We scheduled this cruise after a previously booked European land tour was cancelled. We really enjoyed this trip! Prague was my favorite of the stops. It was surprisingly and amazingly beautiful as were all the ports visited. ... Read More
We scheduled this cruise after a previously booked European land tour was cancelled. We really enjoyed this trip! Prague was my favorite of the stops. It was surprisingly and amazingly beautiful as were all the ports visited. EVERYTHING was done well. We were met in the airport in Prague and then escorted to buses and the Prague Hilton. We were given a walking orientation of Prague within an hour of arrival and then had the evening to spend how we wished. The guide pointed out restaurants worth trying along the way. All the guides were terrific and the cruise director, Stefanie worked constantly both on and off the ship accompanying groups on excursions and maintaining a festive atmosphere on board. She must be one tired lady and deserves the holiday she had coming up.
On board, the ship is very clean and tidy....both public areas and our stateroom. Our stateroom had a French balcony which we really enjoyed. We could sit on our bed and watch the landscape go by. We saw beautiful glimpses of peoples lives...families by the river, quaint towns, and imposing castles. That was very enjoyable. Our cabin was large enough but I think it had a little less storage space and room than we have had on ocean cruises. The only time that was an issue was when trying to pass each other by the end of the bed where the drawers, mirror and door to outside were located. Only one person can fit in that space. We managed happily of course but had to wait for each other fairly frequently. LOVED the bathroom and the shower!
I would say the food was very good but not especially exceptional, but I was never wanting for anything good to eat. I think they do an awesome job with the confines and number of people they are serving. I was afraid beverages would be an issue but it was not. You could have unlimited soda, wine, water, or beer with lunch and dinner. Coffee and tea as well. Juices were available at breakfast and I know I saw them accommodate a request for juice at dinner. Every time you left the ship, you were offered bottles of water and their was water in your stateroom.
It was choose your own spot at the tables in the dining room....usually it worked out ok and sometimes it didn't. On the last couple of days people started saving seats and it made it a little difficult. We did meet some interesting people in the dining room.
We usually were so tired by the time dinner was over that we would go to our stateroom shortly after for the evening. On one evening, we were in port so did stroll the city. One evening there was a glassblower on the ship who did a demonstration. He had some really nice things on display and we did make a purchase. Nothing was forced, it was just there for you to look at.
Another evening we watched some German singers and musicians that were ok but I wasn't overly fond of. One thing I did not like was the piano music. I immediately told my husband that he wasn't really playing. I think it was like a player piano and he played with it sometimes but always had the action of playing if that makes sense. I think either pipe in music or play, one or the other.
Each afternoon, Stefanie would do a briefing on what should happen the next day...that was helpful and you would also get a news brief in your stateroom. Every port we visited had something unique to offer, no disappointments there. We had rain every single day with the exception of our last day in Paris and temperatures only hit 70 once. That put a little damper on things. The flooding rivers caused some detour in our river cruising so we had to bus a little more and didn't always dock where originally planned. I'm not sure if that would have given us any more time to explore towns in the evening or not.
All of the staff were exceptional in their service and being personable. We mostly sat in Valentina's section....she did an excellent job making sure everyone was taken care of. I wish she would have had the opportunity to chat with us. One evening, the hotel manager Armin sat at our table to eat and chat. That was really nice.
Because we had some issues with our cruising, they provided an extra meal at the Paris Pullman Hotel which was also a nice hotel right next to the Eiffel Tower.
Disembarkation was very smooth. We were grateful we had an escort through the Paris airport who even helped get our boarding passes and tell us what to expect when we got back to the US and customs. The airport in Paris is complex and a little intimidating.
I will probably choose to do another river cruise in the future (this was my first). I would not trade this experience, I really enjoyed seeing the inside of Germany and all the quaint beautiful towns along the rivers but I also missed having concentrated time to more fully explore the bigger cities of Prague and Paris. Read Less