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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this river cruise because we wanted a more personal experience, and to be on a smaller boat than a cruise ship. We had a feeling we would like this more than prior cruises we went on before, but didn't expect to love most ... Read More
We chose this river cruise because we wanted a more personal experience, and to be on a smaller boat than a cruise ship. We had a feeling we would like this more than prior cruises we went on before, but didn't expect to love most things about it as much as we did. The food was exceptional, with many offerings that covered everything from fresh and healthy, to rich and satisfying. Always very fresh and well prepared. The wines were very nice and of a wide variety. It was nice to taste different wines from different regions every night. The inclusive details made this a no -brainer for us. The excursions were all well thought out, and with very hospitable and knowledgeable guides. The travel to and fro to the different off site excursions were comfortable, and the drivers were very professional. The service was top tier as well. The smiling faces greeted us daily and consistently had very positive attitudes and pleasant conversation. Everyone who we encountered on the boat spoke very good English! It (their English) was very good! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We had never done a river cruise. So we arrived with a little trepidation. Left with love. Food,crew, boat, was perfect. Other passengers were fine, mostly from the US. We fell in with a couple from Canada and another couple from Aussie ... Read More
We had never done a river cruise. So we arrived with a little trepidation. Left with love. Food,crew, boat, was perfect. Other passengers were fine, mostly from the US. We fell in with a couple from Canada and another couple from Aussie land and a group from the US, don't think we've laughed that much for years I'd include the crew in that. Cabins were as good as any hotel we've stayed in around the world, not huge, but then we spent most of our time either on trips or in the public lounge, on the sun deck or in the spar, we had a great bed and beautiful bathroom. I'm a fussy sleeper, a feather pillow I asked, "no problem said reception" We had been on a sea cruise in 2016, it was fine! But we are now river cruisers. The Captain and crew were friendly and very hard working. My advice to anyone reading this review is, ignore reviews that complain about food or their cabins or the crew. My wife and I spend a lot of the year traveling and if you think this review is over the top and sycophantic, please see other reviews on TripAdvisor under my Whinchmore hill reviews. For me the highlight of the trip was the excursion to the Normandy beach's, while my wife loved the visit to the Chateau of (Not to night) Josephine and Napoleon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We had a nine year old and could not find a lot of cruise lines that allowed children. She had an excellent time and really enjoyed all the attention. Excellent food, great excursions and the service was exceptional. Next cruise ... Read More
We had a nine year old and could not find a lot of cruise lines that allowed children. She had an excellent time and really enjoyed all the attention. Excellent food, great excursions and the service was exceptional. Next cruise would be from Amsterdam to Budapest and definitely on Avalon. I love the smaller ship and special attention afforded all guest. This was our first river cruise and I found it much above an ocean cruise. I never realized that on an ocean cruise you spend so much of your time viewing water. On a river cruise you spend most of your day time exploring sites that have a lot of history and different culture. In the evening it is very relaxing to sit on top and watch the float up or down the river seeing the sites of river life. The next morning you are at a new port with all new experiences for that day. Very rewarding to a history buff. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We had heard that river cruises were excellent. Love the smaller atmosphere and personal service. The embarkation and disembarkation were extremely easy, well planned and executed. Our cabin was beautiful and well maintained. We were ... Read More
We had heard that river cruises were excellent. Love the smaller atmosphere and personal service. The embarkation and disembarkation were extremely easy, well planned and executed. Our cabin was beautiful and well maintained. We were very pleased with the beautiful accomodations and views from our room. The dining experience was exceptional each and every meal. We would definitely return and highly recommend this experience to our friends. I loved the relaxed atmosphere and personal relationship we acquired with the staff and cruise director as well as the chef and serving staff. My husband has extreme shellfish allergies and the chef and head waiter personally sat down with my husband on the first day to review his allergies. Then each meal the head waiter or the chef would go over each menu to help my husband avoid any foods that might cause him concern. I found this to be exceptional service. Our shore excursions that were included with the cruise were very interesting and far exceeded my expectations. The tour guides were extremely knowlegable and friendly. We took one added tour, Paris by Night, which I found we could have skipped as it was a bit expensive and short. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
The venue/places to see was what attracted us -- we wanted to see both the northern and southern route. Our cruise director (Jon Luc) was absolutely superb and he not only took good care us, in a very detailed fashion, but also provided ... Read More
The venue/places to see was what attracted us -- we wanted to see both the northern and southern route. Our cruise director (Jon Luc) was absolutely superb and he not only took good care us, in a very detailed fashion, but also provided some entertaining insights throughout the entire cruise. We had him on both legs. He was always on top of everything and his information was always correct. The transportation was excellent with good drivers and good guides. Most of the guides spoke decent English so we were able to follow most of what was presented for our enjoyment. All of the guides were well prepared and displayed a very good command of the venue. We had been wishing to go to the beaches at Normandy for many years and we were not disappointed. The train trip between the northern and southern route was very interesting. The ship was clean and layed out very well to provide a lot of comfort and convenience. The on-board drinks, beyond the complementary wines at dinner, were rather pricy but there was a "happy hour" on most days that knocked down to tab to half (reasonable). The wine served at dinner was generally good and there were choices available to suit most guests. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Our amazing travel agent was the one who gave us a glowing report on taking a river cruise and with Avalon Waterways...because we trust him we "took a chance" and were wildly ecstatic. The Avalon rooms (Royal Suite) don't ... Read More
Our amazing travel agent was the one who gave us a glowing report on taking a river cruise and with Avalon Waterways...because we trust him we "took a chance" and were wildly ecstatic. The Avalon rooms (Royal Suite) don't have a typical balcony but rather a balcony door that opens up into the room...sweet! We took the Paris to Paris trip in late September with one of the destinations Normandy beaches. Every port had something unique and memorial to experience. There were cathedrals and castles, of course, but there was also Monet's Garden's, walking a local town to get the flavor of the neighborhoods. Every person we met along the way were welcoming and added to the experience with the trip. The river boat (ship?) bar, dining area and staff were just perfect. Amazing local cuisine, wine that changed constantly so you could experience more than just the standard wines and of course the staff was very customer service focused. We felt special the entire time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
Started in Paris and stops along the way to Normandy and at the end, a transfer to the train for the chunnel to London. The ship was a new ship and we thoroughly enjoyed the window setup and the ship itself with one exception. In many ... Read More
Started in Paris and stops along the way to Normandy and at the end, a transfer to the train for the chunnel to London. The ship was a new ship and we thoroughly enjoyed the window setup and the ship itself with one exception. In many ports, you have to go through another ship to get to your port. I understand that this is normal and unavoidable (I guess). However, we had to go up and down and over to get through the other ship. The stairs were metal and many times, damp. I was told by a member of the staff that this was a flaw of the new ship. Most ships, and we experienced this on another river cruise, you are able to walk directly through one ship to another without all of the stairs. The food was just OK at best. No where near the amount and quality of the big cruise ships. It was difficult to obtain an extra portion or go astray from the menu. At least I was able to do this on Grand Circle. Service was great! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our first river trip and we picked the Seine trip so we could travel along the river and spend a little time in Paris. We made a small mistake with our flights. Boarding doesn't take place until around 4pm but we arrived in ... Read More
This was our first river trip and we picked the Seine trip so we could travel along the river and spend a little time in Paris. We made a small mistake with our flights. Boarding doesn't take place until around 4pm but we arrived in Paris much earlier. Avalon have a lounge in a hotel where passengers can wait until the ship is ready. Drinks were available and the area is pleasant to walk around but next time, I would organise a flight that arrived closer to the boarding time and also to the departure time on the last day. This ship was launched in March 2015 and so is quite new. The ship was in beautiful condition and it was a revelation to go on board and see our cabin and the rest of the ship. Our cabin was very comfortable and very well maintained by the cleaning staff. The food on the ship was excellent and we ate far too much but managed to walk it off during the daily excursions. It is possible that the choice of excursions might change but the ones we went on were all most enjoyable, fascinating and sometimes very moving. All the tour guides we had were knowledgeable, helpful, funny and a pleasure to listen to. The staff on board were without exception professional, organised, friendly, helpful and happy to go the extra mile for the passengers. For instance, some passengers asked for adjustments to some of their meals - items removed or added, meats cooked rarer, absolutely no seafood and so on - and the staff didn't hesitate in doing all they could to accommodate everyone. We had a wonderful time on the ship and I can't compliment all the staff enough for making our stay so comfortable. I would definitely go on another cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our third Avalon cruise and we can't say enough positive. Our welcome onboard was seamless and our cabin was beautifully designed with efficient storage, and high end finishes. The full wall sliding windows were perfect ... Read More
This was our third Avalon cruise and we can't say enough positive. Our welcome onboard was seamless and our cabin was beautifully designed with efficient storage, and high end finishes. The full wall sliding windows were perfect for watching the scenery pass by. Olivier (the head chef) was not only charismatic but incredibly talented.This was definitely gourmet dinning and the best of any cruise we have experienced. The waiters were attentive and it was amazing how they remembered passengers' names and preferences considering this was only a one week cruise. The included tours were well organized with and the guides were knowledgeable and pleasant. As Canadians, we appreciated the opportunity to choose the British/Canadian option for the day at Normandy’s beaches. Having cruised on large ships in the past, we tried an Avalon cruise from Vienna to Amsterdam in 2012, followed by another Avalon tour/cruise on the Mekong River in 2014, before our France cruise. Irrawaddy in Myanmar is next... Don't care to try large ship cruising again and Avalon has proven to be consistently top notch. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our first trip with Avalon Waterways River Cruise on their tour the Grand France Northbound from Cote d' Azur to the beaches of Normandy. I discussed my cruise on the first ship, Poetry 11 from Cote d' Azur to Pairs in a ... Read More
This was our first trip with Avalon Waterways River Cruise on their tour the Grand France Northbound from Cote d' Azur to the beaches of Normandy. I discussed my cruise on the first ship, Poetry 11 from Cote d' Azur to Pairs in a separate post. We had the same suite number that we had on the Poetry 11. The decor was very similar except for the colour scheme. As I mentioned in the other review, we were very impressed with the layout of the cabin and especially the balcony like arrangement. The staff were outstanding and really tried to make your trip experience enjoyable. The food was superb and a lot warmer to the taste than the Poetry 11 fare. From the beginning to the end we felt pampered. Yvette, our Cruise Director, was on top of things at all times and even arranged an easy walking group which my husband I joined quite often since we have knee problems. Rain was an issue on this leg of the trip as well. Giverny, Monet's country estate, was one such day. The pictures were beautiful with the overcast effect but the rain made lingering not an option. There were two things, on this particular part of the trip we were disappointed with. First, not realizing this was the anniversary of D Day and the beaches of Normandy, we encountered throughout the trip, derogatory remarks made about the Germans during the Second World War especially by the tour guides. The only exception was Martin, who was our excellent tour guide of Normandy and Giverny. His presentation was totally unbiased. My husband was born in German. His father was too old to participate in the war and he was seven years old when the war ended. To hear expressions like, "under the Nazi boot" upset him and now he realized why the guides were not that friendly, bordering on rudeness. I felt the same way because my heritage was originally German. I think the guides should be cautioned about presenting their personal views to their clients during an excursion. Our second disappointment and our whole focus for this trip was not really Normandy but the visit to Paris. Due to the rising water levels, we were bused into Paris and stayed at the Pullman Hotel, not centrally located by any means; no walking the Seine from your ship here. This hotel was the worst as far as the room was concerned and the food could not compare with the beautiful relaxed meals we had on the ship. Their restaurant was like a large cafeteria style set-up. In defense of Avalon and probably unheard of with any other river cruise company, they reimbursed us our money for one full day. Yvette, our Cruise Director, organized additional excursions for us which were normally not included. Hence, the "but" in my title. I guess one has to modify expectations on any trip and be prepared for the unforeseeable events. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We love cruising rivers in Europe and went on Tapestry I about 6 years ago on Rhine. Tapestry Ii has much better dining area, lounges, rooms, etc. However, they are still working kinks out on safety in the halls. Walking down the hall ... Read More
We love cruising rivers in Europe and went on Tapestry I about 6 years ago on Rhine. Tapestry Ii has much better dining area, lounges, rooms, etc. However, they are still working kinks out on safety in the halls. Walking down the hall on our 4th day, 2 laundry bags were left lying outside in the hall beyond the large cart. We could not see them since the cart blinded them in our direction. With people coming and going at 8 am for breakfast and excursions, the laundry bag tripped me up and I went flying down on the floor. It certainly put a damper on our trip with bruises and pains for several days/weeks. Hopefully, they have rectified this type of error to prevent future passengers from this unpleasant experience. The food was good, free-flowing wine at dinner, and wonderful service by bar, restaurant and front desk. Entertainment on board was best provided by the daily pianist; the hairdresser-Anette is amazing; and entertainment lounges quite ample. I would recommend a better French singer on board for future performances. Normandy was very moving! Read Less
Avalon Tapestry II Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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