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7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
The Avalon cruise along the Seine to Normandy on the near-new Tapestry II was our first cruise of any kind. At just seven days duration, it was a "taste" to discover whether this type of holiday was to our liking, as previously ... Read More
The Avalon cruise along the Seine to Normandy on the near-new Tapestry II was our first cruise of any kind. At just seven days duration, it was a "taste" to discover whether this type of holiday was to our liking, as previously we had been more independent travellers. And it most definitely was! We were at the younger end of the passenger age spectrum, and, as Australians, we were vastly outnumbered by folks from the USA. Neither mattered, as it turned out. The cabin (called a stateroom) was beautifully appointed and serviced, and the location of the bed facing the wall of windows to the river outlook was excellent. The meals were a highlight, thanks to Chef Olivier and his team. Options such as a BBQ lunch and Bistro dinner were created, which gave extra variety. The wines were of very good quality. The open seating arrangements allowed us to meet many delightful fellow passengers. The shore excursions were characterised by knowledgeable, charming guides. In particular, having Laura escort us through Monet's garden in Giverny was a treat, with her background in Art History. A pre-excursion lecture by historian Nigel vividly set the scene for the journeys to the D-Day Landing Beaches. Overall, the organisation was excellent, with a small glitch in disembarkation and allocation of taxis, not the fault of Avalon. The portable audio equipment worked well on tours. The vessel was about 60% capacity, so I am aware that our experience might not be replicated with a full passenger load. My sole negative comment relates to the quality of the coffee. The main coffee machine was out of order for more than half the journey, and the coffee served at meals was not up to the standard we expect in Australia. Next time I might take my Nespresso machine! 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
My husband and I travelled with my brother and his wife on a 7 night cruise from Paris to Normandy and back. We have done several cruises before, but this was our first river cruise and loved the smaller, more intimate style offered. We ... Read More
My husband and I travelled with my brother and his wife on a 7 night cruise from Paris to Normandy and back. We have done several cruises before, but this was our first river cruise and loved the smaller, more intimate style offered. We had rooms 321 and 324. While the rooms were small, we found we weren't in them all too much and were quite comfortable. We loved the layout with the beds facing the wall of windows! What really stood out to us was the staff. Our servers (Shady, Mihai and Elvis) quickly learned our preferences for beverages and were attentive and welcoming each and every time. The Captain greeted us each and every time we boarded the ship after a day spent on shore. I had my hair, eyebrows and lashes tinted by Anette for a very reasonable price. She made me feel and look beautiful! Our room steward kept our cabin spotless and well stocked with complimentary water and bath amenities. The food was delicious from start to finish. There are plenty of choices to appeal to all tastes and the free pouring wines and beer at dinner were an nice inclusion. Chef visited each table every evening and was present during the ample morning buffet. Our cruise director ensured that everything ran smooth, no easy task for 100+ people, all with their own wants and needs. I don't know when she had the time to sleep, but she was always present with a smile on her face. After cruising with Avalon, I am hooked and have already researched other cruises they offer that we are interested. Well done! 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Great embarkation in Paris with 1st class carrying of bags to room by lovely crew member. Our large bags arrived in minutes. Ship is beautiful with lots of lounge space inside and out. Only 98 passengers which is awesome and what a ... Read More
Great embarkation in Paris with 1st class carrying of bags to room by lovely crew member. Our large bags arrived in minutes. Ship is beautiful with lots of lounge space inside and out. Only 98 passengers which is awesome and what a wonderful group of people. Dining area is so much larger than our previous Avalon Tapestry I ship on the Rhine in 2009 with lots more room to maneuver. Giverny was the highlight of our bucket list with gardens in bloom and a sunny day. Had 7 days of sun with late afternoon temps at 70 F. Normandy was a long day but most moving and amazing ceremony for our group with Taps and our national anthem plus a rose for each grave. Beautiful! Meals were great! Wine was wonderful and free flowing. Never did try champagne at breakfast but nice touch. Staff were amazing in the bar, in the restaurant and in the Hair Salon...Best treat, wash and style for $18; eyebrow color for $7 and eyelash tinting for $7. Anette is fabulous. Bartender Shady was a crackup and so much fun! Pianist was outstanding! Special signup dinner tastings with wine were a special treat too! Take advantage of this amazing cruise line; you won't regret it! 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our second Avalon Cruise. The Ship was only 1 month old. We were very pleased again! The daily excursions were informative and our guides were wonderful and well informed. We purchased 1 additional excursion to the Palace of ... Read More
This was our second Avalon Cruise. The Ship was only 1 month old. We were very pleased again! The daily excursions were informative and our guides were wonderful and well informed. We purchased 1 additional excursion to the Palace of Versailles. Well worth it. We used our Journey Member's discount to lower the price. We saw some familiar faces from our cruise last year on the Danube. The Chef came to our table every night and asked how our dinner was. The wine kept flowing. All in all very satisfied and looking forward to our next cruise. The ship was only 1 month old. While the cabins are not large they are comfortable. The bed faces of wall of windows out to the river that slide open if you like. We had Avalon's Panorama Suite. The entertainment onboard was basic. A piano player every night. Our group did dance with the music a few nights. One night a French singer performed. My brother in law used the hot tub on the sundeck several times. He said it was small but enjoyed it. We extended our stay in Paris by 4 days. The ship arranged for a taxi to take us to an flat we rented from VRBO on the day of Disembarkation after breakfast. 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Not my first cruise (39), nor my first river cruise (4th)...I have not cruised with Avalon before, but hope to again. The boat, crew, rooms and food were very good. The tours were wonderful and well organized. Danielle was the tour ... Read More
Not my first cruise (39), nor my first river cruise (4th)...I have not cruised with Avalon before, but hope to again. The boat, crew, rooms and food were very good. The tours were wonderful and well organized. Danielle was the tour director and she did an excellent job. We were super lucky with weather as we had sunshine all week which is unusual for Normandy area. I had a cabin (single supplement) mid floor with full size panoramic doors that completely opened. This was very nice. The rooms are bright and cheery, love the bed placement facing the window. The bath had granite counter and marble floors and shower. Nice in size and well appointed. The dining room food and service was very good. The chef was very picky and wanted to make sure people were happy. The wine flowed at dinner - this was included. They also had a choice of non alcoholic wine. At lunch you could eat in the lounge or bar area with a similar menu that was self service. The upper deck was super nice but since we were so busy during the day we did not use it. I suspect on sailing days in very nice weather it is used for bar and food. Read Less
Avalon Tapestry II Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.9
Dining 3.0 4.8
Entertainment 3.0 4.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 3.0 4.1
Family 1.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.7
Enrichment 4.0 4.7
Service 4.0 4.9
Value For Money 4.0 4.7

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