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I was part of a 29 person travel group from the US, traveling Oct 13-26 on the Grand European Tour. I had high expectations as this was arranged by Collette vacations and they have a very good reputation. (I have traveled with them several times). However, I was disappointed in the Lueftner cruise line. The Pros: - very good to excellent meals, with exceptional presentation (kudos to the chef) - very good local tour guides - very good (friendly, helpful) reception and officer staff - excellent housekeeping The Cons: - an overall "tired" ship. Lobby carpet especially on stairs was worn and dingy. - slow, indifferent dining room wait staff. I'm convinced they did not have enough well-trained servers. Water glasses were rarely refilled. After dinner coffee was never offered, and if you asked for it, it came only after a prolonged wait. One time, we arrived for breakfast about 25 minutes before it officially ended. We were admonished and advised to hurry up with choices (mind you, this is buffet service). Another diner was refused more bread, since his table had already consumed their allotted portions! One more example... every morning without fail, I had to ask for gluten free toast even tho I had the very same waiter every day. I guess I expected at some point, he'd have a slice ready for me, but no. I had to be seated, wait for him to come around, and ask. - the casual breakfast service was NEVER replenished. If you weren't lucky enough to get coffee and coffee cream early (6-7am), you were out of luck. You had to go to the formal dining room for coffee, and then hope someone would get you some. Nothing happened quickly. - the public computers were a joke. The Internet Explorer browser was such an old version, a warning appeared when you tried to use it. I tried to access mail and was prevented from entering my userID and password (which I'm glad about actually). I'm confident no one has been maintaining the software on these PCs. Lueftner should be embarrassed to offer these PCs for passenger use. - No beverages except coffee, tea were provided at lunch. Everything else was extra. - Dinner beverages included red wine, white wine, and only 3 non-alcoholic soda choices. Anything else was extra. - You could purchase bottled water, but it was never included in excursions (as we've found in other cruises). This seemed very cheap of Lueftner. - We booked the highest category cabin (not a suite) and were a bit disappointed it wasn't anything special, really. The 2nd floor cabins were identical from what we could tell. Not sure what we got with our upgraded category. Overall, I felt we were on a budget cruise, but I didn't realize that's what we signed up for. Also, I felt strongly that there weren't enough wait staff, and those they had were not well trained. Perhaps it is a cultural thing The wait staff was not as friendly and welcoming as I experienced in other travels. That wasn't the case for the ship director or the reception staff. They were very nice and engaged in friendly conversation whenever they could. The Collette tour guides (2 were on board) were also extremely helpful. I would also like to acknowledge the Ship Reception manager who went out of her way to get beautiful flowers for a birthday surprise. The gluten free birthday day was fabulous too!

Cons outweigh the Pros

Amadeus Princess Cruise Review by ABV

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I was part of a 29 person travel group from the US, traveling Oct 13-26 on the Grand European Tour. I had high expectations as this was arranged by Collette vacations and they have a very good reputation. (I have traveled with them several times). However, I was disappointed in the Lueftner cruise line.

The Pros:

- very good to excellent meals, with exceptional presentation (kudos to the chef)

- very good local tour guides

- very good (friendly, helpful) reception and officer staff

- excellent housekeeping

The Cons:

- an overall "tired" ship. Lobby carpet especially on stairs was worn and dingy.

- slow, indifferent dining room wait staff. I'm convinced they did not have enough well-trained servers. Water glasses were rarely refilled. After dinner coffee was never offered, and if you asked for it, it came only after a prolonged wait. One time, we arrived for breakfast about 25 minutes before it officially ended. We were admonished and advised to hurry up with choices (mind you, this is buffet service). Another diner was refused more bread, since his table had already consumed their allotted portions! One more example... every morning without fail, I had to ask for gluten free toast even tho I had the very same waiter every day. I guess I expected at some point, he'd have a slice ready for me, but no. I had to be seated, wait for him to come around, and ask.

- the casual breakfast service was NEVER replenished. If you weren't lucky enough to get coffee and coffee cream early (6-7am), you were out of luck. You had to go to the formal dining room for coffee, and then hope someone would get you some. Nothing happened quickly.

- the public computers were a joke. The Internet Explorer browser was such an old version, a warning appeared when you tried to use it. I tried to access mail and was prevented from entering my userID and password (which I'm glad about actually). I'm confident no one has been maintaining the software on these PCs. Lueftner should be embarrassed to offer these PCs for passenger use.

- No beverages except coffee, tea were provided at lunch. Everything else was extra.

- Dinner beverages included red wine, white wine, and only 3 non-alcoholic soda choices. Anything else was extra.

- You could purchase bottled water, but it was never included in excursions (as we've found in other cruises). This seemed very cheap of Lueftner.

- We booked the highest category cabin (not a suite) and were a bit disappointed it wasn't anything special, really. The 2nd floor cabins were identical from what we could tell. Not sure what we got with our upgraded category.

Overall, I felt we were on a budget cruise, but I didn't realize that's what we signed up for. Also, I felt strongly that there weren't enough wait staff, and those they had were not well trained. Perhaps it is a cultural thing The wait staff was not as friendly and welcoming as I experienced in other travels. That wasn't the case for the ship director or the reception staff. They were very nice and engaged in friendly conversation whenever they could. The Collette tour guides (2 were on board) were also extremely helpful. I would also like to acknowledge the Ship Reception manager who went out of her way to get beautiful flowers for a birthday surprise. The gluten free birthday day was fabulous too!
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