So many memories are popping up on my facebook of 4 years when my sisters Paula and Muriel and myself travelled to Zurich via Singapore to embark on a journey of a lifetime.
Our 12 hour flight from Singapore was full of chatting, eating, drinking and napping. This trip all started the year before when we decided we would celebrate my 60th birthday with a holiday and I was to pick. Im indescive at the best of times and it took ages and many a travel brochure before we all settled on this one. Of course by the time we booked all trips for 2015 were booked out. My coffee table was piled high with brochures and I spent countless hours going over everything. I looked at cruises, self tours, coach tours. Finally I settled on a cruise main reason being we could just sit back and relax and let someone else do all the hard work.
Paula and I had never been on a cruise. Muriel and her hubby did a cruise on the Nile many years before. We landed in Zurich and had a blast. The most funniest was when Paula and I got stuck in our room. Not sure what we had done but we couldn’t get out. Thats ok a lovely attendant came and rescued us in time.
We did a trolley tour of Zurich and then a cruise on Zurich lake. It was summer and it was such a lovely day. The following day we made our way to the Airport where APT would pick us up and take us to Basel. This is where we met Peter, Tania and Luke who were also from Australia and doing the same tour.
Arriving in Basel we alighted from the taxi to be met by several staff from the ship. This was our first introduction to River Cruising where once you board everything is done for you. Drinks and nibbles were served in the lounge while our rooms were being prepared for us.
At 2pm we were able to go to our rooms. We had rooms on the second level with balcony windows. Paula and I would share and Muriel had her own room opposite us. We were at the end of the corridor near the staff quarters.
On all the brochures for River Cruising it says “unpack once”! So many cupboards for the two of us, plenty of hanging space. We had twin beds which can be made into a king bed. TV, which had movies and TV shows. It was also a computer if you needed one. Plenty of water that every day was replaced. Lots of Toiletries in the small but well designed bathroom.
After unpacking we made our way to the lounge. All that work had made us thirsty so a few drinks would be had. APT are all inclusive which means drinks, food and tours. You literally put your wallet away unless you want to buy souvenirs. There is a laundry on board and at a cost you can get your clothes washed. While we were waiting to be in our room we had been talking to some people who were waiting for their taxi to take them home. They gave us a hint that if we hand washed our clothes we could hang them up on the rail that went around the room. This worked really well especially as some of the time we had really hot weather.
By the way, on a river cruise there is no need to be hungry! There is a early risers breakfast which starts around 6am, then a buffet breakfast at 7am. If you decide to not go on an excursion there is morning tea. Usually everyone is back from the outing by lunch time. You can do A La Carte in the main dinning room or a buffet lunch in the lounge. Then afternoon tea. Dinner is served in the main dinning room from 7pm for everyone on the cruise. Around 10pm supper is served in the lounge. Tea and coffee is served in the lounge 24/7.
On a lot of river cruising the drinks are included (except for top shelf) At breakfast you can have some champagne if you want! Yes seriously at 7am!
Excursions are all included especially on APT and Scenic. Now you dont have to go on these you can stay on board and enjoy a massage, get your hair done, have a dip in the pool or the spa or just lie around on the top deck and get some sun. Unless the ship is moving to another port often there will be two excursions a day. You will be put into different groups such as fast paced – this is for those who have no trouble with walking down to slow paced for those who just want to walk leisurely or do have trouble with walking. The tours are always with a guide from the local area so you get local knowledge.
Each night after dinner everyone would retire to the lounge area where some nights we had local musicians to entertain us. There was also the resident musician who would play the piano. The 3 of us would dance until the last song and we would giggle down the hallway to our rooms. We made friends quickly with Richard who also was from Perth and the cruise director Eric.
Richard had been on a cruise on the Rhone with Eric just before the Rhine cruise so they had already established a friendship. The patronage on most cruises are retired couples with the odd single person or like us sisters. Its also unusual to have anyone under 40 on the cruise. Now thats where we had a little bit of weirdness. Some of the guests didn’t believe we were sisters. They thought we were gay. No problem there would it matter if we were but we were “talked” about. Peter and Tania and their son Luke also had some well a bit of abuse. Luke was told he shouldn’t be on the cruise because he was under 40. I might add this was not the opinion of all the guests on board just a select few. So this is where our blog started. Over drinks we would all sit and laugh about how one day we would be famous with a movie, books, Television series about the adventures of 3 sisters abroad. With that we would try and work out who was going to play our part.
You can read about that here …Are we Famous Yet!
Aside from all that we had the most amazing 7 days of fun on the cruise from Basel to Amsterdam. We then had 5 days in Paris. Here is one post I did on our time in Paris Can you really be lost in Paris?
A year later Muriel and I did 7 days on the Rhone and 7 days on the Seine with Peter and Tania. In 2019 Muriel and I did a 24 day tour of the Douro River Portugal and a land tour of Portugal and Spain.
This year the 3 sisters were to do a 15 day land tour of Europe then an 11 day cruise of the Baltic. Unfortunately thats been put on hold till August/September 2021. Who even knows at this stage will we be able to. Im so glad that we have had the opportunity to have traveled overseas in the last 4 years.
Over the last 4 years, we have learnt Flamenco dancing, visited beautiful wineries and sampled their wares. Eaten enough cheese to keep the dairy’s in business. Eaten frogs legs and snails. Seen amazing light shows on Cathedrals in France. Made so many long standing friends. Above all we have seen how beautiful our world is.
We, Muriel, Paula and I (me myself and I ) Bree want to thank you all for your follows, your lovely comments and friendship the last 4 years have given us.
We do not know what the future is but we will continue writing travel blogs and how to travel with a chronic illness.