old-banjo-player-bxxxA – We are looking at joining our dentist and his wife on an Avalon cruise next year on the German rivers. We’ve cruised with Celebrity, which you really short-change in my opinion on your cruisetruth site, and Oceania, which we love, numerous times. We want to sail with our friends but my husband is really concerned about the lack of evening entertainment, as well as the likelihood that we will be eating in the same dining room every night with, what I understand is, limited menus.  He biggest “but” is that the food won’t be as good as Oceania’s. 

A – Dear Mrs. Big But’s: There is an unwritten rule among those of us who advise travelers that one should never share a cruise with your gynecologist, your proctologist, or your dentist. On the other hand, traveling with your psychiatrist is highly recommended. So we’re opposed to this trip from the beginning. The fact is that your husband’s concerns are justified. Entertainment on most river boats consists of a lone ivory tinkler who mostly plays what he has been led to believe is music Americans enjoy. Likely it will be heavy on the Strauss and light on the Bruno Mars. And yes, you do dine in the main restaurant with friends. You, for instance, would have many opportunities to hear about some of the more interesting abcesses your dentist friend has encountered. True, there are small alternative dining venues on Viking River, Scenic, Tauck and Crystal particularly, but the fact is that you are on a small vessel with the same people on a ship with a small galley and a limited menu. The food on Oceania is significantly better than anything you will experience on a riverboat with the exception of  Crystal’s Mozart. Why stress your husband out? Skip this cruise.

By the way, we do not review Celebrity solely because our cruise ratings site, www, deals exclusively withe the world’s top ten rated cruise lines. Celebrity is close to being in the top ten – but they are not there. They are the very best of the so-called “Premium” class of mega-ships.