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102 Vienna to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

The Magical Christmas Markets cruise in the Ama Certo was the perfect choice for our occasion, one of a kind. Although it was the last week open for Christmas Markets, the dates were the ones accomodating us after 12/16...we had at least ... Read More
The Magical Christmas Markets cruise in the Ama Certo was the perfect choice for our occasion, one of a kind. Although it was the last week open for Christmas Markets, the dates were the ones accomodating us after 12/16...we had at least 8 Markets to enjoy in 3 days. The rest were amazing local and historic visits. This was my daughter's collegue graduation gift and was a gift for good memories. First, thanks to CD Kris S. worked 24/7 to offer us a hassle-free cruise, she was successful in that, but I am sure it came with hard work and vast knowledge of her field. Thank you! Cabin stewardesses Mery and Rumana amazing and you could always see them happy greeting you and working exactly 3-4 ties a day...our rooms were cozy. Vesi P. our head waitress. We liked her from day one due to her bubbly personality, experience and...she spoke Spanish fluently. She made every meal a nice time we looked forward to .... The rest of the crew, all too many to mention but not to ignore, were great. Nico and Nem at reception as well. The service was spotless on and off board. My aunt was a visiting from South America and many of the eastern European crew spoke fluent Spanish, a wonderful surprise and a big plus for us. Every stop of the tour was full of charm and history. The guides were locals who shared with us not only their knowledge but the love for their cities and countries. We enjoyed plenty of time and sightseeing. The Melk Abbey tour was precious and each city visited has a place in our hearts: Vienna, Salzburg, Linz, Melk, Regenburg, Passau and Nuremberg. Ama's idea to offer gentle, regular and active level activities on each port is great. Even if only 3 people preferred gentle pace, we would get our own tour guide. They gave you clear and exactl instructions on where to meet after tour time was up and time allowed for your own touring around. Being toured by our own AMA people made a big difference, you feel so cared for and protected. They also offered talks about places and history. Informative talks about what to expect on debarcation morning which was all color coded and a breeze. We asked for an airport transfer during the cruise.....spotless service even though it was snowing and was early in the morning. Another agent was waiting at airport and walked each of us to our airline counters... I left food cooments to as my last section, because it is my favorite topic. Food was excellent, sensible portions were served with option to change or add as you pleased. Every meal was paired with local wines.. Food was from all distinct cuisines such as Bavarian, German, Philipino, Thai, Italian, American, Indian, etc.,Vegetarian options were available, Mexican appetizers, bread to die for. My favorite main courses were Veal Osso Buco, Thai Curry Prawns, roasted Suckling Pig, Spinach and Chesse Ravioli, but none of the rest were less than great dishes. I would recommend the AmaCerto ship without reservations and the memories made will last a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We really wanted to do a Christmas Markets cruise and selected AMA based on advice from our travel agent. The ship was well laid out and very comfortable. The staff from the cabin attendant, cruise manager and hotel manager, dining ... Read More
We really wanted to do a Christmas Markets cruise and selected AMA based on advice from our travel agent. The ship was well laid out and very comfortable. The staff from the cabin attendant, cruise manager and hotel manager, dining staff, front desk folks were all over the top helpful, caring and pleasant. The food and beverages were very good and offered a broad range in choices each day. The bar service was very good and very attentive. The excursions were broad enough to appeal to all types, very educational and we enjoyed them a lot. Made it really easy to enjoy the vacation as a whole. I was interested in the workings of the ship as well and spent a good amount of time with the Captain understanding it as well. Getting on/off ship before and after was very streamlined and they helped with everything. Will be booking another cruise with them in the very near future! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our first river cruise. When traveling, I prefer to stay in luxury hotels and spas. Prior to the cruise, I was anxious about the quality and space onboard, since I had read many reviews of small cabin space. We opted for the suite ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. When traveling, I prefer to stay in luxury hotels and spas. Prior to the cruise, I was anxious about the quality and space onboard, since I had read many reviews of small cabin space. We opted for the suite upgrade and was given suite 304. I was pleasantly surprised at the space and finishes. We were given little extra tokens of appreciation such as in room champagne upon arrival, ama logo travel bags and luggage tags, Ama scarf and ama cap. These were nice little surprises that made us feel appreciated. There were numerous small things that they did for us that made us feel like family and that we mattered. The saying that people may forget what you say and do but never forget about how they make you feel, is so true with this ship. The entire staff was professional and considerate. Our bathroom had both a full sized tub and a smaller shower. The shower was a little tight for my husband as he is 6’3” and a big guy but he managed. The tub was full length and comfortable. We had both a French and traditional balcony. It was too chilly to sit on the balcony but would be nice in warmer weather. We had a computer and a wall of closet space. Very limited drawer space but plenty of hanging space and shelving The Amaserna is a beautiful boat. The interior looks new and well cared for. Due to staying busy with tours, food and finding new friends, We didn’t use the spa or small gym. They also have a small hair salon.a nice walking track and heated pool which were on the top deck. We were told they offer fitness classes in the top deck during warmer weather. The captain was pleasant and efficient. We had no issues with docking, locks or travels. The food was good and at times exceptional. The chefs table was a nice surprise and a fun and excellent dining experience. The breakfast was standard and good. I didn’t have lunch any day on the ship. We were constantly offered food - early breakfast, breakfast and late breakfast, lunch, tea time, sip and sail, dinner, and late night snack! Plus, we are at the Christmas Markets or stopped in small cafes in town. The tours were small groups of around 10-15 people. They offered active, regular and gentle walkers. My husband was having hip pain. So, a few days we did the gentle walker and it was so nice to have door to door service to and from the Abbey and Churches. We were given audiovox headphones to hear the tour guides. This was helpful. We could move away to make pictures while still hearing what they were saying. Of course, there was never enough time at any location. But, this was a 7 day cruise and we had 7 days of towns and cites to visit. It was nice that we were given the opportunity In Linz to (1) stay entire day in Linz (2) short Linz tour and half day excursion to Salzburg (3) full day In Salzburg. (4) morning in Linz and excursion to Chesky Krumlov I wanted to do all of them but chose the morning in Linz and half day to Salzburg. Great choice for us. On board entertainment was what I expected. Not the best and not the worst. We had a pianoman full time and some “lock hoppers” who hopped on board between the dam locks and provided unique local entertainment. We had a trio of classical musicans, “Von Trapp family of singing and dancing, lastly a one man acoustic guitar rock and roll oldies entertainer. These were fine and what one would expect on a small boat. Our transfers to and from the airport were easy and the staff was helpful. We had someone at the airports (arrival and departure) from Ama who helped with our luggage and finding our way to checkin and to security. Overall, it was a great experience and makes us want to do it again with Ama. If we had planned to visit all these cities and towns with tours and food , the cost would’ve been so much more. Currently, we are planning our next trip with Ama Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We just returned from our first River Cruise to the Christmas Markets, Vienna to Nuremberg and because of the low water conditions could not do the published program, or even their plan B. However or cruise manager, Agnes Riley, made sure ... Read More
We just returned from our first River Cruise to the Christmas Markets, Vienna to Nuremberg and because of the low water conditions could not do the published program, or even their plan B. However or cruise manager, Agnes Riley, made sure that we had a vacation to remember. We still visited cities in Eastern Europe that we had never seen and saw five countries instead of the three we thought we were going to. Travel is an adventure and Ama made sure that this was one we will remember. The ship was decked out for the Christmas season, the staff was excellent and the food great. We booked the Prague extension and travel from the ship to the hotel went without a flaw. The hotel was walking distance to old town and the market and was first class all the way. I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from my travel agent yesterday informing us that because of the changes that had to be made we were receiving a very generous credit for a future cruise good through 2021. Again I must say "AmaWaterways is a class act." and they will be our first choice for our next River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was a fantastic cruise! We cruised from Vienna to Passau and then were transported to Munich where we spent an additional three nights. We arrived in Vienna two days early so that we could spend a day at the Spanish Riding School, ... Read More
This was a fantastic cruise! We cruised from Vienna to Passau and then were transported to Munich where we spent an additional three nights. We arrived in Vienna two days early so that we could spend a day at the Spanish Riding School, attend morning exercise and take an afternoon tour of the stables. This was a trip highlight! Vienna is a beautiful, relaxed city with wonderful outdoor cafes. Another cruise highlight was a side trip arranged by Avalon to Dachau Concentration Camp, a highlight for us since my father was part of the U.S. Army liberation forces there. Everyone should visit this site! The cruise also offered a day trip to southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic to Cesny Kremlov, a beautiful, historic town and a UNESCO world heritage site. Another trip highlight was a shore excursion from Munich to Neuschwanstein Castle - this was a fabulous side trip and another UNESCO world heritage site. Finally, we arrived in Munich on the day Oktoberfest started which was a pleasant surprise, as the city was in festival mode and many people were dressed in traditional lederhosen and dirndls. Beer was abundant! We went on a river cruise on the Rhine about 4 years ago on another cruise line and had issues with our cabin that were never resolved. Avalon's cabin, dining and services were all excellent and much better than our previous experience on Viking. We will definitely cruise on Avalon again! We could not have been more satisfied! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife and I chose the river cruise on the Danube because we wanted a relaxed and luxurious way to see Europe. We were not disappointed. Everything was wonderful from the comfortable accommodations, the wide variety of delicious foods, ... Read More
My wife and I chose the river cruise on the Danube because we wanted a relaxed and luxurious way to see Europe. We were not disappointed. Everything was wonderful from the comfortable accommodations, the wide variety of delicious foods, the friendly and helpful staff who remembered our names and preferences, and the exciting adventures on the land excursions. We chose Avalon based on the recommendation of a friend. The AvalonGO app was helpful during our cruise. Prior to embarkation the Danube River water levels dropped causing us to have a ship change. We were notified of this. Unfortunately, another ship change occurred the night before we were to embark, and the app wasn’t updated with the ships new name. We stayed at our own hotel and did not have a ship transfer as part of our vacation, so unless the app was updated there was no way for us to know. We walked along the long Vienna embarkation dock, but didn’t find our ship. We did find the Avalon Expression and learned the story. From that moment on there wasn’t another glitch. One other thing I didn’t know that I would have liked to know is that because of all the ship traffic on the river, boats “park” two or three deep next to each other. This makes the view out the large windows less desirable, but the views when sailing still make it worthwhile. The excursions were well done. I’d recommend people bring their own headphones for the guide devices. My favorite excursions were Dürnstein, where we climbed up to some old castle ruins, but didn’t have a whole lot of free time, and Chesky Krumlov, where after the guided tour we had a full 3.5 hours to explore the town, shop, and eat. Overall, it was a wonderful experience with a classy mature crowd, and I’d recommend an Avalon river cruise to any adults looking to get away. (In fact, my parents are looking to go next year!) Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose Ama Waterways for a number of reasons, one being a recommendation by cruisecritic, that if we were looking to be active on our cruise, this was the cruise line for us. And active we were - went on four bike rides, one being a 22 ... Read More
We chose Ama Waterways for a number of reasons, one being a recommendation by cruisecritic, that if we were looking to be active on our cruise, this was the cruise line for us. And active we were - went on four bike rides, one being a 22 mile ride through vineyards, villages, farms - gorgeous! We also hiked straight up to a fortress and I mean straight up. Another recommendation by cruisecritic was the food offered by Ama. Lovely, beautiful, delicious, gourmet cuisine, with service to match. Our accommodations were so comfortable, the pool on the top deck divine after a day of biking or hiking. Our cruise manager, Chuaba (apologies if misspelled) was perfect in his role of overseeing all the needs of the cruisers. Also want to mention that I met a travel consultant vacationing on this cruise. Her comment, "This is my fifth cruise with Ama and it's the best cruise line in the business." We couldn't have been happier and we will be going on another Ama river cruise in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This cruise was amazing! We chose a Danube cruise for the destinations. My husband is a musician and wanted to go to places where the famous composers actually wrote and performed the music so this itinerary was perfect. Everything about ... Read More
This cruise was amazing! We chose a Danube cruise for the destinations. My husband is a musician and wanted to go to places where the famous composers actually wrote and performed the music so this itinerary was perfect. Everything about this cruise was easy. Checkin was easy, they took our luggage to our room while we were checking in and they explained all the room features to us. We had been traveling for almost a week prior to getting on the ship so we sent out laundry that first night and asked to have it back in 2 days, it was back in our room same night when we came back from dinner! The cabin was well appointed and we opted for a balcony which we enjoyed. The food was great and service was top notch in both the restaurant and the lounge. The DJ in the evenings was entertaining and played great music and the dance floor was always full. The water level in the northern part of the Danube was too low so our itinerary had to change to accommodate that. No one wants a ship to get stuck! They reworked the itinerary on the fly and found other great locations for us to stop at and wonderful tour options. Every night before dinner we met the cruise director Csaba in the lounge and he updated everyone on the changes and let us know where we would be the next day. You could tell he was working really hard to come up with Plan B and he did not disappoint. As a result we did miss out on a few of the scheduled ports but all in all I don't think we really missed anything and we thoroughly enjoyed the options we did have. This was our first river cruise and we were anxious to compare it to the big ocean liners and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the smaller, quieter atmosphere. We plan to do another cruise with AMA in the next year or so. We had a fantastic time and the level of detail and service was above and beyond our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Biggest surprise on this cruise was the quality of the food. While I usually load up my lunch buffet plate with different options, once I taste I don't finish the dish. But on this cruise, I usually finished my plate. The majority of ... Read More
Biggest surprise on this cruise was the quality of the food. While I usually load up my lunch buffet plate with different options, once I taste I don't finish the dish. But on this cruise, I usually finished my plate. The majority of the food was excellent, much to my surprise. Other than a line for omelettes in the morning, absolutely no complaints. The soups were especially good, both hot and chilled. The ship was spotless and the tours offered were good. The folklore show on board was better than an optional excursion we had paid big $ for. Cabin was larger than many others we have had in the past on ocean going ships. The real entertainment for th is cruise was going ashore each day to experience the ports. The only time one the ship was for meals and sleeping, since the ship sailed at night and we were sightseeing during the day. The one exception was a day sailing through the Iron Gates of the Danube, where they provided commentary about the sights as we sat on the top deck enjoying the view. Thoroughly enjoyed the ship and the ports. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I thoroughly enjoyed my 1st river cruise on Crystal Mozart, sailing the Danube for 10-nights. I’m going to use a different angle to view this cruise and write a not-so-common trip report. I’ll start with a list of the pros and cons of ... Read More
I thoroughly enjoyed my 1st river cruise on Crystal Mozart, sailing the Danube for 10-nights. I’m going to use a different angle to view this cruise and write a not-so-common trip report. I’ll start with a list of the pros and cons of this cruise. Of course, it’s only based on my own opinions, but hopefully it would be helpful enough for fellow cruisers to learn more about the 5-star river cruising experience on Crystal Mozart, as I found that I got very limited information regarding this while doing my research homework on the cruise throughout my almost 2 years’ planning period. I spent a ton of time to write on Wismergirl’s travel blog to include a lot more details if you are interested in my daily activities on board. Refer to photo: Crystal Mozart, “the Giant” of Danube river cruising, docked at Linz on July 13, 2018: Pros 1) Truly all-inclusive – not even one extra cent I had to pay on board. Of course, if you want spa/hair treatments, Connoisseur wine, upgraded excursions & extra tipping, that’s another story. Now, cruise fare, airport transfers, selected shore excursions, meals, entertainment, gratuities, unlimited soft drinks, beer, most wine & spirit, unlimited WIFI on board & on coaches (though quite spotty at times), are all paid for. We even got a complimentary meal at a Michelin-star restaurant (only applicable to guests staying at Penthouses and above or those booked before Aug 7, 2017). Tips for cruisers: Buy a 3G/4G Europe SIM card. I bought one for CA$39 (US$30) with 5 GB data & 3000 talk/text for 30 days that covered all countries that we visited so I had internet access all the time. I only used less than 2GB for 16 days, even sharing personal Hotspot with my husband. 2) Unpack and Pack only once – This cruise took us to nine European cities in Austria, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. There was no need to pack our bags every day for a new destination. Setting off along the Danube from Vienna, we passed through the beautiful Wachau Valley; went for guided walking tours in Vienna, Melk & Durnstein; did all-day side trips to Cesky Krumlov & Munich; visited historical landmarks in Budapest with a violin concert in the Imperial Palace & a night cruise on the Danube; and discovered the modern art scenes and Communist-era architecture of Slovakia's capital, Bratislava. What a great itinerary! 3) 5-star Luxury accommodation and service - Cabins aboard the Crystal Mozart started at 219 square feet (except 1 that was only 206 sq. ft.). The high-end amenities like Toto toilets, mini iPad in each stateroom, free use of eBikes, 24-hour complimentary room service, Crystal clear audio device for excursions, free self-serve laundry with detergent & drying sheets, complimentary pressing, plus free butler service for all guests are incredibly awesome! Besides, Crystal Mozart is twice as wide as most river boats (22.85m instead of the normal 11.4m). Its spacious top (Vista) Deck 4 with a bar, big TV & garden features modern luxury! Low guests to staff ratio means top-notched service & 3 restaurants for meals are also big pluses. Food tasted better than that from the Crystal ocean cruises, though not enough varieties. Tips for cruisers: DON’T bring too much clothing as there is limited storage space in the room, plus you only need to wear smart casual attires for dinners. Remember: self-serve laundry is at your service! 4) Compact ship size and seasickness-free – Most of the time we didn’t even feel like the boat was moving. Being a couple of mid 50’s, we kept forgetting things and it was so easy to go back to the room to get them. We met lots of people and could call about half the ship’s passengers and most staff members by names when we left the ship. 5) Great workouts without going to the Gym – Not sure if you classify it as a pro or a con?! We did so much walking while on excursions that we didn’t gain any weight even though we ate like crazy. On average, it’s about 10,000 steps a day, walked for about 7 km with LOTS of steps. 6) Fantastic experience passing through the locks – It was really fun going upstream/downstream with different river levels through the locks. Being so windy, sunny and hot while staying on the top deck to watch the passing of the locks, we mostly stayed at the spa waiting area, lying on the loungers to watch the locks open and close. Even when we passed the locks at night time, the views were great. Cons 1) Docking – This has been a major issue for a lot of passengers. We had a few passengers who needed to use wheelchairs and they either had to get off the wheelchairs and walked with assistance, or crew/family members needed to help lift/carry the wheelchairs for disabled passengers to get on/off the boat. Europe is not N. America and many places are still not wheelchair-accessible, including bathroom locations. The ship elevator could only go up to Deck 3 but not the Vista Deck. When we docked at Passau (Lindau), we had to take the stairs to walk up to Deck 4 and walked off the ramp to the pier (see the picture with the gangway from the top deck to the pier). Besides, many passengers complained that they were always facing a concrete pier when the boat docked, especially if your room was on Deck 1 midship. I advise you to choose your room location properly. We didn’t have any problems being at the front part of the ship on Deck 2 with a French balcony. On a river cruise, midship cabins are not the best locations, always choose Forward. If you choose the Aft cabins, you would feel more vibration because it’s closer to the engine. We could totally experience the difference while eating at Blue on the aft of the ship. Many times, there were 2 or even 3 ships parked and tied together. Look at the picture of 3 boats triple-parked in Vienna. 2) Entertainment – Entertainment was really limited and low-key. We spent most nights at the Cove Bar listening to Derek Conlon’s piano playing, with a couple of very entertaining local shows and professional guest singer/pianist for 2 nights, and a so-called “concert by 3 princesses on the violin” in Budapest. Being a concert pianist myself, I played some Beethoven and did a “Sound of Music” singalong with fellow cruisers for a couple of nights at Cove Bar. It’s actually a social time more than anything. There was no casino and shops to even spend your onboard credits. Use your OBC at the spa or on premium wine or spend it at the Vintage Room. The passing scenery on both banks was the key to river cruising. We ventured out to the city centre on our own while we were in Vienna, Linz, Bratislava & Budapest. It was very easy to move around using public transport being in the city, or Crystal could call a taxi for us. 3) Food – Breakfast buffet was the only choice for breakfast, unless we wanted to go for room service or have a late-riser breakfast at Bistro Mozart. The only varieties we could get were different types of eggs (cooked to order), smoothies and fruit. I really liked their congee with different little ingredients on the side that we could add to our own liking (see picture). There were more choices for lunch as we could eat at Waterside (buffet) or Blue (same menu every day with a different soup and pasta). Dinner menus changed daily, though choices were still limited. We actually liked to have tapas-style dining at Bistro Mozart (reservation needed) rather than eating at Waterside. The ingredients were fresh and the dishes were delicious though again, there was a lack of variety. 4) Excursions – Lots of senior cruisers depended on travel agents to plan from flights to hotels to transportation for the entire cruise. A lot of travel agents charged way too high while booking hotels and limos for pre- and post-cruise activities but did not help their clients book the excursions. Many ended up booking excursions while on board and they did not have time to fully understand what’s to be expected while signing up. The Crystal concierge had been really helpful but sometimes the tours were full (like eBikes that they only had that many number of bikes) and there’s nothing the concierge could do but to wait for cancellations. A ton of walking was involved in most tours, and many times we had to walk on cobble-stone streets which was not easy for most people, not to say seniors. Having big coaches like Crystal’s, though they were super comfy, they couldn’t park close enough for boarding at most attractions, even in big cities like Vienna. I walked 9,971 steps for 6.7 km just for one 4-hour excursion “Vienna in a Nutshell”, with about an hour on the bus. Tips for cruisers: Use PCPC (Priority Check-in & Planning Center) to book excursions that are appropriate for your own health conditions well in advance. Highlights of the whole trip 1) 2-night pre-cruise in Salzburg & 2-night post-cruise in Vienna so I could visit the 2 cities in depth and attended concerts…of course, I did a ton of homework to plan for the extra 4 days including purchasing train tickets in advance, booking hotels plus “Sound of Music” shows and Mozart concerts at Salzburg Fortress, Sternbrau in Salzburg, Musikverein and St. Charles Church in Vienna 2) Wachau Valley scenic cruising & passing through locks 3) Private tour to Szechenyi Thermal Baths (see photo) and a 1-hour Royal Thermal Massage in Budapest (I booked these in advance before the cruise but Crystal concierge could book it for you with just a few hours’ notice) – taxi ride only 10-20 Euros each way 4) Night cruise on the Mozart in Budapest with an incredible view of the illuminated parliament (see photo) River cruising definitely suited us a lot so we made an open booking on board. I need to do more homework before committing to the next Crystal cruise. All the 4 new Crystal riverboats are very different than the Mozart, so I have to look at the itineraries carefully to book one within the next 6 months. Thank you, Crystal Mozart, for making our 1st river cruise experience so enchanting and memorable! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I have cruised before with Grand Circle. They offer a relaxed, affordable way to see various river cities in comfort. These cruises are for people who want to see things, not be entertained, overeat, or have extravagant luxury. The ... Read More
I have cruised before with Grand Circle. They offer a relaxed, affordable way to see various river cities in comfort. These cruises are for people who want to see things, not be entertained, overeat, or have extravagant luxury. The passengers are generally older and have cruised before. The ships are appropriate for river cruising where the ships have to be small enough to fit under bridges. This ship is in great shape and spotless. It could have been built yesterday. I have never been on one of their ships that did not have a wonderful crew. You will get to know the crew who do a great job. The food is excellent and more than enough. The included excursions are great and they generally have an optional extra cost tour that is well worth the money. My experience is that they are almost identical to Viking river cruises but a slightly better money value. They do not use travel agents which I think is a disadvantage but is probably why they are a better value. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
my parents recommended the cruise, and we are glad they did. We chose Avalon, to be totally honest, because it was much cheaper than Viking. We are glad we did! I can't think of anything I was unhappy about, so I'll point out ... Read More
my parents recommended the cruise, and we are glad they did. We chose Avalon, to be totally honest, because it was much cheaper than Viking. We are glad we did! I can't think of anything I was unhappy about, so I'll point out some things I extra loved - the USB charging ports in the room, the internet working across the boat (except the top deck), the generous and delicious food options. the greatest tour director in history. his name was Tony. no idea his last name, but I am sure you have it. I don't see any demographic questions below, but I have to imagine that is super important. We were younger that most. I am 46, and wifey is 44. We have no kids (hence the disposable income) and live in Denver, CO. We both have corporate office/cubicle type jobs, and our household makes about 180K annually. WAIT... small criticism. the TV options were weird. For English speaking cruises, you should have a package of English speaking TV options. Not that we watched much TV, but it was a nice option late at night as we relaxed before bed. NOTE - I am not sure of the embarkation date. We traveled so much and so fast over a few weeks, and the cruise was a small part. it was the Avalon Expression, from Prague to Bratislava to Vienna. Or... was it Budapest? Cruise director was the amazing Tony. It was an English speaking group, and about 4 to 6 days long. I hope this is helpful, and you are more than welcome to reach out to me for more details or any clarification. WAIT... one more thing. on one of the days, Tony did a narrative speech of what we were seeing as we passed it. It was beamed across the ship. LOVED IT. Wish he did one of those every day. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because we did not want a large ship, wanted more intimate dining and off shore excursions. We have been on large cruise ships before and did not enjoy the crowds. The dining and happy hours were enjoyable . The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we did not want a large ship, wanted more intimate dining and off shore excursions. We have been on large cruise ships before and did not enjoy the crowds. The dining and happy hours were enjoyable . The entertainment was very relaxing. Breakfast buffets were always outstanding. We liked the different wine choices every night for dinner. The service on board the ship was excellent, exceeded our expectations. Cruise director went out of his way to make everyone's experience great! Staff was always pleasant and helpful. Tour guides were the best of the best! The excursions were made for all levels of difficulty for walking. From the 1st moment on the ship it was very relaxing. Liked ghat there were lots of different excursions to chose from along the way. We loved every minute of every day, can't wait to travel on Avalon again. We hope to travel next year with Avalon down the Rhine. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We spent 10 nights on a Vienna round trip to visit Christmas Markets. The ship is new, the cabin was roomy. The itinerary was good. Shore excursions, concerts and a special 5 star dinner were all included. The food on board was above ... Read More
We spent 10 nights on a Vienna round trip to visit Christmas Markets. The ship is new, the cabin was roomy. The itinerary was good. Shore excursions, concerts and a special 5 star dinner were all included. The food on board was above par compared to other cruises. The service was excellent. The ship is wider than most river boats. There was an indoor pool. One disadvantage of having a larger river boat is that it is forced to park away from the city center which smaller river boats don’t. Crystal provided shuttles to the city center so docking was never an issue. The entertainment on board was good. There was a piano player, Mark, who made it a point to recognize everyone as they entered the loung. On several nights, out side entertainment was available which was excellent. We had VOXs for use during our excursions. The also provided commentary while cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We recently went on a river cruise, Christmas Markets, Danube, Vienna - Prague with Avalon Cruises on board the VISTA For those of you who do like gushing or glowing reports, you are excused. We stayed in Vienna for 4 ... Read More
We recently went on a river cruise, Christmas Markets, Danube, Vienna - Prague with Avalon Cruises on board the VISTA For those of you who do like gushing or glowing reports, you are excused. We stayed in Vienna for 4 - 5 days before the cruise great idea ! We have done many,many cruises before of various shapes and sizes . This was our first river cruise. Maybe it was the time of year. Maybe it was the destinations. Maybe it was the experience. But, we both would give it a spectacular rating. The crew of VISTA (Avalon Cruises) every one of them, did a wonderful job. The vessel was well appointed and very clean, our room was spacious and the bedding 1st class, toiletries were the luxury brand L'Occitane the large size. (not the teeny, tiny size) Our cruise director (Helmut) did a wonderful job, with well organized excursions, the guides exceptional and sound equipment used, was of very good quality. Everything ran with what looked like clock work precision. For those of us who love spending as much time as possible up on the deck, in all conditions, Please realize the enormous number of low bridges and locks that these vessels must navigate. We would gladly do it again, but at a different time (off season) when it is less crowded and it gives you more time to experience everything. Our only complaints, "it was'nt long enough, it ended to quickly, back to the real world." To the crew of Avalons Vista, to cruise director Helmut, to all of our guides and bus drivers. Thank you Well Done M/D Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I had never had a cruise before and thought a river cruise the best introduction to travelling on a boat. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip, boat fairly small but lovely, cabin compact but comfortable, large windows with French balcony, bedding ... Read More
I had never had a cruise before and thought a river cruise the best introduction to travelling on a boat. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip, boat fairly small but lovely, cabin compact but comfortable, large windows with French balcony, bedding luxurious and toiletries supplied. Bed turned down each evening, next days agenda left along with small gift, soap, shower gel, recipes etc .. Chocolates and water in room, no coffee or tea making facilities in room but available from lounge any time. Crew very pleasant and helpful. Food excellent and very varied, drinks plentiful including cocktails and Prosecco . Waiters attentive and polite, restaurant served buffet style breakfast and lunch with waiter service for evening dinner. Entertainment fairly laid back, singer most evenings, brass band one evening also a couple of lectures that were very interesting. No children on board for this trip and I would guess that most of the passengers were in the 55 to 80 age range. Majority of the passengers were Australian or from USA plus quite a few British. Scenery along the Danube was breathtakingly beautiful, misty some mornings which added to the beauty of both Austria and Germany. Would I take a river cruise again? Most certainly, my husband and I loved ever minute and highly recommend Uniworld. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My travel companion had been on 3 other river cruise lines and so this was somewhat of a first for both of us. We were picked up at the airport in Vienna and taken to the intercontinental hotel to store bags and then had the day to explore ... Read More
My travel companion had been on 3 other river cruise lines and so this was somewhat of a first for both of us. We were picked up at the airport in Vienna and taken to the intercontinental hotel to store bags and then had the day to explore Vienna. We went to our boat that evening. The weather and river level could not have been more perfect had we ordered it. 70 degrees. The food was spectacular and I am picky about food. Our room was so clean. This whole cruise line is first class and the friendliest people ever. We started in Vienna and ended in Munich. We went on every excursions except one. The Salzburg sound of music tour and the Neuschwanstein castle were my favorite and the Oberammergau village where they have the Passion play every 10 years. The Austrian Alps are a sight to behold. The concentration camps were too much for me. Very sad. We were warned continuously about the pick pockets in port but we never had any problems at all. If you have never been on a river cruise, I would recommend seeing all of the places you want from a cruise liner because once you have the intimate river cruise with world class service, you will never want to go on a huge ocean liner, again. I am now spoiled. i just want my big yacht (River boat). I am in my mid-forties. I highly recommend taking this trip while you are still agile. Most of the patrons were older but we had a variety of ages. No children. I was glad for this. We did tons of stairs and walking. I have booked my next river cruise for the Tulips and Windmills in Amsterdam for 2019. I will go on a river cruise every other year. The flight from America is a bit much. 9 hours is my max. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Wanted to try a new cruise experience, plus visit Austria. This cruise seemed perfect, especially since it was advertised as an Oktoberfest cruise. The cruise itself was a wonderful adventure, and my wife and I would do it again. The ... Read More
Wanted to try a new cruise experience, plus visit Austria. This cruise seemed perfect, especially since it was advertised as an Oktoberfest cruise. The cruise itself was a wonderful adventure, and my wife and I would do it again. The staff, especially the waiters, were tremendous. Great service, plus they had wonderful recommendations. The food was always excellent, and did feature some local dishes. The room staff was always keeping the cabin fresh and stocked with towels and whatever else was needed. Some of the shore excursions were outstanding, like the Belvedere in Vienna and the concert. Simply wonderful. The guide in Budapest (Claudia) was wonderful. All the cruises were very educational. The one major disappointment was Passau and the trip to Munich. In spite as being billed as "Oktoberfest," little was done to accommodate those that wanted to go. A very, very small special trip was arranged for some and considerable cost (plus the driver got lost and service and food was terrible, according to those that went). Instead, it would have been much better on the "Munich" tour to just drop those that wanted to visit Oktoberfest off and let them do it on their own (which is a much better experience). In spite of knowing it was Oktoberfest, the tour bus had no idea of all the road closures and so the bus wandered around aimlessly for quite a while, wasting valuable time. Google Maps had all the road closures, so its surprising that Crystal didn't know. In short, by the time we got off the bus and took a cab to Oktoberfest, we only had a couple of hours there. This only occurs once a year and Crystal needs to have a better way to go directly to the area (or near there) without all the bus stops on the way up, drop off those interested, then take the rest on the Munich tour. This should be a complimentary option, with no reserved seating at Oktoberfest. This is a much better option. Then a later bus for the return. Ridiculous to advertise it as Oktoberfest and not take advantage of it. For other shore excursions, there was very, very little "free time." So if you wanted to grab one of the local food specialties, or do some shopping, you couldn't. There needs to be more free time. I think Crystal is catering to an older clientele which is why they make so many bus stops (bathroom breaks) and keep the excursions so short. They might consider two groups--those that want it limited, and those that want more free time and fewer bus stops. They already have several busses going on the same excursion, so this would be easy to do. As for the cabin, the luxury suites might be quite spacious, but the basic suite (201) is poorly designed. You cannot even access the right half of the closet (no door). The one closet door opens and hits the bed. You have to contort to reach the rest of the closet. Sliding doors would have given better access, or put the bar there and the closet where the bar is. Poor design for hanging and storing clothes. The ship is extremely quiet (except when transiting the locks). It made for a very pleasant sleep. Temperature control was excellent. The brochures imply that there are both European and American outlets. There is not. Only European outlets, so an adapter is needed. Room cleaning was excellent and they seem to know when you are gone, as the room is always ready! The pool and jacuzzi are nice. NO temperature control on the jacuzzi, so whatever the ship sets for it is the temperature you get. At the beginning it was extremely hot, but by the end of the cruise it was lukewarm. Spa jets only run for a minute so you have to frequently press the cycle button. Overall a great cruise. Meals were a delight because of the staff (cooks, waiters, wine, everyone). It was the best part of the cruise. Activities were excellent. As mentioned, the shore excursions were great but needed more free time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This well organized and thoughtfully planned cruise itinerary allowed time at the beginning to explore the culturally rich and historically important city of Vienna and thereafter offered a diverse and fascinating trip up the Danube and ... Read More
This well organized and thoughtfully planned cruise itinerary allowed time at the beginning to explore the culturally rich and historically important city of Vienna and thereafter offered a diverse and fascinating trip up the Danube and then the Rhine with dockings and tours along the way at the most important burgs and cities. The assigned tour guides were well versed in the history and current places of interest. The ship was well appointed, clean and well provisioned. The crew were there whenever needed or wanted and invisible when not, The food was spectacular. It was diverse in its offerings, delicious, and presented all as if you were in one of Europe's fine dining establishments. My special compliments go to the Chef de Cuisine, the Hotel Manager, and the Cruise Director. The on board entertainment was very good to excellent. It consisted of a crew member pianist every afternoon and into the late evening supplemented by a range of extraordinary talent brought on for occasional evenings. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My daugh ter, Paula Froelich, is a free -lance journalist. She wrote about Avalon, and she strongly recommended it to me and my sister and brother -in-law. We have had numerous cruises with a least a half-dozen cruise lines - all ... Read More
My daugh ter, Paula Froelich, is a free -lance journalist. She wrote about Avalon, and she strongly recommended it to me and my sister and brother -in-law. We have had numerous cruises with a least a half-dozen cruise lines - all very good! Avalon surpassed our expectations (even when compared to Azimara, Princess, Norwegian, Holland America, Carnival, etc.). Remarkably fine cuisine and the composition of the plate was . . . artistic. Very attractive. I enjoyed my cigars on the back and on top of the boat. Many lines discriminate against smokers. I no longer patronize those lines, e.g. Princess. The onboard entertainment was very good. I attended all events. Ihad never been to these towns along the Danube (Vienna included) and the Rhine. There was so much to see and so little time to see them. By the way, Avalon's arranging of flight from CVG to CDG to Vienna (and return was a master stroke of arrangement. I dislike flying, but your arrangements with Delta were perfect. You folks did an exemplary job. You have my highest marks. A+ Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I had a really great 7 night trip on the CroisiEurope Beethoven on July 14, and my non-cruising husband enjoyed it too!! We left from and returned to Vienna on the Danube River. We were 2 of 5 Americans on the boat with the rest being ... Read More
I had a really great 7 night trip on the CroisiEurope Beethoven on July 14, and my non-cruising husband enjoyed it too!! We left from and returned to Vienna on the Danube River. We were 2 of 5 Americans on the boat with the rest being British, French and Danish. Language was not a problem and EVERYONE was terrifically nice and friendly. We enjoyed muddling along in English/French with the French passengers, and everyone else spoke English. There were English speaking guides and announcements. No hint of anything other than happiness to have the USA represented. As compared to Viking, the Beethoven is more homey and less elegant, without the richness of the surroundings and luxury appointments, but comfortable. Small staterooms. Minimal bathroom but functional. No verandas. French balconies with big, wide opening windows. The lounge was decorated with blown glass lamps, flowered curtains, anchor pattern turquoise rug and big sofas. Everything very clean. By the way, most alcoholic drinks and sodas were available without charge throughout the day, not just at meals. Beer and drinks seemed somewhat mild. Wine, bottled mineral water also. It was a nice touch! When I booked I unwittingly ordered the "full package" which included all excursions. I did not know there was another option and I am glad we did what we did. However other passengers, including two of the Americans, had purchased the boat trip only and there was a price list for excursions. Many of the Europeans purchased few or no exclusions and either stayed on the boat or just got off and walked around. For many, it seemed like the boat ride, good food, and activities were all they needed to be "on holiday". The excursions were good and guides varied in quality. Less structured than Viking, no fancy busses, etc. but more to the taste of my no frills husband. He and I had a wonderful time walking up to the ruined castle in Durnstein. Don't miss it if you like a bit of exercise! Food was a biggie with this group!! Your were seated with people who spoke the same language, and our table mates were from the U.K. and kept us laughing!! Breakfast was a buffet. Much less lavish and more European than Viking, with a boil your own egg station, etc. Great croissants and yogurt. The menu for lunch and dinner were posted and much discussed each day. The food was generally excellent (the duck was the best I've ever had!!) but no choices were offered at lunch and dinner. If you did not want venison steak or hake filets, too bad. I had arranged in advance with Michael Costa, the Croisi American rep to have a diabetic and pork free menu for My husband and they rose to the occasion like champs!! His plate was always lovely and they made him a different fruit plate for every meal. Some people at our table also chose to ask for a cheese plate instead of "puddings" for desert and that seemed ok. In general, no plate on the whole ship was returned to the kitchen any way except EMPTY! The "Entertainer" (cruise director?) was a young man who did everything from call bingo to teach napkin folding to open the gift shop (a big deal) to ride with the bus to the concert excursion. He was charming and a great favorite!! There were some games we did not participate in which gave points used later in an auction for prizes. We did not do this. We did attend the crew show that consisted of dancing to recorded music. It was well received as all passengers knew the crew, which was small. The room cleaners became the wait staff, so rooms had to be cleaned during buffet breakfast, etc. The real heart and soul of the ship was a lovely Portuguese woman named Sonia. She ran the whole show, doing every duty and running every aspect of the whole ship, except perhaps steering it down the river. On Viking she would have been at least 4 people. She set the friendly efficient tone of the whole trip. Incidentally she stays with the Beethoven, so anyone wishing to try Croisi will not go wrong with her!! In short, although my travel agent warned us that this company caters to local European customers and not the luxury- seeking American market, this trip was perfect for us. It was my husband's first river cruise and on Croisi I was not tempted to be a Viking know-it-all! It was different but equally enjoyable! The Danube is so beautiful and we had perfect, sunny, if somewhat hot, weather every day! The itinerary was arranged so that we sailed through gorgeous scenery and into beautiful lit-up Budapest at night twice!! We made many friends among our shipmates of all nationalities! By the way, we stayed 2 days post cruise which was just excellent. I found the hotel on trip advisor, the Beethoven Wein Hotel! Newly renovated historic building in perfect location, 3 blocks from the Opera and right next to the Nachmarkt, where we ate both nights. I booked us two concerts on line and between them, sightseeing, and the summer performance at the Spanish Riding School, we had a full schedule! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I had heard this cruise line was one of the top cruising lines and they catered to a smaller group. I enjoyed everything about the cruise. The staff was very professional and when I had a problem with one of the servers at dinner, Avalon ... Read More
I had heard this cruise line was one of the top cruising lines and they catered to a smaller group. I enjoyed everything about the cruise. The staff was very professional and when I had a problem with one of the servers at dinner, Avalon took care of the problem right away. The cruise director was fantastic and the room was amazing. Every detail was taken care of. What I also liked was the fact you could include tipping the staff ahead of time and you didn't have to worry about that at the end of your cruise. I met so many nice people on this cruise and we still stay in touch. I would absolutely love to go again with this cruise line. Even after taking a 2 week cruise, I was not ready to come home. I highly recommend Avalon Waterway to anyone wanting to go with a cruise line who puts their customers satisfaction first. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We wanted to try a river cruise snd explore new parts of Europe. We were uncertain about the other offerings and booked based on Crystal's reputation. Our experience exceeded expectations. The service was impeccable. The vessel was ... Read More
We wanted to try a river cruise snd explore new parts of Europe. We were uncertain about the other offerings and booked based on Crystal's reputation. Our experience exceeded expectations. The service was impeccable. The vessel was thoughtfully decorated and felt very high end. The food was wonderful, well presented, and perfectly prepared. There were several special touches- a private concert in the Belvedere Palace where we were greeted with champagne, special onboard entertainment, some lovely excursions (most complementary), and a special dinner at a Michelin star restaurant. Le Ciel was the passenger favorite for restaurant options and we were so pleased to have dinner there. If it is booked, get wait-listed. The Budapest restaurants did not receive the same comments, so I would avoid them. Most tour guides were knowledgable and friendly. Czesky Krumlov was very social and the brewery a highlight of our trip-skip Munich-so not worth it from what we heard. Agree that the smaller cabins can feel a bit cramped, but that was more than offset by the amenities. We had to ask our butler for evening hours d'oevres, which are included, but that was the only misstep. When you arrive and unpack, send out clothes for pressing (no charge). You will feel pampered and relaxed at the end of this trip! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I was lucky enough to win this cruise through my job. I was hesitant to go I was not familiar with this area of Europe. It would have been the biggest mistake of my life if I would have skipped this cruise. The entire crew was helpful ... Read More
I was lucky enough to win this cruise through my job. I was hesitant to go I was not familiar with this area of Europe. It would have been the biggest mistake of my life if I would have skipped this cruise. The entire crew was helpful from start to finish. Special appreciation to Jo Anna our server (Dracula). She is the queen of happy!!!!!. Ship was perfectly clean and had everything that you could possibly want on board. The ship was like new in every way perfect inside and out. In motion the boat was amazing smooth as silk. Fun to sit on my balcony and watch the world go by. So smooth that I never woke from sleep from any vibration or noises even as we docked. It was fun to wake up each morning to see where they have taken me next. Ride this ship you will not be sorry. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was a company trip so many of the decisions were made for us. We are so glad that AmaWaterways was the choice. The cabins were much bigger and more comfortable than previous cruises. They are beautifully decorated and had the latest ... Read More
This was a company trip so many of the decisions were made for us. We are so glad that AmaWaterways was the choice. The cabins were much bigger and more comfortable than previous cruises. They are beautifully decorated and had the latest in entertainment technology. The dining staff was professional yet very friendly and the food was outstanding with menus to please everyone. The wines were exceptional. The housekeeping staff was very helpful, friendly and kept the cabin in top shape. The staff at the main desk always greeted us with a smile and ever ready to answer any questions and give assistance. The excursions were wonderful and the details were presented in print in our cabin for the next day every evening. Dragan, the cruise director, is very outgoing and kept us well informed as well as entertained when speaking to our group. This cruise was a short one from Vienna to Budapest with a port of call in Bratislava. We would love to cruise with AmaWaterways in the future! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017

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