Food is one of the unquestionable temptations during a cruise and definitely one of the biggest success factors in the cruise industry. To me, it contributes massively to my well-being aboard and it is one of these things in life where a person´s passion and talent for his job as chef are unarguably measurable. And while the range of quality of onboard cooking can well differ from unspectacular to magnifique, I was more than happy to find out that Excellence Princess was lucky enough to have a chef that perfectly combined his talent, his passion for food and his motivation to strive for the best and who worked hard together with his team to deliver these high standards onto our plates. Continue reading
With an overall length of only 135 meters, Excellence Princess is actually one of the larger vessels floating on the European river network these days. Built in 2014, 186 passengers travel in luxurious outside cabins and junior suites in a highly familiar atmosphere, pampered with outstanding cuisine and first class service. I enjoyed a full week of Swiss hospitality on the Rhine River and I would most definitely go back onboard anytime. Continue reading
Day 4: Koblenz, Germany
We left Rüdesheim in the early morning around 8:30am. I had set my alarm clock an hour early to be able to take some photos from castle Ehrenfels, the one that I had climbed up to yesterday, from the river perspective. Unfortunately, the weather was not as grand. Even though it was not raining, the sky was covered in grey and the air almost seemed a little misty. Not the best conditions for photographing, but if that is what I would have to work with, fine. Everything is better than rain! Continue reading
Day 3: Rüdesheim, Germany
It was so longest stay so far during the river cruise from Basel to Amsterdam and for my taste, it could have been even longer. We had left Gambsheim around six o´clock in the evening before and passed the last lock on this journey during dinner time. While not being aware of it at all (despite the many locks we left behind), the Excellence Princess had mastered over 55 meters difference in elevation during the last two days. That is over half the height of the Statue of Liberty!
Day 2: Strasbourg & Obernai, France
The next morning began early. My alarm clock woke me up at 7.15am so that I had enough time to get ready and have a little breakfast before the buses left for downtown Strasbourg. Even though I had not booked any shore excursions, a separate transfer bus was provided for all individually traveling guests as well, free of charge. So I could not only enjoy the highlights of Strasbourg in the morning, but also the afternoon excursion into the picturesque village of Obernai in the heart of the Alsace. Continue reading
River cruises are supposed to be something for older people. At least, this is what people said on each resort ship cruise that we have taken so far. And it is kind of true, at least when we talk simply about the average age. But remember how in general cruising was poised to be a typical retirement vacation until just a few years ago? And look where it is heading these days. The same will happen with river cruises, I believe.
It was a very spontaneous decision to float on a river instead of the ocean. Most of my vacation was ruined by a severe bronchitis and I needed a little getaway, if only for a week. I needed a cruise preferably in Europe (to avoid long distance flights) and, most importantly, I was trying to keep the single occupancy surcharge as low as possible. Continue reading