I chose this cruise as it dovetailed nicely with my follow-on cruise in late May on the Ama Dolce in France. The cruise manager Luis Ribeiro was the best ever. He was constantly following up on every aspect of this cruise. He was always impeccably dressed. I started with 3 nights pre-cruise in Madrid with Luis. There was an excursion to Toledo which is a very nice town. Then we were bused to Vega de Terron on the Spain/Portugal border with a stop in Salamanca on the way. I highly recommend the pre-cruise as this little port with perhaps 10 persons, is extrememly out-of-the-way. The cost of this cruise was somewhat higher than similar cruises of seven nights. I was told it was mainly because there were fewer passengers to spread out the fixed costs. The ship has to be smaller because of the smaller locks on this river. One of the locks is the deepest in Europe. The passenger capacity was 106, but we only had 92 passengers. This included about 26 passengers who were part of Backroads. They bicycled up to 50 miles per day, and then used the ship for meals and sleeping. There were no bicycles on board for others. The food and service was top notch, the best ever. During lunch and dinner alcoholic drinks were offered at no cost. There was also a sip-and-sail usually at 6 pm where well drinks were also included.
Due to the high cost of this cruise I chose a solo cabin on the bottom deck. This was the first time I was in this category. It was pretty much as expected. The lack of a view was not a problem. However whenever anyone flushed a toilet I heard it, day or night. Try as I may, I could not fit my medium sized suitcase under the bed. However there was almost three feet in the window well where I could stow it. There was corrosion or dirt on the window which was not removed.