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4 hours ago, Eglesbrech said:

Freedom and saver make little difference on Fred anyway if someone is booking this late. The early dining seems to go fairly quickly anyway (but can be found again if the £2pppd is paid), there are few shuttle ports and this near to sailing would mean 100% payment regardless of which type was booked

 

There is also very little difference in the cabins that are left this late so choosing one is moot.

 

It will however succeed in really annoying anyone who has paid the full price as the difference on this length of cruise could be thousands of pounds. The emails go out indiscriminately so someone who is booked will have received it, we received something similar last year for a cruise we had booked early.
 

While we all like a bargain Fred is now teaching passengers that it’s much better to wait until near the sail date to book unless you have very particular requirements for your cabin location.
 

We have booked this morning. It's because we have ended up paying a lot more than others on previous cruises that we wanted to wait until the cabins were what we consider a more reasonable price. Hopefully Fred will notice that people are holding back on booking so give more of an incentive to book early.I also hope that upgrades will be offered first to those who have paid more.

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2 hours ago, twotravellersLondon said:

 

 

 

We had the same email and looked to see what the minimum cost would be for a cabin with a balcony... (essential for us in our opinion to enjoy a long cruise when vast areas of the promenade deck on the ship is allocated and when the view of the sea from the upper decks if obscured by blackened glass.)  When we take an ocean cruise... we want to experience, feel and see the magnificence of the ocean and it's wildlife!

 

Forget about £1,899 per cabin... the cost quoted this morning for a cabin with a balcony was £11,598 + drinks + speciality dining + insurance + travel to & from the port + stay-over in Liverpool + Wi-Fi + gratuities + excursions and no doubt all manner of other things...  The basic price will over £600 per day per cabin... but with add-ons... we reckon that it's closer to £800 per day per balcony cabin. That's a lota-lota money.

 

Now the fact is that we've already booked a very similar cruise with SAGA (in a superior deluxe mid-ships cabin) at 25% less per day than the basis price FOCLs wants to charge us this morning... almost half after FOCLs' add-ons are taken into account.

 

We've no doubt that many of those folk who want a last minute deal with as much as you can eat for breakfast, lunch after-noon tea and dinner, the chance to have a dance, a show, a bit of entertainment and get off at the ports of call will be more than happy with a deal that works out less than £50 quid a day per person... it's hardly possible to buy a coach holiday in the UK or take a ferry from Dover to Calais at that price. Our feeling is good luck to those folk and we really do hope that they really enjoy their holiday.

 

Our personal concern is what will we get for our money is we buy the least expensive cabin with a balcony. Will FOCLs cater on the basis of a cruise costing less than £50 pppd or one costing more than £300 pppd for the same cruise, the same entertainment, the same excursions... and so on?

Bonheur's accounts show that FOCL's have had an average daily capacity of about 4,000 over the first six months of 2023 but have only been able to occupy about 2,760 of those berths: with an average of about 1,240 passenger places vacant ever day over the first six months (271 cruising days) of 2023.

 

It cost about  £118,000,000 to run the fleet for the first six months of 2023... and a back of an old envelope sum or two would suggest that the cost pppd of carrying a passenger was about £158 pppd.

 

Maybe we've got it totally utterly wrong but with the "offer" this morning it would seem to us that if we take the least expensive cabin with a balcony on board that we will be paying and extortionate amount of money... compared to folks snatching a real bargain at less than £50 a day and we would be paying far, far more than we would on a different (and in our opinion a vastly superior) cruise-line which offers an all-inclusive rate.

 

We're really delighted that FOCL's is offering (seemingly loss-making budget cruises) and that singles have a bit of a deal but, on the other hand, it's really sad that FOCL's are so bent on increasing loading rates and attempting to charge a "premium rate" for cabins on ships that in our opinion just don't offer a "premium" cruise experience... leaving once loyal folks like ourselves who once cruised with "Fred" up to four times a year to look elsewhere for a better offer.

 

 

Sadly... FOCL's are missing an opportunity.

 

I phoned Fred again this morning and although Terrace cabins aren't included in the offer, I was able to book a terrace cabin at a very much reduced price which I was happy to take. It doesn't concern me that others who may have booked an inside cabin will have paid thousands less than me. I have paid a price that I think is reasonable for an itinerary that I really want to do 

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2 hours ago, twotravellersLondon said:

 

Our personal concern is what will we get for our money is we buy the least expensive cabin with a balcony. Will FOCLs cater on the basis of a cruise costing less than £50 pppd or one costing more than £300 pppd for the same cruise, the same entertainment, the same excursions... and so on?

That’s the same on any cruise ship. Look at the difference between an inside and balcony /suite on most lines and there will be a large differential. It’s more pronounced on Fred to be sure but they are all the same, look at savers v select on P&O.

 

Personally I only book suites on lines where there is actually something extra (other than a slightly bigger cabin) for the price eg the Retreat, Yacht Club, Grills etc. I’m surprised Fred have not thought of something like that to encourage people to book their more expensive cabins.

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21 minutes ago, ann141 said:

We have booked this morning. It's because we have ended up paying a lot more than others on previous cruises that we wanted to wait until the cabins were what we consider a more reasonable price. Hopefully Fred will notice that people are holding back on booking so give more of an incentive to book early.I also hope that upgrades will be offered first to those who have paid more.

Have a wonderful cruise. Glad you managed to get a terrace and a bargain for once to make up for overpaying on previous cruises.

 

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2 hours ago, ann141 said:

I phoned Fred again this morning and although Terrace cabins aren't included in the offer, I was able to book a terrace cabin at a very much reduced price which I was happy to take. It doesn't concern me that others who may have booked an inside cabin will have paid thousands less than me. I have paid a price that I think is reasonable for an itinerary that I really want to do 

 

1 hour ago, Eglesbrech said:

That’s the same on any cruise ship. Look at the difference between an inside and balcony /suite on most lines and there will be a large differential. It’s more pronounced on Fred to be sure but they are all the same, look at savers v select on P&O.

 

Delighted that you have been able to buy what you want at what you feel is a reasonable price. As far as we're concerned the Terrace" cabins on the old HAL ships that FOCs are now using aren't balcony cabins for one simple and very obvious reason... the don't have balconies.

 

Our concern and the reason why we won't take up this offer isn't the fact that many folks will have paid less... we're delighted that they will have a holiday at a price they're happy to pay.

 

The plain fact is that FOCLs' balconies are vastly overpriced. In the case of this offer... well over 500% more... far more than many other cruise lines that we've used... including SAGA, P&O and Viking.

From the very beginning of the two old HAL ships FOCLs has had the idea that it can charge a huge "premium" for cabins with balconies for the same itinerary, food, entertainment... their cabins with actual balconies are overpriced and immensely uncompetitive in today's market.

 

If FOCLs can allow people to cruise, eat, be entertained and enjoy the amenities on board for £50 a day... the company shouldn't be so terribly surprised that so many prospective customers look elsewhere when faced with the extraordinary cost of those cabins which actually have balconies. It's a question of value for money.

 

We hope that you have a wonderful cruise.

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4 minutes ago, twotravellersLondon said:

 

 

Delighted that you have been able to buy what you want at what you feel is a reasonable price. As far as we're concerned the Terrace" cabins on the old HAL ships that FOCs are now using aren't balcony cabins for one simple and very obvious reason... the don't have balconies.

 

Our concern and the reason why we won't take up this offer isn't the fact that many folks will have paid less... we're delighted that they will have a holiday at a price they're happy to pay.

 

The plain fact is that FOCLs' balconies are vastly overpriced. In the case of this offer... well over 500% more... far more than many other cruise lines that we've used... including SAGA, P&O and Viking.

From the very beginning of the two old HAL ships FOCLs has had the idea that it can charge a huge "premium" for cabins with balconies for the same itinerary, food, entertainment... their cabins with actual balconies are overpriced and immensely uncompetitive in today's market.

 

If FOCLs can allow people to cruise, eat, be entertained and enjoy the amenities on board for £50 a day... the company shouldn't be so terribly surprised that so many prospective customers look elsewhere when faced with the extraordinary cost of those cabins which actually have balconies. It's a question of value for money.

 

We hope that you have a wonderful cruise.

Thank you. I agree with you that I think the Balcony cabins on Fred are overpriced compared with companies like Saga. We have chosen a Terrace cabin(We have had one before) because I like to open the door to have some fresh air.I wouldn't want a Balcony with Fred because smoking is allowed on the Balconies which is a real put off.I prefer the 2 Saga ships I have been on to Bolette and Borealis but it is the itinerary that has swayed us in this case helped by the fact that we have been able to get a very good deal

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2 minutes ago, ann141 said:

Thank you. I agree with you that I think the Balcony cabins on Fred are overpriced compared with companies like Saga. We have chosen a Terrace cabin(We have had one before) because I like to open the door to have some fresh air.I wouldn't want a Balcony with Fred because smoking is allowed on the Balconies which is a real put off.I prefer the 2 Saga ships I have been on to Bolette and Borealis but it is the itinerary that has swayed us in this case helped by the fact that we have been able to get a very good deal

 

That's totally understandable and we fully agree that FOCLs should make balconies non-smoking. FPCLs won't allow fags to be puffed in their offices in Ipswich so why have balcony cabins with ciggie fumes wafting into neighbouring cabins on the ships?

 

We very much hope that you enjoy your cruise and come home with many happy memories.

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2 hours ago, twotravellersLondon said:

 

That's totally understandable and we fully agree that FOCLs should make balconies non-smoking. FPCLs won't allow fags to be puffed in their offices in Ipswich so why have balcony cabins with ciggie fumes wafting into neighbouring cabins on the ships?

 

We very much hope that you enjoy your cruise and come home with many happy memories.

Smoking on balconies should be banned. For that reason we would never book one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@ann141 we have just been in a terrace cabin on Borealis. Lovely cruise with great food, service etc.

 

Couple of things you might like to know:

 

Our cabin was not visible from outside but many were very see through, no rhyme nor reason to which were and were not (we checked in daylight and dark).

 

There are lights on the promenade all night and the curtains don’t pull and stay together. Take clothes pegs or clips to keep them closed if you want it dark.

 

There  is much less storage space in the terrace cabins than the standard inside /outsides for some reasons (King sized bed perhaps). We always take hook magnets with us and on this occasion we really needed them as there was no room in the wardrobes for jackets and fleeces. There were 4 fixed wall hooks which we used for heavy jackets and we used the magnets for lighter items.

 

There are two 2 drawer cabinets next to the bed, a wardrobe for gents clothes (too short for dresses), a single wardrobe for hanging dresses (if you put up the shelf which you can) and a shelved wardrobe. There is also a bit of shelf space above the tea tray and safe.

 

Expect to be an early riser for tender ports as dropping the tender is noisy. Great early morning alarm call to get tender tickets.

 

The pads on the steamers get very wet so if they are dry, take them indoors overnight as the staff don’t. The coach at the window is great for watching the scenery if the weather is poor.

 

Please just ask if you have any other questions.

 

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6 minutes ago, Eglesbrech said:

@ann141 we have just been in a terrace cabin on Borealis. Lovely cruise with great food, service etc.

 

Couple of things you might like to know:

 

Our cabin was not visible from outside but many were very see through, no rhyme nor reason to which were and were not (we checked in daylight and dark).

 

There are lights on the promenade all night and the curtains don’t pull and stay together. Take clothes pegs or clips to keep them closed if you want it dark.

 

There  is much less storage space in the terrace cabins than the standard inside /outsides for some reasons (King sized bed perhaps). We always take hook magnets with us and on this occasion we really needed them as there was no room in the wardrobes for jackets and fleeces. There were 4 fixed wall hooks which we used for heavy jackets and we used the magnets for lighter items.

 

There are two 2 drawer cabinets next to the bed, a wardrobe for gents clothes (too short for dresses), a single wardrobe for hanging dresses (if you put up the shelf which you can) and a shelved wardrobe. There is also a bit of shelf space above the tea tray and safe.

 

Expect to be an early riser for tender ports as dropping the tender is noisy. Great early morning alarm call to get tender tickets.

 

The pads on the steamers get very wet so if they are dry, take them indoors overnight as the staff don’t. The coach at the window is great for watching the scenery if the weather is poor.

 

Please just ask if you have any other questions.

 

Thank you very much. Glad you had an enjoyable cruise 🙂

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4 hours ago, Eglesbrech said:

@ann141 we have just been in a terrace cabin on Borealis. Lovely cruise with great food, service etc.

 

Couple of things you might like to know:

 

Our cabin was not visible from outside but many were very see through, no rhyme nor reason to which were and were not (we checked in daylight and dark).

 

There are lights on the promenade all night and the curtains don’t pull and stay together. Take clothes pegs or clips to keep them closed if you want it dark.

 

There  is much less storage space in the terrace cabins than the standard inside /outsides for some reasons (King sized bed perhaps). We always take hook magnets with us and on this occasion we really needed them as there was no room in the wardrobes for jackets and fleeces. There were 4 fixed wall hooks which we used for heavy jackets and we used the magnets for lighter items.

 

There are two 2 drawer cabinets next to the bed, a wardrobe for gents clothes (too short for dresses), a single wardrobe for hanging dresses (if you put up the shelf which you can) and a shelved wardrobe. There is also a bit of shelf space above the tea tray and safe.

 

Expect to be an early riser for tender ports as dropping the tender is noisy. Great early morning alarm call to get tender tickets.

 

The pads on the steamers get very wet so if they are dry, take them indoors overnight as the staff don’t. The coach at the window is great for watching the scenery if the weather is poor.

 

Please just ask if you have any other questions.

 

Which cruise have you just returned from please?

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21 minutes ago, Eglesbrech said:

Ireland and the Isle of Mann

Thank you. We are on Borealis in Sep, Norwegian fjords. Considered a terrace cabin but had a few concerns, particularly about privacy. Seems we were right!

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Just now, Ruthmcp said:

Thank you. We are on Borealis in Sep, Norwegian fjords. Considered a terrace cabin but had a few concerns, particularly about privacy. Seems we were right!

We had no issues with our cabin and could happily sit and look out sitting on the couch which was next to the window and no one could see in. There were no issues through the day when the promenade was used the most. At night however I personally preferred to close the curtains (and carry a clip for hotels etc as curtains sometimes don’t close properly).

 

The other issue you might like to consider is that the terrace door does not stay open unless you wedge something in the way to keep it open for fresh air. At that point people can see right in. If you go out to sit on the steamers you are in full view same as you would be at the pool deck. 
 

You get a key card to open the door from the promenade.

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18 hours ago, Eglesbrech said:

@ann141 we have just been in a terrace cabin on Borealis. Lovely cruise with great food, service etc.

 

Couple of things you might like to know:

 

Our cabin was not visible from outside but many were very see through, no rhyme nor reason to which were and were not (we checked in daylight and dark).

 

There are lights on the promenade all night and the curtains don’t pull and stay together. Take clothes pegs or clips to keep them closed if you want it dark.

 

There  is much less storage space in the terrace cabins than the standard inside /outsides for some reasons (King sized bed perhaps). We always take hook magnets with us and on this occasion we really needed them as there was no room in the wardrobes for jackets and fleeces. There were 4 fixed wall hooks which we used for heavy jackets and we used the magnets for lighter items.

 

There are two 2 drawer cabinets next to the bed, a wardrobe for gents clothes (too short for dresses), a single wardrobe for hanging dresses (if you put up the shelf which you can) and a shelved wardrobe. There is also a bit of shelf space above the tea tray and safe.

 

Expect to be an early riser for tender ports as dropping the tender is noisy. Great early morning alarm call to get tender tickets.

 

The pads on the steamers get very wet so if they are dry, take them indoors overnight as the staff don’t. The coach at the window is great for watching the scenery if the weather is poor.

 

Please just ask if you have any other questions.

 

 

4 hours ago, Ruthmcp said:

We decided against the terrace cabin and booked a balcony, just knew from our only previous cruise, also to Norway, that we would want to be able to enjoy the scenery!

 

This is because these "terrace" cabins (known as ocean-view state rooms in the days of HAL)  

compete for space across the beam of the ship with three other cabins, two internal corridors and the promenades on either side of the ship...HAL used to advertise them as having up to 240 square feet of space. 

 

By comparison a cabin on the deck immediately below (known as an ocean view stateroom in the days of HAL) was advertised by HAL as up to 319 square feet... that's because the space taken up by the promenade on either side of the ship on the deck above allowed four cabins and two internal corridors in the same space. 

 

Incidentally... when HAL ran the ships the beds on deck below also converted to queen-sized. 

 

Holland America was always very honest about these cabins and explained that, "sliding glass doors lead on the walk-way around Lower Promenade Deck." FOCLs advertise the same cabins under the heading of "Balcony Cabins." As far as we understand, FOCLs is the only cruise-line that defines the public promenade with private chairs as a "balcony."

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15 hours ago, Eglesbrech said:

Ireland and the Isle of Mann

Glad you had a good time.  We had friends on this cruise and they were disappointed to miss the Isle of Man (due to the weather) as they used to live there and were going to meet friends while in port

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1 hour ago, July morning said:

Glad you had a good time.  We had friends on this cruise and they were disappointed to miss the Isle of Man (due to the weather) as they used to live there and were going to meet friends while in port

There were several groups planning to meet up with people there. Yes a real pity to miss it, particularly as the weather was actually one of the best days but apparently the forecast for lunch time was bad and the water too choppy. Might have got off but struggled to get back on again.

 

A lot of people up early for trips that never happened and not happy.
 

They put on entertainment and free cocktails under the magridome at lunchtime (which we avoided as very busy). An alternative port would have been better but at least it was a gesture for those who wanted to attend.
 

Speaking to someone who had lived on the island for 12 years apparently people seldom get in on tenders! That being the case I do think they should have had a contingency rather than another sea day but few cruise ships do nowadays.

 

At least we were lucky and got into Galway City, another tender. Lovely city with friendly people.

 

I really enjoyed seeing all the islands particularly on the West coast of Ireland as I have never been there before. As a sci-fi fan enjoyed the Skelligs.

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To be fair to FOCL, we were under no illusion about the terrace cabins from the description on their website. I have checked again just now and can't find anywhere that describes them as balcony cabins, but perhaps I am looking in the wrong place. Whatever, we were happy to pay the extra for private outdoor space on what may well prove to be our last foreign holiday of any kind. Just hope the Norwegian/Scottish weather is kind enough for us to take advantage of our balcony!

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1 hour ago, Ruthmcp said:

To be fair to FOCL, we were under no illusion about the terrace cabins from the description on their website. I have checked again just now and can't find anywhere that describes them as balcony cabins, but perhaps I am looking in the wrong place. Whatever, we were happy to pay the extra for private outdoor space on what may well prove to be our last foreign holiday of any kind. Just hope the Norwegian/Scottish weather is kind enough for us to take advantage of our balcony!

It is always sunny here 🌞 (between the rain, hail, snow and wind). Seriously though we have been lucky going north to get nice weather.

 

I’m sure you will have some amazing views. Enjoy!

 

 

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2 hours ago, Ruthmcp said:

To be fair to FOCL, we were under no illusion about the terrace cabins from the description on their website. I have checked again just now and can't find anywhere that describes them as balcony cabins, but perhaps I am looking in the wrong place. Whatever, we were happy to pay the extra for private outdoor space on what may well prove to be our last foreign holiday of any kind. Just hope the Norwegian/Scottish weather is kind enough for us to take advantage of our balcony!

 

According to FOCLs' deck plans... there are no "Balcony Cabins" on the Borealis. Only Olsen Suites, Premiere Suites, Balcony Suites and junior Balcony Suites have a private balconies.

 

However... anyone trying to book via the FOCL website  and who selects... "Balcony"  (described as "Balcony Cabins best for scenic views") so that they can, in FOCLs' words, "Take in the scenery and sea air from a private outdoor space in one of our Balcony cabins"... is then directed to...  "Terrace Cabins" where the "private outdoor space" is a couple of steamer chairs.

 

Anyone who wants a private balcony... has to pay about 20-30% more to have a junior suite... but on. a trip with the emphasis on uninterrupted scenic cruising in Lysefjord, Hardangerfjord and Sognrford... how great to be able to enjoy these sights from the comfort of a guaranteed "ringside seat" complete with breakfast or pre-dinner drinks and a few canapés on a private balcony.

 

What very much hope that the weather in the Fjords is kind to you as it often is in September and that you very much enjoy your suite on "Fred."  We've always done so in the past.

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On 8/6/2023 at 12:44 PM, twotravellersLondon said:

 

 

This is because these "terrace" cabins (known as ocean-view state rooms in the days of HAL)  

compete for space across the beam of the ship with three other cabins, two internal corridors and the promenades on either side of the ship...HAL used to advertise them as having up to 240 square feet of space. 

 

By comparison a cabin on the deck immediately below (known as an ocean view stateroom in the days of HAL) was advertised by HAL as up to 319 square feet... that's because the space taken up by the promenade on either side of the ship on the deck above allowed four cabins and two internal corridors in the same space. 

 

Incidentally... when HAL ran the ships the beds on deck below also converted to queen-sized. 

 

Holland America was always very honest about these cabins and explained that, "sliding glass doors lead on the walk-way around Lower Promenade Deck." FOCLs advertise the same cabins under the heading of "Balcony Cabins." As far as we understand, FOCLs is the only cruise-line that defines the public promenade with private chairs as a "balcony."

Latterly, the cabins with doors onto the Promenade were renamed "Lanai Staterooms" by HAL. Obviously a very American terminology.

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45 minutes ago, Britboys said:

Latterly, the cabins with doors onto the Promenade were renamed "Lanai Staterooms" by HAL. Obviously a very American terminology.

 

I knew they were called Lanai cabins, but seemed a strange word and I had never heard that word before.  Does it have a meaning in America? 

 

I know they call their balconies verandas, which is a word we would understand, though I would have thought of that as ground level, rather than overlooking whatever is below, like the word balcony.  American English can be very different to real English though of course.

 

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