This was our first river cruise, having been on around 35 ocean cruises. We had heard a lot of good things about a river cruise. It’s a way to see out of the way places one otherwise would never get to.
You are in Port every day. There are no “sea“ days! This is actually a really good thing, because the ship itself is extremely spartan when compared to ocean cruises. There are basically two rooms, the lounge in the dining room, along with the sundeck. Nothing else. I had made an assumption there would be a fitness room, a hot tub, and a sauna. I was wrong on all accounts!
We started on the Delta of the Danube and made our way upstream through many of the Balkan countries ending in Vienna. The included tours were generally informative. There was also a good selection of optional tours from which to choose. Some were really outstanding.
The cabin was the smallest we have encountered on a cruise, understandably normal for a river cruise. If you can think of the smallest New York hotel room, that’s pretty close to what you can expect. Don’t come on a river cruise to spend time in your cabin, unless you get sick!
We learned a “French“ balcony, is not a normal balcony. It means that you get a sliding glass door that opens like a window. If you step out you’ll end up in the river and there is a guard rail to prevent that!
The cleanliness of the cabin was excellent, as well as the service.The cabin steward was very kind and accommodating and took really good care of us.
On the downside, we found the bed the worst of any of the 35 cruises we have done. I had a backache that persisted the entire length of the 15 day cruise. I’m guessing the bed was way too hard for my body’s taste. I didn’t hear any of the other guests complaining, so I will assume I am an anomaly.
Another issue was the unpleasant sewer smell that would appear every time we were in port at the beginning of the cruise.. Toward the end of the cruise this smell was almost 24/7, even when we were sailing.
The last issue was the flickering cabin lights that actually went out a couple of times. An engineer referred to our room as the “demon room.”