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Old 06-10-2013, 09:18 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,706,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post


Yep, being a Travel Agent for 10 plus years and working in the hospitality industry for 10 years before that I do, but we still think Europe or the South Pacific when we think those lines and/or high $$s.
High $$ is debatable. If you spend money on coffee, snacks, soda, bottled water, and specialty dining on the mainstream lines, you might find that Windstar (which includes all of that in the cruise fare) is less expensive than you think. They also not only allow, but even encourage you to bring your own wine aboard.

Also because many of the small ports they call on can be seen on foot instead of with an expensive shore excursion with 60 people packed in like sardines trying to hear the tour guide, you save a ton that way. They are happy to provide maps and information for each port--that has nothing to do with shopping where they get kickbacks. The only shopping they've ever told us about were interesting places like local farmers markets.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:19 AM
 
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Those European river cruises appear to be a hit. I'd like to ask:

1. Are the ships so 'crowded' like some other commercial liners? It's nice to travel with people but too many spoils the fun.

2. Have those that went river cruising feel you got your money's worth for the excursion? And do the European companies push you to 'move-up' say on excursions by taking 'extras'? It wojld seem they're charging a pretty high price for the cruis itself. I get the impression it could be a VERY expensive way to have a good time!
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
Those European river cruises appear to be a hit. I'd like to ask:

1. Are the ships so 'crowded' like some other commercial liners? It's nice to travel with people but too many spoils the fun.

2. Have those that went river cruising feel you got your money's worth for the excursion? And do the European companies push you to 'move-up' say on excursions by taking 'extras'? It wojld seem they're charging a pretty high price for the cruis itself. I get the impression it could be a VERY expensive way to have a good time!
I know several people who have done the river cruises, and I have only heard a few complain. Most people like them, but they are for a certain type of traveler. There is a lot of walking tours, the ships are very small (which you would love it sounds) and there isn't a lot of activity. The service is top notch, from what I have heard. They are very much for those who love nature, the outdoor life and true investigating the various ports. They aren't for the people who like glitz and glamour and lots of busy time on ship.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:25 AM
 
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They aren't for the people who like glitz and glamour and lots of busy time on ship.

Thanks for the input. Sure fits the bill for us. The Donau awaits!
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:54 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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We just returned from a weeks river cruise on the Danube from Nurenburg to Budapest. Our cruise was in mid September and the weather was near perfect. Mostly mid to upper 60's daytime, upper 40's to 50's evening which we thought was perfect travelling and sightseeing weather. We chose Avalon Waterways as their ships are smaller (only 130 passengers instead of the longboats that are nearly double the passengers). Our ship, the Expression, was just launched in May so it was basically brand new. Exceptionally clean. Food was terrific, crew was extremely hospitable. Excursions were well organized and in most cases free with fare. After speaking to other travelers who have taken a number of these cruises on different lines, I am totally sold on Avalon and wouldn't even consider another line from the advice and experiences we heard about.

Don't think I would take a river cruise in the winter though, temperatures are extremely cold in Europe in Dec-Feb. Before the cruise we spent a week on land in Berlin and Prague, so leaving right after Labor Day was perfect weather timing.
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,126 posts, read 19,114,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailtramp View Post
We just returned from a weeks river cruise on the Danube from Nurenburg to Budapest. Our cruise was in mid September and the weather was near perfect. Mostly mid to upper 60's daytime, upper 40's to 50's evening which we thought was perfect travelling and sightseeing weather. We chose Avalon Waterways as their ships are smaller (only 130 passengers instead of the longboats that are nearly double the passengers). Our ship, the Expression, was just launched in May so it was basically brand new. Exceptionally clean. Food was terrific, crew was extremely hospitable. Excursions were well organized and in most cases free with fare. After speaking to other travelers who have taken a number of these cruises on different lines, I am totally sold on Avalon and wouldn't even consider another line from the advice and experiences we heard about.

Don't think I would take a river cruise in the winter though, temperatures are extremely cold in Europe in Dec-Feb. Before the cruise we spent a week on land in Berlin and Prague, so leaving right after Labor Day was perfect weather timing.
Glad you enjoyed it! Would you mind sharing the cost per person? And was alcohol included?
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:39 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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OUr trip fare with Avalon included a total of 11 days. 3 nights in Prague and 1 night in Budapest, both at beautiful hotels, before and after we were actually on the ship. On the boat wine was included with dinner but cocktails were no host. We paid about 4200 per person for the 11 days. The first 3 days in Berlin before Prague and airfare was separate from the cruise portion.
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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The Danube River cruises, and similar routes, sound great. They also sound pretty expensive but I think you maybe get what you pay for in this case. I really have no desire to be crammed on a mega cruiser with a bunch of drunks again, seeing tourist ports that I could just fly to in a few hours. I just want a comfortable and convenient way to see parts of the world that I would otherwise probably never make it to. I'll have to wait until my kids are a lot older anyways, so I guess I have time to save (they're 1 and 3 right now).
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Old 12-10-2013, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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Get on the physical mailing list for Viking. (I get all their junk mail because I signed up for a contest with them.)They've been running a number of 2-for-1 promotions this fall, sometimes even including airfare discounts.

Got Grandparents who would love to spoil the kids for a week to ten days once they're potty-trained?
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:30 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,406,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailtramp View Post
We just returned from a weeks river cruise on the Danube from Nurenburg to Budapest. Our cruise was in mid September and the weather was near perfect. Mostly mid to upper 60's daytime, upper 40's to 50's evening which we thought was perfect travelling and sightseeing weather. We chose Avalon Waterways as their ships are smaller (only 130 passengers instead of the longboats that are nearly double the passengers). Our ship, the Expression, was just launched in May so it was basically brand new. Exceptionally clean. Food was terrific, crew was extremely hospitable. Excursions were well organized and in most cases free with fare. After speaking to other travelers who have taken a number of these cruises on different lines, I am totally sold on Avalon and wouldn't even consider another line from the advice and experiences we heard about.

Don't think I would take a river cruise in the winter though, temperatures are extremely cold in Europe in Dec-Feb. Before the cruise we spent a week on land in Berlin and Prague, so leaving right after Labor Day was perfect weather timing.
Thanks for the referral. We have cruised a lot (32 ocean cruise) but never a river cruise (ok, the one day sightseeing down the Rhine not included since it was a day trip) and looking forward to our 1st RIVER cruise...your info was JUST what I was looking for to know who to book and when to book!!!
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