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