The recent tightening of security in many aspects of travel has had its effect on Europe's river cruise ships, with photo ID, locked gates and more careful scrutiny of who's coming aboard.
The river cruises, using boats with 100-200 passengers, have been much less formal than large ocean cruises, and passengers have usually been able to move on and off easily, and the ships are usually docked "right in town," rather than at a giant cruise terminal.
In a recent "From the Bridge" column on CruiseCritic.com, the blog's editor recounts her own recent experience, including the photo-enhanced key cards, gates with codes at the pierhead, provisions being handled under watch, and more.
One issue she raises is "rafting," the practice by which several ships may be tied up side-by-side where there is limited pier space. Passengers on the outer ships then cross the inside ships to reach the shore. In the past, she says, it was easy to wander and view public rooms on each boat, but now crew are standing by to keep everyone on a straight path. In some cases there may be an additional problem: some lines are requiring passengers to cross at top-level sundecks rather, which poses difficulty for passengers who can't handle stairs.
For the full article by Carolyn Spencer Brown, click HERE