My home-from-home was Superior Ocean View cabin 6038 located on Deck 6 on the port side.
This twin-bed cabin was very spacious and felt larger than those of the newer ships I have sailed on recently.
But then again, Balmoral was built in an age when ships were designed to be comfortably spacious. Nowadays the focus seems to be on cost savings, so most modern ships maximise the use of every inch of space.
My cabin featured the usual staples – twin beds, a desk in front of a large mirror, two chairs, and a television. Plenty of storage space was available in the drawers and behind the four cupboard doors, which also happened to hide the tea and coffee making facilities.
The bathroom was compact and sported a decidedly classic look. A liquid soap dispenser was above the bath, and another on the counter-top next to the sink. A large mirror mounted behind the mirror gave the illusion of a bigger and somewhat lighter space.
It was the first cruise ship bathroom where I had the luxury of a bathtub, a perk usually reserved for the top suites on many cruise lines. It may not have been that long, and it may have lacked a memorising sea view, but it was especially deep. A wall-mounted shower head offers an alternative.
Each cabin had a stewardess who cleaned in the morning and turned down the cabins in the evening, leaving a small chocolate treat and a copy of the following day’s Daily Times on the pillow.
Complimentary room service was available between 10 am and 11 pm.
A paid-for laundry cleaning service was also available. On longer cruises, there would be more of a reason to use the self-service Laundry Rooms, located on Decks 3 and 9. The machines require £2 tokens available from Guests Services.
Not all cabins have a bath, and not all are set up for twin occupancy – some have shower cubicles and double beds. A generous number of cabins are for single occupancy, and even the smallest boasted a generous amount of space – a theme shared by all cabins I toured.
The most expensive accommodation onboard are the suites. These varied in layout but all consisted of a private balcony area, a living room section and a bedroom section. Dividers help to carve the space into distinct areas. Suites are especially popular on exotic cruises spanning two weeks or more.
Have you sailed on Balmoral? What cabin did you stay in, and would you recommend it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Disclosure: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines supplied a full-board sailing aboard Balmoral, Internet access, all shore excursions, and a spa treatment. I paid for my transport to and from Southampton as well as incidentals onboard, including drinks and snacks. The opinions in this article are my own.