8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Hi All, Excellent vacation. We flew into Bucharest from ATL. All went like an advert for Delta/KLM. Stayed a few nights at http://scalaboutiquehotel.ro/ Highly recommended - excellent service, royal breakfast, good ... Read More
Hi All, Excellent vacation. We flew into Bucharest from ATL. All went like an advert for Delta/KLM. Stayed a few nights at http://scalaboutiquehotel.ro/ Highly recommended - excellent service, royal breakfast, good location. Enjoyed the sights and sounds of Bucharest. Cabs are verrrry cheap. Arrived at the meeting place at noon, as ordered. Hung around until 2:30. Transfer by bus to the boat went very well. Our stay on the Avalon Passion was very, very nice. Room 217 on Sapphire deck. Little noise. Little vibration. Crew was superb. Entertainment was as expected. Food ranged from "very good" to "excellent". Our CD - Ms Adrienne - did a great job. Included excursions ranged from "OK" to "Quite Good". I think that this is a matter of taste. Some people like to tour ruined castles perched high on a hill, others don't. At one point, there was a medical emergency. It was handled most efficiently and professionally. The captain expressed sympathy and concern for the family and friends in a short ceremony. A counselor was sent by Avalon for those who might need the help. We did not go on to Vienna, but left the ship in Bratislava. Stayed at the Radisson Blu Carleton. - Quite a nice stay. Interesting city. Well worth a visit. Took https://www.blacklane.com/en/limousine-service-bratislava to VIE, and flew home via AMS. Did not go as well as expected. Plane to AMS was late. Distance between disembark and reembark was long. KLM agents were about as helpful as AirFrance. Anyway, we got home. River cruising is an excellent alternative to ocean cruising, and Can be much better than a motor trip. Ira Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We've done river cruising before and wanted to experience the Balkans by Danube. Our travel company recommended Avalon, new for us. Everything about the cruise was excellent: ship (new ship Passion), cabin, staff, service, dining, ... Read More
We've done river cruising before and wanted to experience the Balkans by Danube. Our travel company recommended Avalon, new for us. Everything about the cruise was excellent: ship (new ship Passion), cabin, staff, service, dining, excursions -: a first class experience all around. The dedication and expertise of the captain and crew was evidenced in what occurred during one of the excursions. On a trip to an archeological excavation in Serbia, I fell down a flight of stairs leading back to the bus. I was injured all over my body; miraculously, no broken bones. After receiving first aid in the town close to the site of my fall, I was driven by ambulance, through the hills, to a hospital in a larger town an hour and a half away. There I was treated: abrasions and cuts bandaged, and stitches in my leg and head. I also had two x-rays, a CAT scan, an ultra sound, an EKG and blood work. Excellent, professional care. Then our Avalon guide, who had stayed with us the entire time, drove us another two hours to meet the Passion at an unscheduled stop on the Danube. After conducting us back to the ship, we were given dinner in our stateroom - and the laundry personnel even washed my bloody clothing for me! The captain had monitored my progress the entire day, talking with our Avalon guide, and making it possible for us to meet the ship and continue for the rest of the Balkan cruise; we didn't miss anything! An extraordinary effort to help us as well as to ensure that the rest of the Avalon passengers were able to enjoy their trip through the Iron Gates, and that everything went on as scheduled. I'm not sure this same level of service would have happened with any other cruise company. Kudos and thanks to the entire crew and staff for their caring manner and for an unforgettable, wonderful cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
To learn about the Balkan discovery and country's of the area very good river cruises from the first day we arrive all was perfect and the beautiful smile from every body ,to the housekeeping was perfect and so good every day and ... Read More
To learn about the Balkan discovery and country's of the area very good river cruises from the first day we arrive all was perfect and the beautiful smile from every body ,to the housekeeping was perfect and so good every day and looking 3times a day , the dining area from breakfast , lunch and all beautiful dinners was more the 5stars all the food with Michael chef commando , and all the team working so hard was good to remember and the customer service so happy to found every solution to us , all the tours we take was good , but the only thing they need to review is the job of Sara tour manager , we need more professional point in this job , more communication and better preparicion many peoples was taking about her , but for us was okey this was my second river cruises and already planned the next one thanks Avalon to make my days so beautiful for my and my wife mr Martinez sciutto , Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our Fourth River Cruise with Avalon. This ship is new, well designed and comfortable. Our room was on the top floor, Rm 322, beautifully sized for a river ship and nicely appointed. The Bathroom is unusually large for a river ship ... Read More
This was our Fourth River Cruise with Avalon. This ship is new, well designed and comfortable. Our room was on the top floor, Rm 322, beautifully sized for a river ship and nicely appointed. The Bathroom is unusually large for a river ship with a shower and marble vanity. The Cruise Director, Tony, is one of the best around, fluent in five languages, hardworking, knowledgeable and ready and capable of confronting issues as they arise and successful in their resolution. Captain Werner did an amazing job as well. The food is quite good with enough of a variety to satisfy just about everyone, a tribute to the Chef. Although the following issues are noted, they were an annoyance but did not seriously affect our overall positive experience. 1. There was some annoying noises in our room during the night but not all the time. They were attributed to the ship's negotiation through the many Locks in this Cruise, some 67 of them. 2. Due to the many Locks, the TV reception was often adversely affected as was the free WIFI on board. 3. Due to the Locks and the continually expanding river traffic, both commercial and the river cruise ships, we were delayed at one point over 6 hours that we eventually made up. However, due to the delays and, I presume, the scheduled length of the Cruise itself (from Amsterdam to Vienna), we generally had less time in ports than one normally has on River Cruises (time in port is one of the aspects that we like on River Cruises). The Danube also has a potential issue with high water which can interfere with the ability of these ships to negotiate under some of the lower bridges. In our instance, we were not impacted but came very close. A bridge near Passau (as I recall) is so low that we had to make an unscheduled stop just before it and board buses to get to our next port. The ship did pass under that bridge with a clearance of 1 1/2 ", we were told. But, as noted above, the Captain and the Cruise Director were aware of such potential problems and excercised notable concern and flexibility (with the approval of Avalon, no doubt) to do what they had to in the interest of the passengers. Due, I presume, to the length of the Cruise and the limited duration in a number of the Ports, we had several nights where local entertainment came on board. - very enjoyable - more than we've experienced on other River Cruises. The German countryside is a Post Card almost everywhere one looks and something to experience. Amsterdam is a delightful city. The Dutch are wonderful people. Vienna is a beautiful city with incredible buildings almost everywhere you turn. We attended a Concert one evening in Vienna that proved a highlight of the Cruise. Bottom line: as long as the 67 Locks (two were 84 feet high) are not a problem for you in terms of the times that they require to negotiate and, therefor, limit the time in the ports visited, this is an attractive itinerary. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We are a senior couple and this was our first ever river cruise and we were not disappointed. The ship was beautiful with excellent facilities. Our stateroom was well appointed with a very comfortable king bed and a large bathroom. We were ... Read More
We are a senior couple and this was our first ever river cruise and we were not disappointed. The ship was beautiful with excellent facilities. Our stateroom was well appointed with a very comfortable king bed and a large bathroom. We were in cabin 216, well placed on the Sapphire deck and in the centre of the ship. The crew were all first class and made our holiday a wonderfully relaxing time. Cruise Director Tony was a wealth of knowledge on just about everything and happily shared his knowledge. The wait staff were very friendly as were the bar staff and It wasn't long before we knew their names without looking at their name badges. The food served was exceptional and a credit to the chef and his assistants. Entertainment was great, we especially enjoyed the beer tasting and the crew putting on their show. Great to see a different side of them. It was also great that we could take advantage of the slow walkers group on the shore excursions, at no time were we made to feel a nuisance. All in all we had a wonderful trip and will certainly travel with Avalon again should the opportunity arise. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our third river cruise with Avalon Waterways. We wanted to see the lower part of the Danube and explore countries that we had not visited before. Thankfully we were not disappointed with our choice of company or destinations. ... Read More
This was our third river cruise with Avalon Waterways. We wanted to see the lower part of the Danube and explore countries that we had not visited before. Thankfully we were not disappointed with our choice of company or destinations. We arrived in Bucharest 2 days before the cruise and had booked a private guide for an all day tour the day before the cruise began. Our choice of hotel was the Royal Europa Hotel in the Old Town which allowed for us to do some exploring on our own and to be near wonderful restaurants. On the first day of the cruise we were bused about 1 hour to a very small docking area on the Danube and boarded the Passion, which was a brand new ship. It was beautiful, tastefully decorated, cabin was spacious and bathroom very comfortable. We had no problem storing all of our belongings. Throught the cruise the staff was very efficient,pleasant and helpful. We enjoyed the food and wine and especially liked the fact we did not have to dress up for dinner. Our shipmates were mostly over 60 and seemed very well traveled. As for entertainment, there was of course the nightly piano music and staff variety show. During one shore stop we had a very interesting presentation about the Orthodox Church given by a priest who came on board. In that we toured several such churches this was a very nice added touch to help us understand what we were seeing. This cruise was on the lower Danube and the highlight was going through the Iron Gate Locks. Very interesting and the scenery was beautiful. We visted areas of Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary that not many tourists see. At most towns or sites we were the only tour buses there. English was widely spoken and the people were very friendly. Avalon offered lots of options for shore excusions in that you could opt to stay on the ship and cruise to the point where the sight seeing buses would end their tour. You could chose to do half day or whole day sight seeing on one particular day. Many of the sites were churches, but there was also a stop at a winery and of course beautiful scenery. One aspect of this cruise was to learn about communism in Eastern Europe and how those countries are transitioning to democracy and capitalism. We have been on the Rhine and the upper Danube, but this may very well be our favorite cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Avalon did a good job on this cruise. The only real letdown was the food. I would have expected better food particularly at breakfast. I fully understand that the chef could not prepare a wide range of breakfasts for 99 people like one ... Read More
Avalon did a good job on this cruise. The only real letdown was the food. I would have expected better food particularly at breakfast. I fully understand that the chef could not prepare a wide range of breakfasts for 99 people like one would see on a Carnival cruise with 3000 people. The cabin was fine. Avalon makes a point of saying they do not have balconies. They are not useful on a river cruise. We were docked beside an Ama ship in Budapest and we had a chance to see another cruiser's room and she saw ours. We both agreed that balconies on river cruises just reduce the space in the room. The best "balcony" is on the sky deck so you can see both sides of the river. The entertainment varied at each port and was fine. There was crew show that was pretty good. Again, do not expect a fancy theatrical show on a river cruise. The Cruise Director was helpful. The only real problem was Customs. We had to enter Schegen in Hungary and the entire morning was taken up with the border patrol. The Captain took us up and down the river at Budapest to compensate us for the time wasted with the border crossing. We would go on another cruise with Avalon. It was billed as a cultural and history tour. I also wanted to see birds in the Black Sea. I went from Bucharest to Vienna. Bucharest was not that interested. I went on a separate tour to Dracula's Castle and a communist tour. Both were very interesting. The next stop was Bulgaria. The church I visited rivalled the Cistene Chapel for art and charm. I was surprised that Bulgarians and Romanians have no interest in visiting each other's countries. The stop at Cetate to see the artist's colony was not that interesting. The bread was the best part. Iron Gates was wonderful. Belgrade was disappointing. The city has not recovered from the 1995 bombing and no-one wanted to talk about the war. This was the case for both Serbia and Croatia. Budapest was the highlight of the cruise. We cruised into the cities on a sunny day and passed under all the bridges. River cruising is the only way to see this city. Bratislava was uninteresting. Vienna was worthwhile. You need to allow time at the end of the cruise to see some of the city's 220 museums. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We sailed from the black sea (Romania) to Bratislava (Slovakia) and travelled from there by bus to Vienna and had the most superb experience.The ship is brand new, in beautiful shape and is very nicely appointed. There is plenty of ... Read More
We sailed from the black sea (Romania) to Bratislava (Slovakia) and travelled from there by bus to Vienna and had the most superb experience.The ship is brand new, in beautiful shape and is very nicely appointed. There is plenty of opportunities for relaxation and/or conversation in the boat's many public areas. The ship's intimate atmosphere, with only 150 passengers, is one of its best selling points. The crew was knowledgable, well trained and very helpful. They clearly enjoyed their jobs as they were always friendly and professional. As for the onboard programs/activities, there was a variety to inform and amuse anyone. The food was delicious, the state room was very clean and well equiped.The shore excursions were well planned and timed, local guides were well informed and very friendly. The whole trip was so wonderful and so easy to travel through so many countries in a few days, I would highly recommend it to everyone! Read Less
Avalon Passion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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