My husband and I took our first river cruise May 30 from Basel to Amsterdam aboard the Avalon Affinity and absolutely loved it! We have done a dozen ocean cruises (and plan to do more), but enjoyed the personal style of the river cruise. Avalon was chosen based on the date we needed, but we will certainly make them our first choice on our next river cruise. The ship is tastefully decorated and very easy to get around. We had a suite which has a sofa and extra chair. The bathroom is large with a wonderful shower. We enjoyed the french balcony in the room and opened it often.
Everything about our trip was handled in an expert and friendly manner. Sabine was our cruise director and was very personable and professional in everything she did. The entire staff of the Affinity was helpful, friendly, and efficient. With only 132 passengers on board, the service is very personal and everyone feels like a famly. The open seating at dinner allowed us to mingle with many people. We liked the early riser breakfast (on several mornings we brought it to the room to eat while getting ready) and the light lunch served in the Panorama Lounge was very good and plentiful. Every dinner we had was delicious with a nice variety each evening. My secret favorite - the hazelnut chocolate chunk cookies available 24 hours/day in the club lounge. Try them with a cappacino - fabulous!
If you have never been through locks on a river, it is a unique experience not to be missed! Every port had a guided tour and we had good guides for all but one. There is also time to look around on your own if you like. In Strasbourg, my husband visited the Maginot LIne and I took the tour of the Alsace countryside and vineyard. We both enjoyed these trips. We also took the visit to the windmill village in Amsterdam which was enjoyable.
I highly recommend the Romantic Rhine cruise with Avalon and would gladly do it again! My husband and I hope to take the Mekong cruise with Avalon in the future.