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Sail Date: June 2019
I had experienced three other Avalon Cruises and thoroughly enjoyed every one. I'm hooked! The ship, room, service, food, entertainment, excursions, and crew were all exceptional! Cruise Director, Maria Pascual, made it the best ... Read More
I had experienced three other Avalon Cruises and thoroughly enjoyed every one. I'm hooked! The ship, room, service, food, entertainment, excursions, and crew were all exceptional! Cruise Director, Maria Pascual, made it the best cruise yet! She accommodated the needs and wishes of everyone with her beautiful smile and "will do" attitude! Every excursion was outstanding! Ayu and Monika were so precious with their smiles and great service in the Panorama Lounge. Our waiter/bartender, Radu aimed to please with this wonderful laugh, sense of humor and special service. He remembered my drink choice and made it perfectly. We looked forward to dinner with him every evening! His protege, Alex, worked hard to make the dinner perfect. Loved his smile and genuine desire to please. He's a keeper! The Chef and his crew were incredible! AND they prepared all that exceptionally delicious food in such a short time and small space. The floral arrangements throughout the ship were gorgeous! The entertainment was so much fun! The pianist was so talented and accommodating. I also truly enjoyed the local musicians. Our Captain was a pleasant surprise! He could keep us on course and play music so well. What a treat! The Avalon Artistry II Captain, Crew and Crew Director provided the perfect river cruise. Thank you to all! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
As strange as it sounds, this cruise was actually a late addition to our European trip. We had booked an ocean cruise that started and ended in Amsterdam last year and, since the cost of the flight from Canada was significant, we allowed ... Read More
As strange as it sounds, this cruise was actually a late addition to our European trip. We had booked an ocean cruise that started and ended in Amsterdam last year and, since the cost of the flight from Canada was significant, we allowed ourselves some extra time (two weeks plus) in Europe beforehand to see and do other things. We had previously considered a river cruise and the Rhine itinerary was one of the ones that most appealed to us. When the idea of adding a second cruise to our trip was proposed, we initially balked at the cost but then, reasoning that we would have to pay for hotel and transportation to these sites regardless -- plus this way we got food, tours and entertainment -- we decided it made some sense. We were able to find a sailing with space on dates that not only worked for us but also delivered us back to Amsterdam a day before our other cruise. We enjoyed the cruise very much. The shore excursions were great and we appreciated that they made use of earbuds and transmitters so we didn't have any problem hearing our tour guides. Our room was comfortable, the food onboard was good and the staff was great. We only had limited time the day before embarkation to explore our departure city (Basel, Switzerland) and were glad we took the optional tour of the city. Basel is a lovely city and it would have been a shame not to have seen some of its highlights. Embarkation went smoothly although that was, in part, because I had sent an email inquiry to the ship a day or two ahead and sorted out some confusion around when and where the tour would begin, what to do with our luggage, etc. (The information on the website indicated, in error, that hotel pick-up was part of the tour. Once this misinformation was identified, the Cruise Director agreed to reimburse us for the cost of a cab to the ship where the tour actually began.) Disembarkation was pretty seamless too -- and we were lucky that our trip allowed for some extra time in Amsterdam beyond that included with the cruise. While onboard, we stayed on the first deck, meaning we did not have the huge windows that Avalon prides itself on. We knew that and were fine with it. Although we may have been a tad envious of those on the other two decks who enjoyed that feature, we didn't really miss it and, given how much of the time we were not even in our cabin, I'm not sure the extra expense would have been worth it. In cabin, our TV service included a choice of free movies, which was nice. Free internet was also included with the cruise but the network was quite slow at times. As far as the ship itself goes, we have no complaints. The Vista is not a super fancy ship but it is pleasant and comfortable. The hot tub on the Skydeck was quite small but, as it was a bit on the cool side, I only know of a couple of people that ever used it. A bit later in the season more people might be tempted to use it and I really think it could only accommodate about 4 people comfortably and 6 if on very friendly terms. The ship had a nice little room at the rear on the third floor where coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cookies as well as other snacks could be found. On hand were some books and games, making it a nice quiet spot to relax away from one's cabin or the lounge. Also included with the cruise was wine, beer and pop with lunch and dinner. My husband may have gotten more of our money's worth from that than I, however, for other drinks it was nice to have a true "Happy Hour" each day with half price drinks. We enjoyed every port we visited and found the shore excursions to be very good however it may be worth noting for anyone who thinks a River Cruise is necessarily super relaxing that, unless you opt not to participate in the shore excursions, there can be a LOT of walking (and on cobblestones)! We loved every excursion and would not have missed them but, overall, "restful" does not describe the trip. The only negative I would have regarding the food is that, on embarkation day, some of the offerings for lunch looked to be a bit past their best (wilted lettuce and such). Thankfully, that was not representative of the rest of the trip and the wait staff was very patient and accommodating with special requests during dinner. Standard onboard entertainment through lunch and dinner was a pianist. He was very good if maybe a bit under-appreciated. There were just a few nights (3?) when other entertainers performed but all were excellent. It would have been nice to have had someone special like that more of the nights. Although I know that a few first time River Cruisers (like us) on this trip immediately said they were converts and would only do these now instead of Ocean Cruises, we did not feel that way. Personally, I rather like having some "off" (sea) days included in the mix but the River Cruise is still an experience I enjoyed very much and would gladly repeat if another opportunity presented itself. Avalon itself was very good with all arrangements and tours being handled smoothly and professionally. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Recommendation of Travel Agent and research we did. Everything about the Avalon experience was great. No complaints ... except wanting a bit warmer weather. Food was very good. All members of the crew were very polite and fun to be ... Read More
Recommendation of Travel Agent and research we did. Everything about the Avalon experience was great. No complaints ... except wanting a bit warmer weather. Food was very good. All members of the crew were very polite and fun to be around. The cruise director, Bart, was particularly good, funny and easy to work with. Good wines and beer and plenty of it ... if you desire. Good variety of foods throughout the cruise. The cruise itself was very smooth, a lot like being on dry land. Good excursions, with knowledgeable guides. The Black Forest guide was particularly good. The room at the end of our floor was nice for that quick cup of coffee and a cookie. We did not feel crowded at all. The eating and lounge areas were plenty big enough. This is one reason we picked Avalon ... the same size boat as others with fewer passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Our travel agent had been suggesting a river cruise for a while. We are not cruise ship people so hesitated to book this trip. We were happy we decided to go.The river cruise was wonderful. Nothing like what I think of when thinking of a ... Read More
Our travel agent had been suggesting a river cruise for a while. We are not cruise ship people so hesitated to book this trip. We were happy we decided to go.The river cruise was wonderful. Nothing like what I think of when thinking of a cruise. The small ship size and the attentive service was wonderful. Our biggest complaint was when we arrived at the ship. We could not find any information on what time we should arrive. We had a car service drive us to Basel. We arrived at the ship and there was no one to greet us, we didn't know where to go. A man standing on the side walk with in jeans and a sweatshirt no identification that he was with Avalon came over to take our bags. We asked where we were supposed to go and he just pointed at the ship. When we entered the ship, there was a desk where 2 people sat. Neither even looked up or greeted us. We had to ask if we were allowed on the ship. Then we had to ask how things would work as we had never been on a cruise before. Once we got to our room things went much more smoothly and for the rest of the trip there was plenty of information on how each day would work. the food is hot and abundant. The food buffet can be very congested as there really isn't a clear way to use the buffet. Some people made a line, some people just went straight to the hot food or the salad bar. But overall food was good. The excursions were well explained and informative. Our cruise director Hendrik was absolutely fantastic! Fun, Funny but at the same time so very organized. If we take another Avalon cruise we for sure would look to see what cruises on which Hendrik might be the Director Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Of course I was disappointed that we were only able to be onboard for 6 days of our 13, but Avalon and every crew member, especially our cruise director, went above and beyond to assure that our experience was a wonderful time! ... Read More
Of course I was disappointed that we were only able to be onboard for 6 days of our 13, but Avalon and every crew member, especially our cruise director, went above and beyond to assure that our experience was a wonderful time! Unprecedented drought in the Rhine Region this year halted river traffic and left many ships grounded. Somehow, Avalon was able to arrange alternate transportation, hotels, and meals so that we were able to enjoy almost all of the activities and excursions of the itinerary! The absolute highlight for me was the days we spent on board cruising the Mosel. The lovely scenery, quaint medieval villages, amazing castles, cathedrals, ancient architecture and beautiful vinyards made this one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The shore excursions were excellent, the food and service were top notch, and the accommodations arranged for us off ship were amazing! This was my first river cruise, but it will not be my last! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose Avalon because it sounded like a romantic, relaxing cruise with interesting excursions. They meet every high expectation. The dining food and service was excellent. There was many different choices on the menu which ... Read More
We chose Avalon because it sounded like a romantic, relaxing cruise with interesting excursions. They meet every high expectation. The dining food and service was excellent. There was many different choices on the menu which accommodated all diets. The lounge area was always comfortable with plenty of coffee, drinks, cookies and other treats! The late night entertainment was fun and energetic! All staff were friendly and helpful. Service was excellent throughout the ship. Our cabin was spacious and very accommodating. The bedding was perfect and allowed us a good night sleep every night. We had plenty of time to enjoy our excursions and we had extra time to shop and enjoy the locals. Our very favorite part of the trip was the romantic cruise up the Rhine watching all the castles from the top sun deck. With drink in hand and laid back on the lounge chair, we enjoyed the scenery. We would absolutely love to go on another Avalon cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
The cruise was great as far as the cities that we stopped in. We could walk off the boat and walk right into the town or if you wanted you could join an included guided tour in the a.m. and an additional excursion in the afternoon. And ... Read More
The cruise was great as far as the cities that we stopped in. We could walk off the boat and walk right into the town or if you wanted you could join an included guided tour in the a.m. and an additional excursion in the afternoon. And if you wanted you could just grab a bike off the ship and go for a bike ride. All stops had bike paths and all cities have bike trails. The logistics and the staff are terrific. We never had a single worry, everything was thought out and arranged for us which made the cruise very relaxing and enjoyable. The cruise director was very informed and educated us on the local areas as well as the history of each stop and knew each castle and its history! Food was gourmet! I particularly liked that with the meals you had a choice of the dining room or a more informal lunch in the upstairs lounge for a quicker/lighter meal. There was always coffee/infused water/juice available. Wine, beer or soda were included for lunch and dinner and they kept your glass from being empty! When we were in a town overnight, they brought on local talent for our entertainment. One night was classical violin and classical guitars and the other night was two musicians. The venue was very intimate and the entertainment was great. There was also a small dance floor which added a little fun with the live entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
After a wonderful tour in Switzerland organized by Globus , we wanted to relax on a river cruise. As we arrived early for embarkation ,the rooms were not ready ,but the ship crew were very helpful ,we waited in the lounge with good food ... Read More
After a wonderful tour in Switzerland organized by Globus , we wanted to relax on a river cruise. As we arrived early for embarkation ,the rooms were not ready ,but the ship crew were very helpful ,we waited in the lounge with good food and music played by Nikki on the piano . The captain , cruise director (Tibor ) and all crew members were very professional and efficient, explaining and distributing pamphlets showing how the lock system works . The housekeeping staff were very friendly and courteous , always asking if we needed any thing , taking care of our room and keeping it tidy with a personal touch . The catering was superb all the way ,from breakfast to dinner ,with a big choice and variety of goodies and drinks . The wait staff were also very professional and at the same time friendly and mindful, especially (Maria and Richard ) The shore excursions were also well organized and the cruise director took care of having a " gentle walker group " to see and enjoy the local tours. It was a memorable experience and hope to have another river cruise soon Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
I choose this trip as an add-on to a bus tour of Switzerland. The Imagery is a beautiful two year old ship with 128 person capacity had 104 passengers on our sailing. It was my first experience on a river cruise and I enjoyed the intimate ... Read More
I choose this trip as an add-on to a bus tour of Switzerland. The Imagery is a beautiful two year old ship with 128 person capacity had 104 passengers on our sailing. It was my first experience on a river cruise and I enjoyed the intimate atmosphere as compared with a large ocean cruise. The cabin was perfectly designed with one mirrored wall and one floor to ceiling sliding glass door. Our spotless bathroom was beautiful and had a frame-less shower and marble tile. The staff provided outstanding service and we participated in some very good excursions. We enjoyed our culinary experience as well: every meal contained many choices and delicious food. Every dinner had five courses and a choice of at least three items in each course in addition to a choice of three wines. I honestly can't think of anything negative to say about this trip and would definitely travel with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
I'm a travel agent who's been on 30 ocean cruises and this is my first river cruise. I decided to give Avalon a try so I'm able to share my experience with my clients and my experience was wonderful. We flew from Atlanta ... Read More
I'm a travel agent who's been on 30 ocean cruises and this is my first river cruise. I decided to give Avalon a try so I'm able to share my experience with my clients and my experience was wonderful. We flew from Atlanta to Zurich and were met at the airport for our transfer to Lucerne. It was wonderful being met by our driver at luggage claim and escorted to his car. We included a two night pre-cruise land package in Lucerne where we met our Cruise Director Akos as well as the other 13 passengers who arrived two nights early at our hotel. Our time in Lucerne included walking tours and a cruise around Lake Lucerne. I'm so glad we did this pre-cruise addition and I highly recommend it. Our transfer to Basel included a stop at Mount Pilatus, which was incredible, as well as the Lion sculpture. By the time we arrived in Basel, we were ready to embark the Tranquility II and the check-in process was incredible. There were only 107 passengers on this sailing with 38 crew. There was no wait to check-in. We were immediately escorted to our cabin, #322. The cabin is quite cozy compared to ocean cruise cabins but the views were amazing. I love that our bed faced the full wall of glass. We didn't keep the sliding glass wall open because there were too many bugs flying around outside and the weather was extremely hot. It got up to 100 degrees in Amsterdam. That's hot! Our excursions were wonderful. We were divided into four groups according to our chosen excursion and were given our own headphones as well as a receiver to hear our tour guide. It's great not having to try to hear a shouting tour guide. We participated every day in the included morning excursions after the buffet breakfast but were often too tired to attend the afternoon excursions. The morning excursion usually ended by the time our lunch buffet was ready to begin. We were able to sit wherever we chose in the dining room but we befriended 4 other couples and usually sat as a group. The waitstaff were very accommodated and would remember our likes and dislikes. I liked that. I especially liked the briefings we had for tomorrow's schedule. It was great knowing in advance what to expect for tomorrow before it was dinner time tonight. We didn't partake much of the included beverages because we didn't like most of the wine or beer that was being offered but that didn't necessarily mean it wasn't good, It just wasn't what we like. The food was good but the bread was great. I usually enjoyed too much bread and appetizers so I skipped dessert. I enjoyed the food more than my husband. He's happy with a steak and baked potato whereas I like to try new foods. No matter what was on the dinner menu, they always had the steak, chicken, fish or vegetarian alternatives. We also enjoyed the coffee and cookies offered in the rear lounge during the day just in case we might get hungry. We didn't need the cookies but we're glad they were there for us to enjoy. The entertainment was nice but there were times when we really missed the casino and the big shows you get on the bigger ships. Disembarkation went just as well as embarkation. It's really nice having such a small group of passengers during this procedure. I would highly recommend Avalon to my clients and without a doubt, I'll be back on another Avalon river cruise in the next year or two. This was by far our most expensive cruise experience in 31 cruises and I'm looking forward to sailing with Avalon again. Yes, it was well worth the high cost. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Because I wanted to see the castles. Truthfully, I thought I would see more. As with our cruise of the Danube, much of the landscape along the rivers looks the same and is not remarkable. We had been on a bus trip around Switzerland ... Read More
Because I wanted to see the castles. Truthfully, I thought I would see more. As with our cruise of the Danube, much of the landscape along the rivers looks the same and is not remarkable. We had been on a bus trip around Switzerland the previous week and saw exciting and beautiful scenery almost 100% of the time. We did partake of all the excursions and enjoyed them. It is always exciting to see something new. It is also a good way to see many different countries in a short time. Our cruise director Christina was very informative. The service in the dining rooms was excellent and the chef making the omelettes was the best of our many shipboard experiences. Our waiter Dani was the best! Our cabin was quite lovely and also the ship. It's a shame there cannot be more entertainment in the evening other than on just 2 nights. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Our embarkation was early. The rooms and sections of the ship were not ready. But, the ship crew was so helpful. They had us stay in the lounge, provided us with drinks and food and entertainment (piano). The ship was clean and very nice. ... Read More
Our embarkation was early. The rooms and sections of the ship were not ready. But, the ship crew was so helpful. They had us stay in the lounge, provided us with drinks and food and entertainment (piano). The ship was clean and very nice. It has a variety of areas you can go to for a quiet time to read, relax.We enjoyed happy hour and hearing our cruise director every evening tell us about our adventures for the next day. During happy hour, we listened to background music played on the piano which was relaxing and very good. Our director was fun, friendly and very helpful. We enjoyed the two types of dining, in the dining room or bistro (small portion). In dining area, you can join others or sit alone, there is no assigned seating. The dining staff is awesome! They were entertaining and helpful with menu choices. In the Bistro, if you want a quick dinner, you have small portions, buffet style. On some nights they had band onboard after dinner or you could listen to more piano. A way to relax and visit. We had 2 cookouts for lunch on the sky deck that were fun! It added something different to the regular lunch menu provided. The service by crew members was exceptional. All greeted you with smiles and "listened" to you. They were very helpful. we enjoyed most of the port and shore excursions. As with some, the guide can influence the tour. While cruising, we saw so many vineyards.... and castles. Learning how the boat is navigated on the river, with so many boats, was interesting. We are looking forward to another river cruise.....and right now, don't plan to do a "big cruise" again. The river cruise is so much better! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Avalon was more upscale than the last river cruise we went on 10 yrs ago. Our cruise director Andre was incredible! His evening briefings for the next day were very informative. We really enjoyed our extension in Lucerne. The staff was ... Read More
Avalon was more upscale than the last river cruise we went on 10 yrs ago. Our cruise director Andre was incredible! His evening briefings for the next day were very informative. We really enjoyed our extension in Lucerne. The staff was very accommodating! We would definitely choose Avalon again & would recommend it to others. We were hoping for a little bit more scenery along the Rhine. Several days were industrialized & not as scenic as the Rhône. It was quite windy when we tried viewing from the rooftop. The dining experience was very enjoyable. The trio that performed one evening was very entertaining. We would have maybe preferred dinner to be a tad bit earlier - maybe 6:30 rather than 7:00. It was nice to not have to bring any real dressy clothes for a formal night. Loved having only 120 passengers aboard! All in all it was a very pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
My friend and I chose this cruise because of the ports visited as we traveled north on the Rhein river. We loved the small size of the boat and number of passengers which allowed us to get to know members of the crew and guests. Of all the ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise because of the ports visited as we traveled north on the Rhein river. We loved the small size of the boat and number of passengers which allowed us to get to know members of the crew and guests. Of all the many excursions, there was only one that we wished we had skipped (the Black Forest trip, aside from the cuckoo clock stop, was a bit disappointing). We loved all of the other excursions and felt they were well organized and interesting. We also loved the optional excursion to Mt. Pilatus prior to embarkation. The cabin itself was very spacious compared to other boats and ships we’d been on. And the space in the bathroom was great! Service on board was excellent as was the food. We especially appreciated seeing local cuisine offered in the various ports. We would definitely go on an Avalon tour again! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We had been on an Avalon cruise previously from Paris to Normandy and enjoyed it immensely. This cruise was just as wonderful in that we got to see a lot of country without having to change hotels or worry about traffic. The towns we ... Read More
We had been on an Avalon cruise previously from Paris to Normandy and enjoyed it immensely. This cruise was just as wonderful in that we got to see a lot of country without having to change hotels or worry about traffic. The towns we visited were interesting and made even more so through our guides who provided us with the history and up to the present insights in to each area. They were all equally enthusiastic and personable. Our only disappointment was the visit to the Black Forest cuckoo clock shop but that may have been due to a lack of interest in the product. It seemed like a typical tourist trap. We would have liked meeting one of the local farmers and hearing about their daily life. Our service aboard ship was fantastic! We enjoyed getting to know some of the staff, where they came from, and a little bit about their families. The food was always delicious and we liked the fact that the chef worked hard at bringing us fresh, local dishes that were representative of the area in which we were traveling. The entertainment on this cruise was above our expectations with the string group and the band providing great listening and dancing. We are looking forward to our next trip with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Our tour Avalon did a terrific job. Arriving on time and departing on time. Quality of food and service. The excursions were excellent as well. The excursion I really enjoyed and the Maginot Line. Touring the bunker seeing how they could ... Read More
Our tour Avalon did a terrific job. Arriving on time and departing on time. Quality of food and service. The excursions were excellent as well. The excursion I really enjoyed and the Maginot Line. Touring the bunker seeing how they could house over 500 troops was very interesting. The 75MM cannon was interesting. Lowering and raising the gun looked so easy today after 75 years. Seeing it work I felt we could actually fire a round or two. At other stops we toured the cities and visits to the Cathedral's. By far the tour and boat were terrific. Our cabin was for two and the bed and bath was excellent. Dining was excellent and the service was superior. I suggest To Go cruising. It is a relaxing way to see things. We also took time to do a day tour to Lucerne and back to Zurich. We went to the top of Mt. Rigi, had lunch on a Alpine meadow. Later we took a boat to Lucerne and and saw the sights. Had cocktails at a great resturant on Lake Lucerne. Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
the quality of the rooms, service, and food on board completely shattered the preconception i had of such way of travelling before i joined our rhine river cruise with avalon waterways. pleasantly surprised all the way. i really enjoyed ... Read More
the quality of the rooms, service, and food on board completely shattered the preconception i had of such way of travelling before i joined our rhine river cruise with avalon waterways. pleasantly surprised all the way. i really enjoyed the service provided by the staff who is most helpful, attentive and careful to our needs. the stops were well balanced and allowed to visit a great diversity of places to understand and experience the culture along the river from basel to amsterdam. the guides at each stops were enteraintaing and knowledgeable which made for a pleasant introduction of each town. however, if i returno n board, i will not join such guided tours and will hope that avalon can provide more tips about each destinations (perhaps in the form of a detailed map with points of interest) so that i can go and wander around bymyself without the fear of "missing out". a wonderful way to travel europe without the hassles of driving or airport management. the only draw back was the fact that ships sometimes dock alongside each other completely removing the view and privacy of the room. even so, an absolutely wonderful experience to be repeated as soon as possible. well done! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I have been on many and loved ocean cruises so I was really leery taking a river cruise. As soon as we boarded the ship everything changed. Things were so easy, no confusion, simple on board drill. There were 130 passengers and 30 crew ... Read More
I have been on many and loved ocean cruises so I was really leery taking a river cruise. As soon as we boarded the ship everything changed. Things were so easy, no confusion, simple on board drill. There were 130 passengers and 30 crew members. After 8 days you know everyone. Basically one large family! You wake up at around 7am, go down to breakfast. Between 8:30-9:00 board a bus for the first tour of the day. I recommend taking two tours/excursions a day, even if you have to pay for one. The first tour gets you back to the ship around 11:30-12:00 then lunch. The second tour/excursion departs around 1:30. You get back to the ship around 5:15 - 5:45 just in time for Happy Hour :) I would go up on deck with my double Manhattan and cigar (smoking is allowed on the back of the sun deck) and relax for an hour, then time to shower and eat dinner. All meals were great. Wine and beer are included on this ship at meal time so everyone loads up on wine with dinner! On cruise ships there is a drink package, but it's absolutely not necessary on a river cruise. All the ports were great. Tour guides were very knowledgeable. I loved the room although small, the bathroom and shower was large for a ship of any size. All the beds face the water and the sliding doors open the room up to one large balcony although we really didn't use that option often. I would highly recommend Avalon Imagery ll From the cleanliness of the ship, great food, to the entire crew. I commend you!!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Our embarkation from Basel, as every subsequent thing that occurred on the ship, went like clockwork. This crew had everything down to a science. Even when outside forces threatened to disturb, our cruise director, Valentin Gheorghe, ... Read More
Our embarkation from Basel, as every subsequent thing that occurred on the ship, went like clockwork. This crew had everything down to a science. Even when outside forces threatened to disturb, our cruise director, Valentin Gheorghe, never faltered or lost his smile. Every request was followed up on in a very timely manner and usually granted. All of the crew were very polite and professional and personable. The meals and service were excellent. Food and drinks were very well presented and often. Rooms were kept very clean with very minimal interruption. The cabin was very comfortable and ample in size for our needs. The toiletries in the bathrooms were divine. Avalon does an excellent job of hiring local guides for the shore excursions. Each guide was very knowledgeable and available for questions. Again, any activity was run very smoothly. All of the shore excursions that we participated in were worth it. We were never bored. Every passenger on the ship was treated with respect and with a personal touch. The atmosphere was genial, upbeat and fun. Thank you, Valentin! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
My wife and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 35th Wedding Anniversary. We were met at the airport and taken to a nearby hotel where we met fellow passengers before our first excursion. Each excursion was well thought out and we were ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 35th Wedding Anniversary. We were met at the airport and taken to a nearby hotel where we met fellow passengers before our first excursion. Each excursion was well thought out and we were led by knowledgeable personable tour guides. On-Board we were treated incredibly well by the entire crew from the porters to the Captain. We are both Gluten Free and the Head of the Wait Staff went out of his way to attend to us. We were quite surprised to be given gluten free breads and croissants and other treats and we did not feel like we were being singled out because of our food allergies. Because of the size of the ship it was easy to mingle and meet other passengers. The cruise director Monica was exceptional. She had the days planned out perfectly with excursions and downtime. Our favourite part of the cruise was the day we remained on-board and sat up on deck and sailed thorough the Rhine River Gorge with Monica narrating the history of the castles. To conclude, we very much appreciated the fact that Avalon took care of all the details including the excursions, meals and arrival and departure to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Great price, great ship reviews, great location to sail for first riverboat cruise. Excellent care by staff, great food, very clean. The excursions were fun and informative. We were very busy each day. Would have enjoyed more corporate ... Read More
Great price, great ship reviews, great location to sail for first riverboat cruise. Excellent care by staff, great food, very clean. The excursions were fun and informative. We were very busy each day. Would have enjoyed more corporate activity at night such as dancing, trivia games, karaoke. We are looking forward to traveling with Avalon again. I think it is important to select one of the newer ships based on a conversation with a couple who made the same trip we did the same week on another ship. Their experience was not as positive as ours. Some of our excursions were a little too "touristy" and expensive. I would have preferred a little more free time along with suggestions of things to see. We sometimes felt rushed. Our favorite excursions were Mt Pilates in Zurich and Heidelberg. Also the wine tasting excursion in Alsace. We really liked the canal boat tour in Amsterdam but not much else there. The windmill excursion was very touristy and expensive. However I would definitely recommend this cruise no matter what! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Reason we choose Avalon was the size and arrangements of the staterooms. The number of guests allowed for personal attention from the staff. The itinerary looked amazing and was! We could participate as we choose or relax on board. Our ... Read More
Reason we choose Avalon was the size and arrangements of the staterooms. The number of guests allowed for personal attention from the staff. The itinerary looked amazing and was! We could participate as we choose or relax on board. Our cruise director Chistina was eager to assist us with alternative plans for the afternoon such as taking a cab into town and making sure we were knowledgeable in how to make our way back safely. Dining at all meals excellent! Freeform seating at dinner helped us to meet many of the other guests, many were on their second or third Cruise with Avalon. We learned so much from them about cruising, destinations, and their home towns. Will sadly miss so many of the people, but never forget them. Accommodations were very comfortable and the staff was wonderful!!! We will be looking forward to booking our next cruise with Avalon Cruises. We would also recommend a precruise stay at the Radisson Blu, and precruise excursion to Lucerne and Mt. Pilatus. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose the Romantic Rhine because my husband wanted to see Switzerland, I wanted castles. We both wanted about 8 days. This fit the bill! We arrived a day early (highly recommend) and Avalon offered an excursion to the Alps from Zurich ... Read More
We chose the Romantic Rhine because my husband wanted to see Switzerland, I wanted castles. We both wanted about 8 days. This fit the bill! We arrived a day early (highly recommend) and Avalon offered an excursion to the Alps from Zurich for the early arrivals! It was magnificent! Everything I dreamed of!! Their motorcoach then took us directly to the boat. I was used to ocean cruises so this was a new experience for me. Our cabin was a balcony on the Sapphire deck. Opening your Panoramic Wall to Wall window door, laying on a sofa or your bed, watching the river, the villages, the sheep on the riversides, was just something I can't describe. So relaxing, so fun! The included excursions everyday were very interesting. I was glad to see they offered a slow walking group along with regular walkers for people that can't keep up. I loved the food and the offering of complimentary specialty coffees anytime of the day or night from machines located in the front or rear lounges. The staff were so helpful, friendly, went above and beyond to make certain your needs were met and that you were having a good time. I loved that with such a small group, 118 onboard, we knew everyone by first name and met so many people from several different countries. I would not travel with children. I do not think there is enough to entertain them onboard. The evening entertain was fine for adults, a piano player, a singer, but not for children or even a teenager. We would definitely go again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We wanted to cruise the Rhine and to go to Amsterdam to see the tulips and this was THE tour to take a river cruise and see the tulips. This would be our first river cruise and it was fantastic. The crew and cruise director (Hendrik ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Rhine and to go to Amsterdam to see the tulips and this was THE tour to take a river cruise and see the tulips. This would be our first river cruise and it was fantastic. The crew and cruise director (Hendrik Dadema) were fantastic. They made this cruise the most memorable ever. The food was excellent and the chef prepared local fare which included white asparagus which he went ashore to get and serve to us. I have never been so pampered in my life. Hendrik helped us get a hotel in Amsterdam after we found out the one we had booked was thirty miles from Amsterdam. The tour guides for the excursions were extremely knowledgeable and eager to answer questions. Their local insight was invaluable and made us feel like we were on a private tour. Overall, this group of men and women on the crew made us feel important and like we were the only ones they were taking care of on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We wanted to see these destinations with ease and had heard good reviews about Avalon.. With a River Cruise there is no packing and unpacking (and digging for lost items in there 'somewhere'). No finding numerous hotels along ... Read More
We wanted to see these destinations with ease and had heard good reviews about Avalon.. With a River Cruise there is no packing and unpacking (and digging for lost items in there 'somewhere'). No finding numerous hotels along the way and trooping around tired trying to find a place to eat at night. We could sit back and relax and be taken care of.... The food was delicious! The tours were interesting and informative. Our Cruise Dir. took care of all the concerns for everyone so it was stress free. We did stay additional time pre cruise in Lucerne and after in Amsterdam which I would recommend. It gives you time to leisurely adjust to the time change and makes the trip much more enjoyable at the beginning and gives you time to see additional things around Amsterdam at the end. We have good friends that are currently on this same cruise after seeing our pictures and hearing how much we loved it. They are in Lucerne as I write this, and starting the cruise tomorrow. We would love to do it all again!! The ship is small enough to get around easily. The staff are so attentive. Everyone is friendly and helpful. The rooms were always clean and tidy and a joy to return to after a busy day. They stress 'clean hands' with hand sanitizers in various locations which keeps everyone healthy. The dining is unbelievable. There were so many good things to try and everything was delicious. The dinners at night were top notch with selections for each course and always several standbys like steak or salmon or chicken to fall back on. Dinner lasted until 9 or so. As a result we only went for the evening entertainment on two nights which was fun. We were usually tired and wanting to prepare for the next excursion the following day. The excursions were all so interesting. Everyone was broken down into smaller groups with headsets which made it easy to take in the sights and you not having to be right by the tour guide. Loved all ports and would recommend the optional excursions. Just riding through the countryside going to some of the destinations was wonderful: small quaint towns, farms, vineyards, rolling hills in the Black Forrest, picturesque castles, fields in bloom, a step into a very peaceful way of life. Your blood pressure will definitely lower...Do go! Read Less
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