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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We had a wonderful time on our Avalon cruise to Eastern Europe. Starting in Prague the arrival was smooth being greeted by the Avalon staff then transferred to the Prague Hilton where there is a dedicated Avalon area. The transfer to the ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on our Avalon cruise to Eastern Europe. Starting in Prague the arrival was smooth being greeted by the Avalon staff then transferred to the Prague Hilton where there is a dedicated Avalon area. The transfer to the ship was seamless and the ship itself was wonderful very easy to get around and our cabin P320 was so lovely and peaceful with its panoramic view and super comfortable bed! And the cabin service was beyond compare (thank you Saleh). The dining was excellent and varied with local cuisine while in that port. I eat gluten free and there was a meeting with the head chef before we sailed to address any concerns with food allergies. The wait staff (thank you Nick) always brought me gluten free bread and knew every item on the menu that was gluten free. The entertainment was varied and always fun and a more intimate experience (this is not a large Caribbean cruise). The staff was always there is answer any question and the meetings before each port was informative and downright fun. Robert our cruise directer was fantastic his desk was in the middle of the ship and always open. All of the ports we visited were well organized and all of the guides are local and so obviously love their towns and cities. You are given a headset and receiver before each tour so even if you are in the back you can hear everything the guide is saying. Be prepared to walk a lot on cobble stone streets that are very narrow that you have to sometimes share with passing cars. Avalon also offers a "gentle" walkers plan too. I can highly recommend Avalon we had such a lovely time and learned so much! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We choose this cruise because of the Christmas markets and the cities we would visit. We did the pre-package in Prague. The cruise itinerary was changed due to the low river and we lost cruising on half the river, but only one port, ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the Christmas markets and the cities we would visit. We did the pre-package in Prague. The cruise itinerary was changed due to the low river and we lost cruising on half the river, but only one port, Nuremberg. The ship was also changed, but it was sister ship, so it was not a big issue. They did not change the app when you logged in to show the change in itinerary. This was our first river cruise after doing about 5 of the big ocean cruises. What we loved: - The staff on the ship was excellent. Very helpful, very knowledgeable and happy to be there! - Salzburg was an amazing day trip. I would love to more time there. -The guides on the tours were great! Very knowledgeable. - The food was great (but see note below for more information) -The buffets for dinner and lunch that were offered (see not below) - You get to know many of the people cruising with you because of the small boat. What we didn't love - Since it is a small boat you eat dinner all together for the most part. Some of the nights they offered a buffet upstairs from the main dining room. We loved that option when it was offered. -When everyone dined at the same time it was very loud in the dining room. -There is not room service for dinner, only breakfast. - Many times there was only one tour offered so you will split into groups, but then basically walk over each other during the tour. What we would do different -Pack really warm clothes- long underwear, hand and feet warmers. A couple days were very cold -Go out on your own if you are the type who doesn't want to move with 200+ of your closest friends- we did that in Vienna and had a wonderful time - Make reservations on the pre or post trip for dinner. - I would do the post trip over the pre trip if I had to choose. Simply due to time change and jet lag. If you can do both, then for sure do both! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted to kick the Christmas season off right since our travel agent indicated to us that Prague would be highly decorated for Christmas, we would see a lot of Christmas markets and Europe does Christmas does much better than the USA. ... Read More
We wanted to kick the Christmas season off right since our travel agent indicated to us that Prague would be highly decorated for Christmas, we would see a lot of Christmas markets and Europe does Christmas does much better than the USA. However, Prague was not decorated much for Christmas and most of the Christmas markets had not opened yet. That was a disappointment. Some of the side excursions seemed to be a little rushed and we were only given 15 minutes to tour the large Christmas market in Vienna before the buses went back to the boat. I do not think that we go to do the full food tasting that day as well. Service on the boat was excellent. Some side excursions were excellent but out of the three river cruises with Avalon we have done, this one could have been better. Prague was a little bit of a disappointment as far as being decorated for Christmas but we enjoyed touring the city. The personnel on the boat treated us very well. Overall, we enjoyed the trip but felt a little shorted on some things as far as side excursions. The trip to the church where they sang Silent Night was way too short and you could not get into the museum that day nor the chapel. So, I am not sure why we were even taken. Food was great and my wife's wheat allergy was taken care of. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The Danube river was low therefore, we were bused to many of the destination we were originally supposed to cruise to and from. We were bused to Arnsdorf, Salzburg and to Regensburg, then again to Budapest, actually losing the last day on ... Read More
The Danube river was low therefore, we were bused to many of the destination we were originally supposed to cruise to and from. We were bused to Arnsdorf, Salzburg and to Regensburg, then again to Budapest, actually losing the last day on the boat and missing out again on river cruising. We were originally supposed to begin our cruise in Nuremberg, we which we did not get to see at all. Then to top it all off, while docked in Passau, another ship pulled in next to ours completely blocking the view of the land FOR THREE DAYS! This was unacceptable. Did not get the river cruise experience we were expecting. We have cruised Avalon before along the Rhine River and it was a most wonderful experience. The Danube is not a River Cruise I would recommend. It is always nice to travel and countryside was quite beautiful but again, we did not get to experience the beauty of cruising along the riverside. Too many hours on the bus to get to where we were touring. Our cruise director was most wonderful! She tried to make this Danube cruise experience better than it really was. We were afforded lunch coupons on the days we were bused to the different areas because they were so far from where we were docked. We lost our last day on the boat again due to the low water level and had to be bused 3 1/2 hours from Melk to Budapest. Did not get to enjoy that city all because we were rushed through our brief tour and whisked away to the hotel. As far as the ship and staff, we cannot say enough about them! The ship was exquisite and the staff extremely upbeat and accommodating. I would have to say that our experience was disappointing and we would have to really think about whether or not another Avalon cruise is in our future plans. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We had such a great trip on our first Avalon river cruise in 2016 that we made plans shortly thereafter to enjoy our second one in 2018. And our Prague to Budapest trip in 2108 did not disappoint....it was awesome. We arrived one day ... Read More
We had such a great trip on our first Avalon river cruise in 2016 that we made plans shortly thereafter to enjoy our second one in 2018. And our Prague to Budapest trip in 2108 did not disappoint....it was awesome. We arrived one day early in Prague and explored on our own and that day combined with the included three days gave us a wonderful Prague experience. Mother nature did throw us a curve and we were not able to start the cruise portion of our trip in Nuremberg due to low water levels so we started a bit further down the Danube in Passau. We were disappointed that we didn't get to spend time in Nuremberg however we made the best of it and our cruise director did a wonderful job in adjusting schedules and attractions to make up for the hiccup in Nuremberg. Every stop along the Danube was wonderful and of course, cruising down the river is truly relaxing and provides for great photos of the countryside, small towns and villages and majestic views of larger cities like Vienna and Budapest. Everything on the ship, from cabin accommodations, cuisine, service, amenities and the ships staff, was just great. The ship itself was immaculate and well appointed and there are so many areas that you can sit and enjoy the experience. And yes, we are looking down the road to our next Avalon river cruise, possibly Budapest to Bucharest. Five star experience all the way. Thank you Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This being our first cruise we were always attracted to taking a river cruise. Much more to see and do than on a ocean cruise. The included daily excursions would give us a opportunity to visit cities we may never get to. We started in ... Read More
This being our first cruise we were always attracted to taking a river cruise. Much more to see and do than on a ocean cruise. The included daily excursions would give us a opportunity to visit cities we may never get to. We started in Prague for three days and then caught the boat in Passau on the Danube. We stopped along the way in Linz, Melk, Vienna, and Budapest. In researching different cruise lines we settled on Avalon due to what was included and the meals and beverages included. Additionally we liked their room layout as rather than having a outside balcony they include this space within the room itself. The outside wall of the suite we were in was all glass with two of the panels sliders. With the added space they were able to orient the bed facing the outside wall and have a small seating area adjacent to the sliders. So effectively you had a balcony that was more usable. The bathroom was also pretty spacious with a good size shower. For the shore excursions they provided local tour guides for each area who were very knowledgeable. Overall cruise was better than expected. Cruise Director was excellent. Daily updates and itineraries provided. Meals were excellent. Buffet at breakfast with a large selection of things to choose from plus a omlet station. Lunch typically was buffet with food choices around local region we may be in. Dinners were sit down with a four or five course service. Meals were also structured around respective local region with several standard choices available if there wasn't anything you liked. Overall it was better than expected and would definitely use Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Booked this trip of the Danube River, after having a perfect experience a few years ago on the Rhine River with Avalon Waterways. Really wanted to see Prague, which was the main reason we chose the itinerary. Avalon Waterways always has ... Read More
Booked this trip of the Danube River, after having a perfect experience a few years ago on the Rhine River with Avalon Waterways. Really wanted to see Prague, which was the main reason we chose the itinerary. Avalon Waterways always has well planned itineraries, excellent food, personable & friendly staff, and very clean ships (which is a MAJOR plus coming from someone who is a neat freak/germophobe). Will definitely be planning another trip with Avalon in the future!! Some of the highlights of the Danube Dream experience: was shopping the Great Market Hall in Budapest, purchasing a necklace made out of stones from the Danube @ Donau Stein located in Durnstein, and exploring the wonderful old town of Passau. Took the optional excursion to Salzburg, Austria and thoroughly enjoyed all the Mozart history and catching some glimpses of the beautiful Alps. Met many wonderful travelers on the Avalon cruise! Great overall trip worth taking!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We have cruised on 15 plus ocean liner cruises, all over the world and loved every one of them, but had been encouraged by other cruisers to try a river cruise. So we did and really regret doing so! The cost of a river cruise with Avalon ... Read More
We have cruised on 15 plus ocean liner cruises, all over the world and loved every one of them, but had been encouraged by other cruisers to try a river cruise. So we did and really regret doing so! The cost of a river cruise with Avalon was more than twice as much as any liner cruise we have ever taken(of same duration). The service was very poor, as it seemed the boat was understaffed. The food waiters were run off their feet and just could not serve the amount of tables they were responsible for.Complimentary drinks at meal time sounds like a plus but when there are no servers available to give such drinks,it is deplorable. My husband drinks beer and when he did finally get served a beer it was often warm. I drink wine and often was without because the servers were attending to food and drinks for up to four or five other large tables.It was not the fault of the workers. Also there was no bar service on deck. On the day we had commentary there was not even a waiter on deck. You had to walk down a long set of stairs to the only bar in the lounge to get a drink. We could not believe this. We are in our early 60's but most of the cruisers were much older and this would be a difficult feat for them. The food was our biggest disappointment.The menu was very limited and the quality was terrible. I could go on and on ,but here're a few examples: The romaine was so wilted in my caesar salad that you couldn't see it in the bowl.I ordered it twice and it was soggy both times,so I did not order it again. I ordered pancakes one day and they were so hard I could not cut them with a knife. I sent them back and waited 15 minutes before I met the waiter with new ones as I was leaving the table,in disgust.My husband had finished his breakfast long before this.Steak was actually a thin slice of roast beef. The dinner portions were so small, four of the six of us that sat together started ordering two main courses. I did so to find something that was suitable to eat. The state rooms were nice and the ports were lovely, but I suggest you visit on your own or with a tour company as the food and service on Avalon did not come close to meeting our expectations, especially for the money we paid. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Some friends had done this same cruise last year and rated it very highly, and I had always wanted to visit Prague and Budapest. I agree with the rating. The staff was wonderful, the meals reflected local cuisine and were quite good, and ... Read More
Some friends had done this same cruise last year and rated it very highly, and I had always wanted to visit Prague and Budapest. I agree with the rating. The staff was wonderful, the meals reflected local cuisine and were quite good, and the excursions, both those that came with the cruise and the add-ons, were superb, done by local people with a lot of knowledge. The other passengers were interesting, a lot of retired teachers, and we enjoyed spendimg time with them at meals and on the excursions. The cruise director was superb, very knowledgeable and also very funny and entertaining. His lectures were excellent, and he and the whole staff were very attentive to our needs. The chefs were great, and it was refreshing to be able to sample the foods of the countries through which we were sailing. The food was perhaps too plentiful, but always very enjoyable, and served by an excellent waitstaff. This entire trip was so good I would do another cruise with Avalon. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Our 11 day Avalon cruise started with three days on land in Prague. Very nice accomodations, great city tour. We met on first night with cruise director, at that time concerned travellers questioned the river levels, as we heard they were ... Read More
Our 11 day Avalon cruise started with three days on land in Prague. Very nice accomodations, great city tour. We met on first night with cruise director, at that time concerned travellers questioned the river levels, as we heard they were low. We were told that by the day we were to sail, that the water levels were probably going to be okay. We were lead to believe that somehow the water levels could be manipulated by man power, dam? Departure date came and we were given a choice to see Nuremberg by bus, as we couldn't sail, due to low water, or take a bus to A small village up river where boat was docked. To see Revensburg, we also had to bus, ship couldn't get there either. Did not dock in Passau, had to be bussed there from village. Avalon advertises their cabins with the great view. Anytime we were docked, there would be another ship parked directly beside us, never even got to open curtains. Our sailing was done in early evening or night, so never got to see the wonderful sights advertised. We did dock in Linz and Budapest, so we were able to go ashore to explore on our own. Daily tours were really early. Biggest disappointment was that we never got to enjoy the views from our cabin, which was explained to our group the last night: reason being that River cruising is so popular that there is not enough port space for the ships. The staff on the Avalon Vista was great, cruise director not so much. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
In August of 2014 my husband and I booked an Avalon River Cruise from Prague to Paris to take place August, 2015. Unfortunately, our first night in Prague we learned that there was a barge loaded with steel in the middle of the river and ... Read More
In August of 2014 my husband and I booked an Avalon River Cruise from Prague to Paris to take place August, 2015. Unfortunately, our first night in Prague we learned that there was a barge loaded with steel in the middle of the river and our river boat would not be able to reach us in Nuremburg which was the original point of embarkation for the cruise. Since we had arrived a day early, the company was unable to contact us before leaving the US. At the initial meeting we were informed that the company was redirecting our cruise to travel from Passau, Germany to Budapest, Hungary along the Danube. They would then fly us to Paris so we could connect with our original return flights. We were informed that we could either continue with the cruise and receive a refund of 50% or cancel and receive a full refund. We opted to continue with the cruise (not having much choice). Naturally we were disappointed because we had been planning for a year to visit towns in Germany that we had never seen. As it was, one of the days in Austria was a national religious holiday and our second day in Budapest was a national holiday resulting in most businesses and venues being closed. Additionally, we lost an afternoon in Paris because of the late arrival of our flight. Upon our arrival home, we found that our refund was based on the cruise portion only (something that was not spelled out in our original meeting.) We called our travel agent who contacted Avalon; after several days we were given a contact to email. We received a note from an Avalon customer service representative that we would not be receiving the full 50% refund. We were not only disappointed in the new route, but also in the indifference of the Avalon staff to consider our request for a full 50% refund as promised. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
As I was about to board the plane with my friend for Prague, I received an urgent call that our Central European Experience cruise was cancelled due to a cargo ship blocking the river. They didn't have an alternate plan as they had ... Read More
As I was about to board the plane with my friend for Prague, I received an urgent call that our Central European Experience cruise was cancelled due to a cargo ship blocking the river. They didn't have an alternate plan as they had just received the news. By the time we reached Prague, Avalon Waterways had redirected our cruise to take us down the Danube. They did an outstanding job of giving us an amazing substitute cruise including all the wonderful side excursions from Passau ,Germany to Vienna,Austria and Budapest, Hungary. When the were no longer able to take us by train to Paris because of the distance from Budapest they chartered a plane and flew us there. They went above and beyond what was expected of them. I am 100% sure the other cruise lines would have sent us on the original itinerary on a bus instead. Our cruise director Danielle and all the crew were wonderful and went out of their way to make sure we had a great cruise. I tell everyone if you have future plans to take a river cruise, Avalon Waterways is the way to go! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
We chose Avalon Waterways for this cruise as it was one of the very few that did not begin or end in Amsterdam. We had a great itinerary, embarking at Passau, Germany and disembarking at Basel, Switzerland. The ship is only about three ... Read More
We chose Avalon Waterways for this cruise as it was one of the very few that did not begin or end in Amsterdam. We had a great itinerary, embarking at Passau, Germany and disembarking at Basel, Switzerland. The ship is only about three years old. The ship was well designed, well constructed and well maintained. The crew treated us very well. The cruise director, Nico, was constantly busy, but always well organized and patient with the many questions and tiny complaints that the guests presented to him. With the understanding that river cruising is very different from ocean cruising, the variety and quality of food was first class. In order to pass through the locks and under bridges, the ships are less than a tenth the size of ocean going ships. This is one of the beauties of river cruising. We had a panorama cabin on the Royal Deck that presented us with an outstanding view of all the scenery as we passed by. While traveling through Europe in mid to late October, we were blessed with very good weather. We had only two cold, rainy days. Some forums discuss the possibility of too high or too low river levels, which would cause the itinerary being modified to delete portions of the cruise. Fortunately we had no problems in this regard. Here is a link to on-line river level reports: https://www.pegelonline.wsv.de/gast/karte/standard We had only one complaint, shared by many of the passengers, and that was that we nearly always docked at industrial ports far away from the city centers. This complaint was brought up through several channels, and hopefully Avalon will resolve this quickly in the future. Other than this, I highly recommend Avalon Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We did a cruise that isn't too popular.....we did a land tour beginning in Munich, boarded the ship in Passau, sailing through Germany to Basel, Switzerland. In a word.....WOW!!! We could not have asked for a better ship, a better ... Read More
We did a cruise that isn't too popular.....we did a land tour beginning in Munich, boarded the ship in Passau, sailing through Germany to Basel, Switzerland. In a word.....WOW!!! We could not have asked for a better ship, a better crew, better tour guides or better co-passengers. Everything Avalon did was top notch! Everyone worked well together and was seamless. The crew were some of the friendliest we've had the pleasure to sail with. They quickly learned our names and preferences and after one day, we never had to ask for anything.....they just brought us whatever we wanted -almost before we knew we wanted it! Our room was spectacular. We had opted for a "balcony" room and were not disappointed.....but may not do it again. We didn't spend much time in the room, so "aquarium" class would have been fine, but since we had it, we opened the doors and watched the world go by. The bathroom was a nice size and we didn't have to squeeze ourselves into the shower! We did spend a good amount if time topside, but were limited in the beginning by low bridges. The BEST time we had was cruising the Rhine. Our cruise director, Nancy, told the most interesting stories about each castle! The food was excellent.....we aren't foodies per se, but do enjoy eating.....and eating we did! There was a nice buffet breakfast and lunch (with a cooked to order egg station at breakfast and a warm entree at lunch). There was wine and beer available in an endless cup at dinner and a very nice selection of dishes to choose from. We did a grilled lunch one day top-side and a small plate sampler for dinner one day. Both of those were good. Excursions were very nice (a tad on the expensive side, but I spent a lot for the vacation and wasn't going to chincy out once there). The local guides were knowledgeable and fun. The individual headsets were a blessing to us....1) DH doesn't hear too well and 2) it allowed me to wander a but or lag behind for a picture and not miss any commentary. They had a "gentle walkers" group for those with mobility issues, which I thought was nice. I'd heard about docking aside other ships, but we never did that. There was always a dock available and watching the crew put out the ramp was truly amazing! They could put down or pick up the ramp in about 7 minutes.....they were a well oiled team it saw the least! I would do another Avalon cruise anytime and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
This was our first river cruise on any line. Before deciding, we researched many options and since we were a fairly large group (six couples), chose Avalon for the destination (wanted multiple countries), price, and generally good reviews. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise on any line. Before deciding, we researched many options and since we were a fairly large group (six couples), chose Avalon for the destination (wanted multiple countries), price, and generally good reviews. We were not disappointed, but as I said it was our first river cruise, so we did not have much to compare it to. The itinerary was wonderful, with 3 small towns and 3 cities we got a good mix of experiences. I would highly recommend the side trip to Chesky Krumlof, which was extra, but other than that, each stop included informative local tours, with listening devices for each person. Our guides were local, and spoke excellent English. We took the wine tasting option in Grein, and it was a tour as good as any in Napa or elsewhere. The food was great, buffet service for breakfast and lunch, with options to order off the menu for lunch. Dinner was 4 courses of delicousness wrapped up with plenty of wine. All the passengers could be seated in the dining room, and so just one seating. This allowed for much getting acquainted with others. Everyone was friendly and happy, folks from England, New Zealand, Austrailia and Canada as well as the U.S. They also offered cookies, donuts, and muffins with 24 hour coffee in the back of the ship, and sandwiches, sweets and tea in the afternoon. Happy hour started an hour before dinner and drinks were half price. We had a variety of different staterooms from inside to suites. All were quite nice and surprisingly spacious. The staff was fabulous, from helping us celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, to remembering our preferences for wine. Always a smile and lots of helpful tips. Would love to do it again someday, maybe the Duoro River in Portugal. Would definitely travel with Avalon again. Loved the small ship experience!   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We didn't know what to expect for October 19-27 on the Danube but we lucked out and the fall colors were at their peak and absolutely stunning! The weather was in the 60s all week, too. I know no one has control of the weather but the ... Read More
We didn't know what to expect for October 19-27 on the Danube but we lucked out and the fall colors were at their peak and absolutely stunning! The weather was in the 60s all week, too. I know no one has control of the weather but the good weather sure added to the enjoyment. The Vista is just a year old and very nice. The staff was always cheerful and helpful. There were only 145 out of a possible 165 passengers and I'm sure that also helped. Our tour director was Mark and he was the Dutch epitome of Alistair in As Life Goes On, a PBS TV show. He seemed to be able to solve any problem. One elderly couple had an accident in Prague and the lady had to be hospitalized for a day or two. Mark arranged transportation, etc., for them to resume the trip. They could not say enough good things about Mark. Embarking and disembarking were effortless and went off without a hitch. The excursions were good. There was a daily one included at each stop and the guides, especially our guides in Bratislava and Budapest, were excellent. The exception being our guide in Vienna, who was just average. The two extra excursions we paid for were night ones - concert in Vienna and the night tour of the lights of Budapest. Both were well worth going on. The food was good - not spectacular. We found that the "healthy choice" of entrée at dinner made an excellent side dish for us (4) to share. No one batted an eye when we would ask for the extra entrée. Our cabin was on the bottom of the ship - without a full wall of windows. Our windows were neck level so we could see out a bit. The cabin was adequate. Could have used a bit more lighting as finding things in the cabinets was by touch only. Our cleaning girl was very sweet and a hard worker. Although they asked not to have your towels changed every day she would change them twice a day if we used them, Nice. the robe and toiletries were also a nice touch. Read Less
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