This Grand European river cruise has been on my wish list for a long time. We started in Budapest on Saturday, May 6, the Skadi is a lovely ship, our cabin was nice, it would have been nice to have two chairs instead of one chair and a stool, but otherwise was comfortable. The dining was wonderful, I needed special foods because of allergies and Ivan was wonderful assisting me. The ship's entertainment was fun and the service outstanding. I was surprised at the many ships at each port we visited. Sometimes several ships had to raft and walk through to get ashore, once we had to climb up to the top deck and cross over the top deck of the adjacent ship, then descend down to get off the ship.
The included shore excursions were great, those guides were outstanding and the choices of ports was good.
I was disappointed in the paid excursion to the Lipizzaner horses, we did not realize we would not get to see them perform or exercise, instead we had a tour of the stables. For the price of euro 99, for "Behind the Scenes at the Lipizzans" it was not what I expected.
The Ehrenbreitstein Fortress tour was a disappointment too. I could have taken the Cable Car and walked through the Fortress for 8 euros instead of euro 49 because the so called guide who did a ridiculous skit as we walked through the outside to the Bier Garden where he left us to go tour on our own. Had it not been for these two excursions this would have been a 5 star cruise.
There is so much history about WWII to be seen on this tour, I had read about the shoes memorial left along the Danube River in Budapest. The Skadi was anchored nearby. Seeing it saddened me to think this was done by the Nazi's. I loved seeing the castles and homes along the rivers.
Cruising down the rivers and going through the locks was wonderful, it was exciting to watch the ship rise up and cross the Continental Divide then descend through the Main to the Rhine River. Passing the Lorelai and hearing the story was wonderful. Seeing the Windmills at Kinderdijk was interesting, there were too many people inside the mill to be able tours upstairs.
Our veranda cabin was comfortable, it would have been nice to have two chairs inside instead of only one chair and a stool. It was chilly outside on our veranda most days so we didn't sit out there very much during the cruise. The WiFi was OK, best when anchored in port, worked in our cabin.