory. Just skip lunch first because there is so much delicious sandwiches and cake....including proper clotted cream for the scones! It’s great value at £8.95 each. Did you know that you can go to the smaller restaurants (as opposed to the larger MDR) for breakfast and lunch? You have to stick to your assigned table/restaurant for dinner though. I found the service and ambience quieter in the smaller one and after the first day used it every time for breakfast/lunch. We are going on Black Watch in just over two weeks. It’s an Andalusia intensive cruise for 13 nights. I will try to remember to take some food pix for you and post them here when I’m back home in March.
  5. I have also had one of these cabins. Think ours was 6005 or it could have been 7005, can’t quite remember...we were with a group of friends including Mrs Miggins and several of us booked them. They are most definitely significantly bigger than other OV cabins as they incorporate the veranda space into the cabin. However....would I trade that increased space for the noise levels from the anchor chain and bow thrusters? No, I wouldn’t if I were travelling solo! There is plenty of space for one person in an ordinary OV cabin. If there were two people I might consider it if you don’t mind being woken up very early, especially when tendering. There was no noise at all from the suite next door...but maybe that was because our friends were in it and they are quiet considerate people! 😄
  6. Personally I think I would pay $160 more for 4053. It will be much quieter in the early mornings. Great location for the MDR and all the facilities as well.
  7. I would be very surprised if Quest berthed at Belview as I think it is too big. Belview is 4 miles or so from Waterford City. On June 3rd and September 7th/8th both Pursuit and Quest are on the port schedule for tendering at Dunmore East. I would believe this Port schedule rather than some "Azamara Representative" who probably doesn't have a clue about Irish ports! Just saying....I may be wrong....but I don't think so in this case!
  8. I find all the far forward cabins very noisy in the early morning. Not only the anchor chain descending but also the bow thrusters at about 5am in the morning! It can seem like they are in the cabin with you the noise is so bad and for me, the far forward cabins on deck 4 are the worst. I would never book them again but that’s just me. You may not be as sensitive to noise as I am and might sleep through it!
  9. Lottie A

    Coronavirus

    Sorry to hear that John. I’m sure your river cruise company will be reassessing the Wuhan visit. I think from a medical point of view, any travel there in March would still be ill advised. As for China as a whole....well it’s probably too soon to judge that, but maybe you should have a Plan B in mind just in case?
  10. Lottie A

    Coronavirus

    Brush Airways have today suspended all flights to mainland China due to concerns about the spread of Coronavirus. The British Government are arranging to evacuate British citizens from Wuhan and are arranging for anyone returning from there to be quarantined for 14 days with all necessary medical treatment. This will be at a U.K. military airbase.
  11. Agree with others ....much prefer deck 4 and cabins in the higher numbers too. Anything above 4030/431 in fact my preferred OV cabin is 4054. Quiet and very convenient location.
  12. Lottie A

    Coronavirus

    Oh dear. Well I’m glad you aren’t in Wuhan now anyway!
  13. Waterford is a lovely city and there is much more to see than just the Waterford Crystal shop and factory, although it has beautiful crystal glassware of course. I am a frequent visitor as my father was born there and I have many relatives still living there. A walk along the Quays of the river Suir to The Granville Hotel for a great Irish lunch and a pint ( of Guinness), the Viking Reginald’s Tower and the beautiful surrounding countryside are all must see’s. The ship will always anchor in Dunmore East Bay and tender you in to the small village. The river Suir into Waterford city is not navigable for an Azamara ship. Dunmore East is a fishing port and the seafood is wonderful in the local pubs and restaurants. I don’t know about a shuttle bus but a local taxi from Dunmore East to Waterford city would be about €30-35 depending on traffic. It’s about a 20 min drive. Have a wonderful time in beautiful Ireland.
  14. I’m not sure how statistically reliable a sample audience of 67 people would be. However well done to Azamara on coming third, despite the issues that Ann has mentioned above. Also very well deserved to Viking on coming first. They are becoming a real force to be reckoned with in the cruising world and I think their ships and their cruise experience in general is just excellent.
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