After enjoying our last delicious breakfast at Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, we gathered our belongings to begin our 6-hour journey to Dusseldorf. We exited the hotel and to our surprise, there was a full-sized motor coach for the 10 of us! I was expecting a large mini-bus like we had the previous days, so I was quite surprised. Our spacious ride was very comfortable and gave us all plenty of room to spread out.
We had an excellent driver, Nicholai, who managed to take us around a huge traffic jam along the way. We made a 45 minute stop for lunch in Heidelberg. We found this college town to be full of great energy and we hope we have the opportunity to visit again down the road.
While we were at lunch, I heard from one of my clients who had already boarded the ship. Crystal had just released some of the shore excursions for our new ports of call. She sent me photos of the list, which I then texted to the others in my group. While driving on to Dusseldorf, I collected everyone’s wish list and then sent them to be reserved. Having a client already onboard helped simplify the task. I was very grateful!
We arrived in Düsseldorf just before 5:30 p.m. We boarded Crystal Debussy, unpacked, and settled in for the week ahead. Our cabin was nicely appointed with a walk-in closet and double-sink vanity in the bathroom. The room decor was contemporary with colors that evoked luxury. We were very comfortable for the week!
My first dinner onboard didn’t meet my high expectations. Given the change in itinerary, I wasn’t terribly surprised, since Crystal sources local ingredients and the ship was in an unexpected location. I remained hopeful that meals would improve.
Dinners on a river cruise are an evening event, typically taking two hours. Once finished, we walked the ship to view the public areas. By this time we were quite tired and decided to turn in for the night.