My husband and I took the Blue Danube to the Black Sea cruise to complete cruising on the Danube. We were fortunate to be on the President's Cruise and meet and talk with Patrick Clark. We began the cruise in Vienna where we spent two days prior to getting on the ship. As this was the President's cruise, several excursions that had been optional became included tours. Our suite was roomy, bright and cheerful with a large bathroom.
Our ports of call included Budapest, Mohacs (Hungary), Osijek and Vukovar (Croatia), Belgrade, Svistov (Bulgaria), Harsova (including a visit to Constanta, Romania), Oltenita and Bucharest, Romania. In Budapest we were treated to a trip to the Puszta Farm for a horse show and dinner. In Mohacs we went to a winery for tasting and luncheon followed by a trip to Pecs, Hungary. Two optional dinners were offered while included the Skadarlija District in Belgrade and a Bucharest Style Romanian Dinner.
The captain and crew on the Imagery were fantastic. My husband must eat low sodium and the chef made sure to have soups and other items set aside just for him and any others with this dietary restriction. Meals on the ship included the buffet breakfast and buffet lunch, which has a wide variety of choices. Of course, everyone loved the desserts. For dinner there we had our choice of appetizer, soup, main course, and dessert. If the set menu main course choice was not to your liking, then chicken, salmon and steak were also available. And if you were hungry in the afternoon there was always coffee and cake at 4 pm and then a late night snack served at 10:30.
We were treated to a wine pairing dinner which gave us the opportunity to have every course paired with the appropriate wine. What a great treat!
There was a 'gentle walkers' group for the included tours. We did have one local guide who didn't understand what gentle walkers were, I guess. He left to do some touring with several women still in the restroom. Then he also started walking back to the bus with others lagging far behind. I had to run and ask him to stop and wait for the others. This was our only 'bad' experience. In general our local guides were great.
We thoroughly enjoyed meeting the other passengers from all over the world and some that live close to us in Central VA.
Being able to meet with Patrick Clark and see the changes that have been implemented since our last cruise 2 years ago and hearing about upcoming changes in 2013 has made both of us want to take another Avalon cruise.