• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
Avalon Illumination Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
60 Reviews

Everything and more than we could have expected from our first river cruise.

Avalon Illumination Cruise Review by Traveller53Wiltshire

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2016
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Panorama Suite with French Balcony

~ Avalon Illumination 2016 ~

Dear friends I hope to entertain you with this rhyming illustration

Of our experience on board the good ship Avalon ‘Illumination’

We’d often talked about it but we had never cruised before

So in all our worldly travels we’d stayed firmly on the shore

Unpacking just the once was something that really did appeal

With destinations brought to us, and free wine at every meal!

The downside might be the seniors who this way often choose to roam

Which meant we might be boarding a sort of floating old folks home!

The ship and our cabin was perfect, fitted out like a 5 star hotel

When we cast off and sailed bidding Amsterdam farewell

I could barely feel any movement such was the smoothness of the motion

That’s because it’s a river, I’m sure it’s not like that on the ocean

The restaurant and food was like a gourmet dining experience

A printed new menu every night, of quality there was no variance

The waiters got to know us and they knew best not to pass

Our table before they’d brought the wine and re-filled up my glass

We’re Brits but from across the globe we saw other guests had come

Americans, Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis and there was also one

Odd couple there from Turkey, with a blonde who never did a thing

Except follow her friend around as if she was tied to her apron string

Most often folks forget their cares when they go away on ships

But there was a world event taking place that was on everybody’s lips

I’m sure you’ll always remember where you were when you heard the news

That Trump became U.S. President when you were on that cruise!

The first night we went down to eat we sat there quite at random

Bob was to my left and we were quickly both in tandem

Since our musical tastes were pretty much exactly corresponding

As we talked yet more and the wine did flow we were obviously bonding

He had a Fender Strat at home that he’d not yet learned to play

When he told me he was left-handed I said “what really man? no way!

Because I’m left-handed too and I’ve got my guitar on board

We can make a start with mine and I’ll show you how to strum a chord!”

So that’s exactly what we did and I got his fingers moving

And though we didn’t have much time I could see he was improving

It’s definite that Bob became my buddy on that cruise

The more we talked, the more we found we were similar in our views

One night we skipped a concert that we both thought would be boring

Like kids playing hooky out of school we both went off exploring

We found the only bar around and bought ourselves some beer

We drunk with friendly locals and left with handshakes and great cheer.

I knew that I could pass the time because I love to play guitar

But I never dreamed I’d end up doing real gigs in the bar!

Delyan the ship’s piano man, was also a very fine musician

We found that we could play as a duo and give a joint rendition

They seemed to like what I was doing since most nights I did play

In the club lounge at the rear of the ship as we went on our way

We’d get some beers to drink back there and soon I would be strumming

I’d take requests and play the songs to get everybody humming

This trip we were told was being billed as a ‘Musical Themed Cruise’

But this was mainly classical music and not rock ‘n’ roll or blues

But nevertheless I must confess they put some great musicians on

And I even played harmonica on one bluesy type of song.

Great acquaintances we did make with all those people that we met

Bob, Betty, Chris, Jane, both Ron’s, Mary, Harriet

Email addresses were exchanged with intent to try and keep in touch

Looking back on it now I can hardly believe we ate and drank so much!

So now the time has come to bring my little rhyme to an end

We had the most fantastic trip and made some lovely friends

Arrivederci, Bon Voyage, Ciao, Farewell and Adieu

To those marvellous people that passed through our lives,

We’ll fondly remember you

Now to the Illumination’s, Captain, and all of your ship’s crew

You delivered the experience and made our cruising dreams come true

You were a credit to your company of that we can attest

With the Avalon style and service we were thoroughly impressed

So next time we go on a river cruise our loyalty will remain

With the Avalon operation, since nothing else would be the same

And for anyone planning such a trip we would heartily suggest

That Avalon Waterways will do you proud,

They simply were the best!

C. Evans ~ 13th Nov 2016

Traveller53Wiltshire's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Sign Up for Price Drop Alerts
Get tomorrow's price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Panorama Suite with French Balcony
Cabin P 325

I could not fault the cabin or the way it was laid out. Having the sliding glass doors (Juliet style balcony) is a great idea as then you don't lose any space in the cabin when the balcony is not in use. Bed extremely comfortable. I slept well every single night. Ensuite excellent with really good shower and plenty of hot water. Airline type flush on the W.C. was very efficient. Towels must have been changed at least 3 times per day. In the cabin itself whisper quiet air conditioning or heating with easy to use controls. Safe in the wardrobe again easy to use. Room under the bed for storage. All first rate (and I'm very hard to please!)

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Walking Tour

Very good, time for a beer aftarwards in one of the bars in the main square

View All 148 Walking Tour Reviews

Very good but no thanks to the guide on the Nazi rally grounds tour. She seemed way out of her depth and was not able to answer several questions asked about factual events regarding what the tour was about. The tour was provided as part of the cruise but had I been paying I would have asked for a refund.

Walking Tour

A beautiful city and great to have visited

View All 183 Walking Tour Reviews

Another very good walking tour and visit to the castle

City Tour

Very good city and walking tour and plenty of time in the evening and following morning for shopping and refreshments

View All 353 City Tour Reviews
Canal Tour

Guide was very knowledgeable, lots of background info and brought it to life. Very good

View All 311 Canal Tour Reviews

Previous ReviewNext Review
1 Reviews Written
8 Helpful Votes
Never Miss a Deal!
Subscribe and Save
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

More Avalon Illumination Reviews

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.