Preferred Travel of Naples
My name is Suzi Dennis and I am a Senior Travel Consultant with Preferred Travel, here in Naples, Florida. I’ve been with Preferred Travel for almost 13 years and I’ve been in the travel business for almost 40 years.
Today, I’m taking you to Paris, France for a wonderful seven day river boat cruise on Uniworld. This is their new ship. The new ship was christened by Joan Collins; it’s called Joie de Vivre. The joy of living and the joy of the Paris countryside. It was fantastic. I was very fortunate to be a guest on their christening in late March. So, I was able to take advantage of this brand new ship, this beautiful ship, everything it had to offer in an all inclusive atmosphere.
This river boat had suites, junior suites and standard cabins. There were only a few suites and they would go first as far as purchase and they are more than 400 square feet. They are beautifully appointed with beautiful fabrics. I was very impressed with the bathrooms. They are all gray and white marble with beautiful ositain fabrics, walk-in showers and heated marble floors. The smaller cabins were about 180 square feet.
After boarding the ship, we had a wonderful dinner in their beautiful dining room. Their dining room can seat everyone at one time and it is so beautifully decorated as a 20th century Paris restaurant. It is just beautiful. We had a wonderful dinner as we sailed in the evening all the way down in the countryside. We went to Giverny, the home of Monet. We also went to the Normandy beaches, where we spent the night. We actually had a choice of things that you could do. I had been there previously, there were various options. We also went to Rouen and Honfleur, this beautiful, picturesque little French fishing village that everybody sees in the movies and you always say you want to see it. In Rouen, we were able to see the statue of Joan of Arc.
A very small group of us got to go in through the back doors and see Versailles, which was very exciting. We skipped the line of thousands of people and had a very private tour of the rooms that aren’t really open to the public all the time. Twelve of us were able to go to the Julia Child restaurant in Rouen called La Couronne and we had the actual meal that Julia had that many years ago, over 60 years ago. If you’ve seen the movie, you will see it and she says I am inspired to learn to cook. And it was wonderful.
Now, I will say, some of the other options on this particular river cruise, they had a lot of golf that was offered. Many people think when they go on a river boat, they are going to see a lot of cathedrals fortunately besides the bicycle trips which are wonderful, the golf was offered in a couple of places as well.
The service was unbelievable. Most of the staff were trained on the various Uniworld river boats. A lot of them were brought onboard because of their experience and they trained new staff onboard. Breakfast and lunch were done as a buffett in this fabulous Paris inspired restaurant. Dinner was absolutely flawless with dimmed lights. It felt like you were in a French restaurant after the turn of the centrury. The service could not have been better. If you wanted something that wasn’t quite on the menu, they would reply let me see madam, let me see what I can do. The other restaurant on board was called Claude’s. It was a small bistro and it was good for an early morning breakfast and lunch. It only has about eight tables, so that was fun. So, if you come back from an excursion and you didn’t want to go to the main restaurant to have a buffet lunch, they had service and bar service in the smaller Claude’s.
I think one of the benefits of booking through Preferred Travel, we belong to the Signature Travel Network organization of travel agents in the United States. Many times on these river boats we can offer a little perk, maybe an ammenity that a lot of other travel agents cannot offer. They vary from cruise to cruise and ship to ship. Also, when you call, you get the same person. It’s not like you are calling an 800 number or a call service where they could be anywhere in the United States and you don’t get the same person and you probably won’t get the same answer. Here, you are dealing with the same person at Preferred Travel. From the beginning to the end, we make sure it is smooth sailing.
If you are interested in anything offered by Uniworld or any other travel service, please give us a call at 239.261.1177. We also have a wonderful website http://www.preferrednaples.com. We also have a 24 hour a day answering service.
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