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87 Avalon Waterways Avalon Tranquility II Cruise Reviews

We just felt processed the whole time. Very little done to make the experience on board fun or special. There was basically no entertainment except a single pianist who occasionally acted as a sort of DJ for those wanting to dance. Choice ... Read More
We just felt processed the whole time. Very little done to make the experience on board fun or special. There was basically no entertainment except a single pianist who occasionally acted as a sort of DJ for those wanting to dance. Choice of only one lounge with a bar after dinner or your cabin, that was it. We got one guest singer who was really bad and a single rock 'n roll singer for one hour. Most guests went straight to bed after dinner as there were no other options or other things to do - No effort made to facilitate meeting and mingling of guests. Food was mediocre and again, courses rushed and guests processed as quickly as possible.Our impression was that the ship was run to accomodate the staff more than the guests. The cruise director should really get another job if he really finds this one so uninspiring and tedious as it appeared that he did. Tours were mostly boring lectures by ageing ex teachers or academics. Some young tour guides but not enough. No E bikes !! only a few push bikes with very uncomfortable seats. Worst coffee from self serve machines. No pool and gym not worth visiting. Basically this cruise line seems to cater for geriatrics - average age of passengers was about 80, but even 80 yr olds like to have some fun when on holiday so more needs to be done to make the hours on board more varied and fun. Overall : very average and uninspiring experience. Upside : Nice cabin with best bed I have ever slept on. Sliding doors open up for fresh air and views of passing scenery. Great shower. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We wanted to kick the Christmas season off right since our travel agent indicated to us that Prague would be highly decorated for Christmas, we would see a lot of Christmas markets and Europe does Christmas does much better than the USA. ... Read More
We wanted to kick the Christmas season off right since our travel agent indicated to us that Prague would be highly decorated for Christmas, we would see a lot of Christmas markets and Europe does Christmas does much better than the USA. However, Prague was not decorated much for Christmas and most of the Christmas markets had not opened yet. That was a disappointment. Some of the side excursions seemed to be a little rushed and we were only given 15 minutes to tour the large Christmas market in Vienna before the buses went back to the boat. I do not think that we go to do the full food tasting that day as well. Service on the boat was excellent. Some side excursions were excellent but out of the three river cruises with Avalon we have done, this one could have been better. Prague was a little bit of a disappointment as far as being decorated for Christmas but we enjoyed touring the city. The personnel on the boat treated us very well. Overall, we enjoyed the trip but felt a little shorted on some things as far as side excursions. The trip to the church where they sang Silent Night was way too short and you could not get into the museum that day nor the chapel. So, I am not sure why we were even taken. Food was great and my wife's wheat allergy was taken care of. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise because the ports and excursions sounded like a part of Europe we would enjoy seeing. We heard that the scenery along the Rhine was very beautiful, and with this being our first river cruise, we thought ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because the ports and excursions sounded like a part of Europe we would enjoy seeing. We heard that the scenery along the Rhine was very beautiful, and with this being our first river cruise, we thought it would be a good area to start with. I was very satisfied with the ship, the staff and their knowledge, kindness and how accommodating everyone was. They were very professional and organized which was very much appreciated. The service was great!!! I felt very much at ease with the cleanliness of our cabin and the entire ship. I liked how they expressed the importance of hygiene to keep everyone healthy. I enjoyed the beautiful buffet breakfasts and lunches with such an assortment of dishes to choose from and always a change each day. I also enjoyed the upscale dining experiences and the variety of selections each night that we had. It made you feel like you were in a high-end restaurant. Desserts were always a treat. It was also amazing how hot everything was served with that large of group. I was very impressed about that. The violinist show was absolutely REMARKABLE!!!!! There are no words to describe how much I enjoyed that. I felt the ports and shore excursions were very enjoyable. I loved the history and beauty of everywhere we went and everything we had the privilege of seeing. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour guides and the amazing knowledge they expressed to us. I want to say I really appreciated our tour director, Dominic. He was so organized and knowledgeable. He was prepared each evening with our schedule for the next day which I was grateful for. Direction is very important to me. His sense of humor and his caring ways were very satisfying. We did not explore our departure city which I very much regret. We had an extension at the end is why we didn't arrive early. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly which was appreciated!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were looking for something we had not done before and friends recommend a river cruise. We were thinking of going to Paris and London and this cruise gave us that option as a add on.So it was like going on two vacations at one time. ... Read More
We were looking for something we had not done before and friends recommend a river cruise. We were thinking of going to Paris and London and this cruise gave us that option as a add on.So it was like going on two vacations at one time. Just worked out for us at the right time. Our cabin being at the back of the ship had the advantage of being next to the snack lounge but then again you had to walk the length of the ship to get to the main lounge for your meals. That was no big deal for us but could be for some older person . The food was good I thought and I tried alot of the choices. But I did notice alot of people ordering the optional choices which were more the standard foods like steak and salmon. On the last day of the cruise portion of our travels my wife fell at the windmills. We were taking by ambulance to the locaL hospital. From there we had to get taxi to a second hospital for treatment and from there a taxi back to the ship. It all worked out but what an experience. We were able to continue our travels and did complete our trip. But we were glad to get home and recover. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the size of the vessel, small number of passengers, and itinerary. Our cabin was on the top floor, was quite large with a wall of windows - very bright with lovely views most of the time. I was glad we were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the size of the vessel, small number of passengers, and itinerary. Our cabin was on the top floor, was quite large with a wall of windows - very bright with lovely views most of the time. I was glad we were in the centre of the ship away from the engines during the night and the noise of the locks. It was nice to be docked in the towns and able to to walk or cycle into the towns or along the Rhine. The extra tours had too much bus-time for my liking. It was unfortunate the river was so low that we had to pack up, drive around the low parts of the Rhine, and board another, identical ship on the other side of the low patch and continue with our cruise. Avalon was very organized about the transfer, but it resulted in a very long bus ride - 5 hours in total. I was anticipating more entertainment in the evenings. There was a classical trio one night, and the woodcarving demonstration was very informative. The meals were ok -much better on the second ship. The ship was very clean, but the hot-tubs on both ships didn’t work. The first ship the water was quite cool, but on the second ship it was broken completely. The local guides for the tours were excellent. It was interesting, but I wouldn’t do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My husband and I booked this trip with Avalon based on the reviews found on line. We also watch several YouTube videos of past travelers comparing Avalon to Viking. The size of the rooms where very comfortable, the day trips that where ... Read More
My husband and I booked this trip with Avalon based on the reviews found on line. We also watch several YouTube videos of past travelers comparing Avalon to Viking. The size of the rooms where very comfortable, the day trips that where included in the cruise were what my husband and I where looking for in a vacation to Europe. They also had additional day trips of you where interested. Avalon made all of the arrangements from flights to hotel for the days we went earlier to explore Amsterdam to transport from the airport and back to the airport. During the cruise the activities where well organized and the guides where very knowledgeable about thier city. The ship was very elegant and comfortable. The crew were helpful and attentive to all of you needs. The cruise director was very easy to work with and made sure everyone was happy. The food was good with lots of choices. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because we have an ancestral and current relationship with Germany. All travel procedures from embarkation to shore excursions to disembarkation went smoothly. We enjoyed participating in the included shore excursions ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have an ancestral and current relationship with Germany. All travel procedures from embarkation to shore excursions to disembarkation went smoothly. We enjoyed participating in the included shore excursions as well as participation in some of the optional excursions. While not needed, it is nice that the cruise line offered a "gentle walker" option for guests who may have more difficulty with mobility. The guides were very knowledgeable and gave wonderful information and insight during the walking tours that would occur had we been left to explore each stop on our own. It would have been nice to have had the excursions in Amsterdam divided offering the Windmill tour or the Foodie tour in the morning/afternoon so that we could have experienced both, very hard to have to choose between the three offerings at the end of our trip. The room and bathroom were large enough for two people to move about without difficulty and provided enough space to easily stow unpacked clothing and luggage. Dining options, happy hour, and evening itinerary discussions were very helpful to planning each day. Personally, I will never take another cruise on a vessel any larger than the one taken on the Rhine River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Avalon was more upscale than the last river cruise we went on 10 yrs ago. Our cruise director Andre was incredible! His evening briefings for the next day were very informative. We really enjoyed our extension in Lucerne. The staff was ... Read More
Avalon was more upscale than the last river cruise we went on 10 yrs ago. Our cruise director Andre was incredible! His evening briefings for the next day were very informative. We really enjoyed our extension in Lucerne. The staff was very accommodating! We would definitely choose Avalon again & would recommend it to others. We were hoping for a little bit more scenery along the Rhine. Several days were industrialized & not as scenic as the Rhône. It was quite windy when we tried viewing from the rooftop. The dining experience was very enjoyable. The trio that performed one evening was very entertaining. We would have maybe preferred dinner to be a tad bit earlier - maybe 6:30 rather than 7:00. It was nice to not have to bring any real dressy clothes for a formal night. Loved having only 120 passengers aboard! All in all it was a very pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Avalon did an outstanding job of making sure we were comfortable and well-fed on the ship. The service was impeccable, and cheerful waitstaff and housekeepers made us feel welcome every day. Food was 5-star....delicious, plentiful, and ... Read More
Avalon did an outstanding job of making sure we were comfortable and well-fed on the ship. The service was impeccable, and cheerful waitstaff and housekeepers made us feel welcome every day. Food was 5-star....delicious, plentiful, and well-presented. Home-baked goods and desserts were great, and the food was always hot. One complaint was the long bus rides to the excursions. We spent many hours on the bus, which couldn't be avoided, given the itinerary. We also were taken to several "very touristy" locations (wine-tasting, music-box factory, for example.) I would have preferred to have had the time to wander thru the towns or shop. The organizational skills of our tour director, Katy, were phenomenal. Everything seemed to be seamless, including disembarkation. I will go again, but will research the distances between the river and the points of interest. As an aside: late October is very cold and damp in this part of Europe! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My husband and I and another couple sailed on this trip for our anniversaries. Unfortunately my luggage did not make it to our destination. As soon as I arrived on the ship, I advised the cruise director and he immediately started to ... Read More
My husband and I and another couple sailed on this trip for our anniversaries. Unfortunately my luggage did not make it to our destination. As soon as I arrived on the ship, I advised the cruise director and he immediately started to track it down. Only had the clothes I traveled in but luckily the airline gave me a t-shirt so I could alternate tops until we got to a port where I could shop. I found out later that the ship had shirts that I could purchase. It would have been nice for them to tell me that or give me one. To add to the disappointment of not having my luggage, our friends missed the whole first day of the trip due to the airlines. Avalon was not helpful with getting them to the ship even though they booked the airlines. When they finally arrived in Basel they were to,d they would have to pay the transportation to the ship which was now at the second port. Problems aside, the food, the ship, the crew and the cruise director were wonderful. The ship is beautifully decorated with wood and granite, the bedding is very comfortable and we slept very well. The crew was so much fun, even the captain was fun and friendly. Shout outs to Justas, Petru, Lucia, Nicolette, Madelin, Sorin, Danny, Daniel, Hendrik and more. The tours that were included were fun and informative. There were other tours that you could pay for that were also nice. The entertainment is minimal; piano player/singer at night. One evening we had local entertainment come on board. They were very good. The trip was wonderful. I would not hesitate to do a river cruise again and I would consider Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We are UK residents and live about 30 miles from London. We wanted a 7-day cruise with not too far to travel, so went for 7-days Paris to Normandy & return to Paris. Used Avalon last year on the Rhine and it was great. We ... Read More
We are UK residents and live about 30 miles from London. We wanted a 7-day cruise with not too far to travel, so went for 7-days Paris to Normandy & return to Paris. Used Avalon last year on the Rhine and it was great. We travelled by air then, not our favourite these days but it was good from Heathrow to Zurich and return. This year we opted for Eurostar as our only previous experience, a short break to Lille, was good. This time it was a disaster, we missed our train by 2 minutes, as the security/passport control queue was massive. (Sat. morning). This cost us an extra £190 to get on a train 4 hours later, in separate seats, that was the only option. Return journey was terrible, we were dropped off at a side entrance and had a massively long walk to get to the Eurostar Terminal. The economy seats were tired and uncomfortable. At the end of the journey we had a massive walk to find our pick-up driver and then another huge walk to the car park. So our advice is unless you are young and fit, avoid Eurostar. The Avalon River Cruise part was very good, service, food accommodation etc. first class. Avalon include tips as well for UK customers and offer beer, wine & soft drinks at lunch and dinner included. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
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
My husband 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 stayed 4 days prior to the cruise in Switzerland, 2 nights in Zurich at the Central ... Read More
My husband 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 stayed 4 days prior to the cruise in Switzerland, 2 nights in Zurich at the Central Plaza Hotel and 2 nights in Lucerne at the Hotel Flora. I would highly recommend both hotels. We returned to Zurich via train, then caught the Avalon shuttle to the Hotel Movenpick to join our fellow cruisers. We then boarded buses for the hour ride to Basel to board the ship. Avalon provided a seamless transition onto the ship. Our keys were waiting for us and our luggage was delivered in less than 10 minutes. We stayed in cabin 311. It was beautiful and had plenty of storage for our clothes. The bathroom was especially nice with a good size shower. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style. Dinner was good, but we would have liked some additional choices, Only 3 meals were available, one meat, one fish and one vegetarian. also, there were every night choices of steak and chicken. Also, there were several grill lunches served outside on the deck, in addition to several bistro style dinners a couple of nights. You had to sign up in advance for these. We thought the provided walking tours in the ports were good, plus there was plenty of time for shopping. We took 2 of the optional additional cost excursions, the Alsace wine tasting and the windmill excursion in Amsterdam. I would recommend both. There was a German dinner option in town one night but not many took advantage of it. You could go into town and to the same restaurant on your own. Avalon is known for their excellent service and we were not disappointed. All staff on the ship were friendly and eager to help. I did not feel they were overburdened as on the larger cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I did not know that Avalon is a part of Cosmos tours and ultimately Globus, an American Company. There were only 4 English People on the boat, the majority being American with a few Canadians and Australians. This does not matter of course ... Read More
I did not know that Avalon is a part of Cosmos tours and ultimately Globus, an American Company. There were only 4 English People on the boat, the majority being American with a few Canadians and Australians. This does not matter of course but lends a certain perspective. For example, the dress code is VERY casual.This boat is new with large staterooms and high quality fitments and toiletries etc. The tours are very well organised and the cruise director, Nancy Paredes is the best that I have come across. The food and wine is good apart from the vegetables which were mush. However our brochure mentioned a library and a shop which are non existent. The library is one shelf of books, half of which are travel guides and the shop is reception where you can buy a toothbrush. There was one nights entertainment, a trio of violins and guitar which were excellent. Other than that nothing! The lounge emptied at 10.30! This is an expensive trip and I had 2 big problems. The booking was made last September and 2 weeks before travelling, Avalon emailed us and changed the flights trying to blame KLM airline. This was untrue and it all descended into disorganised chaos. Also the brochure notified me for the first time that all gratuities are included in the cost of the trip. It does not say how much, nor can you opt out. I rang the Company who could not or would not tell me how much had been added to the cost of the holiday. Someone was supposed to ring back but never did. At the end of the cruise there were guidelines for gratuities for people who had not prepaid. These amounted to $200. Have I paid this? I don't know. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
What a great cruise. We went on the Rhine and Moselle cruise. Our first time on a river cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. We felt our cabin had plenty of space for us and our luggage. It was a very comfortable space. A ... Read More
What a great cruise. We went on the Rhine and Moselle cruise. Our first time on a river cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. We felt our cabin had plenty of space for us and our luggage. It was a very comfortable space. A minor nit was the toilet. The flush was really loud and could be startling in the middle of the night. As well, sometimes we had to press the flush button repeatedly to get it to actually flush. We really liked the big sliding windows that made our room feel that much bigger and gave an unobstructed view as things passed by. Our room was so quiet too. We never heard our neighbors or even the floors above or below us. The food was spectacular. Every bit of it. But the soups. The soups were sublime. I came home with 5 soup recipes! At the buffet meals the soups would always run out first and more would have to be brought out. That's how good those soups were. Onboard entertainment was good. The included shore excursions were very good. We always got a good sense of where we were visiting from those excursions. Service was always top notch and we never wanted for anything. The cruise director always kept us informed of the next day's activities, where we were sailing, when we needed to be back onboard for sailing. We always felt well informed. We would certainly sail with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have always wanted to see the tulip fields of Holland in bloom so for our 40th anniversary we chose this cruise. It was even better that we had hoped. We loved the cabin and waking up each morning watching the sites go by even before ... Read More
I have always wanted to see the tulip fields of Holland in bloom so for our 40th anniversary we chose this cruise. It was even better that we had hoped. We loved the cabin and waking up each morning watching the sites go by even before we got out of bed! It was also nice having a choice if included excursions at each port. Everything was so well organized and the port talks during cocktail hour each evening were very helpful to get us prepared for our adventures the next day. We were amazed at how quickly and efficiently the meals were served to so many in the dining room. The service in every area of the ship was phenomenal as well because it was clear that each member of the staff really enjoyed their job and bent over backwards to make our journey exceptional. We will be back for more Avalon cruises in the future I am sure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise because it was my first cruise ever and was offered on a singles 50+ website. It was a small river ship, and as I was born in Germany (U.S. Army), it as well as Switzerland was at the top of my bucket list. It felt ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was my first cruise ever and was offered on a singles 50+ website. It was a small river ship, and as I was born in Germany (U.S. Army), it as well as Switzerland was at the top of my bucket list. It felt manageable to me, traveling solo as a deaf person. The ship’s crew were wonderful and unforgettable! Madalin in the dining room was my favorite waiter, always taking care of me and making sure I ordered the best meal on the menu. He also never forgot that I hate red wine and always poured the white without me asking. My cabin steward was wonderful, and so were ALL of the crew members! They were all in a line to greet us as we arrived, and there were many hugs upon departure. The food was fantastic, but for some reason, other passengers didn’t agree; they were used to getting tons of food at the buffets any time they wanted on the big ships. With constant port stops, there was no time to be bored. My only regret is that it was winter, so we couldn’t open our sliding glass door and turn out cabin into a balcony. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This cruise was the best I have ever taken. The staff called you by name and was there for all your needs, The food and wine were gourmet and the waiters were awesome. Our room was big and the bathrooms were big. The woman who took care of ... Read More
This cruise was the best I have ever taken. The staff called you by name and was there for all your needs, The food and wine were gourmet and the waiters were awesome. Our room was big and the bathrooms were big. The woman who took care of our stateroom was great. The entertainment was small and cozy but the artists were very professional. We had a French singer with a guitar player one night and another night were 2 concert violinist with pianio. On the other nights we had a piano player and we would request songs. In the lounge you could go and get a cappuccino and pastry. We were late for our first excursion to the Black Forrest but they brought us back Black Forest cake from it, The excursions with the tour guides were small with electronic ear pieces so we did not miss any thing they said. We traveled in December and hit all of the Christmas markets. I would do another cruise with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Honestly, I chose this cruise because of the Viking commercials. I knew the Rhine River cruise appealed to me but when it came down to choosing the cruise line I selected Avalon because of their panorama suites and their ships are newer. ... Read More
Honestly, I chose this cruise because of the Viking commercials. I knew the Rhine River cruise appealed to me but when it came down to choosing the cruise line I selected Avalon because of their panorama suites and their ships are newer. I have no regrets in going with Avalon. We flew in to Zurich a day ahead of schedule so that we would have some time to see a bit of Zurich. We were brave and took the tram to the Aldstadt (Old Town). The next day we joined fellow travelers for the bus trip to Basel for embarkation. When we arrived at the ship our panorama suite was ready and our bags already in the room. The cabin was bigger than we anticipated and of course the panorama window was marvelous. The crew was most professional and friendly and went out of their way to help in any way that they could. We had some glitches on the way due to the low levels of the Rhine but they could not have been handled any better. We had to change ships from the Tranquility II to the Imagery II at one point due to the low water levels. We packed our bags and set them outside of our rooms on the morning of ship change and the crew seamlessly handled everything. When we got to the new ship (Imagery II) we were in the same suite that we were in on the Tranquility II. We even had some excitement - due to the low water levels of the Rhine an unexploded American bomb from WWII was found in the river. It had to be detonated before the ships could resume travel on the river. It did not keep us from reaching our destination on time. Our cruise director, Tony, was amazing! He was very flexible with all the challenges that nature and WWII threw at him and we never felt like we missed out on anything. The food throughout the cruise was excellent and the selections at every meal were plentiful. We enjoyed the local menus that the chef prepared and the local wines. Each night a pianist played in the lounge but we were too tired to stay up much past dinner. The excursions were enjoyable although some were a bit touristy. We did not feel that the departure times for the excursions were unreasonably early. The best part of the cruise was getting to meet so many wonderful fellow travelers. If you are looking to experience what you might see in a Viking Commercial (an aerial view of a glistening river with fairytale castles on each shore as you glide past) then you might be disappointed. But this was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose Avalon because of the good recommendations from friends. We had never been on a river cruise, but had been on several Caribbean cruises. We chose this one because our German friends joined us for the trip and after we spent ... Read More
We chose Avalon because of the good recommendations from friends. We had never been on a river cruise, but had been on several Caribbean cruises. We chose this one because our German friends joined us for the trip and after we spent another week with them in Germany. Although we had been to some of the cities on the itinerary, we didn't mind going again. The guides for the tours were all excellent, well prepared, and spoke good English. The food on board was the best we have ever had. They served local cuisine when possible. The service was excellent also. Our only complaint was the day we spent at the Black Forest and then to Colmar. Doing both tours was too much in one day. The bus ride to the Black Forest open air museum was 1 1/2 hours one way with only 1 hour at the sight. We could have spent double that or more. I would recommend this kind of trip with the small ship, intimate atmosphere, and relaxing sailing. (No worries about wind and waves!) Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first river cruise. It was great! We had been to European cities several times in the past, always on our own (driving or taking trains, etc.) with few pre-planned tours, so we were a little anxious about a totally ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. It was great! We had been to European cities several times in the past, always on our own (driving or taking trains, etc.) with few pre-planned tours, so we were a little anxious about a totally pre-planned, boat-based itinerary. We arrived 2 full days early to enjoy Amsterdam before cruise departure, and we recommend this to everyone, if just to adjust to the time zone. A single day in such a city is not enough. But even though before we boarded in Amsterdam we had to swap boats from the Tranquility II to the virtually identical Imagery II (due to low water on the river preventing our assigned craft to meet us in Amsterdam), this all turned out great. We pre-chose their smallest cabin, which though cozy was adequate in size and amenities for us with excellent storage and bathroom space. Since we were rarely in the room except at night to sleep, we did not need the luxury of the panorama windows of the upper decks at perhaps double the price. I'm sure they are a bonus for elbow room and amenities, but if we wanted a daytime or evening view of our passage, especially when going through one of the many locks, we just went up to the top deck or one of the two lounges with great views, which were always open. Our boat (the Imagery II) was like new (2 years old, I believe), pristine and beautifully maintained. Every crew member—apparently all from Eastern Europe with excellent English speaking skills—was clearly proud of their work and delightfully friendly, regardless of position and duties (and I mean from the Captain to the waitstaff and our room attendant—all really quite impressive). Dining on board was not a religious experience for us, but we must say every meal was an overall excellent experience with very, very good food and superb, personable service. Our only negative dining critique was for the fish courses, which regardless of declared type of fish, seemed to be prepared in the same way and thus had similar taste and were of average/good restaurant quality. All other dining options we chose, which varied delightfully every day including the wine selections, were really very fine to excellent quality. Our talented resident keyboard artist in the main lounge provided a soothing and professional variety of tunes, clearly targeted to our mostly "senior" age group, but that was really nice for easy listening. We had a couple evenings with added in-port guest artists that were wonderful, too. The "La Strada" trio was particularly delightful. This itinerary is packed with daily excursion options (some included, some for extra fees), and we took advantage of nearly all of them. Perhaps that was too many for us, as we never seemed to have day or afternoon to just chill out and read a book. Nevertheless, as we are easily mobile, no excursions were stressful and the logistics were smoothly arranged by the Tour Director. The local tour guides were always excellent and made the descriptions personal and entertaining. (Those passengers who were less mobile always had an option for shorter excursions, too.) We did realize that you can only get a "taste" of the place on a quick guided tour, and a couple times we abandoned the guide after a while to run off on our own for a bit and meet them later to get back to the boat. This was alway an option on the walking tours. But now we have some more cities for which we know a return visit at length is needed, and a couple not. After the cruise ended, we also added a couple days on our own in Switzerland. That was fun, too. Overall: Loved Avalon; their planning, the personnel, service, value and the boat. It was easy to meet other passengers daily and generate some new friends. When we disembarked, one could not help but notice that along with all the other staff and crew members helping unload the luggage to the waiting buses, the Captain was pitching in and carrying some luggage too! That's the kind of dedication to service that reflects so well on Avalon and perhaps the Imagery II boat crew in particular. We think we'll do another Avalon voyage soon, but a longer one to ensure we have some more time to just relax. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Avalon Tranquility II Ratings
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