435 Budapest Senior Cruise Reviews

Lovely cruise. Kept relatively busy. Not a lot of down time. Staff was outstanding. Ate at all four dining rooms. Food was excellent. Loved the coffees/hot chocolate machine in main lounge. Even had heated shelving for mugs! Lounge seating ... Read More
Lovely cruise. Kept relatively busy. Not a lot of down time. Staff was outstanding. Ate at all four dining rooms. Food was excellent. Loved the coffees/hot chocolate machine in main lounge. Even had heated shelving for mugs! Lounge seating area quite comfortable. Being there are 3 levels on board the boat, there was only one public restroom and that was on bottom deck. If you weren’t close to your room, you had a good trek to go. Christmas decorations were beautiful and there was a wreath on everyone’s cabin door. Getting on & off was painless. We had to dis-embark at 3:45AM, & they had a continental type breakfast for us and there were only 6 of us. Transportation vehicles were satisfactory, especially when it was AMA busses. They also offered 8 passenger vans for those that had some mobility issues. Washer & dryer facility was a nice perk & they supplied the detergent. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because it was what we could afford. But we got so much more than what we paid for. The cruise director Patricia looked out for all of us, making sure whatever we needed was taken care of. Not just us, everyone. There ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was what we could afford. But we got so much more than what we paid for. The cruise director Patricia looked out for all of us, making sure whatever we needed was taken care of. Not just us, everyone. There were people with special challenges, other normal (like me) and very active people who all had their needs met. The activities director Charlotte is a fun person to be around and very talented. The staff was always around taking care the ship was clean and ship shape. it is a well run ship. We never expected the food to be of the quality and quantity that was shared with us. It is exceptional. The care the chef and his staff to give us something special that they were proud of was very, very evident. Each meal was as much, or as little (not me) as you could choose. As special surprise was the chateaubriand captains dinner. The wines were varied throughout the trip and no glass was left empty by exemplary servers such as Milomar and Dragona. Special people make for special trips and these are special people. We learned more than we could absorb about European history. But we learned a lot. The Danube starting in Budapest, up to the Main and down the Rhine to Amsterdam. Little villages to large cities, it was like a buffet of European sights and culture. Like to food, it never stopped. It was the trip of a lifetime and a dream come true for my wife and I. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was chosen as it was a special offer. What an incredible choice, the cabin was very good even though it was the cheapest available, the cabin was always clean. The food was very good, the buffets had a wide choice of food available ... Read More
This was chosen as it was a special offer. What an incredible choice, the cabin was very good even though it was the cheapest available, the cabin was always clean. The food was very good, the buffets had a wide choice of food available and the evening menus always had a variety that could satisfy anybody. the tours at each stop were provided with local guides who spoke good English and the personal audio gadgets meant that you could hear all that was being said. The pace of the tours was not rushed meaning that you did not miss things. All in all a very good tour. Harry the entertainment organiser impressed everyone with his singing of Neil Diamond and the Rat Pack. The ship looked very well maintained compared to some of the other cruise vessels we saw on the river the reflections theme of mirrors added to a feeling of space and lightness. The only minor disconcerting thing was that the cinema is in the pool arte with the pool floored over but you could hear the sound of water bubbling away beneath your feet ( it would be a good idea to turn it off for the duration of the film) Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We always wanted to cruise the Danube and this cruise didn’t disappoint! Perfect from start to finish! Sailing was perfect in October, sunny and warm the whole time-of course that is not always guaranteed. All the stops were fun and ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise the Danube and this cruise didn’t disappoint! Perfect from start to finish! Sailing was perfect in October, sunny and warm the whole time-of course that is not always guaranteed. All the stops were fun and informative. The food and staff were excellent, and the scenery was exceptional. The excursion’s were all top-notch. They provided awesome guides and really delved into the history of the region and the various historical events that led the the country to were it is now. The food on board was awesome. They tried to bring regional cuisine into each menu so that you could truly experience the particular food of each location, and since we were visiting five different countries, this was no small task! The evening entertainment was also regionally inspired, trying to bring a bit of the local culture on board each night. Can’t wait for our next cruise which is already booked for next October! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were impressed even before we boarded for our cruise! On the day before sailing we found the dock and boarded to ask a few questions. The staff was quite pleasant and accommodating. This was definitely a different experience than ... Read More
We were impressed even before we boarded for our cruise! On the day before sailing we found the dock and boarded to ask a few questions. The staff was quite pleasant and accommodating. This was definitely a different experience than an ocean cruise. We brought our luggage to the ship around 11 am on the first day and they stored it while we ate lunch and then left the ship to explore Budapest. At 3 pm we were able to check-in. That was a very fast process. There again, compared to an ocean cruise, it was a snap. We were able to go to our cabin (223). The luggage was already there. The cabin had good storage for all our belongings. The sliding doors on the closet were neat and didn’t take up room in the cabin. We particularly liked the balcony being a part of the room. That made the space seem much larger, although it only added about 20 sf more. I liked that there were four glass doors that could close off the cabin if needed. We only had the balcony top window down a couple of times, but it was nice that we had that option. The room was quiet once the room above us got all situated. We didn’t hear them again until they were on their balcony Skyping their family in Australia and talking loudly. Closing the glass doors to our room helped solve that. The door really kept out the hallway noise. I didn’t hear anything noise in the evening. We usually turned in well before other cruisers. We found to the food to be good. The plated portions were on the small side. We could have ordered more, but there was adequate food and we never went hungry. The breakfast and lunch buffets had a nice selection. Tables were configured to seat 2 or 4, and occasionally a larger one. Many times the table for two would join in the conversation with the table for four. We found our fellow passengers to be quite congenial and interesting. The excursions were set for different activity levels. We usually took the more active walking tour. My husband also went on a 38k bike ride. The bikes are electronically assisted. It was a nice ride for them. They actually got to the port in Melk about the time that we were docking. We enjoyed the evening Enrichment concert at the palace in Vienna. It was a lovely evening of listening to classical music and opera. Another outstanding excursion was the day tour to Salzburg and then lunch and a Sound of Music Show. The morning started off foggy and then lifted by the time we got to Salzburg. That made walking around the town so much nicer. Most of the passengers were on their first river cruise. One other couple were on their fourth Scenic cruise (the only line they have been on)- a good testament to Scenic. Of the 169 passengers, Canadians had the most, followed by Australians, Americans, Brits, a New Zealand couple and three from Israel. It was a good mix. Average age was probably in the upper 50s or mid 60s – no kids (except for two 20 somethings). The staff was mostly from Eastern Europe- Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, and Poland. They spoke English very well and were very pleasant. We sad that the ship was continuing on from Nuremberg without us. We look forward to going on another river cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We wanted a short break and always enjoy river cruising. We kept our fingers crossed that we’d see this area along the Danube in beautiful autumn colours, and we did! Right from the start there was someone to help us on our way. As ... Read More
We wanted a short break and always enjoy river cruising. We kept our fingers crossed that we’d see this area along the Danube in beautiful autumn colours, and we did! Right from the start there was someone to help us on our way. As soon as we had our bags at Budapest airport we were met and put onto our buses. From then on there was always help at hand. The entertainment on board started on our first evening with a taste of local traditions and then during the week there was either music, quizzes or competitions. Some of the little towns were lovely and the city tours were to the pace of the passengers. If you wanted to hike up a hill to a castle or take a gentle stroll all were catered for. And the accommodation was just great - clean cabins, attentive service and lovely food. What more do you want on a relaxing break away! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We saw it advertised on tv. The river cruise was our first, but not our last it was everything and more then we expected. Starting with the unexpected free hand luggage and going on to be one of the best journeys of our life. Trips and the ... Read More
We saw it advertised on tv. The river cruise was our first, but not our last it was everything and more then we expected. Starting with the unexpected free hand luggage and going on to be one of the best journeys of our life. Trips and the Concert were all outstanding, we visited the wonderful city of Budapest with its great culture. Then Vienna a lively and lovely city, where we watched an excellent concert. After we visited Durnstein and sampled the taste of the local Brandy and Wine. Next was Melk and a trip to the 900 year old Abby which was awesome. Following this was Linz where we visited the castle with it’s amazing views. The cruise down the Danube with the views and wonderful scenery were often watched while dining making it even more special. But what made the whole experience special was the outstanding staff. The facilities and food were all brilliant. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My expectations were high having heard many good things about this cruise, but what I experienced was an exceptional quality of service, with great attention to details as I have never experienced before. The dining room is somewhat ... Read More
My expectations were high having heard many good things about this cruise, but what I experienced was an exceptional quality of service, with great attention to details as I have never experienced before. The dining room is somewhat noisy especially when you have a few "loud voices" about, but in comparaison to the choices available, the quality of the food and service, it did not spoil my experiences. The excursions were of much greater value than those I experienced on Ocean cruise ships, especially when you consider that everything on the boat/ship is included ... you don't have to spend one cent on the ship unless you want french champagne, cognac etc ... All the tour guides I had spoke english beautifully and were obvously highly educated and mostl refined young people. One negative for me was the quality of the hair conditionner supplied in the bathroom, I should have brought my own ... a small detail indeed and no clock ! Another negative, was that some people have absolutely no idea about dress code ... shorts and thongs are not suitable for the dining room and in the lounge in the evening; just a couple of men, but still. I was not aware that there was an extension to Paris, so I had not booked it, and disembarked in Amsterdam. I would do another cruise with APT anytime. Thank you to all concerned on the ship for making this trip a memorable one. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Nearly everything about our Viking experience was excellent - booking, meeting and transportation to/from airports, welcome on the ship, room accommodations, dining, shore excursions, Dominic our cruise director, super-friendly and helpful ... Read More
Nearly everything about our Viking experience was excellent - booking, meeting and transportation to/from airports, welcome on the ship, room accommodations, dining, shore excursions, Dominic our cruise director, super-friendly and helpful staff, and much more. Our first Viking cruise has probably ruined us from ever booking another cruise company. The Grand European Tour was wonderful - the ports of call ranged from beautiful small villages to large interesting cities like Budapest, Vienna, Nürnberg and Köln. Not perfect? Our captain had less than a sparkling personality, the free wifi disconnected too often, the ship-to-shore gangplanks were sometimes steep and wet, and passenger ages ranged 45-80, definitely a grey-haired crowd. Not Viking's fault, but our American Airlines connections between Philly and Budapest were on vintage 1980s airplanes - great food but embarrassing video screens and no USB ports. Viking is at the upper-end of cruising quality and price, and you definitely get what you pay for. Except for extra shore excursions, our cruise was nearly all-inclusive, including wine and drinks at lunch and dinner, and well worth it. I can't recommend Viking enough - we're done with Holland, Carnival, etc. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
For our 5th cruise with Viking (after Portugal, France, China and Med) we decided for our anniversary to explore the Central Europe on Viking LIF. Our expectations were very high, but the recent 2 weeks experience was absolutely ... Read More
For our 5th cruise with Viking (after Portugal, France, China and Med) we decided for our anniversary to explore the Central Europe on Viking LIF. Our expectations were very high, but the recent 2 weeks experience was absolutely terrific, far above all our previous cruises with Viking. The on board meals were wonderful but I will suggest the possibility to order half portion I hate food waste. All the staff in the restaurant they were above any expectations: outstanding service, especially Pol, George, Bogdan, Andri. The food was delicious and fresh, very well prepared and the lead Chef Michael was top notch. PERFECT! Kudos to Kristian, the restaurant manager for his attention, friendly attitude and the way how he manage my quite complicated dietary requests. The reception team was excellent. Sometimes we found the Hotel Director Josip a little bit arrogant, but maybe is a cultural thing. Susana, Johnny and Bart were very professional, efficient and gracious. Their smiles were contagious true sunshine between the raindrops One little glitch about our Silver package being in force mid-way through cruise. Great services remedied the problem of our enrollment post haste and all is well. Add more hook for clothing in state rooms both River and Ocean I am disappointed how some guests dressed for dinner in the dining room: shorts, flip flops, sweatshirts And finally, our cruise Director. What can I say? Sometimes I had the feeling the we have 4 or 5 of them on board because he was everywhere: in the morning on the sundeck explaining the scenery, during the tours popping out at every corner, in the afternoon with amazing infotainment type of lectures and after dinner organizing fantastic parties and game shows. Leonard was unbelievable, he made this trip so memorable, lovely person. Energetic, wealth of knowledge. He is a great addition to Viking. He is a gem and handled challenging issues (low water levels, changing in program, difficult guests) with professionalism and a sense of humor. Looking back to our experience on Viking LIF is clear that Leonard was the best thing on the cruise so much information, friendly, helpful. These people deserve a hand. Leonard made this trip awesome All the staff was exceptional. Leonard is worth his weight in gold I really enjoy the relaxed friendly atmosphere your staff are the best I have met after 10 years travelling, I only hope I stay well enough to travel with you again. Viking staff is the key to a wonderful experience Lif has Leonard and an outstanding crew from the top down. We felt well cared for, pampered and safe. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The service staff were the best part of the cruise. The food and wine etc were very good. However, I found the sheer numbers of people -148 or thereabouts - quite overwhelming. The ship didn't get past Passau and we were berthed there ... Read More
The service staff were the best part of the cruise. The food and wine etc were very good. However, I found the sheer numbers of people -148 or thereabouts - quite overwhelming. The ship didn't get past Passau and we were berthed there for 3 days with our 'view' being a stone wall. That's not what I paid for. Why was there no contingency plan? Our river cruise turned into hours of being herded about on coach tours. I believe it was known from the outset that we wouldn't get past Passau. There were too many early rises and way too much walking. The tours, although good, were often too long and the guides too longwinded. i wear hearing aids and found the audio devices totally unsuitable for these. I got a flippant reply when I mentioned this to the TD. The wires and box are cumbersome and annoying when you're managing camera, walking stick, umbrella etc. I had a fall while on an earlier tour before joining the ship, and the after effects eventually precluded me from doing the Prague food and culture walk. When I approached the TD regarding a refund, he refused on the grounds that I'd pre-paid the trip from home. Penalised for being organised and saving him some paperwork. The overall atmosphere was impersonal and regimented. I definitely would not recommend Avalon based on my experience. 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
Envision is a new ship very nice. Cabin with confortable beds good bathroom great storage and huge TV. Wifi excellent all time. Cabin staff perfect work. Food was variated and always very good in all meals. Staff in bars and dinning room ... Read More
Envision is a new ship very nice. Cabin with confortable beds good bathroom great storage and huge TV. Wifi excellent all time. Cabin staff perfect work. Food was variated and always very good in all meals. Staff in bars and dinning room very nice and quick to serve. Cruise director Maria was really helpful and always present. Captain show up very often kind and with good sense humor. Seems always happy. The cities and places visited along Danube well chosen and all with interesting sites to visit. Very interesting presentation about river locks connecting Danube to Rhine about one hour a professor who came on board. Very interesting at end bought the book he had written about this matter. Did already cruise on Rhine river from Basel to Amsterdam with another company also very good but I really recommend Avalon Envision. Hope soon travel again with them. PS entertainment too much American music in Europe cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We knew we wanted to do a Danube/Rhine cruise and after trying to figure out the ratings of cruise lines and also trying to compare pricing, we contacted our travel agent and she did the legwork for us and recommended Scenic. Our cruise ... Read More
We knew we wanted to do a Danube/Rhine cruise and after trying to figure out the ratings of cruise lines and also trying to compare pricing, we contacted our travel agent and she did the legwork for us and recommended Scenic. Our cruise was from Budapest to Amsterdam (14 days) and we also opted for the extension in Prague and a couple extra days in Amsterdam. We were extremely pleased with the hotels we stayed in and the luxurious accommodations we had on board. We loved our cabin which was smartly and sleekly designed and had plenty of storage space. The private balcony, where we could lower the window, was also a plus when we wanted some alone time. Scenic's mobile app worked very well as it alerted us to upcoming Points of Interest and also provided our local guides with different channels to ensure everyone in our small groups could hear what the guide was saying. All Scenic personnel, including local guides, were friendly, informative, and helpful. We liked having a choice of between 3 and 4 daily land tours which were geared to various interests and physical ability. It was great to also have free time to explore on our own! One of the biggest selling points for us was that the trip was all-inclusive so we didn't have to think about airfare, tips, transfers, excursion costs etc. In the evening we often had local entertainers on board which added to the fun. Without hesitation I would highly recommend a Scenic Luxury River Cruise based on my experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The most relaxing active vacation ever! Sounds strange but it’s true; active because there is often something going on or somewhere to be, relaxing because Scenic takes care of all the logistics. It truly was all inclusive; no tipping, ... Read More
The most relaxing active vacation ever! Sounds strange but it’s true; active because there is often something going on or somewhere to be, relaxing because Scenic takes care of all the logistics. It truly was all inclusive; no tipping, even on the airport transfers from/to home. Scenic bills itself as 5 star all-inclusive so we were disappointed to read in the information booklet that “if we received exceptional service” we were free to add a gratuity. Sorry, for what we paid, exceptional service was expected! 68 locks, 803 bridges so it’s definitely a worry about low/high water levels. We were very fortunate as a few days after we passed Passau ship swaps happened. Cabin 206 was perfectly situated, bed was very comfortable, roomy shower with rain head and hand held shower wands. Ample storage; everything was soft close (cupboards, drawers, cabinets, toilet seat). Very impressed with the number of outlets. Great lighting and mirrors make the cabin seem very spacious. We had a couple of minor things that needed attention and, within a half hour, the issues were resolved. Excellent service. The individual blankets had not been washed prior to our arrival so we made sure not to put them back in their zippered pouch so that our cabin steward was aware they had been used and needed cleaning. Our cabin steward was excellent – the best we’ve ever had. They make a big deal about your “butler” but, other than introducing herself the first day, we had no interaction with her at all. That being said, we didn’t have any need for the included services or they were provided by other individuals. Toiletries were great. Hair dryer, Nordic walking sticks, large umbrella, ear plugs, even a long handled shoe horn were provided. Undecided if the sun lounge was worth the additional cost; rafting and/or facing public areas often left us unable to enjoy it but it does make for a larger cabin. Breakfast and lunch buffets were excellent; lots of variety and the breads at lunch were awesome. The pastry chef was outstanding; apple turnovers, croissants and other breakfast pastries were light and flaky. I absolutely loved the butter machine which provided a fresh portion of butter at the touch of a button; definitely a hit with all guests. There are fresh made options available for both breakfast and lunch. Smoothies were tasteless as was the “flavoured” water served at the Late Riser Breakfast in the River Café. We had lunch served in River Café when we opted out of the excursion to Salzburg and, while the selection was fine, the food was lukewarm. The same situation with the Sun Deck BBQ. The warming trays just don’t do the job. They do not serve “fresh” milk and we normally drink milk at lunch and dinner. Opted not to visit Portobellos as we didn't like the menu (beef cheeks!) and we don't drink alcohol so the wine pairing wasn't of interest. Very small portions for dinner. Even by Canada Food Guide recommendations Scenic portions fall far below the minimum requirements. Vegetables and starch are almost non existent! My husband has a small appetite and TWICE he woke up hungry during the night; NEVER happened before in his 72 years! There are limited selections; two cold appetizer options, two hot appetizer options, one soup, one meat, one fish and one vegetarian. Fortunately they have “always available” options. Soups were “made with love” but would definitely benefit from being made with cream. They were watery despite being called “cream of”. My husband said the soup spoons were more like shovels and would come in handy digging in the garden. Meal descriptions left much to be desired and were often not an accurate depiction of what the meal really was. We only ordered room service once and the meal was delivered promptly and the food was piping hot. I have menus and pictures of the meals at: https://www.flickr.com/gp/22259946@N08/Fi6264 With the exception of one employee who twice refused to take an order for coffee in two different venues on two different days to two different people (he just pointed and said “self-serve”) everyone was friendly, efficient and eager to please. There was wonderful interaction between staff members and a very warm environment. Some great moves were witnessed on disco night! Our cruise director Richard (distant relation of Richard the Lionheart) was entertaining, knowledgeable and energetic. Miljenko, Restaurant Manager, was charming and always willing to assist with food concerns. Mario Alberto, Hotel Manager, was an absolute delight and ran the operations with a warm smile and a firm commitment to guest satisfaction. The reception staff were wonderful; always a ready smile and can do attitude. There were 148 guests; Australia, New Zealand, Canada, U.K., a few Americans and one couple from Curacao. It was a great group with everyone having an enjoyable time without any drunken behaviour in spite of the included alcohol. Unfortunately a few guests didn’t make use of the hand sanitizer, complimentary water, shampoo and shower gel and preferred “au naturale” to using deodorant. Opal Lounge had ample, comfortable seating but the very low black tables were a hazard at night as both a tripping issue and trying to find the surface to place your glass. I loved the glass straws! Being non-alcohol drinkers we would have appreciated frozen mocktails. Hot chocolate, teas and coffee available 24/7 in the Opal Lounge was excellent. We were pleased with the offered entertainment. We enjoyed listening to David; a talented musician. The excursions were well organized and stress free. We especially enjoyed the Palais Liechtenstein concert and we have NO interest in classical music. It was definitely an experience not to be missed as was the visit and feast at Marksburg Castle. The banquet is for everyone, the Castle Tour is definitely NOT for anyone with mobility issues or a fear of falling. We really enjoyed the high lock experience, it was so well done with dramatic music added! The highlight for us was sitting on the Sun Deck soaking in the passing scenery between Koblenz and Rudesheim. Life just doesn’t get any better than this. The Scenic Taylormade app was hit and miss on excursions but the City Guides and River View options were excellent. We would rate our experience a 10 but, value for money, 7-8. We’re glad we ticked this experience off our bucket list but with the high cost and the anxiety over water levels it’s not something we’ll do again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
An excellent cruise to enjoy. All facilities excellent. Staff excellent . This cruise is seriously tops. The staff were helpful and not over intrusive. It is difficult for staff to provide just the correct amount of ... Read More
An excellent cruise to enjoy. All facilities excellent. Staff excellent . This cruise is seriously tops. The staff were helpful and not over intrusive. It is difficult for staff to provide just the correct amount of friendliness without being invasive. The staff on board Emerald Dawn were excellent. They provided us with a wonderful experience. The organised programme was exciting, and very well planned and we were guided through the most interesting sights of all the cities and villages we were able access. Many of the activities required overseeing at a very high level and the Emerald Dawn staff and guides achieved this level unhesitatingly. The tour guides had extensive knowledge of their area and this was noticed by the passengers. Overall our time onboard the Emerald Dawn was amazing and we would seriously like the staff to be praised for the excellent presentation of the river trip onboard the Emerald Dawn Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our first, but not out last, river cruise. My husband and I loved everything about cruising with Avalon. It's interesting to hear people talk about other lines. We would choose Avalon again without hesitating. The service ... Read More
This was our first, but not out last, river cruise. My husband and I loved everything about cruising with Avalon. It's interesting to hear people talk about other lines. We would choose Avalon again without hesitating. The service was GREAT. We might go for an upper cabin next time. It's true that you don't spend so much time in your room, but I did not realize that the room would be below the site line of the window. Next time... :)) I want to give a shout out the chef and his team. We had a special meal and they simply could not have been more accommodating. I don't know about the other special requests, but the vegan meals prepared for us were spectacular. The first night we got white rice and they asked how we liked the dinner. We said it was great but we preferred brown rice and whole grain. Done! They were fabulous. Thanks again to the chef and his gang! The sporty excursions did not disappoint. The biking, hiking, and canoeing were better than we expected. Thank you Avalon. See you again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were on Emerald Star Sept 1-8 2019.The embarkation was a nightmare we sat in airport in Frankfurt from 9:30am to 1:30 pm. Orginately we were suppose to be there at 12:30 pm. But got email to say come for 9:30 am. But bus at 10: only ... Read More
We were on Emerald Star Sept 1-8 2019.The embarkation was a nightmare we sat in airport in Frankfurt from 9:30am to 1:30 pm. Orginately we were suppose to be there at 12:30 pm. But got email to say come for 9:30 am. But bus at 10: only big enough for 10 people and luggage and we were about 35 people. Then 2and 1/2 drive with no bathroom break. Not sure who was a fault but certainty a disconnect. Staff on board were excellent and could not do enough for us. Chef and head Maitre De worked together to develope gluten free diet for my husband. We thought entertainment was only so/so. We did not have oompa band. But social director sang 2 nights one would have been ok. All sightseeing tours were free and were excellent. We enjoyed wine tastings and beer tasting free on tours. We enjoyed sitting up going through locks. The uptop BBQ was great.We would choose Emerald again. Awesome! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
There is so much history in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Czeck Reublc. I have neverbeen on a river cruise. IT was great to see scenery on both sides, experience the locks,have a great cruise director Hendrick,, great meals and ... Read More
There is so much history in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Czeck Reublc. I have neverbeen on a river cruise. IT was great to see scenery on both sides, experience the locks,have a great cruise director Hendrick,, great meals and entertainment. I enjoyed seeingthe sites of the making of the Sound of Music movie. I also enjoyed the horse farm. It was greatly entertaining. The shore excursions were very educational and entertaining. Hendrick, our cruise director, and all of the crew were very friendly and efficient. Ourmeals were great, including wine, etc. Our french chief did a great job. I have beenon ocean cruises, but this was much more personal. Sitting at different tables formeals helped me to get acquainted with several other passengers which was a plusfor one traveling alone. The music and other entertainment in the lounge was great. My room was wonderful and I had a great view. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We sailed the Passage to Eastern Europe with the added pre-extension in Prague. Overall Viking is very organized in terms of transporting you from place to place. Starting at the airport, there was a Viking Rep waiting for us. We were kept ... Read More
We sailed the Passage to Eastern Europe with the added pre-extension in Prague. Overall Viking is very organized in terms of transporting you from place to place. Starting at the airport, there was a Viking Rep waiting for us. We were kept waiting for another couple, who never showed, for an hour and a half. Here’s where some common sense should’ve kicked in. Maybe wait a half hour and then take us to the hotel. We were exhausted from a long flight and wanted to rest at the hotel. We were booked at the Corinthia, which is a wonderful hotel The room was a good size and very clean. They have three good restaurants and a lounge for late-night coffee or drinks. Breakfast was included and very good. They have a Viking Desk at the hotel which is convenient. They had signed us up for the city tour, which we opted out of, so they arranged transportation for us to join the food tour which we had signed up for. The tour was good with three restaurants and several dishes to try. Very little walking. We also did the Prague by Night tour which drove us through the city at night with some beautiful stops for amazing views of the city. They also had a complimentary shuttle to the Old Town from the hotel, which we took advantage of to explore on our own. To get to Budapest was an 8-hour or so bus ride. We stopped a couple of times for bathroom breaks and lunch. It was essentially a lost day. We stayed at the Hilton in the castle district, which is absolutely stunning. Check-in was less smooth with everyone crowding the desk to get a room key. At this point I had pulled a muscle in my calf and was unable to go on one of the tours. Beware: Once Viking has your money, YOU WILL NOT get it back. We were told no refund unless we paid $130 Euros for a doctor’s note. We were looking to get back $180 US. Having traveled several cruise lines, Viking is the only one who wouldn’t refund our money for missing an excursion. We paid $20K for the trip and they have lost a customer forever. I hope the $180 was worth it. Awful service. Budapest is stunningly gorgeous. We went on a few of the tours, which were part bus, part walking tours. After two nights, Viking takes you on a day tour and then finally to the ship. Getting on board is relatively easy as you just check-in at the front desk and relinquish your passport. They had a light lunch waiting for us and shortly after 3:00 we entered our cabin. The ship was in good shape, clean, and inviting. It’s color palette is blonde wood with beige furniture and accessories. Because it’s a river boat, the spaces are smaller and fewer. The largest spaces are the lounge, dining room, and top deck. We never had any issues finding a table or seating for lounging. At night there is a pianist/singer in the lounge. That’s about it for entertainment unless they bring in locals for dancing and other activities. The food is good. Each night they have a tasting menu based on the country you’re docked in. Everything we tried was very tasty. Dining times are rigid for each of the three meals. However, if you do miss a meal, the staff is extremely well trained and accommodating so you can likely get something if you ask. We traveled through Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. Most of the tours are around 4 hours and some combination of bus and walking. All of the guides talked about the wars and Communism, which was really interesting. We had two full-day tours the last two days. On one of the tours we drove out to Veliko Tărnovo for a bathroom break, coffee, and photo op. Then on to Arbanasi for a walking tour and lunch, and then back to the other village for an “hour+ of free time.” Why not just head back to the ship? Instead we arrived back with less than an hour to spare before dinner. It felt like they just wanted us to spend money in town. The next day we disembarked, en masse, in 100 degree heat to be driven around all day and kept away from the hotel until after 4:00. There were no other options but to be forced on to this tour to get us off the boat. So, it says 11 days, but you’re only on the boat for 7. This means some of your meals are on you in addition to what you’ve already paid for the cruise. Overall we saw some beautiful places that have not yet been commercialized. We learned a lot about this part of the world. We met some wonderful people and had some great food. There were a few things that did leave a bad impression, most notably the refusal to refund one of the excursions. We expect more for the high cost of the trip. For our next cruise, we’d select a company who understands that fully accommodating its customers means repeat business. Viking, unfortunately, doesn’t get that part. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
A bucket list trip that may be the only time we do this ... wanted to ‘see it all’! We joined the ship in Amsterdam. We were met at the airport by Viking reps and quickly taken to the Viking Baldur at the port. Great assistance with ... Read More
A bucket list trip that may be the only time we do this ... wanted to ‘see it all’! We joined the ship in Amsterdam. We were met at the airport by Viking reps and quickly taken to the Viking Baldur at the port. Great assistance with luggage at the airport - getting luggage onto the ship was a bit sketchy - minimal assistance. Departed on time. The Included shore excursions throughout were excellent. Most required a significant amount of walking, but hills and obstructions were minimal. Guides were English speaking throughout and excellent. Special cities - Nuremberg where we took a special tour of WWII sites; Vienna; Budapest; and Prague. Staff.on board was exceptional - friendly, helpful, courteous, willing to do whatever to meet our wants and needs. Food - too much, too often, too good. The food choices were great and regional tastings were excellent. The cabin was small, but well laid out and everything worked well. The veranda was a plus on many occasions - we enjoyed it night and day. Great sleeping environment. All of the Viking plans and itinerary worked without a flaw. We used Viking free air and were pleased with this option. We did not have to change ships owing to high or low water. All connections were on time. The trip was not ‘cheap’ in any regard but it exceeded our expectations. We would do it again ... and recommend it strongly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This cruise was our first river cruise and was prompted by a special deal offered by Viking at the last minute. I noticed the difference between Viking and other ocean cruises we had been on right away. Just as I was about to say, ... Read More
This cruise was our first river cruise and was prompted by a special deal offered by Viking at the last minute. I noticed the difference between Viking and other ocean cruises we had been on right away. Just as I was about to say, "where do we go?" or "is this the right....?", a Viking representative arrived to guide us to luggage, transportation, the boat. And this level of service was consistent throughout the entire voyage. The Cruise Director was phenomenal and was expert at organizing the tours, providing information, teaching us culture and helping us maximize the experience of the trip. As a photographer, I came away with over 1,000 photos of places, people, architecture and culture that will last a lifetime. The ship is extremely well run, a model of efficiency with an emphasis on customer service. The cabins are well appointed and even our smaller sized cabin came with nice amenities. The stewards were always on time, on hand, and friendly. I recommend getting to know them a little as they are from the countries you are about to visit and will provide you worthwhile insight. I can honestly say that I did not have a bad or even mediocre meal on the entire trip. Whether on the ship or a planned outing, the food was very good, well prepared, and artfully presented. You have a wide range of choices as well but please, don't just pound down hamburgers.... try the local and regional fare offered. Shore excursions are your window into the world an I recommend that you take advantage of them. Whether free or purchased, each tour is well thought-out and local guides impart a flavor of the area. Of course, there is variation in the quality of the tour guides but it is usually around their presentation and not their knowledge and willingness to answer questions. They really made a difference for me as a "first-timer" in Europe. Having a guide help you explore the time and space of Europe is essential in securing a wonderful experience and memories that will last a lifetime. On-board entertainment was fun - from professional singers, a lounge band, Classical Duet, a Glass Blower, and of-course, the Cruise Director. Even the Chef got into the act. It was fun to experience. The majority of the passengers were 50 or over and we all enjoyed meeting each other, talking about home, and of course, making plans for the next excursion. In short, this cruise was perfectly tailored for people of similar interests and age. Because of Viking, we made friends with an Australian couple and are now making plans to visit Australia. In short, I am already planning the next Viking river cruise knowing that the Company, its employees, and representatives will do their utmost to guide me to a unique experience somewhere in the world. Release: Attached photos may be used by Viking for their exclusive, unrestricted use. Photographer retains all rights. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is our third cruise with Emerald. Did same cruise 3 years ago. Beautiful ship. Spacious and spotlessly clean cabins. Excellent service and choice of food and drinks. Very attentive and friendly staff. Interesting shore excursions ... Read More
This is our third cruise with Emerald. Did same cruise 3 years ago. Beautiful ship. Spacious and spotlessly clean cabins. Excellent service and choice of food and drinks. Very attentive and friendly staff. Interesting shore excursions every day. Good entertainment. Absolutely no problems or concerns. Definitely recommend. Daily information sheets and maps of each excursion. Cruise director very knowledgeable about places visited. Guided daily tours very informative regarding town and village histories. Comfortable coaches to same. No problem airport pick up and drop off. Emerald staff at airports to help. Lovely pool on board which converts to cinema during the evening. Free tea and coffee machines 24/7. Free wine beer and soft drinks with meals. Excellent selection of food at breakfast. Buffet or a la carte at lunch. A la carte for dinner with choice regional foods (5 course) or steak, chicken or fish if preferred. All in all an excellent cruise line. Definitely be visiting again. Thank you Emerald for yet again a wonderful 2 weeks. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Jewish Heritage Cruise was way above our expectations. Two excursions included everyday. Way more than was advertised. Lecturers/Speakers on board were excellent. Chef and Cruise Director modified things to meet the special topic ... Read More
Jewish Heritage Cruise was way above our expectations. Two excursions included everyday. Way more than was advertised. Lecturers/Speakers on board were excellent. Chef and Cruise Director modified things to meet the special topic cruisers. Incredible state room opened Completely so we cruised in bed with the room open to river sounds and smells. Great food beautifully presented. Class A hotels at both Budapest and Prague with perfect locations and excellent views. Very high level buses for tours. Almost all guides had excellent English. Broke groups into small like 20 people so big buses half empty. Whole ship only about 120 people. Great sound speaker system on all tours. A few optional tours were good and not high priced. Wait staff very friendly and efficient. In trying to find something negative to say: Marketing materials said there would be nightly 10:30 food that didn’t happen. Also, tea time was almost always taken down before tours returned to ship. Bar wait staff was not really interested in selling drinks - didn’t work the room during happy hour or during lectures, didn’t know what liquor they had, etc. Marketing materials and even signs on ship said they had a beauty salon but crew said that was closed years ago. None of the negatives hurt the trip which was fantastic and we are veterans of 20+ cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this cruise to be able to see as much as possible while in Europe. Everyone on the ship was very accommodating to all types of passengers. I think we all would agree that we were very fortunate to have an awesome cruise director, ... Read More
We choose this cruise to be able to see as much as possible while in Europe. Everyone on the ship was very accommodating to all types of passengers. I think we all would agree that we were very fortunate to have an awesome cruise director, Danielle. But it doesn’t stop there, from housekeeping to dining room staff to bartenders I mean everyone was great. The ship is in tiptop shape and the rooms are roomy enough with fantastic views. As we did cruise three different rivers we had an opportunity to see other cruise lines along the way and personally we are super glad that we chose Avalon not only from the ships appearance but also from the number of people on board seemed to be less than others. Onboard entertainment was varied and our cruise director did a great job of bringing in special guest. The on shore excursions were mostly good sometimes tour guides would spend a little bit too much time with history but that is to be expected. Oh and did I mention the castles! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019

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