May 2015 - Avalon Luminary to Europe
We had a very good experience on the Avalon "Luminary" even though we were diverted to a 2 night hotel stay due to high water levels on the Danube. Though we were all understandably upset to have to pack up and miss some of our itinerary, we really enjoyed Munich and the additional tours that Avalon arranged for us at no additional charge. Avalon covered all of our hotel and meal expenses while we were off the ship. We had some great food experiences at the lovely German restaurants and were actually very happy that we got to tour this region. After the 2 nights in Munich, we were able to rejoin our ship and finish the cruise. Our tour director and Avalon really took excellent care of us and we have no complaints with the revised itinerary.
The Avalon "Luminary" is a very clean and comfortable ship. The crew really goes out of their way to provide friendly and excellent service. We liked our smallish but thoughtfully arranged cabin with the large sliding glass doors. There is plenty of storage and the bed is comfortable. We would have preferred down pillows though.
We can only give the food three stars, especially compared to the larger ocean cruise ships. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style and have decent choices, but nothing exceptional. They could really work on their dinner entrees, the fish dishes especially were disappointing. They did serve a very nice rack of lamb one night and the beef tenderloin was especially good. But, very few vegetables and salads were offered with dinner and the desserts could use improvement too.
Overall, we felt that we had a very nice cruise experience. The itinerary was good and we saw some very beautiful and dramatic scenery along with some quaint towns and exciting cities. The local guides were fun and provided a lot of interesting information. We did like that there was something to do at least once a day off the ship, unlike the large cruise ships that have several at sea days. Avalon does a great job with their personnel and we felt pampered and appreciated.