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Fred Olsen’s Bolette – Balcony Suite Real Review and Photo Guide (I Spent 9 Days Onboard)

If you are taking a cruise on Fred Olsen’s Bolette, you may be wondering if a balcony suite cabin is a good option for you.

I’ve just disembarked a cruise onboard Bolette and I stayed in a balcony cabin on deck 6.

We stayed in Cabin 6146, and the review is based on this cabin

Below is a photo of our balcony suite cabin.

Cabin Design

The layout of the cabin was similar to many others I have stayed in.

One of the questions I have been asked most, was did the ship feel old-fashioned or outdated.

You can tell that the ship is from the year 2000 by the patterned carpets, the use of wood accents and muted colour scheme.

However, everything was very well looked after, with no scuffs or dirty marks anywhere.

Fred Olsen obviously takes ship and cabin maintenance very seriously!

This balcony cabin felt comfortable and very spacious, and we were very happy in there

Changing The Bed Configuration

Our cabin had a double bed, which was fine for us.

If you are sharing with a friend or family member and need twin beds, you can speak to your room steward and ask them to split the bed into two singles.

You can sometimes select twin beds when booking, but it isn’t uncommon for this message not to get through to the ship/ cabin steward.

fred olsen bolette balcony cabin bed on deck 6 cabin 6146

On some of Fred Olsen’s older ships, like the Balmoral, in some cabins, you can’t change the bed configuration. Some cabins have two single beds in an L-shaped bed layout

Check when you book that the cabin and bed configuration suits your needs!

On the majority of cruise lines and ships, beds are able to be configured as twins or double bed.

A notable exception to this is Disney Cruise Line. To find out more about my unusual cabin, watch the video below.

Disney Magic Cabin

Balcony Suite Cabin Size

The size of Bolette’s balcony suite cabins is larger than that of most cruise ship’s balcony cabins.

The majority of cruise ship balcony cabins measure roughly between 180 and 200 sq ft – our balcony suite cabin was 283 sq ft  – so a very good size!

To learn more about how the size of cabins compare across cabin grades, check out this post: How Big Are Cruise Ship Cabins? 27 Examples, All Cabin Types

Our cabin contained the following:

  • A double bed
  • Bedside cabinet with drawers on each side of the bed
  • A Desk
  • A Chair
  • A large Sofa
  • Drawers and Closet Space
  • TV
  • Phone
  • Lots of Mirrors
  • Bin/Trash Can
  • A kettle with tea and coffee-making facilities
  • Mini Bar/Fridge

This balcony cabin did feel bigger that lots of newer cruise ship balcony cabins that I have stayed in. The clever use of mirrors on each side of the room enhanced the feeling of light and space.

Our cabin was made up in the morning and turned down in the evening by the cabin steward. She even left a chocolate on our pillow in the evenings!

A paper daily schedule was delivered every day to our cabin. This told us what was going on, what time and where.

Fred Olsen does have an App that you can use onboard. The daily schedule was delivered to your cabin, and the App wasn’t promoted much onboard. You don’t need to buy the ship’s Wi-Fi package to use the App.

To find more details about cruise ship Apps, how to connect to them and what they can be used for, check out this article below:

You Don’t Need to Pay For Wi-Fi To Use a Cruise Line App – Here’s Why

There was plenty of room under the bed so we stored our suitcases there.

fred olsen bolette balcony cabin bed on deck 6 cabin 6146

Which Plug Sockets are There In the Balcony Cabins on Fred Olsen’s Bolette?

In Bolette’s balcony suite cabins, there are no plug sockets by the bed. This is not unusual on older-style ships.

There were plenty of plug sockets by the desk to plug in my phone and other bits and pieces. In total we had 1 UK socket, 1 EU Socket, 2 USBs and 1 extra USB in the table lamp.

Other cabin grades may have more, or fewer sockets.

If you are ever in doubt about which plug sockets a cruise ship has, check out this searchable table: Complete Cruise Ship Plug Socket Guide: Search by Ship.

On many modern cruise ships, you’ll find USB sockets by the beds, it would have been handy to have that – or at least a socket on each side of the bed. In 2000 when the ship was built, plug sockets were not such a big priority.

There was a kettle, with tea and coffee-making facilities in the cabin.

Like many British cruise lines, and cruise lines sailing out of Great Britain, there were tea and coffee-making facilities in the cabin. They obviously know how much the British appreciate being able to make a cup of tea.

The TV had lots of different channels for me to watch, and there was a good variety of movies and documentaries.

The TV pulled out from the wall, for comfortable bedtime viewing.

Was There Enough Storage?

There were plenty of shelves and hanging space in the balcony suite cabin.

There were also so many drawers! I counted nine big drawers and also other, smaller drawers dotted around the cabin. More than enough for my nine-day cruise – and far more than I am used to!

There were three separate hanging spaces in the wardrobe/closet. More than enough for the clothes I had packed.

This cabin had far more storage than you might find on bigger, more modern ships.

The Bathroom Had a Bath!

The bathroom was designed very well to make the most of the available space. It had a toilet, sink, and a bath with a shower over it.

It is very unusual to have an actual bathtub in a cruise ship cabin’s bathroom.

I would always prefer to have a bath, rather than a shower when I am at home.

There is nothing like a nice soak in the bathtub after a long day sightseeing involving lots of walking. Especially when it was so cold during our cruise. I did get quite seasick too and the bath seemed to help.

The bath itself wasn’t very big.

I couldn’t get my whole body under the water – either my legs were soaking and my top half was out of the water – or my top half was under the water and my legs were out!

The bath took a long time to fill, using the taps. It was quicker to put the plug in, and leave the shower head running in the bath to fill the bathtub up.

The bath itself was also a whirlpool bath. I only used it as a whirlpool once though, as it was very noisy and I didn’t want to disturb my cabin neighbours!

The bathroom itself seems to have been refurbished since the ship was originally built in 2000. The taps in the bath and sink looked very new.

The Bathroom

The Balcony

There was a very good-sized balcony.

It had two comfortable chairs with separate footrests. It also had a small side table – and an ashtray!

It didn’t feel overlooked and was quite sheltered. There aren’t rows and rows of balconies above you that can look down into yours when you enjoying your outside space.

Fred Olsen is one of the few cruise lines that allow you to smoke on your balcony.

Our Balcony

To find out which four cruise lines do allow smoking on balconies, check out the article below:

Cruise Line Balcony Smoking Policies – On These 4 Lines You Can

Suite Benefits

Because we were staying in what Fred Olsen refers to as a “Balcony Suite Cabin,” we had some extras included. Suite perks included:

Priority check-in
A welcome bottle of sparkling wine
Fruit basket (topped up on request throughout your cruise)
Flowers or plants in your Suite
Bathrobe and slippers
Luxury towels
Free pressing service for formal wear
Binoculars in your Suite
World atlas and country guide for your reference
Afternoon canapé service
Daily newsletter, featuring national and international news
Pair of compact umbrellas for use ashore
Laundry service discount vouchers
A carafe of water, replenished daily
Suite Extras
fred olsen bolette balcony cabin sofa and desk area deck 6 cabin 6146

Every evening at 5pm, we had canapés delivered to our room.

This was good because our dinner time was 8.30 pm each evening. That is far later than I would normally eat.

The canapes were normally two meat, two fish and two vegetarian options.

(If we had put do not disturb outside the door, they did not disturb us to bring in canapes!)

Some of the other suite perks – like the pressing of formal wear, I did not use.

Our Cabin was in the Middle of the ship,

The cabin was in a great location for us,

It was only two floors up to deck 8 to the buffet if we wanted something to eat.

All of the bars were on deck 5, just one deck below us.

This ship is quite small, so we never had to walk far on this cruise!

We had no problems at all in this cabin. We never heard noise from our neighbours or had any other noise issues from public areas onboard.

On deck 3, there is a promenade deck, so I could walk around and get some steps in. It is possible to walk all around the ship, and it has a traditional wooden deck with no steps.

Sometimes this promenade deck was slippery, as there is often lots of snow and ice in Norway during the winter months.

It didn’t stop people from getting out and using this promenade deck though. They hosted ‘walk a mile’ walks most days too at 8am but I always always asleep at that time.

Things I wasn’t so keen on…

The weather was quite rough when we cruised. Things in the cabin shook and vibrated noisily at times!

This was probably due to the seas rather than the ship itself. If you were cruising to somewhere warmer and the seas were calmer, I am sure it wouldn’t be a problem.

Would I Recommend This Cabin?

Yes, I would recommend this cabin if you are sailing on Fred Olsen’s Bolette. It was comfortable and had everything we needed.

It was in a good position on board, and was only a short walk to the buffet, bars and restaurants.

We sailed to Norway from Newcastle, and it was wonderful to have that balcony as the scenery was stunning.

We had a wonderful trip, and I really enjoyed my first experience on a Fred Olsen cruise!

I think this ship would be a good choice for those who had more limited mobility and couldn’t walk up many flights of steps to reach bars and restaurants. Everything we needed was just a short distance away.

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