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doverboy

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  1. We did Danube in 2016 during same time frame and spent a week after the cruise on the road through Italy, Switzerland, and France. Had rain on the day we boarded, August 22, and rain the day we disembarked, August 29. Not a drop on any other day. We used Columbia 3 in 1 jackets (rain, vest, parka combo) and were very comfortable anywhere we traveled (zip in, zip out). Some excursions and roadstops were mountainous (cooler), river level could be cool at dusk. Cities were warm (no jacket)
  2. After the GOOD experience I had with my TA and the BAD experience I had which required some extra assistance, is it really that big an issue to book through a TA? while my wife was answering questions in the Emergency Room of a hospital 4500 miles from home, my TA was working overtime to get her a rental car, hotel room, exchange on air tickets, luggage moved from one location to another (where we were not). A river cruise generally travels through more than one country, some do not necessarily speak YOUR native tongue. I can't imagine trying to get our things taken care of if we had the accident in Germany or France or Spain. Maybe my more continental European travelers would be better at this because they often speak more than one language, don't think that holds true for Australian travelers or UK. I would not want the daunting task of thinking all was in order but not sure if the language barrier had been broken. I will still book most of my vacations by myself and my TA says that he really doesn't get involved unless it is a tour or cruise but I would sure hate to be stranded in a foreign country because I chose to save $500.00
  3. If their Ebikes are similar to ones used by Scenic you should be fine. We did 35 KM along the Danube and honestly had not been on a bike for more years than I want to think about. Controls were easy to figure out and my only recommendation is to pick the larges bike frame they have available. We had folks with 20" wheels and 24-26" wheels. It was MUCH easier on the larger bikes. Hills were not a problem and I doubt that they will put you on a strenuous route. People who opted NOT to ride were heard regretting their decision after the bikers got back on board
  4. We did Danube with Scenic in 2016 and I wore boat shoes for everything
  5. I used a TA for a cruise to Alaska because he had helped me with an issue with NCL when I wasn't his customer. 12 days in to a 14 day vacation I fell from a horse on a trail ride sanctioned by Princess Cruise. I broke 6 ribs, had a punctured lung, and was hospitalized for 5 days. My wife called the TA at 10:00 PM Alaska time which was probably 2:00 AM where he lived. He arranged hotel stays for my wife, had a rental car company meet her at the hospital door with a rental, got our return air tickets rescheduled at little cost. Had the airline waiting for me at the curb with a wheel chair and changed our seats to front of cabin so no one would be bumping into me on the flight home. I will book hotels and RT flights by myself but a vacation to a foriegn country or distant state? Never again without a TA
  6. Traveled with Scenic August 2016, Budapest to Nuremberg. No problems with pre-cruise hotel, we were booked into Budapest Marriott and were fortunate enough to be there on St Steven's holiday. Fireworks, street vendors, over 1 million people outside. Cruise went without a hitch, food was fantastic, service was terrific. Bus drivers were friendly and attentive. Luggage got wet before boarding, Scenic dried everything in the suitcase at no charge. Asked to have some clothing laundered as we neared end of cruise and had a total bill of 26.00 Euro when we disembarked. I would travel with them again any day.
  7. My wife and I traveled to Paris after a river cruise in 2016. we sat at an outside table on the Champs and watched Paris going about its business. Any person with ill intent could walk up at any time and ruin your day. Why fret over the things you can't control. Get out and enjoy yourself in Paris. Don't carry around much more than you would normally carry in public, don't look like a tourist. Put your map and guidebook in your pocket. If something seems amiss, walk away. You have the same probability in New York City, or New Orleans at Mardi Gras of getting assaulted so just be aware of your surroundings and enjoy your vacation
  8. Don't forget Scenic for your trip!!. You will see, pass by, or be passed by every company out there. Tour groups all seem to be having fun following the flag bearer in towns. Our trip was put together by our accountant friend who had the time and energy to price everyone and every thing. Scenic, because they are inclusive, came out on top and we would be hard pressed to book with a different line if we are traveling a route covered by all the companies. Every excursion was free, no tips whatsoever, no cabin fee, all the food and drink you could consume. We left the ship after 8 days and I owed 26 Euro because I had extra laundry done. The initial cost was higher than some of the other boats (Viking) but we were met at Budapest airport, escorted to a van for travel to Marriott, met at Marriott by Scenic people, transported from Marriott to boat, and finally taken by Scenic to our hotel at the end of our journey. Their balconies do not protrude from the side of the boat and have sliding glass windows that disappear when you sit on the balcony and watch the world go by.
  9. Sailed with Scenic Amber. breakfast was a buffet with omelet station...nothing to complain about there. Lunch was either on an excursion with Scenic or in town by ourselves. Scenic tries to match food with the area and any meal we ate off ship we tried to eat local. All meals were great and well presented. It is not ocean cruise food or portions. You can order extra from the 2-3 listed dinner meals but who wants a hamburger when traveling through Austria? to me that's akin to buying at McDonalds when in London. McDonalds doesn't have fish and chips
  10. 6" 5" and never had an issue except for shower heads
  11. My wife loves the Sound of Music but we don't get as many chances to travel as others and I am a history buff. We were on Scenic, with friends, and booked a Tours by Locals that picked us up at the port where we docked. We went to Mondsee and visited the abbey where the Sound of Music wedding was filmed, we did a quick walk through Salzberg, drove to Berchtesgaden and ate lunch at Eagles Nest and made it back to the boat with a few minutes to spare before it sailed. Our tour guide knew people along the way and managed to get us to the front of many lines some how. We had a blast but it had a cost which we felt reasonable
  12. We sailed with Scenic on the Budapest to Nuremberg direction. The Ebikes were an option offered pre-cruise and then again once we were onboard. Make sure you are signed up. scenic actually brought in additional bikes to meet the demand but you won't get to go if you are not signed up ahead of time. The 30Km ride was done at a decent pace and the leaders made sure to have one in front, one behind to keep people from becoming stragglers. It is mostly flat but it is still 24 miles. There are a few, a FEW, rest periods and there was one area with refreshments which could be purchased but had quite the queue. LADIES...the restrooms along the trip require money to get in. There will be a queue. there will NOT be a line at the Men's side of the restroom. USE the men's side with someone standing guard! The Ebike is a marvel....get one with the largest wheels, the 20 inch wheels require a lot more peddling. You will make it to the end and a drink never tasted so good
  13. Joat, We cruised with Scenic on the Gems of Danube. We were picked up at Budapest Airport by Scenic and left at Marriott, no hand out for tip and helped with baggage into hotel. Day trip in Budapest with Scenic and no tips expected by bus driver or guide. Transferred to ship by Scenic, no tips. Entered restaurant area and there is a menu of available spirits. Asked for a flight of all listed Scotch, some blends but mostly single malts. Nothing that I would call a rail drink. Wet bar in room was restocked 2X daily. I left the ship 7 days later in Nuremberg and had not spent a dime on tips. I traveled with enough clothes to get through 1 week+ of travel and had Scenic launder my socks, shirts and undergarments. My bill was 26 Euro and I had clean clothes for the following week of travel. Any sandwich I wanted, any drink I consumed was included. Our guide was seen handing the drivers cash on some stops. ther was NO expectation or request for additional tips. My wife and I have cruised numerous times and the daily ask for money is relentless (port pictures, dinner pictures, cabin service, bar tenders). Not so on Scenic
  14. We sailed on the initial cruise of NCL's Pride of America and the Jefferson's restaurant had a dinner for 2 which was flambe'd at the table. The different meats (beef, chicken, pork I think) were arranged on a spiked tree apparatus, doused with brandy and set on fire. You had to let this cook the meat and burn out. The juices were captured below so as to used for dipping. It made for quite the spectacle
  15. We look forward to meeting you and your party. Our group of 4 arrives in Budapest on Saturday Aug 20 and we are staying at Scenic's Marriott base. We have booked with Scenic for a Budapest tour on Sunday (I think) and each couple is moving in different directions once we reach Nuremberg. Prague sounds like it would be beautiful. My wife and I are headed for her birth city and then to Maranello, eventually ending our trip in London. 19 days and counting
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