Hi there, athough we haven't been on the Balmoral yet, we have cruised on each of Fred.Olsen's other ships.
As Paul said they are smaller & older than your average cruiseline, and attract an older clientelle. But they each have their charms, are far more friendly than many of the mega-liners, both with your fellow passengers and the crew who seem to have more time to allow them to socialise.
The food is very nice, and if you like fish and sea food, then being a Norwegian owned line, they are usually very good.
The entertainment on board is rather limitted by the space available, but we have occaisionally seen better shows, with far more effort put into them by the show troupe than on some of the large ships with bigger stages, and more professional dancers.
Every year when we are looking at vacations we always include the Olsen brochures, happy that they will provide a basic but good value for money break.
Have a great time on board.
Alan & Katrina
Next Cruise: P&O Adonia June 2014
Last Cruise: P&O Oriana Nov 2013
Golden, Grand(2), Caribbean, Sea(4+1 aborted)
Adonia(4+1), Arcadia, Artemis(2), Aurora(5), Azura, Oceana(3), Oriana(11), Ventura(2), Victoria(5)
QM2(2), QE2(9), QV(5), QE, Caronia(2), Minerva II, Fred.Olsen(8), NCL Jade, =X= Eclipse, HAL Ryndam