Cruise - Ocean Cruise
A mystery cruise (almost)
We joined Balmoral in Southampton for her Mystery Cruise on 12 November 2018. We had no idea whether we were going north or south so packing proved more difficult than normal. We were looking forward to visiting some new and imaginative ports and much speculation kept us all busy until the first: La Coruna. This was a good choice for us as we had not visited before and the weather was (unusually we were informed) exceptional. Another port we hadn’t visited was Cartagena which we also enjoyed. The remaining four ports we had visited before and were Cadiz (always a pleasant place for a walk) and predictably: Malaga, Gibraltar and Lisbon. So not really the exciting cruise we had anticipated but that was the risk. As the ship was nowhere near full, it was probably all about selecting the cheapest destinations, both in terms of distance and ports.
We like Balmoral and the service we received from most of the crew was, as always, very good. The exception was the dinner service in the Avon Restaurant which was glacially slow and one of the waiters quite pedantic. The food was up to the usual standard though the Steak Night seems to have gone by the board, probably to encourage passengers to use the specialty restaurants.
The Show Company were in great form with many energetic shows with good singers. The three guest acts: Mandy Muden, a magician who we have seen before; Dean Stansby, a very agreeable singer and Simon Sands, a fun comedian were all very good. Simon Sands also conducted a most enjoyable quiz on one sea day.
Our cabin, on deck 4, that we have had before, was quiet and comfortable. It was kept in good order by the highly efficient stewardess.
This was a very good cruise, our only reservation being the unimaginative ports selected for a mystery cruise which turned out not to be much of a mystery at all.
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.
Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines