Avalon Felicity Cruise Review by skylark42
- Sail Date: October 2016
- Destination: Europe River
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with French Balcony
++ High points:
- The bed - one of the most comfortable I have ever slept on.
- Cabin windows that slide open. It let us get fresh air, watch lock operations and enjoy the sounds and sights of the river.
- Bottled water plentifully available in the cabins and before excursions - wonderful.
- Cruise director was both excellent and amusing, and the front-desk receptionist was charming. Everyone is watchful for your safety and the smooth running of the ship, without ever seeming intrusive. The level of organisation was really very impressive.
- Public areas that never feel or look crowded.
- Temperature in the cabin easily controllable.
- Wine with dinner was local Rhine wine but surprisingly good and freely available.
- Quality of the food was almost invariably excellent. The desserts were sadly far too sweet for us but there was always a fresh fruit or cheese alternative.
- Fresh local bread every morning, and all day - delicious.
++ Low points:
- One of the wine waiters at dinner seemed cross and unhelpful at times. Several tables complained of the fact that she would serve some people at the table but not others.
- The coffee served with meals was unpleasant. A waiter explained that it's a concentrated liquid that they dilute with hot water. The coffee from the machine in the aft salon was nicer but freshly-made filter coffee with meals would be a huge improvement.
- Musical entertainment in the Salon was limited and rather bland. We were treated to a string trio for an hour one evening but we would have enjoyed more classical music, plus jazz, blues and Latin.
- Price of drinks in the bar after dinner was exorbitant! We learned that the wine served with dinner costs the cruise company 70 Euro cents per bottle - yet in the bar a glass costs over 5 Euros and a bottle Euro 20 - 30 Euros. This is too much and not feeling able to afford a drink did inhibit our enjoyment of the evenings.
- Cooling / heating / ventilation fan in our cabin was noisy, even when notionally off. We had to cover it with a pillow in order to sleep!
- A kettle in the aft salon. One cannot make tea with 'hot' water (90 degrees); for boiling water is needed. Every afternoon we were simply gagging for a cup of proper tea!
- A cheese board. The cheese plate dessert option is served with three different cheeses, only one of which one would typically have chosen. Less food would be wasted if once could help oneself from the board.
- A second chair in each cabin. One could be accommodated by removing a redundant cupboard under the television.
- Lock transits during the day. On our trip they were almost exclusively at night. For us inland waterway navigation is fascinating and one of our main reasons for choosing a river cruise. It would be interesting to witness more lock operations during daylight.
Overall we found the cruise expensive - it cost more than double any other similar-length holiday we've had. But we concluded this is just what cruises cost!
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