We have just returned from the six night ‘Severn Wonders Cruise’ on the Edward Elgar. We also purchased the ‘Admiral’ package at additional cost. This consisted of car parking, an overnight dinner, bed and breakfast pre-cruise stay at the excellent Hatherley Manor Hotel and lunch at the Coal Grill in Gloucester Docks. Unfortunately the latter was dire, the food undercooked and the air filled with loud music. We would not recommend this venue to any prospective passenger.
The ship holds twenty-two passengers in snug (tiny) en-suite cabins. The en-suites are recently refurbished to a good standard though they do operate as wet rooms to utilise space. The public rooms are acceptable though there are insufficient comfortable seats in either the bar or the lounge to accommodate all passenger so the group is always split up.
We found that the food did not live up to the brochure’s billing. Whilst food preferences are noted at the time of booking, dishes just emerge from the kitchen without further consultation. Breakfast is a real enigma. Each day cereals, fresh fruit and toast are served. On day two and the last day a full English breakfast is also served. On day three the additional dish is sausage meat on a potato patty, day four a single empty croissant, day five scrambled egg with smoked salmon and day six a single croissant filled with ham and cheese. So do not go expecting gourmet food, the chef just prepares what Head Office instructs and the staff just serve it without asking whether you want it all.
We very much enjoyed the ports of call and the entertainment was fine. The Skipper, Steve was very capable and good company. One thing to also note is engine noise. We were at the front of the ship so it was not an issue for us though the bow thruster could be annoying. But for those at or near the rear it is a different story. The generators which run 24 hours make a considerable racket and this can inhibit sleep. Cabins are filled from the front so the sooner you book the more chance you have of sleep, though bizarrely the price is the same!
Would we go again? Sadly I think not.