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Avalon Artistry II Cruise Review
0.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
61 Reviews

A most excellent vacation experience

Avalon Artistry II Cruise Review by oz@woodcliffeit.com

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Aug 2016
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Outside Stateroom with Window

We chose Avalon because we preferred the cabin layout over other vendors. Price and tour itinerary and availability were also factors.

There was some confusion in not being met at the airport and we had to call Avalon and wait around for a while but eventually we got picked up. It was wonderful to suddenly be in Paris on two summer's days. We did both the bus tour of Paris and Versailles on day two and enjoyed them. The guides were excellent. Note that the bus tour points out the museums but does not stop at any of them. You need to arrange museum visits in your spare time. On the third morning we independently took the Metro down to L'Orangerie art museum and got back to the hotel in time to get the bus to the train station. The hotel was excellent, the location delightful (near the Arc D'Triumph). Part of the charm of Paris was buying bread, cheese and yogurt in the close-by market and eating lunch in the lovely park nearby.

The transfer to the train to Luxemburg and then the bus to the ship went smoothly and was well organized and supervised. We found the ship very nice and loved the view from our stateroom. The five days we spent cruising down the Moselle were blissful. My favorite part was sitting on the sun deck and watching the vineyards, bridges, castles and other traffic go by. The Moselle during this stretch was pristine, no industry, just endless vineyards and small towns. Each day we stopped and toured one town. It was very enjoyable and almost magical. The city of Trier has amazing Roman buildings including the extant throne room of Emperor Constantine. I loved that.

The last few days we entered the Rhine river which was more heavily developed and used. We did a morning cruise of the picturesque stretch of the Rhine, with castles and ancient towns and that was enjoyable although the weather was a bit wet and cool. After that section the Rhine became more mundane with lots of shipping and businesses.

One day we stopped at Rudesheim am Rhien. Although this town is a lovely midaevil town surrounded by vineyards, at first I found it a bit too much of a tourist trap. We visited Seigfreid's Mechanical Music Cabinet but were rushed through in 15 minutes. This was by the museum staff, not Avalon. I would of liked to take a look at all their interested equipment but we felt like we were being herded. The market shops were mostly touristy. Afterwards, on our own, we took the cable car to the park on the nearby mountain.. This was delightful, the cable car dipped to within a few feet of the vineyards so we could really see the vines, the setup and the care that was taken. The park at the top was very nice with stunning views of the valley. We sat in the cafe patio and had capacino and strudel. That night we were entertained by the string trio, La Strada, who were magnificent.

The next to last day we stopped at Dusseldorf. I had low expectations from this more commercial city but found that I really enjoyed the city tour. Dusseldorf has a bit of a wacky attitude on life and that was reflected in our delightful tour guide and some of their fanciful architecture.

The tour ended in Amsterdam and we spent a very enjoyable day going on the canal tour and walking tour of the city. Both tours were of high quality. The canal tour guide was especially knowledgable and gave us a lot of history and background.

The service on the ship was always of a high quality, with friendly and helpful staff. We had entertainment on board on about 3 nights. Some people we talked with wanted more entertainment at night but we found that after a long day of touring and long dinners with copious wine and food that we were ready to call it quits by 8:30 pm or 9.. Almost every morning there was a tour at 8:30 am so there was no sleeping in unless you wanted to skip the tours. The guests were an older group, mostly retirees from around the world. There were no children or young adults.

In summary I found the cruise to be one of the best vacations I have ever had. It was very superior to any ocean cruise I have taken. Their were only 80 guests on board and none of the massive crowds of ocean cruises. The food was consistently excellent with healthy and vegetarian options that appealed to me. I would certainly think about doing other river cruises although it is going to be hard to match the magic of the Moselle valley.


oz@woodcliffeit.com's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Outside Stateroom with Window
Cabin D 224

The cabin was very nice with a huge 11 foot (?) full length window on the outside. The cabin is not large, the king size bed takes up most of the room. But it was comfortable. We could of used a few more drawers in which to store clothes, etc. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom nice also. The view from the window was one of the treats of the voyage, although we had to draw the curtains at times when docked as we often woke up to swans or dog-walkers about 5 feet from us looking in!

The staff did a good job of taking care of us.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

City Tour

Excellent tour

View All 112 City Tour Reviews
Versailles

Excellent tour.

View All 64 Versailles Reviews

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oz@woodcliffeit.com
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