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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
APT's river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest was excellent. There are interesting things to see every few minutes on both sides of the river all the way - and fabulous towns along the way and on the numerous side tours. The ship ... Read More
APT's river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest was excellent. There are interesting things to see every few minutes on both sides of the river all the way - and fabulous towns along the way and on the numerous side tours. The ship glides past fortresses, castles, quaint villages and point of interest (dozens of them) all the time. But APT's 'Voyage Through The Balkans' is, at best, about 10% as good - especially if you've already been to Budapest and Vienna, which is by far the best of it. There were no more than 5 interesting things to see from the ship in the 14 days - and most of the places we visited were drab and uninteresting - with only a few exceptions. The ship (including our cabin) was excellent - and the staff (and Tour Guides) were mostly very good. Unfortunately, we didn't make it more than two thirds of the way, so I can't comment on the places we never reached – Svishtov, Veliko Tarnovo, Rousse, Giurgu and Bucharest. Unfortunately, APT did not agree that we should be compensated. Regardless or their disappointing attitude to (hitherto) loyal clients, I would not recommend this APT cruise to anyone - unless they were keen students of the tragic events to shattered the former Yugoslavia. Give this one a miss. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
October 13th 2018: apt river cruise amersterdam-budapest- 15 nights ama venita. “A glorified bus trip with a gruelling schedule” This apt river cruise should never have left amsterdam. Low levels of water, and continuing good ... Read More
October 13th 2018: apt river cruise amersterdam-budapest- 15 nights ama venita. “A glorified bus trip with a gruelling schedule” This apt river cruise should never have left amsterdam. Low levels of water, and continuing good weather forecasts meant the cruise was doomed for problems, and APT camouflaged the issue, well knowing the cruise schedule was going to be significantly affected Apt river cruising -5 freedom principles applies-, none of which occurred on this journey-, began on saturday october 13th, with the ama venita boarded by 164 passengers. the ama venita was replaced by the ama- reina at engelhartszell on saturday 20 october near (passau) during this cruise journey. On the 2nd day of the voyage the first schedule change occurred, with a diversion to nijmegen, then onto to cologne. At cologne, we were advised the ship could not proceed further, and it would be impossible to sail through the rhine gorge. The schedule would change with 36 hours at dusseldorf, with passengers then to disembark, travel by bus to frankfurt (overnight hotel), procced by bus the next day to nuremburg (hotel overnight) and then re-board a new vessel at the passau area, and the normal cruise schedule 7 days into the cruise to re-commence. However on boarding the new vessel at engelhartszell, moored for 36hrs, we were informed it was impossible to cruise from vienna to budapest, so again all would disembark at conclusion of vienna component, bus to budapest (hotel again overnight) and the cruise end. Re the above new excursions replaced, most of the advertised ones, and one of the Premier events Candle light Dinner at Namedy Castle, became a luncheon visit, while en-route to Frankfurt the journey began on a positive note, picked up at the airport by an apt agent, and whisked to the riverside in a lovely modern vehicle. We had paid for a P+ room on the 2nd level, with inside and outside balcony, room service and Porter attention The first twinge of disappointment was noting the ship was parked between a numbers of others, a theme which was to apply from that day on. When in port (which was most of the time the apt boat was normally sandwiched between others, affording no balcony or view age opportunity, effectively negating any reasonable opportunity to observe the world from ones balcony). When i say the view was impeded i am talking about a vessel as big as or bigger than our boat, within 12 inches of the viewing windows, and if this did not occur, the view was replaced by a concrete or similar wharf view. Once on board, (our first dinner aboard) was served, while seated in the ships dining room, a large river boat, completely obstructed any views of the water. This issue is very significant, and from this experience and some post event research on the internet, if one is contemplating a river cruise, don’t bother to take a premium cabin, just not worth it, day 2 freedom of choice touring took place as planned. very pleasant. That evening we were advised the ships schedule was to be changed with a detour to nijmegen and then onto cologne. Day 3 Nijmegen Day 4 Cologne Advised that the boat could not cruise past cologne, there would be no full rhine cruise, and passengers would have to depart the ship at cologne, being bused to frankfurt (hotel overnight), and then bused again to nuremberg (hotel overnight) then to re-board a new vessel at engelhartszell. Note this cruise ended with 10 pack/unpack components, 3 nights in hotels , long bus trips, new schedules and largely amended freedom of choice excursion options. Once on board the new boat, advised unable to cruise the vienna to budapest leg and would complete the cruise by bus and overnight hotel. The changes in schedule, excursions, all detailed in the “Daily Cruiser” are in my possession showing a litany of changes, amendments, turning this trip into a glorified bus tour, with a punishing schedule SHIP FACILITIES Cabin 207: our room with an inside/outside balcony was very pleasant with an excellent bathroom. Free internet and one’s own computer was a very nice touch, but reception marginal and affected significantly when parked amongst other boats, a frequent occurrence. Room service and porter availability, took some sorting out, with all calls through reception in the first instance, and reception was not always clear that they were talking to a customer with room service and butler privileges. Apt needs to spell out the detail of what room service and butler service is, and for the reception desk to clearly identify the call has or does not have those privileges. GYM A nice boutique gym, but the television components of the equipment monitor, are starting to play up, and this component needs to be maintained by apt at regular intervals. Nobody aboard knew what to do about rectifying that issue. DINING The promised 2nd dining option italian fare served in the bella cucina restaurant did not exist. This requires a specific explanation. The verde dining restaurant served breakfast, lunch and dinner, part buffet at breakfast and lunch with main course order options, and the evening, 5 course menu options. the food and service was sound, similar to large ship traditional dining cruising without the width of choice. The upstairs’ river bistro lounge, offered a mini version of the lunch and evening menu downstairs, café style snacks available at set times. Pleasant, but very time restrictive. Chefs table (28 guests) was excellent, similar in standard to specialist dining options on big ship cruising. Room service: available to guests in the premier rooms. The continental breakfast options were very limited, but with request, items like some fruit were added, but nothing cooked was available. In the evening room service dining was available from the verde dining main menu. ON BOARD DRINKS The selection of available no cost wines, cocktails etc. Was excellent, and generous proportions. I am wine versed, and thought apt did an excellent job in this area. SUN DECK Large and pleasant area, but due to the schedule issues, very rarely used. STAFF No issues. Enthusiastic bar staff, waiter service geared to groups but over all a solid standard. Reception was adequate, room attendant’s service excellent, and once butler service clarified and identified, competent. HEALTH The focus on noro virus and similar ailments on big cruise ships was not a feature of this cruise. While there was the usual hand cleansing equipment, there was little attention in the daily newsletter or shipboard announcements, and no staff member, reinforcing the need to clean hands etc. At meal times or food events. The cruise was severely affected with many suffering from a cough and throat virus. A very senior couple embarked with severe symptoms of flu and there appeared to be little effort to have them quarantined or similar in their cabin. This is a difficult area to police, but I would recommend APT pay more attention to this Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Saw it advertised on TV, it looked amazing and it was. We could not believe how organised and professional the staff, crew and Tour Director were.We loved every minute of our 15 days on board. We also made some good friends in that short ... Read More
Saw it advertised on TV, it looked amazing and it was. We could not believe how organised and professional the staff, crew and Tour Director were.We loved every minute of our 15 days on board. We also made some good friends in that short time. The tours were great and very informative. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and in some cases very entertaining, they all obviously loved their job. they were articulate and their information on the history of places was first class. My wife and I enjoyed the relaxed feeling that applied either on board our ship or touring the many stops that we visited along the way from Budapest to Amsterdam. The onboard entertainment was first class with the resident pianist and then various artists who came aboard the ship to delight both my wife and myself and the other 154 passengers that were on our cruise. Well done APT. We will certainly recommend this cruise to our family and friends. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise exceeded our expectations. Staff courteous and friendly yet we all had lots of fun and laughs with them. Food 5 Star and service 5 Star. From 5 course dinners to dancing to ABBA all on board enjoyed their cruise. Due to to ... Read More
This cruise exceeded our expectations. Staff courteous and friendly yet we all had lots of fun and laughs with them. Food 5 Star and service 5 Star. From 5 course dinners to dancing to ABBA all on board enjoyed their cruise. Due to to the organisational skills of our Cruise Director Daniela there was no waiting times in our off board experiences and all enjoyed her daily updates and her fantastic sense of humour. Our ports of call were interesting and varied cruising passing through beautifully amazing scenery. We were a group of 8 who enjoyed the company of everyone on board. A special mention to our Captain Janos, Charles, George, Cristian, George , Ivan, Danang and Daniela who is just amazing and works tirelessly to ensure a great trip for all. The staff on the Amareina are the reason why this cruise a lifetime memory. And a big thank you to all. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
My husband and I travelled on the AmaBella on the Amsterdam/Budapest route on the 11 May. With respect, I vehemently disagree with some earlier comments (but I acknowledge that everyone’s entitled to their opinions). This was the first ... Read More
My husband and I travelled on the AmaBella on the Amsterdam/Budapest route on the 11 May. With respect, I vehemently disagree with some earlier comments (but I acknowledge that everyone’s entitled to their opinions). This was the first river cruise for us and won’t be the last. We felt this cruise was seamless with absolutely nothing to complain about. Our Tour Director, Emese, was competent, affable and accommodating. I don’t think she ever slept. She was always at the whim of the passengers organising their on shore tours with the utmost efficiency, and appeasing those passengers who consistently whinge; this woman was the ultimate professional. All tours were very well co-ordinated with great guides, full of enthusiasm and wit. Entertainment was organised on most nights which we found enjoyable. We even got the opportunity to dance on most occasions. The food was always tasty and well presented, in particular the Chef’s Table, in which each passenger had the opportunity to attend on two occasions, for a 5-course dinner in a gorgeous room at the aft of the ship. I am gluten intolerant and all my needs were attended to and catered for. There was a “Gluten Free Corner” set up in the dining room as well as the lounge upstairs, and all restaurant and bar staff were acquainted with all the needs of those passengers with dietary requirements. Hand sanitising was enforced at all times before and after dinner and on the return of onshore excursions. The restaurant was divided into two areas. My husband and myself sat on the so called NOISY side, whereas others elected to dine on the “quiet” side. We loved the jokes, the antics, the high 5’s etc from the happy waiters. We are Aussies and we loved every minute of this camaraderie between the crew and passengers and hence, applaud APT for allowing this. Most of our Australian cohorts on board couldn’t get over how happy the crew were; their enthusiasm was infectious. Cabin details are outlined below. Some reviews mentioned noise emanating from the upper deck and while sailing through the lochs during the night, we never heard a sound or felt any impact......maybe we were just lucky. We were entitled to Butler Service but we didn’t need it as we used to go to the lounge for tea/coffe which was available 24/7. Although he did bring us hor d’oeuvres (gluten free of course) each afternoon. The one bag of free laundry per week was a bonus. Most of the passengers were Australian, a few New Zealanders and a hand full of British. We became friendly with an English couple who had the time of their lives; they couldn’t get over how much fun the Australians were. The three Gold Signature Experiences are not to be missed, namely, the visit to Namedy Castle in Andernach, Germany, a private concert at the Lichtenstein Palace, Vienna and a ride on the Majestic Imperator train from Passau to Salzburg for the day and then onto Linz, to join up with the ship. The age of the passengers varied, mostly 55-75, but I should mention there were some super fit people in this age group who did the 34km bike ride from Melk to Durnstein and two other excursions that required the use of bicycles. In relation to the onshore tours, there was a fast paced group (red group). My husband and I always joined the regular group (green, yellow or blue) as we are photo-taking junkies with cameras. Lots of passengers were using their IPhone and IPad cameras. Those that had mobility issues were catered for and well looked after (pink group). We also had a young couple on their honeymoon who appeared to be having fun with us oldies. In conclusion, I would happily go on another river cruise just to take in the magnificent sights I missed. We were kept busy (by choice) the whole time, we never missed a tour, we never stopped but we loved it. If you go with an open mind, go with the flow, and embrace anything and everything that is on offer, you will have a ball, just like my husband and I did. Congratulations APT, you never disappoint. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Just returned from the Mekong River Cruise including the AMA Land package and enjoyed every bit of it. The ship is a lovely intimate experience, 108 were on board, the majority 50+ seasoned cruisers, various fitness levels, and everyone ... Read More
Just returned from the Mekong River Cruise including the AMA Land package and enjoyed every bit of it. The ship is a lovely intimate experience, 108 were on board, the majority 50+ seasoned cruisers, various fitness levels, and everyone appeared to have a great time. The cabins are very spacious, plenty of storage space, large bathroom for cruising, and enjoyed the small deck to sit out on and watch the countryside go by some days. The shore excursions were optional, and with at least 2 offered every day we did pass on a couple, but sunrise at Angkor Wat and the Buddhist blessing should not be missed. Food on the ship was plentiful, lunch buffets were sometimes a little limited in options, we hit a couple dinner choices that didn't really hit the mark, but a strong 4 for the food and all that they do to try and make you happy. What we most have to commend them for is the Service. The Ship crew all went out of their way to make you welcome and meet your every need, the AMA tour manager (Long) and the Guides we had (Dara/Tek/Jack) shared such a joy for their countries and sharing the history with us that you wanted to spend more time with them. This is not a trip I would take with children as there are no real "activities' for them, but for the 50+ wanting to see these beautiful countries and their heartwarming people, I definitely would recommend this trip. Each day showed a new landscape and a new adventure! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We cruised on the RV Samatha in Nov 17 from Yangon to Mandalay. The cruise was a delight or at least the onboard component. Burma itself is third-world and poor but the people seem friendly - “seem” because you don’t have much ... Read More
We cruised on the RV Samatha in Nov 17 from Yangon to Mandalay. The cruise was a delight or at least the onboard component. Burma itself is third-world and poor but the people seem friendly - “seem” because you don’t have much interaction with them. The food on the boat is superb, the best we’ve tasted on a cruise. I heard no complaints and the APT company seem to have a reputation for good food and service. You cruise in a first-world fairly luxurious hermetically-sealed bubble. You disembark for your daily one or two hour excursion guided by the boar’s tour guides who do a fairly decent job. But realistically there is not a lot to see in Burma apart from pagodas, temples, monasteries etc. An hour or two is all that’s needed to see the local sites. The passengers demographics also suggest this time frame. Age ranges were in the 60s to 80s, mostly married but groups of women and the odd single passenger were onboard. Passengers were mainly Australian, with sizeable minorities of Kiwis and Brits. They all impressed as well-heeled, i.e., financially comfortably. Passengers on our boat were generally friendly but you soon group up with like-minded souls, or avoid NOTs (not our types). The cabins were large and comfortable. Internet (free) is available in the lounge and was “OK”; you'll get your email and facebook in and out but speed is slowish. Clothes-wise, for men, bring shorts that cover the knee which are required for religious sites. They're cooler than long pants but some wore them long for the excursions. Also, slip-on shoes are best as shoes and socks cannot be worn in religious sites. Sandals, casual slip-on are best. Some walking is required but not to the extent that hiking boots or running shoes are needed. Dress onboard was casual; jackets are not required for dining. Women, tended to “dress” for dinner. Light cotton, seersucker or similar are best in the hot climate. Once onboard you don’t have to put your hand in your pocket. Food, standard drinks (pay for flasher drinks though), excursions are included in the fare. All meals are taken on board. I’d not chance eating locally or drinking the water anyway. Third-world hygiene standards prevailed on shore. There were some large hotels, probably hygienic but we flew in, cruised and flew out immediately so can’t comment. We had a great time. The food was a highlight, as was cruising the ocherous Irrawaddy River. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
The short cruise appealed to us, since it was first river cruise and we saw cities and places we had not been before (maybe 50 yrs ago) The crew was mostly Bulgarian and Rumania and Hungarian and spoke excellent english and were very ... Read More
The short cruise appealed to us, since it was first river cruise and we saw cities and places we had not been before (maybe 50 yrs ago) The crew was mostly Bulgarian and Rumania and Hungarian and spoke excellent english and were very attentive to every need. The excursions were done well w drivers explaining the cities w history etc. The cruise director Rachel Couto (or whatever the title was) was funny enough to look forward to her talks about excursions coming up. Dining was wonderful w small portion not the supersized american portion. Presentation of food was a sight to behold. Entertainment was a piano player almost nightly who was very good and played also in the afternoons. We had a bus tour of Amsterdam on departure day and last day in port we went to Keukenhof and had a canal tour. Spent an extra day in Amsterdam for more sightseeing but I became ill and spent it in hotelroom waiting for flight home next morning. Would definitly do another river cruise.... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
APT "small ship" cruise, initially going from Venice to Istanbul - owing to the political situation in Turkey the cruise finished in Athens rather than Istanbul. The ship was the Island Sky with a passenger capacity of only ... Read More
APT "small ship" cruise, initially going from Venice to Istanbul - owing to the political situation in Turkey the cruise finished in Athens rather than Istanbul. The ship was the Island Sky with a passenger capacity of only 114 plus some 70 crew. The ship's officers were a multi-national collection with most of the crew coming from The Philippines. First class crew and service. Nothing was too much trouble. Most spoke very good English and the whole operation ran like like clockwork. Safety drills were well organised with clear guidance. The ship's hygiene was also first class. Our cabin was on the 4th deck, nicely furnished with a large window. Relatively small bathroom but perfectly adequate for one at a time. Large very comfortable bed. Spotlessly clean. Dining was also first class. Wide choice of excellently prepared food. All inclusive meals/drinks - you could eat and drink virtually all day if you wanted! Entertainment was perhaps somewhat limited. Excellent pianist played every evening. A "disco" evening and a "film" evening. Don't expect all the bells & whistles entertainment you find larger ships. The stops included Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Hvar, Korcula & Dubrovnik (all Croatia), Ortranto (Italy), Kotor (Montenegro), Itea, Mykonos, Lesbos & Delos (all Greece) and Kudadasi & Gallipoli (Turkey). The itinerary was changed shortly before the cruise started owing to the political unrest in Istanbul. The APT Tour Director and her team and all the crew coped extremely well with the changes. Excursions well organised and interesting. Only the trip to Delphi could have been improved - it really needed more time. Overall a 5 star trip. Yes, APT prices are towards the top end but the old adage you get what you pay for springs to mind. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
The first 8 days were changed to the AmaVenita because of low water levels around Nurenburg...and changed to the Ama Reina for the last half of the trip....no problem there. Day one...we entered our cabin 204, Catagory T+ which gave us an ... Read More
The first 8 days were changed to the AmaVenita because of low water levels around Nurenburg...and changed to the Ama Reina for the last half of the trip....no problem there. Day one...we entered our cabin 204, Catagory T+ which gave us an outdoor balcony plus a French Balcony. Very nice, except that another ship was moored right along side us. so - no view except of a neighbouring cabin about 10cm from our balcony. This was to happen frequently during the trip, sometimes with ships moored on both sides of us for hours. When you consider that we paid $22,000 for the 15 days (airfares extra) - anyway -I decided we were quite often a 5star club sandwich. We were told by staff members that this was only going to get worse as more ships enter the tourist market in river cruising in Europe! O.k day nine - first morning on the AmaReina, we are still sleeping, it is 6.45am and in walked the cleaners to clean our room!!!! I did complain and was told that they got the wrong room - not acceptable , by my standards. We had also been led to believe, from the T.V commercials, brochures etc that most days we would be able to walk into towns/villages in our leasure time - this does not happen....mostly we were moored too far from towns, even for tours etc we were taken by bus, sometimes up to two hours, to get to the advertised daily excursion. Budapest was a very welcome exception - we were actually moored very close to town. Meals were plentiful, and very good. BUT, you did need to eat on call, no time to relax -because the days events were so over organized, be back at a certain time, lunch is now! ship is sailing now! Nurenburg was advertised that we could VISIT the Nazi War Courts - not so - we had this building pointed out to us as we went passed on the bus!! Just one of many advertised mis-informations in the brochures. Back to day one - arriving at Amsterdam airport we were met by an APT driver, however he picked up 2 others as well as us so we did not get the promised porterage - and that airport is huge.... The good points...well, if we had not done the trip we would not know that organized, regulated holidays are not for us. We will stick to our usual fly/drive holidays in Europe Entertainment on board was very good. Staff were so attentive that is became quite difficult to say 'good morning' a few dozen times. There was a 'gentle walk' available with most shore excursions - we took advantage of them..... Oh, Well, now I wonder if you will print this. I also wonder at only good reviews, there were many people on board with similar complaints....... Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
CRICKET was not exactly top of the agenda on APT’s “Magnificent Tour of Europe” river cruise from July 28 to August 11. From a passenger list of 150, more than a hundred were Australians and their heroes were getting bashed ... Read More
CRICKET was not exactly top of the agenda on APT’s “Magnificent Tour of Europe” river cruise from July 28 to August 11. From a passenger list of 150, more than a hundred were Australians and their heroes were getting bashed unmercifully by the Poms at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston. Another thirty were New Zealanders, who nodded in complete approval, and the rest the were British who knew when to keep relatively quiet. This was our trial attempt at a river adventure … from Amsterdam to Budapest in 15 days … after more than a dozen sea cruises. And it was spectacular, if not completely magnificent. The weather helped, of course, improving dramatically once we were well into the Rhine from temperate to sizzling. APT’s splendid package was also a bonus. Absolutely everything incorporated in the initial price, including drinks (all day, if you wanted, and one or two did), gratuities and a huge itinerary of mouthwatering, if occasionally exhausting, excursions. Both the MS Amalyra ship and its cabins on the were surprisingly spacious and well designed with exceptional facilities, good air conditioning and storage. Ours also had a French balcony which was very useful in a variety of conditions. And the ship’s comparative lightness meant that it completed the full course where some of the heavier vessels had to call a halt because of the low water levels. Unfortunately, our naivety meant that we missed the Amsterdam excursions. We thought that the verbal assurance that they were all starting at 9am was sufficient. Unfortunately, it was changed to 8.30am and we didn’t check in the “Daily Cruiser”. Cruise Director Arno Primig said he would wait for us as we emerged from breakfast with a minute to spare. But we didn’t think his generosity would be reciprocated by the other passengers. Otherwise, it was basically plain sailing and good to see Cologne again after a gap of too many years, with a luxurious evening banquet and piano recital at Namedy Castle in Andernach. The Loreley rock didn’t manage to snare us in the Rhine Gorge in the morning but we had an exciting afternoon in Rudesheim where an unexploded Second World War bomb poked its head above the ever-lowering river water depth, delaying everyone for three hours while it was disarmed. We heard the sirens wailing and vehicles screeching from high above on the gondola ride. I must confess to falling asleep during the following day’s glass-blowing demonstration and we also gave the treasure hunt in Miltenberg a miss. Otherwise most of the excursions we opted for (there was usually a choice) turned out to be winners. We were not allowed to film Tiepolo’s amazing ceiling frescos in Wurzburg which survived the allied bombing. Bamberg the next day was a delightful medieval town and Nuremberg, particularly the former Nazi areas, was well worth the early start. The Amalyra parked a very short distance from Regensburg centre but, sadly, the ancient stonebridge, the town’s main attraction, was undergoing a massive refurbishment, so it was a no-go area. The full-day excursion to Salzburg aboard the Orient Express-style Majestic Imperator train was an intriguing date with the past for us. The city surrounds had changed so much since we last saw it and, despite its links with “The Sound of Music” which, we were informed, flopped in Austria and Germany. Surprise, surprise! We gave Melk a miss, apart from watching our intrepid cyclists (all eight of them) set off to pedal the 36 kilometres to Durnstein while the ship and everyone else was cruising there. Four made it, two fell off and required treatment, two didn’t make it and were forced to call a taxi to complete the journey at a cost of 80 Euros. They are still trying to get their money back. Durnstein was hectically charming, but the two highlights (for us) were Vienna and Budapest, both amazing cities, full of history and stunning architecture. Vivid Vienna memory was a classical concert (an hour was just right) at the Palace of Liechtenstein. No prizes for guessing that the closing piece was Johan Strauss’s “The Blue Danube”, and, of course, a little Mozart. In Budapest, we visited the Opera House (among many other buildings) where a lady in red suddenly appeared and gave us a few arias. A cruise up and down the river there at night between the brilliantly-illuminated buildings of Buda and Pest was a good way to finish. To answer a few of the questions we have answered since our return to Blighty. Food: First class and plenty of it, and always steak and other favourites available. Special restaurant at rear of ship at no extra cost. Entertainment: OK and just about what you would expect on a small ship. Resident pianist Peter was competent with a huge repertoire. Cabin service: First class. Hotel Manager Viktoria Tuboly and reception staff: Never made anyone feel they were a nuisance. Guest communications: Very good. Locks: They were a little tedious at first but vaguely amusing and educational when you got used to them. Black spot: Walking tours were graduated but some of the guides were still far too fast and became separated from their parties. Passenger relations: The Aussies helped to make the cruise, with their naturally cheerful, friendly nature. Occasionally a little boisterous, but, hey? we’ve all seen Brits thrashing their way across the dance floor. Cruise director: Arno Primig. Excellent, knowledgeable, friendly and always available. Bonus: Flat screen computer, which also doubled as a TV, with full Internet service in every cabin Overall: Good value for money. River versus Ocean cruising: The jury is still out on that one. Ocean plusses: More time (days at sea) to recuperate between excursions. River plusses: Everything is right there outside your cabin. And you can choose whether or not to go. Read Less
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