It had been nine years since we last sailed on Boudicca and the opportunity arose for this one night cruise from Southampton to Falmouth and we couldn’t say no. So along with our assitant editor of Cruisemarsh and founder/owner of Cruise Capital, Jordan Bailey, we decided to go ahead and book it!
DAY ONE: Southampton.
As per usual, sleep before a cruise of any duruation for our editor is in short supply. The excitement is too much but finally after getting a few hours shut eye, Anthony was ready for the day ahead.
After meeting Jordan at 1pm, we then headed to Mayflower Park to snap some shots of the ship berthed at the City Cruise Terminal (Berth 101) The tide was extremely high, one of the highest we’ve seen it here in Southampton, so the illusion was given she was taller than she actually was as she was sitting very high in the water.
We then proceeded to the City Cruise Terminal to begin the check in process. It was very eerie to arrive and go through security without waiting in a long queue. It was very quiet. Although City Cruise Terminal is probably the best and easiest of the 4 terminals in Southampton. After security, we went to the check in desks, where we registered our debit cards for our onboard accounts, showed ticket and passports and got our security photo taken. It was rather quick, slick and easy and along with our boarding pass we then took a seat in the departure lounge after the obligatory welcome aboard photo from the ship’s photographer.
We were only sitting for 15 minutes maximum when our boarding pass colour and number was called and we were then invited to embark Boudicca. Very impressive. So from arriving at the terminal to stepping on board the ship, it only took 20 minutes. Now that’s slick.
Once on board, we were greeted by members of the ships crew and stewarding team who then showed us the way to our cabin.
Our cabin, 4078 was situated on Atlantic Deck, deck 4. It was an interior cabin but for the duration of the short cruise, we were hardly going to be in it. It was a tad on the small side but still a decent layout if not a little outdated with the furnishings. The bathrooom was a decent size and more modern than the actual cabin. The temperature in the cabin was stifling and with the temperature at the lowest it can go on the air conditioning, we decided to venture and explore the ship with a bite to eat.
Exploring the ship, it’s hard not to fall for the charms of the ship. She may be over 40 years old but that is only a number. The layout of the ship is pretty good with furnishings and interiors on the whole to a very good standard. You know you are on a Fred Olsen ship when you see the carpets in the main stairwell and cabin corridor areas. Quirky is a word that fits Boudicca well and it’s something we like.
We first of all had a bit to eat at the Secret Garden, where afternoon tea was being offered. Admittedly, this was a tad disappointing with a limited selection of things on offer and the quality not to the same standard as Cunard, P&O and Saga when it comes to Afternoon Tea musings. However, it was still nice to get something to eat.
We then proceeded to explore the ship, starting from the very top, deck 10, Sun Deck. Here you found the gym, golf nets and good areas in which to sunbathe and enjoy a quiet read.
One deck down on Marquee Deck, deck 9, this is where the suites are situated. At the front, there is the Oberservatory Lounge where fantastic views are afforded over the bow, port and starboard with fantastically large windows. Further aft on this deck, there is a splash/swimming pool where guests can enjoy a dip and then enjoy a drink at the Marquee Bar.
Down to Deck 7, Lido Deck (Deck 8, Bridge only had suites) and you can gain access onto the promenade deck where you can walk fully around the ship on beautiful teak decks. Whilst inside, there is the Lido Lounge, the venue for late night music and disco. Or for those who like a spot of chocolate, there is the Bookmark Cafe where you can choose from a wide selection of chocolates. In the midst of the Bookmark Cafe, there is also the library where you can pick up a book, relax and enjoy a quiet read. Also on this deck, there is the gaming tables and card room.
As we venture further down the ship, we reach Deck 6, Lounge Deck. As the name suggests, this is where the main lounges and restaurants are situated on the ship. For the nightly shows, there is the Neptune Lounge and this is situated aft on this deck with access out onto the open deck where the large swimming pool and hot tubs are situated. On the portside of this deck, situated just in front of the Neptune Lounge is the Morning Light Pub. This is where you can enjoy a nice British style pint both pre and post showtime. Moving forward on this deck are where the main restaurants are situated, including the Secret Garden, The Iceni Room, Tingatel Restaurant and the Heligan Room.
Down to Deck 5, Main Deck and this is a deck mainly made up of cabins however the Guest Services Desk, Shore Tours Office, shops, photo shop and gallery are situated. There is also a Future Cruise Sales office and situated aft on Deck 5, there is a laundrette and meeting room.
Down to Deck 4, Atlantic Deck and this is where our cabin was situated. 4078. It was an inside cabin, small but practical but really needing somewhat of a makeover as furnishings were a tad dated.
Also on Deck 4, Atlantic Deck is the Sauna and Steam Rooms and Atlantis Spa.
So, we managed to fully explore the ship before it was time for muster. As on every cruise ship, it is mandatory to attend the muster drill and so we proceeded to our muster station, D which was the Secret Garden/Heligan Room. After the muster drill was performed by Captain Degerlund, we then proceeded on to the outer decks for sailway.
Sailaway was more or less on time at 16.30 and we proceeded to depart from berth 101. Our companion in port that day, Azura wasn’t leaving until a little later, so it was just us making our way out into Southampton Water. The weather was wonderful on deck, if not a little windy but we didn’t let that spoil it.
We then decided it was time to go for a drink. So, we went to the Lido Lounge and I had a refreshing Pina Colada. At £4.75, it represented great value and whilst it was nice, it didn’t reach the high standards that P&O Cruises have set with their Pina Coladas but still, a very good drink.
After we were refreshed, it was time for another walk around the ship and to capture some more photos.
Dinner was a one sitting affair as it was only a one night cruise cruise. We managed to get a table for 2 in the Heligan Room and did Fred Olsen put on a menu? They sure did!! Absolutely wonderful food
After the sumptious dinner, we went for a walk around the ship before going to the Lido Lounge to listen to the live music on offer. It wasn’t very busy which was a shame for the duo who were fantastic. We stayed for around half an hour before it was time to go and see the show in the Neptune Lounge.
The show was pretty good. It was a comedian called Barnaby from Lancashire. His material was very clean and entertaining yet some of the audience were playing hard ball, which was a shame because he was funny.
After the show, we decided to go back to the Lido Lounge where we would enjoy the late night music and disco. We started having some more alcoholic drinks, which was nice. As the numbers began to wind down around 1am, the last orders was sounded and we were officially the last people out of the nightclub.
After leaving the nightclub, we practically stepped into near darkness as the lounges had their lights either switched off or were dimmed. It was rather unusual to see this on a cruise ship, it added a haunting atmopshere. That was a sign then it was time to head to bed, which we then did.
DAY TWO: Falmouth
After a late night, it was time for an early start as we arrived into Falmouth. We decided to go and see us sail in and whilst it was a lovely morning on deck, it was a tad on the chilly side. Still, it helped with our appetites as we then headed to the restaurant for breakfast. It was a buffet breakfast and so therefore I went for a good old Full English cooked breakfast which was very enjoyable and would me up for the long journey back to Southampton that lay ahead for us on the coach. After breakfast, we then went to collect our bags from our cabin and didn’t have long to wait until our disembarkation announcement was made.
We then made our way to the gangway and off the ship where we were whisked away to our coach. After a stop at Exeter Services for a break, we arrived back into Southampton around 2pm. The end of another cruise and the end of a tiring journey.
Whilst our time on Boudicca was short, we really enjoyed our time at sea. The ship is a wonderful example of how ships used to be built. Full of charm, character and style, she really is one of the nicest looking ships afloat and on board you know you are on board a ship.
In this instance, we are only going to give an overall score as one night on the ship doesn’t give the whole picture so we think it is more than sufficient to just give it an overall score.
Boudicca Scores 7 out of 10.
Really enjoyed the ship, the cruise, the staff and entertainment. It was a highly enjoyable 1 night away and good value for money too. The transfer back to Southampton was hassle-free as well and was a good decision made by us to sail on her for the one night cruise. It has only whetted our appetites for a longer cruise on her.
Well done Fred Olsen, yet another highly satisfying cruise we have experienced.
Feature Image: Cruisemarsh
Deckplan images: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines