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Nicely refurbished boat with a few…

16 Aug 2019

Mrs Penrose

Nicely refurbished boat with a few teething problems that need sorting out. The styling of the ship is fresh and contemporary and the staff are all very friendly and extremely helpful at all times. I thank them for making our stay so good. The cycling was so enjoyable. Good clear instructions and we used the GPS app which really made it relaxing. Lovely countryside and towns to visit along the way. We cycled 50+ km each day which was easy for us as we paid extra for the very nice electric bikes. You can vary the assistance to your peddling so you can get a decent amount of exercise without getting exhausted after 6 days cycling. The bikes were brand new and in great condition. The staff were helpful if there were any adjustments needed. Unfortunately the saddles were the basic hard ones and after 6 days, even with padded shorts and my own padded saddle cover it was very uncomfortable. I really wanted to give 5 stars on my review but there were a few things that really need to be sorted to allow me to do so: Our premium double cabin had a bed which was raised too high even for someone who is 5’8″. The front edge of the bed had a wooden edge which was extremely uncomfortable to climb over. Needs a step or the wooden edge to be removed. However the mattress was very comfy and we slept really well. The shower tray was very shallow and the curtain didn’t keep the water in. The whole bathroom was really flooded every time we washed. Very dangerous and slippery. In addition the proximity of the basin to the toilet meant that it was an uncomfortable squeeze to get to. The windows were difficult to shut due to the plastic part in the frame being loose and difficult to clip the window into. There was often a smell of sewage in the corridor on the lower deck. Thankfully the rooms did not smell! The electrics needed attention. Our ceiling lights failed and the cabin air conditioning was intermittent. In the main salon the wall lights randomly flickered bright and dim which drove me crazy! Finally the food was not of the best quality. The breakfast was almost the same every day. It was missing good coffee (you had to pay for proper coffee at the bar) and bacon and pastries – the sort of indulgences you enjoy on holiday but don’t have at home! Dinner three course meal was uninspiring. The daily soup was EXTREMELY salty as was a lot of the food. The soup seems to just taste of salty stock and only changed colour each day but not flavour. The salad course was very bland and insufficient. One table spoon per person at most. Some of the main courses were tasty but the desserts were like school food. The live entertainment provided one night was not needed or required. It just made the ship very noisy and only a couple of people stayed to listen. Jose who was our cycle guide obviously cared deeply that everyone was looked after and enjoyed their trip. A really lovely lady who briefed us each evening as to the route for the following day. The only thing that might have made the briefing better was to have a few more photos of the recommended places to stop along the way so you could get more of an idea of where you might like to have your lunch. One finally thing: Almost all the guest were at or over retirement age and there were only 6 English speakers, the rest were German. We were a family with two teen children and felt out of place. On arrival we were allocated a table for the dining room with two Spanish speakers and were expected to stay at the same table every meal time. As only one of the Spanish guest could speak English it make meal times awkward. Would have been better to be at a table of just 4 or to have been able to mingle with other guests each evening. In summary, the cycling trip is really enjoyable the boat and cycles are of a good quality but there are a number of things which could easily be addressed to make it really worth 5 stars.

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