Waterways of the Low Countries and Gardens
As always the itinerary was the deciding feature to make us choose this cruise. We have been with the River Cruise Line twice before and this ship the Serenity once before so we knew what to expect. The ship considering its price range is superb, beautifully maintained, swift, smooth and almost silent. The service and the food was well above what could normally be expected at this price range. All the crew were friendly and hardworking. The cabin we knew was “compact” but very well designed, light and airy. At well over six feet tall I found the cabin most adequate. All the facilities worked well and the heating/air-conditioning was powerful, effective and quiet. A special point to mention the shower was pleasantly spacious with a good supply of hot water. The cruise included a number of visits to important gardens and these were well arranged although it did require an amount of coach travel. The gardens themselves were all worth the visit and sufficiently varied for even those without a great interest in gardening. The weather this April was very cold and somewhat rainy but the managers did their best to maximise our enjoyment. Entertainment there was very little time for extra entertainment as in addition to the visits there were three talks given by a leading gardener when we were back on the ship. However, the ships keyboard player/singer was quite competent and did not over use his amplifier! Not so good.... River Cruise line continue to have problems with their arrangements. The timings given to travel to pick up the ship were impossible although we made good time and made all connections we still arrived some three hours after the stated time. On arrival we found that our cabin had been given to other cruisers so we had to make do with what was left! The "All Inclusive Drinks" package turned out to be just drinks with meals not too bad but not what had paid for! This trip needed some local coaches for one of the excursions but these had not been booked in advance. However, it was "King's Day" and so none were available so a coach was sent out all the way from England to just do a couple of hours work in the Netherlands. In conclusion I have already booked this ship for another cruise later this year but this travelling by rail to join the ship!
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