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Overall, the trip on the Murray Princess was worth taking, even though we have a houseboat that travels in the same area of the river. We did not get to Loxton as the Princess could not get through a narrow channel at the 356km marker, so we returned to Mannum instead. The river was below normal level due to work on the weir at Blanchetown and the wind was ferocious at the time we went aground. You can't help bad luck on the river at times. We were stuck for about 28 hours before some extra water released from weir 2 allowed us to move. Speaking of bad luck, we had a medical emergency and an ambulance had to take one passenger to hospital from an unscheduled stop where a road came to the river. This was all handled with a minimum of fuss. The Sun Deck provides an excellent view of the river, however, the deck surface is very tired and needs to be refurbished. The astro-turf covering was loose in quite a fw places and others were glued down during the trip. In some areas, the plywood under the astro-turf is de-laminating. More importantly, the steps to the Sun Deck are very steep and narrow. While there are handrails, it can be an effort for the elderly and/or disabled. Some of the furniture in the Paddlewheel Lounge are missing a couple of buttons, but still comfortable. There is a wide selection of games in the upper lounge, but the library is rather rudimentary. The daily papers provide some reading material, but I suggest that you bring your own reading material. The crew were excellent and make the trip a joy. The food was good, but sometimes the meals were a bit slow, although that wasn't a real problem as the company was good and the dinner music excellent. The daytime talks about the river and its history was interesting. The concerts by the resident musician were also excellent (if you like Classical & Jazz). There were a few "games" such as Bingo, Trivia and the Murray River Cup, but if you need other people to entertain you all the time, this is not the cruise for you. It is a cruise to enjoy the scenery and wildlife passing by. The excursion to Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Archaeological site was excellent. Don't be daunted by the 200+ step walk up the cliff as the main site can be reached without any steps at all. The visit to the Morgan Museum was good, but the coach for those that had mobility issues did not turn up, much to the cruise director's annoyance. The Mannum "Ghost Tour" was also well received. The visit to Caudo's Vineyard is good if you like wine or a crisp Larger (Hogwash Bend Larger). The dinner and show at Big Bend was also good. The night wildlife tour at Big Bend (AUD$15, I think) was about the only tour not included in the cruise fare. Although this cruise did not reach them, the historic Overland Corner Hotel is worth a visit, as is the machinery musuem at Cobdogla ("Cobby" to the locals) and the historic village at Loxton. For those with their phones glued to their heads all day long, be aware that coverage along the river is patchy. For everyone else, the peace and quiet is bliss. :) The Princess does provide free WiFi access using a password provided via a voucher at the Gift Shop. One last thing. The ship's horn is just above your head on the forweard observation deck. When the Captain warns you that the horn is about to blow and that it is loud, believe it!! If you are nearby, you will feel your body resonating with the noise. I wish I had that horn on my boat.

Mannum to Loxton (Well, An Attempt Anyway)

Murray Princess Cruise Review by oz_wanderer

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Overall, the trip on the Murray Princess was worth taking, even though we have a houseboat that travels in the same area of the river.

We did not get to Loxton as the Princess could not get through a narrow channel at the 356km marker, so we returned to Mannum instead. The river was below normal level due to work on the weir at Blanchetown and the wind was ferocious at the time we went aground. You can't help bad luck on the river at times. We were stuck for about 28 hours before some extra water released from weir 2 allowed us to move.

Speaking of bad luck, we had a medical emergency and an ambulance had to take one passenger to hospital from an unscheduled stop where a road came to the river. This was all handled with a minimum of fuss.

The Sun Deck provides an excellent view of the river, however, the deck surface is very tired and needs to be refurbished. The astro-turf covering was loose in quite a fw places and others were glued down during the trip. In some areas, the plywood under the astro-turf is de-laminating. More importantly, the steps to the Sun Deck are very steep and narrow. While there are handrails, it can be an effort for the elderly and/or disabled.

Some of the furniture in the Paddlewheel Lounge are missing a couple of buttons, but still comfortable. There is a wide selection of games in the upper lounge, but the library is rather rudimentary. The daily papers provide some reading material, but I suggest that you bring your own reading material.

The crew were excellent and make the trip a joy. The food was good, but sometimes the meals were a bit slow, although that wasn't a real problem as the company was good and the dinner music excellent.

The daytime talks about the river and its history was interesting. The concerts by the resident musician were also excellent (if you like Classical & Jazz). There were a few "games" such as Bingo, Trivia and the Murray River Cup, but if you need other people to entertain you all the time, this is not the cruise for you. It is a cruise to enjoy the scenery and wildlife passing by.

The excursion to Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Archaeological site was excellent. Don't be daunted by the 200+ step walk up the cliff as the main site can be reached without any steps at all. The visit to the Morgan Museum was good, but the coach for those that had mobility issues did not turn up, much to the cruise director's annoyance. The Mannum "Ghost Tour" was also well received. The visit to Caudo's Vineyard is good if you like wine or a crisp Larger (Hogwash Bend Larger). The dinner and show at Big Bend was also good. The night wildlife tour at Big Bend (AUD$15, I think) was about the only tour not included in the cruise fare.

Although this cruise did not reach them, the historic Overland Corner Hotel is worth a visit, as is the machinery musuem at Cobdogla ("Cobby" to the locals) and the historic village at Loxton.

For those with their phones glued to their heads all day long, be aware that coverage along the river is patchy. For everyone else, the peace and quiet is bliss. :) The Princess does provide free WiFi access using a password provided via a voucher at the Gift Shop.

One last thing. The ship's horn is just above your head on the forweard observation deck. When the Captain warns you that the horn is about to blow and that it is loud, believe it!! If you are nearby, you will feel your body resonating with the noise. I wish I had that horn on my boat.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 3
The cabin was a lower deck inside cabin - it was a good cabin for sleeping and resting, but not for entertaining. The window in the bathroom was a deck level on the main deck, so a good view of passing feet on the deck, light and a bit of a view between the deck and railing. It was a basic room with twin beds. If you are tall, then you will need to stoop a bit in the shower. If you don't like variable water temperatures, take your shower outside of the peak morning and evening times, otherwise you will be constantly adjusting the temperature.

The room did not have a desk, but still the cruise was only 7 nights, so it wasn't really an issue. There was plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. Thick suitcases may have a problem going under the bed, but it was ok for our large soft suitcases.