Scenic Diamond Cruise Review by VixTrix
- Sail Date: August 2019
- Destination: Europe River
When the train times came through from the agent, I queried them, as we had to cross Paris from Gare du Nord to Montparnasse in about an hour - which seemed tight. She assured me that other passengers were doing the same, but I am very glad that I insisted on an earlier Eurostar, as I know that the other passengers only just made it!
That first evening, I met with the chef and restaurant manager to talk about dietary requirements (I'm vegetarian) - although I needn't have done as there were always plenty of vegetarian options. However they delivered the menu to me each evening for the next day, saying that if I didn't fancy the veggie option, I could ask for something else - which was a lovely touch. They also both kept checking in on me throughout the cruise to see if I was happy with the food. Can't fault it!
We were booked into the L'Amour restaurant that first night (it was my husband's birthday), and they made an appropriate fuss of him, with birthday cake and champagne to finish the meal. Great food and good company too (you are given the option of a table for 2 or to be sociable, and we were always sociable - except at breakfast as I am a grumpy morning person!).
The food and wine throughout the cruise was great (I put on nearly half a stone in a week!), and the service was incredible - those people work so hard!
I wasn't keen on the mocktails (too sweet), so I just drank champagne instead - the hardship! Great selection of drinks available, but if you are a gin-drinker, be aware that although they have some decent gins, they don't have premium tonics to go with them.
The excursions were mostly excellent too. Despite booking on a cruise in Bordeaux, we have limited knowledge of wine, and so mostly chose non-wine-tasting excursions, and a couple were a touch disappointing (Libourne, nice enough, but not much to it, Cadillac was lovely, but an hour's coach trip away). Others places visited were really lovely though - I would definitely visit Bordeaux itself again, loved Blaye, and even went to visit the medieval festival in Bourg.
Oh, I nearly forgot - Gregg Wallace and Steve Groves (MasterChef) were also there for some of it - which was interesting, but not the reason for choosing the cruise! The cooking experience with the chef was probably more interesting (though I was surprised at how limited the places were on this, I would have though everyone would have got to participate), and this was more demonstration than cookery class, but very enjoyable.
One word of caution, if you want a river cruise that actually travels much, don't do this one. I had looked carefully at the itinerary before we booked, and was happy that we weren't going far, and (unlike other river cruises) we weren't visiting many big cultural cities, but I know others on the cruise seemed disappointed.
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