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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a full charter from Hanau to Passau on the River Main and Canal to Passau. The ship was clean, Crew from eastern Europe and the Philipines. Most were friendly and helpful. The Food was good but the portions small. we had a ... Read More
This was a full charter from Hanau to Passau on the River Main and Canal to Passau. The ship was clean, Crew from eastern Europe and the Philipines. Most were friendly and helpful. The Food was good but the portions small. we had a Drinks package. The wines served were good and plentyful. The cabin was large and more than enough storage space, the bathroom was also larger than on many ships. The Captain was customer unfriendly from the start. The weather forcast was for sunny skies, Temp between 20 und 25c just perfect. He said the upper deck was to be closed due to low bridges, this was true as many bridges was low with only 10cm headroom, but the bridges were at times more than 5 hrs apart, still he refused to open the upper deck, this was just due to a lazy Captain and his Crew, they just did not want to go up and put up the railings, which would have taken arounf 10 -15mins. because of this everybody had to stay in thier cabins or sit a over crowded lounge. Even when the ship was in port, the upper deck was not opened at first. one stop in Bamberg, the ship arrived 1.5 Hrs late, the guests had to wait 45 mins before the Captian opened the deck, first the rubbish had to be taken off the ship, one Lady asked if rubbish was more important that guests to which the Reply was YES !!!! Chairs and stools were not made available by the Crew, when guests picked them up for themselves the Captain was Angry and said " you are not allowed to cross over the lines," the Reply was then make sure the chairs are here when you al last open the upper deck. We had over 50 locks to go through, nearly every lock the ship was jolted back and forth against the walls, on my many river Cruises this has never happened so ofter before. This Captian really made this a cruise to remember !!! Would I sail with them again Never !! Other companies open the upper deck after each Bridge!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was the best holiday I have ever had. The country of Myanmar is fascinating; the Burmese people are unassuming and friendly, and the culture of the country well preserved and wonderful. The service on the ship was world class yet ... Read More
This was the best holiday I have ever had. The country of Myanmar is fascinating; the Burmese people are unassuming and friendly, and the culture of the country well preserved and wonderful. The service on the ship was world class yet relaxed. The staff could not have done more to assist passengers. They were ultra professional and capable, but genuinely friendly too - more so than I have ever encountered with cruises. The no-gratuity policy means that interactions are genuine and staff were courteous and warm because they meant it. I traveled with my mother who is elderly and arthritic. They quietly allocated an assistant to her during tours, who had been trained by the tour guides and was skilled and extremely patient about assisting on rough ground or towards a seat for a rest. The food was excellent, with high quality locally sourced ingredients and a delicious variety of regional dishes. There was a wide choice of dishes; both hot and delicious local cold salads. It was almost impossible not to eat too much! The dining room seating was flexible, so that guests could sit together or in pairs as they chose, and staff even moved table settings to facilitate this. The criuse director and two tour guides traveled with us and were really excellent in explaining historical, cultural and socio-economic details. They were completely professional. very very knowledgeable, and were prepared to interact with us outwith their official tour times. Tours were impeccably planned and organised, interesting and varied. Guests appreciated the timetabling, whereby there were one or two tours per day, but with a generous rest time in the middle of the day, which was cleverly organised to co-incide with the boat moving onwards. That was we could rest on deck and see local sights/way of life in rural areas as we traveled. The holiday was therefore stimulating but relaxing too (often cruises are more hectic and the boat moves on during the night). The entertainment was fun and lighthearted, but not glitzy. There was a Burmese puppet show, local dancers, a film showing, etc. This was just right for sensible-minded adults. Overall the ship's organisation, standard of service and attention to detail was faultless. I cannot not praise staff enough and would highly recommend this holiday. It would be wise to go to Myanmar now, before westernization creeps in. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We normally drive around Europe but decided that a cruise would be nice and the Rhine river goes through a very pretty area of Germany. We were doing the two week trip from Amsterdam to Budapest. 15th October to 29th October. Due to low ... Read More
We normally drive around Europe but decided that a cruise would be nice and the Rhine river goes through a very pretty area of Germany. We were doing the two week trip from Amsterdam to Budapest. 15th October to 29th October. Due to low water levels however the Rhine is currently not navigable and so on the second day whilst still in Amsterdam we were advised that a lot of the trip would be by coach and staying in hotels. APT gave us the choice of staying onboard or flying home from Amsterdam the following day with a full refund. We choose the latter and less than a week later we have received a full cheque refund. It would also now appear that the Danube is very low and has been for some time so the latter part of the cruise from Vienna to Budapest would also be by coach/hotel. APT/Travelmarvel have now cancelled river cruises for the foreseeable future. (Check out their website). APT and ROL who we booked the trip through have been extremely professional and efficient. We are very impressed with the way this situation has been handled. We hope to re-book a river cruise sometime next year with APT/Travelmarvel. Hopefully the rivers will not be either in flood or dried out! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Never tried river cruising before as previously Ocean and Sea cruises. Route looked like it would have good trips available. Started badly as we were not informed of river level problems until we arrived at Budapest airport, whilst ... Read More
Never tried river cruising before as previously Ocean and Sea cruises. Route looked like it would have good trips available. Started badly as we were not informed of river level problems until we arrived at Budapest airport, whilst majority of other guests were notified and offered alternatives 2 to 3 days earlier. Had to stay at 2 Hilton hotels in Budapest and Vienna and take coach to ship in Germany. Cabins were good and had all amenities expected. Evening entertainment on board was poor and a great disappointment compared to Ocean/Sea cruises. Dining was average - no wow factor to food but waiter service and drinks service was slow and lacked any real attempt to impress the guests, and occasionally rude. Worst part was the cabin steward not knocking on our door and walking straight in whilst we were getting ready for dinner. My wife was in her underwear and was very embarrassed. Trips were generally very good at each docking and the dinner cruise in Budapest and Orchestral concert show in Vienna were great highlights. Gym was limited due to space and had 2 machines and a mat. We met many new friends on the cruise from the UK, Australia and Tasmania. Embarkation was efficient and well handled. Overall we were very disappointed with the cruise as the large cost was not reflected in the service we received. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this trip from an Readers offers Ltd advertising literature it was supposed to be APT but we later found out that as Travelmarvel its the more budget arm of APT so you need to see APTs brochure to find out the difference.The ... Read More
We chose this trip from an Readers offers Ltd advertising literature it was supposed to be APT but we later found out that as Travelmarvel its the more budget arm of APT so you need to see APTs brochure to find out the difference.The cruise was not cheap at £6600 and that was supposed top be discounted. Glad we didnt pay full price.According to the write up we had from ROL all sightseeing excursions were included not so ! and drinks which were subject to cruise lines Ts&Cs which of course you are not given until after you have booked. They are only included at meal times.There are no swimming facilities on these ships and i was told later thats because its a travelmarvel ship not an APT one.We didnt start well as the air travel arrangements that Travelmarvel arranged dispite being booked for twelve months in front were abysmal ive flown from America and not took as long.The Cruising we payed extra for what was advertised as a balcony.it was no more than a French window. Which you couldnt use a lot of the time because it was either nigh time and you were asleep or being moored against another ship.These ships have been desigined badly from the point of view that a lot of the time you cannot stay on the sun deck because of low bridges and that was with the lowest water levels on record these things were not readily mentioned. So this put another dampener hence we had to re pack our cases midweek and transfer by road to the sister ship the Jewel. That was out of there control but we did 150-200 klms by coach. The cruising is also a con as most is done at night and out of 12 days we probably only enjoyed quality river cruising for about 20hrs. Cabin and staff were good as was the food.Cruise director was in the main good but enjoyed his own act! So did we think it was VFM ! no ! Is Travelmarvel Marvelous Not as much as they would like to think ! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
I wanted a 2 week or longer river cruise holiday. Something that I would say after the holiday, wow that was great. I am so very happy that I went on this cruise! I am back home and I still keep in touch with a staff member. I love that I ... Read More
I wanted a 2 week or longer river cruise holiday. Something that I would say after the holiday, wow that was great. I am so very happy that I went on this cruise! I am back home and I still keep in touch with a staff member. I love that I have kept in contact with them. We never really had enough time to explore the departure city, we did go on a few tours when Wie disembarked the cruise but I can not remember all of the places we went to? I just remember Salzburg which wasn’t such a great tour. It was a slow tour and she didn’t point out every spot where they filmed. It was a disappointing tour! So upset that I can’t remember everything! Most of the other cruisers were really friendly and great to be with. Entertainment was great the night that Lyndsay Hamilton sang. She has a Superb voice! Cabin was kept very clean. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Always wanted to cruise the rivers and see the locks. We had done two cruises before but they were on large ships. We found this cruise ship to be a bit small. When the roof was closed due to the locks, there was only the lounge to go. ... Read More
Always wanted to cruise the rivers and see the locks. We had done two cruises before but they were on large ships. We found this cruise ship to be a bit small. When the roof was closed due to the locks, there was only the lounge to go. Only one dining area. Food was great and service excellent. But meal times were bedlam with people rushing for tables and lines waiting for service at the buffet. It was amazing cruising along the rivers and the views terrific. People arrived on the ship coughing and sick, by the time the cruise was ended MOST people were coughing and sick. You could not escape it. The staff were telling peole to use the hand sanitiser. The bus trip to Plague after the cruise while beautiful country everyone was coughing. Being all in the one bus with recycled air, you did not stand a chance of not being sick. We were told the cruise before us a lot of peole were sick with coughing etc. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My husband and I recently travelled from Budapest. We explored Budapest on our own and joined the ship under our own steam. We spent an hour trying to find the boat, which was not where they explained it would be, and we were lucky to have ... Read More
My husband and I recently travelled from Budapest. We explored Budapest on our own and joined the ship under our own steam. We spent an hour trying to find the boat, which was not where they explained it would be, and we were lucky to have a patient taxi driver who did endless u-turns and asked many questions of the locals to finally find it. Travel Marvel is at the cheaper end of the market, so you get less of the items you might not want less of. It is also clear their boats get the least central berths in major towns. For the cheaper amount you get very average food, less communal space, and cheap deckchairs on top with no waiter service. The roof-top as a space is also very limited, since it is shut down for days at a time, because of low bridges (this may not be limited to Travel Marvel boats, but should be remembered if you like to get out of the confined space of a river boat). The saving grace was our French Balcony cabin which was very comfortable with lots of places to stow your gear. We were most disappointed in the food and the dining room. They squashed us in and the air conditioning strained to provide the coolness we all craved. The food was poorly cooked, a lack of fresh vegetables (very little green) and the fruit lacked variety, mostly melons of varying colours. One day we had fresh strawberries. The German fields were full of ripe strawberries - but we only had them once. The soups tasted like reconstituted Oxo cubes with rehydrated bits of vegetable. The ubiquitous roast chicken (always the fall back position on the menu), came with oversalted gravy. Wines served with meals, were low-end and unvarying, the white mostly a chardonnay, and the red nearly always German (neither of which were good tasting wines). The staff were extremely hard-working, always smiling and very polite, but most had little English, so it was a struggle to be understood, especially noticeable in the dining room when you wanted information on the food or wine. Finally, the evening's entertainment was held in the one Lounge Area which also contained the bar. If you didn't like the entertainment, and the roof deck was shut down, there was nowhere to sit with friends for conversation and/or after-dinner coffee/drinks, other than a few chairs in reception. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this trip because the Budapest/Amsterdam river cruise was a bucket list item and this particular cruise was advertised in our local paper at a considerable discount. Travel Marvel is not regarded as a luxury line but we certainly ... Read More
We chose this trip because the Budapest/Amsterdam river cruise was a bucket list item and this particular cruise was advertised in our local paper at a considerable discount. Travel Marvel is not regarded as a luxury line but we certainly had no complaints about anything on this ship. Our tour departed from Budapest on 30 April and arrived in Amsterdam on 14 May. We arrived in Budapest two days early to allow for any flight delays and to have a look around and there is plenty there to keep anyone amused. Embarkation, however, posed one challenge: We were given an address: Mahart International passenger Port, Pier 5 and this caused difficulty for our taxi driver as "Mahart" appears regularly along a fair stretch of the riverfront and the ports are not in order 1,2,3. After a long scenic drive searching we 'phoned Travel Marvel's ship 'phone and a Hungarian speaking employee put our driver straight. Turns out it was so close to our Hotel we could have walked there. Question?? Why did the address not add the simple direction "200 metres South of Liberty Bridge"? Apart from that embarkation was simple. We just walked on board with our cases and paperwork and were pointed towards our cabin. The cabin was on the top deck and compact but comfortable with a double bed, mirrored shelf which doubled as a writing desk at the foot of the bed, two side-chests and a fridge and T.V. in one corner. The two French doors could be opened so that although there was no balcony there was an uninterrupted view of the outside. The bathroom was compact with a shower enclosure, toilet and sink plus the usual noisy vacuum toilet. The wardrobes were in the entrance and were more than adequate. Everything was spotless and Didik, our Indonesian cabin steward, kept it that way. The ship itself is compact with only 149 passengers and all the public areas are clean and well presented. The forward lounge has a small dance floor, musician’s stage, enough seating for everyone and, of course, a compact bar with enough booze choices to keep the most dedicated drinker happy. Beer and wine are complimentary with meals and there are two coffee machines outside the dining room dispensing quite respectable coffee at all hours Food is a highlight. There are 8 chefs on board including one who whips up omelettes to order at breakfast. I also learned that the ship reprovisions every couple of days so that everything is as fresh as possible. As Willem, the Hotel Manager, said “only the best for our guests”. Breakfast is buffet style with cereals, fruit, pastries, muesli, salad and hot dishes on offer. The hot food included the best scrambled eggs I have seen at a buffet and they keep the quantities small with regular top-ups to avoid “tired” food. There is also a selection of pastries and coffee served in the lounge for early and late risers. Morning and afternoon tea are served in the lounge – sandwiches, cakes, soup and a variety of local delicacies – too easy to pile on the kilos if you lack self-discipline. Lunch has three options – hot and cold buffet or special orders like pizzas in the dining room or lighter offerings – soup, sandwiches and cakes in the lounge. This was a popular option as three big meals a day is a bit much for many of us. Dinner is a four course affair with soup, entrée, mains and sweets served by wasitcoated and bow tied waiters and most of us dressed up a bit for this although there was no formal requirement to. Local dishes from the various regions we passed through featured regularly. Boryana, the wine waitress, circled the room demonstrating amazing tray juggling skills while dispensing local wines, beers and special requests and managed to keep everyone’s thirst satisfied. The wait staff were almost all Romanians and were, without exception, efficient, fast and, as they got to know us better, friendly and engaging without becoming overly familiar. The service generally was on a par with the best I have experienced anywhere. Cheri Coll, our cruise director was a Scottish gem and all the shore excursions ran like clockwork. The coaches were always spotless, on time and crewed by a driver and local English speaking guide, always with one coach and guide designated as “gentle walkers” for those with limited mobility. P.A. announcements and the daily guide ensured everyone knew the “all-aboard” times and a simple system of boarding passes with the cabin numbers on them ensured that the reception staff knew when everyone was back. A useful toy on the tours was the “Vox Box” – a compact listening device which enabled the guide to talk to us via headsets without the need to yell above the general noise. Entertainment on board was limited – these are small boats so no singing and dancing extravaganzas – just a talented keyboard player with his synthesizer and electronic piano providing background music. As we passed through the Maine/Danube canal we were also entertained by visiting “lock-hoppers” who boarded at the locks, did their thing then hopped off at another lock, presumably getting back home the same way. These included a Bavarian trio, a couple of singers and one singing duo and a glass blower. For people who like their electronic gizmos and social media there are two guest computers with internet connections available and the ship’s WiFi which was, like all ship WiFis, a bit hit and miss as to speed and availability. It didn’t worry us but if you really must have a fast and reliable connection at all times it would be best to arrange your own. Disembarkation was easy. Passengers placed coloured tags on their bags according to which transfer service they were using, put them outside the cabins at the allocated time then waited in the lounge until the coaches arrived. For those of us making our own arrangements a local taxi company had a rep on board all of the last day in Amsterdam taking bookings for transfers to Hotels and we also booked our transfer from the hotel to the airport with him. His prices were quite reasonable. Overall, we were very satisfied with our cruise and would have no hesitation recommending Travel Marvel to anyone. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We have done two previous river cruises: The Mekong and The Douro. This river cruise along the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy to visitors) from Mandalay to Yangon (formerly Rangoon) far exceeded our expectations; there were WOW moments every day ... Read More
We have done two previous river cruises: The Mekong and The Douro. This river cruise along the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy to visitors) from Mandalay to Yangon (formerly Rangoon) far exceeded our expectations; there were WOW moments every day and the Burmese people could not have been more friendly. Myanmar is a photographer’s dream. I have never taken so many photos of people whilst on holiday; the locals willingly let you take photos of them (we always asked permission first) and I returned home with many wonderful photos not only of the people but their country as well. The Princess Panhwar is used by Travelmarvel and is reasonably new. Travelmarvel organised our flights and transfers and all these arrangements went very well. There were 65 guests on our cruise out of a maximum of 72. We were split up into three groups and the tour guides alternated amongst the groups so we got to know all three of them. We had a cabin with a French balcony with doors that opened to allow in fresh air and a mosquito screen to cover the opening if required. The room was large with plenty of storage. There was a large shower with L’Occitane toiletries, storage under the sink and a magnifying mirror as well as a large mirror over the sink. There is an open sundeck with plenty of shade, an air conditioned lounge and a large restaurant where all meals are taken. The food was excellent with plenty of choice and presentation of the meals was first class. Our 14 night cruise covered the Christmas holiday (but not New Year) and the ship had been decorated accordingly and we had a Christmas meal on Christmas Eve and a visit from Santa (with presents!). A local choir came on board to entertain us. Our tour guides took us to magnificent golden temples, amazing wooden monasteries, local villages, colourful markets, craft workshops and, of course, Mandalay and Yangon. We saw some wonderful sunsets and the sunset over the temples in Bagan and at Ubein Bridge will remain in my memory for a long time. Many of us had taken stationery items for children but unfortunately we didn’t visit a school because the children were on holiday. However, we did get to meet the children in a village; the crew organised food and drinks for them ashore and our stationery items were collected and distributed. It was wonderful seeing how happy the children were during our visit to their village. This cruise is not for the faint hearted. There are lots of tours both morning and afternoon on many of the days particularly near Mandalay but they are not usually longer than a couple of hours. There was more downtime just sailing along the river as we neared Yangon. There are often steep slopes to climb on disembarkation and occasionally whilst out on tour. The crew lined the slope when you got off the ship to give a helping hand to anyone who needed it. Although we were there from mid to late December, it was clear that the river had subsided and I would not wish to go much later in the season. The weather was ideal; not too hot and little humidity until we reached Yangon. Walking around is often on unmade surfaces and entry to some of the temples required climbing steps (although some have lifts). We found the horse and cart ride very uncomfortable and declined to go on the second. Visiting temples more often than not requires you to remove shoes and socks but we were provided with wipes to clean our feet when we came out. This did become quite onerous for some people after a while but it’s a price worth paying to see the amazing temples. There was some entertainment on some evenings such a quizzes and a local puppet show. There were very interesting lectures given by the Cruise Director and tour guides on different aspects of Burmese life. There was also a cookery demonstration and a film about Aung San Suu Kyi. Finally, I must mention the crew. The Captain, his officers and crew were very visible every day, always on hand to help you on and off the ship (this includes the Captain) and always done with a smile. The Cruise Director, San and his two guides, Zaw and Ye Min were very knowledgeable, always friendly and eager for us to enjoy their country of which they are clearly very proud. The Hotel Director, Goran, also deserves a mention for his kindness and unfailing dedication to ensuring we all had a great time on board. Well done, Travelmarvel! Read Less
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