I have recently been to Cologne to take a look around Riviera Travel’s MS Charles Dickens. This brand new river ship had just completed two 7-night Rhine cruises and was due to depart on a 14-night cruise to Budapest along the Rhine, Main Canal and Danube later in the day.
I flew to Dusseldorf and had a 45 minute transfer to Cologne to join the ship. I enjoyed a superb freshly brewed coffee before being shown around the ship by the very amiable Captain.
All the cabins were well appointed with twin or double beds, had tea and coffee making facilities and en suite shower rooms. (I was pleased to see all the showers had glass doors, so no more curtains sticking to you when you turn around in the shower!) All completed with an array of quality toiletries.
The cabins on the lower decks had two windows at eye-level. The majority of cabins on the upper deck had Juliet balconies with French windows which opened the full width of the window (something I haven’t seen before). The four suites had full balconies with chairs to sit outside and enjoy the scenery of the moment. The suite balconies were sheltered allowing passengers to sit out even in more inclement weather conditions.
A beautiful lounge to sit and relax, or enjoy entertainment with polite and helpful crew to serve beverages of your choice.
The dining room had windows around so as not to miss any of the passing scenery, and I enjoyed a 4-course lunch. The menu did not hold a large selection, but I was still spoilt for choice! and the food was tasty and well-presented. In an evening there is an option to dine in the more intimate restaurant towards the aft of the ship. There is no additional cover charge for dining here, but reservations are taken.
There is a small gym onboard, although I wasn’t tempted to try it out on this occasion, along with a sauna.
This ship has been built and furnished to a high standard. Fares for cruises on this ship are found to be good value for money and the attention to detail and service was all excellent. Although drinks are not included in the fares of Riviera cruises, the bar menu showed competitive pricing. Complementary wifi is included subject to regional availability.
All-in-all a luxury ship that I would have loved to have spent longer enjoying.
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