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Sail Date: June 2019
We chose our 2 week river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam with Travelmarvel mainly from an economic point of view. My husband and I were travelling with my sister, and the single supplement for her on APT and Scenic was outrageous, and ... Read More
We chose our 2 week river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam with Travelmarvel mainly from an economic point of view. My husband and I were travelling with my sister, and the single supplement for her on APT and Scenic was outrageous, and the single cabins were on the bottom deck at waterline. With Travelmarvel, my sister paid NO single supplement (she was not therefore eligible for free airfare, but still a lot cheaper) and her cabin was next door to our suite on the top deck. We were a little bit anxious that the river ship might not be as nicely appointed as Scenic or APT, but we need not have worried. The ship was lovely, our cabin as spacious as a river ship can be, and the staff and food was excellent. Complimentary wine, beer and soft drink is available at lunch and dinner, and bubbles are available for free at the breakfast buffet too if you feel like it. The staff are very generous with the wine at meal times, with no waiting for a refill. The only problem on the cruise was that we had to change boats halfway through as a Viking river boat had smashed into one of the canal locks and boats were unable to get through. This of course was in no way Travelmarvels fault, and they made the change from the Travelmarvel Diamond to the Travelmarvel Jewel as painless as possible. Before joining the river ship in Budapest, we did a 2 week Travelmarvel tour of Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia. This tour also was fantastic, with above average hotels, food and tour guide. We thoroughly recommend Travelmarvel. Read Less
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
4 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
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
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
5 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
9 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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Travelmarvel did a great job from start to finish. The Jewel is small but elegant. The whole crew is superbly trained and the desire to please the guests is obvious in everything that they do. The food was first class and the wine ... Read More
Travelmarvel did a great job from start to finish. The Jewel is small but elegant. The whole crew is superbly trained and the desire to please the guests is obvious in everything that they do. The food was first class and the wine plentiful, and good! The cabins are small but perfectly functional. Plenty of storage space for two people. Big thank you to our cabin stewardess, Julia, and our waiter in the restaurant, Pan. Both did a splendid job. Bartel, our cruise director, is extremely knowledgeable about all the areas that we traveled through and forever helpful. The itinerary from Budapest to Amsterdam is action packed with some form of included excursion every day. We did not do any of the optional excursions but did not feel as though we missed out on anything. Some of these involved extensive bus travel that did not sound too attractive. Overall excellent and exceeded our expectations.Highly recommended. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Having done a number of ocean cruises, we wanted to put a toe in the water with river cruising. Our UK travel agent Iglu Cruise suggested that we try the Rhine and Main cruise as a sensible platform entry. Wow! we were not disappointed. ... Read More
Having done a number of ocean cruises, we wanted to put a toe in the water with river cruising. Our UK travel agent Iglu Cruise suggested that we try the Rhine and Main cruise as a sensible platform entry. Wow! we were not disappointed. From early on it was apparent that Travelmarvel/APT were a very well organised company. As UK residents we had not come across APT before. If all travel/tour companies were like APT then as far as we are concerned the word "complaint" could be deleted from the dictionary. Their attention to detail was impressive and commendable. From the point of embarkation in Amsterdam to the sad day when we had to disembark at Nuremburg the attention to detail continued and got better. All crew members worked so incredibly hard to make the experience for us all so memorable. The itinerary was planned so that the best sections of the Rhine and Rhine Gorge were traversed when everyone was up and awake to take in the splendour. A nice touch that excursions were all included at each of the ports of call, all sensibly balanced and very informative. The food was wonderful! An excellent choice at all mealtimes with inclusive wine, soft drinks and beer at lunch and dinner which was a bonus. The wines varied each day and were of very good quality. Our Cruise Director, Marion Junker, was an absolute star. So knowledgeable, efficient, approachable and always seemed to be in evidence whenever advice or information was needed. On a river ship you cannot expect a large stateroom - however the planning and layout of our mid-range stateroom had so many nooks and crannies, cupboards and niches that there was somewhere to put just about everything. Our cabin steward Marli kept our cabin spotless with all supplies and accessories replaced daily as needed. A very nice touch to have the small fridge ( continually topped up with bottled water each day). The fridge was totally silent in its operation - so no worries for light sleepers! Travelmarvel/APT are an Australian company, so the majority of passengers were from "down under". On our cruise out of a total of 167 only ten of us were British. However this all added to the fun and sense of occasion of the trip. They were all a great bunch- thank you we thoroughly enjoyed your company! Our only regret being, that, as UK residents/passengers we were not aware that our cruise was the first leg of a two week trip that went on to Vienna and Budapest. Had we known then we would certainly have done the full trip. However we look forward to returning to complete the second part of the journey soon. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Myself and a good friend recently completed the 15 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest with Travelmarvel on the "Jewel". We enjoyed everything about the cruise from the time we boarded to the time we disembarked. ... Read More
Myself and a good friend recently completed the 15 Day River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest with Travelmarvel on the "Jewel". We enjoyed everything about the cruise from the time we boarded to the time we disembarked. Everything was well organized and all shore tours were conducted in a very professional manner. Our Cabin 315 was small but quite sufficient. The shower was unbelievably good. Always hot water and fantastic pressure. The servicing of the cabins was twice a day and very good indeed. The meals on the ship were excellent and plentiful. The real highlight for us was our Cruise Director - "Roland Noordermeer". You honestly couldn't have asked for a better Cruise Director - he really went above and beyond anything that was expected. His general knowledge was mind-blowing and as we came into various towns he would give a running commentary of the various buildings we were passing by. We would both highly recommend Travelmarvel for cruising this section in Europe - a wonderful experience. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We sailed mid June from Nuremberg to Budapest.. Cabins were small but very clean, beds comfy.. Breakfast buffet was excellent, lunch could be taken in the dining room or a more relaxed setting in the lounge. Dinner had a plenty of variety. ... Read More
We sailed mid June from Nuremberg to Budapest.. Cabins were small but very clean, beds comfy.. Breakfast buffet was excellent, lunch could be taken in the dining room or a more relaxed setting in the lounge. Dinner had a plenty of variety. Drinks are complimentary with meals but the wine waiter did seem to have her favourite tables and had to be called over for top ups. Trips were well organised with consideration given to those less mobile and able to walk long distances. Lounge is crowded when there are port briefings and both lounge and dining room get very hot, we had temperatures in low 30s and the air con struggled. There is a large sun deck with loungers, deckchairs and covered area, however this is closed at times when going under bridges. Staff on the whole are friendly and helpful although on our last night, we were having a farewell drink with new friends made on the cruise and five out of six of us needed ice only to be told there wasn't any. Our deck had an ice machine so Inwent and got some, handed it to the stewardes and we got our drinks. Couldn't she have done that, the bar wasn't busy and I later saw her go to the same machine for other guests. It's a very relaxing way to see lots of new places. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
What a great experience with Travelmarvel. We had travelled before with this company on a Mekong river cruies and we were so impresssed with the company that we had no hestitation booking this cruise. We have done a lot of ocean cruising ... Read More
What a great experience with Travelmarvel. We had travelled before with this company on a Mekong river cruies and we were so impresssed with the company that we had no hestitation booking this cruise. We have done a lot of ocean cruising with various companies and this river cruise takes a lot of beating. We cannot fault Travelmarvel in anyway, the organisation, food and entertainmenwere excellent. Although the schedule was pretty hectic there was a good ballance between organised trips and free time. The cruise director Andrew was magnificent, his knowledge was unbelievable and together with the rest of the crew a great family atmosphere was provided on the ship. The food and service was exceptional and equivalent to any top class restaurant.This was and excellent value for money cruise and we would recommend this trip. Why pay top dollar prices with other companies when you can get better value for money with this company Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This trip was recommended by friends who had travelled with Travelmarvel on the Rhine-Main-Danube River cruise. As seniors this was to be our last overseas holiday and we could not have picked a more wonderful holiday. The courtesy and ... Read More
This trip was recommended by friends who had travelled with Travelmarvel on the Rhine-Main-Danube River cruise. As seniors this was to be our last overseas holiday and we could not have picked a more wonderful holiday. The courtesy and warmth of the welcome in Amsterdam continued throughout the cruise. The staff worked so hard to ensure we were spoiled no matter what we were doing or wherever we were on any given day. Our Cruise Director (Roland) was brilliant and no matter how busy he was he always had time to answer a question or make suggestions to enhance our experience. The shore tours were professionally conducted by local tour guides who were very knowledgeable and most patient. There were a number of optional shore tours which generally were centred on locations some distance from the river. Although the live concert in Vienna was just brilliant. The choices in the dining room of the ship were excellent and the beverages flowed freely. We believe the cruise was excellent value for money and would recommend it to anyone who wants to experience the beauty and history of Europe in a most relaxing and pampered manner. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
The river cruise was amazing from the moment we stepped on board to the moment we disembarked. The ship was very well appointed,the staff were wonderful would do anything to make your trip more enjoyable. We had the best tour guide ... Read More
The river cruise was amazing from the moment we stepped on board to the moment we disembarked. The ship was very well appointed,the staff were wonderful would do anything to make your trip more enjoyable. We had the best tour guide her name was Cherie she was Scottish but has lived in Austria for many years. Cherie looked after us like a mother hen, getting doctors and dentists for guests when needed which was a couple of times. The tours off the ship were so well organised and very knowledgable guides. Great little towns with cobblestone streets and lots of history. The visit with the residents of Wertheim was very enjoyable we were made to feel very welcome. The host we had would not let us go until we had tried all 3 different cakes she had made which were delicious we were then given a small gift. The food on board the ship was very good. Great size servings and quite a few options. The entertainment which was organised was very enjoyable. Another thing to note if you need laundry done there is a cost but it is very reasonable not like on Ocean cruising. Another highlight was the night time cruise down the Danube in Budapest with all the buildings illuminated and wonderful classical music playing. We also did the Mozart concert in Vienna which was certainly worth the money. We had been on a 10 day Swiss Alps tour before with Travelmarvel and met the most wonderful group of people who were with us on the tour and the river cruise. This tour was well organised and we stayed at good hotels. The trip we did on the Glacier Express through the Swiss Alps was amazing. I would have no trouble recommending Travelmarvel and would certainly travel with them again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I had travelled the Rhine by train, and so, having seen this Amsterdam to Basel Rhine cruise advertised at a discount, we decided to book our first river cruise. All our previous cruises had been ocean cruises. We were met at Amsterdam ... Read More
I had travelled the Rhine by train, and so, having seen this Amsterdam to Basel Rhine cruise advertised at a discount, we decided to book our first river cruise. All our previous cruises had been ocean cruises. We were met at Amsterdam airport and the shuttle connection to the waterfront all worked as planned. On this particular cruise most of the passengers were from Australia - so no language problems. We understood from the crew that the previous cruise had been mainly German passengers - something you may want to check before booking. The cabin or stateroom was easily as good as anything we had seen on ocean cruises. There was hand and shower soap; a hair drier; towels; dressing gowns; mineral water; all provided. There were four German style 220 volt plug sockets - don't forget your adapters. There is a small gym consisting of a recumbent exercise bike, a normal exercise bike, and hand weights with bench. The excursions were all inclusive and interesting. For only one of the excursions you were requested to express interest via a list several days in advance - otherwise, excursions were casual, just arrive in the lounge at the specified times. And the excursions were easily as good as those you would pay $70 to $100 for on an ocean cruise. Obviously, the advantage of cruising the Rhine is that most points of interest come to you. There were always fellow passengers viewing and photographing the locks that we passed through, as most of the Rhine is canalised. Historically, the Rhine falls prevented travel by boat along the full length from Amsterdam to Basel. The Rhine Gorge was the best part of the journey for me. Meals were at set-times which did change some days due to excursion times: however typically - breakfast 7-9am, late self-serve breakfast in the Queen's Garden till 10:30am, lunch 1pm, afternoon tea 4:30pm, dinner 7pm; late snacks 10:30pm. Just to say that menus were not a la carte but set meals. For dinner you might expect salad, soup, sorbet, choice of two meat/fish dishes and one vegetarian, choice of two deserts, cheese and fruit. So you never felt hungry! House wines and beer, tea, coffee, water were all inclusive at the set meals. The wine list alternated between two selections, and so alternate days there was a very good Italian Merlot which was excellent. The German red wine on the other evening was pretty good also. My wife drank the rose, but she said it wasn't the best. At the Captain's dinner we had a genuinely decent German Sekt which was very nice and far better than the cheap Spanish prosecco you get to expect. So in general, must drinking took place during meals but you could get beer, wine, cocktails including the cocktail of the day at the bar if you wanted to pay. There was a permanent Cruise/Tour Director named Kate Barella on board. She did the announcements and made all your arrangements, including your transfers at the end of the cruise - so you paid her attention, if not for her announcements then her dry sense of humour - a lovely lady. The wifi was generally poor and only usable in the lounges, but slow, but it was free/inclusive. The entertainment was limited, but the resident keyboard musician was quite accomplished. If you wonder how good this cruise was - I took over five hundred pictures - it was great. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise as it was our first river boat experience and were apprehensive about the smaller confined boat, so only did a 7 night one and then continued to see other countries by ourselves. The crew were lovely, our cabin 322 ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was our first river boat experience and were apprehensive about the smaller confined boat, so only did a 7 night one and then continued to see other countries by ourselves. The crew were lovely, our cabin 322 was fine, small but enough room, maybe little close to the back deck Queens Garden, some people got up early and talked loudly ( it is where they put out some pastries for early risers, also coffee and tea there.) You could participate in excursions or stay on boat!! The dining experience a bit of a kafuffle, as you just grab a seat, no seating plan. We did meet a nice couple who on the last four days we ate with! Food was ok, I felt that could have been improved having less courses but better quality, just some simple grills, mostly very German type food, soups bland and thin, sweets average, most meat dishes seemed to be stewed meat of some description. Salads ok best thing was cheese and fruit. Our only real negative was that at embarkation we arrived solo as had been in Amsterdam for few days, and at the wharf very hard to find Travel Marvel as only an APT tent., who are the mother company. When we stood there, where we were told, the APT porters were downright rude, made us and another couple feel we should move, no help at all!! TRAVEL MARVEL SHOULD HAVE THERE OWN TENT, WAS NOT GOOD ENOUGH, THE PORTERS ACTUALLY TURNED UP THEIR NOSES AS WE WEREN'T WITH APT. BAD NEWS NOT A GOOD START TO TOUR. Next time would try another company although think we prefer big boat cruising more privacy, always a nook to get away from crowds. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Great offer from Iglu Cruise. We chose a lower deck cabin with two very large circular portholes. The cabin was very roomy with lots of storage and beautiful shower-room. It had safe deposit box, fridge and three free bottles of ... Read More
Great offer from Iglu Cruise. We chose a lower deck cabin with two very large circular portholes. The cabin was very roomy with lots of storage and beautiful shower-room. It had safe deposit box, fridge and three free bottles of water daily. The beds were very comfortable and the cabin kept immaculately clean. Embarcation was very smooth and our reception very welcoming. The staff in all areas were friendly, efficient and professional. The whole ship had a very family-atmosphere from the Captain down - everyone was very approachable. The food, drink (included with lunch and dinner), and service were some of the best we have encountered. The food and drink supplied reflected the areas we travelled through. The variety and quantity of food was excellent at all meals. On two evenings local entertainers were brought on board, which proved to be popular with the guests. The ports of call (even the ones we had not heard of) were excellent with very good guides. During excursions we were supplied with radio headsets enabling us to get a good commentary from the guides. Disappointed we did not stop at the Square of the Heroes in Budapest. However, we were delighted with the evening sail up the Danube in daylight, coming back down to Budapest in the evening with all the lights on. Optional excursions: They were our only disappointment. Trip to Schonnburg Palace. We spent one hour with guide in Palace and then had one hour to see the extensive gardens, carriages museum, zoo and maze. We would have preferred much longer in the grounds. Also, when we went to the Vienna concert we were unable to see the dancers due to the poor seating - and we were near the front. An excellent cruise we would recommend. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My wife & I had always dreamed of this river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest, my brother had not long ago returned from his cruise with travel marvel & was very happy with the service. We boarded in Amsterdam & set off on our ... Read More
My wife & I had always dreamed of this river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest, my brother had not long ago returned from his cruise with travel marvel & was very happy with the service. We boarded in Amsterdam & set off on our cruise on May 9th 2016, we chose a top floor cabin, a bit small but adequate, we had a sliding glass door which turned our cabin into our balcony, great views. Our cruise director was excellent, very helpful & very informative at our information sessions each evening. the staff on board were all very attentive & very helpful, helped make the cruise a fabulous holiday. We were very lucky that the majority of passengers were a lot of fun & helped everyone enjoy the cruise. The day trips each day were very well organised with the tour guides in the main were excellent. We had a number of friends who had been on similar cruises with other companies & warned us that the average age on this type of cruise was quite old, again, we were very lucky that the majority of passengers on our cruise were of a similar age to us. would recommend Travelmarvel to anyone. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We had a wonderful cruise on the Travelmarvel Diamond, all the crew we had contact with were cheerful, efficient and helpful and our cruise director, Marion was exceptional. The ship is a bit older than the newest ships but was still very ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on the Travelmarvel Diamond, all the crew we had contact with were cheerful, efficient and helpful and our cruise director, Marion was exceptional. The ship is a bit older than the newest ships but was still very clean and comfortable with everything we needed for a great cruise. Our stateroom had enough room for the two of us, with plenty of storage room so that we were able to empty out our suitcases and put them under our bed. The only problem with our room was that we weren't able to adjust the air-conditioning so that it was cool enough to sleep comfortably, we were able to counteract this by leaving the window ajar. We enjoyed the meals on the ship and found there was enough choice to suit most tastes. We generally had the light lunch provided in the lounge as we found we didn't need another large meal. There was tea, coffee and hot chocolate available all the time and iced water and iced tea available in the lounge. Wine, beer and soft drink were free with meals and for purchase in the lounge at other times. There was a very good pianist who played at lunchtime and in the evening and we also had various entertainers come on board the ship in the evening. The included daily sightseeing tours were very good with on the whole very good local guides who were very informative. We also participated in a few optional tours which we really enjoyed and were glad that we paid the extra to do them. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My wife and I thought this cruise was terrific. The ports of call were very interesting and all the local guides wonderful. The ship itself was lovely and the staff just outstanding. It was the little things that happened without being ... Read More
My wife and I thought this cruise was terrific. The ports of call were very interesting and all the local guides wonderful. The ship itself was lovely and the staff just outstanding. It was the little things that happened without being asked that made the difference between this cruise staff and other cruises we have been on. Thought the Travel Marvel level of cruise excellent value as you could choose any of the extra tours as you wished. Would unreservedly recommend this Travel Marvel cruise. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
As our first experience of cruising with Travelmarvel, it was very satisfactory. Very nice cabin, comfortable beds with clean sheets everyday, plenty of storage space and good toiletries supplied in the excellent shower room. The only ... Read More
As our first experience of cruising with Travelmarvel, it was very satisfactory. Very nice cabin, comfortable beds with clean sheets everyday, plenty of storage space and good toiletries supplied in the excellent shower room. The only thing that wasn't great was the food, it was adequate but not inspiring. The open dining worked well and we enjoyed sitting with lots of different and interesting people. The crew were very helpful and polite, couldn't be better. The included excursions were well planned and the local guides were very good. The only complaint would be the disembarkation arrangements. We were deposited at Budapest airport nearly 4 hours before flight departure time and couldn't go through to the departure lounge until 2 hours before the flight. There are very few seats and nothing to do in the check in area. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Travelled on both ships as we were bused between the Danube and the Rhine. This was done smoothly whilst we were on a excursion. The very low water level required this. The tour was very good. POSITIVES Tour leader Herbert was excellent ... Read More
Travelled on both ships as we were bused between the Danube and the Rhine. This was done smoothly whilst we were on a excursion. The very low water level required this. The tour was very good. POSITIVES Tour leader Herbert was excellent and all tour guides were outstanding. The staff were very friendly and helpful The rooms had more than enough storage, bathroom was big enough and the sliding door was good to watch the scenery and get fresh air. Bed very comfortable and food was very good and seemed endless. The drinks were available for lunch and dinner and were unlimited. Public areas were always being cleaned and the hand hygiene was monitored more on the Diamond than the Jewel. The lounge area was comfortable and upstairs deck good for a walk but was closed for 4 days as apparently is usual for the river cruise due to the bridges - not told about this prior NEGATIVES Fitness area very small Musical evening in Vienna was disappointing for price. Castle and visit to Bonn should be replaced by a stop in Cologne. Overall the cruise was very good and the scenery was excellent and included tours were well planned. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I have sailed lon ocean cruises many times but this was my first. It was great, all I had to think about was what to have for dinner. Everything was arranged tours etc and I got a call reminder 15 minutes before the tour left. I ... Read More
I have sailed lon ocean cruises many times but this was my first. It was great, all I had to think about was what to have for dinner. Everything was arranged tours etc and I got a call reminder 15 minutes before the tour left. I did not realise how fantastic some places were, like Vienna, Bamberg etc We saw some amazing places and met some great people. The staff of the ship ( we were also on diamond) due to water levels )were awesome. Herbert the cruise director was amazing loved his work. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
In general we found the comments made on Cruise Critic by “Traveling Sketcher” to concur with our experience. Having been in a number of service industry businesses including a Cafe, we have some knowledge in regard to the concerns we ... Read More
In general we found the comments made on Cruise Critic by “Traveling Sketcher” to concur with our experience. Having been in a number of service industry businesses including a Cafe, we have some knowledge in regard to the concerns we observed during our trip. After raising a number of these concerns with staff members in a courteous and respectful manner and having them either ignored or dismissed there seemed little point in pursuing matters further during the trip. While in general the vessel presented well, the cabins were pleasant and comfortable the hygiene, food and drink quality and aspects of service left a great deal to be desired. On the third day my wife was taken ill with flu like symptoms and spent most of the next three days in bed. During that time it became obvious it was spreading among both passengers and crew. Disturbingly I noticed two of the restaurant staff, open mouth coughing while carrying food and drinks. There were a number of passengers that had to seek medical attention ashore including one transported by Ambulance. I thought I was fortunate that I seemed to get a mild dose of this ailment but the cough persisted. A week after our return I was taken very ill such that I had to have chest X rays, swabs and 3 courses of Antibiotics. We both still have a persistent cough three week after returning. While we agree the operator’s can’t control it if people come onboard with ailments we question whether it is entirely the case. The following observations could suggest this is not an isolated incident. 1) The Cruise Director devoted a very lengthy section of her welcoming address to illness and how medical assistance could be sort in a number of ways. 2) The Hotel Manager at the same event was most insistent the hand sanitizers (only 2 available) be used and that this would be policed rigorously, unfortunately this was not the case at all. 3) Very high dust loading in the cabin, each morning the cabinet tops were covered in dust despite being wiped clean daily. This may be ineffective or poorly maintained vacuum cleaners. The dust and the air-conditioners could be a carrier of viruses and bacteria. 4) The same appears to have occurred in June as stated in the Cruise Critic review, “To top off our experiences was the issue with ship hygiene. About half the ship had colds and a severe cough which spread rapidly, almost becoming an epidemic. Hygiene was not addressed by ship’s officers at any time, in fact was totally ignored, expect when they had to order doctors on board to treat those infected.” Restaurant 1) Food substandard to fair at best, soups in general were watery, flavourless such that after three tries could not face any further. 2) Appetizers were tiny pretences that were more plate decoration than anything. Example two shaved slices of meat about 25mm by 90 mm a small green leaf and some dressing. It had been sitting sometime as the meat had adhered to the plate. 3) Main meals seemed to be an attempt at nouvelle cuisine but with few exceptions were bland and appeared to be using second tier produce. Fish identified as Blue Whiting when served was part raw and some of the part that was cooked was very tough to cut never mind eat. 4) The staff tried to provide a reasonable level of service but seemed overwhelmed at times. In some instances did not or chose not to understand. Example of why raising concerns was pointless - Lamb rack 4 tiny pieces of meat described as medium rare but were predominantly raw. When mentioned to wait staff member the response was “Where I come from this is medium rare” 5) Flies were common in the dining room and no effort to control them was evident. Mentioned to Cruise Director with no result, drew to the attention of senior restaurant staff member, “We cannot control this” was the response. A small cockroach was also observed on the window sill in the restaurant. 6) Complaints seemed to be a source of amusement at times with staff and senior staff equally amused. 7) My wife prefers a dry white wine and at one evening meal she was offered a Riesling and asked if there was a dry alternative and was provided with one. A different staff member offered a Riesling refill and when asked for a dry white said there was none available. When asked if she could check the response was “You want me to go to the fridge and come back and tell you the same thing, what you had before was left over from Lunch service”. When we tried establish if there was any dry white wine onboard we were advised the Supervisor would have to be consulted. The wine was provided with an evident display of displeasure. Having travelled extensively this is the first time we wanted the trip to be over before it was finished. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
It upset me that I could not get a booking on that river cruise, the one always on television, when I reserved a 7 day Danube journey. I thought I was buying second best as the Sapphire was not owned by Viking but by Travel Marvel. I ... Read More
It upset me that I could not get a booking on that river cruise, the one always on television, when I reserved a 7 day Danube journey. I thought I was buying second best as the Sapphire was not owned by Viking but by Travel Marvel. I promised myself I would jump ship if it was too bad. But our first clue that we got it right was when a black Mercedes limousine arrived from the ship to collect us at the airport. Once aboard we were welcomed, processed and led into a spacious, clean cabin with our suitcases already on the beds. Our cabin lacked one essential - a full length mirror. Luxury continued as we met our Captain Vladimir and his Officers over a glass of champagne. Among them Milenko, the restaurant manager, who people said achieved such high standards by docking a waiter’s pay if there were a complaint. As a result the service was fantastic, special dietary needs were respected and the staff could not do enough to please. But that was true of all the 41 Middle European and Indonesian crew members. The Chef, conveniently married to the Hotel Director, offered dishes ranging from good to Excellent with occasional booboos like sorbet which melted between kitchen and table and an unrecognisable foie gras parfait. But the fish was always perfect, meat was to die for, desserts sublime and the wine offered with each dish was the perfect choice. So what was the fly in the ointment, the black spot, the disaster zone? There always has to be something not quite perfect. It was the Cruise Director’s communication style. Every day we left our floating palace on luxury coaches to visit Abbeys, mediaeval towns Roman Fortresses and to discover that the Salzburg hills are still alive with the ‘Sound of Music’. Each coach carried a trained guide who provided a high level of information both factual and mythical. To pull that off a Cruise Director has to have great organisational skills, the patience of Job and the ability to flexi-think. She had all those great qualities and looked after us so well. But with 168 passengers with a mean age of about 63 years and many with short attention spans, the Cruise Director’s hour long briefings about the next two to three days excursions or the Mann Danube Canal drew flak. As the sun sank below the yardarm, passengers expressed more interest in gin and tonics, glasses of Prosecco or taking a long shower than being given more information. As we left the Sapphire blissed out at the end of a great week, the next two week cruise passengers were arriving. They were greeted with the same charm and efficiency that welcomed us. We had chosen not second best but happily one of the best ships cruising the Danube. So if you want to experience the joys of a River Cruise, go Sapphire, go Travel Marvel. It will be worth every penny/cent. Read Less
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