Europe Journals

Some European River Cruise Companies Compared

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A May 2008 trip to Europe by Wasatch

The Swiss Pearl on the Sonne Photo, France, Europe More Photos
Quote: A comparison of four European river cruise providers.

Amalyra

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Hotel | "AMA Waterways' MS Amalyra"

Amalyra Photo, Danube River, Austria
Quote:
New in 2009, the Amalyra is one the most recent clones of AMA Waterways six more or less identical ship(the furniture and crew vary) which are used on all AMA Waterways cruises except the Rhone and Duro Rivers and in Russia. What we found on the Amalyra should be what you can expect to find on any of them except perhaps for the unusually good food on the Amalyra. The chef was Austrian. The chef on the cruise where we had the next best food was also Austrian.One of the striking features of the Amalyra was the flow of food. Here is a typical day’s feeding schedule:6:00-7:00 am early riser pastries in the lounge7:00-9:00 am Buffet breakfast in the dinning room9:00-10:00...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 25, 2009

Viking river ship Clara Schumann

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Hotel | "ABoard the Clara Schumann "

Quote:
There are no provisions for nighttime navigation on the Elbe, so the Clara Schumann was always docked overnight. On our first morning cruising, we woke up thinking we were still docked, for there was no sense of motion or increased engine noise. We pulled back the curtain on our window and looked out, and just for a moment, thought the shore was moving, not us, so quiet and smooth was our progress. We have taken six river cruises, and smooth sailing seems to the norm. However, the Clara Schumann was a bit more quiet than the other boats we have been on, perhaps since it used water jet propulsion(big pumps that suck water in from the bow and then blast it out stern because the river was...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 26, 2008

AMA river ship Swiss Pearl

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Hotel | "Aboard the River Ship Swiss Pearl"

The Swiss Pearl on the Sonne Photo, France, Europe
Quote:
A typical day on the Swiss Pearl: 6:00-7:00 am Coffee and pastries in the lounge for early risers7:00-9:00 am Buffet breakfast in the dinning room.9:00-11:00 Guided tour of Vienne 11:00-12:00 free time in Vienne12:15pm Return to ship12:30 sail for Viviers1:00-2:30 lunch buffet in the main dining roomFree time on board. It was nice weather, so many passengers were sightseeing, sleeping, reading, or drinking and conversing on the Sun Deck4:00 tea (coffee or tea, pastries and cakes) in the lounge5:00 arrive5:45 wine tasting in the lounge (Cote de Rhone)6:45 briefing on next day's events in the lounge7:00-9:0...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 26, 2008

River cruises

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Attraction | "Comparing Cruises "

Quote:
We have been on European river cruises with four different companies- Viking, AMA (formerly Amadeus), Uniworld, and Avalon. Here, I will compare them and look at how to choose a European River cruise. First, and perhaps most important, all four are more the same than different. However, there are some differences, which can matter a lot. For example, I like a room that stays good and dark until I am ready to get up, so window curtains are very important, and most of them fail the test. Only Viking had decent window curtains when it came to keeping light out.Some all inclusive prices are more inclusive than others. AMA includes wine with meals. Originally, only a glass or two, but...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 23, 2008

AMA river ship MS Tolstoy

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Hotel | "Better than the Russian Average"

Quote:
First off, and this is very important. There are several reviews of the Tolstoy on the Internet. Ignore all written before 2006 when the ship changed owners and was completely remodeled for the 2006 season, and what we experienced in May, 2006, was nothing like what those earlier reviews reported. It is misleading waste of time to even read them. A couple examples: earlier passengers complied that breakfast was too skimpy. Now, breakfast is a buffet. Earlier reviews complained about the fairly typical Russian stip bathroom where the shower head is located above the toilet and you have to sit on the pot to take a shower. Not so on the 2006 Tolstoy. There is separate shower, but, like most ad...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 21, 2008

Uinworld ship MS River Queen

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Hotel | "A Typical River Ship Hotel"

Quote:
Our room on the River Queen was very nice but not perfect. First, the problems. The window curtains on the floor to ceiling row of widows that made the outside wall almost a wall of glass had nice heavy curtains that did not fit the widows, so they let in a lot of light in the morning. Always expecting the worst from hotel room curtains, I carry a couple pieces of black plastic and clothes pins in my suitcase. I didn't have enough plastic to fix all the windows in our room, but by using furniture, etc. to jam some of the curtains into the window frame so they fit right, and by putting the plastic over the others, a reasonable level of darkness was attained.The second problem was a st...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 21, 2008