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Review of Noble Caledonia Baltic Odyssey cruise on Hebridean Sky July–August 2022


Host Jazzbeau
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30 minutes ago, YoPhilly said:

Jazzbeau, I haven't been able to find a U.S. agency that books Noble Caledonia.  Did you book with a U.K. agency?

I booked the first time through a major US agency, but after that I have booked direct because Noble gives all past customers a 5% discount.  I initiate the booking via their website; payments need to be done via phone [I use Skype and it only costs pennies per call]; they now take credit cards with no service fee [I use Citi Costco Visa – no foreign transaction fee plus 3% rebate].  It's very easy, and if you have any questions a cheap Skype call gets you to a rep in London who is both knowledgeable and helpful!

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2 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

I booked the first time through a major US agency, but after that I have booked direct because Noble gives all past customers a 5% discount.

Hmmm, I'll have to request quotes from a few agencies.  I see on your blog you've been on 3 N.C. cruises, so it appears you're very pleased with their product.  We usually cruise with either Celebrity or Oceania....not into nightlife, prefer laid-back vibe with well-traveled but not stuffy passengers.  I'm looking at a Baltic cruise as a solo; DH isn't interested.  Do you think N.C. is a good fit for a solo?

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Edited the quote in your post because I may have sailed too close to the edge on travel agents...  I don't really recommend using a US travel agent with Noble because there isn't enough business to make it worth their while, and they won't have developed any expertise or contacts that allow them to add value.  I would book direct.

 

Yes, Noble is great for solos.  On all our cruises with them we were the only Americans on board, so even though we weren't solos we were oddballs – and we were warmly welcomed.  We also saw many solos on board, who were equally welcomed.  When you come into the dining room the waiters make it obvious that you can have a table for 2, start a new table for 4 or 6, or join an existing table that isn't full.  We did all of those at different times [I do not talk before my breakfast coffee...] and met a wide range of the passengers over the course of the cruise.  Tables for 6 are great because even if two couples start the table they are always happy to include another person.

 

Noble has great itineraries, and they repeat most of them from year to year or every other year.  When a particular sailing isn't selling well they end up offering all remaining cabins at a low fare, and this becomes a terrific opportunity for solo passengers.  Most of their fares include flights from London to/from the ship, so your risk of high last-minute air fare is somewhat mitigated (because flights to LHR are so common).

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9 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

Yes, Noble is great for solos.  On all our cruises with them we were the only Americans on board, so even though we weren't solos we were oddballs – and we were warmly welcomed.  We also saw many solos on board, who were equally welcomed.  When you come into the dining room the waiters make it obvious that you can have a table for 2, start a new table for 4 or 6, or join an existing table that isn't full.  We did all of those at different times [I do not talk before my breakfast coffee...] and met a wide range of the passengers over the course of the cruise.  Tables for 6 are great because even if two couples start the table they are always happy to include another person.

 

Noble has great itineraries, and they repeat most of them from year to year or every other year.  When a particular sailing isn't selling well they end up offering all remaining cabins at a low fare, and this becomes a terrific opportunity for solo passengers.  Most of their fares include flights from London to/from the ship, so your risk of high last-minute air fare is somewhat mitigated (because flights to LHR are so common).

This is great information, Jazzbeau.  This will be my first time cruising solo although I’ve traveled for years alone on land vacations. I like the size of this ship and the fact that they include shore excursions, not only for economy’s  sake but also I feel it helps connect with other passengers.  Thanks so much for your feedback.

Edited by YoPhilly
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