Here you will find answers to any questions you may have regarding daily life and the facilities on board your cruise ship.
Are Internet and WiFi facilities available?
Whilst on board you will be able to use your mobile, tablet and other wi-fi enabled devices to connect with friends and family at home. You can choose to buy pay-as-you-go or day packages, allowing you to email friends and family, keep up to date with the news and upload your photos as you cruise!
Simply connect to our wi-fi once aboard, select your package and any charges will be billed directly to your on board account.
Charges for our wi-fi* service are as follows:
• 30 minutes ‘pay as you go’ - £13
• 120 minutes ‘pay as you go’ - £41
• 5 days continuous Unlimited Internet with PressReader access - £10 per day
• 7 days continuous Unlimited Internet with PressReader access - £9 per day
Connect to our on board WiFi service and download the world's most popular newspapers and magazines directly to your mobile devices with PressReader. There are hundreds of titles available, including The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, Hello! Magazine, Vogue, Lonely Planet and many more, so you'll always find something interesting to read while putting your feet up on sea days!
To access PressReader and all its content, you will need to download the app to your device. The app is available in the Microsoft, Google Play and iTunes stores and is free to download. We recommend that you download this prior to your cruise, and once an unlimited package has been purchased on board, you will automatically be granted access to the PressReader library.
Please be aware that the Internet service is operated over a maritime satellite connection, with slower speeds than you would experience at home. The availability of the service is subject to environmental factors outside of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines control.
For more information regarding our on board wi-fi and internet services, just ask at Guest Services.
*Please note, pricing is subject to change.
Unfortunately the charging/use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices is prohibited on board our vessels for safety reasons.
Can I use my tablet, iPad or laptop on board?
We have WiFi facilities on board our ships, meaning you can use your tablet or laptop in most places on your ship, be it relaxing on deck, or in the library with a coffee; the choice is yours!
Unfortunately the charging/use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices is prohibited on board our vessels for safety reasons.
What money will I need to have on board?
We'll give you an on board cruise card when you check-in for your cruise holiday. Just present your debit or credit card and sign a receipt - and keep a copy for your reference. You can use your cruise card to pay for any of the services on board you might like to use, except foreign currency exchange or playing at our Gaming Tables. Anything you pay for will be automatically charged to your account and debited from your card when you leave the cruise. You can keep up to date and check your balance at any time.
We accept most credit cards - Diners Club, Eurocard, Mastercard and Visa. (Currently, we regret we are unable to accept American Express cards.) All credit card payments have a 1.5% surcharge, but we also accept debit cards with no surcharge.
Unfortunately our systems don't allow us to take Maestro, Solo, Electron or travel agent debit cards or pre-paid currency or travellers cheque cards. We use Sterling on board, so if you’re settling your account in cash, we ask for you to use Sterling too.
We carry currencies for most of the ports of call we visit, available to purchase from Guest Services, and also offer a foreign currency service with City Forex.
How far will the ship dock from the town or city centre?
In all our ports of call, we aim to dock the ship as closely as we can to the destination. Often we will be walking distance or a short bus ride from the local centre. A shuttle bus may sometimes be provided, either by Fred. Olsen or the local port authority (a nominal fee usually applies). It is sometimes the case that the port is furthest away. Where this arises, it may be necessary to book a tour to visit the main destination (although it may also be possible to travel there by taxi or public transport). We aim to keep these instances to a minimum.
Can I go ashore independently?
Of course, you are able to go ashore independently at most ports. Any that are unable to be explored independently, we will advise you of with your tickets.
For those guests cruising to the Baltic, you are not able to go ashore independently in St. Petersburg, unless you have the relevant visas.
Certainly, exploring destinations on your own allows you to find out about the local cultures for yourself; but we do recommend you consider our organised shore tours, which are very informative and designed to enable you to see the very best that port has to offer. Our Shore Tours Department will be only too happy to discuss any queries you may have, and can be contacted on 01473 292444 (option 2).
Your cruise fare is fully inclusive of port taxes and charges, so as soon as the ship is cleared by customs and immigration in each port you are free to get on and off the ship as many times as you wish. When the ship is berthed some distance from the centre of town a shuttle bus service is often provided to assist with your visit and save you money on taxi fares. All day tickets (for which a small charge is made) can be bought from Guest Services. Shuttle buses do not operate in ports where we feel it is easy/more economical for guests to use independent transport such as taxis, or when we are prohibited from running a service – this is particularly the case in the Caribbean.
Please note the ship cannot wait as a consequence of the late return of any independent tours/transport you may have booked.
How many formal and theme nights are there on my cruise?
The exact number of formal nights, including any theme nights will be highlighted on your cruise ticket, but here's a quick guide so you know what to expect on various cruise durations:
3 nights or less
Smart casual throughout
3 - 5 nights
Captain's Welcome Party, but no formal nights
Captain's Welcome Party + 1x formal night
7- 12 nights
Captain's Welcome Party + 2x formal nights
13- 20 nights
Captain's Welcome Party + 3x formal nights
22 nights +
Captain's welcome Party + 1x formal night each week
Dress code guidelines are mentioned in your cruise ship’s Daily Times so you can be prepared for the next evening to come.
To find out more about what to pack view our handy guide.
Watch our video on what to wear on a Fred. Olsen formal night.
Do you have any special celebration packages?
Whether you are celebrating your anniversary or a special birthday on your cruise, we can offer celebration packages to make the occasion more special.
Our crews on board our ships will be delighted to help make your cruise holiday even more memorable - book one of our Celebration Packages, and see for yourself.
Read more about our Celebration packages, and how to book the one that best suits you.
How many swimming pools do you have on your ships?
Each cruise ship in our fleet has at least one swimming pool on board, plus jacuzzis to relax in.
The swimming pools and locations on board your cruise ship are as follows:
Balmoral has 2 swimming pools, on Marquee Deck and also on Lounge Deck. Both also have 2 jacuzzis on each deck.
Braemar has 2 swimming pools, both of which are situated on Marquee Deck. There are also 2 jacuzzis and a paddling pool.
Boudicca has 2 swimming pools, 1 on Lounge Deck, where there are also 2 jacuzzis and an exercise pool. In addition, there is a smaller pool on Marquee Deck.
Black Watch -
Black Watch has 2 swimming pools, 1 on Lounge Deck, with a jacuzzi and exercise pool. There is also a smaller pool and jacuzzi on Marquee Deck.
Towels for use around the pool and on the sun deck are available in your rooms.
Do you have guest lecturers on board your ships?
On selected cruises we offer a range of activities and entertainment that adds something extra to your cruise holiday experience, making it even more enjoyable. On most of our cruises, we have guest lecturers who will chat about their chosen subject, or about the ports of call on your cruise.
Details of who the lecturer is and the subject matter will be detailed in the Daily Times once you are on board.
Can I make phone calls home from on board the ship?
You can make phone calls from all of our cruise ships, as there are telephones in all the rooms. Dialing codes and instructions for using the phone are detailed in your room. All telephone calls made from your cruise ship are via satellite.
You can also use your mobile phone whilst on board our cruise ships - read more about how this service works.
Are there lifts on board your ships?
All four of our cruise ships have lifts in public areas. Please refer to the Deck Plan for your particular cruise ship to locate where they are.
However, please note that while all of our ships have public lifts to all guest decks, excluding Sun Deck, these do have restricted space for wheelchairs, particularly for the larger motorised type.
What facilities are available to assist less able bodied passengers ashore in tender ports?
We are committed to ensuring that all our guests are able to make the most of their experience on board and our crew make efforts to assist guests as much as they can.
However, we regret that on safety grounds those guests who are confined to a wheelchair will be unable to go ashore in tender ports. Please note that on these occasions there may be up to 24 steps down to the tender platform. Fully collapsible wheelchairs can be carried on board a tender, but the guest in question must be able to board the tender with the minimum of assistance. Whereas tender ports are generally known in advance of arrival and are detailed in both our brochure and on our website, unforeseen circumstances on the day may necessitate such a service should the original berth become unavailable for whatever reason.
Do you have a gym on board?
Each of our cruise ships has a fully equipped fitness centre on board. There are friendly fitness instructors available to give you help and guidance, as you stay in shape with treadmills, rowing machines, exercise bikes and free weights.
Guests can also choose to take a yoga, aerobics, stretch and tone or pilates class whilst cruising. Or you may choose to make the most of the beautiful views and join the ‘walk a mile’, with a stroll or walk round your cruise ship deck.
After your workout, showers are available. You may then wish to relax in the sauna or steam room (Balmoral offers an infrared hot room as opposed to a steam/sauna room).
The minimum age to use the fitness centre is 18 years. Details of the gym's opening hours will be available in the Daily Times.
Read more by selecting your cruise ship, and then 'Relax and Fitness'.
What is your procedure for tipping on board?
Gratuities are not included in the cost of your holiday. However, we pride ourselves on the service offered to our guests, and are confident that you’ll wish to reward staff on board for this service, although tipping is entirely at your discretion.
As a general rule, gratuities are charged at £4.00 per person, per night for guests aged 12 and over. This is split between your stewardess and restaurant waiter, and will be automatically added to your on board account. Please remember that our gratuities, while very much appreciated, are voluntary and therefore can be adjusted or removed completely at Guest Services on board the ship if you wish.
For your convenience, you are also able to pay gratuities before your cruise. At the time of booking you will be asked if you’d like to pay prior to travel. If so, you’ll pay 15% of the charge as part of your deposit, and pay the rest when the final balance of your cruise is collected.
If you do not pre-pay at the time of booking, but wish to pay your gratuities before you join the ship, simply call our Reservations Department at least 5 days before departure and the team will be happy to help.
What times are the evening shows?
The shows on board our cruise ships are generally after first and second sitting dining times have finished, details of which can be found in the Daily Times in your room. You will have plenty of time to enjoy dinner, before heading through to the Show lounge and enjoying the evenings of cabaret, magic or comedy.
What activities are available for sea days?
There is always plenty to do on board your cruise ship, whilst you sail on to your next exciting destination.
Our Daily Programme is designed for you to do as much or as little as you like - after all, you are on holiday, so we want you to relax as much as you want.
Read more about a typical day on board a cruise holiday with Fred. Olsen.
Do you have a spa and salon on board?
Each of our four cruise ships has both an Atlantis Spa, and salon on board. Guests can choose from relaxing facials, massages or beauty treatments in the Atlantis Spa, a new hairdo for the glamour of the formal nights, or burn off some calories in the Fitness Centre.
Our Atlantis Spas and Salons are always popular, so it’s recommended to book in advance. Information on the available treatments can be viewed from your cabin TV menu, by clicking on the Atlantis Spa button.
Do you have a Doctor or medical facilities on board?
For your peace of mind all of our cruise ships have a Medical Centre offering primary and emergency care, with a doctor and/or nurse on call at all times. All our cruise ships also have two qualified nurses on board.
Read more about our medical facilities.
Is smoking permitted on board your ships?
We now operate a strict ‘no- smoking’ policy in all inside areas. Smoking will only be permitted on room balconies (excluding Deck 7 Terrace Balconies on Black Watch and Boudicca) and on designated open deck areas.
Electronic cigarettes not emitting a vapour, may be used in rooms or on room balconies but, are not permitted in any non-smoking public area. They can easily be mistaken for a real cigarette and result in potential confrontation and necessitate staff intervention.
Electronic cigarettes emitting any vapour, even if only a water vapour, may only be smoked in designated external smoking areas.
Do your ships have laundry facilities?
Each of our cruise ships has an on board Laundry Room with self service washing machines and tumble driers. We also provide a laundry service, which your stewardess will be happy to help you arrange - full details of this can be found in the Welcome Pack in your room.
Each laundry room also hosts ironing facilities should these be required. Please note that travel irons are not permitted on any of our cruise ships.
Do you have any shopping facilities on board?
All four of our cruise ships have shopping facilities on board. We offer a wide range of gifts in our Boutiques, ranging from perfumes and jewellery to formal and casual clothes.
Also on board are our Port Shops, which sell all those little extras that you find you either need or have forgotten, from sun cream to postcards, and crisps to chocolates; just in case there isn't enough choice of food already!
You can buy alcohol on board at very reasonable prices, but please give any that you buy on shore to a Fred. Olsen staff member for safe storage during your cruise holiday. Alcohol can also be purchased via our in-Room Shopping Service for consumption within your room or to take away with you at the end of your cruise.
Can I get my foreign currency from on board the ship?
Dependant on your cruise itinerary, guests are able to order required currencies via City Forex, who we’ve joined together with as a specialist in commercial foreign currency, to offer a commission-free exchange service at great rates. You can then collect it when you get on board, thus ticking another thing off your holiday checklist.
Advantages of this service include;
- Highly competitive rates
- No commission charges
- Remove the worry of postal deliveries or collecting high levels of cash from the High Street.
- No exchange rate worries – your rate is fixed at time or order, not collection.
- Buy back guarantee, commission free – any unused currency can be returned on board at the same rate of purchase.
Read more about what City Forex can offer you.
We also carry limited amounts of the most common currencies on board our ships, should you wish to use this facility when on your cruise holiday, or to 'top up' any currency you may have already purchased.
The currency used on board our ships is Pounds Sterling - anything you purchase on board is charged back to your room, other than foreign currencies or games of chance (roulette and blackjack tables).
To purchase a local currency on board, it is advisable to use cash (in sterling - as this is the currency on board) or personal cheque. A credit or debit card can be used to purchase local currency, but please note that this will attract a 3.5% charge.
Are there safes in the rooms on board?
There is a safe in each room on Black Watch, Boudicca and Braemar. All rooms on Balmoral have an electric safe.
We know that valuable items such as mobile phones, tablets and cameras are vital for capturing and sharing memories from your cruise, but unfortunately Fred. Olsen, our suppliers and agents can't accept liability for any lost or damaged valuables brought on board.
Guests are responsible for all of their own possessions, inlcuding items stored in room safes and lockable drawers and those left for carriage ashore at the end of your cruise. Therefore, we kindly request that you note the limit of liability that your travel insurer provides in the event of the loss or damage of your personal possessions during your cruise.
If you lose or damage any personal property during your cruise with us, please report it to Guest Services, where the appropriate Loss/Damage Form will be provided for you to complete. A copy of this form will be given to you in order to assist with any claim made to your travel insurance company.
Do you have public toilets in communal areas?
Each of our cruise ships has public toilets in communal areas, which are clearly marked. These generally tend to be outside on deck, and near to restaurants and bars.
Please refer to the deck plan for your chosen cruise ship for where to find the public toilets.
Is there a Photographer on board?
Our resident photographers will be on hand throughout your cruise holiday to help capture those special moments. Their photographs are processed on a daily basis and will be displayed for you to purchase if you wish. Our photographers can also assist you with the processing of your own digital images, in addition to selling other photograpic items.
It is also now possible to obtain a DVD of your cruise from our on-board photographers. This DVD will be shot during your chosen cruise.
All charges will be billed back to your on board account.
For more information on Studio O, our on board photographers, please visit: http://www.fredolsencruises.com/cruise-extras/on-board-photography/studio-o
Is there a casino on board?
We have a small gaming area on each of our ships, where you can try your hand at Blackjack and Roulette. Guests will be required to use sterling to take part, as these can't be charged back to your room account.
Can I bring a guide dog/assistance dog on board?
Yes, we welcome assistance dogs on board our cruise ships and aim to create an enjoyable and safe cruise experience for both owner and dog.
In order for you to bring an assistance dog on board with you on your cruise, we require a completed ‘Assistance Dog Travel Application Form’. This can be obtained by contacting the Guest Services Department on 0800 0355 145 or via e-mailing email@example.com.
If for any reason, after submitting the application, your request is denied by APHA (Animal & Plant Health Agency) part of DEFRA (Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs) you are entitled to cancel your booking free of charge. Please be aware that it can take time to process applications with APHA so please submit your request at the earliest point possible to avoid disappointment.
The following items must be enclosed with your application for assistance dog travel:
Pet Passport – To include the pet microchip number. We require a copy of ALL pages. This must include vaccination against rabies, which must be administered at least 21 days prior to travel and valid for date of travel.
Training Certificate – A copy of the training certificate from ADI (Assistance Dogs International) or IGDF (International Guide Dog Federation).
Tapeworm Treatment Appointment – Written proof of a pre-booked overseas veterinary appointment for tapeworm treatment. This is a mandatory requirement between 24-120 hours prior to return to the UK. We strongly advise that you book the appointment for the penultimate port of call if it is within the mandatory requirement period to avoid any issues should the final port of call be missed due to adverse weather or other reasons outside Fred. Olsen’s control. (Your own vet may be able to provide contact details for an overseas veterinary clinic in the relevant port). (Exception direct from Ireland, Finland, Norway or Malta). It is also worth noting that other EU countries also have tapeworm requirements which will need to be complied with if you are not travelling directly to that country from the UK (i.e. the ship makes a call in another country first).
Terms & conditions apply – read more.
Are bicycles allowed on board?
Unfortunately we do not allow normal bicycles on board, however we do accept folding bicycles.
You can bring on board a folding bike for use shoreside, however during time on board your bicycle must be stored in your cabin at all times. Simply call Guest Services on 0800 0355 145 to add your folding bicycle to your booking.
Please note: Folding bicycles are not permitted on board tender boats. Tender boats are used in ports of call where the ship is at anchor, rather than docked alongside the shore.
Terms and conditions apply - read more.
Will there be a religious service on board?
Although we do not have a chapel on board any of our ships, after breakfast on Sundays, a Christian service with prayers and readings will be held. This service will be led by the Cruise Director.