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3 Avalon Waterways Avalon Creativity Romantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we wanted small vessel, low to the water, and slow-moving. No big ships anymore! The service was outstanding and the crew somehow seemed to know everyone by first name after the first couple of days. We will ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted small vessel, low to the water, and slow-moving. No big ships anymore! The service was outstanding and the crew somehow seemed to know everyone by first name after the first couple of days. We will definitely go on Avalon again soon! The food was outstanding at each meal and we really appreciated the included beer and wine with meals. The bar prices were very, very affordable too. The only downside for us is this was a romantic 25th anniversary cruise and we still had to sit with other guests. I know it's fun to meet fellow travelers but sometimes we just wanted to be alone. There were tables for two in the dining room, but they were 2" from the table for 6 so it wasn't really providing us a table for two. The classical trio brought onboard were outstanding. So much so, that we bought one of their CDs. We would also have liked tours that provided more time after the tour to walk alone. By the time our walking tour was over, many times we had only 30 minutes or so to explore on our own. We ended up skipping one entire tour just so we could meander the streets by ourselves. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our first river cruise and doing quite a few ocean cruises we were not disappointed. Saying that it didn't start off well, the VIP chauffeur service didn't arrive at the time arranged, after a few phone calls a car came ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and doing quite a few ocean cruises we were not disappointed. Saying that it didn't start off well, the VIP chauffeur service didn't arrive at the time arranged, after a few phone calls a car came to pick us up, this was from the local taxi company, anything but VIP executive car, the same thing occurred on our return journey. Anyway after arriving at CDG airport we were met in terminal E by a representative and he walked us through to terminal F, here he asked us to wait as he had to go and meet someone in another terminal and would return. Some 30 - 40 minutes later he returned, we boarded the bus and completed our journey to the ship. Where you embark is not the greatest scenic area of Paris. We were met by the captain and his crew and offered a welcome drink. Check in was quick and efficient and within 20-30 minutes our luggage was delivered to our cabin. We were situated near the back and close to the small lounge which was great for 24 hour tea/coffee, biscuits and muffins. Each evening, in the main lounge, the cruise director gave a short run down on the excursions the next day which was good. At this time the bar would have a happy hour, which guests would take advantage of as drinks are quite expensive. Seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner is wherever and with whoever you want. Waiters are friendly and helpful and the food is very good, although the chef who makes the omelettes, fried eggs at breakfast is rather slow. Wine is served with lunch and dinner and this is not skimped on, it flows quite freely. Excursions start around 8.15-8.30 each morning and cruise director and captain are there each time to see you off and return. This may be early, but we went on an excursion to Monet Garden and were the first in, it was fabulous. Excursions return around 11.30-11.45 ready for lunch at 12 noon. This is where I can get hectic, as if you are doing an excursion in the afternoon the coaches leave around 1.15-1.30pm, returning around 4.30pm for dinner at 7pm. The guides on the excursions speak very good English and are very informative. The one tour we paid for was 'Paris by Night', this was the worst tour we did. We set off at 9.30pm, taken to the Eiffel Tower and allowed off coach for photographs. We then had a quick drive around the Arc de Triumph and then spent the next 20 minutes or so in traffic driving down the Champs Elysees. We went to the Louvre, parking a short distance away. Once off the coach, it was hard to keep up with the guide and the return back to the coach. We arrived back at the ship around 11pm. The next day was an inclusive tour around Paris, much much better and saw more. The places visited along the Sienne were great, especially Rouen, where it would have been nice to have had an overnight stop here, instead of an overnight in Paris where it wasn't that easy to go into Paris. The ship do a Bistro menu which is only for 20 guests at a time. This is taken in the main lounge at the front of the ship. It is small sample dishes of the local cuisine with wine, even though small dishes there is ample food. Would certainly recommend this but do it on an evening when the ship is sailing as you pass the scenery on the river. Disembarkation was co-ordinated by the cruise director and worked very efficiently. Luggage to be outside cabin by 9am, with everyone off the ship by 10am. You identify your luggage prior to getting on the coach. As our flight wasn't until mid afternoon we were taken to a hotel for approximately 1 hour, some guests went sightseeing, we chose to have a coffee in the very nice hotel. On arrival at CDG airport we were dropped off at terminal F as apparently the coach driver can't park at terminal E. We then retraced our steps as when we arrived, what we hadn't been told is that you have to go to level 2 for departures. It is a self automated machines for check in where it prints out your luggage labels, then stand in queue to go to self automated check in for luggage. Staff very unhelpful at all sections of this airport. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was a chartered lesbian cruise by Olivia.com and we found all the facilities on the ship, the crew and the schedule was top notch. Our embarkation and disembarkation were seamless, the ship itself was an interesting part of the ... Read More
This was a chartered lesbian cruise by Olivia.com and we found all the facilities on the ship, the crew and the schedule was top notch. Our embarkation and disembarkation were seamless, the ship itself was an interesting part of the journey with tours of the wheel house and the galley. Our cabin was very suitable for all of our needs and had complimentary Ocetane luxury French toiletries (nice touch). Bed super-comfortable, we slept well throughout. The sailing was at an easy pace passing plenty of French countryside and villages and at one point rounding a bend in the Seine to see a castle appear before us. There were I think 120 of us on the ship yet it always felt spacious with lots of opportunity for seclusion and romantic moments as well as areas where people congregated and shared in the wider company of fellow travellers. The dining experience was advertised as 5 star and there was some discussion as to what 5 star actually means. Certainly the range and quality of food was extraordinary (and irresistible), the dining experience with paired wines was interesting and the service warm and friendly. Our only disappointment was that the vast range of French cuisine was not really represented in the main menu, this being a European menu rather than French, nevertheless, we were amply compensated by what was available. I'd have to lump together the entertainment, activities and excursions together and say these were predominantly provided by our charter company Olivia as this was a specialised trip. However the on-board tour guide was excellent and as we were looking for more intellectually stimulating trip, this was very satisfying. Our service was excellent throughout and we would not hesitate to use Oliva and Avalon again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Avalon Creativity Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family 1.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.6
Enrichment 5.0 4.4
Service 4.0 4.9
Value For Money 5.0 4.6
Rates 4.0 4.5

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