The room was very nicely appointed and sparkling clean. To my surprise I found umbrellas in the closet. (Nice touch) They had walking sticks for their guests and even some were equipped with a small fold down chair to rest. They had bicycles onboard for anyone who wanted to take a spin in the ports we visited. They absolutely thought of everything for every type of traveler.
1- What operator did you travel with? I traveled with AMAWaterways
2- What type of travel was your trip? Was it an escorted tour, independent tour, ocean cruise, or river cruise? It was a river cruise trip that I took with AMA
3- About how many people were in your group (if not independent)? It varied. This was the first trip that I’ve ever taken, where people were allowed to get on and off at will. Some did 3 days, then we’d see different people in their cabin. Others did the whole cruise.
4- What major cities did you visit? Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Durnstein, Melk, Passau & Vislhofen (Hungary, Austria & Germany)
5- What was your favorite moment on tour? (A moment can be something that happened, a feeling, emotion, or just any specific thought while on tour) I think the most memorable thing that occurred was at the very end of our cruise, AMA arranged an “Octoberfest Beer Party” for us on the banks in Passau. Complete with the Ompa Band, costumes, tents, tables, etc. It was a fun time had by all.
6- What was your favorite experience on tour? (An experience is something that you actually did while on tour) My favorite experience on this trip, outside of the fact that we had PERFECT weather, was the stop we made in Durnstein. It was a small walled town on the Danube, known for their vineyards and their apricot orchards. Everything there was made there, not imported from anywhere else. Beautiful little town, beautiful people. Everyone shared the way of life there. They had all kinds of things made with apricots from apricot burgundy to soaps and lotions. (BTW…they have an Apricot Cream Liqueur that is to die for. Take the “drunken apricots” place over vanilla ice cream and then a tablespoon of the cream liqueur, yummy!!)
7- Did you learn something new on this tour? If so, what? Yes, actually. When we arrived in Passau, I learned that the Lundendorff Bridge was the only bridge left connecting the two villages (Remagen and Erple)along that part of the Danube. When the Americans got there, they were surprised to see that it was still standing. (It was actually made of railroad ties, and was strong enough to roll their tanks and heavy equipment across it from the west into Nazi Germany.) Our Army worked to protect it and on weekends when both sides crossed over it to drink and get rowdy, there was a check point right in the middle where they were forced to scrub down, so as not to spread anything from one side to the other. It was rather comical really. Guess you had to be there.
8- What is the best piece of advice you have for others interested in this tour? Don’t pay for the upgrade to a higher cabin. You aren’t in there long enough for it to matter. If all that is left when you want to book, don’t hesitate to take a water level cabin. Reason: You are only in your cabin long enough to sleep and shower. The cruise is too full of wonderful and exciting things to do. Why hole up in your cabin?
9- Give one sentence that best defines your trip. In one word: amazing.
10- How could your vacation have been improved? Not flying Lufthansa! They burned us terribly on the return home.
There were always local specialties at dinner each evening, including the regular choices that were given. Plus, free flowing house beer & wines were served at lunch & dinner.
The cruise director, hotel manager and the entire staff inneracted with everyone on board, which made you feel like an extended family.
I would recommend this trip to anyone who has ever been a bit curious about river cruising. The best part was, I only unpacked once!!
REMEMBER……Travel is the only thing we buy that makes us richer!!
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