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JoJo1947
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We decided to book a cruise on  Bolette  for next month going to Norwegian Fjords. I've been reading up about the ship.If we should need to use the laundry is there a charge and is washing powder included? Perhaps a daft question but our usual cruise line doesn't charge extra for this. Laundry. Are the prices reasonable? We've yet to book transport to port as we no longer drive. We are South West Bristol area so will be ringing around soon. When do you get to hear about disembarkation  times? Not sure about WiFi as yet as can use phone off the ship. Sorry about so many newbie questions. Any tips would be appreciated.

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The liquid detergent is included with the self service machines.  You need to press a button for that to be dispensed as part of the operation which is clearly explained.  On really longer cruises, I have bought an eco-friendly detergent suitable for delicates and popped that in the tub, instead of pushing the button if I want to wash any particularly delicate items, though I suspect Fred's detergent would have been fine as it would have to be eco-friendly - I have never had any problems with clothes washed, yet I cannot use any biological detergents at home.  The advantage of that system is that you do not have detergent drawers which have been totally clogged up with other people's powders and of course some of those could be biological ones - something I hate on some cruise lines.  The charge for a machine token was £2, but I have not been on board for a good number of months now.  Dryers and use of irons in the launderette were free.  I do not know about the laundry service which they provide.

 

Unless there has been a recent change, Fred sends out tickets by email exactly three weeks before the cruise departs and that includes a link to look up your embarkation time and that also shows the disembarkation time.  Of course there can always be changes to these for various reasons, but as you are not a new cruiser, you will be aware of that.  Embarkations and disembarkations are normally done in deck order, both top to bottom.  Fred does not start his embarkations particularly early, though can have you off the ship nippily, but not such a bad thing imo as you are bunked out of your cabin at 8am.  That means the cabin staff are allowed a decent time to do their onerous tasks on change over day and the cabins are ready as you embark.  Fred now has lunch available in the buffet on embarkation, which runs straight into afternoon tea with the usual spread, including some savory items, so you will not want for fodder.  

 

Like other ships wifi is pricey and not necessarily good.  I am not totally up to date on any prices and am well aware prices of drinks etc. have been going up, as on all lines.  When I last saw postings of Fred's prices at a similar time to postings of P&O prices, Fred was still a tad cheaper, so you hopefully will not get a big shock on that, certainly way cheaper than the US lines and no service charge added to drinks prices, like is commonly done on the US run lines, including Cunard.

 

Ask away if you have other questions, there are a number of people on here who have been on more recently than us.

 

Enjoy the cruise,

 

Barbara

 

 

Edited by tring
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4 hours ago, JoJo1947 said:

Not sure about WiFi as yet as can use phone off the ship. Sorry about so many newbie questions. Any tips would be appreciated.

 

Details of FOCLs' Wi-Fi changes are at https://www.fredolsencruises.com/faqs/on-board/is-there-wifi-on-board

 

Unlike onboard the Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Beyond, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Edge, celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Summit, Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter, Viking Venus Viking Mars Viking Neptune, Viking Saturn, Saga Spirit of Discovery, Saga Spirit of Adventure, Seven Seas Grandeur, Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Splendour, Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Navigator, Silver Cloud, Silver Dawn, Silver Endeavour, Silver Explorer, Silver Moon, Silver Muse, Silver Nova, Silver Origin, Silver Ray, Silver Shadow, Silver Spirit, Silver Whisper and Silver Wind or on-board ships from Crystal Cruises, Oceana, and Seabourn cruise-line... FOCLs charge for Wi-Fi.

 

FOCLs' charges are a couple of quid more expensive than... for instance P&O... but the difference in the cruise price between the two lines is enormous... for instance... P&O are currently offering 14 nights Christmas Cruises to the Canaries for £1,499 in a balcony cabin... by comparison FOCLs if offering much the same for £5,599.

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5 hours ago, JoJo1947 said:

Not sure about WiFi as yet as can use phone off the ship. Sorry about so many newbie questions. Any tips would be appreciated.

 

Should have said JoJo that up until e "Pause" we used to cruise with FOCLs for about a couple of months each yer and for a lot of the time I was a consultant and had to keep in contact with basely email two or three times a day during weekdays... the WI-FI wasn't good. Even sitting under the router in the observation bar early in the day it took ages to get connected (I mean 20 mins.)... and everything else was on that sort of time scale... I've seen WI-FI described as "glacial"... just three for four years ago it was often "geological' on FOCLs... like watching for the tectonic plates to move.

 

Virtually nobody ever used the WI-FI. At every port there would be folks in the terminal building catching up on things at home. It surely must be better now... one would think.

 

So it would be really good if someone who has actually used it recently could comment.

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3 hours ago, twotravellersLondon said:

 

Details of FOCLs' Wi-Fi changes are at https://www.fredolsencruises.com/faqs/on-board/is-there-wifi-on-board

 

Unlike onboard the Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Beyond, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Edge, celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Reflection, Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Summit, Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Orion, Viking Jupiter, Viking Venus Viking Mars Viking Neptune, Viking Saturn, Saga Spirit of Discovery, Saga Spirit of Adventure, Seven Seas Grandeur, Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Splendour, Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Navigator, Silver Cloud, Silver Dawn, Silver Endeavour, Silver Explorer, Silver Moon, Silver Muse, Silver Nova, Silver Origin, Silver Ray, Silver Shadow, Silver Spirit, Silver Whisper and Silver Wind or on-board ships from Crystal Cruises, Oceana, and Seabourn cruise-line... FOCLs charge for Wi-Fi.

 

FOCLs' charges are a couple of quid more expensive than... for instance P&O... but the difference in the cruise price between the two lines is enormous... for instance... P&O are currently offering 14 nights Christmas Cruises to the Canaries for £1,499 in a balcony cabin... by comparison FOCLs if offering much the same for £5,599.

I usually sail Saga hence all the questions but we are looking forward to Fred

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8 hours ago, twotravellersLondon said:

So it would be really good if someone who has actually used it recently could comment.

 

Not that recently, but used it last year on one of the ex HAL ships and it was working fine, but some parts of the ship better than others.  I decided I wanted to use it while I was sitting outside and found the very back of the rear deck was not so good, but did connect.  Going a bit further forward on that deck or onto the main midship pool deck worked fine - only problem was finding somewhere that I was not getting reflection on my phone screen.  DH used it on one of the main inside public decks, again on one of the ex Hal ships to fill in a quite complicated arrival certificates into somewhere, no idea where it was, (one of those covid requirement things), and he managed that absolutely fine on his tablet with no wifi issues at all.  I doubt the systems have changed since then.  We would have been somewhere around Europe, not been further than that with Fred in the last couple of years.  We prefer to have holidays rather than bother with wifi, so do not usually use it at all on any ship, must be a pain if needed for employment purposes.  In fact we now feel employment was a pain as well 🙂

 

Not sure what P&O ship you were quoting, in an earlier post on this thread, must be one of the bigger ones.  The Arcadia Christmas cruise is £4529 for the cheapest non saver fare balcony and that is at the very front or very back (so not for us).  Although Arcadia is not a lot bigger than Fred's bigger ships, things are going down a lot on her, we were on her last month.  The cruise was good though and we ate in the buffet or speciality restaurants a lot of nights to avoid chaos, but it was a great cruise with a lot of good ports and excellent weather.  We would always want a balcony on P&O though.  We were on Aurora for 28 nights in November and everything was great with her, service really good everywhere, so hoping she is still good as we are on her for 37 nights late Aug, through to early Oct, but in a standard balcony, instead of the deluxe balcony, (like we had in November), and which are akin to the size of Fred's cabins on his bigger ships, balconies through to insides.  Those standard balconies on Aurora are pretty small, but we will have to get organised, probably leaving some clothes in cases for a while as price was quite a bit more for the deluxe balcony on that one.  All makes for variety though.

 

 

 

Edited by tring
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15 hours ago, JoJo1947 said:

I usually sail Saga hence all the questions but we are looking forward to Fred

 

Prior to covid we completed somewhere between 25 and 30 cruises on Fred and more on a fair number on other lines.

 

From "Fred" we've so many happy memories of friendly staff, great experiences and of lovely cruising companions who were excited and exhilarated by travel.

 

We're now leaning increasingly towards SAGA but still take a very close interest in all things "Fred" and we do have very frequent feedback from long-time friends that we've met on "Fred" over the years who still do a cruise or two with FOCLs.

 

One friend that we went out to the theatre (Michael Ball in Aspects of Love in the West End) with just last night raised a whole coach-load of friends to join him on a trip to the Fjords on the Bolette just a couple of months ago but followed independent exploration itineraries that we'd mapped out for him in places like Bergen. His personal feelings (as a new cruiser) was "What's not to like?"

 

Southern Norway is Summer can be really enchanting (in all weathers) and there's a lot to look forward to.

 

We both hope that you really enjoy the Fjords experience.

Edited by twotravellersLondon
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