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285 Budapest to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

Cruise number 52 Riviera Cruises - MS Thomas Hardy 6th December - 11th December 2018 Cabin number : 218.- midship , Deck 2 - Balcony Cabin Total pax : 169 , Crew : 44: Decks :5 Cruise for 5 nights - Christmas Market cruise ... Read More
Cruise number 52 Riviera Cruises - MS Thomas Hardy 6th December - 11th December 2018 Cabin number : 218.- midship , Deck 2 - Balcony Cabin Total pax : 169 , Crew : 44: Decks :5 Cruise for 5 nights - Christmas Market cruise Budapest / overnight Budapest / Bratislava / Vienna / Vienna overnight / at sea / Budapest overnight Checking in was fast and expiditied perfectly , From arrival on river side/ check in then to cabin was 30 minutes. On board, housekeeping , room service ,main dining room service and food all of a very good standard. The Bistro restuarant which is booking only can not be compared to any of the chefs table rstaurants on similar star rating ships this is due to it not being any differant from the main restuarant except for menu. No differant silver service ( in fact our table felt we had better service in the main restaurant), no variety of wines per course as expected and local foods as would be the norm. The included excursions all of a good standard , with the guide in Budapest on day one Uri being so non PC its great to hear and excellent at his guiding. The oriantation tour around Bratislava with Alta was first class again so non PC its refreshing . Tour around Vienna was basic and pedestrian . We did our market route and spent many wonderful hours using our own apps. The Ars Mundi string quartet was a nice touch as entertainment in Vienna on board after dinner. No form of sail away , however found the departures times to early as you miss the impact of the christmas lighting after dark. Postpone by 2 hours and all would be fie on this point However the total lack of any entertainment besides our loan pianist who tried his best does drop the overall rating somewhat along with the very pedestrian cruise director , the tour manager tried his hardest to bridge the gap but to no avail. This meant long dinners and more bar time . Overall a good product with a few tweeks and upliftments , the Housekeeping, Bar and main dining room along with the ship crew carry the product for sure 2018 star grading - 4 Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Danube Waltz - the cities we were going to with the rich history in each was the leading factor. Seeing the comfort of being on the ship and cruising down the river was total enticing. Unfortunately, we arrived when the river was ... Read More
Danube Waltz - the cities we were going to with the rich history in each was the leading factor. Seeing the comfort of being on the ship and cruising down the river was total enticing. Unfortunately, we arrived when the river was historically low and did not get to spend the afternoon in Budapest. We got a panoramic bus ride then bused all the way to Vienna by passing Bratislava. We were bused back for a panoramic bus ride tour of the city and no free time again. Had to get back on ship. Next day awoke in Krems and had to move with the water going down more. We moved to Melk and were bused back to the Gotweig Abby. Lots of busing for the first 4 days! The Viking staff and program director bent over backwards trying to please everyone. Lesson learned - Viking should cancel when mother nature is in control. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Avalon delivered a top notch vacation and attended to every detail to give us a most memorable and stress free vacation. The hotels in Budapest and Prague were superior. The cruise director, Sabine, worked tirelessly to ensure ... Read More
Avalon delivered a top notch vacation and attended to every detail to give us a most memorable and stress free vacation. The hotels in Budapest and Prague were superior. The cruise director, Sabine, worked tirelessly to ensure everyone's concerns were properly addressed. Despite historically low water levels on the Danube, Avalon did everything they could to make our vacation pleasurable. Everything was well thought out to provide the best possible experience for all passengers. From the hotels, to the guided tours, to the ship staff, to the food and entertainment, to the cabins, all met our highest expectations. Our only disappointment would be at port as we were usually double docked along side another ship. We never got to enjoy the views of the port cities and had to keep our curtains closed most of the time. We have traveled on other cruise lines in the past and would definitely recommend Avalon to anyone considering a river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We sailed in October 2018, when the Danube and Rhine were terribly low. Much of Europe was in a drought all summer, and the captain told us he's never seen the rivers this bad. It was affecting all of the cruise lines, not just ... Read More
We sailed in October 2018, when the Danube and Rhine were terribly low. Much of Europe was in a drought all summer, and the captain told us he's never seen the rivers this bad. It was affecting all of the cruise lines, not just Uniworld. So we had some disruptions, but we still had a great time. We left Budapest a day early because of the river, but got an extra day in Vienna, which was great. Once we got as far as Vilshofen, the river was no longer navigable. We were still able to do most of the tours, but had to take a bus to get to the various towns for our tours. It's not what anyone hoped for, but the buses were comfortable, and the tours were quite enjoyable. Passengers who didn't want to go on a bus were welcome to stay onboard the ship. After 9 days (of a 15 night cruise), we packed up and rode to Frankfurt where we boarded another Uniworld ship to use that as our base for the next 3 nights while we had tours in towns in that area. The final 3 nights were spent in hotels in Cologne and Amsterdam. The hotels were quite nice, and Uniworld provided money for our meals while we were not on the ship. I noticed that the Cruise Critic overview for this ship is a little out of date. Alcohol is included with this cruise, except for high-end drinks that are listed in a book at the bar. Also, on the Gala night and Farewell night, dinner is somewhat dressier, but not necessarily as dressy as described. A lot of men wore a jacket without a tie, some wore a tie but no jacket, and some just wore a dress shirt. Women dressed a little dressier than the other nights, but nice slacks and a dressy blouse were fine. There was a resident pianist/vocalist playing in the lounge before and after dinner, and outside bands were brought in to play on several nights. The food was generally quite good, and if we found something not to our liking, the wait staff were happy to bring something else. Regarding tours, they did offer a "Gentle Walkers" option for passengers who would like a slower and easier pace on the tours. Otherwise, I think every town had a choice of at least 2 different tours that were included at no extra charge. They did offer a few special tours that cost extra, but there were always some free tours as well. Overall, we had a great time, and look forward to our next river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We booked aboard the Avalon Vista from Budapest to Nuremberg. We really had a wonderful trip. Due to low water levels our cruise had to be altered multiple times. Avalon handled these changes nearly seamlessly and bent over backward ... Read More
We booked aboard the Avalon Vista from Budapest to Nuremberg. We really had a wonderful trip. Due to low water levels our cruise had to be altered multiple times. Avalon handled these changes nearly seamlessly and bent over backward to ensure that we were happy. They went above and beyond. I don't remember hearing hardly any complaints. Our cruise director Istvan Pinter was wonderful. Calm, cool, collected, helpful, understanding and more. It can't have been easy to handle the logistics of all the changes. We may have had to take a bus in a couple unexpected places but the trade off was hardly a cloud in the sky! Beautiful, warmer than expected weather every day!! Not one rain drop. The Avalon Vista is a great ship. Clean, well appointed. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. Some of my favorite places on this trip were an unplanned outing to Bratislava, Slovakia; our excursion to the Bohemian town of Český Krumlov; and Durnstein. The food was generally amazing! There was only one day at lunch when I had a hard time finding something I liked. I am sure if I had asked they would have made me something as well. They were very good about that. All in all this was a great trip. Avalon is great and the Vista was great. I know there are other companies that cost a lot more, and I don't know why anyone would chose them over Avalon!! Our time in port and our excursions were wonderful! The only things I had any complaints about were I wish there had been a better beer selection on board (the WINE however was amazing) and I wish someone had suggested that some of us might like to ride a bike along the river instead of being on board for the shortest distance between ports (15 - 20 miles). Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The staff were great, in particular cruise director Michael. The maid service for our room was excellent. Tour guides on the excursions were friendly and very knowledgeable. Europe experienced a very hot summer resulting in low water ... Read More
The staff were great, in particular cruise director Michael. The maid service for our room was excellent. Tour guides on the excursions were friendly and very knowledgeable. Europe experienced a very hot summer resulting in low water levels. We were told that many other cruise ships had to bus their guests around the low areas but our very experienced captain was able to sail us through although we had to bypass a stop at one town because of low water. Improvements could be made in food services, particularly for vegetarians. The veggie menu showed little imagination; very heavily potato based, not enough protein based veggies. Accessibility on the shore excursions for persons with limited mobility could be improved by making sure the shore drop off and pickup points were the same place. Often there was a considerable walking distance between these points. Also, more information could be made available on how to access tour trams (cho-cho trains) for those who cannot walk around the towns. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Wanted to maximize our tour while traveling to Europe. The Grand European made sense. Pre trip two days in Budapest. Enjoyed the extra time exploring both sides of the city. The low water meant bus trip from Budapest to Vienna. This did ... Read More
Wanted to maximize our tour while traveling to Europe. The Grand European made sense. Pre trip two days in Budapest. Enjoyed the extra time exploring both sides of the city. The low water meant bus trip from Budapest to Vienna. This did not go over well. Had to move to a different hotel. Pack the bags extra time. Then 3 hour bus trip before getting on the Viking VE. The crew did everything possible to make us fell welcome. The crew on the VE was exceptional. Then we got under way but 5 days later we had to again be bused because of low water. Change ships was not good. Had to pack all the bags and bus to next ship. Also had to be bused to shore excursions which added a lot of bus time. The new crew did very well but my opinion they did not match the Viking VE crew. Rest of the trip went well. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We picked Scenic for a few reasons. Good ratings for the cruise line. We liked the itinerary. Would have been better ratings from us if we had been able to stay on the ship we had booked. This alternate ship (the Pearl)had a wonderful ... Read More
We picked Scenic for a few reasons. Good ratings for the cruise line. We liked the itinerary. Would have been better ratings from us if we had been able to stay on the ship we had booked. This alternate ship (the Pearl)had a wonderful crew. The crew on the 2nd ship seemed to find us an inconvenience. This is understandable since it was inconvenient for us as well. We were required to change ships for one night due to the low water levels in the Danube. I can't imagine all the extra work that means for the crew. The cruise director (Richard) was great. The worst thing about moving the ship was leaving the hearing devices on board. So we were without those fantastic devices for a full day. The guide we had that day (Regensburg?) was great, but very soft spoken. I would have had a more interesting time if I could have heard her. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose Scenic because of it’s good reviews and that it was all inclusive. Communication from ScenicUSA left much to be desired. We cruised with mostly Canadians and Brits. They were all offered an extension in Prague after ... Read More
We chose Scenic because of it’s good reviews and that it was all inclusive. Communication from ScenicUSA left much to be desired. We cruised with mostly Canadians and Brits. They were all offered an extension in Prague after disembarking the ship. We were never offered this option. Thus, we had arranged 3 days in Munich on our own at the end of the cruise. In the end, this was fine as we loved Minuch. The Danube was at at all time low and our original boat, the Amber, never made it to Budapest. The Pearl was fine and the staff did an awesome job of dealing with low water levels and making the best of plans that had to change. We didn’t get to spend any downtime in Reggensburg and never made it to Nuremburg. Breakfast and lunch was boring and not that good. One guy making omlettes for 160 passengers just doesn’t cut it. Dinner was mediocre and a couple of times my entrees were not good. Dining is definitely the weak link on the Pearl. All-in-all, we had a great time and met some super people. The reviews that say you don’t need to dress for dinner are wrong. Women should bring 1 dress, some dressy shoes, gitzy jewelry, etc. I was always under-dressed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Friends past experience had me yearning to sail on Scenic having already done one riverboat cruise on Avalon As expected Scenic provided a five star experience. Nothing was too much trouble and everything ran like clockwork. The ... Read More
Friends past experience had me yearning to sail on Scenic having already done one riverboat cruise on Avalon As expected Scenic provided a five star experience. Nothing was too much trouble and everything ran like clockwork. The dining and bar staff were exceptional as was the young lady who cleaned our room We sailed from Budapest to Amsterdam for 15 days. My only complaint and this is a huge one was about the location of our stateroom. Never ever take the last suite on the middle deck. My husband called it the cell from hell. And we became very sleep deprived due to the boat engine being right next to our verandah We did complain however the boat was full so no change of cabin was available Excursion and entertainment was super. The food was tasty and the wine ran freely My husband loved being able to check a bike out and ride when he wanted to. A lovely trip minus the cabin Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
After 40 trips and cruises over seas, this 15 day Budapest to Amsterdam was our first river cruise. The record low water levels throughout Europe required us to take 3 bus trips to get around low water sections. The biggest problem is ... Read More
After 40 trips and cruises over seas, this 15 day Budapest to Amsterdam was our first river cruise. The record low water levels throughout Europe required us to take 3 bus trips to get around low water sections. The biggest problem is that we missed most of the Rhine River cruise up to Cologne and then on to Amsterdam. We each got compensated $200 and 50% off the daily cruise rate for each of the 3 days we needed to stay in hotels off the boat. A friend of ours took the identical trip 5 days later on the Viking Cruise Line and they were able to get their boat through the low water on the Rhine (they scraped bottom 4 times)! Viking only gave them a 25% off certificate for a future cruise as compensation. They food, service and entertainment were very good and the champagne flowed freely. No limit on lunch and dinner wine or beer. The ship's construction and maintenance were excellent, it looked brand new even though it is 5 - 6 years old. There were only about 3 guests under 40 years of age, and no kids. We appreciated not being steered to very many "factory" shops by our tour guides. If you take the side trip to Salzburg, be sure to watch the movie "The Sound Of Music" before the cruise. The WiFi was adequate but poor for streaming video. Avalon Cruise line doesn't advertise much in America so most of the guests are from Commonwealth English speaking countries. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
room too small for 1 much less 2! hated carpet in cabin vs wood floors lots of complaints from other ppl. Crew not too friendly as was amadera crew who was at your beck and call. Certo looked very cold and uninviting. Lacked ambiance. ... Read More
room too small for 1 much less 2! hated carpet in cabin vs wood floors lots of complaints from other ppl. Crew not too friendly as was amadera crew who was at your beck and call. Certo looked very cold and uninviting. Lacked ambiance. Certo was too sterile! the pool had no privacy greenery just plexigliglass. The girl pouring wine was very pushy even ppl who didn't want more she insisted. don't try to reinvent the wheel. Serious down grade from beautiful Dera. What a disappointment from last year sailing with Dera. No balcony and those annoying were computer screens. Another complaint by others. We put towels to cover I that didn't work. At The recommendation of other guests we disconnected the computer. This computer thing mad me feel I was being watched all the time very bazaar. No i wouldn't go sailing again. The scheduling of excertions was tight. No time to get ready for dinner another complaint from others. Barbara Milloit sailing with Tim Rada. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Enjoyed all the small towns in Germany and the outstanding countryside. We especially enjoyed the Rhine valley area, absolutely stunning. Overall the food and service on the ship was good. We enjoyed getting to know our servers and they ... Read More
Enjoyed all the small towns in Germany and the outstanding countryside. We especially enjoyed the Rhine valley area, absolutely stunning. Overall the food and service on the ship was good. We enjoyed getting to know our servers and they did a great job taking care of us. Even though we were traveling with 12 other people, we enjoyed meeting other people from either the United States or countries outside the U.S. We unfortunately ran out of water on some parts of our trip but realize that is out of the control of Viking. They did their very best to accommodate us with bus trips or changing ships.The shore excursions were very enjoyable, and loved that they were mostly done by locals who love their towns they live in. We would have loved to have seen more of Budapest, absolutely gorgeous. We did add several days to Amsterdam which was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had taken 3 previous cruises with Scenic and the cruises had been beyond reproach in all phases. On this cruise it was the little things that were missing. We shouldn't have to ask to have to have the shower gel replaced. We ... Read More
We had taken 3 previous cruises with Scenic and the cruises had been beyond reproach in all phases. On this cruise it was the little things that were missing. We shouldn't have to ask to have to have the shower gel replaced. We had to change ships because of low water levels and we left an apple Tablet pen behind in our cabin. The Cruise Director appeared unimpressed and unconcerned about attempting to have the pen retrieved and/or sent home for us. It was apparent that no attempt was made to even determine if the pen was found. On our last night we waited for 2 hours to get a cold meal. What was supposed to be tenderloin was like shoe leather. Again, the Cruise Director did not seem to care. When the issue was raised with the Chef he offered to by us a drink. He had to be informed it was an all inclusive cruise. Poor employee awareness. Our butlers on both ships were excellent. They tended to our needs in a timely and professional manner. The Bar and service staff were also very good. The Bar quickly learned what your beverage of choice was and would often have it waiting for you. The entertainment that was provide on a nightly basis was superb. The Brass Band and the Schuhplattler Folk Dance group were especially good. The DJ on the Jade was terrific. He engaged the audience and had everyone up and dancing. The DJ on the Jasper was lame. He made no attempt to engage his audience and was not up to Scenic's usually high standards. As always, the multiple excursions at each Port of Call, met or exceeded Scenic's standards. To have multiple excursions included is one of Scenic's major pluses. Scenic's no tipping policy is also an advantage as far as I am concerned. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, but it was certainly not up to Scenic's usual standards. Neglecting the little things makes the difference between a 5 Star and a 3 Star enterprise. We will sail with Scenic again in the hope that the issues we encountered on this cruise were an aberration and not a sign of things to come. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because we had used Gate 1 previously for a land vacation. We were unable to partake of the scheduled tour in Budapest because of flight delays. The transfer agent picked us up and nicely gave us a small tour of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had used Gate 1 previously for a land vacation. We were unable to partake of the scheduled tour in Budapest because of flight delays. The transfer agent picked us up and nicely gave us a small tour of Budapest while taking us to the ship. The ship is a typical river cruise ship and ho,do about 130 passengers. The crew all spoke very good English and were all courteous and helpful. Our cabin was on the lowest level, but it was a good size and held a small refrigerator where we could store beer and wine. The dining room held numerous tables of 4 to 8, and dinner nag with others was encouraged. We had a good mix of passengers ranging from a few teenagers to 70’s. Most of them were Americans with a scattering from Canada and Australia. We had a very congenial bunch which was further encouraged by our entertainment director Danielle from Italy. He made the voyage a very entertaining event with fun quizzes and games. Our tour director Gary made sure all the land tours went off without a hitch. The meals were buffets for breakfast and lunch, and table service for dinner. All meals were good in both taste and variety. Drinks were available in the lounge and wine and beer were served gratis at dinner. We were always docked alongside other cruise ships such as Avalon and Croisi-Europe as we had the same itineraries. Gate 1’s motto is See More of the World for less and it lives up to it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our second Viking river cruise. There were so many wonderful things about it. Unfortunately, two things interferes with my being able to give it a better rating. Just like on our previous voyage, we paid extra for a veranda ... Read More
This was our second Viking river cruise. There were so many wonderful things about it. Unfortunately, two things interferes with my being able to give it a better rating. Just like on our previous voyage, we paid extra for a veranda room. We enjoy having time outdoors with just the two of us. During at least four of the days of our cruise we were double or triple docked, which means another ship was adjoined to our boat. We could not only see directly into the room of the adjoining ship, but they could see into ours making the veranda unusable. It blotted out the light as well and turned our room into a dark cave. We had to pull the drapes for privacy. I feel that we should have been given a disclosure by Viking telling us this would happen. I also think they could adjust schedules so there weren’t so many ships in port at the same time so this didn’t need to happen. It ruined and put a negative spin on the whole trip. This never happened when we did a Viking cruise on the Rhine. Also, the food on this cruise was not as good as the one on the Rhine. However, the cruise was lovely and the staff was excellent. I emailed Viking five days ago and have yet to get a response. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The ship was beautiful. The common rooms were large and inviting! The restaurant food was good 3.5/4 out of 5, but the waitstaff was amazing!!!! The food presentation was lovely! The portions were good sized, meaning non-American ... Read More
The ship was beautiful. The common rooms were large and inviting! The restaurant food was good 3.5/4 out of 5, but the waitstaff was amazing!!!! The food presentation was lovely! The portions were good sized, meaning non-American portions which was a good thing! The alcohol was top brands and a nice to even a heavy pour. The wine was lovely at every meal. The dining experience was great! The staff made every effort to help you find a wine you liked at dinner, but usually this wasn't necessary as their picks were terrific. Our boat was approx 1/4 Australians, 1/4 Americans, 1/4 Canadians and 1/4 Brits. It was a great mix and we loved meeting people from all over! The excursions were great! One negative was that I would have appreciated less time on a bus to get to a destination for an excursion. Sometimes up to 2 hours each way. When we were in Vienna, instead of touring Vienna we bussed an hour or so away. We had time to explore Vienna on our own time, but it would have been nice to have a guided tour. Another great thing: E Bikes! So one day the boat cruised for 22 miles / 35 km and passengers had the option of riding with guides that distance using Ebikes! They were great, even though the terrain was fairly level, if you fell a little behind, you could turn on the battery feature and speed up to catch up! Also, one thing to consider when thinking about a river cruise. Water level. We didn't think of this. The Danube is a shallow river and when we hit the port of Passau, Germanry, we were grounded. The Danube was only 30 cm deep as Europe was experiencing a bit of a draught. We couldn't finish the cruise. So we stayed in Passau instead of continuing onto Regensburg and Nuremberg. The staff are great when this happens and they just go with it, but for the passengers, it's kind of a disappointment! One reason we chose this line is that it was an all inclusive. No tipping, no charge for excursions, alcohol, etc. You know.... There truly were no additional charges. They did have massage therapist on staff as well as some spa items, but it wasn't really pushed or advertised. Evening entertainment was a wonderful pianist who entertained those who stuck around in the lounge. A couple of nights, the cruise company brought in local dancing talents which was fun to see. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Hang up you clothes..fed and wine Top quality. Not worth paying extra for a cabin with balcony as most travel is done at night . Organisation was superb many thanks to our program director Kane Davies..a wonderful guy..must have worked ... Read More
Hang up you clothes..fed and wine Top quality. Not worth paying extra for a cabin with balcony as most travel is done at night . Organisation was superb many thanks to our program director Kane Davies..a wonderful guy..must have worked 24 hrs a day. Wish they had spent more time at main places. Prefer coach tours...see a lot more as you travel in the day..get used to packing your bag every day or so but you get used to it and only use clothes each day so you keep packing to a minimum. Food not as flash on coach tours and wine and beer not included but half the price for a month. Will stick with coach tours. Food available was superb...plus wine and beer...tended to stay with menu food as very nice and smaller portions. Comfort and information on the boat was excellent. A very comfortable cruisy trip and met a lot of very nice people. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Was our first river cruise. Chose Avalon because of good reviews, well priced and wanted to see Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Had always heard great things about river cruises and Avalon met all our expectations re meals, tours and ... Read More
Was our first river cruise. Chose Avalon because of good reviews, well priced and wanted to see Budapest, Vienna and Prague. Had always heard great things about river cruises and Avalon met all our expectations re meals, tours and hospitality. Our time in Budapest was well spent with excellent tours. This continued to Vienna where we docked two days. Organized morning excursions and plenty of time on our own in the afternoon. Ship was docked very close to a subway stop. The other stops were full with hikes, biking and excursions. All the ships staff were engaging and provided excellent services. The meals were diverse and featured local cuisine. Beer and wine were included with dinner and evening meals. Drinks were served well after the meals. The wines were also local and excellent quality. We often dined with a former wine salesman who was pleased with the wine quality. We would definitely repeat a river cruise with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We got a two-for-one deal which made the price of the trip better value. The ship, which is not one of the latest models despite being Constellation class, was decorated in rather dull shades of brown and beige. It had a serious design ... Read More
We got a two-for-one deal which made the price of the trip better value. The ship, which is not one of the latest models despite being Constellation class, was decorated in rather dull shades of brown and beige. It had a serious design flaw in the restaurant, where there were two sides, separated by banquette seating. This meant difficulty in moving around for waiters and passengers and a bottleneck and very little room at the buffet. Banquette seating really doesn't suit the demographic because it is not easy to get in and out. Bread and pastries were at the other end of the room so if you wanted toast with breakfast it meant queueing twice and either cold toast or cold food ( it was never very hot in the first place). Service at lunch, where main courses were largely waiter ordered, was very slow. Sometimes we were not asked if we wanted to order and the wine frequently did not arrive until after we had finished our starters. The cheese selection was poor and despite a promise from the hotel manager to go out and source new varieties, this never happened. We were not told that the two sides of the restaurant served different food on most evenings until 2 days before the end of the cruise (we missed the briefing on the first night where this was explained due to flight delays and no other ship has ever had this arrangement). Staff were helpful and friendly - there were just too few of them, especially wine waiters in the restaurant. The bar manager was fantastic and a couple of the restaurant staff really went the extra mile. Food wasn't exceptional. Beef consommé featured nearly every day in some form. They almost always served rice with fish, although fries or wedges could be requested. Breakfast was always the same - only one "chef's special" item varied each day and this was sometimes something which was available to order anyway. The bacon was rarely crispy and there was always a big queue in the small space by the egg station. Pastries were varied but could have been crisper and flakier. Bread was good. There was usually a good variety and the little bread balls which came with meals were excellent. Wine was average. We had far superior wine with Scenic. Trips were largely good. The tasting tour of Budapest market was interesting, although the guide spent too long wittering on about local specialities. Schönbrunn was stunning but like an oven inside on a very warm day. We didn't bother with some trips ( e.g. the dinner at Namedy castle because people who went on a previous cruise were not impressed. Opinions varied this time too. Nor did we go on the trip to the windmills in Amsterdam as it was wet and windy. We had been to a similar place and only booked it because we'd done all the other trips before, having been to Amsterdam on at least 5 previous trips. Speaking to other passengers who went gave us the impression that we didn't miss much.) The train trip to Salzburg aboard the Majestic Imperator was great - shame about the pouring rain! In Salzburg, after a rather lengthy bus tour round sites used in THAT film, we waited for ages in a downpour at toilets which were insufficient for the number of people. Then by the time we had walked round with the guide and had lunch there wasn't sufficient time to see much of the old town, which was a pity, because even in the rain, Salzburg is beautiful.The bus trip should be optional and people who are not interested in the film sites should be given the chance to be dropped off to have more time in the town. The ship moored a long way out of Würzburg - so far that we wondered if we were actually going to stop there! It would have been a taxi ride into the town if we had chosen to go in after the Rothenburg trip but we had been to Würzburg several times, fortunately. Rothenburg is a very beautiful place but there wasn't enough time to walk round the town and the walls. It should have been a day trip. We loved the little fairytale towns of Dürnstein and Miltenberg, which we had not visited before. In Dürnstein the recommended walking route mentions steps. They should point out that there are LOTS of steps (I lost count and my husband had to turn back and catch the little tourist train at extra cost.) Actually the route is a much easier walk the other way round because you can walk up a road which is much easier and then come down the steps. Steps also meant that my husband couldn't do the gondola ride at Rüdesheim - again we only found out just how many steps there were on the day before the trip and I didn't want to go on my own. We had already been to the Siegfried museum a couple of times so we decided to walk round by ourselves, not realising that most places didn't open until shortly before we sailed and the ship was berthed a long walk from the town - quite why that was, with lots of empty spaces, I don't know. Cost-cutting, probably. There was quite a bit of evidence of this since our trip with APT last year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I had extensively researched river cruises to determine if there would be one right for my husband and me. We are both 54 and, quite honestly, fairly active people. Although I was aware the average age was much higher, the draw for me was ... Read More
I had extensively researched river cruises to determine if there would be one right for my husband and me. We are both 54 and, quite honestly, fairly active people. Although I was aware the average age was much higher, the draw for me was the ability to see several countries without the hassle of packing and unpacking in different cities. I wanted something easy that didn’t require much thought. Even though I had read about the low and high water levels, and the possibility of there being some itinerary changes along the way, I still chose to book with Viking. There are many negative reviews regarding these itinerary changes but it often appears that people have not done their research ahead of time. If you know the possibility exists, you’re more apt to be able to “go with the flow” so to speak. In our family, our motto has always been, “it’s not really an adventure until you make your first u-turn”. As a result, we tend to fall in the “go with the flow” kind of crowd. You can probably guess that this particular cruise required us to go with the flow. We chose the Romantic Danube cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg. After a great trip from Budapest to Passau, we received the one of the worst possible outcomes due to low water levels - not that we would be packing up and transferring to another ship, but that there were no remaining Viking ships available to transfer to further up the river. The last Viking ship had made it through the day before, otherwise we could have traded with them. As a result, at Passau, our boat was docked in a not so picturesque location for the last couple of days – in fact there were 3 Viking ships docked side by side. We were then transported each day to the last remaining excursion points – Regensburg and Nuremberg (Viking actually switched these two days – Nuremberg and then Regensburg). Some chose to stay behind and were allowed to return to Passau to spend the day. We travelled 3 hours by coach to Nuremberg. I enjoyed the scenery and my husband enjoyed the nap. Unfortunately, our day was shortened but we enjoyed lunch followed by the World War II excursion. We missed out on walking around Nuremberg but enjoyed the excursion. Two couples chose to end the cruise at that time – one due to health concerns with the traveling, one because “we paid for a river cruise”. Believe me, we were privy to this couple’s unhappiness as we returned to Passau. Honestly, I’d do this again even if I knew how the last couple days would go. I would have booked the pre-extension in Budapest. Coming from Washington state, we did not arrive until 6:00 pm, just in time for the port talk and dinner. We missed out on exploring Budapest as the Panoramic Budapest tour was a drive through both sides on a Saturday morning - no traffic to slow us down - to view the buildings or take in one of the thermal baths.We enjoyed the Vienna "Up Close and Personal" excursion that was later added, allowing us to learn how to use the subway so we could continue to explore after the tour and return easily to the ship.We booked several optional excursions (1)The Heurigan Dinner was fun especially given the company we had to spend it with. (2) The Biking Tour at Krems to Durnstein and back was our favorite excursion, biking through vineyards and small towns and allowing us to explore the charming village of Durnstein. (3) Bavarian Beerfest - more than we expected, this was held on a farm where we received a tour of the facilities, ending with the tapping of the keg, pretzels, meats, spreads, and entertainment; (4) World War II - toured Courtroom 600 and then traveled to Zeppelin Field and the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rallying Grounds Museum- just wish we had had more time. We did add the post extension to Prague. Highly recommend. We loved both the Panoramic Prague and Kutna Hora excursions. Lots and lots of time to explore. Just be sure to bring super comfy shoes! We exchanged information with some wonderful people (meeting them and learning about their personal travels was one of the best parts of the trip) and saw some truly beautiful places. No regrets! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Firstly I would like to say this is one of the best holidays we have been on. The staff, ship and destinations were exactly as described and totally met our expectations. The down side was that a few days before we left we received ... Read More
Firstly I would like to say this is one of the best holidays we have been on. The staff, ship and destinations were exactly as described and totally met our expectations. The down side was that a few days before we left we received an email to say that part way through our sail we may have to disembark due to low water of the Danube. We weren’t over the moon about the prospect of changing ships but as I had already done some research on the cruises before we booked I understood that this could happen should water levels drop. On day four we arrived in Passau expecting to spend the morning in the City and return to the ship to set sail at 3pm. On our return at lunch we received an announcement that we wouldn’t be sailing until at least 6pm and that they would keep us informed. The outcome is that a decision was not made by Viking until it was too late to carry on our journey on the river - the water levels were now too low! Mistakes happen but when you have already been told that you might have to change ship I will never understand why they back tracked and we didn’t have an option to change with the sister ship sailing towards us. When we we told - we were so disappointed as I personally had never felt so relaxed on holiday. For the remaining part of the holiday we were coached to Nuremberg & Regensburg (Nuremberg is a 6 hour round trip) - we finished the holiday exhausted. Would I do a river cruise again? Absolutely but would choose to go in May and be constantly checking river levels. Viking you were spot on with many things and have amazing ships & staff but when you have booked a cruise with a French balcony you expect to cruise and also have a lovely view ... our view for three days was of the other boats docked in the same area - we had lost any privacy & stunning views. Whoever was responsible for making the decisions on this particular sailing should put themselves in the customers place and invest a lot of money on a holiday to end up on a coach tour - such a shame. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
On advise from our travel agent and excellent reviews we decided to travel through Europe on a river purpose built vessel and experience this fantastic trip ourselves , booked a year in advance to secure a cabin on deck 3 ,before the ... Read More
On advise from our travel agent and excellent reviews we decided to travel through Europe on a river purpose built vessel and experience this fantastic trip ourselves , booked a year in advance to secure a cabin on deck 3 ,before the actual cruise we booked through Scenic into the Marriott ( outstanding hotel) and the view on the Danube river to give us enough time to explore the city for a couple of days The day of embarkation , smooth and hassle free, disembarkation in Amsterdam likewise with transfers well organised by our outstanding cruise director Patrik . The Ship is what it is , modern and clean with excellent and very professional and friendly staff who do their best to make this a great experience. We didn't use the room service as we preferred to use the dining facilities in the main mess room, that was our choice , my guess is the cabin (333) is fairly compact but well appointed but not great for in cabin dining :-) The set up of these ships , only one dining room to accomodate all passengers for meals and if the bell rings for ' Chow time' people seem to rush down to secure their seats and if you decide to enter a bit later you feel sort of stranded , Scenic try to sort this out by using their Porto Bello area in the main lounge as well , this helps to a certain extend and this should be done every time , and am sure the hotel staff is aware of this . Dining is okay , I am not a complainer by all means, on a scale of 1-10, cannot give it more than 7.5- 8 , their is choice however , but would love the dining degustation experience that was offered to us at the ' Captains Table ' on every occasion and for all guests, as is the Porto Bello fine dining experience . Entertainment , love our pianist Marco Di Napoli Shore activities , out of this world ! Well organised , loved it 100 % Do I want to make another cruise with Scenic ? Probably as a foody and wine lover perhaps France , make no mistake the German and Austrian wines are excellent too. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had not visited Poland(Warsaw, Krakow) so we joined this tour of Poland followed by a cruise of the Danube from Budapest, Bratislava, Melk, Durnstein, Vienna, Regensdorf and on to Munich to catch our flight home to San Francisco. We ... Read More
We had not visited Poland(Warsaw, Krakow) so we joined this tour of Poland followed by a cruise of the Danube from Budapest, Bratislava, Melk, Durnstein, Vienna, Regensdorf and on to Munich to catch our flight home to San Francisco. We had the very best luxury Suites on the ship but in general, felt cramped especially by the very large group from Israel who tended to monopolize the ship. But the food was OK and the service decent. It paled in comparison to our first Danube cruise on Viking. Nevertheless, the scenery was breathtaking even though we have traversed this stretch to Prague at least 3 times before. Vienna is always such a delight representing old world elegance and genteel manners with Baroque architecture and of course Motzart's music and chocolates(Motzarts kugel made with marzipan). The shore excursions were great and well managed. All in all, the cruise was good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I have been on two other Viking river cruises over the last nine months so I had a pretty good understanding of what to expect. The service by the crew was excellent - it appears to be their trademark - all are well trained in excellent ... Read More
I have been on two other Viking river cruises over the last nine months so I had a pretty good understanding of what to expect. The service by the crew was excellent - it appears to be their trademark - all are well trained in excellent customer relations. The boat was a bit dated but was maintained well with a few exceptions. Meals were good - not outstanding but still very good for the most part. The wienerschnitzel was not prepared well - had the same experience on my last trip. The daily shore excursions were well managed and executed. Buses were very good and clean. The tour guides for each of the excursions were well trained and for the most part spoke good English. The downside was the number of hours/days that we were docked up against another ship or up again a wall. Once or twice may have been expected but the number of days the view as blocked was a bit disconcerting - frustrating. Last if you are late in booking a cruise you will not be able to participate in the pre and post travel excursions. I was told that it should not be a problem once I got on the boat to be able to participate in them. I was told to the contrary. It appears the pre and post excursion arm of the company did not work effectively with the resources on the boat. Also check carefully on the air carrier for your trip to Europe. I was put on Air Canada -Rouge - I will never travel with them again.The disappointments are too long to list -it started by cruise off on a very poor footing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018

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