Poll: What's important to you on a river cruise?

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Poll: Which of these are most important to you for your river cruises?
Poll Results
Which of these are most important to you for your river cruises?

Complimentary shore excursions
106
81.54%

Bicycles onboard
24
18.46%

Private balconies
26
20.00%

Alternative dining options
38
29.23%

Nightlife
10
7.69%

Spa and gym
15
11.54%

Lectures and enrichment
64
49.23%

Inclusive liquor (beyond free wine and beer with dinner)
34
26.15%

Onboard concierge to book personal requests
9
6.92%

Pool
7
5.38%

Well-stocked library
7
5.38%

Room service menu
18
13.85%

Alfresco dining
26
20.00%

Other (please post below)
29
22.31%

Multiple Choice Poll.

Voters: 130.  You may not vote on this poll.

#1
New Jersey
3,522 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
When you’re researching a river cruise, which of these aspects is most important to you? (Feel free to vote for any and/or all choices that impact your cruise line pick). Did we forget one of your favorites? Tell us about it.



Thanks....


Carolyn


Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief (and crazy, enthused river cruise fan)
Cruise Critic
#4
Mackay Australia
786 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I included a vote for "other" because as an Australian after itinerary I find I much prefer a company that includes all gratuities in the price. As many know I truly prefer my cruise to be all-inclusive.
#7
New Jersey
996 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
ITINERARY, itinerary, itinerary… that's what drives our river cruising and actually all our vacations. Everything else is secondary.
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BLOG... INDIA/NEPAL Jan/Feb 2015 https://patbblogdotcom.wordpress.com/

BLOG...Paris to Normandy/Paris to Provence 2014 http://aroundtheworldwithcliffandpat.wordpress.com/

1996 American Hawaii Cruises "Independence"
1999 Paris/London (land only!)
2000 NCL"Dream" Scandanavian Capitals (Vantage)
2001 HAL"Rotterdam" Mediterranean cruise
2002 Vantage River Cruise-Amsterdam-Passau (ext to Prague, Budapest)
2003 HAL"Ryndam" Alaska (Vantage land tour also)
2004 Vantage--Iceland (land only)
2006 (Feb) Orient Lines South America Antarctica (Vantage) "Marco Polo"
2007 (Oct)GCT--Australia, NewZealand, Fiji (land only)
2008 (Oct)Vantage--Africa (land only)
2009 (Jan)RCCL Eastern Caribbean--'Serenade of the Seas'
2009 (May)Vantage River Cruise-Moscow to St. Petersburg
2011 (Jan)RCCL. Western Caribbean--'Radiance of the Seas'
2011 (July)HAL--Bermuda--'Veendam'
2011 (Oct)China & Yangzte River with Vantage
2012 (no BIG trips.. but did enjoy DisneyWorld with grandkids!!
2013 (May)Amazon/Machu Picchu & Galapagos (Vantage)
2013 (Sept)GCT US National Parks-gov't interrupted
2014 (Jan)HAL 'Statendam' Panama Canal
2014 (July)Treasures of France RiverCruise (Vantage)
2015 (Jan)EXOTIC INDIA & THE SACRED GANGES (Vantage)
2015 (May) US National Parks (Vantage)
2016 (Jan) HAL 'Zuiderdam' Partial Panama Canal
May 2016 HAL' Rotterdam' North Cape (Norway)
Sept 2016 Douro Rivercruise w/Madeira pretrip (Vantage)
#8
Virginia
1,511 Posts
Joined May 2011
Itinerary is #1 reason I would book a cruise.

Room size is #2 for us - we don't like to be crammed. Hate the fold-up Pullman style beds for example.

Reviews from other CC'ers is #3

All the rest, including the ones I checked, are below those first three items.
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----------------------
Travel Blog - www.TravelswithElizabeth.com

Prior Cruises:
2009 - A&K Alaska
2010 - Viking Treasures of the Rhine
2012 - Princess Eastern Carribean
June 2012 - Uniworld Waterways of Russia
January 2013 - Princess Southern Caribbean
October 2013 - Imperial China and the Yangtze
April 2014 - Viking Chateaux & Wine and
Viking Southern France B2B
April 2015 - Viking Oceans Star 50-day Maiden
May 2016 - Viking Passage to Eastern Europe

Future cruises:
August 2017 - Ireland & Scotland
#9
Queens, NY
2,161 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
#1 in importance is ITINERARY!!!
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Peg
Viking Forseti 10-4-2014 Bordeaux
Viking Rinda 12-7-2013 Christmas Markets
Viking Neptune 10-21-12 Rhone River
Celebrity Constellation 9-7-2011 Amsterdam-Istanbul
Celebrity Constellation 7-3-2010 Baltic
RCCL Voyager of the Seas 2-14-2010 Caribbean
Celebrity Summit 6-16-2008 Mediterranean
SS Rembrant 7-20-2000 St. Lawrence
M/V Atlantic 8-28-1988 Bermuda
#10
Miami, FL
900 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Itinerary is the most important factor, followed by cruise line reputation or personal experience, followed by dates available.

Some lectures and enrichment would be nice.


Sergio
#11
FL
14,143 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Good bedding

Food quality

Staff quality and service

Cabins that are spacious - at least 170 sq ft
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142 cruises since 1964, 14 on the river.
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 2018AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018




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



#12
Long Island, NY
6,172 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Originally posted by FotoPeg
#1 in importance is ITINERARY!!!
Same here! I sort of considered the shore excursions as the itinerary. On river cruises it is sort of the same.

One thing I would add. Keep up the standards of quality. I don't want river cruising to take the same path as ocean cruising.
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Got2Cruise
Planning the cruise is half the fun.
#13
near Lake Huron, Canada
2,557 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Originally posted by Got2Cruise
Same here! I sort of considered the shore excursions as the itinerary. On river cruises it is sort of the same.

One thing I would add. Keep up the standards of quality. I don't want river cruising to take the same path as ocean cruising.
I agree!
#14
Texas
201 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Itinerary
Stateroom windows (don't need a balcony)
Dining room, high standards
Quality staff and service
Ease of traveling (they take care of everything)
Included airport transfers to/from ship
Great guides for the excursions
Small groups, limited size of ships
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Debbie
Uniworld, S.S. Catherine, Burgundy & Provence Sept 2015
Uniworld, River Beatrice, Enchanting Danube Oct 2013
Uniworld, River Ambassador, Treasure of Prague, the Rhine and Main, Sept 2011
Holland American, Oosterdam, Alaska, July 2006
Carnival, Celebration, 2004
#15
Central VA
613 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by beesKate
Itinerary
Stateroom windows (don't need a balcony)
Dining room, high standards
Quality staff and service
Ease of traveling (they take care of everything)
Included airport transfers to/from ship
Great guides for the excursions
Small groups, limited size of ships
Thanks beesKate! You summed it up very nicely.
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Sun Princess, June 1998 - Celebrity Galaxy, January 2001 - Celebrity Summit, July 2003 - Celebrity Horizon, January 2004 - Celebrity Horizon, October 2004 - Enchantment of the Seas, October 2005 - Celebrity Century, July 2007 - HAL Amsterdam, May 2008 - Celebrity Mercury, January 2009 - HAL Rotterdam, May 2009 - HAL Zaandam December 2009 - HAL Noordam, October 2011 - Celebrity Eclipse, March 2012 - HAL Amsterdam, September 2012 - Millennium, April 2013 - AmaDolce, November 2013 - HAL Eurodam March 2014 - AmaSonata, November 2014 - HAL Maasdam June 2016
#16
New Jersey
3,522 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Love your insights, beesKate, thanks.

Carolyn

Originally posted by beesKate
Itinerary
Stateroom windows (don't need a balcony)
Dining room, high standards
Quality staff and service
Ease of traveling (they take care of everything)
Included airport transfers to/from ship
Great guides for the excursions
Small groups, limited size of ships
#17
1,828 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Everything listed is secondary to us after itinerary. Oh, and age of ship is also important for safety reasons and newer ships are less likely to have mechanical problems!
#18
United States
8 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
[b]I would consider myself an experienced river cruiser in as much as I have been on 7 river cruises, with 4 different companies, with an 8th and a fifth company this fall. Even though my favorite cruise company so far is Uniworld, I do find their cabins and bathrooms especially, too small for my liking. Now in all fairness I have not been on one of their newer ships but the majority of the fleet has small cabins and even very small cabins/bathrooms on a couple of ships. That being said, the experience of traveling with Uniworld is FIRST CLASS. Others come close, but close only counts in horse shoes, LOL.

My priorities for a river cruise are:
1. A cabin of at least 170 sq. feet and very good sound insulation.
2. Great food with much variety.
3. A staff that is happy to serve you and take care of all your needs and wants.
4. Many shore excursions with guides who don't stop every 5 minutes and talk for 20 minutes. I want to see and take pictures of as much as possible.
5. I'm looking forward to my first all inclusive cruise this fall. Not having to tip and free drinks all day long sounds very appealing.
6. Included transfers.

A lot of posters said that itinerary is the most important but when it comes to river cruising, most of the companies have similar itineraries so unless there is some specific place you really want to visit, that is not usually a big item to consider when choosing a cruise line. That being said, last April I took my first Avalon cruise because they went to Maastricht, Holland and others didn't.
#19
FL
14,143 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by rbiller
[b]
A lot of posters said that itinerary is the most important but when it comes to river cruising, most of the companies have similar itineraries so unless there is some specific place you really want to visit, that is not usually a big item to consider when choosing a cruise line.
I completely agree! For us, the devil is in the details and the line we choose a very important factor in our overall enjoyment.
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142 cruises since 1964, 14 on the river.
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 2018AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018




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



#20
New Jersey
3,522 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
...to learn which line is going to be your fifth, rbiller, and why you chose it!

Carolyn


Originally posted by rbiller
[b]I would consider myself an experienced river cruiser in as much as I have been on 7 river cruises, with 4 different companies, with an 8th and a fifth company this fall. Even though my favorite cruise company so far is Uniworld, I do find their cabins and bathrooms especially, too small for my liking. Now in all fairness I have not been on one of their newer ships but the majority of the fleet has small cabins and even very small cabins/bathrooms on a couple of ships. That being said, the experience of traveling with Uniworld is FIRST CLASS. Others come close, but close only counts in horse shoes, LOL.

My priorities for a river cruise are:
1. A cabin of at least 170 sq. feet and very good sound insulation.
2. Great food with much variety.
3. A staff that is happy to serve you and take care of all your needs and wants.
4. Many shore excursions with guides who don't stop every 5 minutes and talk for 20 minutes. I want to see and take pictures of as much as possible.
5. I'm looking forward to my first all inclusive cruise this fall. Not having to tip and free drinks all day long sounds very appealing.
6. Included transfers.

A lot of posters said that itinerary is the most important but when it comes to river cruising, most of the companies have similar itineraries so unless there is some specific place you really want to visit, that is not usually a big item to consider when choosing a cruise line. That being said, last April I took my first Avalon cruise because they went to Maastricht, Holland and others didn't.