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Viking Amsterdam Budapest Deal
Old 03-21-2016, 09:41 PM   #1
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Viking Amsterdam Budapest Deal

Today's mail had a card with May June 14 night Amsterdam Budapest river cruises for $4k with included or $100 air. That's $292/night, which includes shore excursions and wine with meals. French balcony. It's 30% cheaper on a per night basis than the 7 nighter I did last August, and I thought that was a decent deal for a river cruise. Might have to do with an even stronger dollar and lots of river boat capacity. I'm not a huge fan of river cruises, so won't be doing this one, but thought I'd put that price point in the record.
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:05 AM   #2
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Today's mail had a card with May June 14 night Amsterdam Budapest river cruises for $4k with included or $100 air. That's $292/night, which includes shore excursions and wine with meals. French balcony. It's 30% cheaper on a per night basis than the 7 nighter I did last August, and I thought that was a decent deal for a river cruise. Might have to do with an even stronger dollar and lots of river boat capacity. I'm not a huge fan of river cruises, so won't be doing this one, but thought I'd put that price point in the record.
Please don't let my wife see this post. You said you did a river cruise but "not a huge fan." Could you elaborate some of your dislikes? I might need some ammunition.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:35 AM   #3
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Please don't let my wife see this post. You said you did a river cruise but "not a huge fan." Could you elaborate some of your dislikes? I might need some ammunition.
The shore excursions are included, which is great, but...
You're basically taking a bus tour, but don't have to pack your bags every couple of days since your hotel moves with you. I, personally, don't like bus tours, and this is one expensive bus tour. The number of minutes of really interesting scenery is pretty scarce, and most of that can be had on a day cruise where you choose the day (is not raining). For the money you would spend, even one priced lower than usual, you could cobble up your own trip. You could rent a car, go everywhere they go, stay in a few hotels (the ship doesn't move too many miles per day), eat at nice places, all for less than the 600/day/couple that a river cruise would cost. I'm not sure how many buddies you'd pal around with in the car, but otherwise pretty similar to a river cruise. You'd have to be comfortable not worrying about getting the best deal on each purchase, whereas the single buy and put your wallet away of the cruise is nice (that's the best part of the cruise for me, because I don't like being a sucker).
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:29 AM   #4
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That is exactly the conclusion that we have arrived at about river cruises. We are fairly independent travellers who visit Europe frequently.

What cemented our opinion was a day cruise that we did on the Danube (Wachau Valley). It was nice, we saw lots of other ships but decided that the value was not ther for us. Plus there is the possibility of river problems which can turn the river cruise into an extremely expensive bus tour.
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:30 AM   #5
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I know a couple who did this exact cruise on Viking a couple of years ago. They were more than disappointed (meaning they got food poisoning on the ship).
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:40 AM   #6
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I've used the Viking cruise itineraries to figure out possible day trips. I don't like going on a big bus with a large group. We did a Wachau Valley day trip ourselves.
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River cruises
Old 03-22-2016, 10:56 AM   #7
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River cruises

We like river cruises because you do not have to pack and unpack every couple of days, look for a place to eat, spend time checking in and out of hotels.
One note of caution, there are so many river boats that the chance of being rafted is high. You pay for a balcony and look into the window of the next boat. Many of the towns do not have enough dock space to accommodate the increase in river traffic [Mod Edit]
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:58 AM   #8
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The shore excursions are included, which is great, but...
You're basically taking a bus tour, but don't have to pack your bags every couple of days since your hotel moves with you. I, personally, don't like bus tours, and this is one expensive bus tour. The number of minutes of really interesting scenery is pretty scarce, and most of that can be had on a day cruise where you choose the day (is not raining). For the money you would spend, even one priced lower than usual, you could cobble up your own trip. You could rent a car, go everywhere they go, stay in a few hotels (the ship doesn't move too many miles per day), eat at nice places, all for less than the 600/day/couple that a river cruise would cost. I'm not sure how many buddies you'd pal around with in the car, but otherwise pretty similar to a river cruise. You'd have to be comfortable not worrying about getting the best deal on each purchase, whereas the single buy and put your wallet away of the cruise is nice (that's the best part of the cruise for me, because I don't like being a sucker).
I have never been on a river cruise, but have thought about doing one in the future. Thank you very much for your thoughts above, since it gives one a different perspective. This is why I like reading on this site so much.
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Old 03-22-2016, 12:21 PM   #9
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We like river cruises because you do not have to pack and unpack every couple of days, look for a place to eat, spend time checking in and out of hotels.
One note of caution, there are so many river boats that the chance of being rafted is high. You pay for a balcony and look into the window of the next boat. Many of the towns do not have enough dock space to accommodate the increase in river traffic.Attached is our trip story
http://stevekathytravels.com/sitebui...europe2010.pdf
Who needs to go on a river cruise? After they've read your extensive report, they feel like they've already been there

The travel logistics are certainly simpler on the cruise. Some people thrive on finding a place to eat and a place to sleep (not me). But I am cheap, so if I could see the same things for considerably less....

[Mod Edit]

Here's an excerpt about how the TV commercials compared to reality.
Quote:
There is an optimal experience that the ads portray...eating, drinking, and laughing with other passengers, outdoors with blue skies, and beautiful scenery floating-by. Of the six days and 20 hours from bonjour to au revior, about 20% of the cruising was when we were aboard** and it was not during sleeping hours. But about half of that was spent either waiting in front of a lock, or in the lock. The first time, the lock is cool, but it's preventing the optimal experience, especially since it looks like it's midnight and there's a slimy concrete wall an inch from your nose. So an average of 2.7 non-lock cruising hours per day. Although the rivers were low at the time, the top deck was often closed for bridge clearance, so having the optimal experience was limited to the bow, which held about 40 people (out of the 180 on board). Not that you couldn't enjoy the view from your stateroom, but not enjoying the view with other passengers. So if you were on-board, it wasn't raining, you found a spot outside with likable acquaintances, there's something besides the inside of a lock to see, well, you get the idea. I think this happened once for me. I predicted this would be the case, but make sure you have your expectations set appropriately.
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:52 PM   #10
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I'm not sure that cruising any river in Europe at this time is such a good idea. Seems like one of those pretty boats would make a good ISIS target. Just sayin...
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:00 PM   #11
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*SIGH* People have no understanding of statistics. Us 'Muricans are five times more likely to be shot by our own police as die in a terrorist attack. We are 33,000 times more likely to die from cancer than in a terrorist attack. We are 4,706 times more likely to die from excessive alcohol use than from terrorism. We are 353 times more likely to die in a fall, cleaning gutters or hanging Christmas lights, than from terrorism.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:09 PM   #12
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I'm not sure that cruising any river in Europe at this time is such a good idea. Seems like one of those pretty boats would make a good ISIS target. Just sayin...

Given that reasoning, I would think your local supermarket is a good target too. It might be wise to stop grocery shopping and order takeout from now on?


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Old 03-24-2016, 07:18 PM   #13
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order takeout from now on?
And if they ask "Do you want triacetone triperoxide on your pizza?"......give them the wrong address.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:26 PM   #14
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I'm not sure that cruising any river in Europe at this time is such a good idea. Seems like one of those pretty boats would make a good ISIS target. Just sayin...

The major airports of Europe that I'd need to go through to get there would be a bigger concern to me but I see your point. Especially given the recent brag that 400 terrorists have been sent into Europe. Maybe an exaggeration but maybe not. Don't think statistics based in past experience are very meaningful here. Just gotta choose to do what one is comfortable with.


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Old 03-24-2016, 11:55 PM   #15
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*SIGH* People have no understanding of statistics. Us 'Muricans are five times more likely to be shot by our own police as die in a terrorist attack. We are 33,000 times more likely to die from cancer than in a terrorist attack. We are 4,706 times more likely to die from excessive alcohol use than from terrorism. We are 353 times more likely to die in a fall, cleaning gutters or hanging Christmas lights, than from terrorism.
Couldn't agree more. I feel like all TV news just encourages a fear mentality.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:55 AM   #16
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What some interpret as fear, others interpret as prudent caution. To each their own.


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Old 03-25-2016, 07:36 AM   #17
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I consider this similar to x-rays. Do what you can to limit your exposure but dont stress about it. I my case, I live in a rural area. I take no public transportation normally. My only exposure would be on a trip so just being alert and aware should keep the odds in my favor.
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:36 AM   #18
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We've seen the river cruise boats docked at Budapest, Vienna and man other European cities. I wouldn't be adverse to taking a river cruise, but after so many ocean cruises we might be bored stiff. The boats just move so slow.

And the cost of the river cruises is often 3-4 times that of an ocean cruise. I could take two or three trips to Europe for what one week on a river cruise would cost including airfare.

And we've been to many of the cities the river cruises go, so it's not like we're going somewhere new. We like to travel to new places--mixing in some of our old favorite cities along the way.

There have recently been some incredible bargains in ocean cruises. Norwegian Cruise Lines has new upper management, and they've thrown great incentive packages to get back some of their past customers turned off by poor service and food quality. And when one cruise line leads, others have to follow. I see inside rooms on Celebrity Constellation's 4/27 12 day cruise from Rome to Malta, the Greek isles, Ephesus and back to Venice for $737 per person--a true bargain.
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:36 AM   #19
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We are 4,706 times more likely to die from excessive alcohol use than from terrorism.
Challenge accepted !!

But your point is well made and should be heeded. The MSM is to blame for a lot of this fearmongering. And much like any other type of event, people have to realize if they are as little as one city block away from it when it occurs you'd hardly even now that something had happened.

I am going to be in Brussels a week today. It is now my intention to visit the site of the Maelbeek metro bombing as there is a memorial there. To pay respect and help show that the "terror" in terrorism only happens if we let it.
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:47 AM   #20
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....And the cost of the river cruises is often 3-4 times that of an ocean cruise. ....Celebrity Constellation's 4/27 12 day cruise from Rome to Malta, the Greek isles, Ephesus and back to Venice for $737 per person--a true bargain.
I didn't get into the relative cost (ocean vs river), but I certainly agree that the price-performance on a per-day basis shows a huge difference between the two. That's part of why I'm not a huge fan of river cruises.... for that price difference, I'd expect to get a "boatload" more from a river cruise than either an ocean cruise, or a bus tour, but I don't think that's the case.
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