It was 4am in the morning. My travel champion was in my driveway right on time. We loaded up my luggage and we were on our way to GRR to catch our United flight for a trip of a life time. We had a 10 hour lay over in Chicago and a 9 hour flight from ORD to CDG.
Upon arriving in Paris, an Avalon Rep. was standing by the baggage claim, holding an Avalon sign. We were directed to the area where we would be picked up for our transfer to the hotel. This went very smooth. Our transfer took place on a very nice, newer, comfortable, air conditioned, spacious, clean, bus. Needless to say, we were exhausted when we got to the hotel. I googled the two Paris hotels listed in the brochure before our departure. I really liked one over the other. I was thrilled to see the Hotel du Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe was where we would be staying. This hotel looked beautiful online and was everything I hoped it would be. It is a 4-5 star hotel in an excellent location for shopping, dining or taking an evening stroll. It felt safe during our evening walk to a local restaurant. There was an excellent bakery and convenient grocery store just a few blocks from the hotel. After resting for a couple of hours, it was now time to meet our cruise director and sign up for any excursions we might have wanted to go on but had not sigh up for. Our Cruise Director, Katy Huyskens was excellent. She always had a big smile to greet us with and ready to give helpful advise.
The next morning, after a much needed good night sleep, on a very comfortable bed, we had a delicious breakfast to wake up to that was included. After breakfast, we went on a very informative Paris City Tour Excursion that was included. We learned a lot about Paris. Our tour guide was so knowledgeable. In the afternoon, we took a Versailles Tour. I did my homework before the trip and was sure this was an excursion not to miss and I was right. In the evening, we went to see the show Lido. All the excursions we went on were excellent. The next day, in the afternoon, we took a high speed train to Luxembourg, then took a motorcoach to Remich to board the Avalon Artistry II Ship.
Our cabin was perfect!! Clean, spacious, amazing view, loved the ceiling to floor, wall to wall French Balcony. The king size bed was very comfortable. I liked the sofa, chair and table in our cabin too. The bathroom is beautiful!! Nice color scheme. The bed facing the window was a nice added feature.
Bernkastel was a quant little town. Very clean with a lot of little shops with great shopping.
We did Taste the Soil Excursion. This was fantastic! We were right up next to the vineyards with acres of grapevines and were able to watch works picking the grapes. We seen hugh barrels of grapes ready for harvest.
We walked the streets in the Red Light District at night, seeing women/men in
windows on display so called working trying to sell there bodies.