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!