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2,712 Amsterdam to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

We arrived in Amsterdam 3 days pre-cruise and stayed in an AirBNB in Utretch. Between train and bus service we arrived at our destination in about an hour. We were able to spend a full day in Amsterdam and another day in Utretch. We ... Read More
We arrived in Amsterdam 3 days pre-cruise and stayed in an AirBNB in Utretch. Between train and bus service we arrived at our destination in about an hour. We were able to spend a full day in Amsterdam and another day in Utretch. We arrived at the Monarch Countess 2 hours before official boarding time, but were told we could leave our luggage if we wanted to walk around outside for a bit, which we did. Food in the dining room was one seating only with open seating. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with each day having one special you could order from the kitchen. There was a cook making eggs or omelets to order for breakfast and we did take advantage of that. There was plenty to eat from the buffet, but I did order the Eggs Benedict special for breakfast one morning and was craving a cheeseburger towards the end of the cruise so ordered that for lunch. Dinner had two options for the entree but appetizer and soup were one choice. You did have a choice of desserts Wait staff came by at dinner with a red and a white wine which was included. You could also order a beer which was included. There was one night when the wine and beer were offered in the lounge for one extra hour. Other than dinner there was a charge for all drinks. Different drink specials were offered at the bar during the week. Entertainment on the ship low key. The Activity Director was very friendly and easy going. He set up some music trivia games, and a contest for most popular dance songs. He also taught some basic dance steps. A duo came on board at one of the ports. She sang (very well) and he played piano. There was also another local performer which I did not see. There were a some games played during the day - putt putt golf, darts. In the evening the Activity DIrector would DJ, and played music the audience wanted. So there was a lot of line dancing and some classic rock thrown in for good measure. He also had a 30 minute stretch / exercise class each morning which my travel companion took advantage of. I preferred the extra sleep! The Tour Director gave a port talk each evening before dinner covering not only the logistics of the tours but also some things to see and do if we were out on our own. She gave a talk of the division of East and West Germany and its' reunification. During one stretch of travel down the river, she gave commentary along the way as to the villages and castles we were passing and talked about the Legend of Lorilei. She was also on the included tours and was always available. There is also a masseusse on board and I took advantage of that. Pricing was in line with what I pay at home and there was no sales pitch at the end! Service was amazing! Front desk personnel were great and had answers for any question we had (and we had many) We did not purchase any transfers and they were able to get us a shared taxi to take us to the train station when we arrived in Basel. Our cabin steward took really good care of us and was always pleasant and smiling when we saw her in the morning or afternoon. The wait staff were really good. With everyone arriving for meals at approximately the same time, I'm sure it was difficult, but they managed to keep everyone happy. The two bartenders did double duty as wait staff. The Maitre'd was always on the floor making sure everyone had their wine, and would stop and ask if anyone needed anything and made sure it happened. One evening neither my friend or I liked the wines being served. As the Maitre'd came by to refill our glasses, we stated that we were not having wine that evening because neither choice was to our liking. He came back with a different bottle and had us try it. Since we liked that one, he made sure to come back around and refilled it later during the meal. Never having been to this area, we opted to take the ships included city tours so that we could get an overview of the locations. These were either bus tours with a guide, or a walking tour with a guide. We did opt for the Marksberg Castle Tour as we each wanted to see a castle. Because of the timing of the ports we were not able to spend a lot of time in a couple of places as we had to be back on board by noon to sail to the next location and then a stop in the evening. Most tours left between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. We started in Amsterdam on Sunday and did the following ports: Tuesday: Cologne; Wednesday: Koblenz (1/2 day) then Rudesheim; Thursday: Manheim (1/2 day) then Speyer; Friday: Strasbourg; Saturday: Breisach; Sunday disembarked in Basel. All in all we had a great experience. It was quite a bit different from the ocean cruises I have been on and the time structure took some getting used to. I would definitely do another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Great friendly staff starting with the people who met us at the airport. Getting to the ship was seamless and easy. Everyone from the cabin steward to meal servers to the activity director was friendly and helpful. We were kept well ... Read More
Great friendly staff starting with the people who met us at the airport. Getting to the ship was seamless and easy. Everyone from the cabin steward to meal servers to the activity director was friendly and helpful. We were kept well informed every day of scheduled dockings and events. The good food seemed endless with many options to cover almost every taste and serving times that worked for every schedule. Every port had included and optional tours with guides that were friendly, knowledgeable, and patient. There were even ‘gentle walker’ options for those who were tired or unable to keep a good pace on the tours. Every effort was made to allow guests to choose relaxing, invigorating, or very active options. Seating arrangements in lounge and dining room encouraged interaction with other guests without forcing it. Really good value for the cost. A friend recommended Emerald, and I will do the same. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We looked forward to a relaxing trip with great food and being docked in the center of towns. Unfortunately most of the docking locations required a bus ride or very long walk to town. There was only 1 therapist in a 1 room ... Read More
We looked forward to a relaxing trip with great food and being docked in the center of towns. Unfortunately most of the docking locations required a bus ride or very long walk to town. There was only 1 therapist in a 1 room "spa". She was rude and didn't listen to our concerns. Some of the food was outstanding including the lobsters flown in from Maine but other dishes were only average. The ship offers a tapas experience in their bistro as an alternative dining venue but will not offer that option unless at least 8 people sign up. Guides on the included excursions were also inconsistent. Some were excellent and others were poor. Took us to a private concert one evening which was excellent. Entertainment director was a one man show most evenings but did a very good job. Hotel manager was unwilling/unable to resolve a relatively minor complaint. Crystal needs to improve their senior management if they want to command premium pricing once the river ships become a few years old. Captain was very gracious when we wandered onto bridge area one evening when ship was passing through a lock. He allowed us to stay on the bridge and explained how lock system operated. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon and I was quite pleased with my husband's choice to take this amazing trip. It was nice to come back to the same room every evening as we progressed thru various cities. Members of the crew were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our honeymoon and I was quite pleased with my husband's choice to take this amazing trip. It was nice to come back to the same room every evening as we progressed thru various cities. Members of the crew were always friendly and helpful! All meals were fantastic. I enjoyed the tour guides that we had along the way - friendly as well as passionate about their local area's history and culture. If you get Karen in Amsterdam, or Otto in Cologne as your tour guide, consider yourself fortunate - they were terrific! I also really appreciated that there was a "gentle walkers" group for those who could not keep a faster pace or climb a lot of stairs. I would only recommend a slight improvement with excursions - allow for more time at the points (Example: city of Heidelberg) and perhaps a somewhat better value for excursions (example: food tasting excursion in Strasbourg, France). Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Everything was well planned and executed. The ship was spotless, the food was amazing, plenty of choices, the breakfast and lunch buffets were well stocked, hot things were hot and cold things were cold. Dinner was an event every night. ... Read More
Everything was well planned and executed. The ship was spotless, the food was amazing, plenty of choices, the breakfast and lunch buffets were well stocked, hot things were hot and cold things were cold. Dinner was an event every night. There was something for everyone. Special requests were honored. We didn’t use room service but I was told by people that did that it was also very good. The wait staff were very curtious and professional. The common areas were well layed out and always clean. The cabins were also well layed out and well appointed. The housekeeping staff were excellent There was good selection of excursions, all of the excursions we did were excellent. We also liked the all inclusive idea. No surprises at the end of the trip. The selection at the bar was very good all name brand alcohol. Great atmosphere in the lounge area. I would highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cruised the Rhine, Maine, Danube with excellent Cruise Director Gunther Caliebauf and the service by crew was second to none!! Would recommend to all ! We had good trips organised by APT were very good and included in the fare. Maybe too ... Read More
Cruised the Rhine, Maine, Danube with excellent Cruise Director Gunther Caliebauf and the service by crew was second to none!! Would recommend to all ! We had good trips organised by APT were very good and included in the fare. Maybe too many churches but you always had the option to do your own thing. There was also some added visits that were an extra cost if you so desired, some were very good, visiting Salzburg home too the Sound of Music. Dining was great with a choice of buffet or served in the restraint which had 4 courses served all with Beer and Wine that was included in the price. Crew were brilliant all round service to all was probably the best I have had, they all had a laugh and joke with you.. Entertainment for such a small number was difficult but they tried hard to please all with quizzes and music , plus a couple of talks and local dancers that entertained us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was a classical-music themed charter, sailing from Amsterdam to Basel. Having sailed on a river cruise before with another company, I had a good idea of what to expect. The AmaSerena crew certainly lived up to expectations ... Read More
This cruise was a classical-music themed charter, sailing from Amsterdam to Basel. Having sailed on a river cruise before with another company, I had a good idea of what to expect. The AmaSerena crew certainly lived up to expectations in terms of service at the front desk, housekeeping service in the cabins, and the all-important role of the Cruise Director -- Bojan did a marvellous job of organizing daily tours and activities for all of us to enjoy, all while dealing with the necessity to keep fitting the daily concert into the schedule on top of everything else. The three stars are for these aspects of the trip. The big disappointment was the service (or lack of it) in the dining room. And believe me, I am not a demanding, special-attention-greedy customer at all. Every day, at one or more of the meals, things went wrong either for me or for others at the table where I was sitting. Here are a few examples: -- two servers whose English was so poor that they could barely understand simple questions. The company advertises that English is the working language of the cruise. -- one server who was particularly grumpy in the mornings, and spent far more time talking with colleagues than helping customers. -- a server who poured coffee for two of six people at breakfast, then left and didn't return to pour for the other four. -- similar problem with wine at dinner. -- a salad delivered to the table without all the ingredients mentioned in the menu. -- several instances of people being given some dish other than what they had requested. AmaWaterways makes a big deal in their advertising of being a member of the international gourmet network, "La chaine des rotisseurs." The food by and large lived up to that reputation but the service definitely did not. And finally: when I submitted my customer survey at the end of the cruise, with contact details, I asked specifically for a personal contact to discuss these issues. I have not received any reply to this request. This cavalier attitude towards service and customer feedback is the biggest single reason why I don't plan on sailing with AmaWaterways again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
For lots of reasons we booked this Grand European Tour for mid October. We had a great time, but decided we probably won't do another river cruise right away, maybe not ever again. Not a knock on Viking, but a better understanding of ... Read More
For lots of reasons we booked this Grand European Tour for mid October. We had a great time, but decided we probably won't do another river cruise right away, maybe not ever again. Not a knock on Viking, but a better understanding of who we are as travelers. So, the good and great. Incredibly clean, inviting atmosphere populated with helpful, gracious people, all of whom try to make your trip wonderful. And they are mostly successful. We absolutely loved our fourteen days. Our room was small but a great place to sleep and get ready for all the adventures. The dining room is an adventure. We are used to ocean cruises with assigned seating so the whole process of 'finding a table' at night was a bit of a challenge. My wife has some hearing issues, so the noise level was tough for her. All the tables at dinner are for six or eight, so you will be with folks and trying do the polite dinner conversation can be tough. Our problem, not anyone else's. Interestingly, many folks established groups and those groups became tough to breech. We sat with at least 60 different folks (we wrote down the names). There are about 190 on the ship so we felt we did okay. Dinners themselves were a mixed bag. Some were outstanding, some average, a few awful. German regional cuisine is a tough sell as well. The next to the last night our table of six all ordered a New York steak. Of the six, two were fine, two were mostly gristle and two were uncuttable. Other nights, wonderful stuff. Breakfast and lunch more pedestrian. Main courses were the best bets. Desserts were usually the disappointing part of the meal except the sorbets and the fruit plate. Free wine and beer at dinner was a hit, but at a price. Dinners are long. Starts at 7 p.m. and rarely ended before 9 p.m. Tough time for the senior set that makes up this ship's target audience. Meals are also available on the deck outside the lounge. Buffet for breakfast and lunch, with the occasional grilled lunch (think burgers, fish, chicken). The dinner up there is off the menu, but only seating for 16 and some folks planted themselves there and went no where else so finding a seat was not possible. A bit frustrating. Alex, our cruise director, was amazingly good. Personable, handsome, humorous, and organized. Made the trip for many of us. We saw him regularly in the lounge just before dinner as he gave the port talk for the next day, or a history lesson. The lounge was fine for a lounge, not big enough for a meeting room. We experienced some water level issues so had to accelerate down the river so we wouldn't need to change ships. This meant we went past our ports and bused back. Better than ship swapping, but buses aren't as much fun as walking into town from a ship docked on the river. That said, the organizational skill exhibited by Viking was amazing. Good guides in every port. Some had more material to work with than others, as not all the stops are historical 'wows' but all were fun to see. Great trip, glad we did it, ship was wonderful, made some friends, but we decided this isn't our kind of travel. It definitely has great appeal for lots of folks, they were on my ship, just not us. Try river cruising. You will love it, or you won't. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First time with this company but highly satisfied. No hard sell for the few additional excursions. Staff were excellent, very efficient, professional and above all friendly. All excursions were well organized and interesting and catered ... Read More
First time with this company but highly satisfied. No hard sell for the few additional excursions. Staff were excellent, very efficient, professional and above all friendly. All excursions were well organized and interesting and catered for levels of fitness with additional activities such as bicycle trips. Drinks were included during meals and waiters constantly kept glasses topped up! Food was very good with several choices at each meal. Every lunch had a sample of local dish which was a nice touch. Above all the food was always piping hot especially the soup! Being a small ship there is not a lot of entertainment as such but some activities available such as quizzes, putting competition, film shows, Pilates, meditation etc Plenty of seating available inside in a lounge and on the sun deck. By far the highlight of cruising with Emerald was the Staff. Nothing was too much trouble, the staff were young enthusiastic and very friendly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because primarily because it fit our schedule. We flew to Amsterdam Sunday night, arriving around 5:30 Monday morning. We cleared Immigration, got our bag, and had a quick bite to eat and a coffee at the airport. I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because primarily because it fit our schedule. We flew to Amsterdam Sunday night, arriving around 5:30 Monday morning. We cleared Immigration, got our bag, and had a quick bite to eat and a coffee at the airport. I didn't find any AMA reps that early, but I asked a Viking rep and she showed me on Google maps exactly where the AmaMora was docked that morning. We took the train from the airport to Central Station. 25 minutes and 11 Euros for two people and then walked the 15 minutes to where the ship was docked. We boarded around 8:15. Boarding was a little chaotic since the previous cruise passengers were still on board. But we dropped our bags offs, washed up a bit in a restroom on board, and went out exploring and returned to the ship around 3pm when our stateroom was ready. We showered and got ready for the Captain's reception which started at 6pm. Learned a little about the ship and the crew and settled in for dinner at 7pm. Most evenings, cocktails were served at 6 or 6:30 and dinner at 7 or 7:30. The food was excellent though the portions were small. We were always told that ordering a double portion, or even three was acceptable and a few nights, I found myself doing just that. After dinner, we had an onboard musician who played the piano or there were guest musicians we would pick up and drop off during the evening. All were fantastic. Breakfast and lunch were more buffet style meals and my only complaint was having to reach over food items to get to the back food items. It didn't seem hygienic and most things didn't have the glass shields on them I have seen on larger cruise ships in the buffet areas. People were coughing and sneezing and that was all taking place in close proximity of the open food containers. We enjoyed all the excursions though we wished we had more time at each stop. We did acancal cruise in Amsterdam, a walking tour in Cologne, a Gondola ride in Rudesheim, the Philosopher's Hike in Heidelberg, a walking tour in Strasboug, and the Black Forest Hike for the last day. We chose all our excursions about two weeks before departure but there was an opportunity to change your choices on board. All in all, the cruise was fantastic. The ship was beautifully designed and well appointed and as a runner, I was happy to see a small running track on the sundeck. Even though it was 12 times around for a mile, I enjoyed not having to run on the treadmill except the last day when the sun deck was closed because of us going thru locks with low doors. We will definitely return to AMA for a Douro and Danube cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
From my first call regarding this cruise with Masha Givelber ( who was fantastic through the whole process ) this cruise was everything I had hoped for and more. It was my very first cruise and I can’t see taking any other cruise line. ... Read More
From my first call regarding this cruise with Masha Givelber ( who was fantastic through the whole process ) this cruise was everything I had hoped for and more. It was my very first cruise and I can’t see taking any other cruise line. The website video showing the ships public areas was spot on. The staff were beyond AMAZING and you want for nothing. Check in was extremely easy ( of course I was the last to check in since I was getting in multiple tours as possible in Amsterdam so I had no wait ) We ate every meal except one on board and the food was delicious ! Our servers Michael and Gil took wonderful care of us the entire week and Igor the Maitre D was the best ! We definitely left the ship with added pounds. I personally think you would be hard pressed to find someone better at their job than Victoria our program director. My God she always seemed to be working and with a smile on her face. Ellie and Milan ( I’m sorry I can’t remember the other young lady name ) at guest services always went above and beyond. The excursion were great with interesting and knowledgeable guides, ( I liked that we had the same coach driver along the way ) game nights where a blast, along with the German themed dinner night. We enjoyed the on ship demonstrations ( a speciality drink, French pizza and the glass blowing ) There is not one negative thing I can say about my Vikings river cruise. It was fantastic from the moment I stepped on to the ship until I disembarked. We where even able to come back to the ship after we disembarked later in the day for lunch and told if we wanted we could stay on the ship for the day ( we had stayed an extra night in Basel ) which I found to be amazing. Thanks to our captain Thomas for a very enjoyable river cruise and Kosta our hotel manager for having what I would say the best staff who are excellent at their jobs. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose scenic as they are supposed to be one of the best. So, the positives - NIce looking ship, cabins comfortable if a little small, good bathrooms, - Staff on the whole are excellent and work very hard. - Pleasant lounge ... Read More
We chose scenic as they are supposed to be one of the best. So, the positives - NIce looking ship, cabins comfortable if a little small, good bathrooms, - Staff on the whole are excellent and work very hard. - Pleasant lounge area. -Good selection of excursions. - Good entertainment when there was some. The Negatives - It was the worst food I have had on any cruise ship. It looked pretty but was not very good. The vegetable were invariable undercooked and inedible.We were served undercooked fish, uncooked pasta, food either under or over seasoned. All desserts seem to come with squirty cream. We had maybe 5 good meals out of 14. It advertises 4 dining venues..this is not so. There is the main Crystal dining room (1) within which it seems that there is a table they call La Rive(2) for the people in the superior cabins . Portobellos (3) is in a separate area of the lounge. You get 1 evening invitation for this set menu which got very mixed reviews on board. They have a very (1 dish) limited lunch buffet. The River Cafe(4) is, in effect a glass cabinet by the bar where they have a 2 squares of dried up sandwiches (usually ham and cheese), panini of the day which was so dry it just crumbled away when I bit into it. A wrap (the best of the options) and some small dessert options. - Butler Service- In reality there are a couple of people who you could call if you wanted say, more hangers. Most of the time they act as waiters. Numerous people we spoke to were not even aware of how to call them and had never seen them despite being told that they would come and introduce themselves on arrival. - The excursions were OK but the city tours were painfully slow and generally only offered a limited view. eg. Cologne tour consisted of standing at 4 or 5 points around the cathedral and pointing out the train station(next to the cathedral) - The cruise director was quite amusing in his talks but if you asked him anything outside of that he was not over helpful. - Entertainment was limited and we all felt that maybe some quizzes (there was 1) would have been good. All in all I would not travel with scenic again. I think they are overpriced for what you get. We also always seemed to have the worst docking compared to other lines. If you like to drink then there are unlimited drinks which you can indulge 24/7 and some people clearly did. Just to finish by saying practically everyone on the ship was ill with a flu type illness. Apparently the previous cruise also had the same problem. This does beg the question how clean everything is. Not helped by there being only 1 public toilet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It was our first cruise and we were not disappointed in anything. The ship was spotless and the cabins simply lovely. Slightly small, but they are on a ship and the full window makes them very light and airey. The occasional towels made ... Read More
It was our first cruise and we were not disappointed in anything. The ship was spotless and the cabins simply lovely. Slightly small, but they are on a ship and the full window makes them very light and airey. The occasional towels made into animals certainly made us smile. Every member of the crew were lovely and all work incredibly hard. Nothing was too much trouble and you were always met with a smile. The food was amazing and plentiful. The chateaubriand for the farewell dinner was wonderful. The wines served with the meals were all lovely. A big thumbs up to the chefs, waiting staff and dishwashers to supply so many meals to so many people. Mostly sailing through night it was lovely to wake up to new places to explore each day. We made some lovely friends on the ship and the whole experience was fabulous and I hope to join another emerald cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Great service from housekeeping to the cruise director and captain. Waiters were top-notch and worked extremely hard. Food was very good as were all the drinks. Scenic also hosted a private concert for the passengers at a palace in ... Read More
Great service from housekeeping to the cruise director and captain. Waiters were top-notch and worked extremely hard. Food was very good as were all the drinks. Scenic also hosted a private concert for the passengers at a palace in Rastaat. The Tailormade App made sailing really interesting, particularly down the Rhine Gorge. We sat on top, enjoying the sun and the incredible scenery while the app told us details about the castles and towns we passed. Waiters went up and down the stairs bringing drinks and you barely had time to finish one before they were asking if you needed another. We used the laundry service, placing our bag of laundry on the bed before leaving for a morning excursion. We got the laundry back expertly folded before dinner that night. If I had one complaint it is that the ship seemed to dock a long way from wherever the excursions were resulting in bus rides. This shortened our stays on shore. All in all, I recommend Scenic 100%. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Scenic booking agents were attentive. We arrived in Amsterdam two days prior to boarding the Scenic Opal. We would recommend doing this as Amsterdam is a beautiful city with much to offer. We chose Scenic because it was all inclusive. ... Read More
Scenic booking agents were attentive. We arrived in Amsterdam two days prior to boarding the Scenic Opal. We would recommend doing this as Amsterdam is a beautiful city with much to offer. We chose Scenic because it was all inclusive. The vessel was clean. The staff were very attentive. The food good. The free choice shore excursions, almost three a day to choose from, were well planned and organized. Tour groups were broken down into groups of no more than 20 people. The Scenic travel app on our cell phones were tethered to our guides speaker system, so we could hear what they had to say without straining. If we could change anything about the tours, perhaps a little more free time in each town would have been nice. On board the vessel, as it cruised down the Rhine, we could also use the Scenic app to inform us what towns, villages and castles we were passing. I recommend Scenic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had been on the Danube with Avalon for the Christmas markets. We enjoyed our time on this cruise so much we decided to do another. We were not disappointed at all. The people, the food, the excursions were all we had hoped for. We ate ... Read More
We had been on the Danube with Avalon for the Christmas markets. We enjoyed our time on this cruise so much we decided to do another. We were not disappointed at all. The people, the food, the excursions were all we had hoped for. We ate so well and had wonderful conversations with the entire staff. The excursions were very nice as our guides were well informed and shared this information with our travel group. This seems to be the norm for Avalon. Our first cruise set the bar quite high and our second cruise met it. We invited some family members to join us on this latest cruise because we were positive they would have the same experience as we had. They were not disappointed at all. I believe they too will take another cruise (only with Avalon). We appreciated the amount of work that went into this cruise for my husband and I. We were so impressed and satisfied with our choice to cruise Avalin Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Vship was great food was superior service was great Not meant for someone with a walker . Vantage told me my husband would be able to go with a walker and there was no way he could have gone over one one shop to get to the dock dock . ... Read More
Vship was great food was superior service was great Not meant for someone with a walker . Vantage told me my husband would be able to go with a walker and there was no way he could have gone over one one shop to get to the dock dock . Some docks on the Moselle had a lot of steps Vantage needs to tells their sales folks not to sell tickets to folks who use walkers Chef on board was fantastic. Cruise director was Veronica was unbelievably. She made the ports most interesting. Host coffee and cake at a local home was great Cabin was nice the bather room was very modern and the shower had a lot of Room Service was great in the cabin s and in the dinning room they couldn’t of been more helpful Recommend the beautiful Moselle, it has great views and beautiful towns to see Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our friends chose this cruise and asked us to join them. We did this exact same cruise with Scenic 2 years ago. The cruise is amazing starting on the Danube and finishing on the Rhine. The scenery is spectacular. It's all ... Read More
Our friends chose this cruise and asked us to join them. We did this exact same cruise with Scenic 2 years ago. The cruise is amazing starting on the Danube and finishing on the Rhine. The scenery is spectacular. It's all inclusive. All excursions are exceptional. Most of the buses are owned by Scenic are very clean with professional drivers. We thought the groups on the free choice tours were rather large and could be smaller. The Scenic app loaded on your phone was used by all of the guides. The system needs some serious fine tuning as it was problematic on most of the tours. Several choices were available at each stop with three Scenic Exclusive Enrich experiences that were exceptional. One at Vienna Palais Liechtenstein, one at Passau/Salzburg Sound of Music and one at Marksburg Castle. Breakfast and lunch are buffets. Dinners are fine dining or room service is available. Service is excellent and the food is very good. Red or white wine was served with every lunch and dinner. Daily wine selections are just okay, nothing exceptional. Most passengers were okay with the wine that was offered. The cruise director was excellent with a great sense of humour. The complimentary Wi-Fi was not very good even when there was apparently strong signal strength. It was so bad that the Scenic cruise surveys could not be completed on board at Amsterdam. Scenic blames the bad Wi-Fi on Europe. Here are the negatives. We started on the Jade and had to switch to the Jasper at Regensburg. The river was too low due to dry conditions. It's the nature of the beast so take it in stride. When you book a year in advance it is impossible to forecast river water levels. On our first cruise we were fortunate and stayed on the same boat from beginning to end. On this occasion it was an 8 hour bus ride from Passau to Regensberg. There was a minimal effect on our schedule. Here is the biggest concern. Passenger illness on the ship. There will always be ill passengers on every cruise typically passing some type of flu virus on to most of the passengers. Five days in to the cruise I became very ill. I did everything to prevent contamination of other passengers. All passengers are in confined spaces therefore good hygiene practices especially by sick passengers are imperative. Controls are never enforced by the ship and are ineffective resulting in most of the passengers getting sick near the end of the cruise as many are coughing out of control. Some our bedridden. On the last same cruise many people were bedridden for days. My wife and I were both very sick on the last cruise and I was very sick on this cruise. Let's just say there is little enjoyment when you are sick on your long awaited lifetime cruise experience. We are of the opinion that the germs are transferred during the buffets and by passengers coughing openly all over the ship. It's really sad to be on a trip of your lifetime and get sick once but twice is too much especially on the same Cruise Line! You need to decide is the risk of illness worth booking the cruise. For my wife and I we are done with cruising. I can stay home and get sick for free. I suggest that passenger illness will eventually bring the cruise industry down as most cruise lines seem oblivious to finding solutions. The ball is now squarely in their court! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Travel Agent, presentation, word of mouth led us to this choice. Food choices and quality of food reputation were factors.. All inclusive pricing which is a real bonus. No “nickel and diming”. Staff very approachable, ... Read More
Travel Agent, presentation, word of mouth led us to this choice. Food choices and quality of food reputation were factors.. All inclusive pricing which is a real bonus. No “nickel and diming”. Staff very approachable, friendly, and professional. Cruise Director was fantastic. We took the Budapest-Amsterdam cruise and really appreciated the options. Suggest one varies outings... you see one gold filled cathedral you’re... Same for castles. Do choose the concert and castle dinner experiences; you won’t regret it!!! We also experienced quality entertainment from professionals who excelled! Would definitely travel with Scenic Hints: Landry Service is worth while. First and last dinners were semi-dress up but casual otherwise. Our room was on the lower deck and was small, so might consider an upgrade at another time. But you only sleep there. We had to switch vessels once due to low water. Staff and Cruise Director handled it well. Passengers were a mix of Australian, Canadian and British. We made many friends as a result. Our room was very clean and studiously clean thereafter. Bar and wait staff were/are friendly and efficient. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Long journey from New Zealand, with High expectations of Avalon from Travel Agents. Fresh Food didn't arrive before leaving Amsterdam so meals were often AVERAGE. we are not that fussy, but compared to other trips ....food was not ... Read More
Long journey from New Zealand, with High expectations of Avalon from Travel Agents. Fresh Food didn't arrive before leaving Amsterdam so meals were often AVERAGE. we are not that fussy, but compared to other trips ....food was not up to standard. Our Ship was switched to Avalon Artistry 2, at the last minute...with no explanation why. Purchased top deck for better views, but told again... at the last minute....due to low water ...no more boat trip from Regensburg, so 2 days against another boat in Regensburg with no view, no light as cabin on next boat 1 meter away! Drapes needed for privacy. Missed some ports and so adjusted our chosen excursions. We were told we had to Bus to Vienna and then to Budapest one quarter of the Trip. No ship to transfer us to, as other companies were doing...very successfully, we heard later. Travel Agents advised us this is what happened, if a short part was un-passable. A very long Bus trip for 2 days was not what we signed up for. Set meal at hotel....no choice Our boat then miraculously arrived at Budapest for our last night ....so it did get through.....pretty sick all round. So we had another night against another boat, no light as drapes pulled. One or two nice meals, overall, but most were very average. Avalon refunded half our money for 2 Hotel nights and thought that was magnanimous. We have written to Avalon advising of our dissatisfaction and have been told they are very sorry but basically ' Tough luck' Moral of the story.....save your money if thinking of a trip with Avalon, the hipe and sales pitch is just that, so be ware. Very disappointing trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it covered a lot of Europe and we liked the 14 day length of the cruise. We also liked the idea of having one room for the entire trip as opposed to bus touring where you have multiple hotel rooms. When we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it covered a lot of Europe and we liked the 14 day length of the cruise. We also liked the idea of having one room for the entire trip as opposed to bus touring where you have multiple hotel rooms. When we arrived, a crew member met us as soon as we exited our cab. She insisted on taking our bags. That was the beginning of a wonderful (first experience) river cruise. The crew in every area of the ship was outstanding. They were friendly, courteous, personable, helpful etc. The cruise director, Karelien, was perfect. She has a wonderful sense of humor, kept us informed every day, had every excursion planned to perfection, accommodated the entire passenger list when we encountered low water on the river. She made the trip especially enjoyable. The food was wonderful, diversified for everyone’s taste. On the excursions, Karelien always accommodated a group that had walking limitations. My favorite excursion was the concert in Vienna. Absolutely fantastic!!! And we made lifelong friends with a few passengers. We loved everything about this cruise and will choose Avalon Waterways for our next vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
What a great cruise. We went on the Rhine and Moselle cruise. Our first time on a river cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. We felt our cabin had plenty of space for us and our luggage. It was a very comfortable space. A ... Read More
What a great cruise. We went on the Rhine and Moselle cruise. Our first time on a river cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. We felt our cabin had plenty of space for us and our luggage. It was a very comfortable space. A minor nit was the toilet. The flush was really loud and could be startling in the middle of the night. As well, sometimes we had to press the flush button repeatedly to get it to actually flush. We really liked the big sliding windows that made our room feel that much bigger and gave an unobstructed view as things passed by. Our room was so quiet too. We never heard our neighbors or even the floors above or below us. The food was spectacular. Every bit of it. But the soups. The soups were sublime. I came home with 5 soup recipes! At the buffet meals the soups would always run out first and more would have to be brought out. That's how good those soups were. Onboard entertainment was good. The included shore excursions were very good. We always got a good sense of where we were visiting from those excursions. Service was always top notch and we never wanted for anything. The cruise director always kept us informed of the next day's activities, where we were sailing, when we needed to be back onboard for sailing. We always felt well informed. We would certainly sail with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Mahler is a beautiful ship. The staff were beyond helpful. The food and drinks were more than you could possibly eat or drink. Unfortunately on the 17 Grand Tour they close the top deck for 8-10 days. We couldn’t go up and enjoy ... Read More
The Mahler is a beautiful ship. The staff were beyond helpful. The food and drinks were more than you could possibly eat or drink. Unfortunately on the 17 Grand Tour they close the top deck for 8-10 days. We couldn’t go up and enjoy the scenery, relax, or exercise. The company should disclose this information. It would have made a difference in our choice of ships. There are no other places to sit outside so you are inside a lot. Unfortunately on our cruise the water was too low so we couldn’t finish our trip on the ship. They gave us 2 choices and only a half hour to make a decision whether to stay and go to hotels or abandon the schedule. It was a hard decision to make in half hour. We chose to finish the trip and go to the hotels. Unfortunately the hotel they chose in Vienna was horrible. Sat on railroad tracks on one side and construction on the other. Food service was horrible. Not up to Crystal standards. Unfortunately Crystal would not and has not done anything for the 72 people who chose to stay. We knew that the boats can sometimes not go through because of water level and we were prepared for that. But Crystal did not keep their high standards of accommodations. It was a sad way to end the trip. Very disappointed in how Crystal handled the situation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Ama Waterways came highly recommended. It bit more pricey than others (including Viking). The was one of the newest ships, small number of passengers. We had such a wonderful experience, met great people, crew, captain, and cruise ... Read More
Ama Waterways came highly recommended. It bit more pricey than others (including Viking). The was one of the newest ships, small number of passengers. We had such a wonderful experience, met great people, crew, captain, and cruise director were so friendly and helpful. We enjoyed all of our excursion, well planned and timed. When we did use a bus for transportation or for a tour, excellent bus lines. Tour guides for all of the excursions were very knowledgeable, many were locals! Modifications were made for those with mobility limitations. For those more active, bikes and hikes were offered. On board life was excellent! Food never stopped with great menus. Lunch time homemade ice cream was offered every day, at least 3 or more flavors, many that never repeated! You can eat as light and health or as heavy and unhealthy as you like! There is a special dining room in the back of the ship with a fixed menu. All guests were offered to make a reservation - Chef's dinner! Really enjoyed that evening! Most evenings there was some entertainment, although after a full day we didn't always have the energy to participate! If you like to work out, there is a gym, track up top on the deck, and a fitness director with classes. I personally didn't participate but my husband did most days, attempt to offset the eating and drinking calories! River cruises seem more expensive then ocean cruises but that is because it is all inclusive, all of your excursion (sort of prepaid). Every day their was cocktail hour, hosted. Not the best cocktails but I think we are used to our crafty local places with amazing drinks! Wine and beer is included with meals. Sparking wine with breakfast. Most of the wines for us were just okay. We live in California with many wine clubs and are a bit picky when it comes to wine. That is the one thing I would do differently next time, buy wine at the various stops and enjoy on our own. But many seemed to drink the wines and enjoy. Beer was the better staple over all! We definitely plan to do another river cruise with Ama in the future! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I just returned from our second Uniworld cruise. The first was on the S.S. Catherine going from Lyon to Avignon in 2016. It was excellent and initially we were a bit concerned that the Castles along the Rhine (Amsterdam to ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from our second Uniworld cruise. The first was on the S.S. Catherine going from Lyon to Avignon in 2016. It was excellent and initially we were a bit concerned that the Castles along the Rhine (Amsterdam to Basel) cruise might not live up to our experience in the south of France. But it certainly did! We spent 4 days in Amsterdam before boarding the S.S. Antoinette for the cruise. (a perfect beginning we recommend for everyone) We've read a few reviews complaining about the condition of the Antoinette - we have absolutely NO complaints about the ship. We booked a French balcony cabin which was very nice. On our first trip we opted for a full balcony - which, as far as we are concerned was a mistake. The French balcony configuration on the Antoinette is exactly the same square footage as the full balcony. As on all river cruise lines, the staterooms are small but very functional. We had no complaints about the cabin, amenities, bath, AC, steward service, or anything else. All Uniworld ships are non-smoking except in specific above deck areas so there was no smell in the cabin. As a safety engineer, I was pleased to see that all areas of the ship are sprinklered with smoke detectors. Dining was excellent - plenty of choices for all meals. Uniworld is all inclusive so all beverages were included. Other reviewers have commented on the noise level in the dining room - and we experienced a similar issue. But, it was NOT awful, contrary to other comments we've read. However, we do suggest that the noise level in the dining room be evaluated to see if anything could be done to attenuate the noise. (There was a large group (40+) of passengers, all on a sponsored excursion from one US State, who added greatly to the overall noise level.) The excursions were also excellent, and the local guides were very knowledgeable. The excursions themselves were very interesting and we really enjoyed the small towns we visited. Strasbourg is a don't miss experience. Definitely don't miss the vinegar tasting excursion! The castles along the Rhine were beautiful. The Cruise Director ("Pete"), told interesting stories about the history of each one. In a nutshell, he did a fabulous job. We chose to do a progressive dinner (small group) which included appetizers and a full meal and dessert while taking a guided tour of the ship including the kitchen, engine room (spotless!), and bridge. It was very interesting seeing the inner workings of the Antoinette. We had read about the low water level problems on the Rhine. Although it was low, it was still passable and our sailing was just fine. Fortunately, our weather was perfect the entire trip. Bright sunshine all the way. The crew was great - professional, helpful, and friendly. All spoke English very well. We didn't go on a river cruise expecting Las Vegas style entertainment. But what there was, was nice. Especially the guitar playing "guy with 2,000 songs." Finally, we love the fact that river cruising is on small ships with far fewer passengers than on those ocean going monsters. There were probably about 150 passengers on the Antoinette. We met lots of very nice people, some of whom almost instantly became good friends. In short, we had an absolute ball and we will be taking future river cruises in Europe with Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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