Flora Review

Flora (Photo: A-ROSA Cruises)
Flora (Photo: A-ROSA Cruises)
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Aaron Saunders
Cruise Critic Contributor

Flora Overview

Sister ship to A-ROSA Silva, the 186-passenger A-ROSA Flora offers a modern and decidedly European river cruise experience that is geared toward international passengers. With services, programs and printed materials offered in both English and A-ROSA's native German, A-ROSA Flora welcomes passengers from around the world.

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The ship boasts a number of uncommon features, including a live cooking station, a dedicated wine bar, a large outdoor pool and A-ROSA's SPA-ROSA wellness concept. While not as elaborate as on some of the company's vessels, the spa aboard A-ROSA Flora still manages to offer massage and beauty treatment rooms, an organic sauna, a relaxation area and a small fitness center.

Most international passengers will have A-ROSA's "Premium All-Inclusive" pricing package that includes most alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages (excluding premium spirits), along with Wi-Fi internet access. Those without this package will have to pay for beverages and internet access at a la carte pricing.

Onboard currency is the euro, and passengers can add gratuities to their onboard account or elect to pay in cash at the end of the voyage.

Electrical outlets onboard are primarily two-pronged, 220V European-style. International passengers may need converters or adapters.

Dining

Meals taken aboard A-ROSA Flora are all open-seating buffet-style events, including dinner. The line also offers an optional (and extra-cost) menu-driven dinner service during select days of the voyage on all cruises five nights and longer. The event -- akin to a "Chef's Table" experience on a mainstream cruise ship -- focuses on regional and seasonal specialties and ingredients and can be booked once onboard.

Although service is buffet, onboard cuisine is of a high quality. Expect plenty of European (and German) dishes by day and night and ingredients that mimic what would be found in a nice shoreside restaurant.

Most cruisers booking A-ROSA Flora from North America will have A-ROSA's "Premium All-Inclusive" package that allows for inclusive teas and coffees, soft drinks, beer, sparkling wines, wines and cocktails. Certain top-shelf spirits and Champagnes are excluded from this list.

Not all cruisers have inclusive beverages, however. Most German and European passengers will likely have an unbundled package that only includes table water.

Dietary restrictions can be catered to with advance notice.

Cabins

A-ROSA Flora offers seven different cabin categories, including rooms designed for families -- a rarity among river cruise ships. Rooms measure between 156 and 312 square feet.

Category S and A rooms feature fixed window views and measure 156 square feet apiece. Located on Deck 1, they are distinguished primarily by their windows: Category S rooms feature an oversized porthole-style window, while category A rooms have a half-height window positioned near the top of the room.

Category C and D staterooms are also 156 square feet, but their position on Decks 2 and 3 allows for full floor-to-ceiling French balconies.

Two Category G cabins on Deck 1 are designated as Family Cabins. These 199-square-foot rooms have a small fixed window and can accommodate up to four, thanks to a pull-out sofa couch and drop-down berth located above.

Category E Junior Suites are 226 square feet and come with a floor-to-ceiling French balcony.

Category F Suites are the largest accommodations onboard, at 312 square feet. These come with a full step-out balcony, windowed bathroom and a large walk-in closet.

Both Category E and F suites come with some additional perks, including priority check-in, cocktail with the hotel manager in the suite, room service, free use of the mini-bar, fresh flowers and fruit, laundry and ironing service, and butler service.

Regardless of category, all staterooms aboard A-ROSA Flora feature a safe, air conditioning, TV, hair dryer, bathroom with shower and toilet, sauna towel, wool blanket, telephone and bathrobes.

Top Deck Attractions

A-ROSA Flora's uppermost deck has a grilling station for meals outdoors, along with a swimming pool, ample seating (shaded and unshaded), a giant chess board, a putting green and ample open deck space for viewing the Rhine.

Entertainment

A-ROSA brings guest entertainers onboard at select ports of call to complement the shore tours during the day. In the evening, music and dancing sometimes take place in the ship's main lounge. Thanks to the somewhat younger international crowd onboard, cocktail events in the ship's main lounge tend to be somewhat livelier than most.

Itineraries

A-ROSA Flora sails four- to seven-night itineraries along the Rhine and Moselle rivers, most of which travel round trip from Cologne, Germany.