5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We selected this cruise because the date was right. We selected this cruise, as well, based upon our tourism company´s recommendation. It was a relaxing and quite nice cruise up the Rhine. Included some cities we had visited by car as ... Read More
We selected this cruise because the date was right. We selected this cruise, as well, based upon our tourism company´s recommendation. It was a relaxing and quite nice cruise up the Rhine. Included some cities we had visited by car as well as other locations we had not been to. The room service was quite wonderful. The fellow who had been assigned to our section of rooms spoke far better English than German. Being an American expat and my partner, a native German, is bi-lingual and we both could talk to this fellow. We have been told than in 2018 The Aqua is becoming International with English being the second but equal language with German. From my perspective, it has begun. The food service was varied and quite fine. The waiter in our section is Hungarian and having heard me speaking in English began our week with English dining room service. Being a smoker, I totally appreciate the back of the ship´s area for smokers. We, had a great deal of rain the last 2 days and the upper deck was not conducive to being there. Would go on another A Rosa Cruise. Plan on a short stay in 2018 at a resort of A Rosa. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We choose this cruise specifically because of the excursion to castle Neuschwanstein, the Bavarian castle which Disney modeled Cinderella's castle. The castle was great and beautiful in every way. I was disappointed that we felt so ... Read More
We choose this cruise specifically because of the excursion to castle Neuschwanstein, the Bavarian castle which Disney modeled Cinderella's castle. The castle was great and beautiful in every way. I was disappointed that we felt so rushed the whole day both getting there and the amount of time spent there. I would have liked to spend more time at the castle and then the village below. I came so far just to see this as the highlight of our trip, only to be rushed through. I don't understand why they couldn't have extended the time, its not like we had to be home at a certain time. It was a 2 hour bus ride there and back. After the tour we had to make a choice to eat lunch at one of the very quaint restaurants or go shopping. I chose the shopping and not eat. Also disappointing was we were supposed to visit King Ludwig's museum, only to find out all museums are closed on Mondays, the day we were there. Couldn't they have planned that better? Especially knowing its listed in the catalog as a stop we were to make. My husband and I have traveled before on river cruises. This cabin was by far the smallest, but we didn't really have a choice since this was the size of the ship's cabins. I felt like I was sleeping in a closet. The ship only has french balconies, no outside balconies, another feature I would normally prefer. The staff was very accommodating and friendly. The service was excellent and the food was also excellent and gave you a variety of selections, as well as wines and beers, all included. The cruise director was rather "flat", not much personality and I felt other than his talks in the lounge, didn't inform us on a day to day basis of the schedule. Yes, we received a program each night in the room, but there were still always unanswered questions which guests were always asking each other for the answers. Although the tours were interesting and informative, I felt the tour guides did a much better job on previous ships we have been on. We did really enjoy the two different occasions for just cruising and relaxing on board. They could have done a better job with entertainment, which was really non existent, except for a keyboard player each night. We would have really enjoyed some local authentic entertainment in some of the ports, or bring us to restaurants with entertainment. That was another disappointment for us. Again, there was good and bad, but all in all it was a memorable trip. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
After a few ocean cruises it was time to try something different. Riviera was a local company so wishing to support a local business, a cruise Rhine Danube cruise on 'Emily Bronte' was chosen. The original booking was made in ... Read More
After a few ocean cruises it was time to try something different. Riviera was a local company so wishing to support a local business, a cruise Rhine Danube cruise on 'Emily Bronte' was chosen. The original booking was made in 2015, but due to health problems was not able to travel in 2016. Unfortunately lost fare, but rebooked and repaid to travel this year. So you probably can guess how much the anticipation for this holiday. Flight to Frankfurt and drive to Cologne went smoothly, as did boarding, then things started to go wrong. While exploring on deck tripped on the top step on one of the staircases. A short while later the same thing happened on a different staircase. In all this happened four times. On investigated it was noticed that staircase descending from the deck had 'astroturf' going right to the edge of the steps, hiding the top step, all other steps had a very clear metal edges. Later while sitting on the forward part of the deck, to watch the departure from Cologne, we were choaked by exhaust fumes coming from a black hole on the top of the mast at the front of the boat, just level with the seating area. It transpired that there was an engine below which powered the bow propeller. I seems that the same funnel also extracted fumes from the kitchen below. I shared my concerns with the young lady 'hotel manager' who said she would pass my comments on to the captain.. The problem with the exhaust continued throughout the cruise, so the same report was made to the male Riviera rep who advised to write to head office. I did take some photographs of the sooty, oily deposits that came from that exhaust. I must have been seen with my camera because over the next two days some crew were scrubbing away. Another thing about the deck. Either the boat was too high, or the bridges were too low, because all chairs, tables, screens, even the funnels were removed from the deck, which was out of bounds while sailing. But, it was a novelty to watch the ships bridge while going under a road bridge. The bridge was lowered on hydraulic and disappeared, leaving just the drivers head showing. The other major, I think, issue was that the ship did not belong to Riviera but to Schilla, a Swiss company I was told. All the crew were employed by Schilla, many from Indonesia. In fact there were no native English speakers on board, except the passengers, which made communicating with staff a bit difficult on occasions. A few words about food. Not what I was expecting (for the price), one day cows cheek, another raw meat balls, Soup portions barely cover the bottom of the bowls. Dessert spoons were really teaspoons, but matched the portions size of some of the desserts. No beef wellington, but we did get baked Alaska. Entertainment: A resident pianist, crew show and a string quartet in Vienna. Tours: Appeared to consist of driving through heavy traffic round town and walking tours which seemed to get jumbled up with groups from the several other boat moored nearby. Disembarkation: please read review on Wizz Air To be fair I did enjoy the sailing part, the 66 locks we passed through, the scenery, and the majority of the other passengers. Would I do another river cruise? Well having done the Amazon and the Nile, probably not. Comparing costs would be the decider, and with sea cruises considerably cheaper, and offering a lot more are a much more attractive alternative Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Riviera travel Rhine Cruise to Switzerland 15 June to 22 June 2016 We started our holiday in St Pancras Station on 15 June and before starting our journey we left our Cases at the drop off point for luggage which we were having ... Read More
Riviera travel Rhine Cruise to Switzerland 15 June to 22 June 2016 We started our holiday in St Pancras Station on 15 June and before starting our journey we left our Cases at the drop off point for luggage which we were having transported to the Cruise ship as part of the Cruise, the next time we would see these was outside our Cabin ,This went so very smoothly without any causes for concern. We then went to the Eurostar check in followed by our Eurostar journey to Brussels again this went so extremely smoothly without any complications, We were met by our cruise manager Christine who gave full details of the procedure at Brussels and our onward journey by Coach to Cologne The Journey to Cologne by coach was fine and took about 3 ½ hours which included a toilet and refreshment break before finally arriving in Cologne and ready to board our Ship the Jane Austin Riviera cruises are all booked by passengers from the UK which made integrating with other passengers so easy, On boarding the cruise ship the expectations we had were surpassed ,the Captain and crew were there to welcome us aboard and on seeing the reception area for the first time was stunning, a crew member showed us to our cabin and once again we were blown away with the size and luxury feel to it, the sliding patio doors were the full width of the cabin and the shower room was cosy but complete, cases can be stored under the bed , bottles of water are replenished free every day , the cabin is serviced every morning including towel replacement and the beds are turned down each evening and chocolates are placed on each pillow. We then went to explore the whole ship, firstly having a look at the lounge ( WOW ) we were amazed at the size and spaciousness and luxury seating ( Amazing ), following this we looked at the Dining room and once again we were blown away with the size and quality of the table settings just like a 5 star hotel, we the explored some more and found the Lido bar at the rear of the ship which had an outside seating area. From here we went to the top deck where there was loads of table and chairs set out or for those who wanted to laze away the days there were about 40 sunbeds with canopy’s above to shade the hot sun, to the front the seating again was tables and chairs and surrounded by a glass screen to shelter from any breeze there may be, A luxurious seating was at the very front of the ship with loads of outdoor wicker settees ( wonderful ) We went for dinner at 7pm which was amazing with 5 courses you couldn’t expect more, The food was of superior quality and cooked to perfection, this was to be the standard of food for the entire cruise ( excellent )The cost of drinks is very reasonable Beer 2.50 euro for beer, 2.50 euros for Coke etc and 5 euros for glass wine, full bottle wine is 18.50 euros. Tea, Coffee, jugs of Cold Water and cookies are available free of charge all day. Breakfast is buffet style and has an amazing choice, this is followed by a buffet lunch which is then followed by afternoon tea and cakes before finally having the 5 course evening meal ( 7 courses on the night of the captains dinner ) no formal dress is required for dinner just smart casual is fine, jackets not required unless you wish to do so. We set sail at about 10pm and watched Cologne slip away into the distance, The speed being about 10 miles per hour and our first part of the cruise was about 11 hours arriving at Koblenz about 10 am the following morning, as the ship cruises there is absolutely no feeling of any movement, The cruise followed the complete itinerary as detailed in the brochure and over the next couple of days the scenery was superb, the Rhine Gorge being the highlight ( Stunning ) We were amazed by the number of business ships on the Rhine ie tankers, container ships etc carrying all types of goods along this amazing river, at some points the river must be about a mile wide. We called at Rudesheim where the ship moored at the centre of this amazing town definitely a tourist town but full of character and shops and bars and restaurants. Other ports of call were Speyer, Strasbourg, Breisach, and Basel. At some of the moorings we were slightly away from the towns and coaches were provide to transport passengers to the town centres, also at a couple of moorings we were moored along side another cruise ship, this did not cause any problems at all other than our cabin looking directly into theirs, this was generally only for a few hours before ships moved on. Leaving the cruise ship through other ships was also not a problem. And the gangways to land were very easy to negotiate even for passengers with a small degree of walking difficulty. At certain stops we decided not to take the coaches or walking tours and instead stay on board which was absolutely no problem, being the only couple to stay on board the entire ship was ours for the day ( peaceful !!! ) and the crew laid on Lunch for just the 2 of us which again was outstanding. On the final day we were transferred by coach to Basel train station for our TGV journey back to Paris , and then crossed Paris by coach to catch the Eurostar back to London, all transfers are included and full guidance was given all the way by Sarah the tour Manager who accompanied us all the way back to London. The entire crew including the tour manager Sarah and Christine are to be congratulated for their kindness, friendliness, professionalism and attention to the passengers, The whole cruise was above excellent , however it leaves you wanting to do more River Cruises and especially with Riviera Travel, we may also book a tour holiday with them as there is a wide choice for holidays by rail if you don’t want to fly. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Our first ever cruise and we weren't disappointed. The ship was first class and so was the service. We opted for a suite but might go for a cabin next time as we were only ever in the suite for sleeping. A bit disappointed that it ... Read More
Our first ever cruise and we weren't disappointed. The ship was first class and so was the service. We opted for a suite but might go for a cabin next time as we were only ever in the suite for sleeping. A bit disappointed that it wasn't possible to sit out on the balconies but it did say this in the brochure. Also a little peeved that when docked, most of the time the view was blocked by either the dock wall or another boat. The restaurant was really good with service alternating between buffets and waiter service. On special nights (gala night and Captain's dinner) everything was silver service. Food about the same as a 4 star restaurant. Wine good too. Didn't have a problem sharing tables some nights as it made for good converstaion each night and by the end of the cruise we knew half the other passengers. Our tour managers were Leslie and Jane and they made a great team. Jane's talks about the respective tours and towns where we stopped were good but could have been arranged better as we seemed to be for ever attending talks or meetings or presentations. Being repeatedly introduced to the entire ship's crew was a bit OTT. The atmosphere on board was definitely friendly and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. Most passengers were elderly which led to a few 'slow' boardings especially onto and off the coaches and I was surprised to see that there were no members of staff helping people at these points. However, when we left on our final day, we put our cases outside our rooms and they were collected by the crew and loaded onto the coaches without us having to touch them - none of the other lines seemed to do this for their passengers. Some of the tours were over hyped but the trip into the mountains on the last day was fantastic. The trip to Titisee was great but we needed more time there. Also, the coach guides did not stop talking for the entire journey - one and half hours of it over the tannoy so we could not even switch them off. However, the scenery was spectacular so did make up for it. The first days on the river were the best with great scenery. The facilities on the decks are really good for just lounging about with waiter service everywhere. Going through the locks was 'interesting'. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who just wants to relax and have everything done for them. I would go again but next time I would be more inclined to skip some of the tours and not pay the extra to have a suite. The boat was spotlessly clean, very well equipped with plenty of good quality food at every opportunity! Anyone with mobility problems should be ware that this is a boat so it has lots of steps however, there were some people in the eighties on board who managed perfectly well. We were met at the airport and never carried our luggage ourselves after that. 8 days of being totally spoilt and looked after! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My wife and I selected the Rhine/Moselle cruise and were extremely impressed with all aspects of ship and staff. We booked a stern suite which was extremely nice although a little noisy being close to the propellers and engine room. ... Read More
My wife and I selected the Rhine/Moselle cruise and were extremely impressed with all aspects of ship and staff. We booked a stern suite which was extremely nice although a little noisy being close to the propellers and engine room. We would not book this suite again but have booked a suite further forward for our forthcoming river cruise with Riviera. The dining standards were absolutely superb with all meals being even better than we expected and the restaurant staff were very pleasant and efficient . All area's of the ship including cabins were spotlessly clean and the décor was of a very high class. The entertainment was low key each evening with the pianist/vocalist being exceptionally good. One evening the ships crew performed a concert which to our surprise was extremely well presented and enjoyable. All the shore excursions were well organised and very informative and the ship always moored close to town and city centres. Finally, both the embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and quick and the tour manager was always very pleasant and helpful. We would expect to complete many more cruises with Riviera over the coming years as a result of our experience on this cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
What more can I say other than the title of this review. This was my first river cruise and though I have been on many large ship cruises this was my first on a small ship and the first on a river. Actually this Grand European River Cruise ... Read More
What more can I say other than the title of this review. This was my first river cruise and though I have been on many large ship cruises this was my first on a small ship and the first on a river. Actually this Grand European River Cruise by Vantage far exceeded my expectations. I thought I would be bored on a small ship without all the facilities of an ocean liner but to my surprise this was one of the best experiences I have had on any ship. Starting with the staff. They were friendly, helpful, and very professional. Every activity was well planned out (both on board and on shore) and for the most part included in the price of the voyage. There were very few "Optional" tours. When we had to tour by bus they were of the highest caliber with local guides that were excellent. The ship with about 130 passengers was just the right size. Our cabin had plenty of closet and drawer space for our clothes. Our cabin, while only 150 square feet, my wife and I never felt cramped. With its low draft, our ship had no trouble making the trip from Cologne to the Black Sea. The larger ships used by Viking were not able to make it to Passau due to low water levels and a deeper draft. We watched as their passengers were loaded onto buses with their luggage to be transferred to ships further down river. The food on the ship was varied and tasteful with a number of menu choices. When we ate on shore during an all day tour, the restaurants they brought us to were very good. While on board the ship every staff member provided excellent service (and they did it with a smile!). The Program Director was excellent (she was even there at 3 AM in the morning to see us off for our flight home making sure our arrangements were okay). Her Port Talks each evening were interesting and informative. She was always available to help if you needed it. Read Less

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