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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
Sail Date: September 2018
I had never been on a river cruise, and had never been to eastern Europe, so this cruise ticked all the boxes for a new adventure. Avalon did not disappoint. The boat was meticulous, I loved that my bed faced the river and I could open ... Read More
I had never been on a river cruise, and had never been to eastern Europe, so this cruise ticked all the boxes for a new adventure. Avalon did not disappoint. The boat was meticulous, I loved that my bed faced the river and I could open my sliding glass door fully, the bathroom was surprisingly big and the marble tile was an unexpected nice feature, the staff were exceptionally friendly, attentive, engaging, and helpful, the food and wine were outstanding (the soups, I'd book another cruise just for the soups! They should seriously make a recipe book just with the soups alone.), our cruise director Tony was delightfully funny and insightful, and our captain made the best of a very low river. No rain in Europe this year did cause our cruise to be adjusted as we went farther North, but Avalon went out of its way to make the adjustments equal or better to the original itinerary, including offering free excursions. Those travelling with me all agreed that the adjustments to our itinerary were better than the original and we were very appreciative at the effort Avalon took to make sure our river cruise experience was exceptional. The guides on the excursions were all very knowledgeable and friendly. The pace of some of the excursions was a tad slow, but as I was the youngest person on the cruise (40s), I understood the pace was designed for the overall group demographic (60s-80s). Would definitely book another Avalon cruise again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was a Danube cruise, Budapest to Nuremburg. Due to low water on the river, the ship discharged passengers just beyond Regensburg, busing those who were departing from Nuremburg and to Prague for those who had signed up for it. At ... Read More
This was a Danube cruise, Budapest to Nuremburg. Due to low water on the river, the ship discharged passengers just beyond Regensburg, busing those who were departing from Nuremburg and to Prague for those who had signed up for it. At this, we considered ourselves fortunate, because we heard that some other cruise captains refused to go on past Vienna. Ours did go on, although it was disconcerting to hear the cruise director offhandedly characterize our situation as "precarious." The Wachau valley, through which the Danube flows, is beautiful, and we had practically cloudless skies to appreciate it. The several little towns visited along the way bear enough resemblance to each other that they ultimately became indistinguishable and of marginal interest. The ship is comfortable and the staff outstanding. Embarkation and dis-embarkation were a breeze as were the excursion arrangments; Avalon's approach to organization leaves nothing to be desired. That cannot be said for life on board. Like most river cruises, there is little to do except to drink and socialize. Entertainment was practically non-existent, consisting of beer and wine presentations/sales and a talented local musical duo on one night. The fitness facility boasted perhaps three machines and some free weights. Surprisingly, we found the food to be quite ordinary--perhaps a bit better than one would receive on Royal Caribbean or Princess. Then again most travelers have learned to discount the poetry most lines summon to describe their usually pedestrian fare. Perhaps a third of the cruise passengers did go on to Prague, and here unpleasantness awaited. The cruise materials had promised lodging in one of two 4-star hotels located in the city's renowned center. Some weeks before sailing, we were advised by email that we would be lodged in a third hotel, which a quick glance at a city map revealed to be across the River Vistula in a working-class neighborhood perhaps an hour's walk from anything a tourist would wish to visit, with a rack rate of about $100 per night less than the downtown accommodations. Questioned about this, and how the arrangement met the company's contractual promise to provide "comparable" accommodations in the event that a hotel change became necessary, its representative offered the standard "nothing can be done" explanation. Upon arrival, our preconceptions were borne out. The hotel itself was fine, but entirely out of the way. The hotel does run a shuttle to the downtown, but it runs infrequently and only into the early evening. We and our fellow passengers became quite irate when, after a half-hour ride downtown, the shuttle deposited us in front of one of hotels that had originally been designated as our lodging. I brought this matter to Avalon's attention in a detailed email upon returning home and the company promised a full review. Six weeks later, it delivered a perfunctory response with a vague apology that explained absolutely nothing. Be advised. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We had friends that had taken the same cruise on Avalon and another cruise line. We heard so many great things about it that we thought we would try it. We were not disappointed. 3 days in Budapest, 7 days on the ship with all the stops ... Read More
We had friends that had taken the same cruise on Avalon and another cruise line. We heard so many great things about it that we thought we would try it. We were not disappointed. 3 days in Budapest, 7 days on the ship with all the stops along the way and 3 days in Prague led to a fantastic experience. Tour director, Tony, was outstanding as well as the entire crew. Friendly, helpful and extremely efficient. Even though our last stop was cancelled due to low water level on the river, the alternative change in the itinerary was mare than made up for the cancellation. The excursion and side trips we took were excellent and informative. The local guides were extremely knowledgeable. I highly recommend this trip and this cruise line. We have been on several ocean cruises and have enjoyed them, but if someone gave me a choice today....it would definitely be a river cruise. We can’t wait to sail again! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose it because of the single supplement was a good price! My cabin was very comfortable! It had a lovely view, but because the wTer level on the Danube was so low that often the view was another ship! I know the water level is an act ... Read More
I chose it because of the single supplement was a good price! My cabin was very comfortable! It had a lovely view, but because the wTer level on the Danube was so low that often the view was another ship! I know the water level is an act of God, but I feel we should have been informed before sailing and given the opportunity to cancel because several of the locations we were supposed to visit had to be cancelled because of the water level! The main Restuarant was very hot making it extremely difficult to enjoy a meal! There should have been some fans to circulate the air so that it would have been more comfortable to enjoy a meal! The meals that were served in the main room were so much better because the room was cooler! I don’t think I would go again because I was not sufficiently told about the water levels ahead of time! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose this cruise because of positive feedback from other reviewers. The ship was smaller with fewer passengers. which was a plus for me. I also liked the fact that the rooms were larger. The staff and crew were very professional and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of positive feedback from other reviewers. The ship was smaller with fewer passengers. which was a plus for me. I also liked the fact that the rooms were larger. The staff and crew were very professional and did everything to make the cruise enjoyable. The food was wonderful and there was a large variety of food in which to choose. Tours, accommodations, entertainment, everything was well thought out and very organized. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. My group had to disembark very early in the morning (4:30 a.m.). Our luggage was taken care of and a cab was waiting to take us to the airport. The staff prepared a boxed breakfast for us that had a wonderful sandwich, pastries, fruit, and a bottle of water. I was so impressed as to how everyone went out of their way to make sure that all our needs were met and that our vacation was enjoyable. This definitely will not be my last river cruise and I will book with Avalon for my next vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Three friends and I chose Avalon for our first-time river cruise because we had read wonderful reviews by others. We wanted a cruise that was educational, fun, appropriate for older travelers, and relaxing. Avalon's 15-day ... Read More
Three friends and I chose Avalon for our first-time river cruise because we had read wonderful reviews by others. We wanted a cruise that was educational, fun, appropriate for older travelers, and relaxing. Avalon's 15-day Magnificent Europe eastbound was all this and more. An included tour for each town we visited gave us an opportunity to explore areas we might have overlooked otherwise. Every local guide was informed, friendly, and helpful. Due to low water, we had to stay at a hotel in Amsterdam for the first two nights of our trip, but Avalon made sure we were in great accommodations with a terrific restaurant. We were compensated with a partial refund for those two nights even though the company had no control over the river levels. The extra time in Amsterdam gave us a chance to explore even more. I hope to travel with Avalon again. I cannot imagine a better cruise experience. I have only two regrets: 1. I wish I had taken this cruise years ago instead of waiting; and 2. I don't think I'll find ocean cruises as enchanting as I once did because a river cruise provides so much more of an educational and personal experience. Well done, Avalon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We wanted something more interactive and small. Meeting almost everyone was one of the more surprising positives. The food was high quality, local style cuisines for each area and standard foods if you chose. On a 14 day cruise, we were ... Read More
We wanted something more interactive and small. Meeting almost everyone was one of the more surprising positives. The food was high quality, local style cuisines for each area and standard foods if you chose. On a 14 day cruise, we were able to do 17 different excursions. All but two of these were included. Having everything included was burden free. Flights, transfers, tips - even for the excursions. The ship was beautiful, the room spacious with surprising space for all our clothes and a great bathroom/ shower. We especially loved the floor to ceiling windows that opened for a balcony feel that was perfection while keeping added space in the room. Staff and crew were informative courteous and hardworking. The guides in the excursions were very informative and knowledgeable about the areas. Even though we lost two nights in the ship because of river (no rain) all in Amsterdam at beginning and Avalon handle it with perfection. We WILL be going again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
I had traveled with two other couples who have cruised on other riverboat lines and hands down said that Avalon was a cut above the others. I have to say that the staff/crew of the Panama were so great and fun to be around. Service, ... Read More
I had traveled with two other couples who have cruised on other riverboat lines and hands down said that Avalon was a cut above the others. I have to say that the staff/crew of the Panama were so great and fun to be around. Service, attention and the food was what we had expected. The guides were upbeat and so knowledgable it was a pleasure. The bed the first night was too soft and within a couple of hours the mattress was changed out. Nice response to our comfort. The staterooms were well thought out and we didn't have any space shortage to putting away our things. The bathroom was large, roomy and with nice appointments. We stayed a few days in Prague, and the attention to us was as perfect. The hotel they booked for us was the Four Seasons. This was a wonderful hotel to be in after time spent on the boat. On the front end of the trip they had us in the Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest. It was a bit worn and needed some updating, but adequate. We would certainly considering future travel with Avalon Waterways. 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
Avalon Panorama Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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