Steve Faber
Cruise Critic Contributor
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Cabins

The French Provincial decor of the salon carries over to the spacious cabins, located one deck down. French Country Waterways declares the accommodations "suites." This is a bit of an exaggeration for a single-room stateroom with no additional sitting area, but we found the arrangement pleasant, cheery, and easy to move around in. There is a copious amount of storage space for both hanging and folded garments in a large armoire, augmented by deep drawers in end tables on either side of the king-size bed (staterooms can also be configured in two twin beds). Rich burgundy and gold carpeting complements a similar color scheme and pattern in the brocaded drapes. The windows themselves are small, oval-shaped portholes set high on the outside wall. Because of the vertically flattened shape of the barge, it is necessary to extend this lower deck deeper into the hull than is typical on more conventionally shaped ships. As a result, from the bottom of the windows to the floor, cabins are below water level, and the surface of the river or canal reaches right up to the lower edge of the window -- an initially disconcerting and unfamiliar perspective!

Speaking of the unfamiliar, in a day and age when we expect instant worldwide satellite hookup from ship to shore, with onboard CNN just a remote click away, it is surprising -- but refreshing -- to be on a vessel with nary a phone, TV, or Internet hookup to be found, either in staterooms or lounge.

Bathrooms are large and beautifully appointed in ceramic and marble tile with polished granite countertops, gold-toned fixtures, and large shower stalls behind floor-to-ceiling curving glass enclosures. Complimentary toiletries include designer shower gel and shampoo, and robes are thick and plush. One nice feature is a heated towel rack, though ours was nonfunctioning when we sailed.

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