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Fjord4Fun

British Night on Fred

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I was seriously considering a cruise on Balmoral next year but have just read about the cringe-worthy 'British Nights'. Do they still have them? P&O is bad enough with it's awful sailaway parties, but at least they are up on deck and can be avoided. If they are still held I'm afraid won't be joining them as I have no desire for such jingoistic behaviour that can only panders to the Brexit brigade.

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You do not need to join in. You will see people dressed in the colours; some with t-shirts; hats and more and others who dress as every other evening.

There is usually a show in the theatre which has songs from British Isles etc. I can’t remember whether the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ music (which I quite like) is played or whether that was another occasion once. There are small plastic flags to wave if you wish.

As you say it is a bit toe curling if you do not enjoy that kind of ‘show’.

You can ignore it, dress in your own style and don’t go to the theatre. It is only one evening. The menu in the dining room also has a ‘British’ slant.

I wouldn’t let the planned evening deter me from the prospect of another wise enjoyable cruise.

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Thank you Haywood. You are right, of course, but the thought of a cruise company that provides plastic flags to wave is at best 'nursing home' material and at worse vomit-inducing yuk!

The itinerary is interesting though so who knows...

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Well, many people enjoy waving flags and wearing hats at the Albert Hall and I would say that is not seen as ‘nursing home’ atmosphere.

 

It was interesting to see the Norwegian flag waving on the quayside and from houses out on the hills as we left ports in the summer - strange that we don’t think of that as jingoism.

That was a very enjoyable Marella cruise.

 

As I said, it is only the theatre production which embraces British culture- English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish songs etc but thankfully there is no compulsion.

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Perhaps my thoughts on this are tarnished by P&O flag waving, bingo knees up whenever leaving a port - playing Dambusters March whilst maneuvering past an Aida ship was not their finest hour.

 

The Last Night at the Albert Hall is a different kettle of fish as it's on British soil. In fact, I putting together a family trip to that very event next year. However, nationalistic displays of 'the little Englander' abroad are never in good taste and very embarrassing. If you are not embarrassed by such, then you probably should be.

Edited by Fjord4Fun

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The most recent British night we saw was a little cheesy for my tastes but it is just one night after all and you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

 

They did something for each UK nation so highland dancing for Scotland, river dance for Ireland, pearly King & queens for England etc etc.

 

A lot of people wore red white and blue but as Heywood said kind of last night of proms vibe.

 

If it’s not your thing you can just give it a side step.

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I have been - no flags from me - and will probably not go on my next trip in a couple of weeks.

I think the young dancers and singers try very hard to do the UK show as Eglesbrech says but I think the whole thing re flag waving has been somewhat tarnished - which is another story.

Your P and O story sounds inappropriate to me but I know others would probably really enjoy it.

Give it a miss if you don’t approve.

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I can't mind if there was one on our most recent FO cruise this summer - it was from Rosyth so that might explain it !!!

 

There was on our first Fred the previous year and the plastic flags etc. was embarrasingly cringeworthy - we gave that aspect the big bodyswerve.

 

The singalong in the theatre is OK if you like that sort of thing.

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I was in my early 30s the first time I ever went on Black Watch and I too thought British Night would be awful.

 

It is the best cruise i have ever been on and despite the majority of passengers being much older than me, I loved everyone and every minute, including British Night.

 

I loved it so much that when I got home, I immediately rebooked to join it on its next leg, which didnt have a British night.

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We're going on the Balmoral on Friday and wondered much the same. We usually love shipboard entertainment, but a British night doesn't really float our boat! I just think it's a shame that you go abroad for a holiday and they want to give you a British night - probably due to cost - it's cheaper to bulk buy Union Flags than actually do something more appropriate for the location you're cruising in. It's our first time with Fred - we've cruised lots of times, but only done one P&O cruise and their British Sailaway from Gibraltar was hilarious for all the wrong reasons. The fuel pipe got stuck, so we didn't leave on time - the entertainment team left with guests still waving flags whilst we were somewhat marooned! We certainly didn't rule any waves that day!

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I've sailed on three FO cruises now and the only thing I've encountered is many folks going in for dinner wearing a few bits and pieces of British wear as they go into dinner.  For my first cruise, I bought a union jack scarf for myself to fit in; however, it wasn't really needed.  And I simply don't bother with the evening show that night.  No one says anything to anyone not wearing anything British.  FO has a very relaxed, friendly atmosphere so I would not worry if you don't want to partake.

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On 12/20/2018 at 10:58 AM, comcox said:

I've sailed on three FO cruises now and the only thing I've encountered is many folks going in for dinner wearing a few bits and pieces of British wear as they go into dinner.  For my first cruise, I bought a union jack scarf for myself to fit in; however, it wasn't really needed.  And I simply don't bother with the evening show that night.  No one says anything to anyone not wearing anything British.  FO has a very relaxed, friendly atmosphere so I would not worry if you don't want to partake.

Seems a pity to miss the show! I seem to recall it had things like the Beatles and was a great show. They only did the ‘Rule Britannia’ thing at the end, in a totally over the top, tongue in cheek way. Last night of the Proms stuff. I wouldn’t avoid an ‘American’ show on an American ship with them singing ‘I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy’ etc!

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Also after the show, you get to have pictures taken with the cast.

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34 minutes ago, SausPud said:

Also after the show, you get to have pictures taken with the cast.

Is that seen as a positive?

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Posted (edited)

Well, we survived the evening! I wore a blue shirt with a yellow bow tie - those who cottoned on to the flag it might represent gave me some very positive comments, much to my surprise! 

 

I also wore a red, white and blue rosette, which could have been bleu, blanc, rouge...  We were genuinely tired that evening, and on second sitting, so we watched the show from our cabin. We were hugely astonished to find that not only the Boomtown Rats, but also Debbie Harry and Meatloaf were "the best of British"! If there's one thing our country excels at it's music, so why have Irish and US songs? We discussed this at our table the next night and with regards to the Boomtown Rats, I was told that it's all GB, after all. I excused myself and went to the toilet to calm down. Even Northern Ireland isn't in GB, let alone the Republic! We're the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is why our friends in Belfast refer to us as their friends from GB. 

 

Not wanting to spoil anyone's holidays (least of all ours!), we really shied away from watching the news - and making any mention of Brexit (although we did find a likeminded family and had an occasional vent with them!), but eagle eyed passengers did spot an anti-Brexit sticker on my mobile phone.  

 

By the way, if there was an American evening on an American ship (especially if people got "blacked up" to sing slavery songs), I'd also run a mile (as would many Americans at the moment, given their leader)!  However, if there was a celebration of nations and how we can all work together, I'd definitely be first in the queue and would be happy to wave lots of flags.

 

Having said all that, we had the most wonderful time and I'm busy writing my review!

 

 

Edited by Eurovisionfan

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A person after my own heart.  A 'Celebration of Nations' night would be a fantastic idea and could include all those countries being visited on each cruise.  Une bonne idée!

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There was a very informative session where the cruise manager interviewed the cast. Apparently the shows for three ships (I think the Braemar is the exception) are done by a small company in Suffolk, and I'm sure it's far cheaper for everyone to have the same costumes rather than lots of different ones (having said that, red white and blue could do for a fair few countries!!) 

 

At least the Phillipines, Indonesia and Thailand were represented in the staff show! And we really enjoyed everything else.

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18 hours ago, Eurovisionfan said:

However, if there was a celebration of nations and how we can all work together, I'd definitely be first in the queue and would be happy to wave lots of flags.

It's called the crew show. 👍

 

Colin.

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I have cruised with Fred Olsen for many years and I have always had a horror of British nights. In my view it is more like a BNP/UKIP rally then a fun night. If we must have these nationalistic events why not call them re/white/blue nights which could embrace Americans, French, Dutch and many more. It would be even better if they reverted to tropical nights which were always popular. 

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I believe Fred used to have an ‘International’ night, but it was discontinued, presumably unsuccessful.

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6 minutes ago, Parsman said:

I have cruised with Fred Olsen for many years and I have always had a horror of British nights. In my view it is more like a BNP/UKIP rally then a fun night. If we must have these nationalistic events why not call them re/white/blue nights which could embrace Americans, French, Dutch and many more. It would be even better if they reverted to tropical nights which were always popular. 

My view entirely. A bit like the jingoistic Sail Away 'party' I experienced on P&O Arcadia and one reason why I'll never sail with them again - Ship fine (for the most part), Crew great but the majority of the British passengers...

 

Still planning on 'doing a Fred' to the German waterways though at some point and just ordered an EU T-shirt ready.

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I'm so glad I found this post - I thought I was the only one who hated these nights, and the sailway parties etc.  I just assumed it was my age (30s) and that all older people enjoyed it for nostalgia or something (sorry).

 

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3 hours ago, Meka3256 said:

I'm so glad I found this post - I thought I was the only one who hated these nights, and the sailway parties etc.  I just assumed it was my age (30s) and that all older people enjoyed it for nostalgia or something (sorry).

 

No it's not a age thing.  We're mid-60s but our recent trip on Hurtigruten convinced us that 'traditional British/American' cruises - even Fred - are not for us. We met, and shared experiences, with wonderful people from the UK, Norway, Germany and elsewhere and enjoyed the culture, events and scenery that Norway had to offer... and not a British flag, 'sail-away' or formal night to be seen.  I'd still love to visit the places visited on the Fred cruise that we had earmarked as our next cruise but while Fred has UKIP nights we're going to give it a miss.

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