My husband and I did not arrive early enough to explore Budapest. I had been there twice before and he didn't get off work early. The airport pickup, embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and on time. I didn't realize the ship departed on the 13th while we toured and had arranged to meet a friend who lives in town after lunch but had to cancel that. Now to be clear, we've sailed on 15 cruises on very large ships so I'm trying not to compare as had I expected this river cruise to be much different and it was in many ways. The ship is very clean and allowed enough spaces to meet our friends on board, either up on the decks or in the lounge but there's only a few places to meet, but there's also a lot less passengers. It is all very relaxing while on board and you can go at your own pace which means there's not a lot of activities you feel compelled to attend. The cabin seemed smaller than I'd expected but the cleaning service was great. Unfortunately I became very ill for 2 days and was confined to the cabin and couldn't join in the group activities as much as I'd wanted and the maid was very accommodating. One small surprise is that I had expected from the brochures the staff to be very outgoing and entertaining, and while they were, they were not all that I had expected. Maybe being respectful? And there were many, many locks to get through, around 50 or so. Very scenic, quaint, beautiful. The tours were great, the guides fantastic, loved the headsets! Only ding was the tour of Vienna seemed rushed, wished we'd had more time. Husband and I did the optional night tour of Mozart and it was a highlight! We still talk about that concert.
All in all a great way to see the smaller, harder to get to areas without the hassle of transportation which means it's a little pricier than larger cruises.
Smaller than I'd expected but everything was there. I slept against the window and it was such a tight squeeze that i had to walk sideways to get in and out of bed. Plenty of room everywhere else. It was surprising to wake up, pull the curtain back, and see a guy out the window - on his balcony. Close sailings.
Our guide was very good, informative and humorous