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Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted to kick the Christmas season off right since our travel agent indicated to us that Prague would be highly decorated for Christmas, we would see a lot of Christmas markets and Europe does Christmas does much better than the USA. ... Read More
We wanted to kick the Christmas season off right since our travel agent indicated to us that Prague would be highly decorated for Christmas, we would see a lot of Christmas markets and Europe does Christmas does much better than the USA. However, Prague was not decorated much for Christmas and most of the Christmas markets had not opened yet. That was a disappointment. Some of the side excursions seemed to be a little rushed and we were only given 15 minutes to tour the large Christmas market in Vienna before the buses went back to the boat. I do not think that we go to do the full food tasting that day as well. Service on the boat was excellent. Some side excursions were excellent but out of the three river cruises with Avalon we have done, this one could have been better. Prague was a little bit of a disappointment as far as being decorated for Christmas but we enjoyed touring the city. The personnel on the boat treated us very well. Overall, we enjoyed the trip but felt a little shorted on some things as far as side excursions. The trip to the church where they sang Silent Night was way too short and you could not get into the museum that day nor the chapel. So, I am not sure why we were even taken. Food was great and my wife's wheat allergy was taken care of. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Honestly, I chose this cruise because of the Viking commercials. I knew the Rhine River cruise appealed to me but when it came down to choosing the cruise line I selected Avalon because of their panorama suites and their ships are newer. ... Read More
Honestly, I chose this cruise because of the Viking commercials. I knew the Rhine River cruise appealed to me but when it came down to choosing the cruise line I selected Avalon because of their panorama suites and their ships are newer. I have no regrets in going with Avalon. We flew in to Zurich a day ahead of schedule so that we would have some time to see a bit of Zurich. We were brave and took the tram to the Aldstadt (Old Town). The next day we joined fellow travelers for the bus trip to Basel for embarkation. When we arrived at the ship our panorama suite was ready and our bags already in the room. The cabin was bigger than we anticipated and of course the panorama window was marvelous. The crew was most professional and friendly and went out of their way to help in any way that they could. We had some glitches on the way due to the low levels of the Rhine but they could not have been handled any better. We had to change ships from the Tranquility II to the Imagery II at one point due to the low water levels. We packed our bags and set them outside of our rooms on the morning of ship change and the crew seamlessly handled everything. When we got to the new ship (Imagery II) we were in the same suite that we were in on the Tranquility II. We even had some excitement - due to the low water levels of the Rhine an unexploded American bomb from WWII was found in the river. It had to be detonated before the ships could resume travel on the river. It did not keep us from reaching our destination on time. Our cruise director, Tony, was amazing! He was very flexible with all the challenges that nature and WWII threw at him and we never felt like we missed out on anything. The food throughout the cruise was excellent and the selections at every meal were plentiful. We enjoyed the local menus that the chef prepared and the local wines. Each night a pianist played in the lounge but we were too tired to stay up much past dinner. The excursions were enjoyable although some were a bit touristy. We did not feel that the departure times for the excursions were unreasonably early. The best part of the cruise was getting to meet so many wonderful fellow travelers. If you are looking to experience what you might see in a Viking Commercial (an aerial view of a glistening river with fairytale castles on each shore as you glide past) then you might be disappointed. But this was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose Avalon because of the good recommendations from friends. We had never been on a river cruise, but had been on several Caribbean cruises. We chose this one because our German friends joined us for the trip and after we spent ... Read More
We chose Avalon because of the good recommendations from friends. We had never been on a river cruise, but had been on several Caribbean cruises. We chose this one because our German friends joined us for the trip and after we spent another week with them in Germany. Although we had been to some of the cities on the itinerary, we didn't mind going again. The guides for the tours were all excellent, well prepared, and spoke good English. The food on board was the best we have ever had. They served local cuisine when possible. The service was excellent also. Our only complaint was the day we spent at the Black Forest and then to Colmar. Doing both tours was too much in one day. The bus ride to the Black Forest open air museum was 1 1/2 hours one way with only 1 hour at the sight. We could have spent double that or more. I would recommend this kind of trip with the small ship, intimate atmosphere, and relaxing sailing. (No worries about wind and waves!) Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first river cruise. It was great! We had been to European cities several times in the past, always on our own (driving or taking trains, etc.) with few pre-planned tours, so we were a little anxious about a totally ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. It was great! We had been to European cities several times in the past, always on our own (driving or taking trains, etc.) with few pre-planned tours, so we were a little anxious about a totally pre-planned, boat-based itinerary. We arrived 2 full days early to enjoy Amsterdam before cruise departure, and we recommend this to everyone, if just to adjust to the time zone. A single day in such a city is not enough. But even though before we boarded in Amsterdam we had to swap boats from the Tranquility II to the virtually identical Imagery II (due to low water on the river preventing our assigned craft to meet us in Amsterdam), this all turned out great. We pre-chose their smallest cabin, which though cozy was adequate in size and amenities for us with excellent storage and bathroom space. Since we were rarely in the room except at night to sleep, we did not need the luxury of the panorama windows of the upper decks at perhaps double the price. I'm sure they are a bonus for elbow room and amenities, but if we wanted a daytime or evening view of our passage, especially when going through one of the many locks, we just went up to the top deck or one of the two lounges with great views, which were always open. Our boat (the Imagery II) was like new (2 years old, I believe), pristine and beautifully maintained. Every crew member—apparently all from Eastern Europe with excellent English speaking skills—was clearly proud of their work and delightfully friendly, regardless of position and duties (and I mean from the Captain to the waitstaff and our room attendant—all really quite impressive). Dining on board was not a religious experience for us, but we must say every meal was an overall excellent experience with very, very good food and superb, personable service. Our only negative dining critique was for the fish courses, which regardless of declared type of fish, seemed to be prepared in the same way and thus had similar taste and were of average/good restaurant quality. All other dining options we chose, which varied delightfully every day including the wine selections, were really very fine to excellent quality. Our talented resident keyboard artist in the main lounge provided a soothing and professional variety of tunes, clearly targeted to our mostly "senior" age group, but that was really nice for easy listening. We had a couple evenings with added in-port guest artists that were wonderful, too. The "La Strada" trio was particularly delightful. This itinerary is packed with daily excursion options (some included, some for extra fees), and we took advantage of nearly all of them. Perhaps that was too many for us, as we never seemed to have day or afternoon to just chill out and read a book. Nevertheless, as we are easily mobile, no excursions were stressful and the logistics were smoothly arranged by the Tour Director. The local tour guides were always excellent and made the descriptions personal and entertaining. (Those passengers who were less mobile always had an option for shorter excursions, too.) We did realize that you can only get a "taste" of the place on a quick guided tour, and a couple times we abandoned the guide after a while to run off on our own for a bit and meet them later to get back to the boat. This was alway an option on the walking tours. But now we have some more cities for which we know a return visit at length is needed, and a couple not. After the cruise ended, we also added a couple days on our own in Switzerland. That was fun, too. Overall: Loved Avalon; their planning, the personnel, service, value and the boat. It was easy to meet other passengers daily and generate some new friends. When we disembarked, one could not help but notice that along with all the other staff and crew members helping unload the luggage to the waiting buses, the Captain was pitching in and carrying some luggage too! That's the kind of dedication to service that reflects so well on Avalon and perhaps the Imagery II boat crew in particular. We think we'll do another Avalon voyage soon, but a longer one to ensure we have some more time to just relax. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The excursion guides were excellent and provided a huge amount of historical information and fun tidbits about the places visited. Every guide provided explicit information for where to meet after we were on our own for free time. I would ... Read More
The excursion guides were excellent and provided a huge amount of historical information and fun tidbits about the places visited. Every guide provided explicit information for where to meet after we were on our own for free time. I would have liked a little more free time in each city in order to take in the sights and do a little more shopping. The other thing I will say is that it would be nice to have a larger gift shop on the ship. I think that if the ship promoted their gift shop and stocked it with some local nonperishable food products and local souvenir gifts it would be a nice amenity. Also, another suggestion would be for each guest to have the ability to fill out a card with their names and address to share with people they meet on the ship. Of course this would be voluntary - but we met some wonderful people and we kept saying to each other that we would keep in touch and we both forgot to exchange contact information. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We were traveling with 3 adult children (in their 20's) and selected Avalon because of the general itinerary and the fact there was not a single supplement add-on for single rooms (which each of our kids had). On this itinerary, there were ... Read More
We were traveling with 3 adult children (in their 20's) and selected Avalon because of the general itinerary and the fact there was not a single supplement add-on for single rooms (which each of our kids had). On this itinerary, there were 3 nights where we could be "in town" to explore for dinner and bars (Amsterdam, Cologne and Rudesheim)- which as great. The shore excursions were good - though I wish the walking tours were 45 minutes (instead of 1+ hours) and we that were given more free time. We would often peel off from the walking tour so that we could have more free time on our own. (You really don't feel like you have been someplace until you have wandered on your own - and 0-45 minutes of free time just is not enough). We did a few of the add-on excursions - biking, Maginot Line, Alsace Wine Tour, Colmar. We also did the add-on of Luzern, Zurich and Como - which was a wonderful way to enhance this trip. Monograms got us to the locations, then lots of free time to spend as we please. Our kids were certainly a curiosity on this trip (there was 1 couple in their 40's, then everyone was 60+) but they loved the flow of wine and beer at all meals, the underutilized fitness room, snoozing and reading on the sky deck, and all the cities and towns they got to see. This trip offered a wonderful, stress-free and fun-filled way to spend time as a family. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband chose the Romantic Rhine voyage. I had traveled to many of the stops efire but welcomed the chance to return. We actually have zero complaints about ay part of the trip from pick up at Amsterdam to farewell in Zurich. Well ... Read More
My husband chose the Romantic Rhine voyage. I had traveled to many of the stops efire but welcomed the chance to return. We actually have zero complaints about ay part of the trip from pick up at Amsterdam to farewell in Zurich. Well organized, efficient, super pleasant. And this is after a freak accident where a deck chair blew into my deck chair, bruising my left foot! Even that can’t diminish how pleased we were with the cruise, the crew( wow to the crew!), the tour guides! the bus drivers and our cruise director, Nico. One caveat or suggestion, though. We flew Icelandic Air booked thru the cruise site. Most uncomfortable flight both coming and returning. The airport in Iceland is poorly designed, too small and too crowded. I mean hardly any seats in the airport! I strongly suggest offering people a choice of fares. We would gladly have paid more for a trip that included food and more space. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise because the ports and excursions sounded like a part of Europe we would enjoy seeing. We heard that the scenery along the Rhine was very beautiful, and with this being our first river cruise, we thought ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because the ports and excursions sounded like a part of Europe we would enjoy seeing. We heard that the scenery along the Rhine was very beautiful, and with this being our first river cruise, we thought it would be a good area to start with. I was very satisfied with the ship, the staff and their knowledge, kindness and how accommodating everyone was. They were very professional and organized which was very much appreciated. The service was great!!! I felt very much at ease with the cleanliness of our cabin and the entire ship. I liked how they expressed the importance of hygiene to keep everyone healthy. I enjoyed the beautiful buffet breakfasts and lunches with such an assortment of dishes to choose from and always a change each day. I also enjoyed the upscale dining experiences and the variety of selections each night that we had. It made you feel like you were in a high-end restaurant. Desserts were always a treat. It was also amazing how hot everything was served with that large of group. I was very impressed about that. The violinist show was absolutely REMARKABLE!!!!! There are no words to describe how much I enjoyed that. I felt the ports and shore excursions were very enjoyable. I loved the history and beauty of everywhere we went and everything we had the privilege of seeing. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour guides and the amazing knowledge they expressed to us. I want to say I really appreciated our tour director, Dominic. He was so organized and knowledgeable. He was prepared each evening with our schedule for the next day which I was grateful for. Direction is very important to me. His sense of humor and his caring ways were very satisfying. We did not explore our departure city which I very much regret. We had an extension at the end is why we didn't arrive early. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly which was appreciated!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We were looking for something we had not done before and friends recommend a river cruise. We were thinking of going to Paris and London and this cruise gave us that option as a add on.So it was like going on two vacations at one time. ... Read More
We were looking for something we had not done before and friends recommend a river cruise. We were thinking of going to Paris and London and this cruise gave us that option as a add on.So it was like going on two vacations at one time. Just worked out for us at the right time. Our cabin being at the back of the ship had the advantage of being next to the snack lounge but then again you had to walk the length of the ship to get to the main lounge for your meals. That was no big deal for us but could be for some older person . The food was good I thought and I tried alot of the choices. But I did notice alot of people ordering the optional choices which were more the standard foods like steak and salmon. On the last day of the cruise portion of our travels my wife fell at the windmills. We were taking by ambulance to the locaL hospital. From there we had to get taxi to a second hospital for treatment and from there a taxi back to the ship. It all worked out but what an experience. We were able to continue our travels and did complete our trip. But we were glad to get home and recover. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this particular cruise because it fit in with our travel time to Europe. We were in Basel, Switzerland for business and ended our trip with the river cruise. We had always wanted to try a river cruise, because I am prone to ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because it fit in with our travel time to Europe. We were in Basel, Switzerland for business and ended our trip with the river cruise. We had always wanted to try a river cruise, because I am prone to sea-sickness and never wanted to take an ocean cruise. We thought river cruising would be a great way to see this area of Europe and it was. We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Avalon Tranquility II. From the time we boarded the ship, we had a wonderful time. Our stateroom was lovely - with plenty of room for unpacking our clothes and storing our luggage. What a great idea to have under-bed storage room for suitcases! The bathroom had a roomy shower, deluxe granite countertops and lovely toiletries. Our room and bathroom were cleaned a couple of times a day! The housekeeping staff was courteous and helpful. The meals were outstanding. We enjoyed the bountiful buffets for breakfast and lunch. Every night dinner was an occasion with wonderful choices for each course. The service was great. We enjoyed meeting and visiting with other passengers. It was nice to have the freedom to sit where and with whom we wanted. We enjoyed the tours at the various ports. The guides were all entertaining and knowledgeable. It was nice to be so close to the city centers in many of the ports. We appreciated the bikes being available for a short bike ride along the Rhine which has many bike paths along the shore. The daily "port talks" with the Tour Director, Nico, were a highlight of the afternoon and a great lead-in to dinner. His guided tour of the Rhine River Gorge and description of all the castles was enhanced by the lovely weather we had that day. It was sad to leave our beautiful floating home when we disembarked in Amsterdam. We were very pleased with our Avalon cruise and look forward to taking another some day. Read Less
Avalon Tranquility II Ratings
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