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Jon Weintraub

Age: 70

Occupation:retired

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Avalon Waterways

Ship: Tranquility

Sailing Date: 2011-05-21

Itinerary: Budapest to Bucharest

Positive:

-- The staff on the boat were very responsive in following up on any request

-- The restaurant worked well and the staff were great; breakfast was the meal of highest quality

-- The boat was kept clean

Negative:

-- The TV and internet service was out for more than half the trip. Surely someone could be trained to fix this or brought in to service it. All the other boats [Viking, French etc] that made the same stops did NOT have this problem. Avalon needs some system upgrades here.

-- The additional trips were misleading given the all inclusive nature. For example, both the descriptions on the internet and in Avalon's brochure sent to buyers of the trip said that the inclusive tour would allow us to "see the Parliament in Bucharest." No one believed that would be a drive by and wave from the bus, but that is what happened and that was an expensive add on if you wanted to see the inside.

-- The speaker the night before our arrival to Belgrade was a Serbian man who stated the Serbs did nothing wrong. He was an insult to our intelligence. It was particularly dramatic that the next day a Serbian general was arrested and extradited to the Hague for war crimes! He should not be used or paid by Avalon.

-- One of the paid extra tours included an waste of time stop of no value at a diamond store. Why this was included on a tour to a unique village left everyone puzzled except for the debate as to how much Avalon was getting for the stop.

-- The tour director was over her head in trying to brief people about what they would see the next day...use professionals not cheerleaders!

-- They need to divide up tour buses by activity level in the sense of those who are willing to walk and those who by walking 3 blocks might get tired. Avalon eliminated some sights because people did not want to walk as much. I am 70 but can hike:). Just ability group folks and let people self select. Avalon's approach is often to focus on the lowest common denominator, just like having the tour director do the briefings [dummying it down...]

In spite of the criticisms we had an enjoyable time, a great trip, and met some great people!

Excellent.. space was deceptive and more than adequate for our clothes....

Avalon threw a Lock party when we went through but charged 2 Euros for shots of schnaps...If you are throwing a party, don't cheapen it by charging 2 Euros......

Wonderful memories of what we saw.....the experience could be improved with experts briefing you on what you would see the next day.....

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