While watching the Australian Tennis Open a few weeks ago we were stuck by the commercial breaks showing river cruises.  You know, the ones where everyone looks happy, enjoying a glass of wine on the deck of a luxurious ship.  These happen to be beautiful people, but that is beside the point, they are all smiling as they cruise by glorious castles  surrounded by perfectly tended vineyards. 

Apparently there is more than one company providing river cruises and there are a lot rivers in Europe to cruise on.  River cruises in America are on the Snake River in the Northwest and of course the Mississippi River.  Those were tempting because the plane flight was shorter but we’ve been to the Pacific Northwest several times and enjoyed the Columbia Gorge and the small towns along the river.  The Mighty Mississippi on a paddle boat, cue Huck Finn, I’m sure would be fun but there again, we have enjoyed many of the small towns along the Mississippi.   

We decided to broaden our horizons and do something completely different.  Many of the European tours have a specific focus: castles, churches, museums, and of course, gastronomical delights and wineries.  How to decide?

There are a lot of cruise lines to choose from, some welcome children, some are for adults, some have a bit more room in the cabins,  gourmet meals as opposed to buffet. Bragging rites go to the best crew to guest ratio.  One cruise line even provides a butler for every suite.  Really, every suite (190 sq.ft.) has a butler!  Where he sleeps, we don’t know, but he is at your beck and call for whatever you need.  After several seasons of Downton Abby we feel like Carson is an old friend, but I’m not sure we want to vacation with him. I’m not sure our wardrobe could stand the scrutiny of the butler unpacking our bags. Some tiny print about dining reminded us that denim wasn’t appropriate wear for dinner.  Really?  I’d have to have a complete wardrobe makeover to sail with those folks.  Ok, the whole butler thing was intimidating and I like my comfy jeans.   We decided we’d probably be happier traveling with folks who didn’t know what to do with a butler either. We are going to cruise the Danube River, with 188 of our new BFF’s but without the butler.

We have additional time in Prague including a city tour, and several stops along the river including Vienna and Budapest, which we understand is actually two separate cities.  Buda and Pest, who knew?  When we aren’t enjoying wine on the poop deck we will be touring several cities along the river.  

Monty and I both swear we have seen river cruises surprisingly cheap.  Apparently those prices are only if you intend to spend time below decks actually rowing the boat.  But hey, it’s a once in a lifetime thing and we sacrificed the butler for a savings.  

We are spoiled, compared to our RV travel everything seems expensive.  Our usual travel adventure is simply a matter of deciding where we want to go and pumping some regular gas in the tank.   When we get tired we come home. The cruise took some different planning, no pay at the pump, just a one time check. 

This will be a totally different experience for us and we are really looking forward to it.    

9 replies
  1. Raef Dianne & Stuart
    Raef Dianne & Stuart says:

    So hilariously true!! You will enjoy the Danube cruise. We took it a number if years ago & it sounds quite similar…we were the 1st off the ship at each port & enjoyed each lovely town. Actually we purchased our down comforter I Regensburg Germany where the shops line streets that are about 6 feet wide & the 1st Lutheran church was still enjoying weekly services…
    We, like you, didn’t realize Buda & Pest were 2 separate towns… be sure & notice the stone Lions at the end of the bridge that are “tongueless”!
    Stu was also impressed with the purple hair on the young girls who wore white, skin tight jeans with red panties.. an eye catcher for sure…
    One peace of advice about Prague… jaywalking with a policeman on the corner will get one a ticket… & they want cash immediately or you go to the judge…. stu tells the story well… lol…

    Reply
    • Carrie Bonello
      Carrie Bonello says:

      Thanks, for reading me. I know Monty will be on the look out for the young women and I will have to remind him not to jay-walk while he is looking.

      Reply
  2. Jackie Patterson
    Jackie Patterson says:

    Carrie,
    Will look forward to your “Travel Article” from your cruise. It is on my bucket list but husband says ” after I kick the bucket” then do it. Safe trip!

    Reply
    • Carrie Bonello
      Carrie Bonello says:

      That is an unusual way to look at a ‘bucket list’ but it made me smile. I’m sure there will be stories to tell and you know I will share. Thanks for reading my silly stuff.

      Reply
  3. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Have a wonderful trip and looking forward to hearing all about it. I believe AARP February issue had an article on river cruises.

    Reply
    • Carrie Bonello
      Carrie Bonello says:

      We are looking forward to something very different, let someone else pup the gas or row the boat! Thanks for taking the time to read my silly stuff.

      Reply
  4. Glenn Gilmore
    Glenn Gilmore says:

    Mmm, the Charles bridge has been in Prague now for a few centuries, but is still beautiful & it is’t over the Danube it’s the Vltava river. Buda still on the hill Pest on the river I think. Have a great time.

    Reply

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