Wonderful trip -Budapest to the Black Sea August 2014

I took the Tauck cruise as a single passenger, and loved the trip. I might have been a little hesitant to go to some of these Eastern European countries on my own, but Tauck took great care of everyone on the trip. I had a single room on the lower deck and found it to be very nice. It might have been nice to have one of the larger windows on the upper decks, but I was able to travel alone with no single supplement, and found the high and narrow window in my room to be fine. I could see out and watch the villages along the riverbank with no problem, though I was often up in the lounge and out on the outside deck taking pictures anyway.
The tour guides were fantastic, and since they were from countries we were visiting, they were able to tell us what it was like growing up under Communism. They took us on many side trips, treated us with care, and even bought us ice cream and pastry when we didn't have local currency. Every trip was arranged with our pleasure in mind. Every evening at 5:30 we would gather in the lounge for drinks and appetizers, and were told about the next day's plans. If we had a choice of trips we would sign up at that time. There was a piano player in the evening, and I was able to borrow a laptop at the desk, so I would sit there in the evenings and listen to music as I sent e-mails back home.
I did find that it was necessary to have good shoes because it seemed that every museum had steep granite or marble steps, as did any palaces we visited. Often there were no handrails, which was scary. The tour in Ceausescu's 1000 room palace had so many steep steps that I skipped that tour, but the evening dinner there was impressive, and we were taken to an area with only a few steps to climb. I thought the special dinners, especially the one in the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest was very impressive.
I found that in the hotels in Budapest and in Bucharest the Tauck rooms all seemed to be close together so I didn't worry about being alone in some isolated area of the hotels. The hotels were both great, and breakfasts were wonderful there. On the ship the food was really good, with buffet breakfasts with a hot food cook to make pancakes, etc. Lunches were also fairly casual, and in the evenings you had a choice of about 4 dinners or the standard ones served every evening. Wine was served with meals, drinks were always available in the lounge and snacks were also provided.
It was an impressive tour, and my first river cruise after about 7 ocean cruises, and I was delighted with the leisurely pace of the tour. People were friendly and inclusive, and being alone was no problem at all. I am looking forward to my next cruise in a few weeks, this time to London and Paris.


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    edited March 2015
    I took the same trip in June, but in the other direction, also solo. I second ginnie's comments, especially about the stairs. I have trouble with my knees and had trouble with a lot of the stairs. But fellow travelers were very helpful hanging on to me and getting me up the stairs. My first river cruise but certainly not my first Tauck trip. A great adventure off the beaten path to countries I never thought I would visit.


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