By Jeannine Williamson, Cruise Critic contributor
La Belle de Cadix Overview
The 176-passenger Belle de Cadix is a river and seagoing ship owned by CroisiEurope. The ship, which was built in 2005 and refurbished in 2010, sails on seven-night itineraries on the Guadiana and Guadalquivir rivers in Spain and Portugal and along the Atlantic coast.
There are 88 cabins -- each measuring all measuring 118 square feet -- which are divided between 40 on the upper deck, 27 on the middle deck and 21 on the main deck. They all have double beds that can be configured as twins, floor-to-ceiling picture windows, showers, TVs, hair dryers, safes and air-conditioning. There is one disabled cabin on the middle deck.
In addition to the three cabin decks, there's also a sun deck. The panoramic lounge, with a bar and dance floor, is situated on the middle deck, while the dining room is on the main deck. Other onboard facilities include a library, gift shop and elevator. Wi-Fi is available at additional cost.
CroisiEurope places a lot of emphasis on its French heritage, and meals onboard are inspired by French culinary traditions. Three-course lunches and dinners feature many of the country's classic dishes. And with Alain Bohn, the company's head chef, serving as an active member of the French culinary association Maitres Cuisiniers de France -- which champions French food and drink -- you can expect the menu to be decidedly French. Lunches and dinners are set menus, and breakfast is buffet-style, featuring baguettes, yogurt, muesli and cold cuts among the options.
CroisiEurope has introduced an all-inclusive "open bar," and high-season fares now include complimentary drinks from the bar in addition to mineral water, fruit juice and coffee during the day and house wine, beer and drinks with meals. It excludes Champagne and drinks on the wine list.