My wife and I chose this cruise for two reasons: (1) Our experience on the Crystal Symphony last year was excellent and we were able to obtain great pricing for this river cruise; and (2) the itinerary gave us a chance to visit our son who is studying abroad at a university in Germany.
Our journey was just seven days. We had no time to explore Switzerland or the Netherlands on either end of the trip. We felt this was plenty of time and did not regret the schedule at all.
Crystal's high quality was evident throughout our trip. The food and drinks were excellent. The staff was always cheerful and eager to assist. The boat was spotless and the itinerary and excursions were very well planned. We had a wonderful time.
Martin Kaye provided terrific music each night. He played a little of his own music, but mostly had the crowd singing to pop favorites from the 60s, 70s, 80s, etc. We also greatly enjoyed a special concert at a palace in Koblenz. It was a fancy production and a one-of-a-kind experience. We are kicking ourselves for not taking advantage of the organ recital in the Strasbourg Cathedral.
The food was magnificent, especially appetizers and desserts. The coffee and espresso need improvement, but then again, I find that we Americans tend to be dissatisfied with much of the coffee in Europe.
Finally, anyone who has problems with seasickness should consider a river cruise. I've never been on a more stable vessel.
We reserved Cabin 330 but the a/c was malfunctioning. We were moved to Cabin 228, but we immediately discovered that the view was blocked when we docked. Since we had paid for a room on the higher deck, we asked to be moved and our request was granted. The trouble was that the a/c went out in Cabin 321 soon after we moved. Worse, exhaust fumes from an AMA ship docked next to us, gave us headaches and nausea. Crysal let us spend the night back in Cabin 228 while they replaced the thermostat the next morning. Thereafter, Cabin 321 was chilly and perfect.
I don't think I ever slept better on vacation than I did on the beds on the Debussy. Really comfortable.
The cabins are small but very well appointed. The large flat screen TV is impressive as are the other tech features and furniture onboard. (A 220v to 110v converter is handy since the cabin has only a single U.S. power outlet.)
The bathroom is a tad too small, but it has wonderful features. The walk-in shower is nicely done. The heated bathroom floor is great. But it is still an extremely small space with too little room to maneuver.
We embarked on Sunday afternoon. All shops are closed on Sundays. ALL shop, including drug stores and t-shirt shops. There are nice cafes to visit, but little else other than organized tours.
Strasbourg is beautiful and a great city for walking around. We arrived on Whit's Monday, a bank holiday, so there was no shopping to be done except for souvenir stands. The cafes were great and the springtime crowds were modest. We highly recommend this port.
We had a little bit of rain but it did not dampen our spirits. The cable car ride to see the Niederwald and the monument were wonderful. So was the apple strudel and Rudesheim coffee afterward.View All 54 Niederwald Cable Car Reviews
We toured the fort across from Koblenz. The views were great and so is the cafe at the fort. I wish we had skipped the group tour, however. It took too much time and hampered our ability to enjoy the cafes of Koblenz.View All undefined undefined Reviews
We toured the Dom (Cologne Cathedral) on our own and loved it. We did a little shopping and had a wonderful lunch at Cafe Fruh near the cathedral.
We walked to the horticultural garden near the Amsterdam Zoo. The gardens were beautiful and so was the walk. We enjoyed the Saturday afternoon markets in the Neustadt area. During the evening, we took a candlelight wine and cheese cruise through the canals. But this season is not the season. It was barely dark enough due to 9:40 p.m. sunset. Also, Amsterdam is very crazy on a Saturday night. Lots of partying, especially bachelor and bachelorette parties.