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DAN 60

Fred Olson Why So Expensive

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Don't get me wrong we've had great time's on fred. We are gold member's, not shore if that mean's anything anymore as we haven't been on them for some time.

But how they can justify the cost of some of there cabin's is beyond belief. Madeira 11 night's over £2000 for a balcony, and £970 for an inside cabin.

For this you can cruise on ship's with far more facilities than fred can offer, ok i know fred is different, it's a different experience i get it.

However today it's all about cost and what you get for your money. Sorry Fred we still love you.

  

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I did a 16 Night on Fred this Summer in a Terrace Balcony Suite (315 sq ft) and have just booked a P&O Suite (545 sq ft) with Butler and £250 OBC for 14 nights for 2020 and the P&O one is over £2,000 cheaper.

My Marella cruise for 14 nights in the Med for Summer 2019 in an Executive Suite (515 sq ft), on an old Royal Caribbean ship where it was classed as an owners suite, with drinks and tips included and flights, still was cheaper by over £1,500 than Fred and there was no drinks, no flying for that price and there was still another 3 tiers above to pay more on.

 

Fred is outpricing itself and still has old ships that need replacing.

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We loved our cabin on Balmoral this Summer but to get the type of facilities we are used to on other lines as standard, we booked a junior Suite. For an awful lot less we could have had a mini-suite on P&O, Princess etc for a longer than our very short 9 days

Edited by tartanexile81

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You pay more but get excellent service. That’s why we keeping sailing with Fred. We cruise with luxurious lines as well but Fred. offers excellent customer service and a traditional sailing experience. There are plenty of choices out there so you can choose what to spend your hard earned cash on. For many it’s the traditional  high class standards of Fred. Olsen. 

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On 12/21/2018 at 10:11 AM, DAN 60 said:

Don't get me wrong we've had great time's on fred. We are gold member's, not shore if that mean's anything anymore as we haven't been on them for some time.

But how they can justify the cost of some of there cabin's is beyond belief. Madeira 11 night's over £2000 for a balcony, and £970 for an inside cabin.

For this you can cruise on ship's with far more facilities than fred can offer, ok i know fred is different, it's a different experience i get it.

However today it's all about cost and what you get for your money. Sorry Fred we still love you.

  

My thoughts exactly. We haven’t cruised with Fred despite how convenient it would be for me (Newcastle port is just a few miles from home). We just can’t justify the price. Next month we’re doing a 17 nights Azamara Cruise of Antartica - tips, alcohol and an evening tour of Montevideo with dinner included. We have a junior suite with shower, full bath and large balcony. Suites include complimentary unlimited meals in any of the four specialty restaurants throughout the cruise too. All this for £9880. 

 

I would love it if Fred would get some modern ships with decent balconies. I’d even be willing to pay a bit more for the convenience of ports, but as things stand. We can justify booking with them.

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On 12/23/2018 at 7:59 AM, tiggertom said:

You pay more but get excellent service. That’s why we keeping sailing with Fred. We cruise with luxurious lines as well but Fred. offers excellent customer service and a traditional sailing experience. There are plenty of choices out there so you can choose what to spend your hard earned cash on. For many it’s the traditional  high class standards of Fred. Olsen. 

 

I'm sorry but I haven't found the service any better on Fred Olsen that any other line. The worst waiters we've had on any cruise were in the Spey Dining room on Balmoral this Summer. We spoke to the maitre d' about it and raised it with the company when we got back.  Our stewardess was hardly any better and we didn't have the warm relationships we usually have with our steward. The bar staff however were generally good as they are on all lines. 

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We have always had friendly and excellent service (with the exception of about three Caribbean male waiters on one cruise which was barely adequate) on both Celebrity and Azamara. 

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It is the itineraries that we book Fred for, especially when you get overnights or unusual destinations that you can only get on the very high priced lines otherwise.  Mind you we also tend to book when there are offers on and are not bothered about needing a balcony cabin.  We did have a terrace balcony on the Liverpool to Mauritius route in Oct/Nov 2017 and got that for only about £100 pppn overall, though that did include a good offer to begin with and then we were able to upgrade at a decent price from an outside cabin.  We have also coupled fly cruises with land stays and booked our own flights, which can work out very well.  Fred does charge silly prices for his flights, especially long haul and no choice of flight times either - not our style we prefer stop overs.  For instance we are staying in the airside hotel in Dubai airport both ways in a forthcoming jaunt so we do not fly overnight.

 

Some times it is worth ringing to ask about upgrade possibility nearish to the cruise (usually when any anchor fares are offered).  Sometimes nothing is available, but always worth asking.  The value is not too bad In an outside or even inside cabin if there is an offer on, but depends what you want.  We prefer cheaper quality holidays, but can be away 2 or 3 months a year all told and we never spend long in a cabin when on a cruise anyway.  We also do land holidays were appropriate and are off to Myanmar and Thailand soon, staying in 6 different hotels independently booked.  That has got a bit complicated, but will hopefully be good when we get there.

Edited by tring

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What I don't get is the cheapest price for the Icelandic cruise in June/July 2019 is £1799 pp.

 

I've never spent more than £1199 pp for 11 nights and that was the dearest I've spent in the 10 years I've been cruising with Fred.

Hope the price comes down nearer the time. 

I cruise mostly with Fred because I live near to Rosyth.

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They are definitely way overpriced for the package provided on old rickety ships but they sail from regional ports which few others do, so charge for the convenience. They also offer some more interesting ports where only small ships can go.

 

The prices are however getting so high now compared to the other lines that you can afford a better cabin on a ship with more modern facilities and a flight to Southampton and still be better off than booking Fred. They are in my opinion now pushing their luck.

 

 

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I think they are charging more and more because they can get away with it. Last year Fred Olsen. Cruise Line had their best year-to-date, with a turnover of £202,459,000, up from £181,934,000 in 2016. I need not tell you that for a cruise line that runs four older ships, which they only value at £48,691,000 (all 4 vessels), these numbers look good. To put this into context, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, a line of similar size, managed to turnover £100,169,386  in the same period. 

 

2018 year-to-date for Fred. Olsen  looks even better than 2017, with the line having taken £1.6 million in transactions on November 19, 2018.  We are still waiting for their full year results, but I have no doubt their figures will be even better than 2017. Given the scale of their operation, these numbers are impressive. Hence, I believe they are increasing their prices. However, there will come a point when they value proposition versus price people are willing to pay will even out, and it is important they do not push their luck beyond that. 

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Interesting piece of inside information.  Many thanks for that.  

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It looks like many holiday prices are increasing quite a bit at the moment, so it will be interesting to see what happens as the year passes.  As tring has said above, they do offer various deals through the year which make them more affordable and I have seen a lot of good late deals with them.

 

They are becoming a bit of a niche line, offering the more traditional style of cruise which still appeals to some of us.  We all look at things differently and where (for instance) Eglesbrech sees "rickety old ships", I see classic ships with character.  Fred's ships do not have many balconies so a balcony cabin is going to be expensive - I am not bothered about a balcony. To be fair to Fred, they do invest in their ships, refurbishing regularly.

 

Personally, style is more important than substance to me.  I like the P&O style but only on their smaller ships, so with Oriana going, my options with them are more limited.  I have tried Marella once and have no desire to do so again (not my style) and CMV once and would happily try them again.

 

Its 'horses for courses' - personally I would prefer to pay more to sail with Fred on a 'classic' ship than pay less to have a balcony on a modern leviathan.

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8 hours ago, Britboys said:

It looks like many holiday prices are increasing quite a bit at the moment, so it will be interesting to see what happens as the year passes.  As tring has said above, they do offer various deals through the year which make them more affordable and I have seen a lot of good late deals with them.

 

They are becoming a bit of a niche line, offering the more traditional style of cruise which still appeals to some of us.  We all look at things differently and where (for instance) Eglesbrech sees "rickety old ships", I see classic ships with character.  Fred's ships do not have many balconies so a balcony cabin is going to be expensive - I am not bothered about a balcony. To be fair to Fred, they do invest in their ships, refurbishing regularly.

 

Personally, style is more important than substance to me.  I like the P&O style but only on their smaller ships, so with Oriana going, my options with them are more limited.  I have tried Marella once and have no desire to do so again (not my style) and CMV once and would happily try them again.

 

Its 'horses for courses' - personally I would prefer to pay more to sail with Fred on a 'classic' ship than pay less to have a balcony on a modern leviathan.

 

You are absolutely correct, it is indeed all down to personal preference. 

 

I was disenchanted on our Fred cruise as the maintenance on the “classic” ship was so utterly intrusive that it spoiled the holiday, for us at least.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Eglesbrech said:

 

You are absolutely correct, it is indeed all down to personal preference. 

 

I was disenchanted on our Fred cruise as the maintenance on the “classic” ship was so utterly intrusive that it spoiled the holiday, for us at least.

 

 

I can understand that.  On P&O Aurora a couple of years ago they seemed to be incessantly welding the external staircases at the stern of the ship.  Sadly, due to 'profit-pressure' most ships seem to have very little down-time these days when they can attend to maintenance issues.

Edited by Britboys

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I think FO is pricey for what you get.   If you are over 50 - as most FO cruisers are, I think - then may I suggest Saga.  At present it is just the Sapphire, another older ship, which takes 700 passengers.  All drinks are included - not bad wines, but fairly basic cocktails etc., as is a car from your home to the port and back, and insurance.  And all from Dover or Southampton.  And IMO friendlier staff than the last time we were on Fred.

 

I would be interested to read if anybody agrees (or not).

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Almost forgot, Saga includes tips, though many people give tips to their cabin steward and their morning tea service person.  Saga is also particularly good for singles and people with disabilities. 

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We have sailed with Saga and Fred, and enjoyed both. I think that generally Saga has higher standards of food and service, and we are looking forward to a Baltic Cruise on their brand new ship (which looks amazing) in September. However, it’s the itinerary that drives us primarily, and we would like to do an Indian Ocean cruise with Fred in 2020. Although Saga does look expensive, they do include a lot, including tips and transport from home, as already mentioned. I would say that they both attract a similar client group, but Saga’s formal evenings were, well, more formal. Both have the smaller ships that we like and we will probably always look at their cruises before any other cruise lines.

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On 1/27/2019 at 6:39 PM, lincslady said:

Almost forgot, Saga includes tips, though many people give tips to their cabin steward and their morning tea service person.  Saga is also particularly good for singles and people with disabilities. 

 

Also free computer use and WiFi; included 24 hour room service etc etc; binoculars in all cabins; free bottled water delivered daily.

 

 

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I think the various replies on comparing Fred with Saga does show up that, in my opinion and I think that of others, Saga has a 'generous' feeling about it, which Fred does not, or certainly did not when I last cruised with them, which is admittedly a few years ago.

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We did a Northern Lights cruise with Saga which was our first experience with them. They gave everyone on board a lovely padded jacket to use and to keep. My husband wore his in the recent cold snap and will be taking it to Iceland in March. That’s one example of extra value. I’d forgotten about the free WiFi. Now that is worth something with most cruise lines charging a fortune. Looking forward to the new ship in September, as all cabins have a balcony.

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Just returned from the Boudicca cruise to the Canaries, our second cruise with Fred this year and the standards have really slipped since we traveled with them to the Baltic last June. 

We noticed a great reduction in staffing levels particularly bar staff, during the day all waiters were concentrating on the outside decks and at night in the Neptune lounge to sell half priced cocktails rather than serving those of us who have paid up front for the all inclusive package and prefer the Secret Garden bar or Morning Light pub, at times there was only one server to cover both places. 

The food in the Secret Garden was also absolutely awful, once upon a time the food was the same as the main restaurants but no longer! 

Tinned rice pudding, tinned macaroni cheese, not a fresh vegetable in sight, everything was frozen carrots, cauliflower and broccol mixed or green beans carrot and sweetcorn mixed, even the cottage pie on the British Night evening buffet was packet mashed potato and you've guessed it tinned minced beef. 

The hot sweet was some type of hot sponge with custard day after day and the evening choices included things like  chicken and leek stew, liver and onions and some sort of pork casserole or low quality fish such as catfish

Hardly top quality cruise quisine, one lady asked me when they would be serving us lobster and she was quite serious, fat chance I thought. 

We have a third Fred cruise booked to Bordeaux in September and we will definitely be looking for other options next year. 

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I can recommend Azamara. It’s a shame to have to fly, but worth it. 

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I think they are expensive so they can fund that encyclopedia of glossy pages they call a brochure. I did not ask for mailing, but if they want to waste money and push costs up that is their business model.

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