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Imagine...no choice of menu!

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  • Malcolm, Essex
    started a topic Imagine...no choice of menu!

    Imagine...no choice of menu!

    Imagine.....a quite expensive river cruise where were served a meal every lunch time and every dinner time, but "got what you were given", with virtually no choice of menu.

    After several successful river cruises in Europe, I cruised the Douro river, Portugal, earlier this year.

    The river and scenery were FANTASTIC, the boat/cruise line experience was TERRIBLE.

    Below is my review, if you are interested (beware it is very long)

    https://malcolmoliver.wordpress.com/...-river-cruise/
    Last edited by Malcolm, Essex; 13th October 2019, 06:32 PM.

  • Malcolm, Essex
    replied
    Here is the boat: https://youtu.be/j3B_u2IhcI4

    Although a little dated, the problem was NOT the boat, it was the on-board experience.

    Leave a comment:


  • Malcolm, Essex
    replied
    Originally posted by smtcan, Scarborough View Post
    They said that there was a choice of three main courses at dinner, but appetizers and desserts were set.
    That would have been acceptable to me.

    They actually have 'standard' and 'premium' ships. Maybe part of the difference is: 'no menu"?

    I recently got four choices of hot meal on a flight, in economy!

    Leave a comment:


  • smtcan, Scarborough
    replied
    Cruising friends took the same trip two years ago and were quite impressed. They said that there was a choice of three main courses at dinner, but appetizers and desserts were set. Maybe, in common with other cruises corners have been cut since then. They thought it was value for money and plan to use CroisEurope again. I hope they won’t be disappointed.
    Sheila

    Leave a comment:


  • cymrucruiser
    replied
    Oh dear Malcolm . I’m Veggie, celiac and have an extreme dislike of cigarette smoke Sounds like a nightmare to me!

    Leave a comment:


  • jan lowden, sunderland (2)
    replied
    That does NOT sound like a pleasant river cruise. Not for me. I enjoyed reading your review Malcolm. Thanks for that. Jan.

    Leave a comment:


  • Malcolm, Essex
    replied
    Originally posted by mags, cardiff View Post
    Like ocean cruises I think it is important to do some research and choose a line that is right for you. They vary, as do ocean ships and also land hotels.
    Agreed! I did do my research, but it did NOT reveal the true extent of the poor experience that I would receive.

    It's difficult to capture the beauty of the Douro with a camera, but here goes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IUaIR2nwMw

    Leave a comment:


  • Harry, Hastings
    replied
    Thanks for the interesting read - now know which line to avoid.

    Are you sure it wasn't a 'Fawlty Towers' themed Cruise?

    We have been on a Danube cruise with Emerald which was excellent and have a Rhine trip planned. Good to hear what you think of the Douro.

    Leave a comment:


  • mags, cardiff
    replied
    I have done a number of river cruises, the last a month ago, and with various companies. Some have been better than others.

    Like ocean cruises I think it is important to do some research and choose a line that is right for you. They vary, as do ocean ships and also land hotels.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bradbury, Coventry
    replied
    I am sorry you had to go through all that Malcolm if only to warn us all off from ever booking with CroisiEurope. Sounds horrendous.

    Not just the menu thing but the whole attitude of the staff is enough to put me off and to be fair on our Yacht cruise earlier this year, there was not choice of meal - always a set menu of three single course, starterm main and dessert with no choice but always readily accepted by everyone and no-one complained, so it can be done.

    Leave a comment:


  • Malcolm, Essex
    replied
    Let me just reiterate:

    I have taken Rhine and Danube cruses with Amadeus that were both excellent. (Reviews on my blog).

    River cruising make a refreshing change to ocean cruising.

    I though the Douro was probably more spectacular than the Rhine and Danube. I just wish I’d picked a different river cruise line – in fact any cruise line!

    Many people on-board the boat actually liked the food. It was pretty good, if you can eat anything and have no preferences, such as seafood, very rare meat, Foie Gras and veal.

    The menu was of course aimed at French taste buds (but don’t they have preferences too?)

    You had to ask for alternative in advance (lunch time for the evening), such as vegetarian. They made you feel like a ‘problem’. They appeared to have very few alternatives available. (I've had more choices on-board aircraft!)

    I did complain on-board and to head office, when I got home. I received a discount voucher of my next CroisiEurope cruise, but I will NOT be using it.
    Last edited by Malcolm, Essex; 14th October 2019, 10:24 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cooke, Ashby
    replied
    Thank you so much for this Malcolm. Since it seems our ocean cruising days may be behind us for medical (insurance) reasons, river cruising is a possible alternative and the Douro is top of the list. We now know who to avoid. I assume their vegetarian alternative is the same as Chef Ramsey's, "Eat elsewhere".

    Leave a comment:


  • Guy, Ormskirk
    replied
    Crikey Malcolm what a fiasco. The Douro is on my list of river cruises but I will avoid the line.

    The food would be an issue for me, I would have starved on the Gala night. It is awful that your OH was made to feel a problem asking for another dish, I am amazed there isn't a vegetarian dish as an option anyway.

    The smoking and discarding of the cigarettes is amazing especially after the ocean vessels make it very clear that we all take care not to cause more pollution.

    Have you any plans to contact CosiEurope to share your experience?...Carol

    Leave a comment:


  • Mason, Altrincham
    replied
    VERY interesting read Malcolm. We would like to try a river cruise one day, but as others have said we will be giving that particular company a wide berth! Neither of us really eats fish so sea bass would be a big no-no for us (unless of course it was Monsieur Chabal, who played for Sale Sharks and whose nickname was Seabass 😜) and neither of us likes rare meat. Yuk-a-doo! The smoking near cabin windows would also drive us crazy. Oh well, I guess we will have to make do with our next Baltic Cruise 😁.

    Take Care, Helen

    Leave a comment:


  • philhar, wallasey
    replied
    Thanks,Malcolm .I'm not a fussy eater but I do like to have choice.Ive seen a couple of programmes featuring cruising the Douro and it looks beautiful .However,unless I saw a real bargain ,I'll stick with oceans not rivers.

    Leave a comment:


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