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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.

Normandy Beach, a trip in memory of our fathers.

Avalon Tapestry II Cruise Review by rosietomato

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
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.
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