I have been suggesting this particular river cruise on the Rhone for the last couple of years and my wife surprised me for our anniversary and my birthday to gift this to me.
Since I am a culinarian/foodie, I believed this was one of the best opportunities to cover a lot of ground in a short week, and we did. Three of our excursions were to different wine regions with the first being in Beaujolais, the second in Cruzes Hermitage and the third in the Chateneuf de Pape .
Stopping in Viene, I was able to stop by La Pyramid, the heart of where modern cuisine started in the 1950's with Fernand Point, the great chef of this restaurant that trained the great chefs of the time including Paul Bocuse, Roger Verge and the Troisgras brothers.. Of course, Bocuse's restaurant is in Lyon which is the gastronomic center of French Cuisine today. Viene also had an incredible farmers' market which we were told is the second largest in France. We were not disappointed with many offerings of cheese and charcuterie that were over the top.
Besides culinary history of our cruise being front and center for me, I loved the historic significance of our river cruise as well especially as we headed south to the Provence area visiting Arles, the home of many impressionist such as Van Gogh and Avignon with the Palace of the Popes.
While the very worthwhile hectic travel schedule we created for ourselves, it was amazing the incredible service and hospitality we received on the Delling. The staff couldn't do enough for us and made us feel very welcomed and comfortable. I am in the hospitality business and the Delling staff represented the quintessential expression of hospitality. All personnel on the ship were so down to earth and non-pretentious contributing greatly to our unforgettable experience at all levels of management. There light-hearted play amoht the staff was welcomed and tasteful. The entertainment on board was enjoyable.
Generally the food was very good with a very wide selection at all times and the ease in which a special dietary request was made. I can only think of 2 minor examples of where I thought the food fell a little short which is a minor complaint since it was excellent overall. The first dinner found some of the items over seasoned, and on the second evening the crab cakes were short of their mark especially after they described by the Chef. Again, over all, the chef and his staff did an excellent job.
Utilized the space in a very efficient way. We didn't feel crowded and enjoyed most of the conveniences. Certainly, a cover sheet on the bed would have been a better sleeping experience.