Just returned from a river cruise on board the MV William Shakespeare sailing northwards on the rivers Rhone and Saone from Avignon to Lyon. The ship was built in 2014 and surprisingly is already looking a little dated although the accommodation and facilities throughout are 4*. Staff were uniformly excellent and knew and understood exactly how to deal with their - relatively elderly - passengers. Although the cruise was along a French river none of the staff on board, apart from the Captain, was actually French (not a complaint just an observation!).
Our cabin was small (it would not suit anybody with a propensity for being untidy) but perfectly comfortable and the large sliding picture window was a bonus. Housekeeping staff kept the room looking spotless.
Meals were very good and whilst plentiful were not over-facing. Again, the Chef and his staff worked miracles in maintaining such a high level of excellence - how on earth do you produce 150 perfectly formed and delicious souffles all at the same time from a kitchen on the back of a boat? Amazing!
Minor criticisms would be firstly that there was really no alternative sitting area than the main lounge which at times could be quite crowded and noisy - the piped music was at times totally inappropriate for an elderly clientele (sort of garage funk) and during the evening the entertainer played a fairly repetitive mix of songs on the keyboard which were designed to get people onto the dance floor. Regrettably he wasn't very good although he was very enthusiastic!
You should be aware that occasionally the view from the cabin windows could be spoiled and indeed obliterated altogether if,as happened a few times,another cruise ship moors directly alongside - in which case your view faces either to the side of that boat or, more disconcertingly, directly into someones cabin on it!
All in all a great way to see the sights, cities and towns of a major river and the MV William Shakespeare was not far short of being a perfect way to experience luxury river travel. Some new vessels will be joining the fleet next year - look out for the MV Geoffrey Chaucer - and no doubt the new ships will provide an even greater level of comfort and amenity.
We booked this hotel/boat during a conference in Frankfurt. Knowing well that it was a boat we were going to be staying on. We upgraded to a suite type room and we were not disappointed. What a lovely surprise. From checkin to checkout, the staff were great. We even asked to switch to the river side of the boat, and they accommodated us.
We had a balcony, and while it was winter in Frankfurt, it was lovely to stand on the balcony overlooking the city and river.
The room/suite was very large, and lovely bathroom.
We ate breakfast each morning, and the have a huge selection of food.
They should open a hotel. They know what they're doing!
This hotel is actually a large boat that is docked right in the river. The rooms were clean, the staff was friendly, and the breakfast was tasty. Really cool to have a water view room, and be able to look at the water during breakfast without paying an arm and a leg.