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Bolette?


jeanlyon
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2 hours ago, jeanlyon said:

Hi, haven't cruised with Fred for a while.  Thinking about a cruise on Bolette and wondered if anyone could tell me what she is like.

Bolette is a really nice ship. The speciality restaurants colours and Taste (Asian) has its own separate area   and Vasco (Indian)  off The View when pre-booked both at £10  (£15 on board) are a must if you enjoy that food.  The ship is old built 2000 for Holland American Line , The main decor is very smart but the cabins are a bit old fashioned. You also may run the risk of getting a terraced  cabin on Deck 3 which some passengers do not like as it is on the Promenade Deck. The Observatory at the Bow of the ship deck 9 in my opinion is one of the best of the fleet. Braemar used to be my favourite but Bolette has taken over. 

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Hi, thanks for that.  We liked Braemar too.  Sounds good.  ~When you say terraced cabin, are you talking an outside or a Balcony?  We usually go for an inside.  Happy to be out and about on the ship during the day.

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1 hour ago, jeanlyon said:

Hi, thanks for that.  We liked Braemar too.  Sounds good.  ~When you say terraced cabin, are you talking an outside or a Balcony?  We usually go for an inside.  Happy to be out and about on the ship during the day.

They are neither really. It’s a cabin with patio doors that open right out onto the promenade deck. The glass is one way for privacy and the cabins have allocated deck loungers.

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3 hours ago, jeanlyon said:

Hi, thanks for that.  We liked Braemar too.  Sounds good.  ~When you say terraced cabin, are you talking an outside or a Balcony?  We usually go for an inside.  Happy to be out and about on the ship during the day.

 

Fred advertises these terrace cabins as "balcony cabins." Cabins that really have balconies are some time referred by Fred as "private balcony" cabins... perhaps that's "the Olsen way." If you remember the rather uneasy veranda cabins that Fred added to the Boudicca... these terrace cabins on the old HAL ships have something of the same awkwardness about them... people who have "paid" for a bit of the prom deck as their "balcony" and others who feel a bit awkward when they can't linger on the rail or sit there. (no public seating only loungers reserved for terrace cabin cruisers)

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Hi Jean.. we know each other from elsewhere.. and we are on Bolette on Friday, and I'll let you know on our return.  My brother loves it ands only came back a month ago and is off again in two weeks.

 

The terrace cabins sound like those on Iona that front onto the promenade but with no rail.. ie patio doors straight on to the deck.  I think they are either loved or hated.

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19 hours ago, twotravellersLondon said:

 

Fred advertises these terrace cabins as "balcony cabins." Cabins that really have balconies are some time referred by Fred as "private balcony" cabins... perhaps that's "the Olsen way." If you remember the rather uneasy veranda cabins that Fred added to the Boudicca... these terrace cabins on the old HAL ships have something of the same awkwardness about them... people who have "paid" for a bit of the prom deck as their "balcony" and others who feel a bit awkward when they can't linger on the rail or sit there. (no public seating only loungers reserved for terrace cabin cruisers)

 

The Fred website has been sorted for a while, the Terraced Cabins are correctly described in the booking system.  There are lots of steamer chairs on the prom deck, only the ones by the Terrace cabins are reserved - the rest are public seating.  Nothing uneasy about the previous Terrace Balconies on Boudicca at all, we had been in them - they were raised a bit above the prom deck and had their own railed off area.  At least they were smoke free. 

 

We would not want a terrace cabin on the new ships though, partly because the prom decks are completely in shade.

 

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On 8/8/2022 at 12:02 PM, jeanlyon said:

Hi, haven't cruised with Fred for a while.  Thinking about a cruise on Bolette and wondered if anyone could tell me what she is like.

 

There are a number of reviews on this site, I did a very detailed one about Borealis (basically the same ship) when she first sailed regards the differences from the previous ships.  We have not been on Bolette since March (also onboard in December).

 

There was plenty of seating area in the lounges and outside, so should still be fine if the ship was full as our cruises were when there was still social distancing with some seating not being used.  You could get views off the ship from a number of lounges, so the ships do not feel closed in.  We  have done some cruises in inside cabins and they were fine - very big with a generous seating area.  The window cabins have big windows which are better than the portholes we had used for some Fred cruises.  Fred still allows smoking on balconies, so we would not have an interest in them at any price.  The self service has lots of space and good views from the seating as well.  

 

Although there were teething problems as the ships started sailing, the staff are still very good and there was obviously extra training in place,  including with someone from head office, on a more recent Balmoral Cruise (the second after she started sailing), as there were a number of new staff.

 

The big advantage to us is the sailings from the North, which I know does not apply to you, but there are some good deals to be had at present for late bookings.  We have never liked the late booking as always prefer to choose our cabin, though Fred will move you if there is a problem with a cabin and another is available.  We are trying other options, though not impressed at all with a recent alternative.  We have some P&O ones booked for the winter, but wanted Balcony cabins on the bigger ships (especially Azura).  We have no future Fred cruises booked, though will have to see what the future holds.  Land holidays have more appeal to us at present.

 

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11 hours ago, indiana123 said:

Hi Jean.. we know each other from elsewhere.. and we are on Bolette on Friday, and I'll let you know on our return.  My brother loves it ands only came back a month ago and is off again in two weeks.

 

The terrace cabins sound like those on Iona that front onto the promenade but with no rail.. ie patio doors straight on to the deck.  I think they are either loved or hated.

Hmmm, now I have to work out who you are!!  But yes now I know what is meant by terrace cabin.  Fronts onto the Prom.  Awful.  Well we will still go our inside.  It suits us and I feel like a change from P&O.  Still got Aurora in October 2023.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 My friend has just returned from a British Isles cruise on Bolette and absolutely loved it.  She said the food was great, the entertainment was good and she had a great time.  Think we will have to give it a try.

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10 hours ago, jeanlyon said:

 My friend has just returned from a British Isles cruise on Bolette and absolutely loved it.  She said the food was great, the entertainment was good and she had a great time.  Think we will have to give it a try.

That's good to hear. We are sailing on Bolette on the Scandinavian City Break cruise in September.

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I have recently returned from a cruise on Bolette and had an oceanview cabin on floor 1. Windows were nice and large, the beds were comfortable, lots of room to put clothes etc and the shower was large and wonderful. That said we did hear one lady say that there was a constant loud humming from a door opposite her cabin that she could hear throughout the night so some cabins might possibly have a noise problem or she might be a very light sleeper. Can anyone confirm if this is a problem? I was fine in my cabin no complaints at all.

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Did actually go round deck 1and deck 2 to see if I could hear anything that might be a problem , these are the cabins where there might be an issue for some people.

Deck 1 = cabins 1836, 1855, 1916 &1962,

Deck 2 = cabins 2631, 2628, 2640, 2704

To be fair, this was only noise in the corridor and it might not go on all night and not everyone would hear it in their cabin.

As I said earlier my cabin was great with no noise issues

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When being able to choose cabins we would choose cabins between the front and mid ship lifts on those ex HAL ships, we have been in three of those and they were fine, but on deck 2 not deck one.  We had noticed there is some noise/vibration in the corridors between the mid and rear lifts on decks 1 and 2 on both those ships, so we would prefer to avoid those and we would also avoid cabins between the mid and rear lifts on deck 3 as the kitchens are above those cabins, so noise may be heard there with trolleys being moved around or from kitchen equipment, but I have no knowledge of individual cabins there - they may all be fine on Bolette, just something we are aware of from the past and prefer to avoid.  When choosing a cabin we always go by the often recommended advice of, "cabins above, below and to either side". 

 

We have also been in a deck three cabin about 5 or 6 back from the rear lifts and you do hear the propellers when the ship is maneuvering into port, but once docked it has been fine, so we could get back to sleep if we wanted to and it was quiet throughout the rest of the day/night.  We would not have been in the cabin as the ship left port, but assume we would have heard noise then as well.  It was a saver fare cruise so were happy to stick with that cabin as good in other respects.  The cabins on deck 1 and 2, to the rear of the lifts, (especially a distance back), would also likely have issues with that propeller noise - TBH I would expect it low down and to the rear on any ship.

 

I am very sensitive to any noise disturbance, so we are very picky about cabin locations, but many cabins which we prefer to avoid, may well be fine for others.  Fred will move you if you have problems and a quieter cabin is available though, even on a saver fare, so worth asking if your cabin is a problem.

 

Edited by tring
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On 9/5/2022 at 6:43 PM, number5 said:

I have recently returned from a cruise on Bolette and had an oceanview cabin on floor 1. Windows were nice and large, the beds were comfortable, lots of room to put clothes etc and the shower was large and wonderful. That said we did hear one lady say that there was a constant loud humming from a door opposite her cabin that she could hear throughout the night so some cabins might possibly have a noise problem or she might be a very light sleeper. Can anyone confirm if this is a problem? I was fine in my cabin no complaints at all.

 

 Sorry don't know - I have been on the Bollette in an inside  cabin in  25xx where xx was a low number. Heard no noise overnight and slept well.

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On 8/30/2022 at 8:46 PM, jeanlyon said:

 My friend has just returned from a British Isles cruise on Bolette and absolutely loved it.  She said the food was great, the entertainment was good and she had a great time.  Think we will have to give it a try.

We have just booked a cruise on Bolette for January 2023.It will be interesting to see how she compares to Borealis which we sailed on last April and enjoyed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well having just returned from our Scandinavian City Break cruise on Bolette, I can't fault her or the staff.

 

We were in an outside cabin, number 185* on deck 1. The cabin was spacious with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. There was no disturbing noise or vibration and even the roof mounted air conditioning outlet was very quiet.

The ship is in beautiful condition and spotlessly clean in all areas. It was obvious that a lot of money had been spent on the refurbishment following the acquisition from HAL. 

Food choice and quality, entertainment, lounges and other facilities were excellent.

I thought the drinks prices were very reasonable. The gratuity policy at £5 per person per day was not out of order in my opinion, especially given the service we received across the whole ship.

All the staff were so cheerful and obliging. Nothing was too much trouble. 

The boarding and disembarkation process also went very smoothly.

The only hiccup we had is that the £25 per person on board spending offer had not been added to our account. But after a quick discussion with the customer services team on day 2, this was quickly resolved.

 

This was our first cruise as a couple without our children or my parents and we decided that the Fred Olsen way of doing things suited us perfectly. I don't think it would be great for families with young or teenage children as the entertainment and activities are orientated around those of us who are getting a little long in the tooth!

 

We booked a last minute deal and at £499 each, for 6 nights cruising, I think it was an absolute bargain.

 

As with previous cruises, we prefer to do our homework in advance on the ports of call and then do our own thing on arrival. So I can't comment on any of the tours organised by Fred.

 

I do hope FO can weather the current challenges in the industry as we will certainly look to book again next year if there are any more last minute offers to be had.

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  • 5 months later...

sorry meant to post this earlier.  my brother works there and said Bolette only just fits in the dry dock.

 

Here is the story with nice pics...

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-64867366

 

but lets hope they test carefully before sailing, you may recall that last summer (was it?) Balmoral had not even got outside St Anthony head before they realised there was an engine problem and she had to return to the dry dock. 

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On 3/7/2023 at 12:04 PM, jeanlyon said:

Bolette is in Falmouth for repairs.  Nice to know our shipyards are being used.

Fred put a great post on you-know-what social media site Jean. It explained exactly what was being done and was accompanied by photos.

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