We chose this cruise as advertised in the telgraph, as it seemed to entirely fill our requirement by calling at several cultural centres along the Danube, then the Danube-Main canal finally along the Rhein to Amsterdam.We elected to have two days in Budapest and this was very satisfactory, the Hotel was exceptionally good.
First impressions of the ship were agreeable, the cabins were clean and though small, well appointed.
Organised ship tours and tips were all included. the first meal on board seemed satisfactory.
Next day the journey started with a Bus tour of Budapest, which though appearing short was fairly comprehensive though hurried.
The Captains welcoming dinner that evening was satisfactory as expected, however the food appeared bland.
The next stop was Vienna where the organised tour was not well organised and people had no free time within the tour, being hurried from different venues particlarly an interesting street market when a simple 'you have a hour , meet back at this point would have avoided being hurried to a pancake tasting, followed by a mediocre wine tasting and dried up cheese sample! we eventually broke off from this tour and did our own thing, which was most satisfactory, arriving at the bus pick up at the appointed time
Next day also in Vienna there was no provision to do 'your own thing' and as the ship moved to a new position, returning later to it's original position which precluded getting off.
It was apparent at this time that many people were coughing and were in some distress. This manifested in some 40 peple becoming ill and eventually a Doctor came on board at the request of passengers and not initiated by the ship. With so many people becoming ill it is difficult to understand why no initative was not taken by the Cruise Company. As it was it seemed that most people suffered from a severe chest infection, some ten being prescribed antibiotics, the doctor consultation and the drugs paid for by each patient.
My Partner and I, were recovering naturally, however we were not well enought to go ashore until the ship reached Rudesheim. Here we had hoped to have some respite from the Bland and uninteresting food on the ship, however that was not to be as the ship sailed at 2pm before the restaurants opened!
And so, we gradually got better and looked forward to a day in Cologne, which as it happened did not happen!. The ship had docked that night at some mysterious location and only proceeded to Cologne next morning, arriving at mid morning. We could not understand why the ship had not contiued overnight. The ship was docked some distance from the city centre and it was raining, people who went off early on a tour returned at 2pm when the coach was available to 'shuttle' but as the last returning shuttle was at 4.30 there was no time to make a satisfactory visit. Early in the day we had asked for a shuttle sevice to the City but were told we would have to get a Taxi! which seemed a retrograde way to treat passengers who had paid quite a large sum for the cruise and now wishing to do some shopping.
Finally we arrived in Amsterdam and did the included canal excursion but as the windows of the Canal Boat were so misted up we saw little. Its was mentioned to the guide but she had no was to rectify that situation.
By this time we had had enough, being exhausted from sickness and disapointed from the lack of consideration. and poor food.
We also found it exasperating that people would complain at the table about the quality of the food but when asked by the staff if 'everything was 'OK' responded by sayin 'yes it was lovely' when in reality it was poor.
It is unlikely that we would travel with this company again.