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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Food, luxury and caring was all part of this cruise. I am only 41 years old and won this trip on a tv show . I was a little worried that I would find it a little slow for my style but was totally wrong. When we got on the ship we were ... Read More
Food, luxury and caring was all part of this cruise. I am only 41 years old and won this trip on a tv show . I was a little worried that I would find it a little slow for my style but was totally wrong. When we got on the ship we were welcomed with open arms and made feel so welcome. The cabin was gorgeous and so clean and just pure luxury. It was all the little items that made it feel like home. The staff were always so happy and nice and every single time we walked past someone they said good morning. The port and shore excursions where well thought out and gave us so many options , which i loved, as if you wanted to be active you could be or take a slower paced one. The food was five star. It was some of the most delicious food I have ever tasted. Room service was available if I was too tired to eat out and was just as delicious. The food was always fresh and the presentation was stunning. The food menus covered all types of taste , vegan, vegos etc. The beverages where also stunning. The knowledge of food and wines was amazing from the staff. I just can recommend Scenic enough. I was made feel like a princess and the staff was amazing. I would say to anyone who has the oportunitiy to go on this cruise to do it. I made many wonderful memories and friends and wish I could do these cruises with Scenic yearly. Well done Scenic, I can see why you are one of the best cruise lines in the world. Many thanks to you all Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The Emerald Sun is still a new ship with new shiny surfaces and pleasant decor that is attractive and comfortable. The staff are all welcoming and willing to do whatever is requested to make their contribution to the guest's journey ... Read More
The Emerald Sun is still a new ship with new shiny surfaces and pleasant decor that is attractive and comfortable. The staff are all welcoming and willing to do whatever is requested to make their contribution to the guest's journey being positive and memorable. The Tour Director Jana was exceptional in her local knowledge and advice and charming and engaging in talking to the full complement of guests. The waiting staff in the restaurant were all happy, friendly and willing to help in any way requested. The quality of the food was always outstanding with variety and flavours that were equal to any high quality restaurant. Wines served were excellent and one reisling was the best I had ever tasted anywhere! Our cabin on the lowest deck was still roomy, comfortable and had more than enough hanging and storage space. The room was always well prepared each day. The cruise line makes its ambition to ensure all travellers are fully satisfied, even to the point of providing exceptional alternatives when our boat was unable to sail for 2 days due to flooding in the Danube. The compensation was more than one would expect and contributed to a sense that this line is remarkable in placing passengers before profit. An outstanding effort. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We love Avalon Waterways, have had great experiences with their ships! Embarking and disembarking smooth as can be, love the way you can place your suitcase at end of cruise for early morning pickup and not midnight like big ships! 2 ... Read More
We love Avalon Waterways, have had great experiences with their ships! Embarking and disembarking smooth as can be, love the way you can place your suitcase at end of cruise for early morning pickup and not midnight like big ships! 2 nights in Prague before boarding the ship was a good start. Cabins have plenty of room, love the full glass sliding doors with bed facing the doors. Dining room beautiful with terrific service, flowing wine, and many food choices at all meals! Great room with coffee/snacks available at back of ship all day. The staff and cruise director Tony on our cruise were exceptional! All ports and shore excursions were so well planned, afternoons at leisure to go off on your own, easy access on and off boat. If thinking about river cruising, don't wait any longer!! We really loved our trip and will definitely sail again with Avalon! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I have been on a Viking Cruis previously and enjoyed it immensely. I wanted my husband to be able go on a cruise and he chose Rhine getaway!! It was enjoyed by both of us and we had a great time away as a celebration for our 40th ... Read More
I have been on a Viking Cruis previously and enjoyed it immensely. I wanted my husband to be able go on a cruise and he chose Rhine getaway!! It was enjoyed by both of us and we had a great time away as a celebration for our 40th Anniversary as well as for my husband's retirement fron teaching a year ago! We enjoyed everything about the cruise. It was enjoyable just looking out at the scenery while we were cruising. The Rhine is a working river and it was nice to see all kinds of boats cruising along. One of the highlights of the trip was the Top of Cologne Cathredal tour. It was very interesting and informative about the history of this Grand Cathredral! The view from the top was amazing and the tour finished just as the sun was setting. Well worth it!!! The people we met on the river cruise were very interesting and you could have a meal with someone different every day or have a meal with some of the people we found most interesting. The historical sites we visited were amazing and to think of how many years ago some of these places existed was mind boggling. We truly enjoyed our time on the cruise and everyone of the crew and staff were really wonderful and so welcoming. When we were away for the day it was nice to come back to the boat and see familiar faces to welcome us back! It was a really memorable experience for both of us and will look forward to going on another cruise in the future! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I had been on two river cruises before with AMA Waterways but this time chose Uniworld as it offered an Italian experience. The River Po is not itself particularly interesting although it does offer a change from the Venetian lagoon, ... Read More
I had been on two river cruises before with AMA Waterways but this time chose Uniworld as it offered an Italian experience. The River Po is not itself particularly interesting although it does offer a change from the Venetian lagoon, which in itself is spectacular. The ship, crew, captain were all excellent - clean, well managed, like a well-oiled machine. I was exceptionally lucky as the overall group seemed to be happy and well disposed. A highlight of the trip was an evening visit to St Mark's Venice with the eminent art historian Dr Steer, whose exposition of the cathedral was memorable and very entertaining. There is a daily choice of either on-board activity or tours and I chose (after Milan where we were for 1.5 days), Verona, Padua, Chioggia, Burano and Ferrara in addition to the days spent in Venice itself. Viewing the restoration of Da Vinci's Last Supper in Milan is also of interest to art lovers. Venice never disappoints and this time I booked a gondola ride, with a small group. The crew do everything in their power to make your stay enjoyable and deserve high commendation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We had a great time, as usual with Viking. For this trip in September, the weather was terrific. The chosen ports showed us a great "slice" of places along the Rhine River. We love Viking River and Ocean Cruise ships, with ... Read More
We had a great time, as usual with Viking. For this trip in September, the weather was terrific. The chosen ports showed us a great "slice" of places along the Rhine River. We love Viking River and Ocean Cruise ships, with wonderful service and attention to detail. We enjoy NOT being asked to pay for extras. There's always an excursion, at no extra cost, for every port -- although you can pay for some other options. Wine and beer are served at lunch and dinner -- at no cost. All staff do their jobs effectively and with a smile. On the downside, you do not get much time allotted to see the starting and ending ports on Viking cruises. It pays to either get the pre- and post-cruise excursions OR schedule with Viking to fly in early and/or leave later in order to visit those cities. BUT, we are spoiled with Viking and don't plan to cruise with anyone else -- unless it's a place Viking doesn't visit. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Having never been on any cruise and not wanting to be herded along, we were cautious about selecting a river cruise. We were three couples traveling together and knew where we wanted to go after some research. We chose AmaWaterways because ... Read More
Having never been on any cruise and not wanting to be herded along, we were cautious about selecting a river cruise. We were three couples traveling together and knew where we wanted to go after some research. We chose AmaWaterways because it seemed to offer the most variety in tours. We were not disappointed. We booked almost a year ahead and included flights, transfers, and extra days in Prague. Everything was well planned from embarking to the flight home. The ship was well appointed and the cabins in a good location. All the staff was friendly, making me feel guilty for all the service. Meals were wonderful and the portions allowed you to eat everything but not feel overstuffed. The shore excursions were led by very knowledgeable tour guides at every place. We tried a hike, my husband a bicycle tour, in addition to the regular tours. The onboard entertainment was very good and the excursions fun. Our cruise manager Dragsn was professional and organized. It was a wonderful experience to visit Central Europe. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Our friends booked this cruise in 2016 and at the last minuet, we decided to see if there might be a vacancy a week before the departure date in Sep 2017. We got a call 4 days before that there was an opening and we took it. The next day ... Read More
Our friends booked this cruise in 2016 and at the last minuet, we decided to see if there might be a vacancy a week before the departure date in Sep 2017. We got a call 4 days before that there was an opening and we took it. The next day we received another call that we were bumped up to the top deck where our friends were. The plane ride to Budapest was booked on Lufthansa, which was first class all the way. Arriving in Budapest, Viking took our luggage and the next time we saw them, they were in our cabin. The cabin was perfect with a sliding glass door, TV and a small, but an amazing bathroom. The cabin staff was very polite and all business. If you wanted something, they did their utmost to get it for you. The ship was superb in every way. Spacious, uncluttered and perfect to relax in and on as we cruised the Danube river to Amsterdam. The food was amazing! If you were hungry it was your fault. I told the chef his menu was fantastic and I thanked him for his selections. The waiters in both dining areas were polite, friendly and very concerned about your needs, be it wine, beer, pop or water. Visiting the ports on the way to Amsterdam, you could take the many guided tours (at an extra cost), the free tours or you could go rambling on your own, which we did. After the tours were over, you had time to wander through the interesting towns or cities. The tour guides spoke perfect English and answered any questions you might have. It was amazing to see the flood heights marked on the walls of some of the towns. The hotel manager and his staff were extremely professional and did everything they could to make your cruise as stress free and relaxing as possible. On our return trip home, Viking took our luggage from the room and the next time we saw it was at the airport. If you want the absolute best cruise available, go Viking. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I have now completed four river cruises with Scenic and yet again we have not been disappointed, it was excellent. The cabin was clean and tidy at all times by the housing keeping service, the butler service was great being on ... Read More
My wife and I have now completed four river cruises with Scenic and yet again we have not been disappointed, it was excellent. The cabin was clean and tidy at all times by the housing keeping service, the butler service was great being on call at all times, the balcony is unique to Scenic with the electric opening and closing windows that allow for you to sit out there regardless of the weather. The dining as usual was first class from the light lunches to the speciality table restaurants on board and being remembered by the crew for drinks and other services was especially great. As for the activities as we have come to expect from Scenic they were all great and well timed to not be totally exhausting but very informative and a wonderful experience each time. And we will always recommend Scenic for those who want luxury and an exceptional adventure that is value for money. Read Less
71 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I found very few reviews for Gate 1 Travel and the Monarch Empress traveling the Danube so I thought I would post a quick summary. Marigold252's review in post #2409882 ("Gate 1 17 Day Danube River Cruise with Warsaw, Krakow, ... Read More
I found very few reviews for Gate 1 Travel and the Monarch Empress traveling the Danube so I thought I would post a quick summary. Marigold252's review in post #2409882 ("Gate 1 17 Day Danube River Cruise with Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest & Prague") on this forum has some fairly detailed additional information. This was our first river cruise and most of our tour experience has been with various Rick Steves' small group land tours - so our observations about this river cruise come from that perspective. Gate 1 Travel - Their tag line seems to say it all... "See More of the World for Less". I certainly was unfamiliar with them but many of our fellow cruisers had done numerous land tours with them over the course of 5 - 10 years. They seem pretty well established but have a low profile compared to some of the other river cruise lines. When I compare the quality of the ship, food, service, and experience compared to the many other cruise lines I researched, we certainly felt that it was great value for money. Ship - The Monarch Empress is quite new (first put into service in 2016 I believe). The decor was more modern/contemporary than what we saw on some of the other ships that were docked close to us. More about clean and sleek and less about overall glitz. Passengers - Approximately 130 or so passengers for our cruise - a slight majority from the US but Australia, New Zealand, and Canada folks were broadly represented -- with a smattering from other countries as well. The age range was mostly 50 to 80... with just a few folks that were either younger or older than this demographic. Daytime dress was generally casual - this was September so mostly long pants and a mix of layers to adjust for temperature and showers through the day. Dinner dress was a bit mixed. We specifically chose this cruise line over some others because we DIDN'T want to feel pressure to dress up for dinner every night. Men were generally dressed more casually than the women - slacks or dress jeans along with more casual collared/button-down shirts. Women (as expected) dressed up a bit more for dinner/evening... but from my observation the vast majority just tried to add a scarf, a nicer top, and maybe a bit of extra jewelry - though there were a handful of women that (in my opinion looked out of place) dressing in high heels and evening dresses. Cabin - I used the price difference between Gate 1 and many of the other cruise lines as an opportunity to upgrade to a top-floor "Suite" instead of a mid-level cabin. See the detailed review in the separate section below. Dining Experience - Because this cruise was more budget conscious, we expected the food to be on the simple/bland side - and we were actually very pleasantly surprised and the variety and quality. I know that some river cruise lines have lots of choices on the dinner menu but we felt that the choices on the Monarch Empress were rich and varied enough to more than meet our needs (and pad our waist lines). With a 4+ course meal (depending on how you counted such things) that was beautifully prepared, we never went hungry. Obviously, if you want to maximize your food experiences than this cruise line might not be a good match... but if you want to try a smaller (but plentiful) array of regional foods and yet have the fall back of some tried & true standbys, I think you will find what was served here to be more than adequate. Entertainment and Activities - Truthfully, our focus was on the ports and excursions and we took minimal advantage of on-board entertainment/activities. We were generally so tired after being out and about all day that we just wanted to fall in to bed and rest after dinner. My impression is that the on-board activities are probably a bit less sensational than what might be available on other (more expensive) cruise lines -- but in our case why would we want to pay extra for something we never used? Service - ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT!! Our minimal experience with ocean cruises prepared us to expect fairly perfunctory service -- but the entire crew made us feel as if we were a part of their family. Within just a day or two the restaurant staff knew many of our specific dining habits - for instance, my desire for a beer instead of wine... it would be delivered to the table within a few seconds of my sitting down anywhere in the restaurant (even though we didn't have assigned seating). The folks that serviced the rooms operated silently in the background - but would address our every need with instant efficiency. Ports and Shore Excursions - This was a 7 day cruise and we added 2 or 3 days in both Budapest (at the beginning) and in Prague (at the end). We would have loved to spend a bit more time in each of the locations where we stopped -- but this is a challenge for nearly all of the river cruise lines... my research showed that they all had very similar itineraries. In our case we cruised up-stream.... which tends to make actual travel a bit slower. I don't know, however, if this translates into less time at each specific port or whether they simply travel longer at night. Be aware that many of the excursions start relatively early -- Often leaving by 8:15 or 8:30. If you signed up for most/all of the optional excursions (as we did), you may find that you have little time for leisure or taking advantage of after-dinner activities. Most (if not all) of the excursions (standard and optional) had knowledgeable local guides -- but don't expect that you will have the time for a deep-immersion experience... but rather just an introduction with a little time on your own to dig just a bit deeper. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this river cruise because we wanted a more personal experience, and to be on a smaller boat than a cruise ship. We had a feeling we would like this more than prior cruises we went on before, but didn't expect to love most ... Read More
We chose this river cruise because we wanted a more personal experience, and to be on a smaller boat than a cruise ship. We had a feeling we would like this more than prior cruises we went on before, but didn't expect to love most things about it as much as we did. The food was exceptional, with many offerings that covered everything from fresh and healthy, to rich and satisfying. Always very fresh and well prepared. The wines were very nice and of a wide variety. It was nice to taste different wines from different regions every night. The inclusive details made this a no -brainer for us. The excursions were all well thought out, and with very hospitable and knowledgeable guides. The travel to and fro to the different off site excursions were comfortable, and the drivers were very professional. The service was top tier as well. The smiling faces greeted us daily and consistently had very positive attitudes and pleasant conversation. Everyone who we encountered on the boat spoke very good English! It (their English) was very good! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had a wonderful time on this river cruise. The ship was excellent, the food was excellent, the service was excellent, and the cities we visited were exceptional. We chose this cruise because we had never been to Budapest or Nuremberg. ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this river cruise. The ship was excellent, the food was excellent, the service was excellent, and the cities we visited were exceptional. We chose this cruise because we had never been to Budapest or Nuremberg. The room was adequately sized and appointed. It was the Viking Jarl. The dining was excellent as I stated above. Roger and Jahz were fabulous. The were very attentive and knew what we needed before we did. They made the trip. Also, Neli kept our room clean and neat. We visited Budapest, Vienna, Nuremberg, Regensburg and Passau, Germany. At each port we took the walking tour and learned the history of each city. We also too the Nuremberg Jewish tour and learned of the trials of the Nazi war criminals. In Passau we visited a horse farm and a lovely beer festival. We look forward to our next trip and it will be on Viking as they have the best overall package we have found between the ships, personnel, cities visited and service. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Just home from a River cruise on the River Rhone in Southern France. Flew to Marseiille and then coach to Arle flying home from Lyon. Beautiful ship with excellent staff. Nothing too much trouble , all speaking perfect English, apart ... Read More
Just home from a River cruise on the River Rhone in Southern France. Flew to Marseiille and then coach to Arle flying home from Lyon. Beautiful ship with excellent staff. Nothing too much trouble , all speaking perfect English, apart from the Captain who only spoke French.Complementary walking and coach tours available everyday with extra payable ones mainly after lunch. Lovely cabins with spacious showers and toiletries provided. Food wonderful , breakfast and lunch self service and dinner waiter served. Wine and beer included with meals , several drink packages available .We chose the premium package at €19.90 per day, this entitled us to drinks from 11.00am including cocktails. We certainly got our monies worth. Speciality coffee also available on this package. Tea and coffee available from self service machines all day. Beautiful swimming pool, bigger than usual pools on cruise ships. Didn't use the gym or the hairdresser or beautician. My only criticism would be the fight to get a table at 7.00pm when the gong for dinner is rung. Would certainly recommend and would go on a river cruise again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Recommended by travel agent it was our first cruise and we were not disappointed! The embarkation was smooth, but we had the opportunity to observe the whole embarkation process which was extremely professional with the whole of the crew ... Read More
Recommended by travel agent it was our first cruise and we were not disappointed! The embarkation was smooth, but we had the opportunity to observe the whole embarkation process which was extremely professional with the whole of the crew engaged in the operation. The ship was all we could have wished for and the cabin suited our needs perfectly. The dining experience was 1st class, good food and wine served promptly, efficiently, and cheerfully by a very professional team of waiters. The entertainment was good with the staff show on Thursday night being the highlight. The service throughout was of the highest order from what was clearly, from the captain down a professional and highly motivated team. The shore excursions are not really our "thing" as we prefer a more informal approach. Our only disappointment was the very limited daylight sailing which prevented us enjoying the French countryside. In conclusion we had a throughly enjoyable and relaxing holiday. Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We actually chose Gate 1 for our river cruise because of its fantastic pricing. Knowing that we were paying less than half of the cost of the other companies, I was fully prepared for a less than luxurious experience. We were very ... Read More
We actually chose Gate 1 for our river cruise because of its fantastic pricing. Knowing that we were paying less than half of the cost of the other companies, I was fully prepared for a less than luxurious experience. We were very pleasantly surprised!! We are a professional couple who have done 11 ocean cruises, primarily with Celebrity, but have also cruised with Oceania and Seabourne. We were intrigued by the thought of river cruising but have largely been put off by the pricing The Gate 1 Monarch was very easy to board. The usual security procedures which are necessary on an ocean going ship are skipped for a friendly greeting and passport inspection. The boat is small enough that everyone knows who belongs on board within a short time. You exchange your room key for a boarding pass each time you leave the boat, which takes less than a minute. There are no restrictions on bringing liquor or wines, etc aboard. Unfortunately the rooms do not have a fridge, but there are ice buckets in each room, and I heard that they are happy to cool your white wine. My husband and I drink red wine, and there was certainly not an issue with us drinking our own. There are wine glasses in each room as well. Cabins are small, with one comfortable chair, and a very comfortable bed. We had lovely bedding with a down duvet and four nice pillows. The bathroom is small, but the shower is quite adequate with good water pressure and a glass door. There are plenty of electrical outlets in the room, using a standard plug of two round pegs. There are no other outlet types so we used adapters for our Canadian chargers. The hair dryer inn the cabin had adequate power. Wifi was surprisingly good, although there were slow times and no service times in several places. There was great wifi in our cabin in every port. The boat was kept very clean , with a morning cabin clean, and an evening turndown. We were favorably impressed with the food. There was an automatic espresso machine in the lounge which we used daily. Breakfasts were a mixture of buffet- fruit, cereals, scrambled and boiled eggs, baked beans, sausages and bacon, along with wonderful local cheeses and meats. You could order from the menu omelette, eggs cooked to order, as well as a daily feature like waffles, etc. Lunch always had a salad bar, and buffet offerings which included local dishes. As well, the menu had a sandwich special, daily pasta, and soup. Dinners were a four course meal, with a fixed soup, appetizer, and dessert, along with a choice of a meat, fish, or vegetarian main. All meals ranged from good to excellent. The boat staff were largely from Eastern European countries and had great senses of humor. They went out of their way to try to please. A daily white and red wine was free, along with beer and soft drinks, at dinner. Otherwise, a drink menu could be had at lunch or in the lounge. Pitchers of ice water were placed on each table. There was also a specialty steak restaurant for 15 Euro pp that we didn't try, but heard that it was very good. The real stand out was the free tours in each of the ports. The local guides were very knowledgeable and passionate about their job. We saw the key things in all of the cities we visited, and had time to roam around on our own. Everything was beautifully organized and headsets were provided so the guides were easily heard. Many of the people on the boat have done several trips with Gate 1, both on river cruises as well as land tours. I can easily see us doing the same thing. We did not expect a luxurious cruise, but Gate 1 went well beyond what I expected. We will definitely book again with them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had a wonderful experience on Poetry II. The intercontinental hotel in Nice was fabulous. We were right on the The Mediterranean and had a lovely time befor we got on the ship. We also stayed in the Intercontinental in Paris and ... Read More
We had a wonderful experience on Poetry II. The intercontinental hotel in Nice was fabulous. We were right on the The Mediterranean and had a lovely time befor we got on the ship. We also stayed in the Intercontinental in Paris and that was equally as nice and in a wonderful location. Once on the ship the room food was excellent, the staff outstanding and the excursions were informative and enjoyable. We went with great friends and made some new friends that we really enjoyed and hope to see again. The cocktail hour was very popular for us as we got together with friends and discussed the day. We enjoyed the entertainment that was provided and took part in all that was offered to us. The staff was extremely helpful and always available for questions. We appreciated the meeting helps almost every nigh keeping us on target for what was expected of us. This was our second Avalon Cruise and we would do it again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose the 2 week cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam on Amawaterways due to the reviews and they had the best options of tours for us. What we didn't know was how wonderful the service would be, The staff knew our names and ... Read More
We chose the 2 week cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam on Amawaterways due to the reviews and they had the best options of tours for us. What we didn't know was how wonderful the service would be, The staff knew our names and preferences by the 3rd day and we felt pampered the whole time. There were no issues, everything went extremely smoothly. All of the guided tours were on time, with excellent guides. I learned so much history and understood the culture of each country better because of the guides. The food was really very good and there was a lot of variety for each meal. The on board entertainment was good quality and there was a nice variety, from Rock and Roll to folk dance and even a beautiful classical male quartet. When we booked the cruise, the tour I was least interested in, was to Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Cabinet Museum but it was one of the best and most interesting tours we took. I loved the tours of The Residenz, and Melk Abbey. Our Cruise Director, Sebastien LeRoy was amazing. He was helpful, and arranged everything to perfection. He even got up to make sure that our taxi, that he arranged for us, was there and helped us with our luggage at 4:30 am to get us to the airport on our last day. I am in a service profession and I know the energy it takes to make people happy. Amawaterways does this to perfection. Thank you for a great trip to all of the staff on Amaprima. Petar, Vladimir, Hendru, Josep, Aurel and all the rest, you were fantastic Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose this cruise because it was recommended by my travel agent at Gordon Tours Israel. It was a really pleasant experience. Our cabin was cozy but comfortable and the ships crew were very friendly and helpful. The itinerary was ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was recommended by my travel agent at Gordon Tours Israel. It was a really pleasant experience. Our cabin was cozy but comfortable and the ships crew were very friendly and helpful. The itinerary was fascinating. I'd never been in Germany, or Switzerland and it was a fascinating experience. I enjoy history and I liked exploring all the cities on foot. It was also fun sampling the local culture. The boat and its crew were very conscientious and genuinely friendly. Rudy the cruise manager was charismatic and helpful. The staff on the ship made every effort to make us feel at home. They also kept our cabin spotless. The food on the cruise was tasty and plentiful. As for the entertainment. there was an evening activity every night of the cruise. Looking forward to my next cruise with Gate 1. Thank you very much for the pleasant experiencfe. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
WE spent 7 wonderful days and nights on the America. We enjoyed learning and seeing more about the MS River, including the 24 locks and their operation, everchanging scenery and wildlife, especially the high bluffs in Minnesota and the ... Read More
WE spent 7 wonderful days and nights on the America. We enjoyed learning and seeing more about the MS River, including the 24 locks and their operation, everchanging scenery and wildlife, especially the high bluffs in Minnesota and the bald eagles there. We started in St Louis, Missouri and finished in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Trip included a precruise night at the Drury Plaza Hotel, located right at the St Louis Arch which made touring the day before very easy and interesting. We went on a Mark Twain themed cruise so we had the pleasure of 2 nights of entertainment by Richard Garey as Mark Twain plus a walking tour in Hannibal Missouri. River experts were on board with us to point out interesting places as we went up the River. They also had several interesting presentations about the" Great River" and life and industries along it. Towns along the way that we visited included Davenport Iowa, Dubuque, Iowa, Red Wing, Minnesota and La Crosse, Wisconsin. Onboard food was superb and was served by a young,enthusiastic and very personable staff. Other shipboard personnel and managemenet were terrific, too. Staterooms are spacious and well appointed and the bathroom is roomy. Great cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Went on Avalon cruise a few years ago and the river was “closed”. We were very disappointed. We were not sure we wanted to try this again. Avalon kindly refunded part of our trip cost. We wanted to try again and give Avalon another ... Read More
Went on Avalon cruise a few years ago and the river was “closed”. We were very disappointed. We were not sure we wanted to try this again. Avalon kindly refunded part of our trip cost. We wanted to try again and give Avalon another chance. So glad we did. We started in Basel and ended the cruise in Amsterdam. Boarding was very prompt and staff could not have been more helpful. Our room was spacious. Food was DELICIOUS. My husband had a birthday while on the cruise and he had a birthday cake with candles presented to him after dinner. Cruise director was very helpful and a lot of fun. We are grateful we met several couples from other countries during our week and had the best time comparing country habits and happenings. The only complaint I would have is the early starts every day. We are not late sleepers but a week of getting up early and eating breakfast before 8:30 am got a little tiring. Have been looking at taking a France trip in the future. Thank you Avalon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
The whole experience was all that we had hoped for. The ship beautifully appointed, the Cruise Director had a wonderful dry sense of humour and made the next days overviws more like an entertainment. He could turn the driest subject into ... Read More
The whole experience was all that we had hoped for. The ship beautifully appointed, the Cruise Director had a wonderful dry sense of humour and made the next days overviws more like an entertainment. He could turn the driest subject into a fun experience for us all. We had no complaints about anything on this scenic cruise. Transfers went smoothly and assistance was always available if ewe had any questions. The tour guides were knowledgeable and passionate about the information on the places and history of the steady they were responsible for. They were also alert to energy of the group. The busses were clean and new, very comfortable to ride in. The resteraunts we were taken to on the tours were true to the culture and food of the area. The on board entertainment by local groups was a great enhancement to our experience of the countries we visited. We will book through Scenic Tous again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We looked at a few cruises and the Avalon cruise fit our timetable the best. Also the cabins were a little larger which is nice for 2 friends traveling. It was nice to have the panoramic window. I would highly recommend that feature. ... Read More
We looked at a few cruises and the Avalon cruise fit our timetable the best. Also the cabins were a little larger which is nice for 2 friends traveling. It was nice to have the panoramic window. I would highly recommend that feature. Really made waking up in the morning pleasant. The scenery as we floated down the river was amazing. Very much appreciated the size of the ship versus the huge cruise ships. Much more intimate and we especially appreciated getting to know a lot of our fellow travelers. Good selection of ports to explore. We mostly did the walking tours included but also did a number of extra excursions. Appreciated that the cost of the extra excursions were affordable and worth the price. Good variety of places to see and explore. Was also impressed that a number of the activities included lunch. Lunch is probably not a good word. Unbelievable how much(delicious) food was included. Of course we did a lot of walking so figured that for every bite we were burning calories. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our second Viking and it met the high standards of the first one. The service was excellent. The food continues to be superb and the staff are the best. Like one big family. The shore excursions were just the right length ... Read More
This was our second Viking and it met the high standards of the first one. The service was excellent. The food continues to be superb and the staff are the best. Like one big family. The shore excursions were just the right length and time. Being a short cruise little time was actually spent looking at the countryside as most movement was at night. The director was fabulously entertaining as were the wait staff. They all seemed to love their job, especially those that had worked on other cruise lines. They said Viking was the best. My one negative was when they were presenting the opportunity to buy travel certificates for future travel. It was not made clear that only 1 per person can be used per cruise. We did the Paris extension and very impressed with the care we were given from the ship through to checking in at the airport. Viking staff members were with us every single step of the way. The Paris hotel was fine and within walking distance of many fine restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise quite by accident because some friends were already booked and we decided to tag along. We could not have been luckier. We ended up with the last room on the boat, suite 308 - which we loved! The ship is constantly ... Read More
We chose this cruise quite by accident because some friends were already booked and we decided to tag along. We could not have been luckier. We ended up with the last room on the boat, suite 308 - which we loved! The ship is constantly being cleaned, we never had a dirty window. The crew was young and friendly and from a variety of countries through Europe and abroad. We loved the diversity. With the suite you also get free laundry service - which sounds silly - but it was the icing on the cake for me! The space in our room and the additional light was wonderful. I never felt closed in. Our cruise director was Gary and he was incredibly organized, everything went off without a hitch. He made it very clear that the excursions leave on time and don't be late. I appreciated that. Each excursion was wonderful. The daily talks from Gary on what to expect the next day were very helpful. The food was pretty good. Loved breakfast - lunch was only so/so and dinner was sometimes fantastic and sometimes missed the mark. But we weren't there for the food, we were there for the itinerary - which did not disappoint. Each small village after another was unique and wonderful. The bigger cities were also interesting and charming. Loved it - can't wait to go back - I would do the same trip again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We traveled from Berlin to Prague on the Astrild. It was our first Viking Cruise and we were so impressed! The shore excursions were interesting and enjoyable. The amount of time spent at each location was sufficient and the ... Read More
We traveled from Berlin to Prague on the Astrild. It was our first Viking Cruise and we were so impressed! The shore excursions were interesting and enjoyable. The amount of time spent at each location was sufficient and the accommodations were fine. The crew really made all efforts to ensure that we were served well, and our program director was awesome! The program director was very knowledgeable and helpful. The food was great but there was so much! Many times we ate in the lounge for a light meal instead of eating in the dining area. We liked this option. Even more impressive was that I learned that Viking is a privately held company. It is apparent that the owners take very good care of their employees. They have a philosophy that a happy crew promotes a happy customer. You have to respect that! It works! We will definitely travel again on Viking. Read Less

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