All that we could have expected or hoped for. Spacious cabins, top of the range toiletries, complimentary water and the comfiest bed ever. Very quiet river cruising compared with ocean cruising so blissful uninterrupted sleep. The cuisine onboard was as good as I have experienced on any Ocean going ship and the inclusion of wine, beer and soft drinks with dinner was acceptable and generously dispensed. A "Happy Hour" in the bar prior to open dining also meant a very reasonable onboard account. Entertainment was by way of a gifted pianist who also played the accordian, cornet, and trombone. The crew show was great fun and the final evening we experienced a fantastic violinist that we would willingly have paid extra to see perform. Wonderful.
The ports visited were all interesting and our Cruise Director gave us lots of information about the places prior to docking. The included trips and excursions were far more professional and informative than any previous paid for trips I have taken on Ocean Going ships.
The flights went without a hitch and the hotel where we assembled prior to embarking in Budapest was the Hotel Intercontinental so we were extremely comfortable waiting in an air conditioned room with tea, coffee and iced water to hand. Coaches which conveyed us to the ship were also air conditioned as, of course, was our cabin.
This was a fabulous experience in all aspects and I cannot recommend Avalon too highly. We are already looking to book again for 2012. Everyone we spoke to on our cruise was positive and we did not hear any complaints about any aspects of the holiday.
All our companions onboard were English Speaking but the majority were American or Australian. We were two of a minority of English travellers and there were also some Canadians, Danish and Dutch. There were only 107 people onboard so the ship seemed extremely spacious but everyone was friendly and we did not lack company on any occasion.
A fabulous 5* holiday with no complaints or niggles at all.
WELL DONE AVALON.