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Remaining on the boat


Pendle Witch
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We have done ocean cruises but never a river cruise. The itinerary looks quite intense with trips out every day. It might seem a silly question but do we have to take all the excursions. If we remained on the boat would there be lunch?? Sometimes we like to do our own thing and wander about, coming back to the ship for a meal or snack.

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Quite frankly, I have never heard of a quality river cruise line not offering lunch for people who are staying behind on the ship. You do not have to take part in all excursions.

 

On my cruise on the Danube there was a couple that stayed on the boat for all meals. I think it must have been for the gentleman's health reasons. We (i.e. me and my companion) returned for every meal on the ship just because we did not want to bother with finding a restaurant and the food on the ship was really good. After all, all meals are included in the price of the river cruise.

 

The Douro is a bit of a special case, please read the Douro cruising thread for some insight into the situation on that river.

 

And may I recommend our host jazzbeau's excellent sticky at the top of the page "New to river cruising? Start here!".

 

notamermaid

Edited by notamermaid
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Quite frankly, I have never heard of a quality river cruise line not offering lunch for people who are staying behind on the ship. You do not have to take part in all excursions.

 

On my cruise on the Danube there was a couple that stayed on the boat for all meals. I think it must have been for the gentleman's health reasons. We (i.e. my and my companion) returned for every meal on the ship just because we did not wnat to bother with finding a restaurant and the food on the ship was really good. After all, all meals are included in the price of the river cruise.

 

The Douro is a bit of a special case, please read the Douro cruising thread for some insight into the situation on that river.

 

And may I recommend our host jazzbeau's excellent sticky at the top of the page "New to river cruising? Start here!".

 

notamermaid

 

Thankyou I will read it, and thanks for your comments.

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On all the cruise lines that we have traveled one could stay on board and have lunch. Often, if there are limited people who stay back the restaurant will set aside a few tables for those diners. The servers will ask that you sit in that area. A limited menu might be offered, but your needs/wants will be met.

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We have done ocean cruises but never a river cruise. The itinerary looks quite intense with trips out every day. It might seem a silly question but do we have to take all the excursions. If we remained on the boat would there be lunch?? Sometimes we like to do our own thing and wander about, coming back to the ship for a meal or snack.

 

Not sure which cruise company you are looking at, but with Uniworld you can definitely stay on board while others participate in planned excursions. They will always feed you! Once we even had the chef offer to pack us a lunch to take with us because we had to leave the ship at 3 in the morning to catch a flight.

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Not sure which cruise company you are looking at, but with Uniworld you can definitely stay on board while others participate in planned excursions. They will always feed you! Once we even had the chef offer to pack us a lunch to take with us because we had to leave the ship at 3 in the morning to catch a flight.

 

We are looking at Viking. Reading through the responses it seems a bit of a silly question I asked. I have read a few reviews and everything seems a bit intense, no mention of anyone staying on board and cruising to meet the boat elsewhere.

Thankyou for the helpful responses to this query.

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We are looking at Viking. Reading through the responses it seems a bit of a silly question I asked. I have read a few reviews and everything seems a bit intense, no mention of anyone staying on board and cruising to meet the boat elsewhere.

Thankyou for the helpful responses to this query.

 

Not a silly question at all! It's actually an astute observation on your part to realize that yes, it IS intense. We were on the Viking Romantic Danube Christmas market cruise and by day 5 we were wiped out. And mind you, my husband and I are energetic go-go-go people. Each morning there was a walking tour and then we walked (shopped :D ) for several hours more and then we stayed up late in the lounge and finally it all caught up to us. We decided one morning to have a leisurely breakfast complete with lovely Mimosas and then spend the day in the lounge reading, playing cards, and watching scenery. It was wonderful! We noticed at least a dozen or more people doing the same thing. It was relaxing. One benefit was that already being on the ship, we had first dibs on lunch when it was served. We beat the crowds coming in at the end of their morning shore excursion. Whoohooo!

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Daily itineraries (on any river cruise company's website) should tell you which meals are offered on board.

 

I haven't sailed on Viking but went to their website and picked an itinerary in France - Paris to Avignon.

 

http://www.vikingrivercruises.com/cruise-destinations/europe/frances-finest/2016-paris-avignon/index.html#itineraryday/2

 

If you look at each day it notes the meals. This is day 2, Paris, and it notes (B/D) at the end of the description. This means that breakfast and dinner will be available on board.

 

After breakfast, embark on a tour of this dazzling city and take in its most remarkable sights, including the iconic Eiffel Tower. You’ll also see the École Militaire, Orsay Museum and Latin Quarter and the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral. Then we’ll drive past the Louvre and Opera House and along the famed Champs-Élysées. Return aboard for dinner and start your cruise on the Seine this evening. (B, D)

 

A quick overview of that itinerary looks like Paris is the only stop where lunch might not be available - presumably they're assuming everyone will be off the ship. Some of those dockings are at LePecq in the 'burbs of Paris so not close to do anything in walking distance.

 

Check out any specific itinerary you're interested in on any line and you should be able to find out this information.

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Thank you, I have looked on the itinerary and it gives meals etc. Queries answered.

Thanks all.

 

And don't feel "guilty" if you're the only one staying on board....it's fun to have the ship all to yourself. I'm not anti-social, but sometimes on the longer cruises I find myself needing to "drop out" for a day. I've done it on all of our trips and never been left to fend for myself and in fact have had some really interesting experiences with the crew when we were taking on supplies and I was the ONLY passenger on board. It was very interesting and I wound up on deck with the Captain talking about how much food, where to they keep it, etc. After a few hours the hotel manager came up to tell me we were moving to meet the rest of the passengers and "do we have permission to move your boat"? That's what he said, and I loved it!!! :D

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And don't feel "guilty" if you're the only one staying on board....it's fun to have the ship all to yourself. I'm not anti-social, but sometimes on the longer cruises I find myself needing to "drop out" for a day. I've done it on all of our trips and never been left to fend for myself and in fact have had some really interesting experiences with the crew when we were taking on supplies and I was the ONLY passenger on board. It was very interesting and I wound up on deck with the Captain talking about how much food, where to they keep it, etc. After a few hours the hotel manager came up to tell me we were moving to meet the rest of the passengers and "do we have permission to move your boat"? That's what he said, and I loved it!!! :D

Like it :D

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We have done ocean cruises but never a river cruise. The itinerary looks quite intense with trips out every day. It might seem a silly question but do we have to take all the excursions. If we remained on the boat would there be lunch?? Sometimes we like to do our own thing and wander about, coming back to the ship for a meal or snack.

 

You certainly do not HAVE to participate in the included excursions. You can remain onboard, or "do it yourself" as you wish.

 

I stayed onboard one day. Well, me and 3 other people. We had lunch prepared for us and they called us in our rooms, to let us know when it was being served. A bit more limited then a regular lunch onboard, but plenty to eat.

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You certainly do not HAVE to participate in the included excursions. You can remain onboard, or "do it yourself" as you wish.

 

I stayed onboard one day. Well, me and 3 other people. We had lunch prepared for us and they called us in our rooms, to let us know when it was being served. A bit more limited then a regular lunch onboard, but plenty to eat.

 

Oo lovely, Thankyou.

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On one of our 1st cruises, DH and I stayed on board as I wanted to see the scenery.... almost everyone else did an optional trip to Salzburg. There were probably a dozen people on board. It was a great day... We were asked to sit in a certain corner of the dining room, but there were lots of options for lunch - and very attentive staff!!

 

I still remember booking our 1st river cruise, and our TA warned us it would be "quiet"... Was not prepared for the level of daily activity....We find it quite a busy holiday, and are usually pleased if we have a day (or part day) just cruising.

 

Fran

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I still remember booking our 1st river cruise, and our TA warned us it would be "quiet"... Was not prepared for the level of daily activity...

 

I think that river cruises are both full of activity AND quiet. They're quiet because there aren't activities or distractions on board (casino, spa, pool - mostly ;-), theaters) but you're usually touring on shore all day every day. So for people who are used to (and enjoy) a huge ocean cruise ship with all its attractions, a river cruise is indeed quiet. But at the same time - for someone who is used to cruising the Caribbean and spending most days on a beach or at the pool, a river cruise is FAR more active.

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I think that river cruises are both full of activity AND quiet. They're quiet because there aren't activities or distractions on board (casino, spa, pool - mostly ;-), theaters) but you're usually touring on shore all day every day. So for people who are used to (and enjoy) a huge ocean cruise ship with all its attractions, a river cruise is indeed quiet. But at the same time - for someone who is used to cruising the Caribbean and spending most days on a beach or at the pool, a river cruise is FAR more active.

I think you put that very well and is exactly what we are looking forward to on our first river cruise. It will be interesting to see if we have a preference for one style over the other or maybe there's a time for each approach. We have been on a number of ocean cruises and enjoyed all of them, but I sometimes find my favorite days are the ones at sea. I think we may just have to remember to give ourselves a "sea day" if we find we need one!

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There is no such thing as a stupid question. I will do my first Viking River Cruise this September. I've already asked quite a few questions. People have been very nice about replying. I thought some of mine were kind of silly, especially the one about finding bathrooms, but it was something I worried about. :)

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The one thing to remember is that on ocean cruises there is always some activity going on and the ship itself is huge, just walking around is an activity. On a river cruise, there's really nothing going on except 4:00 high tea which is great! If nothing else go into town with the rest and sit on a bench and people watch.

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I think you put that very well and is exactly what we are looking forward to on our first river cruise. It will be interesting to see if we have a preference for one style over the other or maybe there's a time for each approach. We have been on a number of ocean cruises and enjoyed all of them, but I sometimes find my favorite days are the ones at sea. I think we may just have to remember to give ourselves a "sea day" if we find we need one!

 

AMEN to that!!! We discovered on our last ocean cruise the absolute joy and relaxation of sea days sitting on our balcony watching the ship's wake....I don't know what we did all day, but the day just flew!!! And the only activity I took part in was bingo and the egg drop, which I WILL be entering on my next cruise. :D As for a preference, it's kind of like having a favorite Italian restaurant...you love eating there, but some times you just feel like Chinese.

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On our 7 Viking cruises (including the two itineraries you are considering) you definitely can take any tours offered, do you own touring or stay on board with lunch offered. We have found them very flexible and you can make your decisions daily to fit your enjoyment and how you are feeling. Enjoy your trip.

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Having just returned from my first River Cruise, I can say most everyone

was off the ship during the day but you definitely have the option staying

on board.

They don't have activities offered though.......I would say to bring a book/

kindle/or if you enjoy crosswords or that type of activity. Or if you just

enjoy sitting and watching the scenery/napping you can do that as well.

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