The Queen of The Danube
The Premicon Queen is a 5-star River Cruise ship which operates a range of cruises along the Rhine and Danube.
The Queen of the Danube
When I received an invite to give river-cruising another chance, I didn’t really jump at the opportunity. My first taste of what I had been told was usually a delightful and enchanting experience turned out to be comical and far from delightful - but that’s another story. I was encouraged by the fact that the invite was to join an elite group of tour operators onboard the Premicon Queen – an outstanding ship (or boat – I’m never quite sure which it is) on a relaxing cruise between Budapest and Passau. A further persuader was that I could take my wife along with me and as it coincided with our anniversary which meant double brownie points!
With the kids packed-off to the grandparents we departed from Manchester for Budapest via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. On arrival in Budapest we were transported to the close proximity of the ship (boat?) by a befuddled and confused taxi driver. Apparently finding a ship on the Danube is not as easy as I’d thought – but the promise of a large tip got us within a short walk of our destination. Not entirely sure of the etiquette of arriving before the timetabled embarkation time we took advantage of a conveniently located bar and grabbed a warming goulash accompanied by a local white wine. The goulash won the battle with our taste buds as we sat watching the crew theatrically greeting guests delivered to the ship by far more accommodating taxi drivers than our own. The warm smiles which generously greeted each guest became our Q to make a move and join the show.
The greeting was genuine and warm in an orderly Germanic way as we were escorted onboard and offered a glass of champagne whilst our bags were delivered to our cabin. The immediate impression was that we had arrived on board a 5-star ship.
The cabin – we were accommodated in a junior-suite - was spacious with a fridge-bar, hair-dryer, TV and French Balcony. Guests are also provided with dressing gowns and slippers.
I had tried to investigate the approximate cost of beverages on the ship prior to departing the UK so I could budget for the trip, but on all the web-sites I found promoting the ship and cruise I could find no information. This did not bode well and I was expecting to dip a little further into my pockets than I really wanted to. However as we joined our fellow guests for dinner and I perused the extensive wine-list I was pleasantly surprised at how reasonable the prices were – a good bottle of wine with dinner started at about €25.00. I was also pleased to find that any wine or water which was left at the end of the meal would be labelled and kept for the following meal as required. Whilst the regular cruisers out there will probably take this as read; this was a new experience for me and it was all good. The food throughout the cruise was first class and the service attentive without being intimidating.
Overall Rating 5-Star
Positives Staff, Service, Dining, Relaxed Atmosphere, Cost of Beverages
Negatives Cost of Excursions