First river cruise so instead of being careful and picking a short one, we went straight in with a 2 week one, from Amsterdam to Budapest.
We were very very lucky to be in one of the 2 royal suites on this boat. Was it worth the extra money. Yes, not sure about the amount extra, but the space was worth it. We had 2 TV's, a sleeping area, a sitting area, a lovely shower room, separate toilet , and acres of storage space.
what did we like/love about the cruise.
the size of our cabin.
the sliding wall of windows, had 2 sets , a 2 door and a 3 door. When it was chilly at the beginning of the cruise ,we just kept the doors shut, still having full cabin space. When the sun shone, we rolled open the doors, and that was wonderful.When we saw boats with proper balconies we decided that the space you lose with them, was not worth it. as the cabins themselves would be smaller.
the L'occitaine toiletries.
the cruise route
Robert the cruise director, who was fantastic.
The other cruisers. There was ourselves, one other British couple, with everyone else from either USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. It was wonderful talking to them all.
Food I guess.
what did we not like
when you sat down for the evening meal, everyone sits down together. The ceiling height in the restaurant is not high, so it tended to be very noisy in there. I found it hard trying to listen to someone across the table from me.
The length of time you were sat down for the evening meal could easily stretch to 3 hours on the gala nights (7 courses) ,as they were trying to serve everyone at the same time, from a very small kitchen. The separate courses were not huge, but at the end you were full, but not uncomfortably so.
The excursions...We only did 1 paid extra and felt it was not as was suggested. It was a cruise up a gorge to an Abbey. The boat you are on sits 600+ and our coach was the last on.
Those who went on the all day Austrian ones all felt they were worth it.
At each stop there is an included excursion. We went on a few of these (with the fantastic whisper boxes), but in the end decided we were much happier getting off and wandering around on our own.Final day, you do not put your cases out the previous night, so you can get up, do the final pack, and then put your cases out.
We left the boat at 10am, and were taken to Budapest airport. Now I know it is not Avalon's' fault, but after getting to the airport approx. 10.30am, the check in desk did not open until 12 midday. There are very few seats land side at this airport, so we ended up standing for nearly 2 hours.....No fun at all.
Royal Suite -Avalon Vista. Fantastic cabin. loads and loads of space, and storage, and a wall of windows, which slide open.