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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
The Madeleine is a barge that runs between Lagarde and Strasbourg (or return) in the Alsace region of France. Whilst the barge can accommodate 22 passengers, we were lucky that there were only 10 of us. We did have a problem at the ... Read More
The Madeleine is a barge that runs between Lagarde and Strasbourg (or return) in the Alsace region of France. Whilst the barge can accommodate 22 passengers, we were lucky that there were only 10 of us. We did have a problem at the beginning because the company didn't provide very good directions for our collection at Strasbourg station - we were all in different places! A map with clear instructions would help. The food was exquisite as they served us food local to the region. Wine was included with lunch and dinner. Lunch also included beautiful cheeses which they described prior to the meal. We spent most of our time either 1. relaxing in the lounge as we passed through the many locks 2. walking or cycling on the tow path or in the quaint villages 3. Participating in the excursions they arranged for us. The entire journey was very relaxing, the staff friendly and helpful. We just loved it and highly recommend it as a wonderful, relaxing way to see a small region of France. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Just finished a cruise on the Anne Marie, from Arles to Sete. We thoroughly enjoyed it and miss it already. All of the crew preformed excellently. However, I want to acknowledge the exceptionally excellent work of Chef Pierre (Peter) and ... Read More
Just finished a cruise on the Anne Marie, from Arles to Sete. We thoroughly enjoyed it and miss it already. All of the crew preformed excellently. However, I want to acknowledge the exceptionally excellent work of Chef Pierre (Peter) and the host Zolton. Chef Pierre's food offerings were, for each meal, comparable with the best food I have tasted anywhere. All of the other passengers agreed. Our host, Zolton, was always cheerful and accommodating. His description of the wines and the cheese course were both educational and entertaining. I would have been happy to stay aboard the Anne Marie eating Chef Pierre's food and drinking Zolton's wine, but there were some great excursions to historical sites and points of interest.. The only excursion I would suggest that you avoid is the one to the salt factory at Auigues Morts. Just tour the ancient town. It's walking distances from thge barge dock. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
After many enjoyable river cruises we wanted to try hotel barge cruising. We were not disappointed. Cruising the Rhone-Sete canal and the Rhone between Sete and Arles on the Anne Marie met and often exceeded our expectations. We booked ... Read More
After many enjoyable river cruises we wanted to try hotel barge cruising. We were not disappointed. Cruising the Rhone-Sete canal and the Rhone between Sete and Arles on the Anne Marie met and often exceeded our expectations. We booked through UK based, Blue Water Holidays, which gave a high probability that we would be with English speakers. The barge carries a total of 22 passengers and 6 crew. The dining room, lounge, and terrace are all spacious enough to accommodate everyone. The cabins are small but very functional, with enough storage for a 6 night cruise. Dress code is casual. Our chef, Pierre, entertained us with 3-course lunches and dinners, as well as a buffet style breakfast. Our cruise director, Zoltan, also educated us each lunchtime with his knowledge of the various cheeses from the region. Daily excursions ashore had the same guide for the whole cruise, which I understand is normal practice, although not necessarily the same guide week to week. Our guide was Miriam, who did an excellent job keeping us organized and informed with her knowledge of the region and its customs. In summary, a very enjoyable experience, and one we will hope to replicate on the other itineraries that Croisi-Europe offers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The moment we arrived on board till the time we left we were looked after like royalty, nothing was too much trouble for Sonia (Hotel Manager) and her staff. The whole ship was immaculate, the food and presentation was magnificent. The ... Read More
The moment we arrived on board till the time we left we were looked after like royalty, nothing was too much trouble for Sonia (Hotel Manager) and her staff. The whole ship was immaculate, the food and presentation was magnificent. The cabin (246 on the middle deck) was so clean, with a full picture window, not that we spent much time there. At each served meal, the staff correctly served the ladies firstly every time. The main places we visited were fabulous, Vienna, Bratislava and of course Budapest. Walking through these lovely places in gorgeous weather, although tiring in 32 degrees was a wonderful experience, even smaller places like Melk, Kalocsa and Esztergom were interesting. We also enjoyed the cruising aspect of the trip, just looking at what goes on on the bank and listening and watching bird life.What a fabulous trip, we cannot recommend this ship and company highly enough, we will without a shadow of doubt be travelling with Croisi Europe via Mercury again. Thank you Sonia and team for making this trip such an unforgettable experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I had a really great 7 night trip on the CroisiEurope Beethoven on July 14, and my non-cruising husband enjoyed it too!! We left from and returned to Vienna on the Danube River. We were 2 of 5 Americans on the boat with the rest being ... Read More
I had a really great 7 night trip on the CroisiEurope Beethoven on July 14, and my non-cruising husband enjoyed it too!! We left from and returned to Vienna on the Danube River. We were 2 of 5 Americans on the boat with the rest being British, French and Danish. Language was not a problem and EVERYONE was terrifically nice and friendly. We enjoyed muddling along in English/French with the French passengers, and everyone else spoke English. There were English speaking guides and announcements. No hint of anything other than happiness to have the USA represented. As compared to Viking, the Beethoven is more homey and less elegant, without the richness of the surroundings and luxury appointments, but comfortable. Small staterooms. Minimal bathroom but functional. No verandas. French balconies with big, wide opening windows. The lounge was decorated with blown glass lamps, flowered curtains, anchor pattern turquoise rug and big sofas. Everything very clean. By the way, most alcoholic drinks and sodas were available without charge throughout the day, not just at meals. Beer and drinks seemed somewhat mild. Wine, bottled mineral water also. It was a nice touch! When I booked I unwittingly ordered the "full package" which included all excursions. I did not know there was another option and I am glad we did what we did. However other passengers, including two of the Americans, had purchased the boat trip only and there was a price list for excursions. Many of the Europeans purchased few or no exclusions and either stayed on the boat or just got off and walked around. For many, it seemed like the boat ride, good food, and activities were all they needed to be "on holiday". The excursions were good and guides varied in quality. Less structured than Viking, no fancy busses, etc. but more to the taste of my no frills husband. He and I had a wonderful time walking up to the ruined castle in Durnstein. Don't miss it if you like a bit of exercise! Food was a biggie with this group!! Your were seated with people who spoke the same language, and our table mates were from the U.K. and kept us laughing!! Breakfast was a buffet. Much less lavish and more European than Viking, with a boil your own egg station, etc. Great croissants and yogurt. The menu for lunch and dinner were posted and much discussed each day. The food was generally excellent (the duck was the best I've ever had!!) but no choices were offered at lunch and dinner. If you did not want venison steak or hake filets, too bad. I had arranged in advance with Michael Costa, the Croisi American rep to have a diabetic and pork free menu for My husband and they rose to the occasion like champs!! His plate was always lovely and they made him a different fruit plate for every meal. Some people at our table also chose to ask for a cheese plate instead of "puddings" for desert and that seemed ok. In general, no plate on the whole ship was returned to the kitchen any way except EMPTY! The "Entertainer" (cruise director?) was a young man who did everything from call bingo to teach napkin folding to open the gift shop (a big deal) to ride with the bus to the concert excursion. He was charming and a great favorite!! There were some games we did not participate in which gave points used later in an auction for prizes. We did not do this. We did attend the crew show that consisted of dancing to recorded music. It was well received as all passengers knew the crew, which was small. The room cleaners became the wait staff, so rooms had to be cleaned during buffet breakfast, etc. The real heart and soul of the ship was a lovely Portuguese woman named Sonia. She ran the whole show, doing every duty and running every aspect of the whole ship, except perhaps steering it down the river. On Viking she would have been at least 4 people. She set the friendly efficient tone of the whole trip. Incidentally she stays with the Beethoven, so anyone wishing to try Croisi will not go wrong with her!! In short, although my travel agent warned us that this company caters to local European customers and not the luxury- seeking American market, this trip was perfect for us. It was my husband's first river cruise and on Croisi I was not tempted to be a Viking know-it-all! It was different but equally enjoyable! The Danube is so beautiful and we had perfect, sunny, if somewhat hot, weather every day! The itinerary was arranged so that we sailed through gorgeous scenery and into beautiful lit-up Budapest at night twice!! We made many friends among our shipmates of all nationalities! By the way, we stayed 2 days post cruise which was just excellent. I found the hotel on trip advisor, the Beethoven Wein Hotel! Newly renovated historic building in perfect location, 3 blocks from the Opera and right next to the Nachmarkt, where we ate both nights. I booked us two concerts on line and between them, sightseeing, and the summer performance at the Spanish Riding School, we had a full schedule! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We boarded the ship in Tulcea, Romania. The check-in process was very efficient and the crew were very welcoming. The cases were taken by the crew to the correct cabin, and were left outside for us to take in. We had booked a cabin on ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Tulcea, Romania. The check-in process was very efficient and the crew were very welcoming. The cases were taken by the crew to the correct cabin, and were left outside for us to take in. We had booked a cabin on the upper deck, which was marketed as a stateroom with a balcony. The balcony was not my definition of a balcony. You have a window which opens and which you can lean out of onto the metal safety barriers to stop you falling overboard. To my mind a balcony means something that you can walk onto. Try walking onto this and you would be in the river. The cabin was small and a little cramped. The furniture in the cabin was cheap to put it mildly. Chipboard with a thin, plastic wood-effect covering. Also, some of the units did not fit together correctly. The beds were very comfortable and there were plenty of pillows. There were no tea or coffee making facilities in the room. Given that the bar was not staffed all day (despite being advertised as such) tea and coffee making facilities should be available in the room, or the bar staffed as advertised. The cabin was clean upon arrival, as was the very cramped bathroom. However, the cleaning during the cruise left something to be desired. Small items left on the floor were undisturbed and finger marks on mirrors remained for the majority of the cruise. Also, towels were not properly replaced - twice we had to asked for shower towels having had dirty towels removed but not replaced. The bathroom was small and very cramped. The wash basin was small, and the shower was tiny. Our shower head was broken, as was the pipe to the shower head. Despite being reported twice, this remained unrepaired throughout our cruise. The dining experience was bizarre. The ship carries approximately 160 people. Everyone was called to meals at the same time, leaving some tables waiting for service for up to 45 minutes as the norm, although at one dinner we were left an hour before food service began. The food was generally very good and well presented and despite their being no choice at meals, the ship was very good with dealing with dietary needs, provided they were given a few hours' notice. In fact, in some instances even notice at the table was not a problem. The waiters and waitresses in the restaurant were like robots. There was little interaction with guests, and we were told by several members of staff that interaction with guests was a disciplinary offence. In my view, this does not give good customer service. We did come across one of the waitresses being disciplined for providing advice on the wine to choose with our meal. The lunch would be better served as a buffet and not a three course sit down meal, but that is a personal preference. The bar staff were good and generally friendly, although there seemed a reluctance to serve the free drinks (the cruise was all-inclusive, subject to certain premium drinks not being included). The choice of wines and other drinks as part of the all inclusive package was good. The excursions arranged by the cruise company were mixed. The excursion to Bucharest was badly planned. For a city with so much recent history and so much in the city to see, the excursion to a folk museum at the expense of not really seeing the city, seemed a waste. On the other hand the trip to Novi Sad and some villages close by was excellent. The most memorable, and not for the right reason, was an excursion in Hungary. The guide was absolutely dreadful, and two of the three places chosen for visiting were just as bad. In fact, after a few minutes at the Paprika Museum we crept out for a walk around the town. The travel to the venues consisted of a constant commentary from the guide as to the crops being grown in the fields. Comments such as "On the left you see cabbages, on the right you see corn. We grow both here in Hungary" being made for 90 minutes do not help the stress levels. The on board entertainment was reasonable and the quizzes were generally good fun. The musicians in the bar were very talented, particularly the violinist. The announcements on board are vital to ensure that you are in the right place at the right time, yet there were a number of places on board where the announcements could not be properly heard - the rear bar on the upper deck and the front of the sun deck being two examples. There were two matters that gave us real cause for concern. Firstly, there were staff members allowed to bring children on board. These were in the cabin next to ours and were noisy and disruptive. If staff are to be allowed to bring children on board they should be quiet and discrete. Fare paying guests have a right to enjoy peace and quiet. If more worrying was an incident that happened to us and, we later discovered to other guests on the boat. On one occasion, upon returning from a morning excursion, we noticed that a wallet was missing. I accept that it should have been put in the safe, but what followed suggested that even this may not have been satisfactory. After reporting the incident to a senior member of cabin crew we found the wallet returned the following day following a morning excursion. I had some medication in the safe, and I used this immediately before leaving the boat for the morning excursion. On returning to the cabin just before lunch we opened the safe to find the wallet leaning against the medication. Nothing had been taken. We later became aware of other guests having money being taken from their cabin. However, upon complaining to senior cabin crew the money was returned in tact. Clearly, in our view, the cabin crew have access to the cabin safes, and use that access when they should not. Overall, the cruise was enjoyable, but some simple, no cost, measures could have improved the cruise no end. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Having done a river cruise last year we thought that we would try another one & consequently we went on this one. Embarkation went very smoothly, although some passengers who flew from the U K arrived too early to get on the boat ... Read More
Having done a river cruise last year we thought that we would try another one & consequently we went on this one. Embarkation went very smoothly, although some passengers who flew from the U K arrived too early to get on the boat (boarding from 4 pm) & were "dumped" in a hotel in Porto in very hot conditions 4 hours before they could board.This is hardly a good way to start a holiday as some of them had been up at 3 am. We occupied a lower deck cabin which was very clean but obviously quite small, but had the advantage of being on the same deck as the restaurant.Paying a supplement for a higher cabin is not worth the extra. Everyone is allocated a table in the restaurant which they keep for the week, which worked well for us but may not suit everyone. The standard of food overall was very good, but lunch & dinner was 4 courses with no choice other than vegy on request.We found 4 courses at lunchtime was too much when a buffet meal would have suited most people. Evening entertainment was very good with both Portugese & Spanish traditional music. As usual the excursions were a complete rip off & dont be taken in by the tour operators who try to persuade you to book a package before you go. All the trips were available on board & if anyone would like more info then e-mail me at barrylonghurst@hotmail.com. The boat only sails at night as the river is quite narrow & shallow in places & when it ties up you will find that there is no where to go ashore. The staff were friendly & efficient & mostly well trained. The overall standard of the cruise was very good & we would certainly do another one. do another one. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
The ship was nice, cosy and well kept. Good organization of the space in the cabin with more closets. The equipment and air conditioning in the cabin were well functioning. The acoustic isolation and hygiene in the room was good. The ... Read More
The ship was nice, cosy and well kept. Good organization of the space in the cabin with more closets. The equipment and air conditioning in the cabin were well functioning. The acoustic isolation and hygiene in the room was good. The illumination inside the cabin was correct. The cabin and the catering staff were very kind and efficient but insufficient. Interesting shore excursions, but the guides were of irregular "quality". Questionable organisation of excursions (insufficient details, inattention to the profile and the age of the customers, etc.). Gastronomy of very acceptable level, but less good than in other previous journeys (5 cruises). The buffet is not a reccomendable type of meal due to the rytm of journey. Entertainment was regular and the staff was kind and helpful. The average quality vs price was good but inferior than in previous cruises in same company. The musical theme cruises could be spread in summer time. An experience to repeat once again with group of friends. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Much has been written in previous reviews on this website about this ship and the cruise among the islands and ports of South Dalmatia plus Kotor in Montenegro with which I entirely agree. I will just add some extra points which occur to ... Read More
Much has been written in previous reviews on this website about this ship and the cruise among the islands and ports of South Dalmatia plus Kotor in Montenegro with which I entirely agree. I will just add some extra points which occur to me. First, unlike one reviewer, we booked direct through Voyages Jules Verne. Transport to the ship and back to the airport was included in the price of our holiday and we did not have to pay anything extra. Aboard the ship, they made full use of the sundeck and one evening we had a barbecue and one morning when we were passing through many islands on the very scenic approach to Kotor, they served breakfast up there. Our cabin was on Deck 3 which was very convenient for the restaurant. The only problem was that you could hear the ship's dynamo or a similar noise all the time whether or not the ship was in dock but you quickly got used to it. I agree with one reviewer that the safe was on a top shelf. Whilst I could reach it, it was not very convenient. The food was excellent. Whilst my wife is on a diet, the restaurant manager was very accommodating and always provided an alternative if there was something she did not want to eat on the menu. It is probably a good idea to mention it to your travel agent when you are first booking which we did. There are many good tours with good English-speaking guides. Although I am slightly disabled and walk with a stick, people were very friendly and supportive. Whenever we went ashore in a ship's tender, at the time to come back on board, they used to provide fresh cold, mint tea at the landing quay. This was always welcome and refreshing. Like another reviewer we were a fairly small group, 16, of English-speaking tourists amongst mainly French people with two Americans and I think a few Germans but everyone was very friendly. To sum up, we had a very enjoyable holiday and would certainly go again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
It’s our first time with CroisiEurope on a 5-day Rhine river cruise in June from Strasbourg France to Cochem Germany and we thoroughly enjoyed!!! Thank you all to the hardworking and friendly crew…especially our entertainer ... Read More
It’s our first time with CroisiEurope on a 5-day Rhine river cruise in June from Strasbourg France to Cochem Germany and we thoroughly enjoyed!!! Thank you all to the hardworking and friendly crew…especially our entertainer Stephone who translated everything in English (even the trivia games so we could participate)!!! We were 5 english speaking passengers among a ship full of French speaking passengers (French & Swiss nationals). We felt very welcomed and I got a chance to polish up a bit of my French. With a little bit of French from me and some English from the fellow passengers, I didn’t feel there was any communication issue. My husband who didn’t speak any French said the same. Of course, the crew speak English and we didn’t encounter any issue. The ship M.S. France feels new (2001), well maintained and clean, our room is small but clean and functional, the meals are delicious, crew members are friendly, evening entertainment is fun, the scenery is breathtaking, the towns we visited and overnighted are picturesque, the rates are reasonable, what more can one ask for?! Well…perhaps to stay onboard a bit longer Read Less
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