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!
This was a twin cabin with two portholes. None of the cabins on this ship have balconies. It wasn't big, but the beds were extremely comfortable and I slept really well as did my daughter. There's a safe, plenty of storage space under the bed and in the cupboards, a good hairdryer and good shower with toiletries. And the cleaning staff did an EXCELLENT job at cleaning our cabin nightly. The TV screen was good with lots of useful information about the cruise/excursions/daily info available on it.
Despite the cabin being on deck 2 (which is the lowest I've ever been, but then again this is a very small 200-passenger boat) I never felt sea-sick or too low.
Dubrovnik was very pretty. There was a public bus from the port to the old town which was very easy. We walked round its ramparts and through the old town. On the afternoon we even walked to Casablanca beach - about 30 mins from the port - which was lovely.
Here we just lazed on the beach next to the boat and then had a quick whizz through the old town to buy an ice-cream. Very pretty, but we needed to rest here. there are urchins underfoot, so you need to bring with river shoes.
We did the ship excursion to Krka National Park - the dynamic excursion, not the regular classic one. This was excellent.