Posted August 6th, 2012, 04:31 PM
Last edited by caviargal; August 6th, 2012 at 04:34 PM
So many different opinions out there - I know all things are subjective - I was kind of hoping there were one or two that stood out - or I could find out the pluses or minuses
We all have favorites but those are based on our personal priorities and preferences, which may be very different from yours.
We travel to Europe in fall and winter so balconies are not very worthwhile. We can put that money toward other expenses, like individually booked hotels, meals, private tours - and that is our preference.
We do not care about additional inclusions such as airport transfers, extra excursions, tips. We book our travel components independently of the cruise line; we prefer private tours in cities where there is enough to interest us to warrant a tour; we can arrange our own transfers.
For us, hotel style beds, spacious cabins, a fitness center, high quality food and included wines, gracious and unpretentious service are priorities.
We are in the younger age range for river cruisers and enjoy itineraries with little daytime sailing, more diverse entertainment (more than the standard in house piano man with his limited repertoire of old songs), extended port times and overnight stays in port. We also enjoy the bonus features of having bikes aboard, included wifi, in room movies for those nights when there is little in the way of entertainment and having a masseuse available. None of these things may be important to you but we have learned over a series of river cruises that they quite enhance our enjoyment overall.
Theme cruises are also appealing as we are then traveling with like minded people.
Our favorite cruise to date was last fall on AmaDante. Exceptional attention to detail, young and energetic cruise director who was the best CD we have ever had, good entertainment, food that was good to excellent, high quality included wines and some unique excursions that we enjoyed - and we generally opt of the included tours.
142 cruises since 1964, 14 on the river.
Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Looking forward to:
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
Amadeus Silver II - Magic of Advent, December 2017
Oceania Marina, South Pacific, March 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018