Boudicca, like other Fred. Olsen ships, is becoming known for its classically British feel -- and has to some extent taken over the "Britain at Sea" mantle from the increasingly internationalised, now American-owned P&O Cruises. The vessel is a treat for travellers who enjoy small, classic ships in a proper and cosy British setting.
- Cabins 462
- Crew 325
- Passengers 856
- Decks 10
- Launch Year 1973
- Registry Bahamas
Castle & gardens cruise July 2015
"We went around the British Isles on the Castle & Gardens cruise, and everything was excellent, but o few things could be better.
1/The directions to the Rosyth parking were terrible, we found the car park by accident.
2/ The cabin numbering should stipulate that one corridor is for even numbers and the other odd numbers
3/We had an inside cabin with the beds in an L shape, but there were no bedside lamp, so you had to go to the bottom of one bed to switch of the lights. Fine for use but for someone more elderly not good.
4/The lifts are totally inadequate for the number and type of passengers (elderly), you sometimes have to wait for 5-10 minutes to get one. We got used to walking up 3/4 flights of stairs instead of waiting.
5/I do not like the system of tipping, which is to add Â£4 a day per person to your on board account, and then get you to sign a form to take it off. it should be as it was the last time we traveled with Fred, a suggested amount of Â£4 a day per person.
6/ WI-Fi, Â£30 a day is a joke.
7/ As for the shore excursions they again are far to expensive. We did a Kirkwall trip, and the Eden Project for less than half the amount Fred was charging.
Don't get me wrong we had a fabulous time everything except the things I have mentioned was great."
- Travel date: Tue 21st of July 2015
Cabin Pictures do not do cabins justice
"The cabin pictures on the internet do not reflect the good standard of furnishings , it is the slightly aged color choices that make things look older!! Yes the ship is older but we have just been on our first cruise and everything was excellent - food , staff and ship. Bit of Norovirus on board but very effectively managed
Cabin 5006 is very nice but you do get woken up at about 2.30pm in the morning ( if a light sleeper) as they are cleaning the galley above
- Travel date: Sun 17th of May 2015
Imprisonment on Board Shop
"Husband coughed after eating meat from the cold counter at lunch time.This made him sick once.We were both then made to stay in our Cabin for 48 hours with the Port Hole covers down.Our swipe cards were stopped and not made available until after the 48 hours finished.We have been refused reimbursement for the lost two days holiday,the only reimbursement we can have is by way of a discount on another Cruise.We would not Cruise with Fred Olsen again as the Breakfast and Lunch time Staff were very rude.ie:-Hot food was cold two days running and we were asked what did we expect in the Mediterranean!(We were in the North Sea)Reception Staff not helpful when asking for directions to the Medical Center.This is the worst Cruise we have ever experienced."
- Travel date: Sun 10th of May 2015
A wonderful first cruise to Cartagena
"Embarking at Liverpool, having travelled with G-Line coaches, my wife and I were very pleasantly surprised by the size of our cabin despite being at the less expensive end of the scale. Two very comfortable beds, more than adequate wardrobe and drawer space, plus a dresser and two comfortable chairs. The bathroom also proved to be better than some hotels we've stayed at; the toilet being unobstructed and the shower having a moveable hose and shower head.
The food was excellent. A typical dinner had a choice of starter, a choice of soups, a choice of salads with various dressings, varied main courses followed by a choice of desserts. In the unlikely event that you weren't satisfied by the choices, always available were grilled fish, grilled chicken, omelettes or a pasta dish! Breakfast and lunch also had a wide selection to suit all tastes.
The activities offered each day were many and varied ranging from bingo up to classical piano recitals. The evening entertainment, with one exception, was absolutely brilliant.
A wide selection of shore excursions could be purchased most of which were good but sometimes the numbers were too great to see clearly what was being described or demonstrated.
There were many bars and lounges and a seat could always be found in one of these if required. They were all adequately manned by friendly staff as were the shops and reception.
There were three formal evenings when about 90% of men wore bow ties, three themed evenings which the men, at least, largely ignored. The 'smart casual' evenings saw just a few men wearing ties - all very relaxed!
The ship is just the right size and, for those who care about these things, still looks like a ship, having promenade decks etc.
Disembarkation was quite simple; passengers were called by deck number, sometimes also by port or star'bd and for those with mobility problems a shuttle bus service was provided to the luggage area the luggage having been collected from outside cabins the night before.
The only negative aspect throughout the cruise was that one of the two after lifts was out of use for several days, apparently for refurbishment. This caused a fair amount of inconvenience because the main restaurants were inaccessible with the two for'ard lifts.
All in all a great cruise.
- Travel date: Tue 27th of August 2013
At times it felt like a nursing home
"We have just got home from our first cruise with Fred Olsen visiting the Canaries and Madeira. We picked this cruise as it sailed from Portsmouth, so it was a stress free rail journey from our home in Surrey. Boudicca is quite an old ship and some of the public areas are similar to a cross channel ferry. But our superior outside cabin was fine and there was plenty of hanging space. The highlight of this cruise was the food. The variety and quality was outstanding. The ship's staff were also friendly, polite and helpful at all times. There was a small, young, entertainment team and they more than made up for lack of facilities with their charm and enthusiasm. However, the number of elderly people with walking difficulties that this cruise attracted was a surprise to us. We are both retired, but are fit and active. We would probably avoid a Fred Olsen cruise sailing from the UK in the future as it does attract a high number of elderly passengers."
- Travel date: Tue 20th of November 2012
Would travel on Boudicca again but not for the ship.
"We took this cruise to Olden, Flam, Alesund and bergen because it was from North Shields (Newcastle) and we wanted to try the ship for just a week. We had free parking at North Shields but if we had to pay the (reduced) charge of Â£9 per day we would have taken a Â£7 taxi each way instead.
Embarkation was smooth despite people turning up before their allocated time (check in by deck number)
The ship was clean but with undistinguished dÃ©cor.
Our "Superior" outside cabin was well furnished with storage but so narrow that we could not get down either side of the double bed. The bathroom with bath was OK but lacked storage for toiletries.
There was plenty of comfortable public space around the ship.
Dining was in 2 sittings in 3 quite crowded rooms. The buffet alternative in the "Secret Garden" was small and had permanent queues, although the main dining rooms had buffets at Breakfast and Lunch times.
Cooking was undistinguished - trout with virtually non existent almond sauce, steak pie with a rust needing a hammer and chisel, pasta with sauce as thick as treacle, artichoke so overlooked that it was tasteless, crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e made with cornflour rather than cream ( only 10 litres of cream used on board in the week apart from whipping cream), hand cut chips more like greasy potato wedges and seasoning lacking beyond the point of blandness - yet most passengers see nothing wrong?? Don't the chefs/cooks taste the food before service?
A special tea with tea dance was a bit of a bun fight with a huge single queue to get at the special cakes. so we didn't bother with it, especially as we wanted to join in another entertainment 15 minutes after its start. Normal afternoon teas were served in the Secret Garden too, but was quite plain with a limited selection of cakes and sandwiches. (Why they can't serve afternoon tea in the show lounge like comparable small ships do I don't know).
Excursions were expensive and where you could do the identical tour yourself it was half the ship's price. We took a tour in Olden to the smaller glacier though because it was end of season and there was no practical alternative and enjoyed it although the value was questionable.
Daytime entertainment was poorly organised with up to 4 events overlapping or happening at the same time. We had to choose from 2 or 3 of them each time. We enjoyed quizzes and the odd deck game. The pianist in the main bar was good but spoilt by over-amplification. The (un-amplified) pianist in the Observatory was excellent. We loved the Rosario Trio of violin, guitar and double bass who performed regularly in the âSecret Gardenâ lounge.
Formal evenings were an opportunity for a glass of fizz or other cocktail, but despite the rigorous hand cleaning the captain would not shake hands.
Evening entertainment was the usual diet of ships company with the odd imported performer, pleasant but nothing memorable. One night was taken up with a show by the ship's crew which was hugely popular but in our opinion was a cross between 'Opportunity Knocks' and Butlins.
The show lounge was adequate for the number of people attending.
Disembarkation was smooth and after we finished breakfast it was almost time for our deck to go and we were in our car in 15 minutes.
Overall we enjoyed our short cruise despite shortcomings to us. This ship is a bit larger than we are used to, but now we know what to expect from Fred Olsen we would be prepared to use them again for the right itinerary."
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of October 2012
A beautiful relaxing holiday
"We have just returned from a wonderful 15 night cruise round the Western Med we sailed from the Port Of Tyne our luggage was taken straight away and the next time we saw it was in our cabin, yes there are a lot of older people on board but most of them are very nice people our cabin was very nice spotless the cabin staff are so helpful you only have to ask for some thing and they do all they can to help,the food was first class with a great variety so much choice the waiters are a gem very nice people so friendly and always smiling , the entertainment was different every night with some very good shows there was some very good singers in the team and Ashley cruise Director is brilliant with the most wonderful voice , we loved our holiday and will certainly be going back on the Boudicca again . "
- Travel date: Fri 12th of October 2012
"My wife and I completed our first cruise,and fortunately we chose Fred Olsen's Boudicca and a trip down to Canaries and Cape verde islands. We found the whole trip a complete pleasure. The accomodation was excellent and the service from the cabin staff was efficient and friendly. Similarly the catering staff were firendly and eager to please. The variety of food,the varied menu's were imaginative and could not fail to satisfy the many different tastes on board. Activities were many and catered for all,I particularly liked the srt class.you could be as busy as you wanted or chilled out as you wanted,no pressure either way.I particularly liked the decor of all the public rooms. Evening entertainment was really pleasant and enjoyable, the comedian Lee Wilson was brilliant. Overall I wish to compliment the mainly Filipino crew and staff.Their cheerfulness and pleasant manner set the whole tone for the cruise, they are a credit to their country of origin. "
- Travel date: Sat 11th of December 2010
Fabulous, Perfect, Flawless
"My husband and I are just back from a 7 night cruise of the Norwegian Fjords on Fred Olsen's MS Boudicca. The ship is spotless, the food devine and the service delightful. We had the cheapest cabin on deck 3 but this was perfectly sufficient for our needs. Two fixed single beds (no folding beds) , 4 double wardrobes, bathroom (with bath!) and two portholes. The cabin was spotless, the whole ship was in fact.
There are three main dining rooms with a further open seating dining area (the Secret Garden). Not once on our 7 night cruise did we see a repeated dish on the menu. Service was first class. Secret Garden is relaxed dress code if you don't want to dress for dinner, although this for us is all part of cruising.
There are 6 bars on ship ranging from the large Neptune Lounge where the main entertainment was held, to the sedate Observatory where Felix tinkled the ivories throughout the day. Very nice to sit here in the quiet with a book gazing out over the seas.
Two good sized pools, two jacuzzies, one swimming tank. Plenty of loungers all around the ship.
Cruise Director Stein was very approachable, and the cruise reps were very pleasant and helpful. Special mention to Mary who was a cheeky delight and gave everyone a giggle with her quick wit.
Waiter staff again are excellent, remembering your drink and cabin number after the first night, and always the professional, refering to Sir and Mam, but not in a pompous way.
Plenty of antibacterial hand gel all over the ship - it's just a pity that some folk felt they were unnecessary, especially after using the toilet!!! We used the gel constantly, and I'm pleased to say that it did not trouble my sensitive skin at all. No sign of any stomach upsets contrarty to previous reviews.
Fred Olsen cruises are directed at the older passenger, however don't let this put you off. I'm mid 30s, husband late 30s. Not a cruise for children though, (which is why we went).
This was our 3rd Fred Olsen cruise and would most certainly cruise with them again.
- Travel date: Wed 14th of July 2010
Great way to enjoy travelling
"We went on the Boudicca cruise to the Baltic last September.We did not know whether or not we would enjoy this type of holiday or not but became cruise converts on this holiday. We sailed from Newcastle, very good well organised port and very handy for Scotland and Northern England.The ship itself exceeded all our expectations.Clean, friendly, lots of activities, good entertainment,lectures and even classical concerts. Really something for everyone, and if you and your partner have different tastes you both are catered for. the cities visited were very interesting although the price of the excursions was high and generally it was cheaper to go off adventuring on your own.The Baltic ports of Talin and Riga were charming with lots to see.The cheap local hop on hop off red tour buses were good value.St Petersburg can you ever be long enough there, so much to see, two days not long enough.Loved it .We're going back next year."
- Travel date: Sun 23rd of May 2010
Do not go on this ship
"I am a very fit 89 year old, I came off the ship feeling much older than that. Even after the boat had 3 days of "intensive" cleaning I caught the sickness bug!! I had to stay in my cabin for 5 days of which I was visited by a doctor as I was so ill. There were 3 bodies that came off the ship from the last cruise, they have not explained what happened to them. I could have been one of them I felt so ill. Do not go on this ship!"
- Travel date: Mon 18th of January 2010
"We booked an inside cabin and was assigned one on deck 3. We were a little worried that it may be a bit noisy and suffer from vibration - but it was fine. The cabin was twin berth with shower and tea making facilities.
The only small problem was that they refuelled the boat early one morning and the fuel inlet was deck 3 level and as the gangway door was open there was a strong smell of diesel for a while.
The weather helped a lot as it was calm for the entire cruise and sunny.
The clients were nearly all english and probably 70 ish in age. A few yuonger ones - but only a few. The atmosphere was very good and perhaps a littel too formal for us.
A 24 hour self service type restaurant would have been a big plus but we did have tea making in our cabin + 24 hr room servive from a snack menu ( which we didnt actaully use ).
The was a late night buffet in the secret garden restaurant if you wanted.
We had the late sitting for dinner - 8.30 pm which worked out great as we had a nice table for 2 and it was a little less crowded. Plus the it was a lot easier to get a good seat at the later show as most of the elderly guests had probably retired.
The late night duo in the lido lounge were also good and it was a nice late night bar for those that wished to stay up a little later.
The service staff were great - very friendly - and the food was excellent.
The we use the self service restaurant - the secret garden - probaly 50% of the time as it had a really nice atmosphere - a lot more intimate than the large dining rooms.
The food here was also to a very high standard.
Although we booked soley for the itinary, we were not dissapointed with the ship - it was quite small - 29,000 tons - but had a nice feel. I would say from this one experience of Fred Olsen line it is mainly aimed at the grey market - with no real facilities for children - which I guess for the majority was fine.
Wec only took one shore tour - the flam railway and geilo ( we had visted geilo before when lving in Norway ). Although expensive at Â£140 each was tremendous. Spectacular views, excellent midday buffet at a 5* hotel - would highly recommend it.
All in all it was fantastic value as a late booking and although only our 2nd cruise we enjoyed it very much.
Not sure whether I would go Fred Olsen again - but if you like a calm, gentle atmosphere and a little formality then you can't beat it."
- Travel date: Fri 8th of May 2009