I did not take this cruise to london and went west from budapest to amsterdam. it all started in budapest. i arrived one day early, just in case the luggage didn't appear on my british air flight from miami arriving on september ... Read More
I did not take this cruise to london and went west from budapest to amsterdam. it all started in budapest. i arrived one day early, just in case the luggage didn't appear on my british air flight from miami arriving on september 25. It gave me time to meet a friend who took me on a walking tour and we had the greatest sweet and coffee on this little side street.
I stayed at the marriott hotel and had a view of a lifetime...facing the bridge and every famous building in budapest! the next day the meeting locale was at the intercontinental hotel, also on the river that separates buda from pest. i believe that the only negative of the entire trip, looking back at this point.. Was on the first day with avalon and took place at the get-together meeting at the intercontinental. the luggage was checked in and when i asked the agent in charge a question about the embarkation she said: "i can't answer your question...i am just here to check you in." she provided no happy "hello and welcome to avalon".
This was quite disappointing as was the room where we met. there weren't enough tables and seats and no one met us from avalon. oh well...everything can't be great....maybe they will change this in the future.
What made up for this poor beginning was the ship, the cabin, the dining experience, the entertainment, all of the superb service and we had a wonderful cruise director, sylvia, who lived just outside of amsterdam in the netherlands.
The designer of the staterooms needs to be congratulated as well...all of the beds faced the sliding glass doors...you could see the sights by opening the curtains and then by opening the door. they provided all of us with a clear view of the countryside from your comfortable bed.. even the soaps and shampoo were superb...occitane...
In the restaurant i always sat with the same waiter: pugi...what a super representative for avalon. Not that the other servers weren't great...but, pugi was the best.
Have i praised this cruise too much? this is just the beginning. and i should mention that the shore excursions were great because they were geared for everyone. if a traveller had trouble walking, they could take the green gentle walk and even use walking sticks, or maybe the fast walkers would take the red guide for some great exercise as well as seeing the sites. i also was impressed with each guide on the excursions as headphones were supplied to everyone daily.
Bottom line: i was never so impressed with a riverboat tour which travelled west from budapest to amsterdam. the avalon vista was spotless. what an experience.
But i do have a second suggestion (in addition to the meet and greet at the beginning of the trip)...the gymnasium needs one more piece of machinery now that everyone is so into health and body. the best elliptical machine on the market is manufactured by lifefitness and it would complete the gym since they have all lifefitness machines already. viking does not even offer any exercise equipment or even a small room for exercise. i was told on the phone, when i inquired about an exercise facility: "our clients are older and don't want a fitness center!" i took total offense and hung up the phone. kudos to avalon again. they have the beginnings of a proper facility...now all that is needed is to enhance the exercise equipment experience by adding the elliptical which more and more people are now using.
But,i should add that late at night while reading in the reading and lounge area...i had my cup of coffee and two cookies( the greatest fresh cookies). what's two cookies when i used the treadmill for one hour and did all of the walking on the tours.
And finally, disembarkation was so perfectly planned, it was just like one of the large ocean liners.
Bottom line #2: do i recommend avalon vista?...a definite yes. It's a great value for the money. The excitement you will experience will be happiness and decision you make as you plan your next avalon adventure somewhere else in the world.
I am sold on avalon. and i thought that some of the other lines were okay. This is beyond okay...try it...you'll like it! Read Less