Nice ship - pity about the cabins
This was our first trip with The River Cruise Line, and will probably be our last. We were unimpressed by the level of organisation, and embittered by the rip-off charge for the only optional excursion we chose - a night-time boat trip on Amsterdam's canals, with wine & cheese included. We were charged £39 each for this 75-minute trip; the tour rep justified this on the basis that the boat was chartered for the sole use of our group. Just as well: we were packed in like sardines, with the result that many of us could see very little of what we were passing - even the glass roof was steaming up because there were simply too many people aboard. The mps Lady Anne has a cosy ambience, and the saloon is lovely. However, we booked relatively late, and the caib we were allocated (no 67) was so small as to be deeply unpleasant. The second, pull-down bed was meant to double as a sofa during the day - all right as long as one didn't lean back (if you did, the bed fell on your head). If one person was perched perilously on the edge of the "sofa" and the other wanted past, the sitter had to stand up - it was a bit like being in theatre seats. Just about tolerable for the 3 nights we were aboard, but can't imagine how two people could bear to be in one of those cubby-holes for longer. There was (obviously) no TV in the cabin - there would have been nowhere to put it! - and the only powerpoint was practically in the wash-hand basin (the latter is in the cabin rather than in the minuscule toilet & shower-room). We didn't stay in the saloon for the after-dinner entertainment, which seemed pretty mediocre, and was certainly not to our taste. The food aboard was excellent for the 3 dinners we had, although there was little choice of main course. I didn't try the cooked breakfast, but my travelling companion said that the food was no more than lukewarm on all 3 mornings. The Lady Anne's crew were welcoming and efficient, and bar charges reasonable. We felt that it's an unsuitable ship for anyone who is not 100% fit, as the stairways are very steep. Many of those on our trip were struggling with them. There are stair-lifts between the dining-room, the passenger deck and the saloon, but of course these restrict the width terribly, and meant that there were tremendous delays. Had the cabins been roomier (we can see from the company's website that even the superior cabins are only fractionally larger), and had trips on the Lady Anne been available via any operator other than The River Cruise Line, we'd have considered sailing on her again, but I'm afraid that next time we'll spend that little bit more in exchange for more space and better organisation.
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