Now that newer ships are plying Europe's rivers, the Grand Circle style of cabin, with two pull-down twin beds that fold up into couches during the day, seems downright old-fashioned. Although the beds themselves are comfortable, the layout is not what we would choose for a romantic vacation. (Singles or friends traveling together may enjoy them for this reason.) After viewing a photo posted on Facebook, some Cruise Critic fans said that the room looked a little bit like a train car. And it's true that my husband and I, used to sofas big enough to flop down on for naps, found the narrow seating uncomfortable. We found ourselves pulling the beds down during the day so we could lounge while reading or watching TV.
The chief appeal of the cabin configuration is that the rooms, which all measure 160 square feet, look bigger when the beds are put away. Class sizes differ only by the size of the window. Rooms at the 100 and 200 levels have a small windows that are about level with the water. At the 300 level, the rooms have large picture windows. And the 400-level cabins have sliding-glass doors and small balconies, each big enough for two chairs. Oddly, these higher-priced cabins have less actual room space, as the balcony is included in the total square footage.
All rooms each have a wardrobe and a small dressing table with a shelf and a mirrored cabinet; cabins without balconies also have side shelves and a set of four drawers for storage. Suitcases are meant to be stored under the couch/bed. All electrical outlets are 220 volts, except the one in the bathroom, which uses 120 and 230. (A hair dryer with European plugs is provided.) The front desk has a limited number of converters and adaptors for loan.
The bathroom seemed an average size, with a curtain separating the shower from the toilet. The latter proved to be unusually loud, to the point where you couldn't flush at night without waking your cabinmate (and possibly the folks next door). Grand Circle has its own products in the bathroom, with a combination soap/shampoo gel stationed within the shower. Conditioner and body lotion are also provided.
Other room amenities include individual air-conditioning and heat, phones and satellite TV's that receives news channels. Two daily movies or documentaries, as well as a ship schedule, also play on screen. Laundry service is available onboard (but not dry-cleaning).