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22 Vienna to Europe - All Cruise Reviews

Crystal met us at the airport, helped us with luggage to their coach (bus), and had our cabin ready early. The staff (with only a few exceptions) were overwhelmingly helpful and friendly. We had put the provided tags on our luggage, so ... Read More
Crystal met us at the airport, helped us with luggage to their coach (bus), and had our cabin ready early. The staff (with only a few exceptions) were overwhelmingly helpful and friendly. We had put the provided tags on our luggage, so once we left the airport we didn't have to worry with it until it showed up in our cabin--and pretty quickly at that. The Butler service would have unpacked for us but we preferred to do that ourselves. My husband asked for several shirts to be pressed (complimentary service) and they were done well. There was always some type of food and beverage available. Meals were very good. The dining room wait staff was always nice and didn't show stress, although it is the one area where I thought they might be slightly understaffed. Service was still very good. Shore excursions were mostly great, with included choices as well as "pay extra" choices. Guides were all good, and the majority were Excellent. One of us did a couple of bike tours and those were great as well. The only excursion I wish we would have skipped was a horse show near Budapest. It was fine, but had we known more about it we would have preferred to spend more free time in Budapest instead. Tours travel on Crystal's buses which seem brand new and are very nice. Loved the Listening Devices as I have always struggled to hear tour guides. Popular tours sometimes had a few more people in each group than I would have preferred but the listening devices made it feel more intimate. I had a relaxing massage on board, and a friend had a more deep tissue massage. Masseuse rating: 5 stars. There were a few entertainment "extras" which were excellent. And the adorable couple who entertained nightly on board the ship were each talented and fun. Loved them! We loved the low number of passengers (106 max) and high staff ration. Most passengers were in the 50-70 age range. Never seemed crowded; never had to wait in line. We are already thinking of which Crystal River Cruise to do next! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent Crystal Ravel cruise, round-trip from Vienna. We found the level of service to be outstanding. The staff were wonderful in all departments. The food was overall delicious, with plenty of choices. ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our recent Crystal Ravel cruise, round-trip from Vienna. We found the level of service to be outstanding. The staff were wonderful in all departments. The food was overall delicious, with plenty of choices. Embarkation was a little confusing because the ship was docked away from the main docks in Vienna. But they had a representative stationed at the main dock with a Crystal wind feather, so arriving passengers could get specific instructions on the location of the ship. Once we were aboard, check-in was fast and easy. We were in one of the "petite suites", which lacks the double sinks and walk-in closet of the full-sized suites. Nevertheless, it was sufficient for our needs, spotlessly clean, quiet, and very comfortable. There was a good choice of excursions in every port. We loved the bicycle tours, although they should only be selected by people who are experienced cyclists. The ship offered a few extra activities, including a tour of the galley, and an evening sail through Budapest so we could see it lit up at night. Disembarkation went smoothly. While most other ships require passengers to be out of their room by 8:30, we were allowed to stay in ours until 10:00, giving us a few extra minutes of sleep, and a more leisurely disembarkation. This was our first Crystal river cruise, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We picked this cruise as it was on offer, so we felt we could do an “extra” cruise this year, and we fancied the Danube. The ship was meant to be the Emerald Dawn but it was changed for the Emerald Sky. The trip started well, with ... Read More
We picked this cruise as it was on offer, so we felt we could do an “extra” cruise this year, and we fancied the Danube. The ship was meant to be the Emerald Dawn but it was changed for the Emerald Sky. The trip started well, with good seats on the plane and priority boarding. We were met at the airport, along with 2 other couples and taken to the ship in a large, comfortable Mercedes van. The ship exceeded my expectations and was modern, spacious and spotless. Check in was easy and we were soon in our cabin. We had opted for the cheapest cabin on the lowest deck with a picture window. It was very reasonable and roomy enough. The sliding door to the bathroom right next to the bed was odd but we didn’t mind it too much, as space would be lost if the door position was changed. The staff were wonderful on the whole. Service was always with a smile. Special mention to Simona, Katerina, Violeta and Zainep and our thanks to all. The food was surprisingly good, although the hot food at breakfast was rarely hot. Buffet lunches were excellent and set meals in the evening were very good, showcasing local dishes. You could always substitute main courses for steak, salmon, chicken or Caesar salad. Entertainment was varied - a good pianist, an oompahpah band (with yodelling!), the liars club was hilarious (guessing which staff member was truthfully describing a ridiculous sounding foreign word) What really made this cruise fantastic was the other passengers. What a lovely group of people. Everyone chatted to each other. We had such a good time and made new friends, some of whom I’m certain we shall see We will certainly cruise with Emerald again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We took a week long river cruise on the Mozart and enjoyed it greatly. The food and service were excellent. The ports and included excursions were also very good, and the scenery along the Danube was spectacular! Just by way of ... Read More
We took a week long river cruise on the Mozart and enjoyed it greatly. The food and service were excellent. The ports and included excursions were also very good, and the scenery along the Danube was spectacular! Just by way of background, this was our second river cruise. Our first was on AMA, on the Rhône. We’ve done 22 ocean cruises, although none on Crystal. We boarded around noon and our room was ready. We had a room on deck 2 with a French balcony. The room was small, like most river cruise cabins. With the closet by one side of the bed it was really impossible for both of us to access the closet and get dressed at the same time. The room looked too small to have in-suite dining so we didn’t do that. The restaurants are just one deck up and with very convenient times so it wasn’t necessary anyway. The bathroom was small and the storage space was down low. The toilet seat cover was set up to automatically raise when it sensed nearby movement. After the first couple days, the novelty wore off and I asked the steward to turn it off, and she did. We hardly used the TV. There was an iPad in the room that had some magazines and we could access our account. We could access our account on our iPhone as well after we logged into their WiFi. The WiFi worked well throughout the ship. The outlets all required an adapter for US devices but there were a number of USB ports for recharging. We did not interact with our butler, Adrian, very much. He did not make himself very present but we weren’t in our room much so that was fine. The food and service in Waterside was very good to superb. Agnes was our sommelier most nights and she was very knowledgeable and helpful, and always with a smile. Lunch was always a buffet in Waterside and very well done with main entrees, a soup, salad options plus desserts. Servers were consistently available to refill water (still or sparkling) and for wine and beer. We went to Blue a couple of times for lunch. There is no buffet and a small menu with items made to order. The food and service were very good there as well. The top deck was open almost all the time except when going under a low bridge (only twice). There was bar service there as well. The scenery was spectacular! The great weather helped. It was quite warm some days but sunny with bright blue skies. The castles, vineyards and small towns make for a beautiful milieu. The included excursions were very good. The Audio Vox listening devices are a huge help (make sure they are fully charged though!). The busses were not full and the guides were very good. There are a variety of activity levels offered. I’m sure we could have booked our own guides in most towns but our tours were more than satisfactory. We were traveling with a group of 20 people that included Karen MacNeil who authored The Wine Bible. She hosted two excellent enrichment presentations on wine. The other enrichment activities were not that interesting. The pianist in the bar before dinner was good. Dinners were uniformly excellent. The service was very attentive without being overly so. The included wines were interesting and generally local, and others were available upon request—just ask for the wine menu. There were multiple options each night and the menu changed nightly. We were very fortunate that the Danube was at a perfect level for our cruise. Please note, however, the Danube is not blue! I would certainly recommend this cruise for anyone considering a Danube cruise. Five stars! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
For several years now I had wanted to cruise the Danube, maybe from watching all the Viking ads on PBS’ Masterpiece programs. So I began researching river cruises around the time Crystal first entered this market, and the reviews ... Read More
For several years now I had wanted to cruise the Danube, maybe from watching all the Viking ads on PBS’ Masterpiece programs. So I began researching river cruises around the time Crystal first entered this market, and the reviews immediately pegged it as the top of the line for luxury cruises. By the time we were able to actually book a cruise, Crystal’s river fleet had expanded and we wound up on a 10-day expedition on the newest addition, the Crystal Ravel. We were not disappointed: In fact, it was one of the rare experiences that totally exceeded expectations. First, the ship itself was smallish (four decks), with about a hundred passengers. I loved that it felt intimate—I have a horror of the 10-deck behemoths that cruise oceans. At the same time it was also stylish and modern. Our cabin wasn’t huge, but it had a small walk-in closet, a bathroom with two sinks and an excellent shower, and a very comfortable king sized bed. It also had a large flat screen TV, and we enjoyed watching a movie on it one night. Overall it was a very comfortable refuge. Then there was the food. We live in San Francisco, a foodie Mecca, but the cuisine on the Ravel was nothing short of marvelous, especially the sit-down dinners (they only had a buffet one night). Almost every meal was like eating at a five-star restaurant, with service to match. Wines on the all-inclusive menu were good to great (you can opt to pay extra for premium wines but we never felt the need). Two special meal options are worth mentioning: The bistro dinner in the smallish cafe (it’s free but you must reserve a seat since they can’t accommodate more than a couple of dozen diners), and the gourmet experience in the Vintage Room, a pricey but amazing 8-course meal with awesome wines (you must also reserve this ahead of time—we ate with four other people). Even if you don’t splurge on the Vintage Room, definitely try the bistro meal, which is sort of tapas-like—a lot of small plates with everything from steak tartare and gravlax to prime beef, shrimp, and caviar. It was outstanding. Breakfast buffets were great, and you could opt for ordered specialties (e.g. eggs Benedict); I rarely even ate lunch but people I spoke with also enjoyed casual bistro and served options. Crystal’s all-inclusive shore excursions covered all the basics, and we also opted for a couple of esoteric extra-cost outings (for example, Vienna’s Jewish history). Guides were generally excellent, especially the one who escorted us through the infamous Mauthausen death camp. I liked that he didn’t sugar coat his comments on the complicity of the Austrian people. Finally, the service. Every single crew member, from housekeepers and wait staff to tour organizers, the couple who provided musical and games entertainment at night, and the butler who twice a day refreshed the ice in our ice bucket, seemed truly dedicated to pampering and otherwise seeing to our comfort and satisfaction. By the end of the 10 days they seemed to know all of us by name, and always greeted us as we walked by. This cruise was a splurge for my husband and I, but we both felt it was well worth it. Crystal In our view lived up to its reputation as the best European river cruise line out there. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I really wanted to see Vienna and go on a short river cruise. I liked visiting the small towns and enjoyed learning about saffron. I wish we stayed a little longer in Munich . That hotel was fabulous. I have recently been put on a ... Read More
I really wanted to see Vienna and go on a short river cruise. I liked visiting the small towns and enjoyed learning about saffron. I wish we stayed a little longer in Munich . That hotel was fabulous. I have recently been put on a gluten free diet and thought I might have problems with food. No way - they were very organized. On the first day, after the safety drill, they had a meeting with all passengers who had special dietary needs. Both the matri’ d and main chef were there and interviewed each one of us taking notes. In the morning I was greeted by the waiter and asked if I wanted a gf roll or bread. At the buffet, I was told which items contained wheat. One day I ordered some slices of steak without gravy and the chef looked at me and siad to wait a minute. He soon returned with a small bowl of gluten free gravy! It was delicious. The waiters were great and were there to refill coffee mugs or take away dirty plates. On another company’s river cruise, we were sent a list of all the passengers with the name of the city they came from. I thought this was a good idea. I could look for the people that lived near me and write the email next to the name of the people I wanted to keep in touch with. I asked our tour director about this and was told that Avalon does not do this. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My wife and I recently returned from the May 4, 2019 Sailing of Mozart. It was our first River Cruise. We have sailed with Crystal Cruses on many voyages but those were ocean voyages. We loved the entire experience. The ship is ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from the May 4, 2019 Sailing of Mozart. It was our first River Cruise. We have sailed with Crystal Cruses on many voyages but those were ocean voyages. We loved the entire experience. The ship is beautiful and kept in immaculate condition. It is double the width of most river cruise vessels. It carries a little over 150 guests with a crew of 90+ members. The crew was exceptional and very professional, attentive and welcoming. Cuisine was terrific. We had breakfast served in our room by the butler. One could also dine at Waterside which served breakfast buffet style or for a late risers breakfast at The Bistro. We enjoyed most lunches at Waterside where they served a buffet. They have a second restaurant that serves lunch for two hours each day. It includes salads, burgers and other grilled items and also it includes table service. Dinner was a Waterside which was table service. Selection was great and many items looked like ones served at a Michelin Restaurant. Alcohol is included other than connoisseur wne. They had a great selection of wine from Europe and the United States. We had a suite whose size was great for us. They included a nice set of excursions. Entertainment included a Pianist who we know from Ocean Ships who was outstanding along with local entertainment on most nights. We want to sail another Crystal River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have had the Danube on our bucket list for quite a while. We chose the Magical Christmas Markets cruise because we knew our son--currently in graduate school--would be available between academic semesters to join us. Although we were ... Read More
We have had the Danube on our bucket list for quite a while. We chose the Magical Christmas Markets cruise because we knew our son--currently in graduate school--would be available between academic semesters to join us. Although we were excited about the trip and expected to see many wonderful sights, everything about our AMA Waterways experience exceeded our expectations. Every single meal--breakfast, lunch and dinner--was a five-star experience. But that's not to say it was stuffy or pretentious. It's just that the chef, baker, waiters, and other employers were amazing. There were always multiple options--eat a so-called "light" meal in the lounge upstairs, but the choices laid out were the types of hors d'oeuvres and finger food you might expect to find at an expensive wedding reception, plus assorted fruits, breads, and desserts. Meanwhile, in the main dining room, we could always choose to order off the menu or select items from a more extensive buffet. Or both, by which I mean that our waiters were quite fine with us mixing and matching anything we wanted. There was always a special table filled with a variety of fresh breads from the bakery chef, with desserts added to supplement what was featured on the menu. Local specialties were highlighted, as were local wines and beers. Our staterooms were clean and convenient. Towels were thick and spotless. Our housekeeper was friendly and honest to a fault. For example, we threw away an old pair of gloves that were falling apart. (We had found a new pair at a Christmas market and wanted to save space in our luggage.) The next morning, when she saw us in the hall, she expressed concern that if we were missing a pair of gloves, she had found a pair in the garbage. In fact, everyone on the AMACerto seemed to be concerned about our happiness and welfare. There were choices of tours at every stop--a "gentle" tour, a regular tour, a strenuous hike, and bicycle options. Bus tours to Salzburg, Melk Abbey, and other nearby sites were available, all most all of which were included in the price. Before, during, and after these tours, heads were carefully counted to ensure that nobody got lost. When it came time to settle the bill, everything was exactly as I had expected it to be. I could go on, but you get the point. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to ... Read More
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to be deterred as we had heard so many good reviews from people and decided to jump straight back in. We chose the Xmas markets cruise on the Mozart in November 2018 as it is something that my wife had wanted to do . Feeling slightly anxious that this would not end up feeling as though it would be throwing good money after bad I contacted Crystal concierge regarding a few queries such as change of itinerary, arriving late on the ship and transfers from the airport as we were arriving independently. We received responses straight away and were given the information that we required. Transfers are free with Crystal even if you arrange your own flight which was great news as sometimes finding exact location of river cruise vessels can be difficult. On arrival which was late the embarkation was really smooth and within 10 minutes of arriving we were in our suite ordering room service.The suites are compact yet of good quality . The wardrobe is a pretty tight squeeze but their is more than ample storage space. The bathroom is top quality and the products offered are also top quality. The next we wandered round the ship and as expected everywhere was top quality , the sauna and pool area was really nice. For a ship which only caters for 151 guests there is plenty of seating areas and the restaurant is a good size and there are plenty of tables for 2 should you wish to dine by yourself. We very early eat breakfast but lunch and dinner are of a high standard and if you wanted something different from the menu the waiters were always happy to see if they could help. The menus are small compared to larger ships but I would imagine that it would be quite difficult to have a large menu for so few guests. The food was always of a good standard and you could use 2 restaurants for lunch and a choice of 3 dining venues if an evening. The guests were mainly American , Canadian , Chinese and a few from other countries so we were the only people from the United Kingdom aboard. Everybody seemed to get on and in the bar if an evening there was a good atmosphere whether it be quizzes, dancing or the entertainers James & Ros playing music. James & Ros were really good in getting the guests to mingle and take part in the activities. The excursions were mainly Xmas markets in Bratislava, Salzburg , Vienna and a few walking tours in Passau , Linz and Melk. These were well organised and most of them guides were knowledgeable and interesting. The Crystal coaches were excellent and very comfortable and even had Nespresso coffee machines onboard . We have travelled with many cruise lines and have always had good service on the ships and until now my favourite was Seabourn because the staff were so friendly and professional and always smiled when they spoke and took the time to talk to you . I always believed that was the best cruise crew we had been with . They have been matched by Crystal as we found the staff to be so helpful , professional and friendly. Wherever we went on the ship they all seemed happy . The staff on the Mozart are such an asset because we booked another cruise whilst on board and that is something we have never done before.There was no one area that we could make a negative criticism even when we received a letter in the cabin saying that we were not sailing to Bratislava because of the low level of the water , they took us by bus and gave us 250UD off a future cruise and I already knew that there were problems with the water level. I would definitely recommend Crystal to anybody who likes the nice things in life and like being looked after. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first river cruise after several ocean cruises. We chose Crystal because of its reputation and the itinerary (Vienna to Belgrade and back) offered the opportunity to visit cities we otherwise would never get to. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after several ocean cruises. We chose Crystal because of its reputation and the itinerary (Vienna to Belgrade and back) offered the opportunity to visit cities we otherwise would never get to. Unfortunately, due to the prolonged drought, the itinerary changed to the opposite direction (Passau). Doubly unfortunate was that we were not notified of the change in itinerary until the day before sailing, when we were already in Prague. The crew mentioned that only once since July had the eastern route been possible. We were committed at that point, so chose to continue. Others have commented on the dining facilities and menu. Waterside is lovely and the service was superb. The standard wines were average and the optional wines seriously overpriced. Choices at breakfast and lunch were varied and very well prepared. Dinner choices were somewhat limited, but excellent. Others have also mentioned the cabin. We had a "deluxe" suite. When we embarked, I inquired about an upgrade and was told that none of the larger suites was available. We later learned that that wasn't true. After all, from an original passenger list of 145, only 86 actually embarked. The suite we were in was cramped and drawer space totally inadequate. But the bathroom was very nice and the HVAC worked well. The shore excursions were, by and large, well done, especially considering that several had to be improvised. We found all the staff to be very professional and courteous. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have gone on 4 River Cruises in 4 years, first two on Viking and now AMA for two. The first three river cruises the Activity Directors were outstanding. They were Always visible, socializing with the passengers, you see them on your ... Read More
We have gone on 4 River Cruises in 4 years, first two on Viking and now AMA for two. The first three river cruises the Activity Directors were outstanding. They were Always visible, socializing with the passengers, you see them on your tours and in the dining room and lounge. This cruise was a little different. I know the director had to deal with a lot of changes with the itinerary (and he did a great job) because of low water levels but that is part of the job description. The director’s visibility is all about PR and marketing. Having gone on three other cruises I was able to compare and that is the reason for my comment and evaluation. Embarkation was excellent. Ship was very clean and personnel was outstanding. Loved the evening entertainment, housekeeping and dining room service. Hotels that AMA select are in walking distance to the city and very accommodating. River Cruising is definitely the way to travel. We always meet outstanding people which results in lifetime friendships via social media. Because of itinerary changes excursions were long because of long bus rides which was not a problem. They can’t control ‘Mother Nature.’ I felt that there should be an early bus to take people those people who were tired back to the ship because of the very long day, Maybe a hour plus earlier. We will definitely travel on another River Cruise next year. I thank AMA for a memorable River Cruise. AMA treats people like royalty. Hopefully we will see AMA people next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First on Crystal River cruise and will be last. Have had great experiences on their ocean voyages; but the river line is a separate division and vastly inferior in most areas. Company was not forthcoming in notifiying us of the low ... Read More
First on Crystal River cruise and will be last. Have had great experiences on their ocean voyages; but the river line is a separate division and vastly inferior in most areas. Company was not forthcoming in notifiying us of the low water level until 2 days before we were scheduled to leave. Itineray changed to all but a couple of ports in the Netherlands. The highlights of the trip were to be the areas where the ship didn't travel. To make matters worse, tour director was disorganized, ship Captain did not speak English, ship docked so far from destination ports it was ridiculous. Other ships were providing buses to take passengers to destination. Not our ship. The few tours offered were primarily ones of walking around the town plazas, etc. And the majority of passengers were over 65! I understand the couple of buses they had were shuttled back and forth between the Danube groups and the Rhine. They seemed to always be with the Danube folks. We were not offered bus/hotel choices to make up for all the ports we did not see. That is standard with other river cruise lines. Passenger complaints to the officers and tour director fell on deaf ears and it was clear the disorganization and confusion came down from the top. The service staff tried their best; but they were understaffed. The spa was good but very limited; the food good except there was a problem keeping the buffet dishes hot. The rooms were way too small for the large beds. We booked 2 rooms for a family of 4 at last minute and top dollar and I never felt like we had spent so much money on something so disappointing. Our trip was in August and now in January we are still waiting for any compensation from Crystal. We all had out of pocket expenses because we had to change return flights from Basel Switzerland (which we never got to see) to Frankfurt. Additional transportation, hotel etc. all added up to more than they promised to reimburse. And there was no compensation even promised for the missed excursions and ports. My advice is to avoid this line at all costs. We are seasoned cruisers on several small luxury lines and have never had an experience like this! How could such an esteemed company as Crystal allow this group to be a part of their company??? We want to go back to take a Rhine cruise; but it sure won't be with Crystal. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our first river cruise and we looked forward to the ease of river cruising: seeing many ports without the hassle of driving/packing and unpacking. However, due to the water shortage on the Danube, this ease of travel was not ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we looked forward to the ease of river cruising: seeing many ports without the hassle of driving/packing and unpacking. However, due to the water shortage on the Danube, this ease of travel was not delivered. We were forced to bus to two destinations and pack a small overnight bag. Crystal put us up in a four star hotel and gave us a food allowance but we also had to endure a long bus ride between Vienna and Budapest and back. This is not the fault of Crystal but they were not forthcoming about the problem when asked prior to leaving for the cruise. I should add Crystal's lack of transparency was in contrast to Viking Cruise Line which had a website devoted to itinerary changes due to the drought. Many passengers were unhappy with the abrupt change of plans. I think if it had been handled more honestly, the passengers would have adjusted more easily and been happier.. On the other hand, the Mozart delivered on many aspects of the trip. The crew was fantastic. They were always pleasant, smiling and helpful. The food was quite good and plentiful with lots of options. Our cabin was quite nice and well-equipped with a comfortable bed, seating area, a large screen TV and an unending supply of wine, soda and water. The tours for the most part were informative and entertaining, conducted by knowledgeable local people. My only criticism is they should have offered a few more openings for some of the popular bike tours which booked up early. The special event in Budapest was a knockout. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have cruised on many ocean lines with Seabourn being my favorite. This was my first river cruise. The service was great, food ok, room well designed, but, we had a huge problem. The river water was too low for us to navigate the ... Read More
I have cruised on many ocean lines with Seabourn being my favorite. This was my first river cruise. The service was great, food ok, room well designed, but, we had a huge problem. The river water was too low for us to navigate the Danube so we did a 3 day round trip from Vienna to Wachau valley and did not sail to Slovakia or Budapest. That was a major disappointment to not sail into Budapest. The ship made a weak attempt to still cover the itinerary by booking us into a 4-star hotel in Budapest and giving us an $80 euro dining credit for our final day! Does not begin to cover the cost of the cruise which was around $1600 a day. The worst part was how while we were in Vienna for so many days we were sandwiched between two boats so had to keep the curtains closed at all times as the boat next to us was literally 2 inches away from us and a guest room on that boat! Claustrophobic! It was very overpriced for what was delivered and I will not cruise agin on Crystal. I consider it to be a total rip off. Horrible experience, never again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The cruise was a wonderful adventure, my husband, our children, and I would do it again. The staff, especially the waiters, were a great help. Great service, plus they had wonderful recommendations. The local dishes tasted tremendous and ... Read More
The cruise was a wonderful adventure, my husband, our children, and I would do it again. The staff, especially the waiters, were a great help. Great service, plus they had wonderful recommendations. The local dishes tasted tremendous and everything else was definitely high quality products. The room staff was always keeping the cabin fresh and stocked with towels and whatever else was needed. We had absolutely no complaints with the services provided. The ship is extremely quiet and made it very pleasant to sleep. The only time it was slighly loud was when it was transiting locks. Temperature control was great. There wasn't any American outlets which the brochures had implied that it would have. Only European outlets were available, so an adapter is needed. Room cleaning was perfect and they seem to know when you are gone. The room as always clean when you come back! All in all, it was a great trip! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The moment we arrived on board till the time we left we were looked after like royalty, nothing was too much trouble for Sonia (Hotel Manager) and her staff. The whole ship was immaculate, the food and presentation was magnificent. The ... Read More
The moment we arrived on board till the time we left we were looked after like royalty, nothing was too much trouble for Sonia (Hotel Manager) and her staff. The whole ship was immaculate, the food and presentation was magnificent. The cabin (246 on the middle deck) was so clean, with a full picture window, not that we spent much time there. At each served meal, the staff correctly served the ladies firstly every time. The main places we visited were fabulous, Vienna, Bratislava and of course Budapest. Walking through these lovely places in gorgeous weather, although tiring in 32 degrees was a wonderful experience, even smaller places like Melk, Kalocsa and Esztergom were interesting. We also enjoyed the cruising aspect of the trip, just looking at what goes on on the bank and listening and watching bird life.What a fabulous trip, we cannot recommend this ship and company highly enough, we will without a shadow of doubt be travelling with Croisi Europe via Mercury again. Thank you Sonia and team for making this trip such an unforgettable experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Mozart, R/T Vienna, June 23-Jul 3 The Danube cruise on Crystal Mozart had its fine moments but I was ultimately disappointed with the whole package. Butler service in the cabin was excellent, and worth the extra money. The variety and ... Read More
Mozart, R/T Vienna, June 23-Jul 3 The Danube cruise on Crystal Mozart had its fine moments but I was ultimately disappointed with the whole package. Butler service in the cabin was excellent, and worth the extra money. The variety and presentation of food and drinks were more than acceptable though not matching what we found on Crystal Serenity's Hawaii R/T voyage from San Francisco in 2016. An egg dish served to me was probably contaminated by uncooked egg. Waitress service and the entertainer were very good the entire trip. Budapest is among the most beautiful cities I've ever visited and I'd not been there before. The entire itinerary was varied and well chosen. On the other hand, our cabin was the size of a hotel toilet and not as well designed or furnished. Shore excursions produced surprisingly contrasting moments. The tour of Melk Abbey was great. So's the choice of Michelin-starred restaurants in Vienna and Budapest. But, although the guide at the Austrian concentration camp was well versed in history, he chose to treat us to offhand homophobic remarks, the kind of thing I doubt he would dare apply to Jews. I called him on it and reported him to Svjetlana, the boat's excellent hotel manager, to the boat's tour manager and in my report to Crystal. Decorations at the Hungarian horse farm included an American Confederate battle flag, probably not an accident in such a country. My well-traveled friend and I both think some of this may be laid on the company trying to expand too fast - e.g., crew were being trained for the newbuild river boats that are coming on line. A bartender, for instance, was moving up to butler status the morning we disembarked. All in all, I would not recommend this trip right now. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our first river cruise although we have taken many ocean and a Mediterranean cruise. We choose this one because of work schedules we needed a shorter one and we had never visited Eastern Europe. This cruise included 2 land ... Read More
This was our first river cruise although we have taken many ocean and a Mediterranean cruise. We choose this one because of work schedules we needed a shorter one and we had never visited Eastern Europe. This cruise included 2 land nights on both ends and only 3 nights actually on the boat, Vienna, then Budapest. The cruise line rep met us at Vienna airport and provided transportation to the Vienna Intercontinental Hotel (great breakfast buffet included daily), Avalon provided a bus/walking tour of Vienna which was good but we bought the Vienna Pass online before we got there. We saw many sights and the hop on bus was included, Schonberg Palace, Albertina Museum, House of Music, Mozarts home, St Stephen Cathedral, to name a few. We went to Mass at a church near the palace where the music was a full orchestra playing Strauss. It seemed like there was Classical music everywhere. Sacher torte at Sacher Hotel (a line to get in but you can get it elsewhere too). Logistics were easy to follow to get on the transport to the boat. Cruise part was great. Food and wine, wonderful. Great service. We wished we had more time onboard. Enjoyed the stops. Used the bikes( reserve Early). Budapest was interesting too and we enjoyed the Hungarian foods. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Good experience with Crystal Mozart, over what we did expect. It has been an amazing 10 days onboard. The crew is very friendly, polite, always smiling and willing to assist with everything. The weather was unfortunately not so nice, ... Read More
Good experience with Crystal Mozart, over what we did expect. It has been an amazing 10 days onboard. The crew is very friendly, polite, always smiling and willing to assist with everything. The weather was unfortunately not so nice, but we were able to enjoy the tours in every location we docked. The food was extraordinary, presentation and taste wise, and very varied menu, all over higher then what we expected. We felt happy with personal service from Mrs Judy. The entertainment was also great! Very talented local singer and musician, able to make everyone sing and dance. The spa is also luxurious, which includes a Jacuzzi, female and male sauna and steam room, and very well trained therapist for Hair treatments, body massage, facials... Front desk is also very kind and always helpful, willing to answer any inquiries with a big knowledge, smile and making sure we are comfortable onboard. We got especially great help by Mrs Patricia by solving my IT questions. We look forward to join Crystal again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Christmas Markets / Presidents Cruise This is a review of our cruise aboard the Crystal Mozart for it's first Christmas Market cruise, which fell over Thanksgiving and was also announced after we booked to be the President's ... Read More
Christmas Markets / Presidents Cruise This is a review of our cruise aboard the Crystal Mozart for it's first Christmas Market cruise, which fell over Thanksgiving and was also announced after we booked to be the President's cruise. In a nutshell, we loved it, although there were some major flaws. Crystal clearly knows cruising, luxury, fine dining and great service. They've got some learning to do on River cruising. First, a bit of background about us. I find it essential to know who is giving the review to know if this is a like minded individual. We are in our mid forties, have done about 10 cruises, all ocean, predominately luxury, never on Crystal before. We do cruise, but are active and also enjoy do it yourself land trips involving planes, trains and automobiles. We normally do not do ship excursions and are not really "tour" people. We have cruised Regent most often, but their inclusion of tours in the cost makes them less attractive since that is something we won't utilize. That is why we are looking for a cruise line that might be a better fit, though we aren't looking to be loyal to any one line. We booked this cruise in September as a getaway over thanksgiving and a way to defrib from a tough year. We've always wanted to try river cruising, Crystal and see the Christmas markets and loved that we'd get to try out a new boat. We flew into Munich where we spent a day and night and then took the train to Salzburg for three nights before moving on to Vienna to board the ship. Embarkation: A lot of people had problems finding the boat, but we knew it was at the Millennium tower docks and just took a train to Handelskai subway station and were right there. The only issue getting to the boat for us was that the elevator at the station was out and we had to get our bags down a few flight of stairs to the boat. Once onboard, they whisked our bags away and showed us to our cabin, a balcony suite on level 2. We had left our travel docs and luggage tags in our suitcase but were quickly told we didn't need them. They just asked our names and then took us to our room, took our photo for our ship board accounts and took a credit card for incidentals. All while we stood in our cabin. Fabulous! Quick! Efficient like we have never seen on a cruise before. Dining More about us. We live for food. Seriously. Food is a huge part of travel for us. We have trekked across Spain in the pouring rain to get to San Sebastián, shaped entire trips to New York around the whim of Per Se and Eleven Madison Park and went to Chicago for the reopening of Alinea. The food on the Mozart was very, very good in general. The menu in Waterside at dinner wasn't always inspiring, but the dishes were very good to outstanding with very few exceptions. Fresh fish, fresh vegetables, great cuts of beef, excellent soups and calorie worthy desserts. Even a Cobb salad was excellent. I know for a fact those are words I have never written before. Breakfast in Waterside was buffet style and while the food was all good it was always the same and got boring after a few days. Lunch was also buffet style in Waterside but was varied and excellent. The afternoon snacks available in the Bistro were fine, but the selection was beyond boring. Cheese and cold cuts and a few pastries every day. No variety. Dinner in the Bistro was very good. They call it Tapas, which it is not. It's casual plates served family style. And it is very good. Those fried mushrooms would have been a lovely snack in the afternoon or pre dinner canapé. Canapés are not served in the lounge during pre dinner cocktail hour nor are they brought to your room as advertised unless requested. Blue was also very good, though rarely open. So much could be done with that space and it would be so nice if it was open for a breakfast alternative or perhaps afternoon snacks. The room service menu was boring, had no snacks like a cheese tray or other nibble and it really wasn't an experience you'd do more than once for one huge reason. The table in our suite didn't make into a dining table. There was more than enough room for it. Every other cabin we have ever been in, on any ship, on any line, had a convertible table. But our butler told us this table didn't make into a dining table. It was just a small coffee table. Not suitable for room service breakfast. Either he was trying to dissuade us from eating in the room by making it uncomfortable, or Crystal screwed up in a rookie way. They certainly made other rookie mistakes, so I won't blame the butler. ;) Stateroom: Much has been written about the terrible closet doors, so I won't belabor that. Much has also been written about the ToTo toilet. Most people hate it, and I don't get that. A warm toilet seat waiting for you in the middle of the night that lights your path to it when you open the door. What is there to not like? Sure, it opens every time you pass the bathroom. But seriously, my life is not so charmed that that qualifies as something to complain about. The room was a nice size. It was nicely laid out, except the bed really should face the window so you can see what you came for when lying in bed. USBs were everywhere. The water pressure in the shower was great and the shower head was great. Sounds weird, but I'm a rain shower snob. I'm used to a huge rain head and don't like someone passing off some dinky head as a rain head. This was the real deal. Another weird observation, but if you need this info you'll love me for it, the hair dryers were great! There were two and they both did a great job straightening my thick, curly hair. We had read that you could borrow a voltage converter from the front desk and that is untrue, you cannot. All the high tech gadgetry and controls in the room worked well. The butler told us not to use the iPad to order room service, but I'm thinking that was just his preference and not because the tech was lacking. We have never had a problem with the size of a suite on any cruiseline and this was no exception. We are not large people and rarely look to hang out in the room, though we always insist on having a balcony. The Ship:The ship itself is lovely. I think the details have been covered, so I won't spend much time on that. I will say that there needs to be another area to have drinks in the evening. This is a serious need! The Palm court and Cove are really one room. You can't do something in one if there is something going on in the other. There seemed to be some sort of entertainment every night. If you didn't want to listen to opera, show tunes, or whatever the show was, there wasn't a place to get a drink and chat. There is a smoking lounge that was used by two people as their smoky office that I heard lots of folks complaining about. If we could have gone to Blue and had a drink and chatted with friends at those times, that would have been great. There were also times during the day that there was a sales pitch going on in the lounge and it was impossible to find a comfortable place to watch the world go by. Some comfy seating in Blue could have fixed that. The staff: Really top notch in large part. There were some glaring exceptions, of course, and lets get those negatives out of the way now. The sommelier was always in a rush and would tell you he was busy. No charm whatsoever. Our room steward hated her job. We never asked her for anything, and she always had a frown for us. Our butler never did anything. That seems to be the case with us on all cruises, we ask for little of our butler and get even less. I wish nice suites didn't come with butlers. It's just someone that gets in the way of my room service order. The front desk/excursion staff were truly awful. Like, they could ruin your trip kind of awful. We has excursions canceled which we were not notified of. I noticed it mIssing from the list of available excursions even though it was still on my list of booked excursions. I had to ask about it, and it took a really long time for me to explain the issue to Alexandra, not because of a language barrier, but because of her unwillingness to believe what I said was true. She had to double check all of my facts to find that indeed I was correct, it was canceled, I hadn't been notified and we were now double booked on other excursions. Another day we had a snow shoe hike planned that conflicted with the other time that canceled excursion could take place. It wasn't snowing when we were there. I asked Alexandra if we were being taken off to a snowy mountainside somewhere or if there was a guarantee that there would be a snow shoe experience. She assured me there would be. I explained that we were scheduling all of our excursions around that snow shoe hike and would be seriously upset if it didn't happen after we changed all of our plans. She assured me it would happen. A brain dead ferret would know to pick up the phone and call the excursion provider and ask if there would be a snow shoe hike and what the back up plan would be. You know where this is going. We find out with a couple of hours notice that our snow shoe hike is now just a walk. She also tagged along on an excursion and talked on her cell phone in the middle of the tour until someone told her to shut up or move away from the guide we were all trying to hear. It wasn't just Alexandra, the entire excursion staff was lackluster, to be kind. But she really was a special kind of awful. But we were impressed with most of the tours we took. We are not tour people and this is definitely the first time we have ever gotten on a bus to do a tour. With only one exception, the guides were very good, the locations interesting and the tech earphones worked well. There was an issue with the pace of some tours. When they had multiple groups doing a tour they would announce that one group would be the slow group. There was one woman who had an issue needing frequent bathroom stops who refused to be part of that slow group and instead slowed us down on every tour we took. And there was an incident in Regensberg where a man and woman kept wondering off to check out the market stalls we'd pass and this horrid woman screamed at the top of her lungs that the guide was going too fast and leaving people behind. The guide was young and clearly flustered, but handled it wonderfully. And we all tipped him extra and told him so. Waiters and in general everyone in the dining room were genuinely delightful to see each day. And they seemed to feel the same way when they spoke to us. There was one of the cooks in the Bistro who clearly took pride in his work and was so excited when you said you like the food. And we saw him all over the boat and he always had a smile and warm greeting. The waitresses in the bar were also always helpful and cheery even when dealing with huge crowds. The bar often seemed understaffed. I don't know if we were a bigger drinking crowd than they expected or if there was a staffing issue. The bartenders occasionally let that stress show and were snippy. The person who is solely responsible if I say this is the most outstanding cruise we have ever taken, is Sonja, the hotel manager. We said hello to her as we boarded and discussed how lovely the Christmas decorations were and what we had done before boarding the cruise. She remembered little comments made about our interest in those few moments and then had recommendations for us the rest of the cruise. We inquired about the Ebikes, which we discovered were about to be offloaded. She kept some on board for us and made great suggestions of where we should go on them. She was like our guardian angel and really went out of her way to make sure we were happy. When we made a complaint about what it is a huge snafu completely out of her control, she said she wished we had told her earlier. I really got the idea that she might have tried to fix it. More on that later, but Sonja is a superstar. If she isn't running Crystal's River cruise division soon it proves they don't know what they are doing. The presidents cruise: This was announced as a presidents cruise after we had booked it. We researched what that meant and it sounded like there would be an added special excursion and maybe a few other touches. We were intrigued by this added bit of excitement on our sailing. But there was no added excursion, and there was only one added touch, which was a big of a laugh. Have you ever been to a convention of a group of which you weren't a member? Like a Shriners convention, and you don't really understand what they do, or why? Or have you been conned into hearing a sales pitch for a time share? What we discovered is that the vast majority of our fellow cruisers were travel agents. I can count on one hand the people we met that were not travel agents, and even some of those might have been and just been quiet about it. Every "event" or cocktail party was really just a sales pitch about the upcoming Crystal products. It was made more uncomfortable by the fact that they were constantly talking about the fact the travel agents weren't supposed to be soliciting business on board. That made every TA you talk to on edge for fear that they were breaking the rules. In all it was creepy and uncomfortable and something I would never do again. I would not take a presidents cruise for free, or even if you pay me. Add to the convention factor that Edie and her entourage often held things up and were in the way. Just plain bad. Those people using the smokers lounge as their private office? Edie's entourage. There were LOTS of complaints about that from others on the cruise. I don't smoke and would never want to go in there, so I wasn't bothered, but lots of others were. Itinerary: We were very excited to cruise the Danube. There were a couple of weird things on the itinerary where we visited Passau one day and then went to another location the next day and then back to Passau the day after that. And were to leave Passau one afternoon and not get into Bratslavia until the next evening. Seemed weird until I looked at the map and saw we would be cruising the Wachau Valley that day. On most River cruises that is listed on the itinerary as cruising the Wachau valley. The entire valley is a UNESCO world heritage site and said to be breathtaking to see from the river. You can do day cruises to see it that way from many cities along the way, because it is a huge thing to do in this part of the world. But the Mozart cruised through the Wachau Valley at night. Twice. They actually had us leave Passau early from the time advertised on the itinerary to get to Bratslavia early, and the result was going through the valley at night. We didn't discover it until late that night. When we talked to Sonja about this huge error (she is from there and knows this was moronic though too nice to say so and said it was a corporate call) she said she wished we had told her earlier. I seriously believe she might have changed the itinerary back to its original plan if we had. She's that good. Interestingly, none of the travel agents we met had heard of the Wachau Valley. We don't use travel agents. We are proficient with computers, enjoy research and in general believe we can do a better job for us at booking travel that appeals to us than anyone else. The cluelessness of the TA's as to what the Wachau Valley is and why you should not cruise though it at night sort of confirmed that belief. Entertainment: Neil was our entertainer and he was fabulous. His arrangements were really interesting and as he plays be ear you could request anything you wish and if you could hum it, he could play it. He was also very gracious about having guest come up to sing. Sometimes that was fun. Sometimes it was awful. I don't think Neal should have to tell a guest no. But someone needed to tell the Chinese man who not only insisted on singing My Way each night with his own piano player and then actually made us suffer though what was the worst excuse for a comedy show ever, that NO this was not his fantasy camp to live out whatever alternative career he didn't pursue. You should not have to tell someone that, but there are a lot of A-holes on the planet and that particular group had a few of them. Including the man who came to every show and would then sit and play videos on his phone, WITH THE SOUND ON LOUD during the performance. WOW. That isn't a cultural difference, that is rude in every place on the planet. There are a lot of details I haven't gone into and could. I'm happy to answer questions if posted to the forums. Will we cruise Crystal again, yes. Will we do another River cruise, yes, soon. Will we cruise the Danube again, yes. We sort of have to to be able to cross Wachau Valley off the bucket list. We wouldn't do Christmas Market cruises just because we have now done that and we aren't shoppers, so no real draw. Will we do another Crystal River cruise, yes, but not anytime soon. The man in charge of River cruises needs to figure some things out first. Basic things. But we would cruise any ship that Sonja Gruber is in charge of. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Let me start by saying that Crystal advertised this cruise as a 6 star experience.We were not disappointed.Fantastic in every way possible.If I could give 7 stars, I would!! My wife and I were looking for an upscale river cruise to ... Read More
Let me start by saying that Crystal advertised this cruise as a 6 star experience.We were not disappointed.Fantastic in every way possible.If I could give 7 stars, I would!! My wife and I were looking for an upscale river cruise to celebrate being empty nesters.Everything about this cruise was exceptional.Embarkation was a breeze.As we entered the ship you could see the beautifully appointed foyer. We were taken to our cabin immediately where we met Roman,our incredible butler who opened champagne and attended to our every need.He filled our room daily with fresh bottled water, Austrian and Czech beers and wine as well as the premium liquor of our choice.We quickly became great friends. The dining was incredible from sumptuous breakfasts, gourmet lunches,and the finest dinner cuisine you could imagine.Not to mention, continuous daily spreads of fine italian meets,cheeses,pastries etc.the cocktail lounge at night was a hit for all with entertainment by Mark Farris on piano who knew everyones name on the ship by the second night.He was superb. Our cabin was beautifully appointed with kingsize bed , a large walk-in shower and a heated toilet seat!Everything in the room could be controlled by your own personal ipad at the bedside. The shore excursions provided in all ports were mostly complimentary and were fascinating with wonderful tour guides.We did pay extra for an evening cruise on the ships 32 foot speedboat withe Bela the captain.Seeing the city on Budapest lit up at night on the Danube was phenomenal.Speaking of the crew,the service was as first class as it could be.From waiters,bartenders,and cruise directors; everyone was so friendly.The captain would take us the the pilothouse and answer any questions we had. When it comes to being all inclusive,Crystal doesn't miss a thing. We wanted for nothing.This was indeed better than we could have ever dreamed of.Hats off to Crystal;they got it right Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our trip was a work promotion and it couldn't have been better. We'd never been on a such a vacation--ocean or river--before and couldn't be more pleased. The Visionary was terrific, the crew warm and accommodating. The ... Read More
Our trip was a work promotion and it couldn't have been better. We'd never been on a such a vacation--ocean or river--before and couldn't be more pleased. The Visionary was terrific, the crew warm and accommodating. The dinner service left us wanting for nothing, as the offerings each meal were fresh, new and creative. Our cabin was spacious, warm, modern, clean and comfortable with plenty of space. The view outside our glassed doors was magical as we got to watch Austria pass by. The shore trips arranged for us were great, allowing enough time to be with a guide AND to explore on our own. I would gladly recommend such a cruise to anyone looking for the pleasure of water travel as well as the chance to explore on dry land. Even though our vacation was technically "work", our trip down the Danube was a vacation my wife and I will never forget. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016

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