Christopher and Dennis have been on a number of Zoom Vacations tours, but this was their first river cruise with us. It is always fun to have them with us, and that was certainly the case with this trip. The following is a recent interview we had with Christopher about the trip.
Zoom: Have you been on cruises in the past? How was this river cruise different than ocean cruises?
Christopher: I have never been on an ocean cruise before. They always seemed too large and ship-activity-oriented for me. River cruises seemed far more intimate and presented a unique way to see a number of cities and countries that I might not have otherwise visited.
Zoom: What were your favorite ports?
Christopher: I think it is a toss up between the starting port, Passau, Germany, and Bratislava. Both were beautiful, small cities with unique charm. Passau definitely had a more modern feel to it, while Bratislava had more of a historical and "antique" feel to it. I know my husband loved Vienna, I just think it was a bit more overwhelming and I feel like I missed more there.
Zoom: How was the river boat?
Christopher: The boat was fantastic! The food was top notch, the rooms were luxurious, and the crew was extremely professional and efficient, while still being very personable.
Zoom: Did you enjoy dressing up for dinners on the boat?
Christopher: Most of the time I enjoyed the chance to wear one of my nicer outfits. I can neither confirm nor deny that there may have been a night when I didn't want to deal with it and strolled in wearing shorts.
Zoom: What was the scenery like?
Christopher: The views along the river were like post cards. Spectacular mountains, ruined fortresses and outposts, towns and cities. There was always something to see!
Zoom: Did you make new friends?
Christopher: Definitely! As well as reconnecting with existing friends! There are always fun people on Zoom trips. I think what surprised me this time, though, was how many friends I made outside our group of travelers. There were some genuinely fun and nice people traveling on the boat with us.
Zoom: What was your highlight of the trip?
Christopher: I think because we had the most time there, exploring Budapest was likely the highlight. It is a very unique and ancient city. There are great shops to find, architecture to see, and the food was great!
Zoom: Did you have enough alone time for you and your husband?
Christopher: The trip allowed for a good balance of private time and group activities. Since some of the time was spent sailing, there was always allotted times when you could not be participating in a group activity and not miss out.
Zoom: Is there anything particularly special about the Danube?
Christopher: Prior to this trip, I had never placed much priority on traveling to Europe. Sailing down the Danube opened my eyes to the diversity that can be found there if I put aside my preconceived notions.
Zoom: Anything else you would like to add?
Christopher: Traveling with Zoom has definitely elevated our vacations. In addition to seeing places we might not otherwise travel to, I also don't feel like I miss out on anything when we get there.