23 Avalon Waterways Avalon Vista Romantic Cruise Reviews

It was a chance to see several places within a short amount of time in places I have always wanted to visit. Also, I wanted a short (7days) trip to try out river cruising to see if it was a travel method that I would enjoy. I was ... Read More
It was a chance to see several places within a short amount of time in places I have always wanted to visit. Also, I wanted a short (7days) trip to try out river cruising to see if it was a travel method that I would enjoy. I was impressed on all counts. The stops along the river gave you a good sample of the area. The ship was amazing from well appointed, clean, comfortable rooms, amazing views from the sky deck and common areas that were warm and inviting with plenty of room for all. The land excursions planned and the onboard entertainment we all spot on with amazing guides on land and varied performances and entertainment onboard. And the food was beyond plentiful, varied and expertly cooked. To top it all off, the service from everyone onboard made you feel you were the only traveler and that they were there to meet your every need, which they did. Amazing trip in all ways and can’t wait to go again. Avalon Waterways is truly professional and amazing in the travel industry. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Arrived in Amsterdam a day early to walk around and adjust to the time change. That worked well, but not enough time to do Amsterdam justice. The cruise far exceeded our expectations. The cabin was comfortable and always clean, the ... Read More
Arrived in Amsterdam a day early to walk around and adjust to the time change. That worked well, but not enough time to do Amsterdam justice. The cruise far exceeded our expectations. The cabin was comfortable and always clean, the cabin arrangement was great and you could wake up in the morning a watch the country-side go by. The staff was always looking to help, whether answering questions, arranging for extra side trips or just getting another drink, they were always very helpful and friendly. The food was wonderful with a varied menu, always including fish, meat, poultry and vegetarian selections everyday. The chef made it very clear that if you wanted another dinner, or more of anything all you had to do was ask, be careful here; even having what was served resulted in a number of pounds by trips end. The off ship excursions were fantastic; the guides were very knowledgeable, informative and personable, with great stories along the way. This was our 1st cruise and we're already planning our next on Avalon! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally ... Read More
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally closed up all our bags ready to board the Avalon Vista to get settled. We had breakfast and prep for our Amsterdam Canal Cruse plus a walking tour, every day there was tours to a lot of the sights. The meals that were provided were very delicious, for those that didn't want a large meal there was a small were served in the Panorama Lounge, it was also the location for all the briefings for the next day’s activities and music/dancing. Each day was filled with tours provided by the cruise lines or optional fee. There were never wants for service because what you might want it was provided. The ports and shore excursions were very well arranged and informative. We know that it takes a lot of planning but the only disappointment was the day of disembarkment from the ship would we would like a mini tour of Basel. This was our first trip on a long ship but it won't be our last because we truly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
What we wanted - cruising down the river with views from our balcony. What we got - bus trips and views of other ships docked cheek by jowl. The Danube has been in low water state for MONTHS apparently and so each cruise line has ... Read More
What we wanted - cruising down the river with views from our balcony. What we got - bus trips and views of other ships docked cheek by jowl. The Danube has been in low water state for MONTHS apparently and so each cruise line has restricted the number of ports of call and anchored for days in some, essentially just providing an hotel for the night and bus tours for the days. We were supposed to sail from Budapest to Nuremberg but ended up with less than half of that ( and mostly tied up at dock at that!) The ship, accommodation and staff were very good indeed, but we should have been advised months before we sailed that the brochure was a fiction! Not a happy cruiser! Apparently Viking passengers have been offered a 25% refund, no such offer from Avalon. To say we are disappointed is clearly an understatement Buyer beware, as this may continue in 2019 unless there are floods this winter. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
What a marvelous start, all of the crew treated us as long term good friends, right from the Captain to the room staff. Our Cruise Director Ms. Barbara Bocz proved to be the number one person to handle all requests , solve any problems ... Read More
What a marvelous start, all of the crew treated us as long term good friends, right from the Captain to the room staff. Our Cruise Director Ms. Barbara Bocz proved to be the number one person to handle all requests , solve any problems and in doing so, made us all happy to be onboard! The accommodations, meals, staff services in all areas far exceeded any preconceived expectations. It’s impossible to mention all the staff by name but we do wish to make special comments on the extra efforts made by Lucas, head of dining and two fantastic young ladies Beden and Mimi who were wonderfully enthusiastic and full of fun in making our meals a every enjoyable experience. Charlotte our room (233) daily basis attendant looked after our accommodations expertly and in very friendly manner . News of the required transfer to the second ship came because of river water levels , Barbara stepped up here, professionally handling all customers concerns whether staying with the cruise or going on by bus. Those that took the remainder of the trip by bus were totally refunded the days they missed on the ship and were provided hotels, transportation and food on behalf of Avalon!! We decided to stay with the cruise and received a cash compensation for our trouble. Our Cruise Director Barbara stayed on the Visionary which was fantastic!! We did have a fantastic time on the cruise and look forward to doing it again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had high expectations for our first (and LAST) river cruise last summer to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We had no idea that there were issues with low water levels until we landed in Prague. Most other people were told ... Read More
We had high expectations for our first (and LAST) river cruise last summer to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We had no idea that there were issues with low water levels until we landed in Prague. Most other people were told before they left town they could cancel for a full refund - we were not. After purchasing Business Class tickets, we didn't think it made sense to turn around and go home. BIG MISTAKE. "Issues" means that many of our stops were skipped and we were transported by BUS rather than cruising. They passed out this type of information day by day to avoid everyone cancelling right out of the shoot. To top it off, they kicked us off the last segment because they said the boat could not make it to Budapest. Funny thing - we saw our @Avalon ship docked in Budapest the next day. (We were treated to yet ANOTHER 5 hour bus ride instead of a cruise.) I get it that they don't control the weather, but they did nothing to make it right. By the time they responded to our complaint (at least a month after it was filed) they could have cared less. It was a LOT of money as we had upgraded to the Royal Suite since it was a special occasion. While the thought of a European River Cruise may sound lovely on paper, trust me, its a huge gamble and frankly not worth it. HUMONGOUSLY disappointing to say the least. I don't know how @Avalon can maintain a business where you can't deliver what you sold. They could have made it right by giving us a nice discount - they chose not to. I'm going back to Ocean cruises. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I selected this cruise because I wanted to experience a river cruise. I had never been on the Danube, and the towns and the cities on this voyage seemed that they were going to be historic and beautiful. We were not disappointed. ... Read More
I selected this cruise because I wanted to experience a river cruise. I had never been on the Danube, and the towns and the cities on this voyage seemed that they were going to be historic and beautiful. We were not disappointed. Hungary was amazing, (If you have the opportunity to be there and explore at least four days before embarking, I would recommend it highly.) The small towns along the way were completely enchanting and the guides gave us great insight into their past. Although I don't like bus excursions while on a cruise, I have to say that there is an excursion to Cesky Krumlov that must be taken! It's an experience like no other. The ship was pristine and the staff went over and above in order to make us comfortable and meet all of our needs. The food was delicious. There is an attempt to meet the dietary requirements of all (such as those with allergies or those who are vegan). I would suggest that more options be available to vegans, for example: having vegan options in the coffee/snack area. (I must say that the coffee/tea station at the back of the ship was a very nice touch.) There was a lovely piano player on board most afternoon and evenings. I would love to go on another river cruise with Avalon. I was very impressed by the condition of their ship, their menu, their polite and capable staff, and the itinerary offered. I would recommend going in June (or before June) when the river is still at a high level so all ports can be reached. We went in July and the river had lowered considerably. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed our first Avalon cruise. We traveled on the Danube aboard the Avalon Vista. The staff on board and our cruise director Nico made this an exceptional vacation. We chose a cabin with a Panorama window and loved the ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our first Avalon cruise. We traveled on the Danube aboard the Avalon Vista. The staff on board and our cruise director Nico made this an exceptional vacation. We chose a cabin with a Panorama window and loved the views we got as we sailed. The bed was very comfortable and all of the amenities included in the room were very nice. We enjoyed the evening happy hour as well as everything the restaurant served- a great variety of choices with special regional dishes that captured the spirit of the areas we were visiting. On board entertainment was very professionally done and enjoyable. The front desk staff were very knowledgeable and the housekeeping staff was superb. The river was low so our embarkation port changed and this caused some changes in the itinerary but we felt like Avalon did everything they could to make up for the changes and we never felt like we missed out on anything. We chose to do several excursions throughout our cruise and were pleased with both the variation of tours offered as well as the professionalism and knowledge of all of our guides. We began our trip with a 3 day visit to Prague and we were thrilled that Avalon offered this extension. As our cruise was ending, we were already planning where we wanted to go next- even asking the Vista staff where they would be if we wanted to come back next year! I don't think that I would enjoy traveling to Europe as much any other way- we saw so much, felt so relaxed and comfortable, and even lost track of our days. Thank you for an amazing adventure! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose the Avalon Waterways version of this Danube River Cruise, because it included a 3-night pre-trip extension in Prague (#1 on my wife's bucket list). We stayed in the Prague Hilton for 3 nights, had several included Local ... Read More
We chose the Avalon Waterways version of this Danube River Cruise, because it included a 3-night pre-trip extension in Prague (#1 on my wife's bucket list). We stayed in the Prague Hilton for 3 nights, had several included Local Tours, and thoroughly enjoyed Prague. A barge was stuck in the section of the Danube below Nuremberg, so instead of busing us to Nuremberg to embark on Avalon Vista, they bused us by way of Cesky Krumlov ( a UNESCO World Heritage Site) at their expense. This village was amazing, and probably one of the highlights of the entire trip. Once we embarked on the Vista, the fun began. Each port included a Local Tour, optional tours, great food and beverages aboard the ship, and entertainment each night. The service was outstanding, our fellow passengers were fun, and the Cruise Director was very organized and responsive. We had Avalon handle the airline tickets (one less detail for us to handle) -- I think we got free airport transfers at the start and finish for them doing this. We saw many really neat old buildings (no wonder they call North America the 'new world'), learned a lot about the history of this region, and truly had a great time. I rated everything with this cruise as excellent, including dining, activities, service, cabin, entertainment, staff, etc. There were no children on our cruise, and taking children would probably not be appropriate on a river cruise. We really loved this river cruise, and would go with Avalon Waterways again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was our first river cruise, but it won't be our last. We were busy every day and the tour guides at each port were fabulous. Our Cruise director, Maria, was amazing. She made everyone feel welcome and handled each of our ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, but it won't be our last. We were busy every day and the tour guides at each port were fabulous. Our Cruise director, Maria, was amazing. She made everyone feel welcome and handled each of our different needs and wants like magic. The extra programs on board enriched the excursions and the river experience. The food was delicious, plentiful and varied. I only gained 3 pounds because of walking everyday. Without the boots on the ground tours I would have waddled off the ship. We enjoyed each day, but didn't feel rushed at each port. It was also great to have something to do each day that we didn't have to organize ourselves or find transportation for. My husband was more relaxed since all that planning was done by Maria. All of the hotel staff and crew were friendly, helpful and considerate of our needs. We will definitely travel with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Our travel agent recommended this cruise which most closely matched our desires and price range. It was very high quality (we got to compare when we walked thru others that double docked with us in ports), the crew were top notch and ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended this cruise which most closely matched our desires and price range. It was very high quality (we got to compare when we walked thru others that double docked with us in ports), the crew were top notch and always going out of their way to ensure each passenger’s happiness, the food was 5 star quality at every meal using produce, herbs, wine and beer from all the areas we traveled through. There were so many choices of meal items to choose from at breakfast and lunch and then dinner was a 4-5 course meal every night. There was also a lighter choice option meal served in the upstairs lounge area for most meals as well. Loved the always open coffee bar area with snacks that were available in the lounge area at the back of the boat 24/7. Cabins were kept impeccably accommodating at all times. Our cabin maid, Katie, even decorated our cabin for my birthday which fell during trip time as well as the chefs preparing a special birthday cake for dinner and crew and passengers sang Happy Birthday! I loved that the whole wall of windows in our cabin slid completely open. Since there was not a porch area it made the cabin room much larger but you could still enjoy the feel of being outside in the room. The cruise director, Niko, was most knowledgeable about all aspects of every town and castle along the way and presented information in informative but humorous stories every day as we were cruising. The shore excursions were always led by guides who actually lived in the areas we were visiting and could actually present history mixed with present every day experience. We did all of the included shore excursions in the bigger cites but what we Really enjoyed were the bicycles that were available to check out from the ship at certain smaller ports. We took off on several biking excursions on our own in some of the smaller ports and went for miles on the trail along the river’s edge through multiple towns. We did abandon the shore excursion in Vienna when we found out during the excursion there were tickets available to purchase for the Viennese Lipizzaner Stallion show! There was so much history presented about the castles and Catholic cathedrals in every town plus of course adventuring out on our own. You could do as much or as little as you wanted to on this cruise. There is even a very small gym (cabin size) with a couple of treadmills, stationary bikes and free weights. We met and made so many new friends from around the world on this cruise. You don’t have assigned seating at meals so you are able to meet as many people as you want. Some of the in port times were short but the overall European river cruise experience allows you to explore as many towns/areas as possible and decide where you might like to come back and spend more time. Overall an equally high quality experience at more affordable price as some of the other advertised river cruise ships. We had included embarkation/disembarking in the trip so the whole trip was a great experience-no problems. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Correct time of year to avoid summer congestion Limited duration for our first river cruise experience. Our thoughts: Transportation to/from airport was well organized We thought the overall experience was excellent. Ship ... Read More
Correct time of year to avoid summer congestion Limited duration for our first river cruise experience. Our thoughts: Transportation to/from airport was well organized We thought the overall experience was excellent. Ship was great - very clean and had all amenities we would require. Staff were excellent, especially housekeeping and dining room. Food was up scale but not gourmet. One issue is that we felt rushed at times in dining room. Need to slow down a little. Also, servers need to avoid serving a second course to one diner when dinner partner is not yet finished with first course. Should always be served together. Itinerary was great. Ports were good and interesting. The included tours were very informative but sometime left too little "free time" to explore on our own. Overall a very good experience and we fully intent to do another river cruise in the near future. Hopefully with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We considered several cruise lines when preparing to book this trip through our travel agent. And we chose Avalon Waterways for several reasons. First of all, we really like the large 3-panel window which contains two sliding doors which ... Read More
We considered several cruise lines when preparing to book this trip through our travel agent. And we chose Avalon Waterways for several reasons. First of all, we really like the large 3-panel window which contains two sliding doors which open to reveal a 7-foot wide opening. The second reason is the fact the beds face the windows, allowing for a beautiful view while lying in bed. The third reason we chose Avalon is they are owned by Globus, a company known for their exceptional land tours. And indeed the land excursions were incredible with exceptional guides. We were met at the airport by the Avalon employees and soon taken by motor coach to the ship. The rooms weren't available until later that afternoon, so we enjoyed about 4 hours exploring Amsterdam (our city of disembarkation) before returning to the ship for the initial 17:00 cruise time. Our luggage was taken at the airport and magically appeared in our state room later that afternoon. Our state room was lovely and in perfect condition, and all the amenities were in the room. Each meal was delicious, and there were many food options available. Breakfast and lunch meals were buffet style with a wide assortment appropriate to the respective meal. Dinner was a four-course dinner served by very friendly staff members. It was fun sitting at various tables each meal and getting to know other passengers with each seating. There were other options for dinner, more casual options such as single-serving options in the lounge area. We enjoyed the formal dinner each evening. There were several very interesting entertainment experiences during the cruise. The on-board musician was in the lounge each evening performing very nice music. One evening there was a trio (cello, violin, and guitar) of local musicians who performed a one-hour concert of music from the region. There were also a few other entertainment events offered as special events. The service was extraordinary, including not only the meal preparation and service, but also the house-keeping staff keeping our room clean and fresh feeling. We visited the following cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brugge, Ghent, Gouda, Veere, Middleburg, Willemstad, and back to Amsterdam. Each excursion was lead by a very informative, friendly, and entertaining guide. When the ship was not docked near enough to walk to each city, tour busses were there to provide transportation into each city center. We will certainly take another Avalon Waterways cruise without having to consider any other cruise lines. Our cruise was a thoroughly enjoyable trip. We even received discounted airfare options to get to Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chosen because I knew my wife would love the flowers, our first Dutch trip exceeded our expectations. Aboard the Avalon Vista in our port side A type cabin, we could not have been more comfortable. The ship staff and cruise director were ... Read More
Chosen because I knew my wife would love the flowers, our first Dutch trip exceeded our expectations. Aboard the Avalon Vista in our port side A type cabin, we could not have been more comfortable. The ship staff and cruise director were genuinely friendly and professional. The food was excellent, always fresh and delicious. The weather proved to be unseasonably but pleasantly warm so we were treated twice with outside barbecue on the Sky Deck at lunchtime. The ports were selected well, close to local sightseeing and flavor. You always remember a local guide who can draw you in, leaving you with memories of not only the sights but how lively and true it was presented. We had such a guide on our Sunday walking tour through quaint and lovely Willemstat. We were afforded time there also to try out the bicycles the Vista provided. We highly recommend the Brussels and Bruges excursions. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Second sailing with Avalon and it lived up to the first. I LOVE Avalon and the way they take care of you. Great food, plenty of wine, wonderful cabin and bathroom, and the best cruise directors ever! We sailed from Budapest to Prague ... Read More
Second sailing with Avalon and it lived up to the first. I LOVE Avalon and the way they take care of you. Great food, plenty of wine, wonderful cabin and bathroom, and the best cruise directors ever! We sailed from Budapest to Prague and the sights were incredible...want to go back to Vienna, Nuremburg and was so surprised how much I enjoyed Prague at the end when we stayed over there. Nancy the cruise director was so personable, helpful and honest and made every problem a solution. You see I had caused my own problem by booking a private guide who was wonderful in Nuremburg but I had the ship docking times all wrong....went to Nancy and she called Kevin direct and got my problem all fixed even though it was not her problem. She is the BEST! And the excursion guides with the ship were all great! Took care of us perfectly and had time for all of our questions. We learned so much! Ours was a wine cruise so we learned a lot about wines, foods that go with, and more than that we explored the cities, the villages, the sights along the beautiful river. I wish it was longer to enjoy more of the cabin and relaxing as we took all the free tours, paid for some of the spectacular ones well worth the extra, and even booked some of our own, while exploring on our own too! Whew, it was a busy trip! Would definitely choose Avalon again! Our first was the Rhine and now the Danube...will have to see where to next! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Just heard Viking is restricting all cruises to NO KIDS. Wow! That really saddens me, because our 2017 multi-generational family vacation aboard the Avalon Vista from Budapest to Nuremburg was amazing. Our Group included 10 family ... Read More
Just heard Viking is restricting all cruises to NO KIDS. Wow! That really saddens me, because our 2017 multi-generational family vacation aboard the Avalon Vista from Budapest to Nuremburg was amazing. Our Group included 10 family members- ages 12 to 85 years. We travelled with two (2) children who would not be welcomed aboard Viking Cruise lines. The senior members of our group and junior members also loved the chess board on the deck! At any rate - Avalon was simply amazing!!! Rooms were fantastic and the itinerary literally had something for everyone. On one particular day my son and his cousin (12 and 13) road bikes with their aunt through Regensburg, while Grandpa and Great Aunt Barbara enjoyed an afternoon of folk music and a beer at the Monk's Abbey. Grandpa loved the opportunity to take his 13 year-old grandson to a classical concert in Vienna. Every single person in our group loved this vacation and would do it again in a heartbeat. If you are thinking about booking a multi-generational family vacation, don't hesitate! Grandpa says it was his best birthday gift of his life! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My husband and I choose this river cruise because it is more intimate than an ocean cruise! Ship and crew were absolutely amazing, friendly, fun and helpful. Cruise director Nancy ran an extremely well organized cruise she had so much ... Read More
My husband and I choose this river cruise because it is more intimate than an ocean cruise! Ship and crew were absolutely amazing, friendly, fun and helpful. Cruise director Nancy ran an extremely well organized cruise she had so much information and suggestions to share, she was always available for questions. Our cabin with the panoramic view was spotless, plenty of room to move around for 2 people and loads of storage. I cant even begin to comment on the meals they were all superb so many choices. Nightly entertainment gave passengers a time to socialize with wine tastings,dancing and having fun with the crew. Service was excellent housekeeping, waitstaff and front desk always there to give you assistance with a smile. Ports and shore excursions were varied you had several optional choices but most were included. we extended our trip 2 days in Budapest pre cruise and 2 days prague post those hotels were 5 star! My husband and I were able to visit so many historical sites, everything was relaxing plus we meet some wonderful friends! Highly recommend Avalon we have already convinced a couple of our friends they leave in june! As for us we are looking into Cruising the Rhine!!!! It was an excellent way to celebrate our 40th anniversary! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Our Parents have done this cruise and recommended it. Adrienne the cruise director was delightful and well educated.The ship was clean and staff was nice.All of the excursions were nice, and were as described.Easy to book excursions, and ... Read More
Our Parents have done this cruise and recommended it. Adrienne the cruise director was delightful and well educated.The ship was clean and staff was nice.All of the excursions were nice, and were as described.Easy to book excursions, and the buses used to transport us were very clean and on time, and made the trips very pleasant. Guides were very informative, and qualified. We appreciated the system used to disembark, with earbuds to hear the guides. Our blinds were closed more often than not while docked , do to other boats being docked next to us, and tied to our boat.This was not a surprise as we were told this may happen. Our only frustration, and it was a BIG one was Dining. My wife and I have a Gluten allergy, and we made that clear to our travel agent, as well as Avalon. Although certain attempts were made on the menu to provide options, they were not always accurate, and the servers as well as their superior were not very helpful, or properly educated on this topic. We have been on other cruises where this was clearly a priority,and we had no food issues whatsoever. We sent an Email directly to Avalon Operations, on the last day of our cruise, due to our frustration and as of today,(26 days later), we have not heard a thing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We wanted a French Balcony and the other cruise lines were fully booked, so we lucked out when a room of our choice was available with Avalon Cruises. Our room was so above our expectations, as it was so comfortable and nicely decorated. ... Read More
We wanted a French Balcony and the other cruise lines were fully booked, so we lucked out when a room of our choice was available with Avalon Cruises. Our room was so above our expectations, as it was so comfortable and nicely decorated. The food and service were wonderful, with every meal a gourmet meal with great selections to pick from. We both thought the wine selections for our meals were really nice picks, and the cruise provided wine and beer at both lunch and dinner. The crew was also a big surprise, as they were so friendly and genuinely helpful - all the way from the captain to the gal that cleaned our room. We loved the cruise experience with about 160 people, so we got to know a lot of people that we met on the cruise. We have wonderful memories riding on the top deck both during the day and sometimes at night watching the world go by on such a scenic way. Overall, we would certainly do that cruise again on that boat for sure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
A friend that is a travel agent alerted my husband and me to a deal. Boy are we glad we took it! This was our first time cruising and because of the ship size and helpful staff it was really easy to find everything and get questions ... Read More
A friend that is a travel agent alerted my husband and me to a deal. Boy are we glad we took it! This was our first time cruising and because of the ship size and helpful staff it was really easy to find everything and get questions answered. The food was mouth watering! There was always choice at every meal and quality ingredients were used. It enhanced the travel experience by incorporating the wine, beers, breads and other food items from the local places we were visiting. Your glass was never empty, as the servers were very attentive. The live entertainment that was brought on board was very good. However, I must say the DJ that was in the lounge during happy hour, did not play a variety of music and many songs were repeated night after night. The quality of his sound system was great though. The wine and beer tastings were educational and fun. A wine master did tastings and a wine pairing meal that was to die for. The beer brewers did a presentation in lederhosen! How fun was that! I cannot even put into words, the beauty of the cities/towns we visited. A Very romantic backdrop! The chosen stops gave us the flavor of the countries. We never felt rushed, just the perfect pace. The guides really gave us in depth information and land transport went smoothly. We definitely would cruise with Avalon again to another destination. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My husband and I have been on Avalon several times already. Organization should be their middle name. They have excellent Directors, staff and accommodations. Pre and post hotels are always top of the line and their locations are in ... Read More
My husband and I have been on Avalon several times already. Organization should be their middle name. They have excellent Directors, staff and accommodations. Pre and post hotels are always top of the line and their locations are in city centers - usually walkable to most of the important attractions. All of the transfers happen without a hitch. Excursions are well planned and well escorted with very knowledgeable guides. Prices compete well with all the other lines. Food onboard is delicious and with so many choices I can't imagine anyone not being happy about the dining experience. I am very happy to see that there were many more local cuisine options this cruise. I love to speak with other travelers on other lines to compare notes. I find we are much happier than most of those on other lines. Since I don't have anything to complain about I don't have too many more words to say about perfection! Just love putting my travel plans in Avalon's hands! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Having tired of Ocean cruising we turned to River cruising and enviously viewed the large luxury ships on the river, after more than a dozen most enjoyable trips, we decided for a change that a luxury river cruise was a way to stifle our ... Read More
Having tired of Ocean cruising we turned to River cruising and enviously viewed the large luxury ships on the river, after more than a dozen most enjoyable trips, we decided for a change that a luxury river cruise was a way to stifle our envy. Flight arrangements were excellent. Airport arrival and pick up very efficient. Our Hotel in Vienna for two nights was a dream. All the tours were lovely and we had adequate time to do our own thing as well. Day three we set off by comfortable coach for Bratislava and our embarkation The arrival walk through the old town of Bratislava was very interesting but lugging a heavy bag for an hour in the rain was not a lot of fun. After a welcome drink and slick move to our exquisite cabin, and explanation of on board life and destinations, our first evening dinner was rather strange. The ship was barely half full with the result that it was difficult to find more than a small handful of passengers in any of the public areas. Total passenger list was 76 and we unfortunately lost two of those. There was none of the usual camaraderie we have encountered on other river cruises. Indeed every evening apart from two stalwart Australians we were the only people to attend the entertainment in the Lounge. Nikko tried hard but four people in a beautiful lounge built and equipped to accommodate 130 or so passengers, did not help the situation. The passengers mostly 60 plus were a mix of American, Australian, New Zealanders, a few Asiatic citizens, and a sprinkling of British. The Cruise Director did nothing to encourage guests to mingle and though efficient and correct to a point of strict school headmistress, she remained in her foyer seat and took no part in promoting on board activities. So no one used them. All the crew were extremely friendly and nothing, however small, was too much trouble. The air of politeness and welcome was apparent throughout the ship and the comfort and cleanliness first class. Every meal was a pleasure, all the excursions well chosen, informative and a delight. But we were so disappointed there was no atmosphere of a holiday at all. More a Marie Celeste situation prevailed. So it's back to the happy little ships for us in future I am afraid. I have waited a month before writing this review to allow a fair appraisal of the Cruise. If luxury, comfort, quiet relaxation are your thing the Avalon Vista is your ship, otherwise look to smaller ships with excellent entertainment, no overnight noisy travelling and port visits to rival the big boys. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Just back from a Danube River Cruise on the new Avalon Vista, we are disappointed by the poor overall experience that Avalon Waterways delivers. Budapest-Nuremberg. August 2012: We boarded the ship in Budapest and were very impressed ... Read More
Just back from a Danube River Cruise on the new Avalon Vista, we are disappointed by the poor overall experience that Avalon Waterways delivers. Budapest-Nuremberg. August 2012: We boarded the ship in Budapest and were very impressed by this new ship, having cruised a lot all around the world , and on many river cruises. The ship was docked next to the famous Chain Bridge, in the heart of Budapest, a short taxi ride from our hotel. It couldn't have been a better location. The ship itself is impressive for a river ship, beautifully designed, with sleek lines and a tasteful, modern decor. The main lounge is stunning, with panoramic floor to ceiling windows all around, and even better, there is an open deck lounge forward from where you can see everything. The Club Lounge located aft is also extremely nice and cosy, with drinks available at all times, but bad cookies. Our Stateroom, #208 was just fabulous, with the famous floor to ceiling sliding windows (really great), lots of space, great closets and drawers all around; better than on many large cruise ships, good lighting and large beds. The bathroom was especially great: Large, lovely decor with marble, good lighting, great L'Occitane amenities nicely replenished all along the cruise; and an extra large shower with a glass door and good water pressure. The best showers I have had in a long time. The Welcome couldn't have been nicer, with crew and staff extending a warm welcome and committed to make you feel welcome. Everything seemed perfect, ready for a great experience, but problems were lurking: Bedding: It turned out that the bedding looked much better than it was comfortable: If the sheets are made of nice cotton as advertised by Avalon: The pillows are made on 100% cheap synthetic fiber, hard like a rock, just like in the cheapest roadside motels along some remote highway. We asked for soft, feather pillows (or pillows made of natural fiber) only to be told by both the housekeeping manager and the front desk manager that none were available, and that there was nothing they could or would do about this. That was the first big disappointment. Giving it a try that first night; we developed quickly a pain in the neck and ended up the first night sleeping on folded bath towels! On a luxury ship! Fortunately, we have friends living in Vienna, the next stop on the cruise, and we called them immediately, asking them to lend us two good soft feather pillows (filled with 100% natural fiber) for the remainder of the cruise. Believe me, this was not a luxury or an indulgence. But we had to ship the pillows back at the end of the cruise at our own expense and disturb our friends. The duvet: Again Avalon touts its duvets. Unfortunately they are also made of synthetic of the cheapest kind. We had to take out the duvets out of the sheet and replace them by the blankets provided, which were also of a cheap quality (76% synthetic) but we had to make do with that. However this was not pleasant. Overall, the bedding was just not comfortable, and only our friends' pillows saved the day. Food: Overall the food was from mediocre to just plain bad, and this all along the cruise. If a good selection of breads was always available at breakfast, including all the famous german breads, and the small good individual rolls; they were never available at lunch or dinner where only puny, mediocre little slices of plain bread were available. The cookies were a complete disgrace: some were hard like a rock. I nearly broke a tooth on one, no kidding. They were especially bad and cheap in the Club Lounge. All this while we were crossing countries famous for their cookies, breads and good food! In fact, the food and the breads were so mediocre that we ended up looking for a bakery at each stop during the cruise, always finding one easily, and buying breads, cookies and cakes for dessert. Never done that before on any cruise! We also ate lunch or dinner ashore when we could, in order to have some good meals. Never done that before in my life! Only one lunch, touted as a "German Lunch" was decent and interesting with some local specialties; otherwise the food was so plain, so mediocre, so disconnected from what was all around us that it was shocking and meals became a real bore when they could have been a great experience as the service and the design of the restaurant itself were extremely nice. The salads and buffets were especially mediocre. This is a real shame, as Avalon could easily deliver a luxury experience as: -The layout and design of the ship is innovative, impressive, luxurious and even stunning. -The staff was extremely nice and helpful, always trying to make you welcome and comfortable (with what they had). Their training was impeccable, and they were providing great service at all times. -The Cruise Director was extremely good and nice, doing a great job at all times without fail. -The excursions were well organized, with interesting guides. However, considering Avalon prices, the food and the bedding are not acceptable. Overall, Avalon fails to deliver a good experience, and we are very disappointed. It was a relief to find a good bed and good food in Munich where we stayed after the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Avalon Vista Ratings
Category Editor Member

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