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I’ve just spotted a notification on the Fred Olsen Cruises site to the effect that Balmoral will be returning from her current cruise (L1502) a day early. The cruise was supposed to be for eight nights from 3 May, thus finishing on the morning of 11 May. However the notice on the website says this:-

Balmoral’s current Norwegian Fjords cruise – L1502, will be returning into Southampton, City Cruise Terminal, berth 101, late morning on Sunday 10th May. If you are collecting any guests we suggest you arrive at the cruise terminal from 12.30. Balmoral’s next sailing, Madeira & Azores – L1503, departing, Monday 11th May, will now depart from Southampton, City Cruise Terminal, berth 101. Please, where possible delay your arrival, we kindly request you do not arrive prior to 3pm. Check-in will close at 5.30pm

I haven’t been able to find out what the problem is that would cause the return a day early, but given that passengers on the next cruise are being asked to not check-in until after 3pm on 11 May, it looks as Balmoral is either having remedial work done, or having a Norovirus-inspired deep clean.

Does anyone know anything more?

13 Responses to “Fred Olsen Balmoral returning early to Southampton”

  1. Malcolm Oliver says:

    Deep cleaning can normally be fitted between cruises without a full day being required – but I might be wrong!

  2. skycolin says:

    Norovirus, 350 affected, I have clients onboard who called for an early collection.

  3. neil marwood says:

    stomach bug onboard

  4. Diane says:

    Norovirus on board-I have just come back on Balmoral from Norway They are doing a deep clean and have reimbursed us the cost of the missed day-cheque awaiting on return.Cruise destinations had to be changed as so many people were ill including some staff.People were ill from day 2 so someone must have had it when they went on -not a good experience as it spread rapidly

  5. Chris Hill says:

    Passengers and crew struck down by something rather virulent. Referred to as a “gastrointestinal illness” by the captain. I don’t know the scale of the infection but they took on extra medical staff during the cruise. We didn’t see the passengers in the cabins on either side of ours for most of the cruise. Hand hygiene appeared pretty lax and “optional” until the “code red” was declared at which point it became rather more serious. The vessel skipped the initial port of call (Stavanger) on the way up, to avoid the storms forecast to pass through the north sea. Once the decision to return early was made the final port of call (Olden) was replaced by a stop in Stavanger.

  6. Ali says:

    I was on this cruise , and two of my family members had the bug , it was just awful , my mum was confined to her cabin for 3 days and she is still not 100% now . It was a complete nightmare . I must say the poor staff were under so much pressure but managed to keep up a happy polite front . Never ever know so many people I’ll on a single cruise .

  7. Tricia says:

    Complete nightmare. And at no time did any member of staff say sorry. Not for the outbreak but for the knock on effect in just about every other aspect of the cruise. Not one person.

    • Rhiannon says:

      As it was probably a passenger that brought it on, why should the staff apologise to you? It’s more than likely been really difficult for them throughout the cruise too.

  8. ellen says:

    I was on the Balmoral for Norwegian trip. Total disaster from every aspect. Total lack of information. No apparent concern for passengers welfare from senior crew, (the word sorry never mentioned. We reported D and V from our cabin, and it was more than 14hrs before med staff even phoned, At one point my hubby and I were both isolated, we had nothing to drink in cabin, so asked room service for water, also reception, room waiters and even med centre, water came 16hrs later, by then both of us dehydrated++( didn’t fancy drinking ships water!!!!) The list is endless. yours, a retired nurse

  9. I’m bit surprised just got off after the 120 night Far East cruise with the opinion that Fred olsens hygiene could be a lot better in many areas !!!!!!!!

  10. Sorry that should say not surprised

  11. We had this bug on board before we arrived back in Soithampton

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