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Avalon Cabin Choice


HunSwiss
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Hello, so we are looking at a booking for an Avalon 14 night Amst --> Budapest cruise for summer 2022 and having a difficult decision between the basic/deluxe cabin or a panorama. From those who have sailed with Avalon would appreciate your input on these cabins, experience, use of the room/view, noise etc and which they would recommend and why. The upgrade comes at a steep price increase (nearly another 50% of the cost) and while we know the ultimate decision comes down to our preference, feedback from others will assist.  Thank you!

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Hi.  Normally, the only time you spend in your cabin is while sleeping, getting ready to eat, or go out on tour.  Since the scenery is on both sides of the river, you usually are in either the lounge or outdoor viewing decks to see everything.  Also, except for certain areas, the ships cruise at night, daytime is reserved for port time. 

 

The main difference between the cabins is the size of the rooms with the lower ones being a bit smaller.  They are often referred to as aquarium class, as you are unable to open the window and sometimes, depending on your height, all you can see is the sky or the wall of the dock.  If you are fine with that, then definitely go for the lower price ones.  We are early risers, so appreciated being able to open our sliding doors and watching the scenery as we were waiting to go for breakfast.  We were near the stern of the ship, and never heard any noise, but can't comment on the lower level.  Avalon has excellent soundproofing between rooms, you don't even know when you have people in the cabins beside you.  I never heard anyone walking through the halls over top, so would say the lower levels are probably just as quiet...although I have heard that on some lines, if the water is low, the lower level may hear the bottom of the ship scrape.

 

We loved Avalon, they were our perfect "fit".  Excellent service and food, but a very friendly and family type atmosphere.  The reception team really make a point of remembering passengers, after the first tour, we didn't even have to give our names to get our passes for going off ship.  The servers in the dining room were great, they quickly learned what we didn't like to eat and would make sure food and wine or beer were as we liked.  One evening my husband mentioned that my desert looked good, the next thing we knew, they brought him one so I didn't have to share!

 

I'm sure you will love your cruise, we are doing the Danube next May, and are really looking forward to going back.

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I've stayed in the deluxe stateroom with them, and I will be again in October.  I just can't justify the price difference.  I did a Danube cruise in 2018.  For the average day, we just ate and slept on the ship. So the balcony would have been nice for the 45 minutes or so while the roommate is getting ready in the shower.  We traveled one day during the day. On that day everyone was topside so they could see both sides of the river.  I personally used the rear lounge for any other viewing, mainly because it may be the only place in Europe to get your fill of ice. lol

I wouldn't sweat booking the deluxe room for the first time, you'll still have a great trip and then you can decide on your next one if it's worth the money.

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2 hours ago, Daisi said:

Hi.  Normally, the only time you spend in your cabin is while sleeping, getting ready to eat, or go out on tour.  Since the scenery is on both sides of the river, you usually are in either the lounge or outdoor viewing decks to see everything.  Also, except for certain areas, the ships cruise at night, daytime is reserved for port time. 

 

The main difference between the cabins is the size of the rooms with the lower ones being a bit smaller.  They are often referred to as aquarium class, as you are unable to open the window and sometimes, depending on your height, all you can see is the sky or the wall of the dock.  If you are fine with that, then definitely go for the lower price ones.  We are early risers, so appreciated being able to open our sliding doors and watching the scenery as we were waiting to go for breakfast.  We were near the stern of the ship, and never heard any noise, but can't comment on the lower level.  Avalon has excellent soundproofing between rooms, you don't even know when you have people in the cabins beside you.  I never heard anyone walking through the halls over top, so would say the lower levels are probably just as quiet...although I have heard that on some lines, if the water is low, the lower level may hear the bottom of the ship scrape.

 

We loved Avalon, they were our perfect "fit".  Excellent service and food, but a very friendly and family type atmosphere.  The reception team really make a point of remembering passengers, after the first tour, we didn't even have to give our names to get our passes for going off ship.  The servers in the dining room were great, they quickly learned what we didn't like to eat and would make sure food and wine or beer were as we liked.  One evening my husband mentioned that my desert looked good, the next thing we knew, they brought him one so I didn't have to share!

 

I'm sure you will love your cruise, we are doing the Danube next May, and are really looking forward to going back.

Thank you Daisi, hard choice and I agree most of the time we will be up and about as we are very active and athletic and don't sit still often or if we do it is with a book on a deck. I am sure we will love the cruise but trying to reconcile if we will miss the river cruise experience we had envisioned without the large windows.

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We were in one of the Panorama cabins for our Rhine cruise.  Many days were just laid on our beds and watched the riverside country pass by.  Not that we weren't active; we took every excursion.  It was just a nice change of pace.

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24 minutes ago, HunSwiss said:

Thank you Daisi, hard choice and I agree most of the time we will be up and about as we are very active and athletic and don't sit still often or if we do it is with a book on a deck. I am sure we will love the cruise but trying to reconcile if we will miss the river cruise experience we had envisioned without the large windows.

 

To us, the river cruise experience was not our cabin, but going out on the tours (hint, try the slow walkers if you like to take pics, the guides we had could walk & talk at the same time so we didn't miss anything, kept moving, but were also able to stop whenever to take pics and still keep up), and seeing the sights.  Yes, the food was first class, and lots of it (so you appreciate all the walking you do on tours, to help keep off the extra intake), we aren't big drinkers, so I think the only drink we bought was 2 beer during the afternoon we sailed by the castles.

 

First thing you want to do is scout out the boat for best viewing sites...we actually snuck in in front of the lounge for our afternoon - shaded, only 1 or 2 other couples (most were on top deck) and we had an uninterrupted view of both sides without having to run back and forth across the deck.  You can be as social or private as you wish, so it's good to know where you want to go when everyone is out on deck.  Watch out for the 4:00 tea, we were glad we were out most days for that...it's dangerous as it's got lots of goodies. Ask for drinks after dinner (or lunch if you will be staying on board)...you can take them to the lounge or where ever to enjoy, they don't mind.  Make friends with your cabin attendant, you may never see them, but if you need anything, you just have to ask or leave a note and it will be there either later in the day, or the next one....they are very good at that.  

 

We took every excursion, as we wanted to see everything, and will be doing the same for the Danube.  We would sit with 1 couple at breakfast and compare tours, and other couples at dinner and do the same.  Funny how our "slow" groups always saw stuff the others missed. The only time our tour groups were larger was when we were in places where the slow walkers weren't available but we would go back to places we were rushed by when the tours were finished. You will always have an hour or so to sit and enjoy the scenery on the plaza, shop if you wish, or wander on your own...just keep an eye on the time and where you are.

 

There are videos on YouTube posted by cruisers that will show the cabins better, and the heights of the lower cabin windows if you want to check them out.  It may help with your decision.

 

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Thanks again. I am a researcher and planner so I always go into great detail for my trips and yes love the photo ops while touring. We are lucky to have some good friends on the trip with us but ofcourse will look forward to meeting new friends too. I have read many reviews and had been looking at Avalon for a few years and would have booked earlier but then a small pandemic hit! We will likely book a panorama cabin and enjoy the best of it all as you say. The experience will be the views the excursions and then for me also to visit relatives I haven’t seen in over 30 years in Budapest. Now hoping the river cruising and travel opens up as we hope. FYI we are on the west coast just outside of Vancouver. Much appreciated for your time To reply. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SCBarker said:

I've stayed in the deluxe stateroom with them, and I will be again in October.  I just can't justify the price difference.  I did a Danube cruise in 2018.  For the average day, we just ate and slept on the ship. So the balcony would have been nice for the 45 minutes or so while the roommate is getting ready in the shower.  We traveled one day during the day. On that day everyone was topside so they could see both sides of the river.  I personally used the rear lounge for any other viewing, mainly because it may be the only place in Europe to get your fill of ice. lol

I wouldn't sweat booking the deluxe room for the first time, you'll still have a great trip and then you can decide on your next one if it's worth the money.

None of the Avalon suites have real balconies; the panorama suites have a large picture window that opens. If you plan on using it when your spouse is getting ready, they have to actually get dressed in the washroom, because they would be visible to the public when they walk out of there.

 

I had one in Myanmar (all cabins had them there) and it was lovely. Just remember that your whole room is open to the outside when you are using it.

Edited by gnome12
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  • 4 weeks later...

We traveled on Avalon Artistry in summer 2019 in cabin 209 and it was outstanding. The French balcony and being on that level results in one being just above the water line and was so nice to wake up to. On many mornings we had swans right outside our cabin. Starry evenings were nice from the open doors also. The cabin was fairly close to the reception desk and bar. There was a coffee/tea/snack station at the rear of our level and it was quite far back relative to how close we were to the bar and the lobby for entry and exit for tours.

We highly recommend the level  and cabin we were in.  

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We are doing our second Avalon this spring and loved the Panorama cabin.   You can save a little money by taking the middle deck, aft.  What I enjoyed the most was opening the sliding doors and having an incredible view from the cabin, with fresh air coming in.    

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We have stayed in both.  On our second Avalon cruise, they upgraded us to a Panorama, which we were very excited about.  Turns out, we really didn't notice that much difference, because we were never in the cabin.  You mostly cruise at night and during the day you will most likely be at a stop, possibly rafted to another ship.  You will be going in the summer and our upgraded one was a Christmas cruise, so quite a difference in usefulness of windows that open.  If memory serves, the rooms are actually the same size, but the panorama feels bigger because of the windows.  Is the panorama better?  Of course.  Is it worth the price difference?  Your call.  For us, we would rather save that money for the next cruise because it is such a big difference.  If this will be the only river cruise you will ever go on, you may want to splurge.

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