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Avalon Illumination Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
60 Reviews

Danube River Cruise

Avalon Illumination Cruise Review by fredman1

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2015
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with Window

The boat was only a year old, it was wonderful, the crew was great, the food was 'ok', but I didn't really know what to expect. They had the same breakfast every morning, which is fine for me, not like i was expecting escargot or roast duck for breakfast. Same for lunch. Dinner was OK, they usually had four main dishes respective of whatever country we were in, as well as the same four 'standby' dishes for every dinner: chicken breast, tenderloin, fish, caesar salad. They also offered whatever regional wines respective of where we were. Too bad I don't drink.

The room was a normal room below deck, it was small (as expected), but it was fine. I am a stickler for a hot shower with LOTS of water pressure (as opposed to water dribbling out of a showerhead) and the shower did not disappoint, it was great - best I have ever had in 35 years of traveling - and this includes lots of Hiltons and Westins!

If two are traveling, you really need 'packing cubes' such as what Amazon sells ($20-25US) you don't have a lot of room to move, you don't have the tablespace in your room for two large suitcases, so you need to be able to access your clothes, and these cubes are lifesavers.

You set them in the drawers provided and put the suitcases in your closet.

The cruise itself was very nice, we seldom-ever felt the boat move while underway, and the Captain and his crew did a marvelous job of docking every time - we never felt a thing.

The ports of call were what you might expect when visiting basically communist countries: somewhat very old, out of date, and quite frankly not set up for 'tourists' at all. If you are expecting all ports to be awesome, this is not the cruise for you, but 'it is what it is' and that is not the fault of any cruise line, it's just that some countries are just not attuned to river tourism (yet), such as Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania. Once disembarked in some small ports it seemed they were just not attuned yet to tourism. Rousse, Vidin, Mohacs comes to mind. I will say every tour guide we had was AWESOME.

One mistake we made was always sticking with the tour, we wish we had gone our own way once in awhile. Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria comes to mind. A very nice village.

Aside from the cruise, let me tell you this: if you go on a tour on a tour bus, you will probably catch a cold (if others are sick also) - we did. While that may be normal, you won't find any cough drops in eastern Europe like the ones in the USA such as Hall's, Ricola or Luden's, they are not allowed (to be sold) there, so take a bag with you just in case. That's my .02 tip, cough drops and packing cubes.

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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with Window

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