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61 Riviera Travel Cruise Reviews

This was our first river cruise and we were not disappointed in the least. Robert Burns is a beautiful brand new ship and it could not be faulted. The staff had all come from other ships so were excellent at their jobs,all of them. As ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we were not disappointed in the least. Robert Burns is a beautiful brand new ship and it could not be faulted. The staff had all come from other ships so were excellent at their jobs,all of them. As there are only 44 staff, they all have to multitask, especially when supplies are being loaded. They never seemed to get any rest at all. Food and drinks were to a 5 star standard, could not be faulted in any way, always something to take your fancy at every meal. Entertainment is low key, as you would expect although sometimes they did try to beef it up with games nights and they could get a bit hectic. Captains farewell dinner dress code was a bit mixed, some made the effort, some did not but it was an excellent last night before embarkation. The ports of call on this Budapest to the Black Sea and back again were OK, some like Bucharest were interesting but some of the old Soviet towns had not much to offer and some of the trips entailed 2 to 3 hour bus journeys to see a very insignificant place or venue. Overall, Riviera Travel put on a great show and we will definitely be back, Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
After several ocean cruises, we decided to take a river cruise and chose the Oscar Wilde from Riviera Travel including the Rhine gorge, finishing in Basel. We took the Eurostar from St. Pancras, London, to Cologne to board. This proved ... Read More
After several ocean cruises, we decided to take a river cruise and chose the Oscar Wilde from Riviera Travel including the Rhine gorge, finishing in Basel. We took the Eurostar from St. Pancras, London, to Cologne to board. This proved to be a marathon journey starting with very tight security in St Pancras station which does not seem to have the space for all who are waiting to board the train. Upon arrival in Brussels we were transferred to a coach which then took three & a half hours to reach the boat. An experience not to be repeated. The cabin was 212 on Ruby deck with a French balcony. We had requested twin beds prior to our arrival but found instead two beds pushed together with a soft topper. We asked for separate beds which were dealt with promptly but why was our original request not complied with? It added to the frustration of the day. We had also requested particular pillows but they weren’t available. The bathroom was well appointed with a rain shower head but also a smaller shower head which is useful. The bathroom is extremely small though. The shaving mirror is very cheap and does not reflect well. Apart from that we managed in what are very small cabins. Two small bottles of water are left in the mini fridge every day which was welcome. The dining room was an area of contention as there are only 4 tables for two, so sharing is necessary. We found the food to be mediocre and the complementary wine undrinkable. There is better wine available to buy. There are tables for two available in the other smaller restaurant but the menu doesn’t alter much. The staff in both restaurants are very good and cheerful. There is one large lounge/bar but no other public rooms. Once again, the staff are good There is very little entertainment but we found the resident pianist to be very talented. There was one evening with what was billed as a Music Quiz which turned out to be hilarious and was the best evening we had. Excursions are included but honestly, we weren’t impressed. One day we were coached around the Black Forest for a couple of hours ending up at Lake Titisee for about 45 mins. We passed on the Bernese Oberland tour as sitting on another coach for 7 hours didn’t appeal. Our journey home started OK with the TGV to Paris which is fast and comfortable. We were then told it would take around 40 mins to transfer from Gare de Lyon to Gare du Nord for the Eurostar back but unfortunately the coach driver had no idea where he was going. We drove round and round in circles along crowded streets for close on 2 hours, at one point the driver couldn’t negotiate a corner so he reversed into the car behind but then carried on! By this time we were all getting concerned about catching the train in time so the Riviera representative stopped the coach, we all got off and walked to rest of the way to the Gare du Nord. It seems that Riviera are trying to cut corners in lots of areas. Quality of food being the main one, and also the excursions. We have been on several luxury cruises, e.g., Silver Seas, Seabourn, Regent, Cunard, but this cruise was not in the same class. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this cruise as I wanted to see Vienna. My wife was cautious as she thought it might be too slow way of travelling, and compared to big ship cruises, a bit more expensive. We had a lovely week. It seemed much longer, which was ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I wanted to see Vienna. My wife was cautious as she thought it might be too slow way of travelling, and compared to big ship cruises, a bit more expensive. We had a lovely week. It seemed much longer, which was good. Weather was great all week and the places visited were very nice. We had visited Budapest before, but seeing it from the river, so much better. The cabin, though a bit smaller than on a cruise liner, was very comfortable and well laid out. A big picture window which could be opened was a treat. There was ample space on deck or in the lounge to relax between ports.( There a a LOT OF TREES on the Danube. Lots. The food was really excellent, even a free try of fine dining (limited to 20 people per night) which was a nice thing to do. There was an adequate choice of food, and people with dietary needs were catered for, The ships staff were all brilliant and the cruise managers, Andras and Stewart worked very hard to keep things smooth. These are not for the younger ages, but are brilliant for the young in heart/ The ages seem to range from about 40 to 90 plus, with some of the older ones the liveliest. Evening entertainment included a Viennese string quartet ( a Danube cruise) which was OK. Entertainment was not a big requirement, which allowed those on board to converse more, which seemed preferable. A very good cruise indeed and my wife was delighted with it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My wife and I have never fancied an ocean cruise but saw an advert for the Burgundy, River Rhone and Provence cruise which took our fancy as we had several French holidays with our children many years ago. The cruise was everything we ... Read More
My wife and I have never fancied an ocean cruise but saw an advert for the Burgundy, River Rhone and Provence cruise which took our fancy as we had several French holidays with our children many years ago. The cruise was everything we hoped for despite the poor weather. We booked a deluxe suite on Diamond deck and this was as large as many of the hotel rooms we have had over the years. The only drawback, if there was one, was that no suite/cabin on Lord Byron has a full balcony, but our suite had a full-size sliding door which we could open and enjoy the views. The reception area was excellent as were the lounge, restaurant and lido bar/restaurant. There was also a small boutique, steam room, sauna and hairdresser's. The sun deck had plenty of loungers, a giant chess board, a putting green and small splash pool/Jacuzzi. Breakfasts were buffets (hot and cold) with plenty of choices plus waiter service full English, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs etc. Lunches were also buffets with once again plenty of choices. Dinners were waiter service 4 courses (6 on the gala night). All of the food was first rate. The crew were all polite, friendly but professional and all of them seemed to have a great sense of humour. They put on a show one night and every passenger thoroughly enjoyed it. On all other nights, a pianist entertained. The tour director and tour manager were both very good and the arranged tours (with professional local guides) also very good. Highlights of the tours were Avignon, Pont du Gard, Ardeche gorges, Beaune (and the Burgundy vineyards) and Vieux Lyon. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise, couldn't fault anything and will certainly think about another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because it was less expensive than others and the itinerary was perfect for us. From the moment we boarded everything was perfect. A very comfortable top deck cabin, with a huge glass sliding door to open and admire ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was less expensive than others and the itinerary was perfect for us. From the moment we boarded everything was perfect. A very comfortable top deck cabin, with a huge glass sliding door to open and admire the amazing view. Embarkation was smooth, in fact we arrived early and were able to take our luggage on board and go for a walk in Cologne. The ship isn’t only 4 years old and very comfortable. While there is not entertainment as on big cruise ships, Peter played Piano every afternoon and again played and sang at night. In Vienna we were entertained by a string quartet, 4 ladies who were amazing. Also the ships hotel manager sang and played guitar on two occasions and the crew put on a comedy show one night, all very good. I felt that there’s so much to look at day and night on the river, that was entertaining enough. We didn’t have one bad meal, breakfast buffet and lunch but with extra menu offerings and dinner was always a choice of three entrees, two soups and three main courses. Also there was also a chicken dish and salmon dish every night apart from the main course offerings. Dessert was either something delicious or a cheese platter. Coffee and tea were always available and afternoon tea always offered a great selection of cakes. We didn’t take up the drinks package as it didn’t include drinks other than lunch and dinner. We believe the prices were comparable to what we pay in Australia and not big drinkers so were happy with having a glass of the very good house wine with dinner for around 4-5 euro. The two cruise directors, Veronica and Peter were excellent, knowledgeable and very patient with the mostly over 65 year old passengers. Peter gave a talk every night about our next port, which was very informative. The included tours were mostly great and varying difficulty to accommodate slower passengers, the crew, mostly Eastern European, were outstanding and very friendly. Yes, there was about six days when we couldn’t use the top viewing deck because of low bridges but there were plenty of other vantage points and we were able to use it going through the Rhine gorge which is probabaly the most spectacular part of the river. My only negative is the suggested tipping, which as an Australian, we found a little excessive and preferred to single out those crew that we felt went that extra bit, we did also leave general tip for the crew. I would definitely use Riviera again, I fact, we started planning another trip while on board. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had never been on a river cruise and Riveria Cruises were recommended to us. The Charles Dickens was very clean, tidy, cabin was fine and the crew and staff very friendly and helpful. The food was varied with always a meat, fish and ... Read More
We had never been on a river cruise and Riveria Cruises were recommended to us. The Charles Dickens was very clean, tidy, cabin was fine and the crew and staff very friendly and helpful. The food was varied with always a meat, fish and vegetarian option. Cold starters, soup and various cold meats and cheeses along with fruit and yoghurt for breakfast. The full English breakfast was catered for too. We did the fine dining one evening and were suitably impressed with the 8 courses. There was plenty of room in the dining room, lounge and on the sun deck for everyone. We found it very relaxing sitting on deck watching the world go by and enjoyed the many different scenes along the Rhine from Cologne to Basel. We had the opportunity to visit the Captain on the bridge who explained why the bridge had to be able to go up and down when encountering low bridges. We would definitely cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
First time river cruisers, noticed advert innnewspaper so started to do a bit of investigating. 5* rating good online reviews and prices that were substantially less than other brands hmmmm what’s the catch. Seamless booking ... Read More
First time river cruisers, noticed advert innnewspaper so started to do a bit of investigating. 5* rating good online reviews and prices that were substantially less than other brands hmmmm what’s the catch. Seamless booking procedure on line. Contacted airline direct to reserve seats as we were travelling with my parents. Jet 2 no problems out of Edinburgh. Pity about some fellow passengers but that’s another story rise above. Met at Budapest Airport by Andresh tour manager from the boat. He is from Budapest and is a vast vessel of knowledge and passionate about his home city, rotten jokes ! Transfer to boat on lovely coach, met at boat with a glass of fizz and a friendly welcome. Late evening dinner served in restaurant and in the more intimate brasserie at the rear of the boat. Diamond deck suite 310 lovely room with floor to ceiling opening windows, large flat screen tv unfortunately only seemed to cater for German guests which there were none !! Very comfortable bed and plenty of storage. Evening sail away through the stunning city of Budapest amazing. Dining. Meals were served in the main restaurant part buffet part a la carte. Breakfast standard stuff, order eggs from menu all fresh and plentiful. Lunch was again buffet and menu and always served as a three course lunch if you want. Dinner was al a carte and always a good choice and 4-5 courses but not over the top, very tasty and well presented. Lovely lounge to the rear of the boat with panoramic views and a heated outdoor area. Top deck was well laid out with plenty of seats and sun beds a hot tub and putting green. Plenty of shade if needed. Staff, if an on board day, would come round with drinks and coffees. Staff. What a great team, from Victoria and Andras from Riviera who’s enthusiastic approach to the whole tour was amazing to all the staff on board professional, polite, friendly helpful. Tours. With Riviera all excursions are included in the price, they were well organised but unfortunately all early starts and quite full on. The tour guides clearly picked for their mass of knowledge and ability to not stop talking, unfortunately to the detriment of the tour as it became info overload. That said you are always told if you wish to peel off from the group no one will be offended. Wish we had done this more often and found these amazing places at our own pace. Conclusion. I said at the start what’s the catch, there isn’t one we had the most amazing experience on this trip and will be booking our next river cruise with Riviera Travel very soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My wife and I with two friends have just returned from the Riviera Five Star River Douro Cruise from Porto, Portugal on the Riviera Douro Elegance boat. The Riviera Representative met us at the airport on arrival and after a little ... Read More
My wife and I with two friends have just returned from the Riviera Five Star River Douro Cruise from Porto, Portugal on the Riviera Douro Elegance boat. The Riviera Representative met us at the airport on arrival and after a little delay we boarded the coach and the transfer to Porto was about 45 minutes. The staff on board were very helpful and friendly as expected. The quality of the boat was beautiful having been brought into service in April of this year. We had a Balcony Suite, although the balconies have been amended to large sliding windows. The cabins are well appointed and the balcony/window modification worked well. The new boat in itself certainly deserved the 5 star rating. I must say that the scenery on the Douro is quite breathtaking and we would really recommend the Douro for it’s beauty and tranquillity. Sadly though, we have a number of observations and complaints which certainly marred our trip. We and a number of other passengers were extremely disappointed with the food served on board mainly during the evening restaurant service. Firstly the actual menus themselves were presented on flimsy paper which looked like they had been run off on photo copy paper. Zero for presentation. The soups tasted like packet soup and possibly were not freshly made. The menu on most evenings consisted of strange combinations of ingredients and on the whole fairly tasteless and lacking in seasoning and always tepid. We found many of the dishes or accompanying sauces contained bacon, pork, lamb or sea food leaving my wife and I very little or in some cases no choice of menu as we are non meat/chicken eaters although we do eat fish. With that in mind the fish dishes available were nearly always Sea Bream again lacking in seasoning. On one evening the menu consisted of Sea Bream with Tomato Rice. As an alternative, Mango Risotto with Salted Olives. It’s rice all round! Cheap and easy! Also a lack of accompanying fresh vegetables. There are a number of issues with the food including the food was always tepid when served and in some cases almost cold. We sent food back at times because of this. Other areas of concern. On a number of occasions at breakfast we had to clear used crockery and tableware from tables ourselves as the staff had not cleared and reset available tables. The breakfast buffet was a “bum fight” each morning particularly when an early excursion was planned. The so called hot food in the chafing dishes was always either cold or just tepid. Same at lunch time. There was always a lack of prepared fresh fruit choice. Strips of water melon, slices of orange was more or less the choice. There was however a bowl with some apples in it that did look a bit past their sell by date. There are two help yourself coffee machines available 24 hours a day. The coffee produced from these machines is again tepid and is only just recognisable as coffee. Being a coffee drinker it would seem that the beans are of poor quality. Just my opinion! The coffee served in the restaurant is the same. Couldn’t wait to get a decent cup of coffee on shore! There was no service at all on the sun deck. If you wanted a drink or whatever, you had to go below to the bar and bring it up to the sun deck yourself. Certainly not five star service. On our departure day, due to the flight time being later in the day and after vacating the cabins at 9.00am, absolutely no refreshments were made available to late departing guests despite my enquiring. I have to say that the member of staff with whom I spoke clearly indicated “cost cutting”! It was as if “we’ve got your money and you’re on your own now”. I do recall on previous river cruises a light lunch was made available for late departing guests. Not on this one! There were about 25 passengers on the late departure timed for 2.45 from the boat. Amazingly the boat had provided one toilet only for all of those passengers and was located in the lower lobby area. The Urinals for men had a ‘Not In Use’ notice leaving one WC only to be available for all of those people. When I enquired as to another toilet facility I was told this was the only one. People were queuing to use it. On previous cruises the boat has put aside a couple of cabins for toilet use. In addition to the passengers waiting to leave, early arriving guests whose cabins were not at the time ready, were also using the same toilet. This was an absolute disgrace. All in all I regret to say that we were very disappointed with Riviera and this was certainly not a five star cruise. The boat in itself was five star but the food and general service was no more than three star. We feel badly let down by Riviera and shall now give Riviera a miss for future cruising. Currently awaiting Riviera's response ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I wanted to visit this part of Germany. The description of the various places was quite attractive. However we spent most of the time on board (Swiss Tiara, this name is not mentioned on the list) and had little time to visit the ... Read More
I wanted to visit this part of Germany. The description of the various places was quite attractive. However we spent most of the time on board (Swiss Tiara, this name is not mentioned on the list) and had little time to visit the sights. As it was a river cruise, I did not expect to stay on the ship that long and was disappointed. The first 3 days, we only had the morning to visit Regensburg, Nuremberg and Bamberg. 3 hours in each city! We had a little more time at the end of the week but again we needed to hurry all the time. I saved my euros as there was little time to buy souvenirs! The ship Swiss Tiara was comfortable, the food was good and the service too. If you are not very mobile, want to socialise and are not bothered about the sights, this is the right holiday for you. But I am afraid, I need more stimulation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our first river cruise. My wife and I preferred it to our other Cruise around the Baltic. The ship is brand new, the staff were great. I have read the earlier comments and cannot agree entirely with them. If you opt for a Riviera ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. My wife and I preferred it to our other Cruise around the Baltic. The ship is brand new, the staff were great. I have read the earlier comments and cannot agree entirely with them. If you opt for a Riviera holiday the chances are that most people will be mid sixties plus so it should not be a surprise if the average age is over seventy. We were fortunate and had as our Tour Manager, Daniel and Tour Guide Andras. Both were exceptionally good. Everything was in line with the brochure and it was to be expected that you had some long days, which were wonderful and shorter stops at cities as well as quaint towns. If thinking of going on this cruise then read the brochure well and if you have a flight that arrives late consider going a couple of days before under your own steam. You spend more time in Basel and can join the boat early giving yourself time to settle in before a long days excursion the next day. Many people who travelled to the boat by train found it tiring and declared they would not use this method if travelling again. We were fortunate with the weather so were able to visit all the destinations and still enjoy the top deck of the boat. My wife used the Gym a couple of times. The Bistro was very good and an alternative to the dining room. As a couple we tended not to join others for breakfast and dinner. This never seemed to be a problem but if we had wished to join others then we could have. Only problem is that we had the last suite on the middle floor. Suite 236. Being at the rear of the ship it was noisy. Engine noise 24/7. Reception supplied earplugs to help with sleep. When booking request a suite as near the front as possible although it is only the last few suites from about 230 onwards that were noisy. To summarise, great boat, lovely staff, Riviera staff excellent. Make sure you do all the excursions as there is nothing else to do on the boat other than relax and if, by chance, the weather is not good then you have to stay inside while virtually everyone is on their excursions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Totally impressed with the service and "natural" friendliness of all the crew - well done to the hotel manager for creating the team. We have stayed at some of the best hotels in UK and this place as regards food beats them ... Read More
Totally impressed with the service and "natural" friendliness of all the crew - well done to the hotel manager for creating the team. We have stayed at some of the best hotels in UK and this place as regards food beats them all - and all from a tiny galley. Cannot compliment enough . Happily surprised with the cruise and everything with it as initially not expecting alot. The whole boat was very well kept and the crew genuinely wanted to be there, which was refreshing Excursions were very good with some amusing (Katriana) and well informed guides and not too long so had time to enjoy the boat etc. Would certainly recommend to others of any age - we are a young 60 and enjoyed every aspect .We were a 4 but to go as a couple would not be a problem as most passengers were there just to have fun and mix "if necessary" - if you don't want to mix then it's not a problem - nobody is pressurising you !! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My husband chose this cruise to celebrate his 70th birthday. We have done many ocean cruises on various cruise lines and one river cruise - the Mekong. I had done a considerable amount of research into all the cruise companies who ... Read More
My husband chose this cruise to celebrate his 70th birthday. We have done many ocean cruises on various cruise lines and one river cruise - the Mekong. I had done a considerable amount of research into all the cruise companies who offered cruises on the River Douro and chose Riviera Travel because of its reputation in the UK and the fact that the Douro Elegance was a new ship. The lauded five star experience was also a big draw. The cruise is a return trip from Porto on the Portuguese coast as far as the Spanish border where the Douro is no longer navigable by large river cruise ships.. There were good and bad points to this cruise and overall we had an enjoyable time but our main disappointment was with the food which we regard as an important part of any cruise holiday. I completely agree with raymond4868's comments about the food and the service associated with the dining experience. It is by no means a five star experience. Food was mostly luke warm, no thought seems to have been given to the accompanying sauces with the meat although we did like the fish. Soups were tasteless and often cabbage based, salads were unimaginative. No ice cream was ever available, desserts were a joke and every day radioactive looking jelly was an option for dessert at lunch. I like to have fresh fruit at breakfast and on our cruise the selection wasn't bad but it was sliced so thinly you could see through it. Cook to order service at breakfast was very slow. We did talk to the Maitre D of our concerns about food and service early on in the cruise but it didn't improve. Our best meals by far were lunch on our day trip to Salamanca and the evening meal at Quinta de Pancheca (thank goodness, this was on my husband's birthday!). The ship certainly had the wow factor on boarding. It looks very modern and stylish. The sun deck is lovely and all the furnishings and bed linen were excellent quality. However, after a while we came to realise that something didn't seem quite right and made it seem a bit dowdy. The colour scheme is centred on brown and there are very few other colours injected into the decor. Portugal has some wonderful colourful ceramics but the ceramics on display in the dining room are brown mounted on a brown wall. The 'net' curtains in the lounge area are also light brown. Our cabin, whilst fairly compact, was adequate for a 7 night cruise but the bathroom definitely needs more shelving. I was concerned that our cabin entry cards had the cabin number on them which meant that if you did mislay your card, anyone would have access to your cabin. I did point this out to the deputy hotel manager and hopefully this matter will be addressed. We were encouraged to use the safe in the room but it has been placed high up in the wardrobe and I needed to stand on a chair to access it. Apart from the waiters in the dining room, the staff provided excellent service. Douro Azul is the managing company for all the cruise ships on the Douro and it is their policy to charge for water ordered in the bar despite the fact that bottled water is freely available in the cabins. We found this out when we returned after a long day sightseeing and went to the bar to order a pre-dinner drink and my husband was refused a glass of tap water whilst we waited for our drinks to arrive. The organisation of the holiday was very good from the time we were picked up at the airport and transported to the ship to our journey home. All the tours off the ship were in brand new air-conditioned coaches (thanks to Pedro, our brilliant tour guide) and the maps and information provided were good. Vox boxes are used on the tours. At present, the itinerary includes a trip by coach to Salamanca (a two hour drive) which is a beautiful university city in Spain but unfortunately it is on a Monday when all the museums are closed which was disappointing. The scenery along the Douro is wonderful and the lovely weather showed it off well. We thoroughly enjoyed going through the locks which was an amazing experience and certainly required a good deal of precision from the Captain manoeuvring the ship into position. In our opinion, the scenery travelling along the majestic Douro and the included excursions made this holiday. Riviera Travel has taken note of my feedback and has promised to pass on our comments about the dining experience to Douro Azul. I only hope that there is a definite improvement in the food and service because this would then truly make this holiday a Five Star experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
After a few ocean cruises it was time to try something different. Riviera was a local company so wishing to support a local business, a cruise Rhine Danube cruise on 'Emily Bronte' was chosen. The original booking was made in ... Read More
After a few ocean cruises it was time to try something different. Riviera was a local company so wishing to support a local business, a cruise Rhine Danube cruise on 'Emily Bronte' was chosen. The original booking was made in 2015, but due to health problems was not able to travel in 2016. Unfortunately lost fare, but rebooked and repaid to travel this year. So you probably can guess how much the anticipation for this holiday. Flight to Frankfurt and drive to Cologne went smoothly, as did boarding, then things started to go wrong. While exploring on deck tripped on the top step on one of the staircases. A short while later the same thing happened on a different staircase. In all this happened four times. On investigated it was noticed that staircase descending from the deck had 'astroturf' going right to the edge of the steps, hiding the top step, all other steps had a very clear metal edges. Later while sitting on the forward part of the deck, to watch the departure from Cologne, we were choaked by exhaust fumes coming from a black hole on the top of the mast at the front of the boat, just level with the seating area. It transpired that there was an engine below which powered the bow propeller. I seems that the same funnel also extracted fumes from the kitchen below. I shared my concerns with the young lady 'hotel manager' who said she would pass my comments on to the captain.. The problem with the exhaust continued throughout the cruise, so the same report was made to the male Riviera rep who advised to write to head office. I did take some photographs of the sooty, oily deposits that came from that exhaust. I must have been seen with my camera because over the next two days some crew were scrubbing away. Another thing about the deck. Either the boat was too high, or the bridges were too low, because all chairs, tables, screens, even the funnels were removed from the deck, which was out of bounds while sailing. But, it was a novelty to watch the ships bridge while going under a road bridge. The bridge was lowered on hydraulic and disappeared, leaving just the drivers head showing. The other major, I think, issue was that the ship did not belong to Riviera but to Schilla, a Swiss company I was told. All the crew were employed by Schilla, many from Indonesia. In fact there were no native English speakers on board, except the passengers, which made communicating with staff a bit difficult on occasions. A few words about food. Not what I was expecting (for the price), one day cows cheek, another raw meat balls, Soup portions barely cover the bottom of the bowls. Dessert spoons were really teaspoons, but matched the portions size of some of the desserts. No beef wellington, but we did get baked Alaska. Entertainment: A resident pianist, crew show and a string quartet in Vienna. Tours: Appeared to consist of driving through heavy traffic round town and walking tours which seemed to get jumbled up with groups from the several other boat moored nearby. Disembarkation: please read review on Wizz Air To be fair I did enjoy the sailing part, the 66 locks we passed through, the scenery, and the majority of the other passengers. Would I do another river cruise? Well having done the Amazon and the Nile, probably not. Comparing costs would be the decider, and with sea cruises considerably cheaper, and offering a lot more are a much more attractive alternative Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise initially for its its itinerary, as we have never visited any of the towns or cities along the route. The ship is new for the 2017 season, operated by Scylla of Switzerland with 2 Riviera reps on board - Leslie and ... Read More
We chose this cruise initially for its its itinerary, as we have never visited any of the towns or cities along the route. The ship is new for the 2017 season, operated by Scylla of Switzerland with 2 Riviera reps on board - Leslie and Inken who were excellent. We traveled to the ship via Eurostar from St Pancras to Brussels and were then taken by coach to the ship moored in Cologne. We did not have time to visit Cologne. At St Pancras we were able to deposit our luggage and not have to deal with it again until our arrival in Brussels. We then took the the bags out to the waiting coach where they were loaded by the driver and guide and then delivered to our cabin door on arrival. The food at all meals is excellent, couldn't fault it at all. The head chef did an amazing job creating 15 different evening menus (a choice of meat, fish or veggie + chicken or salmon if you didn't fancy the dishes of the day). There was a hot buffet at lunch time but I can't comment on this as I stuck to salads (and a dessert). The breakfast buffet was very comprehensive. The wines and beer were not over priced but of good quality. You could also book the evening bistro on the top deck, which accommodates 24, at no extra cost, for a quiet meal; at lunch time the bistro offers pizza and posh burger type meals. All the staff are well trained and friendly. Not much evening entertainment - a pianist in the lounge. The Riviera reps organised a quiz night and the crew entertained us one night. We also had a string quartet performance on our night in Vienna which was very good. The ship has a large deck area with ample seating and sun cover but part of it was closed for part of the journey, due to low bridges (and maybe high water levels). You do go through 66 locks on this cruise but we never found it a problem. We visited a number of small towns down the Rhine, Main & Danube, where we were moored close to the town centres. If we had to moor further away, in the larger towns/cities, transport was available. Whenever we had a guided tour the guides were well informed and interesting. The cruise finished in Budapest. Our flight was quite late so we were able to do more sightseeing in the morning and the ship provided the late departers with a light lunch. With hindsight we would have skipped the Eurostar as it is more convenient to have left your car at your return airport and more connections from the North of England would be good. Finally, we have already booked the Danube to the Black Sea cruise for 2018, so that says it all really Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Having done numerous Ocean Cruises we decided to try a River Cruise, we booked this through our travel agent who recommended Riviera Travel.. Our expectations were high therefore we were very disappointed with several things regarding ... Read More
Having done numerous Ocean Cruises we decided to try a River Cruise, we booked this through our travel agent who recommended Riviera Travel.. Our expectations were high therefore we were very disappointed with several things regarding this cruise so I will start with the Pros., please bear in mind this is our personal opinion and what suits one traveler doesn't suit another.. Pros: The organisation by Riviera was excellent, the transfer from airport to the dock in Cologne and the return journey was well organised and the fact that there was a representative from Riviera Travel on the coach and throughout the airport check-in was very good especially for some passengers who may be unsure of the airport procedures.. Check-in at the boat was quick and efficient and we were in our cabin very quickly, cases were delivered within 15 mins of being on board.. We had a cabin on Diamond Deck with a Juliette balcony, unfortunately we had a lot of rain so we didn't get a chance to use this..The cabin was excellent, well appointed and beautifully decorated, the bed and pillows were comfortable and there was mini bar/fridge, large TV (we never had this on so can't comment on it), hairdryer, nespresso coffee machine and a kettle, wardrobe and drawer space was adequate for 7 nights..The bathroom was also very nice with a great shower, plenty of hot water and toiletries from Crabtree & Evelyn..The cabins were cleaned in the morning and there was a turn down service in the evening.. Open seating for breakfast which was between 7:30 - 9 am, lunch 12:30 - 2 pm and dinner 6 pm - 8 pm, there were a few tables for 2 but in the main it was bigger tables, there was also a small bistro that took approx 20 covers and was open for lunch and dinner but you had to reserve a table for dinner so this was always very busy.. The restaurant was very nice, tables were always beautifully set with high quality cutlery and linen napkins..Thanks to Panji who served us in the restaurant, this was his first contract and he was always smiling and helpful.. The bar staff lead by George the bar manager, Valentin and Gabriel gave excellent service and were very friendly and efficient, the bar prices were also very reasonable.. The shore excursions which were included were in general good however somewhat rushed on some days, especially if there was one in the morning and another in the afternoon..We did see some lovely place, especially Colmar and Rudesheim and some of the scenery when we were sailing was beautiful.. Cons.. We didn't realise this was the inaugural cruise and also the average age was 73 but not a young 73 so this had a very different slant on the cruise..The crew also seemed to be very disorganised.. Sarah and Tim were the hosts, Sarah was very irritating, Tim was a gentleman and completely domineered by the over powering Sarah.. Restricted meal times for breakfast, this finished by 9 am so no chance of a lie-in and no food until lunch..If you weren't getting off the boat to do a trip or something on your own as some elderly passengers didn't, there was no food other than coffee and biscuits..I feel the bistro should be open in the morning, just serving croissants and toast between 9 am and 10:30 so that passengers have a choice, there was room service available for continental breakfast however if you were still in your cabin after 9 am the cabin steward was knocking on the door asking you if you wanted your cabin serviced so we felt pressured into leaving the cabin..The food in restaurant was mediocre at best and service was slow, although there were 5 courses in the evening the choices were limited and on a couple of occasions my husband couldn't find anything he liked at lunch time, the soup was always tasty, however if you had a bigger appetite then the portions would not have been sufficient.. Entertainment was provided by a talented and very nice Gentleman named Peter who sang and played the piano/organ..Although he was very good and entertained us it was the same format every night as there was only the one lounge and no where else to go..I did expect some local entertainment on the nights when we had a late departure but this didn't happen.. I also had a romantic notion of river cruising and each day we would be docked in beautiful little towns and villages however this wasn't the case, being a river boat I was unaware of how low down they sat in the river, so it was very disappointing when some days our view was of a brick wall or docked in some industrial area, I didn't expect this at all.. Would we book another one, never say never but we can cross this of our bucket list..It was thanks to the company of two like minded couples also doing a river cruise for the first time and having a good laugh together that actually made the cruise and it would definitely have been a very different trip if we hadn't met them, they also said they wouldn't repeat a river cruise.. Again this is our experience and views but from now on we will stick to Ocean cruising as its a better fit for us.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My wife and I have been on a river cruise with this operator before.The fact that we chose them again crosses the first hurdle. This time we went on their Rhine cruise.Not only is the ship new this year but it was the maiden voyage. That ... Read More
My wife and I have been on a river cruise with this operator before.The fact that we chose them again crosses the first hurdle. This time we went on their Rhine cruise.Not only is the ship new this year but it was the maiden voyage. That would explain the minor niggles. Lets get the out the way first .The TV's have approximately 23 channels. The majority of which were news channels. No English speaking entertainment channels. There were two film channels neither of which could be accessed. Come on people all you customers are English. The only other observation I would make is that the menu in the the Bistro at lunch time needs to change every day or at least 2 or 3 times during the week. And please get the young lady who does the cooking (or is it Chefing) some help at lunch time.The ship itself is great . All sparkling and new. The food was very well cooked and presented. Peter the ships piano playing evening entertainer was very talented.George in the bar may well twist your brain by setting your little brain teasers ... which he will ,probably, not give you the answer to until you are about to leave. Young Bianca on reception as well as being so funny is most helpful. Tim and Sara were our host's. And do A fine job as well. Poor old Tim is totally dominated by Sarah but they make a good team. When we went the weather was not good but it did not diminish our enjoyment of the tours and the guides were very knowledgeable. I would say that on the last day I would suggest you just do your own thing. Don't join the tour. There is not that much to see. One last gripe .It is suggested that you tip 5 to 10 Euros per day per person. Your having a laugh. That's about £98 per pair for a 7day holiday Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our first river cruise altho we are seasoned seagoing cruisers. we were not sure to expect but the thought of a brand new ship visiting places we hadn't been before - Salzburg and Vienna - attracted us. We were not ... Read More
This was our first river cruise altho we are seasoned seagoing cruisers. we were not sure to expect but the thought of a brand new ship visiting places we hadn't been before - Salzburg and Vienna - attracted us. We were not disappointed. The ship is lovely, the interior design was really nice. The staff were very friendly and attentive throughout the cruise. We had booked a cabin with a balcony but if we were to go again, would not pick this option. The balcony was very small and we could get a better view of the scenery from the sun deck. Having said that the cabin itself was excellent and had the best shower of any ship we have ever cruised on. The food was good and the optional dining in the Bistro was wonderful. You have to book the Bistro on an evening as it has limited seating but it is well worth it and there is no extra charge! Lunch in the Bistro was good too no booking required. Entertainment was limited, all done in the lounge area but everyone seemed to enjoy it so no real complaints here. Excursions are included in the price and are optional. A fair amount of walking but as we wanted to see the places we were happy to follow one of the excellent guides. May be a problem for those with limited mobility though, although in the cities, there was a bus tour included. We had a great time and will look forward to booking a trip for next year, perhaps in another of Riviera's new ships. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Friends had already booked and we had always wanted to try a river cruise (have done many ocean cruises) but wanted to be part of a group of friends so joined up as itinerary sounded an interesting one which it was. Budapest - Estergom - ... Read More
Friends had already booked and we had always wanted to try a river cruise (have done many ocean cruises) but wanted to be part of a group of friends so joined up as itinerary sounded an interesting one which it was. Budapest - Estergom - Bratislava - Durnstein-Melk- Linz (for Salzburg) - Vienna- Budapest. All interesting. NB its an hour and a half coach trip each way to get to Salzburg from Linz. Thought much of the daytime river scenery apart from the Wachau Valley element was a bit boring - mainly loads of trees on both banks! Other parts were done at night so its more about the stops rather than the cruising. Embarking was hopeless as Riviera UK had given us the wrong pier address and as we were on a cruise only package we then had to phone the UK to find out where it actually was moored and they said the wrong place again. When we phoned the emergency ship number we were told it was about 5k away in the other direction so incurred extra taxi costs. The ship is only chartered by Riviera Travel and is operated by Select voyages so crew are not Riviera staff just the cruise Director and Tour Manger. The navigation crew generally looked a bit scruffy with jeans and Tshirts most of the time, though they were all friendly. Only saw the captain in uniform t the safety briefing and welcome dinners. The ship is only two years old so in good condition and with an excellent housekeeping team always seemed spotlessly clean. Hotel Manager was very friendly. Staff ensured all pax always used hand sanitisers so felt health safety was being well controlled. Rooms were actually bigger than I had imagined so they exceeded our expectations. Enough hanging space for a week. Plenty of shelving (with a safe on one) plus a few drawers. Empty Suitcases fit under beds. Flat screen TV. Compact bathroom with shower only but big enough again for a week for sure. The two Riviera Staff on board the cruise Director and Tour manager were friendly and engaging but on the whole always looked a bit scruffy. Shirt hanging out etc...? Food and beverage was a bit hit and miss though. The bar staff always seemed a bit stretched and apart from one waitress who was very pleasant were a bit surly and miserable. They were expected to help in the restaurant during meal services so couldn't understand why the restaurant staff couldn't help the they were busy pre meals?? Breakfast buffet was excellent with plenty of choice plus an excellent egg station. Lunch was again buffet style and generally OK. Dinner varied from fairly good on the welcome dinner and final captains dinners to fairly average the other other nights. The "Fine Dining" experience in the rear "Marley's Bar" was not bad but the room itself had big aircon problems that evening and was just incredibly hot which rather spoilt it and generally everyone only gets one chance per cruise to try this as the room is pretty small. To be fair the hotel manager comped a couple of the service staff came across as a bit surly though once you got to know them they were much better. The menus on normal nights seemed to be somewhat basic and restricted based on a fairly tight budget allowance I would think. Marley Bar never operated as a Bar and is just really a tea coffee / water station all day with some fruit and cookies (though once these ran out that was it they were not replenished). The Welcome drink at the two special evenings was a half glass of sparkling wine. A top up would have been nice! Same app;lied to late night snacks if you didnt get in quickly they soon disappeared. Bar prices generally seemed pretty fair and the house wine at euro 19 per litre was fair value. Our drinks bill for the week came to c euro 250 per cabin sticking with the house wine. Most other wines were around euro 28 per 75cl bottle. Having done a number of upmarket ocean cruises with Silversea maybe I was expecting too much. The cost worked out at about £300 per day per person so similar to a repositioning silversea voyage. Afraid no contest! Riviera Travel staff guest ratio is nowhere near an ocean cruise. they also do a lot of coach party touring and it felt a bit like that on this river cruise. Afraid we all felt we wouldn't bother doing another with Riviera Travel again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We did the reverse Heart of Europe cruise, from Budapest to Cologne. This seems to be the preferred direction, giving longer in the ports enroute. We saw lots of other ships on our cruise, and, frankly, didn't see anything to ... Read More
We did the reverse Heart of Europe cruise, from Budapest to Cologne. This seems to be the preferred direction, giving longer in the ports enroute. We saw lots of other ships on our cruise, and, frankly, didn't see anything to compare with the Thomas Hardy (incidentally, we were also moored alongside the William Shakespeare one day and it is looking very old fashioned and outdated, despite only being 3 or 4 years old. The Thomas Hardy is in a different class). The ship is excellent, and the cabins ("suites"), whilst small, are brilliantly designed. The French balcony design works particularly well, transforming your cabin into a large balcony when the triple sliding doors are fully slid back. The room aircon is excellent. Only gripes, the TV is rubbish - a few news channels, a couple of local stations and bizarrely, 2 "God" channels, and the wifi is pretty poor; patchy and barely usable when we did have internet connection. The cabin was kept spotlessly clean by the staff, who did a great job. The sun deck is really nice when it is open, which unfortunately, due to low bridges, is for a very short part of the cruise, the first 3 days or so and the last 1 or 2. However, the forward deck is kept open throughout, which is a decent sitting area at least. The staff are excellent; helpful, friendly and efficient. Meals were generally good, particularly breakfast and lunch, but dinners were very hit and miss: strange food combinations (Chicken, chips and Brussels Sprouts anyone - in June?!?!) and small portions meant we ended up treating lunch as our main meal of the day. Afternoon tea was disappointing: the same cakes (they are actually frozen gateaux style cakes, not "proper" ones) every day for 2 weeks. Bar service is generally good, and prices are reasonable, helped by a limited choice bar list during Happy Hour. The choice of wines is reasonable, with prices typically between about €20 - 25 per bottle. The best sections of cruising are between Budapest and Bratislava; the Main river and the Rhine Gorge. Not keen on the Main-Danube canal section, which is a bit boring. Excursions and walking tours were well organised, BUT, the quality of local tour guides was variable. Expect to be doing lots of walking if you're going on the tours. For people with limited mobility this could be a challenge. However, there is always the option to either stay on the ship, or to do limited parts of the tours. There's not a lot to do on board, given it is a river ship, so take books. Great bird watching between Budapest and Bratislava, so also take binoculars.The gym was disappointing, only had 2 treadmills and 2 bikes. No weights, no rowing machines. As the sun deck is mainly closed, can't even do laps of the deck, so if you're keen on exercise to keep the weight down, you'll need to do lots of walking on the excursions/ tours. Evening entertainment is pretty amateurish (the crew try their best to put something on), but at least the on board pianist was very good. Things to be aware of: 1. We had to miss Passau because of low river levels on the Straubing section, and were lucky to get through. The ship has a draft of 1.56m, and the river was below 1.5m, so they had to drain the pool (it is actually hot tub size, only big enough for 2 or 3 people to sit in it), offload grey water etc. to lighten the ship. So if you are cruising the Danube, be aware that it is prone to low river levels. Other ships were off-loading passengers at Nuremberg, so at least we made it. 2. The sun deck and pool are closed for most of the cruise because of low bridges. 3. Don't expect lots of sleep. I didn't get a single decent night's sleep in 2 weeks, mainly because of the ship bouncing around in locks during the night passages. All in all, great ship, and despite a few disappointments, would go again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The ship is actually very nice: modern, bright, clean and with lovely full height/width fully opening windows in the cabins. The staff are generally extremely pleasant and helpful. The itinerary was interesting and it was pleasing to have ... Read More
The ship is actually very nice: modern, bright, clean and with lovely full height/width fully opening windows in the cabins. The staff are generally extremely pleasant and helpful. The itinerary was interesting and it was pleasing to have a decent amount of daytime cruising to enjoy the scenery. However, our flight arrangements were unsatisfactory, with our three seats being totally separated . Help from BA staff sorted it out but it was stressful and Riviera are just not interested. The food was the biggest disappointment. It was ordinary at best with watery, over salted soups, uninteresting salads, overlooked and dry fish and generally dreadful deserts. The " fine dining " was nothing of the sort. To be fair, breakfasts were fine. We suspect our principal tour manager divided opinion. He worked hard but his manner was over the top and he didn't know when to stop talking. There was far too much stress on tipping generously at the end of the cruise. Overall we were underwhelmed by the experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our second river cruise with Riviera Travel, and both were excellent. We were so impressed that the staff people knew our names from the first day. (I don't think we were either outstanding or difficult!) We also enjoy the UK ... Read More
This was our second river cruise with Riviera Travel, and both were excellent. We were so impressed that the staff people knew our names from the first day. (I don't think we were either outstanding or difficult!) We also enjoy the UK people on the shop - they know how to converse at mealtime. The Jane Austen is a new ship, and the accommodations have been improved somewhat. The folding shower doors add space to the bathroom when the shower is not in use. Also, on the Jane Austen, the pianist was very entertaining. My wife and I enjoy ballroom dancing, and the music was generally suitable. Also, many more of the guests on this cruise were in the lounge in the evening, making for a quite convivial atmosphere. Meals for both cruises were excellent, with absolutely impeccable service for the evening meals. When a wine bottle is purchased, it is marked with the room number if it is not finished, so it is then available at the next meal. The closing meal was really over the top! We are already planning a river cruise with Riviera Travel next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Riviera travel Rhine Cruise to Switzerland 15 June to 22 June 2016 We started our holiday in St Pancras Station on 15 June and before starting our journey we left our Cases at the drop off point for luggage which we were having ... Read More
Riviera travel Rhine Cruise to Switzerland 15 June to 22 June 2016 We started our holiday in St Pancras Station on 15 June and before starting our journey we left our Cases at the drop off point for luggage which we were having transported to the Cruise ship as part of the Cruise, the next time we would see these was outside our Cabin ,This went so very smoothly without any causes for concern. We then went to the Eurostar check in followed by our Eurostar journey to Brussels again this went so extremely smoothly without any complications, We were met by our cruise manager Christine who gave full details of the procedure at Brussels and our onward journey by Coach to Cologne The Journey to Cologne by coach was fine and took about 3 ½ hours which included a toilet and refreshment break before finally arriving in Cologne and ready to board our Ship the Jane Austin Riviera cruises are all booked by passengers from the UK which made integrating with other passengers so easy, On boarding the cruise ship the expectations we had were surpassed ,the Captain and crew were there to welcome us aboard and on seeing the reception area for the first time was stunning, a crew member showed us to our cabin and once again we were blown away with the size and luxury feel to it, the sliding patio doors were the full width of the cabin and the shower room was cosy but complete, cases can be stored under the bed , bottles of water are replenished free every day , the cabin is serviced every morning including towel replacement and the beds are turned down each evening and chocolates are placed on each pillow. We then went to explore the whole ship, firstly having a look at the lounge ( WOW ) we were amazed at the size and spaciousness and luxury seating ( Amazing ), following this we looked at the Dining room and once again we were blown away with the size and quality of the table settings just like a 5 star hotel, we the explored some more and found the Lido bar at the rear of the ship which had an outside seating area. From here we went to the top deck where there was loads of table and chairs set out or for those who wanted to laze away the days there were about 40 sunbeds with canopy’s above to shade the hot sun, to the front the seating again was tables and chairs and surrounded by a glass screen to shelter from any breeze there may be, A luxurious seating was at the very front of the ship with loads of outdoor wicker settees ( wonderful ) We went for dinner at 7pm which was amazing with 5 courses you couldn’t expect more, The food was of superior quality and cooked to perfection, this was to be the standard of food for the entire cruise ( excellent )The cost of drinks is very reasonable Beer 2.50 euro for beer, 2.50 euros for Coke etc and 5 euros for glass wine, full bottle wine is 18.50 euros. Tea, Coffee, jugs of Cold Water and cookies are available free of charge all day. Breakfast is buffet style and has an amazing choice, this is followed by a buffet lunch which is then followed by afternoon tea and cakes before finally having the 5 course evening meal ( 7 courses on the night of the captains dinner ) no formal dress is required for dinner just smart casual is fine, jackets not required unless you wish to do so. We set sail at about 10pm and watched Cologne slip away into the distance, The speed being about 10 miles per hour and our first part of the cruise was about 11 hours arriving at Koblenz about 10 am the following morning, as the ship cruises there is absolutely no feeling of any movement, The cruise followed the complete itinerary as detailed in the brochure and over the next couple of days the scenery was superb, the Rhine Gorge being the highlight ( Stunning ) We were amazed by the number of business ships on the Rhine ie tankers, container ships etc carrying all types of goods along this amazing river, at some points the river must be about a mile wide. We called at Rudesheim where the ship moored at the centre of this amazing town definitely a tourist town but full of character and shops and bars and restaurants. Other ports of call were Speyer, Strasbourg, Breisach, and Basel. At some of the moorings we were slightly away from the towns and coaches were provide to transport passengers to the town centres, also at a couple of moorings we were moored along side another cruise ship, this did not cause any problems at all other than our cabin looking directly into theirs, this was generally only for a few hours before ships moved on. Leaving the cruise ship through other ships was also not a problem. And the gangways to land were very easy to negotiate even for passengers with a small degree of walking difficulty. At certain stops we decided not to take the coaches or walking tours and instead stay on board which was absolutely no problem, being the only couple to stay on board the entire ship was ours for the day ( peaceful !!! ) and the crew laid on Lunch for just the 2 of us which again was outstanding. On the final day we were transferred by coach to Basel train station for our TGV journey back to Paris , and then crossed Paris by coach to catch the Eurostar back to London, all transfers are included and full guidance was given all the way by Sarah the tour Manager who accompanied us all the way back to London. The entire crew including the tour manager Sarah and Christine are to be congratulated for their kindness, friendliness, professionalism and attention to the passengers, The whole cruise was above excellent , however it leaves you wanting to do more River Cruises and especially with Riviera Travel, we may also book a tour holiday with them as there is a wide choice for holidays by rail if you don’t want to fly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Our first ever cruise and we weren't disappointed. The ship was first class and so was the service. We opted for a suite but might go for a cabin next time as we were only ever in the suite for sleeping. A bit disappointed that it ... Read More
Our first ever cruise and we weren't disappointed. The ship was first class and so was the service. We opted for a suite but might go for a cabin next time as we were only ever in the suite for sleeping. A bit disappointed that it wasn't possible to sit out on the balconies but it did say this in the brochure. Also a little peeved that when docked, most of the time the view was blocked by either the dock wall or another boat. The restaurant was really good with service alternating between buffets and waiter service. On special nights (gala night and Captain's dinner) everything was silver service. Food about the same as a 4 star restaurant. Wine good too. Didn't have a problem sharing tables some nights as it made for good converstaion each night and by the end of the cruise we knew half the other passengers. Our tour managers were Leslie and Jane and they made a great team. Jane's talks about the respective tours and towns where we stopped were good but could have been arranged better as we seemed to be for ever attending talks or meetings or presentations. Being repeatedly introduced to the entire ship's crew was a bit OTT. The atmosphere on board was definitely friendly and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. Most passengers were elderly which led to a few 'slow' boardings especially onto and off the coaches and I was surprised to see that there were no members of staff helping people at these points. However, when we left on our final day, we put our cases outside our rooms and they were collected by the crew and loaded onto the coaches without us having to touch them - none of the other lines seemed to do this for their passengers. Some of the tours were over hyped but the trip into the mountains on the last day was fantastic. The trip to Titisee was great but we needed more time there. Also, the coach guides did not stop talking for the entire journey - one and half hours of it over the tannoy so we could not even switch them off. However, the scenery was spectacular so did make up for it. The first days on the river were the best with great scenery. The facilities on the decks are really good for just lounging about with waiter service everywhere. Going through the locks was 'interesting'. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who just wants to relax and have everything done for them. I would go again but next time I would be more inclined to skip some of the tours and not pay the extra to have a suite. The boat was spotlessly clean, very well equipped with plenty of good quality food at every opportunity! Anyone with mobility problems should be ware that this is a boat so it has lots of steps however, there were some people in the eighties on board who managed perfectly well. We were met at the airport and never carried our luggage ourselves after that. 8 days of being totally spoilt and looked after! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We have been on several sea cruises but wanted to try something different and we weren't disappointed. Our flight over was on EasyJet and one of our cases got delayed which although it was upsetting and frustrating, didn't ... Read More
We have been on several sea cruises but wanted to try something different and we weren't disappointed. Our flight over was on EasyJet and one of our cases got delayed which although it was upsetting and frustrating, didn't stop us from having a thoroughly good time. Dress seems to be quite casual. The folk on board seemed to be mainly in their 60s or 70s. It is not a suitable cruise for children. The ship was very similar to the many others we saw cruising up and down the Danube (which although I love my husband dearly is definitely not blue but a murky brown). Inside was very nice and tastefully decorated but also very comfortable. The lounge bar was nice, the bar is in the middle of the room and there is a small dance floor just in front of it, which isn't visible if you sit at the front end of the bar, but that didn't bother us. For the most part the boat was very quiet and incredibly smooth but sometimes we could hear the engine and it could be a bit bumpy, but we soon got used to it and hardly noticed after the first couple of days. I tried out the fitness suite, but the sauna and hairdresser didn't seem to be used at all. Everywhere was very clean. The cabins are smaller than cabins on cruise ships but perfectly adequate with enough storage, comfy beds and very nice en-suites. There are kettles in each room. We had a quick peek at the suites in the middle of the ship and they looked quite compact, but very nice. We were on Hamlet deck and had patio doors which we realised needed to have the sheer curtain pulled across as sometimes we found ourselves berthed next to another ship and looking into one of their rooms! Other times, if we were going through a lock - there were 16 on our cruise, our view would be of a concrete wall but mostly the views are of the riverbanks! Tours were interesting and extremely well organised. You have to remember to charge your Vox Box after every walking tour. I would have liked more time in Budapest and less time in Vienna but others might disagree. We saw some beautiful towns - Esztergom, Durnstein and Melk and larger cities like Saltzburg and Bratislava. It was all very interesting and the guides very professional. All the tours were optional but I'm glad we didn't miss any. Talks are given before every visit, but we didn't see the need for these as the tour guides explained everything anyway. We thought the food was lovely with a good choice. We took advantage of fine dining one evening and it was superb. I had Egg Benedict for breakfast every morning and it was always beautifully cooked. They make a good cup of tea on board, but I didn't enjoy the coffee. We enjoyed the entertainment, a quiz organised by the tour reps, a string quartet in Vienna and a Hungarian music and dance troupe, but a pianist played lovely music in the lounge bar during the afternoon and evenings. Service was excellent and the reception staff and Irena, the tour director did their best to locate our luggage which eventually turned up in Vienna on our last but one day. They offered to do our washing too as we had so few clothes which was much appreciated. There is television and wifi on board but signals aren't strong and our mobiles often couldn't get a signal. We found that frustrating at times. We had a really good time and wouldn't hesitate to go again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We were well taken care of from start to finish. The ship was only 10 months old, spotlessly clean and comfortable. Food was beautifully presented with plenty of choice. Service was good. However, my friend was vegetarian. The company was ... Read More
We were well taken care of from start to finish. The ship was only 10 months old, spotlessly clean and comfortable. Food was beautifully presented with plenty of choice. Service was good. However, my friend was vegetarian. The company was informed of this at the time of booking. There was no choice on offer and only one vegetarian main dish on the menu at dinner. If you didn't like it you were stuffed. The head chef was very apologetic and offered to cook anything she fancied, and he did. He told us the company decided the menus. The highlight of the entertainment was the string quartet that came on-board one evening. All excursions are included in the price and were excellent. The guides, crew and Riviera hosts could not be faulted. They even checked us in the day before for our flight home. I would have given Riviera 5 stars if it hadn't been for the hassle in the dining room my friend had.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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