what's a French balcony?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!


Unregistered, just back from your river cruise? Get published on Cruise Critic; Write a Review!
River Cruising
Find Others on Your River Cruise! River Cruising Roll Calls
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 02:53 AM.
#1
NJ
7,276 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
I did a search but didn't get an answer.

Just starting to look at River cruises. A family member planted the seed on Christmas as DH & I are taking off for our caribbean cruise next week on a mega ship.

What are the differences & similaries between the two experiences besides the obvious -- river v. ocean; size / intimacy; wifi & wine & beer included?

TIA
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Trish
#2
Ohio
1,974 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
We are going to be 1st time river cruisers in May 2013. We booked a French Balcony. On a fast moving, salt spraying, ocean viewing cruise ship I am happy to have an obstructed window. I just need a glimpse of daylight and to see the weather. Also, I am cheap and prefer to cruise frequently, rather than luxuriously. However, on a riverboat there will always be "stuff to see": everchanging towns and castles, boats on the river, lights at night. So I really wanted to enjoy the view and hear the sounds. So we opted for a big sliding glass "patio-door like" window that opens. I wont be able to sit or even step outside; but I will be able to stick my head out and look up or down the Rhine river.

One word of caution. I did not research this. It never crossed my mind as a possibility: Other riverboats can tie up next to you! So I bought some cute pajamas for the morning when I wake up and fling open my window. Instead of seeing a quaint town or castle; I find myself staring into the face of some guy on another riverboat. Hopefully, he will be wearing pajamas, too.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Alison

Future cruises - Southern Caribbean Exotic - Jan 2017Celebrity Eclipse

Future cruises - Southern Caribbean Exotic - Jan 2018 Celebrity Eclipse

1983 World Explorer SS Universe to Alaska - 14 day
1986 Costa Riviera
1988 NCL Skyward
1991 Premier Majestic
1992 Premier Majestic
2001 NCL Seaward
2004 RCI Sovereign of the Sea
2005 RCI Splendour of the Sea
2005 Celebrity Zenith - Christmas at Sea
2006 Caribbean Princess - Christmas at Sea
2007 NCL Pearl - Christmas at Sea
2008 NCL Jewel - Christmas at Sea
2009 RCI Radiance of the Sea - Alaska Cruisetour cruise
2009 Star Princess Sept. 23 - Oct. 24, 2009 -30 day - San Francisco to Sydney, Australia
2010 NCL Pearl - Pacific Coastal
2010 HAL Amsterdam - 1 night to Seattle
2010 Caribbean Princess - New England/Canada
2011 Golden Princess - 14 day LA to Hawaii
2011 Celebrity Infinity - 10 day Alaska RT Seattle
2011 RCI Navigator of the Sea - 6 nite - circle Cuba
2012 Golden Princess - LA to Hawaii
2012 Caribbean Princess - 12 nite - British Isles
2013 - Vantage River Venture - Rhine and Mosel - 14 nite River cruise - with a 500-year flood
2013 - NCL Dawn - Back to Back: Boston to Quebec to Boston
2014 - Crown Princess - Caribbean Islands - 14 nite
2014 - Crown Princess - Pacific Coastal Wine Cruise - 7 nite
2015 - Celebrity Summit - Back to Back Southern Caribbean - 14nite
2016 - Celebrity Summit - Back to Back Southern Caribbean - 14nite
2016 - Vantage Voyager - Danube, Main, Rhine River Cruise - 14 nite
#3
1,098 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
I understand your position and I too would get a "french balcony" but except for that morning time when you are in your pajamas you will not spend enough time in your cabin to really make use of it.
#5
Florida
19,519 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
We had one and it was great ..... Join us on one ..{ we moved from exit 8 on the tpke} River Crusing is GREAT .
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
We've been on
Carnival: 27 voyages 184 days
Celebrity: 3 voyages 24 days
Holland: 27 voyages 605 days
Norwegian: 2 voyages 16 days
Princess: 16 voyages 154 days
Royal Carib: 5 voyages 35 days
Vantage:River 2 voyages 39 days
GRAND TOTAL: 82 Cruises 1057 days

NOT YET SAILED

Rotterdam Voyage Vikings 8/17 - 38 days
Maasdam Boston to San Diego 9/17 18 days
Veendam Atlantic Crossing 10/17 - 49 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/18 - 113 days
Rotterdam crossing. 6/18 - 32 days
Prinsendam 8/18 - 124 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/19 113 days
#8
Wht Mts, NH - Gulf Coast, FL
2,706 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by ingo_e
Just came to my mind again: This summer I compiled a few pictures to explain the difference (esp. twin / combined balconies).

http://www.rivercruiseinfo.com/conte...-and-balconies

enjoy
What a great link. We are planning our first river cruise and I will be sure to share this with our cruising buddies.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



Past Cruises:
Celebrity Reflection - Med & Greek Isles
Coral Princess - Partial Transit Panama Canal
Celebrity Silhouette - TA
Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas - Arctic Circle
Disney Fantasy - Souhern Caribbean
AMAPrima - Danube, Prague to Budapest
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas - Southern Carib.
Carnival Imagination - Western Carib.
Carnival Valor - Southern Carib.
Norwegian Sun - Baltics, Copenhagen, St Petersburg
Royal Caribbean Brilliance - Mediterranean, Spain Italy
Celebrity Infinity - Alaska
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas, Western Carib.
Royal Caribbean Nordic Prince - Bermuda
#9
2,485 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
You asked about differences: all tours are included on most lines, but if you are a very independent traveler you don't have to take them: you are never out of sight of land; there are locks, glorious locks and they can happen day or nite. If you are a lite sleeper go for midships as there are both bow and stern thrusters and they can wake even a heavy sleeper. Many lines are including beer and wine with dinner, some even at lunch. River cruising is becoming extremely popular, so if there is a specific time you want to go--book early, the season is usually March til right after New Years. Russia is usually May til Oct. Everyone here has their favorite line or lines--ours are AMAwaterways and Uniworld. Some of us have travelled more than one line and some stick with one only. Try to give us some specific questions and we will try to answer. There are posters from countries in Europe also. Good luck. Pat
#10
Tasmania, Australia
654 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
We had a french balcony on our first river cruise in august, I think this is what we would choose on future cruises too. We did spend some lovely relaxing hours of an afternoon in our cabin, most tours etc tended to be of a morning, so the last couple of hours before dinner was a good time to sit back and read, watch the world go by, have a wine or as in my husbands case a few nanna naps. Plus waving to locals , who must see so many ships pass by, but always waving and smiling.
Of a night it was nice just laying in bed hearing the sounds of the river and the lights and of a morning an early coffee sitting there watching the world sttart its day, especially if you were passing or docked in towns.
We just found being able to open the windows and take in the atmosphere just added to our fantastic experience.
Deb
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Avalon Panorama, Magnificent Europe, Budapest to Amsterdam August 15 -29th 2012
Avalon Scenery, Grand France , Cote D'Azur to Paris, 30th June - 8th July 2014
Avalon Creativity, Grand France, Paris-Normandy Beaches-Paris, 8th - 15th July 2014
HAL Oosterdam, Mediterranean Dream , Venice to Rome , 17th -29th June 2016
#11
Louisville, Ky, USA
4,192 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Sorry if my previous post offended anyone. It was not meant to do so. I see that it has been eliminated......................
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"THE WORLD IS A BOOK, AND THOSE WHO DO NOT TRAVEL READ ONLY ONE PAGE" ST. AUGUSTINE
keep on cruising
Robb

plus
Past Cruises

3/98-SUNCOAST CRUISE LINE-CAROUSEL; 5/98-NCL-SEA; 2/99-CELEBRITY-MERCURY; 5/99-RCL; 10/99-PRINCESS-SUN; 3/00-COSTA-VICTORIA; 12/00-RADISSON-PAUL GAUGUIN; 3/01-WINDSTAR-WINDSURF; 5/01-HAL-NOORDAM; 9/01-RCL-LEGEND; 3/02-NCL-WIND; 5/02-CELEB-CONSTELLATION; 9/02-HAL-NOORDAM; 11/02-CELEB-CENTURY; 3/03-NCL-SUN; 5/03-CELEB-MILLENNIUM; 3/04-CELEB-INFINITY; 7/04-RCL-JEWEL; 9/04-CELEB-HORIZON; 11/04-GRAND CIR. NILE-ANUKET; 5/05-RCL-SPLENDOR; 7/05-VANTAGE-DANUBE; 10/05-HAL-WESTERDAM; 2/06-HAL-STATENDAM; 5/06-U of L-YANGTZE-CHINA; 9/06-RCL-JEWEL; 2/07-CELEB.-SUMMIT; 5/07-RCL-LEGEND; 11/07-RCL-Voyager; 3/08-RCL-Brilliance; 5/08-RCL-Liberty; 8/08-Princess-Sea; 11/08-RCL-Freedom (back to back); 11/08-RCL-Freedom (back to back); 3/09-RCL-Splendour; 5/09-RCI-Legend; 7/09-Oceania-Nautica; 2/10-Azamara-Quest; 6/10-Celebrity-Eclipse; 11/10-RCI Voyager; 2/11-Galapagos Explorer II; 2/11-RCI-Vision; 5/11-Diamond Princess;5/11-Diamond Princess (b2b); 11/14-HAL-Zuiderdam; 1/12-Oceania-Regatta; 6/12-Caribbean Princess; 10/12-Regent SS Voyager; 1/13-Celebrity Millennium; 10/13-Celebrity Summit; 11/13-AMALotus; 5/14 RCL-Rhapsody: 9/14-Celebrity Infinity; 11/14-Azamara Quest; 2/15-Celebrity Infinity; 4/15-Oceania Marina; Landtour/River Cruist/Myanmar; 12/15-RCL/Serenade; 3/16-Azamara Quest; 5/16 Celebrity/Constellation; 10/16-Azamara/Journey; 12/16-RCCL/Freedom; 2/17-RCCL/Grandeur

Scheduled Cruises

8/17-HAL/Eurodam
10/17-Oceania/Regatta
11/17-Regent Seven Seas/Explorer
#12
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Robb
Sorry if my previous post offended anyone. It was not meant to do so. I see that it has been eliminated......................
No not you....I started it and am sorry about that and have already apologized to the OP and once again apologize to everyone else on this board.

CC deleted a whole string of posts starting with my unfortunate post
#13
Ohio
1,974 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by tassietravellers
We had a french balcony on our first river cruise in august, I think this is what we would choose on future cruises too. We did spend some lovely relaxing hours of an afternoon in our cabin, most tours etc tended to be of a morning, so the last couple of hours before dinner was a good time to sit back and read, watch the world go by, have a wine or as in my husbands case a few nanna naps. Plus waving to locals , who must see so many ships pass by, but always waving and smiling.
Of a night it was nice just laying in bed hearing the sounds of the river and the lights and of a morning an early coffee sitting there watching the world sttart its day, especially if you were passing or docked in towns.
We just found being able to open the windows and take in the atmosphere just added to our fantastic experience.
Deb
Thanks Deb, that is what I was hoping!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Alison

Future cruises - Southern Caribbean Exotic - Jan 2017Celebrity Eclipse

Future cruises - Southern Caribbean Exotic - Jan 2018 Celebrity Eclipse

1983 World Explorer SS Universe to Alaska - 14 day
1986 Costa Riviera
1988 NCL Skyward
1991 Premier Majestic
1992 Premier Majestic
2001 NCL Seaward
2004 RCI Sovereign of the Sea
2005 RCI Splendour of the Sea
2005 Celebrity Zenith - Christmas at Sea
2006 Caribbean Princess - Christmas at Sea
2007 NCL Pearl - Christmas at Sea
2008 NCL Jewel - Christmas at Sea
2009 RCI Radiance of the Sea - Alaska Cruisetour cruise
2009 Star Princess Sept. 23 - Oct. 24, 2009 -30 day - San Francisco to Sydney, Australia
2010 NCL Pearl - Pacific Coastal
2010 HAL Amsterdam - 1 night to Seattle
2010 Caribbean Princess - New England/Canada
2011 Golden Princess - 14 day LA to Hawaii
2011 Celebrity Infinity - 10 day Alaska RT Seattle
2011 RCI Navigator of the Sea - 6 nite - circle Cuba
2012 Golden Princess - LA to Hawaii
2012 Caribbean Princess - 12 nite - British Isles
2013 - Vantage River Venture - Rhine and Mosel - 14 nite River cruise - with a 500-year flood
2013 - NCL Dawn - Back to Back: Boston to Quebec to Boston
2014 - Crown Princess - Caribbean Islands - 14 nite
2014 - Crown Princess - Pacific Coastal Wine Cruise - 7 nite
2015 - Celebrity Summit - Back to Back Southern Caribbean - 14nite
2016 - Celebrity Summit - Back to Back Southern Caribbean - 14nite
2016 - Vantage Voyager - Danube, Main, Rhine River Cruise - 14 nite
#14
Coastal NC
3,233 Posts
Joined Sep 2006

Our room on the Viking Sun



This is a photo of one of the walls in the locks. Taken from our room.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sharon

Viking, Portraits of Southern France. 2006
Uniworld, Castles Along the Rhine, 2007
Gate 1, Thanksgiving Cruise, 2007
AMA Waterways, Portugal on the Douro, 2008
Grand Circle: Romance of the Rhine and Mosel, 2010
Viking Emerald, China's Cultural Delights. 3/28/2011
Grand Circle: Old World Prague and the Blue Danube. September 7, 2011.
Viking Spirit, Paris to Normandy. 12/11/11.
Grand Circle's [i]Essence of the Elbe: 5/27/12/ to 6/11/12
Grand Circle Russia Revealed with pretrip to Helsinki and Tallinn , 2012. .
Viking Sun, Treasures of the Rhine. Nov 11, 2012.
AMACerto, Istanbul to Budapest. May 30, 2013.
Uniworld River Queen, Classic Christmas Markets, Nuremberg to Frankfurt. Dec 5, 2013.
Vantage Travel, Croatian Odyssey & Venice with Lake Bled, Slovenia pretrip. M/Y Harmony G
Grand Circle, Burma and the Irrawaddy, Thailand and Cambodia. Nov 25, 2014. RV Paukan 2012.
Grand Circle: Spain's Northern Coast & the Bay of Biscay. 4/30/2015 to 5/21/2015. Ship: Corinthian
AMAWaterways: Magnificent Europe. Aug 30 to Sept 14, 2015. AMACerto. Budapest to Amsterdam
Vantage: The Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu. 3/12/2016. Post trip to Lake Titicaca. Ship: RV Amazon Discovery
Grand Circle: Grand Baltic Sea Voyage. . 7/30/2016 to 8/15/2016. Ship: Corinthian
Viking: Castles & Legends. Munich to Budapest. 12/5/16 to 12/16/16. Viking Ve.
Viking Sky: Mediterranean Getaway, Rome to Barcelona, 2/25/17 to 3/4/17.

Grand Circle: Maritime Jewels of the British Isles. 7/23/17. Ship: Corinthian
Avalon Affinity: Burgundy & Provence with London, 10/2/17
Viking RA: Pharaohs & Pyramids. March 8, 2018
#15
NJ
7,276 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Nana -- we're good.

I am "impressed." I didn't know CC cherry picked posts. I thought they just deleted the whole thread which would have been unfortunate.

Anyway, I found some helpful YouTube videos of river cruises. The personal ones gave me insight, but the ones professionally produced as commericals by the various companies offered better overviews.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Trish
#16
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by trish1c
Nana -- we're good.

I am "impressed." I didn't know CC cherry picked posts. I thought they just deleted the whole thread which would have been unfortunate.

Anyway, I found some helpful YouTube videos of river cruises. The personal ones gave me insight, but the ones professionally produced as commericals by the various companies offered better overviews.
Thanks Trish! No they delete individual post...someone must have flagged the post and frankly had I come across a "temper tantrum" like that I would have protected you too and let someone know....
The Youtube vidios are real good also search this board for links posted by "steve and kathy" they have wonderful personal blogs that cover a couple rivercruises. You really want to see these....once again I am at a loss as to how to post a link but maybe someone else will do it for you.
DH and I are sailing with Avalon Sept 2013 Paris to Prague, really excited.

Good luck to you in your research, but do go on each of the River cruiselines websites and order "old fashion" brochures, they are wonderful and easier to digest than the eBrochures.



PS those French Balconies are really just sliders with a bar to keep you from going out the wrong door....they do give you an open feeling and in warm weather let you feel the breeze!
#17
Wht Mts, NH - Gulf Coast, FL
2,706 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Here you go, a link to the blog i believe nana is referring to
http://www.stevekathytravels.com/

Ooooops, edited to repost a link to a thread I found helpful in comparing river cruiselines (one of the deleted posts)
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1744727
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



Past Cruises:
Celebrity Reflection - Med & Greek Isles
Coral Princess - Partial Transit Panama Canal
Celebrity Silhouette - TA
Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas - Arctic Circle
Disney Fantasy - Souhern Caribbean
AMAPrima - Danube, Prague to Budapest
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas - Southern Carib.
Carnival Imagination - Western Carib.
Carnival Valor - Southern Carib.
Norwegian Sun - Baltics, Copenhagen, St Petersburg
Royal Caribbean Brilliance - Mediterranean, Spain Italy
Celebrity Infinity - Alaska
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas, Western Carib.
Royal Caribbean Nordic Prince - Bermuda
#18
Wht Mts, NH - Gulf Coast, FL
2,706 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
And here's another with a great river cruise review I forgot to include
http://www.thepreismans.com/
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



Past Cruises:
Celebrity Reflection - Med & Greek Isles
Coral Princess - Partial Transit Panama Canal
Celebrity Silhouette - TA
Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas - Arctic Circle
Disney Fantasy - Souhern Caribbean
AMAPrima - Danube, Prague to Budapest
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas - Southern Carib.
Carnival Imagination - Western Carib.
Carnival Valor - Southern Carib.
Norwegian Sun - Baltics, Copenhagen, St Petersburg
Royal Caribbean Brilliance - Mediterranean, Spain Italy
Celebrity Infinity - Alaska
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas, Western Carib.
Royal Caribbean Nordic Prince - Bermuda
#19
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by sippican
And here's another with a great river cruise review I forgot to include
http://www.thepreismans.com/
Sippican, Thanks for posting the links! I had forgotten about this last link. I wish CC would just post these permenantly on the top of the board as they are great resources for newbies. I am forwarding both the links to 1st timers traveling with us next fall. They have never been to Europe and of course never done a Rivercruise ( unless you count fishing on a river in Oregon)

Thanks again ..

.. Ok the goal today is not to piss anyone off! Wish me luck


Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday!
#20
Pennsylvania
13,983 Posts
Joined May 2007
Just a little trivia but those kind of balconies in a house are referred to as Juliet, as in Romeo and, balconies.

Hey Nana541, guess who we had for the day?