The Silver Travel Forum – important update
Our Forum is now only available to read rather than to contribute to discussions. You can still access all threads, but you will no longer be able to add your own comments. If you would like to write a review instead, please click here.
If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]
Hi @lionpops. What month did you go on your Viking cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest?
What you need to bear in mind about a River Cruise is that they show you lovely pictures of the very top deck where pax are lying on loungers watching the castles as you gently cruise by. Well when the water levels are high this complete deck drops down and all you have left is the ships lounge. The chairs in there are not the most comfortable to spend a lot of time in. Your cabin then becomes very important. So a balcony, providing you can sit on it makes a huge difference to your cruise experience. I am basing this on a Viking River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. The top deck was up for one day before they dropped it. Of course you are busy everyday on tours. But the lack of a top deck changed the experience. So you are right to look closely at your cabin choice. Check number of locks as well.
@ESW You seem to have failed to understand the point I was making about on-shore lunches and dinners. So to be clear, if you have a packed lunch then you will eat on the go and it is just a refuelling exercise. On the trips we were on then lunch or dinner ashore was part of the excursion and the educational experience, be it a vineyard or other point of interest. It was not, as you somewhat rudely suggested, a waste of time but part of the total experience. Munching a cheese sandwich on a bench hardly adds to cultural enlightenment or understanding. Now that really is a waste of time
I can understand at times the meal is part of the whole cultural experience, but this isn’t always the case. At the risk of being controversial, I think you have also failed to understand my point. Munching your sandwich on a bench and people watching can be fascinating. It is also a lot quicker than having the full blown meal, when all you are doing is interacting with the rest of your tour group. I think we have very different travel styles and expectations. Which is why it is so important to decide at the start what your expectations are and what you want to achieve from the holiday.
@Silverstreak like others, love the avatar and welcome to the forum.
Personally, I can understand someone preferring a packed lunch in certain instances. Like others I have done many organised tours both organised by ocean and river ships as well as land based trips and have to say that many of them become long drawn out affairs which I feel cuts down the time I want to spend exploring the area/venue etc that adds to my personal knowledge and enrichment of the area/venue. Certainly from experience I prefer a packed lunch in Russia and the Balkan States to some of the lunches I have had in these countries. As @ESW says, each to their own.
I think a lot of this is about horses for courses and as you’ve probably gained from many of my post, I like to be given options.
I’ve been on great organised lunches, recently to Croatia where we learned all bout a family vineyard started by Grandma, carried on by her son and in the process of being handed over to his 3 daughters. Got the tour, nice lunch, sampled wine and continued the discussion with the family.
On another occasion we were in the Loire Valley and we skipped lunch altogether. We wanted to spend as much time drinking in the beauty of that region, cameras & phones in the bag, just taking our time to absorb our surroundings. Lunch was a cereal bar and water.
I’m with @ESW …..each to their own.
@toptraveller: We met a couple who was on an APT river cruise on the Danube in July. They spent most of their 7 day river cruise in a hotel due to low water level. I guess different companies have different contingencies in place for this eventuality. As a teetotaller the ships which include all drinks would not appeal to me. I can see myself getting onboard a teetotaller and getting off an alcoholic just to get my money’s worth!!!