by John Lane
Elegant was the first thing that came to mind once I entered the Swiss Emerald of Tauck River Cruises. The two-story reception area with the marble floors, rich woods, and crystal chandelier greet you as if you are in a fine hotel. The dining room and lounge are forward from the reception; the staterooms and bistro are aft.
My junior suite (cabin 302) is one of the nicest cabins I have ever had.
There is plenty of closet space with a safe, mini bar, and plenty of nice wooden hangers. A queen size bed with nice reading lights, along with a glass top dressing table and then a table and two chairs are situated in front of the french balcony. The marble and granite bathroom are what I would consider one of the best I have had on a cruise. Molton Brown toiletries, thick towels, and blow dryer await you.
I have found a good friend in the self serve coffee/cappucino/espresso machine in the bistro. It is open 24 hours and offers continental breakfast in the morning starting at 6 am and later a light lunch; cookies, tea, coffee are available 24 hours. A bistro dinner is served each evening and you must make your reservation by 2 pm to be one of the lucky ones to dine in this small venue. But more on the food later. Today we will explore Arles, our first port, and learn more about “cultural immersion”, as Tauck calls it.
Note: John is onboard the Swiss Emerald this week, sailing from Arles to Lyon, France and will be posting blog updates as his time allows; check back for more!