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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: June 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 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
4 Helpful Votes
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
8 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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: October 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: September 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Don’t select this cruise if you or anyone you’re traveling with has mobility issues— there are no “gentle” excursions. One passenger referred to them as forced marches. The ship docks way out of the towns for the most part so you ... Read More
Don’t select this cruise if you or anyone you’re traveling with has mobility issues— there are no “gentle” excursions. One passenger referred to them as forced marches. The ship docks way out of the towns for the most part so you can’t return early if you’d like, and 9 out of 10 times you’re looking into someone else’s cabin as there is a ship docked next to you. If you’re interested in the e-bike excursions, also beware; if you don’t book super early you won’t get on them. There is almost nothing to do if you elect to stay on the ship. The evening entertainment was lame, although the exercise instructor was excellent. Everyone is unfailingly polite in a very impersonal way, and when something goes wrong the response is very corporate. In our case we couldn’t complete the last three days of the cruise because of low water in the Danube and all Celebrity offered was a $250 credit on a future cruise (which they upped to a.$1,500 credit when my travel agent asked). Although the food was great, overall I don’t think this cruise is worth the expense— we booked a penthouse— so we don’t plan to travel on Celebrity again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Biggest surprise on this cruise was the quality of the food. While I usually load up my lunch buffet plate with different options, once I taste I don't finish the dish. But on this cruise, I usually finished my plate. The majority of ... Read More
Biggest surprise on this cruise was the quality of the food. While I usually load up my lunch buffet plate with different options, once I taste I don't finish the dish. But on this cruise, I usually finished my plate. The majority of the food was excellent, much to my surprise. Other than a line for omelettes in the morning, absolutely no complaints. The soups were especially good, both hot and chilled. The ship was spotless and the tours offered were good. The folklore show on board was better than an optional excursion we had paid big $ for. Cabin was larger than many others we have had in the past on ocean going ships. The real entertainment for th is cruise was going ashore each day to experience the ports. The only time one the ship was for meals and sleeping, since the ship sailed at night and we were sightseeing during the day. The one exception was a day sailing through the Iron Gates of the Danube, where they provided commentary about the sights as we sat on the top deck enjoying the view. Thoroughly enjoyed the ship and the ports. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
On Aug 1, 15-20 of us that returned after a Crystal excursion dinner found the SHIP HAD LEFT WITHOUT US. We were scanned to get off the ship but manually checked in when the ship returned for us. We were told the people that did the ... Read More
On Aug 1, 15-20 of us that returned after a Crystal excursion dinner found the SHIP HAD LEFT WITHOUT US. We were scanned to get off the ship but manually checked in when the ship returned for us. We were told the people that did the scanning had left. Guess they outsourced their security. Also there was scanner mistake when they told me 3 of my friends were still on shore and 1 came back but in fact all 4 were on shore. We missed Budapest, a main attraction for the cruise, but Crystal made little effort to make up for the changed itinerary even though they knew at the start of the journey and that was 7 days before we would go to Budapest. We had to revisit Linz and they added Karen’s and offered each guest USD500 FUTURE CRUISE CREDIT to be booked within a year. Linz and Krems were not comparable substitutions for Budapest by any stretch of imagination. Also crew told me Viking has 77 ships so they can offer swaps when similar situation arises. Reading some of the reviews, I noticed other cruise operators not only made monetary compensations but also arranged alternative transport and hotel accommodations in order for them to fulfil their advertised attraction. Also Crystal may be late to join the river cruise market, at a couple of stops, the ship was parked so far away from the parking lot that we had to walk about 10 minutes to get to the coach. It was definitely difficult for my friend that had a hip replacement and walking with a cane. I used to view Crystal with high regard, but it seems things may be different under new ownership. A very disappointing experience AND NOT VALUE FOR MY MONEY. Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I thoroughly enjoyed my 1st river cruise on Crystal Mozart, sailing the Danube for 10-nights. I’m going to use a different angle to view this cruise and write a not-so-common trip report. I’ll start with a list of the pros and cons of ... Read More
I thoroughly enjoyed my 1st river cruise on Crystal Mozart, sailing the Danube for 10-nights. I’m going to use a different angle to view this cruise and write a not-so-common trip report. I’ll start with a list of the pros and cons of this cruise. Of course, it’s only based on my own opinions, but hopefully it would be helpful enough for fellow cruisers to learn more about the 5-star river cruising experience on Crystal Mozart, as I found that I got very limited information regarding this while doing my research homework on the cruise throughout my almost 2 years’ planning period. I spent a ton of time to write on Wismergirl’s travel blog to include a lot more details if you are interested in my daily activities on board. Refer to photo: Crystal Mozart, “the Giant” of Danube river cruising, docked at Linz on July 13, 2018: Pros 1) Truly all-inclusive – not even one extra cent I had to pay on board. Of course, if you want spa/hair treatments, Connoisseur wine, upgraded excursions & extra tipping, that’s another story. Now, cruise fare, airport transfers, selected shore excursions, meals, entertainment, gratuities, unlimited soft drinks, beer, most wine & spirit, unlimited WIFI on board & on coaches (though quite spotty at times), are all paid for. We even got a complimentary meal at a Michelin-star restaurant (only applicable to guests staying at Penthouses and above or those booked before Aug 7, 2017). Tips for cruisers: Buy a 3G/4G Europe SIM card. I bought one for CA$39 (US$30) with 5 GB data & 3000 talk/text for 30 days that covered all countries that we visited so I had internet access all the time. I only used less than 2GB for 16 days, even sharing personal Hotspot with my husband. 2) Unpack and Pack only once – This cruise took us to nine European cities in Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. There was no need to pack our bags every day for a new destination. Setting off along the Danube from Vienna, we passed through the beautiful Wachau Valley; went for guided walking tours in Vienna, Melk & Durnstein; did all-day side trips to Cesky Krumlov & Munich; visited historical landmarks in Budapest with a violin concert in the Imperial Palace & a night cruise on the Danube; and discovered the modern art scenes and Communist-era architecture of Slovakia's capital, Bratislava. What a great itinerary! 3) 5-star Luxury accommodation and service - Cabins aboard the Crystal Mozart started at 219 square feet (except 1 that was only 206 sq. ft.). The high-end amenities like Toto toilets, mini iPad in each stateroom, free use of eBikes, 24-hour complimentary room service, Crystal clear audio device for excursions, free self-serve laundry with detergent & drying sheets, complimentary pressing, plus free butler service for all guests are incredibly awesome! Besides, Crystal Mozart is twice as wide as most river boats (22.85m instead of the normal 11.4m). Its spacious top (Vista) Deck 4 with a bar, big TV & garden features modern luxury! Low guests to staff ratio means top-notched service & 3 restaurants for meals are also big pluses. Food tasted better than that from the Crystal ocean cruises, though not enough varieties. Tips for cruisers: DON’T bring too much clothing as there is limited storage space in the room, plus you only need to wear smart casual attires for dinners. Remember: self-serve laundry is at your service! 4) Compact ship size and seasickness-free – Most of the time we didn’t even feel like the boat was moving. Being a couple of mid 50’s, we kept forgetting things and it was so easy to go back to the room to get them. We met lots of people and could call about half the ship’s passengers and most staff members by names when we left the ship. 5) Great workouts without going to the Gym – Not sure if you classify it as a pro or a con?! We did so much walking while on excursions that we didn’t gain any weight even though we ate like crazy. On average, it’s about 10,000 steps a day, walked for about 7 km with LOTS of steps. 6) Fantastic experience passing through the locks – It was really fun going upstream/downstream with different river levels through the locks. Being so windy, sunny and hot while staying on the top deck to watch the passing of the locks, we mostly stayed at the spa waiting area, lying on the loungers to watch the locks open and close. Even when we passed the locks at night time, the views were great. Cons 1) Docking – This has been a major issue for a lot of passengers. We had a few passengers who needed to use wheelchairs and they either had to get off the wheelchairs and walked with assistance, or crew/family members needed to help lift/carry the wheelchairs for disabled passengers to get on/off the boat. Europe is not N. America and many places are still not wheelchair-accessible, including bathroom locations. The ship elevator could only go up to Deck 3 but not the Vista Deck. When we docked at Passau (Lindau), we had to take the stairs to walk up to Deck 4 and walked off the ramp to the pier (see the picture with the gangway from the top deck to the pier). Besides, many passengers complained that they were always facing a concrete pier when the boat docked, especially if your room was on Deck 1 midship. I advise you to choose your room location properly. We didn’t have any problems being at the front part of the ship on Deck 2 with a French balcony. On a river cruise, midship cabins are not the best locations, always choose Forward. If you choose the Aft cabins, you would feel more vibration because it’s closer to the engine. We could totally experience the difference while eating at Blue on the aft of the ship. Many times, there were 2 or even 3 ships parked and tied together. Look at the picture of 3 boats triple-parked in Vienna. 2) Entertainment – Entertainment was really limited and low-key. We spent most nights at the Cove Bar listening to Derek Conlon’s piano playing, with a couple of very entertaining local shows and professional guest singer/pianist for 2 nights, and a so-called “concert by 3 princesses on the violin” in Budapest. Being a concert pianist myself, I played some Beethoven and did a “Sound of Music” singalong with fellow cruisers for a couple of nights at Cove Bar. It’s actually a social time more than anything. There was no casino and shops to even spend your onboard credits. Use your OBC at the spa or on premium wine or spend it at the Vintage Room. The passing scenery on both banks was the key to river cruising. We ventured out to the city centre on our own while we were in Vienna, Linz, Bratislava & Budapest. It was very easy to move around using public transport being in the city, or Crystal could call a taxi for us. 3) Food – Breakfast buffet was the only choice for breakfast, unless we wanted to go for room service or have a late-riser breakfast at Bistro Mozart. The only varieties we could get were different types of eggs (cooked to order), smoothies and fruit. I really liked their congee with different little ingredients on the side that we could add to our own liking (see picture). There were more choices for lunch as we could eat at Waterside (buffet) or Blue (same menu every day with a different soup and pasta). Dinner menus changed daily, though choices were still limited. We actually liked to have tapas-style dining at Bistro Mozart (reservation needed) rather than eating at Waterside. The ingredients were fresh and the dishes were delicious though again, there was a lack of variety. 4) Excursions – Lots of senior cruisers depended on travel agents to plan from flights to hotels to transportation for the entire cruise. A lot of travel agents charged way too high while booking hotels and limos for pre- and post-cruise activities but did not help their clients book the excursions. Many ended up booking excursions while on board and they did not have time to fully understand what’s to be expected while signing up. The Crystal concierge had been really helpful but sometimes the tours were full (like eBikes that they only had that many number of bikes) and there’s nothing the concierge could do but to wait for cancellations. A ton of walking was involved in most tours, and many times we had to walk on cobble-stone streets which was not easy for most people, not to say seniors. Having big coaches like Crystal’s, though they were super comfy, they couldn’t park close enough for boarding at most attractions, even in big cities like Vienna. I walked 9,971 steps for 6.7 km just for one 4-hour excursion “Vienna in a Nutshell”, with about an hour on the bus. Tips for cruisers: Use PCPC (Priority Check-in & Planning Center) to book excursions that are appropriate for your own health conditions well in advance. Highlights of the whole trip 1) 2-night pre-cruise in Salzburg & 2-night post-cruise in Vienna so I could visit the 2 cities in depth and attended concerts…of course, I did a ton of homework to plan for the extra 4 days including purchasing train tickets in advance, booking hotels plus “Sound of Music” shows and Mozart concerts at Salzburg Fortress, Sternbrau in Salzburg, Musikverein and St. Charles Church in Vienna 2) Wachau Valley scenic cruising & passing through locks 3) Private tour to Szechenyi Thermal Baths (see photo) and a 1-hour Royal Thermal Massage in Budapest (I booked these in advance before the cruise but Crystal concierge could book it for you with just a few hours’ notice) – taxi ride only 10-20 Euros each way 4) Night cruise on the Mozart in Budapest with an incredible view of the illuminated parliament (see photo) River cruising definitely suited us a lot so we made an open booking on board. I need to do more homework before committing to the next Crystal cruise. All the 4 new Crystal riverboats are very different than the Mozart, so I have to look at the itineraries carefully to book one within the next 6 months. Thank you, Crystal Mozart, for making our 1st river cruise experience so enchanting and memorable! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
When we arrived in Vienna, it was very confusing because there was a man with a Tauck sign at the airport, but he was not expecting us. Fortunately, my friend spotted another man carrying a sign with our names on it - even though we were ... Read More
When we arrived in Vienna, it was very confusing because there was a man with a Tauck sign at the airport, but he was not expecting us. Fortunately, my friend spotted another man carrying a sign with our names on it - even though we were told to look for a Tauck sign. Tours were too early in the day - even when they didn't need to be to fit the overall trip. No good alternative if you were not able to walk a long distance and climb a lot of stairs or inclines. No activities on the ship if you chose not to participate in a tour. Also, information on the trip was not given far enough in advance and we would only learn about the next day's details the night before. Basically, Tauck's attitude toward their guests is - 'HURRY UP AND WAIT'. Way too much time on buses. Tours were disorganized and there was no 'plan B' if the weather turned bad or if there was another problem. My group was forced to stand in the rain for over a half hour at Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic and when we asked if we could proceed to the lunch location to get inside we were told NO by the Tauck director because we couldn't arrive before the scheduled time and we were told to go to a coffee shop to wait. On the last day of the cruise we were informed that we could not dock at Regensburg because of low water levels on the Danube, so we were back on buses again. When we disembarked on the final day instead of a three hour bus ride to Prague we had a five hour bus ride. We finally arrive at the Intercontinental Hotel Prague in the early afternoon. This is NO 5 Star Hotel - 4 at best and the staff was poorly trained. When I finally got my suitcase the bellman came to my room and handed it to me - I had to instruct him to put the bag on the luggage rack. (The Grand Wien Hotel was very nice by contrast.) (After the Tauck tour, my friend and I moved to The President Hotel Prague next door which is a 5 Star Hotel.) The worst part about this day was that because of some mishap/bungle on the part of your transport people we did not receive our luggage until 9pm that night - the Tauck directors kept stalling with no apologies. Again, Tauck had no 'Plan B'. The Tauck staff was NOT helpful and left the lobby desk at 6pm, so there was no one to contact about our bags and where they were. I could have done without the last farewell dinner in Prague because Tauck had no seating plan, so when my friend and I arrived 10 minutes before the scheduled cocktail time all the window-side dinner tables were taken and we had to hunt the dining room to locate seats - we could not even find a Tauck person to help us - they were too involved in making their farewell speeches. (The same thing happened at Palais Pallavicini for the welcome dinner in Vienna - no seating plan. My friend and I had to search for a seat and were at the very last table in the back of the room.) At my request - at the end of the evening in Prague Andrew Haringer came to our table and only after my citing all the issues we had on the trip did he apologize on behalf of Tauck - too little too late. I have to mention that the Scylla ship's crew were excellent which is more than I can say for the Tauck people. Out of the three Tauck directors, only one was somewhat professional and courteous. My friend and I both booked cabin category 7 as we had last year and we were so looking forward to this trip because we had taken a Tauck Rhine cruise a year before and had a wonderful time. This time we couldn't wait to get home! I have traveled all over the world for 50 years and am accustomed to first class travel - this is NOT it. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I have cruised before with Grand Circle. They offer a relaxed, affordable way to see various river cities in comfort. These cruises are for people who want to see things, not be entertained, overeat, or have extravagant luxury. The ... Read More
I have cruised before with Grand Circle. They offer a relaxed, affordable way to see various river cities in comfort. These cruises are for people who want to see things, not be entertained, overeat, or have extravagant luxury. The passengers are generally older and have cruised before. The ships are appropriate for river cruising where the ships have to be small enough to fit under bridges. This ship is in great shape and spotless. It could have been built yesterday. I have never been on one of their ships that did not have a wonderful crew. You will get to know the crew who do a great job. The food is excellent and more than enough. The included excursions are great and they generally have an optional extra cost tour that is well worth the money. My experience is that they are almost identical to Viking river cruises but a slightly better money value. They do not use travel agents which I think is a disadvantage but is probably why they are a better value. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We recently returned from our first river cruise selecting Crystal Cruises because of their 5 star rating. We felt taken advantage of because we depended on their representative for booking. Upon arrival after a 10 hour flight, we were ... Read More
We recently returned from our first river cruise selecting Crystal Cruises because of their 5 star rating. We felt taken advantage of because we depended on their representative for booking. Upon arrival after a 10 hour flight, we were expected to handle our own luggage.The " motor coach" was about a 1/4 mile from the luggage carousel. No assistance was provided. We were two couples with 10 pieces of luggage total. On other cruises we were met by a representative of the cruise line and next saw our belongings in our stateroom . To carry our suitcases at our age and with medical conditions was totally unacceptable. Having relied on the Crystal booking agent, our accommodations were not as promised. We were misled and never told we were paying $12,000 to be situated in the basement level of the boat, partially submerged at water level. We spent 12 days at submarine level watching garbage float by our "panorama" windows. The sound of water splashing on the window kept us up all night. In addition when we docked our "view" was of a concrete wall that made our rooms constantly dark during the day when we docked in the ports . To make matters worse, we asked the crystal representative that our cabins be in close proximity. Instead we ended up at the opposite side of the boat with staff quarters between us. All attempts to remedy the situation fell on deaf ears. Nothing was done. For a cruise line with a five star rating, we found the food tasteless and unexciting. Breakfast and lunch everyday was the same for 12 days. There was very little deviation . It was boring and monotonous. To make matters worse, one member of our party had severe food sensitivities and had filled out paperwork in this regard prior to departure. This matter was not addressed until the 5th day of cruising due to our own initiative. This was a HORRIBLE vacation experience. We would NOT recommend Crystal River Cruises. Definetly Not worth taking off work for. TOTALLY disappointed. DON'T GO Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
my parents recommended the cruise, and we are glad they did. We chose Avalon, to be totally honest, because it was much cheaper than Viking. We are glad we did! I can't think of anything I was unhappy about, so I'll point out ... Read More
my parents recommended the cruise, and we are glad they did. We chose Avalon, to be totally honest, because it was much cheaper than Viking. We are glad we did! I can't think of anything I was unhappy about, so I'll point out some things I extra loved - the USB charging ports in the room, the internet working across the boat (except the top deck), the generous and delicious food options. the greatest tour director in history. his name was Tony. no idea his last name, but I am sure you have it. I don't see any demographic questions below, but I have to imagine that is super important. We were younger that most. I am 46, and wifey is 44. We have no kids (hence the disposable income) and live in Denver, CO. We both have corporate office/cubicle type jobs, and our household makes about 180K annually. WAIT... small criticism. the TV options were weird. For English speaking cruises, you should have a package of English speaking TV options. Not that we watched much TV, but it was a nice option late at night as we relaxed before bed. NOTE - I am not sure of the embarkation date. We traveled so much and so fast over a few weeks, and the cruise was a small part. it was the Avalon Expression, from Prague to Bratislava to Vienna. Or... was it Budapest? Cruise director was the amazing Tony. It was an English speaking group, and about 4 to 6 days long. I hope this is helpful, and you are more than welcome to reach out to me for more details or any clarification. WAIT... one more thing. on one of the days, Tony did a narrative speech of what we were seeing as we passed it. It was beamed across the ship. LOVED IT. Wish he did one of those every day. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because we did not want a large ship, wanted more intimate dining and off shore excursions. We have been on large cruise ships before and did not enjoy the crowds. The dining and happy hours were enjoyable . The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we did not want a large ship, wanted more intimate dining and off shore excursions. We have been on large cruise ships before and did not enjoy the crowds. The dining and happy hours were enjoyable . The entertainment was very relaxing. Breakfast buffets were always outstanding. We liked the different wine choices every night for dinner. The service on board the ship was excellent, exceeded our expectations. Cruise director went out of his way to make everyone's experience great! Staff was always pleasant and helpful. Tour guides were the best of the best! The excursions were made for all levels of difficulty for walking. From the 1st moment on the ship it was very relaxing. Liked ghat there were lots of different excursions to chose from along the way. We loved every minute of every day, can't wait to travel on Avalon again. We hope to travel next year with Avalon down the Rhine. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We spent 10 nights on a Vienna round trip to visit Christmas Markets. The ship is new, the cabin was roomy. The itinerary was good. Shore excursions, concerts and a special 5 star dinner were all included. The food on board was above ... Read More
We spent 10 nights on a Vienna round trip to visit Christmas Markets. The ship is new, the cabin was roomy. The itinerary was good. Shore excursions, concerts and a special 5 star dinner were all included. The food on board was above par compared to other cruises. The service was excellent. The ship is wider than most river boats. There was an indoor pool. One disadvantage of having a larger river boat is that it is forced to park away from the city center which smaller river boats don’t. Crystal provided shuttles to the city center so docking was never an issue. The entertainment on board was good. There was a piano player, Mark, who made it a point to recognize everyone as they entered the loung. On several nights, out side entertainment was available which was excellent. We had VOXs for use during our excursions. The also provided commentary while cruising. Read Less

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