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About djh1959

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests
    Travel, Aussie Rules football, reading
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  1. We finished our first river cruise (Rhine Highlights with Scenic) about three weeks ago, but remained in Europe for another couple of weeks. We are glad we took the advice of only a short cruise for our first, as we didn't enjoy it as much as we had hoped to. Having said that, it wasn't Scenic's fault, I couldn't fault anything with the ship, cabin, food, all inclusive and wonderful staff. We just realised that group touring is really not our thing! All tours were included, but where we could we chose not to do them and simply do what we do every other year and that is wander happily by ourselves. The whole following someone with a flag thing is just not for us, even though the guides were excellent and we received interesting information, most of it could have been found with a Google search. It was nice for us to disembark and have another couple of weeks in Vienna and Budapest. We sort of heaved a sigh of relief and said to each other "now the holiday really starts". We would consider another river cruise, as the actual cruising part was lovely and very enjoyable. I would just choose a much, much cheaper not all inclusive one where you paid for tours if you wanted and otherwise just did your own thing. As for age ranges, it was slightly younger than I expected, although the vast majority were older than us - we are 59 and 60. Most would have been in their late 60's to 70s, although I did see one very young (30ish?) girl. Our cruise had primarily Canadians, which was surprising for an Aussie company, and a lot of them were on group tours or large family groups. That was disappointing as most of those people weren't interested in socialising and preferred to keep to their groups. Luckily we met a few others from Canada, the US and the UK so still had a good time.
  2. That is interesting because we spent the week before last in Budapest (not on a river cruise, just independent travel) and there were many river cruise ships there. I saw at least ten different ships over the week and also saw them sailing in and out.
  3. We just got back from a five night stay in Budapest. We used Airport Transfers Budapest ( www.airporttransfersbudapest.com ) and could not fault them in any way. They picked us up at Keleti Railway Station, and were waiting with our name on a board, they transferred myself and my husband to our hotel, then our friends to theirs. They picked up our friends for their airport transfer and us for ours, on separate days. They were right on time for all transfers and extremely quick to reply to any email queries. Highly recommend them.
  4. We too have just spent six nights in Vienna after our river cruise and loved it. We did most of the things mentioned above. We also really enjoyed Figlmuller, although be aware if you go to the original one, which we did, there is no wiener schnitzel, only pork schnitzel. It was delicious though and massive, we could only finish half each. We visited the Albertina, the Belvedere, the Naschmarkt, the Hofburg and Schonnbrunn Palace. We also did day trip to Durnstein in the Wachau Valley as our cruise wasn't on the Danube. St. Stephens was beautiful and it was nice to have a lift up the tower instead of climbing.
  5. I too hope that you do a review JP. I have enjoyed your other reviews that I have read, and we are planning a DIY trip to Bordeaux, San Sebastian, Madrid, Lisbon and Porto next year. Probably straight after Christmas.
  6. We got off of a Scenic Rhine cruise a week ago. We too had a little more rain than I'd like, but some sunny breaks too. No water level problem though so all good. And we are just finishing a week in Vienna where we have had the best weather imaginable. On to Budapest for five days tomorrow. Special thanks to notamermaid for all her help.
  7. djh1959


    Are finished a Scenic Rhine Highlights Cruise last week. We did our own flights, and our own pre-cruise in Amsterdam. We are still on our own post-cruise trip. No transfers were included for us unfortunately. Scenic did call a taxi to collect us from the ship in Basel, but we had to pay.
  8. Ha ha you are quite right of course. No idea why I said Cologne! Still a stunning sight though.
  9. We certainly did wake this morning to a spectacular sight! The fortress in Cologne just before dawn.
  10. We are currently cruising the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel on Scenic Pearl. There are no water level issues whatsoever. Today been cloudy with sunny breaks, although it is drizzling slightly now. It is dinner time though so it doesn't matter. Thank so much notamermaid for all your posts over the past year or so. We are loving our first river cruise.
  11. Glad to hear your trip is going well jeb_bud. We have been in drizzly Amsterdam for 24 hours now and board our shop on Monday. Presumably it is still the Pearl, we haven't heard otherwise. Can't wait to get onboard and find out for ourselves, but I have never really worried about food and wine because there are so many great reports. I can't imagine water levels being much of a problem in the rain here is anything to go on.
  12. We are leaving this evening for Amsterdam, and boarding Scenic Pearl on Monday for the Rhine Highlights cruise. I am very interested in how the food and booze will be, but I am pretty confident. From reading many posts here, on other forums and on Facebook, most people rate it very highly but there are odd people who don't, as someone else said food is very subjective. I have read the drinks menu and it is extremely comprehensive. I really only drink wine with an occasional cocktail, so I will report back on the quality of the red wines - we are very fussy about them. As for champagne, I did notice that it was only available at breakfast, but other sparklings are available in the evening. I will just make a point of having one for breakfast each day - I am on holidays and certainly not driving lol. One of the above posts commented on being in a Royal Suite so therefore getting better wine. We are only in a Junior Suite on the top deck, not a Royal, but nothing I have been told or read says that the wine is any different.
  13. We almost always travel in January, partially because I can avoid the hot Australian summer and partially because it is easier for my husband to take holidays then. A bonus is a lack of crowds everywhere, but of course it is cold. We don't mind that. The forecast temperatures for our Rhine cruise next week seem really warm compared to what we are usually expecting in January. Notamermaid, we were in France a couple of January's ago and travelled south from Paris to Lyon to Avignon and then into Spain. I had assumed that it would get warmer as we went further south, but it definitely did not. We had heavy snow in Lyon and Avignon was totally freezing. We only warmed up in Spain.
  14. Well we sail on 14th October, so hopefully there will be lots of autumn colours and possible a little sunshine to go with it. The complete opposite of here in Melbourne, Australia, where spring is springing everywhere, except for today which is cold and wet. We can't wait to get to Amsterdam on Friday and get ready for our cruise.
  15. Thanks notamermaid, your posts have been so enjoyable to read for the last eighteen months. We fly out on Thursday night and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the water levels remain good enough for the trip.
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