Our cruise didn’t start well with all our luggage being lost on route. Three hours at the airport trying to resolve with no luck we exited out to Arrivals to be told by Tui we had missed our transfer. Not prepared to put us in a taxi for the 30min trip to the boat nor call back the shuttle bus to collect us, instead wait 2 further hours for an Edinburgh flight to arrive and we can fit on their bus. There were in total 22 of us who had lost luggage which was returned to us for the duration of the cruise. Can you imagine? A 5 night Christmas cruise with nothing but the clothes we stood up in, not even hand luggage. Yeah, that was a mistake we won’t repeat. The next day the morning was spent with chasing the airline and our Ins company, then into Mannheim to buy more clothes and essentials. Not actually as much fun as shopping might normally be. So, putting that aside how was the actual cruise?
Well, pretty damn good. Based purely on the next 4 days and putting the lack of luggage behind us Tui have almost nailed the river cruise thing. I say almost as the ship is beautiful, the service everywhere from restaurant, bars, to housekeeping was excellent and the food was as good as I have eaten on pretty much any cruise (and our last trip was with Silverseas) Even the entertainment, although kept simple, was better and more than we had expected.
So, if so good why not 5 stars? Well, there were disappointments. Some of our moorings were way, way out of where we wanted to be, in particular Strasberg where we were in a run down commercial berth so far out it was a 25 minute walk to the nearest tram stop and then a 15 minute tram ride into town. The entertainment team were kind enough to walk a group of perhaps 30 of us to the tram stop and explain how to purchase tickets but after that we were on our own. Not comfortable walking back from the tram to the ship after dark, it was that dodgy, we cut the trip short and went back in daylight.