We recently had the opportunity to go on our very first Adventures by Disney trip – a Danube River Cruise! Our cruise left from Munich, Germany, and sailed down the Danube to Budapest, Hungary. It was a pretty incredible experience. Disney is known for going the extra mile, and with Adventures by Disney they certainly do that. They had exclusive experiences I would never have been able to do otherwise, and they take care of everything so you don’t have to worry about timing, purchasing tickets for individual attractions, and that sort of thing.
Arriving in Munich
We arrived in Munich a day early to give us a little more time to get acclimated to the time change and to make sure we would have enough time if any flights were delayed or cancelled. We flew over from the US on a red eye – so when we arrived in Munich it was 7am there, but to our bodies it felt like it was 1am.
Getting off the plane and getting to the city center where our hotel was turned out to be pretty easy – there was a train right in the station that had a stop just a few blocks from the Platzl Hotel. We chose it because it was very close to the meeting spot for Adventures by Disney the next day. They meet you at the Kempinski Hotel – and while it was gorgeous, it was almost twice as much what we paid at the Platzl.
We spent the day in Munich and hit some of the nearby sites before our room was ready and we took a short nap. Then we had dinner at the Hofbrau Haus nearby. At that point Jason was very tired and went to bed – I walked around some more until I needed to head back to the room, around 7pm.
Meeting with Adventures by Disney
Since I was up early the next morning I went for a run at a nearby park, which was beautiful. I headed back to the hotel, had a shower, we got breakfast and then checked out of the Platzl and walked over to the Kreminski. We were met in the lobby by the staff at that hotel, who took our luggage and directed us back to the ABD meeting spot. There we met our Adventure Guides and were given a list of the activities that would be happening during our voyage so we could make our selections on the days when there were multiple options.
It was about an hour long bus ride from the Kempinski to Vilsofen, where our ship, the Amalea, was docked. Adventures by Disney partners with Ama Waterways for these river cruises. If you’ve done a Disney cruise the ships are very different – much smaller, but that’s okay because most of your time is spent on shore visiting the various cities.
Boarding the AmaLea
Once we arrived we all headed to the main lounge area, which was the spot that most group events happened. They served us afternoon tea, which included various beverages, tea cakes (shaped like Mickey Mouse!), and pastries. Our Adventure Guides gave us a rundown of what would happen the rest of the night and the week in general. Then they told us all of the luggage had been delivered to the rooms already and we could unpack, explore, and meet back 5:30 for the safety info.
Our room on board the Amalea was small but comfortable. The bed was nice and there was plenty of closet space for the two of us. We had a sort of balcony – it wasn’t an actual outside area, but there was a sliding door that opened up to sort of create a balcony within the room itself. It was really nice to be able to see a lot of the scenery going by as we traveled and we could have it open or closed depending on the heat.
After the safety information we were escorted to the dock outside to a small tent where we had a small Oktoberfest celebration! There were beer and pretzels, and an Oompah band. It was a lot of fun and the performers were very talented. They played some great songs, did some interactive dance stuff, and challenged some participants to a stein hoisting competition.
Dinner on board the AmaLea
Then of course after beer and pretzels it was time for dinner! Each night dinner was served in the restaurant at a certain time, but you could come anywhere within an hour or so after that time if you wanted to for the full meal. The menu had 4-5 courses, but luckily the portions were pretty small. However one of the highlights of every meal was the bread! They had mentioned during the introductions that they had a fantastic baker on board, and they weren’t lying – it was definitely some of the best bread I’ve ever had. Then you could get an appetizer, soup, sometimes a sorbet palate cleanser, main course, and dessert.
The food was typically pretty delicious for dinners but I thought the desserts were particularly excellent. Beverages were included with dinner each night, and they had two specialty wines available from the region we were visiting. It was neat to be able to try some wines from Germany, Austria, and Hungary.
That first evening they had some entertainment with the piano player in the lounge and a late night 10:30pm snack, but we definitely weren’t going to be able to stay up that late yet! We did head up to the deck to look at everything and because they said you could typically see some great sunsets from this port. That turned out to be extremely true – it was stunning.
Once the sun set we headed back to our room and pretty much fell asleep immediately. Our bodies still weren’t really used to the time change and it had been a lot of excitement – and we knew we had lots of other exciting things to look forward to the next day as well, when we arrived in Passau, Germany!