We had friends who shared our interest in local wines. Both couples wanted to expand our knowledge of wines in France.
This cruise was everything we dreamed of and more. When we booked our room we chose the french balcony - I just had to have an opening to the outside world. I was a bit concerned by the small square footage. We were advised that we would often been busy outside the room, and we were encouraged to book and spend the money has we felt would benefit us personally vs feeling pressured to upgrade. Well, the space was plenty - storage was ample, and as predicted, we just didn't spend a lot of time in our room. We often enjoyed the upper deck during time on the ship. We never felt that there wasn't someplace comfortable to enjoy on the ship. Many hours were spend off the ship enjoying our destination.
Dinning was excellent. We did opt for the spirits package and liked the "chef's recommendations" of wine with dinner. We did see that the menu of local wines offered did vary a couple of times on the ship. What decided the spirits package for us, was the simple option of enjoying wine or drink anytime of day at the bar, not just at meals. We were not big drinkers - but I think the package price was fair, and we probably would have either spent more, or denied ourselves trying something great if we had not purchased it.
We worried we would be near stairs and noisy - we felt it was just fine. We slept well on the cruise.and although our neighbors heard them open the storage cabinet, we did not hear a thing. The space was totally enough for our 8 day journey. It was a great location - easy to disembark for tours.