Just returned from a Danube cruise on the Symphony. I wrote a rather lengthy opinion on another Board. It is a nice ship. The rooms are roomy (I was by the engine) a bit noisy going through the locks but I had my little pink pill. 2. The Crew was fab. it was nice to have crew from the countries you are visiting. 3. I liked the pillows but may of the shipmates complained. 4. The baths were roomy and the showers had hard doors, thus preventing my usual flooding. 5. The pastries were wonderful. Breakfasts were typical but the eggs were good if you wanted to stand in line. The soups were uninspired--but I have had worse. Even though there were under 140 persons on board, there were problems with food staying hot. Never trust a skinny executive chef. There were a few good meals but, as I said the pastries were outstanding. 6. The trip , as we all know is port intensive. I enjoy walking but there were passengers who were having real problems with knees and hips--a lot of "uphill" walking. 7. The tours were typical GLobus. Good GUides but large tour buses. I think they should have divided us into smaller groups.(We were in 3 groups) 8. I had my birthday on board...55 and I was about the youngest passenger.. Lovely older couples which I really enjoyed. It would havebeen nice if they had provided water on the buses--on the 4 hour ride to Nurembers, the but driver was selling water, etc. 9. I was a bit put out at the end. OUr shuttle to the airport was late. They put us on the bus, drove us to airport and dropped us and luggage off between the two gates. It was pouring rain. There was no attempt to make sure we had dollies, porters or that we found our gates...just dropped us off. (No tip). I did not get my VAT which would have amountd to $100+ i..once you are through customs, it seems that your chances of getting stamped are void. It would have been nice to have been informed about how to claim the VAT. It was a good trip but I will not put down the extra monies for Avalon/Amadeus over Viking on my next river experience.