5 Avalon Waterways Avalon Vista Cruise Reviews

What we wanted - cruising down the river with views from our balcony. What we got - bus trips and views of other ships docked cheek by jowl. The Danube has been in low water state for MONTHS apparently and so each cruise line has ... Read More
What we wanted - cruising down the river with views from our balcony. What we got - bus trips and views of other ships docked cheek by jowl. The Danube has been in low water state for MONTHS apparently and so each cruise line has restricted the number of ports of call and anchored for days in some, essentially just providing an hotel for the night and bus tours for the days. We were supposed to sail from Budapest to Nuremberg but ended up with less than half of that ( and mostly tied up at dock at that!) The ship, accommodation and staff were very good indeed, but we should have been advised months before we sailed that the brochure was a fiction! Not a happy cruiser! Apparently Viking passengers have been offered a 25% refund, no such offer from Avalon. To say we are disappointed is clearly an understatement Buyer beware, as this may continue in 2019 unless there are floods this winter. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had never been on a river cruise and since "Travel With Alan" offered a special, we thought we'd try river cruising. First we were notified that the ship could not make it into Amsterdam due to low water so we'd ... Read More
We had never been on a river cruise and since "Travel With Alan" offered a special, we thought we'd try river cruising. First we were notified that the ship could not make it into Amsterdam due to low water so we'd stay in a hotel for 2 days and bus into Cologne. Since it was only a 3 hour bus ride, we thought ok, no problem. The hotel was called The Room Mate. Upon arrival we were to be greeted by a cruise rep. and taken to our hotel. That's sort of what happened. The Rep was there but we had to walk our luggage to another location, wait for a couple, who never arrived. Then a driver showed up and we had to walk to another location. I'm a slow walker.....after being told this, he grabbed my bags and expected all of us to keep up. That's 5 people cause the van wouldn't hold more.....rest of the people had to stay at the second location and wait. He didn't drive to the door, we had to go all the way to the back of the parking garage. It was cheaper than to park near the door. We arrived at 2:30 and our room wasn't ready....after 14 hours on planes and in airports, that's the last thing we wanted to hear. After 1 1/2 hours our room was ready. I had to ASK them to carry my luggage to my room. The room was clean, I'll give it that. Keep in mind we're expecting to be on a cruise ship not a hotel. We were bused to a river boat the second day to take a tour of the Canals. The tour guide could not be bothered with questions.....just told us the history of Amsterdam. Getting back to the hotel, I went downstairs to see about a Windmill Tour only to be told it was only offered the first day not the second. Day 2 found us on a bus to Cologne. It was hot, Cathedral was beautiful but we chose not to do a walking tour. Found out later that was wise. Back onto the bus to get to the ship. We got there around 4:30 or so. The ship was a pleasant surprise. The rooms were nice with full ceiling to floor windows. We could open them to bring the outdoors in but it wasn't a balcony that I thought we had. River Cruising was wonderful, you're right there on the shore almost. I could talk to the people who were on the shore fishing or camping or just watching. Bathrooms were much nicer than on a cruise ship with a glass door shower. I didn't find the food for dinner as appetizing as I thought it should be. My husband had steak almost every night because he could find anything he liked. One night we were offered Prawns but it was 1....albeit large but 1 Prawn. Entertainment was lecturers or a bit out of our taste. There was an Oompa pa band one night and a singer (we didn't enjoy) and another singer (we didn't bother to go hear) Service....they cleaned the rooms daily, we ask for breakfast to our room 3 times and got nothing. The boats didn't dock near much of anything and if the cruise company didn't provide it, there was a lot of walking to get to anything to see. a couple of times they did bus us into town because it was docked miles away. Shore excursions were a joke......walking tours and if you saw something you liked the tour guides would say, well you can come back once the tour is over. Why, I'm right here but if I didn't stay with the tour, I'd have to find my way back to the ship. The upper deck was not available most of the time because the ship needed the rails lowered to get under the bridges...this was kind of a bummer....would have been nice to sit on the upper deck as we sailed. Then came the bombshell......we'd get to Regansburg and no further due to low water. Europe was in the midst of a drought that was 3 months old. Now, I ask you, 3 months??? IMO they should have cancelled the entire cruise but NO, they chose to BUS us everywhere and put us up in hotels. I'd always wanted to do a land sea cruise but NO MORE. The buses caused us to rise EARLY and have breakfast (who eats at 6:30) then get on a bus with EMERGENCY bathrooms only. Some of the tour guides on the bus were very nice and told us a bit, then let us view the scenery or sleep. Others wouldn't shut up. We'd bus somewhere, get out and walk places and back on the bus. The first hotel was the Marriott in Passau..clean rooms with a bathtub so deep a lot of the cruisers wouldn't attempt to get in. My 6'1" husband found it difficult...I had him help me in and out. We stopped at Melk and saw the Abbey and had a wonderful lunch. The Abbey is beautiful and worth seeing. Back on the bus to Vienna where we stayed at the Hilton. Very clean and nice hotel. Both the Marriott and the Hilton delivered our luggage to our room in a very timely manner. We chose to see the Lipizzenar Stallions instead of a walking tour. The Concierge got us the tickets and taxi as well as other helpful information They were marvelous. Upon arrival back at the hotel, we ask about a couple more things to do only to find they were MILES away from where we were. This time we ask the Avalon Rep who didn't know much about Vienna except where things were. She couldn't help much at all. We chose to go to the City Park across the street walk a bit and then people watch. We did have a piece of Sacher Torte and it was everything we thought it would be. 2 nights in Vienna which was nice....no unpacking and packing. Next we bussed to Budapest. This hotel was the Intercontinental and I can't say enough good about this hotel. We enjoyed the room, the location and the Concierge. The tour in Budapest was very nice and we had a great guide in Lazlo..I know I spelled that wrong. The food in most of these places was Buffet and you can't expect a lot from that type of dining. We didn't get lunch money (we were told they were going to do this) until the first day in Budapest..in Euro....guess who's not on the Euro. Avalon has said they are going to refund 100 per cent of the cruise portion for 5 days...….guess we'll see if they really do. One positive note our cruise director Tony, worked his butt off and tried to be every where at once. He was a shining moment in an otherwise difficult time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Having tired of Ocean cruising we turned to River cruising and enviously viewed the large luxury ships on the river, after more than a dozen most enjoyable trips, we decided for a change that a luxury river cruise was a way to stifle our ... Read More
Having tired of Ocean cruising we turned to River cruising and enviously viewed the large luxury ships on the river, after more than a dozen most enjoyable trips, we decided for a change that a luxury river cruise was a way to stifle our envy. Flight arrangements were excellent. Airport arrival and pick up very efficient. Our Hotel in Vienna for two nights was a dream. All the tours were lovely and we had adequate time to do our own thing as well. Day three we set off by comfortable coach for Bratislava and our embarkation The arrival walk through the old town of Bratislava was very interesting but lugging a heavy bag for an hour in the rain was not a lot of fun. After a welcome drink and slick move to our exquisite cabin, and explanation of on board life and destinations, our first evening dinner was rather strange. The ship was barely half full with the result that it was difficult to find more than a small handful of passengers in any of the public areas. Total passenger list was 76 and we unfortunately lost two of those. There was none of the usual camaraderie we have encountered on other river cruises. Indeed every evening apart from two stalwart Australians we were the only people to attend the entertainment in the Lounge. Nikko tried hard but four people in a beautiful lounge built and equipped to accommodate 130 or so passengers, did not help the situation. The passengers mostly 60 plus were a mix of American, Australian, New Zealanders, a few Asiatic citizens, and a sprinkling of British. The Cruise Director did nothing to encourage guests to mingle and though efficient and correct to a point of strict school headmistress, she remained in her foyer seat and took no part in promoting on board activities. So no one used them. All the crew were extremely friendly and nothing, however small, was too much trouble. The air of politeness and welcome was apparent throughout the ship and the comfort and cleanliness first class. Every meal was a pleasure, all the excursions well chosen, informative and a delight. But we were so disappointed there was no atmosphere of a holiday at all. More a Marie Celeste situation prevailed. So it's back to the happy little ships for us in future I am afraid. I have waited a month before writing this review to allow a fair appraisal of the Cruise. If luxury, comfort, quiet relaxation are your thing the Avalon Vista is your ship, otherwise look to smaller ships with excellent entertainment, no overnight noisy travelling and port visits to rival the big boys. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My wife and I had Cabin 220 on the Avalon Vista.This cruise is expensive & we were disappointed that our cabin noise was never rectified.We did not sleep well. The noise sounded like it came from the timber fittings installed ... Read More
My wife and I had Cabin 220 on the Avalon Vista.This cruise is expensive & we were disappointed that our cabin noise was never rectified.We did not sleep well. The noise sounded like it came from the timber fittings installed (wardrobe,bedhead,drawers etc.) but I may be wrong.I reported it twice to reception but was never told what was done about it.After the first time I complained I asked the cruise director what was done about my complaint & he said the person responsible has looked at it & I will send him again to look at it. The noise continued & we gave up. The noise sounds like timber rubbing & stretching against other timber it sounds like a creaking & screeching & on 3 nights a drumming noise.Our friends had 2 cabins nearby & they said they had similar noises but they did not complain.Maybe we are lighter sleepers. There are 68 locks on the river but the noise from the cabin bothered us much more than the noise of using the locks.Perhaps Avalon should check if further complaints are made about cabin 220.Apart from this noise the cabin is big enough,modern,clean,comfortable bed & pillows.Flatscreen TV with a range of good movies.Bathroom was lovely & big enough. On the positive side this is a beautiful ship on a beautiful river.The large lounge room with big glass windows was a delight.The dance floor at night was always used and our one-man band musician played lovely dance music.The ship sails smoothly & there is no noticeable movement.There is also a small lounge area at the back of the ship seating perhaps 30 people,with a coffee machine,biscuits,fruit,fruit juices etc. Ship's entertainment was mostly good. The 4 girl string quartet from Bratislava,the Oomp-Pah-Pah man,the zither music we really enjoyed. The embarkation procedure was faultless. We met at the Intercontinental Hotel at Budapest & mixed with other passengers in the lounge.After one or two hours we were bussed to the ship. As we entered the ship we were welcomed by the Captain & his senior crew. Avalon excelled with it's choice of tour guides;they were all excellent, informative & amusing. Durnstein was a pretty village & we enjoyed walking around it.This is what we enjoyed most about this cruise walking around lovely villages with our friends. In Melk the abbey was amazing but after seeing 5 or 6 rooms in the building I had had enough. Passau we walked & shopped after our included walking tour. Regensburg we had a lovely German sausage & sauerkraut lunch in a restaurant with one of the friendly local residents. In Wurzburg the Palace was absolutely magnificent.We did not expect this.It's done in a Palace of Versailles style but on a smaller scale.We bought some nice clothes for my wife in Wurzburg. Miltenberg was another nice village to walk around. In Rudeseheim we visited Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum.This was a highlight and is a "must see". My wife & I walked & shopped but our friends who went to a coffee making session that the ship arranged said it was very good. Back on the ship in the afternoon we went on a cruise down the Rhine Gorge.This was spectacular with many castles. Cologne we felt was a more commercial type city rather than the type of lovely village we grew to love.However it was the best for shopping & the prices seemed very good. We arrived in Amsterdam to complete our cruise & were given a tour of the inner city and a boat trip of the canals. Both tours were excellent.We stayed a few more nights in Amsterdam ( at our own expense)& went to a diamond cutting exhibition,red-light district & shopped. The food on board was good although a little too salty for our taste.But the wine served at dinner was not very good & not much was supplied anyway.You could buy a bottle of wine but it was about 38 Euros.However the lovely French wine in the cabin's mini-bar was only about 2 or 3 Euros for a small bottle & we used that a few times. Breakfast was pretty good & had everything you wanted with eggs cooked to your liking. The Happy Hour preceded dinner & cocktails were cheap & good.This was a lovely meeting lounge. Overall a lovely cruise,with friendly staff on one of the world's magnificent rivers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest on Avalon's Vista in July 2012 . We are new to cruising and were a bit underwhelmed by this cruise . The boat was very nice and our room was great The crew generally wonderful , especially our ... Read More
We cruised from Amsterdam to Budapest on Avalon's Vista in July 2012 . We are new to cruising and were a bit underwhelmed by this cruise . The boat was very nice and our room was great The crew generally wonderful , especially our waiters Thomas and Constantine . The cruise director , Dragan , was very obnoxious ,though many seemed to like him . The food was pretty good though , inevitably seemed repetitive . There were far too many "surprise" expenses for a cruise that implied that it was "all inclusive " . The included tours were uneven and the extra ones were overpriced and should not have been "extra" . The entertainment that was provided was very good with the exception of one talentless electric violinist . Although it may be conventional , I found the gratuities policy ( giving us envelopes and telling us exacly how much to tip everone including the cruise director ) offensive and we ignored it . We tipped those that provided us good service ( NOT the cruise director ) . We spent the same amount of money ( a bit more actually ) but giving it ,in cash , directly to those who deserved it . Our fellow passengers were suprising old . We expected that to some degree but at age 65 I didn't expect to be one of the youngest onboard . River cruising is nice but it is not a good way to see a place . You spend too little time on shore and you seem cutoff from local people and experiences . Avalon seemed too interested in getting extra money out of us at every opportunity given we were sold this cruise as "all inclusive " . We will probably do it again but I doubt if we will use Avalon Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Avalon Vista Ratings
Category Editor Member

Find an Avalon Vista Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click