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110 Vienna to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

Quite simply, for the money, river cruising is not worth it - for US. For others it may be, but when you calculate what you are paying daily (approx $1k EUR for our upgraded (VERY SMALL) room), we feel it's definitely not worth it. ... Read More
Quite simply, for the money, river cruising is not worth it - for US. For others it may be, but when you calculate what you are paying daily (approx $1k EUR for our upgraded (VERY SMALL) room), we feel it's definitely not worth it. I would highly recommend researching everything in detail before doing a cruise. Without writing an essay, examples of disappointment include: - Food was mostly good, but I had a steak I almost couldn't eat as it had sinue all the way through it; Coffee was not nice to me due to long life milk - when we were led to believe that local produce would be purchased and loaded at the different stops along the way; this is not the case, same with Beer, I only had a choice of 1 type of generic branded wheat beer, when I thought I would get to sample many along the way - being in Austria/ Bavaria... VERY DISAPPOINTING. Furthermore, wines etc., are, supplied by the owners / relatives own vineyards - Room was tiny - and I like cozy rooms... but when you can't even walk past each other at the end of the bed between the wall and bed, it's ridiculous; Bathroom was also a major let down - felt like a cubicle... - Most "cruising" was done at night - meaning you don't really see much countryside (consequently you miss out on some important landmarks - i.e. some castles I saw by looking out around 11/12pm!)... Furthermore, whilst cruising you can hear the engines, and if a light sleeper like myself is slightly annoying... - The "bed" we had was 2 x single "joined" beds - with no overlay, meaning you had an annoying ridge where they met... For $1000 EUR per night??, really? - Excursions were a little lacking - we visited a few beautiful towns and had great guided walking tours, but apart from 1 day bus tour to glass factory / distillery , and another bus tour of Vienna, there wasn't really anything else "included" - Moreover, you are sold experiences, at your own added expense! GYM Was way too small also. POSITIVES Friendly, professional staff, very nice common areas - impeccably clean, generally good food - but no better than cheaper cruise companies (as per other customer feedback), beautiful towns/villages and some scenery along the way - All of which could be done for a fraction of the price if you didn't have to do a river cruise per se. Whilst the cruise itself is obviously convenient, I would just spend the time researching and planning better next time and save a fortune for mostly the same experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this trip because my mother wanted to do the Christmas markets. It sounded fun too. She has taken 16 Grand Circle trips in the past and had always had nothing but amazing things to say about them. As a matter of fact she would ... Read More
I chose this trip because my mother wanted to do the Christmas markets. It sounded fun too. She has taken 16 Grand Circle trips in the past and had always had nothing but amazing things to say about them. As a matter of fact she would always compare regular cruises to her “wonderful” Grand Circle River Cruises. She would criticize every cruise line we traveled on again with Grand Circle being so great in so many ways(to her). I should have realized that while planning this one she couldn’t answer many of my questions about the boat, and other things that something might be off. I could blame her memory, but it’s not that. The problem was GCT trips really aren’t anything to remember. She couldn’t even tell me if there was a closet in the room or one thing about the room other than the beds come out of the wall. I can tell you there are a few things I did like about the trip. We were there to see the Christmas markets. Every town had one, although one town, Melk hadn’t opened theirs for the season yet. The boat, and I do mean boat is unremarkable. No one would ever call this a ship. It’s small and that has its advantages. Surprisingly there is an ice machine that you can get your own ice. The rooms have pretty great storage when you consider the size. When you first come in the room you will find a pretty big table that is available always. On each side of the table is the seating area, which has enough space to seat two people or total 4, even though the rooms only sleep two. The seating area is as uncomfortable as possible. The back has zero give and is 100% straight. So it’s not really a space you want to sit at for any length of time. This same table stays in place when the beds come out of the wall. Once the beds do, you lose your seating area. I guess it’s with the thought you won’t spend much time in your room which is true. The beds aren’t horrible but they are also not real beds. But then again they keep you going a great deal of the time. This is NOT a relaxing trip at all. I say that because one day they were making announcements about breakfast that did come in loudly into the room at 5:30am. Another day they were waking us up at 6:45am with the horrible smells of sauerkraut. It woke me from a dead sleep too. It was awful. Plus with a little boat like this I can promise you that whatever they were cooking in the kitchen the entire boat smelled of it. On another day that I had hoped to sleep in, I was woken at 8am by the staff running the vacuum cleaner. Another few days it was the maids cart outside our door between 7-8am and the noise of plastic bags and more. Basically anything going on in the hallway came right into your room. Before you say, why didn’t I do something about all of this. I did. Plus due to my Mom’s snoring I wore ear plugs. All of this could’ve heard through the ear plugs. Mom on the other hand didn’t hear anything. But she has list 85% of her hearing without hearing aids. I think Grand Circle caters to the elderly specific reasons. But I do know that as someone in their early 50’s I think GCT forgets that not everyone is hard of hearing. Food: If you are going on this trip thinking you will eat and eat. Think again. First the food isn’t any good. As a matter of fact, GCT counts the number of meals they provide. With that said I skipped all breakfasts, all lunches but 3 and 3 of the dinners. Why? Because the food was that bad. Plus after the first lunch realizing that many a mayo-based item was not refrigerated and borderline hot-I was afraid I would get sick. Between meals the only food provided was the same cookies(store bought). Every single day for 9 days these same 5 varieties. Maybe you would see fruit, but not often. I heard once there was crackers but never saw any. I actually lost 10 pounds on this trip. Add to that portion sizes weren’t huge, not enough rolls for a table of 8 to get one each. I could go on. As for drinks. I think the stay is told to cut people off regardless of what you are drinking unless you pay EXTRA at 2. So 2 small Diet Cokes and you are never asked again. If you ask, they don’t bring it, same went for house wine. GCT will serve you all you want if it’s above what comes with the trip. I noticed this at every single meal I was at, at every table. I noticed it in the lounge too at cocktail hour. If it’s due to not having enough waitstaff, I know that’s not true. Because it ALWAYS happened whenever drinks were served of any kind. I’m sure it keeps cost down. Service is borderline. Compared to the locals the staff is nice. The locals either don’t like Americans or they are just very rude. (Yes, worse than France) The highlight person on the trip was the red tour conductor-Lucy. She was amazing and fun. Other than Lucy I don’t have much good to say about an expensive $244 per day trip. Maybe other River Boat trips are better. But just know that this isn’t cruising. It’s borderline bus travel with bus station quality food. I just know I won’t do another GCT. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I happened upon a great sale on Crystal River Cruises and my husband and I had never sailed the Danube, so I thought, why not? This wasn't even meant to be our big vacation for the year - we went to Australia last May. I arranged ... Read More
I happened upon a great sale on Crystal River Cruises and my husband and I had never sailed the Danube, so I thought, why not? This wasn't even meant to be our big vacation for the year - we went to Australia last May. I arranged our own airfare on American in Premium Economy (nice and roomy for the flights both ways although the seats don't lay flat, they are at least more comfortable and the food is better). We always fly in at least 1 day prior to the cruise to insure that no travel delay affects our ability to board the ship. We stayed in Vienna at Hotel Das Tyrol which was an excellent location and lovely boutique hotel with all the sights of Vienna in close walking distance and many nearby restaurants. We had Weiner Schnitzel for lunch and then headed to the Imperial Palace to take the Sisi tour. Much of Sisi's story reminded me of Princess Diana, including her tragic and early death. It was very interesting seeing reproductions of her gowns and jewels as well as seeing where she lived, her fitness equipment and learning her story. The next day we boarded the Crystal Ravel. It is important to know that there are 2 places that Crystal docks in Vienna. One location is near the Hilton Vienna Danube hotel and the other is further away, so prior to leaving for this cruise I asked the onshore butler for the addresses of both locations and the phone number for the Ravel and from Hotel das Tyrol, we called the ship and asked where they were docked that morning so we would know where to direct our taxi driver. That morning they were at the dock further away (really about a 15 minute cab ride and no problem whatsoever.) As soon as we arrived at the ship, the crew took our luggage and we were taken to our suite to check in. We were in suite 226 which is a Deluxe Suite with Panoramic Balcony Window S2. The cabin included a bathroom with a large walk in shower and 2 sinks, walk-in closet with safe and there was plenty of space for all of our stuff. The cabin felt too warm to us so the butler had a word with the ship's engineer and they were able to make the room much cooler and more comfortable in no time. They were also able to provide me with the right foam pillows as I am allergic to down pillows. The food in the Ravel's Waterside Restaurant was excellent. We had a light lunch and then a fabulous dinner and the included wines were extremely good. The next day we took the Estergom and Danube Bend tour - it was wonderful and we met the ship in Budapest. Budapest is stunningly beautiful - especially at night. We definitely want to go back for a land vacation. The ship was docked near the Market Hall and about a mile walk to the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial. It is a very touching memorial - so simple and poignant, it really drove the message home that even the youngest and most innocent among us were not safe. That evening we went to see The Princesses of Violin for a private show for Crystal Ravel guests. It was a great show. Many guests mistakenly expected an all classical music show and were surprised to hear both classical music and modern music. The next day we took the tour of Parliament and the Market Hall where I bought cherries enrobed in chocolate and cognac, paprika and AIKA crystal cut to clear glasses. They don't ship these glasses, however, I was prepared with a universal sized carry on roll-aboard so that I can bring back fragile items safely. The next day, we were in Bratislava and went on a tour and then beer tasting experience and some more shopping. Bratislava has a very charming historic town center and it was fun walking among these buildings, looking in the shop windows and enjoying the sights. In Krems we went to the Schloss Gobelsburg Wine Tasting - this tour was only taken by 10 passengers and included a cellar tour and wine and appetizers in the beautiful castle. In Melk, we walked into the charming town and did more shopping and in Linz, we took the day long tour to the Cesky Krumlov. It was a cold day but luckily the shops and restaurants were open. We had a great lunch and then walked around the town, going into many of the shops. I looked at some Czech crystal - 4 goblets and a decanter and the store clerk quoted me the craziest price ever - $2,500. I collect cut-to-clear crystal and know what the prices should be (glasses are usually less than $50 per stem and the regular decanters should be well under $300 and the larger ones under $500) so I just laughed and told him no. He reduced the price twice more and offered $1,800 for the set - still way too high (should have been no more than $1000 and probably more like $700), his explanation for the high price was the color I chose (not true - all colors are priced the same, the pricing is based the number of cuts) so I left the crystal behind at that shop. If you are interested in cut to clear crystal or hand cut crystal, before you go on a Danube cruise, get on Ebay and look at the prices and brands and designs to figure out what you like. AJKA is one of the best brands. Their crystal is exported to the US as Wedgwood, Tiffany's, Rosenthal, Waterford Crystal, Polo Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Moser and other high end French Crystal Manufacturers. If you buy your crystal in Budapest at the Market Hall, you will get your crystal at a fraction of the price charged in retail stores in the US. This video is helpful in learning about AJKA Crystal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQFyOmw12oQ. and this video is helpful for learning about the Romanov collection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FxtRrQlbh4. For our final day. in Vienna, we went to the Schonbrunn Palace - it was super cold that day. and the guide was determined to walk us around the garden, so I headed for the tea room and had some hot fruit tea! My husband joined me after an attempt at taking a few photos in the garden. After 45 minutes it was time to meet to enter the palace and we had a very nice tour inside. That evening, we went to Michelin-star dining at Edvaard. My husband didn't like the faux garlic, faux oyster or sardine courses and I began to recall the disastrous Omakase dinner on "Odd Mom Out". It hadn't occurred to me that there would be several courses in a tasting menu he would not like as we regularly have tasting menus. LOL!. Fortunately he loved the pork and venison courses and the pumpkin and white chocolate dessert. I liked all the courses but found the wait between courses to be a bit long compared to other restaurants where I have experienced tasting menus. All of the wines served were extremely good. Meanwhile back on the ship throughout the cruise, we had a lot of great food, great wine and there was a young couple who were the entertainers - they were very talented. There were also two enrichment lectures and a couple of different local entertainers who put on good shows. If I had any criticism of this cruise at all, I would say it was too short. Every single day I woke up thinking how great the previous day had been and every single day I enjoyed all the new things we did, the food and everything on the ship. Other than some rain and a very cold day on our return to Vienna the weather was actually very good. On disembarkation day, you are allowed to stay in your cabin until 10am, so we had a leisurely breakfast and then headed out for our post cruise hotel - the Ritz Carlton. This proved to be another great hotel choice and we walked down the street to Cafe Swartzenberg for another lunch of Weiner schnitzel and a mixed vegetable salad followed by a chocolate dessert and hot tea. Although most things in Vienna are closed on Sunday, the local mall had been taken over by an antique sale, so we walked through that and looked at the various items on offer. If you are considering a cruise on the Crystal Ravel, my advice is to go. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I have been wanting to cruise the Danube and Rhine rivers so when this reasonably priced 9 day CroisiEurope cruise came up I booked it for me and my husband. This cruise line is not one of the more popular ones so I did not know what to ... Read More
I have been wanting to cruise the Danube and Rhine rivers so when this reasonably priced 9 day CroisiEurope cruise came up I booked it for me and my husband. This cruise line is not one of the more popular ones so I did not know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised to find a spacious and very clean cabin on the main deck. The window was so wide offering panoramic views of the passing river banks and villages. There was plenty of storage so you can stow your luggage under the bed. Breakfast was buffet and it was pretty much the same thing everyday but substantial enough. Lunch and dinner were sit down meals. On the first day we were asked to choose if we wanted to sit in 4 seater, 6 seater or 8 seater tables for all the lunches and dinners. We sat with 2 other couples who thankfully spoke English. The menu was published a day before. I would rate the meals an 8 out of a perfect 10 although lunches and dinners took quite a while since there were not that many wait staff. The professional tour guides who were hired to conduct the shore excursions were excellent! They provided a lot of interesting facts and anecdotes. However, the cruise hosts who conducted the town tours were not as accommodating to the non French speaking groups, preferring to speak in French only. There were 150 passengers (mostly seniors), 75 % were French speaking from France and Canada, 15% were from Spain and 10% were from the UK, Australia and America. There were some games at the parlor but nothing else much to do. I want to give a shout out to the dining room staff (Flora, Akos, Gabor and their manager) who went out of their way to get me the sweet wine that they normally do not have on their wine list. Another pleasant surprise! Would I go again? Without a doubt - yes! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our Cruise was the best fall trip I could Imagine. Lovely location, great Hotel, wonderful people. Very well organized. Lots to do or not do, you choose what it is that you wan to so. Everyone made sure you had what you wanted or needed. I ... Read More
Our Cruise was the best fall trip I could Imagine. Lovely location, great Hotel, wonderful people. Very well organized. Lots to do or not do, you choose what it is that you wan to so. Everyone made sure you had what you wanted or needed. I can't say enough good about the whole trip. Oh the food and wine!! Great, wonderful, the chief and staff gave their all to give us anything. The side trips were lovely. Guides were so enjoyable with so much knowledge and ease of telling their stories. In Budapest we went to the horse farms for a ride and show and Dinner. True local beverages and food. Oh dear did I say food. They out did themselves. The Horses were so beautiful and well trained. The favorite words of everyone were OF COURSE. No matter what you ask that is the answer. Everything was very clean and first class. Can't wait to go on another one. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Ship was beautiful but we didn’t get to open drapes or sliding door because we were always triple docked at every port. Also would wake up at 3 a.m. because of diesel exhaust in our room. Excursions were not exactly as published. ... Read More
Ship was beautiful but we didn’t get to open drapes or sliding door because we were always triple docked at every port. Also would wake up at 3 a.m. because of diesel exhaust in our room. Excursions were not exactly as published. Cruise director was personable. Dining room was nice. Breakfast and lunch were buffets. Dinner had nice menu with wine. Wine / champagne at breakfast and lunch were scarce if non existent. My main problem was the inability to sleep at night because I had to leave room to breathe. Diesel exhaust could not be managed. If anyone had asthma they would definitely struggle to breathe. I think Avalon knows what the problem is but doesn’t have a solutions. There could be serious health issues. Glad we only had 3 nights on the ship. Hotel accommodations were ok in Vienna and very nice in Budapest. This survey requires 150 words minimum. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We cruised with Crystal for the first time in September, along with two other couples, on the Mozart 10-day Dunube river cruise. Our cruise organizer was originally good but she was replaced mid-way and the experience with our new ... Read More
We cruised with Crystal for the first time in September, along with two other couples, on the Mozart 10-day Dunube river cruise. Our cruise organizer was originally good but she was replaced mid-way and the experience with our new organizer was poor. He did not respond to our questions. We had to call Crystal directly for answers and they were not very helpful either. In fact, one Crystal operator made dinner reservations for us in restaurants that did not exist on our boat! The boat appeared "lived in", but clean. We were happy with our cabin, which was small but highly functional. The food in the main restaurant was uniformly excellent. The food at the cafe and the more casual lunch spot was not as good but still acceptable. The Danube stops were lovely, although we were rarely docked within comfortable walking distance of the towns we were visiting. Having cruised many times previously, comparitively we felt the time allowed at each stop was too short to really enjoy the town and rarely left time to browse and wander. The quality of the Crystal tours was highly variable- the minority were excellent. Most were rushed and idiosyncratic. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach Budapest due to the low river. We were bussed there as a result. Some of us were placed at the Ritz Carleton and others at the Kempinski. We were told they were comparable, which was false. We went from a suite on our boat and excellent food quality to a room at the Kempinski with two twin beds pushed together and a view of the side of a building construction site (see pictures). The breakfast at the Kempinski was a cattle-call: over-crowded and poor quality food. Every request I made to the Mozart team- may I please be at the Ritz Carleton?, may I use my ship credit to upgrade my room in Budapest? (I wasn't able to use the credit on the boat because we lost 2 days onboard due to the low water and the spa was completely booked)- all received an immediate "no". When I asked to speak to the manager, I was told: "they'll tell you the same thing". That was true. I was offered the "special gift" instead- I could use the credit against a future cruise- $400 off a >$20,000 cruise. For us, the cruise did not meet our expectations. I expected a higher-end experience, given the cost is far greater than any other cruise I have enjoyed. In short, I was disappointed with the quality of the experience, and being told "I'm sorry we didn't meet your expectations" isn't meaningful when it's followed by silence. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second river cruise with Crystal. Last year we spent 8 glorious days on the brand new Debussy sailing the Rhine, and it was absolutely great. We decided to try this ship to sail the Danube this year. All of the ... Read More
This was our second river cruise with Crystal. Last year we spent 8 glorious days on the brand new Debussy sailing the Rhine, and it was absolutely great. We decided to try this ship to sail the Danube this year. All of the "soft" items such as service, food, etc was just as good as the Debussy, but the ship itself left a little to be desired. Let's start with the cabin: It was nice, but quite tight. We went with a "DELUXE SUITE W/ FIXED WINDOW (W1)" cabin. The bathroom was nice, though the Japanese toilet takes a bit to get used to. The bed was very comfortable. The closet setup is a bit weird as you have to do some maneuvering to get your stuff out. The decor was very similar, and modern, but for some reason didn't feel quite as opulent as the other ship. The biggest downside was the paper thin walls. I think my dorm in college was more soundproofed. The poor gentleman in the cabin next to ours apparently got quite sick and every morning at about 5:30am we were woken to the sounds of him... how to say... getting sick in the bathroom and coughing. We could also hear every conversation they were having. This is a major downside as it got to be quite annoying after a few days. Overall, I'd give the cabin a 4 out of 5 (whereas the newer river ships get a 5). Service: EVERYONE from the butler, to the bartenders & waiters, etc were top-notch. They really do a great job with service. You will want for nothing. Food: Was not quite as good as the newer ship for some reason. Not bad, but we had some misses. Not sure if this a function of a slightly larger ship, but we noticed it. One exception is the bistro in the Aft ("Blue"). We absolutely loved this place, and unfortunately it was only open for lunch. 4 out of 5 for food overall Excursions: Very good. Same quality as the newer ship. 5 out of 5 Entertainment: Average. Some good, some not good, and there was no cruise director (!) or at least I wasn't aware there was one. That seemed odd and it was most certainly noticed. Misc: The wifi was good. The gym was OK. Didn't use the spa. Overall: I probably would not sail on Mozart again given the other options, but it's not bad, just not as good as the newer ships which are absolutely excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Food aspires to be top notch, but doesn’t achieve it. Waiting staff, some very good others less so. My disappointment was the beds, uncomfortable and hard to get into and out of. No comfortable chair owing to limited space. Ship ... Read More
Food aspires to be top notch, but doesn’t achieve it. Waiting staff, some very good others less so. My disappointment was the beds, uncomfortable and hard to get into and out of. No comfortable chair owing to limited space. Ship clean, efficient, and organised. Cruise manager very good at his job. Entertainment was by a talented chap named Randy, one man with a lot to do by himself, he did well. If I did another cruise I would make sure it had a proper double bed as without it, it would be a deal breaker. Personally I thought Budapest a little disappointing, though only being there one day is not sufficient to give proper opinion. I enjoyed being on the sun deck just cruising along the Danube river. The several locks were an experience. We also had the opportunity to make tea or coffee anytime in the lounge. Overall it was a pleasant holiday. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I was travelling with my 90 year old father. It was our second cruise on a Croisieurope ship. The first one was river cruise from Strasbourg on MS Princesse Sissi back in 2007. I have been cruising on Paul Gauguin, Crystal, Azamara ... Read More
I was travelling with my 90 year old father. It was our second cruise on a Croisieurope ship. The first one was river cruise from Strasbourg on MS Princesse Sissi back in 2007. I have been cruising on Paul Gauguin, Crystal, Azamara and Seabourn lines quite a few times since. For this Vienna to Vienna 8 day cruise we arrived one day prior to the start of the cruise. We stayed 2 days after the end of it for more Vienna sightseeing. We caught a cab from our hotel near Stephan Platz to the mooring peer and arrived around 5:30pm for an official boarding at 6:00pm. The crew let us board anyway. Be aware that traffic in Vienna can be congested and a short trip can turn into an hour bumper to bumper traffic jam. Check in was quick and easy. The crew took our suitcases to our cabin on the lower deck. We discuss dining table sharing options before dinner. The ship was refurbished in 2017 and they upgraded the cabins. They are 1.5 time or twice bigger than the previous configuration of the cabins. The bathrooms also are bigger. The MS Symphonie offers good size cabins with a bathroom including a standard size shower. I believe there is one or maybe 2 cabins for people with wheelchair on the upper deck. Our cabin had 2 twin beds that you can move closer/further away depending on your requirements.The room has 2 small wardrobes and 2 cabinets with shelves. It is plenty of storage space for an 8 day cruise. Suitcases are stored under the beds as usual on a cruise ship. There is one power socket (with 2 round prong European style) at each end of the bed head and one socket under the desk. There is one socket for a shaver in the bathroom. There is an LCD TV hanging from the ceiling with a motorised stowing system. You can hide/show it as you wish. The TV has a selection of French channels but also BBC, CNN and other standard English language channels. Reception is sometimes broken when the ship is moving but it works fine when stationary. Dining is at a shared table of 4. There are larger tables for bigger groups/families and only a couple of smaller tables for 2. Food is very palatable. Breakfast came as a buffet with a selection of scramble eggs and bacon, German sausage, fruit, cheese and other milk products, in other words anything you can expect in a hotel. Lunch time come generally as a buffet. Dinner was served at the table. It was a set menu. I would have enjoyed a dish of the local cuisine. We only had one dinner with Hungarian cuisine. The rest was French/International. I believe they can offer options for passengers with dietary limitations (low salt, low sugar, no porc, etc...) but you have to specify when you book the cruise. The crew was very efficient and polite. In regards to activities, there was a musician playing and passengers on the dance floor in the evening. During the day, there is a selection of games that you can play with your fellow passengers. Cards, Scrabble, Rummykub. On a sailing day there was also a game of deck bowling. One evening the crew organised a 'show'. It was fun. They are not professionals so it was not Cirque Du Soleil or Vegas but the passengers had fun watching them. Shore excursions were generally good. The guides very knowledgeable and interesting. Make sure you let the guide know if you have limitations (climbing stairs etc...) as they do not check if the group is all there before proceeding with the tour. I saw a few kids on the ship and asked them what they thought, They were pleased and they enjoyed the cruise. It was not their first one and they enjoyed this one more than they enjoyed their previous one. The crew is mainly Hungarian. They only speak basic French and English. The Commissaire de Bord (Julien) spoke French, English, Spanish, German, Hungarian and many more languages. I would not recommend this cruise line for non French or English speakers though. Some Spanish passengers who only spoke Spanish struggled a bit when communicating with the crew. Same problem with a Japanese couple. There is a free WIFI on the ship. It is pretty slow and limited. You can only download your mails but don't expect a VoIP call or a Video Call unless you are using your cell phone roaming. In regards to tipping, Croisieurope offers the option of an envelop and a drop box. The contains of the envelop are divided equally between all the crew members on the ship. I'd definitely go on another Croisieurope cruise on the MS Symphonie. It is great value for money. The ship is very nice and the crew efficient. Great time and great memories. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are Heritage members and sailed with Uniworld before on the S.S. Joie de Vivre from Paris to Normandy. Our experience with Uniworld in 2017 was exceptional! BUT THIS EXPERIENCE ON RIVER PRINCESS WAS NOT! Front Desk Hotel Manager ... Read More
We are Heritage members and sailed with Uniworld before on the S.S. Joie de Vivre from Paris to Normandy. Our experience with Uniworld in 2017 was exceptional! BUT THIS EXPERIENCE ON RIVER PRINCESS WAS NOT! Front Desk Hotel Manager and staff looked upset and serious if you asked a question. No smiles at anytime. It was as if all of them had some attitudes. The wait staff were arguing at times in their Romanian or Slavic language-you could see the tension. I even had to get up at dinner to ask for water. They forgot my meal and had to remind them but all they always said was it is coming and then they would turn to each other and argue. It was extremely uncomfortable. The dining room was poorly set up not allowing much choices on seating to meet others and definitely NOT what our last experience was. It was a typical dining room as if it were on a Celebrity Cruise. The food on the River Princess was below standard-not typical of Uniworld’s fine culinary fare. It tasted comparable to most large massive mid budget cruise liners. We were extremely appalled that we were served a buffet one evening for dinner. Our Food was served Luke warm or cold at table side. I sent back several dinners due to flavor and being cold. My husband ordered a simple steak and looked grey in color as if they threw it is a broiler and rushed it out. He sent it back. We waited so long for our food to come a good portion of the time. Having to remind them! Never told in the morning there was a special dish. When the omelet station chef overheard me speak to another guest he said there is always a special and showed it to me. When I asked him to order me one, he said, " sorry, you have to go to your table and ask your waiter". The waiter NEVER CAME! I had to flag them down. That was done more than just one day on a 8 day trip. The choices of food served were the same almost everyday at lunch or breakfast. Many times.I had to wait 30 minutes for poached eggs. Poached eggs take 2-3 minutes to make. I made my own toast. The Eggs Benedict in morning was cold and thick sauce I could not eat it. Our tour guides were not the best and rushed us. Even an expert lecturer who traveled on the ship and spoke about the history stopped our guide during a tour and told her she was not telling the history as per the Jewish Heritage Tour it was to be. The ship was old and tired. My advice would be to remove this ship from circulation. It is old and many issues. The trip was from Vienna to Prague. They went to Nuremberg and bussed us to Prague-(4 hours) not given water bottles and stopped 1/2 way to buy some! Our choices of tours were do as locals with a basic walking neighborhoods, biking, hiking in Bavarian Forrest or Pay for other tours that were not worth the money-Especially the Schoenbrunn Palace-we paid 66Euro per person. We were taken to 4 rooms that were an apartment of a Queen who liked tropical islands and murals on walls, no furniture at all to view. Rushe in and out. There maybe 15 minutes it was so small. Took us on a specific tour in a museum to see directly the Vermeer painting a just a few other paintings. Then told to go to the gardens and walk around for 45 minutes in the blaring heat! She was abrupt and she had 45 minutes to herself and she could have let us stay in the museum if we chose too. But we HAD to leave it! We hung around in the heat and had nothing to do. I wrote a letter to corporate office explaining our experience in detail. They had the audacity to insult us with a $150 per person credit on board to be used on our next trip and expires no later than December 2020! Other passengers who had been on Uniworld before and had good experience prior were also upset and said Viking they took once did a better job on food , staff and quality. We are done with Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I have hesitated writing this review, but considering the limited number of reviews for Crystal River, I thought it would be helpful. As my title implies, we were neither impressed nor happy. I should probably add that this was our first ... Read More
I have hesitated writing this review, but considering the limited number of reviews for Crystal River, I thought it would be helpful. As my title implies, we were neither impressed nor happy. I should probably add that this was our first river cruise (we have taken several ocean cruises on Azamara, Regent, and Celebrity). However, my complaints have nothing to do with the "river" aspect of the cruise. Our itinerary was the 7 day trip from Vienna to Budapest. First, the positives. The cabin (Petite Suite) was very small but extremely beautiful and well organized, with many nice features. The functioning window and heated bathroom floor come to mind. Towels and toiletries were nice. Our butler and room attendant were efficient and did what we expected, no more, no less. We did not order room service nor the afternoon canapes. The tours were excellent. They were well organized and the guides were informative and fun. I could not have asked for more in this category and it was the saving grace of the trip. Fantastic. Our laundry came back beautifully done up in lovely packaging. It was really over the top! The entertainer, Neal, was absolutely fun and kept things lively in the afternoons and evenings. This was a bit of a surprise as we went in assuming that the entertainment would be hokey or nonexistent. We had lots of fun a couple of evenings during his show. The included wine selection and cocktails were very good and all that we expected. And finally, debarkation was extremely efficient. The taxi that the desk had arranged for us came exactly on time and we had plenty of assistance with our bags. Kudos. Now to what did not meet expectations. Among staff, there was a general attitude of unease or dissatisfaction. It was not a happy boat. There was no one on shore to greet us or help us with our things when we arrived. Our first greeting was at the door after struggling from our taxi over some rough terrain. (I did notice that they had later set up a canopy which was staffed by the blue tail-coated and top-hatted greeters, so I think that they were out of sorts for some reason) This first impression underwhelming, to say the least, after the glowing reviews I have read of Crystal. On our first trip to the beautiful lounge (early afternoon on our first day) we seated ourselves. There was a bartender and a server or two behind the bar, from whom we received no greeting whatsoever. I finally went to inquire of the bartender as to the possibility of getting served. His indifferent response was yes. This was the order of the day on many occasions, even when the bar was not busy at all. On another occasion, we finally, after five days, were blessed by the weather gods with a nice enough day to go "up top". This was pretty exciting and there were a number of passengers there, but no bartender. The bar, however, was "open". We observed one woman open a bottle of bubbly (which was on the "included" list) and pour it for herself and her friend. A young (and we were told later, new) server came up shortly thereafter and reprimanded her loudly and in an extended and rude manner. It was embarrassing and uncomfortable for all who witnessed it. Unacceptable. And finally, the food. Dinner frequently was only acceptable. We are not fussy eaters in the least, but there were occasions when we couldn't find anything interesting to order. The quality of ingredients just wasn't up to expectations and many dishes needed seasoning. Lunches were some better, for whatever reason, but a breakfast order came out completely wrong one morning. Missing was any fun banter with servers or having our preferences remembered. The atmosphere again, was generally stilted and uncomfortable. This cruise was priced competitively with some of the other lines, or perhaps a bit more. I chose it because I had read so many glowing reviews of Crystal, mostly ocean, but river also. If this represents "the best of the best", then I don't care to try the others. It was, in a word, disappointing. We met some very nice people who had the same sentiments. Hopefully this was a one-off and they have made some corrections. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The Magical Christmas Markets cruise in the Ama Certo was the perfect choice for our occasion, one of a kind. Although it was the last week open for Christmas Markets, the dates were the ones accomodating us after 12/16...we had at least ... Read More
The Magical Christmas Markets cruise in the Ama Certo was the perfect choice for our occasion, one of a kind. Although it was the last week open for Christmas Markets, the dates were the ones accomodating us after 12/16...we had at least 8 Markets to enjoy in 3 days. The rest were amazing local and historic visits. This was my daughter's collegue graduation gift and was a gift for good memories. First, thanks to CD Kris S. worked 24/7 to offer us a hassle-free cruise, she was successful in that, but I am sure it came with hard work and vast knowledge of her field. Thank you! Cabin stewardesses Mery and Rumana amazing and you could always see them happy greeting you and working exactly 3-4 ties a day...our rooms were cozy. Vesi P. our head waitress. We liked her from day one due to her bubbly personality, experience and...she spoke Spanish fluently. She made every meal a nice time we looked forward to .... The rest of the crew, all too many to mention but not to ignore, were great. Nico and Nem at reception as well. The service was spotless on and off board. My aunt was a visiting from South America and many of the eastern European crew spoke fluent Spanish, a wonderful surprise and a big plus for us. Every stop of the tour was full of charm and history. The guides were locals who shared with us not only their knowledge but the love for their cities and countries. We enjoyed plenty of time and sightseeing. The Melk Abbey tour was precious and each city visited has a place in our hearts: Vienna, Salzburg, Linz, Melk, Regenburg, Passau and Nuremberg. Ama's idea to offer gentle, regular and active level activities on each port is great. Even if only 3 people preferred gentle pace, we would get our own tour guide. They gave you clear and exactl instructions on where to meet after tour time was up and time allowed for your own touring around. Being toured by our own AMA people made a big difference, you feel so cared for and protected. They also offered talks about places and history. Informative talks about what to expect on debarcation morning which was all color coded and a breeze. We asked for an airport transfer during the cruise.....spotless service even though it was snowing and was early in the morning. Another agent was waiting at airport and walked each of us to our airline counters... I left food cooments to as my last section, because it is my favorite topic. Food was excellent, sensible portions were served with option to change or add as you pleased. Every meal was paired with local wines.. Food was from all distinct cuisines such as Bavarian, German, Philipino, Thai, Italian, American, Indian, etc.,Vegetarian options were available, Mexican appetizers, bread to die for. My favorite main courses were Veal Osso Buco, Thai Curry Prawns, roasted Suckling Pig, Spinach and Chesse Ravioli, but none of the rest were less than great dishes. I would recommend the AmaCerto ship without reservations and the memories made will last a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We really wanted to do a Christmas Markets cruise and selected AMA based on advice from our travel agent. The ship was well laid out and very comfortable. The staff from the cabin attendant, cruise manager and hotel manager, dining ... Read More
We really wanted to do a Christmas Markets cruise and selected AMA based on advice from our travel agent. The ship was well laid out and very comfortable. The staff from the cabin attendant, cruise manager and hotel manager, dining staff, front desk folks were all over the top helpful, caring and pleasant. The food and beverages were very good and offered a broad range in choices each day. The bar service was very good and very attentive. The excursions were broad enough to appeal to all types, very educational and we enjoyed them a lot. Made it really easy to enjoy the vacation as a whole. I was interested in the workings of the ship as well and spent a good amount of time with the Captain understanding it as well. Getting on/off ship before and after was very streamlined and they helped with everything. Will be booking another cruise with them in the very near future! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our first river cruise. When traveling, I prefer to stay in luxury hotels and spas. Prior to the cruise, I was anxious about the quality and space onboard, since I had read many reviews of small cabin space. We opted for the suite ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. When traveling, I prefer to stay in luxury hotels and spas. Prior to the cruise, I was anxious about the quality and space onboard, since I had read many reviews of small cabin space. We opted for the suite upgrade and was given suite 304. I was pleasantly surprised at the space and finishes. We were given little extra tokens of appreciation such as in room champagne upon arrival, ama logo travel bags and luggage tags, Ama scarf and ama cap. These were nice little surprises that made us feel appreciated. There were numerous small things that they did for us that made us feel like family and that we mattered. The saying that people may forget what you say and do but never forget about how they make you feel, is so true with this ship. The entire staff was professional and considerate. Our bathroom had both a full sized tub and a smaller shower. The shower was a little tight for my husband as he is 6’3” and a big guy but he managed. The tub was full length and comfortable. We had both a French and traditional balcony. It was too chilly to sit on the balcony but would be nice in warmer weather. We had a computer and a wall of closet space. Very limited drawer space but plenty of hanging space and shelving The Amaserna is a beautiful boat. The interior looks new and well cared for. Due to staying busy with tours, food and finding new friends, We didn’t use the spa or small gym. They also have a small hair salon.a nice walking track and heated pool which were on the top deck. We were told they offer fitness classes in the top deck during warmer weather. The captain was pleasant and efficient. We had no issues with docking, locks or travels. The food was good and at times exceptional. The chefs table was a nice surprise and a fun and excellent dining experience. The breakfast was standard and good. I didn’t have lunch any day on the ship. We were constantly offered food - early breakfast, breakfast and late breakfast, lunch, tea time, sip and sail, dinner, and late night snack! Plus, we are at the Christmas Markets or stopped in small cafes in town. The tours were small groups of around 10-15 people. They offered active, regular and gentle walkers. My husband was having hip pain. So, a few days we did the gentle walker and it was so nice to have door to door service to and from the Abbey and Churches. We were given audiovox headphones to hear the tour guides. This was helpful. We could move away to make pictures while still hearing what they were saying. Of course, there was never enough time at any location. But, this was a 7 day cruise and we had 7 days of towns and cites to visit. It was nice that we were given the opportunity In Linz to (1) stay entire day in Linz (2) short Linz tour and half day excursion to Salzburg (3) full day In Salzburg. (4) morning in Linz and excursion to Chesky Krumlov I wanted to do all of them but chose the morning in Linz and half day to Salzburg. Great choice for us. On board entertainment was what I expected. Not the best and not the worst. We had a pianoman full time and some “lock hoppers” who hopped on board between the dam locks and provided unique local entertainment. We had a trio of classical musicans, “Von Trapp family of singing and dancing, lastly a one man acoustic guitar rock and roll oldies entertainer. These were fine and what one would expect on a small boat. Our transfers to and from the airport were easy and the staff was helpful. We had someone at the airports (arrival and departure) from Ama who helped with our luggage and finding our way to checkin and to security. Overall, it was a great experience and makes us want to do it again with Ama. If we had planned to visit all these cities and towns with tours and food , the cost would’ve been so much more. Currently, we are planning our next trip with Ama Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We embarked in Vienna heading for Nuremberg on Amadeus Queen. Because of the low water levels on the Danube we changed ship to the Amadeus Elegant. It was like transferring from a 5 star hotel to a backpackers room with an ensuite. We ... Read More
We embarked in Vienna heading for Nuremberg on Amadeus Queen. Because of the low water levels on the Danube we changed ship to the Amadeus Elegant. It was like transferring from a 5 star hotel to a backpackers room with an ensuite. We lost our spacious room with walk-in wardrobe and refigerator to a very small room. There was little hanging space. We could only store one suitcase under the bed as there was not enough room between the bed and the wall to roll the suitcase under the bed. No refigerator. I complained about the refrigerator and was given a 6" x 8" cooler box. Fair enough, I only wanted it for medication. Carpet was very worn. Ceiling and walls needed painting. But at least the crew was very friendly and obliging. The cruise director (on both ships) did not asked if we wanted a guest joining us at mealtimes. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We had chosen a Danube Christmas Markets cruise from Vienna to Nuremburg on the very smart, new Amadeus Queen. Our suite was very large, with chocolate truffles every day (sadly only 3 on that ship, we never received them on the Elegant), ... Read More
We had chosen a Danube Christmas Markets cruise from Vienna to Nuremburg on the very smart, new Amadeus Queen. Our suite was very large, with chocolate truffles every day (sadly only 3 on that ship, we never received them on the Elegant), nice food, and the Cruise Directors were fun. Unfortunately we had to leave after 3 days because the Danube river levels were low (all autumn) and be bussed to Regensburg for our final 3 days of the cruise - I would continue the review on the Amadeus Elegant page, but I have to use 150 words, so will cover that now! The Elegant is a 3 star ship - it has not been renovated in 9 years since it was built, and the cabins and suites are a third smaller, losing the large shower. The food however was superb - and all 5 course meals! My main dissatisfaction with Amadeus is that the cruise was very regimented. We had compulsory "good morning campers" speeches into our cabins each day, and lots of repetitive "do this now" announcements during the day. The price of this cruise is very good value for money, so I think that's why at least 3/4 of the cruisers were with groups, who had their own lectures etc. Amadeus are I believe the only river cruise line who insist on putting people onto a compulsory table for meals throughout the cruise. This effectively turns you into another group! As a result I think I talked to about 10 other people, as opposed to dozens on our previous Avalon cruise, where we sat and talked to people at random, and no-one appeared to be in a closed group. Our previous Avalon cruise on the River Main was more relaxed, though the good weather then, and appalling rain this time, may have affected my memory! With Amadeus the excursions are optional and extra cost. I did like the Vienna evening concert, and Melk Abbey was interesting, Nuremburg was also good - I liked seeing the historic Nazi sites, especially as it meant we didn't have to get off the bus for so long into the pouring rain! I probably would not travel with Amadeus again - if they cannot guarantee a similar standard of ship if they have to make you bus to another ship, and all of the regimentation has put me off them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
After 5 spectacular river cruises with a rival company I took a chance on AMA based on their superior reviews, big mistake. The water level was too low to do our original itinerary (not AMA's fault) but the substitutions they made ... Read More
After 5 spectacular river cruises with a rival company I took a chance on AMA based on their superior reviews, big mistake. The water level was too low to do our original itinerary (not AMA's fault) but the substitutions they made were ridiculous and certainly not comparable to what we booked and paid for. To date, no compensation or consideration has been offered. But besides the bugled itinerary there was a lot of problems that were not related to water level. The "light lunches" and "late night snacks" were the same three sandwich combinations every day...salmon, tomato-cheese or peanut butter and jelly. Really! There are no food options offered outside of designated meal and "snack" times. Cabin interiors were a bit worn but adequate. The desk staff seemed overwhelmed and quite frazzled. The entertainment was basic at best. The over-all staff attitude seemed to be one of simply herding people about rather than one of service and a few were border-line rude. I will never sail AMA again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We just returned from our first River Cruise to the Christmas Markets, Vienna to Nuremberg and because of the low water conditions could not do the published program, or even their plan B. However or cruise manager, Agnes Riley, made sure ... Read More
We just returned from our first River Cruise to the Christmas Markets, Vienna to Nuremberg and because of the low water conditions could not do the published program, or even their plan B. However or cruise manager, Agnes Riley, made sure that we had a vacation to remember. We still visited cities in Eastern Europe that we had never seen and saw five countries instead of the three we thought we were going to. Travel is an adventure and Ama made sure that this was one we will remember. The ship was decked out for the Christmas season, the staff was excellent and the food great. We booked the Prague extension and travel from the ship to the hotel went without a flaw. The hotel was walking distance to old town and the market and was first class all the way. I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from my travel agent yesterday informing us that because of the changes that had to be made we were receiving a very generous credit for a future cruise good through 2021. Again I must say "AmaWaterways is a class act." and they will be our first choice for our next River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose the Magical Christmas markets to see Vienna, Salzburg, and Nürnberg, to enjoy some Christkindlmarkts, and to acquaint ourselves with river cruising. Ama has work to do. The cruise administration as we approached our travel ... Read More
We chose the Magical Christmas markets to see Vienna, Salzburg, and Nürnberg, to enjoy some Christkindlmarkts, and to acquaint ourselves with river cruising. Ama has work to do. The cruise administration as we approached our travel date was disrupted by the Woolsey Fire in the San Fernando Valley, where Ama is headquartered. Ama needs better contingency plans if they are going to stay in the Valley. Fires in Calabasas, from my youth in Woodland Hills, are NOT uncommon. We were impacted by the water levels of the Danube. Our cruise was shortened from Nürnberg to Vilshofen, and, after we boarded, to Passau. We missed one of the best Christkindlmarkts in all Europe. I recognize Ama is a hotelier, a restaraunteur, and a ship line, but they need better decisionmaking on how to make the traveller's experience the best possible. That includes leaving ship if need be. The sailing plan? OMW. On Monday, for reasons known only to Ama, we left Vienna for Tulin. Guess what? Everything was closed. DUMB. Then, at 11 at night, we sailed back to Vienna to berth in the nest of ships again. Better to have spent another day in Vienna, and help us see more of that great city. Speaking of bad calls, let's talk about Sunday. There were three ships abreast at Handelskai that morning. Three sets of busses, and no one on shore to direct us to which group of busses. We showed our color coded ticket, and the guide said "This is your bus." Welllllll .... no it wasn't. It was the bus of another ship to Bratislava. You need passports for that tour. Turned out a third of the people on that bus were from our ship, misdirected to it instead of the bus for the Eisenstadt tour. It's late fall, early winter. It was raining most days, so the upper outdoor deck was unusable. The lounge was a hospitable place, with free coffee and tea at all hours. I discuss our cabin elsewhere. The dining? Superb. An advantage Ama has over Windstar and their ocean sailings is the free wine and beer at mealtime. I liked that! Service? Superb. Yes, I paid the expected crew's gratuity, and then some, but I also gave some to my cabin housekeeper and two of the waiters. They deserved it. Vienna and Salzburg are grand cities, worthy of much more time than the cruise could provide. We will be back. Overall, this COULD HAVE BEEN A FIVE BUBBLE CRUISE. The administrative and logistics decision cost it points. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My husband and myself chose to take Avalon Illumination -Danube river cruise from Budapest to Bucharest. This was our first river cruise and the first with Avalon. Two days before we traveled we got information from our agent that due to ... Read More
My husband and myself chose to take Avalon Illumination -Danube river cruise from Budapest to Bucharest. This was our first river cruise and the first with Avalon. Two days before we traveled we got information from our agent that due to the low water levels in Danube the cruise route has been changed. There were options for us to either cancel, credit to a later date or take a revised cruise schedule. We however decided to proceed with our trip. Avalon managed the changed itinerary so well and gave us the best experience. We had to travel by bus from Budapest to Vienna and then start the cruise through the little towns of Austria. They then took us by chartered flight to Bucharest from Vienna as the ship could not sail through. The dining experience was great, well presented and tasty fresh food! My husband was a vegetarian, every meal was a treat even for him. The staff were well informed about the food and wines. They were courteous and some were exceptionally great! The shore excursions were well organised most of the guides were good and the buses arranged for our transport were excellent. We would definitely like to sail on Avalon cruise again! Even though due to the last minute change of itinerary there were some uncertainties Avalon made our holiday very special! They even gave us a part refund as a compensation for the last minute change of plan once we completed the cruise!! I was impressed with their Avalon app that was available for the passengers as a ready reckoner! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was a fantastic cruise! We cruised from Vienna to Passau and then were transported to Munich where we spent an additional three nights. We arrived in Vienna two days early so that we could spend a day at the Spanish Riding School, ... Read More
This was a fantastic cruise! We cruised from Vienna to Passau and then were transported to Munich where we spent an additional three nights. We arrived in Vienna two days early so that we could spend a day at the Spanish Riding School, attend morning exercise and take an afternoon tour of the stables. This was a trip highlight! Vienna is a beautiful, relaxed city with wonderful outdoor cafes. Another cruise highlight was a side trip arranged by Avalon to Dachau Concentration Camp, a highlight for us since my father was part of the U.S. Army liberation forces there. Everyone should visit this site! The cruise also offered a day trip to southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic to Cesny Kremlov, a beautiful, historic town and a UNESCO world heritage site. Another trip highlight was a shore excursion from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle - this was a fabulous side trip and another UNESCO world heritage site. Finally, we arrived in Munich on the day Oktoberfest started which was a pleasant surprise, as the city was in festival mode and many people were dressed in traditional lederhosen and dirndls. Beer was abundant! We went on a river cruise on the Rhine about 4 years ago on another cruise line and had issues with our cabin that were never resolved. Avalon's cabin, dining and services were all excellent and much better than our previous experience on Viking. We will definitely cruise on Avalon again! We could not have been more satisfied! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife and I chose the river cruise on the Danube because we wanted a relaxed and luxurious way to see Europe. We were not disappointed. Everything was wonderful from the comfortable accommodations, the wide variety of delicious foods, ... Read More
My wife and I chose the river cruise on the Danube because we wanted a relaxed and luxurious way to see Europe. We were not disappointed. Everything was wonderful from the comfortable accommodations, the wide variety of delicious foods, the friendly and helpful staff who remembered our names and preferences, and the exciting adventures on the land excursions. We chose Avalon based on the recommendation of a friend. The AvalonGO app was helpful during our cruise. Prior to embarkation the Danube River water levels dropped causing us to have a ship change. We were notified of this. Unfortunately, another ship change occurred the night before we were to embark, and the app wasn’t updated with the ships new name. We stayed at our own hotel and did not have a ship transfer as part of our vacation, so unless the app was updated there was no way for us to know. We walked along the long Vienna embarkation dock, but didn’t find our ship. We did find the Avalon Expression and learned the story. From that moment on there wasn’t another glitch. One other thing I didn’t know that I would have liked to know is that because of all the ship traffic on the river, boats “park” two or three deep next to each other. This makes the view out the large windows less desirable, but the views when sailing still make it worthwhile. The excursions were well done. I’d recommend people bring their own headphones for the guide devices. My favorite excursions were Dürnstein, where we climbed up to some old castle ruins, but didn’t have a whole lot of free time, and Chesky Krumlov, where after the guided tour we had a full 3.5 hours to explore the town, shop, and eat. Overall, it was a wonderful experience with a classy mature crowd, and I’d recommend an Avalon river cruise to any adults looking to get away. (In fact, my parents are looking to go next year!) Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose Ama Waterways for a number of reasons, one being a recommendation by cruisecritic, that if we were looking to be active on our cruise, this was the cruise line for us. And active we were - went on four bike rides, one being a 22 ... Read More
We chose Ama Waterways for a number of reasons, one being a recommendation by cruisecritic, that if we were looking to be active on our cruise, this was the cruise line for us. And active we were - went on four bike rides, one being a 22 mile ride through vineyards, villages, farms - gorgeous! We also hiked straight up to a fortress and I mean straight up. Another recommendation by cruisecritic was the food offered by Ama. Lovely, beautiful, delicious, gourmet cuisine, with service to match. Our accommodations were so comfortable, the pool on the top deck divine after a day of biking or hiking. Our cruise manager, Chuaba (apologies if misspelled) was perfect in his role of overseeing all the needs of the cruisers. Also want to mention that I met a travel consultant vacationing on this cruise. Her comment, "This is my fifth cruise with Ama and it's the best cruise line in the business." We couldn't have been happier and we will be going on another Ama river cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This cruise was amazing! We chose a Danube cruise for the destinations. My husband is a musician and wanted to go to places where the famous composers actually wrote and performed the music so this itinerary was perfect. Everything about ... Read More
This cruise was amazing! We chose a Danube cruise for the destinations. My husband is a musician and wanted to go to places where the famous composers actually wrote and performed the music so this itinerary was perfect. Everything about this cruise was easy. Checkin was easy, they took our luggage to our room while we were checking in and they explained all the room features to us. We had been traveling for almost a week prior to getting on the ship so we sent out laundry that first night and asked to have it back in 2 days, it was back in our room same night when we came back from dinner! The cabin was well appointed and we opted for a balcony which we enjoyed. The food was great and service was top notch in both the restaurant and the lounge. The DJ in the evenings was entertaining and played great music and the dance floor was always full. The water level in the northern part of the Danube was too low so our itinerary had to change to accommodate that. No one wants a ship to get stuck! They reworked the itinerary on the fly and found other great locations for us to stop at and wonderful tour options. Every night before dinner we met the cruise director Csaba in the lounge and he updated everyone on the changes and let us know where we would be the next day. You could tell he was working really hard to come up with Plan B and he did not disappoint. As a result we did miss out on a few of the scheduled ports but all in all I don't think we really missed anything and we thoroughly enjoyed the options we did have. This was our first river cruise and we were anxious to compare it to the big ocean liners and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the smaller, quieter atmosphere. We plan to do another cruise with AMA in the next year or so. We had a fantastic time and the level of detail and service was above and beyond our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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