European River Cruise Watch Outs. 14 Things Brochures Don’t Warn You About!

European River Cruise Watch Outs. 14 Things Brochures Don’t Warn You About!


I’m going to tell you 14 things that I
think you need to know about river cruising that are watch outs or things
you need to know before you go that the cruise lines probably won’t tell you, and
certainly the brochures won’t warn you about. Hi, I’m Gary Bembridge and this is
another of my tips for travellers. The goal of this is not to put you off river
cruising, but it is a very different way of travelling and there’s a whole bunch
of things that I think you need to know to make sure that if you decide to go you’re
going to you make the most of it. First of all, you can only cruise a
relatively limited part of the year. The season runs normally from
April through to October in Europe, and although there might be some Christmas
cruises or New Year’s cruises like Christmas market cruises, the ships are
normally put into harbour and basically retired for at least the first three
months of the year. So, there’s only a relatively limited period of time that
you can go cruising. The second, and really important thing to note, is that
it’s very possible (and sometimes almost likely) that your itineraries will get
adjusted because of water levels – so either to high water levels or too low
water levels. You might often find on a cruise that quite close at the time
you booked to go that the itinerary might get changed, or even when you’re
on the cruise you might find that you end up staying in one place and getting
bused to excursions. What’s very important on river cruises is you don’t
actually travel that far, so you might only be traveling maybe 20 miles or 30
miles, so it is relatively easy for the river cruise lines to then just bus you
on the different excursions. In some seasons that can be pretty bad, so for
example, in 2018 there were big problems particularly on the Danube and
itineraries were constantly being changed. River cruising ships are basically all
the same, because they have to be a certain length, width and height to be able to cruise the rivers of Europe, so seen from the
outside you’ll find that all river cruising ships look the same. Therefore,
if you really want to understand the differences you need to look inside and so
that’s why video sites are really important so you get a chance to look
inside the ship. When you’re going to go on a river cruise you can’t really tell
by the outside of the ship, you need to really look inside. Also it’s very
important to note that river cruise ships have relatively limited facilities. You normally find there’s a large lounge area with a bar, you might
find at the rear of the ship there’s either another lounge or special dining restaurant, there’s a main dining room there’s maybe a small fitness centre, maybe a small hairdresser and massage area and a Sun Deck. So, facilities are very limited and
choice is very limited. You don’t have a lot of choice of dining options,
so you normally find for dinner you have to eat in the main
restaurant and there’s no room service or no alternative. That is really
important to know because it tends to be a sit-down dinner with multiple courses,
so you’re going to find in the evening you have to commit to going to dinner which
is going to take several hours. If you one of those people that like some
evenings just to have a relatively easy evening, like if you’re an ocean cruise
you might just go to the buffet restaurant, that’s not an option on river
cruise boats. You have to go for a full sit-down dinner on most ships. Another
thing, which is a big surprise to a lot of people on river cruises, is that the
ships will normally park parallel to each other, sometimes three or four deep.
You’ll often find that you are surrounded on all sides by another ship.
So, if you’re in your cabin for example you’re basically looking straight into
another cabin and can be quite dark, and to get onto land you either
have to go through or climb up and over the sun deck. On the big busy
rivers you’re going to be docking in many places multiple deep. The places and
excursions you call on are extremely similar across all river cruise lines. You’ll find they tend to stop at the same places. They’ll often the same
excursions. Historically the excursions have tended to be much
more historical and you’re going to see lots of cathedrals on walking tours of the
town. Now more cruise lines are trying to diversify
that and you’ll find a lot of them will start to have a more active hiking
or a bicycle tours, but you’ll find wherever you go to they are stopping at
the same places and doing pretty much the same excursions. There’s no real
big difference in excursions. Importantly most cruise lines include at least one
excursion in every port of call. That’s true across most cruise lines. There are one
or two exceptions to that but generally speaking cruise lines include an
excursion and they will be very similar across cruise lines. Another thing
that surprised me a lot when I started going river cruising is just how
regimented it is. Having been used to ocean cruising where you have much more flexibility. You can get up when you want, dine when you want as lots of
different choices. River cruising is very regimented. You’ll find that there
are announcements waking you up at a certain time to have breakfast because you need to get out on excursions a certain time. You need to be
back because the ship might be moving a along the river and then
going to more excursions. Lunches at the same time with very tight narrow set time, again with limited choices, and as I mentioned earlier dinner will be at a
certain time and will be a multi-course dinner. In the evenings there will
be port briefings or talks, maybe some local entertainment.
It’s a very regimented and set experience. Of course you can decide
not to go on the excursions and basically build in more flexibility that
way, but bear in mind that most of the time you will have paid for the
excursions within your fare so by not going on them you are paying for
something that you’re not using. A lot of the river cruising
lines developed out of escorted tour companies and a lot of the people
who go on river cruising are people who enjoy escorted tours and that
more regimented way of traveling. It is quite a regimented and strict way
of experiencing a region. The other thing you need to know is that River cruising
is quite an expensive travel option, certainly versus ocean cruising. So,
if you take a look at say July on the Rhine even on a budget line you’re probably paying about $200 – $250 dollars per person per day (
that’s about £190 pounds and about the same in Euros). The premium lines you’re
probably spending $300 – £400 dollars per person per day (so about £300 pounds
per person per day). It’s a relatively expensive option certainly when you
compare to versus ocean cruising. Thats is partly because the ships
are much smaller so, of course, they can’t amortize the costs across as many people,
and also because a lot of things are included within the fare. One thing
you’ll notice in river cruising is that pretty much all of the cruise lines will
say that they’re all-inclusive. However, you need to understand what that means
because every cruise line has a different definition of what
all-inclusive means. Generally of course your accommodations
included, your meals are included, maybe things like afternoon tea. Some
Cruise Lines, particular more premium lines, will include all of your drinks
and premium drinks at all times of the day. For example Uniworld will do that.
Others will include beer, wine and soft drinks at lunch and dinner only. All the
river cruise lines will offer free Wi-Fi. Most of them will offer one excursion in all the places that you call on, an
exception for example is CroisiEurope which is a more value line where you can buy a package of excursions, and your fare
doesn’t include excursions. Also what’s important is when you’re looking at
all-inclusive is it will differ based on where you’re coming from! So for
example using the CroisiEurope example, if you’re booking to cruise Europe from the United States you’ll find that excursions are included. So, it depends a
lot on where you’re travelling from. Gratuities are included on some lines and
not in others. It’s important when you’re looking at a
river cruise line and it says it’s all-inclusive that you understand
what that really means, because it is different pretty much across every single
cruise line. Another thing which is important river cruising is river
cruising in my mind is it is not suitable for people with accessibility issues,
particularly those in a wheelchair. River cruising is something that is not likely
to work because first of all you’ll find most of the cabins on ships don’t have
facilities for people in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. Some of them will
have elevators which go between some or all of the floors. But what’s very
challenging is when you’re docking in some of these small towns, particularly
on the Danube and the Rhine, there may be very narrow ramps which you have to go up
and there’ll be cobbled streets and steep inclines. So, it’s not
really suitable for people with wheelchairs and there’s not that many
cruise lines that have accessibility cabins. If you are in a wheelchair or
you have accessibility issues, check very carefully with the cruise line.
Linked to that is you do need to be relatively active and fit because
most of the excursions are walking tours on cobblestones and up steps. Although
most cruise lines will have a gentle walking option and they may have a
little mini bus which moves you around, it is a quite an active way of travelling
and there’s lots of walking involved. River cruising has an image of being for
an older traveler and, in practice, it still is mostly an older traveler who
goes on river cruising – people in their 50s, 60s and 70s and above.
River cruise lines are trying to attract more families and you’ll find in the key
school holiday periods some cruise lines have more family or
multi-generational cruises, where they try and build in more activities and
features for kids. In my view, river cruising is much more of a baby
boomer product and a much more of a baby boomer way of traveling, because those
are who most of the people on board are going to be and a lot of the tours and
excursions are going to historical places or have a historical
or sightseeing bend to them. The whole structure, the facilities and the way of
dining is a more adult experience and certainly a slightly
older adult experience. Solo travelers are one of the traveler groups that are
very drawn to river cruising. However it can be a very expensive way for solo
travelers to cruise because you’ll find most cruise lines, certainly in the peak
season, will charge double to occupy a cabin. Increasingly cruise
lines are offering in the shoulder periods out of season is
more solo deals. If you’re a solo traveller and want to
go river cruising it is a very social way to travel, because of small groups and you can get to
know people very easy, making it a
great way of traveling as a solo traveler. It is a relatively
expensive option so look at the beginning and the end of the season when Cruise Lines find it
slightly harder or more challenging to fill and will do
more solo deals. A couple of cruise lines are introducing smaller
cabins and more solo cabins but again this still tends to be a premium on those. The
other thing to bear in mind is when you’re cruising down the rivers, and
particularly on the places like the Danube, is you’re going to go through a
lot of locks and you find as you cruise along, and you might be sleeping,
there will be noise and bumping as you go through the locks. Personally I love
locks and find fascinating their technology, but it’s
one things that people don’t really think of. They think they will be
sailing up rivers for miles and miles and miles, but you will find you go
through a lot of locks. It can be slightly odd when in your cabin
because suddenly you might find you have a big concrete wall up against
your window. The other thing I would say with River Cruises is they are slightly
noisier than ocean cruising. In terms of people walking around and
talking. More noise because they’re much smaller vessels and there’s less ambient noise of the ocean. When I go on a river cruise I always take ear plugs with me as I find that much easier to
sleep. It is a little bit noisier and I have had some experiences where I can
hear the people in the room next door snoring for example or televisions or
whatever, so if your are a light sleeper take some earplugs.These are the things that I think you need to know and aren’t
going to be told about river cruising. It is not to put you off river cruising but to ensure you better understand the process of river
cruising so that when you go you know what to expect. There are some surprises and some differences. I love it if you watched
many more of my Tips For Travellers videos as I have lots about river cruising and
lots of tips, ship tours and reviews of river cruising lines

100 thoughts on “European River Cruise Watch Outs. 14 Things Brochures Don’t Warn You About!

  • March 9, 2019 at 7:09 pm
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    Thank you for this! I would be fine with pretty much all of the things you talked about (even the fact that it’s an older crowd and I am a bit younger) but I took the solo traveler part to heart and would try to aim for a time with a lower price if I have to pay double.

    Reply
  • March 10, 2019 at 4:05 am
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    I've never been on a river cruise; thanks for informing me about so much about them. I watched one river cruise vid and it was shot during a drought year in Europe. Since the river levels were so low, much of the trip had to be done by bus, with each bus connecting one river boat to another. The vid didn't go into the logistics of the luggage; I can only imagine! Well the travelers spent time on buses where normally they would have been on the river. They didn't complain though; I would have been pretty disappointed!

    Reply
  • March 10, 2019 at 7:21 am
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    Thanks so much for making this video. The information is clearly stated and addressed several issues I had not considered. If I take a river cruise, I have a much better idea of what to expect.

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  • March 15, 2019 at 5:54 am
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    We found the Viking 14 day river cruise/Grand Euro lame at times. Activities were lack luster and boring. Music was just guitar playing and singing. Food was ok but limited selections. It was like a military boot camp at times.I know this was not a cruise ship but more of a converted small ferry boat with big windows. Ports are all for tourist driven dollars, renovated buildings to bring back the old days! Expect low water levels. Excessive marketing hype, check every detailed cost before you go.
    Average age was 70 and up. I will not be back, sorry !

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  • March 16, 2019 at 11:32 pm
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    I've been on two river cruises through Avalon, and two of the best trips I've ever been on. Talk about luxury. We did France for one, and Switzerland and Germany for the other. Going on a third this year. They are great for people like me, who would rather kill myself than go on an ocean cruise.

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  • March 17, 2019 at 1:27 am
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    ALL and EVERY video of yours is so informative and to the point.  Keep them coming!  Great job!

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  • March 17, 2019 at 6:38 pm
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    Very informative video with no filler – good job!

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  • March 19, 2019 at 5:25 pm
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    My wife and I went on an Avalon river cruise from Paris to Cannes (our first), and thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife gets seasick so the oceangoing trips are out of the question, she will not even attempt. We were able to mix the activities to our needs. A great choice. Looking at Danube cruises next.

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  • March 21, 2019 at 1:47 pm
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    great rundown Gary, god tips and advice

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  • March 21, 2019 at 10:10 pm
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    Watch out for naked drunk partiers on the shore. Aka the Queen Bee USA hehehe

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  • March 23, 2019 at 12:03 am
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    Ohh noooo.
    So, you end up on boring excursions to incredible castles, centuries old churches, vineyards, eating proper, healthy, 3 course meals instead of burgers and pizza. You actually have to walk using your legs (as mother nature, or God, intended you to do) is never heard of, and you go on structured and organised (regimental in your dictionary) boring excursions that all look the same. You get free wifi is terrible (comparing to ultra expensive on ocean cruise)

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  • March 24, 2019 at 12:30 pm
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    Try River cruises during Christmas and New year's. Total fun 😀

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  • March 25, 2019 at 2:03 am
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    This was excellent!

    Reply
  • March 28, 2019 at 6:12 pm
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    I want job cruise 🚢 please help me. I have 8 years experience in a five stars hotels.i worked 5 years in 🇦🇪 Dubai.please assist me.

    Reply
  • March 28, 2019 at 7:10 pm
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    I saw Passau and almost died – I used to study German there, love this town 😍

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  • March 30, 2019 at 2:54 pm
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    Thank you SO much for this video. After years of imagining a dream river cruise, I realize that it is the ocean cruise ships that are everything I love about cruising. Will never have to yearn for a river cruise again. Great for many, but not for me I think.😉

    Reply
  • March 30, 2019 at 6:58 pm
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    My wife and I cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest on Viking. I went into the trip without looking for pitfalls. Thank goodness things went pretty well. Just be aware that if water levels are too high, you will not be using the sun deck at all. And with Europe being so small, if it is rainy in Amsterdam, it will probably be rainy for 2-3 days of the cruise.

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  • April 1, 2019 at 3:56 am
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    Thank you for a very important set of notes — as you say, the brochures don't tell you everything. One comment about the general age range of river cruise passengers is that at least one of the arguably best-known river cruise companies no longer accepts passengers younger than 16; it would be nice to know which companies are trying to do more for families. Thanks again for the valuable pointers!

    Reply
  • April 2, 2019 at 2:47 am
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    I've been on three European river cruises…..and this video is so real. Very insightful…

    Reply
  • April 2, 2019 at 11:50 am
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    Great tips, first time on your channel and now subscribed. 😊

    Reply
  • April 3, 2019 at 4:13 pm
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    European River Cruises: How to take stupid American boomers money

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 5:12 pm
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    I've been on 8 sea cruises and currently planning on a River Cruise being our next one.
    I lived in Germany 2010-2014 and have visited most of the towns on the route, but really want to have the River Cruise experience side of it.

    Reply
  • April 7, 2019 at 10:05 am
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    I prefer to go by train / land. And it's cheaper.

    Reply
  • April 8, 2019 at 9:21 pm
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    It's not for me! I'll go on my own.

    Reply
  • April 8, 2019 at 9:26 pm
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    I'm trying a way to not to deal with children.

    Reply
  • April 8, 2019 at 9:28 pm
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    Very useful! Excellent!
    No river cruising for me!
    Thanks!

    Reply
  • April 10, 2019 at 3:17 pm
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    You do a great job breaking things down. I appreciate all of your advice.

    Reply
  • April 10, 2019 at 6:43 pm
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    Done a lot of river cruising in Europe and this guy is straight on point!! It's a good way to travel!!

    Reply
  • April 11, 2019 at 3:56 pm
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    Thanks I’m in a wheely

    Reply
  • April 12, 2019 at 2:27 am
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    Spot on. But don't be put off. Just loved my Budapest-Amsterdam cruise.

    Reply
  • April 14, 2019 at 5:20 pm
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    I’m surprised about the sit down dinners. I’d much rather eat a quick meal then relax with a book or writing.

    Reply
  • April 14, 2019 at 8:12 pm
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    Hi Gary
    Lots of really useful information. A great video.
    Many thanks.
    Regards
    DS

    Reply
  • April 23, 2019 at 6:52 pm
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    I've just don't one river cruise about four years ago, a Nile cruise, and it was fantastic. My only criticism was one member of staff, who was very homophobic and was rude to me and my partner, and ignored me at the bar whilst serving and being friendly to other guests. He had no way of knowing if we were a couple, he just assumed! It's a shame, because otherwise it was perfect.

    Reply
  • April 25, 2019 at 6:22 pm
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    Do you have any videos on American Cruise Lines? The one that goes up the Mississippi?

    Reply
  • April 25, 2019 at 10:11 pm
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    As subscriber, I’ve watched all your river cruise videos. I want to take a river. Raise that will take me to the maximum number of former iron curtain countries in 2020. I’m a solo traveler. Can you recommend the best cruise line and best month to travel. Planning now. Thanks
    U

    Reply
  • May 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm
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    Great video and great explanations sir. Superb.

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  • May 4, 2019 at 8:40 pm
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    Enjoyed this video, however my experience with Uniworld was not at all noisy. Absolutely superb

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  • May 6, 2019 at 8:52 am
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    i have been on sea cruise miami usa , its hell on earth ,

    Reply
  • May 7, 2019 at 5:43 pm
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    River cruises keep advertising for one reason… they are losing customers…

    Reply
  • May 8, 2019 at 8:32 am
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    Off my bucket list…I am disabled!

    Reply
  • May 13, 2019 at 7:56 am
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    Be careful coz the tours R advertised in my country as expensive, luxury tours………A few yrs ago ( I think it was because of flooding) many river cruises were cancelled and beaten up buses were offered to the passengers once they had already flown a long distance to start their trip. NOBODY from this company said there would be no river cruises before they flew. Their pre-paid expensive trip ended up being a whole lot of broken down buses and the company refused compensation to passengers coz they said flooding couldn't be avoided. Once returning home a few rich passengers took them to court AND WON because there wasn't anything luxurious about the trip……..Just some advice.

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  • May 15, 2019 at 4:14 am
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    Thank you! Love this video! 🙂

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  • May 15, 2019 at 7:00 am
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    Gary, this was EXCELLENT. I am planning on going on Uniworld at Xmas. Cool. I think it will really suit me even if it is expensive. Thanks for water level/itinerary change advice.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2019 at 10:28 pm
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    I'm a Brit living in Novi Sad Serbia 🇷🇸 and often meet other Brits, Aussies and Americans (that are from the cruise ships)and they are always amazed to meet a Brit living here lol 😆……its nice for me to hear a familiar voice sometimes and see all the ships docked along the river opposite Petrovardin Fortress .I often wondered what these tourists experience aboard the river ships hence the reason that lead me to your video
    Best regards from Novi Sad via Christchurch Dorset 😊

    Reply
  • May 24, 2019 at 5:29 am
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    Thanks for the tips. New subscriber here. We are heading to an Avalon River Cruise on the Rhine this week and have been on 5-6 ocean cruises so this was good information on what to expect. Thanks again.

    Reply
  • May 24, 2019 at 6:56 pm
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    I did a river cruise. It was nice but no where near as nice as a cruise ship. Not a lot to do, at times boring. It was peaceful. Entertainment was very limited

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  • May 25, 2019 at 4:06 am
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    Great video, thank you

    Reply
  • May 25, 2019 at 2:50 pm
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    I've noticed the larger ships are offering accommodations for solo travelers. It's like a dorm room set-up where there are several small bedrooms that share a large lounge.

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  • May 27, 2019 at 12:17 am
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    Is there liberal access for cigarette smokers on river cruises? Ocean cruises are harsh for smokers.

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  • June 7, 2019 at 1:17 pm
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    Fab

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  • June 10, 2019 at 5:34 pm
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    I just came back from my first river cruise three weeks ago. I enjoyed the holiday tremendously. Judging from many of the photos in your video, my cruise was very "low-end"; therefore, should I be very, very lucky to ever go on another river cruise, I will certainly look within the ship as you have suggested. The only thing further I could add to what you have said is to verify the air quality on the ship. Ours was initially very poor but after some complaints, they did fix the problem. Also, if on a biking cruise and considering using an e-bike, be aware that they are VERY heavy at present and it does not work either if your bike does not properly fit you. All in all, I would love to have another river cruising experience at some point in the future.

    Reply
  • June 12, 2019 at 11:35 pm
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    Alaska cruise celebrity millennium

    Reply
  • June 13, 2019 at 7:48 pm
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    Thank you!! I was seriously considering this, but not now!

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  • June 15, 2019 at 3:15 am
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    Forget about it!

    Reply
  • June 17, 2019 at 9:56 pm
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    Since all European river boats on a given river are basically the same overall size, those with fewer passenger suites will naturally have larger public areas, possibly slightly larger suites, and/or more crew members. The passenger to crew ratio is one indicator of a higher level of service. He’s right that most of the excursions are similar, but Tauck for example, may take you for dinner in a beautiful castle with live classical music that they have an exclusive arrangement with. There definitely are some upgrades in space, service, food, alcohol and excursions on some of the higher-priced River cruises.

    Reply
  • June 17, 2019 at 10:50 pm
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    Very informative. Thank you!

    Reply
  • June 19, 2019 at 3:51 pm
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    What rivers should I avoid while going in May? I want to try to avoid low or high rivers.

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  • June 29, 2019 at 4:57 pm
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    Can you tell me whether you like the Rhine or the Danube best. I know they are different, but what do you prefer?

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  • June 29, 2019 at 8:56 pm
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    Hello.
    You forget to mention that food and service on most off the ships are not 5*,I used to work there (on most of the companies) and I can frankly say that I feel sorry for you guys. So agency will say 5* all,but be prepared for barelly 3* experience.

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  • July 7, 2019 at 8:46 pm
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    Good info, thanks.

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  • July 7, 2019 at 10:02 pm
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    Most cruise lines are not transparent with their pricing. How do you know if you are getting the best value? Over a frenzied booking phone call? I only know of one company that publishes pricing for each itinerary, so that is who I use exclusively. It is not the cruise company's fault if rivers are not navigable so do not expect some kind of compensation for getting bussed around instead. Do not use the hand sanitizer. it is not a good idea.

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  • July 7, 2019 at 10:05 pm
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    You make scheduling, meals, and land tours sound frenzied. They are not at all. Plenty of time for meals and events is not 'regimented'.

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  • July 9, 2019 at 11:21 pm
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    Thank you! It would look better if you took a step back from the screen. You are so close I can see your molars. LOL!

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  • July 18, 2019 at 2:00 am
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    You really need to see a dermatologist

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  • July 22, 2019 at 1:04 am
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    Went on a river cruise in 2018. What he says is 100% correct. Don’t expect to be like a ocean cruise

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  • July 23, 2019 at 11:34 pm
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    Excellent points about River Cruises. I have no desire to take the giant sea cruises but have taken two River Cruises and they were great and worth every penny. My suggestions: Spring for the top level rooms, no noise. I'm single and went with AHI Travel on the Leuftner Cruise Line (Amadeus ships), no single supplement.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 3:44 pm
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    Went on Uniworld – Amsterdam to Basel. First class all the way. No kids, no slot machines but outstanding cuisine, nightly entertainment, top shelf liquor (included) No endless buffet or midnight buffet, Broadway reviews, water slides, BUT it is restful, and the lock changing was incredible. Sure beats ocean cruises. And yes, when we docked, Viking walked through our reception area. Only thing to keep in mind is the cost, but it is inclusive. I would go again in a heartbeat

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  • July 27, 2019 at 4:16 pm
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    Great informative channel. Thank you

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    Thanks! Very helpful and informative. Well done!

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  • August 4, 2019 at 3:56 pm
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    Our river cruise with Uniworld was met with a broken lock. We ended up switching to a lesser value boat for 2 nights then eventually were bussed to Bratslavia rather than Vienna for the remainder of trip.

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  • August 7, 2019 at 12:10 pm
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    Excellent summary. I just wish to correct one statement. My husband & I were on the Vantage River Splendor
    Amsterdam (pre stay)to the Black Sea almost a month. This ship has an optional dinner- light dining in small top deck, glass enclosed, restaurant barbecue, soups…we dined here every night then walked in towns.
    I am glad you showed locks & rafting aspects. Also, walls thinner than ocean ships, agree earplugs. We had the best cruise on River boat. (Have been on many Ocean cruises), We liked our River Cruise that were divided into groups & all tours with that group. We bonded quite well. The cultural aspects were great. Visited Croatian school in session. Dined in small group with Croatian family…

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  • August 8, 2019 at 9:04 am
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    I just got back from a river cruise with APT. Amsterdam to Budapest. Spent 3 days prior in Paris. I agree with what you say. None of it bothered me and had an amazing time. I could not fault the trip at all.

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  • August 11, 2019 at 1:03 pm
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    Are there clean washrooms on board ? My Wife went to Italy and no toilet seats anywhere ! Dirty Italians very strange

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  • August 18, 2019 at 4:25 am
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    Very helpful advice! I am so glad I watched this before going on a river cruise!

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  • August 19, 2019 at 3:24 pm
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    Two years ago I took a river cruise along Rhine with Amway it was great. The food and service where excellent. I am planning another trip with Amway next spring..The accommodations were excellent and never had any problems regarding sound.

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  • August 21, 2019 at 11:23 am
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    Statement Regarding Ship Restaurant not completely true. Tauck has a second restaurant in the rear of their ships. Had many great smaller / quicker meals in that smaller restaurant. Not just burgers, some very nice upscale but smaller meals.

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  • August 21, 2019 at 11:29 am
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    Biggest issues we found on river cruises is that some people don't read the fine print or don't care. Some walking tours are DIFFICULT, but those with some hardships can't do it or slow down the entire group so they can keep up. Tour Directors do not want to eliminate these travelers, so it hurts ALL the others because they don't get to see everything in a timely manner. If this happens more than once or twice, we generally go off on our own after discussing with the Tour Directors for places of interests.

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  • August 23, 2019 at 12:10 am
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    Brilliant, concisely informative,thank you, subscribed

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  • August 24, 2019 at 9:04 pm
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    Just came back from my first river cruise. Wish I had this information prior to going. Thanks!

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  • August 25, 2019 at 11:12 am
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    Absolute brilliant and succinct video.

    I was told that these River Cruises are extremely weather dependant AND if y o ure cruise is affected by instant flooding . . . too bad,
    You will NOT be reimbursed.
    Example – I was stunned ad one of o u r more serious Current Agfsir programmes ran a glamorous River Cruise gone wrong hour long episode. An Australian couple booked their dream river cruise holiday . . .
    And then … The rains came. Water came cascading down from those lovely gorges with old castles on top at such a rate that their River cruiser was sent flying to the opposite bank. Their river cruiser got stuck for 4 days of a 7 day cruise. It was day 2.
    Naturally they thoughtthou we will be reimbursed. WRONG.
    READ the fine print, the River Cruise company is NOT REPONSIBLE. This nightmare cost them $AU12,500 OR $US10, 000 and $EU8,500.
    NOTE – These cruiser's are NOT miniture ocean liners. They are beautified barges with a simple engine. If the engine breaks down ( and apparently they do
    . . . and regularly) depending where, and in which country youre in, can take days.

    You can also be ordered off and HAVE TO make your own way back to where ever your starting destination was. This can be costly and keep the in mind, you can end up in an ex-Soviet bloc country like Romania and Bulgaria.

    READ the fine print. These cruises are in run in Europe and their definition of customer service, terms like "all inclusive" are truly based on the shifting sands of interpretation.

    These River Cruises are for the upper middle classes. Even my wealthy friends would not go on one after they read the fine print.

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  • August 26, 2019 at 6:59 pm
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    Overall, I loved my river cruise down the Rhine, but the one thing that turned me off was that it was a profoundly American experience. You hang out with Americans, eat food made to appeal to Americans, watch American TV, go on tours with Americans, speak only American English. The whole experience is designed to not take Americans out of their comfort zone. I came away feeling like I had not really been to Europe at all.

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  • August 26, 2019 at 10:36 pm
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    又老又醜的開頭⋯ 怕怕

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  • August 27, 2019 at 5:32 pm
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    Excellent advice. Thank you 👍😁

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  • August 28, 2019 at 11:14 pm
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    Oh i couldnt be doing with excursions

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  • August 30, 2019 at 3:34 am
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    I have been on a handful of river cruises in my late 40's. EVERYTHING he says is spot on! I mainly love them and at moments dislike them for all of these reasons 🙂

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  • August 31, 2019 at 2:54 am
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    does all inclusive include airfare flights, excursion to most famous sights? at least one advantage of river cruise vs ocean is that even without excursions , a passenger can use public transportation to reach destination whereas ocean liner often docks two, three hours away, making independent travel impossible for any but the most determined researcher, who then might prefer to travel by themselves, booking own hotels, meals, experiences….. any information about the Elbe? and are there any elbe cruises which allow you to visit Leipzig, Halle, Eisenach, Zwickau, or visits to Bergamo, Busseto, Pesaro, Cremona? land tours, one has to pack every (other) night, but often not eating in restaurants, not sleeping in top hotels saves most money, do not book cheap hotel far away from city town you came to see. family is better land bus train tour, or independent if in europe , assuming english speakers. scandinavia, russia, turkey, greece best with ocean cruises, as are ireland, scotland, wales. italy,,spain best with land tours, austria germany either river cruise or land. ocean cruises are best caribbean, alaska, new england, polynesia, hawaii, places where the point is to relax. land is best again for asia, africa, south america. i would advise english only speakers definitely to book escorted tours in asia, africa where English is non existent or extremely limited. Europe, South America tend to have at least younger english speakers, and assuming canadian american australian new zealanders main foreign languages are Italian, German, French, Spanish, possibly Portuguese, Dutch, Scandinavian, many north americans, Australians, new Zealanders would be able to speak at least broken French, Italian, German, Spanish to bridge the gap, whereas if you do not speak Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, etc you are essentially stuck if you cannot communicate overseas.

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  • August 31, 2019 at 2:55 am
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    river has lower impact on local people, rather than thousanda of ocean cruise passengers, you just have fifty, sixty, 120 passengers per boat. much easier to get into main sights,

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  • August 31, 2019 at 2:59 am
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    given that they are designed for older adults, i would expect that slower walking speed is required, obviously not for completely wheelchair bound people, but neither are ocean line cruise excursions, and who wants to spend their entire cruise on the ship? come on. final cost between all modes of travel, ocean , river, train rail, land bus tours, independent travel rentap car or public transportation, which allows you to see most sights, attend performances, feel that you got what you came, and paid to come visit? How formal are river cruises, i mean tuxedo evening gown or is it more relaxed nowadays?

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  • September 4, 2019 at 4:52 pm
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    Do videos about Mekong River cruising please!

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  • September 11, 2019 at 4:49 am
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    Thank you so much for this fantastic information! I just got through watching your six best river cruise lines. Wonderful!!!

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  • September 12, 2019 at 2:27 am
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    Your headline comment on mobility is fair – but with a bit of care some people with mobility issues can undertake a river cruise successfully.

    As you rightly point out in the video, the locations of the docks used, the way that boats sometimes have to tie up two or more abreast and the legacy infrastructure of many of the historic European towns and cities visited all pose challenges. If you cannot tackle any stairs under any circumstances, river cruising is almost certainly inaccessible to you.

    River cruise boats are small, at least compared to ocean cruise ships, because of the constraints imposed by the locks as well as the limited water depth and air draught under bridges available on the rivers. This is why fully accessible cabins are rarely found – such a cabin would eat up a substantial amount of precious deck space and the provision of a fully accessible cabin only makes sense in the unlikely event of an itinerary where most or all port calls and ideally at least one excursion per day is fully accessible.

    A full-time wheelchair user might manage to find a particular combination of operator and itinerary where they could get to the boat, access all the necessary on-board facilities and get home again, but might still have to omit so much from what is intended to be an all-inclusive package that there are likely much better choices of holiday. Certainly with Viking – who do not have any accessible cabins on their river boats – most distance on the river is covered at night whilst the boat spends most of the day either tied up or travelling along relatively uninteresting parts of the river whilst the majority of passengers are off the boat on excursions. There will be some interesting parts of the river cruised during breakfast / early morning, during dinner and in the evening – but there may well be only be one or two periods of cruising through spectacular scenery during the day on a typical river cruise (Wachau Valley and the Iron Gate area on the Danube, Mittelrhein on the Rhine etc.) . If you cannot get up to the sun deck you will miss out on the best views to be had from the boat. If you cannot access most of the excursions, you will likely have some lengthy periods on the boat with little to do or see.

    You should expect to be on and off coaches several times during your holiday, so if you cannot climb the stairs on and off the coach, you will miss out on most excursions (note: a "walking tour" can involve some distance on a coach, at least with Viking). Indeed, your transfers to and from the airport may well be on a minibus or coach without a wheelchair lift.

    If you can cope with the typically very small bathroom and relatively cramped cabin, can manage some stairs, can walk short distances and are prepared to travel with no more than a specialist lightweight folding mobility aid (scooters and powerchairs are now available in this format), river cruising is often possible. This sort of equipment can be folded to store in your cabin (a requirement on Viking) and can be put in the luggage area of a coach. You can get equipment that packs into its own suitcase for air travel, which is recommended.

    Any traveller with mobility issues – whether or not they need powered mobility aids – should have an open and honest discussion with the cruise line about what is truly possible.

    Flexibility is essential – especially if using a scooter or wheelchair you should opt for the "leisurely group" on excursions when one is offered and even then you might have to adapt or even opt out of parts of the tour. Talk to the guides and the on-board staff; they are there to help you and will likely provide honest information when asked though some might be tempted, with the best of intent but unhelpfully, to say things are better than they truly are. Trust your judgment – if you are not happy with something, opt out of it rather than getting stuck, breaking equipment or injuring yourself/someone else.

    On some occasions it makes sense to pay for some adaptations to arrangements – I visited Melk Abbey in Austria with Viking and was very glad I accepted the cruise director's advice to opt out of the regular travel arrangements to and from the Abbey, instead taking a taxi each way that was arranged by the ship's staff at my request but was at my expense. If a particular excursion is described as demanding (or similar), my honest advice is to forget it if you have mobility issues. Both historical integrity and available money limit what can be done to adapt some historic sites and if you are talking about a castle or fortress, the location was likely chosen for its inaccessibility!

    You will almost certainly come across bad surfaces under foot or wheel: visitors from America are often surprised how many cobbles are found in some European towns and cities. Do not assume that you will always find drop kerbs where you want them – as a Brit who is used to the excellent drop kerbs in London as well as the small town where I live and indeed most of the country, I found Amsterdam to have a disappointingly high number of issues with absent drop kerbs or inadequately dropped kerbs. In some places you cannot help coming across steep hills.

    It is always worth remembering that you have the option to retrace your steps if needed on an excursion, though such a strategy might involve getting a taxi back to the boat if the coaches do not pick up from where they dropped off from unless you are confident navigating yourself back to the pick up point. If you are going to drop out of a group, please tell the guide so that they are not looking for you. If you get really stuck, call the ship; you should have a phone number amongst your cruise papers. Make sure you have international roaming enabled on your mobile phone in case you need it.

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  • September 13, 2019 at 3:59 pm
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    I do not fancy cruising on big ships. I should try on rivers trips

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  • September 14, 2019 at 6:43 pm
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    I've been considering one of these River cruises for a while. This video was so helpful and informative. I knew very little about it except the lovely things the cruise lines want me to imagine. Thank you!

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  • September 18, 2019 at 7:28 am
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    Thank you for the information

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  • September 19, 2019 at 5:55 pm
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    Could you tell me what kind of cruise line you are showing the food in the ship?

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  • September 19, 2019 at 5:58 pm
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    I DID NOT like the food in the Viking River Cruise!
    Their beef had funny texture- Didn’t like the fish, pork, chicken either! I am not the only person , most people agree on our table.

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  • September 29, 2019 at 7:36 pm
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    We took a Rhine cruise on Uniworld and loved it. He doesn't discuss gratuities but other experienced folks told us that you're expected to tip the excursion tour guides on other, less expensive lines (Viking).
    We were in our early 60's and if it had not been for folks bringing their adult children along we would have been the youngest passengers on board!!

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  • September 29, 2019 at 11:25 pm
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    I can only speak about my 5 Viking cruises but this guy is really being picky. Looking at walls of a lock through your window,? Really!? Yes. They go through locks but most of the time you are sound to sleep and never know it or you are eating your meals. Yes. You feel an occasional "bump". Big deal! This guy has nothing to do with his time and thinks he's a tour guide. Just go on the river cruise and have fun just like the rest of us.

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  • September 30, 2019 at 6:04 pm
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    Good information, wasn't aware of these things.Never been on a cruise of any kind.

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  • October 6, 2019 at 3:29 pm
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    Recently I celebrated my 70th birthday on the Viking river cruise on the Rhine. I must say it was truly an experience/adventure
    for me as a single traveler. I flew from LAX to Amsterdam for the trip. The overall journey was quite an active one as well as
    informative from taking the tours. The location of my stateroom was the worst. I was assigned to quarters on the first floor,
    directly underneath reception desk . The was constant walking, bumping, and banging noises beginning around 530am to and
    ending about 930pm. And then there was the passing through the locks. In doing so, sometimes the ship passed through these
    locks in the middle for the night. The loud rotating sounds were annoying. Thereby , making sleep for me a luxury. By morning
    when the ship docked, my view was either another ship or a high cement passage wall. However, I was determined to enjoy myself. The birthday celebration consisted of being surrounded by friendly people I had met on the ship. I was presented a lovely cake and everyone joined in singing " Happy Birthday" to me. In the end ,
    it is a memory I will cherish forever.

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