Black Watch

Black Watch

Black Watch

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Capacity 840 pers

Crew 310 pers

Taille 205.00 m

Tonnage 28492

Category Contemporain

Refitted 2009
The ship’s name is taken from the famous Scottish Black Watch regiment, although the ship itself is all-white. There is a good amount of open deck and sunbathing space, and a decent health-fitness area high atop the ship, as well as a wide wrap-around teakwood promenade deck (with wind-breaker on the aft part of the deck).

The interior decor is quiet and restful, with wide stairways and foyers, soft lighting and no glitz anywhere, although many passengers find the artwork a little drab (it is, in reality, rather more Scandinavian eclectic than anything). In general, good materials, fabrics (including the use of the Black Watch tartan) and soft furnishings add to a pleasant ambiance and comfortable feeling experienced throughout the public rooms, most of which are quite spacious and have high, indented ceilings.

There is a wide selection of public rooms, most of which (including the main dining room) are located on one deck in a user-friendly horizontal layout. An observation lounge (called The Observatory) high atop the ship, is decorated in nautical memorabilia, and has commanding views (draft beers are available, as in all bars).

There is a good cinema (few ships today have a dedicated cinema) with a steeply tiered floor, and a pleasant library (with an adjacent computer/internet access room containing two computer terminals), and a card room.

A popular meeting place is the Braemar Room, a large lounge close to the restaurant; it has a self-help beverage corner for coffees and teas (open 24 hours a day, although it does become overly busy during afternoon tea time), comfortable chairs, and large ocean-view windows along one side. On one wall is an old iron figurehead from a ship called Braemar Castle (it’s one of several iron figureheads found aboard this ship, from a collection owned by the Olsen family).

Smokers will appreciate a special, small, cigar and pipe smoking room (The Cove), as well as a bar (Pipers Bar) for general smoking (the only two locations inside the ship where smoking is permitted).

The casino consists of two blackjack tables and a roulette table, and is presently located opposite the Starlite Nightclub; a separate room houses a clutch of slot machines. A self-serve launderette (useful on the longer cruises) has four washing machines, five dryers, and a couple of irons in a large user-friendly room.

Black Watch is a comfortable (not luxurious) ship in which to cruise, with a moderate standard of food and service from a friendly, mostly Filipino staff that provides decent (though not faultless) service, and should provide you with a good, well-rounded cruise experience. There is ample space per passenger, even when the ship is full. Cruises are well organized, with interesting itineraries, and complimentary shuttle buses in many ports of call. The onboard currency is the British pound.