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River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

Queensland
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River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

My husband and I will be traveling with Evergreen tours on a River Crusine down the Danube, Main and Rhine during the month of June. I was wondering if anyone else has been on this trip and how they found it? As we have never been to Europe before we would like to know how warm/cold the weather will be? ie do we take heavy coats or light weight jackets. Also, does every country trade in euro or do we need different currencies? Thanks for all your help.

Brisbane
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28 posts
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1. Re: River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

I am traveling on this cruise (but in May). This will be our first time also and I would like info too. Hope someone posts replies!!

I had a look on the evergreen website and the luggage allowance whilst on tour is one suitcase with a maximum weight of 20 kilograms. Makes it difficult for us ladies! I have been searching the web and typing in the main locations, weather and May and most of the time it gives you approx weather conditions for that area. If I get a chance whilst on the trip I will post the conditions. Enjoy your trip!!

Queensland
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2. Re: River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

Thanks you for your reply. I have also done some research and it looks that it would be best to take different layers of clothing as I have been told nights can be cold. I agree that the case are a little small for us ladies. One good tip I received is when going with husband/partner make sure that you pack some of each others clothing in each suitcase - if one case gets lost then you still have some clothing to go on with. It will be great to hear from you and about your experiences.

Brisbane
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28 posts
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3. Re: River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

Well I'm back from my trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was better than I expected even though it was fairly cold and wet most of our trip average temp 15 degrees C. I'm from Queensland so felt the cold more than the southerners. Layers are the way to go and you need a really light weight rain jacket that you can roll up into your bag. I took shorts to wear but it was too cold so wore jeans most of the time. Take a small umbrella with you also or buy one while you are over there- we definitely got good use out of ours. It started to get better weather in Wurzberg and we were lucky to have a few fine days whilst travelling along the Rhine. We were able to wear lighter clothing on these days.

I hope you are going on the Amadeus Diamond as the crew were fantastic. Frank was our Evergreen Cruise Director and Andreea our ship director and they were really helpful and informative. Unfortunately my mum was sick but Frank organised to get her to a doctor whilst on one of the day trips which helped a lot and she was better towards the end of the trip. Nothing was too much hassle for them. The restaurant staff were friendly and the drinks staff were great and never complained even though we kept them working hard and working late in the bar most nights. Gabor makes great Grasshoppers!

In regards to the currency they accept Euro on the ship and everywhere else except Budapest which uses the Forint. Take some Euro with you and before buying in a store check to see if they accept credit card as some only accept cash. If you see an ATM get money out as we didn't see a lot whilst we were on the tours. Also the ship does not accept visa debit cards only normal credit cards and Euro if paying by cash. If you need any other info let me know. Have a great trip and hope the weather is better for you.

Naples, Florida
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4 posts
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4. Re: River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

WE too have just returned from an European River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest (April 24-May 9) We booked with COLLETTE Vacations who then contract with Leuftner Cruises. We were on the Amadeus Symphony. The trip was rated as DELUX but I would rate it as 1st class at the best. The crew on board were excellent, but the ship was older and did not have internet access as did many of the newer ships. We had to spend much of our very limited free time looking for internet cafes on shore. WE followed the AMA AMADOLCE and AMADANTE down the rivers. We were actually moored beside the AMADOLCE and had a chance to tour the ship and talk to the passengers. Although there were problems with low water and broken locks, it seems that the problems were handled in a far superior manner on the AMA cruise than they were handled by our ship.

Our trip turned out to be an experience of frustration and disappointment.

The local tour guide in Amsterdam was disorganized and had poor command of the English language. She spent more time discussing with the driver where he should drive rather than conducting the tour. We ended the tour at a commercial diamond factory (we were not impressed)followed by free time at a flea market! Where were the canals and the tulips or even the Red Light DIstrict?. (AMA customers had a canal tour and an excellent city tour of Amsterdam.)

The following day, we arrived three hours late to Cologne and had a very quick walking tour of the church square. (45 minutes rather that the 2 hour scheduled tour.) The tour guide was subpar. We had 45 minutes free time and then it was back to the ship. So much for Cologne.

Our tours of Koblenz and Wurtzburg were excellent however as were the tour guides. However, due to low water on the river, we kept falling behind schedule and many of the tours were shortened and we had very little free time to tour on our own.

One of the passengers on our ship had a fall so the ship had to dock along the river to get an ambulance to come. According to Collette, there was always medical personnel on board. This was not the case. Further on in the trip another passenger fell and as it turned out, broke her arm.. When she got back to the ship they did not even have a sling! They cut up a bed sheet and told her to go to a drug store at the next stop and buy a sling!

By the time we arrived at Bamberg we were really running behind. We docked a good 20 minutes from the town. We had a one hour tour of Bamberg (scheduled for three hours) and then it was back to the ship. Instead of sailing for Nuremberg that night we stayed in Bamberg at their docks. (not the most pleasant docks.) The next day we were bused (instead of sailing) to Nuremberg (2 hours) for a short two hour tour, dropping guests off at the train station on the way. That afternoon we were supposed to have free time as well as two optional tours in Nuremberg all of which were cancelled and we were bussed back to Bamberg at noon. The ship stayed in Bamberg all afternoon waiting for passengers to board for the second leg of the trip. The cruise director sat all afternoon at the docks waiting for passengers whose arrival time and arrival location were not known. We did take a 11Euro taxi ride into Bamberg in the afternoon to have another visit of the town just for something to do. I would have thought that Collette would have at least provided transportation!

By the time we arrived in Nuremberg we were a day and a half behind. We all sat in the ship at the docks in Nuremberg and watched a video of the Rhine and saw all the places that we missed!

We totally missed Passau and Linz. We took a bus trip to Munich (leaving 1 hour behind schedule) instead, but it was 2 ½ hours there, 3 hours in Munich and 2 ½ hours back. As a result we did not go on another long bus trip the next day to Salzburg.

On May 6th we did take the tour of Melk Abby and the Wachau Valley. It was an excellent tour but it was the first of three tours in one day!(They squeezed two days excursions into one)

We arrived in Vienna on the afternoon of May 6th the same day we did the Melk Abby tour. At 3 :00 PM we did a walking tour of Vienna, ran back to the boat had a quick buffet dinner and then were off again for Vienna by Night from 7:30- 11:00 PM. It was an exhausting day and hard to really enjoy the excursions.

We really feel cheated that we did not get the day and a half in Vienna. That was one of the highlights for us and we were unable to do any exploring on our own. We hustled back to the ship and set sail for Slovakia and finally got back on track. The last three days of the cruise were as planned; however we were so disappointed with the cruise up to then that we had a hard time getting into the spirit of the trip.

The staffs from the dining room to the house cleaners onboard were superior and they made the cruise on board very enjoyable. However, the lack of WiFi on board was upsetting and very inconvenient Some of the limited free time we had was spent trying to find an internet café!

We were advised that low water levels on the Rhine and lock repairs on the canal caused the delays. If this was the case, it still does not excuse that times were not made up when better circumstances permitted. We are certain that some of the problems were known before sailing and therefore believe corrective actions could have been taken as well as keeping the passengers better informed throughout the cruise.

When we got home, I sent a letter to Collette Vacations stating my disappointment with the cruise. They stated that Collette had no control over the events and that they were to speak to Leuftner Cruise lines about the matter. I did not contract with Leuftner Cruises, they did. I trusted Collette Vacations to provide us with the trip as outlined in the brochure . This certainly did not happen. Although the tour guides were hired by Leuftner, I would expect that they would be of the calliber promised by Collette. The majority were not.

I wold recommend the European River Cruise as it was beautiful cruising along the Rhine and if all had gone as planned, it is a great way to see that part of Europe. However, I would recommend AMA or Avalon Cruise lines as their ships are newer and technologically up to date. I also will never travel with COLLETTE again as they did not live up to their tour obligation and basically put the blame on Leuftner Cruise lines.

Brisbane
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28 posts
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5. Re: River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

Hi Susan 113,

Our ship was also with Luftner but the Amadeus Diamond is one of the newer ships. Evergreen Tours is part of Scenic Tours and is based in Australia. We were very happy with all our tour guides as all spoke English and the tours were great. Some tours were better than others but for my first trip I wanted to get a good overview of the towns but if I go again I will miss some of the group tours and do my own thing as there wasn't a lot of free time in each place.

We had internet access but was limited as the connection kept dropping out due to the bridges and locks but we understood that this was just part of the river cruise experience. I was glad I took my netbook anyway so I could download all my photos from my SD card - I think I took about 2000 photos!

We did have a delay in one lock which delayed us for a few hours but nothing compared to what you went through. I did hear about ships having problems the month before due to locks breaking down and the problems they had trying to get passengers to their destinations. I think two ships had to swap passengers from one ship to the other as both caught at a broken lock and couldn't go further. So all the passengers and crew had to swap ships, the ships were turned around and the passengers could get to their destinations.

That is so sad to hear that you had a dissapointing time and although we had wet cold weather it seems we were lucky that this was our only complaint. I hope they give you a discount or free upgrade for another trip as our experience with Luftner and the Amadeus Diamond was fantastic!

I travelled with my mum and I was one of the younger passengers on the trip and I knew it would be interesting but worried that it wouldn't be alot of fun but it was and I had a great time! So I will hopefully travel with the Amadeus Diamond again one day and I'm sure if you travel with Luftner again and hopefully the Amadeus Diamond your next experience will be better than your last.

ireland
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3 posts
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6. Re: River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

hi we just did avolan amsterdam to budepest 6/5/10 14 days you will need warm clothes and if you need more we found a lot in sales ie jumpers 5 euro in a hm store. bring books as the entertainment is limited and most people go to bed after dinner 10pm approx . boat sails at night and can be noisey going through locks and a lot of them . you will do a lot of sailing day time too and top deck closes a lot so you are in side a lot port calls are pretty short maybe 2 of 14 days are full ie amsterdam and budepest you will only need euro .oooh make sure you book and pay all trans fers as you will be slogged if you dont happy holiday

Naples, Florida
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4 posts
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7. Re: River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

I received a reply from Collette Vacations re our disappointment with the Danube River Cruise and they basically said so sad too bad! They said 'Collette has no control over the situation' They said Leuftner Cruise lines were responsible. I did not contract with Leuftner, I booked the tour with Collette. It seems to me Collette should be responsible to make sure the tour is as stated in their brochure, as well as to ensure that the tour guides and tours were as promised and of the caliber of a first class tour.

As I said in my other posting, it seems that they don't care. As of today, 8 people of the 26 people on the tour have written to express their disgust with the tour. I would think that would cause some concern!

THINK TWICE BEFORE YOU BOOK A COLLETTE VACATION!

Townsville
4 posts
1 review
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8. Re: River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

Just read your review, very helpful. We have just booked our first River Cruise with Scenic in May 2010. Didn't book a balcony as friends informed us you don't need it. What are the cabins like? Sue

Naples, Florida
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4 posts
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9. Re: River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

What ship are you on?

Townsville
4 posts
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10. Re: River Cruise Budapest to Amsterdam

I am doing a Scenic River Cruise next year in May, Looking forward to some advise and comments.

SuzyT