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Ms Olympia Rhine Cruise To Switzerland. by Davies, Ramsgate

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Ms Olympia Rhine Cruise To Switzerland.

Overall Rating: 4

156 out of 156 people found this useful
Cruise Line:
River Cruises
Cruise Ship:
River Rhine

Reviewed By: on
If you’re looking for the height of luxury and sophistication then look away now, if you have restricted or impaired mobility then maybe look somewhere else, but if you’re looking for practicality and convenience then this is worth a further look. We’ll start with the cabin, what it lacks in area (it isn’t very big) it makes up for in convenience, probably designed by somebody who worked on caravans it makes the most of its space so you never feel cramped or lacking in storage. The bathroom has a proper (wooden) door, the shower has a sliding screen (no clammy curtains) and delivers excellent pressure, the WC is normal flush and there are lots of places to put your toiletries. It has two “built in” banquettes either side of a generously sized table by the window and there is a power point above the table (very convenient for computer or whatever). In the evening the beds (which are wall mounted behind the seats) are folded down by the steward and then folded up the next morning – no space wasted on a static bed! The mattress is firm but reasonably comfortable but because the bed is folded away complete with bedding the pillows are rather thin, I advise doing what we did and take your own pillows. With the bed down there is a reading light just above your head which is fine to read by but not so bright that it disturbs your companion on the other bed. There is a built in dressing table, with stool, with a well lit mirror which has storage space behind it (which is also where you’ll find the hairdryer), and another power socket. The wardrobe is huge with shelf as well as hanging space. All in all a pleasant place to watch the world go by during the day and have a decent sleep at night, although if you’re sensitive to noise and vibration engine start at around 0400 most days might wake you briefly, promenade (upper) deck is better as is being as far forward as possible,
On the ship itself it was built in 1984 and probably wasn’t the height of fashion even then, but it has been very well maintained, the seats are comfortable and there’s a reasonable amount of space in the public areas. As this is a river cruise there are only three real public areas, the main lounge/bar, the dining room directly below it and the sun deck which runs most of the length of the ship. In the lounge such entertainment as there is is provided by a keyboard player with a reasonable repertoire and some electronic gubbins to beef up the sound after dinner which he uses to great effect. Unfortunately he also sings along and although he can hit the notes he has a kind of strangled delivery which just about works on the rock’n’roll stuff but nothing else.
The food is substantial and plentiful, there is an extensive buffet breakfast with fruits (fresh and bottled), yogurts (assorted), cereals (similar), hot buffet (limited – (hard) boiled or scrambled eggs, beans and meat, usually German sausage but once or twice English and once bacon). Usual selection of meats and cheeses, rolls, pastries and croissants and toast (although the queue for the toaster used to get a bit out of hand. They also have juices and tea (not advised!) or coffee. Then comes lunch (usually stupidly early) which is 4 courses, a self service salad selection (dull), a soup (usually OK) then a choice of meat meal, vegetarian or pasta followed by dessert and coffee. Dinner is similarly 4 courses, starter, soup then a choice of meat, fish or vegetarian and again dessert and coffee. You have to make your main course selections for lunch and dinner at breakfast. The main course were the protein (meat or fish), a carb (rice or potatoes) and a vegetable side. Meats were usually tender and tasty although not very often exciting, all in all you won’t starve. At our table (fixed for the cruise) we mostly skipped main course for lunch and often dessert for dinner (their weakest point). Wine prices are acceptable, mostly around 20 Euro/bottle, choice is adequate and the selections were decent wines.
The cruise itself was 10 days and the general format was engine start around 0400 and sail to the next destination, arriving around lunchtime, optional excursion in the afternoon (or wander round the town), back in time for dinner. This sort of schedule meant you either had to choose between investigating where you were moored or going on the tour, a bit tricky do fit both in, although it would be better in summer with light nights. The tours were a mixed bag, some walking tours with local guides (variable) and some coach tours, but there was always something interesting to see and do.
We had the services of an on-board tour manager from Newmarket Travel who was friendly and helpful, but not always accurate about locations visited, but reasonable enough. For the mobility impaired some of the tours could be tricky as it was a 20 – 30 minute walk from the mooring to the town, then a tour of 1 – 2 hours then a walk back. Plus on board the flight of stairs from the promenade deck to the restaurant on the main deck was very steep and that was the only way to get to it.
Some lovely places to see on the Rhine, the area between Cologne and Mainz is very pretty with castles and rolling hills, but south of that it gets fairly flat and boring with lots of locks, although towns like Basel and Strasbourg are delightful. Definitely a different experience to ocean cruising and well worth it if you’ve not tried it before.

156 out of 156 people found this useful

Times cruised before: 3-5
Sailed: October, 2011
Age: 56-65
Cabin: Outside

Quality of Food
Only one restaurant, the soups are recommended (all made on board)

A talented keyboard player who should stick to playing rather than singing along

Shore Excursions
Best town was Strasbourg - the old town was a real surprise, best site the Rhine Falls - spectacular

The hotel manager (Johann) was excellent but all the staff were friendly and helpful.

Children's Facilities

Onboard Activities

Good design and layout meant you never missed having a large floor area

Overall Rating
Review useful?
Pearce -
, Christchurch - Commented about this Review
We have just returned from the same trip and found this review to be very informative. It was so helpful to us that I thought I would add more comments. The cabins were exactly as stated. Perhaps they have listened or read this review as although we did take our own pillows, those provided were fairly good. The food was excellent and beautifully presented. Take care though, whilst wine is good value at 20euros a bottle ( you do not need to drink it all in one sitting) WATCH THE PRICE OF WATER - THEY CHARGE A MERE 4 EUROS A LITRE - which I think equates to three times the price of petrol. The only water that is supplied free is a jug alongside the fruit juices at breakfast. The Rhine Gorge is spectacular and we were lucky to have good weather, but we agree that once past Strasbourg it gets a bit flat and uninteresting. The ship sailed during the night much more than most of us had expected. We had read the 4a.m. start up time, but this can be as early as 1a.m. You do get used to it and it is not that bad if you are on the top deck. There is no wi-fi connection on the ship and although we did not go looking, I did not see an internet cafe when on shore. Regarding paying on board, they operate a system whereby you give your credit/debit details on day one and receive a detailed bill prior to disembarking. Dress was extremely casual, even on the Captain's nights. Although everyone was dressed smartly, most men did not wear a tie and jackets were hardly seen. I would thoroughly recommend this cruise - however watch the way in which you journey from home. We chose a coach from our home town and it took 14 hours to get there. Also it left the vicinity at 02.30a.m. but we were not given this actual time until the tickets had arrived.
16 Oct 12 07:23 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
WORRALL - , Stourbridge - Commented about this Review
Is this a cashless cruise i.e.all drinks etc. paid for on credit card & account presented at end of criuse.
29 Sep 12 16:03 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Pearce -
, Christchurch - Commented about this Review
Does it have wi-fi connections.
19 Sep 12 08:18 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Mitra - , Derby - Commented about this Review
All seems to be very satisfactory but what is the electricity supply ? Also what type of electric plugs are used (two pin round or other type)? Is there bar service on the sundeck?
24 Aug 12 16:07 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
, Royston - Commented about this Review
Very impressive review and it tells that a hairdryer is present which is a first also honest about size and food. Wish all brochures were as extensive!!
17 Jul 12 08:21 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Bearman -
, Harrogate - Commented about this Review
Thank you for this info, did you enjoy the cruise.
02 Jul 12 16:55 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Bearman - , Harrogate - Commented about this Review
I have just booked for my husband and myself departing in a couple of weeks, this is our first river cruise and the price is good but can you tell me the dress code for dinner for us both. Your review is very informative Thank you.
28 Jun 12 13:19 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Fellowes -
, Staplehurst - Commented to a Question by Bearman (28 Jun 12 13:19)
We have just returned from the Moselle cruise on the Olympia. My husband wore open neck shirt for dinner except for gala night when he wore a tie but no jacket although some men did have a suit.
28 Jun 12 22:19 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Gibson -
, Bournemouth - Commented about this Review
This was just what we needed.veryinformative. I would like to know if there are hair driers in the cabins, as these take up quite a lot of room in suitcases. Mo.
27 Jun 12 19:23 - Reply - Was this comment useful?
Fellowes -
, Staplehurst - Commented about a Comment by Gibson (27 Jun 12 19:23)
Yes there is a hair dryer in the mirrored cupboard over the dressing table but I did not use it as I took my own and didn't discover the cupboard until the end of the cruise.
28 Jun 12 22:20 - Reply - Was this comment useful?

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