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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We wanted something more interactive and small. Meeting almost everyone was one of the more surprising positives. The food was high quality, local style cuisines for each area and standard foods if you chose. On a 14 day cruise, we were ... Read More
We wanted something more interactive and small. Meeting almost everyone was one of the more surprising positives. The food was high quality, local style cuisines for each area and standard foods if you chose. On a 14 day cruise, we were able to do 17 different excursions. All but two of these were included. Having everything included was burden free. Flights, transfers, tips - even for the excursions. The ship was beautiful, the room spacious with surprising space for all our clothes and a great bathroom/ shower. We especially loved the floor to ceiling windows that opened for a balcony feel that was perfection while keeping added space in the room. Staff and crew were informative courteous and hardworking. The guides in the excursions were very informative and knowledgeable about the areas. Even though we lost two nights in the ship because of river (no rain) all in Amsterdam at beginning and Avalon handle it with perfection. We WILL be going again Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Wow, greeted with champagne, h, ow good is that. My advice to travelers is get to Paris a day early so you are not stressed by the travel. They pick you up at the Airport, they take your luggage, bring you to a staging place ( Hotel ... Read More
Wow, greeted with champagne, h, ow good is that. My advice to travelers is get to Paris a day early so you are not stressed by the travel. They pick you up at the Airport, they take your luggage, bring you to a staging place ( Hotel Pullman) and you wait several hours to take the bus to the meals were( for a cruise ship) bathroom. Real live orchids, a window wall that opens to a French Balcony. A very comfortable bed. We went to the lounge to here Caty our cruise director, tell us about the ship, the one time emergency drill and other features. Everybody loved Caty, everyday and evening she was there for our concerns and questions, thank you. We found out that we had 95 people cruising on the Tapestry II, not a lot when we have been on cruise ships with thousands. Our dining experience was fantastic, Gabriel our server made sure our wine glasses were full, take a drink and he would top it off. Thank you Gabriel for taking such good care of us. Just to mention, when we came on board the Matrei d asked if anyone had allergies, my wife is allergic to shell fish, informed him and at every meal he stopped by to see what she ordered. Caring and considering the welfare of the guests made us feel we made the right choice. Hard to be on a very personal cruise and not make new friends, we were grateful to the many new ones we made. The tours are many and fun, from the American cemetery at Normandy, Van Gogh, Monet, Paris and the many others we took, very interesting and knowledgeable guides. Would do it again. Thanks to the Captain for his singing New York, New York in French. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was a chartered lesbian cruise by Olivia.com and we found all the facilities on the ship, the crew and the schedule was top notch. Our embarkation and disembarkation were seamless, the ship itself was an interesting part of the ... Read More
This was a chartered lesbian cruise by Olivia.com and we found all the facilities on the ship, the crew and the schedule was top notch. Our embarkation and disembarkation were seamless, the ship itself was an interesting part of the journey with tours of the wheel house and the galley. Our cabin was very suitable for all of our needs and had complimentary Ocetane luxury French toiletries (nice touch). Bed super-comfortable, we slept well throughout. The sailing was at an easy pace passing plenty of French countryside and villages and at one point rounding a bend in the Seine to see a castle appear before us. There were I think 120 of us on the ship yet it always felt spacious with lots of opportunity for seclusion and romantic moments as well as areas where people congregated and shared in the wider company of fellow travellers. The dining experience was advertised as 5 star and there was some discussion as to what 5 star actually means. Certainly the range and quality of food was extraordinary (and irresistible), the dining experience with paired wines was interesting and the service warm and friendly. Our only disappointment was that the vast range of French cuisine was not really represented in the main menu, this being a European menu rather than French, nevertheless, we were amply compensated by what was available. I'd have to lump together the entertainment, activities and excursions together and say these were predominantly provided by our charter company Olivia as this was a specialised trip. However the on-board tour guide was excellent and as we were looking for more intellectually stimulating trip, this was very satisfying. Our service was excellent throughout and we would not hesitate to use Oliva and Avalon again. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
Been on about 50 total cruises but only 2 Riverboat sailings. The first riverboat was 2 1/2 years ago on Viking's Pride, a 10 night Tulip Time sailing Amsterdam to Amsterdam. It was really only a 7 night sailing as three nights we ... Read More
Been on about 50 total cruises but only 2 Riverboat sailings. The first riverboat was 2 1/2 years ago on Viking's Pride, a 10 night Tulip Time sailing Amsterdam to Amsterdam. It was really only a 7 night sailing as three nights we were docked in Amsterdam using the ship like a hotel. The latest was an 11 night Avalon Waterways cruise tour on their Visionary. The tour included 2 nights in Prague at the Old Town Marriott, then a 7 night sailing from Nuremberg to Budapest ending with 2 night at the Inter-Continental in Budapest. Our Avalon Sailing was a charter but pretty much everything is what anyone booking with Avalon Waterways would receive. Let start with the ships themselves. I liked the Avalon Visionary better than the Viking Pride. It was smaller holding 128 vs. 178 and had a better decor. Lacking though were drawers in the cabins. Lots of shelves and cabinet storage but no drawers. Bathrooms goes to the Visionary as well. Bigger and nice layout. Beds were set up as a Queen on both ship but the Visionary had a thick topper, so no center crack like on the Pride. On the Visionary we had a Cat. E, minimum rate, which was much nicer than the minimum rate cabins we saw on the Viking Pride. We upgraded to a Cat. D on Viking's Pride because of no hotel beds in minimum. I understand Vikings new ships have comparable minimum rate cabins to the Visionary. Keep in mind that riverboat cabins are much smaller than those on large cruise ships. You spend very little time in your cabin other than sleeping. When going through locks you are requested to have your sliding doors closed in the cabins with them. Also when docked you might be right against another ship as they often dock two or three abreast. You have to walk through one or two other ships to get to the pier. Personally I would not pay for more than a minimum rate cabin as long as it had "hotel style" beds. Most cabins are about the same size in all categories except the suites which are still not that large. Save your money and book minimum rate cabin. They are always the first to go. Food goes to Viking hands down. Viking did 4 course table service lunches equal to those in a fine hotel, the same for dinner. Avalon did buffet lunches with one item that could be ordered from the kitchen. Most passengers didn't even know that unless asked for a menu. I felt the food on Avalon reminded me of large cruise ship buffets and pretty much the same everyday. Dinner, while offering table service were not as elegant as Viking. Wines and beer were freely poured on both at dinner. I am not sure now that Viking has added 24 new ships in just two years if their food and service is up to par with that offered in the Spring of 2011. The Visionary offered coffees, teas and other beverages 24/7 as did Viking but Avalon always had lots of fruit and homemade cookies set out as well. It was hit or miss with Viking for snacks. Both lines offer included tours in port as well as optional tours. I felt Avalon offered a lot more optional tours. I am not sure if this was because of a different itinerary or not. Both did a great job with their tours. All in all I would go on either line again. While pricey as compared to Ocean Liner Cruises I really enjoyed both riverboat sailings. It is a totally different experience and one that I am liking more and more. It is a great way to see Europe. I just wish they would offer more 10 or 11 day sailings. Most sailings tend to be either 7 or 14 nights on the riverboat itself. I have always felt 7 nights is too short and 14 nights a bit too long on board a ship or riverboat. Giving riverboat cruising a try. I think you'll enjoy them as much as I do.   Read Less
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