Amadeus Provence Cruise Review by pamelamj
- Sail Date: October 2018
- Destination: Europe River
While we found the food and the entertainment provided was great (talented duo, Kapka and Dimcho, and on one night the Gypsy Band) there were a few things that meant our experience was not so enjoyable as it might have been.
Cruisers need to be aware that this boat seems to cater for group tours (and those on this cruise were of an average age of about 80 - much older than us). This meant there was not much mixing and we were confined to a set table for meals so did not get to meet many people (our table companion rarely had meals in the restaurant). This is disappointing if you enjoy meeting people on your travels.
The excursions are all extra - even the walking tours that other cruise companies usually include. And these rivers are not particuarly interesting in themselves (lots of industry along the river bank) so you need to go out to experience Burgundy and Provence because you can't do this from the boat. However, because Amadeus use local guides, it also means that the quality of the experience can vary.
But the worst aspect for us was the cabin which was extremely noisy on the lower deck. The ship uses a vacuum system for the toilets and every time anyone used the toilet on the decks above us, it sounded like a train going through a tunnel. (We did get used to it and it is not a problem on the upper decks.) When we went through a lock, there was loud banging and it sounded as if water was rushing into the cabin - quite scary the first time I heard it - and I never got used to that. It always woke me up since we went through many locks at night. (Again, this is not the same for the upper decks.)
The other thing that you need to be aware of (no matter what cabin you choose) is that the beds are pushed together to make a double but there is a substantial crack between them and they are made up as singles. One morning I woke up in the crack with a very stiff neck. Our table companion said she could not sleep at all because the bed was too hard and had 2 quilts laid under the sheet to make it softer - though this did not bother us so much.
With these issues. it was fortunate that the crew were so delightful and so well organised. Our cabin was cleaned and tidied twice a day and we could not fault the service we received. The public areas on the ship are comfortable (though the coffee station is way down the back of the secon deck which is odd) and the system of getting on and off the ship worked well even with a slow and elderly group. The fitness room looked well fitted out though I did not use it - too busy sight-seeing on most days.
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