Others have described the boat in detail, so I'll only add the differences that we experienced. Another couple in their 60s and my husband and I booked suites, combination land-cruise, so 4 nights in hotels and 4 nights on the boat. When we arrived in Budapest to stay two nights in the Intercontinental, we were told that Avalon had booked city-view rooms for all passengers, no upgrade for those who booked suite accommodations, this was the same at the Hilton in Vienna - extremely disappointing. I give full credit to the Intercontinental for upgrading our room to a river-view, very good of them. Avalon charges quite a bit to upgrade to the suite, especially for only 4 nights on the boat, but not in the hotels. I should add that our travel agent said that tried to find out ahead of time if we had hotel upgrades, but Avalon would not answer this question. I asked the Avalon rep on the ship if we would be upgraded in Vienna and she said that she could not find out the answer to this More
For those who were arriving in Budapest, they had to find their luggage in the lobby. The Hilton in Vienna delivered the luggage to our room.
Boarding the boat was very organized and bags were delivered promptly to the room. The suite was very comfortable with plenty of storage and a large marble shower and bathroom with L'Occitane toiletries, very nice. A basket of fresh fruit was in our room on arrival. The wifi was available throughout the ship, including our cabin, but was slow at times when I suspect that many people were on the internet.
The food was generally good, the seafood and beef were much better than the pork and the 'local' chef cooking was mediocre. The dining room was very loud. There is very little noise attenuation, metal ceiling, metal partial divider, carpet on the floor. My husband has tinnitus and we both had difficulty hearing in the dining room.
The musician who was onboard was very good, played keyboard, sax, guitar, sang well. The Bratislava musicians were excellent. The night with the crew entertaining was disappointing, through no fault of the crew - not sure if all river cruises do this, but I certainly have not seen this on ocean cruises.
We highly recommend the excursion called 'A Sleeping Beauty', Cesky Krumlov is truly a fairytale town and the bus ride there and back to the ship goes through beautiful farm areas. The locks and the elevated canal were very interesting. October 2013 was quite cool and rainy, but we expected that and it didn't affect our activities. Less