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River Danube

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River Danube

Postby judgegeoff » 22 Oct 2018 13:03

I am glad that you now know what is happening Ann, even if it is not what you originally planned and I am sure that you will have a good experience overall. Unfortunately water levels are not within the control of the river cruise companies and so these changes are sometimes unavoidable. Would it be possible to do a review of your cruise on your return? It doesn't need to be long, but just your personal view of the holiday, as it does help other members who are considering a similar cruise in the future. :)
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Re: River Danube

Postby Camela » 22 Oct 2018 21:13

How disappointing for you, though looks like you have chosen the best option. Problem is with all cruises there are a lot of get out clauses in the terms of booking regarding sea/weather conditions.
"Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise"
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Re: River Danube

Postby Arizona » 23 Oct 2018 05:04

All was going so well here on the Moselle, but last night we had the bad news that the ship will not be able to get back onto the Rhine. Apparently the Rhine water level at Koblenz is lower than ever and another Avalon ship is now stuck there. On Thursday we are to be taken from Koblenz by coach to stay in a hotel in Amsterdam for our final 2 nights. Once again there is generous cash compensation for the days missed cruising as well as all our hotel expenses paid. This is disappointing but we have seen for ourselves how bad the water levels are. At least Avalon have been very fair in keeping us informed and managing a bad situation as well as possible. It is going to take an awful lot of rain and quite some repositioning of ships for river cruising on the Rhine and Danube to get back to normal. Be aware of this if you have a river cruise booked in the near future.
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River Danube

Postby Ann33485 » 04 Nov 2018 11:18

Now returned from a diabolical trip on the River Danube. Taxi to airport was fine, flight to Budapest was fine. It then took about 90 minutes to get to a back-street restaurant for dinner, service took over 2 hours for a very poor meal with only 1 small glass of wine. Arrived at hotel about 10.30pm - not a bad hotel except I got stung on my eyelid and my arm! Next day we did a coach tour of the city, lots of traffic and building works. Stopped for another 2 hour meal which was worse than the first - restaurant not notified of any dietary requirements. Coach to Vienna took 4 hours and then driver could not find the ship. Welcome Drink - 1 glass of Fizz and one canapé. It then got worse - my husband was unwell next morning, worsened during the day so we were both confined to the Cabin for 2 days. At one time 20 cabins were in isolation - out of 53 passengers - we then found that the virus had been on the ship the previous week - we have also heard that the following cruise was cancelled. Because of the itinerary change we basically only sailed for about 8 daylight hours to view scenery over the 6 days. Rest of sailing was at night through lots of locks - which would have been nice to see. When we did get out of cabin food was not to our liking and they did not cater for my egg-allergy - case of it has eggs in it so you can't eat it. Restaurant staff cleared plates as an individual finished, did not wait for rest of table. The 'departure info' lecture due to be held in the lounge was relayed over the intercom due to so many being confined to cabins. Lots more things were not up to standard and have been reported to Saga. If I get a response I will post info on here. Journey to airport and flight were good, so was the taxi home!!
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Re: River Danube

Postby Ann33485 » 04 Nov 2018 11:29

P.S We went on the cruise with a friend, unfortunately she was confined to her cabin the day we were let out of ours...
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River Danube

Postby judgegeoff » 04 Nov 2018 12:06

Ann33485 wrote:Now returned from a diabolical trip on the River Danube. Taxi to airport was fine, flight to Budapest was fine. It then took about 90 minutes to get to a back-street restaurant for dinner, service took over 2 hours for a very poor meal with only 1 small glass of wine. Arrived at hotel about 10.30pm - not a bad hotel except I got stung on my eyelid and my arm! Next day we did a coach tour of the city, lots of traffic and building works. Stopped for another 2 hour meal which was worse than the first - restaurant not notified of any dietary requirements. Coach to Vienna took 4 hours and then driver could not find the ship. Welcome Drink - 1 glass of Fizz and one canapé. It then got worse - my husband was unwell next morning, worsened during the day so we were both confined to the Cabin for 2 days. At one time 20 cabins were in isolation - out of 53 passengers - we then found that the virus had been on the ship the previous week - we have also heard that the following cruise was cancelled. Because of the itinerary change we basically only sailed for about 8 daylight hours to view scenery over the 6 days. Rest of sailing was at night through lots of locks - which would have been nice to see. When we did get out of cabin food was not to our liking and they did not cater for my egg-allergy - case of it has eggs in it so you can't eat it. Restaurant staff cleared plates as an individual finished, did not wait for rest of table. The 'departure info' lecture due to be held in the lounge was relayed over the intercom due to so many being confined to cabins. Lots more things were not up to standard and have been reported to Saga. If I get a response I will post info on here. Journey to airport and flight were good, so was the taxi home!!
Ann
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I was very sorry to hear what a shambles your Saga Danube River cruise proved to be Ann. Whilst the cruise company cannot control the weather and the water levels, it is clear from your review that the company were aware of the health problem (presumably norovirus) that existed on the ship. At the very least a very thorough deep clean of the ship should have been carried out, even if this meant delaying embarkation for a day. It was also very unfortunate that the meals you received were so poor and took so long. It is certainly not a good advertisement for the luxury river cruising that Saga is trying to promote.

I have only undertaken one river cruise and that was on the River Rhone on the 'Heindal', a Viking Cruises ship. My experience was the very opposite of yours as my wife and I were very impressed with every aspect of the cruise, especially the food. We had expected the food to be inferior to the ocean cruise ships but, in the event, we found it to be equal or better, with excellent seasoning and never bland. We have no food allergies and are not vegans or vegetarians, so cannot comment on that aspect, but we found that there were always plenty of choices.

It will be very interesting to hear what Saga's response will be in this particular case. I think that a full refund or a free future cruise should be offered as compensation as, not only was your holiday ruined, but they also caused you to be unwell. Good luck and please let us know of the outcome.
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Re: River Danube

Postby Arizona » 04 Nov 2018 14:13

So sorry to hear about your poor experience with Saga. It's when things go wrong that a company's true customer service is revealed. When shortcomings are patently obvious, a good company should be proactive in doing its best to put things right or offer compensation, not waiting to see if customers complain and then seeing how little they can get away with.
Although we were severely impacted by low water on our recent cruise with Avalon we cannot fault their customer service and as a result would not hesitate to travel with them again. We were accommodated in luxury (if unusual!) hotels with copious food and wine, taken on extra complimentary excursions and given cash in hand to fund lunch in Strasbourg, Heidelbrg and Amsterdam. All this was accomplished with a masterly command of the situation by the cruise director, Valentin. As a result the morale of the passengers was kept high as it was clear that everything reasonable was being done to give us a good time. A four figure refund in our account on our return confirmed our opinion of the company.
However we will take away from this experience that a bus tour will never ever be on our wish list!
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River Danube

Postby Gillzajoker » 05 Nov 2018 10:30

Sorry to hear your holiday was such a fiasco, Ann. I hope you are suitably compensated! :D
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River Danube

Postby Ann33485 » 06 Nov 2018 13:58

Thank you for your responses - Saga did phone to acknowledge my complaints and will contact me in a few days - watch this space ...!! If they had made some effort to compensate for the poor food and service in Budapest and on the Ship, it would have helped. They could have offered the 'optional excursions' at no cost to those not confined in their cabins instead of sending half empty coaches to Melk Abbey, the Palace in Vienna and the Vienna Concert. So much more they could have done.
"Arizona" - coach tour will never be on our wish list either! Even a medium/high 3-figure amount each would be welcome in my bank account. If we ever go on a river cruise again maybe I'll look at Avalon.
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Re: River Danube

Postby Ann33485 » 15 Nov 2018 10:16

I have now received some compensation from Saga, off of my next cruise, which is an Ocean Cruise next year. Could have been more but at least it was something, I do understand that the water levels were not under their control. It could all have been so different if we had not had to stay in an hotel in Budapest. They say they will check the other complaints and re-consider for future cruises - not much help to me - I won't do another River Cruise.
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