Q – We absolutely love Amsterdam and would like to spend a few days there both before and after a river cruise. That would mean, I suppose, that we would be traveling along the Moselle River, which one hears very little about. Our relatives come from Dusseldorf and we would love to return there as part of the itinerary. We are looking for quality and are loyal past Silversea guests. This would be our first river cruise and we would likely want one of the top suites. Any guidance would be appreciated. We have been using an agent for our travels but she is, admittedly, a novice when it comes to river cruises so we would look forward to the possibility of working together.  Is the “sense of humor” really required? Oh, and by the way, is there a hotel in Amsterdam we should be looking at? How do we really get the best overall offer when we are ready to book? Thanks so much.

A – Yes, on the sense of humor requirement. Sorry. Life is too short otherwise. 

The news on other fronts is, however, quite good. The Crystal Bach will be doing a new 10-Day itinerary round-trip out of Amsterdam called “Enchanting Moselle” (Don’t blame us we don’t name these things). This unique itinerary will operate from June through the end of October 2019. It will include the most beautiful stretch of the Moselle passing numerous vineyards en route to Bernkastel, Cochem (Reichsburg Castle), Trier (Roman ruins)m Bonn, and, yes, Dusseldorf. It will also include Arnhem in the Netherlands, and Koblenz. 

The Crystal Bach is one of the “Fab Five Sisters”, the newest ships int he Crystal fleet and they are currently ranked as the very best river boats in Europe. (See our updated review)

In Amsterdam we recommend the Waldorf Astoria in a canal-view room. If you prefer to stay in the Museum District, we would recommend the Conservatorium. Both offer upgrade and other amenities if your consultant is a member of one of the leading agency groups. When booking a hotel you never want to book directly or through an online site because you will not receive the complimentary upgrade, free breakfast and other perks available from consultants who belong to the top luxury consortiums. Unfortunately this is one of those important truths that the travel media keeps missing so most consumers are unaware as to how to best book hotels. Everyone screams “deal” but no one in the media ever discusses negotiated amenities offers available to guests booked by top tier consultants. Could it be that hotels would prefer you did not know that guests booked online or directly, do not receive amenities provided by connected consultants?