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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Our first river cruise after over 20+ sea cruises. What a HUGE disappointment. Not much to shout about here, small cabins (no fridge even), average food (except last night gala dinner), non existent entertainment, very few tours ... Read More
Our first river cruise after over 20+ sea cruises. What a HUGE disappointment. Not much to shout about here, small cabins (no fridge even), average food (except last night gala dinner), non existent entertainment, very few tours included, indifferent cruise director. We were hoping to be "wowed" when we got on, but no, not so much as a welcome drink. It seems Riviera just cut every corner they can making for a very poor experience and DEFINITELY not worth the money they charged. We wish we had stuck to a sea cruise. At least we had gone with some good friends so we could all laugh about it all. Basel mooring was in an industrial area - how nice!! Drink prices were not too bad although we had paid the £99 drinks with meals package and made sure we got our moneys worth. If you are considering this cruise, don't wast your money, spend a bit more and go with another more upmarket company or stick to the sea. They also expected a 7-12€/person/day tip - plus tips for the Cruise Director - in your dreams!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
8 Helpful Votes
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
19 Helpful Votes
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
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
14 Helpful Votes
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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My mum and I travelled with Riviera for a river cruise from Basel to Cologne at the end of September. This was our first river cruise so did not know what to expect. We both had a great holiday mainly due to the terrific staff, who ... Read More
My mum and I travelled with Riviera for a river cruise from Basel to Cologne at the end of September. This was our first river cruise so did not know what to expect. We both had a great holiday mainly due to the terrific staff, who could not do enough for you and the wonderful people we met especially "the boys" and M & K. Everyone on the ship were so friendly and always had time to stop and chat. The cabins were kept spotlessly clean, as were all the other areas around the ship. Some passengers thought that the cabins were small, but compared to the other ships from different companies that were moored alongside us from time to time, they were all about the same size. The food was very good - always something tasty on the menu. We tried the "fine dining" experience which was an intimate dinner for a maximum of 24 guests at the rear of the ship with a wonderful ambiance and wonderful service. The Captain's dinner on our last night was another enjoyable evening. Drinks were reasonably priced. Entertainment on board during the evening was limited but there was music playing and they held a couple of quizzes during the week. I would recommend trying a river cruise as my mum and both really enjoyed it. My only gripe was the wi-fi connection - or lack of it to be precise! I was able to get a connection on the William Shakespeare but could not access the internet or e-mail along with every other passenger on board. I did hear that this is something the ship/company are trying to rectify. I hope they can get it sorted. Thank you Riviera, we had a fantastic time! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My wife and I selected the Rhine/Moselle cruise and were extremely impressed with all aspects of ship and staff. We booked a stern suite which was extremely nice although a little noisy being close to the propellers and engine room. ... Read More
My wife and I selected the Rhine/Moselle cruise and were extremely impressed with all aspects of ship and staff. We booked a stern suite which was extremely nice although a little noisy being close to the propellers and engine room. We would not book this suite again but have booked a suite further forward for our forthcoming river cruise with Riviera. The dining standards were absolutely superb with all meals being even better than we expected and the restaurant staff were very pleasant and efficient . All area's of the ship including cabins were spotlessly clean and the décor was of a very high class. The entertainment was low key each evening with the pianist/vocalist being exceptionally good. One evening the ships crew performed a concert which to our surprise was extremely well presented and enjoyable. All the shore excursions were well organised and very informative and the ship always moored close to town and city centres. Finally, both the embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and quick and the tour manager was always very pleasant and helpful. We would expect to complete many more cruises with Riviera over the coming years as a result of our experience on this cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Cruise the Heart of Europe This was our second river cruise with Rivera Travel, we thought the itinerary was fairly comprehensive and interesting, but 14 days on a river boat might seem too long for some people. The boat looked new, ... Read More
Cruise the Heart of Europe This was our second river cruise with Rivera Travel, we thought the itinerary was fairly comprehensive and interesting, but 14 days on a river boat might seem too long for some people. The boat looked new, only about a year or so old, we thought the decor was a little bland, plain white ceilings in the dining room, dull brown staircase handrails. It did not give an impression of a 4 or 5 star boat. Our other cruise with Riviera Travel was on the 'Swiss Coroner' we thought that boat had vastly superior interior decor. The food was inferior to that served on the Swiss Coroner, the so-called cream soups were more like consommé, overall the food was only 2 star. The wait staff were a very mixed bag, from very good to rather poor. Sometimes salt and pepper pots were missing or empty, you had to ask for the odd missing item of cutlery. Three good points about the William Shakespeare were the excellent tour managers, reception and bar staff. We had a suite, the layout could have been much better designed, the space between the bed and the exterior balcony doors was far too tight. We believe the William Shakespeare might have been chartered by Rivera Travel from a company named 'Select Voyagers' and the Swiss Coroner was charted from a different company. We would be very happy to go on another Riviera Travel river cruise but would probably avoid ‘Select Voyagers’ boats. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
All I can say, is what a wonderful holiday .. a river cruise on the Danube. Our ship, the Charles Dickens was on its 7th trip. With just 140 passengers, there was a main dining room and a small dining room at the stern (back) of the ship, ... Read More
All I can say, is what a wonderful holiday .. a river cruise on the Danube. Our ship, the Charles Dickens was on its 7th trip. With just 140 passengers, there was a main dining room and a small dining room at the stern (back) of the ship, where we could have had a fine-dining experience. This was the place where complimentary tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits could be had 24/7. Also where an early breakfast could be had. The dining room was very well set out, with tables of varying sizes. People could sit wherever they liked and with whoever they liked. And no evening dress either, just smart/casual, which suited us down to the ground. Dinner was served at the tables, whilst lunch and breakfast were buffet style. Excellent choice in all cases. The lounge was very comfortable, with its bar and pianist, and plenty of room for all the passengers for the tour guide talks. Our cabin was on the top deck with adequate space, and we loved our Juliet balcony. Tea, coffee and water were always available in the cabins. There were different types of chairs available on the sun deck, with large canopies for those that don't like sitting in the sun. The chairs were placed in twos and fours not long lines like we saw on some other ships. At some of the mooring places, ships were two and sometimes three deep. This meant that we had to walk through their 'hallways' to disembark. We didn't see another ship that we liked better. All the staff were professional and courteous, from the captain right down to the cabin staff. Our tour guides were excellent. All trips off the boat were well organised, with packed lunch thrown in if necessary. As for Riviera Travel .. an excellent company, organising everything to the last detail. We loved our cruise so much, we've already booked another with the same company in April 2016, to Bruges, Medieval Flanders and the bulb fields. Read Less
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