2012 Christmas Markets - All Cruise Lines

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#1
Chandler,AZ
7,652 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Been a few years since I did a Christmas Markets trip but we are going again this year. Still need to book it though.

It's always fun to chat with everyone that is going too so let's get this topic open and rolling for discussion.

What line, ship and dates are you going on? Have you done it before? I've been on two trips on the Rhine with GCT. Think we will do the Danube this time around and will bring the husband along for a change. Might not get to do the shopping I like to do when I am with my Mom though!
#2
FL
14,424 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
We board the AmaCerto on 11/22 after three days in Budapest. The markets will be open in Budapest and in several of our stops in Germany and Austria, as well as in Prague where we stay for a few days at the end of our trip.

This is our 9th visit to the markets and our 4th holiday river cruise. We are looking forward to new ports: Bratislava, Durnstein, Budapest. And we look forward to returning to old favorites.

It is a fabulous time to be in Europe - can't wait!
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143 cruises since 1964, 15 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

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
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#3
Ontario, Canada
2,756 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by AZPam
Been a few years since I did a Christmas Markets trip but we are going again this year. Still need to book it though.

It's always fun to chat with everyone that is going too so let's get this topic open and rolling for discussion.

What line, ship and dates are you going on? Have you done it before? I've been on two trips on the Rhine with GCT. Think we will do the Danube this time around and will bring the husband along for a change. Might not get to do the shopping I like to do when I am with my Mom though!
Hi Pam -

There is a generic "Christmas Market" roll call for this year... It is down a bit on the Roll Call page, as no postings for a day or so.

Fran

P.S. Did the Rhine 2 years ago... starting to think it is time to go back again
#4
Chandler,AZ
7,652 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by franski
Hi Pam -

There is a generic "Christmas Market" roll call for this year... It is down a bit on the Roll Call page, as no postings for a day or so.

Fran

P.S. Did the Rhine 2 years ago... starting to think it is time to go back again
Thanks for the heads up. Didn't even realize there was a roll call board for the river cruises now. Shows that it's been too long since I've been on one!
#5
Ontario, Canada
2,756 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by AZPam
Thanks for the heads up. Didn't even realize there was a roll call board for the river cruises now. Shows that it's been too long since I've been on one!
Obviously time to do another one!!

Not always easy to find others on the Roll Calls - given the small number of cabins on each boat. Started a generic roll call for all Russian River cruises that has been really active, and quite helpful for those of us planning to sail in Russia. And, a generic one for 2013 is on the go.

So - a generic Christmas Market 2012 is helpful - especially given the number of companies and itineraries that are available.

Fran
#6
California
181 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Pam, Did you do GCT Christmas cruise? WOndering if excursions to Heidelberg, Redesheim and Liberation are worth the time and money. I am hoping to get to Colmar on our own the day we dock in Breisach. Do you know anything about that? I read one post written about a month ago that people said they took a bus there.
Thanks alot.
Lynda
#7
Chandler,AZ
7,652 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by inborn traveler
Pam, Did you do GCT Christmas cruise? WOndering if excursions to Heidelberg, Redesheim and Liberation are worth the time and money. I am hoping to get to Colmar on our own the day we dock in Breisach. Do you know anything about that? I read one post written about a month ago that people said they took a bus there.
Thanks alot.
Lynda
Sorry, I'm not much help. I have done the GCT twice but never did Rudesheim or Liberation. Did do Heidelberg and really enjoyed it. I would also recommend the Bern pre trip if you start out in Basel first.
#8
New Jersey
3,605 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Hi, was just on Amacerto (for a tour, alas) during a UK travel agent event in Amsterdam and gosh, it's a pretty ship! Wanted to stay....

Carolyn

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief

Originally posted by caviargal
We board the AmaCerto on 11/22 after three days in Budapest. The markets will be open in Budapest and in several of our stops in Germany and Austria, as well as in Prague where we stay for a few days at the end of our trip.

This is our 9th visit to the markets and our 4th holiday river cruise. We are looking forward to new ports: Bratislava, Durnstein, Budapest. And we look forward to returning to old favorites.

It is a fabulous time to be in Europe - can't wait!
#9
New Jersey
3,605 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Hi, was in Rudesheim last year, it was small but quite sweet. Our favorite part of its market was the international corral -- quite different from other cities, that just focus locally. It's also a delightful town, and there are a number of shops we found that sold unique gifts.

Carolyn

Originally posted by inborn traveler
Pam, Did you do GCT Christmas cruise? WOndering if excursions to Heidelberg, Redesheim and Liberation are worth the time and money. I am hoping to get to Colmar on our own the day we dock in Breisach. Do you know anything about that? I read one post written about a month ago that people said they took a bus there.
Thanks alot.
Lynda
#10
New Jersey
3,605 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
On a Christmas Markets cruise (short one) this year! This one's on the Danube, and goes from Nuremberg to Regensburg and back. Haven't done the Danube so any advice would be great. In return happy to advise on the Rhine!

The ship is A-ROSA.

I'm also taking a few days before to go to markets in Zurich and Lucerne, just...for fun.

Carolyn

Originally posted by AZPam
Been a few years since I did a Christmas Markets trip but we are going again this year. Still need to book it though.

It's always fun to chat with everyone that is going too so let's get this topic open and rolling for discussion.

What line, ship and dates are you going on? Have you done it before? I've been on two trips on the Rhine with GCT. Think we will do the Danube this time around and will bring the husband along for a change. Might not get to do the shopping I like to do when I am with my Mom though!
#11
Pittsburgh
15 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by [email protected]
On a Christmas Markets cruise (short one) this year! This one's on the Danube, and goes from Nuremberg to Regensburg and back. Haven't done the Danube so any advice would be great. In return happy to advise on the Rhine!

The ship is A-ROSA.

I'm also taking a few days before to go to markets in Zurich and Lucerne, just...for fun.

Carolyn

We have done 2 Viking Christmas market cruises on the Danube, and in between the cruises we did the markets on our own for 2 years, once based in Nurenberg and once in Regensburg. You are in for an amazing treat.

The market in Nurenberg is huge and fantastic, make sure to visit the kids market (at night if possible) which is about 2 blocks away from the main market. The sauseges in Nurenberg are incredible and come 3 to a bun in the market. several stalls also sell "bags of beer", a 4 pack of local Christmas beer, a Christmas CD, along with a die cast metal truck from the brewery. makes for good stocking stuffers and the beer is also good.

Regensburg- The Thurn and Taxis castle and market at night is a must do. There is a small entry charge for this market but it is well worth it. There are warming fires, incredible food booths and local craftsmen working on their wares. The castle also has its own brewery/restaurant (it used to be the stables for the castle) that is only a couple of blocks from the castle.

This year we are on Viking on a Rhine cruise and I have no idea what to expect, other then more incredible markets. Any advice on must see markets or attractions would be greatly appreciated.

I know you will have a great time on the Danube.
#12
1,050 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Originally posted by [email protected]
On a Christmas Markets cruise (short one) this year! This one's on the Danube, and goes from Nuremberg to Regensburg and back. Haven't done the Danube so any advice would be great. In return happy to advise on the Rhine!

The ship is A-ROSA.

I'm also taking a few days before to go to markets in Zurich and Lucerne, just...for fun.

Carolyn
A'Rosa is just getting into the North American market. I'm guessing you are going as part of a 'press' trip? They've been doing river cruises for a long time catering to German's. I'm glad to see someone is giving them a spin, as I'm interested to hear how they compare...since you've river cruised before.
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Pete
River Cruise Guru


#13
California
181 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Please help me out..... Has anyone who has done a Rhine cruise had trouble using their Credit cards that don't have chip and pin? My two cards donot have it, and several banks have said they Are not yet available In the US. I want to use credit cards for restaurants, hotels and large shops, using cash at the markets.

Thanks. Lynda
Grand Circle Harmony Dec. 2 from Basel to Amsterdam.
#14
California
2,234 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by inborn traveler
Please help me out..... Has anyone who has done a Rhine cruise had trouble using their Credit cards that don't have chip and pin? My two cards donot have it, and several banks have said they Are not yet available In the US. I want to use credit cards for restaurants, hotels and large shops, using cash at the markets.

Thanks. Lynda
Grand Circle Harmony Dec. 2 from Basel to Amsterdam.
There is a thread all about Credit Cards on the River Cruise Ports section:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1732168

B of A has a new Travel Rewards Visa. I just looked at their website, and it looks like a good deal.

I copied this info related to the "Chip Technology" on their website:

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  • Shop with confidence in over 130 countries around the world including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, where chip cards are standard.
  • Chip cards are the most widely accepted way to make purchases when you travel internationally.
  • The embedded chip also adds an extra layer of security because it's extremely difficult to counterfeit.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards™ credit card

The flexibility to use points to pay for more than just flights, with no restrictions
  • No annual fee
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  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Receive 10,000 bonus points after qualified purchase(s)
Hope that is helpful.
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#15
NJ
7 Posts
Joined May 2012
We just picked up the Chase Hyatt card for the same reason. $75 annual fee, no FTF, chip & pin capability. You get two free nights for getting the card, then two more if you spend $1000 in the first 90 days. We'll be using it for the first time outside the US starting on Tuesday, but we already have had no trouble earning all four nights which for s means it's paid for itself.
#17
Chandler,AZ
7,652 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by azmimi
How cold is it at that time of year??? I live in AZ and aren't used to very cold weather.
I've been tracking the weather in Munich and Vienna. Munich has been in the upper 40's with mid 30's at night. Supposed to be 43 for a high on Wednesday when we arrive but 37 with snow on Thursday! Vienna seems to be running about 5 degrees or so warmer

A BIG change for us desert rats
#19
Chandler,AZ
7,652 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by fred111
We are in Munich right now and the weather is warm. Rough guess - low 50's mid day today. 40's this evening. Not cold at all.
Fred, Munich forcast for the next few days:

Sunday 54/37 light clouds
Monday 48/29 light clouds
Tuesday 45/39 cloudy
Wednesday 43/36 sun & rain, figure that one out?
Thursday 37/34/ rain & SNOW!
#20
San Francisco
1,268 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
We are in Basel. Temps are warmer than expected. Sunny and warm, Probably 55-60F or more. Cools off at night, however if you go inside a bar or restaurant, the heats on to blasting. Have to peel off your clothes. Hope it cools some, as I've brought clothes for cold weather!
They have 2 Christmas markets in Basel. We hit them both today. Absolutely beautiful.
Very crowded, it's Saturday and a marathon was run this evening.