Joie de Vivre Review
Joie de Vivre Overview
In March 2017, Uniworld will launch their latest Super Ship, S.S. Joie de Vivre, which will sail exclusively on the Seine River in France. Compared to other Uniworld river ships that are 442 feet wide, S.S. Joie de Vivre will only be 410 feet wide in order to dock in the heart of Paris (wider ships are forced to dock outside the city). The 128-passenger vessel will sail French itineraries to Normandy from Paris.
Named for the French phrase for "the joy of living," Joie de Vivre reflects and celebrates the French philosophy for enjoying life. French-inspired furniture as well as original antiques and artworks acquired from Sotheby's and Christie's auction houses will adorn the interiors of the floating boutique hotel. Designed by Uniworld's sister company, the five-star rated Red Carnation Hotels, the ship will have lavish gilded iron décor and rich fabrics adorning the public areas and suites.
Joie de Vivre will have two Royal Suites, eight Junior Suites and 54 staterooms spread across three decks. Royal Suites are on the Victor Hugo Deck (Deck 3), forward facing. They measure 401 square feet, have an open-air balcony and a separate living room. Bathrooms are equipped with a bathtub, shower and a toilet with bidet area. Junior suites, also on the Victor Hugo Deck, are 305 square feet. Some sofas in the Royal and Junior suites can be converted to an extra bed (Uniworld has a program of family sailings). Each suite is uniquely designed and decorated, comes with butler service, free laundry, a mini-bar, Hermes and L'Occitane en Provence bath and body products, in-room breakfast, a bottle of wine, shoeshine services and Nespresso coffee machines.
Category 1 through 3 staterooms are 194 square feet and can be found on the Victor Hugo Deck and Balzac Deck (Deck 2). Category 4 and Category 5 staterooms are located on the Jules Verne Deck (Deck 1) and are 180 and 162 feet, respectively. All suites and staterooms have a handcrafted Savoir of England beds, climate-controlled thermostat, a flat-screen TV, marble bathrooms, towel warmers, L'Occitane products, bathrobes, slippers and heated mirrors.
The main dining venue, Restaurant Pigalle, has an open-seating policy and serves local and international cuisines. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style with a made-to-order station, while dinner features farm-to-table chef specialties from the surrounding regions. An additional dining venue, La Cave de Vins located on the Jules Verne Deck, is a room used for private dinners and wine tastings.
The Salon de Toulouse is the main lounge, located on the Victor Hugo Deck, with a full-service bar and an art collection. The Serenity River spa and fitness rooms are on the aft of the same deck. Also on the Hugo Deck, is Le Club l'Esprit, an impressive space that houses an enclosed heated pool with hydraulic floors that can turn into a dance floor or outdoor cinema.
The top deck, the Deck De Montmarte, has ample seating and a life-size checkerboard. Based on the selected itinerary, after-dinner onboard entertainment can be traditional local performers. A central elevator provides access to the Victor Hugo, Balzac and Jules Verne decks.
Daily excursions are conducted by local English-speaking guides through the use of a QuietVox system. Additional and customizable excursions are also available for an additional fee. Cruise fare includes all gratuities for the staff, crew and tour guides, unlimited drinks with meals (including premium spirits), Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service and airport transfers.