S.S. Maria Theresa Cruise Review by UESCruiser
- Sail Date: April 2017
- Destination: Europe
First off - let's get one thing out of the way: the decor of the Maria Theresa. It's like Liberace had a fever dream -- very Hapsburg brothel. Not to everyone's taste to be sure, but it grows on you. And being only two years old, it is very high tech (iffy wifi notwithstanding) and well thought-out.
I beg to differ with a previous reviewer who said that most of the walking tours could be done sans tour guide. True enough. And I usually eschew tours. But since they were included, why not? Glad for that - they were generally excellent, and the blue tooth technology allowed one to wander away from the local guide and still hear the commentary. And there was free time to do more exploring on your own from time to time, such as Day 2 in Vienna or Passau by night. Groups were kept small.
Kudos to all the staff, who were approachable and and informative. The spread sheet given out at the start of the cruise, with each stop showing available tours, was just what was needed. We were immediately able to book tours for the entire week. The cruise director, Jeonji (sp?) was herself from Budapest, and she was simply outstanding.
The one tour we paid extra for was the Ruins Pub tour in the former Budapest ghetto - and it was a lot of fun and worth the money.The food was really good. They did a fine job of including regional specialties whenever possible, and some were spot-on, such as the Wiener schnitzel and sausages.
Last but not least: even the weather cooperated. The 20 mile bike ride from Melk to Durnstein was rain-free, and seeing the Maria Theresa pass us as we picnicked on the Danube was a treat. Arrival in Budapest was on a brilliantly sunny (and windy) morning. Gorgeous. And that night the captain sailed the Danube to see the illuminated city at night.
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