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We chose this cruise in large part because of the included airfare special that was going on at the time. We were overall very happy with our choice. The Panorama staterooms are great and the food was excellent, especially the daily soups. They were a highlight! The service was very good, friendly and efficient. We made new friends on the cruise and were even happier with our choice when talking with a repeat Avalon cruiser who had been on two other lines and felt Avalon was the best of the three. I have seen in another review about how busy the schedule was on their Avalon cruise. I can't really compare, not having been on another line, but my sense is that river cruising is busier than ocean cruising. Most Avalon excursions are included, so I can see if you aren't used to going by 8:30 in the morning and don't want to "miss out", it can seem hectic if you have never been on one. We were on the Romantic Rhine and did have one morning to sleep in and the day spent cruising along the castle route which was very relaxing. I highly recommend the Zurich/Lake Como extension. It was a wonderful relaxing way to end our trip. Do it after the cruise, not at the beginning. I will provide two suggestions to Avalon: 1) Consider the airfare schedule more when you are including it. We had to leave Lake Como at like 3 am. If a later flight was not possible, it would have been better to offer to have our last night's stay in Milan. 2) If at all possible, look at extending your time at stops. There was never much time for shopping after walking tours.

First River Cruise

Avalon Imagery II Cruise Review by lkoster

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2017
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Outside Stateroom with French Balcony
We chose this cruise in large part because of the included airfare special that was going on at the time. We were overall very happy with our choice. The Panorama staterooms are great and the food was excellent, especially the daily soups. They were a highlight! The service was very good, friendly and efficient. We made new friends on the cruise and were even happier with our choice when talking with a repeat Avalon cruiser who had been on two other lines and felt Avalon was the best of the three.

I have seen in another review about how busy the schedule was on their Avalon cruise. I can't really compare, not having been on another line, but my sense is that river cruising is busier than ocean cruising. Most Avalon excursions are included, so I can see if you aren't used to going by 8:30 in the morning and don't want to "miss out", it can seem hectic if you have never been on one. We were on the Romantic Rhine and did have one morning to sleep in and the day spent cruising along the castle route which was very relaxing. I highly recommend the Zurich/Lake Como extension. It was a wonderful relaxing way to end our trip. Do it after the cruise, not at the beginning.

I will provide two suggestions to Avalon: 1) Consider the airfare schedule more when you are including it. We had to leave Lake Como at like 3 am. If a later flight was not possible, it would have been better to offer to have our last night's stay in Milan. 2) If at all possible, look at extending your time at stops. There was never much time for shopping after walking tours.
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Cabin Review

Outside Stateroom with French Balcony
Cabin P 325
Very spacious. Panorama suites where the bed faces toward the balcony are wonderful! The way the balcony is designed provides for a roomier stateroom. Very nice bathroom. Loved the toiletries provided. No complaints about the stateroom whatsoever!
Royal Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Canal Tour
    Excellent guide. It was a combination canal boat and walking tour. Independently over our two day stay we went to the Albert Cuyp market, the Rijksmuseum and the Red Light district.
    View All 264 Canal Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    Guided City Walk. Our favorite guide of the week. Included a great amount of time at the Cologne Cathedral.
    View All 113 City Tour Reviews
  • Walking Tour
    Two stops this day - a walking tour of Koblenz with a great guide and the late afternoon and evening in Rudesheim where we toured Siegfried's Mechanical Museum, had the famous Rudesheim coffee and had a leisurely evening for dinner.
    View All 89 Walking Tour Reviews
  • The Gutenberg Museum
    Two walking tours this day - Koblenz which included The Gutenberg Museum. Felt rushed here, would have liked more time to wander. Also, Heidelberg which included the Heidelberg Castle. Really liked the guide for Heidelberg. Wish we had had more time for the shopping district which was a general refrain at several stops.
    View All 17 The Gutenberg Museum Reviews
  • Strasbourg
    This tour included a canal boat, the Gothic Cathedral (astronomical clock) and La Petite France district.
    View All 12,811 Strasbourg Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Strasbourg Cruise Port Review