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JoJo1947
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We haven't sailed with Fred before and are considering a short cruise to Norway next month out of Southampton. We usually sail Saga and everything is done for you. As we no longer drive we will have to arrange our own transport. Not sure which dining time to chose. What time does the evening entertainment start? I'm a non drinker and my husband doesn't drink much so a drinks package seems no point. I will need port assistance. Do Fred arrange it or me? I'm sorry I've asked rather a lot of questions.

 

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1 hour ago, JoJo1947 said:

We haven't sailed with Fred before and are considering a short cruise to Norway next month out of Southampton. We usually sail Saga and everything is done for you. As we no longer drive we will have to arrange our own transport. Not sure which dining time to chose. What time does the evening entertainment start? I'm a non drinker and my husband doesn't drink much so a drinks package seems no point. I will need port assistance. Do Fred arrange it or me? I'm sorry I've asked rather a lot of questions.

 

 

We've not been with FOCLs for a little while but some things never change.

 

FOCls' entertainment is still stuck in the days that he was using extended ships where there just wasn't the capacity if the ship was full to seat everybody in the restaurants at the same time. So the ship is divided into two "populations"... first sitting and second sitting. First sitting usually eat at 6.15 pm and their show follows dinner. Second sitting eat at 8.30 pm and their show follows... about 10.30pm...  usually.

 

We used to do second sitting because... it was less busy, the staff were less rushed... we weren't late dinner because a tour was late and we didn't have to queue to get into the show. Another added bonus is that we could see the sail-a-ways and often watch the sunsets. It's a long time ago now but at the "Captains in Cadiz" most of the passengers were inside at dinner during the sensational sail-a-way. Downside... after the show the cruise director used to boast that here was entertainment on all around the ship... it was for 10 minutes and then the place was as quiet as the grave.

 

You won't be allowed to buy a drinks package for one person in a two berth cabin.... both have to pay the price even if one doesn't drink. The last time we used FOCLs we kept a tally of what we drank... sometimes a drink before dinner, most nights but not all a bottle of wine and some time s drink (often lemonade) watching the show... had we taken a drinks package we would have lost out.

 

FOCLs will offer very limited port assistance... https://www.fredolsencruises.com/legal/mobility-policy  You will be expected to get on and off the ship with minimal assistance.

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All cruise lines I have been on which offer fixed dining options fix show times to accommodate dining times. Two shows per night, usually starting two hours after dining starts.

 

Fred Olsen guests seem to think that is unique to Fred Olsen when is the most common solution, across most cruise lines, to accommodate all those who wish to see the show.

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I have mobility issues and use a manual wheelchair when there is a lot of walking involved. My DH is very good and pushes me. I also use an elbow crutch for support when walking shorter distances and while on board the ship.

We have sailed with many different cruise lines where I have requested assistance with embarking, disembarking and accessing a tender and have always received appropriate help. 

 

We have done several cruises with Fred Olsen where crew members have always been alert to my needs and have offered assistance without being asked. They have carried my wheelchair up and down the gangway without a quibble.

 

I have also been impressed by the help offered on board too. In the dining venues crew members offer to carry my plate (buffet) and the Maitre D changed our dining table to one near the entrance to the MDR so I don’t have to walk so far. I also had assistance to get an appropriate seat in the theatre where the shows are timed to accommodate the MDR sittings.

 

As for the drinks package, we just pay as we go as neither of us drink much so the package isn’t cost effective for us. 

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4 hours ago, Izzywiz said:

I have mobility issues and use a manual wheelchair when there is a lot of walking involved. My DH is very good and pushes me. I also use an elbow crutch for support when walking shorter distances and while on board the ship.

We have sailed with many different cruise lines where I have requested assistance with embarking, disembarking and accessing a tender and have always received appropriate help. 

 

We have done several cruises with Fred Olsen where crew members have always been alert to my needs and have offered assistance without being asked. They have carried my wheelchair up and down the gangway without a quibble.

 

I have also been impressed by the help offered on board too. In the dining venues crew members offer to carry my plate (buffet) and the Maitre D changed our dining table to one near the entrance to the MDR so I don’t have to walk so far. I also had assistance to get an appropriate seat in the theatre where the shows are timed to accommodate the MDR sittings.

 

As for the drinks package, we just pay as we go as neither of us drink much so the package isn’t cost effective for us. 

 

Neither of us have any disability, though we have noticed Fred's staff are particularly good with giving help to passengers if needed, and do remember times when wheelchairs were carried up and down gangways.  However, for a number of years now I have understood that wheelchairs are no longer carried and also that passengers must be able to get on and off a tender themselves, or will be required to stay on the ship at tender ports.  This is now a safety requirement and I think it is much the same for all cruise lines. 

 

Like other cruise lines, there is assistance at embarkation/disembarkation when wheelchair passengers are helped onto the ship, as their traveling companions cannot be expected to manage two lots of hand luggage as well as a wheelchair.  Not all regional ports have the same facilities as Southampton with airbridges though, so it is necessary to speak to Fred's staff as to whether it is possible to embark at any particular regional port.  I know in Liverpool, for instance, that disabled passengers are taken down to the landing stage in a mini bus, so they would not have to walk down/up, what can be a fairly steep ramp at low tide, (we have a really high tidal variation), but I am not sure if there will be totally level access to the ship from there.

 

So it is best to speak to Fred's staff regards any help needed before a cruise is booked, in fact as per the link given in a previous post, Fred, like other cruise lines, will need to be told if a wheelchair is needed or if mobility is badly restricted, due to maritime requirements.  I am sure if staff are around, they will give a bit of general help in the dining room room or theatre, but could not be expected to be around at all times.  There are always a number of easily accessible seats reserved for mobility impaired passengers in the theatre.

 

Edited by tring
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