We just returned home from our most excellent river cruise. There is something to be said about a new ship - Magni being only in service for 3 month was beautiful, clean and decorated for the Holidays. We found the staff to be absolutely wonderful. Everyone on the ship made us feel welcome.
This was to be our Thanksgiving Cruise, however as it turned out it was also a Christmas Market Cruise - all the Christmas Markets were open or just opening... We were very lucky as far as the weather goes - it was cold but sunny most of the trip - not a drop of rain was to be seen the entire time - we heard that the people on the previous cruise were not so lucky, as it rained every day.
The trip started out with a greeting from the staff and a glass of champagne and the news that we had been upgraded to the 3rd deck, can you say room with a Balcony? Amazing - the room was small but beautifully laid out. We had sufficient storage for all our clothes and the suitcases fit under the bed. Bathroom was tiny but big enough for our use. No clingy shower curtains here, but a glass door separating the toilet from the shower.
Food on the ship was also amazing. Breakfast was a buffet (or you could order), Lunch was also a buffet served both in the dining room and in the Sun Room. Beer and wine was served for Lunch and Dinner. I am not a beer drinker but had several glasses at lunch time and it was excellent, in my opinion.
Dinner consisted of three courses - the main course always included a vegetarian meal (which was great for me). Wine was flowing freely.....
Tours consisted mainly of bus and walking tours, and almost each tour included a Christmas Market with the wonderful smells of Christmas filling the air and the hot wine (gluewein) calling my name. Tours were well organized and attended well. Each evening we had a meeting to go over the next days events and some talk or entertainment from the different countries we visited. A shout out to our wonderful and amazing Cruise Director who went above and beyond organizing everything. The passengers on this cruise were a delightful, well traveled group and we enjoyed meeting and dinning with many of them.
We got lucky at the Captains Farewell dinner and were invited to dine with the Captain and the Hotel Director. It goes without saying that the behavior of the staff reflects on how the Captain and Hotel Director treat them and this was one very happy group of employees.
Places we visited: Passau - a very cute town that was still recovering from high flood waters
Salzburg - a wonderful city with lots of history and the ride to the city which took about 1 1/2 hours was beautiful. Landscape covered in snow covered mountains. would not have missed this for the world.
Melk - amazing tour through Melk Abby and of course don't forget to try the Apricot Liquor that the town is famous for....
Vienna - what can one say about this city? A must see for history and music buffs. There were several Xmas markets open but if you are there on a Saturday, beware - shopping is almost impossible with all the people at the markets it's hard to see anything - still an experience you have to try.
Bratislava- Slovakia is a fairly new country and is still building itself up - it's charming to walk through a town that has not yet reached the 21st century....
Budapest- Wow, so much to see and do in this gem of a town. Highly recommended for all you History Buffs out there.
I hope this makes each and every one of you reading this review want to go on this amazing journey just ones in your life time. As for my husband and I - we shall try and go again....soon...
If anyone has any questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org