Marisa Ippolito on 01 September 2011

I was recently lucky enough to be invited to visit a couple of cruise ships in dock in the UK. Naturally I jumped at the chance in order to pass valuable advice to my customers who always appreciate the inside knowledge to assist them when deciding on which cruise to book.

I hope you find this information helpful and would be happy to provide a quote or further advice on any cruise you are considering for your next holiday. Travel Counsellors has access to some of the best offers in the industry and I would be very happy to pass them on to you!


The Boudicca did not ‘wow’ me when I first entered the ship in all honesty (and I must be honest as I know you would want me to be) as I couldn’t help noticing some areas that could do with a bit of updating such as the furnishings in the Neptune Lounge which were a bit worn on some edges. However as my visit progressed throughout the ship my initial thoughts faded fast as I soon ‘got’ what Fred Olsen is all about.

The Boudicca does not go in for the glitzy fancy bling so obvious on some other larger cruise ships. Instead it focuses greatly on service and the ‘experience’. The ship is small and the crew to guest ratio is high therefore customers are quickly recognised personally by the staff, guests get to know each other throughout the cruise. This is evident in the 56% repeat cruisers with Fred Olsen as many guests depart their cruise having made friends for life and often return to meet up on other trips.

The other public areas on the Boudicca are very relaxed with an emphasis on comfort. Great comfy couches complimented by massive viewing windows. There are piano bars, quiet corners and the library has a great selection of books including many of your everyday novels that previous cruisers have left behind, so no need to carry your own supply!

The great thing about Fred Olsen ships is that currency onboard is Sterling, no matter where you are in the world. There are no obligatory tips added onto the drinks bills either, another great plus!

The pool area is larger than I have seen on some of the giant ships. The gym is state of the art with flat screen TV’s, you can even arrange Yoga and Pilates with qualified instructors. The spa is made for pampering with packages for both ladies and gentlemen to help you look your best for the formal evenings.

West End style musicals and 60’s/70’s shows keep you entertained with plenty of singing and dancing. You have the choice of waiter serviced meals or buffet style and the afternoon teas I hear are to die for! I had a buffet lunch on board and I must say the quality of food and vast choice was nothing short of superb. Lunch was the tipping point for me and my decision is made, I ‘will’ be taking a Fred Olsen cruise at some point in the future. And I absolutely recommend you do too!

I ‘get’ it!! Fred Olsen is small and friendly, big is not always beautiful. Smaller ships can reach hidden gems of places where the large ships cannot access. Every staff member I passed said hello and had large smiles on their faces! As I disembarked I passed through the waiting area where new guests were waiting to board the Boudicca for her UK and Ireland cruise from Rosyth. Although in our tour we were told the average age is 50/60 I noticed the waiting guests were a vast mix of ages and even spotted a few families with children.

I believe the Boudicca offers something for everyone and if you are happy to miss out on the bling of the cruise giants you will love the relaxed and friendly feel of the Boudicca.

Call me for the latest offers and I will be glad to assist you on board!