So what makes river cruising so much fun? In this post, our last in the series, we’ll use examples from our river cruise to answer this question. Catch up on the previous posts in this series:
Relaxing on the Rhine
Nothing feels quite as relaxing as sitting on the sun deck of a river cruise ship sailing down the river. It’s smooth as silk and the scenery is terrific. We had a beautiful afternoon sailing along the Main River, a smooth sail through the Rhine Gorge at night and gorgeous views on the Moselle river. Pictures speak volumes.
Talking and Tasting
For some reason, river cruisers are in general, some of the nicest people we meet. And our beer group definitely attracts a great crowd. It’s really fun getting to know some great people and really enjoying each other’s company. Since we don’t want to violate any one’s privacy by posting pictures of individuals, we’ll limit our pictures to some fun beer tasting in the caves of Pilsner Urquell.
Some people love to plan vacations but it’s really nice to just to let someone else do all the planning for you. There’s so many choices – including the choice not to do anything at all (sleep in or take an afternoon nap). Each port offers great excursion options; each meal has many great choices as well. Meals are already planned out for you, you just need to choose between a few options.
The level of service on the AmaDante (or really any other AmaWaterways ship) is fantastic. Here’s some examples:
- The beds in Europe typically have no top sheet – only a duvet. We simply mention that we like a softer bed with a top sheet and light blanket and viola – it’s done for you right away.
- The staff in the restaurants are incredibly helpful. For example, if you want a second helping of a dish, no problem. If you want one ingredient left out, no problem. Have an allergy? No problem, the maitre d’ makes sure you are well taken care of.
AmaWaterways is now offering a full time wellness guide on many of their ships (next year it will be fleet wide). They lead stretching and strength classes, hikes and they ride with you on the bicycle tours. They are also a great resource for general questions. For example they can give you hints as to running routes in each town and the best way to stay healthy during the cruise.
Sipping wine, beer or the cocktail of our choice.
With dinner and lunch you have unlimited wine and beer. The wine choices change every day. There’s also a cocktail hour before dinner with many many choice drinks available. And with our beer themed group, we always had plenty of local bottles available anytime.
Lots of things are included: all meals, wine and beer with lunch and dinner, cocktail hour, exercise room (with sauna), whirlpool, and an excursion at each port of call. There’s a few things that aren’t included though:
Gratuities. These are truly at your discretion. The owners truly believe that service is to be rewarded each and every time. If you’re not happy with the service, it’s in your right not to leave a tip. This is common in much of Europe. Having said that, we’ve rarely not left a tip due to poor service and many times add for outstanding service.
- Alcohol other than lunch, dinner and cocktail hours. Some people like to have a drink or two after dinner. We’ve found that their on board prices are very reasonable. A very generous pour of Jameson whisky was $7 and a glass of wine is generally $6.
- Laundry. Unless you’re in the owners suite, you have to pay for laundry. If you’re away for 3 weeks you might need to do laundry on the ship. Remarkably, the prices are quite reasonable. Here’s the price list as of Oct 2018
- On our cruise there was one additional excursion that could be purchased. This was offered at the same time as the included excursions – it was just there to give the seasoned traveler an additional choice. With all the included options, we’ve never had to purchase an optional excursion.
So what makes river cruising so much fun?
So what have we learned in this post? Here’s some things that make river cruising so much fun:
- Talking and Tasting
- Someone else has done all the planning for you (but you can always opt out)
- Great service
- Staying Healthy
- Wine, beer or other beverages
- Not getting ripped off for the few things that are not included
Plus the excursions and on this trip our beer themed events. It’s not all fun and games, we always end up learning so much about history, culture, art, geography, the military and contemporary regional issues.
Want to know more?
- Destination trends and ideas
- Travel Financial matters
- General Travel trips
- River cruise blogs
- Blogs about using a travel agent
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- Trip Blogs (select from the main blog page)
Or better yet contact a trusted travel agent.