An email from Silver Travel Advisor told me that I had been chosen as their guest blogger for the Autumn! My assignment covered a CroisiEurope river cruise which started and ended in Paris on the River Seine. The cruise was for two people and lasted for six days, all courtesy of CroisiEurope and Silver Travel Advisor!
Although we have travelled extensively in Europe over many years we had never tried a cruise holiday. We had seen huge sea going cruise liners spewing out hundreds of people on to various jetties on many occasions, particularly in the Mediterranean. Often there would be a convoy of coaches waiting to take the passengers to places they had been told they would enjoy! They seemed rarely able to “do their own thing.”
Our experience on a smaller cruiser operating on a European river was totally different. The vessel, MS France, built in 2001, was 110m long and carried a maximum of 159 passengers. We arrived a little early but were immediately made to feel welcome by two smiling and caring hostesses. As we boarded MS France we felt reassured that this was going to be a memorable and enjoyable cruise!
Languages on board
The language spoken was French, but always followed by English and some Spanish professionally delivered by various members of staff.
The majority of passengers on board MS France were French, followed by British, Canadian, Americans, Spaniards and Germans.
Everyone seemed very friendly and although each nationality tended to keep together we all seemed to enjoy the sense of humour generated particularly during the entertainment and quizzes.
It was good to have a choice of an excursion or free time on most days. At no time was there any pressure on passengers to join these available excursions. It was possible to book the excursions at the time of booking the cruise at a discounted rate which a fair proportion of the passengers had done. However some preferred to wait until they were on board before making up their minds. Luckily there were always places available, but this might not have been so in the high season?
From the feedback we received most passengers enjoyed their chosen excursions.
The buffet breakfast was good. Both lunch and dinner were three course meals, well chosen and beautifully presented. However whilst the French are accustomed to a three course lunch we would have preferred the choice of a lighter alternative.
Overall we thought this to be an excellent holiday on a superb vessel with a caring efficient crew.
Apart from a few minor niggles this should not deter anyone from taking a cruise with CroisiEurope. It has not deterred us as we hope to take a similar cruise next year!