From the outside, river cruise ships look very similar. SS Catherine has a maximum passenger capacity of 159 - at our cruise there were 135 passengers - and a crew of 57.
At arrival we went straight into the main lobby with the reception desk on the Avignon Deck (Deck 3).
From here we depart and arrived for our excursions. Just in front of the reception there is a large, green glass horse standing in front of the elevator tand a cascading waterfall.
Curved staircases on both side of the elevator lead to deck 4 - and a huge Murano glass chandelier hanging overhead.
Behind the reception two doors (one on each side of the reception) does lead into the Cézanne Restaurant forward of the ship. The restaurant has a very elegant "French" decor.
Van Gogh Lounge
Forward of the staircase and just above the restaurant is the Van Gogh Lounge, bar and entertainment venue. (name deck)
A bar at the back of the lounge surrounded by bar stools. The center of the lounge is filled with small tables and chairs. There is a dance floor and a piano for the entertainers.
Moving aft from the Van Gogh lounge, and the staircase, you will find Suites and Category 1 Cabins.
At the front of the lounge, a door leads to the front Matisse terrace.
A door at the front of the lounge leads out to the Matisse Terrace with white, tables and chairs. We were sitting at the terrasse following SS Catherine sails dow the River Rhône.
Bar du Leopard
Aft on Deck 4 is the location for the Bar du Leopard, or the "Leopard Bar". The Bar is decorated in black leather, black glass-topped tables and a leopard print .
It is also a location for 24-hour self-service coffee and tea as well as ice cubes.
From the Leopard Bar an entrance lead to a beautiful indoor pool - the pool has a green tint and "C" painted on the bottom. There is a view through glass walls into the swimming pool. For privacy, the door to the wet area triggers the glass to turn opaque. An indoor pool on a river cruise ship is quite unique.
Aft of Leopard Bar there is an outdoor covered terrace with cast iron tables and chairs. Here you can enjoy lunch, have a cappuccino or a cocktail while sailing down the Rhone.
Moving up from Deck 4, you will find a large open Sun Deck with very nice lounge chairs. The chairs have collapsible sun shades to protect the head from the sun.
At Deck 2 there is a a boutique and a 24-hour coffee/tea station as well as small well-equipped fitness center. You'll also find washers, dryers and iron available for guests. Use of the machines is complimentary. You can get free laundry detergent in the reception.
SS Catherine is also equipped with Wi-Fi Internet throughout the entire ship. Internet access is complimentary and I had no problems getting a connection from our stateroom, Leopard Bar or Van Gogh Lounge. Internet speeds were acceptable and allowed me to maintain our daily blog.