This section is dedicated to any questions you may have regarding dining on board our cruise ships.
How many restaurants do you have on board your ships?
The restaurants on board our cruise ships are as follows:
There are 3 restaurants - Ballindalloch on Main Deck, and the Avon and Spey, both of which are on Highland Deck. The same menus are available in all restaurants on board Balmoral.
There is also the Palms Cafe, which is a more informal place to eat, if you prefer not to stick to the set dining times on board your cruise ship.
Braemar has 2 restaurants - Thistle on Atlantic Deck, and the Grampian Restaurant on Marquee Deck.
There is also the Palms Cafe, again a more informal restaurant, perfect for a less formal dining experience.
Boudicca has 3 restaurants - Four Seasons, Heligan and Tintagel, all located on Lounge Deck.
The Secret Garden Cafe offers a more informal dining option - this restaurant is self-service, but the standard is as good as in the main restaurants.
Black Watch -
Black Watch has 2 restaurants - The Glentanar and the Orchid Room, both located on Lounge Deck.
The Braemar Garden Cafe offers a delicious buffet option for meals on board your cruise holiday, again with a slightly more relaxed atmosphere.
*Boudicca also features ‘The Grill’ an all fresco dining experience, open subject to weather conditions poolside on Deck 6. This is open for breakfast and lunch, but in the evening is a ‘reservation only’ dining experience for which a small supplement applies.
Please note that all restaurants on board operate a no smoking policy.
What are the dining times on board your ships?
Your booking: when you book your cruise holiday, you can request first or second seating for dinner (6.15pm or 8.30pm) and we’ll try our best to ensure you get it. You can also request your table size so we can best meet your preferences, but we can’t guarantee that.
Your seating card: you’ll find a restaurant seating card in your room, which tells you your table number and dining time.
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 available on a self service basis in the Braemar Garden Cafe on board Black Watch, The Secret Garden on Boudicca, and The Palms Cafe on both Braemar and Balmoral. On some nights we have themed dining evenings in the cafés and these may be booked in advance to secure your place; it’s well worth doing so, as they are highly popular.
If you have allergies and concerns about managing these, our Maitre d’ or Housekeeper (if it is environmental) will be happy to help you. We will always minimise allergens, but can’t guarantee complete protection against them.
Please note you won’t be able to smoke in the restaurants.
What are the dress codes in your restaurants?
When it comes to evenings on board your cruise ship, dressing for dinner is traditional. Generally the style is smart casual, with gentlemen wearing a jacket/or shirt and tie and ladies smartly dressed. Chino type trousers or smart dark jeans are acceptable, but no trainers please.
During the day the restaurants require our cruise guests to adhere to an appropriate dress code, i.e. no swimwear.
Read more about Dress Code and what to pack for your cruise holiday.
Is it possible to pre-select our restaurant, dining time and table size?
Subject to availability and the cruise type you have booked, you can pre-select your restaurant and dining times (Early - 6.15pm or Main - 8.30pm on board Boudicca, Black Watch and Balmoral. For Braemar 6pm - 8.15pm) on board our cruise ships, and these will remain the same throughout your cruise holiday; unless you choose to eat in the more informal cafe style restaurants. Some deals that bookings are made on unfortunately do not confirm these for you, but you will be advised of this at the time you make your cruise booking.
Table sizes are not guaranteed as the seating for dining is allocated on board our cruise ships, but you are able to request a table for 2, 4, 6 or 8. Note: Unfortunately, Boudicca does not have tables to seat 8 guests.
In what format are breakfast and lunch served?
You can take advantage of the delicious options available at our buffet style breakfasts and lunches.
For breakfast, you may choose from cereals, porridge and fresh fruit, to typical cooked breakfast items at our buffet.
Lunch ranges from salads to pasta dishes, and from tasty desserts to cheese and biscuits, or our popular soups!
In hotter climates, you can also choose to dine outside for breakfast and lunch - the perfect accompaniment to eating al fresco.
Do you cater for guests with specific dietary requirements?
We will do our best to accommodate most dietary requests on board. So, vegetarian, low fat/cholesterol/salt, dairy-free, lactose-free, wheat-free and gluten-free food are all catered for.
For anyone with food allergies/intolerances, you will have the opportunity to meet with the Maitre'd or Executive Chef to discuss any special requests.
Please make any special requests when you make your cruise booking, and we’ll do our best to source exact products, or provide certain foods, such as diabetic desserts.
Please note that we may not be able to source specific brands given our location or the availability at local ports.
If I am allocated late seating will I still be able to watch the show?
Yes, we put the same show on twice in the evenings in the main lounges, so that guests dining on either first or second sitting have the opportunity to see the great entertainment we have on board our cruise ships.
We just request that those guests on first sitting who have already seen the show, vacate the seats closer to the front for guests coming in to watch the show after their second sitting dinner.
Can we be seated at the same table as friends who've made a separate booking?
You can request to sit with friends or family who have made a separate booking to you, but are travelling on the same cruise. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee your request, but we will do all we can to try to meet your requirements.
Do you offer a children's menu and are there high chairs in your restaurants?
We have a Children's menu on board our cruise ships, from which to make appetising selections for our younger cruisers. We also have a limited number of high chairs on each cruise ship - please request this at the time of making your booking.
Is it possible to have food delivered to our room?
We have an extensive complimentary room service menu for breakfast and light snacks on board our ships from which to choose from throughout your cruise. The times and availability of each will be detailed in your Welcome Pack on board.
On Balmoral and Braemar you can order breakfast via your Room TV by visiting 'Breakfast Service', or by calling room service.
All rooms on all of our cruise ships have complimentary tea/coffee making facilities.
How much do drinks cost?
Unlike some other cruise lines, we don't charge a small fortune at the bar. We want you to relax and not worry about the cost of enjoying yourself, which is why we always ensure that our drinks are reasonably priced.
As an example, a glass of house white costs just £4.05 and a pint of lager is £3.30, while a gin & tonic is around £3.60 (depending on the brand of gin) - similar to local pub prices back in the UK.
NB. prices subject to change.
What's included in the All Inclusive package?
For many guests, the time spent sailing the world’s waterways on board one of Fred. Olsen’s smaller, more intimate cruise ships is the time to indulge and make the most of a well-earned escape away from it all.
With this is mind, Fred. Olsen’s All Inclusive Drinks Upgrade is another service offered to ensure your holiday is relaxing and enjoyable. By upgrading to All Inclusive, you can treat yourself to that extra glass or two of your favourite tipple, without having to worry about the bar bill at the end of your cruise – it’s already covered.
More than half of Fred. Olsen’s guests choose to take advantage of this fantastic upgrade, which has now been updated and improved to include an even greater selection of drinks. From only £15 per person, per night* (£34 per person, per night on one to four night sailings) you can enjoy selected white, red and rosé wine by the glass and selected house beers, house spirits and soft drinks all day, every day throughout your cruise. Whether it’s a refreshing glass of juice or a pint of your favourite beer by the pool on a hot afternoon at sea, or a G&T to round off your day of exploration, it’s all included in the price.
Please note, we do not offer a non-alcoholic drinks package.
What is included in your All Inclusive Upgrade:
In the bars
- A selection of soft drinks (post-mix on pump), served by the glass: Pepsi, lemonade, tonic waters, juices and mineral/spring water
- A choice of three red, three white and two rosé wines by the glass
- Selected Cava by the glass
- Selected branded beers in cans or on draught
- Selected cider in cans
- Selected house spirits: white rum, gin, vodka, whisky, brandy and Irish Cream
- Bar Manager's selection
In the restaurants & buffet areas
- A selection of soft drinks, mineral/spring water and juices by the glass
- A choice of three red, three white and two rosé wines by the glass
- Selected branded beers in cans
- Regular tea & coffee
Premium drinks are discounted too:
- Guests with the All Inclusive Upgrade can also save 50% off premium and branded drinks, other red and white wines (excluding Champagne or sparkling wine), cocktails and bottled water.
The friendly staff and waiters on board your ship will know you’ve upgraded to All Inclusive, as it will be indicated on your key/security card. Simply hand it over to a member of the team when ordering your drinks, and they’ll handle the rest.
*All Inclusive Upgrade offer covers selected house wines by the glass, selected beers, spirits (single shot servings only - one person may not order more than one drink at a time for themselves ) and soft drinks, subject to availability. Tours, tips, premium drinks, premium hot drinks, medical facilities and other spend, during travel to the ship and while on board, are not included. Any additional expenditure will need to be paid separately. All Inclusive upgrade is charged at £15 per person, per night (£34 per person on 1 to 4 night sailings). All Inclusive Package must be booked at least six days prior to departure and purchased for the full duration of the cruise by all guests on a booking. The All Inclusive drinks package may be purchased on board at a higher price.
What is the Traditional Afternoon Tea service?
Our premium Traditional Afternoon Tea service – a further enhancement of the on board cruise experience, offers just that. Guests who take advantage of this service will enjoy views from our stylish Observatory Lounge with musical accompaniment from our on board pianist and other classical musicians, while a selection of premium teas from Taylors of Harrogate will be offered, served in porcelain pots, along with elegant finger sandwiches, dainty pastries and warm scones with jam and cream.
With the service proving popular, guests are asked to pre-book once on board their cruise ship, by contacting Guest Services or the Observatory Lounge Manager.
This is truly a civilised and enjoyable way to experience traditional afternoon tea: exactly how afternoon tea should be done!
Please note: This service incurs a nominal fee of just £7.95 per person. This service supplements our existing tea service, which will continue as usual on all our cruise ships.
Not forgetting our standard daily afternoon tea service offering some delicious sandwich and cake options to tempt you further. So, if you fancy a mid-afternoon snack, pop along and sample these tasty treats.
Do you have a non-alcoholic drinks package?
A selection of soft drinks are available in the All Inclusive package, but at this stage we don't offer a non-alcoholic drinks package.
In the bars on our ships we offer a selection of soft drinks by the glass: post mix Pepsi, lemonade, tonic water, juices and mineral/spring water; and in the restaurants & buffet areas, a selection of soft drinks, mineral/spring water & juices by the glass.