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Maryland
50 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Doing our first Avalon cruise on Expression from Budapest to Amsterdam, 26 July- 10 August. We are arriving a day early and need a hotel close to the port.
VA, MD & FL
6,469 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
I have been in Budapest twice on river cruises and Vienna more times than that (not Avalon but info is likely to apply). The city tour was by bus with walk around stops at Mathais Church/ Fisherman's Bastion (hint: there are very nice free bathrooms in the Hilton, just act like you belong there) and Hero's Square - maybe 20 minutes or so at those 2 places, rest of the time was on the bus. Other than the Buda Castle which you will not have time to do in the limited time on your included tour, most of the remaining sites to see are on the flat easily walkable Pest side. St. Stephens Basilica and the Parliament will likely be with a 10 minute stroll of your boat, and the Main Market not much further.

In Vienna boats dock mostly near the Vorgartenstrasse metro station (there is a second overflow dock that is not as convenient) 4 stops from Cathedral. Depending on the boat schedule you will have the option to stay in town, do lunch on your own and/or go to Schonbrunn Palace (6 metro stops from downtown in the opposite direct from the boat).

ENJOY Thom
Texas
11 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
We just returned from the 15 day Amsterdam to Budapest on Avalon Impression. It was GREAT! The entire staff went over board to make our trip fantastic. I can't say enough about their professionalism. The boat was awesome and there was always someone cleaning something! The food was good, though, being a "meat and potatoes" girl, I didn't recognize some things but I tried a lot of new foods. When I didn't feel like being that adventurous, they always have chicken and steak available. The dinner does take a while (usually 7-9) but that's half the fun. We met some very interesting people and enjoyed spending that time with them. Breakfast and lunch is a buffet and they did a grill lunch on the sky deck 2 days. Most of the excursions were great. I would avoid the "Gold and Glamour" tour in Budapest. We arrived in Amsterdam at the perfect time for the tulips. Having extra days in Amsterdam and Budapest worked very well for us. I recommend having Avalon take care of the transport to/from airports and hotels. Everything was handled seamlessly.
Texas
11 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Originally posted by 2happytx
Hello, I'm not so sure if I'm in the right place to post questions about our upcoming Avalon river cruise in May (A Taste of the Danube) since I can't seem to find another place specific for Avalon.
Our question is - The itinerary includes guided city tour in both Budapest and Vienna. Their itinerary does not tell you how long this tour will last and exactly what all the places we will visit. Does anyone know? Thanks!
We just returned from the 15 day Amsterdam to Budapest on the Impression. In Budapest, we took the guided city tour and it last from 8:30 - 11:30. It mostly consisted on a bus tour of the city with about 20 minutes to walk around Fisherman's Bastion. There was an alternative walking tour which covered the area around where the boat was docked. By the way, in the afternoon, we did the Gold and Glamour tour -- avoid this!! It was not worth the money. I was glad we had an extra day in Budapest to go back to some of the things we drove by in the bus. In Vienna, we took a bus close the the palace then the guide took us through the palace grounds and through the shopping district. We didn't take the bus back but decided to explore on our own in the afternoon. The evening concert was awesome. I'm not sure what other places you will be visiting but feel free to send me an email with specific questions. [email protected]
Minneapolis, MN
35 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Thanks to txsprmom and Texas Tom for your recent posts about the scope of the "included" tours in Budapest and Vienna, and the info about where the boats will likely dock. They're most helpful in planning what we want to do independently.
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John & Cindy
Minneapolis, MN
Eurodam 2009 (N.E. & Canada)
Eurodam 2011 (Baltic)
Statendam 2012 (Panama Canal)
Nieuw Amsterdam 2013 (Mediterranean)
Oosterdam 2016 (Alaska)
Koningsdam 2017 (Caribbean)
new zealand
120 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by Suzanne123
Hi. I boarded the Vista yesterday in Amsterdam after two days at the Movenpick booked through Avalon. Others on my cruise were booked at the Movenpick independently, and Avalon met all of us in the lobby and transferred us and our luggage to the boat around 10:30 AM. We had lunch on board and then went on to our pre-booked excursion at 1:00 PM.

Avalon did send me the docking information ( twice) too, but I think they probably sent the form letter to everyone, not knowing where people were staying or when they would be arriving in Amsterdam. When I checked in to the hotel, I was told that Avalon would be there around 10AM on embarkation morning.

You should probably confirm that Avalon is using the same hotel where you are staying.
Hi we booked 2 days on our own in paris and wondering what time to board for tapestry 2 grand France south bound 2 nd june 2018 .I see we get notified though the "my avalon site " where the ship will be berthed but havent been told what is the earliest you can drop your bags off does anyone know ??
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Avalon Grand France South bound 2nd june
also maasdam montreal to boston 23rd june 2018

Avalon amsterdam to budapest june 2017
& princess batlic cruise
Radiance of sea alaska 2004
star Gemini 2009 singapore /indonesia
nuew amsterdam 2011 24 days europe
sea princess alaska 2016


Ontario, Canada
2,773 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by kiwixmas
Hi we booked 2 days on our own in paris and wondering what time to board for tapestry 2 grand France south bound 2 nd june 2018 .I see we get notified though the "my avalon site " where the ship will be berthed but havent been told what is the earliest you can drop your bags off does anyone know ??
When we did the Seine with Avalon last September, everyone waited at a hotel close to the Eiffel Tower as we could not board until after 3 in the afternoon. I suspect the same will happen with you. Actually quite civilized - they store your luggage, have pastries and beverages in the room - and then you can take off and do some more site seeing until your transfer time.

Fran
369 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by kiwixmas
Hi we booked 2 days on our own in paris and wondering what time to board for tapestry 2 grand France south bound 2 nd june 2018 .I see we get notified though the "my avalon site " where the ship will be berthed but havent been told what is the earliest you can drop your bags off does anyone know ??
Kiwixmas, we just got off of our Rhine cruise. From what I was given to understand, they will let you board anytime , but your room won't be ready until 3:00ish. They made a big deal about our housekeeping manager setting a record by having all the rooms ready early. We arrived at lunchtime, enjoyed a light lunch in the lounge (and a beer), before heading out for our first tour.

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Lake Erie's South Shore
4,128 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Avalon Amateur

We are getting ready to book an Avalon Danube cruise for 2019. I have a few questions that I hope can be answered here!

#1. Price Reductions: If the price of our cabin goes down can we get the lower rate prior to final payment?
#2. Cabin Upgrade: If a higher category cabin becomes available at a price we are willing to pay, can we change cabins for the difference?
#3. Perks: We book our ocean cruises thru the big box warehouse and get a generous cash card from them. What might we expect from a river cruse travel agent?
#4. BYOB: Are we permitted to bring wine or other liquor aboard?
#5. Travel Agents: When I requested a brochure from Avalon, I was contacted via email by a travel agent whom I know nothing about since I marked that we were not currently with a TA. She's been helpful, but I'm not sure we're getting the best deal from her. Are we better off booking direct with Avalon? Why would Avalon refer me to her?

That's all I can think of for now, thanks!
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Ohio
781 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I’ll try to answer.
1. It depends - there are not as many price reductions on river cruises as with ocean cruises. I have been successful getting a price reduction but my travel agent does a lot of business with the Avalon family of businesses.
2. There are significantly less cabins on a river cruise so there may not be any options for an upgrade.
3. I can’t help with this.
4. You can bring alcohol on board to drink in your cabin. There may be a corkage fee to drink it elsewhere on board.
5. I have a travel agent I’ve used for years so I can’t comment.

Hope this helps.
369 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by TMLAalum
Avalon Amateur

We are getting ready to book an Avalon Danube cruise for 2019. I have a few questions that I hope can be answered here!

#1. Price Reductions: If the price of our cabin goes down can we get the lower rate prior to final payment?
We were able to get the specials throughout the year after we had put down our initial deposit... I had our TA confirm, and then just to make sure, I added a bit onto our payment so I would get an invoice from Avalon showing the discount.
#2. Cabin Upgrade: If a higher category cabin becomes available at a price we are willing to pay, can we change cabins for the difference? Most cruises get sold out, so rarely are there available cabins. You would be best to talk to your TA about checking on this.
#3. Perks: We book our ocean cruises thru the big box warehouse and get a generous cash card from them. What might we expect from a river cruse travel agent? Some big box warehouses will give (in Canada) either credit to their store, or OBC. Once again, it's best to check online with what they offer, then consult your TA as they may well match it. Ours did, but instead of OBC, she applied it to our payment...
#4. BYOB: Are we permitted to bring wine or other liquor aboard? Yes, however as YoungDubFan says, there is probably a corkage fee to drink onboard. We did have a bottle opener in our room. If you are doing this, make sure to ask them to clean out the fridge in your room so you can store your stuff in there.
#5. Travel Agents: When I requested a brochure from Avalon, I was contacted via email by a travel agent whom I know nothing about since I marked that we were not currently with a TA. She's been helpful, but I'm not sure we're getting the best deal from her. Are we better off booking direct with Avalon? Why would Avalon refer me to her? When I went looking to book our cruise, we had never used a travel agent. I looked to see what ones were close to me that Avalon recommended and contacted her. If you have someone you use regularly and find helpful, they should be able to handle booking with Avalon. Our TA often called Avalon with me sitting there to ask questions, and pricing doesn't change, it's only the "perks" a TA or box store could provide that will give the better deal. We had mentioned when we booked that we may be interested in Avalon handling our air, but had no commitment with them. When I found prices starting to drop, I had our TA check her sources, then she checked Avalon. Even though we did our own pre-cruise, and a small post-cruise, Avalon came out on top, and no deviation fee for not going through their standard airports for the cruise.

That's all I can think of for now, thanks!
If you have never sailed with Avalon, I'm sure you will love it. We chose a room on the 2nd level, which was nice as we could hang out and watch the swans & birds on the river. All the cabins on the 2nd & 3rd level (except for the suites) are the same, and we were towards the back of the ship but there was no extra noise or vibrations. You aren't in your cabins much, as there is a lot going on and the best views are where you can see both sides of the river. I loved the casual atmosphere on board, nothing fancy or fussy....if you didn't like what you ordered for dinner, they would bring something else...or if you did like it, they would bring you 2nds! Unfortunately, it wasn't until the Thursday of our cruise I figured out that asking for cranberry juice in the morning brought it out....it was out on the first day, but then they changed up their juices.
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Lake Erie's South Shore
4,128 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Thanks Avalon Afficianados!

I so appreciate all your advice thus far! One question to Daisi- the big box travel website only indicates Uniworld and Viking can be booked thru them here in the USA- is it worth it to call about Avalon?

So far I am happy with the communication from the Avoya-affiliated rep who contacted me via my Avalon inquiry, but I've also contacted a local agent that a friend of mine booked an Avalon cruise with for later this year.

Will keep you posted & again, thanks!
369 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Hi. I would assume that the big box websites get some sort of discount in order to promote the tours they sell. I would say it wouldn't hurt to check about Avalon, but you may do better with a TA. Another thing to check out if you do go through a TA, if there are 'seminars" about cruising going on from other travel agencies, they will often give discounts....if you are happy with your TA, ask if they can meet the discount. The nice thing about having a local TA is if anything comes up last minute, it's an easy fix...if you are only dealing online, you may have problems. My cousin encountered that when they went south one year, her partner's ticket came in with the wrong name. It took them a couple of tense days to get it fixed, whereas the couple who were travelling with them used a local TA and had the same problem...theirs was fixed the next day.
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Creston bc Canada
29 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by Daisi
Hi. I would assume that the big box websites get some sort of discount in order to promote the tours they sell. I would say it wouldn't hurt to check about Avalon, but you may do better with a TA. Another thing to check out if you do go through a TA, if there are 'seminars" about cruising going on from other travel agencies, they will often give discounts....if you are happy with your TA, ask if they can meet the discount. The nice thing about having a local TA is if anything comes up last minute, it's an easy fix...if you are only dealing online, you may have problems. My cousin encountered that when they went south one year, her partner's ticket came in with the wrong name. It took them a couple of tense days to get it fixed, whereas the couple who were travelling with them used a local TA and had the same problem...theirs was fixed the next day.


I booked with Avalon directly talking to the same agent each time.She net all my needs and I got a discounted fare as well as cheap airfare.


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