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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife had always wanted to visit Prague. I thought: if we are going to do that, why not do a "river cruise" also? It was the best decision we could have ever made! I had researched cruise lines and Avalon Waterways ... Read More
My wife had always wanted to visit Prague. I thought: if we are going to do that, why not do a "river cruise" also? It was the best decision we could have ever made! I had researched cruise lines and Avalon Waterways always received top marks. Plus they had a Prague to Paris cruise. It was a "no brainer"! The stateroom was the perfect size for the two of us and the bed was fantastic; when we wanted to we could lie in bed with the curtains open watching the scenery go by. And the food onboard was top notch! The breakfast and lunch buffets were fantastic! And dinner was terrific! We were never lacking in anything. All of the crew - from the captain and cruise directory on down were extremely friendly and helpful. At each of our ports of call, again there was another fantastic excursion with a local guide that provided us with a tremendous amount of information and history. Would we do it again? Without a doubt!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This wasn't our first river cruise. We did the Rhine last year. Both vacations were amazing, but the Rhine wasn't as popular/crowded (fewer ships). The Danube was high due to recent rainfall and bridge clearance was an ... Read More
This wasn't our first river cruise. We did the Rhine last year. Both vacations were amazing, but the Rhine wasn't as popular/crowded (fewer ships). The Danube was high due to recent rainfall and bridge clearance was an issue. Avalon did a great job of working around difficult conditions. The quality of the shore excursions depend, in large part, on the local guides. Many of the guides were entertaining and knowledgeable but not all of them. 1. The food selection and preparation was excellent, but the dining room is noisy, particularly at dinner time. It's much easier to hear conversations from the center (bench) side of the tables. 2. We really enjoyed having time to explore Prague on our own. I think we over scheduled our time with guided tours throughout the trip. Some time to explore on your own ought to be welcomed. I think bus tours (e.g. Vienna) are worthless. A video on the TV would give you the same information and sense of the place. 3. Our guides for Prague were wonderful. Anna (classic) and Christian(Secrets of Prague) were outstanding. 4. The excursion to Terezin was outstanding. Don't miss it! 5. Our guide to Nuremberg was not wonderful (I'm being very kind). I regret wasting the time on the old city and missing the rally ground. On our last excursion of the cruise, I found evaluation/feedback forms for the guides. Be advised they exist and use them! 6. Regensburg is a delight. It wasn't bombed during WWII and it's old and beautiful... dating back to Roman times. Our guide was excellent and the city is beautiful. Enjoy! 7. We mostly missed Passau because of the high water (delays for bridge clearance issues). We had only an hour or so at Passau before we had to sail on. Most of the day was spent in Salzburg which was strikingly beautiful as was all of Austria. 8. The Melk Abbey and gardens are beautiful. Be forewarned that no photographs are allowed in the abbey. The Wachau Valley is spectacular. Bring a serious zoom (400mm) lens to photograph the vineyards, castles and churches. 9. Vienna is beautiful. The Royal Waltz Concert is not to be missed. It was amazing. However, the guided city tour is pretty weak. Too much of the tour is bussed. We did the food tour which was fun. 10. Budapest. Almost all of the city tour is bussed- covering both Buda and Pest. Only a few minutes are free for walking. It's the worst of the lot. (Traffic is heavy and the journey was slow.) The view from the castle is the best part of the city tour. We took the "Bites of Budapest" food tour in the afternoon. It was a significantly better exposure to the city. We traveled with friends and between the four of us we experienced eleven faulty receivers which meant we missed much of several tours. The guides ran out of spare receivers for walkers a few times. This was an ongoing and persistent problem with many passengers. All in all, it was a great (if not perfect) tour! I would do it again, but the rain and high water created a high density of tourists in the cities. I had the feeling the +90% of the pedestrians were riverboat tourists.... Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We were interested in trying a river cruise because several of our friends had enjoyed them. Our travel agent recommended Avalon--highly!! And this particular tour included a number of places we had not visited on our previous travels. ... Read More
We were interested in trying a river cruise because several of our friends had enjoyed them. Our travel agent recommended Avalon--highly!! And this particular tour included a number of places we had not visited on our previous travels. The ships we sailed on were both fantastic. They were in excellent condition. Our rooms were actually roomy. The food was superb. The crews were most accommodating, and Christina (our cruise director) did a masterful job making everything happen, despite the challenges of a medical emergency, inclement weather, and the low water levels on the Danube. The optional excursions were well worth the extra expense. All of the tour guides were knowledgeable and personable. The shipboard activities were also well done, and entertaining. We also had a grand time exploring on our own, especially in Prague. We were also very well taken care of during both our arrival in Prague and departure from Budapest, even at 3.30AM!!. Maybe the most lasting impression will be the experience of meeting and getting to know people from all over the world during our cruise. We met many people who we will remember for a very long time. Given all this, and so much more, there is no doubt that we would love to do another river cruise in the future, and if it happens, it will be on a Avalon ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first river cruise and based on our experience, certainly not the last. Despite record low river levels at both ends of our trip that required more motorcoach time, Avalon went above and beyond to make up for something that ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and based on our experience, certainly not the last. Despite record low river levels at both ends of our trip that required more motorcoach time, Avalon went above and beyond to make up for something that was out of their control. Extra excursions at no charge, partial refunds and their overall willingness to bend over backwards for their guests makes them the go to cruise line in my opinion. Our ship, the Vista, was a pleasure to cruise on. The crew was very attentive at all times. The food and service in the dining room was fantastic. Wine selections were all excellent. Stand outs for us were Lucas the maitre'd and our server Steve. These guys made every meal memorable. Our stateroom was roomy and comfortable. Always clean and well stocked. We even had laundry done and it was finished the same day. Lastly, our time on this trip was virtually flawless primarily due to the tireless work by our cruise director Ana. She was a pro from beginning to end, taking great care of all of us. And still smiled despite taking a "beating" by a few guests over the river levels. Some people just don't get it... All in all it was a marvelous experience. We can't wait to do another river cruise and it will most definitely be with Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
First the Danube River Cruise with Avalon Exceeded our expectations. The crew and accommodations were first class and professional making us feel at home and welcome. The shore excursion's were not only educational but just the ... Read More
First the Danube River Cruise with Avalon Exceeded our expectations. The crew and accommodations were first class and professional making us feel at home and welcome. The shore excursion's were not only educational but just the right length so that you have plenty of free time to just explore. The guides all being local offered particular insights to the local history and culture. The dining options were numerous to accommodate everyone's particular likes and offered some unusual local choices that make experimenting someth9ing you just should do. A special thanks to the crew and management of Avalon as some adjustments had to n=be made due to the level of the Danube. They all handled and managed the unfortunate situation with great caring for their guests. We just went with the flow and really didn't miss a thing otherwise. Would definitely use Avalon again and have referred numerous friends to Avalon from our experience. Special thanks to Kaye Huyskens our cruise director. She anaged a difficult situation with the cange in plans the highest degree of professionalism Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise for its itinerary in central Europe. The scenery was outstanding. The Danube was very low during our cruise, however, the Avalon ship being newer with less draft had no problems sailing while other lines were forced ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary in central Europe. The scenery was outstanding. The Danube was very low during our cruise, however, the Avalon ship being newer with less draft had no problems sailing while other lines were forced to dock their ships and bus people from town to town. The people at each stop were extremely friendly. Pretty much everyone we encountered spoke excellent English and didn't mind conversing in English. The ship was top notch and the staff was very attentive. Dinner was outstanding with all of the wine (chose either red, white or rose) or beer you cared to drink. The waiters were constantly refilling our glasses with excellent wine. We had on-board entertainment for 3 nights. Each act they brought on was talented and funny which made for a great show. Each port visit starts with a complimentary guided tour with local guides. This was fantastic as the guides showed you around for a couple of hours and after the tour you were free to wander around at your leisure for several hours until boarding time. I would definitely book with Avalon again. I didn't rate fitness and recreation highly because the boat is limited on what it can offer due to size limitations to fit in the river locks. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
While most people were notified before they left home, we were not, that our cruise would not be sailing as planned. I had no idea the river levels were too low in places until I arrived in Prague for the land portion of the cruise. The ... Read More
While most people were notified before they left home, we were not, that our cruise would not be sailing as planned. I had no idea the river levels were too low in places until I arrived in Prague for the land portion of the cruise. The theme of this so called river cruise was how many hours can we put you on a bus instead of enjoying your relaxing river cruise? This cruise has been a joke from day 1 and when they finally announced mid-cruise that not only were we going to miss the first 2 days of our cruise, but also the last 2 days, most of the people onboard pitched a fit. The cruise director who is an independent contractor, said hey, don't blame me, call Avalon. She wanted everyone to smile and just take it apparently. So what that we spent a fortune to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. I get it, they don't control the weather HOWEVER, if you can't deliver what you promised to people you should, at a minimum, give them a big discount. And how about throwing in some free drinks or shore excursions. Something to say we are sorry we cannot provide you with the experience you shelled out $10,000 for. I could have bused/trained myself around the area for far less money. What a rip off. I will never book a river cruise again. They don't even compare with ocean cruises. The service is lousy and the food is pretty pathetic. This was the biggest vacation disappointment ever. DON'T BOOK AVALON. They don't care what your experience is as long as they have already cashed the check. It's going to be hard for them to stay in business when it gets around that they don't take care of their customers and won't do the right thing by them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We heard through a friend that Avalon was a great experience. It certainly didn't disappoint! Not too much going on in the evenings but the days were educational and a lot of fun! The rooms were well appointed and the crew ... Read More
We heard through a friend that Avalon was a great experience. It certainly didn't disappoint! Not too much going on in the evenings but the days were educational and a lot of fun! The rooms were well appointed and the crew extremely friendly and helpful. I wish there were more activities available in the evenings (group games, karaoke, etc.) It seemed like other cruises were having more fun than us when we were all either tied up together or going through the locks. It would have been easier to meet people as well. We would also would have LOVED having a yoga/fitness/stretching class available on the top deck each morning. Many people were talking about it so I actually led one. The food was great but it also would have been nice to have had healthier options to snack on once we returned each afternoon from our excursions. The coffee bar was nice but the pastries were unhealthy and stale by the end of the week. We really enjoyed taking the bikes for a ride in Melk and Vienna. They were quality bikes - thank you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We had heard so many great things about the European River cruises and we were so tired of the large cruise ships with the crowds, the impersonal service and lousy food. We had friends that had cruised with Avalon so we decided to try it. ... Read More
We had heard so many great things about the European River cruises and we were so tired of the large cruise ships with the crowds, the impersonal service and lousy food. We had friends that had cruised with Avalon so we decided to try it. Everything was so great - from the pre and post hotels to the ship excursions to the food and beyond. The staff were outstanding especially our server in the dining room. We specifically tried to choose the same table at every meal in order to get the same server. I would say that the overall cruise wasn’t the leisurely vacation that one would expect from a “cruise”. We did a lot of walking and touring and we were tired when we got back home but it was definitely worth it to experience the beauty and history of Europe. We will most definitely plan another very soon.....and with Avalon! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This was the first river cruise for both my wife and I. This was a honeymoon trip for us (in our mid-60's), and we could not have been more pleased. The basic package was a 10-day trip from Prague to Budapest. We added an extra day at ... Read More
This was the first river cruise for both my wife and I. This was a honeymoon trip for us (in our mid-60's), and we could not have been more pleased. The basic package was a 10-day trip from Prague to Budapest. We added an extra day at each end, and that was a very wise decision. We really could have used more time in each of those two cities. The cruise staff at the hotel in Prague were very attentive and informative. We opted to book several of the shore excursions offered, and that really enhanced our trip. The The castle tour and and wine tasting in Melnk was a real treat. And the symphony in Vienna vastly exceeded my expectations. The Artistry II was wonderful, and our cabin was large (for a cruise ship) and very clean. The food on this ship was amazing! The plating for dinner meals was beautiful, and the food was all cooked to perfection. The complimentary beer and wine for lunch and dinner was a great bonus. We also really appreciated that our wine for dinner each evening reflected the region. Our wait staff was prompt and attentive, and got to know our preferences. Fortunately for us, the weather was perfect all throughout our vacation. All in all, this was our best vacation ever! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first river cruise. We have been on multiple ocean cruises and have heard great things about river cruising. We chose this cruise as Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love decorating at home. Avalon has beautiful ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We have been on multiple ocean cruises and have heard great things about river cruising. We chose this cruise as Christmas is my favorite time of year and I love decorating at home. Avalon has beautiful ships. Our room was on the top floor, which really is only half a staircase form the lobby. Plenty of room for the week. Not as large as ocean ships but very nice. Food was excellent, our waiter quickly knew what we liked and was always accommodating. You do not have to sit at the same table, but we liked George so much we always sat at one of his tables. This being a small ship, you quickly make friends with many of the other passengers. The few negatives we do have were, need more entertainment in the evening. They did have a couple of nights with outside entertainment, but most nights was just the piano. We found on those nights most people did not come down to the lounge. Second, we would have liked to stay in some of the smaller towns longer. They were the towns we came to see. Nuremberg was not our favorite. Christmas market was large, but city was depressing. The smaller German towns may not have had large markets, but the stores were quaint and the people very friendly. Just didn't have enough time there. Third, most of the Christmas markets were very commercial. Same items everywhere. Found most of the same items in souvenir shops for less money. Had to find the small markets on the side roads to find unique items. Finally, because you are in most towns for less then a day, most tours start early around 8-8:30. That means getting up, having breakfast and out the door. If you are looking to relax this is not the trip. I came home more tired then before I left. Would I go again, but probably not till we retire, so I can rest when I come home. I was told by many other passengers who have gone on other river cruises that in the Summer, many ships are tripled docked, so you walk thru other boats to get to shore, and if you have a cabin on the side that is docked, you are looking at another boat 3 feet away. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We wanted to do a Christmas Market cruise and chose the one on the Danube so that we could visit Vienna. We had a great time. Prior to embarking we spent time in Prague exploring the city. Our ship was decorated in Christmas colors. Our ... Read More
We wanted to do a Christmas Market cruise and chose the one on the Danube so that we could visit Vienna. We had a great time. Prior to embarking we spent time in Prague exploring the city. Our ship was decorated in Christmas colors. Our cabin was on the third deck and was beautiful. The food was great and our cruise director was friendly, entertaining and helpful. The entertainment and activities were wonderful. The service can really set the tone for the cruise. Our service was over-the-top! Sylvia and the other crew members did everything they could to make our journey great. We had some scheduling issues in that the Christmas Markets weren't open the first couple of days however that gave us time to explore the stalls and shops that were open without crowds. We also were able to get a "behind the scenes" look as they set up the markets. We really enjoyed the excursions and the guides were excellent. Our final port was Vienna and we booked two additional nights there to give us more time in the city. One of our Vienna excursions was to a concert and it was beautiful. This was our second Avalon Waterways cruise and we look forward to boarding one of their ships again in a year or so. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
I am our churches Pilgrimage Trip Planner. We have done many religious trips through Globus and have loved them. With a few of us retiring at the same time, we decided to take a river cruise with Avalon and had the most amazing time! So ... Read More
I am our churches Pilgrimage Trip Planner. We have done many religious trips through Globus and have loved them. With a few of us retiring at the same time, we decided to take a river cruise with Avalon and had the most amazing time! So much so, our church is planning a river cruise next year! Everything was perfect! The ship was new, clean and beautiful. Our rooms were modern and sparkling clean and the bathroom had great amenities...everything a women would need! The food was fabulous and had such a great variety, even a picky eater would be delighted. Loved the shore excursions that were included to give us an overview of the city we were in and the optional excursions, as usual, were amazing and informative. But the absolute biggest surprise, was the level of service from the crew! Everyone smiled, they talked to you, they did everything you asked with a no bother attitude and most of all, they became our friends while on the cruise! When our trip was over, we missed them! Needless to say, we would go again and are! Avalon and Globus are a cut above and will always have our business and our hearts! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I initially was approached by my 89-year-old mother, who wanted to take one last trip before she would be unable. I offered to be her traveling companion, not realizing where she intended to travel. I had only been on one cruise prior, a ... Read More
I initially was approached by my 89-year-old mother, who wanted to take one last trip before she would be unable. I offered to be her traveling companion, not realizing where she intended to travel. I had only been on one cruise prior, a Caribbean Cruise, on one of the larger vessels. So when she mentioned she wanted to take a river cruise, I really had nothing to base it on. My first overall impression, exhausting! Too much planned time, not enough free time. Having to set my alarm to 6:30 every morning of my vacation did not sound like my idea of a vacation. We were constantly being rushed from one event to another, catching buses, trying to keep track of tour guides in crowds. It rained our entire trip, and blue umbrellas were everywhere. We were constantly told to keep track of the 'blue umbrella's, that was difficult at best. Not being able to speak the language, not knowing where we were heading and keeping track of my mother, dressed in black, in a sea of black, was not good, when you lost contact with the blue umbrella guide! As for the knowledge of the guides, they were EXCELLENT. I would have preferred more time to explore rather than feel like we were in a race to get to one place to the next. Our mealtimes were pretty much set in gold, so if you wanted to eat a lite-fare early and then later, this would not be the case. The restaurant area was small, and the buffet line was always crowded due to the time constraints. If you arrived late, a lot of the items were already picked over or gone. My mother, who uses a wheeled walker, had difficulty getting items onto a plate and then move thru the line. So after the first few days, I would quickly eat first, then she would arrive and I would gather her breakfast or lunch items. Dinner at least was sit-down, and we were served. But I must say, overall, I was not impressed with the menu items. Fish was always overcooked and dry. Portion sizes were OK, but I am not a big eater. Sometimes nothing really excited me at dinner, because we ate at 6-7 pm, and I am usually a late afternoon dinner person. Lunch had a lighter fare served on the deck. We started using that for our lunch, to avoid the crowds in the restaurant area. I was quieter, more relaxing, and the views good. The staff that worked this area were always attentive and polite. Our cabin was in the 'cheap seats' as I referred to them. We booked late and very few options left. It was small, as expected, and since we really didn't spend a lot of time in it, it was adequate. The biggest problem we had was the diesel fumes that came in at night while going thru the locks. That was horrible. I finally complained about it after the 3rd night, and I was told the entire ship had that problem when in the locks, yet everyone I asked whose room was above the water line, said they never smelled any fumes. Either way, that was the worst. The beds were small, but OK, given the size of the room. I was surprised to find one night, that my sheets had been just flipped over when my mother had spilled something on the top of mine. It was tucked into the wall side, but the next morning when I noticed they had not changed them but hide the spill, I was surprised, to say the least. I get that this is not a big ship with many options, but clean sheets are expected for the price we paid. The onboard entertainment was OK - I understand and was not expecting the big cruise events. We did not spend a lot of time listening to the shows. I did enjoy the Port of Call information for our next day's excursions. The seating was not very comfortable. Barrel chairs are not meant for long sitting. Not for relaxing and reading a book. Couches along the sides were not that great either. The tables were so close, it was hard to move around if you were stuck in the middle. The Danube River was a surprise to me. I have never traveled to Europe and I guess I expected a lot more on the river. Many times looking out, I felt like I was traveling down the Wisconsin River in November. Cold, damp drizzle was a constant. The upper deck was pretty much closed. Yes, you could walk around the upper deck, but you had to bundle up. My mother never made it to the top. She was not able to climb the steps. Which is another issue I had; Our travel agency said Avalon would be able to accommodate my mother given her handicap. While they did have an elevator, on several occasions it was not working. She had virtually no assistance getting on or off the boat. She is proud lady, who does not see herself as being handicapped, Several of the tour guides you could see were not happy having someone using a wheeled walker on cobblestone streets, with lots of stairs to climb. Many of them made comments that this tour would be difficult at best. I believe both Avalon and the travel agency should have informed my mother this trip would not be good for her. Or maybe they did, and my mother did not pay attention. Either way, it impacted my enjoyment of the trip. The ports and shore excursions were OK - we did a few of the extras. They were OK too. Would I do another river cruise? Probably not. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe having to watch for my mother impacted my enjoyment. I did find Europe to be an incredible place and would love to go back. It opened my eyes to something I had never experienced prior. The food, the smells, the COFFEE, were my favorite parts. I wished the weather had been warmer, less damp, more sunshine - all of which obviously affected my enjoyment. For me, it was an expensive trip - I don't really know if I got my monies worth. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We sailed on the 2 night Prague, 7 nights Nuremberg to Luxembourg, 2 night Paris itinerary at the end of September. The ship itself is very comfortable and we had a cabin on the highest deck, which I recommend since it puts you a little ... Read More
We sailed on the 2 night Prague, 7 nights Nuremberg to Luxembourg, 2 night Paris itinerary at the end of September. The ship itself is very comfortable and we had a cabin on the highest deck, which I recommend since it puts you a little higher above the water. Very well put together cabins, excellent free internet service, lovely to turn your entire cabin into a balcony by opening the floor to ceiling window all the way on a nice day, and very well stocked and designed bathroom. The itinerary itself is highlighted by the amazingly wonderful tour guides on all the included and optional tours. We took optional tours to Rothenburg, Luxembourg City and Versailles. The hotel choices in Prague and Paris were also top of the line and very well located. Meals on the ship were accompanied by beer and wine and we were pleased that dinner wine usually had four options: one or two whites and reds and a rose! One of the nice things about the cabin is the refrigerator, which came in handy when we bought wine or other local beverages in Germany. (You should bring back some federweisser from Wurzburg or one of the other German towns if it is in season to enjoy on the ship.) One of the best meals offered is a tasting menu called the Panorama Bistro which does not cost extra, but seating is limited to you must sign up for it in advance. We loved it so much we went back a second time. It should not be missed. All in all, we think the Avalon experience exceeded expectations and would not hesitate to go on another river cruise with Avalon. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We love Avalon Waterways, have had great experiences with their ships! Embarking and disembarking smooth as can be, love the way you can place your suitcase at end of cruise for early morning pickup and not midnight like big ships! 2 ... Read More
We love Avalon Waterways, have had great experiences with their ships! Embarking and disembarking smooth as can be, love the way you can place your suitcase at end of cruise for early morning pickup and not midnight like big ships! 2 nights in Prague before boarding the ship was a good start. Cabins have plenty of room, love the full glass sliding doors with bed facing the doors. Dining room beautiful with terrific service, flowing wine, and many food choices at all meals! Great room with coffee/snacks available at back of ship all day. The staff and cruise director Tony on our cruise were exceptional! All ports and shore excursions were so well planned, afternoons at leisure to go off on your own, easy access on and off boat. If thinking about river cruising, don't wait any longer!! We really loved our trip and will definitely sail again with Avalon! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
I was with my siblings and mom, five of us total. We spent the three extra days in Prague and had a great time exploring. Each day we found new area and less touristy areas to explore. Our cruise director, Hendrick, was very ... Read More
I was with my siblings and mom, five of us total. We spent the three extra days in Prague and had a great time exploring. Each day we found new area and less touristy areas to explore. Our cruise director, Hendrick, was very informative. Due to last minute river rising, our cruise itinerary changed. We could not board in Nuremberg. However, Avalon was very accommodating in that we were comped "optional excursion" and our cruise was still a full 7 nights. As with any tour guide, it is hit or miss which one you get. Some were exception, but all were good. We loved the housekeepers and reception staff. The servers were also a joy. We had great conversation and learned much about the life of cruise staffer. The food was great and often we chose to eat on board instead of in town. We had plenty of wine with lunch and dinner. In fact, we had to cover our glass to refuse another pour. Prior to leaving, there was a change in our included airfare. One member in our party was unable to attend due to this change. The member that did not travel has a very bitter taste towards Avalon. However, as the main contact for our group, I have no complaints. Avalon only did what was written in the terms of our booking. And in the end, they even refunded money they did not have to. So for that, I applaud the customer service and management. I hope to travel again in two years and will most likely use Avalon again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
In General we liked this cruise and crew. Very through and professional. Not Quite up to Viking but much less expensive. Our only complaint was the location of our cabin, which was quite nice. It was, however, the last cabin on our ... Read More
In General we liked this cruise and crew. Very through and professional. Not Quite up to Viking but much less expensive. Our only complaint was the location of our cabin, which was quite nice. It was, however, the last cabin on our level nearest to the stern of the boat. It was very close to the engine room and the steering mechanism. There was hardly a night that we weren't awoken once or twice by engine or rudder noise. The shore and on board personnel were very good. We enjoyed the open seating. For the most part the shore activities/excursions were very good. Food was very good. It was planned to match our location on the Danube as was the wine selections at dinner. We enjoyed the fact that Americans were in the minority and were able to meet people from as far away as Australia. New Zealand and Singapore. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
3 day pre-cruise stay in Prague (included) was great - 2 day post-cruise stay in Budapest (extra) was fine but expensive. Everything was well organized, seemed very good value for cost. Nice range of ports (towns) from the small to ... Read More
3 day pre-cruise stay in Prague (included) was great - 2 day post-cruise stay in Budapest (extra) was fine but expensive. Everything was well organized, seemed very good value for cost. Nice range of ports (towns) from the small to cosmopolitan. Ship was first rate, crew was attentive and helpful. Dining was very good, available beer/wine with meals a nice touch. Limited entertainment options, but that was OK...real entertainment was the outside scenery. Did a few of the "extra" excursions, didn't mind just going on the walking tours provided. Got a free upgrade to a cabin with a full window view, which will make the inside cabin choice harder in the future, even though the difference in price is significant. This being our first river cruise, can only compare to ocean cruises, but we really liked the overall pace of this (even included a tour option for "slower walkers"), and would definitely take another river cruise. Realize there are a lot of river cruise companies, but Avalon met and exceeded expectations for us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Cruised with Avalon in 2015 and had some reservations. Pre Cruise was allocated Andel Hotel in Prague not the Hilton as stated in the brochure. Firstly the Chauffeur was 30 minutes late picking us up which could have left us late at the ... Read More
Cruised with Avalon in 2015 and had some reservations. Pre Cruise was allocated Andel Hotel in Prague not the Hilton as stated in the brochure. Firstly the Chauffeur was 30 minutes late picking us up which could have left us late at the Airport but our flight was delayed anyway, which resulted in missing the connection in Amsterdam and waiting an additional 5 hours. Had to get a taxi to the hotel in Prague at Midnight as we were not met at the Airport. Barbara was a great Cruise Director and always interested in ensuring guests were well looked after. Tours suited us mostly short with optional paid tours which we did not do. The food was good and varied but they were stingy with the wine which also happened on our last cruise , so this is intentional. Maitre D did her best and was excellent, the waiting staff are a really nice crowd but not 4 star waiters, more Faulty Towers than Savoy. The talks on board were good but entertainment is very limited. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
From a previous European river cruise, I learned there is no place not worth seeing here thus we couldn't wait to take another. We booked this less than 2 months after returning from our last one. The main reason we choose this ... Read More
From a previous European river cruise, I learned there is no place not worth seeing here thus we couldn't wait to take another. We booked this less than 2 months after returning from our last one. The main reason we choose this particular cruise was we always wanted to visit Paris and some of the other places included. It was amazing how well organized the entire trip went. One night one of the locks broke and the ship was delayed for several hours, but our cruise director and captain was able to dock at a different location and have buses waiting to take us to our scheduled excursion. We never missed a single planned activity. As far as the planned activities and shore excursions, everyone involved from the ships crew to the on shore guides they provided us with perfect combination of informative historic and cultural experiences. Everything thing Avalon was responsible for flawless. The only glitch we had during the entire 12 days was when we arrived at our hotel in Prague, our room wasn't ready and we had to wait over 3 hours in the lobby. The hotel didn't seem to make any effort to expedite the situation. Our Avalon guide made several enquires with the hotel personnel but it was obvious that they didn't seem too concerned. Thus that is why I titled this review "ALMOST perfect". This was completely out of Avalon's control. I will definitely consider Avalon for any future river cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise for the variety of unusual cities included in the trip. The cruise began with a few days on land in Prague and the Czech Republic. We then cruised through Bavaria, Germany, on to Vienna and disembarked in Budapest. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the variety of unusual cities included in the trip. The cruise began with a few days on land in Prague and the Czech Republic. We then cruised through Bavaria, Germany, on to Vienna and disembarked in Budapest. The ship was lovely and luxurious. The staff was courteous and knowledgeable. Everything went extremely well until our ship hit a rock in the river and broke a propeller in the middle of the night. To facilitate the repair, all passengers had to be off ship for an entire day. Unfortunately, that day was 106 degrees and the shore excursions were not well planned by Avalon. For instance, all passengers were put on a non-air conditioned, non-ventilated ferry for several hours. It was extremely uncomfortable. We all understood that accidents happen, but we did not expect to be treated in such an uncaring manner. It really was a shame. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I looked at all of the lines!! Compared prices, itineraries, features, etc. Avalon was a little cheaper, we got free air & discount.... and I chose them because of their room design. I was excited about the way the wall is mostly ... Read More
I looked at all of the lines!! Compared prices, itineraries, features, etc. Avalon was a little cheaper, we got free air & discount.... and I chose them because of their room design. I was excited about the way the wall is mostly glass and opens up to convert the whole room into a balcony. It did not disappoint. The bathroom was a great size, too. We did 3 days in Prague - fantastic!! What an amazing and old city. We especially liked our sobering side trip to Terazin and the Communist Museum. When the water was too low to go to one of our stops, Avalon made it right! Gave us an extra excursion (so lucky!), cash for a meal, and a ticket for a sausage & a beer. We also got extra time cruising along the Danube during the day which was an added bonus. It all turned out way better than our plan. Food was very good on board. Beer and wine with all meals. Optional light lunch each day. Nice people to sit with....or sit alone. Every stop was fantastic - Regensburg, Passau, Linz, Melk, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest! So much to see and do....almost too much! Will need to go back and go slower. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We are 55 and found ourselves one of the youngest travellers on the cruise. First experience with river cruise and we enjoyed it. The excursions included in the package are only about 2-3 hours maximum, so you have to explore more with ... Read More
We are 55 and found ourselves one of the youngest travellers on the cruise. First experience with river cruise and we enjoyed it. The excursions included in the package are only about 2-3 hours maximum, so you have to explore more with your own plans or pay to join their optional tours. Best thing about Avalon river cruise is that all alcoholic drinks are included with meals, we started our breakfast with champagne. One suggestion is that there could be a richer choice of fruits, would be great if they can include berries, cherries, avocados etc. Also I was expecting they would add local fresh groceries but.....L'occitane toiletries were provided - Good...Bikes are provided so we went for bike rides around the city. The gym room is very small but considering the size of the boat, we couldn't complain, especially it is vacant all the time...I recommend the cruise to my friends. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
I have been on several of Avalon river boat cruises, a return customer because I find the sevice and activities to be exceptionally great. After breakfast, I turned to pass the waiter my dishes, and he scolded me, "You are on ... Read More
I have been on several of Avalon river boat cruises, a return customer because I find the sevice and activities to be exceptionally great. After breakfast, I turned to pass the waiter my dishes, and he scolded me, "You are on vacation! Let me do that for you". I selected this tour specifically for the Christmas Markets. Yes, it is cold, and the days are shorter, but you quickly warm up back on the ship with warm drinks as you walk back on board. The entertainment was wonderful, and they really engaged the audience, sometimes pulling up passengers to assist in their presentation or show. The tour director was especially helpful to us personally when my husband became ill, finding a doctor in town who spoke english, calling the cab, and checking in on us. Perhaps my favorite reason for taking these cruises is that you port near enough most towns to walk into the town to take in the local scenery. The cold was an excuse to find another cafe to order a wonderful hot chocolate and pastry. Read Less
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