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TA for a River Cruise?


Travel R
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2 hours ago, Daisi said:

Most lines have morning and afternoon tours, just some are referred to as optional as you pay extra for them.

 

Questions:

 

When do you select/sign up for the tours?  [E.g., on ocean cruises you can sign up for their tours/excursions over a year in advance (all $).]

 

How early do the river cruises dock vs. time for breakfast and morning tours (since they are all through the boat, I am sure they do not overlap).  I was wondering how possible it would be for me to disembark after the boat docks, get in a run, then get back in time for a shower before breakfast?

 

2 hours ago, Daisi said:

Have you narrowed down a river yet? We can probably provide more details once you do.

 

I have sent a lot of info to our friends (and my wife). We are probably meeting with them in the next week or two (where we will discuss), as well as the initial discussion/interview with the TA, so should have a better idea as to which one.

 

Although this has been an unseasonably warm year, and we are not cruising for two more years (at the end of August), reading the posts on here about low rivers and cancelled (full or partial) river cruises. Starting to get worried and have not even put down a deposit on anything. 🙂

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Canal archive said:

Look in depth at the different providers, excursions are fine but you may get offered an on board exercise not always napkin or towel folding although some of those can be quite good over a cocktail or two.

On board exercise Scenic ask that the walking track not be used before 8am it but I’ve taken an early morning stroll with my coffee to find at least 10 individuals practicing their Tai Chi on the top deck. On our two last cruises the on board instructor took early morning yoga and Pilates one morning loads went off with their walking poles, I didn’t realise you needed instructions on how to use them!

 

Pilate? Although stretching is a big part of my pre- and post- exercise routine, I do not know how much my body can stretch to do Pilates. Tai Chi, on the other hand, is more my style.

 

Napkin and Towel Folding?  I went to one of these demonstrations on my very first ocean cruise back in the early 90s and have stayed away from them ever since. Maybe I'll enjoy it more while on a river?

 

Walking, I do not believe should be that bad, especially if softly to take in the sites with a bit of coffee. However, I am sure those sleeping in the deck below do not want to hear the loud thumping of my gait as I circle round and round the deck. [I did ask the question above; Is there enough time to get off the boat after docking, do a 30-45 minute run, then get back in time for a shower before breakfast.]

 

Although your comment about walking poles is amusing, there is a proper way (and proper time) to use them while trail running.

Edited by Travel R
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1 hour ago, Roz said:

Included excursions and not having to do a lot of planning, research, and booking on my own is one of the reasons I choose river cruising.  

 

I know, I know, I'll have to hold in the reigns.

 

At least I can research the history of the areas (the people, architecture, etc.) we stop in.

 

For this trip, I'll have 3 days in Rome to plan (and whatever city we visit pre-cruise).  I think of myself an amateur historian. The last time we were in Rome, I led my family around the forum, spewing out facts and information so that both my DW and my then younger kids would understand.  Another family followed us around the forum from site to site thinking I was a tour guide.

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10 minutes ago, Travel R said:

I think of myself an amateur historian.

Then in Europe I can see you being very happy in Trier or on the Rhone. Full of old Roman stones Trier is and along the Rhone there is no avoiding history from Roman to 1600 AD however hard you try...

 

Cologne and the other cathedral cities along the Rhine are not bad either but Trier beats them in my opinion.

 

notamermaid

 

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I am so very appreciative of all of your answers.

 

As a newbie I am seeing so much information, and a lot of it seems either contradictory, or you have to do research on the research to find out that this contradiction is only an anomaly due to the ship, or cruise line, or time of year.

 

As mentioned, I have read many articles which praised the food on cruise lines, such as in one of the articles pinned above (https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2080).  The article, and many other articles I have read have stated that dinners are, at most, business or country club casual (no shorts or exercise-like t-shirts). However, a recent post on this forum mentions the fact that jackets (sport jackets) are being worn on Tauck cruises, sometimes up to three times during a sailing.  Is Tauck the exception? Even on their website it does not look like it is required (and some sites like AMA and Viking almost discourage jackets), but the few forums say that many do wear a jacket for the welcome dinner).  May I ask those with the knowledge on this thread - are there any other river cruise lines where one should bring a sports jacket.

 

[Note - I am actually one of those crazies that like to dress up - donned a full suit with button down, tie, black socks, and dress shoes on our last cruise (but one of the ties was Tigger and Pooh, since I did not want to give the impression of looking so serious). There was a decent amount of people in suits or at least sport jackets on that cruise. However, I do not want to be the only one overdressed (not to mention, having to haul a suit to Italy, and then to the River, then back home).]

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3 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

Then in Europe I can see you being very happy in Trier or on the Rhone. Full of old Roman stones Trier is and along the Rhone there is no avoiding history from Roman to 1600 AD however hard you try...

 

Cologne and the other cathedral cities along the Rhine are not bad either but Trier beats them in my opinion.

 

notamermaid

 

 

The Rhone is one of the options - and Paris is full of history of its own (since we have been to most of the major sites in the City of Light, I would like to make it to Paris Disney this time; and the Egouts, which also have also always eluded us.).  A lot of military history along those shores as well. I also have to consider what our friends are also interested in (which is something we will discuss when we soon meet again).

 

For those that have sailed the Rhone and either (or both) the Danube and Rhine -- how does the Rhone stack up for (four) first time river cruisers?

 

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Scenic don’t insist but do welcome the wearing of jackets. I do like a well turned out gentleman. They don’t like shorts at dinner but a decent looking pair at lunch is not frowned upon. I personally think it’s a bit of an insult to your fellow traveler’s to flout the suggested dress code and a compliment to your partner to be as well turned out as you could possibly be. There’s my rant for the moment!

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6 minutes ago, Canal archive said:

Scenic don’t insist but do welcome the wearing of jackets. I do like a well turned out gentleman. They don’t like shorts at dinner but a decent looking pair at lunch is not frowned upon. I personally think it’s a bit of an insult to your fellow traveler’s to flout the suggested dress code and a compliment to your partner to be as well turned out as you could possibly be. There’s my rant for the moment!

 

I have had a number of arguments over the years about attire on the Royal Caribbean forum. I don't really care what other people wear, but as you said, don't openly disregard the rules (unless there is a good reason - e.g., airline losing your luggage). The cruise industry is not what it was a century ago, but at least some level of decorum should still remain.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Travel R said:

 

Questions:

 

When do you select/sign up for the tours?  [E.g., on ocean cruises you can sign up for their tours/excursions over a year in advance (all $).]

 

How early do the river cruises dock vs. time for breakfast and morning tours (since they are all through the boat, I am sure they do not overlap).  I was wondering how possible it would be for me to disembark after the boat docks, get in a run, then get back in time for a shower before breakfast?

 

 

I have sent a lot of info to our friends (and my wife). We are probably meeting with them in the next week or two (where we will discuss), as well as the initial discussion/interview with the TA, so should have a better idea as to which one.

 

Although this has been an unseasonably warm year, and we are not cruising for two more years (at the end of August), reading the posts on here about low rivers and cancelled (full or partial) river cruises. Starting to get worried and have not even put down a deposit on anything. 🙂

 

Can't speak for all cruises, I'm sure some do it differently, but with Avalon, once final payment has been made (and this is something to consider, as Viking is AFAIK the only one requesting payment in full a year ahead of sailing), you can go to a section of their site, where you can provide them with all the information required - contact #'s,  contact names for people at home if needed, as well as a list of excursions available for your cruise. You can then select the ones you wish to do, and pay for them as well.  We do so ahead of time, as we 1) don't like coming home to a large CC bill, and 2) prefer to pay CDN rather than the Euro's they charge onboard.  You then have up to about a week or so before sailing to change or modify your choices.

 

Docking depends on harbour masters, they control when you arrive & when you leave. Since you usually sail at night, you will most likely be docked early in the morning. We are early risers (like 4:00 - can't get into this retirement thing even after 3 years) so we would get up, and if docked, we could go for a wander around port, or the sun deck (walking, not running), then go on for breakfast.  

 

Rivers can have problems, early spring brings high water, summer brings low. Any time is a gamble, I had friends who went this spring and had snow. Coming from Houston they weren't to sure about it! Just be prepared for anything, most lines are now well used to dealing with the water levels so hopefully will have a way around things.

 

 

1 hour ago, Travel R said:

I am so very appreciative of all of your answers.

 

As a newbie I am seeing so much information, and a lot of it seems either contradictory, or you have to do research on the research to find out that this contradiction is only an anomaly due to the ship, or cruise line, or time of year.

 

As mentioned, I have read many articles which praised the food on cruise lines, such as in one of the articles pinned above (https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2080).  The article, and many other articles I have read have stated that dinners are, at most, business or country club casual (no shorts or exercise-like t-shirts). However, a recent post on this forum mentions the fact that jackets (sport jackets) are being worn on Tauck cruises, sometimes up to three times during a sailing.  Is Tauck the exception? Even on their website it does not look like it is required (and some sites like AMA and Viking almost discourage jackets), but the few forums say that many do wear a jacket for the welcome dinner).  May I ask those with the knowledge on this thread - are there any other river cruise lines where one should bring a sports jacket.

 

[Note - I am actually one of those crazies that like to dress up - donned a full suit with button down, tie, black socks, and dress shoes on our last cruise (but one of the ties was Tigger and Pooh, since I did not want to give the impression of looking so serious). There was a decent amount of people in suits or at least sport jackets on that cruise. However, I do not want to be the only one overdressed (not to mention, having to haul a suit to Italy, and then to the River, then back home).]

 

If you wish to dress in a jacket & button down shirt, I'm sure no one will say anything. Yes, some of the cruises in the summer time get a little more casual, and that's probably because of the heat. I think we saw 3 gentlemen in a jacket on our last night, and 2 of those were celebrating anniversaries, so not sure if that counts. Mind you, our last night was a bit of a rush, as 2 of our tours were a little late getting back so it was a quick re-fresh in the cabin and up for the disembarkation talk. As long as you are neatly dressed, most won't comment on what you are wearing. My experience is most are commenting on how much better your dinner may look over their's!

 

 

One thing to consider, keep an eye on the boards to see how various lines are dealing with the water issues, it will help you to know what to expect if you have issues. Also, start requesting brochures from various lines (paper or e-mail to a junk e-mail account so your regular one doesn't get overloaded).  It will help you to compare what is available. If watching YouTube, watch the passenger ones, not the ones posted by the lines, as they are real, not staged.  I may have mentioned that previously, not sure.

Edited by Daisi
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Travel R, you’ve asked quite a few questions since I last checked in.  I’ll respond to a few based on my Uniworld and Tauck ezperiences.

 

Coffee - in suites on Tauck there are Nespressos which make an excellent little cup of coffee and on both lines there is a coffee/snack station available all day.  I’m an early riser and there was always coffee and tea whenever I got up.

 

Fitness - not all ships have a gym but if they do they seem to be open very early.  They’re super small.  Many excursions begin from 8:00 AM on so if you’re docked and up early enough you can easily go ashore for a run or bike ride.  Sometimes there are biking or hiking excursions.

 

Excursions - on Uniworld and Tauck extra fee excursions are rare and most pax go on the same excursions in most ports but there are usually some choices that can be made online in advance of the cruise or you can sign up the evening before after the port talk.  It’s not unusual to change your pre-selected excursion after hearing the port talk.  A big portion of the cruise expense is to cover the included excursions.  It seems a shame to pay outside vendors when you’ve already paid the cruise line.  If the ships’ excursions are so uninteresting then perhaps consider a different cruise, a private canal boat or a land-based cruise. Why not go with the flow on your first river cruise to gauge the quality rather than try to re-invent the wheel?  If you’re concerned about the size of the tour groups then I would highly recommend Tauck.  They have 3 tour directors and then each tour director will use multiple local guides to divvy up the pax again.  So groups end up being about 10 -12 pax or less as on my recent Rhine cruise.


Attire - Country Club Casual seems to be the rule most of the time the exception being if there is an off-site special dinner such as the ones with Tauck.  That would usually be at a castle, palace, mansion or special performance venue and pax tend to dress up more for that.  A sports coat for men and dressier tops or dress for ladies are fine.  Some pax get dressed up for the farewell dinner but it’s not all that necessary.

 

River cruises are definitely more regimented than ocean because there are hardly ever “sea” days and there are usually AM and PM excursions.  Sometimes there will be a half day cruise.  There will still be snippets of time to do your own wandering or you can skip an excursion if the ship isn’t moving on.  Evenings are very regimented because of the tight dining and entertainment schedules preceded by cocktail hour and port talks.

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11 hours ago, Travel R said:

 

The Rhone is one of the options - and Paris is full of history of its own (since we have been to most of the major sites in the City of Light, I would like to make it to Paris Disney this time; and the Egouts, which also have also always eluded us.).  A lot of military history along those shores as well. I also have to consider what our friends are also interested in (which is something we will discuss when we soon meet again).

 

For those that have sailed the Rhone and either (or both) the Danube and Rhine -- how does the Rhone stack up for (four) first time river cruisers?

 

I have been on the Danube, Rhine, Rhone, and the Seine.  The Rhone was my least favorite.  The Danube was my favorite, but it was my first, so that may be swaying me a little.  

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I’ve sailed Rhône, Rhine, Moselle, Danube/Main Canal, Seine and enjoyed them all.  Any would be fine for a first-timer and one should consider the theme of the cruise.  For example, the Rhine isn’t as scenic but my Tauck cruise was a culinary theme and was really fun.  Your interests may vary.  After various canal cruises the Rhine/Moselle was my first river cruise and was a nice mix of stunning scenery on the Moselle, history and wine.  Planning to sail the Douro in October and I’ve been told it’s as scenic as the Moselle.

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Gourmet Girl you will love the Douro the Portuguese are wonderful the scenery just a little on the wild side, the food superb how they manage to get Port into just about everything is amazing. Try a chilled pink Port on the sun deck in the early evening. Beautiful architecture the tiles are amazing. As you might realise one of my most favourite river cruises.

image.thumb.jpeg.7acf2e3e0e7a82934ff507fa9ca13bf1.jpeg

Just a little wilder!

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19 hours ago, Daisi said:

as Viking is AFAIK the only one requesting payment in full a year ahead of sailing), you can go to a section of their site, where you can provide them with all the information required - contact #'s,  contact names for people at home if needed, as well as a list of excursions available for your cruise. You can then select the ones you wish to do, and pay for them as well.

 

I had read about payment a year in advance (way different than most ocean cruises). Thank you for the info on scheduling tours.

 

19 hours ago, Daisi said:

We are early risers (like 4:00 - can't get into this retirement thing even after 3 years) so we would get up, and if docked, we could go for a wander around port, or the sun deck (walking, not running), then go on for breakfast.  

 

Very, very good to know - if I can get off the boat and do a little run around the port would be an awesome way to getting in a preview while getting in my exercise.

 

19 hours ago, Daisi said:

Rivers can have problems, early spring brings high water, summer brings low. Any time is a gamble,

 

I have been reading the posts in this forum very carefully to see what rivers are being affected (even read about the low levels back in 2018). Also looking as to how the different lines are dealing with them.  Viking, from what I read, looks like it is doing best to move passengers around due to so many ships (although even they are having some issues). Other lines have newer flat-bottom craft. It's good to know now what we may be expecting.

 

19 hours ago, Daisi said:

As long as you are neatly dressed, most won't comment on what you are wearing. My experience is most are commenting on how much better your dinner may look over their's!

 

Gotcha!

 

19 hours ago, Daisi said:

It will help you to compare what is available. If watching YouTube, watch the passenger ones, not the ones posted by the lines, as they are real, not staged.

 

Definitely great advice. From early on, I have disregarded the commercial sites.  The articles, especially the videos by fellow cruisers provide more of the the down and dirty - and some are entertaining as well.

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18 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

Coffee - in suites on Tauck there are Nespressos which make an excellent little cup of coffee and on both lines there is a coffee/snack station available all day.  I’m an early riser and there was always coffee and tea whenever I got up.

 

Very good to know - thank you.

 

For most of my life I never really drank coffee, then over the last few years I have grown to have a cup each morning.

 

18 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

Fitness - not all ships have a gym but if they do they seem to be open very early.  They’re super small.  Many excursions begin from 8:00 AM on so if you’re docked and up early enough you can easily go ashore for a run or bike ride.  Sometimes there are biking or hiking excursions.

 

I've already created a chart with the ships that include (or do not include) fitness rooms, and as you had noted, most articles do reiterate that point. However, I have taken a look at photos from some of the ships, and for my purposes, all I need is a treadmill or a stationary bike.  I have also made notes of which ships also provide bikes for borrow (and also include cycling tours). 

 

18 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

 It seems a shame to pay outside vendors when you’ve already paid the cruise line.

 

For most ports, I am sure the included tour is fine, but sometimes there may be particular attractions or things to do that are not included as part of those tours.  I may seek them out -- our take the complementary in the AM, but find the 3rd Party operators for something in the PM.

 

18 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

Attire - Country Club Casual seems to be the rule most of the time the exception being if there is an off-site special dinner such as the ones with Tauck

 

Thanks for the info.  Seems like Tauck is the only line were a jacket is quasi-required.

 

18 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

River cruises are definitely more regimented than ocean because there are hardly ever “sea” days and there are usually AM and PM excursions.

 

As mentioned, I have been on multi-day ocean cruises where almost every day was port-intensive.   I guess by regimented, it is more from a planning perspective.  For an ocean cruise, for each port I spend hours researching an excursion to take in an individual port - then can spend weeks talking to the family before we narrow down which tour we will be taking (and with which company (cruise line vs. 3rd Party) or do it ourselves). We usually take the MyTime dining option so we can chose the time to eat dinner (which I schedule around the time we arrive back from our excursion).  Breakfasts and lunch can be at different times or different venues (sit down, buffet, cafe, room service) depending on what we are doing that day.  Depending on the ship (the larger ones) the entertainment options also need to be scheduled/reserved.

 

The planner in me feels "restrained."  My wife may say that is a good thing - less for me to do and gives me more time to relax.  Years ago we took an almost three week tour of Spain, Portugal (with Gibraltar and Morocco) via Glubus (by bus & day boat) [Avalon is a subsidiary]. I did absolutely no planning (except where to explore in Madrid for the few days prior to the tour).  The time we awoke was mostly scheduled (if you wanted to eat), the day's itinerary was scheduled, including lunches and most dinners.  There were a few nights where we were given "free times" for dinner and to explore out own during the evenings. My confession is that I enjoyed it, even without being able to plan very much.  I am hoping this will be the same.

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9 hours ago, texasstar said:

I have been on the Danube, Rhine, Rhone, and the Seine.  The Rhone was my least favorite.  The Danube was my favorite, but it was my first, so that may be swaying me a little.  

 

@texasstar If I may ask - what did you not enjoy about the Rhone?

 

Thank you

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8 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

I’ve sailed Rhône, Rhine, Moselle, Danube/Main Canal, Seine and enjoyed them all.  Any would be fine for a first-timer and one should consider the theme of the cruise.  For example, the Rhine isn’t as scenic but my Tauck cruise was a culinary theme and was really fun.  Your interests may vary.  After various canal cruises the Rhine/Moselle was my first river cruise and was a nice mix of stunning scenery on the Moselle, history and wine.  Planning to sail the Douro in October and I’ve been told it’s as scenic as the Moselle.

One of our travelling companions can only travel during the last two weeks of August, so we will be limited in choosing themes - but I have seen a few (for 2022 and 2023) during that time period as being marketed as romantic, scenic, or historical for the various rivers.  There will also be four of us, so our interests are also going to vary (although the romantic would be a common theme - it will be their 30th Anniversary and our 28th (but technically celebrating our 25th from 2021).

 

I wonder if there are any 7-8 day cruises on the Moselle during our window to travel. I will take a look.

 

Porto (one of the departing ports for the Douro) is a beautiful city with some amazing architecture - you will enjoy!

 

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34 minutes ago, Travel R said:

  

 

Very good to know - thank you.

 

 

 

The planner in me feels "restrained."  My wife may say that is a good thing - less for me to do and gives me more time to relax.  Years ago we took an almost three week tour of Spain, Portugal (with Gibraltar and Morocco) via Glubus (by bus & day boat) [Avalon is a subsidiary]. I did absolutely no planning (except where to explore in Madrid for the few days prior to the tour).  The time we awoke was mostly scheduled (if you wanted to eat), the day's itinerary was scheduled, including lunches and most dinners.  There were a few nights where we were given "free times" for dinner and to explore out own during the evenings. My confession is that I enjoyed it, even without being able to plan very much.  I am hoping this will be the same.

 

That is one of the best things about doing an organised holiday like river cruising or by coach....you can still plan for "free time", but get to let everyone else deal with the headache of working around low water, broken locks, strikes... 🙂  I still do lots of research, but love the fact that I don't have to look for somewhere to eat, which of 20 some options to do each day etc. Once in a while, it's great to sit back and let someone else do the work. 

16 minutes ago, Travel R said:

One of our travelling companions can only travel during the last two weeks of August, so we will be limited in choosing themes - but I have seen a few (for 2022 and 2023) during that time period as being marketed as romantic, scenic, or historical for the various rivers.  There will also be four of us, so our interests are also going to vary (although the romantic would be a common theme - it will be their 30th Anniversary and our 28th (but technically celebrating our 25th from 2021).

 

I wonder if there are any 7-8 day cruises on the Moselle during our window to travel. I will take a look.

 

Porto (one of the departing ports for the Douro) is a beautiful city with some amazing architecture - you will enjoy!

 

 

Another great thing about doing a cruise that has multiple options of tours/day. When we sailed, there were about 2-3 options for the included tours, as well as a couple for the optional ones. It was great sitting down for dinner with friends who had done other tours and hearing about them, and telling them about the ones we were on. When touring as a group, you can do the choices you want, not everyone having to do the same. 🙂

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52 minutes ago, Travel R said:

One of our travelling companions can only travel during the last two weeks of August, so we will be limited in choosing themes - but I have seen a few (for 2022 and 2023) during that time period as being marketed as romantic, scenic, or historical for the various rivers.  There will also be four of us, so our interests are also going to vary (although the romantic would be a common theme - it will be their 30th Anniversary and our 28th (but technically celebrating our 25th from 2021).

 

I wonder if there are any 7-8 day cruises on the Moselle during our window to travel. I will take a look.

 

Porto (one of the departing ports for the Douro) is a beautiful city with some amazing architecture - you will enjoy!

 

Sorry to hear you have to travel in August….romantic, scenic, historical and HOT!  Good luck.  As for the Moselle, that is usually covered as part of a longer Rhine cruise.

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I have been on 3 Uniworld cruises: Rhine, Seine and Rhone. We are traveling the Danube this September. I believe all ships had a small gym with a treadmill, bike, some dumbbells at a minimum.

 

For a first cruise, the benefit of the Rhine (our first cruise) and the Danube is that you get to travel through several countries with little effort (you unpack once, hopefully) and planning. They are major rivers with a lot going on. The villages along the Rhine were right out of a story book.

 

The Seine and Rhone rivers were more quiet. I loved our Burgundy/Provence cruise last year. We traveled with many Covid restrictions in place so it was more quiet than usual. We started in Lyon, known for its food, Roman ruins and the French Resistance. All the towns along the Rhone and Saone were charming with endless opportunities to drink rose and other wines. Arles was one of our favorites with more Roman ruins and the site of many Van Gogh paintings. After our trip we took a train on our own from Avignon to Nice which was wonderful.

 

I enjoyed our Seine cruise since it was my first visit to Paris. However, if you have already visited Paris, Giverny and Versailles, it might not be your choice for a first cruise. Another thing to consider is that several of the excursions involved long bus trips such as the beaches of Normandy and Mont Saint Michel. I felt it was less about the river and more about the excursions, which were wonderful. 

 

All our cruises have been in September. The percentage of men wearing jackets for the captain's dinner and possibly the last night was about 33% on average, but more on the Rhone cruise. 

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2 hours ago, Travel R said:

For most ports, I am sure the included tour is fine, but sometimes there may be particular attractions or things to do that are not included as part of those tours.  I may seek them out -- our take the complementary in the AM, but find the 3rd Party operators for something in the PM.


That’s  the way we approach river cruises. We DIY our free time, and obtain advance tickets our selves. We have not used a third party organized tour. 

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37 minutes ago, skinnylegs said:

I have been on 3 Uniworld cruises: Rhine, Seine and Rhone. We are traveling the Danube this September. I believe all ships had a small gym with a treadmill, bike, some dumbbells at a minimum.

 

For a first cruise, the benefit of the Rhine (our first cruise) and the Danube is that you get to travel through several countries with little effort (you unpack once, hopefully) and planning. They are major rivers with a lot going on. The villages along the Rhine were right out of a story book.

 

The Seine and Rhone rivers were more quiet. I loved our Burgundy/Provence cruise last year. We traveled with many Covid restrictions in place so it was more quiet than usual. We started in Lyon, known for its food, Roman ruins and the French Resistance. All the towns along the Rhone and Saone were charming with endless opportunities to drink rose and other wines. Arles was one of our favorites with more Roman ruins and the site of many Van Gogh paintings. After our trip we took a train on our own from Avignon to Nice which was wonderful.

 

I enjoyed our Seine cruise since it was my first visit to Paris. However, if you have already visited Paris, Giverny and Versailles, it might not be your choice for a first cruise. Another thing to consider is that several of the excursions involved long bus trips such as the beaches of Normandy and Mont Saint Michel. I felt it was less about the river and more about the excursions, which were wonderful. 

 

All our cruises have been in September. The percentage of men wearing jackets for the captain's dinner and possibly the last night was about 33% on average, but more on the Rhone cruise. 

Not all ships have gyms.  On my upcoming Douro cruise with Tauck there’s no gym and the ship is almost brand new.

 

We also enjoy Europe in late Sept. to end of Oct..  lovely weather but not cold yet.

 

 

 

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On 8/8/2022 at 11:25 AM, notamermaid said:

Then in Europe I can see you being very happy in Trier or on the Rhone. Full of old Roman stones Trier is and along the Rhone there is no avoiding history from Roman to 1600 AD however hard you try...

 

Cologne and the other cathedral cities along the Rhine are not bad either but Trier beats them in my opinion.

 

notamermaid

 


Two thumbs up to Trier! 

On the Rhein, Köln has a Roman Museum and Mainz has a Roman Ship Museum.
On the Rhône, the are rather extensive Roman ruins.

All are relatively easy to access and well worth a DIY visit.

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8 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

Sorry to hear you have to travel in August….romantic, scenic, historical and HOT!  Good luck.  As for the Moselle, that is usually covered as part of a longer Rhine cruise.

 

For the past 20+ years, our "big" vacations, especially across the pond have been in the end of June/early July or at the end of August so as not to interfere with school.  We are used to it. Travelling to Europe during the summer, that is. Not the heat.

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