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This is a brief summary of the first leg of a 2 part cruise from Normandy to Cote d' Zur, France, from Avalon. We started 1 day early with a non-stop flight in Economy+ to CDG. Good flight through Avalon. We had a private shuttle (8 passengers in a van) We were picked up immediately (driver found a shortcut to avoid the airport strikers that blocked the roads) Arrived at Pullman Montparnasse (This is the hotel Avalon uses and all passengers depart from here on embarkation day) We booked this through our TA independently, as it was about 1/2 price, even with the cost of shuttle extra. Impressed with the hotel.Rooms are not available 'til 3pm, but we registered, so we wouldn't have to wait in line later. We left our luggage and carry-ons with the porter station, and walked the area: to ND, Eiffel Tower, etc. (we walked about 4 miles round trip) Our room was available when we returned about 2pm. The next day our Cruise Director, Katy, (who is the best we have had in 50 years of traveling!) was in the hotel, and had a room for all passengers to stay until departure. We left for the ship at 3:30. Boarded when we got there (20 minutes later) The dock is in Paris, but on the edge of downtown. We were disappointed that we did not have enough time before departure to explore the pier area. We DID walk around a few blocks tho. Onboard Creativity: SHIP: Beautiful, clean, and updated ship. We had 323,with a "French" balcony (it was not what I would call it, as it was 4 inches deep), but it was great to be able to open up 1/2 a wall, floor to ceiling and take pictures, bring in the views from the bed, etc. Main lounge, back lounge (coffee/tea/juices, pastries, cookies are 24/7) fitness room,outside decks. We found the back outside deck was a perfect place to sit quietly and watch the river sights go by with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Weather was colder than expected, and this area was out of wind and warm from engine. FOOD was gourmet in many instances; certainly exceptional to the average cruise fare. Captain, Maitre'd, Head Chef were all personable, friendly and good sense of humor. Husband has Celiac (needs GlutenFreefoods) and they were very accommodating! Never a problem, nor did they make him feel it was a bother! They searched him out at meals, and seemed excited when they could provide him with something special, even though normal for others:-) Entertainment: great pianist. Also had local entertainment some evenings. Comedian, Caberet singer, historical lectures. Some concerts were provided on excursions. Very worthwhile. Excursions: Normandy beaches were the most emotional of course; but other excursions were very good too. Honfluer, Pont du Gard, Joesephine Bonaparts mansion, quaint Norman villages of medieval times. I see this isn't brief afterall, so I'll stop here. If you're wondering if you should take this cruise, go for it!

Paris to Normandy to Paris on Avalon

Avalon Creativity Cruise Review by sparty1

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2015
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with French Balcony
This is a brief summary of the first leg of a 2 part cruise from Normandy to Cote d' Zur, France, from Avalon. We started 1 day early with a non-stop flight in Economy+ to CDG. Good flight through Avalon. We had a private shuttle (8 passengers in a van) We were picked up immediately (driver found a shortcut to avoid the airport strikers that blocked the roads) Arrived at Pullman Montparnasse (This is the hotel Avalon uses and all passengers depart from here on embarkation day) We booked this through our TA independently, as it was about 1/2 price, even with the cost of shuttle extra. Impressed with the hotel.Rooms are not available 'til 3pm, but we registered, so we wouldn't have to wait in line later. We left our luggage and carry-ons with the porter station, and walked the area: to ND, Eiffel Tower, etc. (we walked about 4 miles round trip) Our room was available when we returned about 2pm. The next day our Cruise Director, Katy, (who is the best we have had in 50 years of traveling!) was in the hotel, and had a room for all passengers to stay until departure. We left for the ship at 3:30. Boarded when we got there (20 minutes later) The dock is in Paris, but on the edge of downtown. We were disappointed that we did not have enough time before departure to explore the pier area. We DID walk around a few blocks tho.

Onboard Creativity: SHIP: Beautiful, clean, and updated ship. We had 323,with a "French" balcony (it was not what I would call it, as it was 4 inches deep), but it was great to be able to open up 1/2 a wall, floor to ceiling and take pictures, bring in the views from the bed, etc. Main lounge, back lounge (coffee/tea/juices, pastries, cookies are 24/7) fitness room,outside decks. We found the back outside deck was a perfect place to sit quietly and watch the river sights go by with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Weather was colder than expected, and this area was out of wind and warm from engine.

FOOD was gourmet in many instances; certainly exceptional to the average cruise fare. Captain, Maitre'd, Head Chef were all personable, friendly and good sense of humor. Husband has Celiac (needs GlutenFreefoods) and they were very accommodating! Never a problem, nor did they make him feel it was a bother! They searched him out at meals, and seemed excited when they could provide him with something special, even though normal for others:-)

Entertainment: great pianist. Also had local entertainment some evenings. Comedian, Caberet singer, historical lectures. Some concerts were provided on excursions. Very worthwhile.

Excursions: Normandy beaches were the most emotional of course; but other excursions were very good too. Honfluer, Pont du Gard, Joesephine Bonaparts mansion, quaint Norman villages of medieval times.

I see this isn't brief afterall, so I'll stop here. If you're wondering if you should take this cruise, go for it!
sparty1’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with French Balcony
Cabin P 323
to expand on my above thoughts: bathrooms were better than many cruise ships, as they had storage, glass-enclosed shower, good hairdryer. Cabins had several outlets (but they are all Europeon) but we did need adapter (not converter) for our battery chargers for camera, iPhone, computer, ipad.; mattresses were VERY comfortable
Royal Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews