We were on the Avalon Creativity October/16 Paris to Normandy Landing cruise.
The ship was built in 2009 & has a maximum capacity of 138 passengers. It has 3 decks of staterooms, with a sky deck on 4. The lounge/bar, reception, cruise director’s desk & public computer areas are on the entrance deck, between decks 2 & 3 at the front end of the ship. The dining room is also at the front end of the ship, but between decks 1 & 2. The smaller lounge, where the coffee machine & snacks are, is a quiet area, is at the back of the ship on deck 3, next to the hair salon. The small, very small gym with cardio equipment & few light dumbbells is on deck 1, by the stairway up to the dining room, next to our room. The gym does not get used much, except for the rare ocassional use of the treadmill. The room is fairly well insulated, but you will hear a little bit of thumping if you concentrate & listen, but nothing to be alarmed about. The public areas on the ship are clean & generally very well maintained.
In June/16, we had a French balcony stateroom on the Avalon Luminary, but were not in the room as much as we thought we would be, as such, we decided to try an outside cabin this time around.
As outlined in the Avalon literature, all features & amenities are the same, save for the balcony vs. the windows. There was sufficient space for all our clothing & toiletries. There was also enough electrical outlets to charge your devices, albeit you'll need an adapter plug. We were in our room for about the same amount of time as aforementioned. As such, we felt we got a better bang for our buck, by booking an outside cabin vs. one with a French balcony. It also didn't hurt that we got an Avalon free air promotion, Journey Club & a recent sailing discount.
The service received in the stateroom & dining room, was very good as was the quality of food & its presentation. Yvette, our cruise director was knowledgeable & well organised. The officers, wait staff, room stewards & crew were friendly & courteous.
The Captain & Hotel Manager were always present seeing us off & on the ship when going & returning from excursions. I was impressed with the Captain when he pitched with the crew in removing railings & moving things around when the ship was approaching a low bridge.
The ports of call, included & optional excursions are subjective, but in our opinion, were very good. We especially enjoyed visiting Rouen & the small quaint town such as Beuvvron En Auge. The same goes for the on board entertainment. We had 2 after dinner shows, a singer who was very good & of course a show put on by the crew which was funny. We also had local crepe chef & a very good D-Day speaker.
We would sail with Avalon again.