We did the Romantic Rhine Cruise, northbound (from Basel to Amsterdam), and there was nothing about this cruise we didn't love. Our Panarama Suite was roomy and well-appointed. We especially liked the sliding glass doors which made a balcony of our whole room; even though the weather was, with rare exception, too cool to open the doors wide the week we cruised, the 7-feet-wide, floor-to-ceiling doors made our suite feel light and spacious even on a cloudy, overcast day. The elegant bathroom was large, with excellent lighting.
The crew must get first-class training because every single member of the crew was friendly and eager to be of service. By mid-week we felt like we were part of a big, happy family.
The food was quite good. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet-style, but one could order from a select menu if preferred. Unlimited soft drinks and wine (perhaps beer, too) were provided at evening meals. Along those same lines, there was a half-priced Happy Hour More
every evening for designated times as stated on the daily itinerary we found in our room each night (as part of our nightly turn-down service). We liked that the evening meals were served at a leisurely pace since this gave us an opportunity to relax, talk about that day's excursions,, and visit with the "new friends" at our table.
About the excursions: the excursions (both included and optional) were very good and certainly enhanced by very good local guides with a great communication system: Avalon issued each of us earpieces the first day of our cruise and provided each of the local guides with a transmitter. This was, hands-down, the best of these audio systems we've ever experienced (with the exception of our guide in Heidelberg who couldn't seem to understand he had to speak INTO his transmitter).
All of our other European trips had been land tours, which we'd always enjoyed, but we decided we were ready for the unpack-just-once experience of a river cruise. After much research we liked what we saw and read about Avalon Waterways, and we weren't disappointed! The experience was so positive that we left the Visionary wondering what other river cruises Avalon offers that we could work into our travel plans. Less
We liked the location of our suite, about midway on the ship. It was quiet, though we could occasionally hear loud conversation in the hallway, but none that disturbed our sleep, as there was no raucous activity after 10 PM the week we cruised.