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19 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

Just don't expect to see too many whales or dolphins.:classic_rolleyes:

I'm short-sighted enough that I've never managed to spot the sea life that other passengers were excited by! 

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My size and dh went on one in Germany and said never again and wouldn't recommend it. They travelled during the day and the views were of buildings and factories. Said she could have walked quicker than the boat was going. When they stopped it was only for a couple of hours and because it was later in the year (around October) a lot of places were closed up.

Most of the people were in their cabins on an afternoon and with nothing to do she either walked laps around the boat in the rain or did a jigsaw puzzle. The only entertainment on a night was a pianist. She has a slight allergy issue and found not much choice of food. They say P&O has a lot of old people but she thought this a lot worse than P&O. 

Maybe the cruises further afield might be different to ones in Europe, so something for you to look further into. 

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15 hours ago, emam said:

My size and dh went on one in Germany and said never again and wouldn't recommend it. They travelled during the day and the views were of buildings and factories. Said she could have walked quicker than the boat was going. When they stopped it was only for a couple of hours and because it was later in the year (around October) a lot of places were closed up.

Most of the people were in their cabins on an afternoon and with nothing to do she either walked laps around the boat in the rain or did a jigsaw puzzle. The only entertainment on a night was a pianist. She has a slight allergy issue and found not much choice of food. They say P&O has a lot of old people but she thought this a lot worse than P&O. 

Maybe the cruises further afield might be different to ones in Europe, so something for you to look further into. 

 

This and similar posts are interesting for me and appears to be the case with the Western European Cruises, but must add that it was certainly not the case with the Eastern Danube or Russian cruise we did (previously reported) yet they were still in Europe.  Comparatively, those Western European cruises do not travel very far as quite a lot of ports within a small distance.  I have also seen other  reports, (like those mentioned here) about water levels having an effect on the ship movements on certain Western Europe cruise locations as the boats cannot always get under low bridges, or low water levels mean they cannot transit locks as too much water would be lost from the water ways.

 

The cruises we did were more about travelling and were quite different, but also physically demanding if you want full enjoyment from them (lots of speedy walking on the Russian tours and some walking with a lot of standing in the Eastern Danube ones).  Must admit we did feel our arrival in Budapest on our first Cruise was a real culture shock as it was clearly very touristy and also crowded with river boats and groups of people following lollipops, yet our other experiences felt like real exploration.  I do think the individual river cruise needs to be research fully in the river cruise section of these boards and is certainly something I would do regards any future river cruises we may consider booking.  Having said what I did about Budapest we did like it and may well return on an independent land holiday in the future - it was just a lot different to the other stops on the river cruise and we were glad we were put into a hotel for that part of the holiday.  The hotel used was The Hilton and we had a brilliant view of the chain bridge and other buildings down on the river, especially when they were lit up at night. 

 

I suspect even the Western River cruises can vary a fair bit from each other, along with the company used and not all companies may be best for all destinations from what I have read/heard in the past.  Just my thoughts.    

Edited by tring
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I have only been on one river cruise; along the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel in March 2017 on Emerald Star.

The ship held about 180 passengers and the public facilities - which comprised a restaurant, a bar/lounge, and an innovative indoor swimming pool with a retractable cover which converted to a cinema or bar in the evening - absorbed them well. Emerald is more casual offshoot of Scenic aimed at a younger, more active clientelle and the age of passengers reflected this; significantly younger overall than a comparable P&O cruise.

Cabins were comparable in size to many ocean cruise ships. There was no balcony as such, but the upper part of the window could be lowered electrically to create what was effectively an indoor balcony. See attached pic (in which window closed, top half drops down).

Food was excellent. Breakfast and lunch were buffet, dinner was waiter service. Wine or beer was included at lunch and dinner, served to the table by wine waiters. All inclusive was available at an additional charge.

A choice of included excursions or tours were available at each stop. Ships can sail the Rhine overnight and this was more often than not the case, so most evenings were spent onboard. Entertainment was minimal, comprising a resident keyboard player and various quizzes etc. Like most small ships, socialising rather than being entertained was the order of the day (or evening).

Overall it was avery enjoyable experience.

 

IMG_2367.JPG

Edited by Denarius
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If travelling during the night do you make much use of the scenic view? It seems some cruises travel at night giving more daytime hours to visit on land and others travel by day where you can enjoy the scenery. I think I prefer the scenery, especially from that window. 

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27 minutes ago, Gettingwarmer said:

If travelling during the night do you make much use of the scenic view? It seems some cruises travel at night giving more daytime hours to visit on land and others travel by day where you can enjoy the scenery. I think I prefer the scenery, especially from that window. 

Of the river cruises we've done I must admit I do prefer having some time motoring along during the day to take in the scenery.  Depending on where in the world, I would be quite happy to be moored up at night and sample the shore nightlife.

Edited by Son of Anarchy
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45 minutes ago, Denarius said:

I have only been on one river cruise; along the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel in March 2017 on Emerald Star.

The ship held about 180 passengers and the public facilities - which comprised a restaurant, a bar/lounge, and an innovative indoor swimming pool with a retractable cover which converted to a cinema or bar in the evening - absorbed them well. Emerald is more casual offshoot of Scenic aimed at a younger, more active clientelle and the age of passengers reflected this; significantly younger overall than a comparable P&O cruise.

Cabins were comparable in size to many ocean cruise ships. There was no balcony as such, but the upper part of the window could be lowered electrically to create what was effectively an indoor balcony. See attached pic (in which window closed, top half drops down).

Food was excellent. Breakfast and lunch were buffet, dinner was waiter service. Wine or beer was included at lunch and dinner, served to the table by wine waiters. All inclusive was available at an additional charge.

A choice of included excursions or tours were available at each stop. Ships can sail the Rhine overnight and this was more often than not the case, so most evenings were spent onboard. Entertainment was minimal, comprising a resident keyboard player and various quizzes etc. Like most small ships, socialising rather than being entertained was the order of the day (or evening).

Overall it was avery enjoyable experience.

 

IMG_2367.JPG

Thank you.Thats useful to know as one of the river cruises we are considering is on the Rhine

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That was interesting Denarius.  The ‘indoor balcony’ is ingenious.  I’ve been on Emerald’s website having a look

I don’t suppose you remember the approximate cost of the drinks package?  Viking have drinks with meals included, which makes things a bit simpler

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We have yet to cruise with P&O , Aurora and Iona booked for later in the year 🤞, but we are seasoned  ocean cruisers with RCI, MSC & Celebrity.

 

 We did our first river cruise from Bucharest to Amsterdam , 14 nights , in April 19 , loved it so much we booked straight away to do the same trip but in reverse for April 20 which was cancelled  😞 .


We thought the cost of the river cruise was excellent value as everything was included , flights, transfers , excursions, wifi , free flowing drinks ( wine,beer and soft drinks ) with lunch  & dinner AND the gratuities were included too for both tour guides in port and crew . This was with APT/Travelmarvel . 
We had 150 guests onboard and evening entertainment was a singing duo who got the party going every night , it was fun and we loved it .

 

We had a lower deck window cabin,  it was comfortable , plenty of storage and the bathroom was bigger than a cruiseship regular cabin . Dressing gowns were supplied and bottled water in the fridge . It wasn’t a five star line but we sure felt it was . 


In a way I am glad we got cancelled in 2020 as they have a brand new river ship , Travelmarvel Polaris , with more facilities which we were able to transfer to for September 21.  Out of all our cancelled 2020 and rescheduled trips this will be the one I will be most disappointed about if it does not go ahead . 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Eddie99 said:

That was interesting Denarius.  The ‘indoor balcony’ is ingenious.  I’ve been on Emerald’s website having a look

I don’t suppose you remember the approximate cost of the drinks package?  Viking have drinks with meals included, which makes things a bit simpler

Drinks with meals were included on Emerald as part of the standard fare, but for an additional charge you could extend this to include drinks at other times. Cannot remember how much this costed, only that it was more than I personally would have spent paying for drinks individually.

Indooor balcony was indeed ingenious. Upper part of window was raised and lowered by switch which moved it only when held down, so you could open it partially if you did not want it fully open. There were two blinds inside it, one opaque and one of a net material which doubled as a "net curtains" and an insect shield which stopped any flying beasties from invading your cabin.

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On 1/11/2021 at 11:00 AM, jeanlyon said:

Interesting reading.  We did one some years ago and it was awful.  Our cabin smelt of bilge water.  We had to eat at 6.30 or even earlier every day, then nothing to do afterwards, apart from one bloke playing keyboards.  We said never again.  That said, I would imagine the very expensive ones are  not like that.  The food was very average as well.

Jean....which cruise company was it ?

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Having looked many times at a River cruise, I always came to the conclusion it was too expensive and always booked an Ocean cruise instead.   My wife however, had enough of my decision making and booked a Christmas Markets cruise with Viking December ‘19 on the Danube departing from Budapest and taking in Vienna.  We visited new Towns and Cities we had never been before and which no Ocean cruise could take us.

 

Yes, the experience is different with just 160 or so passengers but the camaraderie by the end of the cruise was noticeable.  The food was excellent (breakfast, Lunch, afternoon tea and Dinner) with wine, beer etc included at lunch and dinner.  We upgraded to the “Silver” drinks package at £100 each for the 7 nights.  The cabin was as big (or small’ as most cruise lines with the bathroom bigger then most.  Complementary Excursions were included every day and of good quality.  Entertainment at night was low key with a pianist and singer.  This was fine for us as we found that with an excursion each day, we were much busier then on our typical Ocean cruises.  The ship was tastefully appointed with light oozing everywhere.
 

Back to my “cost” decision making!  With flights, transfers, drinks at meal times included, along with excursions each day, free Wi-fi and gratuities, we had no final bill.  
As my DW pointed out, “Paying at the front door instead of both the front and back door, wasn’t so bad after all was it?”!  She had a point.

 

We have another booked for the Rhine with Viking in 2022 but still love our Ocean cruises.  


Regards

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We did a river cruise on the Murray Darling embarked in Adelaide.  Excellent food accommodation etc.  It moored at night middle of nowhere in the outback.  The side trips were in a smaller boat which was brought along at various points to Aboriginal sites etc..  Proud Mary was the name of the vessel.

 

Regards John

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1 hour ago, john watson said:

We did a river cruise on the Murray Darling embarked in Adelaide.  Excellent food accommodation etc.  It moored at night middle of nowhere in the outback.  The side trips were in a smaller boat which was brought along at various points to Aboriginal sites etc..  Proud Mary was the name of the vessel.

 

Regards John

Interesting that John, we just watched the repeat of Martin Clunes Islands of Australia, which featured a farm on an Island at the mouth of the Darling estuary. 

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17 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

Interesting that John, we just watched the repeat of Martin Clunes Islands of Australia, which featured a farm on an Island at the mouth of the Darling estuary. 

 

We did a big trip that year, flew to Adelaide via Singapore. Did a five day cruise on Proud Mary (excellent videos on YouTube)  went back to Adelaide got the Indian Pacific train to Perth three days on the train to Perth. Flew back to Heathrow stopping over at Johannesburg. The river cruise was amazing and did not cover any towns en route just wilderness.

 

Regards John

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On 1/11/2021 at 6:48 PM, jh1809 said:

I'm short-sighted enough that I've never managed to spot the sea life that other passengers were excited by! 

Oh, I know that feeling.

Everyone else out on deck shouting, "Minke!", "Orca!", Porpoise!"

And me shouting.."Something!..."

Even worse when everybody swivels to have a look, then swivels back again, dismissively saying, "just another seal".

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I'd  love the type of river cruise that had nice quiet roads running along side.  I could cycle as I hate sitting still while the boat chugs along at 10 knots, my wife could sunbathe and wave at me from the boat and we could meet for lunch. Any suggestions ?

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2 hours ago, Windsurfboy said:

I'd  love the type of river cruise that had nice quiet roads running along side.  I could cycle as I hate sitting still while the boat chugs along at 10 knots, my wife could sunbathe and wave at me from the boat and we could meet for lunch. Any suggestions ?

That sounds ideal.Hubby would be the one on the bike!!

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4 hours ago, Windsurfboy said:

I'd  love the type of river cruise that had nice quiet roads running along side.  I could cycle as I hate sitting still while the boat chugs along at 10 knots, my wife could sunbathe and wave at me from the boat and we could meet for lunch. Any suggestions ?


Our river cruise ship had bikes to borrow onboard for free . Not too sure I would have done more than tootling around the port stop though. Not exactly off road ones 😆

59251635-609C-4C22-B57E-CE35512FEE4B.jpeg

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