What a wonderful week on board the AmaVerde. I have to say that my experience on board this ship over the past 7 nights, 8 days was truly a nice return to river cruising. Of course, Rosa was with me and so we shared a great deal of time and returning to some of the places I had not been to for well over a decade was eye opening. As I have said before, seeing things through her eyes was truly enjoyable. She wanted to be a tourist and not a guide and she was on board not to be a guide. However, she sometimes reacted to the guides we had in various places. I also want to thank the crew of the ship for their professionalism and warmth during this past week cruising from Budapest to Giurgiu and everywhere in between. Some places I had experienced years and years ago and some were brand new. Even those places I had been had changed and really, the whole experience was worth the time. If there was a bad thing, a few kilos were added, but I will be back on track again where I was, especially with all the walking I will be doing.
For me, the highlights of the past week included many of the castles we experienced and meeting the locals. I really enjoyed the Banista, the local Bulgarian pastry with Ramona and her Aunt Rosa as they shared stories and showed us (and some participated) the process. The vistas of the Danube all along the route are wonderful and I will have many wonderful memories of the people I met and the people with whom I re-connected this past week and of course, sharing a new experience with Rosa. While the cruise experience would have been amazing regardless and if I had traveled solo, having Rosa with me made it even more special. This week allowed us to strengthen our relationship and yesterday, she flew back to Rome, it will only be a few days, when I make my way there to be with again.
I know at times, getting up early for the tours was not her style, but she managed. She also was concerned about claustrophobia and possible motion sickness on the ship, but in the end, neither manifested itself and I believe she blossomed, even amongst some of my colleagues in the industry. I remember trying to convince her months ago to join me and she was hesitant to do so for the reasons mentioned above. In the end, she came out of her shell on many different levels and It was wonderful to see. The reason she agreed to go was the possibility of seeing all the Roman ruins and influences of the Romans throughout the journey. We traveled from Budapest to ports of call in Croatia including Pecs, then to Serbia including Novi Sad and Belgrade and then on to Bulgaria including and finally to Romania where yesterday, she received a whirlwind overview of Bucharest including the Village Museum which is a kind of living history museum. She also saw the second largest office building in the world, second only to the Pentagon.
In the end, I am looking forward to returning the cruise expo next year, to be held in Amsterdam and perhaps, with Rosa, doing another river cruise. Professionally speaking, the value of a river cruise is very good. When all is said and done and depending on the cruise line, it is essentially all inclusive and many offer the shore excursions with several options each day, versus the ocean cruises which tis is something paid additionally. Depending on the package, beer, wine and soft drinks are included as it was with AmaWaterways and the meals are well crafted. This ship did not have a buffet and I am fine with that. Enjoying a sit-down meal was very nice. In the end and having seen several cruise lines at the expo before the actual cruise she and I took, I have a much better understanding of the options and which ones would work for which of my valued clients, so please consider a river cruise and if you have any questions, let me know.
As always, stay safe, stay healthy and always look for the best in a situation and be patient as the best things in life are worth waiting for. Thank you as always for your support of my crazy little world and my small business. As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, concerns and continuing the discourse through whichever means you read my posts!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin