We chose to go on this cruise to experience five countries in a leisurely manner, taking in the passing scenery from our Stateroom. To be fair, we were not too bothered about excursions or onboard entertainment, so our rating in this area ... Read More
We chose to go on this cruise to experience five countries in a leisurely manner, taking in the passing scenery from our Stateroom. To be fair, we were not too bothered about excursions or onboard entertainment, so our rating in this area may not be important to others.
Had the trip gone according to plan I have no doubt I would be giving Avalon five stars. The five days we cruised, out of fifteen booked, was exceptional. Whilst Avalon cannot be blamed for poor water conditions, they can be blamed for failing to inform us in time to cancel the trip, on failing to offer reasonable compensation, and on exceptionally poor communications from their customer service area.
We cruised for 5 days out of the advertised 15.
We cruised through part of one country, rather than the advertised five countries.
We were put up in hotels for six nights. Meals, where provided by the hotel at all, were ordinary, at best.
We spent many hours being driven point to point on buses, requiring early morning starts and much packing and repacking. We saw very little in the way of scenery outside of the five days of cruising, spending most of the time on motorways.
We have been offered compensation of approximately 20% of the total cruise-only cost (nothing for the cost of airfares).
When challenged, Avalon just says it is their policy. My requests for a review by a more senior representative seems to have been ignored.
Whilst other cruise companies have suffered similar problems, most seem to be able to transfer passengers relatively small distances to another ship. I suspect this is because most have more ships available.
By all means use Avalon if you can be certain the river conditions will allow one continuous journey - the ship was great, as were the staff on the ship. However where there is any likelihood of problems, it appears Avalon is least likely to be able to minimise the disruption and will not offer fair and reasonable compensation. Read Less