My husband and I just returned from our very first river cruise on the Tranquility II. We sailed northbound on the Rhine, from Basel to Amsterdam. We stayed 4 days prior to the cruise in Switzerland, 2 nights in Zurich at the Central Plaza Hotel and 2 nights in Lucerne at the Hotel Flora. I would highly recommend both hotels. We returned to Zurich via train, then caught the Avalon shuttle to the Hotel Movenpick to join our fellow cruisers. We then boarded buses for the hour ride to Basel to board the ship. Avalon provided a seamless transition onto the ship. Our keys were waiting for us and our luggage was delivered in less than 10 minutes. We stayed in cabin 311. It was beautiful and had plenty of storage for our clothes. The bathroom was especially nice with a good size shower. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style. Dinner was good, but we would have liked some additional choices, Only 3 meals were available, one meat, one fish and one vegetarian. also, there were every night choices of steak and chicken. Also, there were several grill lunches served outside on the deck, in addition to several bistro style dinners a couple of nights. You had to sign up in advance for these.
We thought the provided walking tours in the ports were good, plus there was plenty of time for shopping. We took 2 of the optional additional cost excursions, the Alsace wine tasting and the windmill excursion in Amsterdam. I would recommend both. There was a German dinner option in town one night but not many took advantage of it. You could go into town and to the same restaurant on your own.
Avalon is known for their excellent service and we were not disappointed. All staff on the ship were friendly and eager to help. I did not feel they were overburdened as on the larger cruise ships.
Loved being on the upper level of cabins. Great views and having the large balcony doors that opened was a plus.