Scenic Opal: A stop in Rudesheim while sailing along the Rhine

The gorgeous Moselle River
The gorgeous Moselle River

ABOARD THE SCENIC OPAL – For the past couple of days we have been traveling in Germany down the meandering Moselle River and have loved how scenic and serene it was. There are vineyards and small villages all along the way and we scarcely saw another river ship.

Our pattern of cruising for a half day and touring for a half day has continued and we have really enjoyed this pace. If you are someone who enjoys the actual sailing time on a river cruise then be sure to check itineraries closely to see how much day sailing is included.

One of many castles along the Rhine River
One of many castles along the Rhine River

Last night the ship brought us from Bernkastel-Kuis all the way back to Koblenz and today we have been sailing on the much larger, wider and busier Rhine River. This river has a strong current and we are sailing against it. This portion of the Rhine, between Koblenz and Rudesheim, is famous for its many castles. Unfortunately, our lovely weather has taken a turn for the worse and it has been a very gray day with spitting rainy and really chilly. So most everyone is tucked into the lounge for our sightseeing.

Our Scenic Tailormade units are supposed to be providing us with narration but there are many hiccups. Mine keeps going out and requires a reboot each time. I finally settled for following the map.

This afternoon we arrived in Rudesheim at about 2:30 and the entire group headed off to the Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum… transported by shuttles that look like small trains. The tour was interesting and not too long so Chet and I were able to take a leisurely walk back to the ship passing through many small walkways filled with cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops.

The mechanical music museum is a rare collection
The mechanical music museum is a rare collection

Back at the river we note that there are seven river ships docked here today. Obviously ports are going to be more crowded from now on.
Every once in awhile something on a cruise surprises you and last night that happened. Frank Riopos, our cruise director, had been promoting a “Disco and Rock ‘n’ Roll Night” and was getting a cool reception. After dinner, we went to the lounge, curious as to just how this would go and because we like to dance and there hasn’t been much of that.

So Miro, our pianist, begin spinning familiar disco tunes (think wedding music!) and no one gets up. Finally, Chet and I venture out for a dance…and we are thinking of leaving thereafter when all of the sudden a string of crew members led by the head housekeeper come sailing in, bearing sparklers and pulling people onto the dance floor.

The crew gets in on the party
The crew gets in on the party

That did it. The none-too-big dance floor was packed and pretty soon there was a conga line weaving through the room. Who would have thought? The crew stayed for awhile and then began filtering out but they had really lit up the party and the floor remained full. Somehow lots of ladies managed to get reluctant husbands out there! Even one woman who uses a walker was out there.

So it seems even the stodgy were won over. I just wish it would have come sooner in the cruise because it was a great ice-breaker – and obviously Frank and Miro know what they are doing!

July 20, 2015

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