Cruise - Ocean Cruise
BOUDICCA 1-10 SEPTEMBER 2011
146 people found this review helpful
We arrived home yesterday at about 5pm after a very enjoyable cruise.
Mrs Satnav took us through Edinburgh for reasons known only to herself but we finally arrived in Rosyth at 3pm. Brian dropped me near a queue outside the check-in area and went to park the car. Nobody was around giving guidance but by seeing some people in the queue without luggage I gathered that it had been taken somewhere and by watching I found out it was to be handed in at the far end of the building. When B. got back he checked in the cases and we joined the queue which was still outside. Luckily it was not raining. We advised other lost souls what to do with their luggage. Once inside the building we saw the queue was snaking and quite long so B. sat down while I queued and filled in the "I am not/have not been ill" form. I suppose it took about half an hour before we were finally checked in-by a young woman who didn't seem to be sure about what to do. We waited about 15 minutes in a lounge before catching a bus to the ship and going on board. Luggage quickly followed us as did Lifeboat drill at 5pm. Cabin 3080 was comfortable. Twin beds, a chair with arms and another chair under the dressing table.There was a wardrobe with two large drawers, another with shelves, one containing the safe which was easy to operate and another with pool towels. There was a third wardrobe which took all my clothes and our trolley bag. There were also 5 narrower drawers in the dressing table. Shower over the bath. Not much storage space in the bathroom. The ship sailed at 6pm and I am happy to report that it was not noisy at all. Beds were comfy, duvet and two pillows.
Breakfast a bit chaotic as nobody knew what to do. Mainly self service but you could order from the menu too, things like smoked haddock, poached eggs etc.. Docked in Kirkwall at least half an hour early. Raining so dressed appropriately. The sun came out and then we were too warm. Free shuttle bus which I think the port provided. Not a lot there so had a coffee and went back to the ship for lunch. That was a bit chaotic too for same reason as breakfast. Went hunting for soup but told you had to ask the waiter. Then went looking for bread rolls. Had to ask the waiter. Most waiters were friendly and helpful but we got the one who wasn't. You could choose items from the menu and/or go to the buffet. Plenty of choice for all meals. I have to say that the food was very good , some of the best we have ever had, including Cunard. Some people preferred the Secret Garden, others called it "The Zoo" because of the slatted windows which made it look as though the people in there were in a cage. We only tried it once so I shouldn't really comment, but we were not impressed with the choice of food on offer.
At sea. Breakfast table shared with know it all woman
Scottish. She said "There are quite a few English people on this boat" in a manner which implied we had no right to be there! Two elderly ladies came and sat in the smoking area. One of them said "It's smokey here." The other said "Well, they are allowed to smoke here." They stayed half an hour. B. tired from day before. I did not enjoy the Black Watch in 2009 and was hoping the Boudicca would be better. I was not disappointed. I would definitely sail on her again. We did not see any entertainment so no comment on that. Heard the singers in the Lido Lounge, not impressed with their skills. I heard a quiz one day and think I might have scored 12 out of 20. I think 19 won it, which I thought was very clever. Learned later that people were cheating at the quizzes. They did not have to exchange papers for marking so they were writing in the answers. Cheating in order to win a pen or somesuch. Last morning a couple at the breakfast table told us they had registered a DEBIT card and had been charged 2%, then on deck people were checking their accounts and they had all been charged 2% for debit cards. There was a queue at reception but I bet some people had not noticed. FO were blaming a computer programme. So, be careful. There were a lot of elderly and infirm people on the cruise and they seemed to be well looked after. This is not a suitable ship for children as there are no special facilities for them. Boudicca is an old but elegant ship. It is easy to find your way around and nothing is too far away from your cabin. We would have no hesitation about sailing on her again.
Belfast. Were going to go on the Free shuttle provided by Belfast, then a HOHO bus but decided to take a taxi instead. Cost £25 an hour. We went for two hours and saw an awful lot. We thought that the Northern Ireland troubles were over but they are not. People are still being killed for no good reason.
Fred's shuttle into Dublin £5 per person, ticket bought on board-no refund. Cross taxi drivers outside said they would have been cheaper. We had previously decided we would go to Powerscourt Gardens but the tour had been removed when our cruise book came. The shuttle bus driver, bless him, said "The last house on the left is where the Duke of Wellington was born………..There. on the right." He also said we were not sailing that night because of rough seas. He was right. Force 9, 7 metre waves so we stayed overnight in Dublin and missed Milford Haven. FO put on an evening trip to a show with dinner and wine at a cost of £85 pp. Someone told us the meal was corned beef and cabbage. He didn't drink wine so he had to pay for his drink.
Sailed at 12.30 pm. Force 9 until 1am. Quite a few spaces at dinner. Boudicca seemed a very seaworthy ship. No problems for us with our Stugeron.
Tender to St Peter Port. As we were returning to the ship we saw a US fighter plane doing acrobatics over the port. This was followed by two helicopters almost "dancing." Great spectacle. We were told the Red Arrows would be there the following day. Lady on deck that night said a tower with layers of red lights must be a ship because it was going up and down and round and round. Didn't like to tell her it was our ship moving, not the mast on land.
Portsmouth. Stayed on board
146 people found this review helpful
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