balconies? luxury boats?

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#1
3,083 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I'm hoping that someone can inform me which cruise lines have boats that have balconies (French or otherwise) on their French waterway cruises.

Also, are river boats like the cruise lines, i.e. in the sense of some being considered "luxury," others "premium," others "mass," etc. Since we have much enjoyed our Regent cruises, I think we'll be happier with a luxury river boat, if there is such a thing.

Many thanks. This is something we'd like to try--- but only if there's balcony and good wide bed.
#4
3,083 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Thanks to both for replying.
I know that one can't step out on French balconies. (Even Juliet balconies are preferable to French imo.) French would probably be ok (though I know that some companies actually do have real balconies).
I telephoned Tauck and was told that the twins pushed together are smaller than an American Queen bed! That astonished me (we'd be wildly uncomfortable, and we are not large people).
I will telephone other river cruise companies and perhaps find something more to our taste.
Thanks again.
(I think I remember from inquiring about these things once before -- about three years ago though-- that the real balconies and better bed sizes are on ships that do some of the other itineraries, but not the French ones, alas.)
#5
Milton On Canada
938 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Don't forget to check out Scenic Tours. Their Scenic Emerald is doing the Saone & Rhone rivers, no overnight sailing, and most of their rooms have balconies. Their suites might have bigger beds than the normal staterooms. This is another totally all inclusive company.
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Judy

Carnival Pride-Western Caribbean Feb 2015
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#6
Ontario, Canada
2,736 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
I was also going to suggest you take a look at Scenic. We did our Tulip Time Cruise with them (actually sailed on the Scenic Emerald - the boat they are "transplanting" to the south of France....) - and it was a wonderful experience. Scenic is starting to cruise in the south of France this year - and putting a boat on the Seine next year.

The balconies on the Scenic boats are not large, but certainly big enough for a couple of chairs and a small table.

Fran
#7
San Francisco, CA
1,052 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
For another higher-end experience (not at Tauck's level, though) - check out Uniworld.
I would actually expect most lines push the singles together to make a queen.
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.Mark Katzenberger

Upcoming Queen Mary 2 - RT N Atlantic crossing - 2018
Queen Mary 2 - RT crossing + Bruges - 2017, Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2016, Celebrity Infinity - S. America - 2015,
Star Princess - Pacific repo - 2015, AMACello - Rhine - 2013, Norwegian Spirit - W Caribbean - 2011,
Crystal Serenity - E Med - 2010, Queen Mary 2 - Canada - 2009, Eurodam - Baltics - 2009,
Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2008, Queen Elizabeth 2 - W Med - 2008, Amsterdam - Alaska - 2007,
Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean - 2007, Voyager of the Seas - Bermuda - 2005, Star Princess - Mexico - 2002,
Carnival Spirit - Pacific repo - 2001, Norwegian Majesty - S Caribbean - 2001, Rembrandt - Canada - 2000,
Seabourn Sun - SF cruise to nowhere - 2000, Queen Elizabeth 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 1999, Zenith - Bermuda - 1998,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - Panama Canal - 1997, Celebrity Century - W Caribbean - 1996, Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 1993,
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific repo - 1993, Crown Princess - E Caribbean - 1991, Westerdam - Mexico repo - 1990,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - Hawaii - 1989, Cunard Princess - Pacific repo - 1987
#8
Northern California
216 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Re French balconies, AMA ships in Europe offer these, and they have a few new ships with a few cabins that offer true balconies you can walk/sit on. We always found the French balcony was fine; with the sliding door open a lot of air comes in, and there was a comfy chair next to the door. The Viking longships also have some cabins with balconies.

I am shocked that Tauck told you the twin beds pushed together would make a bed smaller than an American queen bed. Our experience on AMA has been quite different.

We've cruised AMA twice, in family groups where some cabins had the twin beds pulled apart, while in our cabin the bed was made up as a single large bed. The AMA single beds seemed almost as wide as an American twin, so when pushed together it made a bed that was plenty wide for two. American twins are 39" wide, while American queen beds are only 60" wide. I would say the combined bed is closer to a California king which is 72" wide. They also had some magic way to make the 'seam' between the two beds not be felt at all...and we are choosy about bed comfort.
#9
Kentucky
235 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by MarkBearSF
For another higher-end experience (not at Tauck's level, though) - check out Uniworld.
I would actually expect most lines push the singles together to make a queen.
If a comfy big bed is a must, do consider Uniworld. The bedding is luxurious and the bed roomy. RE: Balcony on river ships--going thru locks dictates how wide these babies can be. I've found that on Uniworld, a Cat 3 cabin gets you a very large window where you can sit and watch the world go by. You should know that it's not unusual to pull up alongside another ship so you may be looking into another's Yeah....we had that happen. Boy was the lady in the next ship surprised!!!

We did one Uniworld cruise last spring and have 2 scheduled for later this year so I guess they did something right last year!
#10
3,885 Posts
Joined May 2009
Also suggest going to the webistes of: Tauck, AMA, Avalon, Uniworld and Scenic. Another fun thing we did was to go on Youtube and search these companies, there are great vidios both both fellow passengers, Travel agents and the companies themselves.... You get to see what goes on and get a good idea from many perspectives about life in the ship and on the river.
#11
San Francisco, CA
1,052 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Originally posted by nana541
Also suggest going to the webistes of: Tauck, AMA, Avalon, Uniworld and Scenic. Another fun thing we did was to go on Youtube and search these companies, there are great vidios both both fellow passengers, Travel agents and the companies themselves.... You get to see what goes on and get a good idea from many perspectives about life in the ship and on the river.
I also recommend that you talk to a Travel Agent who is experienced in river cruises - especially if you have very specific requirements. A good TA is the best assurance of a successful trip. (...and no, I'm not a TA)
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.Mark Katzenberger

Upcoming Queen Mary 2 - RT N Atlantic crossing - 2018
Queen Mary 2 - RT crossing + Bruges - 2017, Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2016, Celebrity Infinity - S. America - 2015,
Star Princess - Pacific repo - 2015, AMACello - Rhine - 2013, Norwegian Spirit - W Caribbean - 2011,
Crystal Serenity - E Med - 2010, Queen Mary 2 - Canada - 2009, Eurodam - Baltics - 2009,
Queen Mary 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 2008, Queen Elizabeth 2 - W Med - 2008, Amsterdam - Alaska - 2007,
Norwegian Sun - W Caribbean - 2007, Voyager of the Seas - Bermuda - 2005, Star Princess - Mexico - 2002,
Carnival Spirit - Pacific repo - 2001, Norwegian Majesty - S Caribbean - 2001, Rembrandt - Canada - 2000,
Seabourn Sun - SF cruise to nowhere - 2000, Queen Elizabeth 2 - N Atlantic crossing - 1999, Zenith - Bermuda - 1998,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - Panama Canal - 1997, Celebrity Century - W Caribbean - 1996, Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 1993,
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific repo - 1993, Crown Princess - E Caribbean - 1991, Westerdam - Mexico repo - 1990,
Queen Elizabeth 2 - Hawaii - 1989, Cunard Princess - Pacific repo - 1987
#12
Mackay Australia
786 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
As I said in your other thread I believe you've got it wrong about Tauck. If the bed I slept in for 14 nights was smaller than a Queen size then I must have shrunk.