10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Went on Avalon cruise, Amsterdam to Budapest in 2015 . Excellent trip all round. Booked trip from Bucharest to Budapest not of same standard. Comfort, Food , service all excellent, up to Avalon standard, but content of trip very poor and ... Read More
Went on Avalon cruise, Amsterdam to Budapest in 2015 . Excellent trip all round. Booked trip from Bucharest to Budapest not of same standard. Comfort, Food , service all excellent, up to Avalon standard, but content of trip very poor and badly planned. Started in Bucharest. quite good tour of city. First day on boat. only interesting day, tour of delta in small boats very good. After that not much of interest. Problem was. most places on included tours involved long bus trips to not very interesting destinations(exception church in Velico Tournavo). Some were very badly planned e g Belgrade Tour included not very interesting park 15 minutes in a street full of cafes, and 30 mins in a traffic jam. Surely there are more interesting things to see.Daily news sheet said old town cntre and Cathedral, St Sava , not allowed for Tour of Budapest very poor and rushed, Three hour tour included 10 mins at Hero Square and a rushed 25 mins at the Fishermans Bastion,guide seemed more interested in getting us back to hotel, even though we had to wait two hours to check in, very poor. It was not made clear until the final itinerary was received, that the days in Bucharest and Budapest were on a breakfast only basis, the tour was sold on an all inclusive basis, everybody leaving the boat at Budapest felt unhappy and abandoned. The Avalon staff in the hotel were not very helpful. Other complaints were the exorbitant costs of the optional tours, most people who went on them considered that they were very poor value.also the ridiculous price of almost £10.00 for an after dinner cocktail! I certainly would advise avoiding this trip Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The duration and locations, especially starting on the Black Sea. Very happy we went from east to west as it consistently got better all the way to Prague. Budapest and Prague were great large cities and the smaller towns like Durnstein ... Read More
The duration and locations, especially starting on the Black Sea. Very happy we went from east to west as it consistently got better all the way to Prague. Budapest and Prague were great large cities and the smaller towns like Durnstein and Pecs were great surprises. The Passion was very nice with a small spa, but the exercise room was way too small. I couldn't lift the weights up as they hit the ceiling and the max weight was 10k. Matre'd was very accommodating to my wife's pepper allergies and there were some vegetables at the breakfast buffet for me. The tours of the towns and cities were well done, although most of the guides have their speech idocincracies. The presence of the Habsburg family made it a special themed cruise and more personal (only the portion from Budapest to Regensburg). By the end, we had heard the stories repeated so many times about Sissy, that we didn't want to hear anymore. Would have liked to have been involved with more sustainable activities and performances, like our Avalon cruise on the Mekong. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Avalon did a good job on this cruise. The only real letdown was the food. I would have expected better food particularly at breakfast. I fully understand that the chef could not prepare a wide range of breakfasts for 99 people like one ... Read More
Avalon did a good job on this cruise. The only real letdown was the food. I would have expected better food particularly at breakfast. I fully understand that the chef could not prepare a wide range of breakfasts for 99 people like one would see on a Carnival cruise with 3000 people. The cabin was fine. Avalon makes a point of saying they do not have balconies. They are not useful on a river cruise. We were docked beside an Ama ship in Budapest and we had a chance to see another cruiser's room and she saw ours. We both agreed that balconies on river cruises just reduce the space in the room. The best "balcony" is on the sky deck so you can see both sides of the river. The entertainment varied at each port and was fine. There was crew show that was pretty good. Again, do not expect a fancy theatrical show on a river cruise. The Cruise Director was helpful. The only real problem was Customs. We had to enter Schegen in Hungary and the entire morning was taken up with the border patrol. The Captain took us up and down the river at Budapest to compensate us for the time wasted with the border crossing. We would go on another cruise with Avalon. It was billed as a cultural and history tour. I also wanted to see birds in the Black Sea. I went from Bucharest to Vienna. Bucharest was not that interested. I went on a separate tour to Dracula's Castle and a communist tour. Both were very interesting. The next stop was Bulgaria. The church I visited rivalled the Cistene Chapel for art and charm. I was surprised that Bulgarians and Romanians have no interest in visiting each other's countries. The stop at Cetate to see the artist's colony was not that interesting. The bread was the best part. Iron Gates was wonderful. Belgrade was disappointing. The city has not recovered from the 1995 bombing and no-one wanted to talk about the war. This was the case for both Serbia and Croatia. Budapest was the highlight of the cruise. We cruised into the cities on a sunny day and passed under all the bridges. River cruising is the only way to see this city. Bratislava was uninteresting. Vienna was worthwhile. You need to allow time at the end of the cruise to see some of the city's 220 museums. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Recommended by friends who have been on prior AVALON cruises, including this summer on the same one we took but at an earlier time. We also chose it for size of boat, lack of children, number of stops and excursions. The ports were ... Read More
Recommended by friends who have been on prior AVALON cruises, including this summer on the same one we took but at an earlier time. We also chose it for size of boat, lack of children, number of stops and excursions. The ports were excellent, with variation of guides in ports from super to ok. Enough free time and also enough information provided. In fact, everything was timed perfectly - no mixups. The ship was lovely, well designed to encourage socialization and choices for meals. The staterooms were roomy for a cruise, with plenty of storage and it was great that all had outside windows (we never opened ours but there were Juliette balconies). Food was excellent and abundant. Our on-board director, NANCY, was fantastic. She made everything work with great spirit and enthusiasm and problem solving. And she gave precise and well-articulated "briefings" every day. Terrific. A real pro. 99% of our "problems" were of our own making in that we had a small fold-up wheel chair which does not work easily on the old town streets and hills - FYI for anyone traveling with a wheel chair or limited walking ability. Luckily we are used to me parking the chair for my husband somewhere interesting and galloping off on my own to see things beyond his range. As to Nancy and the crew, they made the wheel chair part no problem as much as humanly possible. I would recommend for entertainment that there be more organized after dinner things like scavenger hunts or bingo of some variety or other group games - we did a few but mainly it was passive entertainment and then people went to the bar or their rooms. The days were filled very well; no too long stretches of sailing. We did run out of Danube at the Budapest stop - hardly the fault of Avalon. We were impressed with everything. Met lovely people, all similar enough in age/life stage to fit together well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We are delighted that we chose to take the 21 day trip on the Danube that included Transylvania and three days in Prague. The trip from East to West gave us a wonderful insight into the people and historical issues of that area. The ... Read More
We are delighted that we chose to take the 21 day trip on the Danube that included Transylvania and three days in Prague. The trip from East to West gave us a wonderful insight into the people and historical issues of that area. The entire crew did a wonderful job of making sure we had a great time. The food and accommodations were first rate! The low water level issue was handled calmly and professionally. We had a wonderful time and will continue to travel with Avalon. Great Cruise Director, Robert is a true professional. The wait staff was excellent, special thanks to Alexander and Andy for their service and friendship. Our breakfast egg chef did an amazing job. When you spend that long on a shop, they definitely get to know you and your preferences and provide service without even an order!! Madija kept our room clean and comfortable at all times. We love the Passion and it's cabin layout. Being able to enjoy our room and the water with the cabin doors open to the river was a delight! Avalon does an excellent job at providing fresh, local food that allows us to sample local specialties along the route. Outstanding selection and beautifully prepared and presented meals. Love the Ice Cream!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Our river cruise was really great. Hope this review does not become too much of a love fest, but we obviously enjoyed this adventure more than we even expected. The trip from Bucharest/Black Sea to Budapest was an area of the world we ... Read More
Our river cruise was really great. Hope this review does not become too much of a love fest, but we obviously enjoyed this adventure more than we even expected. The trip from Bucharest/Black Sea to Budapest was an area of the world we had not seen. Avalon was one of few that actually started in Bucharest, went to Black Sea and then up Danube to Budapest. The area of the Danube Delta ecosystem is fascinating/well worth seeing. Avalon Passion - simply put it is a first class ship. Quite new (2016) and it shows. All parts are really nicely laid out with plenty of room to move around/find your own space. Open air balconies are really nice for the categories. Crew - A+. Every crew member went out of their way to be friendly/accommodating from the captain to all support staff. Friendly, professional and very competent. Started with the Captain who was happy to have guests in the Bridge for morning coffee to Deen, our waiter who took such good care of us at Dinner. Even the Chef took the time to give us a personal tour of the kitchen to show us how they turn out such fine meals Food - Breakfast was good, Lunch was very good and Dinner was excellent. We were pleased with the freshness, quality and choices for the meals. Had a chance to eat regional dishes as well as familiar choices. Wine selections were quite acceptable. Seating was open so we were able to sit with different people and get to know a lot of our shipmates. Excursions - They varied from good to outstanding. The way they broke us into manageable (25-30 or smaller) groups was very helpful. The guides were very knowledgeable. Danube Delta excursion, Veliko Tarnova, and Belgrade tours were outstanding. Belgrade guide was amazing, could have spent another day with her. Only improvement would have been on the all day excursions w/lunch off the boat we would have preferred less time spent on lunch/more time on tours. This part of the world is quite interesting, not just for the scenery, but for the unusual history/recent history/communist control. Some of these countries are still very young and trying to develop. Also the region was interesting because you start with a definite Turkish influence and end with a Central Europe feel. Shipmates - Perhaps my biggest and best unexpected discovery. We really enjoyed the chance to really get so many people from different countries. So many interesting people really wanting to travel/get to know other people. Had a great number of long dinner conversations and some real friendships made. Dress was casual throughout with jeans on tours and casual business attire for meals. Even the gala dinners were nice shirts/dress slacks/dresses with only a few suits/more formal dresses. No one seemed to really mind, pay much attention. All in all a wonderful experience. River cruising is nothing like ocean cruising. So much more comfortable, civilized and interesting. No question that this will not be our last river cruise, only the first of many. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Friends recommended Avalon, and we liked what we found on the website. Our ship, the Avalon Passion, was beautifully appointed in every way. Our room had a huge amount of closet and storage space and more hangers than we needed. We ... Read More
Friends recommended Avalon, and we liked what we found on the website. Our ship, the Avalon Passion, was beautifully appointed in every way. Our room had a huge amount of closet and storage space and more hangers than we needed. We loved coming back at the end of the evening to find the fireplace video on the TV and lovely music playing. We also really liked being able to watch the river go by from our bed. The bathroom was elegant and roomy and had L'Occitane toiletries! . The food was on a par with a 5-star restaurant. Items were rarely repeated from day to day, and the wine flowed freely. We dined at the light lunch several times, and that was very well prepared. We marvelled that the chef could produce such excellent food day after day. The service personnel were so professional, cheerful, friendly, and trained to make our trip memorable. They exceeded our expectations. We so enjoyed the excursions and the final dinner in Budapest. It was wonderful to have two days there at the end. The trip to the aviary, lunch there, and walking tour were really fun. All our tour guides on the shore excursions were knowledgeable and very personable. Yes, we would definitely book an Avalon cruise again, and we tell our friends to choose Avalon for their trips. I believe this type of cruise would not be appropriate for families with children or even people under 35 who like the giant cruise ships with casinos and pools and non-stop entertainment. The passengers with us were engaged and interesting and fun but definitely a more sophisticated group. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Conversation with friends suggested Avalon as a possibility since I was already expressing an interest in touring Europe. This particular cruise would take me to the countries of my grandparents. Since my new wife had broken her leg just ... Read More
Conversation with friends suggested Avalon as a possibility since I was already expressing an interest in touring Europe. This particular cruise would take me to the countries of my grandparents. Since my new wife had broken her leg just two weeks prior to our departure I was concerned we'd have to cancel . I need not have worried, the crew, staff and guides were most accommodating and we never felt that we missed or were left out of any of the experiences. The serving staff were absolutely amazing and very friendly. This enhanced the gift of hospitality through this experience. We were constantly impressed by the quality of the meals and believed the chef and his staff were magicians in being able to provide everyone with such wonderful meals in such a small space, (we were given a tour of the kitchen). We very much enjoyed the "port talks,' given each evening to prepare us for the next day. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We had serious limitations as to the dates and the amount of time for traveling this year; we have always been intrigued by some of the former communist countries with a great past and their way back to democracy. While we were told that ... Read More
We had serious limitations as to the dates and the amount of time for traveling this year; we have always been intrigued by some of the former communist countries with a great past and their way back to democracy. While we were told that this trip went to places that were not that interesting, we found that, on the contrary, they were very different from other places and enjoyable in their own way. The cruise might not be at par with some of our previous cruises that went to Praga, Budapest, Amsterdam, etc., but the ship made for it. Brand new, the cabins were bigger and more comfortable that all the others in Avalon and Viking. There were 2 dinners that were spectacular with 5 course meals; all the others were very good. Tours were interesting and the price unbeatable. Highly recommended. The only negative was the lack of entertainment at night. Even the hiring of local artist in the different ports or a good DJ would had made a difference Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Hi All, Excellent vacation. We flew into Bucharest from ATL. All went like an advert for Delta/KLM. Stayed a few nights at http://scalaboutiquehotel.ro/ Highly recommended - excellent service, royal breakfast, good ... Read More
Hi All, Excellent vacation. We flew into Bucharest from ATL. All went like an advert for Delta/KLM. Stayed a few nights at http://scalaboutiquehotel.ro/ Highly recommended - excellent service, royal breakfast, good location. Enjoyed the sights and sounds of Bucharest. Cabs are verrrry cheap. Arrived at the meeting place at noon, as ordered. Hung around until 2:30. Transfer by bus to the boat went very well. Our stay on the Avalon Passion was very, very nice. Room 217 on Sapphire deck. Little noise. Little vibration. Crew was superb. Entertainment was as expected. Food ranged from "very good" to "excellent". Our CD - Ms Adrienne - did a great job. Included excursions ranged from "OK" to "Quite Good". I think that this is a matter of taste. Some people like to tour ruined castles perched high on a hill, others don't. At one point, there was a medical emergency. It was handled most efficiently and professionally. The captain expressed sympathy and concern for the family and friends in a short ceremony. A counselor was sent by Avalon for those who might need the help. We did not go on to Vienna, but left the ship in Bratislava. Stayed at the Radisson Blu Carleton. - Quite a nice stay. Interesting city. Well worth a visit. Took https://www.blacklane.com/en/limousine-service-bratislava to VIE, and flew home via AMS. Did not go as well as expected. Plane to AMS was late. Distance between disembark and reembark was long. KLM agents were about as helpful as AirFrance. Anyway, we got home. River cruising is an excellent alternative to ocean cruising, and Can be much better than a motor trip. Ira Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
To learn about the Balkan discovery and country's of the area very good river cruises from the first day we arrive all was perfect and the beautiful smile from every body ,to the housekeeping was perfect and so good every day and ... Read More
To learn about the Balkan discovery and country's of the area very good river cruises from the first day we arrive all was perfect and the beautiful smile from every body ,to the housekeeping was perfect and so good every day and looking 3times a day , the dining area from breakfast , lunch and all beautiful dinners was more the 5stars all the food with Michael chef commando , and all the team working so hard was good to remember and the customer service so happy to found every solution to us , all the tours we take was good , but the only thing they need to review is the job of Sara tour manager , we need more professional point in this job , more communication and better preparicion many peoples was taking about her , but for us was okey this was my second river cruises and already planned the next one thanks Avalon to make my days so beautiful for my and my wife mr Martinez sciutto , Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our third river cruise with Avalon Waterways. We wanted to see the lower part of the Danube and explore countries that we had not visited before. Thankfully we were not disappointed with our choice of company or destinations. ... Read More
This was our third river cruise with Avalon Waterways. We wanted to see the lower part of the Danube and explore countries that we had not visited before. Thankfully we were not disappointed with our choice of company or destinations. We arrived in Bucharest 2 days before the cruise and had booked a private guide for an all day tour the day before the cruise began. Our choice of hotel was the Royal Europa Hotel in the Old Town which allowed for us to do some exploring on our own and to be near wonderful restaurants. On the first day of the cruise we were bused about 1 hour to a very small docking area on the Danube and boarded the Passion, which was a brand new ship. It was beautiful, tastefully decorated, cabin was spacious and bathroom very comfortable. We had no problem storing all of our belongings. Throught the cruise the staff was very efficient,pleasant and helpful. We enjoyed the food and wine and especially liked the fact we did not have to dress up for dinner. Our shipmates were mostly over 60 and seemed very well traveled. As for entertainment, there was of course the nightly piano music and staff variety show. During one shore stop we had a very interesting presentation about the Orthodox Church given by a priest who came on board. In that we toured several such churches this was a very nice added touch to help us understand what we were seeing. This cruise was on the lower Danube and the highlight was going through the Iron Gate Locks. Very interesting and the scenery was beautiful. We visted areas of Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary that not many tourists see. At most towns or sites we were the only tour buses there. English was widely spoken and the people were very friendly. Avalon offered lots of options for shore excusions in that you could opt to stay on the ship and cruise to the point where the sight seeing buses would end their tour. You could chose to do half day or whole day sight seeing on one particular day. Many of the sites were churches, but there was also a stop at a winery and of course beautiful scenery. One aspect of this cruise was to learn about communism in Eastern Europe and how those countries are transitioning to democracy and capitalism. We have been on the Rhine and the upper Danube, but this may very well be our favorite cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We sailed from the black sea (Romania) to Bratislava (Slovakia) and travelled from there by bus to Vienna and had the most superb experience.The ship is brand new, in beautiful shape and is very nicely appointed. There is plenty of ... Read More
We sailed from the black sea (Romania) to Bratislava (Slovakia) and travelled from there by bus to Vienna and had the most superb experience.The ship is brand new, in beautiful shape and is very nicely appointed. There is plenty of opportunities for relaxation and/or conversation in the boat's many public areas. The ship's intimate atmosphere, with only 150 passengers, is one of its best selling points. The crew was knowledgable, well trained and very helpful. They clearly enjoyed their jobs as they were always friendly and professional. As for the onboard programs/activities, there was a variety to inform and amuse anyone. The food was delicious, the state room was very clean and well equiped.The shore excursions were well planned and timed, local guides were well informed and very friendly. The whole trip was so wonderful and so easy to travel through so many countries in a few days, I would highly recommend it to everyone! Read Less
Avalon Passion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.9
Dining 5.0 4.8
Entertainment 3.0 4.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.6
Enrichment 3.0 4.4
Service 4.0 4.9
Value For Money 4.0 4.6

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