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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this ship for its itinerary as we wanted to visit the Netherlands to see the tulips, in particular Keukenhof Gardens. This was our first river cruise so we splurged on an upper cabin, Cabin 314. Great room with a very comfortable ... Read More
We chose this ship for its itinerary as we wanted to visit the Netherlands to see the tulips, in particular Keukenhof Gardens. This was our first river cruise so we splurged on an upper cabin, Cabin 314. Great room with a very comfortable bed that faced huge windows overlooking the passing scenery. Plenty of storage but could have had a few more drawers. Ports were good but traffic traveling to and from the Keukenhof, Brussels and Bruges became an issue. They may have been better served to find closer ports, if possible. Ship has a large lounge where they hold light lunches and dinner, entertainment in the evening, yoga and other exercise classes during the day and a very nice bar. There is a smaller lounge at the rear of the ship that had games, books, drinks and cookies & muffins. They could have changed their snacks more frequently as they served the same type daily. Evening entertainment was usually a piano player and select nights they invited a trio who played 50s and 60s and another who played classical music. Evening entertainment was not a draw for us or in general the type of passengers on the ship. They did have a happy hour usually from 5:45 to 6:45 where drinks are half price and then the cruise director gave a brief overview of the next day’s port of call. The ship was immaculate at all times. The main dining room served all three meals as it was too chilly for the upper deck to be open. Breakfast was a buffet with an egg station where you can order omelets or eggs any way. They usually had items that could be ordered directly from the kitchen, such as waffles, pancakes, etc. Lunch was a buffet and was very tasty with a nice selection every day and usually a carving station. Dinner was not as consistent. Portions were unusually small. I ordered a shrimp cocktail which had one shrimp and a few teeny tiny ones. I had a puff pastry ragout but got no puff pastry. The cream soups were very good. Entrees were a total mixed bag. I ordered fish and it was over cooked, another time is was undercooked, the rack of lamb was over seasoned and some days the pasta dish was delicious and another it was watery. Such a shame. Wine and beer were free flowing during dinner which is a nice change from regular cruises. Service was inconsistent as well. It is open seating and dinner is served from 7 to 9. If you sat closer to the kitchen, service was generally quicker and more attentive than sitting towards the entrance. They could use a few more service staff. Dining was very casual and you could wear the same clothes you wore during the day. No one dressed for dinner. I wish I knew in advance and I would have not packed some of my clothes. Staff was great. The captain was very visible and frequently was at the gangway when we were leaving or coming back from excursions. The cruise director, Bram, was all over and did a wonderful job keeping us informed and dealing with questions and resolving issue. The wait staff, housekeeping, front desk could not have been nicer. The fitness center is extremely small - one treadmill, one bike and one weight table. They did have exercise classes early in the morning and throughout the day but we were mostly out on excursions. The weather was chilly so you need to dress in layers and good walking shoes. we frequently did over 10 miles per day but we like to wander. At embarkation, they greeted you and you stayed comfortably in the lounge with piano music, light lunch and an available bar until the rooms were ready. At disembarkation, we were staying an extra day. You requested the day before for a taxi and while you had to be out of your room by 9 AM, you waited comfortably in the lounge until it arrived. All very civilized and you did not have to leave your luggage out the day before, just 1/2 hour before you had to leave or by 9AM. I would recommend this tulip cruise but be aware of dining issues. I would definitely go on another Avalon cruise if they were going to areas of interest. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise because the tour started in Prague, a city I have wanted visit for years. It is one of my husband's favorite cities. It also ended in Budapest; a city that neither of us had visited before. Even with the low ... Read More
I chose this cruise because the tour started in Prague, a city I have wanted visit for years. It is one of my husband's favorite cities. It also ended in Budapest; a city that neither of us had visited before. Even with the low water conditions and starting the cruise in a different spot that was further from Prague than Nuremberg and ending in Vienna, rather than Budapest, our cruise director, Danielle, did a fabulous job of jockeying for excellent alternatives for tours, hotel rooms, and entertainment options. The on board accommodations, dining and amenities were outstanding with exceptionally friendly and helpful staff. There was a small fitness room on board, emphasis on small. However, there were very nice bicycles on board that we used when we didn't want to pay for a 4-hour round trip excursion for the day. The only downside with respect to other river cruises was that there were far more "not included" excursions than with other cruise companies that we have traveled with. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
This cruise was to celebrate my retirement from teaching and my brother-in-law's retirement as well. We wanted to take a river cruise on the Danube. We had an excellent time with all of the excursions, the onboard entertainment. The ... Read More
This cruise was to celebrate my retirement from teaching and my brother-in-law's retirement as well. We wanted to take a river cruise on the Danube. We had an excellent time with all of the excursions, the onboard entertainment. The crew and wait staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. They also made sure that our needs were met. Everyone always had a smile on their face when talking to the passengers. Our rooms were always clean as well as the ship's public areas. The food was outstanding. Every meal had so many choices to meet everyone's tastes and dietary needs. The dinners were exquisite choices all of which were delicious. The desserts were works of art. The entertainment provided was outstanding as well. In each region we visited, there was an evening show that was excellent. The off-ship excursions were full of history of the places we visited. I love history and my favorite place to visit was Salzburg. I would definitely take another river cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
These tours are wonderful way to see lovely ports and hear of the history of europe without having to re-pack suitcase each day. I am a solo traveler, but a girlfriend was also on the cruise. I felt we still had a good time even though ... Read More
These tours are wonderful way to see lovely ports and hear of the history of europe without having to re-pack suitcase each day. I am a solo traveler, but a girlfriend was also on the cruise. I felt we still had a good time even though there were almost no actual solo travelers or girlfriend groups onboard. The panoramic staterooms are just wonderful. Being able to lie on bed and see the lovely scenery was breathtaking. I enjoyed sitting by the window and seeing the countryside as well as the towns drift by. Our tour did have low water conditions which caused us to miss a day on the boat - two nights at the beginning and one at the end. Avalon compensates you for this inconvenience and missing some of the river. They do put you up at a 5 star hotel. The bus rides were not so far, and the tours proceeded as they normally would if we had docked in town. So I never had to repack a suitcase. If the lower water was in the center, it might have had a more dramatic impact. I paid for the optional excursion to Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic, and it was a highlight for me. Beautiful bus ride through the countryside too. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was a fantastic cruise! We cruised from Vienna to Passau and then were transported to Munich where we spent an additional three nights. We arrived in Vienna two days early so that we could spend a day at the Spanish Riding School, ... Read More
This was a fantastic cruise! We cruised from Vienna to Passau and then were transported to Munich where we spent an additional three nights. We arrived in Vienna two days early so that we could spend a day at the Spanish Riding School, attend morning exercise and take an afternoon tour of the stables. This was a trip highlight! Vienna is a beautiful, relaxed city with wonderful outdoor cafes. Another cruise highlight was a side trip arranged by Avalon to Dachau Concentration Camp, a highlight for us since my father was part of the U.S. Army liberation forces there. Everyone should visit this site! The cruise also offered a day trip to southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic to Cesny Kremlov, a beautiful, historic town and a UNESCO world heritage site. Another trip highlight was a shore excursion from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle - this was a fabulous side trip and another UNESCO world heritage site. Finally, we arrived in Munich on the day Oktoberfest started which was a pleasant surprise, as the city was in festival mode and many people were dressed in traditional lederhosen and dirndls. Beer was abundant! We went on a river cruise on the Rhine about 4 years ago on another cruise line and had issues with our cabin that were never resolved. Avalon's cabin, dining and services were all excellent and much better than our previous experience on Viking. We will definitely cruise on Avalon again! We could not have been more satisfied! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I liked the idea of NOT having to move my stuff...bus tours are not my idea of relaxing... Ship and staff were fabulous. Food plentiful, variety and quality. Wine was lovely....room was nice size, shower/bathroom quite lovely ....loved ... Read More
I liked the idea of NOT having to move my stuff...bus tours are not my idea of relaxing... Ship and staff were fabulous. Food plentiful, variety and quality. Wine was lovely....room was nice size, shower/bathroom quite lovely ....loved the panoramic windows, but views were of the boat docked next to us, or the wall. Only once did I have a day time sail to Passau Germany which was lovely....otherwise panoramic windows were of no use...bugs get in if you leave an inside light on...and diesel smells... Once we got to Passau Germany, we were told the ship could not go any further because of LOW water levels...6 nights of 15 day tour, we were to be bussed for the rest of the tour...Was offered to leave tour, but couldn't get help to make arrangements..Called Avalonwaterways, and the airlines...not able to get any help....I was also getting sick and having trouble just trying to get well....The bus went to the cities we would have seen by day excursions...that was lovely...only two times able to stay where I could rest if I didn't want to go...out of the 7 days of bus tour....Our Tour Director Monica did a smashing job dealing with all of us and the arrangements....Just DID NOT WANT a bus tour, not what I signed up for...very DISAPPOINTED....Customer service after you buy the tour was not there to help if you needed to make other arrangements to cut short your tour because of Mother Nature...Avalonwaterways needs more customer service department to help when these disasters happen....not be put on hold for 15 minutes before anyone can help also the time difference...a 24 hour help line would be wonderful. Tour director should not have to deal with all of this....Namaste' Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Have not previously had an opportunity to visit/your this part of Europe. The cruise and the audio guided tours were so informative and inspiring of the historical significance of each region. I would do the same cruise again were it not ... Read More
Have not previously had an opportunity to visit/your this part of Europe. The cruise and the audio guided tours were so informative and inspiring of the historical significance of each region. I would do the same cruise again were it not for need to explore other areas of Europe as well. The cruise director Katy as the face of Avalon was most informative, humorous, accomodating and professional. The local onboard extra entertainment with musicians added to the overall enjoyment. The changes in the shops schedule due to low water levels were made up by some of the extra included tours that would have been optional. The food service personnel were most accomodating with special doet needs of my travel partner eho is gluten and dairy free. I especially enjoyed the barrista machine available 24/7. Also appreciated the early (6am) continental breakfast prior to dining room opening at 7am. Highly recommend this cruise and expect to explore another area of Europe by river soon. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Loved our trip! Fabulous cruise! Great service everywhere on the ship, everywhere. That includes the tour director Katy, she was amazing. A few issues with low water levels, but Katy had a solution for every issue. She handled it all ... Read More
Loved our trip! Fabulous cruise! Great service everywhere on the ship, everywhere. That includes the tour director Katy, she was amazing. A few issues with low water levels, but Katy had a solution for every issue. She handled it all with a smile and good humor. Food was fabulous - I'm a picky eater and there was more to eat then I needed. You could be as good or bad (LOL) as you wanted. One couple was vegetarian and they worked hard to keep them full and happy. BTW, generous pours of wine at lunch and dinner! Loved the carving station, great french fries, wonderful omelettes and croissant for breakfast. The service was up there with the very best. Fabulous activities and excursions - all the tours and tour guides we great. Absolutely no complaints. My only complaint was the music during the cocktail hour. It was an electric piano with added musical sound effects. I'm 66 and the music would have made my 93 year old father happy. I think most of the guests were baby boomers - it would have been so much more fun for us if we were relaxing and drinking to Motown, 60's 70's and 80's, etc. rock or pop. Hearing our memories - instead of my father's memories would have been a huge improvement. Sorry to be so harsh, but the music often painful and elicited moans from the group. Other than that it was all we wanted and needed. Will definitely look into another Avalon cruise. Already recommended it to our friends that travel. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We began our 15 day, Amsterdam to Budapest-cruise on 8/18/18 on the Avalon Visionary. Due to low water, we had to get off the boat and go to a hotel in Frankfurt fir two night. We then biarded the Avalon Visionary. We were told that in ... Read More
We began our 15 day, Amsterdam to Budapest-cruise on 8/18/18 on the Avalon Visionary. Due to low water, we had to get off the boat and go to a hotel in Frankfurt fir two night. We then biarded the Avalon Visionary. We were told that in order to “catch a wave “we had to skip Nuremberg. We were okay with all this and Avalon did offer compensation in the way if extra excursions and some reimbursement. We were given the impression that all would be well from then on. However, three days before the end of our trip we were told that the last two days would be in a hotel in Budapest because the boat was scheduled for another trip. Half of us were in one hotel and half in another so we never got to say good-bye to friends we had made, had mediocre hotel buffet/cafeteria food and lost two days of the riverboat experience because of Avalon’s unnecessary decusion. At first they lied to us and said in writing thst it was the water situation. When we saw our ship in Budapest, we demanded answers and we were then told in writing “The shipwas due to begin new cruise today in Budapest on an already scheduled deoarture. In order to not disrupt another cruise.......we scheduled your last nights in Budapest in a hotel.” Shame on them! In all fairness, we lived our time on the biat. Staterooms and oanoramic windows were beautiful, Food was excellent and the entire staff was friendly and helpful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
The Avalon Impression is a beautiful ship, but the staff and especially the cruise director (Bram Van Dyke) made the cruise a marvelous experience. We boarded early in Amsterdam and while our cabin was being serviced we borrowed the ... Read More
The Avalon Impression is a beautiful ship, but the staff and especially the cruise director (Bram Van Dyke) made the cruise a marvelous experience. We boarded early in Amsterdam and while our cabin was being serviced we borrowed the bicycles and rode around "bike city". Our cabin was ready at boarding time and a wonderful welcome aboard dinner afterward. The ship is spacious and beautifully decorated. Our stateroom was well appointed and storage space and closets were more than adequate for the requirements of a 14 day cruise. It was surprising how quiet the staterooms were (even underway and docking). Included excursions were well organized, informative and efficient. There were generally three groups and sometimes a fourth for "gentle walkers" All of the transportation was on air conditioned buses with WC. The guides were pleasant, informative and fluent. Due to low water levels on the Danube we were unable to continue the cruise on our ship. In these adverse conditions, I have to commend Avalon for the care, concern and professionalism in how they transported the passengers from our ship to another ship that was beyond the low water area of the Danube. I am a retired airline captain and I understand disruptions in service due to environmental factors. Our cruise director and the management of Avalon performed in an exemplarly manner in these adverse situations. Our cruise was to end in Budapest but once again the water level on the Danube made it impossible to cruise to the City. Avalon responded again with excellent transportation and beautiful hotels in Budapest. Including tours and meal reimbursement. Another logistical miracle. Well done!! Read Less
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