If you are considering a TUI river cruise, you may be wondering what is included. I did, and have recently returned from a river cruise on the TUI Skyla.
In this post, I will tell you what is included, and mention other costs that you may incur along the way.
I have sailed with other, more expensive river cruise lines in the past, where everything is included, so was interested to find out whether this “budget” river cruise was actually good value for money.
Is Food Included on TUI River Cruises?
Food is included on all TUI River Cruises. There are two restaurants to pick from on all of the Tui river ships – the Verdastro and the Bistro. They are both open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, The Bistro with a buffet, and Verdastro with à la carte options.
A six-course gala dinner is also held on every sailing, and afternoon tea is held once a week.
Unfortunately, I was on a land tour the day of the afternoon tea and missed it!
When is The Main Dining Room Open on a TUI river cruise?
The main dining room is open at set times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These times could vary depending on sailing times, land excursions, etc., the best way to check is by looking at the TUI river cruise app which is regularly updated with any last-minute changes.
Breakfast was usually between 7 am – 9 am. Lunch was generally between 12 am – 2 pm and dinner was between 7 – 9 pm.
Unfortunately, there were no later breakfast options for those like me who prefer to get up a little later on holiday.
Do TUI River Ships Have a Buffet?
TUI river cruise ships do have a buffet of sorts. They offer a buffet option in the main dining room for breakfast and offer a buffet-style service in an area called the Bistro
In addition to the buffet breakfast, you can order cooked food from the menu. This is served to your table along with tea or coffee.
The buffet at The Bistro restaurant at the back of the ship is open at the same time as sit-down meals are being served in The Verdastro restaurant for lunch and dinner.
However, if you don’t get to The Bistro within those set dining hours, the buffet will be shut.
The only other food option available is to head to the coffee machine near the main atrium where there are sometimes jars of cookies! You may be lucky….
To learn more about the facilities available on TUI river ships check out the deck plans on their website here: TUI River Cruise Deck Plans (affiliate link).
Do TUI River Cruises Have Room Service?
TUI don’t offer room service on their river cruises as standard. If you buy the “little extras package” for £35, one room service continental breakfast is included.
To use this just hang the tag on the outside of your cabin door and choose the time you would like it delivered, the latest time being 10 am.
Do TUI Provide Tea and Coffee Making Facilities or a Mini Bar?
On TUI river cruises there are tea and coffee making facilities in every cabin, with biscuits restocked daily. There is a minibar containing coke, beer, and water.
The mini bar is included for those who have paid extra for the all-inclusive drinks option, but if not, the drinks removed will be charged to your onboard account.
Can you Bring Food Onboard From Land?
On a TUI river cruise, you can bring food back on board from land. I made a successful trip to a nearby supermarket to stock up on chocolate, snacks, and Pepsi Max!
No security checks were made when returning to the ship so no problem with bringing back extra supplies.
Are All Drinks Included on TUI River Cruises? – Varies by Ship
Onboard the TUI Skyla and Isla
Cruises on the TUI Skyla and Isla include drinks like tea, coffee, at breakfast or soft drinks, juices, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner.
Any other drinks will be charged to your onboard account.
You can upgrade to “All-Inclusive.” If you so wish.
This All-Inclusive drinks package costs £126 per person, per week. You can add this at the time of booking or alternatively, you can also book it when you’re on board.
The drinks package for alcoholic drinks is 10am-midnight, soft drinks are available whenever the bar is open.
Onboard the TUI Maya
During the winter only drinks with meals are included as standard, similar to the TUI Skyla and Isla.
During the summer months, all-Inclusive comes as standard so you can expect a bigger drinks menu, including cocktails.
Check on the details for your particular cruise when booking to see whether your cruise is fully inclusive.
How Much do Drinks Cost On-board TUI River Cruises?
Drinks on TUI river cruises are similar to that in UK pubs. A soft drink costs approximately £2.10, a glass of wine £3.15, a beer £3.80, and a cocktail £6.70.
Drinks on board TUI river ships are very reasonable, and there are no additional service charges or tips added to your bill.
Prices on board are charged in Euros, so I have given an approximate cost below in UK pounds.
|Soft Drink (200ml)||£2.10|
|House Wine – Red/White/Rose||£3.15|
|Draft Local Beer (Warsteiner on our Cruise)||£3.80|
To see the full drinks list including all menus from our cruise, check out this post: TUI River Cruise – Drinks Prices and MENUS
Are Excursions Included on TUI River Cruises?
On TUI river cruises excursions aren’t included, unlike many other river cruise companies. However, when we booked we were given £120 credit per person to use on excursions.
These were booked online prior to the cruise, and a code to enter at checkout was sent via email.
Excursions could still be booked onboard if there was space available.
To learn more about our excursions, check out this video filmed on the cruise:
Were The Excursions Expensive?
Excursions were very reasonable in my opinion, compared to the price of ocean cruise excursions I have taken previously.
Walking tours led by a local guide started at around £12 and lasted between an hour and two hours.
A coach city tour of Vienna was around £30 – good value when you consider a hop on hop off bus trip works out at around £25 and the TUI tour picks you up and drops you off by the ship.
Is WiFi Included on a TUI River Cruise?
Wi-Fi is included on all TUI river cruises and it was reasonably reliable during our cruise.
Being on a river cruise and always close to land, I was able to use 4G on my phone at no extra cost. This is dependent on your mobile/cell phone plan and may incur extra prices for some people.
It’s worth checking on this before you travel.
Are Gratuities Included in Tui River Cruises?
All gratuities are included on TUI river cruises, no tipping is required and it was never mentioned during our cruise.
In my opinion, a TUI river cruise provides very good value for money, and unlike some ocean cruises, you are un-likey to come away with a large onboard bill to pay at the end of your holiday!
To find out what I didn’t like about my cabin on the TUI Skyla, check out this post next: TUI River Cruise Cabin Review – (Photos, Deck 1 & 2 Superior Cabins)
Marella have a £300 discount running at the moment for next year and theres no minimum spend, check them out: Marella Discount. (Affiliate link).
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