12 Budapest Avalon Waterways Avalon Passion Cruise Reviews

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 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
rec by travel agent....bad weather missed connection at amsterdam no one there to pick us up luckily a avalon guy was there for someone else and after one hour he got permission to take us to the boat....all services on the boat were ... Read More
rec by travel agent....bad weather missed connection at amsterdam no one there to pick us up luckily a avalon guy was there for someone else and after one hour he got permission to take us to the boat....all services on the boat were excellent.....ony thing was the service up in the lounge area were you can eat away from the crowd ....very noise in main dining room....the waiters in the lounge only set up for one hour or less and were ready to move the food out.....Dont understand that should be two hours.....they rushed you out......main dining room not so two hours straight and the service was great....the tours were ok depending on the operator and when given free time it was 30 minutes or less.....the worst thing about the trip was rafting up the boats at some cities....you literally had no view except for the other boats rooms....they were exactly two feet away......all in all a good experience but very pricey Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this cruise line based upon square footage of staterooms and floor to ceiling windows. Also , we liked the smaller ship capacity. This was an excellent cruise from beginning to end. Staff from cruise director to housekeeping to ... Read More
We choose this cruise line based upon square footage of staterooms and floor to ceiling windows. Also , we liked the smaller ship capacity. This was an excellent cruise from beginning to end. Staff from cruise director to housekeeping to wait staff were professional and courteous. There was always a variety of hot and cold foods served daily. Although the overall quality of the food was good, not great, the dining experience was excellent. It was also worry free to have excursions paid for as well as wine service included in lunch and dinner. I only experienced Tea Time once, but that was lovely as well. I needed to see a doctor while on the cruise and the Cruise Director could not have been more helpful, and again professional. The nightly entertainment after dinner was always a fun way to end each evening. I would have loved to have taken advantage of the Recreational activities offered such as Zumba, Yoga and a bike excursions but was honestly too tired from the days activities. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise based on location, dates and then were intrigued by the special itinerary around the Hapsberg Empire. Everything met or exceeded our expectations. The stateroom was beautiful and spacious, and the bed was very ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on location, dates and then were intrigued by the special itinerary around the Hapsberg Empire. Everything met or exceeded our expectations. The stateroom was beautiful and spacious, and the bed was very comfortable. Our favorite part was the panoramic operable windows - we used this multiple times to enjoy our "cruising time." The food, and especially the wine, was delicious. All the staff were knowledgeable, attentive and made us feel like valued passengers. Our cruise director, Tony Williamson, was just terrific - he really made it a special journey. We loved the variety of excursion options and enjoyed every one we did. There were many special activities or excursions that were unique to this itinerary. The daily briefings and the written itineraries were very helpful. My only negative feedback is about the embarkation process. The information provided about the specific docking location was not specific enough and there was no one at the dock to help provide additional information. We had to walk up and down the various docking locations along the Danube, dragging our luggage in extreme heat before finding the ship. Once onboard, everything was terrific and we had wonderful service. Surely, there must be a better way to board in Budapest. Also, while I downloaded the app and looked up some information ahead of time, it was not useful during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The size of the staterooms and the appointments were amazing. I think the service was the best thing about the cruise. At every category of service the level was very high. You even got to know and speak to the captain on occasion. ... Read More
The size of the staterooms and the appointments were amazing. I think the service was the best thing about the cruise. At every category of service the level was very high. You even got to know and speak to the captain on occasion. Quality of the food and wines was outstanding. Almost all shore excursions were included and the buses and local guides were excellent. We docked next to several of the competitors ships on several occasions. We were surprised how "banged up" by comparison some of the other boats looked.. This is a minor point but the Avalon ships were maintained out the outside as well as on the inside. The front desk and cruise director were very organized and were available to the passengers. Changing shore excursions was not a problem and they had a variety of levels even putting those who did not wish to walk as much on one bus and striving to give them maximum exposure to the sights, with a little less walking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Having traveled with Avalon before we have found this company provides the best quality experience in every phase of the trip. Last year 3 of us did the Danube cruise from Prague to Budapest. The trip this year we started in Budapest to ... Read More
Having traveled with Avalon before we have found this company provides the best quality experience in every phase of the trip. Last year 3 of us did the Danube cruise from Prague to Budapest. The trip this year we started in Budapest to cruise to Bucharest, Romania with the extension to Transylvania. Fantastic trip by with great excursions with local guides. With Avalon we are well informed every day and our excellent tour director made this experience relaxing and trouble free. Every member of the crew working as a team made every day perfect. The dining onboard is absolutely fantastic. Not only is the food great but menu items allow several choices. Great local wines are served from countries visiting. We especially enjoyed the fine wines from Romania. The dining room staff make you feel like the most important person onboard. We had a delightful young woman from Romania named Maribella who we will never forget. Even visited the bridge to chat with the captain and crew. They go out of the way to cruise with safety and to make sure you have great opportunities for taking photos of sites along the river. We are already booked for spring 2020 to cruise the Rhine River with Avalon! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We started our adventure with 3days in Budapest and boarded our ship there. The cruise representatives met us at our hotel with a champagne gathering and information about all the excursions that were included in the cruise and others we ... Read More
We started our adventure with 3days in Budapest and boarded our ship there. The cruise representatives met us at our hotel with a champagne gathering and information about all the excursions that were included in the cruise and others we could opt into. They explained everything to the last detail so we knew what we were doing from day 1.The excursions we had in Budapest were terrific and we got such a good feel of the city. Everything was extremely well organized and we felt very comfortable with plenty of time in between to rest or hop into the next excursion. When we boarded the ship, we had another general "meeting" held by the Cruise Director Tamas. He was detailed, explained everything to us, and was available for any questions any time of day. We had stops in Vienna, Durnstein, Melk, and Passau. Unfortunately we had to take a bus to Regensberg and never got to Nuremburg because of a barge that went aground. But Tamas put together other tours that were not included for all of us to join to help compensate what we lost by being "stuck" in Passau. We took a excursion to Salzberg which was absolutely beautiful. We also went to the Vienna Supreme Concert and a tour through Vienna. Schonbrunn Palace was a beautiful day trip and well worth seeing. After the decision was made that we could not go forward due to the grounded barge, we were put on a bus from Passau to our final destination of Prague. Everything was perfect. We could not have asked for more and would definitely do another river cruise. Cabins were beautiful, food was terrific, staff was friendly and accommodating and it seems always available to help us out with any questions. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We looked at a few cruises and the Avalon cruise fit our timetable the best. Also the cabins were a little larger which is nice for 2 friends traveling. It was nice to have the panoramic window. I would highly recommend that feature. ... Read More
We looked at a few cruises and the Avalon cruise fit our timetable the best. Also the cabins were a little larger which is nice for 2 friends traveling. It was nice to have the panoramic window. I would highly recommend that feature. Really made waking up in the morning pleasant. The scenery as we floated down the river was amazing. Very much appreciated the size of the ship versus the huge cruise ships. Much more intimate and we especially appreciated getting to know a lot of our fellow travelers. Good selection of ports to explore. We mostly did the walking tours included but also did a number of extra excursions. Appreciated that the cost of the extra excursions were affordable and worth the price. Good variety of places to see and explore. Was also impressed that a number of the activities included lunch. Lunch is probably not a good word. Unbelievable how much(delicious) food was included. Of course we did a lot of walking so figured that for every bite we were burning calories. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
First, we are delighted we visited Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania! Each country had such a rich, interesting,and often troubling history. I appreciate the opportunity to learn and see a part of the world I haven't gotten to ... Read More
First, we are delighted we visited Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania! Each country had such a rich, interesting,and often troubling history. I appreciate the opportunity to learn and see a part of the world I haven't gotten to experience before.Budapest is a must see and a delight! It's a very approachable city, with so much to see and do. The public transportation system is easy to use and the people are friendly and helpful. English is spoken by virtually everyone. Bucharest is also a wonderful city that I am so happy to have experienced. The Food Tour offered as an optional excursion in Bucharest was FUN and delightful. Second, overall the excursions were good but several things happened that did not delight us. On the included city tour in Budapest, there was no water on the bus and it was a very hot day. On the tour to Transylvania they had water on the bus BUT IT WAS FOR SALE! Further, there was a "Refreshment Stop" scheduled along the way, but it was just a pit stop to go to the restroom, there were no refreshments offered. In Brasov, during the city tour there was only a paid toilet available but no one had the necessary coins. If this were an AMA or Tauck trip they would never have allowed these things to happen. And, up until now, I didn't think Avalon would either. Third, about the ship. The Passion itself was good. It's a new ship but it wasn't as spotless as other ships on my two other Avalon river Cruises. The windows weren't clean, there were cobwebs, debris under the bed and couch, and dead bugs all along the sliding door. It also seemed like the crew was shorthanded, especially during breakfast. I believe they cut some corners and it showed. The food was delicious as always and our server at dinner was a delight. We are really glad we took the cruise but it would take a lot for us to be enticed to travel with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We were heading over to Spain for a wedding and wanted to see a bit of Europe while we were there. We started looking at river cruises because they seemed to offer the best variety of tours and excursions. We travelled from Budapest to ... Read More
We were heading over to Spain for a wedding and wanted to see a bit of Europe while we were there. We started looking at river cruises because they seemed to offer the best variety of tours and excursions. We travelled from Budapest to Amsterdam. Embarking and disembarking was seamless. We didn't have any great expectations but were blown away with the professionalism of the crew and staff on board as well as the guides provided for the various tours who were really passionate about their jobs and keen to share their knowledge. Our room was on the top deck beside the salon which was great as it meant we had ready access to the lounge bar and deck at the back of the boat. The room was spacious and immaculate; the bed and pillows were luxurious and really comfortable. We loved the fact that we could open our doors and lay on the bed and watch the world float by as we cruised along although only managed to do this a couple of times. The staff couldn't do enough for us, they were exceptionally polite and helpful nothing was too much trouble. Each day our room was made up, including at night time (when the log fire was put on the TV) and the bed turned down. Laundry was washed, dried, pressed and returned promptly on the same day. The food was delicious especially the soups which were to die for. The waiting staff were always pleasant and went out of their way to ensure we had a good time. The ship was immaculate the only complaint we had was a terrible smell that lingered around the back of the boat we think it had something to do with the toilets. We absolutely loved the trip and will definitely look at doing another one soon. Well done Avalon! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We've done river cruising before and wanted to experience the Balkans by Danube. Our travel company recommended Avalon, new for us. Everything about the cruise was excellent: ship (new ship Passion), cabin, staff, service, dining, ... Read More
We've done river cruising before and wanted to experience the Balkans by Danube. Our travel company recommended Avalon, new for us. Everything about the cruise was excellent: ship (new ship Passion), cabin, staff, service, dining, excursions -: a first class experience all around. The dedication and expertise of the captain and crew was evidenced in what occurred during one of the excursions. On a trip to an archeological excavation in Serbia, I fell down a flight of stairs leading back to the bus. I was injured all over my body; miraculously, no broken bones. After receiving first aid in the town close to the site of my fall, I was driven by ambulance, through the hills, to a hospital in a larger town an hour and a half away. There I was treated: abrasions and cuts bandaged, and stitches in my leg and head. I also had two x-rays, a CAT scan, an ultra sound, an EKG and blood work. Excellent, professional care. Then our Avalon guide, who had stayed with us the entire time, drove us another two hours to meet the Passion at an unscheduled stop on the Danube. After conducting us back to the ship, we were given dinner in our stateroom - and the laundry personnel even washed my bloody clothing for me! The captain had monitored my progress the entire day, talking with our Avalon guide, and making it possible for us to meet the ship and continue for the rest of the Balkan cruise; we didn't miss anything! An extraordinary effort to help us as well as to ensure that the rest of the Avalon passengers were able to enjoy their trip through the Iron Gates, and that everything went on as scheduled. I'm not sure this same level of service would have happened with any other cruise company. Kudos and thanks to the entire crew and staff for their caring manner and for an unforgettable, wonderful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Avalon Passion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.0 4.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 3.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.9
Value For Money 4.0 4.6

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