Posted March 5th, 2014, 04:08 PM
[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.