We chose this cruise because we hadn't ever been to Europe and we had a strong desire to see France and especially Omaha Beach. I chose Avalon because of a recommendation of a travel agent and we booked in January while they were offering free airfare. Purchasing the cruise by phone was easy and we were allowed to choose cabin and pay a deposit and the balance could even be paid on multiple credit cards. Once the cruise line booked with Delta I was able to go into Delta.com and pay to upgrade our seating which was a big plus for us! Embarkation day was good because I researched other passenger reviews and found out they were not happy with the fact that Avalon picks you up at the airport but they take you directly to the Pullman Montparnasse and you will not be transported to the ship until 3:45. Since our plane landed at 6:00am we knew we didn't want to sit in the hotel all day so we did Internet research and figured out how to use the Metro. We were nervous because this was our first trip on a subway train but because we were prepared it all went smoothly and we were able to travel over and tour to Musee D Orsay with plenty of time left to get back by 3:30. When we arrived at the ship we had safety instructions then prepared for dinner.
The ship is exactly like it appears on the website and there were only 91 passengers on our cruise which was nice. Our room and bathroom were small but there was plenty of storage and we took a lot of clothes! In fact we took too much clothing and my husband never wore the suit he took and I never wore the semi-formal dress I took. Clothing was always casual for excursions and nice casual for dinner. We could have worn our best but they do the one "dress smartly" evening on Sunday and we did not get back from excursion to put proper time in to dress up. We did not use the entertainment area because we don't drink and honestly we were to tired after excursions but they did have a singer/keyboard player all week. I did not hear of any complaints about him and they also brought in other entertainment but we didn't go we were just too tired!The excursions were great every stop we made the tour guides were fantastic some a little long winded on the bus but that was a mild nuisance. The excursions were professionally done and we knew in advance what level of exercise would be included. Obviously there is a lot of walking. We did not use the exercise room or the beauty shop no time for that but both were very small.The meals were always great a lot of choices and the wait staff always professional and very sweet and our room was expertly cleaned. We felt close to each staff member we had spent much time with they were all very friendly. We would choose this cruise all over again and the only thing I would change is I would go to Paris at least 3 days earlier and see and experience all the wonderful sights because on this cruise you will mainly just be given the "highlights tours" and not in depth tours of Paris and it needs much more time to see. We loved our first river cruise and plan to do more!
Small but extremely clean and the beds were firm comfortable and the linens great and there was plenty of storage. The bathroom was small definitely only one person at a time.
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