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!