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Everything posted by Daisi

  1. Avalon still has specials on it's 2024 & 2025, but even if I look at the "non-reduced" price, the 2025 are actually lower than those in 2024 for my Moselle cruise. Not complaining, we booked early because we wanted a certain cabin and they had a special that was supposed to be over by November 2024. It was worth it, as the discount we got combined with our welcome back credit will pay for our airfare. πŸ™‚
  2. As @CDNPolar states, the cancellation policy is under the "legal" section on the website. Stated just as clearly as above. I'm sorry you are losing your deposit, however like any contract you enter into, you have to read the fine print to be sure to understand what is involved. I do see that final payment now states it depends on the offer at time of booking, but must be no later than 180 days prior to cruising...it's getting better. ****Edited to add, went back to double check, and see that the 180 days only applies to Viking World and Grand cruises. Oh well. 😞
  3. @notamermaid, these guys were out on a tour I think, and using the caravans for overnighting in .
  4. We love the older ones as well, and often go to the local plowing matches to see them. One of the highlights for my husband on the Rhine cruise was running into a tour of older tractors at the Black Forest Open Air Museum. Not only old tractors, but he thought it was interesting that they were using them to pull caravans!
  5. @notamermaid, it's not unusual to see tractors driving through the local "take out" lanes in small towns for coffee here. When I worked for a car dealership, it was also common for them to drive their tractors in to test drive new trucks....you just felt bad for some of the sales guys, as some of them came straight from the barn! In spring time, we often get 5 - 10 paced out on the road travelling to the fields, it's our local traffic jam. πŸ™‚
  6. Farmers are protesting all over Europe, I've been getting a lot of photos from the Netherlands with the tractors out. Here, we are so used to them on our roads, we would need to see 20 at a shot to figure out it's not just for heading to the fields!
  7. Ok, but we've been told it's also very common in Germany, so probably more countries.
  8. One thing I love about Avalon, we've been on tours with 5-6 people, and I think our max was about 13-15. Even the free offers for Cesky Krumlov that we were given because of missing other tours due to water issues only had about 10 in them - 3 groups, but only 10 or so per group. I also like that we get food that is "local" to where we are sailing, even the BBQ's are with local food, not hamburgers & hotdogs.
  9. We've seen shows from Asia and the Mediterranean where they also fish like that...guess your bar staff wasn't so confident.
  10. Closed due to one of those familiar problems in France - strike! This is another thing that is keeping me away from going to France, they tend to enjoy striking. πŸ™‚
  11. They fish like that on the Danube. We had a good laugh, as one of the small huts we saw was flying a Canadian flag! Took a picture, but didn't notice that there was a guy in it who was sunbathing au natural!
  12. Don't worry Coral, I've never been to Paris either, and have been delaying it as long as possible. Unfortunately, we only have 2 (possibly 3) more cruises to do and then we will be doing France. I'm not a city lover - so dreading being in such a populated area. My husband wants to go, so I really do have to bite the bullet some time. πŸ™‚
  13. Our cruise in Sept (Blue Danube Discovery) included both the tour of the town *or* the museum. I just looked up your cruise, and see the following : When we were there, the morning tour was either or the classic tours, and the trip to SchΓΆnbrunn Palace was in the afternoon. Vienna is easy to get around from the ship, a short walk to the tram system to get into town. Your CD will be able to help you with what tram line to take to the museum if you wish to do that in the afternoon. I'm sure you will have an opportunity to see some areas of the museum on your own after the guided tour if you take that, so it may be helpful to know where the painting you wish to see is to make sure you see it. I see that you are there for the evening, as the concert is the same day. You can always stay in town after the tours and go to the museum if it's opening hours work out.
  14. @Goldenrosebags is your husband willing to carry on a conversation during dinner? What RobinMN said is correct, excursions, while you may be in a group of people, you don't usually chat a lot - most are listening to what the guide is saying and looking around the area, so conversation between the group is difficult. A suggestion for dining - choose the smallest table you can find and sit where you are either close to a wall. I tend to sit against the window - lets me eat, enjoy the view and I can contribute as much to the conversation as I wish. We've never sailed with AmA, only Avalon which, while it does have tables for 2, they are fairly close together. In the lounge, you can easily choose seats that aren't in a group.
  15. We tend to take all excursions, including the optional ones, so that keeps us away from all the sweet treats during Afternoon Tea.
  16. Last April, there was snow during my friend's Rhine cruise. If you go the end of April, beginning of May, you should be OK. Temps can be hard to tell, depends on what you consider cold or hot. We sailed the Rhine mid May and had perfect weather - OK, was quite hot when we were a Keukenhof, but for the rest of the cruise it was pretty good. We were in Amsterdam during Kings Day (day we arrived) and it did get quite busy that day! However, we didn't find things overcrowded elsewhere. We sailed the Danube in September, when it was supposed to be cooler. We were hitting 30C several days, and that was the end of Sept. You just can't tell these days!
  17. @cbr663, you can go to the Avalon website and do a 360 of your cabin if that's easier. I know it doesn't cover everything, but I always do, as I like "my" side of the bed to be close to the wall, so I make sure my cabin is arranged that way. As to soft drinks, they are only available at the bar for a cost if you are looking for one not during the lunch/dinner times, however we always ask our cabin attendant to clear out our fridge and then we can stock whatever we wish in it (chocolate melts when sailing in warm weather πŸ™‚) since you can bring anything onboard. As YoungDub mentioned, Iced Tea (unsweetened) is available at any time, as well as hot coffee & teas.
  18. Can't post the link to the article because it's from a TA, however for 2025 Avalon is going to be sailing on the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. There will be 1. 2 and 3 week trips. Looks like there's more to explore..... πŸ™‚ https://www.avalonwaterways.ca/river-cruises/garonne-river/?computed_rivers_sm=Garonne&format=vertical&limit=12&page=0&sort=computed_itinerary_firstbestdiscountedprice_cad_tl%3Dasc
  19. I can't speak for AMA, however we've found lots of places to "hide" outside our cabin on Avalon, and I'm sure AMA is the same. We can even be alone in the lounge as you can sit at 2 seats tucked away if you wish. Since you are traveling in the winter, you should be fine in the aquarium cabins, as you probably wouldn't be opening the window on the upper decks. That is the only reason we go for the 2nd level, as we like to have the window open for the small amount of time we are in our cabin.
  20. Not a Viking sailor, but this one I can answer. If your ship is docked in port, you will usually just walk off the ship and begin your tour. If there is a need for transport, there will be busses lined up and your CD will direct you to the right bus for your tour. During the tours, you will be given extra time to wander around on your own at the end. Your tour guide will let you know if there is a spot to meet to get back to the ship, or if you are docked in port, you can go back on your own. If you are in port for an extended time (ALWAYS check with the CD), you can go back and explore. However, a lot of times you cruise during lunch, so you will tour a different port in the afternoon. That is when the ship won't wait. Always make sure you have the contact # for the CD and ship reception on your phone, just in case something happens and you can't make it back. They will assist you in getting to the next port. Unlike ocean cruising, it's usually just down the road so a quick taxi drive. Some people will skip the provided tour and just wander on their own, so they need to know when and how to return to the ship. Another thing, because of the shorter times in port, and because times are very fluid, pre-arranging tours with 3rd parties can be difficult. Locks can break, water levels can rise or drop, and itineraries can be hastily re-arranged. Just be prepared to enjoy yourself, don't worry about what "can" happen, that's what the Viking crew are there for.
  21. I was checking the Avalon Dining site the other day for someone and noticed they now provide picnic baskets. Will possibly have to check them out when we are duplicating some of the Rhine on our next cruise.
  22. "They fit my style of vacation." This is the most important, and also the reason we love Avalon. Others will choose other lines (or avoid other lines) for the same reason. The only reason I think I would look at another line is for the itinerary - like CroisiEurope's cruise on the Loire.
  23. Hi, I'll do my best to answer your questions. 1) Yes there is laundry, I'll attach the pricing I have from another site. 2) According to the Avalon Waterway's site, under "Dining", you can get complimentary lunch & dinner for room service, and I believe the continental breakfast is also included. 3) No special perks for the 2 Royal Suite cabins other than the larger cabin. Everyone on the ship gets access to everything, no special perks at all. 4) Yes, breakfast & lunch are buffet, there is a made to order omelet station for breakfast, and usually the chef is there with a carving station for lunch. There are also items that can be ordered from a menu, limited, but the buffets are quite large with choices for almost everything. You can check sample menus under the "Dining" tab on the website. 5) Have fun, go with the flow, and be prepared for anything. They are very good at overcoming river level problems, and are also good for organising extras if you ask. Pre-booking outside tours isn't really recommended unless you know for sure you will be at the port as things can change quickly. 6) How easy it is to get to know almost everyone onboard, from crew to fellow passengers. We were on one of the longer ships for our Danube cruise in Sept, and I was a bit worried about the larger #'s (not one for crowds), but it still didn't feel crowded. Do your research, so you know what is possible to see, and have fun, Avalon is a fantastic line, 5* service but casual enough that you don't feel uncomfortable.
  24. Attentive staff can vary from ship to ship, someone can sail on one ship and have fantastic staff, and then on the same line on another ship and just have staff that are good but.... Food is a very personal thing, do you wish local food or more general American style ( I'm not talking hamburgers unless having a BBQ, but that would disappoint me if I was on an European cruise)? As for decor, that is also personal - look through YouTube videos (by passengers not the cruise line) to see how the ships are set up. We've been happy with Avalon, 2 cruises and have had great staff (although we never saw our cabin attendant on the last one, and I will say the staff were interacting with the passengers more on our first cruise pre-covid). Food is good, with a lot of local dishes so we get to try stuff we've never had. Design is contemporary, so not fussy or plain. We always stay on the 2nd level to be close to the water but able to open the window. Unfortunately, the excursions are going to be mostly around the local attractions which will include churches and castles. One of the things I do like most about Avalon is the ability to choose different tours when you are repeating the same town. Or you can always take a bike out (or do a full bike excursion), or hike, or just wander around the town.
  25. @franski, I think it was just a glitch, as they were back on the site (Canada anyway) about an hour after OP posted. I was hoping to get them credited back as well, but guess not. πŸ˜‰
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