We chose this cruise for the itinerary, since we were visiting Amsterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp with an overnight in each base, so we were able to spend a lot of time ashore, including in the evenings. Amsterdam was particularly good regards this as we were there for the evening of St. Patrick's day, which seems a strange mix, but the vibe was even better than we have experienced in Amsterdam previously, which was likely because of that.
Travelling to and from the departure point of Southampton, does not make an easy journey for us, but we did add to the short eight night cruise, by spending a pleasant three nights in an area where we were able to meet up with friends and relatives. The embarkation and disembarkation proceeded very well, helped as we had early slots for each of those, since we were on deck six this time. Our cabin was fine in general, a good size, with a comfortable bed and sofa, along with plenty of storage. However, there was a plumbing issue which we asked to be repaired on four occasions before it was sorted - day six of the cruise by then, yet we were constantly being told that it had been dealt with previously. It was to do with the temperature control on the shower, so no matter what setting we put it on, the water temperature fluctuated from very cold to a temperature which would have scalded us had we not dodged out of the way of the water flow, just going back under it during the intervals between the too hot and too cold water flows! Heaven knows what they had allegedly done to it the previous three occasions, but it was certainly not repaired until the sixth day, when they eventually decided the shower unit needed replaced. It was a busy cruise since we had always planned to spend a lot of time off the ship, so did not want to waste time by changing cabin, not that we were offered that as an option, so we just let the shower flow for long times, using it when the temperature was reasonable. We must have used vast amounts of water.
The other thing we were particularly not happy about on this cruise was the food, which was not up to the normal Fred standard at all. Many items were very greasy, in fact we spoke to the Executive Chef at one point who said he had decided all plated veg should be sauteed, which from what we could see, appeared to mean it was totally covered in grease and the same could be said for many other items, especially in the self service restaurant in the evenings, when it was difficult to find any sort of (even reasonable) hot meal, though salad items were always available. Because of the itinerary we did not want to be constrained by set dining times, so we did not eat in the MDR many times in the evening, though we did eat there a couple of times for lunch and that was a much better experience. There was a much larger selection of "available everyday" items which could be chosen form the evening menu though, along with steamed veg, so we ended up choosing from those options, especially after having to send one meal back as it was sitting in a pool of oil, in the way soup lies in a dish. There is still no sign of Fred bringing in the flexible dining option, sadly and I still maintain that a 2pm finish for lunch in the restaurants is far too early if you are on late sitting for dinner, which we generally prefer to the 6.15pm alternative. The room service menu was the same as we have experienced previously and which we have found to be good for cold items, but we did not use it this time. We did use the Poolside restaurant for one early dinner, before going ashore, when we had fish and chips, which were fine, but was the only hot option available there, apart from burgers.
Please see main review. The cabin was well appointed in many respects, though we had a plumbing problem which was not repaired until six days into the cruise.
We had an excellent, very enjoyable, overnight stay here, with an enjoyable sail in and out along the canal.