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On board "MS Braemar"

I’m writing this on board Braemar, Fred. Olsen’s small cruise liner. We’re on a four-night mini cruise from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Southampton, via Honfleur & Guernsey. Here are some initial reactions.

Braemar is delightful. When we embarked it was hard at first to keep from chuckling; everything seemed perfectly formed but so small! Braemar is a small ship, of course, just under 20,000 tons, and she feels a lot smaller than more typical ships. However, she’s got everything you need: a restaurant, a buffet, several bars & lounges, a pool deck, a promenade. And her tiered open stern decsks are a feature that many much bigger ships don’t have.

Having now been on board for 24 hours, and enjoyed a sea day, I have to say that I’m enjoying this small ship experience very much. We went to a couple of quizzes this afternoon, and half the passengers seemed to be there. It was lots of fun – there was more participation and laughter than I remember with the often sparsely-attended similar activities on Galaxy. Another advantage of a small ship is that when you meet someone, you have a reasonable chance of running into them again.

What about the downsides of a small ship, lack of things to do, and ship’s motion? Well, so far the former hasn’t been an issue – we have enjoyed our day so far very much. Tonight is a formal dinner and a Captain’s cocktail party, so we’re looking forward to that. As regards the second point, this was something that I was expecting to be a concern. However, while I can certainly feel the ship moving, it hasn’t been too bad, even though it has been quite windy – force 6, I believe – so this has not been a voyage on a millpond. However our cabin is quite low down – deck 3 – and reasonably amidships, so movement while we’re sleeping is minimised anyway.

More some tome tomorrow, I hope, after our excursion to Bayeux, from Honfleur.

2 Responses to “On board "MS Braemar"”

  1. Malcolm Cruisetalk says:

    Tom, I’m glad you are enjoying the Fred Olsen ‘small ship’ experience. I have certainly done so, three times now. I’d recommend you try ‘Black Watch’ or ‘Boudicca’ later on. I still like big ships too – they have there advantages. In fact I like to alternate between big ship and small ship experiences.

    Personally I think it is a pity that Olsen will be stretching ‘Braemar’ and ‘Barmorel’. However, they will hardly become mega ships.

    How’s the food and service?


    (Are your ears burning? We have been talking about you in cruisetalk).

  2. winstoun says:

    Very nice this blog =)

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