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14 Avalon Waterways Avalon Panorama Romantic Cruise Reviews

We chose a river cruise as it would be a first for us and I had gotten seasick on the one and only time we went on an ocean cruise. We chose the Rhine river cruise due to the start/end cities and length of cruise. I looked at several ... Read More
We chose a river cruise as it would be a first for us and I had gotten seasick on the one and only time we went on an ocean cruise. We chose the Rhine river cruise due to the start/end cities and length of cruise. I looked at several cruise lines until it came down to two- Avalon and AmaWaterways. Chose Avalon due to schedule/direction. With the intimacy of small boats and smooth sailing on rivers, I'll never go on an ocean cruise again. Fellow passengers were very nice, no one was disruptive onboard. Staff was for the most part excellent. I'd give our cruise 8 out of 10 stars. I subtracted points for lack of varied night time entertainment, communication issue with a cook, staff not being overly attentive in refilling wine and coffee during meals, and one optional excursion that we took that was unsatisfactory. Due to my rating the next time I go on a river cruise I'll look at other cruise lines. If I had rated it 9 or 10 stars I would definitely repeat with Avalon. Kudos to the excellent breakfasts, lunches, and dinners onboard, cabin/service, and the tours that were included with no charge. It would have been great if they had a karaoke night or maybe hire a dance instructor for one night. As a fitness buff I would've liked the fitness center to have dumbells weighing more than 10kg, but I liked that I was mostly to myself whenever I went (5 out of 7 days). Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have taken several ocean liner type cruises, so we didn't know how this would differ. Now, I can say EVERYTHING was wonderful and went so smoothly. The transfers to / from airport, the availability of information, the excursions, ... Read More
We have taken several ocean liner type cruises, so we didn't know how this would differ. Now, I can say EVERYTHING was wonderful and went so smoothly. The transfers to / from airport, the availability of information, the excursions, the food choices, the staff...everything was great. We love that the excursions ran ON TIME. Our cruise director urged everyone to be early, because they don't wait for you if you're late. We've been on bigger cruises that have waited for stragglers (and then you end up losing time exploring) AND also experienced some very unorganized excursions. Not so on Avalon. Communication is clear, organized, and punctual. Food was spectacular, loved all the wine choices with meals. Lots of choices for all kinds of eaters. Staff attentive and good at what they do. I think those servers have some of the hardest jobs anywhere. Our cabin steward noticed that I had a CPAP machine and offered to deliver some distilled water, which is needed for the best functioning of the machine. That was impressive. Cruise director was amazing...so knowledgeable, and gave clear, honest advice about various excursions. There were a few children on the cruise, and they seemed to have a good time. We also noticed several teens traveling with families and they appeared bored. (But is that what teens do?? :) ) There is NOTHING on the ship for children, but if they are enjoying the company of family and have some activities they bring with them, it could be an option. I'm not suggesting that Avalon provide this; you just have know this is what it is, if you're considering bringing children. There is NO DOUBT we will do this again. Hopefully sooner than later. We have nothing but glowing words for Avalon. Now if you could only control the weather... LOL P.S. I tried adding photos from my computer and it would not work. I clicked "add photos from your computer" and nothing happened. P.P.S. I have no idea what kind of room we had. It was the Avalon Panorama, cabin 233. It was definitely a panorama suite, but A? B? P? Who knows. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first river cruise and we had the most fantastic cruise on the Rhine! The crew and all of the people who work for Avalon were amazing! We cannot think of a single thing that would have made the cruise any better. The cabin ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we had the most fantastic cruise on the Rhine! The crew and all of the people who work for Avalon were amazing! We cannot think of a single thing that would have made the cruise any better. The cabin was always kept immaculate by the staff. The food was above and beyond expectations. You always had a great variety of wine to choose from. The Cruise Director was incredible! She was always working very hard to make the experience first class. The entertainment was excellent and enjoyed the variety that was scheduled. We especially enjoyed the Classical that was scheduled for us. The extracurricular activities were spot on and gave us a good feel for the countryside and the people. The Captain was a man of few words but that is okay because he was a phenomenal pilot! Thank you to all of you for a dream vacation! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We are avid ocean cruisers and this was our second River Cruise, both on Avalon. The overall experience was fantastic again, with the condition of the ship, the service and the food meeting our expectations. As it turned out, we had the ... Read More
We are avid ocean cruisers and this was our second River Cruise, both on Avalon. The overall experience was fantastic again, with the condition of the ship, the service and the food meeting our expectations. As it turned out, we had the same cruise director (Yeah Valintin!!) as our first cruise and he was, again wonderful in delivering a great week going down the Rhine River. It was so easy getting on and off the boat whenever we wanted to. The wait staff were great, both good service and friendly interaction throughout our week with them. The ports were interesting and Avalon had the excursions extremely well organized with both buses and boats revved and waiting to take us to interesting places. The day we sailed through the Rhine Gorge, our cruise director narrated the experience pointing out the castles and providing context and historic background. Our cabin was on the top deck (category "P") and was extremely comfortable, with a well sized and well appointed bathroom with glass enclosed shower. It is hard to find fault with any aspect of the experience, with maybe a wish for a bit more diversity on food selections at dinner. However, their standard every night steak, chicken or fish options were well prepared if the regular nightly menu didn't meet our tastes. I'm not sure how much difference there is between some of the River Cruise lines (AMA, Uniworld etc) but I am more than pleased with our experiences on Avalon and will book with them again for our next River cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This cruise was magical on the Avalon Panorama, thanks to the wonderful, attentive crew, especially our tour director, István. Passengers were mostly Americans and Australians/New Zealanders in their 60s or later. The daily included tours ... Read More
This cruise was magical on the Avalon Panorama, thanks to the wonderful, attentive crew, especially our tour director, István. Passengers were mostly Americans and Australians/New Zealanders in their 60s or later. The daily included tours were usually morning gentle walking tours of the cities within a small radius of where the ship was docked. Optional included hikes up hill to local castles were also available. The extra tours were well priced, I thought, and were unforgettable. Avalon gave us all kinds of happy surprises, like local drinks as we sailed the Middle Rhein, local exclusive concerts, and special tours of sights along the rivers. The chef did an amazing job with local delicacies. This was the best dining I’ve experienced in 40 plus cruises. Quality local wines and beer plentiful at lunch and dinner. We sailed from Budapest after a full day there, and the night trip through the city was fantastic. In fact, the sailing schedule seemed to maximize our time seeing the best parts of the rivers. Our stops included picturesque and historical towns, including Melk, Dürnstein, Regensburg, Bamberg, Bratislava, Vienna, Nuremberg, Miltenberg, Würzburg, Rüdesheim, Cologne and Amsterdam, where we spent 2 days. István did a great job with the local guides, who were very informative and enthusiastic. If you paid attention, you’d have gotten a good course in Central European history. While my wife was on a Sound of Music tour in Austria, I took an optional tour to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic and the guide gave us an extraordinary history of German/Czech relations over the centuries. I checked out their brand new cruiser bikes three times for scenic trips along the many bike paths along the river. Housekeeping was always friendly and punctual. We liked not being “nickel/dimed” into extra expenses. We were happy, however, to pay extra tips for the crew and tour leader at the end. Without describing each tour stop, I’ll just conclude that this is our best river cruise ever. Avalon has become our favorite river tour operator. István is worth his weight in gold. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
After 40 trips and cruises over seas, this 15 day Budapest to Amsterdam was our first river cruise. The record low water levels throughout Europe required us to take 3 bus trips to get around low water sections. The biggest problem is ... Read More
After 40 trips and cruises over seas, this 15 day Budapest to Amsterdam was our first river cruise. The record low water levels throughout Europe required us to take 3 bus trips to get around low water sections. The biggest problem is that we missed most of the Rhine River cruise up to Cologne and then on to Amsterdam. We each got compensated $200 and 50% off the daily cruise rate for each of the 3 days we needed to stay in hotels off the boat. A friend of ours took the identical trip 5 days later on the Viking Cruise Line and they were able to get their boat through the low water on the Rhine (they scraped bottom 4 times)! Viking only gave them a 25% off certificate for a future cruise as compensation. They food, service and entertainment were very good and the champagne flowed freely. No limit on lunch and dinner wine or beer. The ship's construction and maintenance were excellent, it looked brand new even though it is 5 - 6 years old. There were only about 3 guests under 40 years of age, and no kids. We appreciated not being steered to very many "factory" shops by our tour guides. If you take the side trip to Salzburg, be sure to watch the movie "The Sound Of Music" before the cruise. The WiFi was adequate but poor for streaming video. Avalon Cruise line doesn't advertise much in America so most of the guests are from Commonwealth English speaking countries. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Like Avalon lots, my 2nd Avalon trip, (1st was Nov 2016 to Peru, Macchu Picchu & Amazon cruise) our friends 1st time picked this Danube cruise- very satisfying journey! Ship was lovely; crew excellent & genuinely eager to please; ... Read More
Like Avalon lots, my 2nd Avalon trip, (1st was Nov 2016 to Peru, Macchu Picchu & Amazon cruise) our friends 1st time picked this Danube cruise- very satisfying journey! Ship was lovely; crew excellent & genuinely eager to please; food varied & high quality; service was personalized, attentive & accommodating; cabin spacious, well appointed with great bath amenities from L'Occitane! Learned quite a bit never knew before. Well presented info by knowledgeable local guides. Tour Coordinator Gusta was exceptionally good, friendly, highly educated & informative, au courant! My husband's birthday was made very special for him with surprise decorations in cabin & scrumptious chocolate cake ablaze with candles, Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We wanted something special to celebrate our 50th Anniversary and wanted to visit places in Europe that we hadn't visited before. This itinerary was the perfect choice - especially ending in Prague, only 50 miles from where my ... Read More
We wanted something special to celebrate our 50th Anniversary and wanted to visit places in Europe that we hadn't visited before. This itinerary was the perfect choice - especially ending in Prague, only 50 miles from where my husband's ancestors lived! The Avalon crew went out of their way to make our trip special including an anniversary dinner with 8 new friends that included champagne and a special cake with a giant sparkler. They even sang to us. The accommodations, excursions, meals, and attention to details were first class. All of the guides on included and optional excursions were very knowledgeable and entertaining. We saw places that the casual tourist would not see. The buffet breakfasts and lunches onboard the ship offered a wonderful variety of food including specialty foods from the countries we visited. The dinners were first class with excellent service and choice of menus. I would highly recommend Avalon Waterways for river cruising anywhere in the world. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
For being our first river cruise we know now that we can't wait to do it again. Absolutely loved the trip, the vessel, the crew, the food, the ambiance and all of the stops we made along the way. The service was second to none and the ... Read More
For being our first river cruise we know now that we can't wait to do it again. Absolutely loved the trip, the vessel, the crew, the food, the ambiance and all of the stops we made along the way. The service was second to none and the crew was just amazing. After 15 days we thought it might have been a bit long but when it came time to disembark we were sad to leave. The scenery was amazing along the way and some of the small towns we stopped in were incredible. The history and culture in each of the 5 countries we went through were some of the best parts of the trip. Sitting on the top deck at night watching the beautiful sunsets was so nice. When we arrived home if someone told us we had to leave the next day to do it all over again we would have said absolutely. Highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We went with friends who had heard that Avalon was a fabulous company. Our cruise was everything we had heard, and even better. We loved that there were bikes available to explore any of the towns. They were great bikes and came with a ... Read More
We went with friends who had heard that Avalon was a fabulous company. Our cruise was everything we had heard, and even better. We loved that there were bikes available to explore any of the towns. They were great bikes and came with a helmet. We loved the carefree schedules. We never had to race back to the ship in fear of being left behind. It was breathtaking to see the cities lit up at night as we left town. Every single meal was delicious. They served gourmet local dishes with very fresh ingredients. The excursions were informative and interesting. After several days of walking around with a group, we did chose to take bikes and go off on our own to explore. Every crew member was professional and incredibly friendly. It felt like everyone went out of their way to make us feel special. Our cabin was very comfortable with a huge window, and fabulous bed. I would go on another Avalon Waterways cruise in a heartbeat. It really was an incredible vacation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have cruised on 15 plus ocean liner cruises, all over the world and loved every one of them, but had been encouraged by other cruisers to try a river cruise. So we did and really regret doing so! The cost of a river cruise with Avalon ... Read More
We have cruised on 15 plus ocean liner cruises, all over the world and loved every one of them, but had been encouraged by other cruisers to try a river cruise. So we did and really regret doing so! The cost of a river cruise with Avalon was more than twice as much as any liner cruise we have ever taken(of same duration). The service was very poor, as it seemed the boat was understaffed. The food waiters were run off their feet and just could not serve the amount of tables they were responsible for.Complimentary drinks at meal time sounds like a plus but when there are no servers available to give such drinks,it is deplorable. My husband drinks beer and when he did finally get served a beer it was often warm. I drink wine and often was without because the servers were attending to food and drinks for up to four or five other large tables.It was not the fault of the workers. Also there was no bar service on deck. On the day we had commentary there was not even a waiter on deck. You had to walk down a long set of stairs to the only bar in the lounge to get a drink. We could not believe this. We are in our early 60's but most of the cruisers were much older and this would be a difficult feat for them. The food was our biggest disappointment.The menu was very limited and the quality was terrible. I could go on and on ,but here're a few examples: The romaine was so wilted in my caesar salad that you couldn't see it in the bowl.I ordered it twice and it was soggy both times,so I did not order it again. I ordered pancakes one day and they were so hard I could not cut them with a knife. I sent them back and waited 15 minutes before I met the waiter with new ones as I was leaving the table,in disgust.My husband had finished his breakfast long before this.Steak was actually a thin slice of roast beef. The dinner portions were so small, four of the six of us that sat together started ordering two main courses. I did so to find something that was suitable to eat. The state rooms were nice and the ports were lovely, but I suggest you visit on your own or with a tour company as the food and service on Avalon did not come close to meeting our expectations, especially for the money we paid. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The Blue Danube cruise on Avalon from Budapest to Nuremburg and on to Prague, was even better than we expected. We chose this trip based on previous reviews of the room, the boat, and the excursions, and it did not disappoint in the least. ... Read More
The Blue Danube cruise on Avalon from Budapest to Nuremburg and on to Prague, was even better than we expected. We chose this trip based on previous reviews of the room, the boat, and the excursions, and it did not disappoint in the least. We loved sitting in our room with the wide sliding door open, listening to the water lapping against the ship, watching vineyards, quaint towns, and churches going by. The room was very comfortable, and the food fabulous. we loved the great variety and attention to local favorites, as well as reasonably sized portions, and of course loved the free wine and beer with the meals, plus very reasonable prices otherwise, especially at the happy hours. Just as enjoyable was the free coffee/cappuccino/latte machine in the rear coffee lounge. The excursions required walking, climbing, and cobblestones, but our 68 year old bodies handled them all. Adding in more walking on our own every day made for some tired legs and feet, but we wouldn't have changed a thing. I would totally recommend adding the days in Budapest and Prague as they were probably the highlights of our tour. Also the extra day in Budapest made up for the day we lost when United Airlines made us miss our connection to Europe, costing us a 26 hour delay. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our 40th wedding anniversary. We were looking forward to the beautiful scenery as we looked out of our large balcony windows that we paid an extra £1'000 for. The bed was positioned to face the river,something not many other ... Read More
This was our 40th wedding anniversary. We were looking forward to the beautiful scenery as we looked out of our large balcony windows that we paid an extra £1'000 for. The bed was positioned to face the river,something not many other ships had. What a waste of money,we sailed mainly at night and in port we were tied up to other ships so our view was of someone's bedroom so we had to keep our curtains closed.there are so many ships now the ports are over crowded.we had many issues with this cruise so have tried to get the price we paid for the Windows back....we have been offered £150 ,almost a joke. Also check the weather before you go,the rivers may be too high for some of the bridges and they will only tell you when you get there.then it turns into a coach holiday. The wines served with dinner were excellent. They also had bikes onboard which we would have liked to have used, but no one told us about them until it was too late.The entertainment was awful, the best fun was the crew and their show , that had us in stitchs. The cabins were very nice they managed to do a lot in a small space. If you have lunch on board you only get soft drinks included ,any beer or wine ect have to be paid for,A little daunting to find strangers walking thro the ship as they had to walk thro to their ship moored on either side of us.We were prepared for some dressing up ie the captains dinner etc, but not a lot of that went on, in fact one night it seemed more shorts and flip flops were the dress code. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our fourth river cruise and third on Avalon (fourth if you consider last year was a back to back). We were looking forward to celebrating Christmas and New Years in Europe as well as experiencing Avalon's newest ship. ... Read More
This was our fourth river cruise and third on Avalon (fourth if you consider last year was a back to back). We were looking forward to celebrating Christmas and New Years in Europe as well as experiencing Avalon's newest ship. Ultimately, the highlights were experiencing the wonderful city of Prague, making new friends and enjoying the view of the fireworks in Vienna from the Sun Deck. We did the pre tour in Prague and loved the city. The hotel was The Hilton, a nice convention hotel located a 20 minute from the center. We did not do the included tour and instead hired a personal guide who was wonderful. I would be happy to provide contact info if anyone is interested. Rooms at the hotel were large and modern and the staff very helpful. Breakfast was included and more than adequate. The bus ride to Nuremberg was uneventful and we arrived at the ship at five. The Panorama is a lovely ship. The design of the staterooms really maximizes space and views and the new beds are memory foam and very comfy. The new bathrooms are also lovely and we enjoyed the upgraded amenities. They have installed a very good in room entertainment system, and we enjoyed being able to listen to music or watch a late night movie in the cabin. Our cruise director, Jon Lupe, was the best we have had yet on Avalon and was both efficient and gracious. We saw some familiar faces aboard including Dan, the Hotel Manager, Johny in the dining room, Radu behind the bar and Peter, the dining room manager. Where the cruises really disappointed was the food. There was a noticeable cheapening in the quality and variety of food offered on this cruise compared to one year ago when we were very pleased with the food and wine served. Gone from the menu were rack of lamb, roast duck and the wonderful and flavorful fish dishes and soups. Instead we were served mostly bland and very small portions, much of which went uneaten. We were not the only unhappy customers when it came to the food served but everyone has different tastes and food is always subjective Wine was also cut off at the entrée, which was new from previous cruises. We were not sure if this was server related or a new policy. This was also a departure from previous cruises, as was the overall decrease in variety and quality of wine offered. I am also a big fan of cheese after dinner and looked forward to some of the excellent cheeses served previously. Both quantity and quality were noticeably less than in the past. We were aboard for New Years eve and the entertainment was quite a let down. Instead of music for dancing, the CD presented an hour long audience participation story telling. A group of us wandered across to the Vantage boat docked next door and watched as their guests enjoyed a live six piece dance bank and a table full of hot snacks. Vienna came to the rescue and many of us headed topside and enjoyed the truly spectacular fireworks display that lasted for forty five minutes. Another high point was Vasco, the houses musician, who grabbed a guitar and was joined by Dan one night for a rousing set of music. They were joined by two guests, one a pianist and the other a harmonica player and we all enjoyed a truly terrific impromptu jam session that was the best entertainment of the cruise. We all commented that we wished they had saved that for NYE. All in all, we found the ship beautiful with great appointments but were let down by the overall experience of the Panorama and hope it was just a random off cruise and not representative of fleet wide changes. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Avalon Panorama Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 2.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.6
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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