8 Arles Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Wanted to do a river cruise in Europe and found this one specializing in wine tasting. We had never gone on an Avalon or river cruise before. We absolutely loved it. Everything was taken care of. We felt pampered from start to finish. ... Read More
Wanted to do a river cruise in Europe and found this one specializing in wine tasting. We had never gone on an Avalon or river cruise before. We absolutely loved it. Everything was taken care of. We felt pampered from start to finish. The staff on the ship were superb. The cabin was small but adequate since we spent so little time there. The food and wine were excellent. The activities both on and off the ship were incredible. The guides and entertainers were exceptional. We learned a lot of history, wine and food knowledge, and just had a great time. We had issues with the river being too high so the cruise director had to make a lot of last minute changes. These changes did not have an impact on our experience. We still got to participate in all the excursions that we had signed up for and in fact got access to an excursion that was new (and it was incredible). Communication was exceptional and we knew exactly what was happening and when. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this cruise because I love France. Arles, Avignon and Lyon were really interesting ports of call. Ship was spotless. Food was very good. Service in the dining area was excellent. All staff and crew were friendly, helpful and ... Read More
Chose this cruise because I love France. Arles, Avignon and Lyon were really interesting ports of call. Ship was spotless. Food was very good. Service in the dining area was excellent. All staff and crew were friendly, helpful and efficient. We were disappointed that the ship often sailed during the night. When it did sail during the day, there was no access to the top deck due to the many, many lochs and bridges. (There was free access when in port). On day 6, the french authorities boarded the ship for an audit. The ship was prevented from completing its journey. The next day : * we travelled by coach to a vineyard - over 2 hours each way * a scheduled cheese/wine event did not take place * we made our own arrangements for lunch * returning from the coach trip, we were told to pack as we would be staying overnight at the Radisson hotel and we had to find somewhere for our evening meal * we were able to claim for 2 basic meals - but the allowance was far short of the standard and number of courses we had become accustomed to plus, unlimited wine with our meals * passengers were very low in spirit at the end of the holiday and we have never had an explanation as to why the ship's paperwork was not in order. * Liberte was unable to make its return journey to Arles, meaning many more disappointed people. I have written to Emerald Waterways suggesting compensation should be a seventh of the cruise price. I have not had a reply - just a standard letter and a cheque for £110. I don’t think this is adequate when you consider the disruption and inconvenience we experienced. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose Amawaterways because of their solo cabins w/ a french balcony. I removed a star because this was a wine themed cruise and i spoke w/ ama 3x and the reps did not mention this. i do not drink, therefore, i did not attend the 3 ... Read More
I chose Amawaterways because of their solo cabins w/ a french balcony. I removed a star because this was a wine themed cruise and i spoke w/ ama 3x and the reps did not mention this. i do not drink, therefore, i did not attend the 3 enrichment lectures all focused on wine. there was also a wine pairing dinner lost on me. in addition, most shore excursions ended in wine tasting. the last day in Paris only offered a visit to a wine museum. i felt strongly that i was on the wrong cruise. i usually cruise w/ uniworld so i was not expecting luxury and there were no Murano glass chandeliers. however, the service was equal, therefore, outstanding. my cabin stewardess quickly caught on that i went for breakfast at 7 am and cleaned my cabin then. she replenished the body products daily. i always refuse turndown service because i am diabetic and can not eat chocolate, but i was pleased w/ her service. she spoke limited english so i didn't have to chat which for me, as an introvert, was a bonus. i appreciated returning from breakfast to a clean cabin as if by magic. Valentine and Anton, in the dining room, were friendly, but not intrusive. i do not communicate before my morning coffee and again they quickly caught on to my dietary requirements and left me alone at breakfast. as a diabetic, i eat every 3 hrs., therefore, valentine always asked what i would like for my evening snack when he took my dinner order. all the waiters let me order double portions of vegtables. i ordered veggies from one item and the fish entree from another. i am well aware my dietary habits r wierd and appreciated their flexibility. the food was 5 star dining. all river cruises have a coffee machine in the bar, but i have never encountered coffee that was better tasting from the machine, than in the dining room. several cruisers and i marveled at this phenomenon. it was GOOD coffee. ama offers several options for shore excursions, although found it odd that passengers had to book excursions before the cruise. the cruise director, john, was competent. i was surprised a cruise in Normandy didn't offer an excursion to the Bayeux tapestry. .if i had not cruised to Normandy before w/ uniworld and seen the tapestry i wouldn't have taken this cruise. details make a cruise great. i was surprised to find ama had sent a thank u post card when i returned home. also, ama supplies postcards, stamps and mails them free. bonus. my grandchildren luv getting postcards they chagre for stamps if u send a postcard u have purchased. best of all, the postcards arrive. i mailed postcards from Hawaii that never arrived. i also appreciated the stretch classes and yoga. ocean cruises charge extra for yoga. i would cruise amaway again, despite the fact that i resent not being told this was a wine cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Great staff and knowledgeable... - Very well thought out ship of space and still be "simple elegant" style - Cruise director "Tony" was awesome - Food was well matched to the region along with wines - ... Read More
Great staff and knowledgeable... - Very well thought out ship of space and still be "simple elegant" style - Cruise director "Tony" was awesome - Food was well matched to the region along with wines - each of the offered activities where well planned and informative Very enjoyable trip, great opportunists to see the region with out lots of travel time moving from hotel to hotel - Avalon is a "first class" run business at a great price value. These River Boats are great for adult family getaways with activities provided along with time to reconnect with family members. If traveling alone or with couples the staff does a great job of having everyone feel welcome. Anyone looking at these trips need to remember to book in advance as trips sell out quickly. Traveling on river ships, allows a great way to see the the true European Cities and experience the culture. Be sure to arrange these trips with a travel agent who truly understands River Ships - they are a wealth of additional information. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
LIBERTÉ REVIEW My family (5 couples) have been taking annual river cruises for about 7 years now. This is the first time we have tried Emerald and we did not know what to expect. We had tried Vikings and Avalon in the past. The ... Read More
LIBERTÉ REVIEW My family (5 couples) have been taking annual river cruises for about 7 years now. This is the first time we have tried Emerald and we did not know what to expect. We had tried Vikings and Avalon in the past. The rivership is very new and has a sleek modern design. A delightful addition is the swimming pool at the back of the vessel that is thought fully stocked with cookies, tea and chocolate drinks. At night, the pool is transformed and doubles as a movie theater. The rooms have relatively adequate storage (as compared to other river ships) but the storage space under the bed is too low and large luggage cannot be stored under. Sheets were crisp, mattresses and pillows were very comfortable. Special thanks to Andreaa, Tibor, Ivstan, Martina, Mearead and Daniel who gave excellent service. The food in this cruise is distinctively better than any of the cruises we have had and if the other Emerald riverships would have the same gastronomic quality, this would be a huge draw for us to return. Kudos to Chef Teo! Breakfast is a buffet of everything you would expect from a Continental setting. Regarding the sightseeing tours. There is so much to see in Burgundy and Provence. Arles, Avignon and Lyon are particularly lovely. Standout tour guides were young Alexia in Arles and raconteur/fab opera singer Emmanuel in Avignon. The wine lecture by somalier Guillaume in Tournon was especially informative and made for a very nice afternoon. Mâcon was the least interesting of the tours, in my opinion. The tour guide did his best to give us information about the place but there was not too much to see and remember. Perhaps Emerald could think of a way to make Mâcon worth visiting aprart from the usually sight seeing. Our experience in Emerald has inspired us to plan another cruise with the company. Good work! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Availability of Suzy Atkins and Rick Stein attracted us in the first place and we did not really know what to expect never having cruised before. We enjoyed the Eurostar trip to the south of france, the transfer was well organised and ... Read More
Availability of Suzy Atkins and Rick Stein attracted us in the first place and we did not really know what to expect never having cruised before. We enjoyed the Eurostar trip to the south of france, the transfer was well organised and embarkation was smooth. All was clearly explained to us. We thought the walking tours were excellent aided b y the innovative commentary machines. All the guides were friendly and knowlegable .Food and drink were excellent, as were the seating arrangements at dinner. We did not g0o to breakfast or lunch at all, as the light varieties were quite enough. The company was good, and all the staff went out of their way to be as helpful as possible. The cruise director was very hard working and efficient and made sure we all knew where we were supposed to be and when without being overbearing. Overall an excellent first cruise- not our last! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Overall the cruise was a fantastic experience. The boat itself is very sleek and chic. Cabins are certainly small but the storage and layout is very clever. The salon and deck were always full of people relaxing and socializing, ... Read More
Overall the cruise was a fantastic experience. The boat itself is very sleek and chic. Cabins are certainly small but the storage and layout is very clever. The salon and deck were always full of people relaxing and socializing, and the restaurant was comfortable and casual. As mentioned, the crew on the vessel is outstanding. Zoltan, in particular, is to be commended for his unflagging professionalism, enthusiasm, and friendliness. He set the tone for the entire experience and is a stellar representative of the Anne Marie, as well as CroisiEurope. Many thanks also to Chef Pierre as well for keeping everyone well fed! The cuisine was very enjoyable, especially the marvelous BBQ on the deck. Excursions were really fun and the guide, Virginie, was AMAZING. Favorites include the walking tour of Aigues-Mortes and the olive oil tasting. The free time in the port cities was also VERY much appreciated. Finally, I was very impressed with the caliber of the cycling experience. The bikes were super easy to ride and the paths along the river were in fantastic shape! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
A nice boat. The staff were very good. Some of the waiters are burned out. One saying they didn't have coffee cream when I had had it a few times before. I challenged him and he came up with it! Housekeeping was very good. Food 7/10. ... Read More
A nice boat. The staff were very good. Some of the waiters are burned out. One saying they didn't have coffee cream when I had had it a few times before. I challenged him and he came up with it! Housekeeping was very good. Food 7/10. Stateroom, very tight but if organized it worked. Bathroom tiny! The Avalon tours were too mnay people of a wide range in demographics and very pricey. Look to venture out and hire personal guide with tripadvisor as a suggestion. Some kick back engine odor , We had middle stateroom that was nice being at water level. Geerally an average trip, no real issues. Nice captain and management team. Very clean digs. Wait staff accomodated people with birthdays etc. with a festive parade and a cake. Entertainment was so so. Port docking was good and quite accessible to points of interest so you could walk around. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016

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