Foodies looking for the right river cruise line

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#1
Houston
305 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
We love cruising and have fallen in love with Oceania. Now we are exploring River Cruises and are looking for folks who have similiar foodie interests to learn more about what line might be better for us.

We understand the experience is different, and I am thinking this is the way I can get hubby to show me France and some other places.
#2
Philadelphia
4,907 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by kibutzer
We love cruising and have fallen in love with Oceania. Now we are exploring River Cruises and are looking for folks who have similiar foodie interests to learn more about what line might be better for us.
We understand the experience is different, and I am thinking this is the way I can get hubby to show me France and some other places.
We are avid O cruisers with 4 more cruises booked with them and would not consider any of the mainstream river cruise lines. They all seem to serve adequate but not great food and we are spoiled by O.
We have however heard that barge cruises in France have wonderful chefs and that you may find it a better choice for you foodies.
Good luck!
#3
Bluffton,SC
3,951 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by kibutzer
We love cruising and have fallen in love with Oceania. Now we are exploring River Cruises and are looking for folks who have similiar foodie interests to learn more about what line might be better for us.

We understand the experience is different, and I am thinking this is the way I can get hubby to show me France and some other places.
I started another thread with a link to this article, but will post it here too. It may be of help in making a decision.

http://www.cntraveler.com/cruises/20...cruise-ships-1

Terri
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#4
125 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by tbrein
I started another thread with a link to this article, but will post it here too. It may be of help in making a decision.

http://www.cntraveler.com/cruises/20...cruise-ships-1

Terri
Really helpful article; thanks! Nonetheless, my one experience so far on Uniworld (second will be this summer) belies the comment the writer made about food aboard its craft. Wifey and I are both picky eaters with high expectations, and we found the food on the River Baroness to be exceptional. The wine served was also quite acceptable, and my standards to reach acceptability are pretty high.
#5
Bluffton,SC
3,951 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by MaxBuck
Really helpful article; thanks! Nonetheless, my one experience so far on Uniworld (second will be this summer) belies the comment the writer made about food aboard its craft. Wifey and I are both picky eaters with high expectations, and we found the food on the River Baroness to be exceptional. The wine served was also quite acceptable, and my standards to reach acceptability are pretty high.
I have no experience with Uniworld so I can neither defend or criticize it. I just offered the article as a means to help in making a decision.
Terri
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June 1986-MV Atlantic-Bermuda-7 Days
July 2007-MS Zuiderdam- Alaska-7 Days
September 2008-MS Zuiderdam- Magic of the Mediterranean-24 Days
January 2009-MS Noordam-Southern Caribbean-10 Days
January 2010-MS Maasdam-Panama Canal Transit-14 Days
January 2011-MS Maasdam-Southern Caribbean-11 Days
September 2011-MS Nieuw Amsterdam-Magic of the Mediterranean-24 Days
March 2012-MS Veendam-South America and Inca Explorer-31 Days
January 2013-MS Noordam-Southern Caribbean-21 Days
July 2013-Ms Treasures-Budapest to Amsterdam-14 Days
January 2015-MS Noordam-Southern Caribbean-11 Days
July 2015-MS Zuiderdam-Adriatic and Mediterranean Dream-22 Days
January 2016-SeaDream 1- Marigot to Barbados-7 Days
August 2016-Oceania Insignia-Dover to Rome-Artisans and Explorers-19 Days
December 2016-MS Rotterdam-Eastern Caribbean-10 Days
#6
florida
3,643 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
having been on ALL the major river lines, ex.Scenic(go there next) we have found the food better on AMA(on 2 different ships).Have been on Oceania and SORRY but river cruise does NOT compare.Its good,not great.But LOVE them anyway and can always eat lunch,sometimes dinner in town.We alternate between ocean and river cruises,best of both worlds.
Give it a TRY and see if its for you.
#8
Santa Paula CA
3,415 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Originally posted by CruisingAlong4Now
You should check out private barge trips in Burgundy (or elsewhere in France). Get together with a group of friends and you'll have a private chef and a fantastic time.

Not a bad idea. We did a barge cruise in Scotland, and for the 8 of us, we had a chef!!!!!
He was fantastic, and we loved every minute of it. The one caveat I have, is that it is expensive.
Remember, there are economies of scale on a regular river cruise with 250 people that you will not get on a barge cruise. But, the experience is well worth the additional expense IMO
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#9
6,446 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by kibutzer
We love cruising and have fallen in love with Oceania. Now we are exploring River Cruises and are looking for folks who have similiar foodie interests to learn more about what line might be better for us.

We understand the experience is different, and I am thinking this is the way I can get hubby to show me France and some other places.
We thought the food on our recent Uniworld trip was wonderful. It was our first river cruise, so I can't offer any comparisons to other river cruise lines. After our Uniworld cruise, we've decided to try Oceania for our next ocean cruise. I know ocean and river cruises are completely different, but Uniworld blew HAL out of the water, and we're hoping to find Uniworld's high standards on Oceania. From what I've been reading about Oceania, it's going to be a good fit for us. Uniworld set the bar very high. We're looking forward to our next Uniworld river cruise.
#10
Inverness Scotland
55 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
May I suggest Royal Crown which is run by E Waterways. This river boat is superb and the food excellent. Hebridean Princess have chartered five cruises on this ship this year having chartered her previously.
We will be sailing with her for the third time in a year next week.
We are sea cruising veterans having cruised at least 30 times in different parts of the world but just love this boat.
I also like the fact, unlike other river cruises, that you also can pick and chose your tours rather than have to take the whole package. Sometimes a places on the river are not big enough to warrant paying for a tour.
A nice stroll round is sufficient.
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#11
Bluffton,SC
3,951 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by twinkletoes4445
We thought the food on our recent Uniworld trip was wonderful. It was our first river cruise, so I can't offer any comparisons to other river cruise lines. After our Uniworld cruise, we've decided to try Oceania for our next ocean cruise. I know ocean and river cruises are completely different, but Uniworld blew HAL out of the water, and we're hoping to find Uniworld's high standards on Oceania. From what I've been reading about Oceania, it's going to be a good fit for us. Uniworld set the bar very high. We're looking forward to our next Uniworld river cruise.
Hi Twinkle,
Nice to see you posting. We are going with Tauck in July and will do a report when we get back. Say hi to your hubby for me.
We're thinking about O also, although I must admit our last cruise on the Noordam was better than the other HAL ships we've been on.
Hope Al's well with you.
Terri
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EMAIL ME







June 1986-MV Atlantic-Bermuda-7 Days
July 2007-MS Zuiderdam- Alaska-7 Days
September 2008-MS Zuiderdam- Magic of the Mediterranean-24 Days
January 2009-MS Noordam-Southern Caribbean-10 Days
January 2010-MS Maasdam-Panama Canal Transit-14 Days
January 2011-MS Maasdam-Southern Caribbean-11 Days
September 2011-MS Nieuw Amsterdam-Magic of the Mediterranean-24 Days
March 2012-MS Veendam-South America and Inca Explorer-31 Days
January 2013-MS Noordam-Southern Caribbean-21 Days
July 2013-Ms Treasures-Budapest to Amsterdam-14 Days
January 2015-MS Noordam-Southern Caribbean-11 Days
July 2015-MS Zuiderdam-Adriatic and Mediterranean Dream-22 Days
January 2016-SeaDream 1- Marigot to Barbados-7 Days
August 2016-Oceania Insignia-Dover to Rome-Artisans and Explorers-19 Days
December 2016-MS Rotterdam-Eastern Caribbean-10 Days
#12
6,446 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by tbrein
Hi Twinkle,
Nice to see you posting. We are going with Tauck in July and will do a report when we get back. Say hi to your hubby for me.
We're thinking about O also, although I must admit our last cruise on the Noordam was better than the other HAL ships we've been on.
Hope Al's well with you.
Terri
Hi!!

I would love to hear your impressions of your Tauck cruise. I know our likes and dislikes are the same. I have read nothing but positive things about Tauck. Your itinerary sounds so amazing.

Our Noordam cruise was our favorite cruise (the one we did with you guys). We're torn about switching, but our last HAL cruise was not good. I think we're going to do O in Alaska.

All is well here! Hope all is well with you. Say hi to your hubby. I am hoping we get to vacation again together soon. We certainly had a fun time with you guys.

I'll be watching for your posts. I can't wait to hear all about your trip.
#13
los angeles area
262 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Hi TwinkleToes4445,

We have sailed on Azamara twice and loved it, the food and the experience. Very happy to hear that you enjoyed Uniworld and the Baroness! We are doing the Paris/Normandy cruise in early October on the Baroness.

We have only been on a few cruises, and this will be our first River Cruise.


Terri
#14
6,446 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by cardonacasa
Hi TwinkleToes4445,

We have sailed on Azamara twice and loved it, the food and the experience. Very happy to hear that you enjoyed Uniworld and the Baroness! We are doing the Paris/Normandy cruise in early October on the Baroness.

We have only been on a few cruises, and this will be our first River Cruise.


Terri
I've read a lot of good things about Azamara. I'll have to check them out. We were on the Beatrice, but I am sure your cruise on the Baroness will be as enjoyable as our was. The Paris/Normandy is a cruise we've also been thinking about. So many places to travel, but only so much time travel for us! We just found river cruising to be so enjoyable. I'd love to hear all about your cruise.
#15
New Jersey
3,522 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Barge cruising is fantastic -- there are two lines that we cover who offer this, European Waterways and French Country Waterways. It's better if you can charter a barge for your own group of friends (they hold between 8 - 18 passengers typically). Otherwise the group is small and if the dynamic doesn't work.........

Here's a link to our piece on the basics of canal cruising. It's really quite different than river cruising so we actually house our canal-related stories in luxury (but a search on CC for either of the two companies should pull up a host of reviews and features). Link: http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=1446.

Carolyn

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic

Originally posted by CruisingAlong4Now
You should check out private barge trips in Burgundy (or elsewhere in France). Get together with a group of friends and you'll have a private chef and a fantastic time.

#16
New Jersey
3,522 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
There's one really good reason why the food on river boats doesn't necessarily match the excellence of that on the best ocean-going lines and that's both the size of the galley (you'd be amazed at how well chefs do in a galley that's smaller than a normal sized bedroom) and the size of the culinary team.

Having said that, and having had terrific experiences on Viking River, Uniworld, Tauck, Scenic and Avalon, I have to say that for its embrace of food and wine in not just the dining room but also shore tours, the best of 'em has to be AMAWaterways.

Carolyn


Originally posted by alexandra cruiser
having been on ALL the major river lines, ex.Scenic(go there next) we have found the food better on AMA(on 2 different ships).Have been on Oceania and SORRY but river cruise does NOT compare.Its good,not great.But LOVE them anyway and can always eat lunch,sometimes dinner in town.We alternate between ocean and river cruises,best of both worlds.
Give it a TRY and see if its for you.
#17
Surprise, AZ
569 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Thanks, Carolyn - I am a "spoiled Regent rat", but also like river cruising for the more intimate and "inside Europe" experience. Our only River Cruise, so far, has been on Avalon and after Regent, we think we might be able to "do better" (food-wise, yet within the space limitations you point out) on another river cruise line. So I'm trying to do a comparison (if that's even possible) between AMA, Uniworld, Tauck, and Scenic - looking at things such as food, cabin size, all-included all-day beverage service, value for money, and other amenities. Has such a recent comparison among those 4 lines been done? I'll be traveling with DW and my Dad, so I know we'll need a second cabin (and pay a single supplement). Best Regards.
#18
Tulsa OK
7,249 Posts
Joined May 2006
I regularly sail on regent and silversea. My husband and I are "foodies" and appreciate good wine as well. We have sailed on AMA and found the food to be generally as good as that on regent and silversea, but just with fewer choices. The soups were particularly outstanding. I try to avoid dessert, but the pastry chef on AMA was amazing.
#19
Surprise, AZ
569 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Hi Rachael - I read/see you all the time over on the Regent page and hold your recommendations and thoughts in high regard. Therefore, I'm taking your recommendation of AMA very seriously. If you say the food is "good" then it's good! My DW also has a particular fondness for a great bowl of soup - to the point of sometimes wanting to make IT "the dinner", accompanied by some really good freshly-baked bread and a nice bottle of wine. Perhaps with a nice small salad on the side. Hope to meet you onboard someday. Best Regards.
#20
Denver, CO
884 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
We have sailed on AMA, Grand Circle, Azamara, HAL (Maasdam), RCCL (Jewel of the Seas), Celebrity (Solstice), and Princess (Emerald). The food on Princess impressed me the most. There were more times I thought, "Oh my God, this is SO good!" (Probably had lots more butter /sugar!)