Posted July 31st, 2007, 04:59 PM
We took the mini bus froim the airport in Budapest to our hotel We were traveling with friends so this came out to be about 15 euros for each couple.
Our pre hotel was the Marriott Millenium Executive Apartments..which I booked thru tripadvisor.This has got to be the BEST bargain in Budapest.It was a beautiful 3 room apartment with fully furnished everything incl kitchen.. It was located 1/2 block from the main shopping street Vaci Utca and about 1/1/2 blocks from the river. It was a short 3 block walk to the Central Market. I paid 85 euros incl breakfast for this fantastic hotel but booked it around last November.We arrived in Budapest on Saturday around 9 am but even though we could not get to our rooms that early they were happy to keep our luggage for us till we could check in around 2:30 pm.Just as well as I try to avoid sleeping that first day.
The cruise ships dock just about even with the Central Market between the Elizabeth and Liberty Bridge. The meeting place on Sunday was the Cafe Gerbaud in a room to the left,around the corner of the main cafe.We checked out of our hotel on Sunday at around 11 AM and easily walked to the meeting place. We checked in,left our luggage and then walked over to a festival that was taking place on the Chain Bridge.We walked back to the Cafe Gerbaud around 3 PM ,had a lovely dessert and an iced coffee and then went back to the meeting room to await our transfer to the ship.At around 3:45 they gathered us all together(room now full) and walked us over to the Hotel Softiel where we boarded 4 busses for our transfer to the ship.
We had a wonderful dinner with friends we were traveling with at a place called Central Kavehaz on Saturday night. I had made a reservation by email after reading an excellent review on Frommers. It was only about 3 blocks from our hotel.The web site www.centralkavehaz.hu
My heart sank when we walked in as it wasn't nearly as nice as it looked on their web site.But I must tell you that this was probably the most wonderful meal we had the whole trip. The food was just fantastic.Our waiter was a very helpful young man who was just a delight!! The total bill for DH and I including wine was only about $50.00 usd. I really loved Budapset and it is on my list of places I would like to return to.I wish I had planned to arrive there 3 or 4 days early instead of just one.
In Amsterdam we stayed 1 day post trip at the ACH Leidse Square Hotel. It was in a very nice area near a canal and the museums.We walked over to the Vondal Park for dinner at a place called Vertigo which is part of the Film Museum. We stayed an extra day as DH had not been to Amsterdam but I had been. I didn't like it any better this time than I did the first time I was there 3 years ago.I have no intention of going back. This place is just way to nasty,dirty and seedy for me.I wish I had used that time for another day in Budapest.The hotel in Amsterdam was clean and nice and in a good neighborhood.I just don't like Amsteredam.We had arranged in advance for a private taxi to the airport on Monday for 34 euro..The driver showed up a few minutes early in a very nice Mercedes van for our transport to the airport. The driver was very pleasant and although we had paid in advance on the internet we did tip him 4 euros.
When you receive your documents,about 3 weeks before your cruise you will get the name and phone number of your CD. You can call her the day before you meet and she will tell you where the ship will dock but I know it is always between the Elizabeth and Libert Bridge. We actually saw it there on Saturday afternoon before the start of our cruise.
The cabins have hair dryers in the cabinet under the mirror.Everything is 220v.You will need a converter and adapter plug if you don't have dual voltage.We just brought extra batteries for our camera and used the provided hair dryer.
I kept all the daily newsletters and thus have all the arrival and sailing times if anyone is interested in that let me know.
Regarding the CD,her name was Isabel,German and although this was her first river cruise she had worked for Globus for 19 years doing land tours. She did a great job and although she was definitely NOT a warm and fuzzy person I have no complaints about her at all. You would not believe what a pain some people can be. I could tell you stories but won't but will tell you I would NOT want her job!
Sorry this took so long to post. It sure takes me a lot longer to recover from jet lag than it used to!!!!