Lafayette Cabins

Editor Rating
Very Good
Maria Harding

Lafayette has 43 cabins in all: 14 on its Upper Deck (including two singles and one wheelchair-accessible cabin for disabled passengers, with a large bed and bathroom) and 29 (including two singles) on the Main (lower) Deck. Each standard double cabin measures roughly 45 sqare feet. There are no suites.

All cabins are outsides. They have large floor-to-ceiling windows, are modern in design and decorated in shades of gold, beige, cream and burgundy. The in-room bathrooms include showers and hair dryers (hard wired into the bathroom drawers). Other cabin amenities are flat-screen wall-mounted TVs, individual air-conditioning, minibars and telephones.

A small quibble is that the windows are dressed in heavy beige woollen curtains and would benefit from more diaphanous under-drapes. With the curtains open, passengers can feel exposed (particularly when moored alongside other riverboats), but if closed, the curtains are so dense that they block out all the light.

There's ample storage for a weeklong cruise, with plenty of suitcase space under the bed(s). (Double cabins have twin beds, which can be combined into a double on request.)

A long white shelf runs along one wall, with a large mirror above it and storage space below, and there are two slim wardrobes with shelving and space to hang clothes flat against the wall (rather than sideways). Flipping up a lower shelf provides room for longer coats or dresses.

There's another long cupboard concealed in the bed's headboard, and this contains a safe and controls for the radio and in-cabin speakers. (Find this first if you don't want to hear loud multilingual announcements in your room.)

Note that items in the minibar come with a fee: about $2.50 for a soft drink, Perrier water or beer; $15 for a half-bottle of wine; $19 for a half-bottle of Champagne; and $4 for a Toblerone bar.

Note, too, that you should bring your own body lotion and hair conditioner if you like a good pamper in the shower, as toiletries are basic -- just one tiny bottle of Croisi-brand shower gel and one of shampoo.

That said, the shower booths are substantial, and jets are powerful, so you'll have no problem getting hot water to wake you up in the morning.

Bathrooms are tiled in clean and clinical white, with a strip of purple mosaic the only relief. They do have sleek toilets and sinks, well-lit mirrors, deep drawers for toiletries and three door hooks (though no towel rails).

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