I guess from all the television hype you automatically expect something out of this world. I think the cruise is very over rated. Don't misunderstand, we had a fabulous time but we were on this cruise with 8 others, with rooms next to one another which can make a huge difference. It was nice to have maybe 200 guests on the cruise as it was more intimate than normal and you were able to get to know some very nice people from all over. The ship is small which makes it easy to get around. Aside from sitting in the lounge or upper deck during down time, there isn't too much to do. However, on the up side, because you are on the river, you get to see some beautiful scenery. The crew was outstanding especially the tour director. She was so accommodating. If you wanted to deviate from the morning tour arrangements could be made. Rules on this cruise can be broken and that's only because you are not on board with 3 thousand plus passengers. Every night there was a cocktail hour but you had to pay for these drinks which I wasn't pleased about. The wine,beer,soft drinks,etc...are only free during meal times. During the cocktail hour the tour director would discuss the next days plans so you knew exactly when you had to be up, etc,,, This was very helpful. The food on the ship was inconsistent. Some nights the food was excellent, others not so good. There was one schedule for meals, usually two hours for lunch and two hours for dinner which was fine until one day because of the time of our excursion, lunch started at 11 in the morning. I skipped breakfast that day and went right to lunch. When we got back to the ship after the excursion we were very hungry. The kitchen is closed and all they have during off hours is cookies, coffee,tea, etc.. We were not happy about this. There should be some sort of healthy snack on the boat, something to hold you over before dinner. Previous to this little episode, I was told by the maitre'd that if we are hungry to just go to the bar and they have a menu and we could get something to eat. WRONG! This was how we found out the kitchen was closed.
Most of the excursions were very well done with very knowledgable tour guides.
Their tipping guide for the crew, we felt was high, however we gave a certain amount for the crew because all tips are divided and then gave certain crew members individual tips. The up side of the crew splitting tips is that, especially at dinner, you can ask anyone to help you out. It doesn't have to be, for example,your waiter.
Entertainment or the lack of, consisted of a piano player at night in the lounge. Since the crowd in the lounge wasn't huge, it would have been nice if the piano player interacted more with the passengers. This didn't happen.
Would I do a River Cruise again? It's questionable. If you are looking strictly for a rest and relaxing cruise, then this is the way to go. If you are looking to be busy constantly and to be entertained constantly,then this type of cruise is not for you.
We had a great time but were traveling with a fun group of people.