In 2008, Braemar went into dry dock at Hamburg's Blohm + Voss shipyard where it was given a massive overhaul and facelift. The ship emerged as a shiny, new, 23,000-ton, 929-passenger vessel with an extra 31.2 metres in length in the mid section. Along with this addition came 70 new cabins, a new lounge (The Observatory), a second restaurant (The Grampian) and an expanded sun deck with one new pool and plenty of room for bathers.
- Cabins 485
- Crew 371
- Passengers 929
- Decks 9
- Launch Year 2001
- Registry Bahamas
pleasantly surprised by first cruise with Fred Olsen
"I had only been on large cruise ships before and did not know what to expect on Braemar. The cabin was clean, the staff very friendly and attentive and the food at dinner was terrific with many choices and excellent presentation.
The so called sea water pool had too much chlorine added at La Gomera and it caused rashes which put me off using it again.
My only disappointment was the lack of a disco. Whilst the main Braemar show team were superb ( especially the dancers ) the little band that played in the Coral lounge played and sang to taped backing music and did not adapt to guests needs. Just when people were beginning to boogie they played something unsuitable or went on a break - yet again ! The young guitarist was very good however.
A good cruise but aimed at older guests."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of December 2015
"My husband and I have just returned from our 2nd trip on board Braemar. We love this cruise ship and are on it again at the end of August.
Previous reviews have said guests are old. There is a mixture of ages on board from young children through 20s up to 80+. I am 40 and love it, the staff are attentive, helpful, friendly and really go out of their way for you. I have coeliac disease so cant eat wheat or gluten. Our waiter made sure my bread was waiting on my table for dinner and went through the menu with me every evening to help me chose meal that was suitable(of which most were). The ship is clean, the rooms are great, all the restaurants serve amazing food. Spa facilities are fantastic. Cant fault it. "
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of June 2015
Never again. Money back please
"This is a dirty tired and dysfunctional ship. The cabin was tiny and the bathroom stunk of raw sewage every morning. The facilities for leaving the ship at the various ports of call were only geared to the passengers on excursions. We were told to get lost ans sit in the lounge until all the passengers on excursions disembarked by pass number and bus boarding card number. As most of the passengers were very old and infirm, this took forever (or so it seemed.We were robbed of the time Olsen advertised to see the sights, as we could not get off the boat. The transport to the various towns was useless. One shuttle bus only, doing a 40 minute round trip. At one port, La pallise for La Rochell, the shuttle bus only took you to the local bus stop and then you were left to your own devices. Pathetic. The food was bad and served in very small portions. The majority of the cruise was spent with the ship under lack-down because of an sickness outbreak. Olsen was adamant that the passengers had brought the virus on board, but we found out from "back to back" cruisers that the previous cruise on this dirty boat had been under lock down too. WE WOULD NOT HAVE BOARDED THE SHIP HAD WE KNOWN THIS. Our disgust was deepened by the fact that when we docked back at Dover, the ship immediately left for Harwich to take on another unsuspecting set of lambs to the slaughter for a cruise to Hamburg. Olsen should be closed down and prevented from operating until they provide clean and adequate facilities. We did not get what we paid for, and to top it all, the evening entertainment was utterly pathetic and geared to the over 90s."
- Travel date: Mon 25th of May 2015
Norway 7 nights
"We have just returned from seven nights on board the Fred Olsen ship Braemar. What more can I say other than FANTASTIC. The ship, Staff, Food, and Norway. The best holiday of my life. Thank you Fred Olsen."
- Travel date: Tue 26th of August 2014
Left late and didnt arrive
"Extremely dissappointed. The Braemar left Dover five hours late and missed the opportunity to dock in Ostend at slackwater. The captain said it was due to the wind and strong tidal currents caused by the moon! It seems the ship cannot handle winds of force five which are common in the English channel.Does the captain have up to date tide tables ? He also failed miserably to dock at Zeebrugge and organise alternative transport.
Had we arrived at our designated Port of call, I would have put up with the other shortcomings ie smell of sewage, bad service from our waiter, noise in the cabin,and noise in the restaurant caused by unwelcome low frequency music. On the plus side the food was good. Overall, I would not go with Olsen again."
- Travel date: Thu 10th of May 2012
"lovely ship, very clean, food excellent, lovely staff but not for anyone under 65 years old. my self and my husband are between 45 and 50 and found it very boring as there was not alot to do while at sea, it was more like a floating nursing home. we had a port cancelled due to somebody being taken ill and ship had to turn back to get passenger off so put us behind our schedule which meant a 5th day at sea so felt that it was too much.
would not recommend it to anyone who does not like ballroom dancing, sitting around reading all day or for young families. would not cruise on the ship again
- Travel date: Tue 5th of May 2009
" my sister and i booked the breamar for the 3rd time. we had been on it 3 years previous. we have been on the queen mary2 and arcadia but as we had enjoyed the braemar the last two times we thought we would try it again. i must say there is a great improvement in the entertainment on the ship.we had 2 shows to go to every night and as we love dancing the hosts were very good (james and graham).also michael and judy (who were fantastic ) the new alterations are lovely especially the MORNING LIGHT ROOM AND THE OBSERVATORY. THE one thing i thought should have been improved was the space in the cabin. the beds are very narrow and also the shower would need some improvement. but all in all it was a very enjoyable holiday with very attentive staff.
- Travel date: Wed 4th of March 2009
We have just returned from the cruise Cu...
"We have just returned from the cruise Cuban Delights. We cannot express enough how much we enjoyed this cruise. Nothing was too much trouble. It was really perfect, the only down side was the awful Monarch flights for such a long journey we were packed in like sardines and this really spoilt a perfect cruise. None the less we are looking forward to being on the refurbished Braemar next year next June."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of April 2008
This was a fantastic Christmas cruise. F...
"This was a fantastic Christmas cruise. Fred Olsen could not do enough for guests.
They made a big effort to make Christmas and New Year special. The food was superb. We ate in the Thistle Restaurant which was the more formal of the two but the Palm Cafe always had starched table cloths and was preferred by those who like to eat informally.
We liked it so much we booked onboard for next year."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of January 2008
This was our 3rd cruise on the Braemar a...
"This was our 3rd cruise on the Braemar and so we had high hopes for a pleasant and enjoyable cruise.
However we did have a couple of problems starting with the miserable flight out from Manchester to Barbados with Monarch Airlines.
Even though we paid for the Premium seating the aircraft is obviously old with no modern video screens etc (these are individually provided to premium passengers as a separate unit).
Two of the toilets packed up within 5 minutes of taking off causing long queues throughout the flight.
If I did a fly/cruise with Fred Olsen again, I would make my own travel arrangements as the so called Premium is not the same standard as other airlines by a long way.
As for the ship it was fine but starting to look tired and in need of a refit.
One of the ports of call was changed at short notice which prevented a tour we were looking forward to.
The 2 Jacuzzis onboard were closed down for 5 days supposedly for maintenance, and I was sick for 3 days with tummy trouble. Plus it cost me Â£117 to consult the doctor!.
So after 2 previously happy cruises, this one was not so good and we had intended to book another whilst inboard but decided against it and are now considering other options."
- Travel date: Wed 7th of March 2007