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Sail Date: August 2019
I was travelling with my 90 year old father. It was our second cruise on a Croisieurope ship. The first one was river cruise from Strasbourg on MS Princesse Sissi back in 2007. I have been cruising on Paul Gauguin, Crystal, Azamara ... Read More
I was travelling with my 90 year old father. It was our second cruise on a Croisieurope ship. The first one was river cruise from Strasbourg on MS Princesse Sissi back in 2007. I have been cruising on Paul Gauguin, Crystal, Azamara and Seabourn lines quite a few times since. For this Vienna to Vienna 8 day cruise we arrived one day prior to the start of the cruise. We stayed 2 days after the end of it for more Vienna sightseeing. We caught a cab from our hotel near Stephan Platz to the mooring peer and arrived around 5:30pm for an official boarding at 6:00pm. The crew let us board anyway. Be aware that traffic in Vienna can be congested and a short trip can turn into an hour bumper to bumper traffic jam. Check in was quick and easy. The crew took our suitcases to our cabin on the lower deck. We discuss dining table sharing options before dinner. The ship was refurbished in 2017 and they upgraded the cabins. They are 1.5 time or twice bigger than the previous configuration of the cabins. The bathrooms also are bigger. The MS Symphonie offers good size cabins with a bathroom including a standard size shower. I believe there is one or maybe 2 cabins for people with wheelchair on the upper deck. Our cabin had 2 twin beds that you can move closer/further away depending on your requirements.The room has 2 small wardrobes and 2 cabinets with shelves. It is plenty of storage space for an 8 day cruise. Suitcases are stored under the beds as usual on a cruise ship. There is one power socket (with 2 round prong European style) at each end of the bed head and one socket under the desk. There is one socket for a shaver in the bathroom. There is an LCD TV hanging from the ceiling with a motorised stowing system. You can hide/show it as you wish. The TV has a selection of French channels but also BBC, CNN and other standard English language channels. Reception is sometimes broken when the ship is moving but it works fine when stationary. Dining is at a shared table of 4. There are larger tables for bigger groups/families and only a couple of smaller tables for 2. Food is very palatable. Breakfast came as a buffet with a selection of scramble eggs and bacon, German sausage, fruit, cheese and other milk products, in other words anything you can expect in a hotel. Lunch time come generally as a buffet. Dinner was served at the table. It was a set menu. I would have enjoyed a dish of the local cuisine. We only had one dinner with Hungarian cuisine. The rest was French/International. I believe they can offer options for passengers with dietary limitations (low salt, low sugar, no porc, etc...) but you have to specify when you book the cruise. The crew was very efficient and polite. In regards to activities, there was a musician playing and passengers on the dance floor in the evening. During the day, there is a selection of games that you can play with your fellow passengers. Cards, Scrabble, Rummykub. On a sailing day there was also a game of deck bowling. One evening the crew organised a 'show'. It was fun. They are not professionals so it was not Cirque Du Soleil or Vegas but the passengers had fun watching them. Shore excursions were generally good. The guides very knowledgeable and interesting. Make sure you let the guide know if you have limitations (climbing stairs etc...) as they do not check if the group is all there before proceeding with the tour. I saw a few kids on the ship and asked them what they thought, They were pleased and they enjoyed the cruise. It was not their first one and they enjoyed this one more than they enjoyed their previous one. The crew is mainly Hungarian. They only speak basic French and English. The Commissaire de Bord (Julien) spoke French, English, Spanish, German, Hungarian and many more languages. I would not recommend this cruise line for non French or English speakers though. Some Spanish passengers who only spoke Spanish struggled a bit when communicating with the crew. Same problem with a Japanese couple. There is a free WIFI on the ship. It is pretty slow and limited. You can only download your mails but don't expect a VoIP call or a Video Call unless you are using your cell phone roaming. In regards to tipping, Croisieurope offers the option of an envelop and a drop box. The contains of the envelop are divided equally between all the crew members on the ship. I'd definitely go on another Croisieurope cruise on the MS Symphonie. It is great value for money. The ship is very nice and the crew efficient. Great time and great memories. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Summary over a cruise on the Haute Seine and Yonne on a barge. As seasoned cruisers, knowing well all aspects of cruising on seas and rivers, we had no experience about traveling on a barge in a canal. It was also time to overcome this ... Read More
Summary over a cruise on the Haute Seine and Yonne on a barge. As seasoned cruisers, knowing well all aspects of cruising on seas and rivers, we had no experience about traveling on a barge in a canal. It was also time to overcome this lack. A number of companies offer this kind of cruising on barge with 8 to 16 passengers, however very often at exorbitant prices. Luckily, we discovered that the company CroisiEurope offers one week cruise on various canals in Europe, at very decent price, especially considering that all is inclusive (full board, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and all excursions) on modern barges with a maximum of 22 passengers. We opted for the barge Ms Deborah, which cruises on the canal de la Loire, with the Briare to Nevers’ route. We were looking forward to this itinerary because the proposed excursions particularly suited us. Unfortunately, only a few days before departure, we were informed that due of a lack of water in the Loire canal the Ms Deborah was switched over to the Haute Seine and Yonne for a new itinerary from Paris to Sens. Despites the fact that this new itinerary didn’t really meet our desires, especially the excursions, we decided to accept the change. Our group of 6 persons from Switzerland was very warmly greeted by all members of the crew when arriving on the quai de Grenelle in Paris where we see the MS DEBORAH for the first time, our floating home for the week. With its two dominating colours blue and white, it is difficult not to fall in love with this beautiful small ship. We were invited immediately for the welcome cocktail during which we met officially the crew and the other six individual passengers originating from New Zealand, England and the USA. With less time than it needs to tell, the relation between us was created, so that everyone felt part of a bunch of friends knowing each other for long time. There is no need to present here the MS Deborah itself, as this is already thoroughly done on the Cruise Critic page. The crew of 6 persons is composed of a captain, a sailor, a cruise director, a chef, a waitress and a cabin hostess who put all their efforts to satisfy the passengers and offer them the best possible service. The captain as well as the sailor are always trying to make passengers at ease, answer questions or even bring a drink. The lady cruise director is omnipresent, taking care of the passengers better than a mother hen would do. The talented young French chef aims to produce dishes which please everybody. His outstanding sauces and excellent desserts should be particularly praised. However, referring to comments we made during a cruise on the Seine Princess two years ago, we cannot understand that why today it is not possible to offer the choice of a light buffet at lunch instead a three or even four course menu! The always smiling and friendly Hungarian waitress was very caring and attentive, without forgetting the cabin hostess doing a great job in the cabins, the public spaces and even the kitchen. It wouldn’t be fair to name a single person as all members of the crew, without any exception, do all they can to make the cruise unforgettable. Our one-week cruise on the barge Ms Deborah enables us today to make the following comments: ~ a cruise on a barge cannot be compared to any other kind of cruise ~ despite all the comfort offered on modern barge, one must be very aware that life on board happens at a restraint space, requiring therefore much flexibility and understanding in all aspects from all passengers ~ in our case, being only 12 passengers, we had the opportunity to take our meals on the terrace. We also never had the feeling that the boat was overcrowded. This can be different when the ship is full, especially by bad weather ~ the state of mind between the passengers who are mostly of foreign nationalities, who don’t know each other and don’t speak French, must function well right from the beginning ~ if the interrelation works, it is difficult to find a more relaxing and enjoyable way of travelling ~ the success on a barge is mainly due on the quality of its crew. Ms Deborah’s crew members have quickly created a family spirit on board, showing also that they genuinely like what they do ~ excursions can play a major role in choosing an itinerary. Not speaking French or English can be a handicap Do we recommend to do a cruise on a barge? Yes, definitively! It’s affordable, the atmosphere on board is unique, the routes can be very interesting. In our case, this second try with CroisiEurope gives them a better note. We would also consider again if some improvements are made in a certain sector Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This is our second river cruise with Croisieurope and it was excellent. The ship - the Amalia Rodrigues, is a new ship, only 4 months old when we went on it in July 2019. It is tastefully decorated throughout. We were luckily enough to ... Read More
This is our second river cruise with Croisieurope and it was excellent. The ship - the Amalia Rodrigues, is a new ship, only 4 months old when we went on it in July 2019. It is tastefully decorated throughout. We were luckily enough to be upgraded from the main deck to the middle deck, which gave us a floor to ceiling view and an opening patio type door (without a balcony). This was really good as you could just watch the banks of the Douro go by as you lay on your bed. Shampoo and body wash are provided in the bathroom and a hairdryer. Electrical points are situated in the bedroom (take a European adapter). A free safe was provided in the stateroom. Information - was available in the reception and also on the drop down television in the staterooms. There is free WiFi on board. Croisieurope operate a set menu ( you need to inform them when booking if you have an allergy or are vegetarian) at lunch and dinner. The breakfast is buffet style with a whole range of continental style food, with the occasional hot item being offered. There was the facility to boil your own eggs. An omelette station was set up for breakfast one morning. The wine served with lunch and dinner was of good quality. The bar is open for house wines, beer and cocktails from mid morning until midnight. But it is closed during meal times. There was a help yourself soft drinks provided in the lounge daily, often with some biscuits or a cake. You could get a coffee from the bar. The evening entertainment was a mixture of folk dancing and music. There were occasional quizzes in the afternoon. Which were just a bit of fun and not taken too seriously. Excursions are added on at an additional cost. We didn’t do all of them. Some times the ship moves whilst you are on an excursion (where you depart the ship is not necessarily where you rejoin it) so you will need to be on board for the departure time if you go for a walk around and are not doing the excursion. All the staff on board were very friendly, polite, hard working and most are multi lingual. All announcements and information was given in different languages, including English. The cruise up and down the river has stunning scenery. Grape plantations each side of the valley, small towns and villages, 5 or 6 huge locks which we navigated through. Where the river narrows at certain points a long the river, the scenery in my opinion is like the fjords, just not quite such high mountains. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Pros and cons but overall a very pleasant cruise. We would choose Croisieurope again but not the Douro Booking procedure and communication etc was excellent The price was very reasonable and included drinks Check in process was ... Read More
Pros and cons but overall a very pleasant cruise. We would choose Croisieurope again but not the Douro Booking procedure and communication etc was excellent The price was very reasonable and included drinks Check in process was smooth and all the staff were extremely friendly and helpful The boat docked in the middle of nowhere, the only way to get there is a taxi, there is nothing nearby. Other cruise lines seemed to dock near the Luis 1 bridge which has much much more to offer considering you board in the afternoon and do not sail till the following lunchtime so there is nothing to do with yourself in between times Unfortunately on our trip were 20 children - 1/5 of the total passengers They monopolised the pool completely and any daytime activities were only for them There are plenty of chairs and sunbeds on the top deck and a cold juice dispenser was sometimes put up there but it would have been nice for bar staff to wander around occasionally too because it's two floors down to the bar Our cabin was fine, number 304 on the upper deck at the back. The engines are extremely noisy though, so don't expect any lie-ins Luckily the sailing was not done at night, otherwise we would not have slept at all We had a large opening window with Juliette balcony. The lighting is good. The beds are comfortable. The cabin is very clean. Water and toiletries are supplied. There is only one plug! So take a four way adapter.The shower pressure is poor. You are allocated your table in the dining room for the whole week and share with other people of the same language. We had a nice table for 5 near a window. The food is tasty but absolutely no choice whatsoever for lunch or dinner. You get what you are given. Not even one single choice. My husband does not eat fish and therefore they did cater for him separately on those occasions. Water and wine are supplied at the table and they would bring you a beer or similar if you prefer. Starter, main course, dessert and coffee. Breakfast is a buffet and that was very good but they only had the egg station running for one morning which was a real shame. The lounge/bar area is a very good size with plenty of tables and chairs and a dance floor. Unfortunately because we had 20 children on board, they monopolised that area during the day playing noisy games and therefore there was nowhere quiet to set and play cards or read and have a drink etc. There was 'entertainment' 3 nights out of 5. One was the crew - this was awful, sorry. One was a Spanish dancing performance and one was a Portuguese dancing performance. Nothing during the day for adults. There was a daily picture quiz sheet but everyone was googling the answers so what's the point! It would have been really nice to have a talk about the river and the history of the dams and locks perhaps or generally about the Douro and Port etc but there was nothing. It would have been nice if a couple of films were available in English in the cabin but only 2 English channels and they were American news. Apart from Porto and Salamanca, the ports of call were awful - absolutely nothing there! Salamanca was wonderful but it was a 9 hour paid-for day trip and goodness knows what there was to do if you didn't go on the trip! The locks were fun, 5 of them, very low bridges and quite entertaining with the upper deck roof being lowered and everyone advised to sit on the floor haha The river is beautiful and the passing scenery was lovely Tea and coffee and water are left out in the bar to help yourself together with plain biscuits and cheese cracker biscuits. There were a few pastries first thing each day but unfortunately the 20 children on board seemed to enjoy those every day The boat itself is nicely presented and clean and the staff are all lovely We would choose a river cruise again one day and perhaps with this company but not on the Douro and not with so many children on board if we can help it. We would also take more nibbles and snacks on board because there is nothing to eat between meals and nowhere to buy anything We would also try to find a cruise with at least two choices of food for lunch and dinner. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I was on a University Alumni cruise that was organized by AHI on the Douro river in Portugal.. All the passengers were Alumni of different universities, about 85 or so. Many were seasoned travelers. Having been on 3 other river cruises I ... Read More
I was on a University Alumni cruise that was organized by AHI on the Douro river in Portugal.. All the passengers were Alumni of different universities, about 85 or so. Many were seasoned travelers. Having been on 3 other river cruises I am familiar with the format. The Amalia Rodrigues was very new, clean and immaculate. And very comfortable. The rooms are small but there was a place for everything. You don't spend that much time in them. The bathroom was nice. The food was quite good. The crew was fabulous and bent over backward to accommodate various requests. All were very kind and helpful. The CD Ricardo was a master in his job - energetic, always informative and funny. He is a real asset to CroisiEurope. Having never before sailed with CroisiEurope I would now consider sailing with them. I understand that we were on a somewhat "special" sailing but if the crew and CD are indicative of the caliber of people at CroisiEurope I would sail with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise for (1) all inclusive and no nickel and diming us; (2) biking excursions to offset the awesome French food, and (3) size of ship with 174 passengers. A+ on all 3 reasons for going with CroisiEurope, and specifically ... Read More
Chose this cruise for (1) all inclusive and no nickel and diming us; (2) biking excursions to offset the awesome French food, and (3) size of ship with 174 passengers. A+ on all 3 reasons for going with CroisiEurope, and specifically the biking excursion alternative. Cabin and services were good, finding more room than I anticipated. Also appreciated that our window fully opened to watch as we traveled the rivers. Food was divine for lunch and dinner - 3 and 4 courses for each of these meals. Their ability to adapt and provide alternatives to dislikes was immediate! We got to really know almost all the servers! Breakfast croissants and pain au chocolat were deadly good! French eggs and bacon would be considered uncooked, but asked them for "well done". Biking excursions with Dig N Go was the only way to see this region. We were biking through quintessential French country roads and in between vineyards!!! Bikes accommodated us short people, which was a worry. Started out too fast-paced for what we expected, but the group pace slowed down significantly toward the end, accommodating our desire for photos of everything. Our guides Martin, Sam and Philippe were very helpful and knowledgeable about where we were. Highlight for us - St. Emilion and Arcachon/Cap Ferrat rides! Everything was included! Apero as we waited for dinner to start! Wine and oyster tasting - all included. I absolutely loved that fact! Would pick a CroisiEurope trip again! I can't find enough superlatives! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was an exclusive group booking by BrandG sailing down river to Oporto. First glance showed this to be a new modern and smart boat with decent top deck and small cool shallow pool. The top deck needed clearing to get under one ... Read More
This was an exclusive group booking by BrandG sailing down river to Oporto. First glance showed this to be a new modern and smart boat with decent top deck and small cool shallow pool. The top deck needed clearing to get under one bridge only. We were able to visit the bridge once. The crew were very pleasant and the bar service excellent compared to previous river sailings. Food was fine and waiter served at dinner but buffet lines for lunch were often long. Our double bed cabin on 3 deck had a large slide back glass wall which was excellent with good curtains as some times you are alongside another boat. They do not sail at night. Good shower. The air con unit was directly above the bed though and a little difficult to adjust! Decent storage space and safe. The duvet was too warm though. The river and huge locks interesting, though the water can be slow flowing and green in places. A good value boat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We had a good time on the cruise. We were in a unique situation, so our feedback might be a little skewed. Our cruise was bought out by a French Bus Tour Sabadu all but two tables of the dining room went out together on big black buses ... Read More
We had a good time on the cruise. We were in a unique situation, so our feedback might be a little skewed. Our cruise was bought out by a French Bus Tour Sabadu all but two tables of the dining room went out together on big black buses for their excursions. That left my group of 7 and a couple from Belgium. Croisi Europe rented a little bus and guide for our excursions. It felt more lux this way to us and we knew it was not the norm. We were the only English speakers on the cruise – which was perfectly fine and we made friends nonetheless. However, I suggested in the boat that size, even with the mixed group, that some kind of “ice breaker” activity should be done the first night. Perhaps it is my years of working at a college where we are always having to mix groups quickly, I see the benefit of such an activity. The food was great, and the service was caring and wonderful. We asked if we could watch the FIFA Women’s Final (US vs NL - and we were in NL) in the bar on the big TV and the crew set up chairs for us to watch. We also had a birthday in our group and informed the chef. We brought our own party favors and the chef served her dessert with sparklers. The crew show was so bad it was good – all in good fun. My group cheered them on and laughed and clapped. Great fun! I am sure I will do another in the future, just when I don’t know. There is great value for money with CroisiEurope. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Just returned from the holiday. This is our fourth river cruise and second with Croisieurope. In short, excellent. The ship - the Amalia Rodrigues, is 4 months old (as at July 2019) and as new as you can get. Very well appointed ... Read More
Just returned from the holiday. This is our fourth river cruise and second with Croisieurope. In short, excellent. The ship - the Amalia Rodrigues, is 4 months old (as at July 2019) and as new as you can get. Very well appointed and tastefully decorated, likewise the staterooms. As a bonus we actually got upgraded from the main deck to the middle deck, which gave us a floor to ceiling view and an opening patio type door (without the balcony). This was really good as you could take a bit of time out of socialising and just watch the banks of the Douro go by. Consumables - such as soap, shampoo, etc were all provided. Also a hairdryer and electrical points in the room and bathroom (take a European adapter). A free to use safe was provided in the stateroom. Information - was well presented and available in the reception and also on the drop down television in the staterooms. Food - the main difference with Croisieurope and other lines is the set menu (except if you have an allergy or are vegetarian). If you really don’t like something then let them know and they will do their best to find a good and wholesome alternative but this is not the norm. I treated this as a learning experience as I found myself eating food that I would never normally try. The menu’s on this cruise were, as expected, biased towards Portuguese and Spanish cuisine. As for the cooking and presentation - to ship is French, so need I say more. Wine - again, the ship is French, so the wine was of good quality, although mainly of Portuguese origin. Bar open from mid morning until midnight. Evening entertainment - was a mixture of local culture (Fado music, folk dancing and Flamenco) and music with an open dance floor. There was a few games in the afternoon as well, most of which were cleverly done so as to be non-language specific. Excursions - this is another departure from the usual. Croisieurope add their excursions on at an additional cost. We didn’t do all of them, just the ones we really wanted. Occasionally, the ship may move moorings during some excursions (where you depart the ship is not necessarily where you rejoin it) so you will need to be on board if you are not doing the excursion. We quite enjoyed this as the ship was quiet during these times and the repositioning was not generally more than about 30 minutes so you could get off once you had got to your new moorings. Staff - excellent. Nothing was too much trouble. Friendly, polite, hard working and multi lingual. Clientele - we had 12 different nationalities on board. We were the only English and were sat at meal times with two Australians. There were also three Americans. We thought this was great (a bit embarrassing, of course, as all of the other nationalities spoke English). All announcements and information was given in four different languages, including English. The cruise itself - in a word, stunning. Vine plantations rising up each side of the valley, small towns and villages, huge locks (which we navigated through). What a pleasure it was to just watch this go by during our sailing time. Value for money - is where the cruise scores heavily, full board with drinks and all of the amenities you need on board. In summary, this is the second Croisieurope cruise we’ve done, along with river cruises with other companies. The combination of the Croisieurope cruise line and the Douro cruise route nailed it for me and I would thoroughly recommend this to any potential river cruiser wishing to see the sights of the Douro. Don’t worry about the set menu or the nationalities of the other passengers, it just adds to the experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We were 4 New Zealanders and we chose this cruise because it was 18 days and at a reasonable price. The cabin was not huge but nicely decorated, clean and a good shower and had a large window. The bed was very comfortable. The Victor Hugo ... Read More
We were 4 New Zealanders and we chose this cruise because it was 18 days and at a reasonable price. The cabin was not huge but nicely decorated, clean and a good shower and had a large window. The bed was very comfortable. The Victor Hugo had very recently been refurbished. The food, wine and drinks were fantastic. The meals were amazing Staff were great and the announcement were in French and English. We had a little hiccup with our excursions but that was an error with their NZ agent and was soon rectified. Unfortunately when we were to leave Regensburg a Viking Ship smashed a lock gate which prevented all boats going any further. Because we were to go to Amsterdam on our cruise, Croisi arranged for us to go by minibus to Strasbourg and join another ship the Gerard Schmitter which then completed our cruise to Amsterdam. We were 4 days short of our cruise so Croisi put us up in a hotel all meals included with wine, and we had a guide for 4 days to show us all the sights of Amsterdam which was fantastic. We would definitely do another cruise with this company and hope to in the near future. Brian & Wendy (N.Z) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise as I thought it would be a good experience to travel on a European cruise line. The smoke smell on this ship was very overwhelming, especially after meals. The crew were constantly smoking on the deck right outside ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I thought it would be a good experience to travel on a European cruise line. The smoke smell on this ship was very overwhelming, especially after meals. The crew were constantly smoking on the deck right outside the reception area and the smoke blew in every time the sliding door opened. The average age of the passengers is very old which made it difficult on tours. The food was good and the staff were helpful and tried their best to accommodate, but I would never consider booking on this cruise line again unless you love the smell of cigarette smoke. The constant noise of loudspeakers announcing activities, excursions and dinner times were constant and very annoying as they were repeated in three languages. There were only four passengers on this cruise who spoke English exclusively , and as a result we had all our meals with this other couple for the entire cruise. Luckily we got along or it could have been worse. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had a wonderful trip on the beautiful Renoir. We chose this trip because we wanted to do a one way on the Seine, ending in Paris. We started in Honfleur where we had time to explore the city and a coach trip to We were extremely ... Read More
We had a wonderful trip on the beautiful Renoir. We chose this trip because we wanted to do a one way on the Seine, ending in Paris. We started in Honfleur where we had time to explore the city and a coach trip to We were extremely happy with our room and loved that we could keep our sliding glass window cracked open for fresh air at night. The bed was very comfortable and the cleaning staff kept our room and bath room clean and supplied. The entire crew, but especially the gals at the front desk, really was pleasant and never tired of answering our questions. They knew everything that was happening and we felt like we were in extremely good hands. The captain did a great job making sure that we were safe and that we met the schedule. What expertise taking the boat under the bridges in Paris! The excursions for the most part were very good. The boat tour in Paris was par excellence and so glad we were able to do that! The Paris Cabaret show was another highlight for us. The meals were presented well, they were hot and tasty. The dining crew worked really hard and they were always so pleasant and willing to go the extra mile to make sure our dining experience was a good one. We loved the breakfast buffet and the 2 lunch buffets. Because we prefer mainly vegetables, that really worked for us. We wish that every lunch was a buffet!!! Dinners were a little heavy for us and we had to substitute the red meats with fish or chicken. But most of the other people looked like they were really enjoying the menu. We so enjoyed our English speaking table mates, really helped us to communicate at dinner. We would do this trip again in a heartbeat! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I have some extended holiday time this year so we wanted to spend some of this time traveling out of the UK (where we live temporarily- we are from the US) to Europe. I thought this would be a great chance to check out a ... Read More
My husband and I have some extended holiday time this year so we wanted to spend some of this time traveling out of the UK (where we live temporarily- we are from the US) to Europe. I thought this would be a great chance to check out a river cruise, which we have never done before, although we have done many ocean cruises. My perception of river cruises are - they are long, expensive, and generally focused on retirees. But, I came across Croisi, which generally seems lower priced and which offered some shorter cruise options with (and this was the main selling point!) a couple options that included hikes at each port. I loved the idea of hiking the countryside at each location and I also read that the food on Croisi is excellent, dedicated to French gourmet cooking. I did notice that Croisi is a French cruise line but didn't realize quite how French, until we boarded and we were told that there were essentially 6 other English-speakers on board! It turned out there were about 12 English speakers total, with 7 of us speaking no French at all, out of about 200 or so guests (not sure of the exact number), most of which were indeed retirees. They sat the non-French speakers, 4 couples that included one French speaker, at the same table for meals so we did have someone to talk with. But, I think it could be almost equally likely that you could end up with no other passengers speaking English. So, if you do not speak French, my first recommendation would be to maybe do a Croisi cruise with a larger group so you are guaranteed someone else to talk with. As advertised, the food was excellent! Maybe a little too meat-focused for some. Personally, I like meat but love vegetables as well and I could have used a little more veggies. After the first day, a couple folks from our table requested "less meat" - really hoping for more vegetables, but basically getting the same amount of vegetables but with fish instead of other meats. I am not sure what you would get if you asked for strict vegetarian - I would definitely let them know ahead of time if that is what you want. The "free" wine choices were very good - they had some bottles you could pay for that I am sure are excellent but I wouldn't bother as the free ones were great. The itinerary consisted of leaving from Lyon and heading down the Rhone to Avignon and then back again over 5 nights. The highlight for us was definitely the hikes! The weather was gorgeous and we saw some beautiful scenery and towns.The majority of the guests did the hikes - and I would rate them at about a level 3 and hiking poles would be helpful although not an absolute necessity. They split us into a couple groups and our hike-leader spoke English, so we were always grouped with him. We also did some non-hike tours and they made sure we had an English tour guide (or English + French) for each one - which sometimes meant we had a close-to-private tour, if it was English only. The best non-hike tour was Avignon. After one hike we wandered around Les Beaux de Provence, which was beautiful. We rode a bus through Camargue, which actually was pretty cool to see the "famous" bulls, horses, and pink flamingos, although I am generally not a fan of bus tours. Viviers and Vienne were nice for quick visits. Going through the locks was interesting - we thought it was pretty cool but if you are claustrophobic you might not want to be in a lower cabin and/or make sure you're on the upper level during the use of the lock, The evening "entertainment" was fun, but really just consisted of a little game and maybe a bit of dancing. There was no real entertainment in terms of music or shows or anything like that. There was a "crew show" one night, which we skipped, that sounded like it was something along the lines of a elementary school talent show. There is no fitness center on board although the staff did lead an exercise session after breakfast on the non-hike days. I really, really liked the decor of the ship - kind of a "modern, European hotel" look. Quite simple and bright. We walked through a couple other boats, just to get on the dock, and they seemed so ostentatious in their decor (marble and chrome and fancy light fixtures, etc.) compared to our more simple kind of Scandi-type look. I definitely preferred Croisi in this respect. Our room was good but because we booked late, we had a lower level room, which was all that was left. It was fine in terms of views but I suspect the engine noise was louder down there - which was an issue the two nights that we were traveling at night. Overall conclusion - we enjoyed the cruise. The hikes were great, the staff were lovely, the food and wine were very good. There was a mixed view among the non-French speakers about the overall vibe from the other passengers. I felt like they were generally neutral, some smiled and nodded and a few spoke a little English to be friendly. But, most of the time, there was very little interaction. I don't blame them though, this is their country (we were in France, after all!) and they were on a French cruise line, so I can see why they might not be bothered with English-speakers at all. A couple of us seemed to pick up more "resentment" or maybe annoyance from the French passengers, which could be right but I tend to be pretty oblivious about this type of thing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted to go on the Douro river and explore the Portuguese countryside. It was an amazing experience. Amalia Rodrigues is a new ship. Very modern and welcoming. We loved the crew. The staff was very hardworking, friendly, humorous and ... Read More
We wanted to go on the Douro river and explore the Portuguese countryside. It was an amazing experience. Amalia Rodrigues is a new ship. Very modern and welcoming. We loved the crew. The staff was very hardworking, friendly, humorous and caring. They worked as a perfect team. Special thanks to the cruise director Sonya and the entertainer Diogo. The evening entertainment, shows and different kinds of trivia contests were a lot of fun. Comfortable cabins and common areas. This cruise is for foodies and wine experts. The French cuisine was elaborate and the wines and drinks on the ship were very good and wine tasting on tours was great. We loved shore tours and the tour guides that were contracted by Croisi. Those people were passionate about their country and history. The natural beauty of the Portuguese country side is breathtaking. We liked all tours, but the best ones were in Salamanca (Spain) and Lamego. It was not our first river cruise, but the most successful thanks the detailed planning and perfect organization of all activities by the crew and the cruise company especially the staff in New York office Ms. Manipon and Mr. Erickson. The atmosphere on the ship was very pleasant. The staff was Portuguese, but spoke French and English. We were with the group of English speaking tourists from New Zealand and Denmark. We highly recommend this cruise to American tourists. Thanks to CroisiEurope we had an unforgettable vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the time of year (tulips in bloom in Amsterdam). We had also heard good things about Croisi so we thought we would give them a try. The planned route of the tour took us to all of the places we wanted to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the time of year (tulips in bloom in Amsterdam). We had also heard good things about Croisi so we thought we would give them a try. The planned route of the tour took us to all of the places we wanted to visit along the Rhine. The food was excellent as was the service. We were amazed at how stable the boat was throughout the entire cruise. We passed many ships heading both upstream and downstream and never felt any motion or roughness from their wakes. It was hard to tell whether the boat was moving or moored unless you opened a curtain and looked outside. At one stop, we moored next to a Viking Boat which was at least a third if not half again as long as our boat. I can't imagine that they had a better ride than we did. The service was exceptional and the people very friendly and helpful. We will definitely look at taking another Croisi Cruise in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a family cruise for 11 of us. We are very seasoned cruisers. It was so far below expectations, I wanted to give it 0 stars but that wasn’t an option. Where to start? Room and every other room was excruciatingly hot. Response ... Read More
This was a family cruise for 11 of us. We are very seasoned cruisers. It was so far below expectations, I wanted to give it 0 stars but that wasn’t an option. Where to start? Room and every other room was excruciatingly hot. Response from crew was that it’s an old boat. If you speak English choose another cruise line. The bartender made it clear we were bothering her and the only excitement or friendliness we got from her is when she excitedly waved goodbye. The 2 cruise directors were very sweet as were our waiters. I’m a vegetarian and literally was served a carrot for dinner. My poor father in law. This was his last visit to his homeland and even he couldn’t wait to get off this ship.. We all said that thank goodness it was only a 4 day cruise. Just an honest review and I never write reviews but this was an expensive cruise and just trying to save others from the torture. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I'm not sure why they call this "low season" - we barely saw a drop of rain in a week! We joined the cruise just north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for a week-long trip to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The ship is 22 cabins and ... Read More
I'm not sure why they call this "low season" - we barely saw a drop of rain in a week! We joined the cruise just north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for a week-long trip to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The ship is 22 cabins and is able to take you all the way into the city, which was so convenient! The ship has a period feel, with lots of polished wood and brass fittings. Our cabin was on the upper deck towards the prow. Plenty of room for clothes and suitcases, it felt very spacious. The bathroom was small, but had everything we needed, including some welcome cabinets above the sink. We couldn't fault the food. Breakfast and lunch were buffets, with plenty of variety over the course of the week, including Cambodian & Vietnamese curries, as well as pasta and even roast pork! The excursions were awesome and the guides excellent. In one week we: saw the sun set over the flooded plains of central Cambodia; rode in an ox cart; visited a 200 year old Pagoda; tasted snake wine in Vietnam and saw the stunning Vinh Tran Pagoda. The crew were all extremely warm and welcoming. Nothing was too much trouble. Can't recommend this cruise or ship highly enough! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The La Belle de L'Adriatique is a old vessel with a capacity of 150 passengers. We cruised the Adriatic Sea from Dubrovnik to Naples. I would not recommend this vessel for those expecting a luxury cruise. I think the European ... Read More
The La Belle de L'Adriatique is a old vessel with a capacity of 150 passengers. We cruised the Adriatic Sea from Dubrovnik to Naples. I would not recommend this vessel for those expecting a luxury cruise. I think the European market is a better fit, but not for the American cruiser that expects a certain standard. The lounge on this vessel is the ugliest I have ever seen on a cruise ship. I have cruised 23 times. The colors are dark chocolate brown & milk chocolate brown. No cheer what so ever. There are many oil paintings on the walls throughout he ship which did not inspire me at all. The art in the cabin was amateurish. As this was a charter cruise I cannot comment on the beverages included. Food was good for all three meals. Service by the Philippino staff in the dining room was okay. They would at times reach over in my face to deliver & take plates. I had to be vigilant as at times they would take away my unfinished meal. The maids were cheerful. The laundry room for the ship was a few doors from our cabin with an open door. I have never been on a ship that had the ship's laundry on the same floor as guest cabins. This could be a problem with people sensitive to laundry products. If you don't mind the rough edges this is a ship for you. Looking for a more luxury experience you need to go elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our second Croisi Cruise. The first was for 5 nights out of Bordeaux. Fabulous French food and relaxed itinerary. Just 8 English speakers 2 Americans and 6 Australians We have started mixing a short cruise between busy ... Read More
This was our second Croisi Cruise. The first was for 5 nights out of Bordeaux. Fabulous French food and relaxed itinerary. Just 8 English speakers 2 Americans and 6 Australians We have started mixing a short cruise between busy land tours for R and R Eastern Europe overland 14 days- CROISI cruise 8 days -Russia and the Baltic States 14 days We were aware of low river levels distrupting river cruises so I contacted Croisi 10 days before our Cruise to ensure we would be sailing. They never replied and after we embarked in Berlin and sailed we were then informed of changes to the itinerary . We completed the first 4 days by doing a "rat run" down Canals and had to moor in isolated spots and spend long days on a coach instead of being able to walk from the ship to places such as Dresden and Meissen. After 2 long bus days we stayed on board and following a complaint on our return home we received a refund of our excursion costs 700 Euro. The company did their best and can't be blamed for the drought but I did object to not being informed beforehand of the changes. We were lucky in that many river cruisers at that time did their whole "cruise" on a bus!! The food onboard did not compare to the first cruise ..French Versus Eastern European Cuisine There were 6 English speakers 2 Irish 2 New Zealanders and 2 Australians. We all received a 700 Euro refund. Croisi is designed for Europeans and is not for everyone. We like their product and it represents good value compared to other companies. We had been to busy Prague on our land tour and loved a second opportunity to get up early and walk over all the bridges with hardly anyone else around. Don't do as the Europeans do GET UP EARLY and you will be rewarded. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Cabins small but well planned, and kept spotless by Renee. Picture Windows at water level. These are of little interest when moored alongside harbour wall or canal bank, which happened on four of our six nights. When we did get a canal ... Read More
Cabins small but well planned, and kept spotless by Renee. Picture Windows at water level. These are of little interest when moored alongside harbour wall or canal bank, which happened on four of our six nights. When we did get a canal view it was filthy with faeces floating. So don't stay in the cabin. Food was great but heavily meat based. Our rep promised lots of fish, but we had nine meat meals and three of fish. All drinks were included, and were fine, but don't expect the best wines and champagne unless you pay extra. Trips were varied with something for everyone, Roman ruins, oyster farming, cattle manade. For me, a little too long in buses, and would have liked more free time in various stopping places. The crew were excellent and attentive. Their manager kept telling us this, which was unnecessary. They joined in petanque with passengers, whenever there was a flat piece of ground near the mooring. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My wife are from Melbourne, Australia and discovered this cruise on the internet. We have just completed a wonderful 7 night cruise of the Douro River Valley from Porto to Salamanca and back on Croisi Europe’s 132 passenger vessel the ... Read More
My wife are from Melbourne, Australia and discovered this cruise on the internet. We have just completed a wonderful 7 night cruise of the Douro River Valley from Porto to Salamanca and back on Croisi Europe’s 132 passenger vessel the ‘Gil Eanes’. Whilst Croisi Europe is a French cruise line there were passengers from France, England, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Denmark, Germany, Austria and Brazil. From our friendly Welcome Aboard till disembarkation the crew attention and service was outstanding. The Gil Eanes is a modern ship (built 2015) with compact but comfortable rooms and good bathroom. Rooms on the two upper decks have large sliding windows. A spacious lounge, dining room and sun deck with pool all provide for comfortable relaxation. Wines, beer, mixer drinks and the daily cocktails are free throughout the day. The food was a consistently high standard befitting a top restaurant with every evening menu themed to the local area and entertainment. The cruise passes through several impressive locks raising the ship up to 36 metres each time. Good value excursions are offered with excellent English speaking guides each day enabling us to explore many historic, scenic and cultural highlights. The Douro wines are wonderful and the scenery is stunning! Overall Croisi Europe offer a great value, high standard cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I wanted a small ship experience and I was also keen to try out a French ship - I was travelling with my children and they all learn French at school and I thought it would be a good chance for them to practice with natives! And this was a ... Read More
I wanted a small ship experience and I was also keen to try out a French ship - I was travelling with my children and they all learn French at school and I thought it would be a good chance for them to practice with natives! And this was a family sailing too, so I thought there might be some other kids on board for them to befriend. In the event there weren't many other children (though there were some) but my children still spoke French to plenty of the adults who were very friendly and chatted to them in the tender boats or in the pool on the sun deck. It was lovely. And there were some English-speakers on the boat too, so that was fun and they were sat on the table next to us in the restaurant. What did we like about the cruise? We LOVED the food - it was 10/10 gourmet superb and mealtimes were an absolute delight. At first we thought it was too much having a 3-course meal for lunch as well as dinner, but we soon got used to it. And it ended up being much healthier, because none of us snacked between meals which is very unusual for my children! We also loved that the ship stopped in more than one port on some days and that we could just hop off and explore somewhere new for a couple of hours, get back onboard for lunch, then arrive at 2pm somewhere new for the afternoon. It was great fun and really diverse, especially as we loved all the stops. Mljet with its saltwater lakes was awesome. Hvar (like a French St. Tropez) was also great. Vis had a great beach. Split is awesome. Ditto dubrovnik and Kotor where we hiked up to the fortifications which was a real challenge in all that heat. And it was always nice to come back to our ship. The staff were all very friendly and one of our onboard higlights was the first show the staff put on for us! Another highlight was me winning a game played on sun deck whilst at sea. It was a fluke, but I got presented with a bottle of bubbly at dinner that night which was lovely! There was a pool and exercise bikes on the sun deck which was a bonus and suprise considering this is such a small boat. Back to the food - there were a couple of really special touches that I've never had on another ship. One was a BBQ on the sun deck for dinner, whilst we were docked in Split and the other was breakfast on sun deck as we sailed into the stunning bay of Kotor in Montenegro. We only did one shore excursion, preferring otherwise to go it alone, because I didn't think my kids would thank me for dragging them around churches/monasteries. The one place I was so grateful we went it alone was in Mljet where there are two saltwater lakes in the national park. Had we done the excursion there is would have cost about $250 for the four of us. Instead, I just paid for us all to enter the park ($50 approx) and then we walked by oursleves to the lakes where we swam for an hour and a half in one of the most stunning places I have ever swum. Had we done the excursion we wouldn't have had time to swim and would have just seen the glorious lakes and then taken a little boat to a monastery. The shore excursion we DID do was from Sibenik to the Krka National Park. Instead of doing the classic tour (really for the less unadventurous person) we did a new 'dynamic' excursion which was slightly longer, with lots of hiking throug this park which was STUNNING as well as time to swim in one of the park's famous waterfalls. This wasn't cheap this excursion, but it was worth every penny. We had a great day! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife and I selected this cruise because we had heard good things about the value of CroisiEurope and we really wanted to see the Rhine river region. Before taking the cruise we looked at the reviews on this site and other sites and ... Read More
My wife and I selected this cruise because we had heard good things about the value of CroisiEurope and we really wanted to see the Rhine river region. Before taking the cruise we looked at the reviews on this site and other sites and everything was mostly positive - this was our experience as well. We stayed in room 362, which is on the upper deck, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who can afford the extra cost. The room was pretty spacious for a river cruise ship and the big windows meant you could lie in bed and just watch the river go by. We ate almost all our meals onboard. Breakfast was a buffet with breads, eggs, cereal, yogurt and fresh fruit everyday. Lunch and Dinner were a variety of things but it is worth noting (as it does on this site) that the boat is French so you need to like that food. There were many Spaniards on our cruise who didn't love the food (or the hours that they served it). Upon check-in you are assigned a table for the whole cruise, these are also the people you go on excursions with. I don't know what you do if you don't like them, we really enjoyed our table-mates. The staff onboard the ship was incredible. They did a great job of looking out for us and also were really accommodating to my wife who was 7 months pregnant. The one thing I have to warn others about is the itinerary - you need to make sure you manage your expectations around it. My wife and I knew that there would be lots of sailing and not a lot of time onshore and that meant that we were very happy with the cruise. There were others onboard who clearly hadn't done their homework and thus they were disappointed by the schedule. Remember, a river cruise boat isn't like an ocean boat - you don't have as much to do on the river boat. You need to bring your own entertainment or enjoy watching the scenery or you could be very bored. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
After many ocean cruises we thought we would try a river cruise and booked this one through Archers Holidays. We were very very please with the ship, the food, the excursions but above all the attitude, friendliness and professionalism of ... Read More
After many ocean cruises we thought we would try a river cruise and booked this one through Archers Holidays. We were very very please with the ship, the food, the excursions but above all the attitude, friendliness and professionalism of the crew in all departments. The cabin provided ample space and was clean and comfortable. The bathroom was a little tight on space but again very clean with plenty of towels and toiletries. The food was excellent and as the menu is available in advance it was easy to let the Purser know when there was something you did not eat. I am not a great fish eater and had a fabulous steak one day to replace a fish dish at lunchtime. The service in all areas was first class and every member of the team made you feel like an individual. Ok some of the entertainment was low key but always well presented and supported local artistes. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because our travel operator came to our development and presented this cruise to us. We were a group of 12 friends and neighbors. Even though the ship has cabins for 22 passengers, I would think 14-16 would be the max ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our travel operator came to our development and presented this cruise to us. We were a group of 12 friends and neighbors. Even though the ship has cabins for 22 passengers, I would think 14-16 would be the max ideal. There is one handicapped cabin on the main deck. All others are below deck down a fairly wide spiral staircase. There is no elevator so one must be able to go up and down the staircase. The common areas are very well appointed. The dining room is large and employs white linen tablecloths. The lounge has very comfy seating with a bar area tucked in the corner. There are outside tables and chairs under umbrellas, and a hot tub on the main deck. There is an upper sun deck which is available only when the ship is docked. The crew was outstanding! There are only six of them--captain, 1st mate, purser, chef, server, and housekeeper. Sometimes they wear different hats as there is always a bartender. It's amazing what only six crew can do. Every day after the appointed breakfast hour, we would go out on one or two excursions. These would be to churches, monasteries, working farms, vineyards, wineries etc. We would return to refreshment, lunch, and the afternoon was free to nap, enjoy the passing scenery, the process of going through locks (of which there were many), read, and relax. At a couple of towns where we docked, we were able to take out the plentiful on-board bicycles and ride down the bike paths. Dinner was at 7:30 pm. Because it didn't get dark until at least 10 pm, we were able to avail ourselves of some of the games like petanque which the ship carries. The food ranged from very good to outstanding. Breakfast is for the most part European. The breads are fantastic. The chef tries to use locally grown and produced products when he can. A few times a crew member was sent with us on our excursions into town to get fresh items at the markets. They try very hard to accommodate dietary restrictions, but for the most part, there is one appetizer, one salad, one main course, and one dessert. At lunch, an informative cheese course of 2 cheeses is presented. There is a "gala" dinner on the last night which was outstanding! Dress is casual. For the "gala" dinner, long pants and a button down shirt is about how dressy it gets. I do not think this is a vacation for young children unless you have a whole group of like-minded families, reserve the entire ship, and bring your own entertainment. I would go on another of Croisi's canal/river cruises. It was a great experience! Read Less
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