The ship was everything it was advertised to be. We had a 300 sq ft Royal suite and it was very well
designed. Breakfast and lunch was very good, but the dinners were so-so. The quality of the wine
and beer with dinner was of good quality. Personnel at the customer service desk were outstanding,
as was the housekeeping lady. The waiters in the dining room were pleasant and helpful, except for
a couple who acted like they were doing you a favor waiting on you. The Cruise Director (CD) was at
times rude and arrogant. During the cruise we met some delightful gentlemen from California, and
we were appalled when we told by them that the ship's Captain referred to them as queers.
After 10 days into the cruise , the ship had engine problems, and we told at our daily 6:45 briefing
to pack our bags and board buses in the morning. From a Royal suite to a bus and substandard
accommodations, we felt like we were being herded around like a bunch of cattle. A good example
of our Royal treatment was the Hotel in Amsterdam. There were no robes, no safe, an empty mini-
bar, and the rugs were worn and stained. After one night we moved on our own to the Intercontinental
Amstel Hotel. At least then we had some time in pleasant surroundings to erase the miserable times
since we left the ship. Another unpleasant event was the baggage arrangement at the hotel in Cologne.
When we arrived all the bags were placed in a room off the main lobby.We had to rummage through
all the bags, find ours, and then get them to our room as best we could. After we found our bags we then were all jammed in the main lobby trying to hear if our name was being for our room assignment. This
was an episode we will always remember. When we were getting ready to leave the ship we were told
that our accommodations we be equivalent to what we had on the ship. Obviously, they weren't.
After we left the ship, the Cruise Director acted like everything he did to accommodate the passengers
was a big deal. It is interesting to note that the Cruise Director didn't seem to know much about
anything until his daily 6:45 briefing in the cocktail lounge. So you were forced to go to the briefing to
keep up on what's happening. I am sure the extra income Avalon made during the briefings was not a
consideration in setting up the briefings.