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Sail Date: August 2019
This was our third Avalon cruise. We had done the Rhine and the Seine cruises and loved them, so of course we stayed with Avalon. If you haven't done the Rhine, this tour does go by the Rhine castles and Lorelei Rock. I think that ... Read More
This was our third Avalon cruise. We had done the Rhine and the Seine cruises and loved them, so of course we stayed with Avalon. If you haven't done the Rhine, this tour does go by the Rhine castles and Lorelei Rock. I think that is really the high point of the Rhine cruise. (Plus, the Rhine is more industrial, which this tour is defiantly more scenic) On this cruise, the ship sails on the Danube canal, Main River, Rhine canal and Mossel River. There is very little industry, so the scenery is just beautiful, especially the mountains on the Mossel with the vineyards. We did the tour extension and started in Prague. Since our plane was late, we only had one full day in Prague, and that really isn't enough in this awesome city. We did the Avalon tour as well as Hidden Treasures and the Folklore dinner. We enjoyed all of them. Avalon's hotel, Hilton, did not meet our expectations due to very noisy (think jackhammer) construction that takes place from 10 to 7 pm. Although it was a superior hotel with beautiful rooms, not being able to hold a conversation in our room due to noise was not acceptable. However, this was a wonderful cruise. It helped that we had a fantastic Austrian cruise direction, Helmut, who kept things moving with Swiss precision. Not only were his evening cruise briefings concise and funny, but he was always there to make sure that our local guides had us where we were supposed to be He did a superior job of organizing our transfers off the ship. The crew of the ship were excellent. Of course our cabins were spotless, as was the ship and dining areas. The meals were delicious. Breakfast was buffet, with any food you could imagine, including an omelet station, which was particularly popular. Lunch also offered a great selection. Dinner was 4-5 courses, and you have a choice for each course. They serve wine and beer with lunch and dinner, complimentary. The ship also served tea at 4:00 with baked goods and sandwiches. We found all the food fantastic! Our lounge singer was ok, but the entertainers they brought onboard were excellent. The Imagery II is a great ship. Avalon has made the rooms bigger than they were formerly; there is more room in the shower now and a little table by the french balcony. They have scented oil diffusers in the bathroom, but took them out at my request due to my allergies. The rooms on the mid deck all have the sliding glass door that runs the length of your room. This is wonderful when you are up early and sailing into a port. You can sit in bed and watch the world go by. The lower levels do not have these windows, and our friends on the lower deck would see swan asses sail by. However, our friend on the lower decks felt like they were rarely in their rooms, which is generally true. We did all of the included and extra tours that Avalon offered. We enjoyed all the included tours. We would have skipped the "VINEYARDS, VILLAGES & VIEWS OF THE MOSELLE" because we went to a former nunnery that didn't exist, and it was meaningless. However the first half of the tour was interesting in that we saw how sparkling wine was made. Our tour guide knew a lot of information about growing wine grapes, and that was interesting. Ports were exceptionally beautiful with medieval half timbered houses. Wurzberg is a stand out for the bishop's residence and Trier for its Roman ruins. We would have liked to spend more time in those towns. Bamberg is a breathtaking beautiful town. I like that Avalon now offers activities to suit different fitness levels. We did the average group, which was usually around 2-4 miles of walking. There was a gentle walking group for those who didn't want to walk that much. There is a fast paced group that goes on hikes to castles and bike rides. People seemed to enjoy having neat options. I am very glad that we did this cruise. It was relaxing and enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
As a former travel agent, I have done extensive research and constant certification in many cruise lines and land travel suppliers. Avalon has been at the top of my list for some time. Although it is not the highest end in luxury, it was ... Read More
As a former travel agent, I have done extensive research and constant certification in many cruise lines and land travel suppliers. Avalon has been at the top of my list for some time. Although it is not the highest end in luxury, it was every bit a luxury experience for my husband and myself. First let me tell you that the staff could not have been more attentive and knowledgeable. They were always at hand to help with any needs or wants. Our Cruise Director was heads above others and she was fun, informative and invested in the experience she gives all clients on board her ship as well as when we were on land. The ship was very well appointed and was comfortable no matter where you were on board. The main lounge had lots of seating and the floor to ceiling windows allowed us to always see where we were while still enjoying lectures, or entertainment. There were a number of areas for gathering and all were clean and comfortable. Always stocked with snacks and coffee and tea bars. Access was easy to all areas. The upper deck was great for relaxing and watching the scenery go by. And we had a great cookout up on the deck. Very fun for all! Our cabin was roomy with great storage in the closet and under the bed. The bathroom was bright and easy to maneuver with the two of us. Now it is not what I would call oversized but my husband and I found it to be comfortable. We had a small sofa with a round table and a comfortable chair. There was also a desk and chair giving us good counter space. The bed was amazing!! Was king size and the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept in. I have trouble with my hips especially after extensive walking during the day, and I never had pain at all in the bed. The floor to ceiling panorama windows were fabulous for viewing although we did not spend a great deal of time in our cabin as there were so many fun people to meet. The dining experience was great! The food and selections were fantastic. The main dining room was inviting and clean and easy to find a table. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style and were loaded with options and great selections. Dinner was a four course meal but you did not have to select all four courses. Was great that you could make your selections. My husband is very much a foodie and he loved each new meal even more than the last. I tend to be a bit picky but found many options and loved everything that I dined on. In the Panorama Lounge, at the same time that meals were served in the dining room, there was always light selections that were every bit as delicious as what was being served in the dining room. Afternoon tea was delightful and always had a wide selection of finger sandwiches, fruit and yummy desserts. In the rear lounge, there was always coffee, tee and a selection of cookies and desserts of the day. The entertainment was exceptional on board the ship. In the evening, there was a piano player that had a great variety of music. He was talented and able to supplement his piano playing with background instrumentation that was recorded. He kept us dancing every night! He also played during lunch and tea time in the Panorama Lounge daily. We had several entertainment opportunities from people brought on board for our pleasure. Several lectures that were informative and fun (especially the beer tasting). We had a Cabaret singer that not only had a powerful singing voice but was hilarious in-between songs. We had two gentlemen come in that were top musicians and each played about 30 different instruments. They were phenomenal and also had a good comedy routine in-between entertaining us with their musical prowess. The shore excursions were great. Informative and historical combined to keep us interested and the locations were amazing. We saw and experienced so much with each excursion. There were excursions included everyday and we also did some that we added on. Each one was different than the next but kept us interested and amazed. Avalon did a great job with each one and we were taken in very comfortable and clean motor coaches to each destination. We were given audio instruments that allowed our guide to speak to us giving us the history and interesting information about the sites we were visiting. Overall we were very happy with the choices that were made. The only enrichment activity that I would have liked would be cooking with the chef or some type of cooking lecture. I have relived all of our experiences everyday since we returned home through the thousand pictures that we took. I look forward to the next river cruise and it will definitely be on Avalon - they did not disappoint in any way! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We were comparing Viking and Avalon as we knew nothing about either. We chose Avalon as it was the right timing and we received free air fare. Lol. We really didn't know much about destinations or places we wanted to see but ... Read More
We were comparing Viking and Avalon as we knew nothing about either. We chose Avalon as it was the right timing and we received free air fare. Lol. We really didn't know much about destinations or places we wanted to see but thought we would start with the Danube and see what that was like. We quickly found that the destination was only part of the trip. We enjoyed every minute of the time we spent on the Avalon Impression. The cruise director, Kristine was a delight. So organized and seemed to know all passengers in a very short time. She was so informative and helpful at every turn. The Captain Roland was also wonderful. He took time to answer questions and made us feel like he was at home with his ship and we felt well cared for on the water. The ship its self was very nice. The rooms seemed adequate in the space we had and supplied everything we needed. Our room attendant, Flory was delightful. She kept us put together at all times and was so polite and helpful, we had no complaints. We so enjoyed meeting the other travelers from different places and had overall an amazing experience. This was a trip I never imagined I would get to experience and Avalon made it one I hope to do again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Traveled with a teen and since it was summer there were other teens on board. There are no programs or plans for children/teens though so not recommended if you are looking for someone to entertain them. Ship crew is very friendly and hard ... Read More
Traveled with a teen and since it was summer there were other teens on board. There are no programs or plans for children/teens though so not recommended if you are looking for someone to entertain them. Ship crew is very friendly and hard working, overall great. Included tours are perfect for an intro to the area although not so great if you want to sleep as most are in the morning. They use local guides that are quite knowledgeable and some are also very entertaining. Schedules are dependent on water levels so some changes to ports and shore excursions may affect your cruise. Be sure you are not too set on seeing a particular site from the cruise as it could be changed. Highly recommend flying in at least one day prior to relax, rest and see the starting destination (you may be bused to a new starting destination and not see that destination at all). Dining was open seating ala carte for dinner, buffet for breakfast and lunch. There was also dining options in the lounge which is recommended to try for a more casual, relaxed meal at your own pace (same menu as the dining room but smaller portions and a buffet). Overall the ship is extremely clean. Beverage service was a little slow. Disembarkation was wonderful, smooth, efficient and quick. There was a variety of ages on the ship with several teens traveling with family up to retired adults. This cruise attracts more active travelers rather than passive although everyone is welcome. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I am so happy that my Travel Agent selected the Avalon Waterways. This was my first trip to Europe and I can honestly say I was treated like Royalty. Not only were the accommodations excellent, also were the staff. Never have I seen staff ... Read More
I am so happy that my Travel Agent selected the Avalon Waterways. This was my first trip to Europe and I can honestly say I was treated like Royalty. Not only were the accommodations excellent, also were the staff. Never have I seen staff so committed to their job. The atmosphere was like family and we had so much fun with everyone from the Captain Ronald to Director Tony. There was never a dull moment with so many options for excursions offered. The best part is that many of the excursions offered were included with additional excursions offered at a very reasonable price. Let me also mention the food...delicious! All meals offered fresh food options as well as many non-meat options for those vegetarians. Included was a lounge that offered non-alcohol drinks, cookies and pastries at all times! The rooms were always attended to and the finishes were lovely. I can't wait to return!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We loved Avalon...the wait staff in the kitchen were so awesome!!! We loved Kalinka!!! All of the food very good and fresh...all the staff very helpful, especially the front desk..so nice and helpful.... George the piano player was very ... Read More
We loved Avalon...the wait staff in the kitchen were so awesome!!! We loved Kalinka!!! All of the food very good and fresh...all the staff very helpful, especially the front desk..so nice and helpful.... George the piano player was very nice, and good...wish there was a bit more exciting entertainment although I know that's kind of tough with the size of the lounge...and I think you need to give some more choices in the free included tours..would be nice to offer a few more exciting choices that you don't have to pay too much for. Our cruise director was also great, very organized and to the point!!! She ran a very good ship....I also wish there could have been some massage services or a little bit of pool would have been nice, but again I know with the size of the ship maybe not possible....It was really convenient being so close to all of the restaurants...and lounges...we loved it! Also, the fitness program needs work...a couple of times when our traveling friends were going to do one of the active tours, it would kind of fizzle or it wasn't really done the way it was listed to be...So I think that needs some attention... Otherwise, everything was fantastic! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Wanted to go on a relaxing and upscale Riverboat Cruise and this was Not my first one. I was really disappointed in the service and the staff. The food presentation was very nice but the food was not great. The Service from the ... Read More
Wanted to go on a relaxing and upscale Riverboat Cruise and this was Not my first one. I was really disappointed in the service and the staff. The food presentation was very nice but the food was not great. The Service from the dining room was really below par. Not at all what I expected. They were taking our dishes before we were even finished with our food. G-d help you if you were a few minutes later than others at a table. They rushed you out and even told you the others were almost done. What does that have to do with your dining? A majority of the staff, including the Hotel Manager and Dining room manager were wearing so much cologne that the trail followed them all the time. I have an allergy to perfumes and they were asked not wear it and after the request was made, they wore more. They were totally inconsiderate!!!! Made my trip a living hell.! I do not understand why people working in close quarters with the public have to wear fragrances and so much of it. It really is a pollutant. The ship was a new one and was pretty and well laid out. A shame the Customer Relations was So Poor. Also, I thought the included tours were really minimal. I guess thats how they get you to spend more for additional excursions. Avalon , I was told was upscale. I think Not. Last time I went on AMA and thought they did a much better job. The added entertainment on board was pretty bad also. They used the lounge for yoga, so you really could not relax during the classes. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Great cruise with a company that made our trip so memorable. Cabin was very comfortable and staff was so helpful and friendly. Our ports and excursions were very informative. Since they were in the morning it left us ample time to explore ... Read More
Great cruise with a company that made our trip so memorable. Cabin was very comfortable and staff was so helpful and friendly. Our ports and excursions were very informative. Since they were in the morning it left us ample time to explore on our own or just lounge on the deck. Extra excursions were very reasonably priced and enjoyable. Our excursion to 2 wineries and wine tastings was the highlight of our day in Budapest. Most included excursions offer a guide for “gentle walkers” that needed a a somewhat slower pace. I would advise to bring some loose clothes because the food was phenomenal, with included wine or beer at lunch and dinner. Our cruise director Tabia was superb and made sure that everything was perfect. The wait staff in the dining room were friendly and ensured that our meals were to our liking. This was our second Avelon cruise and will not hesitate to take a third with this company. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
About the Avalon river cruise we first learned from the internet. We booked the river cruise from Nuremberg to Luxemburg on the Main river and the Rhine river. The deal included two nights in a five stars hotel in Prague. We left ... Read More
About the Avalon river cruise we first learned from the internet. We booked the river cruise from Nuremberg to Luxemburg on the Main river and the Rhine river. The deal included two nights in a five stars hotel in Prague. We left home with high expectations and immediately in Prague we realized it was really going to be great. We met the cruise manager Tamas who was extremely friendly and helpful. From Prague we were taken by bus to Nuremberg in Germany to board the ship. And here too everything was perfect and the cabin was indeed what we saw in the advertisement. The dinner turned out to be really very good with plenty of good wines to choose from and the food was very decorative and nicely served and we had plenty of food choices. We have nothing but compliments to the organization, the cabin, the maintenance, the excellent food and the way it was served, the friendly staff, the included tours, and the whole cruising area. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise and cruise line because they were less expensive than others, and had good reviews. I also wanted to see Europe at Christmas time. I was not disappointed. Had a wonderful time. This cruise was so well done, every ... Read More
We chose this cruise and cruise line because they were less expensive than others, and had good reviews. I also wanted to see Europe at Christmas time. I was not disappointed. Had a wonderful time. This cruise was so well done, every excursion, guided tour, and everything in between was exceptional. The staff on the ship were so nice, kind, and very helpful! The food was amazing, so many choices on the menus, but not overwhelming where it was super hard to decide. I loved that the cruise was rather small in size a very intimate atmosphere. The ship was easy to get around, and felt quite cozy no matter where you were. Our cruise director Bart was just a super great guy! So personable, and knowledgeable. Anything we needed he was right there to take care of it. I loved this cruise so much we are already planning our next one. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our cruise down the Danube in December was truly a trip of a lifetime. The entire staff aboard the Avalon Illumination were amazing. We received first class treatment in a very relaxed, friendly and professional environment. The ... Read More
Our cruise down the Danube in December was truly a trip of a lifetime. The entire staff aboard the Avalon Illumination were amazing. We received first class treatment in a very relaxed, friendly and professional environment. The Christmas Markets and all the sites along the way were beautiful. The Illumination was the prettiest boat on the river and was "decked out" for the holidays. The food and wine selections at all meals were wonderful and the lounge/bar was perfect place to unwind and get together with fellow guests after dinner and various times throughout the day. Sabine, our Cruise Director, was very helpful with suggestions and detailed information about how to navigate each stop along the way when we wanted to go out and explore on our own. Avalon is a top notch company and we have recommended this cruise line to all of our friends back home. Thank you, Avalon, for making the beginning of our holiday season so merry and bright! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Looked like a great vacation but cut short in Vienna do to low water level. We where to board the ship In Nuremberg but didn't , disappointed. Wanted to see the city. Staff on the ship where friendly and very good at their jobs. ... Read More
Looked like a great vacation but cut short in Vienna do to low water level. We where to board the ship In Nuremberg but didn't , disappointed. Wanted to see the city. Staff on the ship where friendly and very good at their jobs. People on board seemed to be having a good time until we where notified the cruise would not be sailing south of Austria. Most peoples chose to end their trip and return home. We chose to continue our trip. Gusta, our tour director was very patient and helpful in planing our continued trip arrangements. The food was very good, food service and waiter staff was attentive and friendly. Excursions where handle well and the tour guides did a good job. We enjoyed Avalon and think they where very responsible in handling the problem of not being able to sail the entire Danube. Avalon's refund for our disruption in sailing says a lot about your integrity, honesty and professional approach to providing a quality vacation experience. I would give serious consideration to traveling with Avalon again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Always wanted to cruise the Danube. River was low so we had to do a bus for the first 3 days, missing the Nuremberg tour, which wasn't a big deal because we arrived there a day early and explored the old city by ourselves. Avalon ... Read More
Always wanted to cruise the Danube. River was low so we had to do a bus for the first 3 days, missing the Nuremberg tour, which wasn't a big deal because we arrived there a day early and explored the old city by ourselves. Avalon made up for it by giving us the Vienna concert complimentary. The ship was great, very comfortable. We really enjoyed the food and the service. The wine tasting excursion in Budapest was disappointing, but that is the only real complaint we had. Avalon seems very well organized and communicative. Very professional. One thing we really like was the intimacy of the cruise. The river cruise ships are understandably small as ships go, with room for about 160 passengers on our ship. That gave us a great opportunity to meet folks and get together with them routinely. We traveled by ourselves, not with friends we already knew, and met some really wonderful people. Loved Regensberg and Passau. Vienna is spectacular, but almost overwhelming in scope. The concert there is a must do, especially if you love classical music. The night lights tour in Budapest is also a must. Truly spectacular. We will definitely do another cruise with Avalon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
What a fabulous trip! Ship and crew were great. I was disappointed that the top deck was closed for so long as I was planning/hoping to spend most of my time up there. I understand WHY (height of the bridges & locks) but would ... Read More
What a fabulous trip! Ship and crew were great. I was disappointed that the top deck was closed for so long as I was planning/hoping to spend most of my time up there. I understand WHY (height of the bridges & locks) but would suggest starting the cruise in Bamberg maybe? The canal from N'berg to Bamberg was less than spectacular. That would allow for more time in the cities which were all AMAZING! Bamberg, Wurzberg, Miltenberg, Rudeshiem, Bernkastel, Trier, etc....it's hard to pick a favorite! ALL picture-postcard perfect cities. Would have loved to have more time in each. Miltenberg & Bernkastel were probably my personnal favorites. Wish we could have stopped in Koblenz; looked like a neat town from the ship. Rhine river gorge was spectacular and definitely the highlight of the actual time spent sailing/cruising the river. The top deck was a great place to be in the evenings after dinner. The service was good overall, a bit slow at times when clearing the tables but we had a few newbies. Lubo, the server/bartender was the best! Great sense of humor and very fast service. Jana, our waitress most times when we could get to her section, was very good as well and adorable. The food was fabulous! Great choices and variety. I couldn't fathom people ordering cheeseburgers and fries! Americans, geez!!! Chef was awesome with a great personality. I really enjoyed the galley tour. We found it ironic that most of the free/included tours/excursions was as good, if not better, than the paid ones. We enjoyed them all but thought that some of the excursions were over priced. The free visit to the wine cellar was exceptional! We bought numerous bottles which I think is/was the point of offering it free to the entire boat. I was shocked so many people left so soon. The in-cabin TV offerings were good; really liked the GPS map w/ ship's location and front facing camera; more camera options /angles would be cool, too. A few more stations would be nice but we obviously aren't there to watch TV. Miko, the pianist, was talented and knew a wide variety of tunes. The special guest entertainers were fun, too. I really enjoyed the guy who talked about the history, state of & future of the EU, Brexit, etc. Extremely interesting to an American. He was very gracious in answering what were probably dumb questions. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze; very nice to have our giants bags lugged around for us and waiting for us when we got to our rooms! Nothing was broke or damaged!!Teach the airlines how to do it! LOL We hope to do another river cruise! It would be great if they could offer packages airfare and/or all-inclusive options. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose the Avalon Waterways version of this Danube River Cruise, because it included a 3-night pre-trip extension in Prague (#1 on my wife's bucket list). We stayed in the Prague Hilton for 3 nights, had several included Local ... Read More
We chose the Avalon Waterways version of this Danube River Cruise, because it included a 3-night pre-trip extension in Prague (#1 on my wife's bucket list). We stayed in the Prague Hilton for 3 nights, had several included Local Tours, and thoroughly enjoyed Prague. A barge was stuck in the section of the Danube below Nuremberg, so instead of busing us to Nuremberg to embark on Avalon Vista, they bused us by way of Cesky Krumlov ( a UNESCO World Heritage Site) at their expense. This village was amazing, and probably one of the highlights of the entire trip. Once we embarked on the Vista, the fun began. Each port included a Local Tour, optional tours, great food and beverages aboard the ship, and entertainment each night. The service was outstanding, our fellow passengers were fun, and the Cruise Director was very organized and responsive. We had Avalon handle the airline tickets (one less detail for us to handle) -- I think we got free airport transfers at the start and finish for them doing this. We saw many really neat old buildings (no wonder they call North America the 'new world'), learned a lot about the history of this region, and truly had a great time. I rated everything with this cruise as excellent, including dining, activities, service, cabin, entertainment, staff, etc. There were no children on our cruise, and taking children would probably not be appropriate on a river cruise. We really loved this river cruise, and would go with Avalon Waterways again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I chose Avalon because of their state rooms - wonderful to have the entire room become your balcony. I can’t say enough good about this trip! There was not one single flaw in the entire experience. It was absolutely wonderful and we ... Read More
I chose Avalon because of their state rooms - wonderful to have the entire room become your balcony. I can’t say enough good about this trip! There was not one single flaw in the entire experience. It was absolutely wonderful and we will choose Avalon again! The ship was wonderful, the service fantastic and the food was delicious! I felt pampered the entire week. It was our first river cruise and it was a wonderful experience! We started with 3 days in Prague which we loved and then cruised the Danube river from Nuremberg to Budapest for 7 nights. We got to see a lot of history as well as the beauty of the countryside. I loved the sailing part - nice and slow so you could take in the scenery. It was fun going through all the Locke’s. The ships staff was wonderful - attentive and willing to always make you happy. Cruise director Carolina was the BEST!!! We will definitely do another river cruise with Avalon. Would not even consider another cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We have been on multiple ocean cruises and wanted to try something different. This cruise traveled to countries we wanted to visit. Avalon exceeded our expectations. The ship was very comfortable and clean. The personal products used are ... Read More
We have been on multiple ocean cruises and wanted to try something different. This cruise traveled to countries we wanted to visit. Avalon exceeded our expectations. The ship was very comfortable and clean. The personal products used are top of the line. The ports of call were interesting and we appreciated that a city tour was included in our price. Each guide we had was informative and knowledgeable. Perhaps our most favorite part was tasting food, wine and beers from the various different countries. We generally sat in the same spot in the dining room and our server, Laura, was delightful. The cruise director, Gusta, is very efficient. We had no difficulties with any tours we chose as options. We actually can’t wait to go again. In addition, we appreciated that beer and wine was included in our price. We have absolutely no complaints about any part of this experience. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I chose this cruise because Diana Gabaldon was going to be featured. I’d been interested in a River Cruise but with the added bonus of my favorite author meant I had to go on this trip. It truly was an experience of a lifetime. It ... Read More
I chose this cruise because Diana Gabaldon was going to be featured. I’d been interested in a River Cruise but with the added bonus of my favorite author meant I had to go on this trip. It truly was an experience of a lifetime. It went beyond my expectations. The food was great and the staff friendly and helpful. Historically interesting sites, beautiful scenery and knowledgeable guides really added to the enjoyment. There were plenty of excursion options so while it made choosing one difficult at times, it meant there was something for everyone. The events with Diana Gabaldon were well organized and thoughtfully planned. These were particularly enjoyable for us fans. Diana herself was very gracious and approachable. Sharing a meal with her and her husband was one of the highlights. My husband especially liked the lightning over Vienna but we really can’t credit Avalon for that! Overall, the cruise gave us memories that will last our whole lives. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Like Avalon lots, my 2nd Avalon trip, (1st was Nov 2016 to Peru, Macchu Picchu & Amazon cruise) our friends 1st time picked this Danube cruise- very satisfying journey! Ship was lovely; crew excellent & genuinely eager to please; ... Read More
Like Avalon lots, my 2nd Avalon trip, (1st was Nov 2016 to Peru, Macchu Picchu & Amazon cruise) our friends 1st time picked this Danube cruise- very satisfying journey! Ship was lovely; crew excellent & genuinely eager to please; food varied & high quality; service was personalized, attentive & accommodating; cabin spacious, well appointed with great bath amenities from L'Occitane! Learned quite a bit never knew before. Well presented info by knowledgeable local guides. Tour Coordinator Gusta was exceptionally good, friendly, highly educated & informative, au courant! My husband's birthday was made very special for him with surprise decorations in cabin & scrumptious chocolate cake ablaze with candles, Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This cruise was the Legendary Danube Author Cruise, featuring Diana Gabaldon. Our Cruise director Robert was outstanding. Tours in Prague led by Helenna were excellent. The waiter/waitress staff were very attentive. Food variety was ... Read More
This cruise was the Legendary Danube Author Cruise, featuring Diana Gabaldon. Our Cruise director Robert was outstanding. Tours in Prague led by Helenna were excellent. The waiter/waitress staff were very attentive. Food variety was geared for each of the countries being visited. Great way to try something new to you. Access to Diana Gabaldon was very open and had set times for interaction, book signing, Q&A session. What entertainment I participated in was top notch. It was a good mix of subjects, How the lock's work and the history, Beer tasting and it's history of the regions. Musicians boarded at the lock's and debarked at the locks. I will be using Avalon in the future. I now prefer river cruising over ocean cruising. The smaller size is easy and relaxing. I never felt overwhelmed with to many people in one place at one time. Cabin size was ok with 2 twin beds. Definitely had to jocky for position. The sliding doors were great, just couldn't leave open to much due to the bugs. This was explained to us in our opening ceremonies. It was fun in the locks with other ships side by side. There was not any stop that I wasn't satisfied. Prague was a great start (3 day land) beautiful city and so much history. In Nuremberg had a guided tour of Roth and it's city center. Met the Mayor who was very excited that they were hosting the "Challenge races" same as the "Ironman triathlon". Regensburg was having it's yearly antique fair, art museum opening and the bridge opening. This was on Sunday and 95% of the shops were closed. Not a problem because of all the street vendors, beer gardens and restaurants were happy to accommodate. Linz had a great city and Cathedral tour. Passau was a great sight seeing stop a quick look and we were off to Vienna. Melk is picturesque and the Melk Abbey was amazing. So much history. Vienna is amazing. Had a city tour, then embarked on our own. Used subway system, watch out for the pick pocketers. Went to the Belvedere Museum, upper and lower. Monet, Picasso and Klimt to name a few of the outstanding art pieces there. Transit system is excellent. Ending in Budapest. Such a beautiful city. Did city tour and the walking culinary tour. Outstanding. Amazingly the passenger age group in my estimation was mid 20's to 80's. Average around 60. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We took this cruise because Diana Gabaldon, Outlander Book Series, was the hostess. It was our 50th wedding anniversary celebration and everything was perfect, Prague through Budapest the inclusive tours were outstanding! The food was ... Read More
We took this cruise because Diana Gabaldon, Outlander Book Series, was the hostess. It was our 50th wedding anniversary celebration and everything was perfect, Prague through Budapest the inclusive tours were outstanding! The food was great matching the town we were in. The room was more than comfortable and service was above and beyond!! The tours were informative and well planned, walking was long but reasonably! The breakfast bar was well balanced with fruit, cereal, omelets and pastries!! Lunch was either light or buffet with local choices. Dinner was the highlight with several choices, wine and beer included! My glass was never near empty and the beer was cold!! The cruise director was a hoot, your not on vacation you’re on a cruise!!! Eastern Europe is beautiful and historic with plenty to see and lots of beer to drink! The ‘crew’ looked after us from boarding to departure with smiles all around!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We traveled eastward on the Danube River from near Nuremberg to Budapest. Totally enjoyed ourselves! Cities we visited were so interesting, and the ship tours were terrific! We loved sailing into Budapest, which the tour director ... Read More
We traveled eastward on the Danube River from near Nuremberg to Budapest. Totally enjoyed ourselves! Cities we visited were so interesting, and the ship tours were terrific! We loved sailing into Budapest, which the tour director prepared us for by telling us all to be on top of the ship at 8 a.m. for an experience we'd never forget. And it was just that! We were taking photos on all sides of the ship as quickly as we could. What a city! Also enjoyed the entertainment the ship brought on board. There was a beer tasting as well as musical entertainment that was first class. There was one singer who was absolutely fabulous. We also enjoyed the night concert at the music hall in Vienna, and the view of the city lights in Budapest. Crew was extremely friendly and attentive. Room on this ship are spacious and very nicely appointed. Bathrooms are wonderful! Love the bed facing the sliding glass door. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We wanted to see the architecture in Germany along with the castles on the Rhine river. Every town in Germany on the cruise had its own style, and with nearly 30 castles to ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We wanted to see the architecture in Germany along with the castles on the Rhine river. Every town in Germany on the cruise had its own style, and with nearly 30 castles to view, it was amazing to see. The guides that walked us through each town were locals and very knowledgeable with the town's history. The food was very delicious. We did not have one bad meal and there were many choices at all 3 meals every day on the ship. The ship was always clean and the cabin was just the right size, since you don't spend much time there. There were about 113 passengers, and the lounge is a little small for that many people, but that was the only negative since we did have a meeting in there every night right before dinner. This was everything we were hoping for, as a first time river cruiser, and would definitely take another river cruise in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I wanted to see Prague,Vienna and Budapest. This trip had a 4 day land trip (prague) and 7 days sailing. Sailing was by far the best part!. Prague was nice but of the 3 days we were there, there was only one included tour. Would have ... Read More
I wanted to see Prague,Vienna and Budapest. This trip had a 4 day land trip (prague) and 7 days sailing. Sailing was by far the best part!. Prague was nice but of the 3 days we were there, there was only one included tour. Would have appreciated something included each day. Smooth bus trip (4hours) to Nuremberg where you boarded the ship and departed that night for Roth and then bussed back to Nuremberg for a tour the next day. That was not clear on the itinerary thus no chance to spend the day in Nuremberg- the tour was maybe 1.5 hours with little free time before back on the boat for lunch and departure. The rooms were perfect with plenty of storage space the bathrooms large with large showers and good water pressure. The rooms without the sliding glass doors (lower deck) had very small showers that would not be comfortable for tall or large people while the rooms on 2nd and 3rd floor (those with the large sliding glass doors) had large showers. The large sliding glass doors were fabulous while sailing and while in port. We only rafted to another vessel once so had good views The sailing was soooo smooth (and i am so sensitive to motion sickness) that at times you were not sure if you were moving! Even going through the 26 locks was a smooth ride. The city tours were good- they did have a “gentle walker group” for those using canes or just needed more time. The funny thing was one tour guide was told that the group she had would be the gentle walkers and thus she both walked and talked slowly! We did the optional excursion of the Budapest at night but i think it should have been included- you did get the classic night pictures of Budapest. The concert in Vienna was just for Avalon- it was held in an ornate room but not a concert hall- nevertheless it was both beautiful and funny. The orchestra members and the ballet members involved the audience. Use the bikes! The paths along the Danube are flat and easy to traverse by bike. We tried to do 5 miles on the days we could. It was great- bring a breakfast roll to feed the swans - you would see 20-30 along the Danube as you biked. The cruise director was great at calling a cab to the port so you could go into town for nightlife or giving you directions for public (take the U 1 and get off on the 4th stop). The food- spectacular. Those who were not impressed clearly are gourmet cooks! On our cruise i never heard a complaint. The 24 hour coffee/hot chocolate machine in the game room was popular all day. The onboard entertainment was OK. The best was an opera singer brought on board who was so funny we laughed so much-she sang and took selfies with the passengers! The informational talks on Austria, beer tasting were fine. The music quartet was just Ok. Mostly they wanted you to buy their CDs! Visit the great market in Budapest- it was not on the city tour but only a block from the boat so easy to visit- worth the trip-get paprika- we al did! I found that Euros worked in all the countries. But bring some coins as toilet use in town is pay only and sometimes no attendant to make change Casual dress everywhere- a bit dressier for the Vienna Concert however. The crew is first rate- excellent passenger service. They clean everything all the time (daily dusting of the wall art and multiple times a day cleaning of the hand rails). Multiple hand sanitation stations. After dinner when you return to your room the TV in the room displays a roaring fire in a fireplace- nich touch. Bring a jacket. The wind on the Danube was brisker than i expected and i needed a jacket especially when on the sky deck at night (this was mid May). They have umbrellas on board but i brought a small one on only used it once in the middle of a city tour. Streets are cobblestone thus uneven. We had turned ankles and one fall on our trip. The tri was as busy as you wanted to make it- lots of extra excursions- we only did 3 of the maybe 20 offered. Not much time for shopping- maybe 30 minutes in a city. But you could go back. Everything closed on Sunday so figure that in when youare planning your trip. English spoken everywhere- not an issue at all. The passengers were predominately American aged 50-70 with a few outliers. People friendly non complainers and having a great time. I was very sad when the trip ended. WIll definitely take another cruise with Avalon! Hope you choose to go on a river cruise! Read Less
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