Avalon Felicity Cruise Review by sailorblair: A bus tour on water
Overall Member Rating
A bus tour on water
Destination: Europe - River Cruise
Ease of boarding was exceptional, especially if your transfer was included with flight booked with Avalon. Moevenpik is easy to get to if you know that the pickup point for the airport shuttlebus is zone 1. Thanks to advance registration, boarding was easy, as the bus dropped us off next to the vessel. Baggage arrived promptly.
The cabins are noticably smaller than ocean cruise ships, but storage space is excellent. Cleanliness and efficiency are the chief benefits. Since you rarely have the balcony door open (due to coolness, smell or other vessels right next to you) it's not worth the extra money for a balcony room. Wi-fi was inconsistent and slow.
Food on board is plentiful, well-presented, but with little variety for breakfast, and below North American expectations for the quality of the main courses, compared to what you are used to. No one needs an extra drink package, since the wines and beers were included with dinner. Still, you would expect a cruise line catering to More North Americans to be able to make a North American style coffee. Alas, no luck (for that matter, anywhere in Europe.)
Service is friendly, prompt, and personal. The cruise director (Dragon) does everything he can to provide information, advice, and accomodate special requests (he even was able to retrieve a lost purse, and arrange for delivery on board). His expertise on the castles, and Amsterdam was exceptional.
Shore excursions began well, then started to become repetitious, with the same historical, archetectual, and cultural information, with guides that were inconsistent in keeping their audience engaged. One highlight of the excursion list was the Heidelberg castle excursion, with entertaining stories from a well-informed guide who loved this place.
Entertainment on board was limited to a piano player (limited requests and social skills) a trio of baroque musicians (Where were the German pieces?) and the show by the crew (Don't give up your day job). Most passengers turned in before 10.
Disembarcation was well-organized, with only a short walk to the Amsterdam central train station. (or some took a transfer bus to the airport)
Overall the trip was hectic, filled with sights to see, but on a much smaller scale than an ocean cruise. Personally I prefer the ocean cruise because of its variety of excursions, ship's amenities, level of luxury, and food. Less
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