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Balmoral palms Cafe advice from Fred Olsen Experts please


Rcibrit
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Hello all !

 

Never been on Fred Olsen before but done RCI, Celebrity, P&O Multiple times.

 

Keen on an upcoming Balmoral itinerary but wondering about Dining. Not really keen on sharing tables and from what I can see, apart from main Dining room evening meals on allocated tables as per standard everywhere, dining in the main restaurants at breakfast and Lunch seems to mean being seated and put on a  table of the waiters choice on arrival into the restaurant. Are these tables you are put on for Breakfast and lunch different every time? i.e thinking of covid, are you forced to sit next to different people every mealtime apart from in the evening on your allocated Dinner table, or are you always sat at the same table for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner as well ?

 

The Palms Cafe looks very small. Do they allocate you a seat/table on arrival in the Palms Cafe as well, or is it possible to dine in the palms Cafe every mealtime ( yes I know the food would be repetitive etc etc) and choose where you want to sit ie can you seek out the very limited small tables in the Palms Cafe yourself like you can on Celebrity, RCI P&O etc ? In view of the very small number of seats would this be practical / is it possible ? I have seen that most tables there seem to be large anyway with only a tiny number of small ones, is this correct? 

 

Yes, I know, antisocial etc etc, sorry !! but also keen to limit multiple shared tables for covid reasons. 

 

This is a "deal breaker" ie if would be able to sit in palms cafe on small table of our choice for all 3 meals would book cruise, but if would be forced to share tables for each meal three times a day, would not book it. 

 

Does anyone know the answer ?!!

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, perismo said:

You can go to the Palms for every meal and you can request a small table every time. However, there is no guarantee that one will be available.

Hello persimo !

 

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply, you say you can "request a small table" does this mean that the staff show you to a seat of their choice if you go to the Palms rather than you simply sitting where you like? 

 

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You can also go to the Avon or Spey restaurants on Deck 10 where there are lots of tables for two.  We recently disembarked from a 28 night cruise and hardly ever sat at a larger table apart from our evening meal in the main restaurant.  The food upstairs is usually better anyway.  

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4 minutes ago, Coravel said:

You can also go to the Avon or Spey restaurants on Deck 10 where there are lots of tables for two.  We recently disembarked from a 28 night cruise and hardly ever sat at a larger table apart from our evening meal in the main restaurant.  The food upstairs is usually better anyway.  

Thank you for the information ! I don`t suppose they have any kind of system so that for example you can ask to wait for a table for two get given a buzzer to carry round and it goes off when one is free? 

Edited by Rcibrit
grammar error
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1 hour ago, Rcibrit said:

Hello persimo !

 

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply, you say you can "request a small table" does this mean that the staff show you to a seat of their choice if you go to the Palms rather than you simply sitting where you like? 

 

 

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To be honest, I can't be sure either way. I was just responding because you really don't want to sit at a big table and said it would be a deal breaker for you. 

From my own experience when in one of Fred's buffet restaurants, it depended on the time we got there and the number of people in the restaurant at the time, whether there were tables for 2 available.

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1 hour ago, perismo said:

To be honest, I can't be sure either way. I was just responding because you really don't want to sit at a big table and said it would be a deal breaker for you. 

From my own experience when in one of Fred's buffet restaurants, it depended on the time we got there and the number of people in the restaurant at the time, whether there were tables for 2 available.

Perismo, Thank you VERY much for your information. Very kind of you to respond and very helpful. I am sort of thinking that despite the nice itinerary and other positive sounding aspects of the ship this would be a "deal breaker" and your and the other replies have been very helpful Thank you. 

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13 hours ago, Rcibrit said:

Thank you for the information ! I don`t suppose they have any kind of system so that for example you can ask to wait for a table for two get given a buzzer to carry round and it goes off when one is free? 

Trust me, you won't need it.  If the one restaurant is full the one opposite will have tables.  They have a shared buffet.  For some reason many passengers don't seem to know about these restaurants and simply stick with the main one on deck 6.  The Avon and Spey have good views and are very light and airy.  

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We went on Balmoral in 2018, and aren't keen on sharing tables.

 

We went in the Spey or Avon Restaurants for breakfast and most lunches and got a table for two each time.  However, once the word got out, it was advisable to get there early secure a two-seater table, so queues started to form outside the dining room before it opened! 

 

For a few lunches we went in the larger Ballindalloch dining room. Tables for two are rare there, but we had a 4 seater table to ourselves.   For dinner, we were lucky enough to be assigned to a two-seater in Ballidalloch.

 

It was a great cruise and we really liked the ship.  

 

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