A few years ago we celebrated our Ruby wedding anniversary while on a Fred Olsen cruise. Now I am not saying that they provide this service for everyone free of charge, but am writing from a purely personal experience.
We booked on the Boudicca for the western Mediterranean, telling them more in hope than anything else that we would be on their ship. They required proof, photocopy of wedding certificate sufficed, it was obvious that they had a department that specialised in this type of occasion. This was the only time that we have sailed out of Portsmouth, which is now featuring as quite a terminal these days. The first surprise was the fact that we had been upgraded to a balcony cabin. It had a lifeboat halfway across, but, hey, this was a real bonus.
There was a lovely display of flowers, also a complimentary bottle of decent Champagne. A lovely touch was also a photo frame, ready for a souvenir photo to be inserted, one which we have on display even now, some years later.
We were in Minorca on the actual day, it was a Sunday with most shops closed, but there was a little land train that took us round the harbour area so we could see the shut businesses. There were a couple of souvenir places open, also a very pleasant café where we had a delicious repast of coffee, pastry, and shot of brandy.
Back on the ship our table companions joined us in a pre-dinner private table by the window with the Champagne and complimentary canapes. Our friend Carol from home had arranged for another bottle of Champagne to be delivered, and somehow the cruise line managed to provide us with another bottle, which of course wasn’t refused. A memorable way to celebrant the day.
But that’s not all. A couple of days later, as it was a longer cruise, the captain had two receptions, and we received an invitation to dine with him and other select guests. These of course are far more influential passengers, those who have huge suites being frequent travellers, we felt we were in exalted company where we could easily hold our own. My wife found the captain particularly attractive for some strange reason, a Nordic slim blonde gentleman with a smile and lovely personality. I have no idea as to his seamanship abilities, am sure they must have been more than adequate. Me, envious? Of course not.
I have today checked the Fred Olsen web site, there is a specialist department that accommodates those celebrating a particular occasion. Certain aspects require payment, I suspect that we just hit it right with our cruise, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. You won’t all get to dine with the dishy captain, but who knows………