River Chanson Review

-- / 5.0
Editor Rating
3 reviews

Incredible food, experiences--kept us busy!

Review for Europe River Cruise on River Chanson
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WillIEverUseThisAgain
First Time Cruiser • Age 60s

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Sail Date: Jul 2023

My husband suggested we do a cruise, and I was leery about an ocean cruise (I don't want to be seasick!), but my mom had told me that river cruises are very smooth. We did the Grand Circle Travel river cruise from Paris to Nice. We actually took a bus from Paris to Lyon, where the ship was docked.

The food! We were offered so much food! The first night was the captain's welcome dinner and the last night was the captain's farewell dinner (both featured extra courses), but even the other 5 nights we had more than enough food--we could ask for half portions, which was great for me! Typical dinner had both a hot & cold appetizer, a choice of entrees (always a vegetarian option) or pasta (made fresh in front of you), a choice of 2 desserts, and a cheese sampler (3 new French cheese every night). You could also request grilled chicken if you didn't want any of the selections. Lunch was an appetizer, a choice of entree, and a choice of dessert, plus a salad bar. Breakfast was buffet-style: lots of fresh breads, eggs, cream/cottage/quark cheese plus other cheeses and meats, bacon (crispy--much better than the French hotels offered!), etc. etc. etc.--and croissants, pain au chocolat, and other sweet danish-like treats. Early risers could have a small breakfast offering.

Beverages! The servers were wonderful. They continually refilled our glasses--there was a red wine, white wine, beer selection included, or you could pay for a different option. They also had coffee (beverage machine for the premium coffee drinks), tea, and soft drinks. After dinner the bartender offered (for a fee) a different after-dinner alcoholic beverage--but everyone was too full! There was always a special or 2 on a specific alcoholic beverage, and they had package deals for those who wanted them. My husband could get his Manhattan when he wanted. The free house wines & beer were available all day. Being a summer trip, we wanted plenty of water, and there was an ice/water machine on board so we could fill up whenever we wanted.

Cabin Review

Grand Circle does say that river cruise cabins are smaller, and it was small but not at all cramped. The 2 beds were put together, so it was about a queen size (though they say double bed size on the website). There are lots of drawers, shelves, cupboards--we didn't use all of them. Bedding was typical for French hotels: a duvet wrapped in a sheet. We were told we could ask for changes, and we did. The maid removed the duvet (it was so hot in July!) and left us with sheets plus the blankets that were stored in the closet. That was perfect.

The air conditioning worked really well (unlike at our 2 French hotels)--we actually had to turn it down.

We loved the view out of our window, and the curtains kept it dark pretty well. The maid kept everything really clean, coming twice a day.

Bathroom has a shower, toilet, and sink, and more cupboard & shelf space. Shower includes a small clothesline set up high.

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