This was a 70th birthday treat and was well worth the forward planning of a year. Booking was easy and travel arrangements to and from the UK were good; all we had to organise was insurance and parking at Heathrow.
The Danube was very low, which meant we had to spend more time on coaches than normal, since the ship needed to make progress while we were on excursions. However, the city visits were very impressive:- Budapest, Vienna, Melk, Passau, Regensburg and Nuremburg. The price included these, so it felt like really good value. My favourite was Passau, where we moored right by the town and could walk on and off the ship as we liked. We went on only one extra tour, which was Weltenburg, Kelheim and the Danube Gorge trip - worth the supplement. Some of the guides sounded as if they were talking to small children, rather than to intelligent adults, but the great thing about the tours was the fact that we had receivers tuned in to our particular guide, so could hear every word even if we wandered off a bit from the group.
The cabins were comfortable, the staff were wonderful, the food was great and the arrangements were efficient. The air-conditioning in the public rooms was a bit erratic but was fully controllable in the cabins. There was plenty of entertainment for those requiring it. I went to all the 7am morning Qi Gong sessions, which were at the front of the lounge and had a wonderful view of the river while doing gentle stretching and breathing exercises.
My birthday was on the last full day and I commandeered a table for all the friends I'd made during the week. The waiters were wonderful and the chef brought a birthday cake complete with firework to complete the party. There were birthdays every day, not surprisingly, and cakes were produced automatically.
This is certainly a holiday I would recommend, especially to retired people looking for a bit of culture. Excursions tended to start quite early and I, for one, was ready for bed quite early. Youngsters wanting a great nightlife and a lie-in should try something else!