My husband and I experienced the delights of Croisi Europe river cruising for the first time, and a delight it certainly was!
We were greeted by mainly French crew, all with perfect English vocabulary. They were certainly doing their best to please the passengers.
The Lafayette caters for a maximum of 88 passengers. Most cabins are twin with beds together, along with 2 single occupancy cabins. There are two decks plus a sun deck. Cabins are compact but with ample wardrobe space, and the en-suite shower room was adequate, with an adjustable and powerful shower. Only shower gel and shampoo are provided, along with hand soap in a dispenser. Cabins are cleaned and towels changed daily. All cabins are almost identical with those on the upper deck having a large floor to ceiling window, and those on the lower deck are approximately ceiling to waist-height. Everything around the ship was clean with stylish décor, light subtle shades with statement colours added.
Food was all excellent with a continental-style buffet breakfast. Lunch and dinner consisted of a 3-course set menu. The menus were displayed in the ships foyer and on cabin TVs from the evening before, so if there was something you didn’t fancy it gave opportunity for you to discuss an alternative with chef. It wasn’t until the last evening and the Gala Dinner that I requested an alternative to the main course, and I found the chef to be very obliging and offered me some delicious-sounding alternatives. A selection of quality French wines was offered with lunch and dinner.
We cruised from Amsterdam to Strasbourg, calling at Niemhagen, Cologne and Koblenz over 4 days, so we spent a good amount of time in these cities. Whenever there was time spent sailing, entertainment was put on in the form of quizzes, dance class and games. Taking part was not compulsory of course, and there was plenty of opportunity to sit quietly and read or chat.
We went on guided walking tours in Cologne and Koblenz, and self-guided in the other destinations. The ship stayed overnight in Koblenz giving us opportunity to spend the evening ashore. Christmas markets were just starting, so it made a lovely start to the festive season.
Although the weather didn’t allow us to enjoy the spacious sundeck (but what can you expect at the end of November!) we would recommend Croisi Europe and the Lafayette, particularly to those who enjoy city breaks. This way you can see a number of destinations, made particularly convenient as, on this itinerary at least, the ship docks close to the centre, with no shuttle buses required.
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