Fred. Olsen Balmoral Review

Welcome aboard the Fred. Olsen Balmoral. With a capacity for just over 1,300 guests, the MS Balmoral offers a more intimate and sociable environment, allowing passengers to forge meaningful connections and friendships throughout their voyage. This smaller size also enables the ship to access a wider range of ports and destinations, offering travelers the opportunity to explore lesser-known gems and hidden treasures. The MS Balmoral is renowned for its timeless and refined design, evoking a sense of classic luxury and sophistication. From the moment guests step on board, they are enveloped in an ambiance of elegance and grace, with tasteful décor and attention to detail evident in every corner of the ship. From the grand atrium to the staterooms and public spaces, the MS Balmoral exudes an air of understated opulence that harks back to a bygone era of ocean travel. Culinary excellence is a hallmark of the MS Balmoral, with a diverse array of dining venues and options to suit every palate. Guests can savor exquisite cuisine in the ship’s elegant restaurants, where a team of talented chefs crafts delectable dishes using the finest ingredients. From gourmet multi-course meals to casual al fresco dining, the MS Balmoral offers a culinary journey that delights and satisfies even the most discerning of tastes. The ship’s entertainment and enrichment programs are another standout feature, offering a wealth of activities and experiences to engage and inspire guests. From captivating live performances and musical acts to informative lectures and workshops, there is always something to pique the interest of every traveler. Whether seeking relaxation or stimulation, guests can partake in a wide range of options designed to enrich their time on board.

Find special deals and reserve today on the MS Balmoral by Clicking Here.

In a Nutshell…

  • Overview:
    • Tonnage (GT): 43,537
    • Length: 218.91 meters
    • Width: 32.3 meters
    • Height: 44.1 meters
    • Passengers (standard occupancy): 1,325
    • Cabins: 710
    • Crew: 537
  • Facilities:
    • Restaurants: Balmoral boasts six beautiful restaurants, including the BallindallochSpey, and Avon restaurants.
    • Bars and Lounges: Seven bars and lounges provide delightful spaces for relaxation.
    • Pools: Two pools for refreshing dips.
    • Decks: Wide open decks perfect for scenic cruising.
  • Unique Features:
    • Scenic Cruising: Balmoral’s smaller size allows her to venture off the beaten track, exploring less-visited ports and waterways.
    • Historical Nod: Her crest replicates the British royal family’s Scottish residence, Balmoral Castle, reflecting Fred. Olsen’s historic links with Scotland.
  • Dining:
    • Ballindalloch Restaurant: Enjoy expertly prepared dishes, including mouthwatering steaks, seafood, and freshly baked bread.
    • Spey & Avon Restaurants: These restaurants offer spectacular views and the same delicious five-course á la carte menus as the Ballindalloch.
    • Palms Café: A light and airy buffet-style dining experience for more informal meals.
  • Find special deals and reserve today on the MS Balmoral by Clicking Here.

Entertainment onboard the MS Balmoral

Entertainment aboard the Fred. Olsen MS Balmoral cruise ship offers an extensive range of activities to ensure guests have an enjoyable experience throughout their journey. From live music performances to engaging games and shows, there’s something for everyone to enjoy while sailing the seas.

Live music is a standout feature of the entertainment lineup on the MS Balmoral. Talented musicians entertain guests with a variety of genres, from soothing jazz tunes in the lounges to lively cover bands in the bars. Whether you prefer classic hits or contemporary melodies, there’s music to suit every taste.

The onboard entertainment team also hosts interactive activities and games to keep guests engaged during the day. From trivia quizzes and bingo sessions to dance classes and poolside competitions, there’s always something fun happening onboard.

Evenings aboard the MS Balmoral are filled with captivating live shows and performances. The ship’s theater hosts Broadway-style productions, cabaret acts, and comedy shows, providing guests with memorable entertainment experiences.

For those seeking a more relaxed evening, the ship’s bars and lounges offer a cozy ambiance where guests can enjoy a drink while listening to live music or participating in karaoke sessions. Find special deals and reserve today on the MS Balmoral by Clicking Here.

  1. Live Music and Cabaret Shows:
    • Head to the Neptune Bar, the main lounge, for fantastic live music, cabaret performances, and a full range of your favorite tipples.
  2. Lido Bar:
    • Overlooking the pool, the Lido Bar provides a relaxing spot to enjoy drinks while taking in the views.
  3. Marquee Bar:
    • With an extensive gin menu, the Marquee Bar is a great place to unwind and socialize.
  4. Morning Light Pub:
    • Open day and evening, this cozy pub offers a warm atmosphere for drinks and conversation.
  5. Dance Demonstrations and Classes:
    • Join the Entertainment Team for popular dance demonstrations.
    • Take dance classes with our dedicated dance hosts in the Oceans Bar.
  6. Resident Orchestra:
    • Enjoy the musical talents of the resident orchestra, which performs on every ship.
  7. Art and Craft Studio:
    • Explore the Olsen Studio, a purpose-built space equipped with easels, paints, and art materials.
    • Participate in art sessions and lessons, learning new skills or crafts.
  8. Learning Experiences:
    • Try something new during your days at sea:
      • Learn to play the ukulele.
      • Take dance lessons.
      • Sing in a choir with fellow guests.
  9. Culinary Adventures:
    • Meet our chefs and learn to cook local dishes in Kitchen Creation sessions.
    • Taste local cheeses and wines from the destinations you’re visiting.
  10. Relaxation and Wellness:
    • Enjoy a massage from one of our Beauty Therapists.
    • Book time in the exclusive Thermal Suite for an extra treat.
    • Start your day with an early morning Yoga class.
    • Take in sea views while working out at the front of the ship.
    • Swim under the retractable roof (available on Bolette and Borealis).
  11. Deck and Pool Area:
    • Take time out to relax around the spacious deck and pool area.

Remember, the Daily Times delivered to your cabin each evening will provide detailed information about the activities and events available on the following day.

Cabins and Room Comfort on the MS Balmoral

The staterooms and cabins aboard the Fred. Olsen MS Balmoral cruise ship are designed to provide guests with a comfortable and inviting retreat during their voyage. Offering a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets, the ship ensures that every guest enjoys a relaxing and enjoyable stay.

The cabins on the MS Balmoral are thoughtfully appointed with modern amenities and tasteful décor. Each cabin features comfortable bedding, ample storage space, and a private bathroom equipped with all the essentials. Whether guests opt for an inside cabin, oceanview cabin, or suite, they can expect a cozy and well-appointed space to call their own.

For guests seeking a touch of luxury, the ship offers a selection of spacious suites with additional amenities such as separate living areas, private balconies, and upgraded furnishings. These suites provide the perfect setting for guests to unwind and enjoy the stunning views of the ocean.

One of the standout features of the staterooms and cabins on the MS Balmoral is the attention to detail. From plush linens and soft towels to thoughtful touches like complimentary toiletries and bathrobes, every aspect of the accommodations is designed to enhance the guest experience.

In addition to the comfortable interiors, guests also have access to a range of onboard facilities and amenities to make their stay even more enjoyable. From dining options and entertainment venues to fitness centers and spa facilities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on the MS Balmoral. Find special deals and reserve today on the MS Balmoral by Clicking Here.

  1. Interior Staterooms:
    • These cozy cabins are perfect for those who prefer an interior setting.
    • Single Interior Rooms: Located on decks 3 and 6, these are the smallest cabins at 130 square feet.
    • Single Superior Interiors and other interior staterooms measure 160 square feet and are spread across decks 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9.
  2. Oceanview Staterooms:
    • These cabins offer views of the sea:
      • Single Ocean View: Located on decks 3, 4, 5, and 8, these cabins are 140 square feet.
      • Single Superior Ocean View: Slightly larger at 160 square feet.
      • Double Occupancy Staterooms: Ranging from 165 to 200 square feet, these cabins are available in four different categories across decks 3, 4, 5, and 8.
  3. Balcony Staterooms:
    • Enjoy fresh air and scenic views:
      • Balcony Rooms: These measure 180 square feet and are located on decks 8 and 9.
      • Superior Balcony Rooms: Slightly larger at 190 square feet and found on Deck 9.
      • Some balconies are shaded due to decks above, so sun lovers should check before booking.
  4. Suite Staterooms:
    • For a touch of luxury:
      • Premier Suites: Equipped with sitting rooms, separate bedrooms, private balconies, and additional entertainment areas.
      • Marquee Suites: Similar amenities as Premier Suites.
      • Superior Suites: Also feature sitting rooms, separate bedrooms, and private balconies.
      • Balcony Junior Suites: Bedroom with a separate sitting area and private balcony.
      • Single Balcony Suites: Available for solo travelers.

Service and Hospitality

The staff and crew on the MS Balmoral are dedicated to providing top-notch service, attending to the needs of guests with professionalism and attentiveness. Whether it’s the friendly cabin stewards who ensure that each cabin is kept clean and comfortable or the knowledgeable concierge team who are on hand to assist with any inquiries or requests, guests can always expect to receive the highest level of service.

One of the standout features of the service on the MS Balmoral is the personalized attention that each guest receives. From remembering guests’ preferences to anticipating their needs before they even ask, the staff go above and beyond to ensure that every guest feels valued and well taken care of.

In addition to the attentive service, the hospitality aboard the MS Balmoral is also second to none. From the moment guests step aboard, they are made to feel like part of the Fred. Olsen family, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere that pervades throughout the ship.

Food and dining Experience on the MS Balmoral

The culinary experience aboard the Fred. Olsen MS Balmoral cruise ship is a delightful journey for the taste buds, offering a variety of delectable dishes and dining options to suit every palate. From casual buffets to elegant fine dining, guests are treated to a culinary adventure that showcases both local flavors and international cuisine.

Whether guests are in the mood for a casual meal at the buffet restaurant or a more formal dining experience at one of the specialty restaurants, there is something to satisfy every craving.

The main dining room aboard the MS Balmoral offers a diverse menu featuring a mix of traditional favorites and innovative creations, prepared by talented chefs using the freshest ingredients. Guests can enjoy a leisurely meal with friends and family in a relaxed atmosphere, while attentive waitstaff ensure that every need is taken care of.

For those seeking a more intimate dining experience, the ship also boasts several specialty restaurants where guests can indulge in gourmet cuisine paired with fine wines. From succulent steaks to fresh seafood, each dish is expertly crafted to tantalize the taste buds and elevate the dining experience.

In addition to the main dining venues, the MS Balmoral also offers a range of casual dining options, including cafes and snack bars, where guests can grab a quick bite to eat or enjoy a leisurely meal al fresco.

The culinary experience aboard the MS Balmoral is not just about the food – it’s also about the ambiance. Guests can dine in elegant surroundings with stunning ocean views, creating a memorable dining experience that is as much about the atmosphere as it is about the cuisine.

  1. Main Restaurants:
    • Ballindalloch Restaurant: This elegant dining venue offers a five-course à la carte menu that changes daily. Expertly prepared dishes are served by attentive and friendly waiting teams.
    • Bloomsbury & Terrace Restaurants: These beautifully decorated main restaurants feature outstanding food created by talented chefs. You can enjoy fresh ingredients and even sample regional treats sourced from local ingredients.
  2. Specialty Asian Dining:
    • Vasco and Colours and Tastes: These signature restaurants on the Balmoral offer specialty Asian dining experiences. Explore unique flavors and savor delicious dishes in a distinct setting.
  3. Informal Buffet Restaurants:
    • Palms Café: The buffet restaurant on the Balmoral provides a feast of delicious dishes for every meal. From salads and stir-fries to destination-inspired meals, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss the complimentary afternoon tea with warm scones, sandwiches, and delectable cakes, all freshly baked onboard.
  4. Poolside Light Bites:
    • On the Bolette and Borealis, you can enjoy a menu of light bites at the poolside during the day. Perfect for a quick snack while soaking up the sun.

Destinations and Itineraries of the MS Balmoral

This charming cruise ship, known for its intimate size and personalized service, embarks on captivating journeys across the globe. Here’s a glimpse of where the Balmoral usually sails:

  1. Northern Lights Exploration:
    • One of Balmoral’s signature itineraries is the quest for the mesmerizing Northern Lights. Departing from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, this 9-day round-trip voyage takes you to the heart of the Arctic Circle. Find special deals and reserve today on the MS Balmoral by Clicking Here.
    • Ports of call include Bodo and Narvik in Norway, and the vibrant city of Tromso.
    • The ship glides through icy fjords, offering breathtaking views of snow-capped landscapes and the elusive auroras dancing in the night sky.
  2. Scandinavian Easter City Break:
    • For a shorter getaway, consider the 5-day round-trip cruise exploring the Norwegian Fjords. Departing from Newcastle, this voyage takes you to scenic wonders like cascading waterfalls and dramatic cliffs.
    • Revel in the charm of Norwegian towns and immerse yourself in Viking history.
  3. Springtime Canary Islands and Portugal:
    • Balmoral also ventures south to the Canary Islands and Portugal. This 15-day round-trip cruise from Newcastle upon Tyne promises sunny days, volcanic landscapes, and vibrant markets.
    • Explore the historic streets of Lisbon, savor local delicacies, and soak up the sun on pristine beaches.
  4. Natural Wonders of Iceland:
    • Iceland beckons with its geysers, glaciers, and geothermal pools. Departing from Newcastle, this 9-day round-trip voyage takes you to the land of fire and ice.
    • Discover the otherworldly landscapes of ReykjavikAkureyri, and more.
  5. Rugged Remote Spitsbergen with the Midnight Sun:
    • Embark on a 14-day round-trip adventure to Spitsbergen, where the sun never sets during summer. Witness polar bears, Arctic foxes, and glaciers.
    • Depart from Newcastle upon Tyne and experience the magic of the midnight sun.
  6. River Cities of France and Portugal:
    • Explore the charming river cities along the French and Portuguese coasts. This 15-day round-trip cruise from Newcastle upon Tyne offers a delightful blend of culture, cuisine, and history.
    • From Bordeaux to Porto, savor fine wines and stroll through picturesque streets.
  7. South America Circumnavigation:
    • Balmoral’s grand voyage circumnavigates South America, visiting new destinations like PeruUruguayChile, and even the Antarctic for the first time in Fred Olsen’s history.
    • This epic journey unfolds over several weeks, allowing you to immerse yourself in diverse cultures and breathtaking landscapes.

In summary, the Fred. Olsen MS Balmoral sails to a rich tapestry of destinations, from the icy Arctic to the sun-kissed Canary Islands. Whether you seek natural wonders, cultural experiences, or simply the joy of cruising, the Balmoral promises unforgettable adventures on the high seas!

Finding Deals and Promotions for the MS Balmoral

One of the best ways to find deals on the MS Balmoral is to keep an eye out for early booking discounts. Find special deals and reserve today on the MS Balmoral by Clicking Here. By booking your cruise well in advance, you can take advantage of special early bird offers and secure the best rates on your voyage. Additionally, the cruise line often runs limited-time promotions and sales, offering discounted fares or onboard credit to entice travelers to book their dream vacation.

Another way to save on your cruise is by taking advantage of package deals and promotions. Many cruise lines offer bundled packages that include accommodations, meals, and onboard amenities at a discounted rate, allowing you to enjoy additional savings while onboard.

For those who are flexible with their travel dates, last-minute deals can also offer significant savings on cruises aboard the MS Balmoral. By keeping an eye on the cruise line’s website or signing up for email alerts, you can stay informed about any last-minute promotions or discounted fares that may become available.

Finally, loyalty programs and membership clubs can also provide access to exclusive deals and promotions for frequent cruisers. By joining the cruise line’s loyalty program, you can earn points for every cruise you take, which can be redeemed for discounts, onboard credit, or even free cruises in the future.

Fellow Passengers & social life

Onboard the Fred. Olsen MS Balmoral cruise ship, the fellow passengers and social life create an atmosphere of camaraderie and friendship that adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the cruising experience. With a focus on creating a warm and welcoming environment, passengers of all ages and backgrounds come together to share in the excitement of exploration and relaxation.

One of the highlights of the social scene onboard the MS Balmoral is the opportunity to meet and connect with fellow travelers from around the world. Whether you’re enjoying a drink at one of the ship’s bars, participating in a group activity, or simply relaxing by the pool, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to strike up a conversation and make new friends.

Throughout the cruise, a variety of social events and activities are organized to encourage interaction among passengers. From themed parties and trivia nights to dance classes and cooking demonstrations, there’s always something fun happening onboard to bring people together.

For those seeking a more laid-back social experience, the MS Balmoral offers plenty of quiet spaces where passengers can relax and unwind in peace. Whether you prefer to curl up with a book in the ship’s library, enjoy a leisurely stroll around the deck, or simply take in the stunning ocean views from your cabin balcony, there are plenty of ways to enjoy some downtime away from the crowds.


In conclusion, the Fred. Olsen MS Balmoral cruise ship offers a delightful blend of comfort, entertainment, and social experiences that make it a fantastic choice for travelers seeking a memorable vacation at sea. With its cozy staterooms, diverse dining options, and engaging entertainment, the ship provides a welcoming and enjoyable environment for passengers of all ages.

One of the standout features of the MS Balmoral is its commitment to fostering a sense of community among passengers, with numerous opportunities for social interaction and camaraderie. Whether enjoying a cocktail at one of the ship’s bars, participating in a lively trivia night, or simply relaxing by the pool, guests are sure to make lasting connections with fellow travelers.

Overall, the MS Balmoral offers a perfect balance of relaxation and excitement, making it an ideal choice for those looking to unwind and explore in equal measure. With its friendly atmosphere and array of amenities, this cruise ship provides a memorable and enjoyable experience for all who come aboard. Find special deals and reserve today on the MS Balmoral by Clicking Here.

  1. Nautical Nostalgia:
    • The Balmoral wears its age like a well-loved captain’s hat. Launched in 1988 as the Crown Odyssey, it exudes that timeless elegance—like a sepia-toned postcard from the golden era of cruising.
    • The recent refurbishment in December 2017 sprinkled stardust across its decks. Cabins got a makeover, complete with smart TVs and fridges. And oh, the gelato bar—a sweet addition that beckons like a siren’s song.
  2. Brits Ahoy!:
    • The Balmoral caters mainly to Brits, creating a cozy, home-away-from-home vibe. Imagine sipping Earl Grey tea while gazing out at the rolling waves. Properly British, indeed!
    • Solo travelers get a warm embrace here. Solo cabins abound, and social gatherings ensure no one feels adrift.
  3. A Symphony of Flavors:
    • Food, my dear shipmates, is a symphony. From hearty British fare to global delights, the Balmoral’s culinary compass points in all directions.
    • The Grill specialty restaurant—now in its own swanky venue—serves up gastronomic treasures. And yes, the bar prices won’t make your wallet walk the plank.
  4. Entertainment & Exploration:
    • Hush! The ship’s announcements tiptoe, respecting the peace-seeking souls aboard. Lectures, sing-a-longs, and karaoke fill the days, while shore tours offer adventure aplenty.
    • Active options? You bet! Climb mountains, explore cobbled streets, or simply sway to the rhythm of the waves.
  5. The Balmoral Way:
    • This ship dances between ex-U.K. sailings (Southampton, Newcastle, Rosyth) and fly-cruises. From one-night tasters to epic South American voyages, it unfurls its sails wide.
    • Yes, there are old-style fixed dinner times, but hey, tradition has its charms.

– Reviewed by Contributing Author Silvester Thomson

Pin to Pinterest

Enjoyed this guide? Help others find it too! Share the following Pinterest pin to your Pinterest account, by simply clicking on the top left corner. And Remember: Sharing is Caring !

Fred. Olsen MS Balmoral Cruise Review - cruise review, cruise ships, cruise holiday, cruise bookings, cruise itinerary, cruise deals, cruise packages, all inclusive cruise

N.B. – The information on this review has been compiled by contributing author and Cruise Expert Silvester Thomson for and is provided “as is” for the convenience of online readers. The Sources come from personal opinions, online research on official and unofficial websites, and in some cases with the help of AI generated content. It should not be taken as fact, as it can be mistaken or altered by future ship modifications from the cruise line done after review. does not and cannot verify all information and should not be taken as granted fact. All readers must take measures to find reliable facts by their travel agent or from the official page of the cruise line to verify any doubts.

* Some links posted in this article may represent an advertisement that provides a small compensation to the website owner