We call ourselves “veterans” when it comes to ocean cruising with Disney Cruise Line. We are, after all, Platinum members of their Castaway Club. Destinations that we’ve been to include the Western Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexican Riviera, California Coast and Alaska. But when it comes to river cruises, we are Da-newbies (See what I did there? Danube!) We are totally clueless and don’t know where to start.
I approached our trusted travel agent for our Disney cruises. I asked her if she will be able to help us with the river cruise we were planning to take. I was a bit disappointed when I received her e-mail reply. She actually discouraged me from booking one because those cruises are for the older population or retirees. This made me think. First of all, it does not say anywhere on the brochures or website that younger adults, like us, are excluded on this cruises. Second, I don’t mind being around older people than me. Hello? I am a nurse. Most of the time, I am around older people. That exchange with her did not stop me from booking one.
I don’t remember if I went through Amawaterways’ website. But somehow, I ended up being led to Avoya Travel’s site and next thing I know I was being contacted by their agent. She was very helpful and I told her what I wanted. In a few weeks after our initial contact, I put a deposit down. I like booking through travel agents because of the perks. And for this specific cruise, it was prepaid gratuities and $100 onboard credits per passenger.
So, why did I choose to do a river cruise in December? Let me tell you the reasons.
- I love Christmas season. It is Jesus’ birthday. (Yes, we are Catholic.) I love the preparation that people put into it. I like to decorate for the season (not the dismantling though). As soon as KOST starts playing non-stop Christmas songs, I am glued to it. People just seem so excited and happy during this time.
- I’ve heard so much about Europe’s Traditional Christmas Markets and would love to experience it. I see a picture of a steaming gluhwein or a chimney bread and it makes me just salivate.
- I hate packing and unpacking. I can just imagine doing it every night and it makes me tired.
- I would love to take away the stress of planning tours to get to different Christmas Markets every day.
- You wake up in a different city every day. I mean. You sleep in Budapest and wake up in Vienna!
Needless to say, as soon as I put down the deposit, I cannot stop being excited about it. I still got those comments regarding older passengers or retirees from people around me. But I did not care! My agent never once discouraged me from taking this trip. She answered all my questions and it almost sounded like she was excited for me, too. I was going to Europe and going on a river cruise through the Danube (Hungary, Austria and Germany) for seven nights in December!