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Bo1953

River Cruise Cabins???

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Hello all,

 

We are new to the world of river cruising and wanted to get others input on the various cruise lines cabins.

 

By this I mean standard (non-suite/owner) cabins concerning size, furnishings etc...

 

I do expect them to be somewhat smaller than ocean sailing cabins or have I missed the mark in this pre-conception?

 

From there itineraries will kick in... mainly looking at sailings in France and the Netherlands...

 

TIA for your input and thoughts...

 

bon voyage

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Hi Bo, I have been on  one River Cruise and I am going on my 2nd one in October:classic_biggrin:.  My first one was back in 2016 on AMA Waterways and it was called TULIPTIME. Amsterdam roundtrip in the spring

and the flowers were magnificent:classic_smile:

My next one is going to be on UNIWORLD out of Venice.   Anyway, the cabin I had was just a standard window. Yes, it was on the smaller side but I sail solo so plenty of room.:classic_smile: I think it was about 160 sq ft.

Not sure the exact footage of the one coming up.

 

But just remember, you are off the boat during the days....there is touring both am and pm!

 

I know there are many river cruisers with a lot more experience than me so I am sure they will chime in too!

 

Have fun researching:classic_biggrin:

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Hi Bo, we've been on several river cruises, and 3 different lines and have always booked the least expensive cabin category, mostly because we spend very little time in the cabin, and also because it would be very disappointing to spend thousands of dollars more for an upgraded cabin, only to have the view blocked while rafted to another ship (which happens frequently on some cruises).  That said, we did love our cabin on Crystal Bach with the floor to ceiling retractable window.

All of the cabins that we've booked seem small at first sight, but somehow we manage to find space for all that we bring on board.  The Uniworld ships that we've been on have not had refrigerators in the cabin, which gives us more drawer space. We've had sufficient closet space on all of our cruises, but I think we had a little less shelf space on the Bach.  We managed, though! On Crystal it was nice to have the fridge, but not at all necessary with easy access to the bar and also room service included.  The bathrooms that we've had are tiny, with room for only one at a time, unless one is in the shower!  On Bach, the upgraded cabins seem to have more bathroom space (2 sinks instead of one), but I don't know if the floor space is significantly larger.

Some on this board seem very put off by the interior decor of Uniworld's ships, and although I wouldn't decorate my home the same way, the sometimes extravagant designs never bothered me. Mostly I found the atmosphere elegant, but not stuffy.

Also, the beds on Uniworld are probably the most comfortable I've ever slept in (including my own)!

Our Cabin on the Bach:

IMG_1670.JPG

IMG_1754.JPG

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The Aquarium Deck aka lowest deck with high windows cabins on Avalon are 172 sq. feet. We've not yet sailed, but research shows them to be larger than the same type of cabin on Ama & Viking. Also larger than the BC veranda cabin we've booked on the NCL Jewel.

 

Since most river boats travel from one port to another at night, daytime scenery as above might be rare. And with rafting of one  boat to another on river cruises while in port might mean your view is right into the veranda next to you. That happened to us on the Yangtze when we skipped an excursion to relax on our veranda instead- HA!

 

BTW the cabin pictured above reminds me of the Celebrity Edge Infinite verandas.

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Hi Bo.  I think I recognize you from the Celebrity board.

 

I've done 3 cruises on Uniworld in 3 different classes of cabins, including a suite with a butler.  Going forward, unless there's special sale or promotion, I'm going to book the "aquarium class" cabins on the lower floor.  They have a skinny horizontal window that runs along the top of the outside wall at the waterline.  I got to see what goes on with the underside of a duck. 🦆 😄

 

As was already mentioned, your days will be filled with tours.  In the evening, there's dinner, maybe some entertainment and/or drinks in the lounge, and then it's back to your cabin to get ready for the next day's activities.  You're not going to spend much time in your cabin, unlike ocean cruises where you're sitting out on your balcony for hours on sea days.  

 

The people who post in this forum are very friendly and willing to share information about their river cruising experiences, so ask away.

 

I recommend the Rhine as a beginner's cruise. 

 

Roz

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Posted (edited)

We sailed the Rhine on Avalon, had a cabin on the middle deck.  It was about 200 sq feet with a sliding glass window that went almost all the way across the end of the room (I think there was about 3 feet or so that didn't open).  It was comfortable, with room for a small 2 seater sofa, a table & chair as well as the bed that faced the window.  The bathroom was quite a good size, sink with lots of counter space to put your stuff on when you neede it.  Shower was a good size as well, no banging elbows trying to wash my hair.  The closet had room to hang pants & shirts, with some shelving to store folded clothes.  Here is probably the best pic I can find to give you an idea as to how they utilise the space :

 

The window opens to the chair tquiDbN49D_8y3W2ebkkSHk9BEsVVBdAX45lwVU0X9n1nqKVu-SYd-Uhru4NbPhi6HwWYZYvR6ZHV26nT7sfHEvw9Ws42e4a8fJhFb7os4sWS6j1t5bls_-JW1mHCtBYuXNeownd426f8PuG6cC0LpVr-10agznlOOIsDnb2wFvcczi2I2Obvcz_Xh_V1N9R1ITjuY27moutCDD72avcwn-XU3jwF9RC8-4NefA9BMloPAjttdtz06LiX-nUyJJn929_MvCXFk2g7zAcssC4x_CifWo-ZfN93-ZsKu_7nZfJsEmK887PyC_P1NQ5wOZRzNw0r1lkY8ij8DdvNXGJqUSnwmSx-GplLpIBgei7rzqbmmjfw3IKGZ3f6NZx0jblnkDi-TuQFnnuAHpEgXdnc9aptM1hncsN8icISs8VqAuh7dYiv7L5eh6kqKOSYahWJ_G-2dS49WRjdx2ocY_nsG5RPqmjXKokpa5jk_0EUv94nVaL_zQvLHcvnErgeJWVy1tbSJrDNcdioNfr7NVthacs_1q9DaoFa-BfO_slj-kdWS6IvS0E0Xknr3icgT79wEFOYpJZWbJ5KHk7madhD6Ihk8dzpZCn-5XQKG1v43uhqMml6e3dqDQIbu22RoSIOUrDJMsMmpNDIl9OqqUyCBiaBfhQ8Ih_=w709-h945-no

 

FuBpO995N9FkNsS8HVzgw6kbg_VQ5SKfYwZAbiqayapPN6CBonSpS6Idyl7d2BI1RD-zud9YwkprIemClZ_JIY9r6Yo16iCm_hyjUnJAyp80sAj60MVTLY5iWFO0ZMLyKiaxR7WRMxkUtTON02qQXLqAC2rsnkFLFT3X0PpoEhS_zMY1P6Kao8yGCpUwBiRCVbLmG7fG1lcTbn263wHP8RofmqFyVe1totIzUy43Bd9i0OBBrH9Gr8vzEHCBKKl3esron5mMMwpri0vXFG61z9FbqOM6j2JO3i3Jn8MOL4y6b82hTcEMiJX_AQ-Hdc_HYGCyBEUTsibohM2x5wCFKdH5ZXjQijz95w2paNuyNxFZkHJK4Dx3sgYtMRqHFG7QsHrD6NHxBE6_7-7_AY2hr3HkkAzNGpBnKNq2A0E6XyiaMSjbnnIY2Fcf-6lwt8uuHJVCfP4HJ2pe9dya5nsXkq5bxSJeG3TcQXsARbjximN6S7RtwLk3n2x3qgHkwPlzVdFDV_h4oeQmJA8iU_zS4yjh7lnNWetxTfa02RIO1Xpg5dracfCmxTFYNXEmtFQ2I0hMZi1worP264FoNuKwfZZbyo0p4mbgvbySR70Kb9G-fN3ID-_vLquHuL82kHdp2IIYSLWCqHBmJoMOXe_t4-F2geBfzsmd=w1680-h373-no

Edited by Daisi

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Bo - you may have already noticed the stickies on the home page posted by Host Jazzbeau.  If not, make sure you don't miss them, especially: 

Our first river cruise was on Uniworld in 2015 after doing absolutely no research.  My brother and sister-in-law asked if we wanted to go on a 2 week river cruise (Budapest to Amsterdam) on Uniworld with them and her 82 year old mom.  We were game even though we had never heard of Uniworld since like many Americans all we ever saw at that time were commercials for Viking.  I asked how they picked the line and they replied that a friend of mom's at the gym highly recommended them.  When we were on the ship I said she needed to thank her friend for the recommendation.  She looked at me and said "I don't remember who it was, just some guy at the gym!"   We went and had a wonderful time and have taken 2 more river cruises with Uniworld and they have taken 4 more since then.

 

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River ship cabins were traditionally small, but the newer ships are mostly 135m long (rather than 110m) and the more upscale cruise lines have fewer passengers on their ships so they can make the cabins (and public spaces too) bigger.  River cruise cabins traditionally also offered a choice between the fixed-window type on the lowest deck and 'French balcony' cabins on the higher decks.  The latest trend is to either enhance the French Balconies with horizontally-opening windows [this is where Celebrity got the idea for Edge], sometimes with the bed facing the window, or to go for real balconies that you can sit on.  On AmaWaterways' recent classes of ships most cabins are 210-235sf and feature a 'twin balcony' where half is a French balcony [doesn't steal space from the cabin and can be used in all weather] and half is a real balcony.  [There is no reason to accept a 135sf cabin on any river ship – there are better alternatives.]

 

There are good arguments for booking the 'Aquarium class' cabins on the lowest deck, since there is little daytime cruising on most itineraries and when there is you should be on the top deck with 360° views – and unlike ocean ships there is no class system on river ships so everybody gets the same treatment in the dining room and on excursions.  But DW and I prefer to get a French Balcony cabin on the middle deck – less expensive than the top deck, avoids possible noise issues from the sun deck above, and we really enjoy the full-wall picture window even if we never open the sliding pane.  Bottom line is that both are good choices.

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As the others have said.

 

We only use our cabin for sleeping, showering and dressing.

 

For sight seeing while cruising we use the lounge or open spaces where we can see both banks.

 

During the day there's so much time off the boat on included or optional sightseeing trips, then there's meal times so there's little time to spend in ones cabin.

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Look at the Square Footage of the Cabin. Sometimes they include the outside Balcony in the total so beware. 

 

The cabins are very well laid out but if you are a larger size person I would go for the largest square footage. You don’t need the suite. Just enough room around the bed. 

 

All the cabins are similarly decorated no matter which size but each brand has a specific decorative style. Examine and compare the cabin, lounge and dining room photos. You want to be happy!  I’m sure you’ll find the perfect match. 

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20 hours ago, Roz said:

Hi Bo.  I think I recognize you from the Celebrity board.

 

I've done 3 cruises on Uniworld in 3 different classes of cabins, including a suite with a butler.  Going forward, unless there's special sale or promotion, I'm going to book the "aquarium class" cabins on the lower floor.  They have a skinny horizontal window that runs along the top of the outside wall at the waterline.  I got to see what goes on with the underside of a duck. 🦆 😄

 

As was already mentioned, your days will be filled with tours.  In the evening, there's dinner, maybe some entertainment and/or drinks in the lounge, and then it's back to your cabin to get ready for the next day's activities.  You're not going to spend much time in your cabin, unlike ocean cruises where you're sitting out on your balcony for hours on sea days.  

 

The people who post in this forum are very friendly and willing to share information about their river cruising experiences, so ask away.

 

I recommend the Rhine as a beginner's cruise. 

 

Roz

Roz,

 

Thank you, I Am from the X board... one of our favourite lines, to be sure.

 

You recommend the Rhine as opposed to Bordeaux or Burgundy sailings?

 

bon voyage

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I've not done any river cruises in France, but I'm sure they're wonderful.  I suggested the Rhine because you get to see 4 countries - the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland, and the section will all the  castles is very scenic.  

 

Roz

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The Rhine is often recommended as a good first river cruise itinerary, for the reasons that Roz mentions.  It's also only 7 days – while most people love river cruising, there are a few who realize early on that it's not for them, and it would be terrible to have 12 more days staring you in the face if that's the case!  Rhine cruises end in Basel – your enjoyment will be even greater if you can spend a few days afterward in Lucerne and Zurich.

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2 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

The Rhine is often recommended as a good first river cruise itinerary, for the reasons that Roz mentions.  It's also only 7 days – while most people love river cruising, there are a few who realize early on that it's not for them, and it would be terrible to have 12 more days staring you in the face if that's the case!  Rhine cruises end in Basel – your enjoyment will be even greater if you can spend a few days afterward in Lucerne and Zurich.

I would love to do upwards of 14 days on a river cruise, alas do not think my bank account or spouse or friends who will travel with me would enjoy it for that long!

 

Thank you for your input...

 

bon voyage

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5 hours ago, Bo1953 said:

Roz,

 

Thank you, I Am from the X board... one of our favourite lines, to be sure.

 

You recommend the Rhine as opposed to Bordeaux or Burgundy sailings?

 

bon voyage

 

I'm an X fan too, Bo. RE: Bordeaux- my dear friend 4774Papa has looked into a river cruise and found it is mainly focused on wine. But Azamara (loyalty reciprocity!) & Oceania respectively have 9 & 7 day cruises that overnight in Bordeaux and, in addition, visit ports in northern Spain & Porto + Lisboa. So those are something to consider in lieu of a river cruise to those areas.

 

The Rhine cruises that include a Swiss add-on would be my 1st choice if you've not visited that part of Europe.

But the Danube cruises include some great cities including Prague, Vienna & Budapest.

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1 hour ago, TMLAalum said:

 

I'm an X fan too, Bo. RE: Bordeaux- my dear friend 4774Papa has looked into a river cruise and found it is mainly focused on wine. But Azamara (loyalty reciprocity!) & Oceania respectively have 9 & 7 day cruises that overnight in Bordeaux and, in addition, visit ports in northern Spain & Porto + Lisboa. So those are something to consider in lieu of a river cruise to those areas.

 

The Rhine cruises that include a Swiss add-on would be my 1st choice if you've not visited that part of Europe.

But the Danube cruises include some great cities including Prague, Vienna & Budapest.

t - Thanks for the input... out of the group of eight (8), so far, their hearts are set on a river cruise, so a river cruise it is.

 

Seeing most everyone is recommending a Rhine cruise, I will bring that to the group for their consideration....

 

The next step is researching cruise lines and it sounds like Uniworld and AmaWaterways are some of the better ones, correct?

 

t and everyone else, thank you very much for your sage, considered and experienced input...

 

bon voyage

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Although Prague is often offered as a hotel stay at the beginning or end of Danube and Main River Cruises it is several hours from either of those rivers and not even in either watershed. Prague is on the Vltava River which flows into the Elbe. A Prague to/from Berlin trip offers some great stops, but unfortunately has some of the least reliable water levels in Europe (I was lucky enough to have no water issues when I did this cruise). 

 

I concur with choosing the Rhine for a first cruise, based on the large number of scenic castles, the passage through the Middle Rhine Gorge and the typical end points of Amsterdam and Switzerland. I enjoyed the cruise out of Bordeaux with its wine chateau but sailing is relatively short and in tidal estuaries. The Rhône in Burgundy is a strong second choice as is the Danube. 

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11 hours ago, Bo1953 said:

t - Thanks for the input... out of the group of eight (8), so far, their hearts are set on a river cruise, so a river cruise it is.

 

Seeing most everyone is recommending a Rhine cruise, I will bring that to the group for their consideration....

 

The next step is researching cruise lines and it sounds like Uniworld and AmaWaterways are some of the better ones, correct?

 

t and everyone else, thank you very much for your sage, considered and experienced input...

 

bon voyage

 

Hi again Bo-

Can you add to your group of 8? We lucked out in May '18 when our group of 10 was investigating river cruises and were able to benefit from an Avalon promotion that was giving one free berth (or equivalent price discount) for 5 cabins instead of the typical 8. It's worth checking group policy/pricing for all the lines. We also got $75 OBC + 2 free cocktails per cabin. We used a local travel agent affiliated with a larger company.

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11 hours ago, Bo1953 said:

t - Thanks for the input... out of the group of eight (8), so far, their hearts are set on a river cruise, so a river cruise it is.

 

Seeing most everyone is recommending a Rhine cruise, I will bring that to the group for their consideration....

 

The next step is researching cruise lines and it sounds like Uniworld and AmaWaterways are some of the better ones, correct?

 

t and everyone else, thank you very much for your sage, considered and experienced input...

 

bon voyage

I would go for the 8 days Rhine itinerary on one of the lines you have mentioned. Scenic has been mentioned favourably, I would look into their itinerary as well.

 

The Rhine and the Danube rival each other in popularity, so I think if you chose the Danube instead it would not be wrong. The Rhone has been mentioned as being a little less scenic, so based on what I know from a land trip the ports are great but to "show off" river cruising to your group stick to Rhine or Danube. 

 

Ignore the Elbe.

 

But I will throw the Moselle and Main into the conversation as you will come across those rivers during your research. I like the itineraries of the companies that do the Moselle in combination with a part of the Rhine northbound or southbound. But for a 10day cruise Rhine with Moselle is also nice. I would love to do a Remich (Moselle) to Nuremberg (Main plus canal) cruise as offered by Avalon for example. Out of necessity a short stretch of that is also on the Rhine. This is a cruise 95 percent on German territory. However, you and/or some others in the group might want to do that as a second or third cruise - this type of travel can become "addictive" 😁.

 

As regards your original question regarding cabin size. I enjoyed my French balcony very much. I was on an older ship but even there found the cabin adequate for the amount of time I spent in it. I have managed alright in smaller rooms in three star hotels. The lowest level where on the three passenger level ships you cannot open the windows - you are too close to the water line - might not be to everyone's liking so I would mention it to your group.

 

Have fun planning.

 

notamermaid

 

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We have only done three river cruises, one was Myanmar with APT and the cabins on there were way large rooms than most balcony cabins on cruise ships. 

 

A more “normal” cruise was Scenic on the Rhine and the cabin was smaller but still fine size wise. What we didn’t like was the balcony configuration. We had expected it to be like the photo of the Crystal cabin earlier posted, but in fact the opening window was behind a full size glass window with a door leading onto the balcony. 

 

Earlier this year we had a cruise on Riviera Travel's William Shakespeare and the French 

Windows slid back fully which was marvellous. Their prices were also considerably cheaper and the tours, food and ambience were comparable with Scenic, and the drink prices considerably less. 

9B044365-7DC7-49EA-B47D-986359BF208F.jpeg

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I just got off the Scenic Gem 11 day itinerary Paris to Paris.  We were in a Deluxe Balcony due to a medical condition of mine which rules out the lower deck and being closer to the front stairs is favoured.  I am currently posting many pictures on my review if you care to have a look.  Our cabin was 20 sq feet larger at 225 sq feet than our friends in a balcony stateroom on the same deck.  That space was felt mostly at the end of the bed so our cabin was wider.  There was lots of space for all our things and our suitcases fit under the bed for storage.  And I did use our balcony, called the sun lounge on Scenic.

 

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Hi Bo!

I did the Danube on the Avalon Illumination last year. It was wonderful! Here are a few pics of Room 305 on the upper deck. I really loved the Panoramic Suite with the large window. 

 

—Jackie

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Hi Bo,

I agree with everyone's recommendation for the Rhine for a first river cruise.  If you want to go soon, Crystal River Cruises is running an excellent sale for cruises leaving Sept - Dec. 2019.  They are considered as good as Uniworld.  I have been on Uniworld's Castles of the Rhine cruise on the SS Antoinette.  We had a Junior Suite on Uniworld and it was a wonderful experience.  Crystal offers butler service for all the cabins onboard which is an upgrade from Uniworld which only offers butler service for junior suites and above.  In addition Crystal offers room service.  Uniworld only offers this to travelers in junior suites and above, so I booked a cruise on the Ravel in a S2 Deluxe Suite Panoramic Balcony Window Vienna to Vienna.  The space appears only a little smaller than the Junior Suite we had on the SS Antoinette.  Bathroom is the same with double sinks.  Decor is warm modern instead of Uniworld's lavish decor.  Honestly I like the decor on Uniworld and I like the warm modern decor on Crystal - both lines have well designed cabins! I got a really good price from the Crystal River Cruise sale. So I'm very excited.  Food is what Crystal really excels at and I'm looking forward to that and seeing some places I've never seen before!  Just like Uniworld Crystal is all-inclusive except for a few optional excursions which you don't have to do unless you want.  I do want to warn you to not book every single excursion you can.  We did that on Uniworld and really needed a long vacation after our vacation to recover.  Lesson learned - some downtime is time well spent!  We had an absolutely wonderful time, but I would not want to do a river cruise for every vacation because they are fairly well pre-programmed and I enjoy non-programmed vacations just as much as those with lots of tours.  

 

On the river ships, especially the higher end brands, you should have no problem getting vegan food.  I believe the worst problem I have heard of was from a cruiser on an Asian river cruise where they ate off the ship a lot as part of the included tours and some dinners as well and the restaurants the cruise line used simply could not accommodate his diet at all and he had to sit through many meals without eating. It always pays when traveling anywhere overseas to bring along some snack bars you can eat from home just in case you run into an issue like that or wake up in a hotel after a long haul flight starving hungry at 4am and nothing is open. I would not expect you to have that problem on an upscale European River Cruise, but I wanted to give you a heads up about possible issues with river cruises in Asia.  For those cruises ask lots of questions about where you will be eating and if your diet can be accommodated or not!

 

I hope you, your wife and friends all have an amazing time on your river cruise!  

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On 8/18/2019 at 12:24 PM, Bo1953 said:

Hello all,

 

We are new to the world of river cruising and wanted to get others input on the various cruise lines cabins.

 

By this I mean standard (non-suite/owner) cabins concerning size, furnishings etc...

 

I do expect them to be somewhat smaller than ocean sailing cabins or have I missed the mark in this pre-conception?

 

From there itineraries will kick in... mainly looking at sailings in France and the Netherlands...

 

TIA for your input and thoughts...

 

bon voyage

Depends on the cruise line and ship.  We've done three Avalon cruises and the cabins are MUCH bigger than standard "big" ships.  The majority of Avalon's standard cabins are 200 square feet.  Even their "aquarium"  class (bottom level) is 185 square feet.  Both are quite a bit larger than most other river cruise lines, actually they're about 30% larger than the industry standard.  Viking, for example, indicates their cabins are 150 square feet.

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I have done 4 river cruises.  We just returned from Avalon's Central European Experience.  We have the middle deck and it was a wonderful room.  Other friends we met had the aquarium rooms on the lower decks, and they were fine with them as we spent little time in our rooms.  But there are times where it is wonderful to have your own open air view.  We were sailing on the Mossell and I stayed in bed enjoying the scenery.

 

I loved all our cruises.  I don't know that I would favor the Rhine over the Danube; they are just different.  Danube is more pastoral and Rhine more industrial.

IMG_2810.JPG

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