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Sail Date: April 2018
This was my first visit to Europe. Having heard rave reviews regarding tulip tours, I was excited to see the tulip fields and gardens as well as touring Amsterdam and northern Holland, myself. I traveled with Globus a few years ago on a ... Read More
This was my first visit to Europe. Having heard rave reviews regarding tulip tours, I was excited to see the tulip fields and gardens as well as touring Amsterdam and northern Holland, myself. I traveled with Globus a few years ago on a bus tour through the American West and it was a fabulous trip. It seemed logical going with a Globus company cruise line. I was not disappointed. The ship, service, food, staff and crew and our cruise director and local tour guides exceeded my expectations. The weather was perfect, the pace was perfect. Although, I would have preferred more time in Rotterdam. I’m also sorry there wasn’t an excursion to The Hague. But despite that the cruise was fabulous and I would sail with Avalon again. PS.. when we asked about having herring on the ship, our cruise director actually went to market himself and brought back herring for lunch!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I signed up because a friend needed a roommate. I had been disappointed by a former cruise on a much larger ship, so I didn't expect much. Embarkation was smooth and painless. The staff were friendly and helpful. All meals were ... Read More
I signed up because a friend needed a roommate. I had been disappointed by a former cruise on a much larger ship, so I didn't expect much. Embarkation was smooth and painless. The staff were friendly and helpful. All meals were wonderful, but especially the 4-course dinners in the evening. There was variety and no matter what choice you made, it was delicious for the palate and the eyes, served with panache by the delightful staff. Entertainment in the evening was varied, family-friendly, and fun. Travel usually happened at night, so that each new day brought well-organized shore excursions in new and exciting places. I simply can't say enough good about this cruise and cruise-line and would choose another without hesitation. This cruise was the tulip cruise and going to Keukenhof was the highlight of the trip for me. We hit it perfectly as the tulips were at their peak and seeing acres and acres of them was a riot of color and spectacular to view. I learned so much about the history, planting and production of tulips. 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
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, the ship and the overall value. We looked at the other lines, but for the cost, felt Avalon offered the best of what we were looking for. Boy were we right. The ship was wonderful, the staff ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, the ship and the overall value. We looked at the other lines, but for the cost, felt Avalon offered the best of what we were looking for. Boy were we right. The ship was wonderful, the staff incredible and the food outstanding. We've been on over 25+ cruises from Celebrity (large ships) to Windstar (small ships) and Avalon is at the top of the list. It's interesting how the ship felt large, yet intimate. The staff gets to know you so it feels like the high end lines (i.e.: Silver Seas) at which point they go out of their way to accommodate you on many levels. In addition, the rooms are wonderful, large and spacious with balconies (we always do a balcony for viewing and fresh air) in which the bed faces the balcony so you can relax while the world passes by. With beer and wine included with lunch and dinner, the cost savings alone at this level is impressive not to mention the hosted local entertainment. If your next cruise is a river cruise, we would pick Avalon again. This line allows for a worldly experience of culture, wine, food, people and incredible destinations. For us, we'll be back to sail with them in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We selected this cruise (Visionary - Paris to Prague) as it offered destinations we wanted to experience and certainly the Avalon staff lived up to our expectations and the fine Avalon Waterways reputation as a premier river cruise ... Read More
We selected this cruise (Visionary - Paris to Prague) as it offered destinations we wanted to experience and certainly the Avalon staff lived up to our expectations and the fine Avalon Waterways reputation as a premier river cruise provider. Some things we were ever so pleased with (1) The boat itself - Visionary. It is a modern, well planned out, exceptionally clean and well maintained vessel. (2) Staff - to a person that we encountered during the 12 day cruise, the staff members were all so very accommodating, helpful, cheerful and well presented. (3) Cruise director - Toney is just the right person for the cruise director position - so much knowledge about every aspect of the cruise and countryside, friendly, patient, and most helpful in taking care of the "details." We looked forward to the daily Toney briefing about the subsequent daily events and schedule. (4) Meals - just cannot say enough about the meal experience. Every day the meal selection, taste, and presentation was just award winning! Couple that up with the exceptional dining service , and it became something to look forward to multiple times a day. (5) Pre-cruise information packet and booklets from Avalon was most helpful and so very thorough without being overwhelming. The on-board daily schedules provided, along with the maps of the village stops, etc. was very useful. (6) Promptness - always on target. If Toney announced the bus would depart at 0900 -----it did. That there were no ship-wide announcements was a refreshing policy. (7) Ashore tours were well organized and appropriate length. Some tour guides were better than others however. (8) Post Cruise Service - Over the top! My wife and I met a couple we want to stay in contact with, but lost the contact information paper. With only first names and a state of origin, Avalon went through the 120 passenger list and got our contact information to them. We are now in contact. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Recommended by friends and a travel agent. We were interested in exploring the smaller towns, villages in Germany. We added additional days to the Paris land tour. The tour guides were so knowledgeable and interesting. We learned both ... Read More
Recommended by friends and a travel agent. We were interested in exploring the smaller towns, villages in Germany. We added additional days to the Paris land tour. The tour guides were so knowledgeable and interesting. We learned both the culture and history of each stop. We loved the ship, very well kept, and comfortable rooms and communal areas. The staff aboard were cheerful, helpful and interesting. Food was well prepared and presented with numerous options each meal. Site seeing from the ship was delightful, such a beautiful country. Castles, ruins, vineyards, campgrounds, greenbelts. The onboard entertainment, by the staff musician and special presentations were well done and quite enjoyable. The atmosphere and small number of shipmates, lent itself to meeting many new friends and sharing our adventures. We will definitely consider future cruises with Avalon. They offer a number of unique locations. The value was worth the wonderful experience. Bon Voyage. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Always wanted to cruise the Rhine. We explored Paris on our own to get into the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and the Seine River Cruise as it was school holidays and didn't want to waste time doing the morning bus tour. These three events ... Read More
Always wanted to cruise the Rhine. We explored Paris on our own to get into the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and the Seine River Cruise as it was school holidays and didn't want to waste time doing the morning bus tour. These three events took most of the day waiting in line to get into the event, even with a pre-purchased ticket. After the rustle and bustle of Paris, we were glad to get on the boat and unpack for the next 11 days. We were able to choose extra trips so paid for the Luxemberg trip as an extra. Well worth it. Great service, good room -we had a sapphire deck room with glass sliding doors so well lit and relaxing to just watch the countryside go by in the afternoon. Morning excursions were great with gentle to faster walks provided. Although no irons in room to use. Had to send to laundry. So non crumple clothes a bonus. The dining was excellent with two to three choices each night on a four course dinner. The food for lunch was more like a meal. I would rather have something simple like being able to toast a sandwich or make an egg sandwich. So didn't lose weight on the trip. We are already planning which river trip to take with Avalon for our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Objective was to see Germany and picturesque river castes up close. Guides were very knowledgeable and understandable! We want to take another river cruise, maybe in England and Scotland, and to finish our German river cruise on other ... Read More
Objective was to see Germany and picturesque river castes up close. Guides were very knowledgeable and understandable! We want to take another river cruise, maybe in England and Scotland, and to finish our German river cruise on other rivers. Very restful and relaxing. Would like to be able to see ahead in addition to seeing alongside. Would like a "captain's chair" or two in the room. Food and service was excellent with a great variety (but the food labels were too small). Port villages were small clean neat picturesque friendly and easy to walk around with no danger of getting lost or left behind, because the boat and river were so near. A simple map was provided each morning of the town we would be exploring that day. We took a picture of it each day to help us identify the locations of the pictures we took when we got home. Smaller passenger numbers made embarkation and debarkation easy simple and quick. It was also easy to recognize fellow passengers on shore for making acquaintances, sharing stories, and making sure you were among friends and in the right place. This was our 50th wedding anniversary, and the crew and captain made a special presentation of cake, champagne, music, and song at the front of the main window in the dining room! Very special surprise! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We arrived in Paris and was warmly greeted at the airport for a smooth transport to our Hotel for next three days. Our Hotel and Paris were amazing and within walking distance of so many sites. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the ... Read More
We arrived in Paris and was warmly greeted at the airport for a smooth transport to our Hotel for next three days. Our Hotel and Paris were amazing and within walking distance of so many sites. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre...so much to see! Then we took bullet train to our Ship, Avalon Visionary which was beautifully appointed. The staff were so gracious and entertainment was top-notch. We choose Avalon for the room setup with own bed facing the wall of windows. Our views were perfect! Sharing a glass of wine after dinner and looking at the lit towns as we silently drifted by felt like we were in a romance novel. While this was our first river cruise I cannot imagine anything that could have been done better by another. It will not be our last as we are already looking at their culinary cruise for August 2018 - Paris to Normandy. 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We took the cruise-only portion of the Paris to Prague cruise. We spent several days on our own in Paris, then took the TGV to Luxembourg City and then the public bus to Remich that dropped us off within 100 ft of the ship (the bus fare ... Read More
We took the cruise-only portion of the Paris to Prague cruise. We spent several days on our own in Paris, then took the TGV to Luxembourg City and then the public bus to Remich that dropped us off within 100 ft of the ship (the bus fare was $2 - a bargin!). The hotel manager met us at the bottom of the gangway and took care of our bags. We were in Room 208 on the Sapphire Deck. The design and maintenance of the cabin was great! The slight angling of the wall between the bed and the bathroom made both rooms seem larger than in cabins with perpendicular walls. Thanks to whoever came up with the idea. The lunches and dinners were very good, especially the soups and salads. The breakfasts were pretty much the same each day - not bad but not outstanding. The ship has a nice lounge area on the Deck 3 aft where coffee and tea are available 24/7 as well as pastries and juice. The one disappointment was the tasting menu that they serve in the evening in the bistro. It was an effort to add some variety to the food choices, but it is a set menu and some of the items didn't go together with each other and with the wines very well. All of the tours were good. We especially enjoyed the wine tasting in Bernkastel, the stop in Miltonburg (less touristy than a lot of the other city we visited), and the Residence in Wurzburg. The crew was very helpful and conscience throughout the cruise. The key disappoint was the limited pre-cruise support. We did not book a pre-cruise transfer so we needed to get information on where the ship would be docked in Remich. We were told that we would be sent that information a couple of days before we embarked, but nothing ever came. Fortunately, Remich is a very small town and the bus driver knew where the ship was docked so it was a none issue, but providing an address ahead of time would have been appreciated. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise as our July 2015 Main cruise was cancelled due to low water. Avalon was kind enough to totally refund our money and give us each a $500 credit to be used by end of 2016. Not wanting to chance the Main again we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our July 2015 Main cruise was cancelled due to low water. Avalon was kind enough to totally refund our money and give us each a $500 credit to be used by end of 2016. Not wanting to chance the Main again we chose the Rhine / Moselle cruise and boy, are we glad we did. We expected cool rainy weather and were prepared with layers and umbrellas which worked perfectly We arrived in Amsterdam 2 days early and stayed at the Hilton Doubletree near the train station, which was not too far from Avalon's gathering hotel, Movenpick. We loved Amsterdam. Spent some time with the Rembrandts at the Rijksmuseum. Otherwise we just strolled and explored. As we walked with our luggage towards the Movenpick I spied the Visionary on our way. iT was about 11 am and I knew all previous passengers would have departed. I took a chance and headed to the ship to see if we could board. Jerry, the Hotel Manager, graciously said we were the first passengers and we were welcome to come aboard and sit in the lounge. My SO and I decided we would just leave our bags and walk over to the Movenpick. We then decided to take the excursion to Zaanse Schans. It was quite rainy at the windmill village but we had a wonderful guide nad really enjoyed it. The bus then took us directly to the ship. Embarkation was a breeze and our luggage was already in the room. We had the required emergency drill and welcome cocktail from the captain and met the department heads. Adrienn Godo was our Cruise Director and she did a fantastic job throughout the entire cruise. The reception staff was also wonderful as was Jerry, the Hotel Manager and the bar, dining room and housekeeping managers. I don't remember their names. The whole crew was wonderful and the ship was spotless. We had a below decks room and though tiny it was well thought out and we had plenty of room for clothes and toiletries. Dining was also excellent although we wished there was another dinner venue where we didn't have to sit for two hours every night. All the food was well prepared, tasty and mostly of the region we were sailing in. I love their breads! We often partook of the 4pm afternoon tea but never stayed up late enough for night fare. Enjoyed the cookies, pastries and coffee/tea at the back of deck 3. We used the elevator a lot-happy to have it. Unfortunately the weather was never good enough to partake of the sun deck. We did sit up there in front of the wheel house a few short times. Sailing by the Rhine Castles we sat in the lounge and enjoyed Adrienn's commentary. My favorite part of the cruise was the 4 days we spent on the Moselle. With so little barge traffic it was like our own private river. The first day on the Moselle a local historian came aboard and told us all about the Moselle. We had a different historian to tell us about life in Germany from the dark ages until today. Both were excellent. At least 3 nights there were special musical acts: opera trained female singer with pianist singing love songs, another night violins and guitar and another time folk music. We skipped the folk music but really enjoyed the other two. Every night there was Miko at the piano. I attended the crew talent show which was mostly Jerry singing. The final lunch in France there was an accordion player. Almost all of the local guides were excellent. A few times we cut off early to do our own scouting. Besides Zaanse Schans our other optional excursions were wine tasting in Luxembourg, and excursion to Colmar. My SO and I split up one day and he did the Maginot line and I an Alsace wine tasting. All were excellent and well priced. We enjoyed half priced drinks at happy hour from 6-7. The cream soups were delicious. We enjoyed all the cities except Cologne, Rudesheim and Mainz. Not sorry we saw them, just not as enjoyable as the others. Besides the Moselle we especially enjoyed Amsterdam and Colmar. The other stops in the Netherlands, Kinderdijk, Hoorn and sailing the Zider Zee were a nice bonus. We used Avalon for our flight reservations and although in Coach we enjoyed Lufthansa. Sine we did pre and post on our own we did not use Avalon's transfers. Train from Schiphol to Amsterdam Centraal was a breeze. We spent three days post in Lucerne and took a taxi, which reception got for us, from Basel to Lucerne. Embarkation was easy. This was our second Avalon cruise. In 2013 we did Prague to Budapest. We plan to cruise with Avalon again in 2018 on the Rhone. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We selected this cruise for its rich itinerary. It provides a glimpse into life along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers today and its history back to Roman times. The accommodations and service were good. Food was excellent; but portions at ... Read More
We selected this cruise for its rich itinerary. It provides a glimpse into life along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers today and its history back to Roman times. The accommodations and service were good. Food was excellent; but portions at dinner were small. This was okay with us, but someone with a larger appetite, might be disappointed. Wine selections and quantity was more than adequate. The Cruise Director did a good job with arranging excursions, considering there were delays in getting through some of the locks. Individual tour guides mostly did an excellent job. We especially liked the tour of the Black Forest with a taste of their special cherry cake. The tour of Sigfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum was wonderful in Ruedesheim, along with a stop for their special Ruedesheimer coffee. An onboard visit from a "wine farmer" from the Zell area provided a wonderful presentation about the wines from the Moselle region. We also enjoyed our tour in Kinderdijk and the Canal boat tour in Amsterdam. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
We took a previous Avalon cruise and enjoyed enough to book this one. The rooms were comfortable with plenty of storage space to unpack our suitcases. There was extra storage under the beds for luggage. The bathrooms were more than ... Read More
We took a previous Avalon cruise and enjoyed enough to book this one. The rooms were comfortable with plenty of storage space to unpack our suitcases. There was extra storage under the beds for luggage. The bathrooms were more than adequate. The local tours and guides were knowledgeable. There was enough time in each of the ports for exploration and shopping. There was excellent service from the entire crew. Everything went smoothly for the hotel transfer at the start in Amsterdam and taxi cab arrangements at the final destination in Basel. The aft lounge had an amazing coffee / espresso machine with delicious cookies and baked goods available at all hours. The dining room was large enough that you didn't feel crowed at any meal. The breakfast buffet along wth the eggs and omelet station was excellent. We enjoyed the dinner service. My wife is a pescatarian and she was able to choose a different fish entree every night. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Chose this cruise for the itinerary, but it was the people who made it really special. Every single person on the crew, from the housekeeping staff to the sailors, wait staff to front desk people, not to mention the cruise director and ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary, but it was the people who made it really special. Every single person on the crew, from the housekeeping staff to the sailors, wait staff to front desk people, not to mention the cruise director and maître d'hôtel, were absolutely wonderful. We've never experienced such a friendly, accommodating, fun staff anywhere. Food was fantastic also - such a vast array of choices, beautifully presented, and all delicious. Ship was beautiful, very clean and modern. Relaxed, casual atmosphere in the dining room and lounge, perfect for getting to know many other passengers. Great to have the option of the "gentle walkers" groups for shore excursions, along with complimentary walking sticks, bottled water, and audio sets to hear the guides. Appreciated the nightly newsletter "appearing" in our cabin each evening when we returned from dinner, listing the activities and schedule for the next day, along with historical or other interesting information about our destination, maps, and the weather forecast so we knew how to dress. Avalon would definitely be our first choice again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
Service was very good. Food quality and variety very good. Complimentary wine selections with dinner better then on other cruise lines. Many of the service personal an people at the front desk remembered your name after a couple of days. ... Read More
Service was very good. Food quality and variety very good. Complimentary wine selections with dinner better then on other cruise lines. Many of the service personal an people at the front desk remembered your name after a couple of days. The off the ship tour directors that did the half day and full day tours had great knowledge of the countries visited and made suggestions for shopping. Cabin size was larger then on other river cruise ships I have been on. Port talks were very informative and tour director friendly and knowledgeable. Embarkation was a quick process. A ship's representative met us at the airport and stayed with us till we arrived at the dock. Towels in the bath were soft and fluffy and bath products were of really good quality. And the gym has good equipment and more options then on other ships I have been on and there was also a Jazuzzi. This was my 5th river cruise and i would sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
We wanted to try something different, travel on the Canal's and the price was very good. The Service was excellent, the food and entertainment was out standing. The crew was very observant, I had a knee problem and was lagging behind, ... Read More
We wanted to try something different, travel on the Canal's and the price was very good. The Service was excellent, the food and entertainment was out standing. The crew was very observant, I had a knee problem and was lagging behind, that added a bus for the "Gentle Walkers", that was a wonderful surprise. The Docents were very good. I loved having the fire on the TV when returning to our room at night. We met people from all over the world and the crew made us feel very welcome. I would do another River Boat Cruise. We only had 92 people on the ship, which made it nice to get to know all the other passengers. One of the evening entertainments was postponed but the crew came up with a funny skit to entertain us, very funny. Our Captain made himself available, greeted us at different times on the ship. Tony was wonderful, very helpful with the side tours and very informative on the ship every day. And you have the best Bar Tenders.... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We signed up for this cruise as past passengers...Mekong River. We were so impressed that when the offers came in for early booking we accepted. In every respect this cruise exceeded our expectations. The entire crew was fully engaged ... Read More
We signed up for this cruise as past passengers...Mekong River. We were so impressed that when the offers came in for early booking we accepted. In every respect this cruise exceeded our expectations. The entire crew was fully engaged not only with their duties, but with genuine concern for all if the passengers. Starting with Nynke, the cruise director through the entire crew, we were treated with warmth and respect. It was very evident to us that "Customer Service" is a top priority. Our cabin was very spacious, and the layout was unique and very user friendly! The 2 stage sliding glass door which opens onto a french balcony is particularly noteworthy. Food was very tasty and beautifully presented. The wait staff was outstanding! One of the many outstanding aspects of this trip was it's pace. We never felt rushed either ashore or on board. PERFECT!! We are not new to river cruising, having sailed with Tauck and Viking...both the old boats and the new Long Ships. We can say that we rate Avalon at the top of the list. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Our trip was a work promotion and it couldn't have been better. We'd never been on a such a vacation--ocean or river--before and couldn't be more pleased. The Visionary was terrific, the crew warm and accommodating. The ... Read More
Our trip was a work promotion and it couldn't have been better. We'd never been on a such a vacation--ocean or river--before and couldn't be more pleased. The Visionary was terrific, the crew warm and accommodating. The dinner service left us wanting for nothing, as the offerings each meal were fresh, new and creative. Our cabin was spacious, warm, modern, clean and comfortable with plenty of space. The view outside our glassed doors was magical as we got to watch Austria pass by. The shore trips arranged for us were great, allowing enough time to be with a guide AND to explore on our own. I would gladly recommend such a cruise to anyone looking for the pleasure of water travel as well as the chance to explore on dry land. Even though our vacation was technically "work", our trip down the Danube was a vacation my wife and I will never forget. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
I choose this trip because the port of calls seemed interesting, and I enjoyed all the wineries that were available for tastings. I like a mix of busy cities and quiet out of the way places, it is a better way to actually see how others ... Read More
I choose this trip because the port of calls seemed interesting, and I enjoyed all the wineries that were available for tastings. I like a mix of busy cities and quiet out of the way places, it is a better way to actually see how others live. In general I like the smaller scale that you get with a river cruise, and the ability to customize it to suit individual interests. Everyone on board makes you feel welcome and ready to help in any way they can. The food is good, and served hot with plenty of choices for every dietary need. Excursions were well planned and came of without any problems, buses were clean and always locked so that you could leave personal items behind. The drivers were careful, and knew the areas well. I never knew there so many locks on the various rivers, it was interesting to see how they all functioned. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
after much research, we felt that the room size was larger on the Avalon Visionary boat and more to our liking... which it was. The room was immaculately clean and kept clean and tidy every day. The crew was friendly and accommodating ... Read More
after much research, we felt that the room size was larger on the Avalon Visionary boat and more to our liking... which it was. The room was immaculately clean and kept clean and tidy every day. The crew was friendly and accommodating and the food was fabulous. Every tour had a knowledgeable and thorough guide that was very informative. We didn't expect to have entertainment nightly onboard - however we were pleasantly surprised with the local talent that jumped on board while we were docked or while we passed through a lock..... amazing!!!!! The Hum Pa Pa band was hysterical... I hadn't laughed that hard in a long time. He was fabulous. During the day we had a Zither concert - something new for me - and not to be out done by the beer tasting in the afternoon. I need to compliment the "bar - tender" and the rest of his staff.... they always went out of their way for you. I like Avalon. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose Avalon as we had heard good things about their cruises. The Avalon Visionary is a great ship and we thought our cabin (206) was well appointed with plenty of storage space and seating. We enjoyed the daily entertainment which ... Read More
We chose Avalon as we had heard good things about their cruises. The Avalon Visionary is a great ship and we thought our cabin (206) was well appointed with plenty of storage space and seating. We enjoyed the daily entertainment which was varied, including lectures, musicians, singers, and even a show put on by the crew. The service was excellent from all crew members we encountered. The dining was 4-star quality and varied. Breakfast and lunch were buffets, but always offered a made-to-order specialty from the chef. Ports were as wonderful as we had anticipated, and you can be as busy as you want to be with choices of additional excursions on most days. All the local guides were excellent. An extra shout-out to our cruise director, Karoline, who was outstanding. We though it was really an ideal way to travel and hope to plan another river cruise with Avalon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Wanted to cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. Switzerland, France, Germany, Czech Republic and Austria. Gorgeous. The ship was very nice. Water levels were high so we didn't board until second day. Our cabin was nice, food ... Read More
Wanted to cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. Switzerland, France, Germany, Czech Republic and Austria. Gorgeous. The ship was very nice. Water levels were high so we didn't board until second day. Our cabin was nice, food pretty good. Service is excellent. However for the price it was very expensive compared to ocean cruises. Of course river cruises include all the tours guided. Dining room was very warm, it was hard to eat when you are very warm. Scenery was gorgeous and cruise director was excellent. Think for the price all alcohol any time of day should be included. Daily schedule was just the right pace. Lived all the stops but particularly Czech Republic and Wacau Valley. Loved Regensburg a lot. Felt like a Christmas town. I think the best way to describe this river cruise is castles, cathedrals, storks, swans, vineyards and apricot orchards. So breathtaking and unusual. Life onboard was very good. Ship is immaculate. Service was very good. Activities were not too numerous which is good because several days had two excursions and didn't need a lot of entertainment onboard. The food was very good. Absolutely loved the special tasting dinners at the start of each region. The lounges and patios were perfect onboard. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Has Avalon lost the plot or are they about to sink into murky water? One would think so by our experience. Picked up at 4.30am in the morning, in Amsterdam by 10.25am we were taken to a hotel where a meeting room has been hired and told ... Read More
Has Avalon lost the plot or are they about to sink into murky water? One would think so by our experience. Picked up at 4.30am in the morning, in Amsterdam by 10.25am we were taken to a hotel where a meeting room has been hired and told we have a choice, sit there until 4.00pm before we go to the ship with provided refreshments of lukewarm coffee in jugs, or go and walk around Amsterdam centre which was twenty minutes walk away. Okay, fair enough, we were early, although not our fault Avalon had booked the aircraft, so we wandered off, carrying all our belongings being no secure storage. Now to the boat (which we've decided it to be rather than a ship) and to a 'State Room' sold in the brochure to us as spacious with panoramic floor to ceiling window and comfortable seating, while we cruised along through the tulip fields of Holland. In our case the 'State Room' should be more aptly named 'Cabin in the Bilges' as a better description. I kid you not, the panoramic window turned out to be two narrow slits looking out at the concrete side of the jetty and a warning from the man who took us to the cabin to keep the curtains closed if we were changing. Although to be fair, when the boat was cruising you could look out, if you stood on your bed and held onto the ledge that is! Then the brochure claimed the cabins were the largest for this type of boat. We tend to disagree, the end of the bed was eleven inches from the dressing table, either side of the bed twelve inches from walls. The single chair (not two, one for each of us) to sit on, was more like a one you'd find in a kitchen, jammed under the dressing table with not enough room to be pulled out and use. Then the lighting of the room (we needed that having little or no window) was so bad we were forced to use the lights on our mobiles to look into the wardrobe, or the tiny safe seated at the back. Then, if you wanted a wet shave, forget it, far too dark in an en-suite that could only be described as bijou, or in practical terms so small that if the boat hit the jetty at least you couldn't fall over. Naturally, as one does, faced with this, you complain, after all the boat was only two thirds full, so they must have something better for two people in their late sixties? They did, we were proudly shown around a cabin with lounge chairs, panoramic window and actually room to walk around and could move, if we paid £1600 hundred pounds more that is, otherwise we stayed where we were and put up with it. That works out at £228 a night extra for the two of us, to be added to the £431 a night we'd already paid. Why was it, talking to people in these so called luxury rooms, that they paid the same as us? Very strange, or was it an attempt at extortion by the cruise manager once you are captured? However, being British we are are resourceful. We had the bed turned around sideways, got rid of the side tables, leaving the telephone on the floor and had two chairs brought from the lounge. Clever, eh? At least we could sit down, although one of us had to climb over the other to get into bed, then we had to stack the chairs on top of each other at the entrance door at night, to have room to get out of bed and go to the loo. That was because we were banned from leaving the chairs in the corridor at night, even after we said blocking our door was a fire hazard for us. They claimed that to have us leave chairs in the corridor would look bad for a boat offering four star accommodation, besides a hazard to other passengers. Right we were off, uncomfortable, yes, but the tulips awaited. No they didn't, there wasn't any. Why didn't someone tell us this little fact, that in late May the tulip cruise which we were on isn't? No one mentioned that even though the question was asked and verified, till we were aboard that is and holding an itinerary sent in advance included a day at the world renowned tulip gardens of Keukenhof, which was closed. At this point we wanted to go home, after all, we're only an hour or so flight away. But they convinced us that the alternative itinerary would make up. Well, yes and no, if you like to wander around towns at eight thirty in the morning, full of delivery lorries, smelly bags of rubbish besides rubbish carts and completely void of life. We found that out more than once, when ignoring the optional coach trips at an average cost of £55 each, we went back to the towns later in the day to find a vibrant cafe culture, open shops and people, yes people and no rubbish carts. I must mention the food, after all food is important on such holidays. It was okay, we've had better. Then most of the menu of the next day seemed to be recycled using a variation of the previous day's offerings they had over. As for breakfast, avoid the jams and honey in packets. They are so old the jam had gone a funny colour and the honey granulated. Also forget bacon unless you like it crispy, well burnt really and toast that one day gave you anemic toast, the next so charred you had to scrape it. Best meal advice. Avoid the fancy stuff, most are pretty ordinary, but they will make you steak and chips as an alternative, we lived on that. Overall impressions? I'm months off seventy, my partner is disabled, with a heart valve and pacemaker, besides associated problems. So maybe the hardened cruisers among you will laugh at our naivety. Maybe we shouldn't have believed the brochure that all cabins had panoramic windows and we really couldn't expect a two chairs in our cabin for £3500 on an eight day cruise. Maybe we should have realised the tulips were finished, even though we'd still few in our garden. Even so, we were entitled to some consideration rather than complacency, after the cruise director could only laugh that we'd had the bed turned around, bedside cabinets removed and another chair brought just to sit down. Besides required to climb over a bed to get in and stack chairs up blocking the exit. We’re going back to a cruise line that tells the truth and looks after you. Besides giving you a cabin for two and not a converted single cabin, where the bed won't fit the room and an en-suite that you can actually turn round in. As for Avalon, half empty boats, out and out lies to get you aboard, followed by indifference when something can be done about an obvious problem, for us indicates a cruise line that has no concern for its passengers. Be warned, make sure you are very clear what they are offering you, preferably in writing, or just don't go with them and find a cruise company that cares. Read Less
Avalon Visionary Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 3.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family N/A 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.6
Enrichment 4.0 4.4
Service 4.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 4.3
Rates 3.0 3.6

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