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Would you sail on FRED OLSEN FOR ROTTERDAM & AMSTERDAM???🚢🚢

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Years ago the ROTTERDAM V was a flagship that truly was extroadinary all around. She was a true OCEAN LINER...

The current Rotterdam & Amsterdam are just cookie cutter cruise ships w little modifications in decor. It's the economics of scale that keeps the corporations building bigger & bigger ships.

That's why I'd like to travel on Boudicca & Black Watch before FO disposes of them...even at almost 50 years old I'd pick them over the HAL ships.  Quality over quantity.

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No, I wouldn't opt for Fred Olsen just to sail my favorite ships. As another has said, it's the HAL crews that have kept us coming back.

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I am thankful that I am not booking and rebooking cruises, we're not booking until cruising resumes and the reviews are in. I am also thankful that I am not a travel agent dealing with the cancellations. I wonder when a travel agent will next see a commission from a cruise line.

 

Veendam? We had two delightful cruises on her, but she was the worst of the fleet after HAL stuck more cabins on her. I think HAL added cabins to Rotterdam after we sailed her in 1999 and 2008. I don't feel any special attraction to either ship. If I sail on Fred. Olsen, it won't be to sail on a former HAL ship that I miss.

 

I thought of sailing the former Prinsendam, I do feel some affinity for her. She sailed some great itineraries for Phoenix Reisen, but Mrs. Whogo is not at all interested in a German line.

 

I have been happy with the service on every line I have sailed, never felt Holland America's crew was any better or worse. 

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23 minutes ago, whogo said:

 

Veendam? We had two delightful cruises on her, but she was the worst of the fleet after HAL stuck more cabins on her.  

 

Veendam isn't one of the ships going to Fred Olsen. It's Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

 

(Veendam appears to be headed elsewhere....)

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From a selfish point of view I would have look.  I say selfish as I live less than 15 miles form their home port at Rosyth.  Sailing with HAL (4 star) we always have long haul flights to include.

 

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Look at Fred Olsen’s 2022 itineraries. They are worldwide and include some interesting ports not used by HAL. The Fred Olsen Cruise Critic board has lots of excited posters due to the new acquisitions.
I went on a 4 day cruise out of Edinburgh in 2004. The ship was 38 years old !! but the Norwegian Captain was very friendly. I am British living in the US so I can enjoyed either food or retired folks.
HAL has sold 4 of the S and R class and we do not like larger ships for long trips so after 700 plus nights they may have lost us. With an open mind I have signed up to get Fred Olsen offers.


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5 minutes ago, ScottishMaid said:

Look at Fred Olsen’s 2022 itineraries. They are worldwide and include some interesting ports not used by HAL. The Fred Olsen Cruise Critic board has lots of excited posters due to the new acquisitions.
I went on a 4 day cruise out of Edinburgh in 2004. The ship was 38 years old !! but the Norwegian Captain was very friendly. I am British living in the US so I can enjoyed either food or retired folks.
HAL has sold 4 of the S and R class and we do not like larger ships for long trips so after 700 plus nights they may have lost us. With an open mind I have signed up to get Fred Olsen offers.


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I did the same..

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1 hour ago, ScottishMaid said:

With an open mind I have signed up to get Fred Olsen offers.

Me, too. 

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Posted (edited)

Why not if this is the size of ship that you prefer?...

Edited by iancal

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4 hours ago, Rotterdam said:

I'd like to travel on Boudicca & Black Watch before FO disposes of them...even at almost 50 years old I'd pick them over the HAL ships.  Quality over quantity.

 

Never can keep which ship is which on Fred Olsen.  But, as a former guest on Royal Viking Sky, I would also be glad to sail on that vessel again.  With the addition of the "newcomers", I wonder if Alang will not soon be in there future.

 

Unless I am incorrect in my thinking, Saga Cruises, a British oriented guest cruise company, has achieved success with attracting North American guests.  They have used re-purposed vessels in the past.  But, I think, they are now expecting to introduce at least one specifically built for Saga.  

 

I don't think I would have an issue of booking a cruise on Saga based on what I know.  Fred Olsen:  more research by me and consultation with my travel agent will be required.  The next question will be:  Will my American travel agent know much about Fred Olsen to offer advice?

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5 minutes ago, Gail & Marty sailing away said:

I agree with you ...

 

 

Relating to the crew "that matters".....

 

What are the nationalities of the crew whom are employed by the European cruise lines whose dominate language is English?  

 

HAL is what HAL means for many of us because of the interactions with the crew on HAL ships.  If these same crew members are employed on another ship of a different company and we have the good fortune of, for example, my meeting Nestor--a former Wine Steward and was a Bartender on the Westerdam last July--why ought I expect a "different crew experience"?  

 

Training and corporate expectations for crew are important, of course.  I wonder if we are not discounting the possibility of some of these crew members who may become employed by "companies that are strange to us" remembering what has continued to choose to learn their living by serving cruise passengers.  

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Bear in mind that many North American Travel agents cannot sell Fred Olsen.  They do not have a US booking office and everything is priced in GBP, which many agency software systems do not support.  You need to either find a US based agent who can sell them (very few) or book direct with the UK offices.  Terms & Conditions are subject to UK booking rules (usually no changes to booking allowed without forfeiture of deposit, etc) which can be difficult for many US consumers to accept.

 

That said, Fred Olsen has a reputation as a solid 3.5 star cruise line - decent food and service at reasonable pricing with many inclusive amenities.  Nothing fancy or fussy.  Entertainment has a more intimate and homespun appeal and the passengers tend to be older, quieter and decidedly British.  They are PROUD to not cater to the US market demographic and prefer to keep it that way.  Yanks are welcome, as long as they understand, and respect, the difference in product from the US based cruise lines.

 

I have wanted for many years to sail with Fred Olsen, especially the Black Watch and Boudicca (former Royal Viking Star and Sky), due to their more traditional design and layout.

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16 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

Bear in mind that many North American Travel agents cannot sell Fred Olsen. 

 

No experience in trying to book Fred Olsen, but trying to book P & O Australia became impossible doing so with a North American travel agency that is very experienced.  I gave up.

 

If Fred Olsen has any interest in trying to attract North American guests, some things need to be changed on their end of the equation.  Same with Saga Cruises.  Book with them directly or you don't book.

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Posted (edited)

I have booked on with British cruise lines (Swan Hellenic, Voyages to Antiquity -- though the latter attracted a few more US, Canadian and Australian passengers) and with UK land tours. As long as you understand the terms of the payment, and purchase appropriate insurance, it should not be a deterrent. I have been extremely happy in all cases, and in fact often feel these agencies are better run than their US counterparts.

 

I can also affirm that on Voyages to Antiquity, I met many staff and crew of the same nationalities and same smiling demeanor as on HAL ships. In fact, at least one had previously been with HAL.

Edited by cruisemom42

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Posted (edited)

Frankly I do not know why there is a booking problem.  We routinely book with UK travel agencies despite living in Canada.  And other agencies, in different countries, in different currencies. There is really no big deal about being charged in GBP.  It is simply a math issue...not a difficult one either.

 

This winter on our winter trip in a Mexico we booked three properties through TUI, a  UK vendor.  All priced in GBP which we compared to US and MEX pricing.  It was no more difficult or challenging than using Expedia or dealing with a cruise line web site....especially HAL’s which is challenging at the best of times.

 

i believe that HAL loyalists will find the same level of service and friendliness On other cruise lines.  This is hardly unique in our experience despite those who go to great lengths to imply that it is.

 

The challenge is that it requires an open mind, a willingness to try something else, and to live in the present rather than dwell on the past.

Edited by iancal

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5 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Veendam isn't one of the ships going to Fred Olsen. It's Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

 

(Veendam appears to be headed elsewhere....)

 

Appears to be Blue Seas Cruises, a start up operator, along with Maasdam

 

Maasdam.JPG

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2 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

 

Relating to the crew "that matters".....

 

What are the nationalities of the crew whom are employed by the European cruise lines whose dominate language is English?  

 

HAL is what HAL means for many of us because of the interactions with the crew on HAL ships.  If these same crew members are employed on another ship of a different company and we have the good fortune of, for example, my meeting Nestor--a former Wine Steward and was a Bartender on the Westerdam last July--why ought I expect a "different crew experience"?  

 

Training and corporate expectations for crew are important, of course.  I wonder if we are not discounting the possibility of some of these crew members who may become employed by "companies that are strange to us" remembering what has continued to choose to learn their living by serving cruise passengers.  

 

Although not 100% sure, me thinks you'll find an international, as opposed to an Indonesian/Thai/Filipino, service staff in the restaurants, bars and in housekeeping on FO. The two ships, Borealis (ex-Rotterdam) and Bolette (ex-Amsterdam) will have a familiar feel but the service crew will not. But hey, more power to Fred Olson; they're getting two fine ships

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4 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

I don't think I would have an issue of booking a cruise on Saga based on what I know.  Fred Olsen:  more research by me and consultation with my travel agent will be required.  The next question will be:  Will my American travel agent know much about Fred Olsen to offer advice?

Or visit the CC Fred Olsen forum.😉

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On 7/15/2020 at 10:54 PM, The-Inside-Cabin said:

No. It's not the metal that matters. It's the crew and the other passengers.


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Same here!

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2 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Appears to be Blue Seas Cruises, a start up operator, along with Maasdam

 

Maasdam.JPG

Thanks.  Do you know where Blue Seas Cruises is going to cruise and what the company's cruising expertise is?  Would be wonderful if they maintained these ships, as they would be very popular. 

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59 minutes ago, TiogaCruiser said:

Or visit the CC Fred Olsen forum.😉

Good idea.  You could ask questions there.  Also you could look at reports on past cruises.

I booked Fred.Olsen direct from Australia, with no problems.  I would like to cruise with Fred.Olsen again on Amsterdam (Bolette - where did that name come from?).

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5 minutes ago, MMDown Under said:

Thanks.  Do you know where Blue Seas Cruises is going to cruise and what the company's cruising expertise is?  Would be wonderful if they maintained these ships, as they would be very popular. 

 

Don't know anything about them. They appear to be a start up with eventually three ships; Blue Seas 1, Blue Seas 2 and Blue Seas 3. Their website shows worldwide itineraries. Time will tell what they'll be all about

 

http://blueseas-*****/

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1 hour ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Don't know anything about them. They appear to be a start up with eventually three ships; Blue Seas 1, Blue Seas 2 and Blue Seas 3. Their website shows worldwide itineraries. Time will tell what they'll be all about

 

http://blueseas-*****/

Thank you. The plot thickens.  Rajko Zupan, Head of Blue Seas Project, was with m/v Tere Moana of Paul Gauguin Cruises 2012 - present, formerly with m/s Paul Gauguin 2004-2012.  Ponant has bought Paul Gauguin. 

Blue Seas 3 includes Australia in its itineraries!

Veendam and Maasdam ex HAL ?

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38 minutes ago, MMDown Under said:

Thank you. The plot thickens.  Rajko Zupan, Head of Blue Seas Project, was with m/v Tere Moana of Paul Gauguin Cruises 2012 - present, formerly with m/s Paul Gauguin 2004-2012.  Ponant has bought Paul Gauguin. 

Blue Seas 3 includes Australia in its itineraries!

Veendam and Maasdam ex HAL ?

 

 

If you take a close look at the silhouette of their ship on the top of their website, that sure looks like a HAL "S"-class ship prior to that "brilliant" extension placed on Veendam's rear end

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