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Will we like European river cruises?

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We are a 40-something U.S. couple who has traveled a fair amount, always independently. In the U.S. and occasionally in Europe, we have also stayed a up to a week at a time at resorts that are mostly inclusive, typically 2 meals a day and sports activities. These are not isolated places where you stay at the resort all day , but are near areas with museums, shopping, or natural attractions. We are big city people in our everyday life and like to vacation in cities as well. We are happier traveling with people slightly older than we are rather than younger, but we would be uncomfortable with a group
that was entirely retirees and older.

We like the idea of river cruises especially for Europe since it seems like we would be able to have the convenience of meals and lodging and have some quite "down time":to just look at the passing scenery. Casual luxury is how I'd describe our style, dressing for dinner means neat business or casual dress, not formal wear (sports jacket, not a dark suit and tie). Good food rather than buffets or huge all day meals, but nothing fussy or molecular gastronomy either . Light lunches but leisurely dinners sound perfect.

We'd love to see smaller towns that we haven't seen when we do our major city trips and the idea that transfers into town seem simple. We're not at all interested in evening activities other than an occasional lecture or some light background music.

I know people who love group tours and activities, and some people who love huge party cruises, That's great for them but it sounds horrible to us, the way our vacation choices sound horrible to others! :)

So is river cruising as good an idea as we think? Will we be bored watching the world go by if we end up with several rainy days? Is there enough space on most ships to move around so we don't get cabin fever? Are the days on shore rushed going from museum to castle and back again? Is 8-10 days a good amount of time for these cruises?

Obviously the most important choice will be the specific itinerary and ship. Costs can vary by so much so we'd be happy to hear specific experiences and tips on getting the best deals . Thank You!

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