We chose this cruise because my husband hadn't ever been to France and I hadn't been anywhere in France except Paris. From start to finish it was superb. The cruise director Darren made sure that everyone had all the information they needed to make the most of the trip, besides being unfailingly funny and truly solicitous of his guests' welfare and experience.
The hotel manager Isztvan and his entire staff (sorry for misspellings) were also endlessly swift, efficient, smiling, and tireless. Our cabin steward, Gabriela, made sure that our cabin was always spotless, and we really appreciated her sense of humor when she put my husband's sunglasses on the towel dog she made for us one night.
The chef Teo and his staff did a remarkable job of producing really wonderful food every two hours (Darren's phrase, not mine) with superb service at mealtimes and in the bar upstairs. I've crewed a sailboat with 14 people aboard as cook, deckhand, and general bottle washer and I know how hard it is to maintain the kind of standards we saw aboard the Liberte. Bravo.
The sailing staff also was quick, efficient, and also endlessly pleasant when we saw them. We enjoyed the captains mightily, in particular Remi's (again, sorry for misspellings) technical talk toward the end of the cruise.
Each of the guides the ship provided for our included tours and those hired was knowledgeable, competent, and funny. We enjoyed them all.
This was our first cruise of any kind. It made believers of both of us - in this type of vacation and in Emerald and the Liberte in particular. We'll be back.
Bon voyage - J
As always on a boat, space is tight. This cabin, however, was extraordinarily efficient in it's use of the space available. The bathroom in particular, despite it's small size, was entirely efficient and the shower felt luxurious. The bed was terrific - we slept very well every night. There was plenty of room to put all our clothes away and sufficient storage for suitcases. If we had needed more storage room for the bags, the ship had a storage area we could have put them in. Excellent all around.
Wonderful survey of the old city.View All 26 Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) Reviews
This one really gave us a feeling of being in medieval France - highly recommendedView All undefined undefined Reviews
We did not take the included tour on this one, but wandered around by ourselves (with Darren's excellent maps) and explored the castle on our own. It was going inside the castle that made this day for us. Getting to explore the castle and art museum it contains on our own was terrific, and, again, really gave us a sense of its age and what it might have been like for the family living there.
What can I say - it's Avignon. The walking tour again gave us a sense of the city and enough free time to explore the Pope's garden and the marketplace. We also got to see a bit of modern life there in the shops in town.
We particularly enjoyed this site. The guide gave us a sense of how different Provence can be. Together with all the visible Roman history, the atmosphere gave us a feeling of the place. This was in spite of all the usual tourist shops. Our guide kindly filled us in on her prospective as to what to look for in the unique products of the region, which was very helpful to our Christmas shopping. Getting to go inside the Roman colisseum/amphitheater and climb around was breathtaking, especially after Melanie's explanation of its history during Roman times and during the Middle Ages.