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Bang for your buck? That’s a very loaded question as River Cruising bares little resemblance to Ocean Cruising. Completely different experience. The reason for the big difference in cost is Ocean Cruises have 10’s Of 1,000’s Of cabins spread out over 12 months on hundreds (or more) Itineraries. Vs River Cruising a Boat holds 120 to 200 passengers, there are a very limited # of boats and a few navigable rivers in Europe and the Cruising season is 8 or 9 months. So limited availability vs nearly unlimited with Ocean Cruising. That’s the price difference.

You will not get the amenities of a cruise ship, food while Good is limited to what can be prepared in a kitchen the size of your master bedroom closet. Single seating at dinner with a limited variety. Entertainment is very limited but fun when presented. After a long day of touring the passengers actually go to bed rather than party all nite.   

No big shows, no rock climbing wall..... River Cruising is wonderful but it’s not Ocean Cruising. Take your good humor and sense of adventure and you will have a great time!

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On 4/3/2019 at 3:00 PM, JVilleGal said:

Bang for your buck? That’s a very loaded question as River Cruising bares little resemblance to Ocean Cruising. Completely different experience. The reason for the big difference in cost is Ocean Cruises have 10’s Of 1,000’s Of cabins spread out over 12 months on hundreds (or more) Itineraries. Vs River Cruising a Boat holds 120 to 200 passengers, there are a very limited # of boats and a few navigable rivers in Europe and the Cruising season is 8 or 9 months. So limited availability vs nearly unlimited with Ocean Cruising. That’s the price difference.  You will not get the amenities of a cruise ship, food while Good is limited to what can be prepared in a kitchen the size of your master bedroom closet. Single seating at dinner with a limited variety. Entertainment is very limited but fun when presented. After a long day of touring the passengers actually go to bed rather than party all nite.   No big shows, no rock climbing wall..... River Cruising is wonderful but it’s not Ocean Cruising. Take your good humor and sense of adventure and you will have a great time!

 

Very good, interesting summary/points above.  YES, there are a wide variety of pro/con factors to consider as to river vs. ocean cruising.  A year ago with Avalon on Mekong River, we did our first river cruise.  See details, visuals below on my live/blog.  It all worked very well, especially with the wide range of the options/sights/sites we did prior to and after this river causing.  But, it's different in a variety of ways compared to what we have done on eleven different ocean cruises.  It's like the debate about sea-days versus port stops.  There are a large variety of opinions and viewpoints as to what some like more than doing the other option.  Also, with the experiences for larger ships holding 2-3,000 passengers versus a cruise on ship more in the range of holding only 200 to 600 passengers.  "Different strokes for different folks?"   The pro/con factors are varied, including as to price and "value"!!??  People need to look at your personal priorities, style, interests, etc.

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

SE Asia/Mekong River, Etc.!  Live/blog from early 2018, first adventure through SE Asia, stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok, before exploring all over Vietnam and Cambodia, seven days sailing on the Mekong River. Now at 45,494 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2591474

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On 4/3/2019 at 7:29 PM, Europeantraveler1 said:

We have to be out of our centrally located Amsterdam hotel by 12 noon so that gives us a very generous amount of time to have breakfast and get packed and checked-out the day we board Expression. 

I’d be surprised if our hotel would not store our luggage for a few hours after we check-out until we hire a taxi to the ship.  

We will have been in Amsterdam for four, full days prior to embarkation (we got a much, much better deal on our plane tickets by going one day earlier than originally planned) so I think by embarkation day, we’ll be ready for different surroundings (the ship). So we might go to the ship around noon....have the light lunch and linger around until our rooms are ready. 

Of course, what I find interesting.......our embarkation takes place on a Tuesday but we are still docked overnight in Amsterdam with a canal cruise excursion in Amsterdam on Wednesday and finally.....in the p.m. we begin cruising!   

Those of you who are “ocean” cruisers AND “river” cruisers .....do you feel you are getting a lot of “bang for your buck” considering the fact that river cruises are SO much more expensive?  Just curious to know your thoughts.   

 

 

I have only done one river cruise, and over a dozen Ocean Cruises.  IMHO, comparing the two is like apples and oranges. 

Bang for a buck.  To me  it’s about the same. Mind you I don’t cruise the Caribbean.  When I cruise it’s usually places I have never been.  I don’t need a wild time, I usually travel on my own, food was fine. Entertainment was local and the service was great. 

 

I think I just like being catered too. 

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We are booked on the Blue Danube and Jewish Heritage cruise beginning August 13 on the Imagery 11, and have extended our Budapest and Prague days before and after the cruise. Has anyone else been on this cruise to recommend certain excursions or sites to see? Is anyone else booked for this cruise?

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We did the Danube with Prague extension last fall with Avalon. It was a great trip. I would definitely suggest planning more in Prague on your own. The included tour was a nice overview but there is SO much more there to see. Our hotel was great, excellent location near bridge and Jewish Quarter. We took a half day private walking tour with a guide we found on Rick Steves website. Reasonably priced and a terrific guide. Wish we had more time there. On the Danube we did the included tours that were generally very good. I think the only optional tour we did was the night tour of Budapest. It was pretty good but not excellent. 

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We are doing our first river cruise in July - on the Rhone. Having done several ocean cruises we know the format on the last night - luggage outside your stateroom by a certain time. This means we pack a holdall for our overnight things etc. to walk off with. Does this also apply to river cruises or in view of fewer passengers do we just disembark with all our luggage?

Thanks in anticipation of an answer.

David

 

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3 hours ago, robbieandjimmy said:

We are doing our first river cruise in July - on the Rhone. Having done several ocean cruises we know the format on the last night - luggage outside your stateroom by a certain time. This means we pack a holdall for our overnight things etc. to walk off with. Does this also apply to river cruises or in view of fewer passengers do we just disembark with all our luggage?

Thanks in anticipation of an answer.

David

 

No need to leave bags out night before. After breakfast you will go back to you room, pick up your bags and disembark.  There will be a board with your departure times in the lobby if you are going to the airport with them. If not they will call you a cab.  

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If you have transfers from the river cruise line, or are taking a post-cruise extension, they will ask that you put your bags outside your cabin – in the morning.  They have no place to store them overnight, so they wait until the van arrives that is going to transport the bags.

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On 4/13/2019 at 4:13 PM, racknlube said:

We are booked on the Blue Danube and Jewish Heritage cruise beginning August 13 on the Imagery 11, and have extended our Budapest and Prague days before and after the cruise. Has anyone else been on this cruise to recommend certain excursions or sites to see? Is anyone else booked for this cruise?

I fell in love with Budapest and it’s rich history.  

I want to recommend a restaurant I ate at twice. https://www.google.es/search?q=macesz+bistro&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-es&client=safari#fid=0x4741dc69b6afdc4d:0x4660edc90c3ae78b&fpstate=luuv&imagekey=!1e10!2sAF1QipM89LGNcUbpDLrLAmKqTxUXuAakess1NxldNAx_&viewerState=ga

 

Its in the old Jewish quarter and has a mix of Hebrew and Hungarian Food.  Portion sizes are  Large.  Food is made fresh.  

 

I love hurgarían  wines.  Very crispy Rose’s I took an optional tour of a few vineyards in the country side.  

 

If you like like antiques I ran across a gem 

Fordova Antikvitás behind the Opera House 
Budapest, Hajós u. 18, 1065, Hungary. 
 
Enjoy your time there. I did. 

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On 4/17/2019 at 5:54 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

If you have transfers from the river cruise line, or are taking a post-cruise extension, they will ask that you put your bags outside your cabin – in the morning.  They have no place to store them overnight, so they wait until the van arrives that is going to transport the bags.

Thank you and to Cobbie48 for your quick replies. Our cruise finishes in Dijon then we have 2 nights in Paris as part of the overall holiday. We catch a TGV  from Dijon to Paris. That's good to know about the bags as a holdall for overnight stuff is one less thing to pack!!

David

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On 3/30/2019 at 5:57 PM, schda12 said:

Our Basel to Amsterdam cruise in September ends with two nights in Amsterdam.  Since the cruise is the last part of a longer trip, we decided to fly home the day the cruise ends.  To avoid a time crunch, I booked a 3pm departure on a route that connects in Zurich.

 

When should we expect to be required to leave the ship?  

 

What method of transportation to the airport do you recommend?  We did not book our flights through Avalon, so they are not providing airport transportation.  Perhaps Avalon offers (with a fee) joining fellow passengers on a bus to the airport.  

 

It looks like we might be docked within a short walk to the main train station with frequent non-stop service to the airport.

 

Thanks,

David

David, if you are doing a “cruise only” itinerary you’ll probably be expected to depart the ship by late morning at the latest. But, if you paid for the full cruise, which includes a full day, with excursions, and the final night in Amsterdam, you should be able to stay on board as long as you wish on your last day.  But there are usually very few, if any, pax who depart a day early.  

You can either book a transfer to the airport with Avalon, or they will call a taxi for you.  

 

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Leisure Tour Level?

I noticed a new category somewhere on the Avalon website but no details of what the Leisure tour/activity option entails. It was in addition to the current Classic, Discovery & Active excursions. I zipped this question to our TA, but figured knowledgeable Cruise Critic members might answer before she replies!

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On 4/17/2019 at 3:19 PM, Flamencacha said:

I fell in love with Budapest and it’s rich history.  

I want to recommend a restaurant I ate at twice. https://www.google.es/search?q=macesz+bistro&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-es&client=safari#fid=0x4741dc69b6afdc4d:0x4660edc90c3ae78b&fpstate=luuv&imagekey=!1e10!2sAF1QipM89LGNcUbpDLrLAmKqTxUXuAakess1NxldNAx_&viewerState=ga

 

Its in the old Jewish quarter and has a mix of Hebrew and Hungarian Food.  Portion sizes are  Large.  Food is made fresh.  

 

I love hurgarían  wines.  Very crispy Rose’s I took an optional tour of a few vineyards in the country side.  

 

If you like like antiques I ran across a gem 

Fordova Antikvitás behind the Opera House 
Budapest, Hajós u. 18, 1065, Hungary. 
 
Enjoy your time there. I did. 

Thank you for your recommendations. We are looking forward to experiencing both Budapest and Prague, as well as the Danube, and the people on the ship. 

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Has anyone on the All Things Avalon thread taken the Amsterdam to Amsterdam beer themed tulip time cruise?  Actually, since several different beer themed cruises are offered on different routes, I’d be interested in the experience. I’m NOT a beer fan, but my husband contributes to a beer blog and it’s a big thing for him. 

 

I ask specifically about the tulip time cruise because Belgium/Holland beers are his main interest; but I’d like to know in general how such a focused cruise worked out for others. 😁. We’ve spent a lot of time in the Flemish countries so know the territory. He loves both countries. (I prefer Italy..lol). 

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Just now, Spideysmum said:

Has anyone on the All Things Avalon thread taken the Amsterdam to Amsterdam beer themed tulip time cruise?  Actually, since several different beer themed cruises are offered on different routes, I’d be interested in the experience. I’m NOT a beer fan, but my husband contributes to a beer blog and it’s a big thing for him. 

 

I ask specifically about the tulip time cruise because Belgium/Holland beers are his main interest; but I’d like to know in general how such a focused cruise worked out for others. 😁. We’ve spent a lot of time in the Flemish countries so know the territory. He loves both countries. (I prefer Italy..lol). 

We did this cruise last year with no particular interest in beer, we picked it because of the timing.  The cruise runs just like any other Tulips and Windmills cruise with the added bonus of a beer expert on board and free excursions to various breweries around.  I can't remember if there was one in every port, but there were several of them.  There were also beer tastings in the forward lounge and there was a beer pairing dinner towards the end of the cruise.  If you love beer it's great, if you don't love beer it's also great.  

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It's been too quiet in this thread for three weeks now.  Isn't anyone cruising, or recently returned home, or about to depart? 

 

I'd like to read about water levels, in particular.  Especially, the Danube.  We are doing Linz to Budapest next month.  I know things can change drastically in a months time. I still like to read about other's adventures. 

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3 minutes ago, Kenster said:

It's been too quiet in this thread for three weeks now.  Isn't anyone cruising, or recently returned home, or about to depart? 

 

I'd like to read about water levels, in particular.  Especially, the Danube.  We are doing Linz to Budapest next month.  I know things can change drastically in a months time. I still like to read about other's adventures. 

Hi Kenster,

 

Not sure if you've seen it, I think it's dropped off the first page or two, but there's an excellent thread about just that, Danube water levels.  I'll try to link it here, but if the link doesn't work, just keep scrolling, you'll find it.  If you post your question in there, you'll bump the thread to the top.

 

 

 

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Thanks AMYR.  I check that often.  There has not been much updating, plus now it's been used for other topics, too.  I'm not sure why they did that.  There is plenty of room in the forums to post questions about "other topics" like UNESCO sites, which is one of the topic currently taking up space on the "Danube River Levels" thread. 

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We cruised with Avalon June 20 to July 3, Budapest to Bucharest. 

Water levels were fine.

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A group of us are doing an Avalon Rhine cruise this fall.  Question, should we book our included shore excursion ahead of time or wait until we board the boat?  Also, does Avalon ever cancel included excursions for reasons other than weather or political unrest?

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2 hours ago, oneadam12 said:

A group of us are doing an Avalon Rhine cruise this fall.  Question, should we book our included shore excursion ahead of time or wait until we board the boat?  Also, does Avalon ever cancel included excursions for reasons other than weather or political unrest?

Forgot to answer your second question...we've been on 3 Avalon trips & have not experienced any cancellations.  Perhaps, if not enough people participating, they may cancel the excursions. 

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4 hours ago, oneadam12 said:

A group of us are doing an Avalon Rhine cruise this fall.  Question, should we book our included shore excursion ahead of time or wait until we board the boat?  Also, does Avalon ever cancel included excursions for reasons other than weather or political unrest?

My experience is a little different. On our Avalon Rhone cruise a couple of years ago, any optional tours that were booked before the cruise went on as planned, regardless of how many people had signed up. There were a couple of optional tours where no one signed up beforehand, and then only a few people signed up on board. Those tours were canceled due to lack of interest. 

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We are doing our first river cruise leaving October 22 for 15 days. Budapest to Amsterdam.  Anyone ever cruised during this time of year who could tell me about weather? Trying to decide how to pack.....Lightly, which I am NOT good at. Very excited and great reading everything on this thread. We are coming to Budapest a few days before departure. I can go straight to the boat on my own or do we have to meet the group at a specific location?

thanks for any help or advice!

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