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Daisi

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Everything posted by Daisi

  1. One thing I have found through research for the local cruises is not to choose the dinner ones.....I have heard several comments that the food isn't the "best". Also, get them when you are there, as you can make sure you get one where you can go outside and it's not raining hopefully... 🙂
  2. I think from looking at our upcoming cruise, we are expecting a driven orientation of the city, and a walking tour. We will be purchasing tickets prior to leaving for the Parliament buildings, and when we arrive, a night tour of the river. We will not be doing the dining tour, as I hear that the food isn't the "best". We will also purchase the 72 hr transit pass, to save problems of trying to figure out their ticket system - I hear a lot of complaints of people not researching how to use the single tickets and getting fines. There are lots of things to see in the city, so plan your visits well. We plan to do the Parliament tour on the first day, as you have to stash your backpacks in lockers, so would rather leave tablets locked in our hotel safe. I found a "local" market place to pick up my stash of paprika, so will avoid the busy main one - not a crowd lover. After our Parliament tour, I want to go see the McDonalds near there, I hear it's a bit unique. We like to wander, so will probably go to Margaret Island and Fisherman's Bastion & St. Stephen's on the day we board the ship. I would like to see Vajdahunyad Castle as well, as it's in a nice park so that may be the day we land to wear off jet lag.
  3. Here is a thread notamermaid started about the Moselle. It does sound like a great river to sail. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2268619-the-river-moselle-infos-and-river-cruising-experiences/
  4. @Tedferg, We did our first cruise the 2nd week of May. Weather was great (we like it when it's around 20C, warm enough you don't need jackets, but cool enough you can spend hours wandering and not be overheated. We did the Rhine, as it was (at that time) the recommended 1st cruise. We had a Danube tour booked for this May, put it off for May 2022, now are going to hopefully be going Sept 2023. DH's sister & her husband sail end of Sept to October, and enjoy then. Everyone will have a favourite line, so it's very important for you to look at the reviews (and tourist YouTube videos, not the company ones) and see what line will suit you. I really don't think there is a "bad" line to go with, they all offer great service, food & things to see. As for rafting, you really don't notice it unless you have to go through another ship to get ashore. Most times, you are out on tour while the ship is docked, so it's not as if you are sitting there all day looking at another boat instead of the scenery. I think on our Rhine cruise in 2018, we only had others go through our ship, not the other way around. Take your time and go through the "stickies" at the top of the forums, there are some good articles in there comparing lines, rivers etc. Majority of passengers will be American, but you will probably get some from all over the world. Our cruise had more from the Philippines than Canadians... 🙂 As to your cabins, you usually are only in them to sleep, so size is good for all levels. The lower levels have a fixed window and is at water level, so not always easy to see out of. We enjoy the 2nd level as it's just over the water, and we had fun watching the swans cleaning off the ship. The only main thing to think about is the balcony is counted as part of the room size, and on Viking, the corridor is off center, making the cabins with the french balconies actually smaller. We loved our nearly room sized opening windows for our french balcony as we could sit in our comfortable chairs and still have the "outdoor" experience...but when we wanted to see anything, we were either in the front section or up top...views are on both sides of the river!
  5. My advise since you are just starting to look, is to decide what river you want to go on, how long, when you want to go (summer can be busy as everyone is on holidays, whereas if you can go spring/fall it won't be so bad), and a budget. Then look at the itineraries each line offers, so you can look at what places you wish to visit. That can help narrow it down quite a bit. Also, you would have to compare what is and isn't included. Most lines have 1 daily tour (and they all, from what I know, have good guides, and you aren't in large tours either as far as I know, even if you have over 200 on your cruise), with an optional one. Morning is usually reserved for the included tour, the afternoon is the optional one, or you can wander around the town if you are in port. Most lines have beer/wine for dinner & lunch included, and usually you can order "one to go" at night to enjoy in the lounge or up on the top deck (or your room). Don't expect entertainment like you get on an ocean cruise...usually a keyboardist providing dance/background music. Occasionally, entertainment will be provided - woodcarver for the Black forest, instrumental band along the Danube, wine/beer tastings etc, but usually it's just meeting up with your fellow ship mates. We usually use the time after dinner to get caught up with news from home, getting pictures downloaded etc - wifi is free, so it's nice that you don't have to worry about it. River cruising isn't always a relaxing holiday...if you are touring morning and afternoon, it's non-stop all day. Breakfast is usually around 7:00, lunch around 12:00 and dinner 7:00 at night. Between meals, you are out walking around towns. Yes, there is the occasional bus trip to get you to somewhere not on the river, but usually through scenic areas, and not long trips. Fun, but if you pack everything in, you almost need a holiday to get over the holiday! It is worth it though, and can become very addictive. Ask questions a lot, we are a patient bunch who like to share our experiences. When you decide the river you wish to go on, search this forum for previous reports, they will give you and idea as to what to expect. Most of all, be prepared for anything - low water, high water, Covid restrictions constantly changing, you name it. If you are willing to "go with the flow" you will probably love it.
  6. This is one time Viking has a definite advantage, as it has so many ships on the rivers, they can run constantly in both directions.
  7. I checked the Canadian site, and if you click on the "upgrades" button you will get a pop up box for the different suites. Click on the "see deck plan" button, and a pop up will come up with the deck plan, and the room category will flash. Hope that helps.
  8. You'll have to confirm with @terry&mike, but I believe Scenic is doing the tests for free. I know (as of now) Avalon is also providing free PCR tests for returning.
  9. You may find this article helpful. Haven't sailed on either so really can't voice an opinion one way or another. https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2586
  10. I've tried the Mandelhörnchen, but not a fan of Marzipan. The recipe for the Papillons looks easy (and good), maybe I'll have to give it a try. 🙂
  11. Ahh.. .Papillons! My favourite cookie (glad they are expensive, makes them a treat I only get once in a while so not to bad on the diet). I've never seen them dipped in Chocolate, but that looks like a great idea. Zimtschnecken are what we call cinnamon rolls... best with cream cheese icing, and no raisins. 🙂
  12. Avalon has outdoor "grills", we had a BBQ on our Rhine cruise.
  13. You guys talking about the leftover dough. We grew up with Pet du Seur, leftover piecrust with cinnamon sugar in it. One of our favourite treats every time Mom made a pie. Maybe because we spoke Eng & French at home, it wasn't until I got out in the working world and found out what the translation was, we just never bothered translating it at home.🙂
  14. There is also the St. Lawrence River Cruise that will tour both the Rideau & St. Lawrence Rivers. I thought there was one on the Saguenay River in Quebec, but it no longer seems to be available, or I can't find it. https://www.stlawrencecruiselines.com/
  15. They probably have arrangements made that allow them to bus you from the boat to the canal tour and back. You won't really be moving around, other than by bus & canal boat. I feel for the cruise lines trying to scramble and re-arrange everything at the last minute. Guess they are lucky that they aren't sailing with full passenger capacity, but it can't be easy re-arranging everything.
  16. Will Uniworld allow you to chose your airline? I know with Avalon, we book through them, and they allow us to chose which airline we want. It wouldn't hurt to check, especially since it's a flight from your home town.
  17. Glad to hear you are having the sunset cruise out to see the buildings all lit up. I was hoping to hear from @PRNole47if they had done that for his, as he was starting in Budapest, but haven't heard if he is back yet. Enjoy the rest of your cruise, sounds as if Avalon is doing a great job.
  18. cruisemapper.com also allows you to select your specific line.
  19. Gentle walking is not always less walking, it's more geared to slower walking. We took the gentle walking tours so I could snap pictures and found that the main difference between our tours and those on the "normal" ones were our guides talked as we walked, so if we saw something along the way, we could ask about it, or get pictures, while when we were on the "normal" ones, we were walked to an area where the guide could stop and talk for a bit, then off to another one. Our group saw a lot that the others didn't always get to see, as they walked past with no explanations. Our tours had less time at the end for shopping, which was no problem for us, as we aren't shoppers anyway. One of the main things is the length you can be out on tour, as they average 1.5 to 2 hours, and you don't have much "rest" between. You do a lot of walking on the tours, gentle walking or not. They can avoid steep hills sometimes, but in the cities where it's flat, you do walk a fair bit, no matter what group you are in. We did have one guy who used a portable wheelchair on our cruise, he could walk on and off the boat, and we were very lucky not to have to go up to the top to cross ships to get ashore. That is something else to consider, having to go up to the top deck of your ship, crossing over to the top deck of another one (or two), and then down to get off. I think finding a land tour for those with "mobility issues" would maybe be best if she can only walk a km or so a day....or maybe you or someone could tour with her and push her in a wheelchair? That way, she could have the experience, and enjoy the trip as most of her fellow travellers would. I will warn you though, pushing someone over some cobblestones and hills can be difficult, so you want to be strong to do so. I wish both you and your sister good luck, and hopefully she can get over while she can still enjoy the trip.
  20. Thanks @Travelw, we end our cruise in Prague, not sure what hotel, as they can change at any time. Really hoping that our hotel in Budapest has a river view. 🙂 Nice to hear about the king bed, as that means it's not a basic room.
  21. @ljandgb & @Travelw, may I ask what your hotel rooms are like? I have looked up the Cosmopolitian Hotel, and it looks nice, but we have never stayed in a hotel arranged by Avalon, and wondering if they are decent rooms. Is there any view? I know you are more "in the center" area, so maybe just looking at buildings, Just curious. Hope you both have a great time, and safe cruise. I will be looking for more info once you board. 🙂
  22. I'm Canadian, so things may be different, but we just moved our 202 that was rescheduled from 2021 to 2023 now. No problems, and easily done. Our TA said she was so happy to deal with Avalon, as she had been on hold with another line (she didn't say which one, just another river cruise) for 3 hours trying to re-schedule. She had ours done in about 15 minutes. Avalon has a Peace of Mind program, the only "penalty" you will have is you may lose any "free air/discounts" that were on the initial bookings and not offered on the new ones. They were also (in 2021) moving the final payment dates from 90 days to just over 30, so I think they are more than willing to stretch that out as well. Good luck.
  23. So glad you had a great trip. We did the Rhine in 2018. We met a great couple on the first day, and he was also in a portable wheelchair. My husband pushed him around for the tours (much easier than his wife trying it on the cobblestones), and I remember touring Heidelberg well. He was perfectly happy to sit and have a beer in the main square with my husband after the tour while his wife & I went to the Käthe Wohlfahrt shop. So glad you were all able to enjoy the trip, and yes, Avalon is very good at going above and beyond to provide great service. We moved our trip to Sept 2023, hopefully Covid will be more "normalised" by then and much easier to deal with.
  24. Heading home is always the hardest...but just think of the trips you can plan on that long plane ride home. That's what we did!
  25. Wishing you the best of luck, really hoping to hear all is ok. Safe flight.
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