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  #1  
Old February 21st, 2013, 04:57 PM
bobandjo bobandjo is offline
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Default Avalon in Amsterdam

Long time lurker of the board until we finally bit the bullet. First river cruise Jun 23 Amsterdam to Budapest. We arrive in Amsterdam 8:15am so after dropping off luggage at the ship hopefully adrenalin will kick in and keep us going for a while. Or we might just crash in a lounger on the ship until cabin is ready. Where will the ship be docked in relation to where we could maybe take a canal tour? Also, have been told we must see the floating flower market, location? Will probably have more questions but travel agent told us I should bring a sports jacket and tie for the welcome and final dinner plus for attending the concert in Vienna. Is it really necessary as luggage space will be at a premium, packing for 2 weeks.
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  #2  
Old February 21st, 2013, 06:00 PM
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tassietravellers tassietravellers is offline
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Originally Posted by bobandjo View Post
Long time lurker of the board until we finally bit the bullet. First river cruise Jun 23 Amsterdam to Budapest. We arrive in Amsterdam 8:15am so after dropping off luggage at the ship hopefully adrenalin will kick in and keep us going for a while. Or we might just crash in a lounger on the ship until cabin is ready. Where will the ship be docked in relation to where we could maybe take a canal tour? Also, have been told we must see the floating flower market, location? Will probably have more questions but travel agent told us I should bring a sports jacket and tie for the welcome and final dinner plus for attending the concert in Vienna. Is it really necessary as luggage space will be at a premium, packing for 2 weeks.
Welcome to CC , we did this cruise with Avalon in reverse in august, loved it, ship, staff, food were fantastic.
There were 3 men that wore a jacket and tie for the dinners, majority just wore a nice casual shirt and long pants, women the same, with a few wearing a skirt or dress. The concert in Vienna was the same, our CD told people not to take a jacket or anythjng else with thdm as the place can get very hot and there isnt alot of room. So I wouldnt pack them unless you really want to. Dress on the ship is very relaxed snd casual, the only rule really ws, no shorts in the dining room of a night.
The ship docks an easy 5 - 10 min walk from the train station and city, we had a canal tour as part of our trip, it finishd at a diamond factory and the buses were waiting there to take us back to the ship.
We went to Ann Frank House, it was very interesting and worth a trip, Amsterdam is very easy to walk around and there is so much to see, even just sitting people watching is fun. The trams are easy to use and not expensive.
I'm not sure about being able to drop your luggage off at the ship early of being able to dit in the lounge, as in Budapest we met at the Intercontinental hotel and were taken from there to the ship. I seem to remember reading something about not being able to board before 3pm, but I could be wrong.
I am sure you will have a fantastic holiday, please feel free to ask any questions
Deb
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Old February 21st, 2013, 07:09 PM
bobandjo bobandjo is offline
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Thanks Deb, no jacket for me then. I've read on many threads that it was ok to board early and leave luggage, even occupy a lounge, but time will tell. Avalon will be picking us up at the airport and will deliver us somewhere. When we get our package from them end of May I'm sure everything will be addressed.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 07:36 PM
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Most river cruiselines take you to the hotel where they have a hospitality suite then about 3pm you are bused to the ship
You can store your luggage there & go off until time for the bus
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Old February 21st, 2013, 07:58 PM
bobandjo bobandjo is offline
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Most river cruiselines take you to the hotel where they have a hospitality suite then about 3pm you are bused to the ship
You can store your luggage there & go off until time for the bus
Thanks LHT, guess we'll find out in due course. We're flexible so long as we can leave our stuff somewhere.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 08:05 PM
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bobandjo - forget taking a canal cruise the day you arrive. You will most likely be taking an included canal cruise courtesy of Avalon on Monday morning. Usually after the canal cruise you enjoy lunch and then start the cruise.

Also Avalon will most likely take you directly to the hospitality hotel from the airport. They will hold your luggage at the hotel until after your pre-boarding meeting. You will most definetly have a very long day after your flight. Enjoy the wonderful cookies and coffee they provide. Do visit the Anne Frank house or the Rembrandt or Van Gogh Museums or find a nice cafe to have lunch. Check on-line for tickets, I believe you may be able to buy them at a discount.

Leave the coat at home. Few dress for either captains reception or welcome dinner.

The ship typically docks behind Amsterdam's Central Station. The docks are a short walk from the Station.

Have fun on your cruise!!
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Old February 21st, 2013, 08:20 PM
bobandjo bobandjo is offline
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Thanks Paulinda, think I'll be a basket case for next 4 months.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 06:28 AM
caviargal caviargal is offline
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Will probably have more questions but travel agent told us I should bring a sports jacket and tie for the welcome and final dinner plus for attending the concert in Vienna. Is it really necessary as luggage space will be at a premium, packing for 2 weeks.
Your agent has obviously never been on Avalon cruise. There is no need at all for a jacket and tie on any night. On our 4 cruises with Avalon, less than a handful of men wore jackets and I recall seeing perhaps one tie.
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  #9  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:18 AM
the english lady the english lady is offline
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we are doing Amsterdam to Budapest end april-mid may. This is helpful knowing this. I think OH maybe one of the few wearing a jacket-we do a fair few ocean cruises and he purchased one for that, and I know he is hoping to take it with him on Avalon. As we are with BA and seem to have a decent hand luggage allowance, and the cases for the hold, I am sure there will be room. I wonder if we are arriving in Amsterdam at 8.15am, that will mean a very very very early start for us.
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  #10  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:18 AM
bobandjo bobandjo is offline
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Your agent has obviously never been on Avalon cruise. There is no need at all for a jacket and tie on any night. On our 4 cruises with Avalon, less than a handful of men wore jackets and I recall seeing perhaps one tie.
Actually he was on the same ship/cruise we're going on last year and that's why I believed him but didn't want to and had to ask here. I believe he's been on at least 1/2 dozen river cruises and uncountable ocean cruises but he is also one to like to dress to the nines when he travels. My jacket and ties will remain in the closet where they belong.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:32 AM
the english lady the english lady is offline
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phew just checked leave Heathrow just gone 1pm, and land Amsterdam at 3.15pm, so I guess we would go straight from airport to the boat.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 11:55 AM
bobandjo bobandjo is offline
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phew just checked leave Heathrow just gone 1pm, and land Amsterdam at 3.15pm, so I guess we would go straight from airport to the boat.
Are you on the same cruise/dates as us english lady? I decided last night to head to Calgary airport night before flight. Our flight leaves at 3:20pm but they want you there 3 hours before so that's noonish, we have a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive to airport meaning up around 6:30 - 7:00am. And if there was an accident on the highway holding up traffic we're screwed. May as well stay overnight at the hotel right at the airport using AirMiles, get up when we want to, quiet breakfast, maybe a swim in the pool and checkout at noon. Perfect timing and hopefully won't be as tired when we arrive in Amsterdam.
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Old February 22nd, 2013, 12:13 PM
the english lady the english lady is offline
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Are you on the same cruise/dates as us english lady? I decided last night to head to Calgary airport night before flight. Our flight leaves at 3:20pm but they want you there 3 hours before so that's noonish, we have a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive to airport meaning up around 6:30 - 7:00am. And if there was an accident on the highway holding up traffic we're screwed. May as well stay overnight at the hotel right at the airport using AirMiles, get up when we want to, quiet breakfast, maybe a swim in the pool and checkout at noon. Perfect timing and hopefully won't be as tired when we arrive in Amsterdam.
we leave on the 28th april and return 12th may. luckily we live about 30-45 mins from heathrow, so i guess they will collect us mid morning (we have free travel from home to airport included)
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 12:17 AM
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Peacemkr59 Peacemkr59 is offline
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Originally Posted by caviargal View Post
Your agent has obviously never been on Avalon cruise. There is no need at all for a jacket and tie on any night. On our 4 cruises with Avalon, less than a handful of men wore jackets and I recall seeing perhaps one tie.
Totally agree with Caviargal...I didn't see any men wearing jackets or ties on our river cruises. Very casual dress..leave the formal wear at home!!
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 03:05 PM
bobandjo bobandjo is offline
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A couple more questions which no doubt will be answered when we get our package but that's too far off.
Presuming that we get taken to a hotel (I've seen some Viking posts saying they could get right on the ship but guess Avalon doesn't do that) from the airport, I expect we'll get there around 10:30 am. Is there a common hotel Avalon uses as a meeting place and if so is it easy to get around from there? And will our luggage be secure if we want to leave the hotel?
We'll need to grab some lunch somewhere and also buy couple bottles of wine before getting on the ship, easy walking distance from the hotel? I think I'd like to try a Dutch pancake while we're there.
Would it be appropriate to tip the Avalon driver who takes us to the hotel? I'm used to doing that any time we use a shuttle service from airport to hotel or back. Amount?
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  #16  
Old March 3rd, 2013, 04:38 PM
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Yes, there is a common hotel that everyone meets at and then buses will take you to the ship. Some folks take the opportunity to grab a snooze in the comfy chairs, especially if they are coming from the west coast of North America or can't sleep on airplanes.

In our experience, those hotels have been nicely located for dining, shopping, etc. Your luggage can be left there safely. The rep will tell you when the transport leaves to take you to the ship so you should have plenty of time to walk around and find the shops/cafes you need.

We tip the Avalon driver but I can't remember how much we did tip.
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  #17  
Old March 3rd, 2013, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bobandjo View Post
A couple more questions which no doubt will be answered when we get our package but that's too far off.
Presuming that we get taken to a hotel (I've seen some Viking posts saying they could get right on the ship but guess Avalon doesn't do that) from the airport, I expect we'll get there around 10:30 am. Is there a common hotel Avalon uses as a meeting place and if so is it easy to get around from there? And will our luggage be secure if we want to leave the hotel?
We'll need to grab some lunch somewhere and also buy couple bottles of wine before getting on the ship, easy walking distance from the hotel? I think I'd like to try a Dutch pancake while we're there.
Would it be appropriate to tip the Avalon driver who takes us to the hotel? I'm used to doing that any time we use a shuttle service from airport to hotel or back. Amount?
When we used Avalon, we didn't do their pre-cruise hotel package and therefore didn't get taken to the hotel by them. We found our way to their host hotel on our own and left our bags there and went on touring Amsterdam on our own. We had purchased a couple of bottles of wine at the airport and left them with our luggage at the hotel. We later took a taxi to where the ship was docked in time for dinner. Our luggage was in our cabin when we arrived!
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  #18  
Old March 3rd, 2013, 05:28 PM
bobandjo bobandjo is offline
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Thanks cbb and peacemkr. Looking easier and easier, not what I'm used to. Yeah, we'll be pretty tired when we get there. When we get to the Amsterdam airport we'll have been up for about 17 hours and still another 12 or 13 until after dinner. Hopefully we can catch a few winks on our 9 hour flight or at the hotel.
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  #19  
Old March 3rd, 2013, 06:47 PM
cbb cbb is offline
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Yes, all you have to know is the name of the host hotel that Avalon uses and tell a taxi driver the name or use mass transit & a street map if you don't have a lot of luggage.

We've done independent travel before cruising and we've never had any trouble meeting the Avalon group at the designated hotel. Just make sure you're carrying the name of the hotel with you!!
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  #20  
Old March 3rd, 2013, 07:00 PM
bobandjo bobandjo is offline
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We booked our air thru Avalon so they'll be waiting for us at the airport. T.A. usually booked air separately but said he couldn't get close to Avalon's price this time.
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