Two years ago, I posted The Moselle: Europe’s Most Beautiful River – At Least During The Fall. The Moselle was just as enchanting when I cruised on Crystal Debussy earlier this month. The wine harvest was in full swing, with workers plucking grapes from vineyards that seemed to run straight up the steep hillsides. The weather was stunning along the Moselle, with sunny days and blue skies. The Rhine, by contrast, was rainy and overcast as we cruised it (both ways) between Amsterdam and Koblenz.
When I cruised Crystal Bach on the Moselle two years ago, I visited the wheelhouse early one morning as Captain Douwe was navigating the misty river. “It’s my favorite river,” said the captain, who added that he had been sailing for 48 years, ever since he was a young teen. He told me that when there is low water on the Rhine, he’ll sometimes deviate to the Moselle. He informs guests, of course, telling them that although the planned route needs to change, they would not be disappointed. “The Moselle is almost always a pleasant surprise for the guests,” he said to me.
I Cruised Crystal Debussy In October. Was This The Same Crystal That We Knew & Loved Before The Pandemic? What Changed & Why.
On my October 2019 river cruise, Crystal had set the bar high, and naturally I was curious to find out if the pandemic had forced the company to cut corners on my cruise in October 2021. Would the food quality have suffered due to cost-cutting? Would service be as exemplary as it had been on Bach? Would the champagne be poured as freely? And what about that caviar? Would they still be dishing that out?
One day after disembarking Crystal Debussy, I received a phone call from one of the six guests who accompanied me. “Possibly the best cruise ever,” the experienced cruiser said. I had to agree. Just as was the case with Crystal Bach on the Rhine and Moselle in October of 2019, Crystal Debussy exceeded our expectations.
I am among those who feel like a canary in a coal mine. This afternoon I boarded Crystal Debussy. Before doing so, however, I had to show a negative Covid test. Crystal provided the testing and fast results, and thankfully, my results were negative. If I can continue to show negative tests, including the one before flying back to the United States, this canary in a coal mine will be signaling the way ahead for others who long to visit Europe.
To sum it up: Divine. My 24 hours at the Waldorf-Astoria Amsterdam served as the perfect precursor to what’s to come on Crystal Debussy this week.
Last week, I told you that I was preparing for my first trip to Europe since October of 2019. I promised to answer your questions