~ Avalon Illumination 2016 ~
Dear friends I hope to entertain you with this rhyming illustration
Of our experience on board the good ship Avalon ‘Illumination’
We’d often talked about it but we had never cruised before
So in all our worldly travels we’d stayed firmly on the shore
Unpacking just the once was something that really did appeal
With destinations brought to us, and free wine at every meal!
The downside might be the seniors who this way often choose to roam
Which meant we might be boarding a sort of floating old folks home!
The ship and our cabin was perfect, fitted out like a 5 star hotel
When we cast off and sailed bidding Amsterdam farewell
I could barely feel any movement such was the smoothness of the motion
That’s because it’s a river, I’m sure it’s not like that on the ocean
The restaurant and food was like a gourmet dining experience
A printed new menu every night, of quality there was no variance
The waiters got to know us and they knew best not to pass
Our table before they’d brought the wine and re-filled up my glass
We’re Brits but from across the globe we saw other guests had come
Americans, Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis and there was also one
Odd couple there from Turkey, with a blonde who never did a thing
Except follow her friend around as if she was tied to her apron string
Most often folks forget their cares when they go away on ships
But there was a world event taking place that was on everybody’s lips
I’m sure you’ll always remember where you were when you heard the news
That Trump became U.S. President when you were on that cruise!
The first night we went down to eat we sat there quite at random
Bob was to my left and we were quickly both in tandem
Since our musical tastes were pretty much exactly corresponding
As we talked yet more and the wine did flow we were obviously bonding
He had a Fender Strat at home that he’d not yet learned to play
When he told me he was left-handed I said “what really man? no way!
Because I’m left-handed too and I’ve got my guitar on board
We can make a start with mine and I’ll show you how to strum a chord!”
So that’s exactly what we did and I got his fingers moving
And though we didn’t have much time I could see he was improving
It’s definite that Bob became my buddy on that cruise
The more we talked, the more we found we were similar in our views
One night we skipped a concert that we both thought would be boring
Like kids playing hooky out of school we both went off exploring
We found the only bar around and bought ourselves some beer
We drunk with friendly locals and left with handshakes and great cheer.
I knew that I could pass the time because I love to play guitar
But I never dreamed I’d end up doing real gigs in the bar!
Delyan the ship’s piano man, was also a very fine musician
We found that we could play as a duo and give a joint rendition
They seemed to like what I was doing since most nights I did play
In the club lounge at the rear of the ship as we went on our way
We’d get some beers to drink back there and soon I would be strumming
I’d take requests and play the songs to get everybody humming
This trip we were told was being billed as a ‘Musical Themed Cruise’
But this was mainly classical music and not rock ‘n’ roll or blues
But nevertheless I must confess they put some great musicians on
And I even played harmonica on one bluesy type of song.
Great acquaintances we did make with all those people that we met
Bob, Betty, Chris, Jane, both Ron’s, Mary, Harriet
Email addresses were exchanged with intent to try and keep in touch
Looking back on it now I can hardly believe we ate and drank so much!
So now the time has come to bring my little rhyme to an end
We had the most fantastic trip and made some lovely friends
Arrivederci, Bon Voyage, Ciao, Farewell and Adieu
To those marvellous people that passed through our lives,
We’ll fondly remember you
Now to the Illumination’s, Captain, and all of your ship’s crew
You delivered the experience and made our cruising dreams come true
You were a credit to your company of that we can attest
With the Avalon style and service we were thoroughly impressed
So next time we go on a river cruise our loyalty will remain
With the Avalon operation, since nothing else would be the same
And for anyone planning such a trip we would heartily suggest
That Avalon Waterways will do you proud,
They simply were the best!
C. Evans ~ 13th Nov 2016
I could not fault the cabin or the way it was laid out. Having the sliding glass doors (Juliet style balcony) is a great idea as then you don't lose any space in the cabin when the balcony is not in use. Bed extremely comfortable. I slept well every single night. Ensuite excellent with really good shower and plenty of hot water. Airline type flush on the W.C. was very efficient. Towels must have been changed at least 3 times per day. In the cabin itself whisper quiet air conditioning or heating with easy to use controls. Safe in the wardrobe again easy to use. Room under the bed for storage. All first rate (and I'm very hard to please!)
Very good, time for a beer aftarwards in one of the bars in the main squareView All 148 Walking Tour Reviews
Lovely town and again a good walking tour
Very good but no thanks to the guide on the Nazi rally grounds tour. She seemed way out of her depth and was not able to answer several questions asked about factual events regarding what the tour was about. The tour was provided as part of the cruise but had I been paying I would have asked for a refund.
Another very good walking tour here
A beautiful city and great to have visitedView All 183 Walking Tour Reviews
Another very good walking tour and visit to the castle
Very good city and walking tour and plenty of time in the evening and following morning for shopping and refreshmentsView All 353 City Tour Reviews
Guide was very knowledgeable, lots of background info and brought it to life. Very goodView All 311 Canal Tour Reviews