Avalon Envision Cabins

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Ramsey Qubein

All cabins have two twin beds that can either be separated or connected to make a seamless king with a topper mattress. Built-in mahogany desks feature a row of European power outlets and USB ports. Bedside power outlets are on one side, and within a year, USB ports will be added to both sides. One wall is covered with a mirror from side to side to expand the sense of space.

A mini-bar beneath the desk is well-stocked. Large closets hold a safe, robe and slippers. One of the more ingenious in-room features is the coffee table by the sofa and chairs. It is adjustable to three different heights so it can be used as a work or dining space; when lowered, it does not obstruct the exterior view if you're lying in bed.

Comfort Collection Beds are the brand standard with four levels of mattress firmness (very soft to very firm) that can be adjusted by the stateroom attendant. By the way, firm is the most popular. Egyptian cotton linens and four pillows add extra comfort.

Bathrooms are spacious with vanities that have several shelves and cabinets that store tissue boxes and hair dryers. Makeup mirrors are affixed to the walls. L'Occitane toiletries are a nice touch, and the cruise line is moving away from small plastic bottles to avoid excessive plastic use. New wall-mounted pump bottles are coming to all ships starting with Avalon Envision, although during our visit, this was still in the process. Couples love that there are two different towel colors to avoid confusion.

There are no connecting cabins, but adjacent cabins can often be arranged.

Standard: The standard category staterooms (cabins D and E) are located on the first floor and are 172 square feet -- among the larger entry-level cabins on the river. The only difference between D and E cabins is that E cabins are slightly further down the hall. Their horizontal windows are located at the eye level.

Panorama Suites: Nearly 80 percent of the ship's cabins, known as the 200-square-foot Panorama Suites, have beds angled toward windows, which is a standard on all 13 of the company's European "suite ships."

Speaking of windows, they are floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall. Instead of exterior balconies, these larger footprint cabins have extended the living space to the edge of the ship. The three-paneled windows slide completely open blurring the lines of outdoors and indoors. It makes cabins brighter, too, since balconies often shade some of the sunshine. The angled beds facing the windows also helps to expand the real estate in the bathroom, most notably in the showers.

Royal Suites: Two Royal Suites offer the most exclusive accommodations with an ensuite living room and a TV on a swivel so that it can be seen from the bed or the sofa. These suites enjoy similarly enormous windows that eschew exterior balconies for more living room space. When the glass doors are open; the effect is similar to having a balcony. The large bathroom features a separate enclosed toilet from the shower and vanity area for more privacy (especially if other passengers come by for a drink).

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