A-ROSA FLORA Review - December 2017
Ian Warren – 01/12/17
Having never been on an A-ROSA ship before, this opportunity from Cosmos was too good to miss. I was going to be in Amsterdam anyway, as I was attending the annual CLIA River Cruise Conference, so an additional 4 nights cruising from Amsterdam to Cologne made perfect sense to me. Read my review, watch my video at the bottom of the page, and look at my photos of A-ROSA FLORA on Facebook. Then call GoCruise with Ian on 01455821770 or 08002922850 to book your cruise or for more details.
A-ROSA is a German owned company, and carries passengers from many different countries. Having said that, over the last year the number of passengers from the UK has increased by over 80%, with many cruises having more than 50% of the passengers from the UK. The increase in popularity with UK passengers has led to more tour operators using A-ROSA ships as part of their packages, including Cosmos who I was travelling with on this cruise. For more information about the UK tour operators which offer A-ROSA cruises, please visit my A-ROSA River Cruises page.
We were due to embark in Amsterdam, but there was a problem with one of the locks early that morning, so the ship had moored at Utrecht. Therefore, at lunchtime after finishing the other ship visits, we were taken by coach to Utrecht, which was just 40 minutes away by road. As we boarded the ship every lady was handed a single red rose, which happens on the first day of every A-ROSA cruise.
I found the cabins to be bright and a decent size, and we soon settled in after a nice lunch and glass of wine. Over the next 4 days we had an overnight stay and morning in Antwerp, and we also visited Duisburg for an afternoon, before ending this short cruise in Cologne.
You don’t have to dine at a specific time, and can sit where you want to, and the dining times are shown in the daily A-ROSA Journal. They can vary each day, but were generally 07.00 to 10.00 for breakfast, 12.30 to 14.00 for lunch and 19.00 – 21.00 for dinner. The standard of food at the buffets and live cooking stations was pretty good but, like buffets in many hotels and ships, some of it wasn’t always as hot as it could be. The freshly prepared omelettes at breakfast were very good. On certain nights, you could book a meal in the speciality restaurant, and you are served at your table, although there is a supplement to pay. We tried this one night and had an enjoyable 4 course Italian meal.
The included drinks package was very good, and included lots of brand names such as Baileys. There were some brands which attracted a surcharge, but they were very clearly marked on the drinks menu.
As with all river cruise ships, there isn’t the level of entertainment you would find on the large ocean liners. However, we had a DJ who played a good selection of different music during the evenings, as well as holding quizzes. One of the waiters, who is called Romeo, also sang for us on a few occasions. He had an amazing voice, and it was generally agreed that he could easily get a job as a singer on the ocean liners. There was also a selection of games and books you could use while onboard. In the warmer weather, there is also a heated swimming pool, putting green and deck draughts up on the sundeck. The gym, spa and sauna is the largest I have ever seen on a river cruise ship.
Overall, I feel that A-ROSA offers a product for anyone who wants the comfort of knowing they can have a nice ship, decent food and accommodation, and that it is packaged from the UK with a range of transport options to get there. For more details of itineraries and transport options, including home pick-up, call GoCruise with Ian on 01455821770 or 08002922850.
Details about the ship
Built in 2013, A-ROSA FLORA is 135 metres long, 11.4 metres wide, and has a maximum speed of 22 km/h. She carries 186 passengers in a variety of cabin grades, which are detailed below.
- S grade outside cabins with window on deck 1 – 14.5 sq mtr
- A grade outside cabins with window on deck 1 – 14.5 sq mtr
- C grade outside cabins with Juliette balcony on deck 2 – 14.5 sq mtr
- D grade outside cabins with Juliette balcony on deck 3 – 14.5 sq mtr
- E grade junior suites with Juliette balcony on deck 3 – 21 sq mtr
- F grade balcony suites with balcony and Juliette balcony on deck 3 – 29 sq mtr
All accommodation grades are ensuite and include a flat screen TV, hairdryer, and safe. Suites benefit from extras such as a welcome glass of Champagne, flowers and fresh fruit, complimentary mini-bar, and butler service.
Facilities onboard include: –
- Spacious sun deck, with recliners and sunshades, a heated pool, deck games and outdoor restaurant
- Panorama lounge with bar and dance floor
- Open dining with buffets and live cooking for all meals in the main dining room
- 4-course seated dining available some evenings for a supplement, on cruises of 5 nights or more
- Full Board Plus, which includes a drinks package, is included with UK tour operator packages
- Small shop, gym, spa, massage area and an organic sauna
- Complimentary Wi-Fi is also included in the Full Board Plus package, however while we were onboard the reception was erratic and quite slow.
Shore excursions are not included, but a selection are available to book onboard. Gratuities are not included, but suggested amounts will be advised onboard. You put your gratuity in an envelope and leave it in a box on reception, to be shared out among the crew members.
There is not a lift onboard, which isn’t an issue for most people on such a small ship, but worth noting for anyone who would have difficulty in climbing stairs. If a lift is essential, please call me and I will find you a ship which does have one.
Unlike many river cruise lines, A-ROSA have some cabins which take 3 people, and this ship even has two family cabins. Children travel free onboard A-ROSA so, subject to availability, a couple with two children would get 2 cabins, yet pay for one. They would of course have to pay for flights etc. For more information call GoCruise with Ian.