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.
As we were boarding the ship, we were greeted by the crew with warm welcome smiling faces. The ship was beautiful, our cabin was so inviting I didn't care to leave it. The minute we walked into our cabin we were in awe with the ceiling to floor, wall to wall French Balcony window view, which was truly amazing. I loved the bathroom in our cabin too. It was beautiful and so spacious. The views from our cabin were breath taking. We had sunny days with 60 degree temperatures. Taking in the gorgeous scenery of vineyards, the Moselle and Rhine River, watching the swans, ducks and heron float so peacefully near the edge of the river bank. The vibrant colorful fall colors on the trees covering the from our cabin window were truly a memory I hope last a life time. I did take a lot of pictures from our cabin to help keep that memory from fading.
Doing a cruise with a theme was a lot of fun and very educational. Loved going to the vineyards, learning all about the wine industry and tasting the different wines.
The food on the ship was excellent. At dinner it was an endless glass of wine, beer and soda. The waiters were always right there to accommodate all of our wants and needs. The service was outstanding. The workers worked so hard to keep all the guest happy and content.
After dinner, it was a great time to sit back in the lounge, have a drink, listen to music and socialize with other guests. The entertainment at night was very enjoyable. The beauty of doing a river cruise is there are so fewer people than on the big cruise ships, a lot less walking to get to where you want to go, a much more intimate feeling, excursions are included, it's nice to have a glass of wine with your dinner that's included, you get to know many of the guest and have a close connection with them.
I love stopping at all the ports of call verses doing an all inclusive where you are just at that resort for the length of your stay. When doing a big cruise ship cruise, you get hit with the expense of any excursions you my want to do and every drink you order. That can get extremely expensive.
If a person is looking for romance on there vacation, I would highly recommend a river cruise. I didn't travel with children and there were no children on our cruise. I would definitely go on another Avalon River Cruise. I didn't want the one I was on to end. I absolutely love river cruising. I will tell everyone thinking of going on a trip to consider taking an Avalon River Cruise.
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to do an Avalon River Cruise on a Suite 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.
We did 3 excursions in one day. It was a bit much, but all were excellent.View All 112 City Tour Reviews
The tour was excellent but had know idea what the tour guide was talking about. She needed a pointer so we would know what she was talking about.View All 64 Versailles Reviews
This was transportation, dinner, wine, and show excursion. The show was very tastefully done. A lot of talent too.View All undefined undefined Reviews
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.
This excursion was included in the cruise. We seen the longest bar in the world. There was a soccer tournament taking place that night. The town was crazy with people drinking and having a great time. We sat down and had a drink at a quant little pub outside. Lots of shops and pubs, beautiful churches and art.View All 4 Old Town Tour Reviews
This excursion was included in our cruise. A beautiful relaxing canal cruise. We were in a covered boat. Got close up views of house boats, houses and tall buildings with amazing art work.View All 311 Canal Tour Reviews