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I'm now looking at flights to/from Amsterdam.  I'm trying to find out how disembarkation will take place so that I can decide on the time for the flight home (which will be a very sad day).  We dock back into Amsterdam on day 7, with disembarkation the next morning.  I'm looking for confirmation of how I think disembarkation will take place.  One: We can disembark whenever we want for me that will be after breakfast; 2) there will be no requirement once we disembark to go through Customs and Immigration before making our way to the airport.  Unlike on a Caribbean cruise from New Jersey where you disembark then visit U.S. Customs and Immigration and then go to the airport.  

Please let me know if my thought process is correct.  If not, please set me straight! LOL

 

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Yes that is exactly correct. Some people left the boat at 3 or 4 in the morning and others left after breakfast. Your tour director will call you a cab if you need one. Fellow passengers staying in Amsterdam will leave when they are ready. I believe we had to be out of our cabins by 8:30 so they could get ready for guests arriving.

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Yes disembarking is sort of sad.  However when we did it this year at the end it was painless.  They know how to do this and it’s no problem.  How you do it depends on what you signed up for, I will assume your getting off the ship and are going home not staying extra days.  You will have signed up for the transfer to the airport, buses will be there.  Yes you will get breakfast and likely depart for the airport around 9-10am.  However, they will also arrange for a cab if your leaving on say a 4am flight.  We disembarked in Basel, we had people going to Italy, Zurich, France for another cruise etc.  everyone was taken care of.  We went through customs at Amsterdam airport on arrival and we connected there on the way home to US and went through it again in Amsterdam.  If you signed up for extra days in Amsterdam stay where they put you and you’ll be taken care of, stay somewhere on your own and your on your own.  One last tidbit, the train station is Amsterdam is literally across the street from the docks and it’s a quick ride to the airport should you need.

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Thank you for confirming how I thought disembarkation would take place.  I must say this is one of the best boards on this site.  Everyone is very knowledgeable and helpful.  Thank you all again for your help and guidance.

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I have a few questions about getting your airfare through Avalon.  Have any of you done this?  We signed up for an airfare deal (very inexpensive!) since we are arriving in one city and flying back from another.  

Do you know if you can stay extra days prior to the cruise without using the Avalon hotels? 

What about upgrading your plane tickets with miles if you have a bunch to use?

Do they actually set everything up or does your travel agent do it?  How much does your travel agent have to do with any of the flight choices, etc?

I would appreciate any and all answers with this!

Thank you!!

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I can’t help with airfares, we did our own.  We flew into Amsterdam and out of Zurich.  But I can say nobody cares if you stay at a hotel of your choice prior or after the cruise.  But be aware you will have to get yourself and your luggage to the boat.  We stayed at the Avalon hotel prior, which was excellent, and the morning of departure everyone met in the lobby and we were bussed to the ship.  Very easy.  Stayed at our own hotel after in Zurich, but that was a mistake, it would have been a lot easier to stay at the Avalon choice.

Edited by s35flyer

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hmcrn, we used Avalon for our flights last year, specified which flights and airports we wanted at no extra cost.  They beat both my online searches and my TA's.  We did a pre & post stay with no extra charge from them, and because they booked the air, our insurance we purchased through them covered that as well.  

 

We didn't upgrade with miles, as it was our first flight in 30 years, but we did go online with the airline and choose our seats ourselves, no problems.  I worked with my TA who dealt with Avalon (since she gave us a bit of a bonus), so she suggested what seats to choose.  I'm a bit of a control freak, - probably drove my TA up the wall - so although she could have booked our seats, I chose to do so to make sure it was done correctly.  Avalon provided them the flight numbers as soon as we told them to go ahead and book (we had mentioned it when booking our cruise, but waited until it was closer to the actual date before getting Avalon to book the flight).

 

As s35flyer says, you can possibly purchase a transfer from Avalon (it was offered, but we didn't need it to get to our hotel from the air port), but if you will have to arrange to get to the boat on your own.  It was no problem for us, the hotel called a taxi for us, but we could also have taken a train or transit.

 

We flew in and out of Amsterdam, as we took the train back to Amsterdam going along the river to see the sights missed while travelling by night.

 

 

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I think the answer to the air question is “it depends”. We had a free air promotion on an Avalon Cruise 2 years ago and we did not have any say in flights. We did an Avalon Cruise last year with a discounted air promotion and we had some limited choice in flights. In both cases we could have selected different flights but at considerable additional expense.

 

 If you look on the Avalon web site you can plug in whatever dates and cities you want and it will give you the air price using current promotions. You can do deviations on dates with Avalon but whether it will incur an additional charge is anyone’s guess. 

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You also asked about upgrading using miles if you purchase flights through Avalon. I do not think this will be possible as Avalon usually books in a different class of tickets and these are usually not upgradable. 

 

We usually ask Avalon for flight quotes and compare to what our travel agent can find. We then pick the best option.

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20 hours ago, YoungDubFan said:

You also asked about upgrading using miles if you purchase flights through Avalon. I do not think this will be possible as Avalon usually books in a different class of tickets and these are usually not upgradable. 

 

We usually ask Avalon for flight quotes and compare to what our travel agent can find. We then pick the best option.

We do this as well.  Most times, Avalon can get us a better flight price.

 

For the hotel, it depends on how early we are going in, where the Avalon hotel is situated - and if we can get a better price on our own.  If we are only going in 1 day ahead, we will usually go with an extra night through Avalon - as the price is usually comparable, and it makes it so much easier to transfer to the boat.

 

Transfers are nice to have, but that would never be the only reason I would book air with the company.  We can usually find transfers on our own cheaper than the company offers. 

 

Fran

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20 hours ago, YoungDubFan said:

You also asked about upgrading using miles if you purchase flights through Avalon. I do not think this will be possible as Avalon usually books in a different class of tickets and these are usually not upgradable. 

 

We usually ask Avalon for flight quotes and compare to what our travel agent can find. We then pick the best option.

 

We were able to upgrade American flights a few years ago even though Avalon had booked our flights.

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On 9/23/2019 at 8:58 AM, hmcrn said:

I have a few questions about getting your airfare through Avalon.  Have any of you done this?  We signed up for an airfare deal (very inexpensive!) since we are arriving in one city and flying back from another.  

Do you know if you can stay extra days prior to the cruise without using the Avalon hotels? 

What about upgrading your plane tickets with miles if you have a bunch to use?

Do they actually set everything up or does your travel agent do it?  How much does your travel agent have to do with any of the flight choices, etc?

I would appreciate any and all answers with this!

Thank you!!

 

Hi my friend from Celebrity!

When are you sailing Avalon?

We depart 11/7 for a Legendary Danube cruise w/out the Prague add-on. 

Our 10 friends on this sailing all booked their airfare via Avalon thru the travel agent, who handled the flights. There have been several flight changes and the TA has kept everyone up to speed + she worked with another local friend whose granddaughter is flying from Alabama so that the two could meet at an airport in the states and travel onward to Europe together.  The gang is staying at the Avalon hotel in Prague but at the Palazzo Zichy at my recommendation (not Avalon's) after the cruise in Budapest.

DH & I used AA ff miles to fly to FRA since we are traveling on our own for nearly two weeks prior to boarding the Illumination in Nuremberg. We fly home on UA ff miles out of Munich, taking the high-speed train in business class from Budapest and spending 3 nights there.

FWIW- we are considering the 9 night European Capitals on the Silhouette 9/19/20.....check it out!

Barb

Edited by TMLAalum

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Thanks SO much everyone!  Great info - especially about using miles.  I have status in both AA and DL, so was hoping to be able to upgrade myself a bit.  I think we are gonna go with the "deal", as i cannot find anything comparable in price.  Hopefully everything will go well.  If it doesn't, i certainly will let you know!  😊

 

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20 hours ago, TMLAalum said:

 

Hi my friend from Celebrity!

When are you sailing Avalon?

We depart 11/7 for a Legendary Danube cruise w/out the Prague add-on. 

Our 10 friends on this sailing all booked their airfare via Avalon thru the travel agent, who handled the flights. There have been several flight changes and the TA has kept everyone up to speed + she worked with another local friend whose granddaughter is flying from Alabama so that the two could meet at an airport in the states and travel onward to Europe together.  The gang is staying at the Avalon hotel in Prague but at the Palazzo Zichy at my recommendation (not Avalon's) after the cruise in Budapest.

DH & I used AA ff miles to fly to FRA since we are traveling on our own for nearly two weeks prior to boarding the Illumination in Nuremberg. We fly home on UA ff miles out of Munich, taking the high-speed train in business class from Budapest and spending 3 nights there.

FWIW- we are considering the 9 night European Capitals on the Silhouette 9/19/20.....check it out!

Barb

 

Hey Barb!!  

We are going the end of May on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam.  Dave is very excited!  Several family members and friends are going as well, so should be a great trip!  Avalon has said they will try to get us all in around the same time, as well as from the same airports if possible.  I am not sure if we go with the "deal" if that will be possible, but i am hoping so!

The Danube is another river we really want to try out!  It sounds like you have planned (another) fabulous trip.  You will have to let me know the highlights!  I cannot wait until i retire so we can start travelling more frequently.  

Ooooh - European Capitals?  i am tempted.... will let you know!

Take care my friend!  

  Heidi

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On 9/25/2019 at 2:10 PM, hmcrn said:

 

Hey Barb!!  

We are going the end of May on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam.  Dave is very excited!  Several family members and friends are going as well, so should be a great trip!  Avalon has said they will try to get us all in around the same time, as well as from the same airports if possible.  I am not sure if we go with the "deal" if that will be possible, but i am hoping so!

The Danube is another river we really want to try out!  It sounds like you have planned (another) fabulous trip.  You will have to let me know the highlights!  I cannot wait until i retire so we can start travelling more frequently.  

Ooooh - European Capitals?  i am tempted.... will let you know!

Take care my friend!  

  Heidi

 

Sounds wonderful, Heidi! Let's keep in touch and please say hi to Dave for Fred & me.

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Concierge or Similar on Avalon?

 

Is there an officer aboard who can provide guidance for independent plans in the various cities?

 

For us specifically our group is hoping to head to a heurigen the evening the Illumination is in Vienna. The following day DH & I are off to Bratislava (received lots of help from Cruise Critic members on how to diy a day trip there) and on our afternoon in Budapest our group has booked an English language parliament tour.

 

I would feel more comfortable in our plans if we could run them by somebody on the Illumination. Thanks!

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I think you need to talk to travel agent or Avalon rep.  I didn’t see or talk with anyone who did things like that.  I don’t see why they would care but for sure tell cruise director.

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The cruise director and reception desk staff are all able to give you suggestions for things to do in each city if you choose not to partake in the included excursions.

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1 hour ago, YoungDubFan said:

The cruise director and reception desk staff are all able to give you suggestions for things to do in each city if you choose not to partake in the included excursions.

 

Thanks, that is what I was hoping to hear! And BTW,  O-H-I-O

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Hi Experts-

Two more questions before we leave for Europe in 11 days but don't board the Illumination until 2 weeks later. Our TA is requesting that Avalon expedite our document package so we have it prior to departure. What happens if we don't receive it? My other question concerns luggage. The info I have thus far is that only one suitcase/piece of luggage is permitted per passenger for portage, but what about a carry-on bag, such as a backpack or underseat case? I know the old saying about "assume" but I seriously doubt those are disallowed. Please share your Avalon experiences with these issues, thanks!

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1 minute ago, TMLAalum said:

 My other question concerns luggage. The info I have thus far is that only one suitcase/piece of luggage is permitted per passenger for portage, but what about a carry-on bag, such as a backpack or underseat case? I know the old saying about "assume" but I seriously doubt those are disallowed. Please share your Avalon experiences with these issues, thanks!

I think you'll be OK. When we did Avalon' Paris to Amsterdam they loaded our luggage onto a truck at the hotel before we left for the train from Paris to Luxembourg. No one really checked, and we put 3 or 4 pieces onto the truck. In fact, DW decided to put her carry-on onto the truck at the last minute and almost sent her train tickets via truck! I carried my backpack on the train.

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There is a ton of room for at least 4 large bags under the bed. We each had a 25” and a 22” roller bags and they easily fit under the bed. Don’t worry about the bag issue. There is no storage outside of your cabin, but normal bags are fine.

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PS we did not wear a third of what we brought! Very casual and laundry onboard was wonderful. Don’t ask the prices because I didn’t ask or look, I was on vacation and didn’t care if i had a $70 laundry bill! 

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I traveled with a large suitcase and a backpack. I was on the Illumination and it was no problem at all!

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