Our River cruise was sooo much fun. Loved the unique itinerary and the staff were wonderful on board the Avalon Waterways Tapestry. Loved our bartender and favorite waitress. It really was an amazing time with a great bunch of new and old friends! Eveyone did not know each other before the cruise but we really got to know each other well during the journey!
It was an incredible experience for both Gary and myself. He is still talking about how much he likes these river cruises vs: a large cruise ship which we took with the family this spring. What a difference. I loved Prague and all the fun we had there before the cruise. So exciting finding our own way in a new country! The cruise was a wonderful way to see all the different cities and country side we were able to enjoy!
Visited Prague for 3 nights and stayed at the wonderful Hilton Prague. Great location (couple of blocks to main downtown area) and a wonderful breakfast buffet I am still thinking about. Did a lot of touring on our own which was nice as everyone always thinks the schedule is so rigid. You do not have to even take the tours that are included if you want some extra time yourself! I think it is good to take these tours though as you pick up a lot of great information and history that you wouldn't have known on your own. We did have plenty time on our own and really liked going ahead for the 3 nights.
The Avalon guides hire local hosts so they know the secrets and ins and outs of each city we visit. Her hot tip was that if you eat lunch or dinner not facing the clock in town it is much less $$. We found that out....the hard way. Really reasonable to eat in Prague if you follow that insight.
All of us booked the Prague Dinner and Folklore show. As long as we were there we might as well see what Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia entertainment was all about. We found out that not all Czech food is excellent but it was a fun evening for the whole group. The wine and beer was flowing though. Too bad we were all so tired from the long flight to enjoy it in full. Wait, some of us did enjoy it much more than others.
Saw the Old Town's Astronomical Clock on our own and found a nice restaurant for schnitzl which was the popular lunch request. Walked along the St Charles Bridge in Prague and had lunch in town. Pizza today!
Visited a nice Italian restaurant in town that Betty Ewald found online. The Ristorante Locanda Marino was hard to find so we needed a ride!! We had 3 big black town cars full of our group and left the Hilton Prague in style. Felt like the mafia gang. What an adventure as my husband Gary told our driver to step on it!! He took us literaly and my legs flew above my head. But we passed the other two cars and made it there first. We met the owner of Locanda Marino Ristorante and he was very happy to ablige our wishes. Gary has to have spagetti bolganese and since it wasn't on the menu the chef agreed to make anything we wanted. Ice cream for all of us who found him on the internet. What a wonderful exciting evening we had in Prague! Many great memories of this night even though we didn't take pictures of our black sedan cars.
We ended the night with a visit to the top of the Hilton for a bit of fun!
Next day a tour to the Hradcany castle and St Vitus Cathedral and a nice tour in the square. Our guide gave us a great recommendation for lunch at a Brewery which made all the guys really happy. Well trying to find it was harder than we thought but worth every minute of it when we got our meal. A bit hard to communicate but once we did, the food was amazing here and so reasonable!!! Our guide was right!
Went right across the street and there was a little shopping center we almost missed on our last day. Bought a nice pair of compfy shoes here and wished we had more time to play and shop!
Motor coached to Nuremberg where our cruise adventure would begin. Got in a couple of minutes of rest on the coach but woke up to some wonderful scenery on the way.
Went into town to Nuremberg to see this great historic city, its fabulous gothic churches and houses and of course shop a bit. Some of the guys went on a WWll tour and got into a little trouble. Not what you think, they were busy eating ice cream, drinking beer and missing their bus! But some cruise mates asked the bus to stop when they were found. All is well that ends well!!
Regensburg was quite the medieval city to visit. Take a tour or go on your own after the complimentary guided sightseeing and beer tasting excursion.
In Passau near Salzburg we really enjoyed our romantic Austria Salzkammergut lake district tour. Some of us visited have already visited the Sound of Music birth-place of Mozart already so this was a great way to see the Austrian Lake district with local experts. We had plenty of time on our own on this tour too!
Melk was a little town we walked to and some of our group took the tour. It was such a shame when the shops were not open because of the weekend! Oh well, next time!
You cannot go to Vienna without the visit to the Schonbrunn Imperial Palace! It is a must see after hearing all about the Emperor Franz Joseph and Sisi's love story! Lots of history to be found here from a mighty empire to a waltz around town.
Ending our tour in Budapest was great. A very exciting tour allows you to visit both cities of Buda and Pest! Bring your camera and visit the markets and castles here!
So many amazing medieval castles, gothic churches, cathedrals, the beer, the wine and sights....so little time! A variety of countries, cultures and experiences...not to be missed! Enjoy it, we did!
Gayle and Gary Zielke
Hi Gayle and Gary,
We want to thank u for a wonderful trip abroad... I would rate the trip as great, the staff, the ship, and service as excellent, the food was excellent for breakfast and lunch and dinner was hit and miss. We loved every port, only wish there was more time.. The 15min. stops were hard, no time to really do anything.
Overall, we have a treasure chest full of wonderful memories with new friends and a beautiful fun filled trip with many laughs and that's what life is all about !! Going home was hard on Dean because of the seat assignments. That is no one's fault, things like that just happen... Looking forward to our get together... Love, Nancy
Lenny sent us lots of great pictures to cherish!
Thanks again for all your help. It certainly was a great vacation!
Mike & Diane
Allen and Sharon Kohn said about their experiences:
trip rate - Excellant
Ship - Excellant
Staff - Excellant
Service - Excellant
Food - Fair
Liked all ports and what they had to offer and see.
Bee Bites! And the ambulance and Emt experience I will always remember. Also to put onions on bee bites. Learned something from the Praque locals that were so very nice to me.
And Allen meeting a service friend from 45 years ago, what a chance. Seems unreal .
PS-What are the chances of one of our guests meeting up with a service man from 45 years ago. They met during the cruise by chance and caught up again!
Hello Gayle and Gary,
Just a note of appreciation for all you did to make our Danube River trip a most memorable and enjoyable one! We sure enjoyed being part of a "fun group" and look forward to getting together in the near future.
We are in the midst of scapbooking our pictures into albums.
Keep in touch!
Bea and Roger Sikorski
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