Just got back from an autumn cruise along the Danube from Budapest to Passau - what an unforgettable experience! As a solo traveler, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I loved every minute of it. The Avalon Vista's decor is classy and welcoming...I felt completely comfortable in every area of the ship. It has huge picture windows everywhere, so you never miss the outstanding views along the river. The common areas are spacious and don't feel cramped or noisy, regardless of how many people are there at one time.
If I could have crammed my Panorama Suite into my suitcase and taken it home, I would have. The wall of floor-to-ceiling windows was amazing. The bathroom was spacious and beautiful, with a full granite countertop and lots of storage underneath. The L'Occitane bath products were restocked every day. The shower had fantastic water pressure and plenty of VERY HOT water (which is a high priority for me).
The bed...well, there are no words. The fact that it faces out so that you have views out the window is incredible. And the bed itself is soooooooo comfortable. I don't know what type of mattress topper they use, but I slept like the dead every single night. You have both soft and firm pillows on the bed, and if you're not a duvet kind of person, there are regular blankets in the closet.
The cabin steward kept the room spotless, turned down the bedding each night, and even left a chocolate on the pillow - the perfect ending to each perfect day!
I liked the various breakfast times, which accommodate passengers, whether they like to eat early, at a regular time, or prefer to sleep in. The daily chances to try the delicious local dishes (or to choose more familiar items) is wonderful, and the (included) local wines and beers really enhance every dinner. The staff is attentive without hovering, and they go out of their way to please. The Cruise Director, Isabel, is a total pro who keeps the day-to-day program running like a well-oiled machine. I loved her dry German wit, and her narration as we cruised through the Wachau Valley was incredible.
There is included sightseeing in almost every port, which gives a nice overview of the town so you know what you want to see more of during the free time that follows. From start to finish, Avalon does an outstanding job, and I recommend both Avalon AND the Avalon Vista wholeheartedly.