9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Having sailed with Crystal before we were not disappointed with the Crystal Mozart as it was the quality we have come to expect from Crystal. Speaking to fellow passengers who had been on other river boats they all said that the Mozart ... Read More
Having sailed with Crystal before we were not disappointed with the Crystal Mozart as it was the quality we have come to expect from Crystal. Speaking to fellow passengers who had been on other river boats they all said that the Mozart was more like an ocean liner than a river boat such was the extensive range of amenities, quality of design, furnishings and fittings, faultless food and superb service from all the Crystal staff. The main dining room 'The Waterside' was excellent. The food was of exceptional quality. Speaking to those who had experienced the Michelin restaurants many had said that the Waterside was an equal if not better. The staff were very courteous and friendly without being obsequious. The open dining worked very well and there was no shortage of fellow passengers to talk to thanks to the restaurant managers. The choice available for evening dining was not as extensive as would be the case on any of the Crystal cruise liners but this is expected given the respective sizes of the two types of vessels. Wherever possible the dining room staff tried to cater for passengers individual requirements. Like staff on their sister ocean cruise liners whenever a passenger had a specific request they only needed to ask once. The service was very personal. The excursions were generally very good especially as Crystal had their own fleet of luxury coaches that included a toilet and coffee machine. Also many of the excursions were only between two and four hours in duration unlike many excursions on sea voyages which can last all day and very often on inferior local transport often not suitable for elderly European and North American posteriors. The local guides that Crystal used were very informative, engaging and often quite humorous. They all spoke perfect English. Like sea cruises passengers need to do their homework before embarking on some excursions. On some evenings local entertainers performed. The Pressburger Duo from Bratislava were outstanding and shouldn't be missed for future passengers. The local host Mark Farris was the life and soul in the evenings. He deserves a medal. The voyage could be enhanced if there were presentations on the countries and towns the Mozart was due to visit. The Mozart provided excellent coloured maps but some did not identify where the Mozart would be moored so it was sometimes difficult orientate with nearby surroundings. It would also help if Crystal listed on their website where the Mozart will be moored to enable passengers to plan ahead. For example the Mozart was moored a bus ride away from Passau and therefore we couldn't make any impromptu walks off the boat into the town. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. Overall we where very satisfied with our first river cruise. It was as we had come to expect from Crystal. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We have cruised on Crystal a fair amount of times and were most anxious to try a river cruise as opposed to an ocean voyage. There are many fine lines that are represented on the rivers, but we decided to remain loyal to Crystal and see ... Read More
We have cruised on Crystal a fair amount of times and were most anxious to try a river cruise as opposed to an ocean voyage. There are many fine lines that are represented on the rivers, but we decided to remain loyal to Crystal and see how they managed cruising on the Danube. The beginning and end of the cruise had major problems - a matter that I will discuss with Crystal's Air Department. All I can say is make certain there is more than just the "legal" connection time at overseas terminals because you had better count on a delay between crowds, security, customs and weather. Aside from the air problems, this was a wonderful adventure highlighted by a superior staff that went far and above the line of duty. I had often heard that the river cruises were much more intimate that the ocean voyages. This was very true not only of the staff but also fellow passengers. Top "kudos" go to Arno, the excursion manager and all around contact person for just about anything. Whether it was an issue or information, Arno was there to help and soothe. I could not believe that, while waiting for our 5am shuttle from he boat to the airport, Arno was already up, moving luggage. readying the shuttle and still had time to ask if I'd like a latte. He is a joy to work with. Next, I'd like to single out Sonia, the hotel manager. Bright, cheery, knowledgable and well informed. A super nice lady who called us by name by the end of the cruise. I'd like to also mention that our room stewardess, Sylvia, was efficient and charming and made you feel that you really were both a guest and a friend. The room itself is not as large as the ocean going vessels but once you got used to it, it was very functional. I have no basis to compare it with other boats as this was our first river cruise. It was decorated with modern decor and functional. I couldn't believe all of the high tech features that were employed - including a Toto bidet lid. An IPad is in your room which controls everything from the lights, temperature, TV, and even the "Do not disturb" light. The king sized bed was extremely comfortable and when I mentioned to Sylvia that the large King pillow was a bit awkward for me, she promptly brought me a more manageable size. The big screen HD TV had a lot of recent movies which I'd missed. Since there is no "official" entertainment in the evenings similar to an ocean cruise, the was a great time to put on one of Crystal's comfortable robes and enjoy a quiet evening. You'll need the down time. We really enjoyed the daily excursions. There are a lot of walking tours conducted by excellent guides on brand new Crystal busses. I was so happy that they offered excursions to Salzburg as an inclusive. It may have been a 2 hour trip in but very well worth it. My favorite excursion was the concert in Belvedere Palace. The art, of course was amazing. However, the wonderful orchestra played masterfully and the guest vocalists sounded like their voices descended from heaven. There was a thunderstorm that night and the lightning and thunder added an incredible ambiance to the evening. The boat itself was kept in immaculate condition, as one would expect from Crystal. The dining room was much more casual than the ocean going ships but fit in perfectly with the less formal feel. One comment I will be making to Crystal, is that the dining room should have some kind of sound baffling as the low ceilings make it almost impossible to carry on a conversation. A favorite spot was the Mozart Bistro where coffees, expressos, tea, and snacks are served. The servers were young and full of smiles and helpfulness. They would laugh and joke with you like you knew each other for a long time. We did attend a local concert in the Palm Court which was a quality treat. Next time, we may try to do more in this lovely part of the ship. Another example of genuine interest in the passengers, occurred when my husband and I both came down with a virus. I was so tickled because everyone from the waiters to the assistant butler, offered their "home" remedies from Schnapps to Lemon Ginger tea with honey. They cared that you weren't feeling well and wanted to help make it better. On the whole, it seemed to me that the participants were younger than the ocean voyage and more more active. When friends have asked me why we spend the $ to go on Crystal, I've always responded that you get what you pay for. The experience on the Mozart was worth the cost and I am already considering our next river cruise on Crystal. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Took the Uniworld European Holiday Markets cruise on the Danube, something we had wanted to do for some time. This cruise line touts this as all inclusive, and it didn't disappoint. Top shelf beverages and wines, not just at meals, ... Read More
Took the Uniworld European Holiday Markets cruise on the Danube, something we had wanted to do for some time. This cruise line touts this as all inclusive, and it didn't disappoint. Top shelf beverages and wines, not just at meals, but virtually all day. They even had a specific bottle of my favorite beverage waiting for me a the bar, which Evo, the bartender explained had my name on it. I mentioned this at booking and that's all it took. Meals were extraordinary, varied, superbly prepared and presented. Martin, the rest. mgr, visited with my wife and her sister before each meal to ensure their specific dietary restrictions had been taken into consideration, and in some cases, alternative meals prepared just for them. Chef Bogdan even provided a special off menu meal for us the last night which took several days preparation. Try that on your typical ocean cruise with 5000 of your closest friends. Oh yeah, there were only 67 passengers on this 110 passenger ship, so it was really special. George, one of the dining and lounge staff, took special care of our party all cruise long, never missing the chance to find ways to meet our every request. The staterooms were more than adequate, comfortable, and immaculate. There really are no bad rooms on a river cruise ship. The excursions were well planned, expertly guided, and yet leisurely. The service we received in every area of the ship was world class and my wife and I doubt we will ever take another mega-boat cruise again. And we will definitely cruise Uniworld again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
Actually sailed from Vilfshoven, Germany after 3 days pre cruise in Prague. Those were three expensive and wasted days followed by a horribly uncomfortable bus trip backwards to the port of embarkation in Germany. Shocked when we entered ... Read More
Actually sailed from Vilfshoven, Germany after 3 days pre cruise in Prague. Those were three expensive and wasted days followed by a horribly uncomfortable bus trip backwards to the port of embarkation in Germany. Shocked when we entered the reception area of the ship-dirty carpet and a smell of the just departed last cruisers. More shocked when entering the tiny room, with a tiny, tiny bath and a closet that did not make any provision for travelers that had to carry enough to last 2 weeks. The beds are hard as rocks-felt mattresses on metal slabs and so very narrow that at first we thought they were rollaway cots. The pillows were so flat that we had daily headaches from failing to get neck support. If one sat at the desk, the other person had to crawl over the bed to reach the window area. We felt like prisoners sharing a cell ! Television channels had sporadic reception and facebook communication was slow or impossible. The public areas are small and in the dining room it was very hard to squeeze in and out between tables that were packed tightly together. We had 2 good entrees all week and the rest were poor to very poor. Every meal was loaded with salt and we soon had to deal with tissue swelling and sore tongues from the excessive use of salt. Breakfast was boringly repetitive with watery eggs, burned bacon, and rubbery fruit although there was too little choice of that to bother. Made to order was not much better. The Eggs Benedict were covered with a greasy sauce that tasted suspiciously like salad cream/mayonnaise and omlettes were crusty. Reasonably good soups and lots of breads and rolls which were good in the morning but the bread was always stale at dinnertime. There was no warning that the cruise was unsuitable for anyone with mobility issues. Someone confined to a wheelchair would have been left on the dock and with a rollator-walker it was a bone jarring endurance test, even on the so-called "gentle" tours. With a few happy exceptions, most of the guides were not interested in persons with mobility issues and just frog marched us through miles of cobbles. Many could not be understood as their accents were far too pronounced. On many tours there was no time available for self exploration and if one did want to stay somewhere to have a closer look, the drop point was so far from the ship that a return on foot was impossible for a physically challenged person. There were days spent in dull, uninteresting, and historically insignificant ports and then we were raced through Vienna when a 2 day visit there would have been sensible. A good concert in Vienna helped us to forget a poor one in Prague. We paid an additional 500 euros for tours so do not be fooled when they advertise "all inclusive" and do not look for free drinks at any time other than at meals. Most of the staff members were hard working and friendly but the Cruise Manager was unimpressive and clearly had his "favourites" among the guests. We were ready to abandon this cruise an hour after it started and by the end of it we were really desperate to get off the ship. We have many, many ocean cruises behind us and found most of them perfect. This was our first, and will be our last, river cruise. The price, compared to an ocean cruise, was prohibitive in relation to what was received in value. Easily our very worst holiday in over 40 years.   Read Less

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