PHOTO: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s Joie de Vivre docked at night in Rouen, France. (photo by Jason Leppert)
Fresh from sailing aboard Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s new Joie de Vivre riverboat in France, I have a list of experiences you shouldn’t miss out on.
Leave Your USB Charging Blocks at Home
Plenty of us now travel with lots of electronics, including our smartphones and our cameras, and many of these devices charge off of USB cables.
It just so happens that the staterooms onboard feature six such power ports, so there is little need to bring all of your charging blocks except for maybe at the airport. Don’t forget to bring the cables, however.
Watch the Substantial In-Cabin Movie Library
Also nice is the cabins’ on-demand collection of films available on the televisions. Not only are there many movies to choose from that are both modern and classic, but a good portion of the titles are related to the itinerary itself.
In between tours, it’s a perfect opportunity to infill with additional context as to what is being visited ashore.
Ask for a Bar of L’Occitane Soap
The fact that L’Occitane toiletries come standard is quite a luxury, but only body wash is available by default in the shower. If you prefer bar soap, all you need is ask your room steward for one.
Best of all, the kind onboard is from the refreshing citrus Verbena collection, which also extends to the liquid hand soap at the sink.
Enjoy the Outdoor Deck Areas
While there are no private verandas attached to staterooms or suites, there are still plenty of outdoor deck areas to enjoy the passing scenery. The sun deck stretches the entire length of the ship, and there’s also a small forward observation deck at the bow along with side promenade vestibules.
When it gets colder, blankets are available to keep you warm, or the glass-enclosed terrace at the stern is another great alternative.
Don’t Forget the Complimentary Candy Bar
Speaking of the stern terrace, that’s also where guests find a great complimentary candy bar. They can also serve up gummy bears, jelly raspberries and blackberries, fruit Mentos and marshmallows to their heart’s content.
Try the Indoor Resistance Pool
Just in front of the terrace is the riverboat’s indoor pool. It’s a nice place to take a relaxing dip or work up a sweat with the push of a button. Turning on a high-powered resistance jet means you can use it as a bit of a simulated lap pool, (for burning off the aforementioned candy).
It’s also worth watching the floor fascinatingly raise up at night as the venue converts into a cinema.
Book the Behind-the-Scenes Progressive Dinner
Those interested in other behind-the-scenes workings of the ship will want to reserve the progressive dinner that’s available once per cruise for a 40 euro surcharge per person.
Individual courses are creatively served as a select number of guests visit the navigation bridge, engine room, galley, laundry room and more.
Partake in Several Different Restaurants
Meanwhile, there are many other regular dining rooms to enjoy mostly for free, including Le Restaurant Pigalle, Claude’s, La Cave du Vin (90 euro per person surcharge) and Le Bistrot—an impressive lot for an intimate riverboat. Plus, onboard beverages are all-inclusive throughout the day.
Take Advantage of Extended Dining Hours
What’s more, Le Bistrot is wonderfully available for dining daily between the hours of noon and 9pm, while room service can be delivered 24 hours a day.
So, if you are coming back from a tour or your own time ashore, there is always something conveniently ready to eat even outside regular mealtimes.
This post first appeared on TravelPulse.