Right now I am enjoying a Vantage River Cruise through France. It is back to back two cruises -a total of three weeks covering the northern and southern areas of the country. Although I love the mega ocean cruise lines, I am really getting a lot of joy traveling with only only 129 interesting people. The pace is slow with plenty of time to explore on my own. Having wine or beer complimentary at dinner each night is lovely. Last night Can Can dancers came on board to entertains us. So, I am maybe re-thinking mega cruise ships. What is your preference?
Do you prefer river cruising or ocean cruising?
I am glad you are enjoying your trip. Looking forward to hearing more about it.
I would like to take a river cruise soon to compare with the ocean ones. From what I hear from those who have been on the river cruises, the whole pace is so much more relaxed and sedate. I would be more concerned about the space on board though, River cruise have smaller ships. What do you think?
Yes there are fewer public spaces but there are fewer passengers, too. There is less of an emphasis on entertainment. Last night we did have a marvelous Italian singer onboard who got my husband and I up doing the tarantella for the audience. He was excellent and totally involved the entire audience. The night before those Can Can dances were wonderful! The other nights were not so great.
The staff is very accommodating and caring. They know us all by name. Everyone is so helpful and polite. We know everyone on board. The tours are included and educational. In other words, we are having a ball. Did I mention the free laundry bad they offered us?
I look forward to seeing more comments on this discussion. We are considering a river cruise. Unfortunately, we were put off by a rather terse response that I received to some questions I emailed to Viking directly. I'm not deterred by am looking beyond Viking for a more welcoming experience.
If anyone can comment on accessibility or at least accommodation for mobility-impairements relative to the ships and tours, that would be helpful. Thank you!
Does the Hudson River count ? I mean, we sail down that to get out to sea
I've not done an ocean cruise, but really enjoyed the river cruise on the Danube we did with Avalon. It is much slower paced and relaxing than an ocean cruise - there's less to do! As for mobility, they ask that you be able to get to the top deck without assistance - there's no lift usually - and there can be a fair amount of walking on the tours. It depends on what you're comfortable with
I spoke directly with a man who is using a wheelchair or a cane. He said that he was getting along fine. His daughter agreed. This was the only one using a wheelchair. Several others are using canes and go on all the shore excursions. Remember there are lots of cobblestone streets. They manage. The staff helps however they can. Again, I am on a Vantage cruise. I wish you success. Everyone on board is having a fabulous time.