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Daisi

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  1. If you are able to assist your spouse if required, you shouldn't have a problem. We had a gentleman on our cruise who could walk short distances (he used the elevator while on board), however had a wheelchair for excursions. It must have been pretty rough for him on some of the cobblestones, but it was only in Heidelberg which had very large and uneven cobbles that we ended up leaving him sitting enjoying the view on the square while we toured. My husband pushed him most times and said it was rough, but not impossible. He could carefully walk on the gangway and we always made sure someone was in front and behind him, as you only have room for single file. It was his dream vacation, and other than the one time we had to leave him in the square, he was able to fully participate. On the slow walker tours we took where there was steep hills, taxi's were used. so that would probably be ok for your spouse as well.
  2. We did the Rhine last year, and I signed us up for the tours in December (sailed in May). I figured we would be going anyway, and this way I paid in Canadian $$ and not Euros. All tours (as far as I know) were also available to be signed up for on board, however you paid by Euros. I don't think any tours were cancelled, and some of our groups were only about 8 people (took the slow walkers so I could take pics at my leisure.....when we were on the regular ones, you only got to take pics when they stopped to explain something). I will say we didn't miss out on anything but possibly some free time after the tours going on the slow walker groups, in fact for the tour in Koblenz (I believe) there is a building with a man's head carved in it...we were the only group to actually see it in action with the eyes moving.
  3. Good advise for any cruise line....it wasn't until the last day when I saw someone else getting cranberry juice for breakfast that I found out all I had to do was ask. They had it out the first day, figured I was set, but that was the last I saw it! Next time I will know! We never sailed Viking, but family has and they love it. They have done two, and we are trying to talk them into Avalon with us while they are trying to talk us into Viking. I would say it all depends on the crew you luck out with, as with any cruise. Go with the attitude you are going to have a good time no matter what and you probably will. At least with Viking and the number of ships they have available if there are any water problems, they can easily do ship swaps, unlike some other lines that don't have quite so many.
  4. We took our tour in the spring, so often would walk the top deck after dinner to wear some of it off! Glad you enjoyed it, we are planning our 2nd one for 2021.
  5. Can only speak for Avalon, but just a warning...due to size of the ships, your table for two may only be about 10" from the next one. We had 121 on our cruise on the Rhine, which was really nice, as we were able to meet most people either on tour or on the ship (and yes, we met friends that we still keep in touch with), and luckily it was a great friendly bunch of mixed nationalities. We usually sat at a table for 6, and sometimes only had one other couple join us, with the 2 empty seats between us, so it was like being on our own but also having companionship. It is fairly easy to be around the ship and be on your own. We stayed in the front for the Castle tour, there is a small area that was shaded so we wanted to be out of the sun. We had a few people join us, but with most on top, it was like having it all to ourselves...and we had great service as we were right in front of the bar! Most of the days are out on tours, which can be one choice or multiple, depending on the cruise & town you are visiting. There are also several "groups" on the tours, so most of ours were about 6-8 people. Make sure you read the stickies as Jazz suggest, and look at where you want to go before deciding on a line. Also, watch the personal videos on YouTube, you get a better idea of the ships than the ones the various lines use for marketing. River cruising is fun, but only if you are right for it.
  6. Hi Dollover, I think all the "older" ships are now retired, and the fleet is now all the new "Panorama Suite Ships". We were on one of these last year, and even though we were only about 4 cabins from the back, there was no engine noise, and we were going upstream. I saw a video on YouTube showing them building the new ships, and there is a fair amount of insulation in them...we couldn't even hear people talking in the neighbouring rooms or in the hall. Hopefully your next trip will be a lot quieter.
  7. Daisi

    Avalon

    Hi Keith. If I remember correctly, you can pre-book your excursions (and put in for the included ones that may have multiple options) about 6 months in advance...we sailed in May, and I'm pretty sure I had everything booked by Dec. the year before. You don' t "officially" get the docking position until about a week or so before you cruise, primarily because it's the harbour masters who set where the ships dock, not the cruise companies. If you are lucky enough to find someone knowledgeable about the Paris docks, they may have a link to the docking facilities / bookings and you can get a pretty good idea as to where you will be. I had one for Amsterdam, and also have a link for the Budapest docks, however I just use them as guides, as there could always be last minute changes. Avalon will mail you or your travel agent the paperwork (unless you chose paperless, then it will be available on the MyAvalon site) to provide you with better details as well as phone #'s for the ship etc. I would suggest checking out your MyAvalon site, you can make sure all info required is completed. Good luck with the tour, if we get to do a 3rd on, it will be the Grand France, so would love to see what you think of it.
  8. Bob, I can't speak for other lines, but I know Avalon has rooms on the 2nd or even the 3rd level that they will allow solo cruisers. I'm pretty sure most others do, but I'll let those who have sailed with them confirm it. I know Avalon does, as we had 2 solo travellers on the 2nd level - one beside us and the other across from us on our cruise, as well as a solo traveller on the 3rd level who often joined us all for lunch.
  9. From the site : "Our onboard laundry service is available to wash and iron your personal clothes for a small fee. Please note that there are no dry-cleaning facilities on board. Please contact the reception if you want to use the laundry service." You can probably contact them to find out more info, the phone # is in the upper right of the page. https://www.amadeus-rivercruises.com/your-cruise/before-you-go-cruising-facts.html
  10. GMT, are defibrillators common in most public places in your area? Just curious, as here, they are just starting to get them out to arenas (ok, hockey country, we probably have more ice rinks than pools) and schools. Most offices don't have them, and I am unsure about shopping malls, as we tend to shop local......and I can pretty much guarantee that the self owned stores don't have them. I was just wondering if it would be something you would expect to have on a river cruise ship in Europe, realising that there is a major difference between Europe & N.A.
  11. It's usually done when you are in Amsterdam as an excursion, at least it was with our Avalon cruise. If you are spending extra time in Amsterdam, it's fairly easy to arrange a trip down.
  12. Glad to hear your trip was all you hoped for and more. Looking forward to you getting time to do another detailed review like the last one you did...it's nice to sail on other's journeys!
  13. I really agree about the not to be missed part. I love to take pictures (detailed ones of flowers etc), and DH isn't quite into flowers, but even he enjoyed it. We got lucky with tulips still out (although we have a major tulip festival in one of the cities near us), but just wandering through the gardens was fantastic.
  14. I have all menu's & daily sheets from the Rhine cruise if you are interested in a sample....just let me know. We are looking at booking the Danube with the extensions for Budapest & Prague. I looked at other lines, but either they missed stops we wanted to see, or the rooms didn't look as nice. We didn't spend a lot of time in the room, as you only see one part of the river, but it sure was nice being able to lean over the large french balcony railing or lay on the bed & watch the scenery.
  15. AK1004, you said you were also interested in Avalon. We did the Avalon Romantic Rhine in May 2018. We started in Amsterdam because my husband is from the Netherlands and we had been throwing around going down to see his family. The advantage we had going in early May over June was Keukenhof. We hit it (an optional tour with Avalon) on the 2nd last day and it was fantastic. Our weather was good, mostly in the lower to mid 20's, which was great for all the walking you are doing in the old parts to the towns... I can imagine they are major sun traps later on in the year. We didn't do the Zurich excursion, however my S-i-L who sailed on Avalon towards the end of June did and they loved it. Check out the stickies on the top of the page so you know what is involved with river cruising, it's not like ocean cruising so you want to be prepared. For those of us who love it, it's very addictive.
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