Thursday, April 07, 2011

Color Fantasy: Rating Color Suites with seaview

Salon and bay window
I have traveled on luxury class on ferries before, but most often I have attended conferences thus not having to worry about how much to pay. My experience is when staying in any exclusive cabin on ferries sailing between Norway and the continent that you will not get a product according to the price you pay. It is, simply , not a bargain. This even if you include the travel experience. My advise is - skip this kind of crossing, book a flight and a nice hotel instead on a chosen destination.
Interior - beautiful details

Rating Color Fantasy Luxury Cabins: BBBB (3,81 points)
  • Location: BBBBB
  • Service: BBB+
  • Cabin: BBBB
  • Breakfast: BBBB
  • Facilities: BBBB+
  • Price: BB
Traveling on a large ferry as Color Fantasy provides you with a near perfect location. You stay in a floating hotel with all facilities within reach, with beautiful scenery and the sea at your doorstep to admire.

You are kindly greeted on arrival by the staff. Traveling on luxury class, as we did, gave a few immediate advantages. We had our own check-in counter and were given priority both in check-in and access to our own lunge. Secondly we were allowed to board ahead of the other passengers.
A generously sized bed
When it comes to service, however, our experiences were mixed. The staff at the reception were kind enough, but the waiters in our own breakfast lounge (will return to that later), were partly rude and condescending.

Our cabin was the second largest, and was located on the 13th floor in the front of the Color Fantasy. It was 24 square meters.

A small hallway led into the main room. On the right side there were generously sided storage including a small safe. To the left there was a small bath room with a separate shower compartment.
Bathroom in high standard

The main room had one large bed, a sofa, a comfortable armchair, and a desk. The view was provided by a large bay window with a soft pillow, ideal to sit watching the landscape pass by.

The interior has a pleasant colour-scheme, furniture in dark wood and fabrics in contrasting colour. Bathroom had a much higher standard than in any other of the cabins I have traveled in. Properly tiled with wooden interior and creative lighting.

The room had minor maintenance needs, and cleaning was satisfactory, but the wall-to-wall carpeting will make it more difficult to maintain a high hygienic standard.

Here are some other features included in the price of the room:
  • Trouser press
  • Minibar - free minibar was included in the price, even though the selection was rather limited. Two bottles of wine, two of sparkling wine, beer and vermouth. No hard liquor. Water and soft drinks. 
  • Safe
  • Internet and pc-outlet. Sadly no free wi-fi-zone. Wi-fi was only available in the main "street" area in the ferry.
  • TV - great flat screen TV.
  • Free access to Aqua land, fitness centre and spa & wellness area.
Bay window with comfortable seating
When booking a suite on board Color Fantasy, you are served breakfast in the Observation Club on the top floor of the vessel. If paying full price, you would expect to be seated at your leisure, but we were surprised the breakfast room to be completely full on arrival.

Sadly, the staff acted in a slightly rude manner, asking us to wait in the neighbouring bar, for a table to be vacant. My advise for the management on MF Color Fantasy to arrange breakfasts better, ensuring guests a vacant table on arrival, alternatively a booking in advance or even extending the breakfast area.  

Selection of foods on the breakfast buffet was satisfactory, allowing a choice of hot dishes as eggs and bacon, as well as cheese, cold cuts and spreads and a healthy option as cereal, fruit and yogurt. The slightly condescending and rude attitude of the staff was ever present, affecting the service rate of the hotel experience.

There are the following facilities found on board MF Color Fantasy:
  • 8 different restaurants from informal burger and tapas restaurants to top gourmet class restaurants
  • Pubs and bars in different styles
  • Nightclub
  • Casino
  • Free shows on board. These events are highly recommended, as they provide top entertainment. Do turn up at least 15-30 minutes ahead of time, as they are highly popular among the guests.  
  • Aqualand, found to be an over crowded circulating water pool with noisy children and limited space to swim. 
  • Fitness centre 
  • Spa & wellness area
  • Adventure Planet (games)
  • Golf simulator
Summary:
The full price of the crossing is NOK 1390 per person. This includes passage as well as breakfast, mini bar and access to the facilities. Even though the cabin is comfortably sized, I do not regard this as money well spent. The mini-bar is sparely equipped, including no spirits and just one bottle of red, white and sparkling wine per person.

The swimming area is a running water facility overcrowded by parents and kids, making it an annoying experience for traveling adults in need of getting away from stress. Staff in reception were kind and helpful, whereas those in breakfast room did not behave accordingly.

As a luxury experience the Color Suites did not meet our expectations, and other alternatives should be considered when looking for a short trip abroad. 

More ratings of accommodation on sea en Enjoy Food & Travel 

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