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An Avalon River Cruise – a holiday to smile about.

Dear Rebecca

Please accept our apologies for not responding sooner but we have been engaged in other activities and visits.

The trip was great and we both had a lovely week and gathered more memories. As you are aware the journey home with the flight was a little extended but all the arrangements from your end and whoever was involved from Austria to Hungary were spot on.

Where to begin:

The wine was acceptable and some of the bottles were very good and to our taste as you would probably accept and expect.

The car to pick us up was on time and the drive very pleasant although nit picking neither Molly nor I are particularly fond of the layout in Mercedes.

The flight to Vienna and the pick up and delivery to the hotel were very good. As for the hotel it was of a high standard and we had a comfortable two night stay.
It was here we first met Sabine Klocker who was to be our cruise director – we couldn’t have wanted for anyone better to look after us for the week. We cannot speak too highly of her and her qualities – Superb!

Now whoever arranged our tickets in Vienna for the look around the stables and the seats for the Piber needs an extra big thank you from us. The arrangements and seats were fantastic and the memories will live long in our minds – going forward we will go back to see the stallions when they are performing. It was a great experience for two horse lovers and one we wouldn’t have missed. In Vienna we soon got our bearings and visited Schoen Brun and the zoo before being taken to the boat. These trips we did independently.

As for the Avalon Luminary it sold river cruising to us – the captain and his crew of 37 were fantastic and we were well looked after. All though we only had 3 nights on the boat it was as if we had known some of them for a long time. All were friendly, courtesy and willing to go the extra yard for you. Excellent and again on board Sabine was there to keep us all informed at the right time. The food was 4 to 5 star every day and the different wines presented,according to where we were, also epitomised the high quality put out for us.

The stops and trips from the boat were good and the people used to tell us about the arts were good. One young lady at the abbey does need to develop a greater depth of knowledge to enable fuller answers to questions (Nicolina). However, the one in Bucharest (Sonja) and the one we had in Budapest (Katerina) were excellent guides and able to answer our questions.

All in all leaving the boat was tinged with some sadness, well certainly on my part, and not just because we were coming towards the end of the week. As said earlier it was a happy ship to be on and that was largely down to the captain and his attitude towards his crew. Well done captain!

Budapest now and again another surprise with the quality of the hotel – it was huge and spacious! Whilst in Budapest we visited the Torture Museum – 3 hours was not enough to do it justice but it did open one’s eyes to the horrors a country like Hungary had to endure. Well worth a visit. We also had a trip around Buda and Pest supported by Katerina. The next day a wonderful treat with the visit to the Pustka horses. Wow! Then in the evening we experienced the underground as we went to Robinsons. The food was good but one small gripe on my part – if I was to choose a table it would not have been that one! It was close to the lake but stuck in a corner where debris gathered. A bit of a gripe I know but not major. You wouldn’t expect us to be ‘oohing and ahhing’ about the whole trip now!

Then the flight home which as you know was delayed. However, all credit to the crew and the captain – both, as the captains had to change given the hours – they kept everyone informed with regular updates and where possible provided updates. We were given food vouchers airside and also a meal on board too. The fact a part failed was not their fault and as we all agreed better on the ground than in the air!

Finally on arrival the courtesy car was waiting to whisk us back to Cambridge!

We will both certainly cruise again with Avalon and in particular when they are putting on ‘doing’ cruises.

Thank you very much for your part in the arrangements Rebecca and to all your team. We had a good week and were able to relax, unwind and enjoy the experiences we chose to undertake.

 

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