January 20th 2018


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Why do a river cruise with Avalon? Why do a river cruise with Avalon? Why do a river cruise with Avalon? Why do a river cruise with Avalon? Why do a river cruise with Avalon?


Continent: Europe. Country: Budapest. City: .

Why do a river cruise with Avalon?

By Hannah Wilson

Why do a river cruise with Avalon?

Avalon market themselves as a five star river cruise line, and having experienced their ship, their food, their service and their attention to detail I can say they their marketing is spot on.
We were on the mv Tapestry which at five years old is the oldest boat in their fleet. You would never guess this if you didn't know it as it looks brand new. For a small vessel it feels suprisingly spacious and light, its furnishings and carpets (yes I will be publishing photos of the carpets!) look brand new, and the ship is spotlessly clean.

The cabins are the same size as you would get on a big cruise ship, you can still order room service and breakfast in bed, and the toiletries provided are L'Occitaine. The balconies are French Balconies which is more than adequate. One luxury that I have never had on a cruise ship before were the Tempura mattress toppers - so blissfully comfortable and warm that I didn't want to leave my bed each morning! And yes, you get the nightly turndown service, sculpted PJ's and a chocolate on your pillow!
The food was super - as you know I am a big foodie. Breakfast and lunch were both buffet style with a huge choice at both events. Breakfasts were everything from full English, cereals, hot porridge, cold meats, cheese and croissants. There was also a 'Smoothie of the day', a different flavour each morning - delicious! An egg station provided eggs however you fancied them too.

Lunch was a selction of hot and cold - always with a couple of regional dishes on offer. Soft drinks were included at no extra charge. Vegetables were fresh, and there were veggie options too. I also noticed that a table of Chinese folk had chinese dishes served to their table - national cuisine is something that Avalon are more than happy to provide if required.
Dinner in the evening was 5 courses, no dressing up required, all waiter service and wne and beer were included free of charge - they were not stingey with it either! There were a wonderful selection of dishes too, all cooked to perfection, which is incredible when you consider that the kitchens are a very limited size on these boats. Well done to Karoly, the lovely Hungarian Chef and his team!

All the staff on the ship were extremely helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble. Every single one of them went the extra mile. The Captain was a very jolly Dutchman who wore clogs all the time, and often broke into a clog dance when he saw you! Special mention must go to Karolien, the lovely Dutch Cruise Director/ Tour Guide/ all round good egg - I think this lady must never sleep! She was relentless in ensuring that everyone was happy and well-informed and well taken care of. Her attention to detail was incredible and she was an absolute delight to have around.
Almost forgot, there is even a small gym on board - of course, I only popped in for a quick look! 
A point of interest - I was chatting to the Restaurant/Front of House manager one eveningand he told me he used to work for Princess Cruises, obviously much larger ships, but he changed to River Cruising and enjoyed these smaller boats much more. He said the atmosphere on board was so much more friendly.

We met some great people too from all over the world. Never let anyone tell you that river boats are just full of old people, it just isn't true. Ok, the majority are over 50, but hey, I'm not that far off that!
Well, that's enough for now I think. Next time I will tell you about our 'ports of call' - don't miss it, they were amazing!


Hannah Wilson

Specialist Cruise Consultant



0800 408 6084