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  #1  
Old February 6th, 2013, 12:17 AM
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kath00 kath00 is offline
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Default Please help me choose river cruise for parents.

Hello,

My parents have asked me to help them choose a river cruise for 2014. They would like to go when it's not too hot due to some medical issues.

Also, because of my dad's immobility, I am trying to figure out which is the best itiniary for them. I don't think they would be able to get off the ship at all or just very little. Which would be the most scenic itiniary that they could enjoy from the ship if they were to stay on board for the trip?

Also I am looking at Uniworld for them because they like to be spoiled. But I am open to any suggestions. They enjoy the more luxurious cruises.

Thank you for any and all advice!

Kath
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  #2  
Old February 6th, 2013, 08:10 AM
CPMichael CPMichael is offline
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Kath,

I would look at the Danube or the Rhine. Both have beautiful scenery. The Danube is the most popular because of the cities it visits.

Most lines have a slow movers group on the tours, so not sure if that would work for him, but the ships do,dock downtown in the city for the most part.

The biggest factor that may come in to pay for your parents is choosing a ship that has an elevator. Many of the river cruise ships do not, but some of the newer offerings will. If your fathers mobility issues inhibit him using stairs, this will limit your options.

That being sad most of the newer ships are being utilized on the Danube and Rhine, so am sure there are options for them.

Uniworld a newest ships such as the s.s. Antoinette and the River Ambassador both have elevators. These ships operate on the Danube.

If your parents are looking to be pampered, Uniworld is a great choice. But it's also worth mentioning that Vikings new longships all also have elevators.

Hope this is helpful.
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  #3  
Old February 6th, 2013, 09:09 AM
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Based on your description, I'd say take a look at Tauck.
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  #4  
Old February 6th, 2013, 09:58 PM
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Can I ask why?

Also, which is more scenic from the ship, the Danube or the Rhine?

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
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Last edited by kath00; February 6th, 2013 at 09:58 PM.
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  #5  
Old February 6th, 2013, 11:22 PM
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We cruised with Tauck in September 2011 on their Amsterdam to Budapest cruise and enjoyed all three rivers. The Rhine Valley with its castles and vineyards is I thought matched by the true beauty of cruising through the Wachau Valley on the Danube.

As for cruising with Tauck you will find others that disagree but we enjoyed the fact that the cruise was all-inclusive with a level of luxury we believe to be unsurpassed. Just to put a little dampener on those who will tell you that Tauck is the most expensive I can assure you based on the Australian dollar Tauck was cheaper than Scenic, APT/AMA and Uniworld. For what we wanted Tauck turned out to be the best.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 06:26 AM
caviargal caviargal is offline
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For scenery we found the Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle we took with AMA in 2011 to be the most beautiful. We went in fall and had many sunny days of cruising and enjoying the lovely fall colors.

Other than that the Danube and Rhine were both nice but not as beautiful IMO.

I do suggest you make certain the boat you choose has an elevator, as many do not.
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  #7  
Old February 7th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kath00 View Post
Can I ask why?

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
Here is a link to some member reviews of Tauck:
http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...ck-cruises/cl/
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Royal Caribbean Brilliance - Mediterranean, Spain Italy
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Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas, Western Carib.
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Last edited by sippican; February 7th, 2013 at 07:07 AM.
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  #8  
Old February 7th, 2013, 09:39 AM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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AMA ships have elevators.
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  #9  
Old February 7th, 2013, 10:48 AM
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When you are checking about elevators, see if it goes to all floors. When we were on Avalon's Felicity, the elevator went from the level with the dining room to the level of the rooms but did not go all the way to the sun deck. The scenery on the Rhine was wonderful. I would suggest starting out with a 7 day itinerary to see how your parents like River cruising, especially if they can't get off the ship. They need to be aware that most lines do not provide activities for people staying on the ship as the assumption is that most passengers are taking advantage of the included excursions at each stop.
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  #10  
Old February 7th, 2013, 11:02 AM
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I have only been on two river cruises, Nuremberg to Trier and Amsterdam to Budapest. In my opinion, the most scenic is the Rhine, the Moselle, the Danube, the Main in that order. As the OP mentioned, make sure you pick a ship where the elevator goes to the Sun Deck, otherwise your folks will miss the best part of the cruise and where hopefully they will enjoy their afternoons or mornings when everyone else is off the ship on tours. If they are not outdoorsy types, pick a ship with a Panoramic indoor lounge at the front of the ship where they could enjoy the scenery in comfort.
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  #11  
Old February 7th, 2013, 11:17 AM
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I have been on many cruises and cruise lines and none, to by recollection, have had elevators to the sun deck. Some do have a lift-type seat to the sun deck. Have never seen anyone use it, though.

IMHO, the Castles Along the Rhine is the most scenic.
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  #12  
Old February 7th, 2013, 11:17 PM
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Thank you so much for all of the input! I will look into suggestions above. I don't think an elevator is absolutely necessary as he can walk, just not long distances due to his heart condition. I think walking tours are out. But around a smaller ship he should be ok.

Are all River cruises all inclusive (meaning including tours)? Could we book one without all the tours? Given that they prob would not be doing tours, I would love to not have to pay...

Katherine
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Old February 7th, 2013, 11:47 PM
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For the mobility impaired, I would strongly recommend the Seine, with whichever cruise line you choose. None of the stops involve steep gangways or high river banks that you will encounter in some ports on both the Rhine and the Danube. For the most part the towns are smaller, except for Paris and Rouen. The tours could be more characterized as strolls rather than walks. We have taken 6 cruises with Grand Circle, and this is the most sedate. The Bizet which Grand Circle sails on the Seine has two interior deck connected by an elevator and a sun deck which has a chair lift. It is either 2 or 3 steps to the dining room. For a look at our cruise with them, see my blog/trip report, http://jackthetravelingman-seine.blogspot.com.
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  #14  
Old February 8th, 2013, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beverlyjack View Post
For the mobility impaired, I would strongly recommend the Seine, with whichever cruise line you choose. None of the stops involve steep gangways or high river banks that you will encounter in some ports on both the Rhine and the Danube. For the most part the towns are smaller, except for Paris and Rouen. The tours could be more characterized as strolls rather than walks. We have taken 6 cruises with Grand Circle, and this is the most sedate. The Bizet which Grand Circle sails on the Seine has two interior deck connected by an elevator and a sun deck which has a chair lift. It is either 2 or 3 steps to the dining room. For a look at our cruise with them, see my blog/trip report, http://jackthetravelingman-seine.blogspot.com.
Excellent blog, thank you! Do you have any pix of the ship floating down the river by any chance? I'd love to see some views of the river from the boat...

Kath
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Old February 8th, 2013, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kath00 View Post
Thank you so much for all of the input! I will look into suggestions above. I don't think an elevator is absolutely necessary as he can walk, just not long distances due to his heart condition. I think walking tours are out. But around a smaller ship he should be ok.

Are all River cruises all inclusive (meaning including tours)? Could we book one without all the tours? Given that they prob would not be doing tours, I would love to not have to pay...

Katherine
One other thing to consider is looking for cruises that include some bus tours. If your father can manage short distances, then he could make it from the boat to the bus - and still see some of the sights. For example, the included tour of Paris is often a bus tour. Same with Budapest.

Take a close look at the configuration of the boats. Most of the newer ones do have elevators, but they often do not go to every deck.

The suggestion about the front lounge is a good one. Perhaps you could look into one of the Viking Long ships - as your parents could sit up front - and outside - if the weather is nice.

Fran
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Old February 8th, 2013, 02:15 AM
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Thank you!

Is it cool in June still? Or does it start to get warmer? Are the ships well air conditioned?

Much appreciate all advice...
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Old February 8th, 2013, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kath00 View Post
Excellent blog, thank you! Do you have any pix of the ship floating down the river by any chance? I'd love to see some views of the river from the boat...

Kath
At the end of each day in the blog is a link to picasaweb, with all of the pictures for the day.

See https://picasaweb.google.com/1115479...21/Seine201243

I have not captioned them at this time, but I may get around to it some day. We leave for India with OAT in a week, so all of our attention is on that trip.
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  #18  
Old February 8th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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The shoulder seasons, spring and fall are really the best weather wise--mid May-mid June and Sept. We have been on 15 river cruises with #16 in June. We have seen a lift on only on trip that went to the sun deck--the Elbe wirh Viking. Walking short distances doesn't always mean someone can climb a flight of steep stairs to get to the sun deck.
I would be leary of Viking only because they have their own dockage at most ports--this can lead to rafting of more than 2 boats--can make for difficulty geting ashore.
Have seen lines where wheelchairs are provided, but cobbles make for hard pushing.
I am not trying to be negative but realistic. When you have narrowed it down to 2 or3 lines, call them and tell them of your parents' needs.
River cruising is very relaxing. Good luck finding just the right trip for them. They have a wonderful daughter to be doing this. Pat
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Old February 8th, 2013, 05:14 PM
caviargal caviargal is offline
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On our recent AMA cruise, the "gentle walkers" group was often met with a trolley and taken to where the shorter walking tour began. This was especially helpful to those who used this option in places like Durnstein where we (active group) climbed a lot of steps to get to the center of town. My mom, who is 81, decided to go to mass and ended up having to climb 90 steps to get there. Sometimes you just don't know so it is important that they ask the right questions.
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  #20  
Old February 8th, 2013, 05:52 PM
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On our Christmas market cruise with Uniworld (on the Rhine) we met a couple that looked long and hard before booking a river cruise. The husband had a stroke a few years before - and was left with significant mobility issues. He walked with a cane, and could not manage long distances. Stairs were also a challenge.

The wife spoke with Uniworld before booking their 1st cruise, and booked the 2nd one after the success of the 1st. She said that the staff of Uniworld worked with her to customize the shore excursions so that her husband could accompany her on quite a few. They always had an "escape plan" (ie: if her husband was tired, they would take a taxi back to the ship...) - and felt that the cruise experience was wonderful.

They never looked elsewhere after the service they got from Uniworld.

Fran

Last edited by franski; February 8th, 2013 at 05:53 PM.
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