After just spending a week on the Riviera River Cruise’s MS William Shakespeare, I can say I’m sold on this type of travel!
A bit about the basics:
Cruise cabins are similar in size to an ocean cruiseliner’s cabin, with I believe the exception of larger bathrooms. This shower was spacious and tiled, very different from my last cruise showers that were about the size of 1.5 human beings. Quality toiletries were a nice addition, as were the full size hair dryer, thick towels, and plush bathrobe.
The dining room holds all passengers (140) at once, though can fill up quickly and if you want your own table, it’s best to arrive early at any meal. A sample menu only touches at the food we experienced all week. Everything was top notch and delicious. One night I had the salmon (available nightly) and it was outstanding. Fresh baguettes and croissants daily, along with the plentiful burre (butter) were wonderful for my tastebuds but did me no favors on the scale. 🙄 Speaking of French butter, I took home a pound and am already dreaming of the best ways to enjoy it. I think perhaps with a baguette and served with beouf bourguignon with the family invited over.
Each port included a tour of some type, whether a walking tour through the city with our tour host or a local guide, or a coach trip out of town to see a UNESCO historical site such as Pont du Gard.
Entertainment on a river cruise may vary from short lectures about the sites you will see the next day, a “name that tune” type contest, or just sitting in the lounge enjoying the live music and sipping a bar beverage or a tea/coffee, available 24/7.
With a smaller passenger load (140 on ours, and a crew of 35), the experience is personal. You will quickly recognize the other cruisers when you are walking through town, and will end the trip feeling like you have made new friends. The crew will quickly learn your preferences and do their best to meet every need.
This is not a cruise experience for those who want to be on the go constantly. It’s a time to relax and take in the scenery and culture. Without dealing with the thousands of people on large cruise ships these days, you get the best of both worlds in travel.
Want to talk about river cruise options for your own travels? I’m ready when you are!