Built in 1999, the 158-passenger MS Renoir is one of the older ships in CroisiEurope’s fleet. An update in 2011 freshened up the nautical-themed interiors, complete with blue walls and dark wood finishes. Drawing mostly a European crowd, MS Renoir voyages along the Seine River, docking within sight of the Eiffel Tower and making stops in towns such as Honfleur and Rouen.
What We Love
It’s Intimate: There's an intimate, social atmosphere among fellow guests and the attentive, easygoing crew.
Onboard Entertainment: At night, the lounge turns into a cabaret animated by French dance performances and accordion and keyboard music. The convivial vibe makes cruising past the sparkling Eiffel Tower even more enchanting and surreal.
Best Known For
French Cuisine: CroisiEurope’s head chef, Alain Bohn, was nominated to the prestigious culinary association Maîtres Cuisiniers de France. In other words, he knows a thing or two about French cuisine. A typical three course-meal could include foie gras, duck confit, or a rhubarb tart, as well as French wines and a great cheese course.
Being Budget Friendly: Since there aren’t many luxe touches or bells and whistles, prices tend to be low. The value comes in the form of extras: Wi-Fi, open bar, and basic shore excursions.
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Who It's Best For
Francophiles: These cruises are true immersions into France’s food, language, and culture. Arrive with an open mind to different cultures and be prepared to mingle with people of other nationalities.
Mature Cruisers: The average age tends to be 60 and up; since there are no children’s activities or facilities onboard, MS Renoir isn’t a good choice for families with young children.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Few English Speakers: Depending on your itinerary, the number of fellow English speakers ranges from three up to 40 — and more if large groups are booked together.
Lack of Dining Choices: You won’t be able to pick and choose your seating (tables are assigned) or your appetizers and entrées (there’s a set menu). You’ll be grouped with other English speakers, however, and chefs will provide alternative dishes on request.
Cabins Are Tight: Starting at a snug 86 square feet, the staterooms (and their accompanying bathrooms) don’t have much space to spare.
Kayla Becker is a New York City-based contributor to ShermansCruise and the editorial assistant for the site.