We considered several cruise lines when preparing to book this trip through our travel agent. And we chose Avalon Waterways for several reasons. First of all, we really like the large 3-panel window which contains two sliding doors which ... Read More
We considered several cruise lines when preparing to book this trip through our travel agent. And we chose Avalon Waterways for several reasons. First of all, we really like the large 3-panel window which contains two sliding doors which open to reveal a 7-foot wide opening. The second reason is the fact the beds face the windows, allowing for a beautiful view while lying in bed. The third reason we chose Avalon is they are owned by Globus, a company known for their exceptional land tours. And indeed the land excursions were incredible with exceptional guides.
We were met at the airport by the Avalon employees and soon taken by motor coach to the ship. The rooms weren't available until later that afternoon, so we enjoyed about 4 hours exploring Amsterdam (our city of disembarkation) before returning to the ship for the initial 17:00 cruise time. Our luggage was taken at the airport and magically appeared in our state room later that afternoon. Our state room was lovely and in perfect condition, and all the amenities were in the room.
Each meal was delicious, and there were many food options available. Breakfast and lunch meals were buffet style with a wide assortment appropriate to the respective meal. Dinner was a four-course dinner served by very friendly staff members. It was fun sitting at various tables each meal and getting to know other passengers with each seating. There were other options for dinner, more casual options such as single-serving options in the lounge area. We enjoyed the formal dinner each evening.
There were several very interesting entertainment experiences during the cruise. The on-board musician was in the lounge each evening performing very nice music. One evening there was a trio (cello, violin, and guitar) of local musicians who performed a one-hour concert of music from the region. There were also a few other entertainment events offered as special events.
The service was extraordinary, including not only the meal preparation and service, but also the house-keeping staff keeping our room clean and fresh feeling.
We visited the following cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brugge, Ghent, Gouda, Veere, Middleburg, Willemstad, and back to Amsterdam. Each excursion was lead by a very informative, friendly, and entertaining guide. When the ship was not docked near enough to walk to each city, tour busses were there to provide transportation into each city center.
We will certainly take another Avalon Waterways cruise without having to consider any other cruise lines. Our cruise was a thoroughly enjoyable trip. We even received discounted airfare options to get to Amsterdam. Read Less