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Unread 26 Oct 19, 06:52 PM  
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Loopylooloo
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Just back from cruise short review!

We have just returned from a five night cruise to France, on Fred Olsens Balmoral, she is a lovely smaller ship carrying just over 1300 passengers. We boarded in Dover, I travelled with my mum and dad, husband, and my nephew, who is 14 and a first time cruiser. He was super excited about it all which was really nice, our boys decided to stay at home, they have cruised so much they arent bothered by coming anymore!

Embarkation was really fast and easy, Dover is a fabulous port to depart from, we boarded just after midday, and our cabins were already available to us!
Within minutes we were in the restaurant getting a bit of lunch, start as you mean to go on...



These were taken in our cabin - Nathan loved having a chocolate on his pillow every night, and quickly took to the cruising life!


Dinners were excellent, our waiters were incredibly friendly and efficient, and the food was just fantastic as it always is on Freds, especially the desserts!
Here is a selection of food/dinner pics -
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We even got a special treat delivered by the Executive Chef, which was a lovely touch -


Our first port of call was Rouen, we had planned to go to Paris, and have lunch in the Eiffel Tower, unfortunately the day before, we had some bad news saying that our train to Paris had been cancelled, apparently this is common in France especially on a Monday! I was gutted, having already paid for our lunch excursion and with Paris being over two hours by car away, didnt really know what to do. A friend who was also planning to take the train saud they had contacted SNCF who said if we showed up we would be able to get on any train running, so we decided to give it our best shot, I didnt want to disappoint my family, or lose the tour money! We got up at the crack of dawn, and headed to the station in Rouen, expecting to find long queues, and no trains etc. Instead we were ushered straight onto a double decker train, platform 3, and within minutes were pulling away towards Paris! Yay!
It was all a bit much for Dad and Terry 😂




We arrived at the Eiffel Tower just in time for our lunch slot, in a brand new (opened that very day) pop up Bistro, called the Bulle Pullman, in a glass dome, on level 1. We were very excited, and lunch didint disappoint, we had boards of cheese, hams, and bread, with Dauphinois potatoes and salad (I didnt even touch the salad lol) followed by melting chocolate cake, or apple tart. And WINE! Yes! It was MAGNIFIQUE.

The views were breath taking we could see the Notre Dame, the Sacre Coeur, champs Elysees, everything!



What a wonderful experience, we spent a while mooching around the gift shop, while Terry took my nephew up over 300 steps to the next level, then we all headed back to the station, ready to get our train home to the ship. We arrived back too late for our usual dinner slot, so we went to the specialty restaurant onboard, called The Grill. It was going to be difficult to beat our amazing lunch, but it was hands down the best food of our whole trip...


Nathan was like a food critic, he tried Scallops, Lobster Bisque, and then Filet Mignon with a hasselback potato. He approved!


We spent a lot of time together doing quizzes (we learnt we are not as stupid as we thought we are) and mum enjoyed a few strawberry daiquiris...


It was really nice spending time together and nobody having to cook or tidy up. We saw some fantastic entertainment too, notably a french singer called Camille Mesnard, who did a tribute to Edith Piaf, and also sang Time to say Goodbye which made me cry.

Our last port of call was Honfleur, a small but really quaint french town with a lovely harbour. We just explored by foot, all the little shops, and had a bit of lunch (and of course, a chocolate crepe!) I feel full just typing all this... 😂


All in all, a fantastic time was had by all, and we were sad when we had to come home - especially as there is no chocolate on my pillow!

Edited at 02:14 PM.
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Unread 26 Oct 19, 07:26 PM  
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Cutiepie
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Sounds like a great trip I wish I lived near a cruise port to take advantage of some short cruises!

Thanks for sharing
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Unread 26 Oct 19, 10:11 PM  
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Melanie R
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Love the food pics! Great to read a review of Fred Olsen - not been on one of theirs as I always felt it catered to an older audience, but your pics have made me think again 😊
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Unread 27 Oct 19, 09:16 AM  
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Loopylooloo
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Originally Posted by Melanie R View Post
Love the food pics! Great to read a review of Fred Olsen - not been on one of theirs as I always felt it catered to an older audience, but your pics have made me think again 😊
Maybe try a shorter cruise to start with, we met a lot of people using this cruise as a tester for freds, and they seemed happy! Yes you do get older passengers but it never stops my enjoyment I love meeting people from all walks of life anyway.
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