A-Z Cruise Holiday Guide
Each evening during the course of your cruise holiday, a Daily Times newsletter will be placed in your cabin, detailing events and timings for the following day. This will include time zone changes and dress code guidelines.
There will be plenty of opportunity to practice and show your dancing skills during your cruise holiday. From ballroom to line dancing and dancing the night away in the disco, there is the variety to suit all tastes and skills. Dance classes are often held throughout each cruise holiday, details of which will be advertised in the daily newsletter, the Daily Times. Dance hosts are on board all cruises to make sure single Guests are never too long without a dance partner.
We want you to enjoy every aspect of your cruise holiday and we can happily cater for the following dietary requirements; diabetic, gluten/ wheat free, dairy free/soya, vegetarian, vegan, low fat/ cholesterol and low salt. All we ask is that you kindly give us 3-4 weeks advance notice by calling our Administration Department on 01473 292444. For anyone with food allergies/ intolerances you will have the opportunity early in the cruise to meet with either the Maitre d' or Executive Chef to discuss any special requests.
Once you have embarked your cruise ship, the Maitre d' on board allocates your final dining table arrangements. Your preferred dining time, early (6.15pm) or main (8.30pm) will be confirmed, subject to availability, at time of booking. When you arrive on board you will find a Restaurant Seating Card in your cabin, which will advise you of your table number and dining time. A buffet breakfast and lunch will also be served in the Palms Cafe on both Braemar and Balmoral, the Braemar Garden Cafe on Black Watch and Secret Garden on Boudicca. Weather permitting food may also be available from outside deck areas.
The main restaurants are:
Black Watch - Glentanar Restaurant
Boudicca - Four Seasons and Tintagel Restaurants
Braemar - Thistle and Grampian Restaurants
Balmoral - Ballindalloch, Avon and Spey Restaurants.
Ballindalloch is the main restaurant on Deck 6, whilst the Avon and Spey are more intimate restaurants on Deck 10. Menu and service are identical.
Mealtimes are as flexible as possible - after all you are on holiday. Breakfast is normally served between 7.15 and 10.00am, and lunch between 12.00 and 2.00pm in the main restaurants. A buffet breakfast and lunch will also be served in the Palms cafe on both Braemar and Balmoral, Braemar Garden Cafe on Black Watch, and weather permitting in the Poolside Cafe and Marquee Bar on Black Watch.
Open Sitting evening dining is offered as an informal option in the Braemar Garden Cafe on Black Watch, The Secret Garden on Boudicca, and The Palms Cafe on both Braemar and Balmoral. These informal restaurants operate on a self service basis, but a bar service is available.
Check your Daily Times for opening hours. Please note that all restaurants on board operate a no smoking policy.
Disabled Guest Assistance
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines warmly welcomes any Guests, dependent on the use of wheelchairs for mobility, to all of our vessels. We do however request that they are always accompanied by an able-bodied companion. A limited number of cabins on each ship have been modified to facilitate more comfortable occupation for such Guests. We respectfully require wheelchair users to bring their own wheelchair.
However, on the Braemar, owing to a restricted turning circle when accessing the bathroom, we would not recommend these cabins to wheelchair bound Guests. The number of wheelchairs we can permit on each ship is limited by our Safety Classification Society, as individual crew members are assigned to each cabin occupied by a wheelchair user, who would be called upon to provide the required assistance in the unlikely event of an emergency at sea.
These are set as follows:
Braemar: Permits 4 wheelchairs and has 4 cabins modified for wheelchair use.
Black Watch: Permits 6 wheelchairs and has 4 cabins modified for wheelchair use.
Boudicca: Permits 6 wheelchairs and has 4 cabins modified for wheelchair use.
Balmoral: Permits 12 wheelchairs and has 9 cabins modified for wheelchair use.
Other Guests who prefer to use a wheelchair to assist them in covering significant distances ashore will therefore be restricted from using their wheelchair when the vessel is at sea. Additionally, the number of wheelchairs we can accept for use ashore only, is also capacity controlled.
Motorised wheelchairs/scooters will only be accepted on Black Watch, Boudicca, Braemar and Balmoral when occupying an adapted cabin. On health and safety grounds, chairs weighing in excess of 25kg cannot be carried ashore at any ports of call, other than the start/end point of the cruise, unless they can be easily dismantled.
Regrettably, we cannot guarantee that assistance by qualified persons will be available at other ports of call and unless able to board a vehicle unassisted it will not be possible for wheelchair users to participate in organised shore tours. Owing to the nature of ship to shore tender services, which are utilised at certain ports when at anchor, we regret that it will not be possible to convey any Guests ashore who require more than minimal assistance to board the tender. Safety of our Guests is always of paramount importance.
Fly/cruises: it is important for wheelchair users to advise us immediately as to whether they are unable to climb aircraft steps, so that we can ensure suitable airport assistance is available.
Guests arriving with a wheelchair or scooter but, without previously reserving a space, will be denied boarding.
At least 24 hours before the end of your cruise full disembarkation instructions will be placed within your cabin. On arrival into UK ports the cruise ship has to be cleared by Customs and Immigration Officials before disembarkation can commence. This enables you to have a leisurely breakfast, vacate your cabin, and take a comfortable seat in one of the public lounges before being called forward according to your colour coded disembarkation card.
In general, disembarkation commences at 0800hrs, but please allow up to 2 hours for the entire cruise ship to be cleared. Please plan your onward journey from the UK port accordingly.
Assistance will be given to those Guests with wheelchairs. Once leaving the vessel please ensure you collect all your luggage from the baggage reclaim area before continuing your onward journey. As baggage is arranged in the reclaim area according to deck colour it is very important to ensure that your original baggage tags are still affixed to your belongings. Please ensure you take only your belongings. Guests who take luggage belonging to fellow Guests will have to pay any charges incurred in returning luggage to its rightful owner.
Full disembarkation procedures will be placed in all cabins, and for operational reasons may differ slightly from the above.
To help you decide what to pack we have put together the following simple guidelines. Other information about your cruise holiday on board experience may also help with packing for your holiday.
During the Day
Daytime dress is casual. Casual shirts, shorts and beachwear are ideal, although we do ask you to adhere to appropriate dress codes in the main restaurants. For going ashore and walking on deck, flat, comfortable shoes are a must. We would also recommend that you take a lightweight jacket or fleece for the evenings.
Don’t forget your sun cream, hats and sunglasses, as the power of the sun is magnified at sea.
During the evening there are:
Formal nights – For ladies, this is the opportunity to wear a cocktail or evening dress. For gentlemen, dinner jacket or tuxedos. Alternatively, a dark suit and tie is acceptable.
Smart casual – Stylish leisure wear is ideal. Open neck shirts with collars please, for the men; whilst casual separates or a summer dress will be fine for the ladies. The requirement for a jacket and/or tie is optional, but is often the preferred choice of many of our guests. Chino type trousers and smart dark jeans are accetable, but no trainers please.
As a guideline there are normally four formal nights on a two week cruise, with the remaining nights as smart casual.
There will also be various cruise theme nights such as ‘Nautical’, ‘International’, ‘Tropical’ and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’, which you may wish to join in. Dress code guidelines are mentioned in the ship’s Daily Times so you can anticipate the tone of the next evening to come. The number of formal, informal and smart casual nights for your particular cruise will be advised in your ticket pack.
Please note that on day of embarkation we always operate a Smart Casual code for dinner as your cabin baggage can take up to 2 hours to be delivered to your cabin.
Guests should kindly note that due to company policy, only alcohol purchased on our cruise ships may be consumed on board. Any alcohol brought from ashore will be placed in safe keeping by the ship’s security officers and returned at the end of the cruise. However, you may purchase cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol on board to enjoy in your cabin or take home via either our Cabin Shopping Service, or on- board boutique, which give you excellent savings on shoreside prices. Duty Free purchases can normally be made on the last full day of your sailing, subject to itinerary. See 'Shopping & Duty Free' for more details.
When returning from EU countries there is no limit to the amount of goods you can bring back into the UK (exceptions apply for certain Eastern European countries). However, these must be personally carried and be for your own use - which includes gifts. If you bring back large quantities of alcohol or tobacco, a Customs Officer may ask you about the purposes for which you hold the goods. This particularly applies if you have with you more than the following amounts:
- 800 cigarettes
- 400 cigarillos
- 200 cigars
- 1kg tobacco products (other than above)
- 10 litres of spirits
- 20 litres of fortified wine
- 90 litres of wine
- 110 litres of beer
Please note that it is unlawful to carry in excess of 10,000 Euros in cash between some European Union countries.
Your Customs allowance when returning from non-EU countries is;
Tobcacco - either, 200 cigarettes, 250g of tobacco, 50 cigars, or 100 cigarillos.
Alcohol - either, one litre of spirits, or 2 litres of fortified wine or any other alcoholic drink that’s less than 22 per cent volume. In addition you are permitted 4 litres of still table wine and 16 litres of beer.
In total £390 worth of all goods including gifts and souvenirs.
Pease note on fly/cruises it is the policy of most airlines that Guests can travel with alcohol that is 1-70% proof. Anything above this will be confiscated as considered to be dangerous goods.
Please note, if you have booked a fly-cruise with us, purchase of duty free alcohol is not available on the outbound legs of our charter flights.