8 Avalon Waterways Avalon Vista Cruise Reviews

We wanted to visit Amsterdam and try a river cruise. The room on the ship were spacious,' comfortable and clean. The crew and staff were very helpful and friendly. The highlights were Keuknhof Gardens and spending a day in Bruges. The ... Read More
We wanted to visit Amsterdam and try a river cruise. The room on the ship were spacious,' comfortable and clean. The crew and staff were very helpful and friendly. The highlights were Keuknhof Gardens and spending a day in Bruges. The entertainment on the ship was good and the local guides for the excursions off the ship were excellent. The only negative was the food, sometimes it was cold and 2 hours for dinner every night is just takes up too much time. I would also recommend arriving into Amsterdam 1 or 2 days earlier to explore the city more. As this cruise does not give you enough time to visit the city's museums and other points of interest like the Anne Frank Museum and their fine restaurants. I would recommend this particular cruise to someone who wanted to visit the Netherlands and Belgium and also recommend Avalon for a cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted a quick short get away and cruise on a river that we've never been on. The Avalon Vista has a capacity of 164 passengers & is 7 years young. It appeared well kept, was very clean & comfortable. The buffet ... Read More
We wanted a quick short get away and cruise on a river that we've never been on. The Avalon Vista has a capacity of 164 passengers & is 7 years young. It appeared well kept, was very clean & comfortable. The buffet breakfast & lunch, along with the sit down dinner was varied & very good. As this was Avalons first sailing of the season, we were able to check into our rooms upon embarkation. The disembarkation was timely & orderly. The pick up & transportation to/from airport/ship went smoothly. Although it did take us a few minutes to find the Avalon meeting location upon arrival at the airport. The staff & crew on board were friendly & helpful. The wait staff in the restaurant were 2nd to none. Entertainment was a little lacking & not to our liking, but may have been suffice for others. One night was classical music & the other was a couple of local singers which we did not attend, and of course the nightly piano player. We also had an afternoon of cheese tasting. We always enjoyed exploring Amsterdam, especially the canals, but this time we wanted to visit the Keukenhof Gardens (tulip garden), the worlds' largest flower garden, also known as the Garden of Europe. Keukenhof Gardens is in Lisse, South Holland near Rotterdam, where our ship docked & offered an excursion to. Although it was early in the season, it was still an amazing sight to see. While in Rotterdam, we also visited the town of Gouda with its well kept interesting architectual buildings from yesteryears. We then went onto Antwerp, Belgium where the weather was quite windy, but we still manage to enjoy the area. The Belgium city hall & train station are a few places to visit if you like to take pictures of the well kept buildings. Unfortunately the city hall was under renovation with a "picture" meshed cover of what the city hall would have looked like. We also stopped along the way to visit the beautiful architecture & canals in Ghent & Middleburg, along with the historic town of Willemstad, before sailing back to Amsterdam. In summary, we had an enjoyable trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise and cruise line because they were less expensive than others, and had good reviews. I also wanted to see Europe at Christmas time. I was not disappointed. Had a wonderful time. This cruise was so well done, every ... Read More
We chose this cruise and cruise line because they were less expensive than others, and had good reviews. I also wanted to see Europe at Christmas time. I was not disappointed. Had a wonderful time. This cruise was so well done, every excursion, guided tour, and everything in between was exceptional. The staff on the ship were so nice, kind, and very helpful! The food was amazing, so many choices on the menus, but not overwhelming where it was super hard to decide. I loved that the cruise was rather small in size a very intimate atmosphere. The ship was easy to get around, and felt quite cozy no matter where you were. Our cruise director Bart was just a super great guy! So personable, and knowledgeable. Anything we needed he was right there to take care of it. I loved this cruise so much we are already planning our next one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We choose this cruise because of the Christmas markets and the cities we would visit. We did the pre-package in Prague. The cruise itinerary was changed due to the low river and we lost cruising on half the river, but only one port, ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the Christmas markets and the cities we would visit. We did the pre-package in Prague. The cruise itinerary was changed due to the low river and we lost cruising on half the river, but only one port, Nuremberg. The ship was also changed, but it was sister ship, so it was not a big issue. They did not change the app when you logged in to show the change in itinerary. This was our first river cruise after doing about 5 of the big ocean cruises. What we loved: - The staff on the ship was excellent. Very helpful, very knowledgeable and happy to be there! - Salzburg was an amazing day trip. I would love to more time there. -The guides on the tours were great! Very knowledgeable. - The food was great (but see note below for more information) -The buffets for dinner and lunch that were offered (see not below) - You get to know many of the people cruising with you because of the small boat. What we didn't love - Since it is a small boat you eat dinner all together for the most part. Some of the nights they offered a buffet upstairs from the main dining room. We loved that option when it was offered. -When everyone dined at the same time it was very loud in the dining room. -There is not room service for dinner, only breakfast. - Many times there was only one tour offered so you will split into groups, but then basically walk over each other during the tour. What we would do different -Pack really warm clothes- long underwear, hand and feet warmers. A couple days were very cold -Go out on your own if you are the type who doesn't want to move with 200+ of your closest friends- we did that in Vienna and had a wonderful time - Make reservations on the pre or post trip for dinner. - I would do the post trip over the pre trip if I had to choose. Simply due to time change and jet lag. If you can do both, then for sure do both! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We booked aboard the Avalon Vista from Budapest to Nuremberg. We really had a wonderful trip. Due to low water levels our cruise had to be altered multiple times. Avalon handled these changes nearly seamlessly and bent over backward ... Read More
We booked aboard the Avalon Vista from Budapest to Nuremberg. We really had a wonderful trip. Due to low water levels our cruise had to be altered multiple times. Avalon handled these changes nearly seamlessly and bent over backward to ensure that we were happy. They went above and beyond. I don't remember hearing hardly any complaints. Our cruise director Istvan Pinter was wonderful. Calm, cool, collected, helpful, understanding and more. It can't have been easy to handle the logistics of all the changes. We may have had to take a bus in a couple unexpected places but the trade off was hardly a cloud in the sky! Beautiful, warmer than expected weather every day!! Not one rain drop. The Avalon Vista is a great ship. Clean, well appointed. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. Some of my favorite places on this trip were an unplanned outing to Bratislava, Slovakia; our excursion to the Bohemian town of Český Krumlov; and Durnstein. The food was generally amazing! There was only one day at lunch when I had a hard time finding something I liked. I am sure if I had asked they would have made me something as well. They were very good about that. All in all this was a great trip. Avalon is great and the Vista was great. I know there are other companies that cost a lot more, and I don't know why anyone would chose them over Avalon!! Our time in port and our excursions were wonderful! The only things I had any complaints about were I wish there had been a better beer selection on board (the WINE however was amazing) and I wish someone had suggested that some of us might like to ride a bike along the river instead of being on board for the shortest distance between ports (15 - 20 miles). Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have cruised several times, but this was our first river cruise (sort of). A friend had highly recommended taking a river cruise and when we saw the dates and itinerary for this cruise, we booked within 30 minutes (which is how we ended ... Read More
We have cruised several times, but this was our first river cruise (sort of). A friend had highly recommended taking a river cruise and when we saw the dates and itinerary for this cruise, we booked within 30 minutes (which is how we ended up with Cabin P319). My ancestry is 94% European so a trip to Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary was exciting. We flew out on Monday, July 30, and landed in Amsterdam on Tuesday, July 31. We were warned 3 days prior that we would not be able to board the Vista in Amsterdam as planned due to low river conditions but they would motor coach us to Cologne, the second stop on our trip, and we would embark at that point. It was a little disappointing at first, but it gave us an extra night in Amsterdam and we enjoyed our time there. Tony, our cruise director, was fantastic and kept us well-informed all along the way. Wednesday night at dinner, he let us know that we would not be boarding the Vista in Cologne, but would be motor coaching all day on Thursday between our next two stops (Amsterdam to Cologne to Rudesheim) and we would now be boarding in Rudesheim. It ended up being a VERY LONG day on buses and we finally boarded our ship just before dinner on Thursday evening. The staff greeted us as we boarded the ship. Our cabins were in perfect condition, complete with a welcoming towel animal on the bed. We were afraid that we would now be missing our tour of the Rhine Gorge but Tony made sure that we were chartered for Friday on a public tour boat that took us up the Rhine Gorge and our buses met us at the stopping point to take us back to the Vista awaiting us in Rudesheim. That evening, we sailed to Miltenberg. Monday night we were told that there was a big possibility that we would not be able to cruise the entire way to Budapest. In fact, we would probably not be able to sail past Passau at all. We were informed at Tuesday night's Port Talk that unfortunately, we would be having our Captain's Farewell Message and Gala Dinner on Wednesday night and getting off the ship on Thursday morning in Regensberg. Tony had to break the news that we would be motor coaching across Europe for the remaining 4 travel days. We ended up getting two nights at the Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest (just across from the Chain Bridge), which was a great way to end the trip. Out of our 15-day "cruise", we actually got to spend 7 nights on the ship, but only cruised for 5 days due to low river conditions. As a first-time experience, it was very disappointing to say the least. We didn't complain and tried our best to "go with the flow" (pun intended). After all, the weather is not controlled by Avalon. I want to make sure everyone understands that Avalon went out of their way to make this trip as nice as possible considering the conditions. They made sure we not only were able to make all of our planned stops and excursions, but they even added a few along the way to break up the bus trips. All hotels and meals were included, and Avalon (and Tony) exceptionally handled the trip interruptions. With all that being said, the biggest disappointment to me was my Cabin Steward. She was very nice and polite and did a great job at making sure the bed was made and the towels were folded. After the first night's towel animal, and not getting one on the second or third nights, I asked her to make me animals each day. I know it's not an ocean cruise but I like putting the pictures in my scrapbook, and she told me that wouldn't be a problem. My husband gave me $50 euros to put on the bed as a tip for the two weeks of towel animals. I received TWO towel animals for the $50 euros. Since we were having to disembark early, I was expecting one on the last night of my cruise, but when I went to my cabin that night, there was no animal. I asked Katy about it the next morning as we were disembarking and all she had to say was, "So sorry, Darling, I was busy." WHAT??? $50 euros and you were too "busy" to provide one more animal??? I know that may seem like such a small thing, but I felt like she was paid very well for three nights, but she knew I couldn't do anything about it. The biggest disappointment to my husband was that the crew only opened up the top deck on the last day when we were docked in Regensberg. That was one of the things my friend had raved about was cruising on the top deck and being able to see the 360 degree view. We were never allowed that opportunity. All-in-all, Avalon took care of us and I was glad we had chosen them over another cruise line. IF (and that's a big "IF") I ever choose to do another river cruise, I would either book a spring trip or one of the famous "Christmas Market" itineraries that we kept hearing about along the way. I do NOT recommend a summer river cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our first river cruise. We have been on multiple ocean cruises and have heard great things about river cruising. We chose this cruise as Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love decorating at home. Avalon has beautiful ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We have been on multiple ocean cruises and have heard great things about river cruising. We chose this cruise as Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love decorating at home. Avalon has beautiful ships. Our room was on the top floor, which really is only half a staircase form the lobby. Plenty of room for the week. Not as large as ocean ships but very nice. Food was excellent, our waiter quickly knew what we liked and was always accommodating. You do not have to sit at the same table, but we liked George so much we always sat at one of his tables. This being a small ship, you quickly make friends with many of the other passengers. The few negatives we do have were, need more entertainment in the evening. They did have a couple of nights with outside entertainment, but most nights was just the piano. We found on those nights most people did not come down to the lounge. Second, we would have liked to stay in some of the smaller towns longer. They were the towns we came to see. Nuremberg was not our favorite. Christmas market was large, but city was depressing. The smaller German towns may not have had large markets, but the stores were quaint and the people very friendly. Just didn't have enough time there. Third, most of the Christmas markets were very commercial. Same items everywhere. Found most of the same items in souvenir shops for less money. Had to find the small markets on the side roads to find unique items. Finally, because you are in most towns for less then a day, most tours start early around 8-8:30. That means getting up, having breakfast and out the door. If you are looking to relax this is not the trip. I came home more tired then before I left. Would I go again, but probably not till we retire, so I can rest when I come home. I was told by many other passengers who have gone on other river cruises that in the Summer, many ships are tripled docked, so you walk thru other boats to get to shore, and if you have a cabin on the side that is docked, you are looking at another boat 3 feet away. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Our Parents have done this cruise and recommended it. Adrienne the cruise director was delightful and well educated.The ship was clean and staff was nice.All of the excursions were nice, and were as described.Easy to book excursions, and ... Read More
Our Parents have done this cruise and recommended it. Adrienne the cruise director was delightful and well educated.The ship was clean and staff was nice.All of the excursions were nice, and were as described.Easy to book excursions, and the buses used to transport us were very clean and on time, and made the trips very pleasant. Guides were very informative, and qualified. We appreciated the system used to disembark, with earbuds to hear the guides. Our blinds were closed more often than not while docked , do to other boats being docked next to us, and tied to our boat.This was not a surprise as we were told this may happen. Our only frustration, and it was a BIG one was Dining. My wife and I have a Gluten allergy, and we made that clear to our travel agent, as well as Avalon. Although certain attempts were made on the menu to provide options, they were not always accurate, and the servers as well as their superior were not very helpful, or properly educated on this topic. We have been on other cruises where this was clearly a priority,and we had no food issues whatsoever. We sent an Email directly to Avalon Operations, on the last day of our cruise, due to our frustration and as of today,(26 days later), we have not heard a thing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
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