The Delling itinerary Rhone/Lyon to Avignon is amazing, although the first 2 nights you are not moving just in Lyon but that is fine as the locks and river scenery gets old pretty quickly. Also not enough rockers etc and folks tend to hog them, so it was great to have a balcony and watch the people go by. Each port was great, and each four escort was great, Suzie the mistress of ceremonies was personable and kind. The Chef was such a nice man he stopped us as he was in his fave cheese shop to explain about cheese and BUY us a piece from his own wallet. Having said that, we tipped him and the room Steward and the maitre d we got for lunch and dinner and why are these other passengers NOT tipping, it got embarrassing. I found myself holding up a $5 euro and saying "let's not forget to tip the great tour escorts everyone" because the Brits with us would tip, but the Germans or many of the Yanks, not? WHAT is that.
Ok we have been on large ocean lines and a barge once. The Barge was the height of luxury with about 20 to 30 people and in those days twice the amount of a River (I was a travel agent, so I got a huge break otherwise I wouldn't have done it) but having said that, I don't like the intimacy of having 6 other people you haven't met sitting with you. We did find a lovely couple from CA that we are in touch with now, and will visit them one day, but the average age of people on this cruise was about 75. We are early 60's. THERE is a difference in that many just want to do a morning tour and then drink and stay in for the afternoon. We had about 4 additional tours that were fantastic, and made the trip so much better. AND you got to leave behind the folks wanting to be on their SS Chirrosis of the Liver.
I would prolly never do another river cruise for all these reasons. I would rather try Windstar or a Viking Ocean if we could ever afford it. They cancelled thrice so we got the 125 which made it affordable for us. I would say a French balcony is fine if it rains, but otherwise the balcony was very much needed to avoid sweating with the oldies...
Cabin was great and spotless, the Cabin Stewart was in twice to 3 times a day cleaning and checking. We tipped her well as not everyone was tipping.
Least fave port, only because seemed more grimey and real than the picture perfect other places.
Again, so much history and Roman ruins etc, perfect for those not loving Rome (we don't) just a wonderful place to see.
Just a great port and so much to do and see, just a great place to learn history. Loved this port.
Which we were here one more day to see or experience the flower market and just to walk around more, a lovely port with lots to see and do.