The cruise itself was awesome. I was the second-youngest onboard at 52 but I fit right in. Loved the staff, the food. The itinerary was jam-packed.
The downside of this trip is as follows:
Avalon seemed to book all 120 passengers from all over the globe on milk-run flights with stopovers and connecting flights to Paris taking as long as 10 hours. They changed our flight in Canada at the last minute from direct to a connecting flight in Montreal. As we sat on the tarmac at Pearson Int'l, I saw an Air France plane and wondered why we hadn't been booked on a direct flight. While on the flight from Montreal to CDG airport we were given dinner and then awoken at 5:30 am and given a slice of banana bread. That was the last meal for more than 10 hours. Quite disappointing and extremely unacceptable.
Once at CDG in Paris, we found the Avalon rep easily enough but there was confusion over the shuttle. It had already departed without waiting for us. We were kept waiting more than 45 minutes for the next shuttle.
We arrived at Pullman hotel roughly around 10:30 am, exhausted wanting only to rest, freshen up, brush our teeth but they put us into a lounge that the company rents. We were supplied only beverages while waiting to be taken by shuttle bus to the boat at 4:00 pm so in essence most of the passengers stuck at Pullman hotel had gone without a meal for more than 10 hours. This is completely unacceptable. We were informed by the numerous reps coming in and out of the lounge that we were on our own to find a meal. Most of us had never been in Paris so it's not so convenient to pop out for a meal. And where to go and how to choose a good place to eat?
It took us by surprise that they offered an excursion to the Eiffel Tower. Not likely. I hadn't been able to freshen up or brush my teeth. I was not fit for being in public. I would have preferred that they provided us with a meal while we waited more than 7 hours to board the boat.
Avalon, or Globus if you prefer, totally screwed up our return flight to Pearson Int'l. They did not allow sufficient time for us to reach Montreal, collect our baggage, go through customs and find the gate for the flight. In fact the baggage belt didn't start filling up until 15 minutes prior to our scheduled departure. Air Canada then put us on standby for possible flights every hour however those flights were already crowded so we waited for the last flight out at 9pm and wouldn't you know, only 30 passengers where on the flight.
Very poorly organized. I would have expected better from a company that is supposed to be superior.