My wife and I decided to start our vacation with the Luftner option to visit Prague before our cruise. We arrived at the Luftner selected Prague Hotel and was immediately disappointed that there was no Luftner representative. Instead, the ... Read More
My wife and I decided to start our vacation with the Luftner option to visit Prague before our cruise. We arrived at the Luftner selected Prague Hotel and was immediately disappointed that there was no Luftner representative. Instead, the hotel staff told us to read the message taped to the desk in the hall way. The message told us that we would have dinner catered by the hotel later in the day. The next day we would be met by a tour guide to see the sights of Prague. The note also told us to be ready for pickup the following day. Obviously, we (about 19 option takers) were very disappointed that there was no Luftner representative to answer questions about the cruise and excursions. Some of the people were supposed to be pick up at the airport but they had to get there own taxi so they could not resolved this issue.
After Prague, we traveled to our ship. Our room was okay and the climate control work efficiently to our satisfaction.
The dining area was offen warm and uncomfortable at times.
Meals: Came with beverage of your choice including house red or white wine for lunch and dinner
Breakfast - buffet with the option to order omelettes or eggs prepared to your liking. No real complaint except it became rather boring.
Lunch - salad and soup was buffet style but the entree came separately. Entrees were either a small portion of fish or meat with very little seasoning. Salad and soup were very good but the entree was a hit or miss depending on flavor, dryness, or likeability.
Dinner - all came with appetitizer, soup, entree, and dessert. The appetitizer was very small and not typically what Americans find palatable. The entrees were very disappointing. You were lucky if you got 2 - 4 ounces of fish or meat. In addition, the entree side item were usually a meager selection of vegetables. In short, you were finished with the entree in 3 to 5 mountful. Most of the entrees were a miss because of the lack of flavor, dryness or being cold. An example was our last night dinner which was surf and turf. The entree consisted of 1 medium shrimp on 2 ounce piece of fillet mignon. Dessert for the most part were good.
Entertainment was provided by a electronic piano player/singer and a female singer. They were average for entertainment and not very memorable. The Hungarian folk dancers on the last day were really good but most of us were downstairs packing.
Service - our waiter was simply terrible. Our waiter had a vague knowledge of food we were being served. At times he would have to look at the menu to see what the options were. One example, the menu called a type of fish by a unknown name. When we asked the waiter what type of fish is being serve, he told us at the table it was salmon. When it arrive, we all knew it wasn't salmon. We had to call the Matre de to straighten our entree selections. Another time, the dessert was not appetizing for a few on at the table. I noticed at another table, they has the same problem with dessert and asked for and received ice cream. When we asked our waiter, he told us it was not on the menu. When we pointed to the other table, he got indignant and went to see about getting us ice cream. He never returned so I asked the Matre de and he gave us some ice cream. Our assistant server on the other hand was exceptional! I have to say all the rest of the waiters seemed to be very good with smiles on their face at all times and very helpful so I would say our table was just unlucky.
Ports and Shore Excurions - we selected Luftner because of their flexibility in selecting excursions. Most of the excursions were very good like the concert program but a few were mediocre in that we were alway rushed and did not have sufficient time to see or do the thing we would have like to do. We did have one very bad excursion...Vienna at Night. The excursion consisted of a visit to a wine garden to sample a red and white wine. The group was given an hour and 45 minutes to enjoy ourselves. However, the wines were poor quality and the side bread came with unappetizing spreads and it was also a hot and buggy night. After an hour, our group told the tour guide we would like to leave. She tried to call the bus driver but he did not answer his phone so we all walked up and down the street looking at closed shops until the time to leave. The bus driver still did not arrive until 20 minutes after the designated time. The rest of the evening was spent on the bus as the guide pointed out some landmarks. Do not waste your money on this excursion. Do not be pulled in by the enticing write up.
In short, my wife and I decided not to go on another river cruse. Hindsight, we should have selected a river cruise catered especially to American. Maybe the food and entertainment would have been better. This cruise line is cheaper but it can nickel and dime you as you pay for extras...wifi, beer, soda, bikes. Read Less