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The Joie de Vivre lives up to its name. From the luxurious bedding to the push-button draperies and windows and the marble bathroom, the cabin exemplifies the joy of living well. The whole is beautifully decorated with the comfort of the passengers always considered. There were a couple of small glitches, the bathroom floor warmer did not work and the entry waterfall gave out after the first day; but there was less than might be anticipated with such a new ship. The crew could not have been more attentive and pleasant. At first we were a little disappointed because, as retired language teachers, we were looking forward to using our French on board, and the hotel crew was mostly from eastern Europe; however, they were so delightful and efficient that our disappointment quickly faded. Moreover, the cruise manager, chef, and marine staff were all French and were happy to communicate with us en francais. The daily excursions also gave us ample opportunity to immerse ourselves in the culture. As frequent travelers to France, we were familiar with most of the excursion sites. Still we enjoyed and learned a great deal from the excellent local guides, some of whom followed the ship and met us on successive days. Even the long, almost three hour, bus ride to the beaches at Normandy was made less onerous by the introduction and history given by the guide on the bus. Every day brought another positive experience; the beauty of Giverny, the Cathedral of Rouen, the picturesque harbor of Honfleur, the tapestry at Bayeux, the Chateau of Malmaison, and more. As Uniworld offers less strenuous and more active options, we were always able to find a suitable choice. As for the dining, the food was excellent. What we particularly appreciated was the possibility of lighter fare in the small bistro behind the bar and famlly-style shared tasting menu at another dining area in the spa area. We were so tired most days that we hardly saw the entertainment, but we absolutely loved the keyboardist and chanteuse the last night docked in Paris. She and I even sang a duet to "La Vie en Rose." More could have been done to make the tour groups more equally divided. I should have mentioned that this cruise was offered to us after Uniworld cancelled a 10-day Impression Cruise on the Seine which we had booked and for which, we had already bought our airline tickets. For this shorter 8-day cruise, they gave us our first night in their pre-tour hotel and transfers from the hotel to the ship and from the ship to our hotel at the end. We might not have accepted their offer if we had not already gone on their Venice cruise and loved it. We celebrate our decision to travel once more with Uniworld because we had such a great time

Wonderful ship, wonderful crew, wonderful itinerary

Joie de Vivre Cruise Review by profes

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
The Joie de Vivre lives up to its name. From the luxurious bedding to the push-button draperies and windows and the marble bathroom, the cabin exemplifies the joy of living well. The whole is beautifully decorated with the comfort of the passengers always considered. There were a couple of small glitches, the bathroom floor warmer did not work and the entry waterfall gave out after the first day; but there was less than might be anticipated with such a new ship.

The crew could not have been more attentive and pleasant. At first we were a little disappointed because, as retired language teachers, we were looking forward to using our French on board, and the hotel crew was mostly from eastern Europe; however, they were so delightful and efficient that our disappointment quickly faded. Moreover, the cruise manager, chef, and marine staff were all French and were happy to communicate with us en francais.

The daily excursions also gave us ample opportunity to immerse ourselves in the culture. As frequent travelers to France, we were familiar with most of the excursion sites. Still we enjoyed and learned a great deal from the excellent local guides, some of whom followed the ship and met us on successive days. Even the long, almost three hour, bus ride to the beaches at Normandy was made less onerous by the introduction and history given by the guide on the bus. Every day brought another positive experience; the beauty of Giverny, the Cathedral of Rouen, the picturesque harbor of Honfleur, the tapestry at Bayeux, the Chateau of Malmaison, and more. As Uniworld offers less strenuous and more active options, we were always able to find a suitable choice.

As for the dining, the food was excellent. What we particularly appreciated was the possibility of lighter fare in the small bistro behind the bar and famlly-style shared tasting menu at another dining area in the spa area. We were so tired most days that we hardly saw the entertainment, but we absolutely loved the keyboardist and chanteuse the last night docked in Paris. She and I even sang a duet to "La Vie en Rose." More could have been done to make the tour groups more equally divided.

I should have mentioned that this cruise was offered to us after Uniworld cancelled a 10-day Impression Cruise on the Seine which we had booked and for which, we had already bought our airline tickets. For this shorter 8-day cruise, they gave us our first night in their pre-tour hotel and transfers from the hotel to the ship and from the ship to our hotel at the end. We might not have accepted their offer if we had not already gone on their Venice cruise and loved it. We celebrate our decision to travel once more with Uniworld because we had such a great time
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