1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Avalon Luminary Review
  4. Avalon Luminary Cruise Reviews

61 Avalon Luminary Cruise Reviews

We chose to sail with Avalon has we have done so twice previously and really enjoyed the ship and service. We like having an included tour in each port, but also having the choice to go off and do our own thing in the afternoons.We do not ... Read More
We chose to sail with Avalon has we have done so twice previously and really enjoyed the ship and service. We like having an included tour in each port, but also having the choice to go off and do our own thing in the afternoons.We do not want to do all the optional tours and would rather pay for what we want to do. Free time is important to us and Avalon gives us that option. We took the train from Zurich airport directly to Lucerne in about an hour and really enjoyed the lake cruise to Weggis that we took. We stayed at the Radisson which is located very close to the train station in Lucerne. The train station was a good place for moderate food costs( for Switzerland). There is an entire mall under the station with all kinds of options for very good take away food( both hot and cold).After 2 nights, we took the direct train to Basel and left our luggage at the station in lockers while we explored Basel for the day. We caught a taxi to the river boat very easily from there. We particularly enjoyed the Moselle section of the cruise as it is by far the prettier River . The Rhine does have lovely sections including the Gorge and castles, but other parts are also very industrial.There were a few places where we would have preferred to dock in the main town in the afternoons rather than moving to a smaller place with less to do. Trier was an example of this. Due to the distances travelled, there is more day time cruising in the afternoons than on other rivers such as the Danube and the Rhone. The staff and crew were wonderful to a person and could not do enough for you. We met many other travellers primarily from the UK, NZ, Australia and Canada. Our cruise director Bart was amazing and had lots of very valuable information and corny jokes to share. Although the Luminary is 4 years old, she has been very well maintained. I was a bit disappointed that the beds did not face the sliding glass doors as they do on the newer ships. If I was choosing a cabin next time, I would either choose mid ship or the front as there was considerable noise from the engine at the back when we docked. We were 4 cabins from the back and were OK., but could hear it on occasion. The food was very good and they tried to include some regional specialties, which was nice. Of course, wine is subjective, but this is one area where I think they could have included some more local white wines which were of a better quality.We did have one local white which was nice -but there could have been more as they are not expensive in the Moselle region. We love river boat cruising as it is such an easy way to travel without hassle.You only unpack once and cruising down the river at dinner time watching the sunset over the vineyards and castles is priceless. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After many ocean voyages, we decided to give river cruising a try. Although we were concerned about water level, it was all for naught. Our river cruise did not disappoint. Our adventure began with 2 pre-cruise days in Budapest & 4 ... Read More
After many ocean voyages, we decided to give river cruising a try. Although we were concerned about water level, it was all for naught. Our river cruise did not disappoint. Our adventure began with 2 pre-cruise days in Budapest & 4 post cruise days in Prague, with 7 days of accommodations on the Avalon Luminary in between. Upon arrival, there was a signage holding Avalon agent waiting for us right out side the Customs area. After the arrival of other guests within the specific pick up time, we were all transferred in a very comfortable air conditioned coach to our hotel the Corinthia. The trip took approximately 40 minutes, but could vary due to the traffic conditions. Unless you're going back to Hungary, it is just easier to take out Hungarian currencies (Ft), & ONLY the amount you need, from the ATMs which are all over the place. The ATMs there I'd understand & the one I'd used have English as an option. I'd followed the rule where I'd ONLY withdraw monies in the local currency. If you are in the Euro zone, withdraw in Euros, so in Budapest, withdraw in Ft AND do not choose the option where the ATM do the exchange for you. I am lead to believe that you get better a rate that way. For more info on that "google" dynamic currency conversion or DCC. However, take the latter info at your own risk. Upon arriving home, I noted that we were charged a withdrawal fee by our own banking institution, but not by the local ATM operator. The accommodation, food & staff at Corinthia were 2nd to none. The breakfast buffet is magnificent & the staff were friendly, helpful & courteous. Our room was very clean, quiet & comfortable, especially important after a long flight from the west coast. Fully furnished with the comforts of home & free wifi. The only negative, if it is a negative, is that the Corinthia is about a 30 minute walk from the Danube River, where most of the attractions are, however there are cabs & a tram just out of the hotel. If you want a cab, it's best to have the hotel get one for you, as it'll be easier & they can give you a good rough estimate of what the fare should be. We found Budapest to be very safe, although you're warned about & wary of pickpocketings. Fortunately, no one in our group encountered any problems. We did not encounter any problems with the food & water in Budapest. The food & beverages there are very reasonable compared to North America. For all intent & purpose, most of the locals we encountered spoke some English. We had an inclusive 3 hour city tour with a local guide on our 2nd day, with stops at the Fishermen's Bastion & Heroes' Square. This tour gave you a "taste of the city" with narrations from the guide. We found the tour enjoyable & at a comfortable pace especially if you're trying to get over jet lag. We returned to the hotel to freshened up & took a cab (2000 Ft) from the Corinthia to the Central Market. We could have taken the tram, but it would have involved a transfer inbetween & the cost difference was negligible. The tram cost 350 Ft/person, so 2 people would have been 1400 Ft. Why not take a private direct air conditioned ride. This market is for you, if you like visiting farmer type markets. Locals shop there for their meats, vegetables & the such. On the 2nd floor of this huge market are souvenir & street food kiosks. Good local food! From there we meandered to the Chain Bridge, taking in the sights & sounds of the city. It took us an easy 45 minute walk by to the Corinthia. We had to check out on the 3rd day by 11 PM, but the transfer to the ship did not occur until about 3:30 PM. So you have several options, store your luggage with the hotel & explore more on your own or take an inclusive lunch excursion & get dropped off the ship at around 4 PM which we did. The Avalon Luminary is a very nice vessel. It has 3 decks of state rooms, with the sky deck & wheel house on the 4th deck. There are elevators going from the 1st to 3rd deck. The reception & lounge are next to each other at the fore of the ship, while the dining room, also at the fore of the ship, but 1 deck down. There is also a small quiet sitting section on the 3rd deck aft, where there is a coffee/expresso type machine, juices & pastries. The fitness room, albeit small, is on the lower deck, is equipped with a tread mill, 2 bikes & some very light dumbbells. We were on the 2nd deck, portside, midship with a french balcony (sliding patio door if you will) on the Luminary. Although the room is not as large as the ocean vessels, it was suffice & comfortable for the 2 of us. There was ample space for storage, with suitcases fitting under the bed. Our room was furnished with among other things, a king size memory foam bed, flat screen TV, writing table with cushioned chair, safe, iron, hair dryer & stocked mini fridge. The bathroom was just as, if not a bit larger than those on the ocean vessels. The glass shower definitely is larger, sans shower curtain, but with a good sealed door. There are 2 European type outlets to charge your devices in the room, along with a 115 - 240 V outlet for your shaver in the bathroom. I'd used that outlet to charge my batteries with no problems. There is complimentary wifi & bottles of water in the room. Unlike ocean vessels, the wifi & TV signals were always very strong during our time on the river & in port. Our room was very comfortable & quiet. All the breakfasts, lunches & 1/7 dinners (because of a late excursion) were buffet style meals. The other 6 dinners were sit down/order your meal affair. Understandably, the selection of food was not as varied as ocean going vessels, but they were just as good, if not better. The wait staff were very attentive, courteous & helpful. No shorts or tees during dinner sessions. Again & understandably so, the entertainment was not as elaborate, but just as good, with a more intimate atmosphere. We had a wine tasting session, a beer tasting session, a lecture on canals, 2 musical comics, a funny Barvarian musician & of course a show put on by the crew. On our cruise, we had 77/138 guests, as such, you basically had free run of the ship. No rush for anything, very friendly & relaxing atmosphere. All the crew/staff were friendly, helpful and had time to speak & interact with the passengers. Our cruise director was 2nd to none, very experienced, has a wealth of knowledge, well prepared & a pretty good singer. The inclusive & paid excursions are subjective, but in general were good, giving your the flavor & bit of history of the area you're visiting. The disembarkation, like the embarkation was simple, fast & smooth, unlike the ones you experienced on the ocean vessels, but hey, we only had 77 passengers. In any event I don't think another 61 passengers would have made any difference. Upon arrival & disembarkation, we had a 4 hour ride in a comfortable air conditioned bus from Nuremberg to Prague, with a 20 minute pit stop half way. We stayed in Prague for 4 nights at the Hilton Old Town. An Avalon rep was also staying there should we required any info or assistance. Like in Budapest most of the locals we encountered spoke English. We also did not encounter any problems with the food & water in Prague. Food here a little bit more than in Budapest, but still very reasonable compared to North America. The Hilton Old Town was relatively close & within walking distance to most of the attractions, like the iconic Astronomical clock. Prague is also very safe, but again be aware of pickpocketing. Again, fortunately, no one in our group encountered any problems. We had an inclusive city bus/walking tour which was good & informative. Lots of cobblestones, so be careful when walking around. Our room at the Hilton was very large, quiet, comfortable & fully furnished. Their breakfast buffet was good. Hotel staff was very friendly, helpful & courteous. Free wifi for Hilton Honors members. Sign up to become a member is free & get free wifi. ATMs are all over the place & easy to use. If you need a cab, have the hotel order one for you. We had the Avalon rep make arrangements for our private cab from the hotel to the airport. The cost was 550 CZK, better than the ones being advertised. All in all, this was a very enjoyable trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Fantastic ship . So well fitted out that gave the feeling of a 5 star hotel.library and games available with good choice. Great tours that were well organised and of a very high quality . Teriffic staff in all departments and nothing was ... Read More
Fantastic ship . So well fitted out that gave the feeling of a 5 star hotel.library and games available with good choice. Great tours that were well organised and of a very high quality . Teriffic staff in all departments and nothing was too much trouble. Food excellent with excellent choice of fine wines with meals. .cabin very well appointed and serviced daily. Fresh water bottles daily for taking on tours.There were extra tours to choose from and the selection was difficult to pick from. I do wonder why the bar is not complimentary in the evenings. Spirits are so cheap now but the prices on board were a bit steep. I was disappointed with the strong smell of diesel in the cabin from time to time.this was particularly present in lock maneauvers. However,this was my only criticism. I would certainly go with Avalon again but organise my 3 day stay in Prague,which was part of the cruise,myself. The home pick up service went well and certainly takes the stress out of both ends of the holiday Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our 2nnd cruise with AVALON; and we were not disappointed. The Luminary is a well-appointed ship with all the amenities needed for an upscale cruise experience. Our cabin had ample room for us and storage for our things; while the ... Read More
This was our 2nnd cruise with AVALON; and we were not disappointed. The Luminary is a well-appointed ship with all the amenities needed for an upscale cruise experience. Our cabin had ample room for us and storage for our things; while the French balcony allowed ample views of our progress along the Danube. Robes, slippers, upscale toiletries, etc. all included. The food was excellent for each meal including buffet breakfast with omelet station, buffet or menu lunch with a 5-6-course dinner comparable to a 4-5 star restaurant; and the service by the entire crew both met and exceeded our expectations. Peter, our Cruise Director, did not have no in his vocabulary and met each and every request with a smile and can do! Our arrival point was Budapest, Hungary a city to which I will someday return for an extended stay. Lot’s to see and do, great food with warm and charming people. We happened to be here during St. Stevens day the Hungarian Independence Day celebration and were treated to a spectacular fireworks display. Our Intercontinental Hotel on the Danube was 1st class as were all meals. After boarding the Luminary we sailed to Vienna where we attended an optional musical concert, which was one of the highlights of the trip and should not be missed. Additional stops in small villages and cities included Durnstein and Melk in Austria a sail through the scenic Wachau Valley in Austria; and an unscheduled stop in Linz, Austria due to low water beyond Passau. All had there special charms especially Linz which we would recommend be a scheduled stop in the future for this cruise. As a result of the low water issue (which must have been know to AVALON prior to our trip but was not communicated until we were an our way to Linz) we had to end our cruise in Passau, Germany and complete our itinerary by buses. The 8-hour roundtrip bus ride and tour of Regensburg, Germany was exhausting but it included a great sausage and kraut plate. Passau could be easily skipped and Linz substituted as it only had a cathedral to visit and view. Due again to the low water we were bussed to Nuremberg for dinner and overnight hotel stay; and disappointed in that we saw nothing of Nuremberg which we had looked forward to touring. All in all a great start, enjoyable middle and poor ending. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We returned late Saturday night from our 16 day trip to Germany and Austria which included a cruise from Frankfurt to Vienna on Avalon's Luminary. We were thrilled to have no rain and LOTS of snow and only a few times were the ... Read More
We returned late Saturday night from our 16 day trip to Germany and Austria which included a cruise from Frankfurt to Vienna on Avalon's Luminary. We were thrilled to have no rain and LOTS of snow and only a few times were the conditions icy and/or slushy, making walking unpleasant. The snow covered scenery was magnificent and really added to the ambiance. This was our 4th visit at this exact time of year and the first time we had snow in every city we visited, except for our 4 days in Berlin at the very beginning of our trip. The Luminary is a new ship and she is elegant and understated. The highlight was the outstanding staff who was among the very best we have encountered on any cruise line. Gabriel, the utterly competent Maitre'd, managed a dining staff that was not only professional but also warm and gracious. Stand outs were Charlie (Perdang), Laszlo and Norbett. Our chef, Stefan, had been with us on our Affinity cruise last year and he was delightful, always smiling and very visible at meal times. Timea and Daniel at reception were always helpful and pleasant. Hans lived up to his reputation as an excellent cruise director, handling both the day to day aspects of his position along with the additional issues he faced due to weather challenges. We had about a dozen passengers unable to get to the boat due to weather problems in Frankfurt that disrupted flights and was on the phone constantly working to get them to the boat at the next ports of call. We had 4 in our group delayed and were surprised to learn that even though Avalon had booked their air and transfers as a complete package, Avalon's air department does not track flights at all to let the ship know of any delays. I had to let Hans know what was happening as he was unaware and told me that it is the passenger's responsibility to call him directly with any flight delays. Be aware of this if you expect to have your air issues handled by Avalon. The excellent bar staff of Vladimir, Bibi and Radu made before and after visits to the forward lounge very enjoyable. Rooms were well appointed and beds very comfortable. We had to go to the front desk to request a robe and it would have been nice to have these in the rooms when we checked in. The quality of food was excellent and we enjoyed a galley tour one afternoon with Stefan. The food is freshly prepared and was consistently cooked properly and served hot. There was a special offered each day at breakfast and several menu items that could be ordered at lunch if one did not want the buffet. The variety was very good for a ship of this size. Avalon advertises they offer a variety of low calorie options but this is really not accurate. At both breakfast and lunch, the choices for those choosing to follow a lower fat diet were very limited and the kitchen was not able to accommodate special requests for these meals. Hot soups at lunch were consistently cream based and though there was a small salad bar, there were limited items that were prepared without additional mayonnaise, etc. Veggies were prepared with butter and meats with sauces. This was not an issue at dinner when the two people in our group - including me - that prefer low cal options were well accommodated. Included wines were good. We did want to purchase better wines on a few nights but they were completely out of about 75% of the red wines offered on the wine list, the same situation we had encountered last year on the Affinity. I am not sure why they offer an ala carte list if they are unable to stock for it. We tried to order no less than 7 different reds by the bottle and not a single one was available. We were limited to the German wines and this was disappointing as we would have preferred some variety and were happy to pay the extra. By the next to the last night, they had also run out of vodka and Kahlua, which I found strange as well. There were some negatives on this trip for us: There was lots of sailing time and virtually no in cabin entertainment was available. There were three English channels and this is a cruise line that caters to North American passengers and Aussies so this is something Avalon really needs to address. Often CNN did not even have sound available. Avalon really needs to add some movie options and music channels. One can only watch progress through the locks so many times and after dark which comes very early in winter, there was no scenery to enjoy. Only twice were we docked in any reasonable proximity to the city we were visiting. I consider reasonable a 20 minute walk at a good pace. This mean taxi fares to get us back when we chose not to take the scheduled bus transfer. Walking groups were not grouped by physical ability and this was a hindrance in my opinion. There were most always 4 groups so it would have been easy to designate a group of slow walkers and another for those who wished to walk faster. Internet service was more unavailable than available. I had issues sending but could receive. The people in the cabin next to us to us could send but not receive. On this 11 night cruise, menus were much the same for the second half and more variety would have been welcomed. There was not much in the way of evening entertainment, even for a river cruise. The onboard piano player, Ivan, had a very limited repertoire. We were scheduled to be in port late in Regensburg so looked forward to being off the ship there but the heavy snowfall caused the river to rise very rapidly and instead of leaving at 11pm we had to pull out at 4:30pm. The evening entertainer was unable to get aboard that night. Last year we really enjoyed a Christmas evening put on by the crew but this was missing this year. For a Christmas cruise, there was nothing to distinguish the season in terms of any events or entertainment. A highlight for us was the crew show where about a dozen of the crew put on a series of skits that bordered from amusing to hilarious. Stefan and the gang of Roman bell ringers took top prize judging by passenger reaction. On the night of the 2nd crew show (a repeat of the first) we happened to be docked next to the River Countess and noticed their show taking place at the same times as ours. There was a young lady dressed in traditional Bavarian attire signing which made up the bulk of their entertainment and we noticed a number of their passengers peering over into our lounge where our staff had us bursting out with laughter at some of the antics. We were very happy to be on the Luminary with its very special crew. Overall we enjoyed the cruise but will next year we are booked on AMA for a wine themed cruise since they offer some of the things Avalon is missing, like walking groups organized by capability, bicycles and in room entertainment. The itinerary we chose for 2011 also has 4 of the 7 nights (enough for us we decided on this trip) either as overnight stays or very late in port which will give us the opportunity to spend more time in the cities we visit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
This was an extended "girl's trip" with my best friend and her mom in honor of her mom's 80th birthday. Overall, we three women were well taken care of throughout the cruise and for two days of sightseeing in Prague ... Read More
This was an extended "girl's trip" with my best friend and her mom in honor of her mom's 80th birthday. Overall, we three women were well taken care of throughout the cruise and for two days of sightseeing in Prague beforehand. The Intercontinental Hotel in Prague was very nice. Our staterooms on board the Luminary (310 and 311) were also very nice -- roomy and comfortable. The purser, Sandra, and her assistant, were absolutely delightful, as were most of the crew and staff. My housekeeper, Tri, took very good care of me. But there were certain aspects of the itinerary and the service that could have been better, and I only point these out in hopes that Avalon will take them to heart and offer some improvement in these areas: Three times I asked for laundry service aboard ship. Only the first time was the laundry done correctly. The second time my "cleaned" laundry was returned to me wadded up in the laundry bag -- they hadn't done it at all. The third time, my clothes were returned to me wet - they had forgot to put them in the dryer! The music selections on the in-cabin TV were sorely lacking. Here we are cruising through the classical music capital of the world and only one classical music option was offered en suite. Perhaps additional albums, such as classical guitar or other instrumental music could be added to the onboard listening options. One of the walking tour guides, Ulli in Vienna, was quite rude to one of the passengers, berating the 70-year-old woman publicly (over our earspeakers) for needing to find a restroom before the allotted stopping point and then chastizing her (again publicly) for making the group wait. Most of our walking tours through various cities began with a bus ride. Only once did the tour guides chasten us to wear our seatbelts aboard the bus (European law) or remind us about seatbelts when we re-boarded. Since it is not customary to wear seatbelts on public transportation in the US, I would recommend that tour guides remind passengers every single time a bus is boarded whenever seatbelts are required. Our onboard musician, Valentin Donov, was absolutely wonderful, but except for two occasions, he was the only onboard entertainment offered in the evening. The two special offerings, singer Lindsay Hamilton while we were docked in Passau, and the Quintet Aphrodite in Vienna, were fabulous - absolutely top notch. It would have been nice to have a few more of those kinds of evenings during the cruise. I thought the food was mostly great. The breakfasts, always served buffet-style, were awesome. The dinners, during which we selected courses from a menu, were much more hit-and-miss. I liked that we were treated to regional specialties specific to the ports-of-call we visited, but the execution of most dinners just wasn't very good, and I thought three different days of Hungarian goulash at lunch or dinner was a bit much. As for drinks, it was great that alcoholic beverages were included with meals. But on at least one occasion my table was refused another glass of wine because the Maître'd arbitrarily decided that it was too close to the time we would be moving to the ship's lounge after dinner where we would be expected to pay for our drinks. Considering the price we paid for our cruise, this seemed more than a bit stingy. Personally, I found going through all those locks (24 of them) on the Danube absolutely fascinating. However, I heard several passengers complain that beginning the cruise on the canal portion of the Danube, which required summiting the continental divide, caused "lock overload" for many. We went through a lock every few hours (sometimes more often) for several days and many passengers found the slow-going tedious after awhile. After getting to the actual Danube river, we still had MANY locks to go through as we made our way to Budapest. Several passengers suggested that starting the cruise at Passau instead of Nuremberg might have been a better plan, since most of the locks could have been avoided that way. But the most glaring issue I found with this cruise was our cruise director's open hostility to passengers, including me, on several occasions. I admit a cruise director has a lot on his plate, organizing and ushering up to 138 passengers (we had 118 on our cruise) through a variety of challenging circumstances, and ours did an excellent job. But it might be time for this particular CD to retire. He was not receptive to questions when he wasn't specifically asking for them during port briefings and he certainly didn't have a gentle or generous attitude when speaking to passengers privately. Fellow passengers began to lament that they preferred to wonder in silence rather than approach the CD with questions about anything. This is not the generous, affable professionalism that should define a cruise director, in my opinion. That said, there were many excellent qualities about sailing with Avalon and I want to finish on a positive note: I found Avalon quick on its feet to adapt to circumstances. For instance, a few of our passengers required wheelchairs or canes or were otherwise mobility-challenged. Our cruise director immediately arranged to have a separate group and tour guide (and sometimes even a separate bus) on every walking tour. He dubbed this group the "gentle walkers", and made sure they still got the benefit of an excursion without being too challenged or holding up the rest of us. Also, every single onboard talk and port briefing he gave was interesting and full of important historical information. I was fascinated and in awe of his knowledge and eloquence. Our guides on every walking tour were extremely knowledgeable, funny and interesting to talk to. Although they all spoke with accents, we could understand them perfectly. I especially liked that almost all of them were older, so they had lived through the communist occupation and could give us firsthand insights into what life was like for residents of the towns we visited. The bottom line is that Avalon is a topnotch carrier and I would sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I would actually rate the ship 3-1/2 stars if that were an option. I chose this cruise because we wanted to do the Moselle and Rhine Rivers in one trip. This was the only line i found that offered that combo in August. We have done ... Read More
I would actually rate the ship 3-1/2 stars if that were an option. I chose this cruise because we wanted to do the Moselle and Rhine Rivers in one trip. This was the only line i found that offered that combo in August. We have done approx. 15 ocean cruises and one River Cruise (danube) 2 years ago on another cruise line which we liked better overall. We loved the overall itinerary--so glad we included the Moselle, which contained some of our favorite stops (Luxembourg City,& Bernkastel, Germany) The ship was pretty "average"--the cabin was smallish, we couldnt both sit by the sliders to watch--there was only one chair in the cabin. Our bed faced Aft, so it was not enjoyable to watch out the window going backwards. The bed itself was very comfortable, but only super soft pillows were available so i had to sleep in my horseshoe "airplane pillow". The ship should offer at least one firm pillow option. This is a very pricey trip and sleep accommodations are critical. The dining room was too warm on several evenings...the lounge furniture was not very comfortable. Food ranged from good to fair. Dinner options needed to be expanded. Breakfast and lunch options were very good. Service in the dining room was quite slow at times. Some crew members, including our favorite maitre'd left during the cruise (without us knowing) and new servers replaced them. This was disappointing. Why not have staff go on holiday at end of a cruise rather than in the middle? Would like to be able to listen to lectures etc from our cabin. According to the info in the cabin, this was supposed to be doable, but it wasn't. We had to go to the lounge or outside deck. Since we couldn't comfortably watch our progress from the sliders (as previously explained), we tried to watch the" front camera" on our TV. Unfortunately, the "front camera" was never viewable from the TV. (We asked at front desk, but the 2nd method didnt work either). Lastly, we took advantage of morning and afternoon tours whenever offered, but timing was very rushed getting back for lunch between the tours--often only 45 minutes to come in, drop off stuff, go to lunch, bathroom, get gear for afternoon tour...would be nice to have at least an hour or hour & 15 minutes betweem end of one tour and start of next. We would recommend the Moselle -Rhine trip to anyone, but would recommend a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
First of all, Avalon does a fabulous job of catering to everyone. I just had seen the ads and was mentally prepared to float down the Danube, gazing romantically at the beautiful scenery along the way. Unfortunately, the Danube was too ... Read More
First of all, Avalon does a fabulous job of catering to everyone. I just had seen the ads and was mentally prepared to float down the Danube, gazing romantically at the beautiful scenery along the way. Unfortunately, the Danube was too low to do much sailing, so we only were able to dock in 3 planned ports and a couple of unintended ports, used for bussing us places. So this fantasy didn't come true and not Avalon's fault at all. If you are planning a trip like this, make sure there has been enough rain for the trip to actually pass through the river. If not, you will spend hours on busses going to the places that way. You may have many more tours than you wanted and hear much more history than you can ever remember. If you are someone who will enjoy this, then no worries. We discovered it wasn't comfortable for us. They feed you well on the ship- I would say not quite the tastiness of the big ocean cruises, but certainly enough to satisfy you. The people are so nice and we made lots of friends. The age group on the ships is approx. 70-80 average, I'd say. If you are handicapped and use a cane, they make provisions with the tours for you, but the countries may not be compliant with this. Lots of cobblestones, so come prepared to strengthen your ankles on those with good shoes. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We joined the ship in Amsterdam and stayed there the night. passengers that had got into Amsterdam earlier than we did were able to partake in a city tour and a visit to the Rijksmuseum which unfortunately we were not in time for on the ... Read More
We joined the ship in Amsterdam and stayed there the night. passengers that had got into Amsterdam earlier than we did were able to partake in a city tour and a visit to the Rijksmuseum which unfortunately we were not in time for on the day. Day two started with a canal cruise around the Amsterdam canals which was enjoyable. Following the canal cruise we sailed for Cologne. On arrival in Cologne there was a good included city tour which was good. Though we must say having just done an Avalon cruise in France and other European tours if another tour guide tells me the history of ionic columns and windows being followed by romanesque windows followed by Gothic windows followed by new gothic windows there may be another homicide in the world. All these tours seam to include a church or cathedral which is the oldest, best example unique in some way. Whichever city or town you are in theirs is the best in some way. On both cruises there were optional tours that you paid for where you went to olive plantations or did wine tastings etc. In all cases these were to us the best tours but were rarely included. At the port of Breisach there was an include tour to the Black Forrest. Allowing for the return trip this tour spent 3.5 hours on country roads then winding country roads that made some passengers feel a little travel uneasy. With only one stop to take photographs. The highlighted stop was a commercial cuckoo clock company in the Black forest that there were a number of Globus buses visiting at the same time. In the afternoon there was an optional tour to the City of Colmar the passengers paid for and we would highly recommend. A beautiful Alsace city with an area known as little Venice with canals. Other highlights would include the included tour to Heidelberg and the cruise through the Rhine Gorge. The crew ere generally very helpful. There was free Wifi which was patchy but far superior to our earlier ship the Scenery. The cabins were very well kept with plenty of storage. The bathrooms were also good for the size of the ship. The food was of good quality but not much variation. Towards the end of the cruise some items seemed to run short of supply. There is a fair amount of time regimentation on these cruises which is something those people thinking of cruising should take into account in their deliberations. In summary we did enjoy both our cruises but are unlikely to do another as we like to be more active than these are fairly sedentary holidays. Roll calls for river cruises don't appear to be very successful due to the small passenger numbers. We were very fortunate to have contact before hand with Bill and Jane from Long Island New York and had a very enjoyable time in their company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Avalon Luminary Ratings
Category Editor Member

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click