43 Avalon Waterways Avalon Passion Cruise Reviews

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. In short: 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
Sail Date October 2018
Went on Avalon cruise, Amsterdam to Budapest in 2015 . Excellent trip all round. Booked trip from Bucharest to Budapest not of same standard. Comfort, Food , service all excellent, up to Avalon standard, but content of trip very poor and ... Read More
Went on Avalon cruise, Amsterdam to Budapest in 2015 . Excellent trip all round. Booked trip from Bucharest to Budapest not of same standard. Comfort, Food , service all excellent, up to Avalon standard, but content of trip very poor and badly planned. Started in Bucharest. quite good tour of city. First day on boat. only interesting day, tour of delta in small boats very good. After that not much of interest. Problem was. most places on included tours involved long bus trips to not very interesting destinations(exception church in Velico Tournavo). Some were very badly planned e g Belgrade Tour included not very interesting park 15 minutes in a street full of cafes, and 30 mins in a traffic jam. Surely there are more interesting things to see.Daily news sheet said old town cntre and Cathedral, St Sava , not allowed for Tour of Budapest very poor and rushed, Three hour tour included 10 mins at Hero Square and a rushed 25 mins at the Fishermans Bastion,guide seemed more interested in getting us back to hotel, even though we had to wait two hours to check in, very poor. It was not made clear until the final itinerary was received, that the days in Bucharest and Budapest were on a breakfast only basis, the tour was sold on an all inclusive basis, everybody leaving the boat at Budapest felt unhappy and abandoned. The Avalon staff in the hotel were not very helpful. Other complaints were the exorbitant costs of the optional tours, most people who went on them considered that they were very poor value.also the ridiculous price of almost £10.00 for an after dinner cocktail! I certainly would advise avoiding this trip Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
First, we are delighted we visited Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania! Each country had such a rich, interesting,and often troubling history. I appreciate the opportunity to learn and see a part of the world I haven't gotten to ... Read More
First, we are delighted we visited Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania! Each country had such a rich, interesting,and often troubling history. I appreciate the opportunity to learn and see a part of the world I haven't gotten to experience before.Budapest is a must see and a delight! It's a very approachable city, with so much to see and do. The public transportation system is easy to use and the people are friendly and helpful. English is spoken by virtually everyone. Bucharest is also a wonderful city that I am so happy to have experienced. The Food Tour offered as an optional excursion in Bucharest was FUN and delightful. Second, overall the excursions were good but several things happened that did not delight us. On the included city tour in Budapest, there was no water on the bus and it was a very hot day. On the tour to Transylvania they had water on the bus BUT IT WAS FOR SALE! Further, there was a "Refreshment Stop" scheduled along the way, but it was just a pit stop to go to the restroom, there were no refreshments offered. In Brasov, during the city tour there was only a paid toilet available but no one had the necessary coins. If this were an AMA or Tauck trip they would never have allowed these things to happen. And, up until now, I didn't think Avalon would either. Third, about the ship. The Passion itself was good. It's a new ship but it wasn't as spotless as other ships on my two other Avalon river Cruises. The windows weren't clean, there were cobwebs, debris under the bed and couch, and dead bugs all along the sliding door. It also seemed like the crew was shorthanded, especially during breakfast. I believe they cut some corners and it showed. The food was delicious as always and our server at dinner was a delight. We are really glad we took the cruise but it would take a lot for us to be enticed to travel with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Had a lot of friends who love the river cruise experience and thought we would give it a try. Service was very good. The staff works extremely hard to make the guests have a wonderful experience. If you like structure and and a clean ... Read More
Had a lot of friends who love the river cruise experience and thought we would give it a try. Service was very good. The staff works extremely hard to make the guests have a wonderful experience. If you like structure and and a clean well run experience this is it. Very little hassle with transportation, travel, transfers etc. The cabin was very nice. Excellent bed, bath and staff. Good Storage and everything you need. You would not need a cabin upgrade to have a great trip. There are great viewing spots from lounges, decks , dining room and other spaces. Ship is small and it easy to find a spot to enjoy the views other that from the room. The included shore excursions were OK but not a highlight. Some of the guides were good and made the trip interesting but we had several that were boring and not worth the time. The cruise director and cruise line did not do a very good job of explaining other options that are in port. Very little information on shopping areas, and other attractions. Do your homework before you go so that you won't miss what you want to see. The tours had a great emphasis on history and rulers. There was a lot of repeated information from one tour to the next. Easy way to see Europe. Yes the ship docks within walking distance of most towns. Easy. There is a lot of walking to really enjoy the towns and cities we visited. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
rec by travel agent....bad weather missed connection at amsterdam no one there to pick us up luckily a avalon guy was there for someone else and after one hour he got permission to take us to the boat....all services on the boat were ... Read More
rec by travel agent....bad weather missed connection at amsterdam no one there to pick us up luckily a avalon guy was there for someone else and after one hour he got permission to take us to the boat....all services on the boat were excellent.....ony thing was the service up in the lounge area were you can eat away from the crowd ....very noise in main dining room....the waiters in the lounge only set up for one hour or less and were ready to move the food out.....Dont understand that should be two hours.....they rushed you out......main dining room not so two hours straight and the service was great....the tours were ok depending on the operator and when given free time it was 30 minutes or less.....the worst thing about the trip was rafting up the boats at some cities....you literally had no view except for the other boats rooms....they were exactly two feet away......all in all a good experience but very pricey Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Traveled with a teen and since it was summer there were other teens on board. There are no programs or plans for children/teens though so not recommended if you are looking for someone to entertain them. Ship crew is very friendly and hard ... Read More
Traveled with a teen and since it was summer there were other teens on board. There are no programs or plans for children/teens though so not recommended if you are looking for someone to entertain them. Ship crew is very friendly and hard working, overall great. Included tours are perfect for an intro to the area although not so great if you want to sleep as most are in the morning. They use local guides that are quite knowledgeable and some are also very entertaining. Schedules are dependent on water levels so some changes to ports and shore excursions may affect your cruise. Be sure you are not too set on seeing a particular site from the cruise as it could be changed. Highly recommend flying in at least one day prior to relax, rest and see the starting destination (you may be bused to a new starting destination and not see that destination at all). Dining was open seating ala carte for dinner, buffet for breakfast and lunch. There was also dining options in the lounge which is recommended to try for a more casual, relaxed meal at your own pace (same menu as the dining room but smaller portions and a buffet). Overall the ship is extremely clean. Beverage service was a little slow. Disembarkation was wonderful, smooth, efficient and quick. There was a variety of ages on the ship with several teens traveling with family up to retired adults. This cruise attracts more active travelers rather than passive although everyone is welcome. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The duration and locations, especially starting on the Black Sea. Very happy we went from east to west as it consistently got better all the way to Prague. Budapest and Prague were great large cities and the smaller towns like Durnstein ... Read More
The duration and locations, especially starting on the Black Sea. Very happy we went from east to west as it consistently got better all the way to Prague. Budapest and Prague were great large cities and the smaller towns like Durnstein and Pecs were great surprises. The Passion was very nice with a small spa, but the exercise room was way too small. I couldn't lift the weights up as they hit the ceiling and the max weight was 10k. Matre'd was very accommodating to my wife's pepper allergies and there were some vegetables at the breakfast buffet for me. The tours of the towns and cities were well done, although most of the guides have their speech idocincracies. The presence of the Habsburg family made it a special themed cruise and more personal (only the portion from Budapest to Regensburg). By the end, we had heard the stories repeated so many times about Sissy, that we didn't want to hear anymore. Would have liked to have been involved with more sustainable activities and performances, like our Avalon cruise on the Mekong. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose Avalon because of the service, bed facing window, 7 ft wide "room balcony" (Panorama Suite) and itinerary. The ports were altered due to the low water...but Avalon made it seemless by re positioning the ship to a better ... Read More
We chose Avalon because of the service, bed facing window, 7 ft wide "room balcony" (Panorama Suite) and itinerary. The ports were altered due to the low water...but Avalon made it seemless by re positioning the ship to a better port in Austria (Englehartszell) with easy access to promised stops of Regensburg, Germany and Passau, Germany by luxury motorcoach. Avalon was kind enough to reimburse every passenger for the Vienna concert due to the slight change in itinerary and also offer a free traditional German lunch in Regensburg, Germany. All in all.....Avalon made the entire change easy on all passengers and presented an incredible cruse with relaxing and easy on and off stops along with delicious meals which included complimentary wines and beers. The crew and staff were amazing especially our cruise director Marie who was available almost 24/7. The Captain was very personable.....allowing access to the bridge during sailing times and explanations of the ships operations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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
Sail Date April 2016
This was not our first river cruise in Europe. We looked a cruise that hit the places we wanted to visit at the times we wanted to go. There were several options to choose from. We then looked for a smaller boat with fewer passengers and ... Read More
This was not our first river cruise in Europe. We looked a cruise that hit the places we wanted to visit at the times we wanted to go. There were several options to choose from. We then looked for a smaller boat with fewer passengers and larger staterooms. Avalon fit the bill. The front and and back end of the tour included stays in 4 star hotels in Budapest and Bucharest, The hotels were located near a number of tourist sites we had a chance to visit. The organized tours were great with extremely knowledgeable guides with good language skills. Each day had options for passengers to choose from. On board bikes were available for passenger use. My wife need a doctor's attention and the ship arranged for one to visit her and then ran a crew member out to purchase the prescriptions. The charge for the 30 minute visit and drugs totalled 80 Euros. Avalon was less formal at meas than on other river boats we had cruised on and we liked that. All in all we will book them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we had never been to the previous communist countries.or cruise included a tour everyday that were very informative and interesting. The guides spoke excellent English. Our cabin was the lowest you could buy ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been to the previous communist countries.or cruise included a tour everyday that were very informative and interesting. The guides spoke excellent English. Our cabin was the lowest you could buy and it was very nice with a decent bathroom. We loved the dining experience. Breakfast and lunch were buffet with good choices of entree. Dinner was served off a menu, we had excellent service at all meals. Great wine was provided to compliment your food choices. Entertainment was a keyboard and singer which was fine. The ports were good and explanatory of the countries. This is not a trip for children but perfect for history lovers and foodies.I would go on another river cruise to a different area.our cruise offered bikes you could take for a spin. We also had a small whirlpool which was heated and we enjoyed a few times. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I picked this August date so the weather would be warm enough to enjoy the Avalon window that opens 7 feet wide so we could really experience traveling the Danube. Target city Vienna. I figured that eastbound was less likely to end up ... Read More
I picked this August date so the weather would be warm enough to enjoy the Avalon window that opens 7 feet wide so we could really experience traveling the Danube. Target city Vienna. I figured that eastbound was less likely to end up grounded and require repacking and busses if the river was too low. The river height was perfect - not so low we grounded, not too high they needed to collapse the top deck. Avalon service was excellent. The weather was great - mostly 70s until the final day. Food was well prepared and good selection (picky eater, lots of allergies). The tours were amazing - free daily tours and the guides all spoke very good English. We paid for 3 extra tours – all were worthwhile. We know now that a 7 day cruise is plenty long – 10 days was a bit exhausting. This tour included Prague & Regensburg before we joined the boat in Deggendorf for 7 days on the river. We flew into London so we knew we would find English at the end of our 10 hour flight. As it turns out Prague was very English friendly so flying there directly would have been acceptable. Avalon has a permanent office at the Hilton. The Hilton was nice except it was under construction and very loud until 7PM every evening – not good if you are trying to sleep to get over jet-lag. Hilton beds are too hard. We had 142 people traveling so we were very full ship but it never felt like it. The mix of 10 cities we stopped at was good – a mix from the Tiny Durnstein to Big cities of Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Most cities had time for you to explore on your own. Getting on and off the boat was handled beautifully. There was entertainment on the boat in the evenings but we went to bed after 7PM dinner which ended after 9PM. The dining room was very loud so it was hard to carry on conversations with the new people you meet every meal. They could use sound absorbing decorations. We normally eat at 5PM so this felt very late. We ended the trip exhausted and satisfied and would definitely go with Avalon again. This was our first river cruise which I loved compared to the 4 ocean cruises I have been on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this cruise line based upon square footage of staterooms and floor to ceiling windows. Also , we liked the smaller ship capacity. This was an excellent cruise from beginning to end. Staff from cruise director to housekeeping to ... Read More
We choose this cruise line based upon square footage of staterooms and floor to ceiling windows. Also , we liked the smaller ship capacity. This was an excellent cruise from beginning to end. Staff from cruise director to housekeeping to wait staff were professional and courteous. There was always a variety of hot and cold foods served daily. Although the overall quality of the food was good, not great, the dining experience was excellent. It was also worry free to have excursions paid for as well as wine service included in lunch and dinner. I only experienced Tea Time once, but that was lovely as well. I needed to see a doctor while on the cruise and the Cruise Director could not have been more helpful, and again professional. The nightly entertainment after dinner was always a fun way to end each evening. I would have loved to have taken advantage of the Recreational activities offered such as Zumba, Yoga and a bike excursions but was honestly too tired from the days activities. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise based on location, dates and then were intrigued by the special itinerary around the Hapsberg Empire. Everything met or exceeded our expectations. The stateroom was beautiful and spacious, and the bed was very ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on location, dates and then were intrigued by the special itinerary around the Hapsberg Empire. Everything met or exceeded our expectations. The stateroom was beautiful and spacious, and the bed was very comfortable. Our favorite part was the panoramic operable windows - we used this multiple times to enjoy our "cruising time." The food, and especially the wine, was delicious. All the staff were knowledgeable, attentive and made us feel like valued passengers. Our cruise director, Tony Williamson, was just terrific - he really made it a special journey. We loved the variety of excursion options and enjoyed every one we did. There were many special activities or excursions that were unique to this itinerary. The daily briefings and the written itineraries were very helpful. My only negative feedback is about the embarkation process. The information provided about the specific docking location was not specific enough and there was no one at the dock to help provide additional information. We had to walk up and down the various docking locations along the Danube, dragging our luggage in extreme heat before finding the ship. Once onboard, everything was terrific and we had wonderful service. Surely, there must be a better way to board in Budapest. Also, while I downloaded the app and looked up some information ahead of time, it was not useful during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The size of the staterooms and the appointments were amazing. I think the service was the best thing about the cruise. At every category of service the level was very high. You even got to know and speak to the captain on occasion. ... Read More
The size of the staterooms and the appointments were amazing. I think the service was the best thing about the cruise. At every category of service the level was very high. You even got to know and speak to the captain on occasion. Quality of the food and wines was outstanding. Almost all shore excursions were included and the buses and local guides were excellent. We docked next to several of the competitors ships on several occasions. We were surprised how "banged up" by comparison some of the other boats looked.. This is a minor point but the Avalon ships were maintained out the outside as well as on the inside. The front desk and cruise director were very organized and were available to the passengers. Changing shore excursions was not a problem and they had a variety of levels even putting those who did not wish to walk as much on one bus and striving to give them maximum exposure to the sights, with a little less walking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Having traveled with Avalon before we have found this company provides the best quality experience in every phase of the trip. Last year 3 of us did the Danube cruise from Prague to Budapest. The trip this year we started in Budapest to ... Read More
Having traveled with Avalon before we have found this company provides the best quality experience in every phase of the trip. Last year 3 of us did the Danube cruise from Prague to Budapest. The trip this year we started in Budapest to cruise to Bucharest, Romania with the extension to Transylvania. Fantastic trip by with great excursions with local guides. With Avalon we are well informed every day and our excellent tour director made this experience relaxing and trouble free. Every member of the crew working as a team made every day perfect. The dining onboard is absolutely fantastic. Not only is the food great but menu items allow several choices. Great local wines are served from countries visiting. We especially enjoyed the fine wines from Romania. The dining room staff make you feel like the most important person onboard. We had a delightful young woman from Romania named Maribella who we will never forget. Even visited the bridge to chat with the captain and crew. They go out of the way to cruise with safety and to make sure you have great opportunities for taking photos of sites along the river. We are already booked for spring 2020 to cruise the Rhine River with Avalon! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had a wonderful time on our Avalon cruise to Eastern Europe. Starting in Prague the arrival was smooth being greeted by the Avalon staff then transferred to the Prague Hilton where there is a dedicated Avalon area. The transfer to the ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on our Avalon cruise to Eastern Europe. Starting in Prague the arrival was smooth being greeted by the Avalon staff then transferred to the Prague Hilton where there is a dedicated Avalon area. The transfer to the ship was seamless and the ship itself was wonderful very easy to get around and our cabin P320 was so lovely and peaceful with its panoramic view and super comfortable bed! And the cabin service was beyond compare (thank you Saleh). The dining was excellent and varied with local cuisine while in that port. I eat gluten free and there was a meeting with the head chef before we sailed to address any concerns with food allergies. The wait staff (thank you Nick) always brought me gluten free bread and knew every item on the menu that was gluten free. The entertainment was varied and always fun and a more intimate experience (this is not a large Caribbean cruise). The staff was always there is answer any question and the meetings before each port was informative and downright fun. Robert our cruise directer was fantastic his desk was in the middle of the ship and always open. All of the ports we visited were well organized and all of the guides are local and so obviously love their towns and cities. You are given a headset and receiver before each tour so even if you are in the back you can hear everything the guide is saying. Be prepared to walk a lot on cobble stone streets that are very narrow that you have to sometimes share with passing cars. Avalon also offers a "gentle" walkers plan too. I can highly recommend Avalon we had such a lovely time and learned so much! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The Legendary Danube from Prague to Budapest was our first river cruise. Avalon made everything easy and enjoyable. The food, entertainment, service and overall experience was outstanding. We have traveled on many luxury cruise ships, ... Read More
The Legendary Danube from Prague to Budapest was our first river cruise. Avalon made everything easy and enjoyable. The food, entertainment, service and overall experience was outstanding. We have traveled on many luxury cruise ships, but found Avalon on par in terms of what is offered from a river cruise. Avalon provided transportation for all of the excursions, and offered a guide to take the "gentle walkers" separately. The guides were great, and the fact that they accommodated people who had limited mobility was very nice. We spent 3 days in Prague on our own before taking the Avalon bus to embark in Regensburg. The water levels in Europe in September were extremely low, and many cruise ships could not navigate the low waters and had to stay in one location and bus their passengers to their destinations. What's nice about Avalon riverboats is that their design enables them to navigate in lowers waters in comparison to other cruise lines. We were lucky to be able to sail to destinations on the cruise. Our favorite places were Prague, Regensburg and Vienna. I recommend staying extra days in Budapest. The Avalon Passion is a beautiful boat, with comfortable beds and the ship is spotless. I cannot give enough praise to Avalon for their professionalism and service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Always wanted to cruise the Danube. River was low so we had to do a bus for the first 3 days, missing the Nuremberg tour, which wasn't a big deal because we arrived there a day early and explored the old city by ourselves. Avalon ... Read More
Always wanted to cruise the Danube. River was low so we had to do a bus for the first 3 days, missing the Nuremberg tour, which wasn't a big deal because we arrived there a day early and explored the old city by ourselves. Avalon made up for it by giving us the Vienna concert complimentary. The ship was great, very comfortable. We really enjoyed the food and the service. The wine tasting excursion in Budapest was disappointing, but that is the only real complaint we had. Avalon seems very well organized and communicative. Very professional. One thing we really like was the intimacy of the cruise. The river cruise ships are understandably small as ships go, with room for about 160 passengers on our ship. That gave us a great opportunity to meet folks and get together with them routinely. We traveled by ourselves, not with friends we already knew, and met some really wonderful people. Loved Regensberg and Passau. Vienna is spectacular, but almost overwhelming in scope. The concert there is a must do, especially if you love classical music. The night lights tour in Budapest is also a must. Truly spectacular. We will definitely do another cruise with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I chose this cruise for its itinerary in central Europe. The scenery was outstanding. The Danube was very low during our cruise, however, the Avalon ship being newer with less draft had no problems sailing while other lines were forced ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary in central Europe. The scenery was outstanding. The Danube was very low during our cruise, however, the Avalon ship being newer with less draft had no problems sailing while other lines were forced to dock their ships and bus people from town to town. The people at each stop were extremely friendly. Pretty much everyone we encountered spoke excellent English and didn't mind conversing in English. The ship was top notch and the staff was very attentive. Dinner was outstanding with all of the wine (chose either red, white or rose) or beer you cared to drink. The waiters were constantly refilling our glasses with excellent wine. We had on-board entertainment for 3 nights. Each act they brought on was talented and funny which made for a great show. Each port visit starts with a complimentary guided tour with local guides. This was fantastic as the guides showed you around for a couple of hours and after the tour you were free to wander around at your leisure for several hours until boarding time. I would definitely book with Avalon again. I didn't rate fitness and recreation highly because the boat is limited on what it can offer due to size limitations to fit in the river locks. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We love Avalon and their outstanding staff! Avalon makes each guest feel welcome and special. My opinion, Avalon is more personal and not as commercial as some cruise ships. The Amsterdam to Budapest cruise appealed to use because we ... Read More
We love Avalon and their outstanding staff! Avalon makes each guest feel welcome and special. My opinion, Avalon is more personal and not as commercial as some cruise ships. The Amsterdam to Budapest cruise appealed to use because we wanted to relax and enjoy the scenery as we traveled. To start with, I have to commend Avalon for the fantastic trip we had, especially since our ship "Passion" was stuck in the Black Sea due to low water. Illumination, the replacement ship, and the crew from Passion were amazing. Our Capitan did an outstanding job navigating through the low water point. All the shore excursions went extremely well. Loved our cabin which was roomy with plenty of storage and of course the French doors opened to the view. The configuration of Illumination allowed us to dine in the lovely dining room or in the lounge area where we could watch the view as we cruised. Beautiful flower arrangements added a warm touch. FOOD was delicious! The Chef matched food to the areas we were traveling through. Our Tour Director was a real Pro! He was knowledgeable, personable and accessible! We really cannot say enough about Avalon and their staff and the way they handle their cruises. Yes, we would take an AVALON cruise again!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Recommended by friends who have been on prior AVALON cruises, including this summer on the same one we took but at an earlier time. We also chose it for size of boat, lack of children, number of stops and excursions. The ports were ... Read More
Recommended by friends who have been on prior AVALON cruises, including this summer on the same one we took but at an earlier time. We also chose it for size of boat, lack of children, number of stops and excursions. The ports were excellent, with variation of guides in ports from super to ok. Enough free time and also enough information provided. In fact, everything was timed perfectly - no mixups. The ship was lovely, well designed to encourage socialization and choices for meals. The staterooms were roomy for a cruise, with plenty of storage and it was great that all had outside windows (we never opened ours but there were Juliette balconies). Food was excellent and abundant. Our on-board director, NANCY, was fantastic. She made everything work with great spirit and enthusiasm and problem solving. And she gave precise and well-articulated "briefings" every day. Terrific. A real pro. 99% of our "problems" were of our own making in that we had a small fold-up wheel chair which does not work easily on the old town streets and hills - FYI for anyone traveling with a wheel chair or limited walking ability. Luckily we are used to me parking the chair for my husband somewhere interesting and galloping off on my own to see things beyond his range. As to Nancy and the crew, they made the wheel chair part no problem as much as humanly possible. I would recommend for entertainment that there be more organized after dinner things like scavenger hunts or bingo of some variety or other group games - we did a few but mainly it was passive entertainment and then people went to the bar or their rooms. The days were filled very well; no too long stretches of sailing. We did run out of Danube at the Budapest stop - hardly the fault of Avalon. We were impressed with everything. Met lovely people, all similar enough in age/life stage to fit together well. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We are delighted that we chose to take the 21 day trip on the Danube that included Transylvania and three days in Prague. The trip from East to West gave us a wonderful insight into the people and historical issues of that area. The ... Read More
We are delighted that we chose to take the 21 day trip on the Danube that included Transylvania and three days in Prague. The trip from East to West gave us a wonderful insight into the people and historical issues of that area. The entire crew did a wonderful job of making sure we had a great time. The food and accommodations were first rate! The low water level issue was handled calmly and professionally. We had a wonderful time and will continue to travel with Avalon. Great Cruise Director, Robert is a true professional. The wait staff was excellent, special thanks to Alexander and Andy for their service and friendship. Our breakfast egg chef did an amazing job. When you spend that long on a shop, they definitely get to know you and your preferences and provide service without even an order!! Madija kept our room clean and comfortable at all times. We love the Passion and it's cabin layout. Being able to enjoy our room and the water with the cabin doors open to the river was a delight! Avalon does an excellent job at providing fresh, local food that allows us to sample local specialties along the route. Outstanding selection and beautifully prepared and presented meals. Love the Ice Cream!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We started our adventure with 3days in Budapest and boarded our ship there. The cruise representatives met us at our hotel with a champagne gathering and information about all the excursions that were included in the cruise and others we ... Read More
We started our adventure with 3days in Budapest and boarded our ship there. The cruise representatives met us at our hotel with a champagne gathering and information about all the excursions that were included in the cruise and others we could opt into. They explained everything to the last detail so we knew what we were doing from day 1.The excursions we had in Budapest were terrific and we got such a good feel of the city. Everything was extremely well organized and we felt very comfortable with plenty of time in between to rest or hop into the next excursion. When we boarded the ship, we had another general "meeting" held by the Cruise Director Tamas. He was detailed, explained everything to us, and was available for any questions any time of day. We had stops in Vienna, Durnstein, Melk, and Passau. Unfortunately we had to take a bus to Regensberg and never got to Nuremburg because of a barge that went aground. But Tamas put together other tours that were not included for all of us to join to help compensate what we lost by being "stuck" in Passau. We took a excursion to Salzberg which was absolutely beautiful. We also went to the Vienna Supreme Concert and a tour through Vienna. Schonbrunn Palace was a beautiful day trip and well worth seeing. After the decision was made that we could not go forward due to the grounded barge, we were put on a bus from Passau to our final destination of Prague. Everything was perfect. We could not have asked for more and would definitely do another river cruise. Cabins were beautiful, food was terrific, staff was friendly and accommodating and it seems always available to help us out with any questions. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Highly rated. Great price. Great itinerary. Great service. The captain was extremely gracious during my conversations with him. Our table service at lunch and dinner couldn't have been better. Our room was towards the rear of the ... Read More
Highly rated. Great price. Great itinerary. Great service. The captain was extremely gracious during my conversations with him. Our table service at lunch and dinner couldn't have been better. Our room was towards the rear of the upper level, which meant we had exclusive access to the stern sitting room with coffee, tea and pastries. I would travel on Avalon again. The food was delightful and offered an array of selections at dinner . Wine service was consistently good, both lunch and dinner. At dinner you eventually find a table and server that works best for you. The onshore tours were well organized and just the right length. The evenings on the bow deck were enjoyable talking with other passengers. The serene setting was most enjoyable. This was a 14 day cruise and seemed long for our first, but the time passed quickly. We could have gone further if we could . Looking forward to our next d=cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Avalon Passion Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.0 4.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 1.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.5
Enrichment 3.0 4.3
Service 4.0 4.9
Value For Money 4.0 4.6

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