First and foremost, I can't say enough about our crew on the River Beatrice. Before I could even get out of the taxi upon arrival at the dock, 4 crewmen were already there to greet us and take our luggage. Although we had arrived several hours before the 3 pm check-in, we were greeted with warm welcomes and was escorted to a beautiful luncheon buffet. Although we had not officially checked in, we had told the reception desk that we were going to the Gellert Baths and would be back around 6 pm. We were even offered towels to take with us. Upon our return, I was recognized by name... which surprised me as I hadn't checked in and even more surprising, was asked how my visit to the Gellert was. Just that special attention and personalization gave me a good idea how the rest of my temporary stay on the River Beatrice would be. I wasn't disappointed.
I consider myself a bit of a foodie and the meals on-board were delicious. I am also on a special diet and when I entered the dining room in the evening I was recognized immediately with, "I'll tell the chef you are here ..." How nice not to have to go through my special dietary needs every evening. The waitstaff was friendly and never let my water or wine glass get less than 1/2 empty. The special dining option one evening in the captains lounge was very nice with white-gloved service at no additional charge. The 24 hour speciality coffee and tea bar was a real plus... I only wished that the service in the captains lounge was not out of order.
Although we were in a Category 1 with french balcony, the cabin was pretty tight even for newer riverboat standards. But there was two closets and several small drawers and it all worked. The bathroom was small but very modern with luxury bath towels, bath robes & bath products. We were given a water bottle on day 1 and told to feel free to refill it as needed. We also had glass carafes with fresh water 2 x daily.
The library and Internet cafe was nice. The shore excursions were very good with well educated local guides. I never felt rushed yet I felt they kept us on schedule. The motor coaches used were comfortable and clean. The evening light entertainment was nothing to boast about, but was enjoyable, especially when they brought on locals. The Captain and his crew made themselves available to chat and ask questions. I even got a couple of personalized tours. The weather was chilly and few days allowed for us to enjoy the sun deck but the quality deck furniture along with cashmere throws made a few days enjoyable up-deck.... and only a push of a button to have hot toddies delivered with a smile. All in all... lovely ship, nice itinerary, informative guides, great food, pleasant entertainment, and a fabulous crew... I'd have to get pretty nick-picky to find much fault here.