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Regarding concerns about the structure of included tours on river cruises, there are a few river cruises that offer only optional day tours, or you can do do- it-yourself sight seeing:
the River Cruise Company (UK)
Occasionally A-Rosa (UK, EU, USA)
This is all very helpful information for one who has never been on a cruise. My husband and I tend to plan loosely for our hotel stays so that if we are visiting several cities or areas of a country we can stay longer in a particular place that we like. A cruise has always seemed too expensive and “planned” for us but I like the pros and cons list that Fossil compiled as a new way to look at travel options. Thank you.
Low water on the Rhine put us in a hotel instead of on the river cruise ship for 5 nights. The cruise cost $257/day. The hotel costs $120-170/ night with breakfast.
Hotel provided inferior accommodations, very inferior food, & more noise than on the ship.
The ship provided 4-10 hour sight seeing tours, 3 meals a day, wine with dinner,& entertainment for $80-130 a day. Tough to beat when staying in a hotel.
I think we have to take on board, excuse the pun, what your expectations are from your holiday. Both have aspects for and against. I have listed some of the differences below but appreciate that others will find more differentials.
Take you to different parts of the world and you only unpack once.
You are, on most days in different ports.
The service in many instances is superior to a hotel.
Better selection of food.
Usually good entertainment
Good medical facilities
Extra charge for speciality restaurants
Tours are expensive
Drinks are expensive
Gratuities can be expensive
Sea can be rough
At most times a lot cheaper than a cruise
You can select a particular area or country you wish to explore.
You have the opportunity to see the real country as opposed to just an 8/10 hour stay
Offer excellent value for money
Free speciality restaurants with some major chains
Large swimming pools and sunbathing areas
Rooms are usually larger
Usually situated close to amenities
Value for money tours
If you don’t like the hotel or area your stuck for the duration
Food often leaves a lot to be desired.
Entertainment often inferior or non existent
Service can be hit and miss
Good question @Rachand
The majority of my travel is destination focussed, so we select the area we want to explore & then decide how best to do it, sometimes a cruise is the best option, sometimes basing ourselves in one or more hotels & exploring from there.
The last cruise was excellent value, including pretty much everything apart from alcoholic drinks outside of meals. That said it has whetted our appetite to explore China in greater depth, something that’s probably impractical to do by cruise alone, so the next trip there will no doubt be a combo or trains, boats, planes, hotels and even mini cruises.
In Morocco we chose to base ourselves in Marrakesh & explore from there, that worked well as we wanted some R&R time too. We often select all inclusive resorts now (so no 3 Euros for a cup of tea), so I was pretty happy with this selection (although the evening entertainment was dire….but I’d expected as much & we’re quite happy to entertain ourselves anyway.
So the answer for us is its horses for courses, we enjoy both types.
I wonder what your preference is. Myself and husband have now had 5 cruise holidays over the last few years, as well as the standard stay in a hotel type break in a holiday resort. We have come to conclusion that cruising while initially seeming more expensive is by far the better value of holiday. We get all our meals from a varietyof restaurants and we usually take the drinks package even if it’s alcohol for husband and soft drinks for me, we have a wide range of entertainment on hand throughout the day, as well as a casino on board should we want a little flutter, plus everyday nearly you wake up somewhere new.
Today we returned home from a weeks stay in a 5 star hotel, we had to eat in the same restaurant with surly staff serving us, get a taxi to the centre each time we went out as there was no public transport nearby or a curtesy bus laid on, and the hotel entertainment had been cancelled without any recourse – according to Jet2 their terms and conditions state the hotel can withdraw this and hard luck to the customers! When we added up what we had spent, including the 3 euros for every cup of tea coffee we had to pay, over 120 euros in taxis we could of easily had a taken a cruise and not doubt felt like we had a better time. I am not surprised more and more people are taking cruise holidays and wonder when hoteliers are going to wake up to the fact they need to up their game.