So you’ve been on a few ocean cruises and wonder what’s the difference going on a river cruise?
The cost is much higher at $400/day or more vs $200/day or less. However this includes all the wine and beer you want at dinner and many excellent guided tours. The ship is smaller with far fewer passengers – only 91 on our cruise. it’s easy on and off, no monster lineups. The scenery is stunning – green forests, verdant hills, picturesque villages. At one point we feel we are out in the field as we can smell the manure. Entertainment is pretty good – speakers on local history and singer and dancing.
Not much room in the cabin and much less public space. It can be hard to get way in a quiet spot. Dinner is served, lunch and breakfast is buffet. There is only one restaurant but also a lounge where coffee and cookies are always available. They also serve late night snacks in the ballroom and have happy hour daily. We find the food generally excellent. There are only 3 main course choices instead of 5 but the quality is consistently high.
Then you can bring on board all the wine, beer and spirits you want unlike most major ocean-going cruise ships. The cruise is naturally very port intensive. If you stay back there is not much to do on board – a hot tub and some lounge chairs. They have bikes that you can use so we will have to do that before we finish this cruise.
All in all, less is more. (Part 2 to be continued after the cruise…)