Just returned from an 8 day cruise on the Swiss Saphire, she is owned by Tauck, but on this occasion had been chartered by Riviera Travel. She is a lovely boat (?ship?), fairly newly built and carries 120 passengers. We were in a cabin ... Read More
Just returned from an 8 day cruise on the Swiss Saphire, she is owned by Tauck, but on this occasion had been chartered by Riviera Travel. She is a lovely boat (?ship?), fairly newly built and carries 120 passengers. We were in a cabin on the 3rd deck in one of the stern cabins, these cabins are larger than normal, the other cabins on the 3rd deck are double size. She is very well maintained and kept very clean. Our cabin was spotless. The beds are comfortable, but only 3feet which feels very narrow. The duvets are pretty heavy and the pillows are too soft, but overall we slept well. The shower room is a reasonable size although the shower itself is not very big, decent Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries. We had complimentary slippers and dressing gowns, but I later learned that not all the cabins had them, the passengers on the lower decks didn't have them which I thought pretty mean as this was not a cheap cruise.
The dining room is open seating with tables for four or six, so you can eat with different people each evening if you want, the food was fine and the service was excellent. There was no drinks package available but we found the drinks prices pretty reasonable, high street prices. There is a coffee machine in the bistro at the stern on the 3 rd deck, with good coffee plus tea and cookies. Breakfast was the usuall juices, cereals, continental cheeses and meats plus cooked sausages bacon etc. The bacon is very crispy which is an American specialty, i like my bacon crispy, but maybe not to everyone's taste. There is a chef making fresh omellettes but these have to be ordered from the wait staff. Lunch was either in the dining room for a buffet lunch, or in the bistro for a light lunch. We usually ate in the bistro, it was enough for us, but the light lunch consisted of soup one cooked mains and some salad, the menu could have been better. A nice touch was the bistro had a set Italian menu in the evening and you could book a table if you wanted a change from the restaurant.
The staff were universally excellent, especially Corinn the hotel manager and Christian the restaurant manager, they were everywhere, especially Corinn, she would be serving in the dining room or serving afternoon tea or at the reception desk, she was really excellent. Our couriers Tony and Alex were also excellent, we had Tony on our bus and he was very knowledgeable and interesting.
We enjoyed all the excursions especially Monet's garden in Giverny that is really special.
We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone. Read Less