Boudicca Tour Index
In May 2007 an opportunity arose through Matt Sudders of the Ocean Liner Society to visit Fred Olsen's Boudicca in Southampton on the 19th November.  There was also a Dover option which I wouldn't be able to get to and Pam was unable to that day.  Less than a week after applying, Pam Massey and I booked a short cruise on her.  Pam has already sailed on Black Watch so was eager to compare.  I've only visited and have yet to cruise on her due to dates clashing with other things.  I love the former Royal Viking ships.  They may not be the average megaships but are immensely popular, as are all Fred Olsen ships.  The weather was absolutely foul over the preceding few days with no let up the morning of the visit.  I got soaked just walking the few minutes from my house to the bus stop.  The bus was late which didn't help but I was able to make the 9.10am ferry.  A couple of times the sun came out during the crossing creating a rainbow but it had always disappeared by the time I tried to get a photo of the ship under it.  I got a taxi to City Terminal and was the first to arrive at 9.45am and told to sit and wait.  Meanwhile Pam was stuck on the M25!  Would she make it?  I got chatting to a fellow member called Nick as we waited.  We had our instructions to be there for 10.15am with further information about a meeting point to come later which didn't.  Although it would have been nice to know which was our group it wasn't important.  We queued to get our passes where we were also given a norivirus form to fill in and a ship visit pack comprising a pen, passport holder, visit tour plan and a few other bits and pieces.  I told them Pam may be late so they made a note of that, saying they could still get her onboard.  After going through crew security, we were told to go through a door which led into the check-in area and waited in departures.  By now it had stopped raining and the sun was out.  Would it last?  I was really glad of the new picture window in the terminal as it gave a beautiful shot of Boudicca's bow. Just a shame the raindrops hadn't dried.  We were called to board about 11.15am.  Before stepping on the old gangway we had our hands squirted.  We arrived on Main Deck (5) and were taken up to Lounge Deck (6) and into the Neptune Lounge to wait.  The waiters were going around offering a glass of champagne or orange juice.  Pam arrived then.  Excellent timing even though she was driving so on orange juice.  I'm not sure I like those swivel chairs.  As they're so close together there's a tendency to bump your legs on someone else's.  They are quite comfortable though.  We watched a video of Braemar in the Caribbean before being split into three groups.  Unlike Black Watch, where we were in whatever visiting group, this was decided by colours on our visit packs.  We went with Vikki Courtman and began on the stern outside the Neptune Lounge.  Afterwards were went forward to look at the Heligar Room and Tintagel Restaurant (which were both closed) and the Secret Garden Cafe.  They have some very unusual lamps which I liked.  Down to Atlantic Deck (4) next.  After a quick peek at the Beauty Salon, we saw some cabins before heading back up to Main Deck.  Here you'll find the Future Cruise Office, Reception and shops.  The woman in the Future Cruise Office said she hoped we found our cabin.  Pam spotted the fresh flowers lined up on the floor and as we were taking photos, the steward in charge came along carrying some more.  He was very happy to pose for a photo.  When we looked around we realised our group had disappeared.  Despite hunting we failed to find them so decided to wander around on our own as we were bound to bump into them somewhere.  Well it turned out we met the other groups but not ours.  On Lido Deck (7) we looked around the Card Room which had plaques along one wall.  The Library is also in this room.  The Internet Cafe and Casino are on this deck.  We headed aft to the Lido Lounge then onto the deck and up to Bridge Deck (8).  We think this is where we got white paint on ourselves.  There were no signs about the paint but we both went along the open balconies as the partitions were open and think that's where it came from.  I expect they weren't expecting anyone apart from the crew to go along there.  The Boat Deck was closed below so I got wet knees and elbows to get a photo as low as I could.  We had a look at some cabins until we found ours.  Pam decided she didn't like it after seeing larger ones along the deck.  There's a UK 3-pin socket and European 2-pin so caters for everyone.  The balcony is fairly small and narrow compared to more modern ships.  We saw a Balcony Suite which was the only one we managed despite doing our own thing.  We had a look at The Observatory on Marquee Deck (9) which I liked.  Very similar to the one on Black Watch with the English theme this ship has.  I liked the decor.  We braved the cold to Sun Deck (10) and got a wonderful view of the bow.  Pam realised her pass had fallen off.  We didn't find it there and decided to go back in to wait for the group by the Tintagel Restaurant as it was almost lunchtime.  I spotted her pass at the bottom of the stairs on Lounge Deck so she put it back on.  I had to get my hands squirted again to pop in and take some pics of the restaurant before it became crowded then Pam left her stuff to go and get some pictures she missed on Lido Deck.  Finally the group arrived complete with Pam.  She told me our absence had been noted and once she'd met up with them again, she'd better not disappear.  The Tintagel Restaurant is very pink and the seats are comfortable.  We sat with a couple of fellow OLS members.  Fred Olsen laid on a buffet with a hot or cold selection.  The queue for hot was very long so we opted for cold which was just as good.  The waiter came round offering red or white wine.  There was a very good selection of desserts so while Pam had cheese and biscuits, I went for seven!  Pam couldn't believe I'd piled so much into my bowl but I wasn't the only one taking a bit of everything.  Just like when I visited Black Watch, the food was fabulous.  Vikki wrote her name down for me so I could mention her in the review (I don't like saying "our guide") and even posed for a photo which will be included in the photos.  Then it was time to leave.  We were the last to go, having already said goodbye to one of our tablemates who had to go to work.  I don't know about Pam but I certainly couldn't wait for our cruise next year.  Megaships are fine but there's nothing better really than smaller to give you that intimacy you lack on larger ones.  Fred Olsen do allow children but don't have any particular facilities for them unlike other lines.

After leaving the terminal Pam wanted to get some pictures at Mayflower Park.  She forgot
Boudicca was docked starboard and had been hoping for a lovely bow shot.  As she had to drop me at Town Quay so I could catch the ferry we got some photos there too and I manged a couple as I was on the ferry heading back to Hythe.

It had been a wonderful visit.  Fred Olsen really do make you feel at home just walking around their ships.  So I'd like to thank Matt Sudders of the Ocean Liner Society for arranging this visit, Fred Olsen for agreeing and Vikki for not only being a wonderful guide (before we lost everyone) but also for not telling us off!

Click on the links below to see photos of this wonderful ship.
Arriving
Sun Deck (10)
Marquee Deck (9)
Bridge Deck (8)
Lido Deck (7)
Lounge Deck (6)
Main Deck (5)
Atlantic Deck (4)
Lunch
Leaving
 


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© Patricia Dempsey 19th November 2007
Not to be reproduced without permission