This was our Fourth River Cruise with Avalon. This ship is new, well designed and comfortable. Our room was on the top floor, Rm 322, beautifully sized for a river ship and nicely appointed. The Bathroom is unusually large for a river ship with a shower and marble vanity. The Cruise Director, Tony, is one of the best around, fluent in five languages, hardworking, knowledgeable and ready and capable of confronting issues as they arise and successful in their resolution. Captain Werner did an amazing job as well. The food is quite good with enough of a variety to satisfy just about everyone, a tribute to the Chef.
Although the following issues are noted, they were an annoyance but did not seriously affect our overall positive experience. 1. There was some annoying noises in our room during the night but not all the time. They were attributed to the ship's negotiation through the many Locks in this Cruise, some 67 of them. 2. Due to the many Locks, the TV reception was often adversely affected as was the free WIFI on board. 3. Due to the Locks and the continually expanding river traffic, both commercial and the river cruise ships, we were delayed at one point over 6 hours that we eventually made up. However, due to the delays and, I presume, the scheduled length of the Cruise itself (from Amsterdam to Vienna), we generally had less time in ports than one normally has on River Cruises (time in port is one of the aspects that we like on River Cruises). The Danube also has a potential issue with high water which can interfere with the ability of these ships to negotiate under some of the lower bridges. In our instance, we were not impacted but came very close. A bridge near Passau (as I recall) is so low that we had to make an unscheduled stop just before it and board buses to get to our next port. The ship did pass under that bridge with a clearance of 1 1/2 ", we were told. But, as noted above, the Captain and the Cruise Director were aware of such potential problems and excercised notable concern and flexibility (with the approval of Avalon, no doubt) to do what they had to in the interest of the passengers. Due, I presume, to the length of the Cruise and the limited duration in a number of the Ports, we had several nights where local entertainment came on board. - very enjoyable - more than we've experienced on other River Cruises.
The German countryside is a Post Card almost everywhere one looks and something to experience. Amsterdam is a delightful city. The Dutch are wonderful people. Vienna is a beautiful city with incredible buildings almost everywhere you turn. We attended a Concert one evening in Vienna that proved a highlight of the Cruise.
Bottom line: as long as the 67 Locks (two were 84 feet high) are not a problem for you in terms of the times that they require to negotiate and, therefor, limit the time in the ports visited, this is an attractive itinerary.