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Sail Date: July 2019
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally ... Read More
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally closed up all our bags ready to board the Avalon Vista to get settled. We had breakfast and prep for our Amsterdam Canal Cruse plus a walking tour, every day there was tours to a lot of the sights. The meals that were provided were very delicious, for those that didn't want a large meal there was a small were served in the Panorama Lounge, it was also the location for all the briefings for the next day’s activities and music/dancing. Each day was filled with tours provided by the cruise lines or optional fee. There were never wants for service because what you might want it was provided. The ports and shore excursions were very well arranged and informative. We know that it takes a lot of planning but the only disappointment was the day of disembarkment from the ship would we would like a mini tour of Basel. This was our first trip on a long ship but it won't be our last because we truly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We choose this cruise line based upon square footage of staterooms and floor to ceiling windows. Also , we liked the smaller ship capacity. This was an excellent cruise from beginning to end. Staff from cruise director to housekeeping to ... Read More
We choose this cruise line based upon square footage of staterooms and floor to ceiling windows. Also , we liked the smaller ship capacity. This was an excellent cruise from beginning to end. Staff from cruise director to housekeeping to wait staff were professional and courteous. There was always a variety of hot and cold foods served daily. Although the overall quality of the food was good, not great, the dining experience was excellent. It was also worry free to have excursions paid for as well as wine service included in lunch and dinner. I only experienced Tea Time once, but that was lovely as well. I needed to see a doctor while on the cruise and the Cruise Director could not have been more helpful, and again professional. The nightly entertainment after dinner was always a fun way to end each evening. I would have loved to have taken advantage of the Recreational activities offered such as Zumba, Yoga and a bike excursions but was honestly too tired from the days activities. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The duration and locations, especially starting on the Black Sea. Very happy we went from east to west as it consistently got better all the way to Prague. Budapest and Prague were great large cities and the smaller towns like Durnstein ... Read More
The duration and locations, especially starting on the Black Sea. Very happy we went from east to west as it consistently got better all the way to Prague. Budapest and Prague were great large cities and the smaller towns like Durnstein and Pecs were great surprises. The Passion was very nice with a small spa, but the exercise room was way too small. I couldn't lift the weights up as they hit the ceiling and the max weight was 10k. Matre'd was very accommodating to my wife's pepper allergies and there were some vegetables at the breakfast buffet for me. The tours of the towns and cities were well done, although most of the guides have their speech idocincracies. The presence of the Habsburg family made it a special themed cruise and more personal (only the portion from Budapest to Regensburg). By the end, we had heard the stories repeated so many times about Sissy, that we didn't want to hear anymore. Would have liked to have been involved with more sustainable activities and performances, like our Avalon cruise on the Mekong. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our cruise down the Danube in December was truly a trip of a lifetime. The entire staff aboard the Avalon Illumination were amazing. We received first class treatment in a very relaxed, friendly and professional environment. The ... Read More
Our cruise down the Danube in December was truly a trip of a lifetime. The entire staff aboard the Avalon Illumination were amazing. We received first class treatment in a very relaxed, friendly and professional environment. The Christmas Markets and all the sites along the way were beautiful. The Illumination was the prettiest boat on the river and was "decked out" for the holidays. The food and wine selections at all meals were wonderful and the lounge/bar was perfect place to unwind and get together with fellow guests after dinner and various times throughout the day. Sabine, our Cruise Director, was very helpful with suggestions and detailed information about how to navigate each stop along the way when we wanted to go out and explore on our own. Avalon is a top notch company and we have recommended this cruise line to all of our friends back home. Thank you, Avalon, for making the beginning of our holiday season so merry and bright! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise as I have always loved Christmas markets and have German heritage. My sister and I did this cruise together for a milestone birthday. We spent a few days exploring the glorious city of Vienna, Austria before boarding ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I have always loved Christmas markets and have German heritage. My sister and I did this cruise together for a milestone birthday. We spent a few days exploring the glorious city of Vienna, Austria before boarding our cruise ship there. Avalon took over from there. The Avalon Vista was a beautiful ship. Meals were superb, crew was exceptional and excursions and tours were informative and fun. Our cabin was spacious and generously appointed. Service was great - crew (and especially our cruise director Gusta) were accommodating, friendly and extremely organized. We cruised along the Danube River and enjoyed several ports and port excursions. Ending in the city of Prague, this was a trip of a lifetime and I would highly recommend Avalon river cruises. I have been on several cruises on large cruise ships and this experience was by far superior. Thanks again Avalon for this adventure! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We had a great time with Avalon in China in 2017. We wanted to see the Danube and thought Avalon would be good again. They did not disappoint. The service was magnificent, the food very good, the tours were great. We enjoyed every ... Read More
We had a great time with Avalon in China in 2017. We wanted to see the Danube and thought Avalon would be good again. They did not disappoint. The service was magnificent, the food very good, the tours were great. We enjoyed every minute of it. We had plenty of time to explore Budapest and were able to store our luggage on board on embarkation day. The staff was so accommodating. One evening, we didn't not realize that Vienna closed so completely and early. We made our way back to the ship knowing we had missed dinner. We did not even ask, the crew said "you have missed dinner, can we get you something?" We will be taking other Avalon cruises because they have not disappointed at all. We needed to make alternative arrangements at the end of the cruise and the staff was very accommodating and helped us get to the train station in Regensburg to catch the train to Munich. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We only had 7 nights of our 15 day cruise due to low water levels which was disappointing, however Avalon did everything possible to still make this a fantastic trip. Our cruise director was exceptional in every way. We did lose some free ... Read More
We only had 7 nights of our 15 day cruise due to low water levels which was disappointing, however Avalon did everything possible to still make this a fantastic trip. Our cruise director was exceptional in every way. We did lose some free time as we had to bus between towns. Hotel accommodation was always very good. We also met some wonderful people in our early 60’s age group. Cleanliness and service whilst on board was fantastic as was on-board entertainment. Cabins are beautifully quiet, well appointed and spacious. Some of the walking tours whilst very interesting were a little long-winded and didn’t leave enough time for a good look around. However these are not compulsory. We feel Avalon handled a very difficult situation in the best possible way. We were given lunch money where appropriate on the bus section of the trip. As I mentioned while disappointed you can’t argue with nature and sometimes in life you just have to roll with it. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because it was a themed World War 2 history cruise. If we hadn't taken a private tour before getting onboard, I would have left disappointed. The guest lecturer, Nigel Stewart, was able to give us a broad overview ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a themed World War 2 history cruise. If we hadn't taken a private tour before getting onboard, I would have left disappointed. The guest lecturer, Nigel Stewart, was able to give us a broad overview of the history of the war that happened in the areas we were traveling. He stayed on ship all week and you could ask him questions pretty much at any time. The disappointment of the WW2 history was in the tours that were offered. There is a 2 1/2 hour travel time involved each way, so I understand that their is only so much time. But, we felt rushed during the tour because we had to get back on the bus and go again. So much to see and learn and we left feeling that we needed to go back and see things again because of what we missed. The ship was very nice and clean. A very modern ship. Other than watching the world float by or sitting in the sun, not much else to do on board. The WIFI is spotty at best unless you sit in the lounge area. The food was disappointing, but was okay. If possible, we ate in the lounge every night as they served the same food as in the main dinner area. It was in sample size portions so that was nice to try the different selections. The crew was very nice all around. They made the trip as they were always trying to exceed your expectations. The captain was nice and was always around. Our room was very nice, clean, and felt bigger than it was. We were lucky to not be docked next to other boats all the time, so we had a decent view in the different docking locations. Overall, I would sail with Avalon again, but do things more on my own for tours. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first cruise. We wanted to see the Normandy Beaches, which did not disappoint. We had a WWII historian traveling with us and his presentations were very interesting and insightful! All of the villages and towns had beautiful ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We wanted to see the Normandy Beaches, which did not disappoint. We had a WWII historian traveling with us and his presentations were very interesting and insightful! All of the villages and towns had beautiful cathedrals and incredible architecture, so many sights to photograph and experience. The food on the boat was delicious and plentiful! We enjoyed some of the best chocolate chip cookies daily in the aft lounge. The Captain, Cruise Director and the Crew on the TapastryII were so informative and personable. Our room was beautiful and it was such a treat to open the sliding glass door which converted our room to a French balcony to be able to enjoy the river as we cruised! Being able to see and experience all the sites that we had only read about in history books or seen on TV was amazing! I would highly recommend this trip! We are already planning our next cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This location was a place my late husband had always wanted to visit as a WW II history buff. My daughter and I took the cruise in his honor to visit and hear about the times and places he had such avid interest in. We selected this ... Read More
This location was a place my late husband had always wanted to visit as a WW II history buff. My daughter and I took the cruise in his honor to visit and hear about the times and places he had such avid interest in. We selected this cruise because of its focus and that there would be a historian to accompany along the trip. Nigel Stewart was wonderful on his delivery of what was happening during the time leading up to the Normandy invasion. His insight on the military figures, leaders and family stories was so engaging. The Captain, Cruise Director and the entire crew and staff were absolutely wonderful and made our cruise such a wonderful, delightful, and special vacation for us. Everyone was so attentive and cared for our every request. The Cruise Director, Tony Williamson, had the perfect communication plan to gather us to advise us on the next day's activities and what we needed to know. He and Captain Rudy were always at at the gang plank to send us off and greet us when we returned to wish us a great trip. Staff in the lounge or dining room were attentive and quickly addressed any requests for extra bread, drinks and freely poured wine during the entire meal. Excellent service by all. The ship was beautiful and our state room was great. Small, but that is what cruise cabins are, and the condition and fixtures were more than accommodating to our needs. The staff always cared for us and made our trip so enjoyable. Meals were amazing and the group dinner meals or the quick self serve lunch in the lounge were equally delicious and delightful. Cruising during meal times added so much to seeing sights along the river while gently cruising along. The only criticism we had was that if you sat in the middle part of the main diining room there were lengthy delays in being served. On one such meal iwe were not served our main entree, when our table neighbors had already finished their dessert. Excursions offered were very enjoyable and depending on the guide, we were provided with great history, background with time to venture around the villages. The only disappointments were a stop in Caudebec and one of the Paris excursions when we returned to port. We arrived at Caudebec, and the excursion offered was not of interest to us, but then it turns out that the village shops were not open on Mondays. So while we could walk around to visit see the village, we could not shop for any local specialties. The Paris bike tour was not as was presented and should have indicated not for a novice rider, Perhaps the group of 11 was too large, but we traveled through heavily trafficked Paris streets and tourists venues. So my own ride was stressful in that I was worried about staying connected to the group and out of the car and pedestrian pathways that I did not enjoy it at all. Embarking and disembarking were flawless, clearly defined processes, bags were picked up immediately as we put them outside our state room, and were outside our transfer without having to identify them first. The ship crew were wonderful and so professional. The Tapestry II cruise was our first ever cruise of any kind and I must say I feel spoiled that I would not want to cruise any other way!!! I loved being able to sit out on the front, top deck or rear lounge areas while we cruised. It was so peaceful, presented great opportunity for pictures along the way, or just to get alone time if you wanted it. Other travelers were so friendly and it was great to meet others and talk about their travel experiences and why they chose the cruise as well. We also booked additional time before and after the cruise that Globus assisted us with for hotel and transfers. All was done with no effort on our part and went very smoothly. The few negatives mentioned, did not spoil our trip and we had a wonderful time. Avalon will be a first choice for a new adventure! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The cruise staff all around was amazing. From the crew to the waiters, to everybody we saw on board. We loved all the activities we could choose from. Being able to pick between included excursions made our experience wonderful. The ... Read More
The cruise staff all around was amazing. From the crew to the waiters, to everybody we saw on board. We loved all the activities we could choose from. Being able to pick between included excursions made our experience wonderful. The hardest decision was deciding between red and white wine or how many desserts to have! I had allergies, and the maître d’ was able to walk me through the menu each day in order for me to be successful. In our 40s, we were one of the youngest people on the trip, however everybody was welcoming and we enjoyed hanging out with people on the ship. Being able to sit wherever we want it allowed us to have dinner with different people each evening. Sometimes we wanted a more casual dinner and we would sit in the bistro, this was nice because you could pick smaller portions of several different entrées. We would definitely choose an Avalon vacation again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I chose this cruise because Diana Gabaldon was going to be featured. I’d been interested in a River Cruise but with the added bonus of my favorite author meant I had to go on this trip. It truly was an experience of a lifetime. It ... Read More
I chose this cruise because Diana Gabaldon was going to be featured. I’d been interested in a River Cruise but with the added bonus of my favorite author meant I had to go on this trip. It truly was an experience of a lifetime. It went beyond my expectations. The food was great and the staff friendly and helpful. Historically interesting sites, beautiful scenery and knowledgeable guides really added to the enjoyment. There were plenty of excursion options so while it made choosing one difficult at times, it meant there was something for everyone. The events with Diana Gabaldon were well organized and thoughtfully planned. These were particularly enjoyable for us fans. Diana herself was very gracious and approachable. Sharing a meal with her and her husband was one of the highlights. My husband especially liked the lightning over Vienna but we really can’t credit Avalon for that! Overall, the cruise gave us memories that will last our whole lives. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This cruise was the Legendary Danube Author Cruise, featuring Diana Gabaldon. Our Cruise director Robert was outstanding. Tours in Prague led by Helenna were excellent. The waiter/waitress staff were very attentive. Food variety was ... Read More
This cruise was the Legendary Danube Author Cruise, featuring Diana Gabaldon. Our Cruise director Robert was outstanding. Tours in Prague led by Helenna were excellent. The waiter/waitress staff were very attentive. Food variety was geared for each of the countries being visited. Great way to try something new to you. Access to Diana Gabaldon was very open and had set times for interaction, book signing, Q&A session. What entertainment I participated in was top notch. It was a good mix of subjects, How the lock's work and the history, Beer tasting and it's history of the regions. Musicians boarded at the lock's and debarked at the locks. I will be using Avalon in the future. I now prefer river cruising over ocean cruising. The smaller size is easy and relaxing. I never felt overwhelmed with to many people in one place at one time. Cabin size was ok with 2 twin beds. Definitely had to jocky for position. The sliding doors were great, just couldn't leave open to much due to the bugs. This was explained to us in our opening ceremonies. It was fun in the locks with other ships side by side. There was not any stop that I wasn't satisfied. Prague was a great start (3 day land) beautiful city and so much history. In Nuremberg had a guided tour of Roth and it's city center. Met the Mayor who was very excited that they were hosting the "Challenge races" same as the "Ironman triathlon". Regensburg was having it's yearly antique fair, art museum opening and the bridge opening. This was on Sunday and 95% of the shops were closed. Not a problem because of all the street vendors, beer gardens and restaurants were happy to accommodate. Linz had a great city and Cathedral tour. Passau was a great sight seeing stop a quick look and we were off to Vienna. Melk is picturesque and the Melk Abbey was amazing. So much history. Vienna is amazing. Had a city tour, then embarked on our own. Used subway system, watch out for the pick pocketers. Went to the Belvedere Museum, upper and lower. Monet, Picasso and Klimt to name a few of the outstanding art pieces there. Transit system is excellent. Ending in Budapest. Such a beautiful city. Did city tour and the walking culinary tour. Outstanding. Amazingly the passenger age group in my estimation was mid 20's to 80's. Average around 60. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Great staff and knowledgeable... - Very well thought out ship of space and still be "simple elegant" style - Cruise director "Tony" was awesome - Food was well matched to the region along with wines - ... Read More
Great staff and knowledgeable... - Very well thought out ship of space and still be "simple elegant" style - Cruise director "Tony" was awesome - Food was well matched to the region along with wines - each of the offered activities where well planned and informative Very enjoyable trip, great opportunists to see the region with out lots of travel time moving from hotel to hotel - Avalon is a "first class" run business at a great price value. These River Boats are great for adult family getaways with activities provided along with time to reconnect with family members. If traveling alone or with couples the staff does a great job of having everyone feel welcome. Anyone looking at these trips need to remember to book in advance as trips sell out quickly. Traveling on river ships, allows a great way to see the the true European Cities and experience the culture. Be sure to arrange these trips with a travel agent who truly understands River Ships - they are a wealth of additional information. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Wanted to see the tulips and the surrounding areas in Holland We started in Amsterdam and had a marvelous time. The cruise did offer some wonderful off board excursions that were well done, our guides, for the most part, were excellent. ... Read More
Wanted to see the tulips and the surrounding areas in Holland We started in Amsterdam and had a marvelous time. The cruise did offer some wonderful off board excursions that were well done, our guides, for the most part, were excellent. My only problem with the cruise was the "happy hour" - which offered drinks at half price for a couple of hours and the "snacks" were pretzels or nuts. The cruise I was on before had wonderful hors d'oeuvres both hot and cold and a different variety every night and beverages, all included! The entertainment was a lot of fun, and offered a variety. The gentleman that played the piano during the happy hour was wonderful, not an exceptional piano player, but an really nice and friendly performer. The staff was fantastic, very engaging, and that was from the housekeepers to the servers and the cruise director was wonderful. Would I do this again, yes! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
The garden lovers part of the cruise was good. All garden trips were included but the best was Keukenhof Gardens. We did the whole day tour, and used every minute of the time exploring. Traffic delayed us 1 hour or more. We even got to ... Read More
The garden lovers part of the cruise was good. All garden trips were included but the best was Keukenhof Gardens. We did the whole day tour, and used every minute of the time exploring. Traffic delayed us 1 hour or more. We even got to see some of the flower fields up close from the bus as we drove into Keukenhof. Prior to the ship leaving we went to Zaanse Schans for an optional tour. Zaanse Schans is a windmill city with mills that make cheese(with a demo and tasting of many different flavors of Gouda ), make wooden shoes (with a demo) as well as grinding pigments for paints (with demo). There were other windmills there, but it was only a 1/2 day tour, so we didn't get to see other demos. We could climb to the top of one windmill if we wanted. Would have liked more time there. The Botanical Garden in Antwerp, the 'hidden gardens' behind canal homes in Amsterdam and the arboretum in Ghent were all very interesting. There was a lot of walking from one hidden garden to another, and the last one we visited was not worth it. No beautiful flowers, just a church. The canal boat ride in Amsterdam was just OK bc our specific boat didn't have a clear view of the buildings. It was an older boat, and the top didn't open to the sky. Other boats did. Entertainment on board was a singer/piano player who was there everyday for happy hour as well as after dinner. Additional entertainment was a local clog dancing group who wore local costumes as well as a classical instrumental group. Both were good. The captain was excellent. He was at the gangway everytime we left and he greeted us when we returned. He was even up at 5:30 am to say good buy when we're leaving to go home. He mingled with the passengers and answered questions if we had them. Food was outstanding. Chef carved something everyday for lunch plus soups, salads etc. Alternate dinner choices were very good if we didn't like any of the choices on the menu which were quite extensive. They would alter our food choices to our liking bc of certain dislikes. Very accommodating!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Our cruise was the Danube Dream with Habsburg Royalty. The history in this region has been recorded over a thousand years and is filled with stories of people whose names are in history books. The Avalon Passion is a beautiful ship and ... Read More
Our cruise was the Danube Dream with Habsburg Royalty. The history in this region has been recorded over a thousand years and is filled with stories of people whose names are in history books. The Avalon Passion is a beautiful ship and every member of the crew did much more than just "their job". They went out of their way to assure you were offered anything you could possibly want. They were friendly and spoke English very well. The food was very good and served three meals a day plus and afternoon coffee / tea and cake in the main lounge or there is also a self-serve area in the stern with coffee / tea / juice and danish / cookies available all the time. In the evening the lounge offered live music with a great piano player and dance floor. On two evenings local performers were brought onboard to provide enjoyable entertainment. The itinerary offered so many included tours and optional tours. You can participate in as many as possible, or chose a more relaxed pace. All the tour transportation was on new motor coaches that were very comfortable and clean. You are provided a receiver and headset and tour guides have a transmitter and mic. You can hear every word as if you were standing next to the guide. This is very important on walking tours with a group. Our particular cruise had members of the Habsburg Royalty onboard who gave lectures at several times to bring out particular points in history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This was our first river cruise,-looking forward to our next one. (on Avalon) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Can't speak highly enough of the whole experience aboard the Avalon Myanmar cruising the Irrawaddy river, not forgetting the 2 days in the capital Yangon pre -cruise. Myanmar is a fascinating country as yet almost untouched by ... Read More
Can't speak highly enough of the whole experience aboard the Avalon Myanmar cruising the Irrawaddy river, not forgetting the 2 days in the capital Yangon pre -cruise. Myanmar is a fascinating country as yet almost untouched by tourism, and seeing it from the river stopping every day at villages and towns is a great way to get close to Burmese life. The excursions were well planned and varied, but you do need to be mobile and able to walk distances as well as negotiating river banks which are mostly without steps. The cruise director, the local guide, who stayed with the cruise throughout, and the ship's crew were all excellent and the Burmese people in the countryside are just delightful. The accommodation and food exceeded our expectations, and the small passenger capacity ensures a family like feeling within a few days. We were all good friends by the end of the journey. Thoroughly recommended. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Something totally different from a standard ocean cruise -- Christmas markets throughout Europe in the winter! Excellent cruise overall, with great food, friendly service and a clean, new ship in perfect shape -- even in the face of rainy ... Read More
Something totally different from a standard ocean cruise -- Christmas markets throughout Europe in the winter! Excellent cruise overall, with great food, friendly service and a clean, new ship in perfect shape -- even in the face of rainy weather in the 40s. Got to meet a lot of interesting people from around the world. The ports were fascinating, beautiful and the excursions uniformly first-rate, interesting and understandable. One of the highlights was the cruise director, who gave nightly summaries of upcoming ports and kept us informed about things to expect in the day(s) ahead. She was a natural comedienne as well -- intelligent, articulate, very funny, very friendly and great one-on-one as well as in front of the entire passenger contingent. Clearly professionalism across the board is valued among the crew, and the cruise director stood out as being far superior to any counterpart on the 30 or so ocean cruises that we have taken. Even the captain was accessible and willing to engage guests throughout the week. Oh, and the food and wine were superb! I would recommend this cruise line without hesitation! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted something special for our 50th anniversary, and we were not disappointed. This was our first cruise of any kind. We have always been budget travelers, but we wanted something special. We realize that Avalon is not considered ... Read More
We wanted something special for our 50th anniversary, and we were not disappointed. This was our first cruise of any kind. We have always been budget travelers, but we wanted something special. We realize that Avalon is not considered a luxury line, but it sure seemed luxurious to us! We chose Avalon because they had larger standard cabins than other lines. The cabin was indeed roomy and extremely well appointed. We loved the huge window, and we are sure we would have loved the way it opens if we had not been cruising in December! The service was wonderful. Our every need was addressed almost before we thought of it, yet it was unobtrusive. The guides for the port excursions were excellent. We would not call the food over all exceptional, quality-wise, but it was certainly good, and a few items were indeed outstanding. It was beautifully presented. Dietary needs were met attentively, and there were no problems if people wanted more than one dish at a course or seconds. We appreciated the Panorama Bistro as an alternative venue and used it several times for lunch and once for dinner. We would definitely go again if our budget allowed and would probably choose Avalon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first river cruise and could not have been more impressed with everything start to finish. The ship was the newer Imagery which was absolutely beautiful. Rooms overall were spacious, full windows to watch the scenery pass by, ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and could not have been more impressed with everything start to finish. The ship was the newer Imagery which was absolutely beautiful. Rooms overall were spacious, full windows to watch the scenery pass by, wonderful baths with quality sundries and bedding so plush and comfortable. Next...every member of the staff truly got to know you in the small and intimate setting of a small river cruising ship. I read a few mixed reviews but we have travelled pretty extensively and the food more than impressed as did the service of all the staff. Wonderful attention to detail in providing housekeeping service, nightly turndown, afternoon tea and snacks, happy hours, warm towels and welcome each time we returned to the ship, nightly informational talks about the next day's tours and ports and I could go on and on. We planned this trip during the busy and in demand Christmas Market season and it is something we will always remember. The itineraries and ports of call were amazing. We didn't take part in every additional tour but did the Colmar trip and the Black Forest trip ( some said a little "touristy") but we loved it. Fresh snow and magnificent scenery and just a beautiful and relaxing tour. Sure that each tour would have been top notch. We took our teenagers and I might mention this is a little more mild and relaxing for some of that age ( no pools, kids center, movie theater,etc. etc.) but they said it was one of their favorite trips. Only rated Fitness and Recreation as "Good" knew it wasn't that kind of trip. I do think I walked more than I have in years though with so much to see and experience. Finally I have no doubt this trip would be beautiful any time of the year but Christmastime in each town/village was so amazing. Thanks to Avalon for making it truly memorable. We will sail again with them again without question. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted to enjoy the Christmas markets, and the idea of a river cruise really appealed. Sights and smells at the Christmas markets were amazing. Be sure to try the Gluhwein --with or without alcohol. The weather was cold, but if you ... Read More
We wanted to enjoy the Christmas markets, and the idea of a river cruise really appealed. Sights and smells at the Christmas markets were amazing. Be sure to try the Gluhwein --with or without alcohol. The weather was cold, but if you dress for it, you will be fine. The towns we stopped at along the Danube were beautiful and fascinating, each with its own history and charm. One very cold day, we ended up in sausage restaurant with a voucher for 6 sausages and a drink for each of us. The mound of delicious sausage, sauerkraut, and sweet Bavarian mustard were exactly what we needed at that moment. Bring extra pixels for your camera. The cruise itself was wonderful. The staff could not have been ore accommodating and professional. Our server quickly learned our quirks and needs, and had everything ready for us at each meal. My wife has the Alpha Gal allergy to anything from a mammal. This includes red meat, dairy, anything with gelatin and causes anaphylaxis.. The chef prepared a delicious, safe meal for her each night. Between the chef and the server, we were all well cared for. The housekeeper was extremely sweet and helpful. Her smile is one of the things we will remember about this cruise. We will also remember the hot, sweet, tea and warm washcloths that greeted us upon our return each day. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
My brother took care of the booking. He did much research on the Tour line as to cost, time of year and experiences offered and the decision to go with Avalon was made. As far as my wife and I are concerned it was truly a great decision! ... Read More
My brother took care of the booking. He did much research on the Tour line as to cost, time of year and experiences offered and the decision to go with Avalon was made. As far as my wife and I are concerned it was truly a great decision! We had options as to the Fall Wine Tour or the Christmas Market Cruise. The Danube Wine Cruise was selected. It was the first cruise for my wife and me. We both had an extraordinary time. From Budapest to Prague and all the other ports of call it was a great time. The activities were numerous, you could do as much or as little as you wanted. Great accommodations land side were excellent. The Intercontinental in Budapest was much more than we expected. The city itself so vibrant and packed with history. Probably could've spent a week there. Leaving Budapest we boarded the Avalon Vista with approximately 160 other passengers to begin the Danube Adventure. The accommodations, the meals, the planned activities were extremely enjoyable. But let's face it. the cruise would only be as good as the crew on the ship. From the wait staff, Gabor, Tonya and all the others, to house keeping, they did a great job in making our experiences memorable ones. The places visited Vienna, Regensburg, Nuremburg and the other optional tours ie. Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic were truly fascinating. The final destination being Prague, truly a jewel, we were able to experience the local culture, the history of the city and Czech cuisine,wonderful. I would certainly be remiss in not mentioning our Cruise Guide, Nancy, extremely personable, accommodating and knowledgeable. She took care of every detail of the trip from when we arrived until our departure from Prague. We would love to take another Avalon cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
My husband and I choose this river cruise because it is more intimate than an ocean cruise! Ship and crew were absolutely amazing, friendly, fun and helpful. Cruise director Nancy ran an extremely well organized cruise she had so much ... Read More
My husband and I choose this river cruise because it is more intimate than an ocean cruise! Ship and crew were absolutely amazing, friendly, fun and helpful. Cruise director Nancy ran an extremely well organized cruise she had so much information and suggestions to share, she was always available for questions. Our cabin with the panoramic view was spotless, plenty of room to move around for 2 people and loads of storage. I cant even begin to comment on the meals they were all superb so many choices. Nightly entertainment gave passengers a time to socialize with wine tastings,dancing and having fun with the crew. Service was excellent housekeeping, waitstaff and front desk always there to give you assistance with a smile. Ports and shore excursions were varied you had several optional choices but most were included. we extended our trip 2 days in Budapest pre cruise and 2 days prague post those hotels were 5 star! My husband and I were able to visit so many historical sites, everything was relaxing plus we meet some wonderful friends! Highly recommend Avalon we have already convinced a couple of our friends they leave in june! As for us we are looking into Cruising the Rhine!!!! It was an excellent way to celebrate our 40th anniversary! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I chose Avalon Waterways because we liked the idea of a smaller ship. We liked that a lot of the excursions were included in the price and who can resist laying in bed and looking out on the water via the wall of windows! ... Read More
My husband and I chose Avalon Waterways because we liked the idea of a smaller ship. We liked that a lot of the excursions were included in the price and who can resist laying in bed and looking out on the water via the wall of windows! Our cruise started in Paris. We were met by an Avalon rep at the airport an taken to our meeting spot at a hotel until embarkation. We were treated too snacks and beverages...and even had some time to explore. Avalon made sure going to and getting on the ship was stress free. Our cabin was very nice and the bed was very comfortable. The small bathroom is complete with toiletries and thick bath towels. I would recommend spending the extra money if you can to upgrade your cabin to get the full windows. The Dining on the ship was wonderful and had plenty of variety. The excursions were so well organized and timed. We enjoyed having tour guides that were very knowledgable. They were happy to answer any questions we had. One of our excursions was to Normandy to see the WWII sites and it is something my husband I will never forget. All the staff on the ship was wonderful. They are friendly and helpful which is what you want when you traveling. We made some new friends while on the boat which is the benefit of being on a smaller ship. My husband and I want to do another cruise in the future....we want to make it another Avalon one. Read Less
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