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52 Zurich to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

Met at the airport for transport to the ship. Getting to the ship and into our cabin went very smoothly, Cabin was sparking, and we had plenty of room to stow things away. Staff were more than welcoming. We were booked to sail on ... Read More
Met at the airport for transport to the ship. Getting to the ship and into our cabin went very smoothly, Cabin was sparking, and we had plenty of room to stow things away. Staff were more than welcoming. We were booked to sail on Crystal, but there was a change of ship earlier due to water levels. Fortunately we had no issues with high or low water and were able to complete the entire voyage on the Jasper. Staff were exemplary - couldn't do enough to make us happy. Bartenders were a little heavy handed with alcohol in the mixed drinks. Food ranged from average to brilliant, however, we never went hungry or thirsty. Range of tours was varied. Some of the "easy walking" tours were an effort for some guests. We were pleased to be traveling with a mostly Australian group. The atmosphere was relaxed and happy, and I believe our traveling companions helped to make it so. We sailed from Amsterdam to Budapest and then went on to Prague. The bus to Prague took 9 hours, however the Cosmopolitan hotel was a delight, and Prague was fun to explore. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Scenic was recommended to us by friends. Certainly glad we went with Scenic. Couldn’t be more pleased with the trip.Chose this cruise because of the date and the river it sailed on. Like the idea that it was all inclusive. We were ... Read More
Scenic was recommended to us by friends. Certainly glad we went with Scenic. Couldn’t be more pleased with the trip.Chose this cruise because of the date and the river it sailed on. Like the idea that it was all inclusive. We were treated by all crew members with excellent service. It was our first river cruise. Would definitely recommend Scenic. Good choices for the daily excursions off the ship. Tour guides that Scenic used were knowledgeable and personal. Used the Taylor Made app so could hear the guide as he explained the area to us. Liked the number of passengers aboard. Made it more personal. Would certainly use Scenic in any future travel plans. They have trips that appeal to us. The nightly entertainment was very good. Having to check off and on the ship for daily trips made us feel safe knowing that the crew were aware of where we were. Our room was comfortable. Nothing but praise for the entire experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were told by friends how great the service and overall experience was. It lived up to what we were told. The staff was ready to help and even went out of there way to make the trip enjoyable. It was very nice to have everything included ... Read More
We were told by friends how great the service and overall experience was. It lived up to what we were told. The staff was ready to help and even went out of there way to make the trip enjoyable. It was very nice to have everything included in the price. I have been with other tour providers and it seemed that there were always hidden costs, but not with Scenic even the tipping was covered. The port talks were very informative and helped with making each day go smoothly. The cabins were clean and well thought out. The shower was great and the pressure of the water was better then home. (I was in the navy and boat water press isn,t always great). Dinning was fantastic with every day having a good selection and the dinners being out standing with the quality. On board entertainment and activities hit the mark for the audience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Found a great deal on Travel Zoo and have always wanted to do a river cruise. We were also looking for a special holiday to celebrate a 50th Birthday, and 20th and 31st wedding anniversary. The crew was great always on hand to meet every ... Read More
Found a great deal on Travel Zoo and have always wanted to do a river cruise. We were also looking for a special holiday to celebrate a 50th Birthday, and 20th and 31st wedding anniversary. The crew was great always on hand to meet every need - butlers, massage therapist, hairdresser, dining room waiters everyone was great. Loved having the room cleaned twice a day and getting laundry done was a great bonus. Alex’s port talks were helpful, wished we could have had them written out in case you were running late getting ready for dinner. Would have also liked to have had alternate times for dinner but understand why the same timing for all. The night at Table La Rive was really good food and wines were great. Good balance of excursions and time on the ship, appreciated that the excursions didn’t take all day and that they only lasted for a morning or an afternoon with free time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I had never taken a river cruise before and were somewhat apprehensive. We need not have been. From start to finish our Rhine Highlights cruise on the Scenic Opal from Amsterdam to Basel was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. ... Read More
My wife and I had never taken a river cruise before and were somewhat apprehensive. We need not have been. From start to finish our Rhine Highlights cruise on the Scenic Opal from Amsterdam to Basel was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Our cabin was spacious and very comfortable. The shore excursions were well planned generally taking up the morning while in the afternoons we cruised the Rhine. The shore excursion options catered to a range of interests and capabilities and we were disappointed only once. On board, the meals were excellent (and especially the two special invite dinners). I ate fish most nights for dinner and the fish was delicious and invariably cooked perfectly. One of the reasons we chose Scenic over Viking were recommendations based on the quality of the food and wine and the all-inclusive nature of the fare. On all counts, Scenic would be difficult to beat. The wine and liquor choices were varied and of high quality. Our butler, Sirjan was exemplary and we were very pleased with the attention that we received form Robert at the bar and Milan in the dining room. As for Andreea the Tour manager, Liz and I cannot say enough; she was superb. We are already looking at another Scenic cruise for next year, 2020. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Most people on the ship were fairly elderly. I would guess that the average age was 68 and scewed a bit toward the higher side than the lower. I think that it is because of this that my experience was not that great. Don't take ... Read More
Most people on the ship were fairly elderly. I would guess that the average age was 68 and scewed a bit toward the higher side than the lower. I think that it is because of this that my experience was not that great. Don't take this the wrong way, the other guess were quite nice people and I did have some nice conversations with many of them. However, everything is geared toward that age group. Let me give some examples. Please note that I am far from young, 50's. I use the term "elderly folks" only in the most respectful way. Very nice people and, to me, seem like the vast majority were in pretty good shape. I have the feeling that this will come across as pejorative, but I couldn't think of a better term. The Dining: I went absolutely nuts. Every supper is a many course mean that take hours to get through. In my opinion, the food wasn't that great either. I had to wait just for these lengthy ordeals just to be able to get some food. I could order room service, but the there wasn't much of a selection. I could get a burger, but it was awful. It was obviously a frozen patty, overcooked and some nauseating sauce that neither me nor my wife could stomach. The breakfasts buffet was awesome and we ate as much as we could to hold us over. Lunch was also a buffet, but we mostly struggled to find something that appealed to us. They also have two special meals; I skipped the one that was supposed to be a degustation experience. I am glad that I did as I would have probably hated the food and it would have taken even longer to eat. The other was supposed to be an Italian restaurant experience. Well, nothing like an Italian restaurant that I have experienced. I didn't recognize one thing from the menu. What I did order didn't appeal to me. I am not sure that this food is gear toward someone from the US. The dining experience seems to be geared at more elderly folks. The best meals we had were the one German lunch and the couple meals that we had off-ship. The Excursions: I was very happy with the quality of the excursions and the guides pretty good. However, they were extremely short. In the neighborhood of an hour and a half and sometime not even that. I had at least one that was well short of the 1.5 hours it was supposed to take. Although there were multiple excursion choices on any day, you could only pick one. What do you do with the rest of your day? I didn't expect that the excursion would be so short. Sometimes we were able to ad-lib and find something else to do, but it was hard without being prepared for this situation. It would have been nice to be prepared for this so that I could have planned better. I am just guessing, but assume they do this because this is what appeals to the elderly folks. Entertainment: On almost every night there was guy playing the piano. I don't think I heard any song played that was newer than 40 years old. This was mostly the only entertainment on the ship at any time. There is pretty much nothing to do, but sit around. That can be relaxing, but there is only so much of that to one can take. There was a trivia game on one night. Many/most of the questions were geared toward an older generation. I know that a couple of the music answers were Tom Jones and Englebert Humperdink. I don't really know who they are, but know they were someone my mom listened to when she was alive. I was a little uncomfortable in my room. The AC would work sometimes and not others. Unfortunately, it would often not be working in the first part of then night, when I was trying to get to sleep. It would start working again in the early morning hours. It didn't seem to be much they could do about it. They gave me a fan. That actually did help a bit to get able to get to sleep. One thing that really irritated me was to rush back to the ship for the last port talk only to discover that the whole talk was just an advertisement we had to sit through for their Scenic ocean ship. I know I have mentioned quite a few negative things. I was very happy to be able to go on this trip. This is an area of the world that I had really wanted to see and am glad I was able to do this with my wife. Although some of the things I mentioned about made me grumpy, at times, the crew on the boat are a 10 out of 10. I really cannot imaging having a nicer crew. If I was every down in my mind about something, just their friendlies would snap me right out of it. Would I do it again, knowing what I know now. Probably not. I very much like the concept. I would probably search a bit more for another line that might address some of the things that I mentioned above. I don't know if that exists. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I went to an information session and decided to book. They lived up to my expectations. Everything was organized and the staff was exceptional. One disappointment was that we did not start our cruise in Switzerland as planned. We ... Read More
I went to an information session and decided to book. They lived up to my expectations. Everything was organized and the staff was exceptional. One disappointment was that we did not start our cruise in Switzerland as planned. We were bussed right to another port and were not informed prior. The cruise line should have given us an explanation prior to the trip but did not. We therefore did not see any of Switzerland. The cruise director could have been a bit friendlier on the one on one basis. Dining staff were excellent, mainly Zoran and Nikolai. The room attendant did a fantastic job. Monica in the bar area was superb. Wonderful vacation and it was just as they say in the brochure....out of a fairytale. I would recommend Scenic to anyone. The fact that everything is paid up front and organized from the beginning was a big relief. One thing I did notice was that they did not have any music on the sundeck or any entertainment during the day such as a large chess board to pass the time and have some fun while in between ports. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My BF and I did this at the last minute because the price was right. The cruise started with 2 nights in Zurich. We were transferred to Basel on June 24 and boarded the ship. I admit my experience was influenced by the record heat wave ... Read More
My BF and I did this at the last minute because the price was right. The cruise started with 2 nights in Zurich. We were transferred to Basel on June 24 and boarded the ship. I admit my experience was influenced by the record heat wave coinciding with the cruise. However, the most disappointing aspect of the experience was the food. I expected some gourmet meals and there were none. The first section of the Rhine was boring, although the locks were interesting. The transfers were all excellent and we never had to wait to get into our rooms in Zurich or Paris. I didn’t like the location of the Paris La Meridian Hotel, as there was a lot of construction in the area. The included excursions were all good to very good, but they were outside walking tours and the temperatures were around 97 degrees. There was no air conditioning in any museums or restaurants, at least not the kind of AC we have in Texas where you are blasted by cool air whenever you go inside. I realize Viking has no control of the weather, but it seemed they could have adjusted the walking tours to occur in the early am or late evening when it was MUCH cooler. Dragging the very elderly passengers around in the afternoon heat was very risky I thought. Our guide in Speyer, Herman, was wonderful but he was in his mid 80s and I’m not sure how he made it through the day. Viking personnel did not sufficiently discuss the extreme heat, in my opinion. They NEVER mentioned there was an absence of AC in the towns and cities we visited, for example. I’ve been on well over 50 cruises and I’ve seen Ship Captains significantly adjust the cruises due to weather conditions to ensure the comfort of the passengers. I’m sure the local guides would have much preferred a morning or evening tour also. Crazy. Also, I developed breathing problems due to chronic asthma. This was not an emergency but I wanted a steroid shot so an emergency wouldn’t develop. We were in Mainz. Viking staff told me I had to go to the ER, no other option. They assured me I could pay with a credit card (wrong, cash only), they called me a taxi but the driver didn’t speak English and he dropped us off in the wrong location. It was a hospital but not the ER which we eventually learned was 3 blocks away. I huffed and puffed but made it OK. The ship apparently has NO medical support and no real information about medical care in the visited ports. I think this is irresponsible given the clientele they serve. I don’t expect medical care on board, but I do expect some support to obtain such. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were invited by some friends to join a group that was planning to cruise the Rhine River from Zurich to Amsterdam, so we decided to go. Our travel agent booked us on the Scenic Jasper with the rest of the group. From the moment we ... Read More
We were invited by some friends to join a group that was planning to cruise the Rhine River from Zurich to Amsterdam, so we decided to go. Our travel agent booked us on the Scenic Jasper with the rest of the group. From the moment we stepped on board on 5/8 until we got off the ship, it was a truly wonderful time. Our cabin was spacious and well designed, and it was kept spotlessly clean and supplied by the housekeeping staff. The ship itself was in immaculate condition, and the lounges and dining areas were extremely clean and comfortable. The staff, starting with the tour director, Tadej, and our assigned butler, Marko, all the way through the wait staff, bartenders, chef and kitchen crew. maintenance staff, and every other staff member, were all extremely personable and attentive to the needs of the guests. We were made to feel most welcome on board and valued as customers. The activities that were planned were interesting and informative, and were well planned and organized. There were several evening during which local entertainment was brought on board, and those occasions were thoroughly enjoyed. One night we were bussed to a concert hall at which we were entertained by two highly talented opera singers and a classically trained pianist. It was a very moving experience. The food and beverages on board were simply outstanding. Each night before dinner was served, Chef Bogdan came out and addressed the passengers with a preview of the meal; the wine steward described for us the wine and food pairings; and Cruise Director Tadej informed us of the next day's ship movements, available activities and individual options. The staff's attentiveness to the wants and needs of the passengers was impressive. My wife and I completely and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and we are already planning to take another cruise with Scenic. And we are going to recruit another circle of friends and relatives to join us. When we left the ship for the last time, it was a difficult moment because we had been embraced so well by the staff and now we had to leave them. We will be back! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
A group of retired high school friends travelled together to experience the delights of the Rhine and enjoy quality time together. This line was a repeat for a few and highly recommended. Booking was convenient for a geographically diverse ... Read More
A group of retired high school friends travelled together to experience the delights of the Rhine and enjoy quality time together. This line was a repeat for a few and highly recommended. Booking was convenient for a geographically diverse group. The cabins were well equipped, the food plentiful and varied and excursions diversified. Where I found it lacking was in the entertainment and excursion/tour areas. A violin player one night and an opera trio another night were the sole “real” entertainment. The other nights had either a movie option (attended by 3 guests) or really lame karaoke or “game” shows. The guided tours were scheduled early and lasted less than 2 hours. Most took us to tourist areas, encouraged shopping, and only “free” time scheduled for the long afternoons. Weather was unseasonably cold and rainy so we couldn’t use the lovely sun deck except for one day. Emphasis was placed on the meals which were delightful and exquisite. I guess I depended on the cruise line and should have done more research into the visited cities. We also encountered 2 holidays during our week which added to larger crowds and less business openings. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise line because everything was included, even airfare. We made the right choice! We talked to others who had sailed on other river cruise lines and they said Scenic was much better than the others. The crew went ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because everything was included, even airfare. We made the right choice! We talked to others who had sailed on other river cruise lines and they said Scenic was much better than the others. The crew went above and beyond, always putting the guests first. We couldn’t have asked for anything more. The rooms were nice and the showers were excellent. The food was also excellent. We wanted for nothing. From the housekeeping staff to the cruise director and captain, everyone went out of their way to make sure our vacation was what we dreamt of. My husband usually dislikes cruises, but he really enjoyed this one and is recommending Scenic to all of our friends. We hope to sail with Scenic again! The excursions were also excellent. We were provided with excellent tour guides, who made our tours very interesting. This will truly be a vacation to remember! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Scenic cruise was on our bucket list for quite a while and we have no regrets for choosing to sail with Scenic during the Christmas period. Great itinerary was provided for the 7 days and the last minute substitute the city of Obernai was ... Read More
Scenic cruise was on our bucket list for quite a while and we have no regrets for choosing to sail with Scenic during the Christmas period. Great itinerary was provided for the 7 days and the last minute substitute the city of Obernai was simply gorgeous, passing the Alsace region and it’s small towns was like stepping into a winter fairitale. Cruise director Yvonne was phenomenal her knowledge of the region and her adventurous spirit was greatly appreciated hotel manager Djordje and staff were great and went above and beyond to meet our expectations. Our last dinner at Portobellos was excellent as was the chef. The cabin was spotlessly clean and spacious ,the view from the cabin was beautiful . crystal dining restaurant manager Gianni was were very attentive and knowledgeable as were the wait staff. Well done and thank you for the wonderful and memorable 7 night stay. Thanks Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Stay away from this one! Viking....ugh. Worst cruise we have ever been on. Drought impacted the river levels and they SHOULD have cancelled the cruise but of course they didn't want to lose the money so they kept it going. Didn't ... Read More
Stay away from this one! Viking....ugh. Worst cruise we have ever been on. Drought impacted the river levels and they SHOULD have cancelled the cruise but of course they didn't want to lose the money so they kept it going. Didn't see many of the areas we were supposed to see on the shore excursions. Had to change boats middle of trip. Lengthy bus rides because couldn't get up the river. Minimal water and no food on the bus rides. Boat parked beside train tracks and loud trains rumbling past all night. And of course half the time they wouldn't tell us what was happening; probably because they knew people were getting more and more angry over the course of the trip with the changes to the itinerary vs what we had all paid for. The icing on the cake? Credit vouchers issued for a future cruise to make up for the disaster that was this trip. ...but then when you go to use them you find out that the vouchers aren't valid. Call guest relations and find out that they were "issued by mistake". Why didn't they tell you they were cancelling them? "They were issued due to a system error. We don't advise they were cancelled." So after you think weeelll, maybe I'll use the vouchers and give Viking another try, they show their true colors...that they don't give a flaming, flying furry rat's behind about customer service or doing the right thing. In contrast, a friend is traveling on another cruise line soon. That cruise line listed inaccurate pricing for their beverage package...people booked at the lower price (1/3 of what it should have been). The cruise line sent out a message to passengers advising of the error, and OWNING their mistake. Viking? Own their mistake? Their mistake in a horrible cruise? Their mistake in cancelling vouchers offered in compensation for the horrible cruise? Pfft. So long, Viking. In a world full of competition, you can bet your actions will serve to drive you to the bottom of the industry, where you belong. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I just learned something that surprised me about dealing with Viking River Cruises. We returned from their "Paris to the Swiss Alps" trip on the Hild a couple of days ago. As anyone who's been following the low water ... Read More
I just learned something that surprised me about dealing with Viking River Cruises. We returned from their "Paris to the Swiss Alps" trip on the Hild a couple of days ago. As anyone who's been following the low water levels on the Rhine knows, Viking is having to do ship swaps to get people up the river. They manage the swaps well since they are doing it so often. To placate the unhappy customers on these trips they offer a percentage off of a future cruise. In our case it was 25% off. I initially thought this meant 25% off the price of a future trip - not so. Was told by another traveler that the 25% off is based on what you paid for your particular trip (type of cabin, etc.). OK, so not as generous but still fair enough. Then we received an e-mail from Viking today that said we are getting what amounts to 13% off of what we paid for the trip. I called Viking and asked them to explain how they arrived at this number since I couldn't come up with it any way I sliced it. Turns out - behind the scenes Viking patched this trip together as about 50% of our cost for the land portion and 50% for the actual river portion. This wasn't on any invoicing or documentation we ever received. So their justification for the smaller future credit is based on the price of just the river portion. Suckers that we were, we bought Viking's vouchers (pay $100 and get $200 worth of credit) while onboard because we thought the 25% good will voucher would make it worthwhile. We had decided not to do another river cruise because the one we took in 2015 also involved a boat swap. Much prefer ocean cruises where we don't have to keep packing and unpacking. Now that I know we were just offered 13% I asked if we could get a credit for the two onboard purchased vouchers we bought. Nope. They are non-refundable. This feels a bit of a bait and switch to me. Tell unhappy customers you'll give them a 25% credit so they don't mutiny while on board and then let them find out after they are home what was really offered is half that. They didn't lie to us but since no one that I know of had the breakdown of the land and river portion of the trip it certainly was misleading! Just so the rest of you know what you are being offered if this happens to you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
In July, 2018 my friend and I chose Avalon and the Rhine River itinerary in large part because we wanted to travel in Europe in the fall of 2018 but only if each of us could get a cabin where the single supplement was waived entirely. We ... Read More
In July, 2018 my friend and I chose Avalon and the Rhine River itinerary in large part because we wanted to travel in Europe in the fall of 2018 but only if each of us could get a cabin where the single supplement was waived entirely. We made our own flight arrangements and hotel reservations for an extra day going (in Zurich) and returning (in Amsterdam). The trip started a bit shaky when we received the news while waiting in line to board our connecting flight to Zurich that a portion of the Rhine River had been closed to cruise lines because of low water level. Although we were offered the opportunity to cancel for a full refund, our luggage was in the hold of the airplane destined for Europe so we were committed to continue with the altered itinerary involving two days of land transportation by bus before boarding a sister ship beyond the low water for the balance of the trip. We experienced the same land excursions, were put up in two lovely hotels, and were fed wonderful meals, all at the expense of Avalon. Another salute to Avalon is for the generous refund that we were given as well as a nice credit toward another Avalon cruise. We are delighted with the way things turned out. Imagery II and the sister ship Tranquility II are fabulous. Both ships are beautifully appointed and spotlessly clean. We found ourselves calling our guest quarters "staterooms" instead of "cabins" because of how spacious they are. Even the bathrooms are spacious. When not out on guided excursions or enjoying free time to explore on land, we found ourselves in the lounge during happy hour and after dinner, enjoying beverages, the company of fellow travelers and piano music. Except for one lunch served in the lounge, we dined in the main dining room where the choices were varied and many. Several items each meal stood out as above average. Avalon's arrangement for reaching the embarkation destination (Basel) and assistance with disembarkation eliminated potential stressful situations. My friend and I agree that the service staffs of the ships (particularly on the Imagery II) contributed greatly to making this a memorable trip. We enjoyed their camaraderie in the lounge and their playful interaction with us as guests. The cruise director was committed to turning the disappointment of the closed river into pleasure with the alternative arrangements. He succeeded. We had to admit that we were surprised at how interesting all of the shore excursions turned out to be - even those we were somewhat skeptical about. The guides were knowledgeable and personable. We absolutely would take another river cruise with Avalon. The fact that we did not get to see the castles while sailing through the Rhine gorge was not the fault of Avalon. Their guest recovery over that disappointment was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
October 19, 2018—We are sitting at Speyer, Germany, having never left port due to low Rhine levels... no departure from Speyer is anticipated for the duration. Thus, every day includes long bus rides to the sites on the itinerary... ... Read More
October 19, 2018—We are sitting at Speyer, Germany, having never left port due to low Rhine levels... no departure from Speyer is anticipated for the duration. Thus, every day includes long bus rides to the sites on the itinerary... this should have been called the "Rhine bus tour." While the ship is beautiful and the food fine, we have been extremely frustrated with the vague and untimely communication. We understand the Rhine issues but feel that Viking should have been forthcoming at all times rather than pretending all would be well. Cruise should have been cancelled as conditions were known well ahead of time. Ship’s staff has done its best— Viking management, that arranges the scheduling, seems to care more about its bottom line than customer experience. The email we received just before departure from the states greatly downplayed the severity of Rhine status and its impact on the cruise. We’ve cruised the Rhine before so are only mildly disappointed—for those for whom this is their first European experience, it’s been devastating. WiFi is slower than slow—why is WiFi better on cruise ships in the middle of the ocean? The Hild itself is beautiful and well appointed -- it feels new and well thought through. The food is traditional river cruise fare and well executed, though it would be nice to have some food options available in the late afternoons as 7pm dinner is late for some. Cookies and nuts are available but that gets old on a week-long itinerary. Piano player/vocalist is terrific and we are enjoying time in the lounge with his music that is suited to boomer+ audiences. As we are experienced travelers, we are opting to do our own thing rather than ride a bus for hours every day, with rushed tours given reduced time in each city due. Europe's fine public transportation affords options for those willing to venture out. The Technical Museum in Speyer is fantastic! We paid the extra for a veranda but are staring into a river bank for the duration -- not a pleasant place for enjoying scenery. All in all, we are making the best of it and having a good week -- just not the week we'd anticipated. Again, we understand the realities of the historic low water levels -- the issue is with Viking, who knew well in advance (this issue has been dogging the Rhine since August) they could not provide the river cruise advertised. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Honestly, I chose this cruise because of the Viking commercials. I knew the Rhine River cruise appealed to me but when it came down to choosing the cruise line I selected Avalon because of their panorama suites and their ships are newer. ... Read More
Honestly, I chose this cruise because of the Viking commercials. I knew the Rhine River cruise appealed to me but when it came down to choosing the cruise line I selected Avalon because of their panorama suites and their ships are newer. I have no regrets in going with Avalon. We flew in to Zurich a day ahead of schedule so that we would have some time to see a bit of Zurich. We were brave and took the tram to the Aldstadt (Old Town). The next day we joined fellow travelers for the bus trip to Basel for embarkation. When we arrived at the ship our panorama suite was ready and our bags already in the room. The cabin was bigger than we anticipated and of course the panorama window was marvelous. The crew was most professional and friendly and went out of their way to help in any way that they could. We had some glitches on the way due to the low levels of the Rhine but they could not have been handled any better. We had to change ships from the Tranquility II to the Imagery II at one point due to the low water levels. We packed our bags and set them outside of our rooms on the morning of ship change and the crew seamlessly handled everything. When we got to the new ship (Imagery II) we were in the same suite that we were in on the Tranquility II. We even had some excitement - due to the low water levels of the Rhine an unexploded American bomb from WWII was found in the river. It had to be detonated before the ships could resume travel on the river. It did not keep us from reaching our destination on time. Our cruise director, Tony, was amazing! He was very flexible with all the challenges that nature and WWII threw at him and we never felt like we missed out on anything. The food throughout the cruise was excellent and the selections at every meal were plentiful. We enjoyed the local menus that the chef prepared and the local wines. Each night a pianist played in the lounge but we were too tired to stay up much past dinner. The excursions were enjoyable although some were a bit touristy. We did not feel that the departure times for the excursions were unreasonably early. The best part of the cruise was getting to meet so many wonderful fellow travelers. If you are looking to experience what you might see in a Viking Commercial (an aerial view of a glistening river with fairytale castles on each shore as you glide past) then you might be disappointed. But this was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose Avalon because of the good recommendations from friends. We had never been on a river cruise, but had been on several Caribbean cruises. We chose this one because our German friends joined us for the trip and after we spent ... Read More
We chose Avalon because of the good recommendations from friends. We had never been on a river cruise, but had been on several Caribbean cruises. We chose this one because our German friends joined us for the trip and after we spent another week with them in Germany. Although we had been to some of the cities on the itinerary, we didn't mind going again. The guides for the tours were all excellent, well prepared, and spoke good English. The food on board was the best we have ever had. They served local cuisine when possible. The service was excellent also. Our only complaint was the day we spent at the Black Forest and then to Colmar. Doing both tours was too much in one day. The bus ride to the Black Forest open air museum was 1 1/2 hours one way with only 1 hour at the sight. We could have spent double that or more. I would recommend this kind of trip with the small ship, intimate atmosphere, and relaxing sailing. (No worries about wind and waves!) Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I love cruises as it gives you a taste of several areas without having to drive yourself around and only unpack your suitcase once. I have also been on many ocean cruises so the river cruise was much more intimate. This made it much easier ... Read More
I love cruises as it gives you a taste of several areas without having to drive yourself around and only unpack your suitcase once. I have also been on many ocean cruises so the river cruise was much more intimate. This made it much easier to learn the staff by name and easier for them to treat us special as well. I was really surprised at how easy embarkation and disembarkation went. I was envisioning long lines and there was none of that. This was our first trip to Europe to celebrate my 50th birthday. I loved the excursions that came with the trip. It helped us get a taste of the area and allowed some free time to either explore on our own or relax back on the ship. We made sure to utilize the bicycles, hot tub, gym and lounge area. The gym could use to be bigger, maybe atleast 2-3 treadmills and a weight set (other than the 3 pounds weights that were there). Oh and a bigger window so you can look outside while working out would be a plus. I do wish we had longer days or perhaps overnight stays in some ports as there wasn't enough free time to really get to experience the town in a more relaxed pace. But unfortunately, most cruises are that way. We hadn't even finished our trip yet and my husband was asking where else can we go? And how soon can we come back. We loved it that much. I told him you don't have to twist my arm, I love to travel and definitely so much more to see in Europe. Just need to save up the vacation days and we will plan another trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was out 2nd cruise with Avalon. The first was on the Senn River to Normandy. The crew and dinning staff were always fantastic. The excursions were always planned well with almost perfect guides. The food on board was awesome and ... Read More
This was out 2nd cruise with Avalon. The first was on the Senn River to Normandy. The crew and dinning staff were always fantastic. The excursions were always planned well with almost perfect guides. The food on board was awesome and perfect. What i might suggest is a rating on excursions that require a lot of walking. We took the Maggot Line excursion, and while we were fine, there were a few that had to cut the tour short. During the cruise, there was an issue with low water, however the staff and Captain kept us advised as we approached the area in question. It turned out that there was no need for a transfer as the Captain was able to get the craft thru the area in question without any inconvenience to the passengers, which is a big credit to the staff of Avalon. The entertainment was great, and what i thought was really good was the pre-dinner briefing by the Cruise Director who always did a fantastic job. Avalon always does the best!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The excursion guides were excellent and provided a huge amount of historical information and fun tidbits about the places visited. Every guide provided explicit information for where to meet after we were on our own for free time. I would ... Read More
The excursion guides were excellent and provided a huge amount of historical information and fun tidbits about the places visited. Every guide provided explicit information for where to meet after we were on our own for free time. I would have liked a little more free time in each city in order to take in the sights and do a little more shopping. The other thing I will say is that it would be nice to have a larger gift shop on the ship. I think that if the ship promoted their gift shop and stocked it with some local nonperishable food products and local souvenir gifts it would be a nice amenity. Also, another suggestion would be for each guest to have the ability to fill out a card with their names and address to share with people they meet on the ship. Of course this would be voluntary - but we met some wonderful people and we kept saying to each other that we would keep in touch and we both forgot to exchange contact information. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Wanted a layed-back cruise. Got to see a lot of Europe from the rivers and experienced a bit of their culture. Excellent excursions through vineyards etc . The ship entertainment and activities were wonderful, service was excellent. ... Read More
Wanted a layed-back cruise. Got to see a lot of Europe from the rivers and experienced a bit of their culture. Excellent excursions through vineyards etc . The ship entertainment and activities were wonderful, service was excellent. Could not have picked a better venue. Would do it again and recommend to any body. W e departed Budapest and 15 days later landed in Amsterdam. Sorry the cruise was over. The meals and wine were very good. The bar had anything I wanted. The pool on deck was a wonderful surprise. Weather cooperated with exception of two days. It was nice to be able to sit on our balcony have a quite drink and watch the the world go by. Anything you wanted the butler will get it for you. Breakfast in bed every day if you wish, but it was much more fun in the dining room and mix with the other passengers. You will meet some wonderful people and make some lasting friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We travelled with two other couples, one of whom was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. The ship, staff and food were all amazing! All of the extra tours were terrific as well as the ones that were included with the cruise. ... Read More
We travelled with two other couples, one of whom was celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. The ship, staff and food were all amazing! All of the extra tours were terrific as well as the ones that were included with the cruise. So much to see and do, just breathtaking. The only stop/city we were not pleased with was MainzGermany. It didn't really have anything to offer or to go see when every other docking city was so beautiful and had so much. I encourage everyone to sign up for all or as many as you can of the optional excursions. Every single one is worth it and is a life time experience. I should add that the food was outstanding! I think everyone of us gained at least 5 pounds, but so worth it and so delicious. This cruise is a once in a life time experience. The sites, history and the ship and staff are all amazing. We all loved our time spent with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise because the ports and excursions sounded like a part of Europe we would enjoy seeing. We heard that the scenery along the Rhine was very beautiful, and with this being our first river cruise, we thought ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because the ports and excursions sounded like a part of Europe we would enjoy seeing. We heard that the scenery along the Rhine was very beautiful, and with this being our first river cruise, we thought it would be a good area to start with. I was very satisfied with the ship, the staff and their knowledge, kindness and how accommodating everyone was. They were very professional and organized which was very much appreciated. The service was great!!! I felt very much at ease with the cleanliness of our cabin and the entire ship. I liked how they expressed the importance of hygiene to keep everyone healthy. I enjoyed the beautiful buffet breakfasts and lunches with such an assortment of dishes to choose from and always a change each day. I also enjoyed the upscale dining experiences and the variety of selections each night that we had. It made you feel like you were in a high-end restaurant. Desserts were always a treat. It was also amazing how hot everything was served with that large of group. I was very impressed about that. The violinist show was absolutely REMARKABLE!!!!! There are no words to describe how much I enjoyed that. I felt the ports and shore excursions were very enjoyable. I loved the history and beauty of everywhere we went and everything we had the privilege of seeing. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour guides and the amazing knowledge they expressed to us. I want to say I really appreciated our tour director, Dominic. He was so organized and knowledgeable. He was prepared each evening with our schedule for the next day which I was grateful for. Direction is very important to me. His sense of humor and his caring ways were very satisfying. We did not explore our departure city which I very much regret. We had an extension at the end is why we didn't arrive early. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly which was appreciated!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were looking for something we had not done before and friends recommend a river cruise. We were thinking of going to Paris and London and this cruise gave us that option as a add on.So it was like going on two vacations at one time. ... Read More
We were looking for something we had not done before and friends recommend a river cruise. We were thinking of going to Paris and London and this cruise gave us that option as a add on.So it was like going on two vacations at one time. Just worked out for us at the right time. Our cabin being at the back of the ship had the advantage of being next to the snack lounge but then again you had to walk the length of the ship to get to the main lounge for your meals. That was no big deal for us but could be for some older person . The food was good I thought and I tried alot of the choices. But I did notice alot of people ordering the optional choices which were more the standard foods like steak and salmon. On the last day of the cruise portion of our travels my wife fell at the windmills. We were taking by ambulance to the locaL hospital. From there we had to get taxi to a second hospital for treatment and from there a taxi back to the ship. It all worked out but what an experience. We were able to continue our travels and did complete our trip. But we were glad to get home and recover. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

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