We got a two-for-one deal which made the price of the trip better value. The ship, which is not one of the latest models despite being Constellation class, was decorated in rather dull shades of brown and beige. It had a serious design flaw in the restaurant, where there were two sides, separated by banquette seating. This meant difficulty in moving around for waiters and passengers and a bottleneck and very little room at the buffet. Banquette seating really doesn't suit the demographic because it is not easy to get in and out. Bread and pastries were at the other end of the room so if you wanted toast with breakfast it meant queueing twice and either cold toast or cold food ( it was never very hot in the first place). Service at lunch, where main courses were largely waiter ordered, was very slow. Sometimes we were not asked if we wanted to order and the wine frequently did not arrive until after we had finished our starters. The cheese selection was poor and despite a promise from the hotel manager to go out and source new varieties, this never happened. We were not told that the two sides of the restaurant served different food on most evenings until 2 days before the end of the cruise (we missed the briefing on the first night where this was explained due to flight delays and no other ship has ever had this arrangement).
Staff were helpful and friendly - there were just too few of them, especially wine waiters in the restaurant. The bar manager was fantastic and a couple of the restaurant staff really went the extra mile. Food wasn't exceptional. Beef consommé featured nearly every day in some form. They almost always served rice with fish, although fries or wedges could be requested. Breakfast was always the same - only one "chef's special" item varied each day and this was sometimes something which was available to order anyway. The bacon was rarely crispy and there was always a big queue in the small space by the egg station. Pastries were varied but could have been crisper and flakier. Bread was good. There was usually a good variety and the little bread balls which came with meals were excellent. Wine was average. We had far superior wine with Scenic.
Trips were largely good. The tasting tour of Budapest market was interesting, although the guide spent too long wittering on about local specialities. Schönbrunn was stunning but like an oven inside on a very warm day. We didn't bother with some trips ( e.g. the dinner at Namedy castle because people who went on a previous cruise were not impressed. Opinions varied this time too. Nor did we go on the trip to the windmills in Amsterdam as it was wet and windy. We had been to a similar place and only booked it because we'd done all the other trips before, having been to Amsterdam on at least 5 previous trips. Speaking to other passengers who went gave us the impression that we didn't miss much.) The train trip to Salzburg aboard the Majestic Imperator was great - shame about the pouring rain! In Salzburg, after a rather lengthy bus tour round sites used in THAT film, we waited for ages in a downpour at toilets which were insufficient for the number of people. Then by the time we had walked round with the guide and had lunch there wasn't sufficient time to see much of the old town, which was a pity, because even in the rain, Salzburg is beautiful.The bus trip should be optional and people who are not interested in the film sites should be given the chance to be dropped off to have more time in the town. The ship moored a long way out of Würzburg - so far that we wondered if we were actually going to stop there! It would have been a taxi ride into the town if we had chosen to go in after the Rothenburg trip but we had been to Würzburg several times, fortunately. Rothenburg is a very beautiful place but there wasn't enough time to walk round the town and the walls. It should have been a day trip. We loved the little fairytale towns of Dürnstein and Miltenberg, which we had not visited before. In Dürnstein the recommended walking route mentions steps. They should point out that there are LOTS of steps (I lost count and my husband had to turn back and catch the little tourist train at extra cost.) Actually the route is a much easier walk the other way round because you can walk up a road which is much easier and then come down the steps. Steps also meant that my husband couldn't do the gondola ride at Rüdesheim - again we only found out just how many steps there were on the day before the trip and I didn't want to go on my own. We had already been to the Siegfried museum a couple of times so we decided to walk round by ourselves, not realising that most places didn't open until shortly before we sailed and the ship was berthed a long walk from the town - quite why that was, with lots of empty spaces, I don't know. Cost-cutting, probably. There was quite a bit of evidence of this since our trip with APT last year.
Response from KiraP, Marketing @ APT Travel Group
This was a "2 balcony" cabin. One is an outside, proper (though rather small) balcony and the other is an inside seating area with a floor to ceiling window which opens. It was larger than the average river cruise cabin. Bed was hard and the only thing they could offer was a folded duvet under the bottom sheet which didn't help at all. Good shower in the bathroom.
Tastings in the indoor market
Walking route needs to point out just how many steps there are. Easier to donut the other way round
Tasting at Storstad Michelin starred restaurant was great
An interesting place. Nice old town.
Beautiful place. Rather a lot of hanging about on the tour
Went to Rothenburg which is lovely but didn't get enough time there. Ship moored a long way out of town - not good for those who cannot walk long distances
Lovely little place.
Nothing much was open. Too many steps to do the gondola ride. Ship moored a long way out of town despite many empty spaces.
Apart from the cathedral, which is stunning, the place is rather dull.
Amsterdam is a great place.