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David W.4 months ago
Primadonna Pelo Danúbio – Passeio por quatro paísesÁustria, Alemanha, Eslováquia, Hungria
What we were left with instead was a vague set of instructions that led us to the wrong place and a group of suspected fellow passengers (none spoke English) also waiting in several places for the bus. We tried your 800 number. No one answered. We tried the local “help line”. The person who answered did not speak English. There was no one at the presumed site to board the Leia Mais bus to inform us that we were at the correct location. Had the original one not broken down and caused an unexpected delay, we would have never made it to be bus, even though we left our hotel two hours earlier. Two unexpected cab fares and hours of stress wondering if we would actually make embarkation is not the way to start a voyage. We must have been your only clients on board, and that explains quite a lot of what happened. The only other English-speaking passengers were Danish. Daytime announcements were only made in German.
If I were asked to describe the food on this voyage with one word it would be: BLAND. Presentation 10. Taste 3. Selection 2. They need to invest more in spices to make it taste better and less on garnish to make it look good.
The saving grace was the attitude and professionalism of all those who worked on board, from the Captain helping get the bicycles ashore, to the ladies at the information desk, to our waiter, bartender, and cabin stewardess. All worked hard, were extremely helpful, and I have no complaints whatsoever.
The bicycles were good quality, well-maintained, and those who instructed us in their use were quite helpful. The young lady who instructed us each evening about the day ahead was superb. But her graphics, maps, handouts, were awful. The biking experience itself was nothing like I imagined. Cars, trucks, pedestrians, and multitudes of other cyclists all trying to pass on the left at any opportunity. Some very dangerous gravel trails and quite a bit of city riding with cars whizzing by at breakneck speed. The distance vs. time allowed created a “race to the finish line” experience rather than the comfortable, leisurely ride through the countryside with frequent stops to take in the scenery that I had come to expect from your promotional materials.
Four days into the voyage we learned that our original information that all on board were vaccinated was, in fact, not true. Both passengers and crew members were unvaccinated. No one wore a mask on board, and social distancing was impossible. In retrospect, the overcrowded dining room and three hour evening meals were just a breeding ground for COVID transmission. Thankfully, our COVID testing (required for reentry to US) was negative. Had it been positive and my trip extended for another two weeks of quarantine, I would be seeking monetary compensation from the cruise line.
There were other minor things. There was, literally, no “entertainment” on board. Someone played the piano in the bar 2 hours a day, but the promised “movies” in the evening followed by midnight snacks must have been more of those “older things” still in your promotional literature. There were no movies. No place to watch them. The theatre was used to store the bicycles. I suspect that’s why they dragged out the evening meal to upwards of three hours! Even the documents we received at embarkation mentioned (in German only) a “massage” included in our tickets. But no one at the customer service desk seemed to understand what I was talking about when I inquired, and not once during the voyage was anyone working in the indoor sauna area. And to think, I was forced to pay an additional 150 Euros to “rebook” this voyage when the one I put down a deposit for (in January, 2020, no less) was cancelled by the cruise line due to COVID restrictions in travel. They were unable to fulfill the contract, and I had to pay more to protect my deposit! Dare I say it? Bait and switch.
And I do not blame the tour company entirely for this deception. Your promotional materials, time and again, “had not been updated” when I inquired prior to sailing about discrepancies I found in them. The video on your website from someone who had taken the tour presented a world totally foreign to the experience we endured. I suspect that during the COVID delay the ship or line was sold to some new company and the new owners were cutting costs at every turn. The crew told us ours would be the last voyage for this boat using the bicycling format.
Carla • 3 months ago Equipe da Tripsite
Hi David, It was nice chatting with you and thank you for your kind consideration. As I mentioned, Passau docking authorities are very strict and can announce docking changes at short notice and without reason. While it may have appeared there was nothing going on, we don't have any control over this. I don't understand why our 1-800 number did not work. My personal cell phone number is listed in all tour documents for emergencies, as well as in our 800 number voicemail message. For the 2021 sailing season, we could never guarantee that all passengers and crew were vaccinated. I'm sorry the whole experience did not meet your expectations. I've refunded you the rebooking fees and hope we may able you again in the future. - Carla from Tripsite
David F.3 years ago
Breakfast good. Bagged lunches okay but not great and they only had sparkling water which I don't like and can't drink. No option to get still water without paying extra. Dinners good but not great. Only one meal very good. Most upset about not being able to drink the water from the room sink (which was announced over the PA system just before dinner after we had been onboard for a few hours)and then having to pay for still safe water for the cabin, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bike barge nightly talk about the following day was always the second talk of the evening (made for later evenings or no room in the bar). Would have liked to share the first time slot for half of the evenings.Concierge staff outstanding and serving staff in the dinning room good.