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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our third river cruise on Avalon. First two went so well, we didn't want to risk another line. Again, we were not disappointed. Avalon is very consistent with their ships, policies, activities, excursions, meal service, etc. We knew what ... Read More
Our third river cruise on Avalon. First two went so well, we didn't want to risk another line. Again, we were not disappointed. Avalon is very consistent with their ships, policies, activities, excursions, meal service, etc. We knew what to expect. With a few exceptions, everything was well organized, including the ship repositioning and busing resulting from low water levels on the Rhine. We arrived three days early in Amsterdam (embarkation port), which I highly recommend. Museums are very good and canals can't be missed. Our visit to Geithoorn was the highlight of the entire trip, although we booked through Viator. Be aware that most non-hotel apartments or Airbnb's in the canal district are not going to have elevators and will have stairs akin to ladders. Good way to get a feel for life in Amsterdam, however. Embarkation was a breeze - we just dropped our bags and boarded an excursion to Zaanse Schans, which is also very good. Don't plan on renting or using bikes in Amsterdam as you will likely get killed. All the ports/stops along the Rhine and Mosel are worth seeing, with the exception of maybe Metz. Little towns along the beautiful Mosel river are very pretty. We are very glad we included the Mosel on this cruise. The Avalon excursions to Metz and the Chateau de la Grange should be eliminated. They were that bad. The ships crew and cruise director were top notch. Vlad, the cruise director had his hands full due to the ship repositioning. He handled it very well. Meals were above average and service was always excellent. Wine glass was never empty. Entertainment was weak, but we didn't care. It was about the ports and excursions for us. Wifi service was very, very slow. Don't count on it. Due to low water levels on the Rhine, the trip had to be changed and cut short a day. The ship could not get past Strasbourg, and then had to retreat back down stream as not get stranded if the river fell further. This meant we were bused around the last two days and we spent the last night in a nice hotel in Zurich for some reason. The ship was never going to Zurich to begin with. Just meant an additional bus trip to the Basel airport. May be the only city Avalon could find 60 hotel rooms. In any event, Avalon handled the whole ordeal pretty well, and compensated the passengers fairly for the change in plan. A couple of confused bus drivers and apathetic French tour guides did delay things a bit here and there. I think without exception the passengers on board were very pleased with the cruise despite the low water issue, which only effected the last two days. We would definitely cruise with Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I tool our first river cruise with Avalon because it was highly recommended by friends.The cruise director, Vlad, and his staff were outstanding. They were accommodating and very attentive. The entire ship was very clean ... Read More
My husband and I tool our first river cruise with Avalon because it was highly recommended by friends.The cruise director, Vlad, and his staff were outstanding. They were accommodating and very attentive. The entire ship was very clean and well appointed with flowers. Each room had beautiful orchid plants. The entertainment was pretty amazing and of high quality. Most enjoyable. Unfortunately, by the end of our cruise it was apparent to the captain that the river was very low due to a lack of rain and we had to disembark a day early. Avalon could not have been more generous to all of the passengers. They sent us on tours for free at the end of the cruise, made sure we could visit our intended destinations on the last day via bus and put us up in a very nice hotel in Zurich and we all had dinner and breakfast Everybody made their intended destinations. Avalon also reimbursed each passenger money. We would highly recommend this company to everyone. They also have a good app called Avalon Go which was very helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because it was 12 nights and visited the Rhine and Mosel Rivers. The ports were interesting and fun to explore. The included tours were well planned and allowed time for individual exploration. We never felt rushed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was 12 nights and visited the Rhine and Mosel Rivers. The ports were interesting and fun to explore. The included tours were well planned and allowed time for individual exploration. We never felt rushed to get back to the ship. The crew was friendly and helpful and excellent service at all meals. The buffets at breakfast and lunch offered a wide variety of delicious dishes. The dinners never disappointed to offer a wide variety of choices and the servings were perfect. Our cruise director Vlad was very informative with his nightly cruise talks about the schedule and itinerary for the next day. Our cruise was cut short because of low water level and we had to be bused to our last day's tours and spend the last night at a Zurich hotel. Vlad handled the problem perfectly and kept us informed of the repositioning. And Avalon is compensating us for the inconvenience. We were flying home from Zurich so it was no problem for us, a much shorter transfer to the airport. We will definitely recommend Avalon to our friends and consider them for any future river cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Had a very good time. Loved all the places we stopped and everything I saw. The tours were well planned and really liked the use of the receivers. You could walk at your own pace and still hear everything the guide was saying. Our tour ... Read More
Had a very good time. Loved all the places we stopped and everything I saw. The tours were well planned and really liked the use of the receivers. You could walk at your own pace and still hear everything the guide was saying. Our tour director Vlad was great. His talks the night before the ports were very helpful and having a map of each stop was valuable. The food was fantastic and never had a bad meal. There was always something great to eat. The staff was friendly and helpful. And easy to joke around with. You could tell they liked their jobs. As for the beds they were to nice, I never wanted to get up. Vlad went out of he way to help all of us when we had to depart the ship early. He found a Hotel for all of us our last night and even hosted our last meal together before going our separate ways. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
After talking with a few friends about river cruises, we selected Avalon because it met all of our objectives and value. The ship was wonderful, the cabin and bathroom were large and well appointed, two dining options were provided at ... Read More
After talking with a few friends about river cruises, we selected Avalon because it met all of our objectives and value. The ship was wonderful, the cabin and bathroom were large and well appointed, two dining options were provided at lunch and dinner - offering a quite, lighter meal when desired. The staff and crew were wonderful. We experienced a river water level issue toward the end of our cruise that forced the ship to back track. However, Avalon stepped up and in one day coordinated alternate transport, accommodations in a five star hotel, special shore excursions free of charge, AND monetarily compensated us for a lost night cruising.....something others had not heard of (some cruises only provide discounts against future cruises). We would, and have, recommended Avalon to others, and we are looking into another cruise in the not to distant future. We recommend a cruise that lasts at least 13-nights, as 7-days went by in a flash. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We have enjoyed a number of ocean cruises on various cruise lines and were ready to try a river cruise. The appeal of a small upscale ship, docking right in the city was alluring. Our vision was interrupted by reality. When we arrived we ... Read More
We have enjoyed a number of ocean cruises on various cruise lines and were ready to try a river cruise. The appeal of a small upscale ship, docking right in the city was alluring. Our vision was interrupted by reality. When we arrived we were told that the water levels were too low and we would be boarding a different ship in a few days. This was not their fault and the ship was identical, but it was a bit sneaky not to let us know in advance. We were given an identical cabin on the new ship, and none of this part was a problem except that we ended up being bused instead of cruising to the next port. I am not a fan of bus tours, hence why I cruise. We also spent the last night of our cruise in a hotel, not on the ship. We were fairly compensated for our troubles and the cruise director, Nico, was apologetic and wonderful to work with. Other unseemly tidbits prevalent in our cruise are that we did not dock right in the city with the ability to walk on and off the ship while docked. We docked mainly in outposts. We also docked next to a ship and had to walk through to get to our ship. We were told that this was a common practice (so much for your view). The Danube from Regensburg to Melk is quite narrow, so there isn't much to see anyhow. The Danube has over 60 locks, this was fun at first, but there was a lot of starring at the lock walls and hearing the sounds of the ship as it was raising and lowering. We also didn't realize that if the water is too high then the ship can't proceed because it won't fit under the many bridges. We missed the entertainment of big ships and thought the food was mediocre. Big ships from now on for us. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because it combined the Rhine River (which we'd cruised before) with the Moselle River, with its scenic benefits. We were not disappointed! The scenery and excursions were excellent throughout. Avalon did an ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it combined the Rhine River (which we'd cruised before) with the Moselle River, with its scenic benefits. We were not disappointed! The scenery and excursions were excellent throughout. Avalon did an excellent job of this, particularly consider potential problems with low river water levels. The Cruise Director was outstanding in making sure all excursions were done properly and handicapped passengers were well taken care of. The staterooms were very comfortable and bathrooms modern and very functional. The food was very good and wine served was excellent and plentiful. We arrived at the airport very early and were promptly taken to the ship, and our room was ready for us within a half hour, complete with our luggage. We had our lugged unloaded by 9:30 AM!! The cruise proceeded according to the advertised schedule and all planned excursions occurred. The crew was very friendly and helpful. I highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose Avalon Artistry II because I wanted a longer cruise that stopped at the particular ports I wanted to visit. Every port visit was orchestrated beautifully. Small group tours with options, knowledgeable local guides who spoke fluent ... Read More
I chose Avalon Artistry II because I wanted a longer cruise that stopped at the particular ports I wanted to visit. Every port visit was orchestrated beautifully. Small group tours with options, knowledgeable local guides who spoke fluent English and who were enthusiastic about their respective cities. Staff and crew were friendly and accommodating. Artistry II is well- maintained; the public areas were spacious and comfortable and never crowded. Being a fussy eater, I can’t say that I enjoyed the dinner offerings as much as most of the other passengers seemed to. However, our waiter was very accommodating and a true professional. I observed that the desk staff were very patient in answering the endless questions that were posed to them! The old saying, “ you get what you pay for, “ is certainly applicable to Avalon Cruises. I have cruised on at least 45 ocean cruises and based on my experience to evaluate, my trip on Artistry II was truly 5 star. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
The cruise I was booked on was a Budapest-Luxembourg with land portions in Budapest and Paris included. Due to low water, numerous changes had to be made in the itinerary. The first was that we had to travel by coach from Budapest to ... Read More
The cruise I was booked on was a Budapest-Luxembourg with land portions in Budapest and Paris included. Due to low water, numerous changes had to be made in the itinerary. The first was that we had to travel by coach from Budapest to Vienna to board the Artistry II, as the ship we were supposed to take could not sail upstream from Budapest. Other changes included different docking locations, some dicey low-water cruising in Upper Austria, and an overnight hotel stay in Nuremberg while the ship worked to catch up to the schedule through the canal. All the changes were communicated promptly and thoroughly by Sabine, our outstanding cruise director, and all of us in the full length tour got an automatic refund for the night in the Nuremberg hotel instead of on the ship. As well, we were given free additional excursions in Vienna and in Rothenburg, as compensation for the issues. Avalon won my future business hands-down just by the way they handled all these technical problems. All parts of the ship were spotlessly clean at all times, both cabins and public areas. My cabin was particularly nice as I spent more time in it than many people would, with my writing. The internet service was excellent, with only rare delays or dropouts -- much better than most ocean cruises I've taken. Housekeeping service was outstanding. No matter what time I headed out for breakfast, I would come back half an hour later and my room would be completely and immaculately made up. Meals were wonderful. Breakfast and lunch buffets were plentiful and nicely varied, with an eggs-and-omelettes station at breakfast and a carvery at lunch. Dinners were four-course meals, and the servings were nicely sized so you didn't stuff yourself if you got all four. Wine and beer were available free of charge -- by request at lunchtime, and with the wine flowing like water at dinner. I was told by one of the bar servers that the rule was to pour once for each course, but I'm pretty sure she went above and beyond. The wines were different every night, always local to the region where we were moored or sailing. Service at all meals was awesome. The teamwork was excellent, even the maitre d' taking trips around the room to collect dishes that we'd finished. If you needed a between-meals snack, coffee, tea and cookies were available at all times -- but inconveniently located in the small lounge at the stern end of the upper deck. Bit of a long hike from my cabin which was one deck down and a bit farther forward, since I had to walk all the way to the centre of the ship, upstairs, and all the way back. The outdoor bistro lunch or grill lunch on the sundeck was only available 3 times in over 2 weeks. It's limited by the weather, and by the times when the top deck is closed due to low bridges. Even up top, the servers would circulate to see if you needed a drink refill or had dishes to carry away. The stairs are pretty steep and pose a bit of a problem for guests with mobility issues. There is a tiny 1-person elevator serving only the 3 indoor decks. The standard entertainment throughout the trip was the onboard cocktail pianist, but local musicians and other entertainers came aboard for evening shows 3 or 4 times during the trip and all were great performances. Each port featured an included walking tour. The guides were all fluent in English to some degree, more in some places than others. The quality of the tours varied, too -- some of the guides stood and talked too long, while one moved so quickly that I had to trot to keep up. At each port, a special walking tour was set for people who needed to walk more slowly. Numerous additional excursions at a cost were available throughout the trip. The ones that I took were all excellent. Bicycles were available on a first-come-first serve basis. The land portion hotels were all rated 5-star, but the Budapest and Nuremberg hotels were older buildings with issues like hard-to-reach outlets, cramped bathrooms, and such. The Paris hotel was outstanding in every way. This was my first river cruise, but I'm already planning my next trip with Avalon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We heard through a friend that Avalon was a great experience. It certainly didn't disappoint! Not too much going on in the evenings but the days were educational and a lot of fun! The rooms were well appointed and the crew extremely ... Read More
We heard through a friend that Avalon was a great experience. It certainly didn't disappoint! Not too much going on in the evenings but the days were educational and a lot of fun! The rooms were well appointed and the crew extremely friendly and helpful. I wish there were more activities available in the evenings (group games, karaoke, etc.) It seemed like other cruises were having more fun than us when we were all either tied up together or going through the locks. It would have been easier to meet people as well. We would also would have LOVED having a yoga/fitness/stretching class available on the top deck each morning. Many people were talking about it so I actually led one. The food was great but it also would have been nice to have had healthier options to snack on once we returned each afternoon from our excursions. The coffee bar was nice but the pastries were unhealthy and stale by the end of the week. We really enjoyed taking the bikes for a ride in Melk and Vienna. They were quality bikes - thank you! Read Less
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