Ellie’s first ocean ship experience | Miles Morgan Travel
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Ellie’s first ocean ship experience


I recently spent a day on Fred Olsen’s Bolette, in Southampton (my first ever cruise experience!). We drove from Cheltenham, and it only took us a couple of hours to get there. When we arrived, the ship had just returned from Spain, and they were preparing to sail to the Norwegian Fjords later that afternoon.


Once we had gone through security and got our visitor passes for the day, we went for pastries, tea/coffee, and prosecco in the Observatory lounge, where they had a pianist playing. Once everyone had arrived, we headed to the bridge and met the crew- they ran through how the cruise sails. We then visited each cabin grade, from inside cabins to suites. We began with the inside cabins, and then a few types of oceanview cabins. We saw the obstructed ocean view cabins, from fully obstructed, to only slightly. We were then shown the terrace cabins – they have double doors that open onto the promenade deck, each cabin has its own chairs outside. However, it is a shared area rather than a private balcony. We also saw the balcony cabins as well as the suites that had their own kitchens.


After the cabins, we were given a full tour of the rest of the ship. On board, there is a main and a buffet restaurant, as well as 2 speciality restaurants: Vasco and the Colours & Tastes. If you were to book these before you are on the cruise, it is £10 per person. If you are to book on board, it is £15 per person. There were a few shops on board, including a flower and jewellery shop.


On the top deck, there is an art studio, that provides art classes as well as being open for guests to visit while there are no classes on. On the decks below, there’s a card room and a lounge with books on each of the destinations they sail to, 2 swimming pools / Jacuzzis, with an outside bar next to them, a gym and a spa area that can be privately hired (spa treatments can be booked 13 weeks before you travel), as well as a hairdressers/nail salon. During the day, there are cooking shows in the auditorium with dishes from the country that you are in. This area can also be turned into a cinema. We finished our tour and went to the Bloomsbury restaurant for a 3-course meal.


We ended the day with a talk from the entertainment organiser in the Neptune Lounge - This lounge is where the shows are on in the evenings. Each show has two time slots, so everyone will be able to attend if they wish, regardless of their dining time. During the talk, they spoke about the company, focusing on their 3 ships, history and their upcoming cruises for 2024. They discussed their itineraries and how they take the most scenic routes rather than the quickest ones. With a guest capacity of under 1,400, they can sail further into the Fjords than the majority of other companies – if you are looking to see more while sailing, on a smaller ship, then this is the cruise for you!


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