BALMORAL Blog

As MaritimeMatters continues to update prior blogs by enlarging photos to fit the new format, we stumbled across this early Sea Trek from Peter Knego from aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s MV BALMORAL, the former CROWN ODYSSEY/NORWEGIAN CROWN, originally posted in March of 2008.


Anthony Cooke’s Fred. Olsen opus, “The Fred. Olsen Line And It’s Passenger Ships” — delightful and painstakingly well-researched reading for every passenger ship enthusiast!

All text and photographs copyright Peter Knego 2008.

Keep up to date with MaritimeMatters’ Peter Knego on Twitter by clicking here

CROWN ODYSSEY arrives at Los Angeles during a rare storm on January 4, 1995.

Brief BALMORAL History:

Unlike today, the 1980s were a comparatively quiet time for newbuilds in the cruise industry. Just prior to the cruising boon at the end of that decade, a handful of mid-sized vessels were introduced, including Princess Cruises’ ROYAL PRINCESS, Sitmar’s FAIRSKY, Hapag Lloyd’s EUROPA, Home Line’s ATLANTIC and HOMERIC, Scandinavian World Cruises’ SCANDINAVIA, Carnival’s TROPICALE, HOLIDAY, JUBILEE and CELEBRATION, HAL’s NIEUW AMSTERDAM and NOORDAM, and RCCL’s SONG OF AMERICA. Each of these vessels were unique entities (or had only one twin sister) and made a huge impact on the growing marketplace. One of the highest-rated companies of the day, Greek-owned Royal Cruise Line, contributed one of the finest ships of the era, the 32,242 gt MV CROWN ODYSSEY, which debuted in 1988.

The CROWN ODYSSEY's builder's plate.

With a length of 616 feet and a beam of 92.5 feet, she was built by the Papenburg, Germany-based Jos. L. Meyer Shipyard, hull number 616. She carried 1,209 passengers and 443 crew and was fitted with two 8 cylinder and two 6 cylinder MaK diesels to drive twin screws at a maximum speed of 22 knots. Her engines were the first “father and son” diesels installed in a cruise ship, enabling her to operate efficiently in any circumstance, unlike typical diesels which tend can be over-stressed after long periods of slow speed.


A precursor to today’s towering atria, the CROWN ODYSSEY was designed with an impressive, two deck lobby.

Seven Continents Restaurant, facing forward.
Indoor pool and spa area.

The CROWN ODYSSEY was known for her vibrant decor, which utilized a great deal of reflective surfaces and Tiffany-inspired stained glass, courtesy of Frosso and John Terzoglou and AMK (Agnes and Michael Katzourakis), a well-known Greek design company that also furnished the interiors of RCL’s GOLDEN ODYSSEY of 1975 and the redesign of RCL’s ROYAL ODYSSEY (ex SHALOM). Commissioned just before the “verandah vogue”, the CROWN ODYSSEY had a pleasing profile with well balanced lines, raked and streamlined mast and funnel and banks of picture windows and glass panels.

NORWEGIAN CROWN in her first NCL incarnation at Fort Lauderdale on December 21, 1996..

Royal Cruise Line was purchased by Kloster Group in 1990 and continued as a separate subsidy from the company’s NCL division until 1996, when it was shut down and its ships were transferred into the NCL fleet or sold to other operators. The CROWN ODYSSEY was renamed NORWEGIAN CROWN and deployed in mainly U.S.-based cruise service.

CROWN ODYSSEY in Orient Lines livery at Rhodes on September 29, 2001.

When Kloster purchased Orient Lines in 2000, the NORWEGIAN CROWN joined the global cruiser MARCO POLO under their banner, reclaiming her old name, CROWN ODYSSEY. She looked particularly handsome in Orient Lines’ blue-hulled livery but the incarnation was brief. In 2003, Orient Lines was reduced to just one ship again when the CROWN ODYSSEY was returned to NCL and renamed NORWEGIAN CROWN. This time, a number of alterations were made, including the extension of her forward superstructure above the bridge and the conversion of her cinema and indoor spa area to cabins.

In 2006, NORWEGIAN CROWN was sold to Fred. Olsen but chartered back to NCL to fulfill her 2007 season of cruises. Upon delivery, Fred. Olsen sent the ship to Hamburg’s Blohm and Voss yard for a stem-to-stern makeover and also added a 99 foot midsection that further augments the ship with more suites, a second pool, and
additional restaurants.

Cabins 744
Passengers 1340 (Standard Occupancy)
Crew 471
Tonnage 43,537 grt
Length 218.18 m
Beam (width) 28.2 m
Speed 20.0 knots

Fred. Olsen Cruises

The Cruise Critic BALMORAL Q&A; Blog
by Carolyn Spencer Brown

BALMORAL on Smarter Cruising blog
by Clark Norton

BALMORAL on Travel Maven blog
by David G. Molyneaux

Ocean Liner Fittings, Furniture and Art For Sale at MidShipCentury.com

Thursday, March 6, 2008:

Carpet putting on Deck 7.

The carpet putters have just wound up their latest tournament in the vestibule aft of where I am seated. Someone’s precise putts won a token prize from the attending hostess. Meanwhile, the gentleman on the settee across from me is dozing with open novel in his lap as the ship pitches steadily in the windy Caribbean somewhere between Grand Turk and St. Barts. I hear portions of conversation from passersby making their way along the gold and peach tartan carpet. One lady with gravelly voice and perfect diction, winks and smiles, not skipping a beat as she gesticulates with oversized black and white sunglasses to her friend. She is actress Juliette Kaplan, a guest speaker onboard. Unfortunately, I missed her talk, “Confessions Of A Wino”, which I understand was cheeky fun.

Blogging from Braemar Lounge.

I am in the handsome Braemar Lounge of Fred. Olsen’s BALMORAL. The space, itself, is alluring, with a wide passageway and alcoves of seating on either side. Large picture windows look beyond the starboard promenade and into the choppy, breathtaking blue. On either side of the carpeted walkway, the decking is lined in a simulated teak that meshes nicely with the dark walnut tables, copper and gold chairs and settees. Colorful gilt-framed paintings from the Olsen family’s private collection grace the cherry veneered bulkheads.

The snoozing gentleman has startled himself awake, looking to see if anyone noticed his momentary nod-off, before resuming his novel. I’m ready for another cappuccino, but daren’t miss the Grand Tea in the Neptune Lounge…

This leg of my journey began Monday on a bright, sunny afternoon…

Monday, March 3, 2008

A line up of mid-sized RCCL and Carnival ships filled the berths on the north side of Dodge Island. At the south terminus lay the BALMORAL, which looked most appealing with Fred. Olsen’s smart red and black funnel. The recently acquired and lengthened (now 43,537 gt) vessel was visiting Miami for the first time, embarking on a series of U.S.-based Caribbean cruises.

BALMORAL welcome!

Check-in was easy and smooth, taking no more than ten minutes to reach the gangway.

Cabin 5178, facing port.

Once on board, a stewardess led me to stateroom 5178 on port Atlantic (5) Deck. With an approximate square footage of 165, the cabin features a large picture window, twin beds, four closets, a desk, cabinet and flat screen television.

Fully stocked tea tray, cabin 5178.
Fred. Olsen toiletry kit.

In addition to the generous storage space, a fully-stocked tea tray with kettle and selection of teas as well as two lace-wrapped toiletry kits (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, vanity kit, shower cap and shower gel) are nice touches.

There was a little time to wander and take stock of the changes made to this ship since I last visited her in 2002 as Orient Lines’ CROWN ODYSSEY. Originally, she was a bit glitzy for my personal taste with too many metallic surfaces and vivid color schemes. However, I did appreciate the consistency of her decor and its period cohesiveness, the ship’s relatively intimate size, uniqueness, and the well-traveled clientele she attracted in her Royal and Orient heydays.

Facing aft along Deck 7 shopping arcade and upper foyer toward the Braemar Lounge..
BALMORAL Lobby, facing port from Deck 6.
Pomodoro's bronze globe.
Aft stairtower panels.

Although a portion of the CROWN decor remains, Fred. Olsen has retained just the best elements, including the remarkable bronze globe by Pomodoro, the semi-spiral staircase and Tiffany-style glass skylight in the foyer and Ballindaloch Dining Room and similarly styled glass panels in the stairtowers. Other spaces that retain the Katzourakis look are the Observatory Lounge, which features dramatic views along either side of the ship from the uppermost level of Deck 11 and the gallery that links the lobby and dining room on D
eck 6.

Midships Marquee Pool, facing aft.
Marquee Deck pool figurehead.
Marquee pool, facing forward.
BALMORAL funnel from port Marquee Deck.
Aft starboard Marquee Deck, facing forward.

There are acres of simulated and genuine teak decking on Deck 11 (Marquee) with its new lido and pool and the curved terraces on aft decks 10 through 7 (Highland, Bridge, Lido, and Lounge).

Starboard promenade, facing aft.

Most pleasingly, the wraparound promenade on Deck 7 remains, albeit considerably expanded with the ship’s new length.

Random BALMORAL carpet shot.
Spey Dining Room, facing forward.
Avon Dining Room, facing aft.
Avon Dining Room, facing forward.

There have been several restrained and tasteful renovations as well as additions to accommodate the ship’s transition to BALMORAL (stay tuned for a separate full tour on a new MaritimeMatters blogspot), but favorite new haunts include the Spey and Avon Restaurants on aft port and starboard Deck 10, respectively, with their full length glass panels, large porthole-style windows, walnut paneling, and plush turquoise (Spey) and emerald (Avon) colored seating.

Lido Lounge, facing port.

The Lido Lounge serves as a cabaret style venue with stage and dance floor, a small casino with blackjack and roulette tables and an aft-facing bar and sitting area under a glass skylight, not unlike those found on the SAGA ROSE and SAGA RUBY.

Card Room, facing starboard.
Library, facing inboard.

The Card Room and Library (which features a rotunda similar to that on BLACK WATCH and SAGA ROSE) are very handsome in their new gold and chestnut color schemes and sycamore paneling. Both boast large picture windows, well-groomed plants, and paintings from the Olsen collection. They share a block of midships Deck 7 public space with the Braemar Lounge and Internet Center.

Morning Light Pub, facing starboard.

The Morning Light Pub is a new addition with individual and booth seating and a dance floor for live entertainment.

Palms Cafe, facing aft from port.

The Palms Cafe is also nicely renovated with vivid blue and gold soft fittings surrounding a large wood-toned buffet station adjacent to the Deck 7 pool lido.

Neptune Lounge, facing forward.

The Neptune Lounge on forward Deck 7 is the main showroom, now in orange and brown soft fittings. It features a telescopic stage that can be raised for the production shows or lowered for dancing. It is adjacent to the little-altered shopping arcade and lobby. On Main (6) Deck, the Ballindaloch Dining Room (ex Seven Continents) has been spruced up with fresh new seating and pale blue soft fittings.

Fitness Center, facing starboard.

There was time for a quick workout before the media cocktail party at 7:00. The BALMORAL’s fitness center and spa is located on forward Highland (10) Deck, overlooking the bow. Although the structure did not improve the ship’s profile when added during her second NORWEGIAN CROWN refit at Singapore, it was nice to find two elliptical machines in addition to an arsenal of treadmills and a selection of weight machines. During my cardio fling, I could hear the whistles of the departing ships from the other side of Dodge Island.

Downtown Miami’s bustling skyline flickered across the basin from the Observatory Lounge as we enjoyed cocktails, peanuts and those distinctly British twiglets (bone dry pretzels). My requested perrier with lemon came with a small ice cube and some syrupy lemon additive. As a lifelong Anglophile with certain die-hard American habits (a fondness for ice among them), I should have known better and made a note to ask for extra ice and a slice of lemon next time ‘round. But I didn’t have to, as the savvy bar staff figured me out pretty quickly.

Ballindaloch Restaurant, facing forward from port.

We enjoyed dinner in the center of the Ballindaloch Restaurant underneath the multi-colored, leaded glass ceiling. I had expected the food to be good, but was pleasantly shocked with the quality and diversity of the offerings. No heavy, traditional Brit food here! The fare was what one would find in a very expensive continental restaurant, beginning with fresh linens, Wedgwood china with Fred. Olsen’s figurehead logo, heavy silverware and tall, elegant stemware. The courses were prepared with aromatic spices and sauces, including a heart of palm salad with dill dressing, a risotto parmesan main course, and a rich but lightly sweetened banana pudding tart.

Leaving Miami ahead.

Some twenty minutes before our delayed 11:00 PM departure, the ship began to rattle. I stood on forward Deck 7, watching as we slipped our lines and thrust slowly away from the pier, before heading up to Deck 11. The BALMORAL rumbled in reverse for the length of Dodge Island until she reached the turning basin. Apparently the lower powered “son” diesels are prone to heavy vibration, which the ship experienced until turning around and picking up speed after dropping off the Miami pilot after midnight.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Although my twin bed has a plush duvet, I have shed it in lieu of the much cooler linen bed cover. With the steady movement of the ship, the firm but well-padded mattress, and the light-proof curtains drawn, sleep was assured until the captain’s announcement at 9:00 AM. By the time I found the mute button on the console, it was too late to do much more than sit up, enjoy the new surroundings, watch the bow cam on television and eventually tune in to BBC World for a British take on American political punditry. On this cruise, the BALMORAL also had a Spanish language station, Headline News, a movie channel and an occasional sports channel.


Morrow on the ‘MORAL

At 9:45 coffee was delivered, along with muesli, a fruit yogurt, and milk. In lieu of a full breakfast, this was the fuel required to get through boat drill muster in the Lido Lounge. At 11:15, I attended the Music Of Your Life introductory chat by emcee Herb Oscar Anderson, the voice of Manhattan’s KABC radio show, a versatile DJ known for singing along with as well as interviewing his famous musical guests. Music Of Your Life also features legendary trombonist Buddy Morrow, known for his hit, “Night Train”, and leader of the Dorsey 7 (descended from the Tommy Dorsey band). Morrow and his stellar troupe of musicians would be the headline guest entertainment throughout the cruise.

Forward Deck 7 promenade, facing port.
Force Five plunge from starboard Marquee Deck.
Funnel from starboard Marquee Deck.
In the wake of BALMORAL.

It was windy, with six to ten foot seas, ranging between Force Four and Five throughout the day, although the sun was shining brightly through the scattered clouds. I ventured to the Avon Restaurant for open seating lunch. The first available table seated four, so by the time I returned f
rom the buffet with my salad, I was joined by a very nice couple from the London suburbs who were making their fifth cruise with Fred. Olsen. Having sailed in all the ships except BOUDICCA, they were very pleased with BALMORAL. Among reasons for their loyalty to the company are the ships’ on board ambiance and decor, easy charter flights (on this cruise, they flew Thomson Air, which has more leg room and more generous baggage allowances than the other carriers), food and service.

The Greek salad was perfection, and, for the first time in years, I actually used the provided dressing (a dill vinaigrette) in lieu of my oil and vinegar improvisation. A novice at the Olsen lunch experience, I soon learned that I could also order from the menu without appearing gluttonous. It was heavily Greek-influenced, so I chose my usual favorites, which included an avgolemono (lemon chicken) soup, spanikopita (spinach in phyllo), and a chicken pita with hummous main course. I may have embarrassed myself as I pored over each offering in front of my tablemates. They had “been here, done that” and already knew that the food was superb. Even the dollop of hummous that came with the tender, marinated chicken pita was delicious and authentic. I finished it all off with baklava, bid adieu to the nice couple and went to my perch in the Braemar Lounge for a cappuccino.

The more time I spend on BALMORAL, the more I like her! The passengers are for the most part well-traveled and friendly, generally smile and greet in passing and seem to appreciate quality without pretense.

I have found it difficult to keep up on all the entertainment, including a musical set by songstress, Michele Anastacio, who wowed ‘em with her repertoire in the Lounge at 2:45. I promised myself I would make it to tea and at least one quiz but missed both today.

After a short workout in the gym, it was time for formal dinner. Unfortunately, my tuxedo shirt went missing, so I felt a little out of place with mere jacket and tie. The Brits were dressed to the nines in evening gowns, an occasional white coat and tail, and every make and size of tuxedo you can imagine, not to mention a passing kilt or two. For better or worse, some of my American cohorts were attired similarly to me and yet no one outside of our circle made a fuss.

We dined at what would be our regular table, #300 in the forward portion of the Avon at 8:30. A truly magical experience was had by all. I ordered a superb salad nicoise vinaigrette with anchovies and a main course of corn-fed chicken with a lemony white sauce and finished off with crepes suzette a la mode.

The service was on par with the food: no dry water glasses, no long gaps between courses, no lukewarm entrees or any of the expected glitches that come with mass dining.

After this cruise, it will be difficult to enjoy lesser food on other ships. I am assured the cuisine is the same quality on the BALMORAL as it is on all the Olsen ships, so hat’s off to executive chef, Ewald Fabian!

Following dinner, a few of us went to the Music Of Your Life performance in the Neptune Lounge. Although it was the second show of the evening, the room was packed. With each number, which must have sounded as good in the Neptune as it did in its big band heyday, the dance floor remained full. People I had seen barely walking earlier in the day were being twirled, mambo-ed, and samba-ed — and loving it!

Night view, facing forward from aft Deck 7.

The night ended with a walk around Deck 7 where it was almost impossible to not slide down the port promenade in the gusts. The BALMORAL’s lengthened hull seemed to take the moderate seas in stride.

Wednesday, March 5:

MV BALMORAL at Grand Turk.
Grand Turk ahead.

Grand Turk ahead!

Even though my speaker was turned off, the captain’s 9:00 AM announcement came in loud and clear through the cabin corridor. Due to the rough seas, BALMORAL would be an hour or so late to Grand Turk this morning and would forego her call at Samana tomorrow, spending the day at sea. To compensate, our schedule was to be enhanced with an afternoon/evening in St. Maarten following our call at St. Barts on Friday.

Chestnut cake in the Spey.

BALMORAL approached the small coral outcrop of Grand Turk at 10:00 and was fully secured to the jetty by 11:00. I took advantage of the empty ship and completed most of my documentation, then made my way to the Spey for another brilliant lunch, including a delicious heart of palm and avocado salad, fried aubergines with a tomato salsa sauce and chestnut cakes for dessert. Supreme, superb and sublime!

BAL lines.
Grand Turk beachfront.
Conch shell's perspective of BALMORAL.

I ventured onto the friendly island at noon, walking along the beautiful conch, coral and sandy beach for various views of the BALMORAL. Once back at the terminal shopping area, I found a little cafe called Frootz and settled in with a cappuccino and a bottle of water to blog away on their WiFi signals. I never had a chance to take a dip in the spectacular turquoise waters of the public beach (with free deck chairs provided) but was charmed by the overall friendliness of the people I encountered. By the time I returned to the ship, the BALMORAL had been joined by Regent’s SEVEN SEAS NAVIGA
TOR.

We sailed quite literally into the sunset, leaving the NAVIGATOR, whose balconied flanks resembled a modern, sea-going “Rear Window”, filled with all forms of humanity in various stages of dress waving us off. BALMORAL shrunk away from the berth and pivoted off on her southeasterly course.

My evening routine was now quite predictable, starting with a run on the ellipticals before cocktails in the Observatory and dinner in Avon. Tonight’s superb courses included fennel salad, a scrumptious chicken in garlic and cream sauce and raspberry confit with vanilla ice cream. It was a toss up between the production show in the Neptune, “Songs Of Hollywood”, featuring BALMORAL’s ten member cast, and the magical Buddy Morrow in the Lido Lounge, so took in a little of both. After checking e-mail and the customary walk around the promenade, I called it a night at 12:30 AM.

Thursday, March 6:

I slept luxuriantly until the captain’s second announcement at noon — yes, noon! Finally, the sleep deficit was paid in full! I joined one of my media friends in the Spey for a medley of culinary magnificence, including aubergine fritters, Bahamas potato salad, chicken in grandnut sauce from St. Kitts with peanut, ginger, and caramelized sweet potatoes. For dessert, it was gateau de patate (sweet potatoes again) and banana pudding with merengue.

Grand Tea buffet at entrance to Neptune Lounge.
Grand tea in the Neptune Lounge.

There was time to write and slurp up cappuccino before attending the 3:30 Grand Tea in The Neptune. Knowing the quality of the offerings, it was hard to just select a couple of sweets from the buffet table in the foyer. Eventually seated near the stage, I was quite pleasantly shocked when petite Filippina singer Chline Diagon appeared with the Balmoral Band and belted out a dazzling “Besame Mucho”. What a voice!

DAWN at sunset.

A little later, it was up to the Observatory to attend a bit of the Cruise Critic gathering hosted by CC’s very own editor, Carolyn Spencer Brown. Carolyn spent a considerable portion of her cruise responding to e-mails from her readers in a special “What Do You Want To Know About BALMORAL” Blog.

More of my own blogging was followed by a dash out to the starboard promenade at sunset, just as the NORWEGIAN DAWN crossed the horizon. My regular gym, cocktail and dinner routine followed, capped off by a romp around the ship to sample entertainment in nearly every nook, from the comedian, Scotty McLean, in Neptune’s, the Balmoral Band in the Lido, the Rosario Strings in the piazza-like ambiance of the Braemar Lounge, and a lively sing-along in the Morning Light Pub, which left ABBA’s “SOS” stuck in my brain until I finally fell asleep an hour or so later.

Friday, March 7, 2008

MV BALMORAL at St. Barts.
Gustavia, St. Barts.

At 6:30 AM as BALMORAL entered the anchorage of St. Barts, she began her customary stern seizures, finally settling after about 30 minutes. I was due in The Neptune at 8:00 AM to muster for the Fast and Fun shore excursion, a two hour ride around the island in a high-speed zodiac. Two members of our group were also participating, so it promised to be an enjoyable morning.

St. Barts, from a zodiac.
More St. Barts from a zodiac.

With nine of ten seats loaded up and before I could stow my cameras safely, our captain Frederic (rhymes with “Diabolique”), whisked us into the swells, leaping and tossing the craft about as we clung to our handlebars. Some of St. Bart’s rugged coastline and beaches are among the most beautiful in the Caribbean, but we had to cut our circuit short and abort a swim due to high seas on the other side of the island.

Tip top tikka.
You gotta pannacotta!

I beat the return tender rush and made it back on board by 11:30, had lunch in the Spey (including a marvelous chicken tikka and out-of-this-world pannacotta drenched in raspberry sauce), and wrote a bit more. At about 2:30, the BALMORAL was hoisting anchor and heading some fourteen nautical miles to Phillipsburg, St. Maarten.

CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION at St.Maarten.
ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS at St. Maarten.

An hour and a half later, we arrived in a high wind to find CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION and ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS on either side of the jetty, filling with returning passengers. I stayed on board BALMORAL to capture their departures, then headed ashore in search of a WiFi connection. The people in the terminal shops were neither friendly nor helpfull, so I wandered into town and set up the computer at a decibel-smashing bar called The Greenhouse. The clientele was so loud and populous, I thankfully never got a chance to order anything.

Tot ziens, Sint Maarten!

After posting some photos, I made my way further into town to seek out the press group at Taloula Mangos for our farewell dinner together. The Heineken Regatta event was going on, filling the streets with hordes of spring breakers, which made our return to the beautifully lit BALMORAL all the more appealing.

I couldn’t resist the fresh, buttery chocolate cake in the Palm Cafe buffet and then made my way outside to the tropical deck party to see the ship’s band perform. The versatile Chline was in fine form, singing “Material Girl” and “Like A Virgin” well beyond Madonna’s capabilities. By the time I was circumnavigating the promenade, BALMORAL was churning her way from St. Maarten into the balmy, starlit seas.

Saturday, March 8:

BALMORAL at St. John's, Antigua.

BALMORAL backed into St. John’s, Antigua, at approximately 7:00 AM, tying up at 7:30. It was the dreaded final morning of the cruise and my bags were mostly packed. I decided to try an English breakfast in the Palm Cafe, settling on two “over easy” eggs made to order, beans, and cooked tomatoes.

Belle of the BALMORAL.
BALMORAL's Crown.

After some final photos (including a visit to the fo’c’sle — thank you, Steve and Wendy!), I disembarked with the press group for lunch on the island prior to our flights home.

Although I knew I would enjoy a Fred. Olsen cruise long before I finally took one, I was thoroughly impressed with the product they offer: gourmet dining, varied and sophisticated entertainment, a very pleasantly-decorated small-to-mid-sized ship (by today’s standards), a brilliant maritime legacy, and a friendly, well-traveled clientele.

Much as boarding an MSC ship is like going to Italy, cruising with Fred. Olsen is stepping into the best of Britain, in this case without the torment and torture of Heathrow. In these all too “similar seas”, it is great to know there are alternatives to common platform megaships (no matter how well designed and run) and loyal, like-minded passengers who want no part of that formula. Cheers to Fred. Olsen and much success as they court a small niche of the American cruise market without compromising their Britishness.

BALMORAL will make three more U.S.-based Caribbean trips this season. Next year, Fred. Olsen’s BRAEMAR (ex CROWN DYNASTY, CUNARD DYNASTY, NORWEGIAN DYNASTY) will offer a similar program of cruises.

Very special thanks to: Anthony Cooke, Martin Cox, Charlie Doherty, Wendy Hooper-Greenhill and Steve Kravitz

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego
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