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I chose this May, 2018 river cruise for the itinerary because Switzerland was on my bucket list, specifically Lucerne. I looked forward to the pre cruise two night stay at The Palace but was very disappointed when that hotel was substituted due to renovation. The boutique Marriott property - The Hotel - is dark and dreary, with the ceiling murals of the supposedly renowned architect's favorite movie scenes quite creepy at best. Cold and modern interiors instead of warm traditional was not what I had looked forward to here in this charming, quaint city. The bar and restaurant are independent entities and charges were pay as you go, with Marriott points not allowed, an additional surprising negative with this hotel. Our Tour Director Katie was extremely knowledgeable, with a great personality, present and professional at all times. With Katie along, our tour of Lucerne was comprehensive, led by a local lady who was a joy to be with. The tour to Mt. Pilatus was amazing and Katie led it beautifully. Each of the shore excursions were led by well qualified guides with the exception of Koblenz. That gentleman was way too wordy and spoke solely to one couple in particular, while ignoring the rest of our group. I chose two optional excursions - Colmar for the wine country scenery and tasting and to the Black Forest with a serving of that marvelous cake at a clock shop/cafe. Each excursion was well worth the added cost, both immensely enjoyable. Once on board, as on other River cruises I have experienced, I was very much looking forward to the seven days of dining but this proved to be a disappointment as well. Breakfast and lunch were the usual buffet offerings, just average, with dinner entrees skimpy and for the most part tasteless, desserts - most nights icecream - uninspired. One evening the size of the fish entree while tasty, had our table giggling, it was so tiny. I tasted whatever of the local wines were offered each night at dinner and must say they were quite good. One day I chose to stay back from the Regenstein excursion and spent a marvelous day up on the sun deck reading while cruising leisurely along and glancing up now and then at the picturesque country side. This was a much needed respite and a lovely memory. Katie emphasized that it was not necessary to go on every excursion but to take a step back when needed and enjoy the ship and that is exactly what I did. I'm not a night life person but understood the very pleasant after dinner piano music in the Lounge was attended well by those partaking of a night cap. The servers in the Lounge were exceptional and went out of their way to make a special drink for me one night before dinner even though it was not on the drinks menu. In retrospect, I feel Avalon did not deliver a well rounded quality product that reflected the cost of the $6,000.00 price tag and I would not choose this company again in future. Unfortunately, I feel Avalon does not compare favorably with the three other well known River cruise companies I have traveled with.

Value for Dollar Sadly A Negative on Avalon

Avalon Affinity Cruise Review by Travelchat

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with French Balcony
I chose this May, 2018 river cruise for the itinerary because Switzerland was on my bucket list, specifically Lucerne. I looked forward to the pre cruise two night stay at The Palace but was very disappointed when that hotel was substituted due to renovation. The boutique Marriott property - The Hotel - is dark and dreary, with the ceiling murals of the supposedly renowned architect's favorite movie scenes quite creepy at best. Cold and modern interiors instead of warm traditional was not what I had looked forward to here in this charming, quaint city. The bar and restaurant are independent entities and charges were pay as you go, with Marriott points not allowed, an additional surprising negative with this hotel.

Our Tour Director Katie was extremely knowledgeable, with a great personality, present and professional at all times. With Katie along, our tour of Lucerne was comprehensive, led by a local lady who was a joy to be with. The tour to Mt. Pilatus was amazing and Katie led it beautifully. Each of the shore excursions were led by well qualified guides with the exception of Koblenz. That gentleman was way too wordy and spoke solely to one couple in particular, while ignoring the rest of our group.

I chose two optional excursions - Colmar for the wine country scenery and tasting and to the Black Forest with a serving of that marvelous cake at a clock shop/cafe. Each excursion was well worth the added cost, both immensely enjoyable.

Once on board, as on other River cruises I have experienced, I was very much looking forward to the seven days of dining but this proved to be a disappointment as well. Breakfast and lunch were the usual buffet offerings, just average, with dinner entrees skimpy and for the most part tasteless, desserts - most nights icecream - uninspired. One evening the size of the fish entree while tasty, had our table giggling, it was so tiny. I tasted whatever of the local wines were offered each night at dinner and must say they were quite good.

One day I chose to stay back from the Regenstein excursion and spent a marvelous day up on the sun deck reading while cruising leisurely along and glancing up now and then at the picturesque country side. This was a much needed respite and a lovely memory. Katie emphasized that it was not necessary to go on every excursion but to take a step back when needed and enjoy the ship and that is exactly what I did.

I'm not a night life person but understood the very pleasant after dinner piano music in the Lounge was attended well by those partaking of a night cap. The servers in the Lounge were exceptional and went out of their way to make a special drink for me one night before dinner even though it was not on the drinks menu.

In retrospect, I feel Avalon did not deliver a well rounded quality product that reflected the cost of the $6,000.00 price tag and I would not choose this company again in future. Unfortunately, I feel Avalon does not compare favorably with the three other well known River cruise companies I have traveled with.
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with French Balcony
Cabin B 224
Modern decor double cabin was typical of other river cruises on which I have upgraded from a single cabin on the lower deck to a double cabin mid deck for an up charge once the single supplement charge had been dropped. Cabin nicely appointed, plenty of room for one person with a pretty fresh orchid on the dresser. Bathroom shower was very large, a nice surprise.
Sapphire Deck Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews