This was my first cruise and I can honestly say that it was the best vacation I've ever had. For the first time I didn't know what day it was, and I didn't care. The cruise managed to be both hectic and relaxing at the same time. Hectic, because there were lots of shore excursions (ranging from the thought-provoking World War II tour in Nuremberg to the wonderfully fun wine tasting in Austria), and relaxing because everything was beautifully planned and I didn't have to make any decisions. We sailed through regions I had not visited before, and it was fun to look at a different view from the cabin window every morning upon waking up. Sailing through the Rhine Gorge was breathtaking, and sailing into Budapest at night simply magical.
One of the things that made the cruise so great was our fantastic and very professional staff. They were working very, very hard but yet managed to give me the impression that they were having fun, too. They truly made my cruise a very special, unforgettable experience. The program team (Kurt, Jana and Claudia) was especially memorable and entertaining, being the most visible part of the crew. They were consistently helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. Another highlight was being serenaded (we celebrated our wedding anniversary during the cruise) by the great trio of George, Pavel and Kurt. Wonderful!
The ship was small, only 150 passengers, which meant that I got to know a lot of my fellow travelers, which was great for a first cruise.
There were some unexpected glitches during the cruise. The wi-fi worked only sporadically (it was fixed eventually), but to me it meant that I had more time to admire the scenery and chat with the other passengers, and my husband had a real holiday because he was not able to check his work. Blessing in disguise.
The only criteria for having a great holiday should be 'did I have a good time?' My answer to that is an enthusiastic 'YES, ABSOLUTELY!' It was a wrench to leave the ship at the end of the cruise, and I would have been perfectly happy to just stay on board and keep cruising.