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810 Avalon Waterways Europe - River Cruise Reviews

The service staff were the best part of the cruise. The food and wine etc were very good. However, I found the sheer numbers of people -148 or thereabouts - quite overwhelming. The ship didn't get past Passau and we were berthed there ... Read More
The service staff were the best part of the cruise. The food and wine etc were very good. However, I found the sheer numbers of people -148 or thereabouts - quite overwhelming. The ship didn't get past Passau and we were berthed there for 3 days with our 'view' being a stone wall. That's not what I paid for. Why was there no contingency plan? Our river cruise turned into hours of being herded about on coach tours. I believe it was known from the outset that we wouldn't get past Passau. There were too many early rises and way too much walking. The tours, although good, were often too long and the guides too longwinded. i wear hearing aids and found the audio devices totally unsuitable for these. I got a flippant reply when I mentioned this to the TD. The wires and box are cumbersome and annoying when you're managing camera, walking stick, umbrella etc. I had a fall while on an earlier tour before joining the ship, and the after effects eventually precluded me from doing the Prague food and culture walk. When I approached the TD regarding a refund, he refused on the grounds that I'd pre-paid the trip from home. Penalised for being organised and saving him some paperwork. The overall atmosphere was impersonal and regimented. I definitely would not recommend Avalon based on my experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was not our first river cruise in Europe. We looked a cruise that hit the places we wanted to visit at the times we wanted to go. There were several options to choose from. We then looked for a smaller boat with fewer passengers and ... Read More
This was not our first river cruise in Europe. We looked a cruise that hit the places we wanted to visit at the times we wanted to go. There were several options to choose from. We then looked for a smaller boat with fewer passengers and larger staterooms. Avalon fit the bill. The front and and back end of the tour included stays in 4 star hotels in Budapest and Bucharest, The hotels were located near a number of tourist sites we had a chance to visit. The organized tours were great with extremely knowledgeable guides with good language skills. Each day had options for passengers to choose from. On board bikes were available for passenger use. My wife need a doctor's attention and the ship arranged for one to visit her and then ran a crew member out to purchase the prescriptions. The charge for the 30 minute visit and drugs totalled 80 Euros. Avalon was less formal at meas than on other river boats we had cruised on and we liked that. All in all we will book them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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
Firstly a disclaimer this is our first river cruise although we have done a number of cruises on small ships Azamara, Oceana. We embarked in Arle and then went downstream 1 hour to the Camarge. The active excursion by bike was great. ... Read More
Firstly a disclaimer this is our first river cruise although we have done a number of cruises on small ships Azamara, Oceana. We embarked in Arle and then went downstream 1 hour to the Camarge. The active excursion by bike was great. Day 2 back to Arle ( where we had independently spent a day) the excursion was great hiking up a limestone mountain and seeing a Van Gogh audiovisual presentation inside a building with images projected onto limestone. Day 3 meandered upstream to Avignon and went to an amazing chocolate factory. So overall the excursions were good to great.. The food was not impressive compared to the other small cruise ships we had been on. One meal the menu offering was a rack of lamb but this turned out to be 2 lamb chops. Several passengers asked the waiter for the rest of their rack of lamb. The cabin we chose the highest level stateroom was nice. Entertainment on board was very limited. One night they had a great group of performers with spanish guitar, and 2 dancers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise initially because we were attracted to the itinerary which included Monet and Van Gogh homes and the Normandy beach Memorials. We chose Avalon because the rooms were spacious and bed faced out on sliding doors instead ... Read More
We chose this cruise initially because we were attracted to the itinerary which included Monet and Van Gogh homes and the Normandy beach Memorials. We chose Avalon because the rooms were spacious and bed faced out on sliding doors instead of balconies limiting inside space. We were so pleasantly surprised! All of the cruise employees spoke English, were very pleasant and helpful and spent their day making sure everything was well taken care of. Our cruise director Jean Loup was always available, and coordinated all of the excursions with attention to detail to assure that we arrived early so that we dodged the crowds and all of the guides were knowledgeable and pleasant! To the very last day even when we left the ship he worked tirelessly to make sure all went smoothly! Our room was just as advertised, it and the ship were immaculately clean, the food was outstanding and the ride was smooth as silk! Special shout out to Octavian, Simone, Valentin, and George on the wait staff they were always there if we needed something! Our only negatives were not against Avalon. France as is much of Europe is not an accessible trip, it is difficult at times to navigate, though Avalon did twice hook us up with so all trolleys which got us to the top of Etratat’ and to the top of Montmartre, which we would have never seen otherwise! And, Paris was like any Metropolitan City difficult on your own (when you are of a certain age). All in all Thank you Avalon for making our trip the best it could be! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we had never been to the previous communist countries.or cruise included a tour everyday that were very informative and interesting. The guides spoke excellent English. Our cabin was the lowest you could buy ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been to the previous communist countries.or cruise included a tour everyday that were very informative and interesting. The guides spoke excellent English. Our cabin was the lowest you could buy and it was very nice with a decent bathroom. We loved the dining experience. Breakfast and lunch were buffet with good choices of entree. Dinner was served off a menu, we had excellent service at all meals. Great wine was provided to compliment your food choices. Entertainment was a keyboard and singer which was fine. The ports were good and explanatory of the countries. This is not a trip for children but perfect for history lovers and foodies.I would go on another river cruise to a different area.our cruise offered bikes you could take for a spin. We also had a small whirlpool which was heated and we enjoyed a few times. 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
Had a lot of friends who love the river cruise experience and thought we would give it a try. Service was very good. The staff works extremely hard to make the guests have a wonderful experience. If you like structure and and a clean ... Read More
Had a lot of friends who love the river cruise experience and thought we would give it a try. Service was very good. The staff works extremely hard to make the guests have a wonderful experience. If you like structure and and a clean well run experience this is it. Very little hassle with transportation, travel, transfers etc. The cabin was very nice. Excellent bed, bath and staff. Good Storage and everything you need. You would not need a cabin upgrade to have a great trip. There are great viewing spots from lounges, decks , dining room and other spaces. Ship is small and it easy to find a spot to enjoy the views other that from the room. The included shore excursions were OK but not a highlight. Some of the guides were good and made the trip interesting but we had several that were boring and not worth the time. The cruise director and cruise line did not do a very good job of explaining other options that are in port. Very little information on shopping areas, and other attractions. Do your homework before you go so that you won't miss what you want to see. The tours had a great emphasis on history and rulers. There was a lot of repeated information from one tour to the next. Easy way to see Europe. Yes the ship docks within walking distance of most towns. Easy. There is a lot of walking to really enjoy the towns and cities we visited. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first river cruise. AVALON was one of three recommended by our travel agent that had openings. We came into this with an open mind. Have done many (10) ocean cruises. We loved the intimacy of a smaller group of fellow ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. AVALON was one of three recommended by our travel agent that had openings. We came into this with an open mind. Have done many (10) ocean cruises. We loved the intimacy of a smaller group of fellow passengers. Missed entertainment at night. They did have some local singers, and a little musical ensemble come in twice. It was adequate. One suggestion would be to start dinner service at 6pm, instead of 7pm. By the time we were finished, it was 9pm and we were tired from the days activities. I loved the little lounge at the back of the ship that had the great coffee machine, juices, and pastries/cookies for the early risers. Also the tables sat 4; easy to talk, play cards, etc. The staff was great. Our cruise director was awesome. All shore excursions were super also. Price was a little high. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Envision is a new ship very nice. Cabin with confortable beds good bathroom great storage and huge TV. Wifi excellent all time. Cabin staff perfect work. Food was variated and always very good in all meals. Staff in bars and dinning room ... Read More
Envision is a new ship very nice. Cabin with confortable beds good bathroom great storage and huge TV. Wifi excellent all time. Cabin staff perfect work. Food was variated and always very good in all meals. Staff in bars and dinning room very nice and quick to serve. Cruise director Maria was really helpful and always present. Captain show up very often kind and with good sense humor. Seems always happy. The cities and places visited along Danube well chosen and all with interesting sites to visit. Very interesting presentation about river locks connecting Danube to Rhine about one hour a professor who came on board. Very interesting at end bought the book he had written about this matter. Did already cruise on Rhine river from Basel to Amsterdam with another company also very good but I really recommend Avalon Envision. Hope soon travel again with them. PS entertainment too much American music in Europe cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Every step of the way on this Danube River Cruise with Avalon was beyond expectations. They managed everything effortlessly (which we all know isn't easy but they brought perfection to managing everything). From meeting us at the ... Read More
Every step of the way on this Danube River Cruise with Avalon was beyond expectations. They managed everything effortlessly (which we all know isn't easy but they brought perfection to managing everything). From meeting us at the airport, transporting us to the hotel, to the ship and at the end, the same process in reverse was flawless. The ship was beautiful, functional and spotless. Cabin attendants were so personable, friendly and efficient. The food service rated the highest of any cruise we've been on--which total seven. Excellent quality, wide variety of choices, everything was fresh, delicious and appealing. Food service personnel = 10+ regarding attention to serving guests, professionalism, personable, courteous. Entertainment was great, lively, fun, so enjoyable to just sit and listen or to join in with dancing, singing, etc. The ports and shore excursions were the best we've experienced in all of our other cruises. The excursion guides elevated the experience because of their expertise, knowledge, personalities, communication skills, etc., etc. Our tour director was absolutely excellent -- an extraordinary personality, professional, knowledgeable, helpful and entertaining on top of everything. We are already looking at another Avalon cruise for 2020 and plan to book it in a few weeks. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
A European river cruise has been on the bucket list for years and we (7 family members) finally made IT happen! Several of us have taken numerous ocean cruises in the past and enjoyed them so we have something to compare this cruise to. ... Read More
A European river cruise has been on the bucket list for years and we (7 family members) finally made IT happen! Several of us have taken numerous ocean cruises in the past and enjoyed them so we have something to compare this cruise to. Without a doubt, our Avalon Panorama cruise was special! Everything was so well-organized and the ease of shore excursions (without lengthy queuing) was so appreciated. We were delighted with the "extra" dinner concert at Engers and the nighttime tour of the Rheinstein Castle. Actually, all the excursions were top notch - guides were so knowledgeable and being able to select our tours not only based on interest but physical ability was greatly appreciated. BUT, the most enjoyable excursions were those in the dining room. Our tour guides, Rado, Gabriel, Emil and the delightful Maitre'd, Zjolt, made our evenings as pleasant as the day excursions. We were fortunate to have been able to dine at the same table (except one night) and were treated to an amazingly pleasant and efficient staff! The food was excellent - especially the "German" night! Breakfast and lunch buffets were fantastic - such a variety each day made the meals memorable! We crossed off "A European river cruise" from our bucket lists but added it back on to specify an Avalon Danube cruise next! Oh, yes! We will be back! 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 chose this cruise because it was a great way to see eastern European destinations that we wanted to see. Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. We enjoyed the range of excursions from active to more sedentary.The river cruise offered the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a great way to see eastern European destinations that we wanted to see. Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. We enjoyed the range of excursions from active to more sedentary.The river cruise offered the opportunity to unpack once and be in one room for 7 days as opposed to a different hotel every night. Finally, we felt well cared for by cruise staff who gave us guidance and help in visiting sites on our own or in excursions if we chose. The captain was very accommodating in answering questions about the ship's operations. The cruise director was knowledgeable and always ready to help. The dining room staff tried very hard to please, and were friendly and enjoyable to converse with. I did not feel that the hot tub was well cared for. It was unattractive and did not promote the use of the facility. Also the deck furniture was very uncomfortable. It was hard to operate for lounging positions and did not contour well to one's back. 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
This was our first, but not out last, river cruise. My husband and I loved everything about cruising with Avalon. It's interesting to hear people talk about other lines. We would choose Avalon again without hesitating. The service ... Read More
This was our first, but not out last, river cruise. My husband and I loved everything about cruising with Avalon. It's interesting to hear people talk about other lines. We would choose Avalon again without hesitating. The service was GREAT. We might go for an upper cabin next time. It's true that you don't spend so much time in your room, but I did not realize that the room would be below the site line of the window. Next time... :)) I want to give a shout out the chef and his team. We had a special meal and they simply could not have been more accommodating. I don't know about the other special requests, but the vegan meals prepared for us were spectacular. The first night we got white rice and they asked how we liked the dinner. We said it was great but we preferred brown rice and whole grain. Done! They were fabulous. Thanks again to the chef and his gang! The sporty excursions did not disappoint. The biking, hiking, and canoeing were better than we expected. Thank you Avalon. See you again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
There is so much history in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Czeck Reublc. I have neverbeen on a river cruise. IT was great to see scenery on both sides, experience the locks,have a great cruise director Hendrick,, great meals and ... Read More
There is so much history in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Czeck Reublc. I have neverbeen on a river cruise. IT was great to see scenery on both sides, experience the locks,have a great cruise director Hendrick,, great meals and entertainment. I enjoyed seeingthe sites of the making of the Sound of Music movie. I also enjoyed the horse farm. It was greatly entertaining. The shore excursions were very educational and entertaining. Hendrick, our cruise director, and all of the crew were very friendly and efficient. Ourmeals were great, including wine, etc. Our french chief did a great job. I have beenon ocean cruises, but this was much more personal. Sitting at different tables formeals helped me to get acquainted with several other passengers which was a plusfor one traveling alone. The music and other entertainment in the lounge was great. My room was wonderful and I had a great view. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our third Avalon cruise. We had done the Rhine and the Seine cruises and loved them, so of course we stayed with Avalon. If you haven't done the Rhine, this tour does go by the Rhine castles and Lorelei Rock. I think that ... Read More
This was our third Avalon cruise. We had done the Rhine and the Seine cruises and loved them, so of course we stayed with Avalon. If you haven't done the Rhine, this tour does go by the Rhine castles and Lorelei Rock. I think that is really the high point of the Rhine cruise. (Plus, the Rhine is more industrial, which this tour is defiantly more scenic) On this cruise, the ship sails on the Danube canal, Main River, Rhine canal and Mossel River. There is very little industry, so the scenery is just beautiful, especially the mountains on the Mossel with the vineyards. We did the tour extension and started in Prague. Since our plane was late, we only had one full day in Prague, and that really isn't enough in this awesome city. We did the Avalon tour as well as Hidden Treasures and the Folklore dinner. We enjoyed all of them. Avalon's hotel, Hilton, did not meet our expectations due to very noisy (think jackhammer) construction that takes place from 10 to 7 pm. Although it was a superior hotel with beautiful rooms, not being able to hold a conversation in our room due to noise was not acceptable. However, this was a wonderful cruise. It helped that we had a fantastic Austrian cruise direction, Helmut, who kept things moving with Swiss precision. Not only were his evening cruise briefings concise and funny, but he was always there to make sure that our local guides had us where we were supposed to be He did a superior job of organizing our transfers off the ship. The crew of the ship were excellent. Of course our cabins were spotless, as was the ship and dining areas. The meals were delicious. Breakfast was buffet, with any food you could imagine, including an omelet station, which was particularly popular. Lunch also offered a great selection. Dinner was 4-5 courses, and you have a choice for each course. They serve wine and beer with lunch and dinner, complimentary. The ship also served tea at 4:00 with baked goods and sandwiches. We found all the food fantastic! Our lounge singer was ok, but the entertainers they brought onboard were excellent. The Imagery II is a great ship. Avalon has made the rooms bigger than they were formerly; there is more room in the shower now and a little table by the french balcony. They have scented oil diffusers in the bathroom, but took them out at my request due to my allergies. The rooms on the mid deck all have the sliding glass door that runs the length of your room. This is wonderful when you are up early and sailing into a port. You can sit in bed and watch the world go by. The lower levels do not have these windows, and our friends on the lower deck would see swan asses sail by. However, our friend on the lower decks felt like they were rarely in their rooms, which is generally true. We did all of the included and extra tours that Avalon offered. We enjoyed all the included tours. We would have skipped the "VINEYARDS, VILLAGES & VIEWS OF THE MOSELLE" because we went to a former nunnery that didn't exist, and it was meaningless. However the first half of the tour was interesting in that we saw how sparkling wine was made. Our tour guide knew a lot of information about growing wine grapes, and that was interesting. Ports were exceptionally beautiful with medieval half timbered houses. Wurzberg is a stand out for the bishop's residence and Trier for its Roman ruins. We would have liked to spend more time in those towns. Bamberg is a breathtaking beautiful town. I like that Avalon now offers activities to suit different fitness levels. We did the average group, which was usually around 2-4 miles of walking. There was a gentle walking group for those who didn't want to walk that much. There is a fast paced group that goes on hikes to castles and bike rides. People seemed to enjoy having neat options. I am very glad that we did this cruise. It was relaxing and enjoyable. 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
On the Rhone and the Saone in France. No big noisy cities, just quaint towns and villages, interesting experiences, and pastoral views. Avalon's ships have the most spacious staterooms with plenty of storage and deluxe bathrooms. ... Read More
On the Rhone and the Saone in France. No big noisy cities, just quaint towns and villages, interesting experiences, and pastoral views. Avalon's ships have the most spacious staterooms with plenty of storage and deluxe bathrooms. The crew and cruise director were all outstanding - so friendly and helpful. A very relaxing atmosphere. Love the excursions where you actually DO something - visit to an olive farm to see how olive oil is made, then sampling a variety of different olive oils; visit to vineyards and a chateau winery with a wine tasting; onboard cheese and mustard tasting. Onboard entertainment of modern flamenco group was so much fun. I would recommend this cruise to anyone who is tired of seeing big cities with lots of monuments and statues and wants to see the real places where people live and work. I especially love that there are so many choices of excursions - something for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As a former travel agent, I have done extensive research and constant certification in many cruise lines and land travel suppliers. Avalon has been at the top of my list for some time. Although it is not the highest end in luxury, it was ... Read More
As a former travel agent, I have done extensive research and constant certification in many cruise lines and land travel suppliers. Avalon has been at the top of my list for some time. Although it is not the highest end in luxury, it was every bit a luxury experience for my husband and myself. First let me tell you that the staff could not have been more attentive and knowledgeable. They were always at hand to help with any needs or wants. Our Cruise Director was heads above others and she was fun, informative and invested in the experience she gives all clients on board her ship as well as when we were on land. The ship was very well appointed and was comfortable no matter where you were on board. The main lounge had lots of seating and the floor to ceiling windows allowed us to always see where we were while still enjoying lectures, or entertainment. There were a number of areas for gathering and all were clean and comfortable. Always stocked with snacks and coffee and tea bars. Access was easy to all areas. The upper deck was great for relaxing and watching the scenery go by. And we had a great cookout up on the deck. Very fun for all! Our cabin was roomy with great storage in the closet and under the bed. The bathroom was bright and easy to maneuver with the two of us. Now it is not what I would call oversized but my husband and I found it to be comfortable. We had a small sofa with a round table and a comfortable chair. There was also a desk and chair giving us good counter space. The bed was amazing!! Was king size and the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept in. I have trouble with my hips especially after extensive walking during the day, and I never had pain at all in the bed. The floor to ceiling panorama windows were fabulous for viewing although we did not spend a great deal of time in our cabin as there were so many fun people to meet. The dining experience was great! The food and selections were fantastic. The main dining room was inviting and clean and easy to find a table. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style and were loaded with options and great selections. Dinner was a four course meal but you did not have to select all four courses. Was great that you could make your selections. My husband is very much a foodie and he loved each new meal even more than the last. I tend to be a bit picky but found many options and loved everything that I dined on. In the Panorama Lounge, at the same time that meals were served in the dining room, there was always light selections that were every bit as delicious as what was being served in the dining room. Afternoon tea was delightful and always had a wide selection of finger sandwiches, fruit and yummy desserts. In the rear lounge, there was always coffee, tee and a selection of cookies and desserts of the day. The entertainment was exceptional on board the ship. In the evening, there was a piano player that had a great variety of music. He was talented and able to supplement his piano playing with background instrumentation that was recorded. He kept us dancing every night! He also played during lunch and tea time in the Panorama Lounge daily. We had several entertainment opportunities from people brought on board for our pleasure. Several lectures that were informative and fun (especially the beer tasting). We had a Cabaret singer that not only had a powerful singing voice but was hilarious in-between songs. We had two gentlemen come in that were top musicians and each played about 30 different instruments. They were phenomenal and also had a good comedy routine in-between entertaining us with their musical prowess. The shore excursions were great. Informative and historical combined to keep us interested and the locations were amazing. We saw and experienced so much with each excursion. There were excursions included everyday and we also did some that we added on. Each one was different than the next but kept us interested and amazed. Avalon did a great job with each one and we were taken in very comfortable and clean motor coaches to each destination. We were given audio instruments that allowed our guide to speak to us giving us the history and interesting information about the sites we were visiting. Overall we were very happy with the choices that were made. The only enrichment activity that I would have liked would be cooking with the chef or some type of cooking lecture. I have relived all of our experiences everyday since we returned home through the thousand pictures that we took. I look forward to the next river cruise and it will definitely be on Avalon - they did not disappoint in any way! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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