3 French America Line Louisiane Cruise Reviews

I was a passenger on the Louisiane river boat on a 14 night cruise from New Orleans on 26 October to Nashville. I had to leave the boat after 1 night as a result of catastrophic plumbing failure. The boat owner and operator, FRENCH ... Read More
I was a passenger on the Louisiane river boat on a 14 night cruise from New Orleans on 26 October to Nashville. I had to leave the boat after 1 night as a result of catastrophic plumbing failure. The boat owner and operator, FRENCH AMERICAN LINE (FAL) HAVE REFUSED TO CONTRIBUTE ONE DOLLAR TO OUR REFUND. Our travel insurer has refused to pay because the Louisiane boat “was not fit for purpose”. I have been forced to go to court in the UK and claim a refund from Kevin Griffin, a Director of FAL. When my wife & I arrived at the Gretna dock after lunch on 26 October, we discovered our sailing had been delayed but the terminal building had no toilets, no seating, no refreshments, no water and no where to safely store our cases. We wasted a day that we could have used exploring New Orleans. When we finally boarded the boat hours in the evening for our special drinks party, we had to drink sparking wine from cardboard cups because there were not enough glasses. Then we all had to leave the boat and queue up on the dock again because the crew had failed to record the names of passengers when we first boarded contrary to the maritime regulations. Shortly after we entered our cabin the wardrobe door fell off and it was obvious that the boat refurbishment had been rushed and not properly finished. When I flushed the toilet it flowed continuously & very noisily. I reported the fault twice but the engineer was too busy with other problems to help us. The toilet flushed continuously all night making it difficult to sleep. Other passengers reported toilet problems so it was not surprising that the sewer tank overflowed, flooding the lower deck. We tried to use the elevator but that was not working – we are senior citizens who would not have used this boat if we known the elevator was unreliable. The boat looked beautiful from a distance but this was not the quality four star experience shown in the FAL adverts and brochures. The staff were helpful but obviously inexperienced and had received limited training. We want give a special thanks to Regina Charboneau who opened her home to the passengers on the first 2 evenings away from the boat. She provided us with fabulous food and hospitality at short notice in the true southern spirit – the highlight of our holiday. Advise staying at least 2 nights in New Orleans to explore the city as we did. A good time of year to visit - dry, warm and not too humid. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Road Scholar, always a good group, was as shocked by the daily equipment disasters that occurred every day from a three hour delay imposed by the USCG due ti a non functioning elevator for passengers and staff. No hot water for any ... Read More
Road Scholar, always a good group, was as shocked by the daily equipment disasters that occurred every day from a three hour delay imposed by the USCG due ti a non functioning elevator for passengers and staff. No hot water for any bathing or showering for the entire cruise. Our stateroom did not have any light bulbs nor cover for the light fixture: it sat in the corner The bathroom light fixture was only attached the last night of the trip Ran completely out of fresh water ( probably due to all of us trying to get hot water) and had too make a lengthy unplanned stop to take on more water. While the wait staff in the dining room were pleasant they were clearly inexperienced ( but then the loss of a sous chef to injury, and loss of vegetable steamer created delays,as long as two (2) hours in being served meals) The phones in the staterooms did not work ever. The TV did not work until the last two days Wi-FI was dreadfully intermittent for both we passengers and for the Purser and other crew needing it. Thus, the "maiden" voyage was a "shake down cruise" with emphasis on "shake down". We paid nearly $6000... Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I was a passenger on the inaugural trip of the Louisiane, and while there were some hiccups--as can be expected on a shakedown cruise--the food was incredible, the lectures fun and informative, and the excursions, well researched and ... Read More
I was a passenger on the inaugural trip of the Louisiane, and while there were some hiccups--as can be expected on a shakedown cruise--the food was incredible, the lectures fun and informative, and the excursions, well researched and coordinated. The most important element was that the French America Line management recognized the flaws, and since the cruise was not up to their standards, they--through Roads Scholar--refunded the cost of the cruise in full. It's really hard to grow angry at any elements in a trip, when the owners of the cruise line give my money back in full. As one of the owners noted in the very beginning, it was a shakedown cruise. Phones and Cable TV did not work on the first day, but they were up and running by the second night. As far as I could see by the last evening, the Louisiane and her crew had achieved exactly the quality of travel that one expects from a "Four Star" Rivercruise line. And, that does not even note the incredible four bands that were aboard, from a French Jazz Quartette to a New York Classic Crooner balladeer and her band to an authentic Cajun Family of singers to a Southern Gospel performer. All of the alcohol and amenities were included, and the excursions--particularly in Natchez--were as excellent as I have ever encountered. And, I must say that while some had some hot water problems on the first day, I did not, and never lacked for a hot shower in my second floor cabin. And, I must emphasize again. Ultimately, I got my money back in full for the cruise. Any cruise line that will pay me back after the cruise is over, just because not everything on the maiden voyage was not perfect-- is one upon which I wish to travel again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Louisiane Ratings
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