We booked the Budapest to Prague River Cruise on the River Adagio of GCCL. The cruise was to begin on Friday June 21st in Budapest when we were supposed to embark on the River Adagio. On Wednesday evening the 19th we were notified that the ship was in Belgrade (due to the floods) and could not get to Budapest until Sunday, 2 days late. The company therefore booked all of us in rooms in the Danubius Hotel Flamenco in Budapest. This was a poor substitute for the ship. The dinners were buffet style from steam trays and were not at all good. Coffee and soft drinks were not included even though they would have been free on the ship. The beds were the most uncomfortable I have ever experienced. The a/c was inadequate. The breakfast was not good either. The overall atmosphere was 2 star tourist class. And for this we were paying river cruise prices. The compensation offered by GCCL was a 10% rebate, far from adequate when you consider the downgrade we experienced.
Also, the ship More
could not travel beyond Vienna due to a broken lock and so most of the trip was to be a bus tour (all but 4 nights).
We were offered the opportunity to leave the tour and were promised we would be compensated for all the days we were not with the tour. That would have been 10 out of the 11 days of the tour. However, when we received our compensation it was much less. We were only with the tour 1 day but were charged $679 each for that one day which is just outrageous given that we had 2 lousy meals and a shared hotel room that was very poor.
So we continued to tour on our own and ended in the Prague Hilton which we had stayed in the year before as part of a Viking River Cruise. At breakfast we met some Viking cruisers who had also been affected by the flooding. However their story was much different. They had been put up in 5 star hotels in every place they stayed. They said the hotels were better than the Prague Hilton even which is a very nice hotel. They reported that their meals were wonderful and that Viking had gone out of its way to give them extra tours to make up for the loss of the river cruising.
Then we ran into some people at the Prague airport that had stayed with our cruise. They said that all the meals (except for the 4 nights on the ship) were still buffet style. They were not that impressed.
Moral of the story - when the chips are down Viking comes through. Based on my experience I will NEVER take a GCCL or a Grand Circle Land Tour ever again. Less