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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Wanting to do a European Christmas Market Cruise we chose Uniworld as it was part of the Red Carnation Brand and Hotel 41 In London recommended it to us. The décor of the ship has had varying comments but we loved it and it felt ... Read More
Wanting to do a European Christmas Market Cruise we chose Uniworld as it was part of the Red Carnation Brand and Hotel 41 In London recommended it to us. The décor of the ship has had varying comments but we loved it and it felt special not a run of the mill ship. Check in was simple and we found our room. The room was lovely, but small and initially we wondered where we would store our four suitcases and gear. But all cases fitted under the bed, all clothing fitted in the wardrobes and whilst the bathroom was tiny the large vanity drawers kept all our toiletries etc safe and sound and the rooms were kept neat and tidy. The TV in the Mirror was a good touch. The wardrobes were a good size and surprised me on how much they could hold. One of the best things about the ship was the care and attention taken to guests who were gluten free (like my husband) and lactose free like a lot of others. Francesco from day one would come over each day and advise my Husband of what he could and could not eat Breakfast and lunch (the Gluten Free croissants and bread were the best we have every eaten). At night the chef always had gluten free options including deserts. This additional attention was amazing and a number of other guests on the ship with similar eating issues were all very impressed with this. Food: overall (GR aside) the breakfasts and lunches were very good and the service was very good ( Virgil and Paul) not to mention the wonderful Francisco did a great job at breakfast each day having our table ready and our juices and almond milk, coffees and teas. Our first breakfast the eggs benedict was the best I have ever eaten, however, the second day the sauce was white and lacking in egg yolk and I sent it back, the next version came was slightly better, but there was a lack of consistently in it. Lunch: each day the salads were great and Mrs Tolands special salad dressing was my favourite, also different hot options each Day. Dinner: Probably the most disappointing meal of each day. I suppose we have been spoilt for choice on cruise ships but to be honest we did not enjoy the evening meals, limited selection and the alternative option to the changing main each night never changed. Also a personal choice I did not enjoy their wine selections. Rumyana our room attendant was excellent and always had a smile and a kind word for us. Our Captain was very entertaining and delivered the safety lecture in such a great way, however, that night with him, the cruise director, the hotel manager and the Sommelier taking to the floor it was a little "Blah Blah Blah" which the crew themselves called it the Blah Blah Blah each night. The Gym was tiny but right next to the Guest Laundry so you would put your washing on and then go to the Gym while it was doing its cycle Afternoon tea was disappointing same thing most days and not a great choice (again comparing it to the small ocean cruises). However, we were disappointed at night with the evening meals (but again being used to smaller cruise ships with more options. In saying this we did have a wonderful evening meal the second night before we were due to finish the cruise out in the Leopold Bar. They offer special dining to those in Suites each night (the same meal is each night) but towards the end of the ship other guests can book to eat there. Its a smaller area and the food was exceptional as was the service, this is what the main dining room should have been doing each night. We really enjoyed the Christmas Markets and our tour guides were knowledgeable and our bus driver Thomas was the best. Due to the river dropping we could not head into Nuremburg so we were put up in a hotel in Nuremburg and bussed in. The Staff handled the situation very well and did all they could in this situation. However, it was hard to fathom that they would give you Euro $25.00 per person per day for lunch and then for dinner that night Euro $35.00 as we could not eat on the ship. This did not make sense and a large number of us complained about this as whilst it may have and in fact was sufficient for lunch - for dinner you could not buy a decent bottle of wine for E$35.00 and considering that on the ship you had access to spirits, pre dinner, dinner and after dinner drinks plus a three course meal how would an extra Euro 10.00 per person per day cover this. We lodged a compliant but nothing happened and we were told head office would get in touch with us, its been a month and we have not heard anything. Disappointing. I loved the ship and the cruise just was disappointed with the evening meals, also having to eat all three meals in the same restaurant didn't have the same appeal as having a separate one for the evening meal however this should be taken into context that after doing a river cruise I feel we are more ocean cruise people (love Oceania and Seabourne). Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and I cruised on the second to last sailing of the season for the Viking Forseti. It was our first Viking river cruise(Uniworld previously) and was a pleasant experience, especially since the weather couldn't have been better: ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the second to last sailing of the season for the Viking Forseti. It was our first Viking river cruise(Uniworld previously) and was a pleasant experience, especially since the weather couldn't have been better: sunny and mid to high 50's every day. That was important because the itinerary's shore excursions were not exciting and would have been a real trudge in the cold or rain. The emphasis of the cruise is on wine and there were plenty of opportunities to visit vineyards as well as taste wine on board. With the exceptions of Bordeaux and St. Emilion, the small towns were not very exciting, mainly serving as a gateway to the chateaux and wine tasting excursions. There were always regional dishes on the menu. We actually preferred breakfast and lunch over dinner. It helps if you are fond of duck, which appeared almost daily. The cruise director, Susie, was a hoot. Very efficient and organized yet entertaining. Cabins were cleaned every morning by the time we returned from breakfast. Most of the passengers we spoke with were returning Viking cruisers. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Loved the music. The musicians performed almost all the time. Riverlorian spoke daily about the Mississippi River, its depth, vessels, floods, accidents. Food was good, menus could be improved. Breakfast and lunch buffets were well ... Read More
Loved the music. The musicians performed almost all the time. Riverlorian spoke daily about the Mississippi River, its depth, vessels, floods, accidents. Food was good, menus could be improved. Breakfast and lunch buffets were well done. Hop on off bus gave lots of options to visit without worrying about entrance fees. Select a cabin away from the paddle wheel or you will lose sleep: it shook the cabin when the boat was at full speed.Cabin was smaller than Celebrity or Princess of similar category. Port stops were short as the boat was going up river and there was a lot of barge traffic that got the right away. If you took a premium excursion there was little or no time to tour the port. Select the Memphis to New Orleans route. Cruise director was good. his voice is amazing. Purser's station acted immediately. Many cabins had doors opening to the outside walkway Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was my 4th trip on the American Queen this year. Quite frankly, I found the music to be addictive! The whole experience is quite nice, but the music is the biggest draw for me. All the musicians are top notch. I especially enjoy ... Read More
This was my 4th trip on the American Queen this year. Quite frankly, I found the music to be addictive! The whole experience is quite nice, but the music is the biggest draw for me. All the musicians are top notch. I especially enjoy Greg Lupton, who plays piano in the Captain's Bar twice a night. He is so engaging, with his sing-a-longs and warm humor. He's also a very, very talented musician. He makes everyone feel welcome and happy. Also terrific are the twice-nightly staged shows, the blues jam, the afternoon dixieland jazz show, and the late night dance music. The boat itself is really classy without being snooty. You will feel comfortable in casual clothes. The food is quite good, and quite varied. The staterooms are mostly very nice (though there are a few issues with water and room temperatues that need to be sorted out; I expect that those will have been remedied when the boat comes out of dry dock next season). The stops are very interesting, and some good options for side trips are provided. I especially recommend the BB King Museum! The ship is large enough that no one will feel claustrophobic, but not so large that it feels impersonal. The crowd tends to be seasoned and relaxed. We may all enjoy some wine with their dinner, and the occasional cocktail, but this is not a ship of drunken fools. The riverlorian lectures are quite interesting, and other onboard activities are available as well. The staff are friendly and helpful. Overall, I would highly recommend this boat, assuming they can take care of those few repair glitches. And, as fun as the Memphis to New Orleans route is, I actually prefer the run up to Red Wing (a charming port of call). Whichever route you take, you're bound to have a good time. Don't forget to catch Greg's act! Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
A wonderful single rate was available and the ship was new so I thought, why not? First, the booking process was easy...did it all with some internet research and a few phone calls. Everything I wanted to know arrived by e-mail. From ... Read More
A wonderful single rate was available and the ship was new so I thought, why not? First, the booking process was easy...did it all with some internet research and a few phone calls. Everything I wanted to know arrived by e-mail. From home airport to the destination city--all was taken care of by Gate 1. Transfers included baggage handling so I felt comfortable and relaxed throughout. Onboard welcome was wonderful. Crew introductions and availability was superb. Everything was organized well. The cabin was beautiful and well designed with marble bath, french balcony and plenty of storage. Included shore excursions were ample and the access for "on your own" adventures were facilitated by the ship's docking close (walking distance) to city center (except in Vienna, but transportation was nearby). Good entertainment including a hilarious evening of crew skits and performances. Favorite for me was the camaraderie of fellow passengers. I was never left without an invite to join a table or excursion...but never felt pressured. We had many a good time and there were few "cliques". I would do it again...and again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This is our first River Cruise. After flying from London, we sailed from Basel to Amsterdam in October/November 2016. The weather has been brilliant. Sunshine and no rain until the last day; it was certainly far better than expected. ... Read More
This is our first River Cruise. After flying from London, we sailed from Basel to Amsterdam in October/November 2016. The weather has been brilliant. Sunshine and no rain until the last day; it was certainly far better than expected. Kara is delightfully designed in blond wood and soft blues and greys for the fabrics and curtains. The public areas are quite spacious although Kara wasn't full up with only 140 passengers aboard so there was plenty of room for all. The organisation from pick up from the airport to our flight home could hardly be faulted. All the included tours were excellent. led by knowledgeable, interesting guides. There was a mix of night time and daylight cruising and the trip through the Rhine Gorge was certainly scenic and attractive with a good commentary by Boris our Programme Director all the way. The stateroom, a deluxe balcony, was small but more than adequate and the bathroom has a heated floor and lovely thick towels, pleasant, if not luxury, toiletries. The shower is efficient with simple to use controls. The toiletries are replenished frequently. The electric sockets are plentiful. There is water in the fridge, glasses and an ice bucket. An ice machine is down the hallway. There was just one disappointment, but it is quite an important factor. The Food. Breakfast and the lunch buffet were very good, but the evening dinner was not. Some starters, but not all were quite nice, but the main courses were really not up to scratch. I have read in these reviews that the food was above excellent. Were we unlucky? Is it really a matter of personal taste. I am not sure it is. Many others we spoke to were as critical as we were. The meals were unimaginative, and sometimes plain stodgy (specially a cannelloni that was inedible). The steak was always good, but I cannot eat that every night. To sum up, a river cruise is not the relaxing sailing along, watching the world go by, that you might expect. We were disappointed that we did not negotiate any locks during the day time. There is quite a lot of noise when the ship is manoeuvring. For the city tours you need considerable stamina and good footwear! On the whole we enjoyed our cruise, but would be very reluctant to return to Viking because of our experience with the evening dinner. By the way, we are going on our first Viking Ocean cruise in January so I will be reporting on that food too!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our second cruise on the American Queen and based on our previous cruise had high expectations. A pre-cruise one night hotel stay is included in the cruise. We stayed at the Airport Marriott and it was very nice. The next morning ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the American Queen and based on our previous cruise had high expectations. A pre-cruise one night hotel stay is included in the cruise. We stayed at the Airport Marriott and it was very nice. The next morning included a buffet breakfast and the ship check-in was done at the hotel prior to being taken to the ship. Check-in was very organized and smooth. This cruise was from Nashville to Memphis on the Cumberland, Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The river scenery was prettiest along the Tennessee, otherwise, nothing special. The towns that we stopped at were not that memorable. American Queen does an excellent job with their hop-on, hop-off tours in each town. The food was excellent. The ship staff is excellent and always willing to help. Our cabin steward did a great job. Our only complaint was poor service from our two dining room dinner servers. Our servers on our previous cruise were excellent. The shipboard entertainment was excellent. The shipboard internet could not be accessed inside or outside our cabin. The only good reception was in the public room where the ship computers were located. American Queen should upgrade their system so that internet is available in every cabin. There were a number of passengers using canes, walkers and wheel chairs. The crew made every accommodation to ensure they enjoyed their cruise and land tours. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I was a passenger on the inaugural trip of the Louisiane, and while there were some hiccups--as can be expected on a shakedown cruise--the food was incredible, the lectures fun and informative, and the excursions, well researched and ... Read More
I was a passenger on the inaugural trip of the Louisiane, and while there were some hiccups--as can be expected on a shakedown cruise--the food was incredible, the lectures fun and informative, and the excursions, well researched and coordinated. The most important element was that the French America Line management recognized the flaws, and since the cruise was not up to their standards, they--through Roads Scholar--refunded the cost of the cruise in full. It's really hard to grow angry at any elements in a trip, when the owners of the cruise line give my money back in full. As one of the owners noted in the very beginning, it was a shakedown cruise. Phones and Cable TV did not work on the first day, but they were up and running by the second night. As far as I could see by the last evening, the Louisiane and her crew had achieved exactly the quality of travel that one expects from a "Four Star" Rivercruise line. And, that does not even note the incredible four bands that were aboard, from a French Jazz Quartette to a New York Classic Crooner balladeer and her band to an authentic Cajun Family of singers to a Southern Gospel performer. All of the alcohol and amenities were included, and the excursions--particularly in Natchez--were as excellent as I have ever encountered. And, I must say that while some had some hot water problems on the first day, I did not, and never lacked for a hot shower in my second floor cabin. And, I must emphasize again. Ultimately, I got my money back in full for the cruise. Any cruise line that will pay me back after the cruise is over, just because not everything on the maiden voyage was not perfect-- is one upon which I wish to travel again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise because of the inclusion of talks by leading correspondents - Nick Thorpe, Martin Bell and John Simpson. The cruise itself was very good. A fine, new vessel with a committed, competent and friendly crew. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the inclusion of talks by leading correspondents - Nick Thorpe, Martin Bell and John Simpson. The cruise itself was very good. A fine, new vessel with a committed, competent and friendly crew. Administration was efficient and our cruise director always kept us well briefed. The onshore activities at the various stops were all interesting, if not always riveting because of limited choice of things to do around eastern Danube ports. The buses used were all comfortable and the local guides were knowledgeable. The material provided by the correspondents added much context. The onboard entertainment was enjoyable and provided local colour. Our cabins were well appointed and comfortable and the food and wine were first rate. The hotels used in Budapest and Bucharest were adequate, rather than good but that didn't really detract from our enjoyment. This was our first river cruise; it won't be our last. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Overall the river cruise was very good, it was just misleading in selling to us that all cabins are balcony, when in fact the level one was not. The several ports visited was more than what I expected. There was race discrimination ... Read More
Overall the river cruise was very good, it was just misleading in selling to us that all cabins are balcony, when in fact the level one was not. The several ports visited was more than what I expected. There was race discrimination on service especially the head of the dining or banquet including a female server. People were already seated and having their wine and were asked to leave and transfer to another table because this favored race came in. The hotel in Prague on their breakfast servers were also very rude. These people in hospitality industry should know how to treat with people of various colors of their skin!! The food was good and with just right serving amount, not too much and overwhelming. The cabin was clean all the time. The embarkation and disembarkation process were smooth. Being the first river cruise and comparing it to the regular cruises that we have experienced, it has its pluses and minuses. The broader tours are the big plus. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our third American Cruise in less than 2 years. This spring we cruised Puget Sound, and the year before the Florida Rivers. The only disappointment this time was the lack of sound proofing between our room, 511, and a crew ... Read More
This was our third American Cruise in less than 2 years. This spring we cruised Puget Sound, and the year before the Florida Rivers. The only disappointment this time was the lack of sound proofing between our room, 511, and a crew member. We were awakened each morning by his alarm clock, 527am, 447am, etc. We could almost hear what was being said on his TV. On the other side of us we could hear the neighbors voices and their TV. We hadn't experienced that on the other ships. America is a brand new ship, and didn't expect that, especially in a premium room. Very disappointing. I had gotten the idea from other passengers that they didn't hear anyone. Also, I thought the ship was full or I would have mentioned it to the Colin, the Hotel Manager. When I did tell him at the end of the cruise, he was sorry I hadn't come to him sooner, because he could have moved us. I was sorry too. The other disappointment was the din in the dining room. At a table for six I was unable to hear the person across from me without leaning way into the table, and I don't have a hearing problem. It was constant, and during the cruise there were others complaining about it. We are taking the Chesapeake Cruise on the maiden voyage of the Constellation next May and hope this problem will not occur again. We love your crews, food, itineraries. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Vodohod – MS Lev Tolstoy cruise – September 13 to September 24, 2016: We returned home last week and I have a need to write my comments without delay to let people know that we had a fantastic time in Russia despite the cold weather ... Read More
Vodohod – MS Lev Tolstoy cruise – September 13 to September 24, 2016: We returned home last week and I have a need to write my comments without delay to let people know that we had a fantastic time in Russia despite the cold weather and that we greatly appreciate everything Vodohod staffs did to ensure that everything was organized to perfection. Since we took several ocean cruises before, we were therefore not easy clients, but the company responded to all our queries and requests with speed, friendliness and efficiency. Our trip was wonderful and we continue to talk about our experiences often. We were very pleased with all aspects of the trip and enjoyed the boat very much such as Russian music, Russian lesson, dance and songs. We particularly enjoyed our tour guides- Katia & Gregory - they were all excellent. Our local drivers were also very good. The tour guide, Katia was knowledgeable and efficient and a lovely young person. The bad and cold weather contributed greatly to our overall excursion. I know the cruise staffs couldn't arrange the weather, but they arranged everything else and for that we thank them most warmly. We like to extend our appreciation to all local tour guides in Moscow, Uglich, Goritsy, Yaroslavl, Kizhi, Mandrogui to Saint Petersburg who were excellent, some were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. They were very knowledgeable and professional. In addition they were engaging and willing to answer all of our questions. We enjoyed them all and found them very pleasant to travel with. We have traveled a great deal and had many guides over the years and found each of our guides on our trip to Russia were top quality. Despite the last day in Saint-Petersburg with light rain, they gave us an exciting day driving round Saint Petersburg and out to Pushkin and Pavlos for Catherine and Paul Palaces. The food served in the boat was excellent and different every time. The best plates for us were soups, salad, fish and chicken. We knew that beef and lamp might not be the best Russian plates. In the dinning room we like most was the crew dressed up differently almost every night which made the ambiance more cozy and exotic. Please extend our gratitude to Karina who had always smiled when serving us. It was a trip to remember and it was possible because our bus driver and local guide were so good and the Russian scenery was colorful, amazing and very exotic. We would agree to give four star ratings to the Vodohod organization, crew member, bus driver and tour guide, the places visited. However the accommodation was small and the shower was not very convenient for North American customers. Just a note to say thank Vodohod organization for the fantastic river cruise in September from Moscow to St Petersburg. We had an amazing time - enjoyed every minute of our trip. We are recommending the trip to all of our friends in Canada - they have our full endorsement! We will definitely contact Vodohod if we are planning another trip in near future. Two families Nguyen Montreal and Toronto Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our first river cruise. I must say I am please we choose Scenic. I gave it only 4 stars because of the lack of communication between Scenic prior to sailing. Other than that the ship is beautiful and well laid out. What they can ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. I must say I am please we choose Scenic. I gave it only 4 stars because of the lack of communication between Scenic prior to sailing. Other than that the ship is beautiful and well laid out. What they can do with a small space was wonderful. The food was way better than I ever expected including the buffet which I hate buffets. Everyone herding at one time to get there plate full. This seemed to work quiet well and great choices. The cruise director was a very hard working. Wanted everyone happy even if they choose to do nothing or go on every side trip and watch every performance. Our butter was the best. Now I must say my husband was a bit disappointed as far as all inclusive. He likes Royal Crown whiskey in the evening so upon getting to our room as stock was told we could not have it in our room but could go to the bar area. Now my husband has mobility problems and guess who was going to the bar to return with his glass of Royal Crown. Now the other minor problem was on booking we could not upgrade our room on the land package even if we were willing to pay more??? Perhaps they all have little things that could make them first class. The Danube is beautiful and a great choice. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This trip was all that we expected and we enjoyed it very much. The America is a beautiful river boat. We found the boats tours very good--they gave us a good overview of life in the South along the River in the in the 1800's and ... Read More
This trip was all that we expected and we enjoyed it very much. The America is a beautiful river boat. We found the boats tours very good--they gave us a good overview of life in the South along the River in the in the 1800's and now. We stayed at the Roosevelt in New Orleans for a couple of nights pre-cruise and The Peabody in Memphis post-cruise which also added a lot to our trip. Don't miss the World War II museum in New Orleans and Graceland in Memphis. Some have written about the quality of service in the dining room--these are mostly college age young people and what they lack in experience they make up for with enthusiasm. We found the food very good and to American tastes. We are experienced ocean cruisers and found river cruising very enjoyable. If you reserve another cruise while on board they give you a 15% discount. We enjoyed this enough that we signed up for a 14 day East coast inland waterway cruise this Spring. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
The cruise was lovely. The ports were of great interest and the natural beauty of the Danube was amazing. We flew in to Prague and spent 2 nights there. It was my favorite city. The music, historic sites and the food were very good. ... Read More
The cruise was lovely. The ports were of great interest and the natural beauty of the Danube was amazing. We flew in to Prague and spent 2 nights there. It was my favorite city. The music, historic sites and the food were very good. Don't miss the concerts at the Mirror Chapel. The rooftop restaurant at the Prince U Hotel offered a view of the city and the famous clock. It is a 4 hour bus trip from Prague to Nuremberg, the embarkation city. Nuremberg sightseeing was OK. All of the other ports on the Delightful Danube cruise were exceptional. The River Princess is an older ship that is well maintained. The cabins are small. We had the least expensive cabin and I would do that again. We didn't feel the extra expense was worth it since you literally only sleep and shower in there. One of the advantages of Uniworld tours is everything is included: all alcoholic beverages, excursions and gratuities. The food very good with a nice variety of fish, chicken, pasta and beef all themed on the port we were in. The wines served were also from the various countries we were in. The Austrian red was very good. The staff in the restaurants and the bar were friendly and accommodating. They were the best in my cruising experience. The excursions were with well informed guides who gave insight into the national character and historic sights. We did a bike tour along the Danube that was beautiful and not too strenuous. The Cruise Director was ever present to help when needed and took friends to the hospital when they had a URI. This cruise was a great was to see the historic gems of Prague, Vienna, Budapest . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
An e-mail designated the cruise which seemed fabulous. An immediate phone call to a Viking representative indicated a hot demand requiring an immediate signing up. We received the same cabin as last year. It is a wonderful cabin, ... Read More
An e-mail designated the cruise which seemed fabulous. An immediate phone call to a Viking representative indicated a hot demand requiring an immediate signing up. We received the same cabin as last year. It is a wonderful cabin, No. 4011. Malitza and Danica were absolutely fabulous cabin stewards attending astutely to every problem and need. There also provided friendship and humor greatly prized by us. Our best tours were seeing a water fall you could stand under, creating rope and an artisan building boats, and eating at a fruit farm outside Bergen. The Iceland and Greenland and Newfoundland tours were culturally inspiring. Quebec City was a great tour with an excellent guide! The Shetland Island tour showed us what was there, but nothing special. Saguenay should be eliminated. The tour and guide were not up to Viking standards.The wine tasting event was so stingy you perhaps were drinking something priceless. The performance of the evening celebrating Saguenay while making a fascinating panorama was not up to par. Something that was up to par was the musicals performed by the Viking singers and dancers along with the fascinating use of graphics and staging. They were great! I did not see many lectures, but those I did participate in were very good, The World Cafe was excellent as always. We had two great evenings at the Italian Restaurant. We did not enjoy our experience at The Chefs Table. We only liked the main coarse. Everything else did not suit our palates and the wine pairings were weird. We cancelled our second night During the infamous storm in the Atlantic two men from the restaurant escorted my wife Kathy back to our room. She has trouble maneuvering because of surgeries. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
American Star, Fall Foliage tour. Unfortunately, the leaves were not turning so everything was green. My wife and I accompanied her parents for their anniversary. My wife was one of the youngest at 57; the average age is 80+, not a ... Read More
American Star, Fall Foliage tour. Unfortunately, the leaves were not turning so everything was green. My wife and I accompanied her parents for their anniversary. My wife was one of the youngest at 57; the average age is 80+, not a bad thing but not a party boat, which was fine with me. The boarding was good as was the room; plenty large with nice bathroom. We were on the second level and had a balcony. The part that makes the trip are the staff; mostly young men and women in their 20s who have signed up for a 16 week tour. They do the waiting on tables, they clean the rooms and the do the general cleaning. All were great with a positive attitude in a job that required them to work 12-14 hours a day. They received an hour or two break. Food was good. Typically three choices for dinner with appetizers and of course wine or beer. Lunches and breakfast were typical fare. Always a good desert or ice cream. One thing to know is if you want two entrees, ask for them, they are fine with it. It's not an either or choice, do both, you're paying for it. Happy hour was from 5:30-6:30 and had a full bar and great appetizers. Tours, unless you're on your fourth trip, you pay around $50 person; the several ports we visited were fair but West Point was great. Sandy our tour guide was very knowledgeable and fun to talk with. Over all, trip was good, but expensive. Expect to be pampered. Shout out to: Josh, Sandy, Val, Amanda, Cori, D'lynn, Regan, Nick, Trevon, Nathan, Sophie and all the others. Captain Dennis was very personable; do the bridge tour (captain's bridge). Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I chose this cruise because I went with a group of 20 people. The Columbia River Gorge is beaufiful and in a part of the country not visited by my husband and me before. Other members of the group has previously cruised with American ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I went with a group of 20 people. The Columbia River Gorge is beaufiful and in a part of the country not visited by my husband and me before. Other members of the group has previously cruised with American Cruise Lines; this was a first for us. I would not recommend the Queen of the West to anyone else. We managed with the room and bath but it was far less than desirable. The crew, service, and food were excellent - could not have asked for better. The excursions were excellent and tour quides very knowledgeable about the areas visited. I like the small ship crusing experience - a first for us as we had been on larger ships on other cruises (twice to Alaska). I would travel with American Cruise Lines again but would definitely choose a newer vessel with better accommodations. That's all folks! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Ship was new and lovely, very clean. Staff was attentive and helpful; service was very good. Housekeeping staff for cleaning our cabin was great, especially the young man assigned to us. Food was good - liked the daily variety. Optional ... Read More
Ship was new and lovely, very clean. Staff was attentive and helpful; service was very good. Housekeeping staff for cleaning our cabin was great, especially the young man assigned to us. Food was good - liked the daily variety. Optional tours we took were all great. The Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest was great - good location, easy to get around, breakfast provided was very good and would recommend that Avalon continue to use. The Andel's by Vienna House in Prague was substandard in my estimation. We were there for 3 nights. One day we did not even get housekeeping service. The location was terrible - on the other side of the river and needed to take public transportation to get anywhere. Breakfast food was marginal, too. Location of hotel was in very marginal area - did not necessarily feel safe at night. Other Avalon cruises in town at the same time were lodged at Intercontinental Hotel near the Old Market. Why was our cruise not put up in that same hotel? That location was great. Overall, Avalon's selection of Andel's in Prague is the one overall factor that lessens the my review and satisfaction of the entire cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
We returned home last week and I have a need to write without delay to let you know that we had a fantastic time in Russia despite the cold weather and that we greatly appreciate everything you did to ensure that everything was organized ... Read More
We returned home last week and I have a need to write without delay to let you know that we had a fantastic time in Russia despite the cold weather and that we greatly appreciate everything you did to ensure that everything was organized to perfection. Since we took several ocean cruises before, we were therefore not easy clients, but you responded to all our queries and requests with speed, friendliness and efficiency. Our trip was wonderful and we continue to talk about our experiences often. We were very pleased with all aspects of the trip and enjoyed the boat very much such as Russian music, Russian lesson, dance and songs. We particularly enjoyed our tour guides- Katia & Gregory - they were all excellent. Our local drivers were also very good. The tour guide, Katia was knowledgeable and efficient and a lovely young person. The bad and cold weather contributed greatly to our overall excursion. I know you couldn't arrange the weather, but you arranged everything else and for that we thank you most warmly. We like to extend our appreciation to all local tour guides in Moscow, Uglich, Goritsy, Yaroslavl, Kizhi, Mandrogui to Saint Petersburg who were excellent, some were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. They were very knowledgeable and professional. In addition they were engaging and willing to answer all of our questions. We enjoyed them all and found them very pleasant to travel with. We have traveled a great deal and had many guides over the years and found each of our guides on our trip to Russia were top quality. Despite the last day in Saint-Petersburg with light rain, they gave us an exciting day driving round Saint Petersburg and out to Pushkin and Pavlos for Catherine and Paul Palaces. The food served in the boat was excellent and different every time. The best plates for us were soups, salad, fish and chicken. We knew that beef and lamp might not be the best Russian plates. In the dinning room we like most was the crew dressed up differently almost every night which made the ambiance more cozy and exotic. Please extend our gratitude to Karina who had always smiled when serving us. It was a trip to remember and it was possible because our bus driver and local guide were so good and the Russian scenery was colorful, amazing and very exotic. We would agree to give four star ratings to the Vodohod organization, crew member, bus driver and tour guide, the places visited. However the accommodation was small and the shower was not very convenient for North American customers. Just a note to say thank you for the fantastic river cruise in September from Moscow to St Petersburg. We had an amazing time - enjoyed every minute of our trip. We are recommending the trip to all of our friends in Canada - you have our full endorsement! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We just returned from Viking's Romantic Danube Cruise from Budapest to Nuremburg and had a wonderful time! We chose this tour because I really wanted to see these cities and our extension to Prague. And we chose Viking because of the ... Read More
We just returned from Viking's Romantic Danube Cruise from Budapest to Nuremburg and had a wonderful time! We chose this tour because I really wanted to see these cities and our extension to Prague. And we chose Viking because of the cost, it's reputation and the number of years they have sailed and ships that they have. From the very start we were treated like Royalty. Being picked up at the airport without any worries and wisked off to our ship. Food and drinks awaited us. Our rooms were ready even though it was still morning. Yes, the rooms are small, it's a ship, remember? But it was fine! In fact we were not in the room that much. My biggest concern in booking this trip was that I was sure I wanted a room with either a balcony or the picture windows. Well they were all sold out. So we took a room on the lower level with smaller windows. We were VERY happy that we didnot spend all that extra money on the other rooms. We were seldom in our rooms. AND when we were cruising we wanted to be on the upper deck where we could see BOTH sides of the shore. Plus we were with friends. We could not have gathered in our room, way too crowded for that. The crew was exceptional, especially our Program Director, Suzanna and our Conciere, Edit. Edit arranged bikes for us at one port and gave us countless other ideas of things to do in port and how to get from one place to another. Suzanna was on top of everything and both always had a smile on their face. I'm not sure when they ever slept because they were everywhere. Food was plentiful and delicious. The staff was right there to serve and were very happy accommodate any special requests. Our room was spotless! Our maid was in there cleaning and turning down beds, etc, countless times a day. Superb! There is not a lot of entertainment on the ship but I knew that ahead and didn't expect it. After dinner we were usually very tired from a busy day and getting ready for the next. We are very active 60 year olds and loved the busy days. If you have trouble walking around or just like relaxing, you may want to consider another tour. The potrts were marvelous. Budapest was so pretty. Be sure to go to the thermal baths! They were divine! We did not do the extention in Budapest and that would have been a good idea, especially because we were there on a Sunday and there was a marathon going on. Several places were closed for the day so we missed seeing them. We went on an excursion to Salzburg and I would not recommend it. Too far to go by bus, too crowded, not enough free time. I would stay in Passau. LOVED Regensburg! Such a sweet old town, untouched by the war. So glad we did the extention to Prague. Just magnificent! And Viking did a great job of getting us a great hotel right in the middle of the city. Plus we got a great city tour through Viking. Vikingt handled a few problems very professionally. No one can predict the river water levels and yes we did have to go by bus to our last 2 ports. Disappointing but I would not blame Viking. Also, that same week we were there Viking was dealing with the boat crash. The staff again handled themselves very professionally. Overall, we loved our trip! And highly recommend Viking! I will do another river cruise some day, I hope, and I will stay with Viking. Thanks, Njord staff and crew! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
We choose this cruise to celebrate 60-50-10-2.....60th birthday, 50th birthday, 10 year anniversary, 2 years post stem cell transplant. The cruise itself had awesome weather, excursions daily included and friendly staff and captain. I will ... Read More
We choose this cruise to celebrate 60-50-10-2.....60th birthday, 50th birthday, 10 year anniversary, 2 years post stem cell transplant. The cruise itself had awesome weather, excursions daily included and friendly staff and captain. I will say as a food service person we were disappointed with the dinner meals, ( variety never chicken) portion size of protein 2oz. Cooked on these plated and served offerings. Breakfast and lunch buffets seemed better suited for the amount of people ( 176 ) on board. Going down the Rhine I would have expected more German food offerings ( only 1 lunch ). Beer and wine was included at lunch and dinner, but as a non-drinker, no benefit or discount for me. Room service might be an option that would work for everybody. The cinema on board which is the pool converted at night with a floor to cover, actually only had 16 headsets that worked via wireless on a hit and miss basis. I would say overall that if you like cruising this River cruise is totally different than an ocean cruise as far as intimacy and number of people getting ( herded ) around and excursions are a lot easier to function. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We had a very positive experience on the Waterways of the Tsars river cruise, which is consistent with our prior cruises with Viking. First of all the level of service from the front desk to the restaurant workers to the shore excursion ... Read More
We had a very positive experience on the Waterways of the Tsars river cruise, which is consistent with our prior cruises with Viking. First of all the level of service from the front desk to the restaurant workers to the shore excursion staff and the cabin stewards were all top notch. These people could not do enough to make our trip comfortable and enjoyable. For example, during one shore excursion, front desk staff accompanied us to a small shopping area and brought our purchases back to our rooms for us so that we did not have to make a trip back to the ship before boarding our buses for the tour! The food at all 3 meals was excellent and very nicely presented, a nice blend of familiar favorites along with Russian regional specialties. Please try one (or all) of the homemade soups offered at lunch/dinner. These were especially delicious! The shore excursions were nicely paced and very interesting. To see examples of Russia's glorious architecture was spectacular. We had the good fortune of having 3 of the tour guides on board with us for the entire cruise; during "down" times, they gave Russian history presentations starting from the era of the tsars all the way to the present leader, Vladimir Putin. All well done. We do want to give a heads up to expect a lot of vehicular traffic in St. Petersburg and Moscow, especially at commuting times. It could take 45 minutes to an hour to reach the city centers. Also expect crowds at the most popular sites. For example, the included tour for the Hermitage required us to wait in line to enter (about 20 minutes) and once inside, it was so crowded we could not get close enough to any of the artifacts to see or take pictures. (Hint: If you purchase the optional tour to the Hermitage, you get to enter a couple of hours earlier thus beating the crowds). Also be aware that if you sign up for any of the optional boat tours, they operate rain or shine. We had signed up for the Moscow By Night excursion and was disappointed that the evening was cold and rainy. Not good conditions for sitting outside and seeing anything. All in all, it was a great trip and we are glad we went. Looking forward to our next adventure! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
My husband and I wanted a quiet river cruise, and, thought the website for this Mississippi River cruise made the Steamboat cruise sound ideal for us. We also wanted to tie the cruise in with visits to both Memphis and Nashville. We ... Read More
My husband and I wanted a quiet river cruise, and, thought the website for this Mississippi River cruise made the Steamboat cruise sound ideal for us. We also wanted to tie the cruise in with visits to both Memphis and Nashville. We liked the idea of chugging down the mighty Mississippi and learning all about the American Civil War, which, as British travellers, we knew very little about. So...firstly the good points. The boat is beautiful, especially the dining room. It is really elegant and the food served is of a very high standard. The towns we stopped at were very pretty and very quaint and were so, so interesting. Also, the crew of the AMERICAN QUEEN made booking the tours exceptionally easy, and were extremely efficient if we had any problems. Help was always available for those passengers with mobility problems, and at every stop Hop-on-Hop -Off buses were available at regular intervals (all with knowledgable guides) , making it impossible to miss out on anything you want to see. Another plus was the entertainment. Mostly excellent.....with a couple of small exceptions!!! Our fellow passengers were, like us, mostly older holiday makers, and we found them to be extremely friendly.....so this is definitely not a trip that would appeal to young party-goers!! Bad points now!! When we first boarded the American Queen, our first impression was that this boat had so much character and was totally different to any other cruise boat we had been on before. Then we arrived at our cabin! Oh dear. The cruise company call it "cosy". We think it was "poky". Hardly any drawer-space, and just a fitted clothes-rail. The door of our cabin opened up onto the deck (which we liked, as we could sit outside our room and watch the world go by), but that also meant that the room felt damp from the humidity outside. And the beds were tiny. I would recommend anyone thinking of booking this cruise to upgrade to a bigger cabin. A larger cabin would have cost about $250 and would have been worth every dollar. But our biggest grouse about this otherwise delightful cruise was the disappointing standard of some of the waitresses/ waiters/catering staff. We put in a couple of complaints whilst we were on the cruise, as did several other passengers, and have followed this up by contacting The American Steamboat Company. We hope to hear from them soon. Nearly all the dining staff were terrific, but unfortunately the two serving our table were VERY short of the mark. Thankfully the boat's manager organised for replacement waitresses, and they proved to be first class. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
The Viking river cruise staff from cruise director, concierge, dining room waiters, house cleaning workers continue to be superb. They get to personally know you despite the short time you are on board. The on board meals are incredible ... Read More
The Viking river cruise staff from cruise director, concierge, dining room waiters, house cleaning workers continue to be superb. They get to personally know you despite the short time you are on board. The on board meals are incredible and equal your best restaurant experiences. The table served breakfast or buffet , as well as beer and wine are included at lunch and dinner. The cities, castles, abbeys, churches, and palaces in several European countries visited are eye popping and excellent. This was our second Viking river cruise. Our previous Paris to Normandy cruise was equally excellent. The tours and guides provided were superb. Unfortunately, to our surprise, the cabin assignment that we paid top dollar for was not acceptable due to noise from engines even on third level.. Viking did offer a financial voucher for future travel as compensation. We still recommend Viking river cruises and are planning a third one in the near future. Read Less

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