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About MikeBR

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Gifford, Scotland
  • Interests
    River Cruising, Bird watching, Social History, Gardening
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking, AMAWaterways
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Croatia, River Nile, Rhone, Danube, Douro

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  1. No alternative excursion other than in brochure, included or paid extra. They have an awful lot of bikes and I have never seen them all booked out, but I have seen guests being refused as they did not pass the proficiency test as being safe to cycle on roads or paths [They could not cycle in a straight line or were not fit enough]. The cycle excursions sometimes get canceled at short notice due to wind or rain so have a tour 'B' you want to take. There is always a keyboard player/vocalist. and some nights other local entertainment. Dinner is always 'Smart Casual' a few guests sometimes get dressed up, but is the exception. Everyone gets the Chane Des Rotisseur dinner. But book 'Chef's table' as soon as you board to get the night you want and who you want to dine with to avoid disappointment. Last cruise we took in May half of the nights had already been booked up by those on the 'Pre-Cruise' stay, and it was fully booked up by breakfast of second day.
  2. Rather than take the Salzburg tour we opted for the Cesky Krumlov tour which I and all others on the tour loved. Pedestrianised Medieval town, virtually intact with the second largest Castle in Bavaria. It was interesting that at dinner that night everyone was raving about Cesky Krumlov, but those that went to Salzburg were rather subdued
  3. I suspect not as the USA ban the import of Haggis and Black pudding from Scotland which are both basically sausage. I think it might be party because the EU banns the import of chlorinated poultry and meat products containing steroids and that have been fed GM grain which are widely sold in the USA, but are all listed as not fit for human consumption in the whole of Europe because of long term health risks.
  4. We were told is was number dependant once we joined this cruise and they took the bookings then. Unless it is fully booked already [It is an open venue where anybody can book tickets] I would think it will be offered. Well worth going to.
  5. I have been to Budapest many many times doing it on my own as well on river cruises now 6 times and just back 3 weeks ago. The DK Eyewitness tour guide of Budapest [not the 'Top 10'] is far better than Rick Steve's which IMO is 'Misleading ' in parts.
  6. You see them in virtually every souvenir shop all over Europe and most ar 'Self Stick' with the option of 2 pins.
  7. When in Budapest go to the main market and go up the stairs. On one side there is a restaurant layed out with tables and chairs and sometimes some musicians, This is for the tourists. On the other three sides you will find dozens of small family owned 'Fast Food' stalls serving the 'Real' local dishes at a fraction of the cost of the restaurant. Every stall has its own specialties often served with a 1/2 pint [1/4 Lt] of the local red wine to wash it down, though beer is now becoming more popular. This is where you can sample the local cuisine at its very best. You can also buy the best herbs & spices here in the market, where the locals buy them.
  8. 2018 was a terrible year for all rivers in Europe because of low water. We managed our June cruise with Emerald on the Rhone, But our October cruise with Viking on the Danube was ultimately completely changed to a bus trip at the last minute. Having experienced water problems way back in 2012 we knew the consequences of such changes and took the offer of a complete refund. We always book direct with the cruise company no matter where we go and because of this within 7 days we had the full cost of the cruise refunded back into our bank, but within 14 days we had all our other expenses of flights, airport lounge, and airport parking all refunded as well
  9. We will be doing this particular cruise with AMA in two weeks for the second time [First time was the 'Wine' version' which misses Bratislava] suggest to book the Chef's Table as soon as you board for mid week, as you may like we did get the invitation to 'Captains Table' on the last night.
  10. It can be handy to carry a 'Tote Bag' to easily carry all the discarded layers.
  11. The problem is the number of Guests who leave hot devices such as tongs, straighteners, Irons, both electric & gas on and leave them on the furnishings in the cabin causing damage, evacuation because of heat & smoke detectors and on a cruise I was on the Nile quiet a serious fire.
  12. It can be helpful if you use standard European temperatures in Centigrade as 'Fahrenheit' went out of use more than 50 years ago. But to answer your question I will be back on the Danube in two weeks having cruised it many times, but have also visited Prague and Budapest [I love looking a good Scottish engineering in both towns] as a city break more than 12. Temperature can be in Fahrenheit anything from 40 to 80 [5c-25c] in May. Dress in layers and have a light weight 'Waterproof' top layer preferably breathable to stop you having a 'Sauna'. You will be visiting a wonderful part of the world and Prague and Budapest two of the worlds most beautiful city's, but all the other towns you will visit are also a delight to visit, enjoy.
  13. AMA & Emerald both have small swimming pools [Emerald converts to a cinema at night] and both have massage available.
  14. Totally agree with the other two posts. On the dozens of River Cruises I have done you will not find out details till the night before in your news letter about the following days program. Unfortunately I've even had to put up with a port being skipped because of water or docking difficulties. Some River Cruise lines do have their own Docking stations on some rivers so sometimes you can guarantee where you will be docked but not always.
  15. We have done St.Petersburg to Moscow with Viking which we really enjoyed [Having done many Viking Longship cruises before] Looking at the photo's of the ship it looks very similar & size.
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