Has anyone in "family" ever taken any of the European River cruises? i.e. Rhine, Elbe, Danube, or any of several offered in France. We've done about 12-15 regular ocean/sea cruises on the major lines in different areas. Now would like to try a somewhat different experience and atmosphere on much smaller river cruising trip. (not a self-cruise barge, or river barge, but riverboat with 80-200 passengers)
With the much smaller space, does the obvious two men (or women) seem more uncomfortable in the limited public areas? How does the crew react to gay guests or any other notable problems?
Any good or bad experiences in general on this different type cruise or recommendations on river cruise companies to use/stay away from?
The quaintness with constant small towns, locks, etc. along the way does seem an attractive alternative worth checking out if one doesn't feel out of place. Would welcome comments.
We are a mid 30s couple from Australia and we did a river cruise in Russia last year which was absolutely fabulous. It is a totally different experience to an ocean cruise and because the ships are so narrow (they need to fit into the locks etc necessitated by river cruising) the cabins are a little cramped compared with ocean going vessels but the overall cruise experience was great. On our cruise there were at least three other gay couples whom we got to know.
The average age of passengers on our cruise was probably early fifties and the absence of any children was notable, but I think because of the destination (Russia), it seemed to attract a more well travelled and educated group. At no time did my partner were my partner and I made to feel awkward by either staff or crew because of our sexuality an by the end of the cruise we were just referred to as "the boys". (Mental Note: if you want to be made to feel young travel with folk older than yourself)
We travelled on Viking River Cruises which we found to very good value particularly as all the shore excursions were included in the price.
RSVP and a new company called Romance Voyages are doing river cruises for Gay people. Have you looked into that possibility. My partner & I did the RSVP Danube cruise last September and enjoyed it very much. The ships are so much smaller, you get to meet almost everyone.