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194 Avalon Waterways Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

We had been on the Danube with Avalon for the Christmas markets. We enjoyed our time on this cruise so much we decided to do another. We were not disappointed at all. The people, the food, the excursions were all we had hoped for. We ate ... Read More
We had been on the Danube with Avalon for the Christmas markets. We enjoyed our time on this cruise so much we decided to do another. We were not disappointed at all. The people, the food, the excursions were all we had hoped for. We ate so well and had wonderful conversations with the entire staff. The excursions were very nice as our guides were well informed and shared this information with our travel group. This seems to be the norm for Avalon. Our first cruise set the bar quite high and our second cruise met it. We invited some family members to join us on this latest cruise because we were positive they would have the same experience as we had. They were not disappointed at all. I believe they too will take another cruise (only with Avalon). We appreciated the amount of work that went into this cruise for my husband and I. We were so impressed and satisfied with our choice to cruise Avalin Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because it covered a lot of Europe and we liked the 14 day length of the cruise. We also liked the idea of having one room for the entire trip as opposed to bus touring where you have multiple hotel rooms. When we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it covered a lot of Europe and we liked the 14 day length of the cruise. We also liked the idea of having one room for the entire trip as opposed to bus touring where you have multiple hotel rooms. When we arrived, a crew member met us as soon as we exited our cab. She insisted on taking our bags. That was the beginning of a wonderful (first experience) river cruise. The crew in every area of the ship was outstanding. They were friendly, courteous, personable, helpful etc. The cruise director, Karelien, was perfect. She has a wonderful sense of humor, kept us informed every day, had every excursion planned to perfection, accommodated the entire passenger list when we encountered low water on the river. She made the trip especially enjoyable. The food was wonderful, diversified for everyone’s taste. On the excursions, Karelien always accommodated a group that had walking limitations. My favorite excursion was the concert in Vienna. Absolutely fantastic!!! And we made lifelong friends with a few passengers. We loved everything about this cruise and will choose Avalon Waterways for our next vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
What a great cruise. We went on the Rhine and Moselle cruise. Our first time on a river cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. We felt our cabin had plenty of space for us and our luggage. It was a very comfortable space. A ... Read More
What a great cruise. We went on the Rhine and Moselle cruise. Our first time on a river cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. We felt our cabin had plenty of space for us and our luggage. It was a very comfortable space. A minor nit was the toilet. The flush was really loud and could be startling in the middle of the night. As well, sometimes we had to press the flush button repeatedly to get it to actually flush. We really liked the big sliding windows that made our room feel that much bigger and gave an unobstructed view as things passed by. Our room was so quiet too. We never heard our neighbors or even the floors above or below us. The food was spectacular. Every bit of it. But the soups. The soups were sublime. I came home with 5 soup recipes! At the buffet meals the soups would always run out first and more would have to be brought out. That's how good those soups were. Onboard entertainment was good. The included shore excursions were very good. We always got a good sense of where we were visiting from those excursions. Service was always top notch and we never wanted for anything. The cruise director always kept us informed of the next day's activities, where we were sailing, when we needed to be back onboard for sailing. We always felt well informed. We would certainly sail with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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
We recently returned from our Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel on the Expression. All four of us are seniors ranging in age from 65-74. Our group wanted to try a short river cruise in order to determine if we would try ... Read More
We recently returned from our Avalon river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel on the Expression. All four of us are seniors ranging in age from 65-74. Our group wanted to try a short river cruise in order to determine if we would try another, perhaps longer, river cruise. Here are our pros and cons: Pros The cabin (up on the topmost level) was large enough and the bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was fine with a roomy shower and enough counter space around the sink to handle our ‘stuff’. The large, sliding, panoramic doors were great. We wouldn’t have used a veranda and enjoyed the extra bit of cabin space the exclusion of a veranda gave us. The ship was clean. We enjoyed the fact there was a happy hour with 1/2 price drinks and Robert, our bartender, was a pro. He was funny, prompt, and had a great personality. Staff was, on the whole, pleasant. The reception desk was accommodating and the two male staff members were friendly and helpful. The exception was the female who was a bit short with the passengers and sometimes acted as if it was an intrusion of her space/time to be bothered. The cruise director was very good. When we were out and about on excursions, I found it a plus that he’d show up out of the blue (frequently on his bicycle) to wave or help with directions. He was friendly, efficient, and thorough and had a good sense of humor when addressing the passengers. Our evening entertainment was limited. However one evening we were entertained by a trio of two violinists and a guitarist who were phenomenal-really enjoyed that!! The restaurant waitstaff was good. The morning tours/excursions were okay-a few times the tour guides were a bit too in-depth with the history of wherever we were and most info was lost in the translation. I guess there were just too many details to process and absorb. Cons The room steward was sweet and young but unlike our ocean cruises, never once called us by name. The food was good but we doubted all food was fresh produce from each of our ports especially when we spied a pallet with large cans of fruit and vegetables ready to be taken into the ship. Wine choices at meals were mediocre. All breakfast and lunches were buffet-style with only dinner served by the waitstaff. Unlike Viking, Avalon did not have a welcoming ‘tent’ at the pier. Actually, Viking had two..one on each side. It was no big deal...just another detail that adds to the experience. When we were dropped off at the pier we had to search a little to find Expression (at the end). Mornings found us having breakfast followed by an excursion which lasted until around lunchtime; then we’d have lunch and downtime until supper. I found that routine to be a bit of a drag as I’m enjoy walking the many decks of an ocean ship; participating (or not) in a great variety of activities; and enjoying the panoramic views of a huge sea. All four of us concluded early on in our river cruise that the ship (no fault of theirs as they are restricted to length and width) was just too small with minimal to do. We sometimes felt like caged animals! For the amount of money we spent on this 7-day river cruise, we could have sailed on an ocean cruise for a couple of weeks. Regardless of all the differences of river versus ocean cruising, going on any vacation with our friends is quite delightful We did spend five days in Amsterdam pre-cruise and three days in Lucerne/one day in Zurich (post-cruise and all our own planning) which we enjoyed immensely! Would we try river cruising again? No. I’d rather try a land tour of cities like Prague or Budapest (like Perillo Tours). We satisfied our curiosity and have plans for a Mediterranean cruise next summer and a cruise to the Netherlands in 2021. To each his own, I say!! Happy sailing!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Have used Avalon Waterways on previous trips. This was by far a dream cruise! Beautiful ship....to excellent staff! Easy access to all ports....Carrier buses were excellent. The food was just outstanding and delicious. Embarkation ... Read More
Have used Avalon Waterways on previous trips. This was by far a dream cruise! Beautiful ship....to excellent staff! Easy access to all ports....Carrier buses were excellent. The food was just outstanding and delicious. Embarkation and disembarking went extremely well and very organized. Service staff was always helpful and willing to serve. I would use Avalon Waterways again and have recommended them to friends. Cruise Director Tony gave a schedule of upcoming daily activities. His knowledge of the areas was outstanding and most helpful. The ports of call were a joy to visit and the tour guides were outstanding and very knowledgeable! Loved how the beds in the staterooms faced toward the sliding windows so we could lay in bed an watch the world go by!!!!Although we were busy at times we still had time to relax and enjoy the ship and the cruise. Beautiful countryside everywhere we visited!! A magnificent trip of a lifetime..... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The active cruise interested us as we are both avid walkers and enjoy biking and hiking. We were disappointed in the Avalon service compared to our experience on a Uniworld River Cruise on the Danube River. We enjoyed the option of the ... Read More
The active cruise interested us as we are both avid walkers and enjoy biking and hiking. We were disappointed in the Avalon service compared to our experience on a Uniworld River Cruise on the Danube River. We enjoyed the option of the flexible dining that Avalon Cruise provided, but found the food being removed an hour earlier than advertised e.g. 8:00 PM instead of 9 PM. Then when we tried to go to the main dining room because the lounge/bistro dining had been removed an hour early, we were scolded for arriving late and discouraged by the head waiter from getting the full menu in order to catch up with the rest of the dining room. We loved the panoramic room and the cabin steward was friendly and did a great job. The cruise director and the main receptionist were not as friendly as we would have expected. The cruise director was knowledgeable but seemed a little aloof and disconnected. The concert with the band that come on the ship and castle tour were great and would have liked more of that type of entertainment. The onboard entertainment would have been better with more variety such as DJ, second musician, etc. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first river cruise.  We have taken cruises before on Oceania (London to Copenhagen), Royal Caribbean (Caribbean), Disney (3- Day), Celebrity (3 - Day), and  Norwegian (Alaska).   Embarkation and debarkation was very ... Read More
This was our first river cruise.  We have taken cruises before on Oceania (London to Copenhagen), Royal Caribbean (Caribbean), Disney (3- Day), Celebrity (3 - Day), and  Norwegian (Alaska).   Embarkation and debarkation was very easy - even though we had not booked the Movenpick through Avalon, the man in charge of the concierge desk had our luggage delivered to the ship.  Embarkation and debarkation was much easier than our previous ocean cruises.  The ship also cleared each port with immigration, customs, etc. very easily - we were able to go ashore virtually immediately.   They even told us to put our passports away - that we would not need them when going on the excursions - that surprised me - much different than other cruises we have been on where in one case they even kept the passports for the entire cruise.  Getting on and off the ship at each port was very easy as well - we just scanned our card they gave us and walked off or on - there was no one standing there to verify our identity, thereby slowing things down considerably, as was the case in the past ocean cruises we have been on. We really enjoyed this cruise - Avalon is experimenting with the format (Active Discovery), doing it only twice a year.  We chose it because:   (1) It was 7 days (2) It ended in Frankfurt (we have relatives near there), and (3) Because of the format - 3 choices of activities, some more active than others - my sister is 10 years younger and she and her husband could choose more active activities.   We, and I believe several others, were surprised by the amount of walking (several miles) and walking pace (some of the older individuals had canes) for even the less strenuous of the included 3 excursion choices each morning (afternoon tours were extra).  Although surprised by the walking of several miles a day we really enjoyed it as compared to past cruise line tours where we have been on where we spent most of the time on a bus - you got to see things up close as opposed to outside a bus window.  The tour guides were excellent. The amount of walking did provide a pretty significant problem for the tour guides as some of the other older people had trouble keeping up leaving the tour guides in a "catch 22," either see less or leave people behind - both occurred - obviously causing irritation.  Bottomline - no one should go on this if they have any trouble walking several miles at a decent pace.   If you also participated in the afternoon tours, as we did (extra cost), you had about an hour to an hour and a half back on the ship before the afternoon tour - getting back from the morning tour which generally started around 8:30 - 9:00 AM and ended around noon until the afternoon tour, starting at around 1:30 and returning around 5:00.  On several evenings there was also the opportunity to engage in another type of activity in the evening - one was a visit to castle that was marvelous. Those on the cruise were, by-and-large, younger than on other cruises we have been on (other than Disney) and while for the most part upper middle class - were probably not of the somewhat more elite social status that we experienced on Oceania. The meals were very good, although probably not quite up to the level of Oceania or Disney.   There was an alternative for lunch everyday where they offered a lighter portion small buffet of what was being served in the main dining room inside on the front of the ship.  You could also take this lunch up to the upper deck and sit outside.   We chose to do this most of the time as it was less crowded and faster (given our afternoon tours) and we enjoyed sitting on the front with all the windows or on the upper deck.  Avalon indicated that those with dietary restrictions should confer with them on arrival on board - my sister is gluten free and did so, but they were not very helpful - simple indicating she should talk to the waiter - that said, the waiter was very helpful.  The staterooms were somewhat smaller than on the other cruises we have been on, but were adequate and nicely appointed - I did notice that the Viking ships docked next to us had a true balcony - we had no balcony - the doors just slide open and there is a railing.  Although Avalon's pre-cruise instructions purport to limit luggage to one large piece each, we brought 3 large pieces of luggage plus 2 carry on luggage pieces and had no problem storing the luggage under the bed. Finally, cruising through the Rhine Gorge with all the castles was magnificent and the crew director provided an excellent commentary, including explaining why in some cases the water is too shallow to get through, causing a transfer of passengers from one ship to another - and you could see why.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We took the Avalon Danube River Cruise last year and enjoyed it so much, we decided to take a second Avalon River Cruise. While we enjoyed the Rhine Cruise, we felt the on shore excursions were better on the Danube than the Rhine It ... Read More
We took the Avalon Danube River Cruise last year and enjoyed it so much, we decided to take a second Avalon River Cruise. While we enjoyed the Rhine Cruise, we felt the on shore excursions were better on the Danube than the Rhine It seemed there were less attractions/activities on the Rhine vs Danube, which was disappointing Service crew were often stingy with wine service and bread and condiments were being collected while we were still eating. We didn't experience this on the Danube Cruise. Also, the Captain was a bit more engaging with the guests on the Danube than the Rhine. Dinner with the Captain was a real hit with everyone. Tour guides did a great job and Karoline does a fabulous job as cruise director. I am hopeful this review will facilitate improvement for future cruisers and do plan to book another cruise with Avalon Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
It sounded like a great idea to Cruise the Rhine and we added 3 nights in Zurich to the end. Our room was excellent but the true stars were the staff. There was not one who didn’t go out of they’re way to provide us with a great ... Read More
It sounded like a great idea to Cruise the Rhine and we added 3 nights in Zurich to the end. Our room was excellent but the true stars were the staff. There was not one who didn’t go out of they’re way to provide us with a great experience. With only 168 guests we had a chance to meet just about all of them. The food was fantastic with a lot of choices. We had to skip some of the excursions as they were mostly walking and with bad knees and COPD we couldn’t enjoy. Others we were able to go along and enjoy even though we couldn’t keep up with the group. Headsets provided allowed us to hear our guide from a reasonable distance. Avalon handled all of our travel arrangements as well as before and after hotel arrangements and transfers to and from airport. All went smoothly. Unfortunately we did not realize that Amsterdam was such a huge airport with hardly any accommodations for folks needing assistance walking. Perhaps if we had made requests ahead of time something could have been provided. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
This is the way to travel. Everything taken care of, great friendly and hard working staff. Amazing crew guiding the ship, excellent tour director and unbelievable chef. Food so good it could have been a foody cruise. Very good ... Read More
This is the way to travel. Everything taken care of, great friendly and hard working staff. Amazing crew guiding the ship, excellent tour director and unbelievable chef. Food so good it could have been a foody cruise. Very good selection of stops and gorgeous scenery. The Vista is a beautiful and clean ship that was a pleasure to be aboard. We are sold on this as as a way to discover a region, and look forward to our next opportunity to do so. Highly recommend Avalon for river cruising. Embarking and disembarking was flawless and removed any stress from the whole experience. Cabins were comfortable and very well maintained. Tour guides arranged by tour direct or were knowledge able and informative. The cruise is so much more than cruising, as you get the scenery, history, culture and a true experience like no other. Only wish it had been longer. Truly a life changing experience. 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
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 thoroughly enjoyed all of the excursions. The tour guides were extremely well-versed, kind and courteous. We saw and experienced sites that we probably never would have if we had gone on our own. The time spent simply cruising down the ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed all of the excursions. The tour guides were extremely well-versed, kind and courteous. We saw and experienced sites that we probably never would have if we had gone on our own. The time spent simply cruising down the Mosel and Rhine rivers, just watching the world float by, was also incredibly relaxing and breathtaking. It was nice talking to, and getting to know others on the cruise. We met some wonderful people! We really enjoyed the breakfasts, but the lunches were outstanding. Lots of fun foods to try. We loved the buffet style of the breakfasts and lunch. We felt the dinners were lacking in interest and variety. Would rate them a 5 out of 10. Just expected more from Avalon. Have had much better dinners on the ocean cruises we’ve taken! Lastly, we had a terrible experience with our luggage being taken to the airport before our transfer left. It was mistakenly taken with another group prior to our leaving for the airport. The cruise director didn’t think it was anything to worry about, and seemed to take it rather lightly. He said the luggage would be waiting for us, we would just have to pick it up. We, however, were very frustrated, worried and upset. And rightfully so! When we finally got to the airport it took us an hour and a half to finally locate the luggage. It was quite a struggle, and definitely not easy, even with the young man from Avalon who was helping us. We barely made it to our flight, with only 30 minutes to spare! We understand that mistakes can happen, but we felt there was no excuse for this mistake especially since there were only about 105 people on our ship. Just seemed like carelessness. It definitely left us with negative feelings about our Avalon experience. 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
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 wanted to visit Amsterdam and try a river cruise. The room on the ship were spacious,' comfortable and clean. The crew and staff were very helpful and friendly. The highlights were Keuknhof Gardens and spending a day in Bruges. The ... Read More
We wanted to visit Amsterdam and try a river cruise. The room on the ship were spacious,' comfortable and clean. The crew and staff were very helpful and friendly. The highlights were Keuknhof Gardens and spending a day in Bruges. The entertainment on the ship was good and the local guides for the excursions off the ship were excellent. The only negative was the food, sometimes it was cold and 2 hours for dinner every night is just takes up too much time. I would also recommend arriving into Amsterdam 1 or 2 days earlier to explore the city more. As this cruise does not give you enough time to visit the city's museums and other points of interest like the Anne Frank Museum and their fine restaurants. I would recommend this particular cruise to someone who wanted to visit the Netherlands and Belgium and also recommend Avalon for a cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise as it visited many of the major cities we were interested in going to. By taking this cruise it gave us the opportunity to consider which cities we would like to return to and spend more time. We have traveled with ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it visited many of the major cities we were interested in going to. By taking this cruise it gave us the opportunity to consider which cities we would like to return to and spend more time. We have traveled with Avalon in the past and are impressed with the high level of organization and attention to details. From booking the cruise through our disembarkation in Budapest everything was taken care of first class. Our state room was on the second level with a balcony. It was very comfortable and provided adequate room for the 2 weeks. The entire staff was very helpful, pleasant and accommodating. They would go out of their way to make you comfortable. We took advantage of all the shore excursions which were broke down into smaller groups which allowed us a far better experience than some other tour operators we saw in the cities. The knowledge and quality of local guides was very helpful. We will continue to use Avalon as our primary cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this ship for its itinerary as we wanted to visit the Netherlands to see the tulips, in particular Keukenhof Gardens. This was our first river cruise so we splurged on an upper cabin, Cabin 314. Great room with a very comfortable ... Read More
We chose this ship for its itinerary as we wanted to visit the Netherlands to see the tulips, in particular Keukenhof Gardens. This was our first river cruise so we splurged on an upper cabin, Cabin 314. Great room with a very comfortable bed that faced huge windows overlooking the passing scenery. Plenty of storage but could have had a few more drawers. Ports were good but traffic traveling to and from the Keukenhof, Brussels and Bruges became an issue. They may have been better served to find closer ports, if possible. Ship has a large lounge where they hold light lunches and dinner, entertainment in the evening, yoga and other exercise classes during the day and a very nice bar. There is a smaller lounge at the rear of the ship that had games, books, drinks and cookies & muffins. They could have changed their snacks more frequently as they served the same type daily. Evening entertainment was usually a piano player and select nights they invited a trio who played 50s and 60s and another who played classical music. Evening entertainment was not a draw for us or in general the type of passengers on the ship. They did have a happy hour usually from 5:45 to 6:45 where drinks are half price and then the cruise director gave a brief overview of the next day’s port of call. The ship was immaculate at all times. The main dining room served all three meals as it was too chilly for the upper deck to be open. Breakfast was a buffet with an egg station where you can order omelets or eggs any way. They usually had items that could be ordered directly from the kitchen, such as waffles, pancakes, etc. Lunch was a buffet and was very tasty with a nice selection every day and usually a carving station. Dinner was not as consistent. Portions were unusually small. I ordered a shrimp cocktail which had one shrimp and a few teeny tiny ones. I had a puff pastry ragout but got no puff pastry. The cream soups were very good. Entrees were a total mixed bag. I ordered fish and it was over cooked, another time is was undercooked, the rack of lamb was over seasoned and some days the pasta dish was delicious and another it was watery. Such a shame. Wine and beer were free flowing during dinner which is a nice change from regular cruises. Service was inconsistent as well. It is open seating and dinner is served from 7 to 9. If you sat closer to the kitchen, service was generally quicker and more attentive than sitting towards the entrance. They could use a few more service staff. Dining was very casual and you could wear the same clothes you wore during the day. No one dressed for dinner. I wish I knew in advance and I would have not packed some of my clothes. Staff was great. The captain was very visible and frequently was at the gangway when we were leaving or coming back from excursions. The cruise director, Bram, was all over and did a wonderful job keeping us informed and dealing with questions and resolving issue. The wait staff, housekeeping, front desk could not have been nicer. The fitness center is extremely small - one treadmill, one bike and one weight table. They did have exercise classes early in the morning and throughout the day but we were mostly out on excursions. The weather was chilly so you need to dress in layers and good walking shoes. we frequently did over 10 miles per day but we like to wander. At embarkation, they greeted you and you stayed comfortably in the lounge with piano music, light lunch and an available bar until the rooms were ready. At disembarkation, we were staying an extra day. You requested the day before for a taxi and while you had to be out of your room by 9 AM, you waited comfortably in the lounge until it arrived. All very civilized and you did not have to leave your luggage out the day before, just 1/2 hour before you had to leave or by 9AM. I would recommend this tulip cruise but be aware of dining issues. I would definitely go on another Avalon cruise if they were going to areas of interest. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I have always wanted to see the tulip fields of Holland in bloom so for our 40th anniversary we chose this cruise. It was even better that we had hoped. We loved the cabin and waking up each morning watching the sites go by even before ... Read More
I have always wanted to see the tulip fields of Holland in bloom so for our 40th anniversary we chose this cruise. It was even better that we had hoped. We loved the cabin and waking up each morning watching the sites go by even before we got out of bed! It was also nice having a choice if included excursions at each port. Everything was so well organized and the port talks during cocktail hour each evening were very helpful to get us prepared for our adventures the next day. We were amazed at how quickly and efficiently the meals were served to so many in the dining room. The service in every area of the ship was phenomenal as well because it was clear that each member of the staff really enjoyed their job and bent over backwards to make our journey exceptional. We will be back for more Avalon cruises in the future I am sure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First I should say that I did not want to go on this trip and was dragged to the trip. Now let me say it was the best vacation ever and I can’t wait to go back. Everything was perfect, weather not perfect but it was fine as we dressed ... Read More
First I should say that I did not want to go on this trip and was dragged to the trip. Now let me say it was the best vacation ever and I can’t wait to go back. Everything was perfect, weather not perfect but it was fine as we dressed for it and had planned for it. We went early spring to insure the water levels as the last thing we wanted on our cruise was to be bussed. Liked - food was very good, and my wine glass was never empty even at the two hour dinners. Cruise director was excellent, this person is likely the most important part of a cruise. Ours was clear, direct, and made no excuses...”walking will be hard today”, “food at xx is excellent”, he was really good. Our room was made up twice a day and I don’t think we ever went back after breakfast when it wasn’t done. The excursions were very good as were the guides. No kids and that’s a great thing. It’s so hard to have an adult trip these days, it was very appreciated that they were not here, truth be told imho kids would hate river cruising. No goofy, no slides to the pool, no .........before jumping on my case, I raised two so I know what I speak of. I know your kids act perfectly, mine did ,but honestly they would not like river cruising. Aside from the excursions around the towns, two and three hour 5 course dinners are the evenings entertainment. Dislike- internet is slow, not much on tv. Funny we watched Casablanca every night falling asleep, picking back up where we left the prior evening. we were so tired every night we never did finish the show! My wife did not care for the exercise room, said too small, why bother? We’re walking miles every day. This is not like ocean cruising, no entertainment, except locals came on board a few nights and they were good. But honestly after walking all day, drinking wine and enjoying everyone’s company at dinner, who cares..time for bed! It was a great trip, everything was fine including the first class air tickets, nice way to travel. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted a quick short get away and cruise on a river that we've never been on. The Avalon Vista has a capacity of 164 passengers & is 7 years young. It appeared well kept, was very clean & comfortable. The buffet ... Read More
We wanted a quick short get away and cruise on a river that we've never been on. The Avalon Vista has a capacity of 164 passengers & is 7 years young. It appeared well kept, was very clean & comfortable. The buffet breakfast & lunch, along with the sit down dinner was varied & very good. As this was Avalons first sailing of the season, we were able to check into our rooms upon embarkation. The disembarkation was timely & orderly. The pick up & transportation to/from airport/ship went smoothly. Although it did take us a few minutes to find the Avalon meeting location upon arrival at the airport. The staff & crew on board were friendly & helpful. The wait staff in the restaurant were 2nd to none. Entertainment was a little lacking & not to our liking, but may have been suffice for others. One night was classical music & the other was a couple of local singers which we did not attend, and of course the nightly piano player. We also had an afternoon of cheese tasting. We always enjoyed exploring Amsterdam, especially the canals, but this time we wanted to visit the Keukenhof Gardens (tulip garden), the worlds' largest flower garden, also known as the Garden of Europe. Keukenhof Gardens is in Lisse, South Holland near Rotterdam, where our ship docked & offered an excursion to. Although it was early in the season, it was still an amazing sight to see. While in Rotterdam, we also visited the town of Gouda with its well kept interesting architectual buildings from yesteryears. We then went onto Antwerp, Belgium where the weather was quite windy, but we still manage to enjoy the area. The Belgium city hall & train station are a few places to visit if you like to take pictures of the well kept buildings. Unfortunately the city hall was under renovation with a "picture" meshed cover of what the city hall would have looked like. We also stopped along the way to visit the beautiful architecture & canals in Ghent & Middleburg, along with the historic town of Willemstad, before sailing back to Amsterdam. In summary, we had an enjoyable trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The cabins are clean and spacious for a river boat. We had a problem with dinner and the service of one crew member in particular, but the Cruise Director and dining manager went way above and beyond to make it right. The breakfast ... Read More
The cabins are clean and spacious for a river boat. We had a problem with dinner and the service of one crew member in particular, but the Cruise Director and dining manager went way above and beyond to make it right. The breakfast and lunch were great, but we’re not much into the hour and a half dinner every night, though the food was mostly good. We were happy with the value of the excursions, both paid and included. There was an informative port talk the evening before we docked in each port, which was very helpful. There was a cheese tasting on board in the Netherlands, which was interesting. Embarkation and disembarkation was easy and stress free. We got back to the airport at a good time- not too early to have to wait around for hours Overall it was an excellent trip and I’ll definitely travel with Avalon again and recommend to others. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Globus Friends & Family opportunity. Spring was a perfect time for our 1st river cruise. The Avalon Vista was very, very nice. The itinerary was wonderful starting & ending in Amsterdam so we stayed a few extra days both before ... Read More
Globus Friends & Family opportunity. Spring was a perfect time for our 1st river cruise. The Avalon Vista was very, very nice. The itinerary was wonderful starting & ending in Amsterdam so we stayed a few extra days both before & after the cruise. The private organ recital in Willemstad was exceptional. Being behind the Delta Pan Barrage with a local quide was so educational. Every guide was excellent & truly loved their city & history. A wonderful time, great staff, too much (not complaining) really good food. Comfortable accommodations both our cabin & all the public spaces. The staff were very well trained, very helpful, knowledgeable, courteous. The cruise directory, Tibor, made all the varied arrangements look so easy, ie; added guides, added slow walker group. The coach drivers were amazing drivers on the narrow roads, small parking spaces. Always felt very safe. Again the guides answered varied questions, knew the history, had perfect English & loved what they did. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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