Our first and probably our last river cruise. Our 7 day river cruise of the Danube was dubbed, by all the guests, as the 4 day bus cruise. We were bused and only used the Dolce as our hotel. Now we sure understand global warming and weather can not be controlled. We were told in Prague, the day before the cruise was to begin, that due to very low water tables on parts of the Danube we could begin our river cruise as intended but must now travel further south to meet our riverboat. Ok, we are stuck and have no choice. And we still think we are in for a new wonderful adventure. We set off at 8:30 a.m. for a 9 hr. bus trip. One stop in a town that has nothing to offer, I even forgot the name. But we are dumped there for 2 1/2 hrs. nothing to see, nothing to do but walk a bit and just sit and wait for the bus. The tour director couldn't even find any redeeming qualities about the town. Then the ride continues with 2 pee breaks at gas stations! Yes, gas stations.
About 5:30 pm we arrive on the boat. When we arrive, one guest was so irate about the lousy bus ride, on old beat up buses too that he demanded from the cruise director why he got from Dallas to Prague faster then it took AMAWaterway to get him from Prague to the Danube River? They has no answer. It is announced that all must meet in the lounge for the new itinerary information. Yes, are still going to Nuremberg but it is now a 4 hr. bus ride, each way, for a 2 hr. tour. No way. The staff is shocked that most of us said NO, not after the 9 hr. ride. They then find a local tour but again, its a town with nothing to do. So we are bused for a few more days and we finally sail for 4 hrs. one afternoon along the Danube. 4 hrs. This was our one and only time actually enjoying the Danube.
The last 3 days, they sailed at night, so you say nothing. A day trip to Salzburg was enjoyable but again a long bus ride. Our last stop was Budapest for an overnight before disembarking. A beautiful surprise as the city is wow and stunning. We enjoyed the crew, the food was just average on board, we had better meals while on tours and at additional costs.
Now what truly turned us off, was that as we got to know the staff, we found out that the water issues on the Danube began in June and the re-routed itinerary wasn't just for us but had been going on for months. Now that takes some nerve from the company not to inform guests months in advance of this issue. They knew well before final payment that we would have a revised itinerary and one that was really shabby. And they did it for most of the season. No consideration to ask us if we wanted to cancel, re-schedule or still do the cruise.
Oh and if you are taking a river cruise in the future, don't waste your money on a balcony or the "french balcony"( this is just a sliding window, no balcony). The river boats all tie up in tandem and you walk from one boat to the next to get to the dock. So each morning, you wake up, open the curtains and see a couple from the next boat staring at you from about 2-3 feet away. Waste of $3800 each for 7 days, & the post part, not sailing on the Danube for this truly lousy first experience.
Would not do a 4 hr. bus ride each way. So we cancelled.
Lovely only town.
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