Cruise Ship, The Black Watch

CIMG1065This a charming, small cruise ship that it is hard to get lost on. We picked up the Black Watch in Antigua.

This is a vision of Antigua familiar to all Caribbean cruisers who have stopped there, the first view of the town. As we had not booked shore leave it was airport to ship and then sail, we saw nothing of Antigua on that trip.

CIMG1067We visited a number of islands including the very colourful Curacao where I purchased the signature hat that I still wear. This is a delightful island, ideal for swimming and snorkelling with 45 superb beaches.

The Black Watch then headed for the Panama Canal. The good thing about being a small ship is you can get through the Canal. The Azura for example is 2 metres too wide. The Arcadia can.

2009 Cruise - 09We took this picture of another ship waiting to follow us through. It is like being on the Norfolk Broads only bigger. A long canal with locks to balance the water up and down, so your ship  can move on. It is an incredible engineering feat and there will always be a commentary on it.

Panama itself is not the nicest of ports to stop at, but we had a great time in the Hard Rock Cafe, bringing back memories of the late 60’s early 70’s of queuing to go in opposite Green park.


We then cruised across sea for days and finally left the ship in Tahiti. It is a long sea cruise, but one of the most amazing experiences ever is the night on top deck when the captain takes you star gazing and switches all the lights off. In the total darkness the stars light the sky like someone has switched them all to bright. It is an incredible experience. The sky lights up like you will have never seen before, not even in the desert.

CIMG1080The ship is easy and cozy because of is size with only 800 guests. You will get to know the crew and other cruisers and the staff will even remember many people’s names the ship is that intimate.  It harks back to the days when cruise ships were revered for their style and charm and it has both of those. It focuses on providing service and traditional cruise experience rather than the ship being a modern theme park. It has great entertainers, old style comedians and magicians, singers in the Neptune Lounge and a group of entertainment hosts.

CIMG1149The ship still feels roomy because there are so few people on board. There is a well stocked library and spacious public rooms bathed in natural light which retains the elegant style of a traditional cruise ship. It has four restaurant options, including the stylish Glentanar Restaurant and beautiful Orchid Room which has a wonderful oriental look and feel.

Afternoon teas are special and there is always a run for the cakes. If you like smaller more intimate ships, then this is ideal.

To see and book this wonderful intimate ship, click here.

Want to know a little of the history of Fred. Olsen. Click here.

The Arcadia is a slightly larger ship with the P&O style. Take the Doris Visits tour of the Arcadia. Why not have a look at the LATE DEALS over a coffee from your arm chair? Doris Visits allows you to SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. We have videos of many of the cruise stops you might make from Miami to Tahiti, from Bruges to St Maarten. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share.