Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vienna - October river cruise to Bucharest

In October, Mom and I took a river cruise from Vienna Austria to Bucharest Romania as the destinations were very close to my grandparent’s homeland (on my Father’s side). I have much more detail written but since it is old news, I will limit it (!!) to the notes below.

Oct 7 Vienna - Found our boat! Der Kleine Prinz and met Nicola, our cruise director. Also toured the Uniworld Beatrice river cruise boat (very ornate and decorated beautifully with guest laundry facilities) and the Viking Pride (free WiFi) and several European river cruise ships which had real balconies! Chairs were out for relaxing as you meander down the Danube….Walked the entire length of the Handelskai area at dusk as we headed back to the hotel. Checked out the fitness center and promptly changed into our bathing suits for the steam room, sauna and three wonderful shower heads with ice cold water, rainfall and normal shower heads. It is on the 8th floor so you had a great view of the Prater ferris wheels (there are two now) and the lights of the city. Lovely. Very tired. Ironed. Re-packed. Bed. Oh yes, had pumpkin soup and the best bread! Delicious.

Oct 8 Vienna - The ship is red, blue and white; two decks high; nice front lounge but the chairs face inward and the windows are not floor to ceiling. The stateroom has “set” twin beds, two closets, very little lighting, large bathroom with a plastic shower curtain that will get everything wet. Small TV with 3 French and 1 German and 1 English channel. We went off the ship to explore the Prater amusement park. The park was originally hunting grounds for royalty in the late 1700s and then became a park in the late 1860s. The ferris wheel compartments are very roomy and held 8 of us; we had ample room to stand up. Had great views from the top of the entire region. One of the carriages was set up for a private dinner! What a great idea for a special occasion. You can have a birthday parties, meetings and make an event very interesting for any time of day or night. We hurried back to the ship for our “snack” time and our 5:00 welcome onboard talk. There are nine Americans so we have Nicola as our private guide. Dinner was a nice hake appetizer (fish roll) and potato cream soup and chicken cordon bleu and a swan with cream and cheese and crackers.