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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We thoroughly enjoyed all of the excursions. The tour guides were extremely well-versed, kind and courteous. We saw and experienced sites that we probably never would have if we had gone on our own. The time spent simply cruising down the ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed all of the excursions. The tour guides were extremely well-versed, kind and courteous. We saw and experienced sites that we probably never would have if we had gone on our own. The time spent simply cruising down the Mosel and Rhine rivers, just watching the world float by, was also incredibly relaxing and breathtaking. It was nice talking to, and getting to know others on the cruise. We met some wonderful people! We really enjoyed the breakfasts, but the lunches were outstanding. Lots of fun foods to try. We loved the buffet style of the breakfasts and lunch. We felt the dinners were lacking in interest and variety. Would rate them a 5 out of 10. Just expected more from Avalon. Have had much better dinners on the ocean cruises we’ve taken! Lastly, we had a terrible experience with our luggage being taken to the airport before our transfer left. It was mistakenly taken with another group prior to our leaving for the airport. The cruise director didn’t think it was anything to worry about, and seemed to take it rather lightly. He said the luggage would be waiting for us, we would just have to pick it up. We, however, were very frustrated, worried and upset. And rightfully so! When we finally got to the airport it took us an hour and a half to finally locate the luggage. It was quite a struggle, and definitely not easy, even with the young man from Avalon who was helping us. We barely made it to our flight, with only 30 minutes to spare! We understand that mistakes can happen, but we felt there was no excuse for this mistake especially since there were only about 105 people on our ship. Just seemed like carelessness. It definitely left us with negative feelings about our Avalon experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
-We were hoping to discover France's culture and French food, but only discovered Avalon's version. -Since we joined this Cruise from another Avalon cruise, there was no welcome aboard, only surprise from the staff ... Read More
-We were hoping to discover France's culture and French food, but only discovered Avalon's version. -Since we joined this Cruise from another Avalon cruise, there was no welcome aboard, only surprise from the staff when we asked for a daily activity sheet.(never did receive one) -Very nice accommodations, loved the large sliding window. -Loved the intimate lite meal options , in the Panorama Lounge. We do not care for the noise of a 'dining hall'. -Liked the option of a top sheet and blanket, instead of a duvet, for the bed. ( not a duvet fan) -Better description of activity levels is needed for excursions, some people on excursions should not have gone due to physical limitations, food restrictions, ect. Staff and or Cruise Director could have resolved these issues and saved some guest embarrassment. -Staff customer service could be improved on. Staff interaction improved as it got closer to the end of the cruse ( tip time) -Disliked the Big ship feel, even though there were only a little more than 120 guests. -Upper deck almost unusable due to height of bridges. -We went with this trip to experience the Seine and experience the 75th Anniversary of D-Day . D-Day remembrance was good, however none of our group had an idea of the plan for the ceremony. Even though we found out that there was a schedule available, Avalon did not supply one. *Probably will not travel with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 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
Friends took this cruise last year and raved! They went above and beyond adding freebies when high water caused us to miss 2 ports. Avalon did not miss a beat. They offered a free concert and choice of excursions. They refunded anyone who ... Read More
Friends took this cruise last year and raved! They went above and beyond adding freebies when high water caused us to miss 2 ports. Avalon did not miss a beat. They offered a free concert and choice of excursions. They refunded anyone who had paid for the excursions. Our only disappointment was that we couldn’t take advantage of their generosity as we gad booked a private tour thinking it would be free time. Not Avalon’s fault, and after a horrible experience on a Baltic cruise where they canceled 3 out if 5 ports with ni compensation or substitutes, this was remarkable. The food was great. The chef met with anyone with special needs or restrictions when we boarded. Every dish was safe for-those who had allergies! This is a relaxing cruise- port intensive and busy during the day and leisurely in the evenings. There were performers from the local area, wine and schnapps tasting, captain ‘s welcome and gala farewell dinner. The buffets were plentiful and delicious. There were 2 cookouts on the skydeck. They need to better organize these as the lines were too long, but this is a new ship and I predict they will figure it out! The rooms were well appointed and the panoramic windows facing the bed were super! Our stewards were efficient and provided excellent service- we hardly saw them but every request was fulfilled! The nice thing about river cruises is that basic tours are included in each port. One guide was better than the next! One nice experience was top service from a front desk employee. The high water on the river changed our schedule and we went to Saltzberg and Linz on what turned out to be a holiday. My husband only wanted a Linzer torte ftom Linz, but alas, the bakeries were all closed. He mentioned it to the woman at the desk, and Surprise, when we returned to our cabin the next night, there was an entire torte with plates and flatware!! Shout out to Dayana for making this vacation fantasy a reality ! Precruise hotel was Prague Hilton. Great hotel, but the old town Hilton and Intercontinental were better located. Budapest was last minute swap to the Sofitel instead of the Intercontinental. Location next to the Chain Bridge was perfect, but not having the rooms available until later in the day was inconvenient. Avalon brought passengers for 50+ rooms and it would have been nice if they had rooms earlier. Breakfast at both hotels was amazing. We cannot wait to plan our next Avalon cruise Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We are avid ocean cruisers and this was our second River Cruise, both on Avalon. The overall experience was fantastic again, with the condition of the ship, the service and the food meeting our expectations. As it turned out, we had the ... Read More
We are avid ocean cruisers and this was our second River Cruise, both on Avalon. The overall experience was fantastic again, with the condition of the ship, the service and the food meeting our expectations. As it turned out, we had the same cruise director (Yeah Valintin!!) as our first cruise and he was, again wonderful in delivering a great week going down the Rhine River. It was so easy getting on and off the boat whenever we wanted to. The wait staff were great, both good service and friendly interaction throughout our week with them. The ports were interesting and Avalon had the excursions extremely well organized with both buses and boats revved and waiting to take us to interesting places. The day we sailed through the Rhine Gorge, our cruise director narrated the experience pointing out the castles and providing context and historic background. Our cabin was on the top deck (category "P") and was extremely comfortable, with a well sized and well appointed bathroom with glass enclosed shower. It is hard to find fault with any aspect of the experience, with maybe a wish for a bit more diversity on food selections at dinner. However, their standard every night steak, chicken or fish options were well prepared if the regular nightly menu didn't meet our tastes. I'm not sure how much difference there is between some of the River Cruise lines (AMA, Uniworld etc) but I am more than pleased with our experiences on Avalon and will book with them again for our next River cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This wasn't our first river cruise. We did the Rhine last year. Both vacations were amazing, but the Rhine wasn't as popular/crowded (fewer ships). The Danube was high due to recent rainfall and bridge clearance was an ... Read More
This wasn't our first river cruise. We did the Rhine last year. Both vacations were amazing, but the Rhine wasn't as popular/crowded (fewer ships). The Danube was high due to recent rainfall and bridge clearance was an issue. Avalon did a great job of working around difficult conditions. The quality of the shore excursions depend, in large part, on the local guides. Many of the guides were entertaining and knowledgeable but not all of them. 1. The food selection and preparation was excellent, but the dining room is noisy, particularly at dinner time. It's much easier to hear conversations from the center (bench) side of the tables. 2. We really enjoyed having time to explore Prague on our own. I think we over scheduled our time with guided tours throughout the trip. Some time to explore on your own ought to be welcomed. I think bus tours (e.g. Vienna) are worthless. A video on the TV would give you the same information and sense of the place. 3. Our guides for Prague were wonderful. Anna (classic) and Christian(Secrets of Prague) were outstanding. 4. The excursion to Terezin was outstanding. Don't miss it! 5. Our guide to Nuremberg was not wonderful (I'm being very kind). I regret wasting the time on the old city and missing the rally ground. On our last excursion of the cruise, I found evaluation/feedback forms for the guides. Be advised they exist and use them! 6. Regensburg is a delight. It wasn't bombed during WWII and it's old and beautiful... dating back to Roman times. Our guide was excellent and the city is beautiful. Enjoy! 7. We mostly missed Passau because of the high water (delays for bridge clearance issues). We had only an hour or so at Passau before we had to sail on. Most of the day was spent in Salzburg which was strikingly beautiful as was all of Austria. 8. The Melk Abbey and gardens are beautiful. Be forewarned that no photographs are allowed in the abbey. The Wachau Valley is spectacular. Bring a serious zoom (400mm) lens to photograph the vineyards, castles and churches. 9. Vienna is beautiful. The Royal Waltz Concert is not to be missed. It was amazing. However, the guided city tour is pretty weak. Too much of the tour is bussed. We did the food tour which was fun. 10. Budapest. Almost all of the city tour is bussed- covering both Buda and Pest. Only a few minutes are free for walking. It's the worst of the lot. (Traffic is heavy and the journey was slow.) The view from the castle is the best part of the city tour. We took the "Bites of Budapest" food tour in the afternoon. It was a significantly better exposure to the city. We traveled with friends and between the four of us we experienced eleven faulty receivers which meant we missed much of several tours. The guides ran out of spare receivers for walkers a few times. This was an ongoing and persistent problem with many passengers. All in all, it was a great (if not perfect) tour! I would do it again, but the rain and high water created a high density of tourists in the cities. I had the feeling the +90% of the pedestrians were riverboat tourists.... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first river cruise, though we've been on a number of ocean cruises, including the Star Clipper and Aranui. Our cruise director was very good, the ship was very good, and our stateroom was very good, though the view of ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, though we've been on a number of ocean cruises, including the Star Clipper and Aranui. Our cruise director was very good, the ship was very good, and our stateroom was very good, though the view of the river from the bed was 50% blocked by a wall (we opted for state room 312, the Royal Suite, and found this aspect of it very disappointing). My criticisms or suggestions would be the following: 1. While the food selection and preparation was excellent, the dining room was very noisy, particularly at dinner time, and seemed understaffed (the staff including 2 trainees . . . .). Avalon should consider 2 seatings and better staffing. 2. The daily bulletin should include the weather forecast for the day ahead. 3. On the "Tastes of Hungary Dinner & Wine Pairing" the gypsy music was overwhelming loud despite our request that it be softer and the music definitely wasn't gypsy (as the gypsys didn't compose My Fair Lady or The Phantom of the Opera . . . .). However, the gentlemen doing the wine pairing did a very good job, it was nice that our group had a room to ourselves, and the food was excellent. 4. Rather than leaving the arrival afternoon in Prague "free time", the city tour ought to have been done then, so that on the final day a full-day tour to the former concentration camp would be available. 5. The Nuremberg tour to the Hitler sites ought to have allowed far more time at the Documentation Museum. 6. The Sconbrunn Palace tour in Vienna ought to have allowed much more time at the site. 7. The City tour of Prague was nothing more than an hour at the Palace and being taken to the Market Square and given free time. Rather than do that, if we did the trip over again, we'd just buy a hop on/hop off bus ticket - see the same places and many more, for much less. 8. The last event we did, which was the Czech Dinner & Folklore Show in Prague, was excellent. The meal, drinks and setting were nice, and the performers 10+. Their music was authentic music from different areas of the country as it has evolved over the years, and they had an excellent ability to get the group excited and have us participate in the fun. While this is a review of the cruise portion of the trip, we also had the pre-cruise and post-cruise experiences in Budapest and Prague. The New York Palace hotel in Budapest was excellent, while the Prague Hilton was so-so. The included and optional excursions in Budapest were good. I've already criticized the included City tour in Prague, but the optional excursion to the concentration camp site was very moving (and far too short). All in all, no serious complaints. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Wanted to go on a relaxing and upscale Riverboat Cruise and this was Not my first one. I was really disappointed in the service and the staff. The food presentation was very nice but the food was not great. The Service from the ... Read More
Wanted to go on a relaxing and upscale Riverboat Cruise and this was Not my first one. I was really disappointed in the service and the staff. The food presentation was very nice but the food was not great. The Service from the dining room was really below par. Not at all what I expected. They were taking our dishes before we were even finished with our food. G-d help you if you were a few minutes later than others at a table. They rushed you out and even told you the others were almost done. What does that have to do with your dining? A majority of the staff, including the Hotel Manager and Dining room manager were wearing so much cologne that the trail followed them all the time. I have an allergy to perfumes and they were asked not wear it and after the request was made, they wore more. They were totally inconsiderate!!!! Made my trip a living hell.! I do not understand why people working in close quarters with the public have to wear fragrances and so much of it. It really is a pollutant. The ship was a new one and was pretty and well laid out. A shame the Customer Relations was So Poor. Also, I thought the included tours were really minimal. I guess thats how they get you to spend more for additional excursions. Avalon , I was told was upscale. I think Not. Last time I went on AMA and thought they did a much better job. The added entertainment on board was pretty bad also. They used the lounge for yoga, so you really could not relax during the classes. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Our travel agent recommended Avalon. The social director was excellent. Also Anna the activity director was fantastic. The small size allowed us to get on and off with ease. Smooth sail. Only 157 passengers. So convenient to return ... Read More
Our travel agent recommended Avalon. The social director was excellent. Also Anna the activity director was fantastic. The small size allowed us to get on and off with ease. Smooth sail. Only 157 passengers. So convenient to return to our cabin. Beautiful scenery and narration by the social director. Met many nice people from all over the country. Got together with some after disembarking in Vienna. While the breakfast, lunch, snack service were excellent, they cleared it up rather quickly and when you returned from a tour you had to rush to get a snack. The dinner service staff needs to be trained not to remove the bread basket and olive oil in the middle of dinner. The serving of coffee or tea was not served either at the proper time and sometimes not served at all. We enjoyed the hot chocolate and cappuccino machine in the lounge. The robes and towels were soft. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Going Places Travel agent Judy Bakanec suggested it. We did this for our 50th wedding anniversary coming up in June. We liked having the AvalonGo app to keep us up to date on any changes to flights and schedules. The ship was new, ... Read More
Going Places Travel agent Judy Bakanec suggested it. We did this for our 50th wedding anniversary coming up in June. We liked having the AvalonGo app to keep us up to date on any changes to flights and schedules. The ship was new, spotless, and had everything we needed, the perfect size to feel at home and well-taken care of. The staff was friendly and completely professional. We teamed up with 3 other couples for meals and shore excursions, making the experience even more meaningful. We will definitely recommend Avalon Cruises and book another one, The only thing that would have made the cruise better would have been if Globus had us actually visit sites and not just see sites. Most days were rainy with temperatures in the low 40s Fahrenheit. Too many Globus classic excursions consisted of bus or walking tours around squares and not actually going inside places escorted. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The main purpose of this trip was to see the tulips at the Keukenhof. We wanted to try a river cruise since big cruises are not as appealing to us. Usually, river cruises are marketed for older people. We are in our 30s, but wanted to try ... Read More
The main purpose of this trip was to see the tulips at the Keukenhof. We wanted to try a river cruise since big cruises are not as appealing to us. Usually, river cruises are marketed for older people. We are in our 30s, but wanted to try it anyway. It doesn't disappoint! We arrived a day before to explore the city (Amsterdam) and the hotel provided was great. Transfers were included and were smooth, without complications. The ship is built like a hotel, very comfortable and everything is accessible. Food was excellent, even during the breakfast and lunch buffets. The flexibility on the activities for the trip was what I liked the most. You can go on the included excursions, add additional excursions, go on your own or stay and chill on the ship. The service was 5-stars and we were treated with courtesy and respect by everyone from the crew. I would recommend this trip to anyone. 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
Great cruise with a company that made our trip so memorable. Cabin was very comfortable and staff was so helpful and friendly. Our ports and excursions were very informative. Since they were in the morning it left us ample time to explore ... Read More
Great cruise with a company that made our trip so memorable. Cabin was very comfortable and staff was so helpful and friendly. Our ports and excursions were very informative. Since they were in the morning it left us ample time to explore on our own or just lounge on the deck. Extra excursions were very reasonably priced and enjoyable. Our excursion to 2 wineries and wine tastings was the highlight of our day in Budapest. Most included excursions offer a guide for “gentle walkers” that needed a a somewhat slower pace. I would advise to bring some loose clothes because the food was phenomenal, with included wine or beer at lunch and dinner. Our cruise director Tabia was superb and made sure that everything was perfect. The wait staff in the dining room were friendly and ensured that our meals were to our liking. This was our second Avelon cruise and will not hesitate to take a third with this company. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted to visit Amsterdam and try a river cruise. The room on the ship were spacious,' comfortable and clean. The crew and staff were very helpful and friendly. The highlights were Keuknhof Gardens and spending a day in Bruges. The ... Read More
We wanted to visit Amsterdam and try a river cruise. The room on the ship were spacious,' comfortable and clean. The crew and staff were very helpful and friendly. The highlights were Keuknhof Gardens and spending a day in Bruges. The entertainment on the ship was good and the local guides for the excursions off the ship were excellent. The only negative was the food, sometimes it was cold and 2 hours for dinner every night is just takes up too much time. I would also recommend arriving into Amsterdam 1 or 2 days earlier to explore the city more. As this cruise does not give you enough time to visit the city's museums and other points of interest like the Anne Frank Museum and their fine restaurants. I would recommend this particular cruise to someone who wanted to visit the Netherlands and Belgium and also recommend Avalon for a cruise company. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
About the Avalon river cruise we first learned from the internet. We booked the river cruise from Nuremberg to Luxemburg on the Main river and the Rhine river. The deal included two nights in a five stars hotel in Prague. We left ... Read More
About the Avalon river cruise we first learned from the internet. We booked the river cruise from Nuremberg to Luxemburg on the Main river and the Rhine river. The deal included two nights in a five stars hotel in Prague. We left home with high expectations and immediately in Prague we realized it was really going to be great. We met the cruise manager Tamas who was extremely friendly and helpful. From Prague we were taken by bus to Nuremberg in Germany to board the ship. And here too everything was perfect and the cabin was indeed what we saw in the advertisement. The dinner turned out to be really very good with plenty of good wines to choose from and the food was very decorative and nicely served and we had plenty of food choices. We have nothing but compliments to the organization, the cabin, the maintenance, the excellent food and the way it was served, the friendly staff, the included tours, and the whole cruising area. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I picked an early (cheaper) date, but late enough to hopefully have good weather. Hit a home run. The extra day pre-cruise hotel was in a great location. All transfers went smoothly. The staff on the cruise was very friendly and competent. ... Read More
I picked an early (cheaper) date, but late enough to hopefully have good weather. Hit a home run. The extra day pre-cruise hotel was in a great location. All transfers went smoothly. The staff on the cruise was very friendly and competent. The food and whole dining experience was outstanding. Excellent selection and quality. The excursions were varied and had well-informed guides. We were docked on the Seine a distance away from the landing beaches, so that day had some time taken up by bus rides to and from the coast and to and from the lunch area. The cabin was nice, but I was not in it that much. Easy train ride to London. Another centrally-located hotel. Again, good sight-seeing smoothly and professionally arranged. All in all, this was twelve days with all kinds of history seen in a comfortable and pleasant way. I would recommend this company without reservation. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as it visited many of the major cities we were interested in going to. By taking this cruise it gave us the opportunity to consider which cities we would like to return to and spend more time. We have traveled with ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it visited many of the major cities we were interested in going to. By taking this cruise it gave us the opportunity to consider which cities we would like to return to and spend more time. We have traveled with Avalon in the past and are impressed with the high level of organization and attention to details. From booking the cruise through our disembarkation in Budapest everything was taken care of first class. Our state room was on the second level with a balcony. It was very comfortable and provided adequate room for the 2 weeks. The entire staff was very helpful, pleasant and accommodating. They would go out of their way to make you comfortable. We took advantage of all the shore excursions which were broke down into smaller groups which allowed us a far better experience than some other tour operators we saw in the cities. The knowledge and quality of local guides was very helpful. We will continue to use Avalon as our primary cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 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
This cruise was magical on the Avalon Panorama, thanks to the wonderful, attentive crew, especially our tour director, István. Passengers were mostly Americans and Australians/New Zealanders in their 60s or later. The daily included tours ... Read More
This cruise was magical on the Avalon Panorama, thanks to the wonderful, attentive crew, especially our tour director, István. Passengers were mostly Americans and Australians/New Zealanders in their 60s or later. The daily included tours were usually morning gentle walking tours of the cities within a small radius of where the ship was docked. Optional included hikes up hill to local castles were also available. The extra tours were well priced, I thought, and were unforgettable. Avalon gave us all kinds of happy surprises, like local drinks as we sailed the Middle Rhein, local exclusive concerts, and special tours of sights along the rivers. The chef did an amazing job with local delicacies. This was the best dining I’ve experienced in 40 plus cruises. Quality local wines and beer plentiful at lunch and dinner. We sailed from Budapest after a full day there, and the night trip through the city was fantastic. In fact, the sailing schedule seemed to maximize our time seeing the best parts of the rivers. Our stops included picturesque and historical towns, including Melk, Dürnstein, Regensburg, Bamberg, Bratislava, Vienna, Nuremberg, Miltenberg, Würzburg, Rüdesheim, Cologne and Amsterdam, where we spent 2 days. István did a great job with the local guides, who were very informative and enthusiastic. If you paid attention, you’d have gotten a good course in Central European history. While my wife was on a Sound of Music tour in Austria, I took an optional tour to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic and the guide gave us an extraordinary history of German/Czech relations over the centuries. I checked out their brand new cruiser bikes three times for scenic trips along the many bike paths along the river. Housekeeping was always friendly and punctual. We liked not being “nickel/dimed” into extra expenses. We were happy, however, to pay extra tips for the crew and tour leader at the end. Without describing each tour stop, I’ll just conclude that this is our best river cruise ever. Avalon has become our favorite river tour operator. István is worth his weight in gold. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife's grandparents were from Amsterdam and it was a trip she thought would be enjoyable. As it turned out it was way better than that. The cruise was perfect from the basic(fabulous) food service to trips off the boat all was well ... Read More
My wife's grandparents were from Amsterdam and it was a trip she thought would be enjoyable. As it turned out it was way better than that. The cruise was perfect from the basic(fabulous) food service to trips off the boat all was well orchestrated too perfection. I can't say enough about the wonderful and helpful staff from the cruise director to the Captain and especially the dining staff and room staff.All were friendly and courteous and helpful in any way they could. The food was exceptional along with quantity there was definite quality. The coffee and cookies on the aft deck was a particular hang out for me as well. The sky deck was great for viewing the beautiful countryside and views of the cities as we entered or departed. We also loved the grill out day on the sky deck and did I mention the food was great. The sky deck area to the aft was great for walking off some of the food as well. We would definitely take another trip with Avalon after this wonderful trip! 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: April 2019
My wife and I,her brother and sister and brother in law, decided to take this Rhine river cruise (Basel to Amsterdam) to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday. Cruising was not high on my agenda for likes but after this experience, we ... Read More
My wife and I,her brother and sister and brother in law, decided to take this Rhine river cruise (Basel to Amsterdam) to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday. Cruising was not high on my agenda for likes but after this experience, we are both keen to do more. In early April, we flew from Australia to London and then after a few days to Basel where we joined the cruise. Everything was great - the food (excellent), the cruise director (to the point, humourous and informative), the guides (knew their stuff and added wit and humour), rooms were cleaned regularly and quickly, the bar persons knew their stuff and nothing was too much trouble. The cabin (level 3 panorama) was comfortable and being able to put our suitcases under the bed gave a plenty of room. The bed was very comfortable and having a 7ft sliding window that could be opened gave us the opportunity on occasions to lie on the bed and watch the world go by. The excursions were interesting and informative and we got good exercise by walking around the towns and cities. I certainly benefited from this. Brother and sister in law relished the walking. The boat had around 170-190 people on board with no children and this made the whole atmosphere calm and relaxed - as it should be. The age group was generally average age of around 50-55 with predominantly Americans and Canadians and a few Aussies to sweeten the pot. Dinner was in the dining room with plenty of choices of food and an endless supply of wine and beer. For lunch, you could go to the dining room for more substantial fare or in the lounge area for something light. Overall ambience on board was fantastic. The only negative that I can identify was that the WiFi was poor (and perhaps that the cruise was too short). My wife and I are now converts and are already thinking about another river cruise but perhaps a little longer in duration. We would recommend Avalon to any who are considering a river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Our friends that are wine connoisseurs wanted to tour region. We wanted to see Monaco but this trip did not end up there as the brochure stated when we booked. We enjoyed all the stops and seeing so many wonderful places., especially ... Read More
Our friends that are wine connoisseurs wanted to tour region. We wanted to see Monaco but this trip did not end up there as the brochure stated when we booked. We enjoyed all the stops and seeing so many wonderful places., especially the small, quaint little towns and unusual things like "Garden of Eden," organ concert in cathedral, wine tasting in a chateau, etc..... We also liked the French Balcony with views of the towns and countryside, however, it seemed that half the time we were double and triple docked with NO view. Did not like that part 'Wish river portion was longer. The ship was nice, we had talks every evening, outlining activities, etc, - those could have been shorter. It would be nice if tips were just part of the price. It is such an hassle/ordeal to worry about that at end of trip. Some companies include tips in price - much better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We had a wonderful time on our Avalon cruise to Eastern Europe. Starting in Prague the arrival was smooth being greeted by the Avalon staff then transferred to the Prague Hilton where there is a dedicated Avalon area. The transfer to the ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on our Avalon cruise to Eastern Europe. Starting in Prague the arrival was smooth being greeted by the Avalon staff then transferred to the Prague Hilton where there is a dedicated Avalon area. The transfer to the ship was seamless and the ship itself was wonderful very easy to get around and our cabin P320 was so lovely and peaceful with its panoramic view and super comfortable bed! And the cabin service was beyond compare (thank you Saleh). The dining was excellent and varied with local cuisine while in that port. I eat gluten free and there was a meeting with the head chef before we sailed to address any concerns with food allergies. The wait staff (thank you Nick) always brought me gluten free bread and knew every item on the menu that was gluten free. The entertainment was varied and always fun and a more intimate experience (this is not a large Caribbean cruise). The staff was always there is answer any question and the meetings before each port was informative and downright fun. Robert our cruise directer was fantastic his desk was in the middle of the ship and always open. All of the ports we visited were well organized and all of the guides are local and so obviously love their towns and cities. You are given a headset and receiver before each tour so even if you are in the back you can hear everything the guide is saying. Be prepared to walk a lot on cobble stone streets that are very narrow that you have to sometimes share with passing cars. Avalon also offers a "gentle" walkers plan too. I can highly recommend Avalon we had such a lovely time and learned so much! Read Less
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