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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose to cruise with A-Rosa because the travel agent booked us on a specific Christmas Markets cruise for four nights. The markets were the only reason we decided to bite the bullet and try a river cruise (it was our first ever cruise ... Read More
We chose to cruise with A-Rosa because the travel agent booked us on a specific Christmas Markets cruise for four nights. The markets were the only reason we decided to bite the bullet and try a river cruise (it was our first ever cruise of any kind, river or sea). It was also advertised as being an English speaking cruise. Two days before we were due to board, we got an email saying that due to low water levels in the Rhine our original cruise had been cancelled and we were being transferred to another ship, sailing to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. And it was a German speaking cruise. Never having cruised before, we didn't quite realise the importance of it no longer being an English speaking cruise. We should have boarded our original cruise in Cologne but the new cruise was departing from Duisburg, about a 90 minute coach trip from Cologne. When we boarded our ship (having had to walk down a muddy path from the coach to the gangway), we were immediately struck by how hot it was on board. We're Australian, we were cruising in Europe in winter but even so it was far too hot for us in all the public rooms. In our cabin, we were at least able to turn the heating off and open the window for a bit of fresh air. When we congregated with the rest of the passengers for the welcome by the Captain and crew, that was when we discovered what a German speaking cruise really meant. We couldn't understand a word that was said. We then discovered that all entertainments were conducted in German, so we were unable to take part. We were also the only non-German speaking passengers on board so we couldn't even socialise with our fellow passengers. But worse was to come. We arrived in Amsterdam and we asked the receptionist on board where we could find the Christmas Markets. That was when we discovered that we had been transferred from a specific Christmas Markets cruise to a non-Christmas Markets cruise. We decided to make the best of Amsterdam, and we did enjoy our day there. Next day though, we went to Rotterdam. Again, no Christmas Markets. We went to the Tourist Information office to enquire about the hop on/hop off bus only to be told it wasn't operating at that time of year. Various other attractions that we asked about were also closed at that time of year. We spent an hour in a food hall and went back on board the ship. It was a complete waste of a day. To add insult to injury, on the final day of the cruise we were transferred by coach from the ship to Duisburg train station (that was the option we chose - there were two or three options to choose from). We got off the coach at the train station and discovered that one of our bags had not been loaded onto the coach. The coach driver had nothing to do with the ship, she was simply hired to do a job. Thankfully she took pity on us with our non-existent German and after phone calls back and forth between various people (I have no idea who), she agreed to drive us back to the ship. We searched and searched for the missing suitcase and finally found it ourselves, on the coach that was just about to depart for Cologne train station. If it had gone there, it would just have been unloaded onto the footpath and left there, unclaimed! In fairness I have to add that we were given a refund of $250, plus a 60 euro voucher that could be used on board for spa treatments etc. However, nobody seemed to grasp that the only reason for us going on a cruise was for the Christmas Markets. That was the only reason we paid for a cruise and air fares to Europe. When the cruise was changed (and we know nobody can do anything about water levels in the river), we should have been told that it was no longer a Christmas Markets cruise and we should have been given the option of a full refund so that we could then make our own arrangements to hire a car and drive ourselves around. Instead we had to endure four days of not being able to speak to anyone and not being able to understand any of the public announcements or the entertainments on board. Our travel agent was at fault too - they were copied in on the email we got about the change in cruise and they should have made sure to let us know it was no longer what we'd booked and paid for. Oh, I forgot to say we were also offered a 40% discount on a future cruise, to be used within two years. Well, after the experience we had, we will NEVER go on another cruise. I would also like to add that the staff on board the ship were excellent, especially the young man who cleaned our cabin every morning. He could not have been more thorough in his cleaning, and he was extremely accommodating and went out of his way to help us. The dining and bar staff were also very friendly and helpful. But sadly we will never see them again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
3 Days Prague and 7 Nights A Rosa Donna. 2nd-12th August 2018 booked through Imagine Cruising ( most of it was left to our imagination). We had to ask a Viking rep to track down our Imagine rep,at Prague Airport an hour late and couldn’t ... Read More
3 Days Prague and 7 Nights A Rosa Donna. 2nd-12th August 2018 booked through Imagine Cruising ( most of it was left to our imagination). We had to ask a Viking rep to track down our Imagine rep,at Prague Airport an hour late and couldn’t speak much English, so we were left in hotel to do our own thing. Hotel basic but did the job and you needed tram to get to Prague. Nobody from Imagine and nothing in the package brochure told us it was. 4.5 hour coach ride to boat so that was a bit frustrating and a waste of a day by the time we got there and unpacked. Sailed overnight to Vienna where we stayed for 2 nights. Boat needs a good refurb, carpets, curtains, furniture all need upgrading. Food average but not good compared to med cruise or ocean cruise. All announcements in German first followed by a brief English version. Through the grapevine we heard that we were not sailing any further due to low water levels. VERY DISSAPOINTING. They must have known about this before cruise started also after doing some research on ship scanner sites we could see other bigger ships were still traveling to Budapest which would have been the highlight of cruis. Instead we went about 10 miles back upstream and tied up to the river bank. This was obviously a money saving exercise on behalf of Ros Donna. They saved thousands of pounds on fuel by not traveling to Budapest and the same with berthing fees. Next day there was a coach trip to Bratislava and we had to drive through Vienna to get there!! Spoke to ships crew from other boats in Bratislava and they assured me they were still sailing to Budapest. So would advise anybody thinking of a river cruise to check river levels before they leave and check there camncellation policy. Complained to Imagine cruising when we got back who offered £100 towards another cruise. So at least they have a sense of humour as we shall avoid them in future Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
If you are used to the fine food that is served in the main restaurants aboard cruise ships or even river cruises such as on the Douro or Nile then you could be in for a nasty surprise with A-Rosa. It is not much above that of motorway ... Read More
If you are used to the fine food that is served in the main restaurants aboard cruise ships or even river cruises such as on the Douro or Nile then you could be in for a nasty surprise with A-Rosa. It is not much above that of motorway services or cross channel ferry fare. On our last night it did improve markedly but up till then it was very basic. The house wine is awful plonk reminiscent of the kind of stuff British pubs used to sell many years ago before the customers demanded something better. Breakfast was also uninspiring Germanic fare i.e. cold meats & cheese, with very little hot food unless you were prepared to wait for a small omelette. On a cold winter sailing like this a hot breakfast would have been nice. On the plus side, the staff are very good, very friendly and very efficient. Cabins are quite nice with a lovely shower. However I would not have wanted be be on the lowest deck where your window is only just above the water line. Excursions to the Christmas markets were very expensive and if this in indicative of their typical excursion prices then [apart from the poor food] I would not want to do a summer cruise with them. If you are looking for a Rhine cruise then I would suggest you check out other operators. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We were a family of six non-German speakers including two kids who had a very relaxing time on this trip. The itinerary was supposed to be south to Switzerland but when we boarded we found out, because of water levels, the boat would ... Read More
We were a family of six non-German speakers including two kids who had a very relaxing time on this trip. The itinerary was supposed to be south to Switzerland but when we boarded we found out, because of water levels, the boat would be going north. This was disappointing as members of our party had recently been to the cities to the north and we had specifically wanted to see the Alps and that was why we picked this trip, but we ended up having a much more easy trip as we only spent about two days in port, therefore giving us lots of relaxing boat and family time. Also, we got a 50 euro credit per adult to use on board so we all had massages. We had booked this trip via the North American offices and got mostly great service but also some wrong information (e.g. about disembarkation, facilities). The information on the boat via the loudspeakers was exclusively in German. We sometimes asked the cruise manager to tell us what an announcement had said. We did get lots of information in English in our cabins. We didn't do any excursions because they were all in German only. The signs were only in German as well so we may have broken a few. But if we asked for help we always got it. The staff were lovely. Some were clearly not comfortable with English but the ones that were seemed to go out of their way to make us feel welcome. The hot tub outside was nice and not too many people used it due to the cold temperatures in January. The sauna we never quite got up the courage to go in as it was nude and for both sexes. The gym didn't have too much (it is not a big boat) but was fine. The boat spent a lot of time docked right beside another A-Rosa ship, meaning that for long portions of the trip half the boat had no view, which was too bad as we had paid extra to have rooms with Juliet balconies. The food was really great with lots of options vegetarian and otherwise. We loved all the virgin cocktails. Only two beers were part of the all-inclusive but they were good. Our large party sometimes couldn't sit exactly together at meals if we didn't get there on the early side but mostly it was fine. Mealtimes were not too chaotic and it was a pretty elegant but not stiff atmosphere. The ship was very clean and nicely decorated. Our cabins were well-designed with lots of nice storage. Two of us did feel ill the last night (and one was ill for a few days after that) so we don't know if it was something we ate or something else like a virus. Everybody else was fine. There were no specific activities for kids and just a handful of kids on the boat but we played games and did the hot tub and socialised. The staff were kind to the kids. In summary, this is a very German cruise line good for a relaxing time. Read Less
Brava Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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