Having traveled to 149 countries in my 82 years, I consider myself a perfectionist. I am always looking for faults and/or problems during my travels. The room and/or bathroom was not clean; the front desk staff was not helpful; the drivers (taxi, car service, tour buses) were non-caring; the food was overpriced and of poor quality, etc. I rate a trip on a 0-5 scale. It is tough to get a zero or a five. I recently returned from a trip to France that had two parts. Viking River Cruises invited me on a seven-night Bordeaux River Cruise. They gave me a single cabin on the Viking Forseti, plus round trip transportation on Air France. I added a two-night stopover in Paris (at my expense) before the river cruise.
After lunch the chef had a cooking demonstration on making macaroons (my nut allergy prevented me from tasting any). Before dinner there was a Bordeaux presentation. I discovered my room TV had a channel for the lounge. When I wanted to stay in my cabin I could still watch the presentations. Every evening right before dinner the Social Director gave a presentation outlining the following days program.
Day five we had a Blaye City Walk at 9 AM including a visit to the Citadelle de Blaye a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was part of my second optional tour to Cognac. We went to Caymus, which is privately owned. Hennessy (dominant), Courvoisier, Remy Martin and Martell produce 85% of the world’s Cognac. After learning the distillation process we blended our own Cognac from the four mail regions. Mine was 20% Fin Bois, 15% Borderies, 30% Petit Champagne and 35% Grand Champagne.