PHOTO: The fleet of bicycles available on Avalon Waterways’ Avalon Visionary. (photo by Jason Leppert)
Fresh off Avalon Waterways‘ beautiful Avalon Visionary, I’ve gathered a few specific suggestions when planning your own trip onboard and off the riverboat:
Go for a Free Bike Ride
Did you know that the Visionary carries a fleet of bicycles? Guests have plenty of free shore excursion options to choose from, but they can freely check out a bike and go for a spin if they’d like as well.
Consider Your Own Earpiece and Lanyard
Speaking of ashore, I much prefer Avalon’s approach to divvying up wireless audio receivers per tour to ensure they are fully charged and accurately tuned to each guide. However, the accompanying earpiece and lanyard can be somewhat problematic.
The singular headphone wraps around one’s ear with a scrunchy rubber spring. It’s less comfortable and more cumbersome to don than the plastic kind that simply hooks into place. Also, the lanyard is nicely branded, but its fixed length places the bulk of the electronics at the same height most would also dangle a camera.
A solution is to consider bringing your own headset that you know best fits your ears as well as a longer or adjustable lanyard that is ideally suited to photographers. That way the two devices won’t constantly clang into each other at your torso.
Prepare to Use an Electrical Adapter
Visionary’s Panorama Suites are some of the best ever configured cabins available on any riverboat, but they surprisingly do not include any standard U.S. 110-volt electrical outlets. Instead, they only have European 220-volt varieties.
So, you will have to rely on either prong or voltage adapters provided onboard or use your own. Fortunately, many U.S. electronics can accept 220 volts and only require prong adapters, some of which also conveniently come with USB charging ports built in.
READ MORE: Avalon Waterways Exceeds Expectations
Leave the Air Freshener at Home
Among the plentiful other fully-considered Panorama Suite details are lovely wick-style air freshener reservoirs in the bathroom. It’s a little addition, but it makes a big difference in keeping the accommodations always smelling fresh. This way, you don’t need to bring any extra scents of your own.
Be a Mac or a PC
Besides the Wi-Fi connection being free for those with their own devices, another great benefit of the ship’s complimentary internet station is its dual platforms.
Guests familiar with either Macs or PCs will be happy because one terminal is available for each system.
Seek Out the Guest Musicians
As lavish productions are understandably absent, it’s not very often that I have much of anything to say about the entertainment onboard a river cruise.
Remarkably, the guest musicians that Avalon brings on are definitely worth your time. Quite the variety of musical styles are represented from classical to folk, and the instrumentalists are adept at rendering them all.
READ MORE: The Benefits of Small Ship Cruising
Grab a Snack at the Club Lounge
Positioned at the stern, the Club Lounge is not nearly as frequented by guests as the forward observation lounge. However, it does have a great self-serve premium coffee station as well as a selection of cookies and pastries throughout the day. I recommend the tasty turnovers and donuts, for sure.
Try the Light Panorama Bistro Lunch Option
For more substantial dining, of course, there is the main restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the Panorama Bistro is where you will also find a Light Lunch alternative.
If you’re looking to grab something a little bit quicker or away from some buffet crowds, the offerings are similar above. Mostly missing are just the carving station and cooked-to-order items.
This post first appeared on TravelPulse.