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9 Avalon Waterways Avalon Visionary Romantic Cruise Reviews

Bucket list trip to see Budapest & Prague for my wife & I, we have taken 4 ocean liner cruises but this was our first river cruise. We arrived in Budapest the day before the cruise started & we arranged for Avalon to transfer ... Read More
Bucket list trip to see Budapest & Prague for my wife & I, we have taken 4 ocean liner cruises but this was our first river cruise. We arrived in Budapest the day before the cruise started & we arranged for Avalon to transfer us from the airport to the hotel. The morning of our trip departure Avalon had a bus shuttle us & many other passengers from the hotel to the Visionary ship. Check in went smooth and we were very pleased with the cleanliness of the ship & our cabin. The daily Happy Hour (HR) was great with drinks 1/2 off, & the service during HR was excellent & since there's only (1) bar we were able to meet new people & make friends. Overall the dining was pretty good & the service was outstanding, the entire staff went out of their way to accommodate you. I loved the sauerkraut soup but that was the only soup I liked, if I had to give a bad grade out it would be for the soups, they all tasted like potato water, & the couple of nights we had seafood it was nothing special & the desserts could have been better. We tried different wines every night and most of them were very good. Shore Excursions were very good, of course some of the guides were better than others. It was a very busy day doing the included shore excursions in the morning & then going out on (3) of the optional afternoon excursions. It was so nice that Avalon had a "gentle walkers" excursion group for those that moved slower. It seemed like we stayed very busy getting up early for the morning excursions, attending the nightly next day info meetings during HR, then dinner was 7-9, so every day we felt like we were on a schedule. I would have liked more down time cruising on the river taking in the sites and I didn't like it that we couldn't sleep with the patio door open at night due to the bright lights from going thru the river locks & waking up docked to another ship right outside our window blocking any potential view. Unfortunately several people (12 that I know of) caught the chest respiratory bug that was going around, including myself and several people we met including my wife had to seek medical treatment & were bed ridden for a few days. Maybe adding another hand sanitizer station after you walked into the dining would have helped, but this is always a concern when you have 120 people plus staff contained on a boat. We stayed in Prague an extra day & also arranged for Avalon to transfer us from our hotel to the airport & again the driver was friendly & prompt. In summary it was a nice vacation and I would do another river cruise with Avalon now that I know what they’re about, they are very accommodating & much more personable than the ocean liner cruises. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The main purpose of this trip was to see the tulips at the Keukenhof. We wanted to try a river cruise since big cruises are not as appealing to us. Usually, river cruises are marketed for older people. We are in our 30s, but wanted to try ... Read More
The main purpose of this trip was to see the tulips at the Keukenhof. We wanted to try a river cruise since big cruises are not as appealing to us. Usually, river cruises are marketed for older people. We are in our 30s, but wanted to try it anyway. It doesn't disappoint! We arrived a day before to explore the city (Amsterdam) and the hotel provided was great. Transfers were included and were smooth, without complications. The ship is built like a hotel, very comfortable and everything is accessible. Food was excellent, even during the breakfast and lunch buffets. The flexibility on the activities for the trip was what I liked the most. You can go on the included excursions, add additional excursions, go on your own or stay and chill on the ship. The service was 5-stars and we were treated with courtesy and respect by everyone from the crew. I would recommend this trip to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because being from Canada we wanted a cruise over a week long and introduce us to Europe and river cruising. We have been on ocean cruises 4 times and wanted to try something different. We had a direct flight from ... Read More
We chose this cruise because being from Canada we wanted a cruise over a week long and introduce us to Europe and river cruising. We have been on ocean cruises 4 times and wanted to try something different. We had a direct flight from Toronto to Zurich which was great not having to deal with connecting flights. We liked everything about Avalon and its all inclusiveness with meals, drinks and excursions. All stops had included excursions and/or optional extra ones that you had to pay for- there were also bicycles and walking sticks available. The guides all spoke English and were very informative of the history of the area. The atmosphere on board is very relaxed and friendly. Jost our cruise director was amazing, very helpful and made you feel at home. The average age of guests was in their 60s and 70s- we are in our early 60s. We even had an extraordinary 99 year old from Australia on our ship. The breakfast and lunch are buffet and supper is sit down with server and four courses but you could also have supper buffet style in the upstairs lounge. We enjoyed all of our meals and the selection was more than adequate. I found that everything I tried was very tasteful and always lots of choices. We enjoyed the open sitting style as you could meet and talk to everyone through the 2 weeks. Staff is very friendly and helpful and if you have a problem they do their best to help. Several nights there were entertainers that came on board from the local area and they were all great. Our cabin was on the second level with French balcony which was nice to have as you could sit or lie in bed with the doors open and watch the world go by- if you fell asleep you didn't have to worry about falling out of a chair. Room was a good size and had adequate storage areas for clothes. What is great is that nothing is far from any room and your not walking miles to get to the restaurant or lounge areas like on the larger cruise ships. There is a hot tub on top level but no pool. There are canopies over the lounge chairs which is nice for shade on the really hot days. We loved our introduction to Europe and went on as many tours as we could. The stops are all interesting and we learned so much. The excursions appeal to people interested in culture and history. We would definitely go on another Avalon cruise, even the same one in the future because then we could do different excursions and learn more of the areas we visited. We also enjoyed the more friendly atmosphere among the guests and staff as compared to the larger cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our first river cruise. We chose the 8-day cruise for length of time & German concentration. We did extend our cruise arriving 1 1/2 days early in Amsterdam & explored on our own. We also stayed in Zurich for 1 1/2 ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We chose the 8-day cruise for length of time & German concentration. We did extend our cruise arriving 1 1/2 days early in Amsterdam & explored on our own. We also stayed in Zurich for 1 1/2 days before flying back to Amsterdam, then home the next day. We did have several issues with the Marriott Renaissance Hotel in Zurich, but got them resolved. Roos was an excellent cruise director. She was always upbeat & answered all of our questions. I felt the meals were great & liked having beer/wine included with our meals. We liked both 3 piece band/string entertainment nights & were glad these were included. I thought they were both excellent choices. Also enjoyed having the wood carving demonstration. We wish the Heidelberg day trip to the Cuckoo Clock shop/cake had been longer. I think the 2 could be combined on that day with a later lunch or picnic lunch would be nice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My wife and I have been on 15 prior ocean cruises, and had not tried a river cruise until this on. I would certainly go on one again. The Panorama Suite was just as advertised. The sliding door opened completely, turning the ... Read More
My wife and I have been on 15 prior ocean cruises, and had not tried a river cruise until this on. I would certainly go on one again. The Panorama Suite was just as advertised. The sliding door opened completely, turning the cabin into a balcony, with the bed facing the river. It was spacious enough, and the bathroom was clean and attractive as well, with upscale soaps and shampoos adding to the luxury. The food was very good. I would like to have seen more local specialties along the way for more variety. But the quality of the cuisine was fine. We were very happy with the included shore walking tours/excursions. The towns along the way were very quaint and interesting. We also visited a castle or two. The scenery from the sky deck was certainly more picturesque that anything we would see on an ocean liner, especially on the Moselle as it joins up with the Rhine. Beautiful scenery, with many more castles along the way. Also, the staff knocked themselves out to make everyone comfortable. The entertainment was not much, but we did not expect too much from that. It was fine and met our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We wanted to see the architecture in Germany along with the castles on the Rhine river. Every town in Germany on the cruise had its own style, and with nearly 30 castles to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We wanted to see the architecture in Germany along with the castles on the Rhine river. Every town in Germany on the cruise had its own style, and with nearly 30 castles to view, it was amazing to see. The guides that walked us through each town were locals and very knowledgeable with the town's history. The food was very delicious. We did not have one bad meal and there were many choices at all 3 meals every day on the ship. The ship was always clean and the cabin was just the right size, since you don't spend much time there. There were about 113 passengers, and the lounge is a little small for that many people, but that was the only negative since we did have a meeting in there every night right before dinner. This was everything we were hoping for, as a first time river cruiser, and would definitely take another river cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Objective was to see Germany and picturesque river castes up close. Guides were very knowledgeable and understandable! We want to take another river cruise, maybe in England and Scotland, and to finish our German river cruise on other ... Read More
Objective was to see Germany and picturesque river castes up close. Guides were very knowledgeable and understandable! We want to take another river cruise, maybe in England and Scotland, and to finish our German river cruise on other rivers. Very restful and relaxing. Would like to be able to see ahead in addition to seeing alongside. Would like a "captain's chair" or two in the room. Food and service was excellent with a great variety (but the food labels were too small). Port villages were small clean neat picturesque friendly and easy to walk around with no danger of getting lost or left behind, because the boat and river were so near. A simple map was provided each morning of the town we would be exploring that day. We took a picture of it each day to help us identify the locations of the pictures we took when we got home. Smaller passenger numbers made embarkation and debarkation easy simple and quick. It was also easy to recognize fellow passengers on shore for making acquaintances, sharing stories, and making sure you were among friends and in the right place. This was our 50th wedding anniversary, and the crew and captain made a special presentation of cake, champagne, music, and song at the front of the main window in the dining room! Very special surprise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We took the cruise-only portion of the Paris to Prague cruise. We spent several days on our own in Paris, then took the TGV to Luxembourg City and then the public bus to Remich that dropped us off within 100 ft of the ship (the bus fare ... Read More
We took the cruise-only portion of the Paris to Prague cruise. We spent several days on our own in Paris, then took the TGV to Luxembourg City and then the public bus to Remich that dropped us off within 100 ft of the ship (the bus fare was $2 - a bargin!). The hotel manager met us at the bottom of the gangway and took care of our bags. We were in Room 208 on the Sapphire Deck. The design and maintenance of the cabin was great! The slight angling of the wall between the bed and the bathroom made both rooms seem larger than in cabins with perpendicular walls. Thanks to whoever came up with the idea. The lunches and dinners were very good, especially the soups and salads. The breakfasts were pretty much the same each day - not bad but not outstanding. The ship has a nice lounge area on the Deck 3 aft where coffee and tea are available 24/7 as well as pastries and juice. The one disappointment was the tasting menu that they serve in the evening in the bistro. It was an effort to add some variety to the food choices, but it is a set menu and some of the items didn't go together with each other and with the wines very well. All of the tours were good. We especially enjoyed the wine tasting in Bernkastel, the stop in Miltonburg (less touristy than a lot of the other city we visited), and the Residence in Wurzburg. The crew was very helpful and conscience throughout the cruise. The key disappoint was the limited pre-cruise support. We did not book a pre-cruise transfer so we needed to get information on where the ship would be docked in Remich. We were told that we would be sent that information a couple of days before we embarked, but nothing ever came. Fortunately, Remich is a very small town and the bus driver knew where the ship was docked so it was a none issue, but providing an address ahead of time would have been appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our first river cruise. We started our cruise in Amsterdam on May 2 2015. We went to the Movenpick Hotel city center on Saturday to check in and take an optional "Flower time in Tulip Land" The Keukenhof Flower ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We started our cruise in Amsterdam on May 2 2015. We went to the Movenpick Hotel city center on Saturday to check in and take an optional "Flower time in Tulip Land" The Keukenhof Flower Exhibition.The gardens are very big and beautiful. We were there just at the right time because all the Tulips were in bloom. Coach transfer to the MS AVALON VISIONARY after the Tulip trip.We boarded the Avalon Visionary and it was beautiful. Our cabin on the 3rd floor(upper deck) was more than we expected. A big queen bed facing a big French Balcony. It had a sitting area, chair, sofa, and table. The bath was better than any cabin on any cruise ship we were ever on before. We had our Mandatory SAFETY DRILL, then a welcome meeting and cocktail. 7 PM Embarkation dinner(every dinner was very good, with a good selection of food.) We really didn't leave Sunday we had an Included Canal Cruise of Amsterdam in the morning. Then lunch on board. at 1:45 we took the optional Shore Feature visiting The ANNE FRANK HOUSE. 5PM all aboard, then a port talk, 7PM Dinner, Afterwards music. The rest of the week was great with every day doing a city tour, then lunch, either a light lunch in the lounge or buffet in the main dinning room. Then Dinner at 7PM where you could sit anywhere with anyone you wanted to. The menu was very nice with meat or fish or chicken every day and wonderful soup salad and dessert. The ports were Amsterdam, Cologne, Rudesheim, and Mainz Strasbourg and Basel. We had a problem that the river was to high for ships to continue to sail down the river. We disembarked in Bingen and were driven to Strasbourg by motor coach were we were put on another Avalon ship named The Tranqulity II the same class ship as the Visionary only newer. After lunch we went to our new rooms(the same room as we had on the Avalon Visionary.) Then we did a tour of Strasbourg came back for coffee and cake then a port talk then dinner. After dinner a Black Forest Presentation then music and dancing. Overnight in Strasbourg. 8AM tour of the Black Forest by tour bus, for shopping for Cuckoo Clocks and some Black Forest Cherry Cake and Coffee. Back to the ship for a buffet lunch. After lunch a free tour to the City of Colmar France. This tour was Complimentary by Avalon. 4PM back on board coffee and cake. 6-7 Happy hour(every night) Port talk 7PM Dinner. Music and dance. We were to leave Strasbourg but due to the high water Avalon Tranquility stayed docked and we could not go Basel. Saturday we all left for Basel or Zurich by bus for our planes or trains home. The river being too high is no fault of Avalon, they gave every one $200.00 refund for the inconvenience. This was a great river trip and we are going to do another with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Avalon Visionary Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family N/A 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.6
Enrichment 4.0 4.4
Service 4.0 4.9
Value For Money 4.0 4.4
Rates 3.0 3.6

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