European Cruise ~ May 8th - 20th, 2017

Let me start with overall impressions - The trip was amazing. It was everything I expected and so much more. CrosiEurope is a top-notch organization, and we were taken care of in every way. There were no glitches and everything ran smoothly. Our Cruise Director Andre was great. He had so many duties, but was always there to help adding a great sense of humor. With his crew of only 26, we got to know everyone who made the cruise run like a well-oiled machine.

We left Florida on May 8th and met up with our Sarasota, Venice, and Tampa trippers in Atlanta. We arrived in Amsterdam, cleared customs, and boarded our bus to the Hilton Doubletree, which was a great central location. It was a bonus they were ready for us upon our very early arrival. Everyone relaxed and did a bit of site seeing. There was an informative canal hop on/hop off tour that took you around the city and several of us went to the Anne Frank House. The club hosted a reception at the Doubletree’s Sky Lounge roof top bar, with a 360 view of the city. It was a bit chilly but, the views were amazing! After, a group went for a walk through the famous “red light” district.

The next morning, we departed our hotel and boarded the MS Lafayette. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the crew and offered a welcome drink. Incidentally, the drinks, alcohol or otherwise, never ran out. Once we settled in our cabins we had a “presentation of the crew”, explanation of life on board and a formal welcome toast. Dinner every night was phenomenal with four unique courses plus dessert.

Did I mention beer and wine were free flowing with lunch, dinner and up until the last person left the bar each night? The wines changed during the cruise, but were mostly French selections. Most nights there was music and entertainment in the lounge. We had a fully guided sightseeing tour of Amsterdam. After lunch, we  were taken to Keukenhof floral park, which had acres of the most beautiful flowers you’ve ever seen.

We then traveled on to Emmerich-am- Rhein, Wesel and a stop at the open-air museum in Arnhem. Next up was Dusseldorf, Koln, Konigswinter and Koblenz with walking tours of Koln and Koblenz. The next morning, as we headed towards Mainz, we cruised “the most beautiful part of the Rhine”. The scenery and castles were breathtaking. Pictures do not do this section of the trip justice. We stopped in Mainz and had a walking tour then traveled through the countryside to Worms and boarded the boat. Upon arrival in Strasbourg, there were more guided tours, history lessons and lovely scenery. Onward to Breisach and Colmar, with a stop in Alsace.

We then arrived in Basel Switzerland and had a walking tour followed by a coach ride and tour of the Rhinefalls. The falls were absolutely spectacular! Once back on board we knew our trip was nearing an end. We departed the MS Lafayette having enjoyed our 8 nights on board. We boarded a coach to Zurich and stayed at the Swisshotel for 2 nights. The club provided a farewell dinner at the Zeughauskeller.

This is a rustic Swiss restaurant with hearty portions. Everyone was on their own to explore the city for a day before we departed for the states. Sadly, all good things must come to an end. This was a trip of a lifetime, and we all loved every minute of it. We all connected, rekindled old friendships and made new ones that will last forever!

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