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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
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
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: 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
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
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
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
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: June 2016
I chose this ship originally for the itinerary -- mainly Normandy and Giverney. The Seine River caused a few problems from all the rain it was quite high. We needed to be transported to Rouen to board the ship. From start to finish ... Read More
I chose this ship originally for the itinerary -- mainly Normandy and Giverney. The Seine River caused a few problems from all the rain it was quite high. We needed to be transported to Rouen to board the ship. From start to finish the tour director Jean Lund did an absolutely fabulous job during the entire cruise. Faced with adversity he managed to reroute the cruise and still keep everyone more than satisfied. The staterooms were wonderful. This is my 3rd Avalon River cruise and I love them. The dining, entertainment and shore excursions were great. Also, to note what a 'class act' Avalon is --- They gave passengers an opportunity to not sail and for those that chose to stay on the ship gave all 1/2 off their fare!! They also included all shore excursions (while most are included) they included ones that had charges. When we couldn't return to Paris by ship they put us on the motor coaches back to the hotel. They gave us money for lunch both days and included a fabulous dinner both evenings with free flowing wine. Wonderful cruise and exceptional cruise line!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We choose this cruise because we had previously traveled with Avalon. The cruise was a round trip from Paris to Normandy. We booked a pre-cruise night in Paris through Avalon at the Pullman Paris Montparnasse. Hotel was nice but location ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we had previously traveled with Avalon. The cruise was a round trip from Paris to Normandy. We booked a pre-cruise night in Paris through Avalon at the Pullman Paris Montparnasse. Hotel was nice but location was not great (pretty far from major attractions), The Tapestry II was excellent. The captain was always visible and interacting with the passengers (I have never seen this degree of availability before). Staff was great. They were primarily eastern European but spoke English well. Room was very nice and larger than our previous river cruise. Food was better than expected. Food was plentiful and varied. Menu was in French and English. However when I ordered in French the Romanian waiters had no clue. The included excursions were great especially Monet's garden and the beaches of Normandy. We did the optional excursion to Honfleur - interesting but very crowded. The Seine river was beautiful. I was surprised by the small amount of traffic compared to the Rhine river. Had plenty of time in Paris which we did primarily on our own. Really love Paris, Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I have never been on a River cruise and I was on the FAM, because I needed to experience one and the itinerary was a great fit for me. I thought the food was really good but the temperature was a little cool for my tastes. The lunch time ... Read More
I have never been on a River cruise and I was on the FAM, because I needed to experience one and the itinerary was a great fit for me. I thought the food was really good but the temperature was a little cool for my tastes. The lunch time rump steaks were excellent. Most of the soups were really good. I felt that the Cruise Director was a little too wordy with the next ports of call talks, I felt myself nodding off regularly. To me we could have been given a little more free time to enjoy the amenities of the boat without having to stay up really late to enjoy them. Also I wasn't happy with the fact that most days my beautiful panoramic view from my cabin was blocked by being butted up against another boat and many times we would open our curtains in just our pajamas to find that someone from the boat next door was dining and could see right into our room. I twisted my ankle mid week and it was really difficult navigating up our stairs and down the other boat's to disembark with crutches. The Captain was really personable and so were all the wait staff! Noris, Sebastian, and Almina, gave exemplary service at all times. I will definitely recommend this cruise and of course Avalon Cruiseline to my future clients. The shore excursions were very interesting and enjoyable and the guides were so knowledgeable it amazed me how much they knew about the points of interests. Especially Martin with regards to Normandy and D Day. I will absolutely take many more river cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our second cruise with Avalon. We have had a fantastic experience each time. We have been impressed by the Avalon ships. The rooms are comfortable, roomy with lovely baths. The beds and linens are top of the line. The staff on ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Avalon. We have had a fantastic experience each time. We have been impressed by the Avalon ships. The rooms are comfortable, roomy with lovely baths. The beds and linens are top of the line. The staff on the boats have done a wonderful job catering to your needs, the food was exceptional, the crew was constantly cleaning and servicing the boat and was extremely clean. The entertainment and special dinners added a nice touch. The shore excursions were well planned the with local guides that were professional and very knowledgeable. Additionally the land excursions, the vehicles and transfer arrangements were handled with expert care. We researched and reviewed most of the other cruise lines before we choose Avalon. We were not disappointed. Avalon and their affiliates made our trip an outstanding experience. We look forward to our next trip with Avalon in the near future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I chose Avalon because I wanted to experience the cabins that had the bed facing the window and the glass door opened all the way up. The second reason was if for some reason the ship could not make it up the river due to weather ... Read More
I chose Avalon because I wanted to experience the cabins that had the bed facing the window and the glass door opened all the way up. The second reason was if for some reason the ship could not make it up the river due to weather conditions then I felt Globus being the parent company of Avalon Waterways would give the best of the best experience on the land. Dining was exceptional a nice variety covering most guest eating preference. Nice assortment of wine and was quite impressed with the non-alcoholic wines and they were very good. One evening there were 6 of us drinking that. We did the 12 course Bistro which was lovely and a great experience. They had a gentleman who played a nice variety of music so after dinner you could relax after dinner. Some enjoyed to midnight or so. I thought the service was excellent, that I personally would have expected as I have traveled some high end ocean cruises and the service is excellent. I thought our cruise director was absolutely the best. He was organized and was just on top of whatever needed to be done to get it done. Very through in explaining the difference between one excursion verses another. We flew in the day before the cruise, our driver was there to greet us took us to the Pullman hotel which we were able to check in right away. That in it's self is a gold star...we had also signed up for the Eiffel Tower tour and then brought to the ship; Getting on and off the ship was the easiest experience. No confusion this one running that way an this way..just carefree laid back calming....I didn't feel stressed at all. The excursions all were wonderful that the cruise line picked. I liked that on some days we had options to do one or another excursion. I also liked we came back to the ship had a nice lunch and then if we wanted could have signed up for an afternoon excursion. I liked that all guides spoke English very well and were very knowledgeable. We did every excursion we could. The only thing I think when it comes the Moulin Rouge beef should be chosen as the chicken was like rubber...a few people said we should do the beef as it is much better. That is my only complaint. You are rated a 3 star I think you should most definitely be a 4 star... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because of where it went and specifically the Tapestry II river boat. We had always wanted to go to visit the Normandy area, specifically the WWII sites and Avalon seemed to have the best combination of the things we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of where it went and specifically the Tapestry II river boat. We had always wanted to go to visit the Normandy area, specifically the WWII sites and Avalon seemed to have the best combination of the things we wanted. A new, luxury boat, spacious cabins, small passenger numbers and the route we wanted. It turned out to be an excellent choice. The ship was very comfortable, the service from the entire crew, from Captain Rudy on, was superb. Anything we needed was provided quickly and efficiently. All questions and concerns were promptly addressed with kindness & courtesy. The cabin was lovely although it felt a bit smaller than the advertised 200 square feet. There was ample closet and drawer space and the bathroom was spacious and well designed. The french balcony was very nice and our bed did indeed, face the window for a lovely, continually changing view. You did have to check each morning to see if your cabin faced another ship or a busy shoreline but that wasn't really any inconvenience at all. The meals on board were wonderful. The breakfast & lunch buffets and the wonderful four course dinners were all delicious. Afternoon tea was really good, there was an happy hour every evening and wine flowed each night at dinner. It's good to see that going forward in 2017, wine will also be served at lunch. Although, once the change for 2017 was announced, it might have been nice to extend it to the balance of the 2016 cruises. The evenings after dinner were relaxing and congenial. The pianist, Milan, was very talented and he created a lovely atmosphere each evening for fun and dancing. The choices of shore excursions were very good, well organized with excellent, well informed guides. Two concerns. The morning excursions often started between 8-8:30 AM. If distance wasn't an issue, such as with our visit to the WWII beaches, the excursions could have started a bit later to make for a more relaxing schedule. The other is with the scheduling on the two days we were in Caudebec. It would have been a good thing to have the trip to the WWII beaches and the Bayeaux Tapestries scheduled on different dates to allow guests the opportunity to see both. The Monograms 3 night extension to London was well organized and very efficient. The Eurostar train to London was a great experience. However, it appears that Monograms sole purpose once we were at the hotel in London was to sell us additional tours. The early morning, 6 AM shuttle from the hotel to Heathrow Airport was a bit disorganized and it left us with over 3 1/2 hours to kill at the airport. Minor issues cannot take away from a really lovely river cruise and the quality of Avalon. I would highly recommend Avalon River Cruises and my husband and I are currently considering another river cruise in 2017 on the Rhine River. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
We had a fabulous time. This was my first river cruise and I realy enjoyed the experience. We spent 4 days in Paris before the cruise and that would of been vacation enough. By the time we boarded the ship I did so much in Paris that I ... Read More
We had a fabulous time. This was my first river cruise and I realy enjoyed the experience. We spent 4 days in Paris before the cruise and that would of been vacation enough. By the time we boarded the ship I did so much in Paris that I felt I had already been there a week. Embarkation was a breeze, I checked out of the hotel eiffel siene (really cute and great location) and took a short taxi ride to the Pullman hotel. As soon as I entered the hotel, the staff took my bags to the Avalon piles. Then I had time for a quick jaunt to the Luxembourg gardens which were beautiful! At around 3:30 the busses took us over to the pier to our beautiful ship! The service, crew, food, and room were all fabulous! There is really a difference in the level of service between a big ship and a small ship like the tranquillity II. The excursions on the cruise were educational and wonderful. All the guides were great and the busses and the organization were top notch. The towns along then seine were all beautiful. Be sure to climb the hill at Les andelyes, half of my family didn't go and regretted it when I said how easy the climb was. We did two optional excursions to Versailles and honfleur. It was a busy week but I was thrilled with everything. If you want a less busy week, don't get any extra excursions. Disembarkation was easy too, all you need is a color sticker on your bag, and we waited in the lounge till our group was called. I would definately take another Avalon cruise, in fact I have 2 more planned! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Both my husbands dad and my dad served in Europe during WWII. My husbands dad was part of the invasion of Normandy as air support. For this reason we wanted to do the Paris to Normandy Beach river cruise. This was our first river ... Read More
Both my husbands dad and my dad served in Europe during WWII. My husbands dad was part of the invasion of Normandy as air support. For this reason we wanted to do the Paris to Normandy Beach river cruise. This was our first river cruise and we are now hooked. Our cabin was on the top level but realize that doesn't mean that you are 'above it all'. At a few ports our view was another riverboat who was parked next to us. I probably will be OK with a lower level (cheaper) room since we really didn't spend much time in our room, even though it was awesome. The room was roomy, the storage and closet space better than any of our ocean cruises. Tons of hangers. The bed was like sleeping on a cloud. My husband grumbled about the pillows being harder than he would like, but I found them fine. The common room was a great place to hang out and there was a second room at the back of the boat that had a coffee/espresso/latte/capachino maker and cookies or other sweets for those who are hanging out on-board and not going on an excursion. The food was awesome and what we really liked was that it was locally sourced and incredibly fresh. If you are thinking riverboat cruise, realize on-shore activities are active. Lots of walking, generally. All of the excursions were AWESOME. Prior to going to Normandy Beach we had an expert lecture on WWII and Normandy Beach. This was a 6 star lecture. Totally perfect. Informative, interesting and engaging. I would have LOVED to have a similar talk prior to our visit to Monet's Garden. THAT excursion will never be forgotten. A trip that we would never had done on our own since it would have required us to rent a car and drive. That is the beauty of a river cruise. The on-shore activity guides were totally engaging. Side discussions with them, I learned that the cruise lines are seriously serious about insuring the best experience for their travelers. Realize that the target demographic is the active 60-70 experienced traveler. This group is interested in learning, experiencing and seeing, as opposed to just seeing. All of the land excursions were far better, education-wise, than the ones I've paid for on Ocean cruises. Different expectations. The crew is small on a river cruise. I was blown away when I saw the ship captain helping load luggage onto the bus at the end of the cruise. This tells me this company knows how to develop teams for their ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
We thought this would be a slow-paced itinerary, since geographically it doesn't cover much ground, but it ended up being quite busy. The included tours were very well organized and had great guides. We had the same one; Estelle ... Read More
We thought this would be a slow-paced itinerary, since geographically it doesn't cover much ground, but it ended up being quite busy. The included tours were very well organized and had great guides. We had the same one; Estelle for 4 cities and she was fantastic. Really knew her stuff and was easy to understand even though English was not her first language. The ship itself was gorgeous, very clean and well laid out. Our favourite part was the stateroom. Best shower I've ever had on a ship and the Panorama window was awesome. I wouldn't trade that for a tiny balcony, thats for sure. Food was consistently good. Nothing overly adventurous, but good options that felt relatively healthy (not much deep fried or greasy food) and we liked that it had a taste of the region. The cheese plates at breakfast/lunch & dinner were always terrific. We also enjoyed the savory and sweet crepes in the lounge on a few days of the trip. Overall not much to complain about... a few times they ran out of things, which I didn't really understand since we're in port almost the entire trip, but it happened. Ran out of beer, Coke and that sort of thing periodically. Also, if you're a smoker, the back lower smoking area can have a really bad diesel smell when the ship is moving. That wasn't very pleasant, but easy to avoid. Terrific tour director that was always available and answered all our questions. We were very happy with this cruise and would recommend it to anyone looking to see Normandy in-depth. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise as a last minute booking because it seemed exceptional value for money - inclusive of private travel to the airport and onboard gratuities. We travelled to Paris and were impressed with the organisation of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a last minute booking because it seemed exceptional value for money - inclusive of private travel to the airport and onboard gratuities. We travelled to Paris and were impressed with the organisation of the embarkation process. We were delighted with our panorama cabin and the full length sliding window which gave us access to the wonderful sights and sounds of the river Seine. The ship was very nicely furnished and had everything we needed. Excellent food, particularly the breakfasts and lunches. Evening Dinner was also good with excellent service from our waiters: Sebastian, NIkola and entertainment from Dan! Many thanks to the Maitre'D for the way he sought me out at every meal to ensure that no shellfish ever reached my plate. The crew were all very friendly and it was nice to meet the 'unseen' important galley and housekeeping staff. The excursions were very good with extremely knowledgeable local guides and it was good to have a daily choice of tours. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Auvers-sur-Oise to Van Goch's final resting place and also the tour of Monet's Gardens. The Taste of Normandy trip was a fabulous day with an amazing inclusive lunch. Jean-Loup was a very busy, extremely efficient, well organised Cruise Director but it would have been nice to have enjoyed his company on some of the trips etc. We were lucky with the weather and enjoyed sailing into Paris in glorious sunshine. All in all the cruise was extremely well organised and we had a truly memorable trip. We would definitely recommend Avalon and look forward to booking our next trip with the company. Friends who also booked at the last minute had cruised previously with Viking but would definitely book with Avalon again. Thanks to everyone for a wonderful holiday. 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: October 2016
I went as an invitation from a friend. I've always been a "cruiser" but this experience has definitely opened my horizons of travel. This provided a more intimate setting. Every aspect from embarkation to disembarking was ... Read More
I went as an invitation from a friend. I've always been a "cruiser" but this experience has definitely opened my horizons of travel. This provided a more intimate setting. Every aspect from embarkation to disembarking was flawless. The accommodations were 5 stars!!! Our room was complete with a "virtual" fireplace which was an awesome touch. The staff became family. The service was impeccable. Every meal was a culinary experience. After going on the kitchen tour, I was in awe of how so many fabulous meals came out of such a small place. I could tell that meticulous attention was paid to the wines that were paired with the evening meals. At the end of our deck was a guest area that had an endless supply of the best cookies I have ever tasted. The shore outings provided multiple choices. We met great people who have now become friends. I will definitely go again....Hats off to Avalon for a fabulous program. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Having a chance to go to Paris for my first time and take my my first river cruise was a win - win situation:) From the moment the captain and crew greeted us upon our arrival I felt welcomed and at ease. The Tapestry II is a beautiful ... Read More
Having a chance to go to Paris for my first time and take my my first river cruise was a win - win situation:) From the moment the captain and crew greeted us upon our arrival I felt welcomed and at ease. The Tapestry II is a beautiful ship with comfortable rooms with luxury beds. The housekeeping staff is friendly and efficient. The dining experience is impressive. The menu has the right blend of familiar dishes and local specialities. Accommodations for special dietary needs are made readily. The wait staff work hard to make your dining experience a pleasure. The wine, beer and cocktails are of high quality. i enjoyed most all the excursions especially Monet's Garden, Rouen, Normandy beaches and of course the city Paris:) However, one of my favorite afternoons was simply relaxing in the lounge playing cards and conversing with friends. I am looking forward to planning my next river cruise soon! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
We wanted a cruise that included both Paris & Normandy, so this one fit the bill. The ship is by far the best we have ever sailed. Although you don't spend much time in your cabin, the fact it was so relaxing, roomy, and had ... Read More
We wanted a cruise that included both Paris & Normandy, so this one fit the bill. The ship is by far the best we have ever sailed. Although you don't spend much time in your cabin, the fact it was so relaxing, roomy, and had luxurious bathroom made it that much better. Dining was great. There was excellent variety, and the complimentary wine was good. On a previous cruise with another line, the complimentary wine was poor, and you had to purchase something better. The guides on all the shore excursions were very knowledgeable. We learned a lot about D-Day and the artists. Our only complaint is the trip to Montmartre. We felt it was expensive for what we received. 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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