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  #1  
Old June 10th, 2013, 03:43 PM
DeeDC DeeDC is offline
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Default Amsterdam to Budapest

Beginning to narrow down choices for an Amsterdam to Budapest fall of 2014 cruise. Between Budapest and Vienna Viking stops in Bratislava it appears that Uniworld does not .....it this city a deciding factor...or not so important.
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  #2  
Old June 10th, 2013, 03:52 PM
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I quite enjoyed Bratislava since it is in the communist block and not as big as Budapest and not as much money to keep old buildings up to date, although there are many in Budapest that need a face lift. More quaint as well as much smaller, nice little market and town square with most likely some sort of entertainment. I'm glad we stopped there on Scenic Tours.
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  #3  
Old June 10th, 2013, 04:48 PM
cb222 cb222 is offline
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Maybe Uniworld has an optional excursion to Bratislava. Call them and ask.
cb
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  #4  
Old June 10th, 2013, 05:19 PM
Realtor at Sea Realtor at Sea is offline
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Loved Bratislava! The old part of the city is fantastic and we had the best hot chocolate in one of the numerous cafes in the town square. Definitely think it is worth a visit.
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  #5  
Old June 10th, 2013, 09:25 PM
franski franski is offline
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We had actually booked a cruise with Uniworld between Budapest and Passau (loved Uniworld on our 1st cruise with them... so booked a 2nd one) - and Bratislava was one of the stops. However - they removed this stop to spend more time in Vienna (responding to passenger comments) so we cancelled and booked with another line.

DH wanted to stop there as his grandparents were Slovak. We really enjoyed the city - and plan on going back as our choice of offered excursions with Scenic.

Many people love Vienna - and would sooner have extra time there... but that didn't work for us.

Fran

Last edited by franski; June 10th, 2013 at 09:26 PM.
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  #6  
Old June 11th, 2013, 02:42 AM
the english lady the english lady is offline
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We loved loved Bratislavia, I think it was our favourite stop. Wandered about on our own, but also caught a little red bus ,which took you around with commentary...worth every penny. By the way we were on Avalon. V V quaint.
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  #7  
Old June 11th, 2013, 04:10 PM
Talisker92 Talisker92 is offline
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You might want to check out Vantage also. We cruised with them from Budapest to Amsterdam. We did stop in Bratislava.
The story is on our website. We are happy to answer any questions.

Last edited by Talisker92; June 11th, 2013 at 04:10 PM.
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  #8  
Old June 11th, 2013, 06:12 PM
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Tauck also stops in Bratislava on its Amsterdam to Budapest cruise and like others I enjoyed our stay. After our guided walking tour we shopped around the markets and picked some very nice and cheap (according to my wife) craft-ware. We found the city to be less of a tourist spot and more like a country town. The people were very friendly and wanted to talk to us about everything Australian. Their English, while not the best, was understandable and I believe they enjoyed the opportunity to practice.
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  #9  
Old June 11th, 2013, 06:17 PM
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We have been on 4 Tauck tours and are very happy with them. We are doing the Budapest to Amsterdam next year. I would certainly check them out.
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  #10  
Old June 13th, 2013, 03:03 PM
DeeDC DeeDC is offline
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Thanks for the help.

Iamhooked, can you tell me why the Tauck experience is worth the higher price than Viking? Did you feel the "all-inclusive" was worth it? Have you done a River cruise with any other line?
thanks,
Dee
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  #11  
Old June 13th, 2013, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke's grandma View Post
Thanks for the help.

Iamhooked, can you tell me why the Tauck experience is worth the higher price than Viking? Did you feel the "all-inclusive" was worth it? Have you done a River cruise with any other line?
thanks,
Dee
I know you asked another this question but until they answer you might find my reasons to be of help. I chose Tauck in 2011 for the Amsterdam to Budapest cruise and found out what all-inclusive really means. It means everything on the cruise, except your laundry, is paid for before you go. There were pleasant surprises as well. Tauck gave us all 20 euros each one day so that we could have a lunch in a village on them. Another example of all-inclusive might be when we all came out of an Organ recital in Passau (paid for by Tauck) some ladies need to go to the Loo and there was a Tauck Tour Director (one of three) standing nearby handing out 50cent coins so that Tauck guests didn't have to pay themselves. There was the concert and 5 course dinner in a Palace in Vienna that was all part of the cruise.

You may be someone who doesn't mind having to pay extra for optional excursions or having to pay gratuities at the end of the cruise and that's fine as there are many travellers who prefer this style of cruising. We were so impressed with Tauck and all they offered that we're cruising with them again in 2014. I did a spreadsheet before choosing Tauck again and I was glad I did. There are many fine river cruise companies on the market today but I can't find one that gives me the value for dollar that Tauck does. That's why we chose Tauck.
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  #12  
Old June 14th, 2013, 07:47 AM
ddschur ddschur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozjohnno View Post
I know you asked another this question but until they answer you might find my reasons to be of help. I chose Tauck in 2011 for the Amsterdam to Budapest cruise and found out what all-inclusive really means. It means everything on the cruise, except your laundry, is paid for before you go. There were pleasant surprises as well. Tauck gave us all 20 euros each one day so that we could have a lunch in a village on them. Another example of all-inclusive might be when we all came out of an Organ recital in Passau (paid for by Tauck) some ladies need to go to the Loo and there was a Tauck Tour Director (one of three) standing nearby handing out 50cent coins so that Tauck guests didn't have to pay themselves. There was the concert and 5 course dinner in a Palace in Vienna that was all part of the cruise.

You may be someone who doesn't mind having to pay extra for optional excursions or having to pay gratuities at the end of the cruise and that's fine as there are many travellers who prefer this style of cruising. We were so impressed with Tauck and all they offered that we're cruising with them again in 2014. I did a spreadsheet before choosing Tauck again and I was glad I did. There are many fine river cruise companies on the market today but I can't find one that gives me the value for dollar that Tauck does. That's why we chose Tauck.
Well said and oh so true!
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  #13  
Old June 14th, 2013, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke's grandma View Post
Thanks for the help.

Iamhooked, can you tell me why the Tauck experience is worth the higher price than Viking? Did you feel the "all-inclusive" was worth it? Have you done a River cruise with any other line?
thanks,
Dee
Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner but I don't have notification of postings turned on but a frined saw the post and told me

I looked at Tauck, Uniworld and Viking for our river cruise and we settled on Tauck based on our previous Tauck experience on land tours. The river cruise experience will be new to us next year. I can't remember the price difference now between the two but for us our experience with Tauck won out. I haven't heard anything bad about Viking but I know enough now that when you start adding in all the extras all of a sudden you are up to or past the all inclusive price. I can't speak highly enough of Tauck. I also think Ozjohnno's post was a great example of how Tauck takes care of their customers. I can also tell you if I am going on a land tour or cruise where we will be going into highly toured museums, etc I will always go with Tauck because what can be done will be done to make our stops the best they can be. When I am with Tauck I KNOW I am in excellent hands. Things happen on a trip and I know I can count on my tour director to take care of us.

My mom has a friend going on Viking river cruise in August so I can report back when they get back but my mom didn't think she had been on a river cruise before so I'm not sure how much it will help you out.

I am sure you will have a great time either way but if you go with Tauck you may have such a great time that you will want to try some of their land tours. The land tours we did with Tauck include: Warsaw, Budapest, Vienna & Prague; California Gold Coast; Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks; Grand Australia and New Zealand.

Wish I cold be of more help.
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  #14  
Old June 14th, 2013, 11:01 AM
DeeDC DeeDC is offline
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thanks so much everyone!
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  #15  
Old June 23rd, 2013, 03:47 PM
Negma Negma is offline
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Default Live from Viking Tor

We just boarded today. Embarkation was very easy. Early impressions, brand new ship and well thought out. The room looks small but all of our stuff fit in the drawers or shelves.
The staff so far was great. They ask to purchase a 299 euro drink as much as you want whatever you want package, that is not happening with us.
Most of the folks we have met are on their first river cruise.
Just finished dinner, food was OK. My wife was not that hungry and left food on her plate. Two servers asked her if she wanted something else, we were impressed. Wines offered were fine, and soda included as well.
The technology and interactive TV is pretty neat, everything from on demand movies to music, weather and maps. They have walking earphone peices that you bring on each tour that you keep in your room.
We asked for extra pillows and bathrobes and had them in 5 minutes.
Tomorrow is an 1:45 excusion to the windmills. As I have time I will try and update with things we have NOT seen on prior posts,
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  #16  
Old June 23rd, 2013, 04:25 PM
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Excellent Negma....keep the posts coming when you have time....ENJOY!!
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  #17  
Old June 23rd, 2013, 04:39 PM
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Have a great cruise ..
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  #18  
Old June 24th, 2013, 03:47 PM
Negma Negma is offline
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Default kinderdijk

Today was a quick stop to lok at windmills, learn how they work, and get some history. We were off the boat for less than two hours.
The boat is very quiet, we have enjoyed the travel so far.
All the meals today were very good. The staff truly is looking to see what they can do for us.
Almost everyone we have talked to have indicated ths is their first river cruise, their marketing is working, and Viking needs to deliver. Also interesting that nothing has been mentioned by the staff on the flooding over the last several weeks. Lets see how that pans out.
Tomorrow we go to Cologne, off the ship at 10:30am, we leave port 11:30 pm so no rush in the morning.
We have met a lot of great diverse folks. Dinner time at first can be awkward since all tables are 6 people, but it works once you get over being picked last complex, say hi and sit down.
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  #19  
Old June 25th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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Luke's Grandma...compare the drink comments in this thread to this paragraph from Tauck:

"New for 2014: Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship now include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to specialty coffee, water and soft drink."

And this link regarding tips to the paragraph from Tauck below

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1868658

"Cruise price per person includes cruise fare, most meals, port charges, wine with dinner aboard ship, shore ex­cur­sions, applicable fuel surcharges, and gratuities to Tauck Directors, Tauck Cruise Director, ship staff, local guides & drivers, as well as on all included meals."
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  #20  
Old June 25th, 2013, 09:28 PM
DeeDC DeeDC is offline
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thanks everyone!
waiting for our TA's package for the trip have asked for Uniworld, AMAway and Viking. Both with and without airfare and Amsterdam extension.

Even considering the "all-inclusive", I think Uniworld will come in high if we upgrade to a French Balcony. Wish their windows opened in category 3!
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