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FuelScience

Teeming River Cruises: Overall Impression

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Posted (edited)

Teeming is something of an unknown for most of us, so I thought I'd do a separate thread to give my overall views on the line after one cruise. In this review, I’ll focus on Teeming-specific items rather than ship-specific. Since Teeming leases several ships, each is different, so my comments on the Royal Emerald would only be of immediate interest to those who are on its one other Teeming sailing later this summer.

 

Teeming is obviously a different company, and it’s not for everybody. If you’re not a planner, but want to get on the ship, relax, walk off the ship at the set time and be taken on a tour and returned with no hassles, this is probably not your line. If, however, you don’t mind doing a little planning before hand and venturing out on your own, Teeming has a good product at a great price.

 

Teeming’s Model

Ships:

Teeming doesn’t own any ships. They lease ships from people like Neerlandic, Croisieurop, and others. Each of these ships is described on Teeming’s web page, and one can get more info on the ships with a little work on Google.

 

I don’t know about all the ships, but the Neerlandic ships (Royal Emerald and Royal Crown) are crewed by River Advice. River Advice also provides crews around 100 river ships, including those of Avalon, Vantage, Nicko, Gate 1, and Thurgau. (I think that those all use River Advice, feel free to correct if I’m wrong). The service is comparable to what we’ve received on our other cruises. On our cruise things were a little slow in the dining room at first, but I attribute that more to this being the first cruise of the year rather than lack of training or resources.

 

Transfers

First off, you don’t get airport transfers. This wasn’t a big deal for us, and indeed, when we’ve booked air with cruise lines before, we’ve found that if we decided to come in early to get over jet lag, the “included transfers” disappeared and we were on our own. Teeming will arrange cabs for departing guests.

 

Drinks at Lunch & Dinner

This is significant for some folks. The standard drink at lunch and dinner with Teeming is water. They may offer coffee or tea, but I don’t remember seeing anyone drinking them. Teeming offers a drinks package that includes wine, beer, and soft drinks for lunch and dinner. If I did the math right, $131 for our 9-night cruise worked out to less than $8.00 per meal (assuming that you have all your lunches and dinners on board). So if you consume more than one glass of wine or one soda per meal, you’re ahead with the drink package. I don’t think that they offer a “free drinks all day” package like Viking’s Silver Spirits package.

 

Tours

No included tours. This is where Teeming saves a lot of money. You’re on your own. Here’s what Teeming does do for you. First you get a port talk the night before you land somewhere giving you ideas of things to do and see. Second you get their POP app for your iPhone and Android device. You need to install the app and download relevant city maps before you leave home, and once you’re there, things work pretty well. You fire up the app, touch the city name, and you have a city map with icons showing the various points of interest around the town. touch the icon, and you get description of the attraction, and then you can touch “GO,” and the app shows you how to walk to the attraction. The app doesn’t need a data connection, so you don’t have to worry about using data, which can be very expensive abroad, depending on your carrier. There’s also a “home” icon on the map to show your docking location. Tap and your route back to the ship appears. This worked well for us. You can also add points of interest to a map. 

 

Jeff Paglialonga told passengers that later this year they will roll out a new approach, placing a pre-loaded device in every cabin, so passengers won’t have to hassle with loading the app and maps before the cruise. This should work even better.

 

So how does it work in practice? For us it worked well. We’d preplanned, or over-planned. So we did most of the things we’d planned, but some days we decided we’d had enough and called it a day early. The only place where I thought not having included tours was a real issue was in Ghent, where we were docked far (~2 miles) from the city center, and we had to choose between a long walk or taking a taxi/Uber. In both Ghent and Rotterdam, popular choices included train trips (Ghent-Bruges, Rotterdam-Deft, or Rotterdam-Gouda). Many people took these options, while others contented themselves to wander around the towns and see the local sites with the POP app to guide them. 

 

Of course, being on your own can lead to adventures. When getting on the train back to Rotterdam from Gouda, one of us (it was me) somehow jumped on the train to The Hague instead of Rotterdam! No big problem—jumped off in The Hague and quickly found a train back to Rotterdam. Travel time was almost an hour instead of 23 minutes, but we saw some new countryside and still paid only the fare from Gouda to Rotterdam!

 

That’s about it. There are other small things. With no set tours, there are no staff waiting inside the door to give you a wet washcloth and a drink as you walk off the bus and onto the ship. Of course that doesn’t make a lot sense on Teeming with people coming and going all day long.

 

Is Anything Better with Teeming?

At first I couldn’t think of a lot. If you’re the independent, do your own thing kind of person, no tours is a good thing. One real positive with Teeming is the fact that the owners, Jeff and Gina Pagliolonga are present on almost every cruise. Teeming is a young company trying to grow, and that means that they’re trying hard to please their customers and get the word out on what they’re doing. As I mentioned in my postings from the cruise, we were in one of the two Panorama Suites at the back of the ship. The first night wasn’t bad, but the second night we had real issues sleeping. Jeff and Gina immediately swapped rooms with the occupants of the other Panorama Suite so that they were now in a Royal suite. They offered to relocate us immediately, but we really liked the layout of our room and decided to try it for another couple of nights. When it wasn’t better, we too got relocated to one of the Royal Suites and slept much better. To Teeming’s credit, the Panorama Suites had been stripped bare and redone to minimize noise and vibration during the winter, and they believed that they would be OK.

 

Also, one can easily do back to back cruises with Teeming that offer very attractive pricing. For instance, Teeming has leased the Royal Crown from July 28 to August 27. They’re glad to let you do cruises back to back.

 

Pricing

Of course, what sets Teeming apart from everyone else is their pricing. Looking at their web site, they quote prices as low as $131 per person per night for several trips. The top cabins on the Royal Crown go for $300 per person. That’s very aggressive pricing. In addition, we were offered 10% off these prices as prior guests, making it even better. For our cruise, the 325 sq. ft. Panorama Suite was around $300 per night. The 310 sq. ft. cabin we transferred to was a little cheaper. Those prices are pretty much unheard of in the river cruising world I know.

 

Conclusion (finally)

Finally let me say that I’ll be considering Teeming for another river cruise. Yes, I’d do it again. Also, I’m not getting any compensation from Teeming, and they didn’t ask me to write this review. I’ve benefitted so much from the reviews of others, I view this as way to thank them and help future cruisers.

 

If you have questions about Teeming I’d be glad to try and answer them.

Edited by Host Jazzbeau
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Excellent review and details. Glad you enjoyed your cruise and thought it was worthwhile.

We have done several European river cruises and are familiar with the cost structures.

Sometimes paying premium prices can deliver the promised product/experience but that is not always the case.

At least with a low cost operator, and providing people have researched well there should be less risk of being underwhelmed or disapponted.

Thanks again for your review.

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Thanks for writing this - it is definitely a different experience and would work for many individuals.

 

I appreciate you telling it like it is.

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Very much enjoyed traveling along with you and your final info and comments.  Teeming sounds very much up our alley and will be looking closer at their offerings.

Enjoy your next cruise too!

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Teeming sounds like it would suit us too.  We are booked on Scenic, but don't plan on doing many of the tours so it will be a bit of a waste of money.  We really are not tour people, plus the planning to me is the best part of a holiday.

 

As far as your costings are concerned, they are all in dollars.  What sort of dollars?  AUD, CAD, or USD?

 

Thanks for an interesting review.

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Thanks for all your hard work and the excellent review. My sister emailed me and said that you were able to meet. I'll be interested in hearing what her experience was like.

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Thank you, Fuel Science, that is a very interesting review and something to think about.  It's nice that there are more river cruise alternatives to suit a variety of budgets and interest levels, including those who need or want a lot of guidance and those who are more do it yourselfers.  

 

Would you comment on the food onboard?  Which itinerary did you sail?

 

Roz

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Very much enjoyed your review.  

Did you book through them or through a travel agent?

RB

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Thanks, Fuelscience, for this extensive review.  We are taking our third Avalon cruise in June, Canals Vineyards and Castles.  We love the Avalon product but they have become more expensive since they switched to the Panorama suites.  We have friends that are interested in doing a river cruise with us but Avalon is out of their price range.  I think the only thing we would miss is the tours as we have enjoyed the tours we've done on Avalon. But I suppose we could arrange for our own port tours.  Does Teeming let one know the port times in advance so that private tours may be arranged?  Looking forward to your Nicko review!

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On 4/7/2019 at 3:09 AM, djh1959 said:

As far as your costings are concerned, they are all in dollars.  What sort of dollars?  AUD, CAD, or USD

All in US$. You can get prices on Teeming's web site.

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18 hours ago, Ritabob said:

Very much enjoyed your review.  

Did you book through them or through a travel agent?

RB

No. Teeming doesn't use agents, you book directly with them, either by phone or through the website. 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, KathyK13 said:

Does Teeming let one know the port times in advance so that private tours may be arranged?  Looking forward to your Nicko review!

Teeming posts projected arrival and departure times for their cruises on their web sites. This cruise was through the Netherlands, so no real scenic stretches and sailing was almost all at night. They held pretty close to the times listed on their website. It was nice having those to plan our days.

 

We're on the Nicko cruise now, but due to computer issues, we probably won't post a review until we're home next week. 

Edited by FuelScience
Addition

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On 4/8/2019 at 9:50 AM, Roz said:

Would you comment on the food onboard?  Which itinerary did you sail?

 

The food was comparable to what we've had on our other cruises (Viking, Avalon, & Vantage). On difference is the fact that Teeming doesn't offer alternatives to the menu items. On other lines, we've always had the option of a standard steak, fish (usually salmon), chicken breast, or vegetarian item if nothing on the menu appealed to us. Teeming didn't have that option.

 

We did a 9-night Netherlands trip. Teeming will have another Netherlands trip in July, but I think that it's 7 or 8 nights. 

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4 hours ago, FuelScience said:

 

The food was comparable to what we've had on our other cruises (Viking, Avalon, & Vantage). On difference is the fact that Teeming doesn't offer alternatives to the menu items. On other lines, we've always had the option of a standard steak, fish (usually salmon), chicken breast, or vegetarian item if nothing on the menu appealed to us. Teeming didn't have that option.

 

We did a 9-night Netherlands trip. Teeming will have another Netherlands trip in July, but I think that it's 7 or 8 nights. 

 

Thanks for responding.  Lack of an alternative menu offering wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.  After you posted your review, I went to the Teeming website and saw the Netherlands itineraries.  Very interesting, since I fell in love with Amsterdam last year and want to go back and see more of the country.  

 

I have mixed feelings about the do-it-yourself shorex.  It obviously takes a lot of research on the part of the cruiser, and isn't for everyone.  The app is an interesting concept.

 

Roz

 

 

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I love the concept of DIY on shore as I usually just want to wander around and do my own thing anyway. I worry about the quality of the beds and the food. I don't mind paying the money on those things (I just don't want to spend money on excursions I'm not interested in 😉

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On 4/11/2019 at 2:31 PM, Hoyaheel said:

I worry about the quality of the beds and the food. I don't mind paying the money on those things (I just don't want to spend money on excursions I'm not interested in 😉

I found the food and accommodations to be comparable to what I've experienced on other river cruise lines. Not that Teeming leases its ships, so you may need to look around to find reviews of the ship that's being used on your cruise. For example, Teeming is leasing a Croisieurope ship for a Rhone cruise this fall, so any ship-specific observations I had about the Royal Emerald wouldn't apply to that ship. 

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5 minutes ago, marker90 said:

image.png.cf97bc017e5810a6d72fc89e574ac5f2.png

 

Can you post using a larger font?

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First post to Cruise Critic and pasted; haven't figured out how to manipulate font size.  But a reader should be able to use the zoom feature built into most browsers.  Sorry about the inconvenience.

 

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