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Friendly, fun and festive On one night there was a touch of Strictly Ballroom in the salon with waltzing Frenchies and tango dancing Malaysians mixed with disco dancing octogenarians, though 86 year old Evelyn who comes from nearby Avignon refrained from dancing on account she said, of breaking her leg doing the cha cha cha at a party a while back. She did however don a black curly wig to mime to Edith Piaf belting out La Vie en Rose at the crew Show. We all joined in the chorus and gave her a huge round of applause. The crew show is a tradition and it’s clear that they love doing it. The French guests especially love it though it’s probably not what US and UK holiday makers are used to. In fact for a group of cynical women travel writers we found it remarkably easy to let our hair down and join in - who can resist Mama Mia or Le Madison - a line dance favourite in France for more than 50 years - which if you don’t know it before your CroisiEurope trip, you certainly will by the time you’re finished. Sure it’s a little bit kitsch but it’s great fun and if your holiday makes you laugh, then it’s a good holiday! There’s a lot of laughter on this boat. On day 1 the crew are introduced one by one. Anis the Purser strolled in to the sound of “I’m sexy and I know it”, the bar staff paraded to “The Eye of the Tiger”. The guests clapped everyone enthusiastically from the captain and his brother the deputy captain, to the chefs and housekeepers and Lilla the laundry lady (Pretty Woman if you must know). You’re drawn into the “family” of CroisiEurope crew and it’s up to you if you want to or not but on this trip, everyone loved it, whatever their age or nationality. The crew are part of the journey and by the way, they all speak English.
It's a bit Dirty Dancing for oldies The staff, whether bar, wait or cleaners are also the entertainers. At dinner on the first night, the lights were turned off and the staff, one of them sporting a fluffy shark’s head hat (we never did find out why) sang happy birthday to 86 year old evergreen Evelyn. She was delighted and managed to blow out a candle and sparkler with ease. We all sang to her again. The ice was by now well and truly broken. The crew say they get a lot of groups celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, it’s a good place to celebrate. By day two strangers chatted to strangers, there was camaraderie at the quiz event and when we were on a tour, people noticed if someone didn’t get back on the coach! The tours are part of what make this such a fabulous holiday. CroisiEurope have been at it a long time and they’ve perfected things. They know what their audiences want and they have many types of audience. Boats cater for several types of guest - from once in a lifetime trips to the Antarctic, to river cruises in Europe.
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