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Deenie33

What to expect in a 24 hr period

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I am exploring the possibility of a River Cruise and would love to know what a 24 hour period looks like.  I may have some misconceptions. For instance, I have been told that the majority of actual travel  time on the ship is is done at night which eliminates the chance to see the shore and its sights.  Plus, You are  docked during the day for excursions so that it really isn't worth paying extra for a balcony unless you like sitting out there in the dark essentially. 

If anyone can briefly account what a day/night is like, I would appreciate it.

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A lot depends on the itinerary.  Most lines give you a walking tour in the morning, then free time or they might move to another port in the afternoon.  I remember days of cruising past lovely vineyards growing up the sides of hills and castles on hill tops. You don't need a balcony but it is really nice to have a full door you can open. My suggestion is to check out the web sites for the different lines. We were on Viking the first time ( before they expanded) and Avalon twice. 

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I have been on 2 river cruises and will be going on my 3rd in April.  Daytime you are off the boat touring.....well, we

were on my cruises anyway.  Never booked a balcony and never missed it.  I love river cruising:classic_biggrin: and yes, travel

time is at night.

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Some folks cherish a balcony, even it there is nothing to see.     It's a chance to be OUTSIDE without needed to get "dolled up" to go in public!  I mean, even at sea, there's little to see but ocean, but we like being able to get fresh air whenever we want.

 

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We did not have a balcony, though the description said we had a French balcony --- there is no real balcony at all, but a few inches and a railing.  In most stops, there were tours that took the majority of the day, but there is a fair amount to see if you are underway in the evening.  We would simply go up on the top deck and enjoy the sights.  There were always a lot of people up there to chat with, and we spent part of each evening up there.  I don't see a great need for a balcony.  Sometimes you do move during the afternoon, and sightseeing from the top deck is easy.  There are times that you will have to duck down or even go below if there is a low bridge.  If you are in a lock, you can see the lock walls from your cabin if you want.  Some are quite deep, and it gets dark at the bottom.

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We only had one real "sit on the deck and look at the passing wonderful scenery" day on the Danube (Regensburg to Budapest).  All other travel was at evening/night and through lots of locks (15+). Jarring and noisy. Usually a walking tour (in the smaller towns) in the morning, then free time in town or on the ship. Excursions are low key. 

 

Check potential itineraries for travel times and dockings.  Also remember that the published itinerary is only a suggestion.  Actual travels will vary based on river traffic and water levels.  And always, always, always close your curtains at night, balcony or not. Otherwise, you may wake up to strangers looking in from a ship adjacent to yours due to multiple parallel berthing..

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You may want to post this over in the River Cruising forum - lots of helpful folks over there.

 

I've taken 3 European river cruises.  One on the Rhine and two on the Danube.  Typically you have an early breakfast followed by a tour.  You will usually come back on board for lunch and may have another tour in the afternoon or free time.  There will be a talk by the cruise director or captain in the lounge in the evening followed by dinner in the DR.  After dinner there may be some local entertainment in the lounge or people will just congregate and hang out there.  

 

The only time I recall any really good scenery while cruising during the daytime was while sailing thru the Rhine Gorge.  Even with a balcony, you may see more by being topside rather than outside your cabin. 

 

Cruising Along mentioned "multiple parallel berthing".  This is technically called rafting, and can occur anywhere.  In order to debark your ship, you may need to go thru 1, 2, or more other river ships in order to reach the dock.  This may involve going up and down stairs from one ship to the other.

 

I love river cruising, but it's a different experience than ocean cruising.  Having done 3 river cruises in Europe, I wouldn't pay extra for a balcony.

 

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