The 180-passenger Beethoven, which sails on the Rhine and Danube, is one of five similar vessels in CroisiEurope's large fleet of European river cruise ships that measure 360 feet. The ship, which was built in 2004, was refurbished in 2010.
There are 90 cabins, all measuring 140 square feet: 42 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, and floor-to-ceiling picture windows. Each includes a shower, TV, hair dryer, safe and air-conditioning. The ship has one cabin for disabled passengers, located 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 on the middle deck, and the dining room is on the main deck. Other onboard facilities include a library, shop and elevator.
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, being 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, with baguettes, yogurt, muesli and cold cuts among the options.
CroisiEurope has introduced an all-inclusive "open bar," and high-season fares now include access to it 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.
Great cruise with minor niggles