I am a very experienced traveler who has taken many tours,been on several cruise lines,and also has traveled independently. The riverboat cruise was only one part of a longer trip. I booked my own air,arranged my owN transfers, and also bookedHotels both before and after the cruise.
I flew nonstop to Amsterdam from Philadelphia, took the con ex ion shuttle serVice into town,stayed T the swissotel in dam sq.,booked tours with victor,and enjoyed Amsterdam. Swissotel was excellent...gorgeous room,excellent complimentary breakfast, free upgrade, and champagne to help celebrate a birthday. This was our fourth time in amsterdam. This time we visited the historic museum which was fabulous. It has a vast collection of all types of things that make Amsterdam such a great place. We also enjoyed walking around town, by the canals, in the parks, and the markets. Weather was sunny and warm. Keukenhoff was gorgeous.
We took a taxi for ten euros from the hotel to the dock...a bit high for such a short trip...did not want to drag my suitcase. We boarded the ship mid afternoon. It was quick. Our luggage was handled by the staff. There were a few small snacks in the lounge. Our cabin was midlevel with a French balcony,,a sliding door....nice for letting some air into the cabin. The cabin was well organized but small. The bathroom was very nice. Shower was excellent...glass doors, lots of jets, and roomy. The provided soap, shampoo, and conditioner were fair. The towels were thick. There was also robes and slippers. Drawer space was not good. Tiny drawers except for the large drawer under the bed. The closet was good. I hung most things. There was a tv and Internet console. The tv had a very small selection of offerings. The Internet was slow...and often didn't not work. The public rooms on the ship were very well maintained. The forward lounge or sun eck were good places to sit to see the scenery. The scenery was great especially the vineyards along the Moselle river. The people on board were older, quiet, and very interesting. There were no children. The included excursions were good and bad. The best was in Bernkastel...excellent local guide. The worst tour was in cochem where we expected to be driven back to the ship. However he left us in town without maps or directions and just ordered us to find the river and go back to the ship. By the time we figured out how to get back to the ship the guide had already driven his van to the ship and been paid. He even stopped and laughed at us as we walked toward the ship. We also had a problem in koblenz. There were two buses that were to take people to koblenz to see the flower show. We were almost there when we were told that we had to go back and pick up people from the other bus which had broken down. That took a few hours off our flower show time. We had only one hour in the show and the local guide rushed us through everything. We were then supposed to driven to boppard to meet the ship. Instead the guides were told to keep us in koblenz near the water and the ship would pick us up. THat was at 5pm. The ship arrived at 9pm. The tour director said that the water levels were low in the Rhine and that she was sorry. The tour director never went on any excursion, did not pay attention to details, and basically did not do much. She was probably the laziest td that I have ever met. The entertainment was not good. On a few nights there was some local talent...other times there was a pianist who played poorly. The piped in music was mamamia. I love abba, but they kept playing it over a d over again...way too much. The food was good to fair. The included wines were mostly good. The waiters were also good. The maitre d was all s lies but did not listen or accept requests. The bar staff was excellent. The lounge cookies were nice. The evening snacks were just the cookies, cakes and cheese...not much.. The coffee machine in the lounge was good. The bottle of nescafe decaf was awful. The gift shop was small but had a nice selection of stuff...and their prices were good. The library had books that people had left. I used my kindle. The free postcards and postage were a nice idea. The nice part of the cruise was the pace at which we sailed..slow enough to see the beautiful scenery. We disembarked in remich and took the cruise lines extension to Paris. The tour director came with us. After the cruise, the only time that we saw her was when she gave us the train tickets and our hotel room keys. She was not available during the four days in paris. The meridian etoile hotel was huge, dirty, and not convenient. I have been in Paris many times. There is always lots to see. This time, I went to the louvre, le petite palais, the mused de moderne rate, took a boat ride on the seine, went to the Jacque art Andre muses, ate famous food, and enjoyed shopping. That was the end of my cruise line experience. My trip continued on my own. The major question is would I take another riverboat cruise? Maybe...not with amawaterways.. The lack of the td organization was inexcusable.. I loved the scenery and the size of the ship. I still like ocean cruisers. The service cannot compare to the service that you can get on luxury lines like seaboard, Oceania, regent or azamara.. Even some of the larger mass market ships like celebrity have better amenities...and cost a lot less. I do not mind paying top dollar for excellent service. The bottom line for me is...cruise was just okay...not worth what I paid.