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Is Cruising with Jane McDonald becoming too much of a good thing?

Having just caught up with the first in Channel 5's new series of Cruising with Jane McDonald, I do hope I am wrong in thinking she might be heading for her sail-by date, writes SeaView editor David Simpson.

The singing celebrity extolled the virtues of her voyage on Portugal’s Douro River on the 112-guest Emerald Radiance in her usual exuberant style, but for the first time I found myself feeling irritated.

Emerald Radiance
Emerald Radiance cruises the Douro from the beautiful city of Oporto

For me, it started badly when she was given the key to the exclusive top-of-the-range Owner’s Suite. I expect this would be beyond the financial reach of most cruisers, so why show us the ultimate instead of the more affordable staterooms occupied by other guests?

I wasn’t overly impressed with the way she portrayed dining with the Captain. Apparently his guests drink far nicer wine than anyone else, so maybe they had a better menu as well. And, she said, grab the chance and don’t say “No” if you are invited. Who in their right mind would say “No”, given that the wine is so good.

And to cap it all, this seasoned ocean cruiser informs us that seven nights with Emerald Waterways has persuaded her that river cruising is best.

That is, I imagine until she is given the key to a sumptuous Owner’s Suite on the High Seas.

Now, having said all that, the programme was nonetheless enjoyable, and the nearly new and uber-modern Radiance admittedly looked very chic as it took guests on their memorable journey.

And, having cruised the Douro myself, I can safely say it is among the most breathtaking of Europe’s rivers and should not be missed.

Same goes for Oporto as well, and a visit to Taylor’s port cellars. After the tasting session, stay for a wonderful lunch and I guarantee you’ll have had so much port you’ll need a taxi back to your base. Unless you are fortunate enough to be staying at Taylor’s Yeatman Hotel.

As Jane McDonald rightly said, there are many port establishments in the city, but I don’t think Sanderson is among them. She must have meant world famous Sandeman. Oops!

Posted on 25th April 2019 at 12:27 pm in Cruise News | Cruise Lines | Emerald Waterways |

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