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7 Vienna to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
Sail Date September 2018
Seemed ideal for Christmas market cruise - advertised as 5 nights, all inclusive, found out approx one week before commencement that cruise only 4 nights - but same price! Too late to cancel at that stage. On arrival on board we found ... Read More
Seemed ideal for Christmas market cruise - advertised as 5 nights, all inclusive, found out approx one week before commencement that cruise only 4 nights - but same price! Too late to cancel at that stage. On arrival on board we found it it was not all inclusive as advertised all drinks with meals were not included. When brochure advertising was pointed out to company this was dismissed as a "mistake". Standard of food was hit & miss BUT no menu choice - take it or leave it!! Entertainment was geared to the (admittedly majority) French passengers with very little regard to other nationality/languages. Sold & priced as luxury cruise - but charged 2 Euro for coffee after dinner! This petty charge also applied at Gala dinner, even thought we had been supplied with free wine at this meal!?!?! Would NOT recommend, overpriced, disappointing. If company want to expand into Irish & UK market they must develop a broader entertainment base. And finally PLEASE provide even a limited food menu choice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Just got back from this cruise. I'm a veteran sea cruise with nearly a dozen or so previous cruises on Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Royal Carib, and Carnival. The two star rating is based on the same scale as these other ... Read More
Just got back from this cruise. I'm a veteran sea cruise with nearly a dozen or so previous cruises on Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Royal Carib, and Carnival. The two star rating is based on the same scale as these other ships. If I were to base the rating on the fact that this supposedly a 5-6 star ship, one star would be more than generous. (Having written and nearly three page review on this forum that somehow did not get published, I am going to keep this relatively brief). On two separate occasions, Crystal was very close to leaving me, my wife, and other guests stranded in in the dark, near freezing temperatures, in a totally unfamiliar environment. Totally foreseeable and unforgivable. Food was mediocre for the first week and selection very limited. Do not try their 'local dishes' for they don't know how to cook them (we tried to local dishes in many restaurants at many stops along the way and they were delicious.) The Bistro that supposedly features street food from all over the world has a fixed menu limited to about 9 items. In my book, ceasar salad, beef tartar, and fried mushrooms is not 'street food.' The food was so bad and limited that I was hungry for the first week. Food did improve during the second week. While I was looking forward to the Michelin rated dining experience - we did not get the menu until the day of the event. With a fixed menu featuring pigeon as the main dish, I decided against going and ended up eating ham and cheese for dinner. Service level is robotic and very confused. With the exception of a few individuals, service emphasis is on efficiency - It was hard to find a friendly smile or a warm conversation in the entire dining room staff. We supposedly had a 'butler' who introduced himself during the second day of our stay and was never to be heard from again. My wife and I had a massage at the spa - we both agree it was among the worst we've experienced in many years. Staff to guest ratio is excellent;however, many staff members stand around with nothing to do - I say put those people to good use - maybe a course on how to say a few words in the local language. Discussions about culture - history - traditions. Host various card and board games... Anything to make the stay aboard the ship more entertaining. Excursions: Some are misleading - castle tour turns out to be a tour of a small museum. Many of the tour guides have difficult to understand accents and are not flexible to accommodate their groups, for example, walking very fast when you have a lot of elderly people in the group, stopping for a prolonged time in a very cold un- sheltered area in near freezing temperatures. Crystal's quality control emphasis appears to be on the back end - so, instead of ensuring quality ahead of time, they employ quality control after the fact to see if everyone is happy. Entertainment: Very limited activities - entertainment staff limited to one member who plays piano to music form the 60's and early 70's. Five local guest 'local' entertainers making limited appearance at various stops - Two were terrible, one was ok, and two were fantastic. On a positive note, the private concert at the Belvedere Palace was incredible. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We travel a lot (visited 67 countries)and have been cruising sixteen times with different companies such as Seabourne,Ponant,Oceania,Silversea etc... According to the Crystal's advertising this river-cruise was supposed to be at the ... Read More
We travel a lot (visited 67 countries)and have been cruising sixteen times with different companies such as Seabourne,Ponant,Oceania,Silversea etc... According to the Crystal's advertising this river-cruise was supposed to be at the highest standards.... What a disappointment!!! This ship is old(25 years) and, in spite of a major refit, suffers from many technical problems, such as:air conditioning(impossible to adjust:too cold or too warm) Drainage's noises as well as different noises wherever you stand.(you cannot stay on the upper deck for a long time because of the rumble due to the motors...) The"Blue" restaurant, located at the rear of the ship, is not usable while sailing because of vibrations and noise created by the motors. Members of the staff have even told us that everything vibrates like in a shaker! In our cabine 236(cabin and not suite) we could hear different disturbing noises coming from the kitchen, located above.(furniture moved,steps, very Noisy sink drainage etc...) In addition to this discomfort, the ventilation was very Noisy. All these constant noises didn't allow us to rest and relax. Furthermore, name a smallcabina "suite" is totally inappropriate. The dining room's decoration in "Bistro"style with plastic sets on the tables(its OK for the breakfast, but not for dinner) stained after two or three days, was not welcoming and didn't incite people to get dressed.That's why some people were in shorts, sandals and so on even for dinner.Dress code did you say? Neither did we appreciate the buffet style at breakfast and lunch. At 9 am sharp the buffet was closed without a warning from the staff(the same for lunch) therefore you had to hurry to fill up your plate in advance in order to be able to finish your meal. Five stars, is it really? One can just imagine how more difficult it can be for people with whatever disability. It was possible to continue your breakfast in the "Café Mozart" but the buffet was very scanty with a very restricted choice and filled with products of low average quality(salmon, cheeses etc...) Happily there were cereal boxes, pickles, jams in small jars, all things which have no chance to spoil !! 5 stars choices !!! Self-service in the morning, self-service for lunch... like in a canteen.. For the buffets, at breakfast and lunch, the choice was limited and almost identical every day.At midday,on the cold buffet:4 salad bowls, tomatoes( not ripe), onions, gherkins,a few dressings ... Warm buffet(such as it is):dry and tepid rice, vegetables almost raw and tepid,the fish,very cheap(halibut) one roast and so on. The chef told us that he had a problem to keep the food warm because of a heating system not well thought of. Only the pasta was warm...because reheated when served! Moreover, the penultimate evening, before going to a concert held in the Belvedere Palace, a buffet identical to the midday's one was proposed with the same salads, the very same "hot" dishes and so on. We were hoping to have, at once, a buffet worthy of a 5 stars category, buffets we were used to have in other ships we cruised on. In the evening, on the other hand, the food was good and well prepared, even though it was not at a Michelin-Star level, as you pretend. The staff was very kind and professional. Regarding the evenings:the 3 shows on board were pleasent and of good quality but the entertainer, Mr.Marc, was not at the level of what was expected.Games at the level of a home for very, very old retired persons or for children. In brief: the evenings very boring. The excursions were well organized with very comfortable buses and, in general, good guides. The SPA was agreable but, in the lady's changing rooms, where the sauna and hammam were, there was a counter slope in the shower and, thus, the water was inundating the changing room's floor. In the sauna two mini-benches very uncomfortable(place just for 4 personne not more) In the hammam a mildewy smell was lasting. To conclude: Very interesting cruise but not restful, neither relaxing,food not good,activity in the ship: poor. Too many problems!! What compagny Regent's compagny offers doesn't correspond to the standards promised by its publicity. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
There a number of things that disappointed us in regards to this last cruise with Uniworld First they never told we needed to call Austria Airlines and Air Canada for seat reservations. United did not understand our confirmation numbers ... Read More
There a number of things that disappointed us in regards to this last cruise with Uniworld First they never told we needed to call Austria Airlines and Air Canada for seat reservations. United did not understand our confirmation numbers for our flight and after some discussion we were give the necessary numbers to call for seat reservations. Itinerary invoice given to us told us we had a United flight at O’Hare airport we were never told to go to the international terminal, therefore we got out at Terminal 1, United, and then told to go to Terminal 5 international for our departure. We needed to trek all our luggage to that terminal. The flight to Istanbul we did not get business class and was told they had none, but when we got on the plane they indeed did have business class. We booked business on all the flights to and from for this trip. There were only two gentle walking excursions on this trip and it was hard for not only us but a number of others to keep up with the land tour guides. There are many opportunities to get closer to museums and other places which would have accommodate the gentle walkers but they were not used. The food was boring after the first few days and there was a lack of flavoring in the food, it was not at the same level of previous Uniworld cruises. In Istanbul at the Intercontinental Hotel my wife fell and hit her head on the floor, the staff was very attentive, they sent a "Doctor" to our room, but would not acknowledge the incident when I asked for a written report of the incident. When we told the Uniworld agent about the incident he said it was the first he heard of it and that was that. The Intercontinental hotel room was not very clean, the carpet had not been vacuumed and we called several times for them to clean which they never did. Waiting for our transport to the Istanbul no Uniworld agent was on duty to assure us of the arrival of the van, we had to keep asking the doorman about the van. On the boat I saw the doctor twice, at 50 euros each time, Uniworld never asked if I had their insurance or provided any paperwork. The doctor gave me a receipt after having asked for it at the Uniworld desk several times. The doctor told me to not ask the staff about it anymore. The visa service given to Uniworld did not process the visa information correctly and delayed our entry into Turkey at a cost of 25 euros. The visa company did refund their cost and visa fee. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015

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