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87 Avalon Waterways Avalon Tranquility II Cruise Reviews

I sailed on Avalon’s Romantic Rhine cruise from Basel to Amsterdam in June 2017. Everything was top notch from start to finish. I was treated like royalty the whole time. The entire crew was phenomenal - from initial check in at the ... Read More
I sailed on Avalon’s Romantic Rhine cruise from Basel to Amsterdam in June 2017. Everything was top notch from start to finish. I was treated like royalty the whole time. The entire crew was phenomenal - from initial check in at the hotel in Zurich to the final drop off at the airport in Amsterdam, everyone was friendly and helpful. The ship was gorgeous and spotless...the common areas and my stateroom. The food was absolutely delicious. I loved the wide variety of options at breakfast and lunch buffets. The dinners were out of this world! Every night was a delicious multi-course journey which highlighted our current location with local food and wine to choose from. I also really enjoyed the open seating and the opportunity to meet new people at every meal. The daily excursions were a lot of fun. I took advantage of all of the included excursions as well as several optional (extra charge) ones. They each gave a great overview of each of our stops, and the local tour guides were both friendly and knowledgeable. I also liked that we had at least a little bit of free time at each stop, so there was always an opportunity to do some shopping or get a snack or beverage. It was also great to be welcomed back to the ship after each excursion by the smiling faces of the crew and a nice, cool drink and a refreshing towel. The staterooms are fantastic, even though I did not spend much time there! The floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall sliding glass door really makes a difference. It was nice to sit and relax by that window either while sitting in port or sailing onto the next stop. Such a unique way to see everything! I am a regular solo traveler and did so on this cruise. It was very easy to travel solo with Avalon. I quickly made some new friends on our first pre-embarkation excursion to Mt Pilatus, and I spent a lot of time with them throughout the cruise. The variety of excursions and the open dining room also make it easy to meet a lot of new friends. I fell in love with Avalon on this, my inaugural river cruise and cannot stop bragging about them to all of my friends and family! I have already booked my next journey with them...the Active Discovery on the Danube in July 2018. I am very much looking forward to traveling in style with Avalon again, and I highly recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The cruise was good overall. I gave it 4 stars, as the food was just OK. We thought that the portions were smaller then expected, certainly any fish being served was minute! Also, having to be in the restaurant at a specific time was ... Read More
The cruise was good overall. I gave it 4 stars, as the food was just OK. We thought that the portions were smaller then expected, certainly any fish being served was minute! Also, having to be in the restaurant at a specific time was very different to the flexibility offered on ocean cruises. The ship was nicely decorated, very comfortable public lounges. Strongly suggest watching for the drinks receipts are correct, as we were charged for other passengers drinks, and the Avalon staff would not credit us, which was surprising. The top of the ship was very comfortable, with nice loungers to lay out. The best part of the cruise, other than visiting interesting towns, was the very pleasant ships staff, always smiling and looking like they were happy with the job. The cruise director deserves special mention, Thomas, he was in complete control of all activities and tours, and did a fantastic job. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was my first foray into cruising. My friend and I didn't think we would like cruises but I wanted to check it off my bucket list. So we chose a cruise that was relatively short so that we wouldn't be "stuck" ... Read More
This was my first foray into cruising. My friend and I didn't think we would like cruises but I wanted to check it off my bucket list. So we chose a cruise that was relatively short so that we wouldn't be "stuck" doing something that didn't meet expectations. Avalon exceeded all my expectations. We were both extremely pleased with everything about the cruise. The cabin was more than large enough for both of us. The beds were very comfortable. The panoramic window provided an excellent view of the passing scenery. The shore excursions were varied and the local guides were excellent. The food was fabulous. My only complaint was that there was too much of it and it was so good that it was difficult to refrain from eating too much. I stayed in my room and skipped one meal because I knew I couldn't turn anything down. The service was extraordinary. I can't think of one thing that was negative. The WIFI worked well all of the time. The bathroom was comfortable and the toiletries were excellent. The room was always clean. The staff was more than pleasant. I praise Avalon and river cruising to everyone interested in hearing about my trip (and to people who aren't interested. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I chose this particular cruise because at the time I booked it, it was the only two-week river cruise over the Christmas and New Year's holidays in that part of Europe. The ship was beautiful and the cruise was wonderful. The ... Read More
I chose this particular cruise because at the time I booked it, it was the only two-week river cruise over the Christmas and New Year's holidays in that part of Europe. The ship was beautiful and the cruise was wonderful. The tours were interesting and enlightening and covered a lot of areas, some by bus and some on foot, including quaint medieval villages, wonderful cities and beautiful countryside. The food and service in the dining room were exceptional, and the on-board entertainment was, with a couple of exceptions, outstanding. One disappointment was the extremely loud (huge amplifiers in a very small space) rock band on New Year's Eve. The majority of the passengers were an older generation and didn't appreciate the ear-splitting music. A small percentage of the younger passengers enjoyed it, as did the crew, who were allowed to party with the passengers that night. But, most passengers gave up and went to their cabins early. My cabin was on the lowest deck and only had high windows as most of the cabin was below the water line. But, it was roomy, well designed, and very comfortable with plenty of storage. Unfortunately, I had a problem with only cool air flowing from my heat vent. There was a simple dial for temperature and a switch for the fan. And, according to other passengers, they were using those controls the same way I was. However, after being moved to a different cabin and still having cold air blowing out of the vent, I was more or less told that I was the problem, not the heating system, and I was instructed not to touch the controls. So, in my case, the "separate heating and cooling controls for each cabin" as shown in Avalon's brochure were useless. Because of low water level as we entered the Rhine, the passengers had to be bused to a point farther down river. However, we all knew this was a possibility beforehand, so we just accepted the reality and enjoyed the bus ride along the river. Transportation to and from the ship and airport was included in my cruise package. Unfortunately, Avalon did not schedule sufficient time between the time I was transported to the airport and my flight time. Schipohl is a very busy airport, lines for baggage check were extremely long and, by the time I made it to the counter, my flight gate had been closed, no other flights were available, and I was forced to find a hotel room in Amsterdam and get a flight the next day. Unfortunately, I lost out on my direct, non-stop flight home, plus the upgraded seat I had originally paid for. Avalon needs to adjust the transport time to assure that passengers are at the airport for the time necessary to catch their flights. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I am a solo traveller -- I like to be safe and looked after. Avalon knows how to do this in style. The suites are roomy with a lot of storage area and huge floor to ceiling windows. The room is large as they don't have the wasted ... Read More
I am a solo traveller -- I like to be safe and looked after. Avalon knows how to do this in style. The suites are roomy with a lot of storage area and huge floor to ceiling windows. The room is large as they don't have the wasted space of a balcony .. you can open the window wide and that eliminates the need of a balcony. The beds are so very comfortable and the bathroom is roomy. The tours were great -- and the amount of time spent in each port was adequate. There were a couple of stops that I would have appreciated more time -- but there was a schedule the needed to be adhered to. The meals were good -- and if I didn't like something on the menu there was always the standard meals that I could choose. I must admit that I loved the steak and baked potato -- so had that often instead of trying something else! The tour director, Robert, was outstanding. There were a couple of very difficult passengers on board and he handled them very well without disturbing the needs of others. His dry sense of humour made the port talks one of the highlights of the day. The staff of the ship -- be it the cabin stewards or the people behind the scenes were truly some of the best I have experienced. No matter what time of day or what they had been going through -- they were more than happy to assist at any time -- with a smile on their faces. I have tried other river cruise lines -- and always return to Avalon. I believe the quality that they offer is superior to the others I have experienced. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Right time / rather new cruise ship / Love the cruise director, loved the crew always happy, friendly and willing to do whatever to make the trip an experience!! The food portions were very good, not too large and plenty to eat. Sometimes ... Read More
Right time / rather new cruise ship / Love the cruise director, loved the crew always happy, friendly and willing to do whatever to make the trip an experience!! The food portions were very good, not too large and plenty to eat. Sometimes the food was locally focused and it gave you the opportunity to try something different and other options if you chose not to try something different. The nightly entertainment was good, but repetitive with the same music night after night. We did however have some different entertainers come on the ship 2-4 times during the trip. The weather was cold & gloomy but what do you expect for December in Europe. Wish we could of stayed longer in each village, city we toured just so much to take in. As a first timer river cruiser we will be back, probably in warmer weather to experience instead of freezing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I have been on several of Avalon river boat cruises, a return customer because I find the sevice and activities to be exceptionally great. After breakfast, I turned to pass the waiter my dishes, and he scolded me, "You are on ... Read More
I have been on several of Avalon river boat cruises, a return customer because I find the sevice and activities to be exceptionally great. After breakfast, I turned to pass the waiter my dishes, and he scolded me, "You are on vacation! Let me do that for you". I selected this tour specifically for the Christmas Markets. Yes, it is cold, and the days are shorter, but you quickly warm up back on the ship with warm drinks as you walk back on board. The entertainment was wonderful, and they really engaged the audience, sometimes pulling up passengers to assist in their presentation or show. The tour director was especially helpful to us personally when my husband became ill, finding a doctor in town who spoke english, calling the cab, and checking in on us. Perhaps my favorite reason for taking these cruises is that you port near enough most towns to walk into the town to take in the local scenery. The cold was an excuse to find another cafe to order a wonderful hot chocolate and pastry. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My husband and I choose this cruise to join friends. The cruise was relaxing. The excursions were great with enough time to wander on our own. The Christmas markets were interesting. The history and architecture were brought to life ... Read More
My husband and I choose this cruise to join friends. The cruise was relaxing. The excursions were great with enough time to wander on our own. The Christmas markets were interesting. The history and architecture were brought to life with extremely knowledgeable tour guides. They made the excursions fun. The organization of the excursions, arrivals and departures were phenomenal. Avalon waterways is a well oiled machine. There was only one glitch. Prior to the cruise we had prepaid for additional excursions that we went on. Unfortunately this was not communicated with the Tranquility ll cruise director who approached us for payment. I became sick during the second week. Our cruise director Tony helped to obtain a Doctor who came on board to assist me. The house keeping and kitchen staff were very caring in helping me during this time. Despite getting sick with bronchitis and sinusitis the trip was very relaxing. I will definitely go on another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We always wanted to go to the German Christmas markets. They were even better than we expected. Hustling & bustling shoppers everywhere. Christmas songs being broadcast and even had a Santa at Rothenberg cranking out some music for us. ... Read More
We always wanted to go to the German Christmas markets. They were even better than we expected. Hustling & bustling shoppers everywhere. Christmas songs being broadcast and even had a Santa at Rothenberg cranking out some music for us. Soooo worth the trip. You must drink the hot mulled wine in port...yum! And the ship's decor was very festive. Several Christmas trees and beautiful decorations everywhere. The employees were in the spirit. Super nice group of people. Made you feel welcome. Even had some schnapps on the bus one evening. Oh how fun.!! Food on board was delicious as usual. You should never go hungry...there's food available all day long. Always had special snacks when we came back from our excursions....cookies, stollen, hot drinks etc. If you've ever thought about making this trip....go for it !! You won't be disappointed. (Main River from Frankfurt to Nuremberg and then on over to Prague) Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The stops were fascinating and culturally diverse. We loved visiting all 4 countries. We felt safe and enjoyed the experience. Our favorite stops were Basel and Prague. This was mainly because we experienced the market at night. Seeing ... Read More
The stops were fascinating and culturally diverse. We loved visiting all 4 countries. We felt safe and enjoyed the experience. Our favorite stops were Basel and Prague. This was mainly because we experienced the market at night. Seeing the city lights and the decorations at night was special. We wished we could have visited every stop after dinner. The ship was comfortable and accessible. We loved having the coffee machines available throughout the day. The staff was friendly and helpful. The staff in the dining room were friendly and attentive. We wished that we could have brought our own wine on board without paying a corkage fee. The buses were comfortable. The local guides were excellent. They were friendly and knowledgeable. We could tell they loved their countries and cities. The places we visited were exactly what we expected. We would do another Christmas market cruise in a couple of years. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We wanted to tour Europe without transportation hassles, This was our first river cruise after attending several ocean cruises. The cruise director was charming and excellent at explaining all options available to us. All of the service ... Read More
We wanted to tour Europe without transportation hassles, This was our first river cruise after attending several ocean cruises. The cruise director was charming and excellent at explaining all options available to us. All of the service personnel were pleasant and professional. They remembered our names and cabin number which indicated to us how much they enjoyed their jobs. The talent night that they presented was great and very entertaining. The cabin felt more like a hotel than a cruise ship. The food and service was excellent and the small size of passengers made it easy to get to know new people during the week long vacation. We liked the variety of going to several different cities along the Rhine and the view of the castles from the deck along with the panoramic windows within the cabin was very unique and appealing. In the future we look forward to attending similar cruises in other parts of Europe. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Fantastic way to see the cities along the Rhine. Something was always planned so it was our choice if we just wanted to take an afternoon off. Every aspect of the ship exceeded our expectations. The crew was first class, food was great and ... Read More
Fantastic way to see the cities along the Rhine. Something was always planned so it was our choice if we just wanted to take an afternoon off. Every aspect of the ship exceeded our expectations. The crew was first class, food was great and the rooms were even better than the pictures. Even on a cold November day we still would open the sliding door a bit. This is a great way to experience the cities of Europe in a intimate setting. Not crowded at all. Dining room seating was your choice so we got to meet new people at every meal. With a limited amount of passengers you got to know the crew and they got to know you very quickly. We plan on river cruising again but along the Danube. My first choice would be Avalon Waterways. Everything was professionally handled from the time they met us in Amsterdam until our departure in Zurich. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This is the best way to see several different places - no packing and unpacking involved The crew work very hard, and cheerfully, to make your week special, the service was excellent and the food was restaurant quality every time. ... Read More
This is the best way to see several different places - no packing and unpacking involved The crew work very hard, and cheerfully, to make your week special, the service was excellent and the food was restaurant quality every time. The ship is spacious and the lounge, dining room and bars were all well furnished and comfortable. Going late season we found the shore excursions a pleasure as nowhere were we crowded which was a bonus The standard of service was really excellent and without exception the crew were charming. We go on holiday to be with each other but did enjoy meeting others over dinner. The tours were well run and we really felt we got a feel for each place with local guides. Our tour director was excellent, amusing, helpful and pleasant whilst at the same time letting you get on and enjoy yourself, a credit to the company (thank you Valentin) I would unhesitatingly recommend them and indeed we are already looking at going on another river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We have never cruised before so this was a first for us. We were not keen on the idea of ocean cruising due to the size of vessel, number of passengers & possibility of sea sickness! Our cruise down the Rhine from Basel to ... Read More
We have never cruised before so this was a first for us. We were not keen on the idea of ocean cruising due to the size of vessel, number of passengers & possibility of sea sickness! Our cruise down the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam suited us perfectly. Not too many passengers. A different port every day, sometimes two and a very gentle pace. Always something to see from the window. Ship was immaculate & very well designed. Great attention to detail. Good food, plenty of choice and wine included with dinner. We are usually independent travellers and liked that we were always moored in towns so we could choose do our own thing rather than always take an organised excursion. The excursions we did take were good but we don't like to be too 'organised'. The crew were exceptional. Always cheerful & friendly and so efficient. Nothing was too much trouble. Tour of the bridge was very interesting. The water level was very low when we travelled & we had no interruptions to our itinerary. The captain did a great job of navigating in only 3 feet of water at one point. Embarkation & disembarkation also very well organised. I particularly appreciated the chauffeur service to and from the airport. I didn't have to drive at 5am or pay for airport parking! The whole experience was excellent & we would definitely choose Avalon if we take another river cruise in future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Love European river cruising and had traveled with Grand Circle previously on the Danube, Everything was great -- the food, the rooms, the service and passengers. Valentin (Tranquility II, cruise director) was awesome!! He has a way to ... Read More
Love European river cruising and had traveled with Grand Circle previously on the Danube, Everything was great -- the food, the rooms, the service and passengers. Valentin (Tranquility II, cruise director) was awesome!! He has a way to make everyone feel welcome and special and a great sense of humor. Georgi and Alexandria (Tranquility II, bar service) were also awesome. Always service with a smile, friendly and extremely helpful. Wonderful people. The excursions - both the included and optional excursions were exceptional and the guides were knowledgeable and interesting. Best cruise ever!! Poetry II Great themed cruise -- loved the wine tasting excursions. Each winery/area was unique and I learned soooo much about wine. Petru (Poetry II, dining service) was GREAT!! He makes everyone's day! Would have liked more time at the Pont du Gard excursion -- seemed rushed. Also would have liked more time to discover St. Paul de Vence. Very interesting but dark by the time we arrived. Again, great cruise. Would recommend this to anyone. We look forward to another cruise with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Never did a river cruise and thought this one was best suited for a first time. Love the idea of wall length view which opens to outside for lovely breeze while cruising down the river. Excellent crew and the service was superb. Food was ... Read More
Never did a river cruise and thought this one was best suited for a first time. Love the idea of wall length view which opens to outside for lovely breeze while cruising down the river. Excellent crew and the service was superb. Food was delicious and good variety. Loved the small public space at back of boat on our level which I only think the folks on our level knew about. Great to have fresh coffee, cocoa and hot tea available 24 hrs a day not to mention great sweets like fresh donuts and muffins too! Really like the arrangement of rooms with beds facing the windows/sliding doors allowing you to lay in the bed and still see all the view. Enjoyed excursions and the guides knowledge of area and great food and pubs to stop at outside the ship/boat. Will do again, but need to save up some money first, thanks. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
When we decided to treat ourselves to a river cruise for our anniversary, we looked at several different cruise lines as well as getting information from friends who had gone on cruises We then went to our local travel agent who highly ... Read More
When we decided to treat ourselves to a river cruise for our anniversary, we looked at several different cruise lines as well as getting information from friends who had gone on cruises We then went to our local travel agent who highly recommended Avalon. After looking over their information and prices we decided to give them a try. The larger cabin with a full river view was one of the major deciding factors and we couldn't have been more pleased with that choice. I was pleased with not only the size of our cabin, but that there was enough space to store our clothes and then stash the suitcases under the bed. The bathroom was another pleasant surprise, having storage space, and a full sized shower. The young man who took care of our cabin was helpful and friendly. In fact, all of the crew we encountered were helpful and friendly. Food throughout the the trip was excellent with good choices, whether for a full meal or a light lunch. We especially appreciated the lounge at the end of our hall that always had cookies or rolls and a wonderful coffee machine where we could get coffee, cappachino, hot milk or tea. There was always a supply of fresh fruit available as well, in the restaurant and lounge. We did each of the planned daily tours and were very well pleased with our guides. They were locals who really knew their information and were fun as well as informative. The only additional tour we did was the one to the Black Forest area and that was enjoyable with a fun cake and coffee addition. We particularly liked that most of the tours allowed some time at the end to walk around and see things on our own. Many of the people with us went looking for souvenirs while we walked and explored the areas. The free seating at meals made it nice to sit with and meet different people. We found that everyone was friendly and seemed to enjoy the cruise as much as we did. We would definitely consider traveling with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise as a recommendation from a friend, who had cruised with Avalon Waterways. I went to the website filled out a form and was assigned a cruise coordinator. She was just wonderful. She was efficient and friendly and always ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a recommendation from a friend, who had cruised with Avalon Waterways. I went to the website filled out a form and was assigned a cruise coordinator. She was just wonderful. She was efficient and friendly and always took my call or answered my emails quickly. Lucky for us she was going on the exact same cruise in August, so she was able to answer all my very specific questions. The ship is beautiful, I think it is it's second year in service. All the staff, everyone was always smiling and friendly. The ship was clean, clean, clean. The cabin was just perfect. We were on the 3rd floor suites, near the rear lounge that had 24/7 coffee & snacks. The dining was great, lots of variety and the staff was great. The wine ran continually during dinner. We did quite a few shore excursions and they were very well coordinated and delivered exactly as promised. We had the best Cruise Director, Carolina. She made the whole time a great experience. When we book our next river cruise, it will be with Avalon Waterways, for sure. There were only 114 passengers on the cruise, so you really go to meet and spend time with a variety of people, it was fun, fun, fun. Our most favorite excursions were bike riding through the Amsterdam countryside, it was a 13 mile ride, but it was flat and fairly easy (we bike ride at home) with beautiful scenery. The other favorite excursion was Stonehenge. We booked extra nights on the front end in Zurich and on the back end in London. The Park Place Westminster Bridge add on hotel option was perfect, when you walked out the front door you see Big Ben. In Zurich the Movenpick was an easy hotel shuttle to the airport and then a train ride into town, which we did often. Just the best time! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose Avalon because of the superior recommendations we received from friends. Plus, we liked the fact the the Avalon ships were smaller and carried less passengers than several of their competition. We were looking for quality not ... Read More
We chose Avalon because of the superior recommendations we received from friends. Plus, we liked the fact the the Avalon ships were smaller and carried less passengers than several of their competition. We were looking for quality not quantity! The staff were amazing and a huge part of our enjoyment of the cruise. Excursions were great (except for the 'Butterfly experience'. Loved touring the adjacent castle and would like to have seen more of it. The Coffee house on the tour was mediocre. After we left the group there, taking the aerial tram to the awesome statue and view above the city was phenomenal. Would much have preferred to spend more time there than the coffee house. Our activities director was charming. She entertained and educated us on all we were going to see. The onboard entertainment was above average, but definitely did not play the dance music. Too bad... All in all, we are already planning our next excursion on the Danube with Avalon! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
What a wonderful experience for our first cruise. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and retirement. Everything was simply perfect from the day we first stepped on the boat to our day of departure. The room was superb. The ... Read More
What a wonderful experience for our first cruise. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and retirement. Everything was simply perfect from the day we first stepped on the boat to our day of departure. The room was superb. The layout allowed for rom to walk around the bed and the bed facing the full length windows was a treat. What impressed us the most was the high quality and spacious bathroom. Almost like home, well almost. The added feature of having an onboard laundry facility was simply perfect. The food was excellent three times a day and numerous after-hour lighter meals. Wine flowed easily each night. The "special chef" meals were a treat and featured fresh ingredients form the local villages. We even met our Chef in the village at his favorite bakery. It was great. We met many new friends as well. Lots of fun to be had. The excursions were well planned and the tour guides experts on their locale. We have already chosen Avalon for our next cruise in 2017 on the Danube. The last day was hard to leave but they made it easy. The luggage was carried to an awaiting taxi and loaded piece by piece. No cares no worries. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Choosing an Avalon cruise was really pretty easy after speaking to other people about river cruising and the recommendation of our travel agent. We chose the Rhine River Cruise aboard the Tranquility II in late September early October. ... Read More
Choosing an Avalon cruise was really pretty easy after speaking to other people about river cruising and the recommendation of our travel agent. We chose the Rhine River Cruise aboard the Tranquility II in late September early October. The ship and the cabins were everything they were advertised to be. The food on board was excellent and we were amazed that they were able to create such wonderful meals in the small galley they have. The staff on board was great starting with Robert our Cruise Director. The rest of the crew performed various duties quietly but superbly. All shore excursions were excellent in each port we visited. The rooms on board were spacious and well laid out. We enjoyed the fact that there was no assigned seating for meals which enabled us to meet many of our shipmates from various other countries. So to summarize we will definitely be recommending Avalon Waterway River Cruises to anyone who will listen. Definitely will be traveling with them again!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife and I just returned from our very first river cruise on the Tranquility II. We sailed northbound on the Rhine, from Basel to Amsterdam. We were by ourselves but met many interesting people from the UK, Australia, Canada, and of ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from our very first river cruise on the Tranquility II. We sailed northbound on the Rhine, from Basel to Amsterdam. We were by ourselves but met many interesting people from the UK, Australia, Canada, and of course, most were from the US. The meals were course after course of appetizing, creative and country-oriented flavors. There were four entrees that were always available. Breakfasts included made-to-order eggs and omelettes, lunches were also buffet style and offered a huge array of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and breads. Dinners were multiple courses with plenty of options. Happy hour was a great time and Stefano, our cruise director, was there to give us information about the next day. On board newsletter was great. The wait staff were efficient and friendly, quick to refill our wines, beer and sodas, and eager to get something special for us if we wanted. Avalon is known for their excellent service and we were not disappointed. All the crew on the ship were friendly and eager to help. I did not feel they were overburdened as on the larger cruise ships. They worked hard and did multiple jobs, but the ratio of staff to passengers was much better than on large cruise ships. They also got along well with each other - the crew entertainment night, which I normally do not attend, was an absolute riot! I really appreciated the attention to detail across the board, including activities and excursions and the ability to pre-pay gratuities. Stayed an extra night in Amsterdam and all the transfers and connections were seamless. My wife and I would absolutely go on another Avalon cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose to book the Romantic Rhine cruise on the Avalon Tranquility II. We traveled in mid-late September and were glad we had heavy jackets, gloves, and knit hats, as we needed them on Mt. Pilatus and while on the deck when going ... Read More
We chose to book the Romantic Rhine cruise on the Avalon Tranquility II. We traveled in mid-late September and were glad we had heavy jackets, gloves, and knit hats, as we needed them on Mt. Pilatus and while on the deck when going through the Rhine gorge. We flew into Zurich a day early so we could take the optional Mt. Pilatus tour. This tour was worth the money as one gets to view the countryside from the high mountains. The tour also included a trip to Lucerne which was quite lovely. When we arrived at our ship, we were greeted by the crew and given our room keys. Our room was 207, and very nice with a sliding glass door that opens up to view the river. It is like having a room-wide balcony. The bed faces outward toward the river which seems to be very romantic. A wall mounted TV was included in each room, but we never did use ours. The bathroom was moderately sized, but did seem to be bigger than that of an ocean ships bathroom, and the shower was much larger than on an ocean cruise ship. Also include in the bathroom were under the counter, enclosed storage, bath amenities and hair dryer. Nice terry robes and house slippers were in the closet, along with other amenities. A European electric converter is highly recommended if you wish to charge many electronic devices. The meals on board did not have as large a selection as that of an ocean cruise, but one still had a nice selection of food. Breakfasts and lunches were buffet style, and dinner was to order. At breakfast, there was a nice selection of meats, cheeses, fruits, eggs or omelets to order, and different vegetables, local breads, and pastries. We were given a tour of the galley later during the cruise, and were amazed at the food that can be prepared in such a small galley. With the number of guests at around 120, it was easy to meet a lot of different people as seating was never defined, so one sat where they wish. In the evening, there is just one seating for dinner. Dinner dress for men was slacks. Evening entertainment on board ship was sometimes local talent, or the ship’s crew. There were no children on board, and the mix of people were mostly in the 60-70 year range. All day long in the library, cookies, muffins, coffee, tea, and cappuccino were available. Smoking is allowed outside, in the back of deck three. Outside on the sky deck , were many lounge chairs and even a small hot tub. We cruised from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam and I would recommend this routing for two reasons. (1) When going through the Rhine gorge, the sun will be behind you allowing for excellent photographs. (2) Even though you are going northward, you are going down river which allows the ship to travel faster and can even cruise when the river is at a lower level than it can when going upriver. For photographers, I took a DSLR and a 15-85mm lens, and a 70-200mm lens. The 70-200mm was too strong, even when shooting in the Rhine gorge, so it was left in the room safe. Our stops during this cruise included Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Mainz, Rudesheim, Koblenz, Cologne, and Amsterdam, with included tours at each location. Our tour guides all spoke excellent English and were very knowledgeable of their location. The tours were informative and you learned a lot about the city, its history, and local people. Each person was given a headset and the tour guide wore a transmitter, so one could hear what was being said even while in the back of a group. After each tour, time was given for shopping if it was desired. Many of the streets and alleys we walked were cobblestones, so good walking shoes are recommended. From the onset, we were given a folder with daily information sheets and maps of our next stops and information about each stop. These would be filed in the folder, making a nice remembrance of our cruise. Each evening in the lounge before dinner, our tour director would give an informational talk about the following day’s activities, where to meet buses, and information about the different tour groups. They even had a tour group for gentle walkers. Embarkation and disembarkation were easy and fast. When leaving the ship during every port stop, each person was given a card with their room number and would return it when coming back on board. This lets the crew know who is still off the ship. When returning from a port visit, we were greeted by a crew member and given a warm refreshment towel and a cold fruit drink. The service by all crew members was top notch and if one had a problem and it was reported, it was addressed immediately. The Wi-Fi on board seemed to work very well and we were able to Face time our daughter back home. I believe Avalon does an outstanding job and their cruises are a great value for the dollar. We are already looking forward to our next Avalon cruise, but have yet to decide on which one we want to choose. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We were talking with some friends and they invited my wife and I to join in with them on this trip. We did not know what to expect? We had a great flight in Business class on American lines, when we arrived at our location to catch the bus ... Read More
We were talking with some friends and they invited my wife and I to join in with them on this trip. We did not know what to expect? We had a great flight in Business class on American lines, when we arrived at our location to catch the bus to take us to the river boat everything was well organized and ready to go! We arrive at the boat, and where treated like royalty. I can only say that the cruse only amazed us more each day. The service was awesome, the food was great and large amounts, our group had a wonderful time both on and off the boat. I started to think about the flights back home and checked our info and found that it was business class as well to go home. We really appreciate the thoughtful people at Avalon Water ways that put the trip together. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Avalon Tranquility II Ratings
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