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The Avalon Illumination is a beautiful vessel, essentially a floating luxury hotel. Lovely experience on board with a wonderful Czech hotel manager, Barbora, and a smiling, mostly Romanian, crew. Top-notch organization from Dutch cruise director, Mark. Excellent meals and many charming small touches, such as glasses of lemonade awaiting us when we returned from excursions, or dining hall decorations that reflected our ports of call. The Prague to Budapest route was great, with visits to three great capitals and fascinating smaller cities (e.g. Regensburg, Linz). There were also enrichment activities such as a lock expert who gave a fascinating power point presentation; a tour of the wheelhouse; and various musical acts in the evenings. However, I didn't like most of the side trips at additional cost, which were fairly aggressively up-sold. Wherever we went there were hordes of other river cruisers on the same itinerary. A particular disappointment was an expensive day trip to Cesky-Krumlov. A concert evening in Vienna, which I attended to accompany a friend, was truly lame in a city famed for its music, and similarly overpriced. My advice would be to research all stops well in advance; get off and wander on foot or hire local drivers; and take time to enjoy the river cruising rather than feeling compelled to do excursions.

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Avalon Illumination Cruise Review by mmfeeney

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with Window
The Avalon Illumination is a beautiful vessel, essentially a floating luxury hotel. Lovely experience on board with a wonderful Czech hotel manager, Barbora, and a smiling, mostly Romanian, crew. Top-notch organization from Dutch cruise director, Mark. Excellent meals and many charming small touches, such as glasses of lemonade awaiting us when we returned from excursions, or dining hall decorations that reflected our ports of call.

The Prague to Budapest route was great, with visits to three great capitals and fascinating smaller cities (e.g. Regensburg, Linz).

There were also enrichment activities such as a lock expert who gave a fascinating power point presentation; a tour of the wheelhouse; and various musical acts in the evenings.

However, I didn't like most of the side trips at additional cost, which were fairly aggressively up-sold. Wherever we went there were hordes of other river cruisers on the same itinerary. A particular disappointment was an expensive day trip to Cesky-Krumlov. A concert evening in Vienna, which I attended to accompany a friend, was truly lame in a city famed for its music, and similarly overpriced.

My advice would be to research all stops well in advance; get off and wander on foot or hire local drivers; and take time to enjoy the river cruising rather than feeling compelled to do excursions.
mmfeeney’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with Window
Cabin D
Beautiful cabin with spacious bathroom and ample storage. Loved the amenities from L'Occitane.
Indigo Deck Outside Cabins