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3 Travelmarvel Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date July 2017
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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date July 2015
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