Our reason for taking this cruise was our previous experiences with the company, but mainly the Itinerary. Having sailed with Emerald twice before we were confident that we we would be happy with the boat, the accommodation and the food. Knowing that the food and wine is sourced locally and being fans of French cuisine and wines, ultimately we were not disappointed, with one of the highlights being the visit of a top French chef, Fabien Morreale, coming aboard in Avignon to create a fabulous Provençal meal. The first course appeared a bit poncy, but although looking like a picture on the plate, the flavours were fantastic, and each subsequent course continued to raise the bar even higher.
Most of the excursions/activities were excellent with some great local guides. Particularly enjoyed Viviers with our guide, Pierre, a mine of information and comedy quips. The canoeing in Avignon, the cycle tour of Lyon, the vineyards hike in Tournon were also most enjoyable and worked off some of the calories.
The crew on our boat were, without exception, superb. From top to bottom each and every one of them were first class. To single out any one of them would only be because we were in direct contact with them more than the others. The entertainment on board is obviously well below what is provided on ocean cruise ships, but there was more than enough going on to keep the passengers happy at night.