We arrived in Amsterdam 3 days pre-cruise and stayed in an AirBNB in Utretch. Between train and bus service we arrived at our destination in about an hour. We were able to spend a full day in Amsterdam and another day in Utretch. We arrived at the Monarch Countess 2 hours before official boarding time, but were told we could leave our luggage if we wanted to walk around outside for a bit, which we did.
Food in the dining room was one seating only with open seating. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with each day having one special you could order from the kitchen. There was a cook making eggs or omelets to order for breakfast and we did take advantage of that. There was plenty to eat from the buffet, but I did order the Eggs Benedict special for breakfast one morning and was craving a cheeseburger towards the end of the cruise so ordered that for lunch. Dinner had two options for the entree but appetizer and soup were one choice. You did have a choice of desserts Wait staff came by at dinner with a red and a white wine which was included. You could also order a beer which was included. There was one night when the wine and beer were offered in the lounge for one extra hour. Other than dinner there was a charge for all drinks. Different drink specials were offered at the bar during the week.
Entertainment on the ship low key. The Activity Director was very friendly and easy going. He set up some music trivia games, and a contest for most popular dance songs. He also taught some basic dance steps. A duo came on board at one of the ports. She sang (very well) and he played piano. There was also another local performer which I did not see. There were a some games played during the day - putt putt golf, darts. In the evening the Activity DIrector would DJ, and played music the audience wanted. So there was a lot of line dancing and some classic rock thrown in for good measure. He also had a 30 minute stretch / exercise class each morning which my travel companion took advantage of. I preferred the extra sleep! The Tour Director gave a port talk each evening before dinner covering not only the logistics of the tours but also some things to see and do if we were out on our own. She gave a talk of the division of East and West Germany and its' reunification. During one stretch of travel down the river, she gave commentary along the way as to the villages and castles we were passing and talked about the Legend of Lorilei. She was also on the included tours and was always available. There is also a masseusse on board and I took advantage of that. Pricing was in line with what I pay at home and there was no sales pitch at the end!
We were escorted to our cabin upon arrival. It was quite roomy and we had more than enough storage area for the 2 of us. Our room was set up for twin beds which allowed plenty of room to get around. If you do have this set up, be aware that the bed is right up against the wall and the light switch is right by the bed. Twice during the night I accidently hit the which scared the heck out of us. The next day I saw I could move the bed a little closer to the night stand which gave enough room to not hit switch accidently. The bathroom had a hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash and lotion set up on the counter and it was replaced as needed. We also had a refrigerator, safe and television in the room.