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Update: Braemar Gets RefitFebruary 4, 2009 By: Nick Gosling Travel Agent
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s 639-foot Braemar’s 2008 refitting left her with 18 new balconies, a renovated restaurant and second pool on Deck 8, and an increase in capacity to 977 passengers. Clients will find their cruise aboard the Norway-based Braemar even more accommodating than before as they take advantage of the new amenities and new rooms and suites, which have been outfitted with different carpet, furniture and entertainment systems than the older sections of the ship.
The pool on Deck 8 of the Braemar
Carrying fewer than 1,000 passengers, typically from Great Britain, the Braemar offers an intimate setting where clients will see their fellow passengers again and again.
The best and by far the most popular spot aboard the ship is on Marquee Deck 8, where hundreds of sunning chairs and two pools, two hot tubs and a children’s pool are located. Arrive mid-morning to stake your claim on a chair. Deck 8’s pool bar provides drinks throughout the afternoon and a limited meal service on the deck for lunch.
The top place to dine is up top in the Grampian Restaurant on Deck 8. The Grampian boasts superb views through portrait windows and a comfortable seating arrangement that doesn’t leave you feeling too cramped. Enjoy dishes like Carambola-Glazed Chicken (Caribbean Dinner night); a Norwegian cold-cut platter of salted, air-dried lamb and pork, served with scrambled egg, potato salad and sour cream (Norwegian Night); or Roast Rack of Lamb with mint jus, Dauphinoise potatoes, gratinated cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and a green pea timbale (Captain’s Farewell Dinner).
Travel Agent stayed in a twin outside room (3058) on Atlantic Deck 3. The room’s two porthole windows provided a nice view and at 140 square feet it was spacious, even with two beds, a desk and chair, and close to the ship’s exit on Marina Deck 2. Deck 3 is recommended for clients who want to be within close proximity of the Fitness Center and Spa. Suites and cabins are on Decks 6, 7 and 8, where clients can be situated near dining facilities and the sun deck (Deck 8).
Travel Agent also had a chance to see some of the suites and cabins in the Braemar’s new section. Superior Suite 7030 offers clients a balcony view and spacious room with sitting area. Balcony Suite 8001—part of the ship’s new section—offers first-class accommodations, including shower and bath, his-and-her sinks and a balcony. New suites and cabins feature DVD players in the rooms; DVD players are available upon request in suites and cabins in the ship’s older sections.
Clients who have been on the Braemar before the refitting might enjoy staying in a new cabin on a return trip.
The Skylark Club (Bridge Deck 7) provides a lively after-hours hotspot where guests can enjoy karaoke, dog-race betting and late-night music.
Braemar’s library and card room provides a quiet and peaceful place to read and relax, as well as board games that are available to clients. The ship’s Observatory Deck (Deck 9, at bow of Deck 8) is a little less hectic for sunning and serves as an easier spot to find a free chair than the Marquee Deck.
A refurbished Suite on the Braemar
The climate aboard the Braemar is generally quiet and relaxing. Fred. Olsen’s average client is 67 years old so, while the ship does have a children’s area, the Braemar is not
oriented toward families on vacation. Middle-aged and older couples will enjoy the ship more; activities include daily quizzes, bingo, art classes, carpet bowling and gambling in the Coral Club.
Agents can contact Borton Travel for GDS booking (800-843-0602, ext. 6; [email protected]) or visit the line’s website for more information. The Braemar will operate out of Miami until the spring of 2009 for Caribbean cruises. In the summer she will be based out of Dover, England, for cruises to the Mediterranean, Arctic, Baltic and the White Sea. In autumn, she will return to Barbados for the winter season of Caribbean cruises.