I picked this August date so the weather would be warm enough to enjoy the Avalon window that opens 7 feet wide so we could really experience traveling the Danube. Target city Vienna. I figured that eastbound was less likely to end up grounded and require repacking and busses if the river was too low. The river height was perfect - not so low we grounded, not too high they needed to collapse the top deck. Avalon service was excellent. The weather was great - mostly 70s until the final day. Food was well prepared and good selection (picky eater, lots of allergies). The tours were amazing - free daily tours and the guides all spoke very good English. We paid for 3 extra tours – all were worthwhile. We know now that a 7 day cruise is plenty long – 10 days was a bit exhausting. This tour included Prague & Regensburg before we joined the boat in Deggendorf for 7 days on the river. We flew into London so we knew we would find English at the end of our 10 hour flight. As it turns out Prague was very English friendly so flying there directly would have been acceptable. Avalon has a permanent office at the Hilton. The Hilton was nice except it was under construction and very loud until 7PM every evening – not good if you are trying to sleep to get over jet-lag. Hilton beds are too hard. We had 142 people traveling so we were very full ship but it never felt like it. The mix of 10 cities we stopped at was good – a mix from the Tiny Durnstein to Big cities of Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Most cities had time for you to explore on your own. Getting on and off the boat was handled beautifully. There was entertainment on the boat in the evenings but we went to bed after 7PM dinner which ended after 9PM. The dining room was very loud so it was hard to carry on conversations with the new people you meet every meal. They could use sound absorbing decorations. We normally eat at 5PM so this felt very late.
We ended the trip exhausted and satisfied and would definitely go with Avalon again. This was our first river cruise which I loved compared to the 4 ocean cruises I have been on.
Avalon Passion stateroom 305 was very comfortable. It is a tight squeeze between the chair and bed to get to the far side of the bed but the rest of the room was very comfortable and the bathroom was luxurious. Either the shaving mirror or the floor lighting make a good night light. There were 2 USB plugs next to the bed and an outlet on the dresser (be sure to bring a converter from 240v to 120v). I Love the French Balcony.