My partner and I, both 87 years old, have just returned from a superb cruise on "La Princesse d'Aquitaine", cruising the Gironde estuary. We started from a local pick-up point with our holiday coach, Angela Holidays, and embarked at Portsmouth for Cherbourg. An overnight stop at Hotel Mercure, Cesson, Rennes, was extremely comfortable. We continued our journey to Bordeaux, arriving in time for the evening dinner. Our cases were taken from the coach to our cabins by members of the crew - we didn't have to do a thing! This quality of service was the norm and continued throughout the voyage. There were perhaps about 130 passengers, English and French, which I found delightful. Having cruised on one of the large cruise liners to the Carribean, scarcely seeing the same person twice, the more intimate small vessel ensured that we talked to one another! The vessel benefited from very good air conditioning, necessary in the 32 deg heat.
Shore excursions were good, we were lucky in having our own driver who followed us to whichever port we were scheduled to stop. Our cabin was always cool and comfortable. Plenty of cupboards and enough hanging space for the two of us. The entertainment was good, with an accomplished musician most of the time who played a keyboard and also gave us a violin recital. The crew gave us a memorable evening too - full of laughs! Added to this a French group with an excellent male singer came aboard one evening and we had a very nostalgic evening listening to some of the old French songs which we all knew from the past, "La mer" for instance. I cannot stress how good the food was! Very well presented and served by the crew members. The wine was good, and being all inclusive, drinks were available at any time, staff bringing your order to you, on the upper deck or the salon! When disembarkation came, all was done for us as at the arrival, cases picked up from outside our cabins, taken directly to our coach. Our return journey was broken at La Rochelle, where we stopped to sight-see and lunch, then on to Dinan for our overnight stop, before boarding the Brittany Ferries vessel "Bretagne" at St. Malo.
This was a truly memorable holiday and can't be too highly recommended, the vessel, the crew and the scenery, were so good. Above all, our thanks must go to Angela Holidays, our courrier, Peter, and our driver, Don. They were truly exellent.
Plenty of hanging, drawer and cupboard space. Always cool even though the outside temperatures were 32degs. most of the time.