This was our first river cruise so we have nothing to compare it with other than luxury ocean cruising with Silversea and Regent. It was called "Great Capitals and Vintage of the Danube". It started with a 3-day land pre-extension in Prague (based in the very nice Hilton Old Town), followed by a 7-day cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest. It was a wine-themed cruise, with multiple on-board tastings of St. Frances winery (Sonoma Valley, CA) excellent wines, and opportunities to visit several Austrian wineries (not so excellent). We enjoyed our mostly stress-free easy-paced cruise and interesting shore excursions, but would not recommend it if you absolutely MUST have gourmet cuisine or stellar dining room service and fine wines when you travel.
PRAGUE 3-day pre-cruise: we met our pleasant and intelligent cruise director Uwe Nietschke (sp), who coordinated a well-organized and interesting stay which started with practical recommendations for local restaurants, ATMs, safety, etc the first post-jetlag check-in evening. We had an interesting second day sightseeing tour (bus and walk) with a stimulating local guide, then just the right amount of free time. The Hilton Old Town was centrally located with good service and comfortable rooms. The optional, extra fee private Lobkowicz Palace tour the second day was fascinating, with many old musical instruments and weapons on display, followed by a classical music performance. We did not go to Terezin, a former internment camp for Jews, as I had been there before, which was another optional sidetour (recommended if you have any interest in European Jewish history). Instead we visited the Museum of Communism on our own (Uwe helped us with details), sandwiched between a McDonalds & a casino.
We then were bussed over to the ship in Vilshofen, with a stop in the colorful old city of Regensburg on the way. We did a city walking tour with a well-spoken guide, then had free time (we opted for a tasty local cuisine lunch at Regensburger Ratskeller in the town square).