Avalon did a good job on this cruise. The only real letdown was the food. I would have expected better food particularly at breakfast. I fully understand that the chef could not prepare a wide range of breakfasts for 99 people like one would see on a Carnival cruise with 3000 people. The cabin was fine. Avalon makes a point of saying they do not have balconies. They are not useful on a river cruise. We were docked beside an Ama ship in Budapest and we had a chance to see another cruiser's room and she saw ours. We both agreed that balconies on river cruises just reduce the space in the room. The best "balcony" is on the sky deck so you can see both sides of the river. The entertainment varied at each port and was fine. There was crew show that was pretty good. Again, do not expect a fancy theatrical show on a river cruise. The Cruise Director was helpful. The only real problem was Customs. We had to enter Schegen in Hungary and the entire morning was taken up with the border patrol. The Captain took us up and down the river at Budapest to compensate us for the time wasted with the border crossing.
We would go on another cruise with Avalon.
It was billed as a cultural and history tour. I also wanted to see birds in the Black Sea. I went from Bucharest to Vienna. Bucharest was not that interested. I went on a separate tour to Dracula's Castle and a communist tour. Both were very interesting. The next stop was Bulgaria. The church I visited rivalled the Cistene Chapel for art and charm. I was surprised that Bulgarians and Romanians have no interest in visiting each other's countries. The stop at Cetate to see the artist's colony was not that interesting. The bread was the best part. Iron Gates was wonderful. Belgrade was disappointing. The city has not recovered from the 1995 bombing and no-one wanted to talk about the war. This was the case for both Serbia and Croatia. Budapest was the highlight of the cruise. We cruised into the cities on a sunny day and passed under all the bridges. River cruising is the only way to see this city. Bratislava was uninteresting. Vienna was worthwhile. You need to allow time at the end of the cruise to see some of the city's 220 museums.
The cabin was fine. Avalon does not have balconies. At first, one might think that the lack of balconies is a bad thing. Balconies are not needed on river cruises as one needs to be on deck to see both sides of the river. I was docked beside an Ama Waterways boat in Budapest and the passenger we talked to said that the balconies reduced the cabin space.
This tour showed us how the Communist government was overthrown. it was very good.View All undefined undefined Reviews
This is a chance for me to talk about the onboard lectures. There was a lawyer from Bulgaria and a US diplomat on board giving lectures. We had great discussions on WWII and its impact on Communist Block and on the success/failure of the EU to be the United States of Europe. They were well done.View All undefined undefined Reviews
We went to the square where the Russian tanks came into the city and to the Communist Museum. The tours were on separate days. There was not enough time to see the Communist Museum.View All 353 City Tour Reviews