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This was our first river cruise and doing quite a few ocean cruises we were not disappointed. Saying that it didn't start off well, the VIP chauffeur service didn't arrive at the time arranged, after a few phone calls a car came to pick us up, this was from the local taxi company, anything but VIP executive car, the same thing occurred on our return journey. Anyway after arriving at CDG airport we were met in terminal E by a representative and he walked us through to terminal F, here he asked us to wait as he had to go and meet someone in another terminal and would return. Some 30 - 40 minutes later he returned, we boarded the bus and completed our journey to the ship. Where you embark is not the greatest scenic area of Paris. We were met by the captain and his crew and offered a welcome drink. Check in was quick and efficient and within 20-30 minutes our luggage was delivered to our cabin. We were situated near the back and close to the small lounge which was great for 24 hour tea/coffee, biscuits and muffins. Each evening, in the main lounge, the cruise director gave a short run down on the excursions the next day which was good. At this time the bar would have a happy hour, which guests would take advantage of as drinks are quite expensive. Seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner is wherever and with whoever you want. Waiters are friendly and helpful and the food is very good, although the chef who makes the omelettes, fried eggs at breakfast is rather slow. Wine is served with lunch and dinner and this is not skimped on, it flows quite freely. Excursions start around 8.15-8.30 each morning and cruise director and captain are there each time to see you off and return. This may be early, but we went on an excursion to Monet Garden and were the first in, it was fabulous. Excursions return around 11.30-11.45 ready for lunch at 12 noon. This is where I can get hectic, as if you are doing an excursion in the afternoon the coaches leave around 1.15-1.30pm, returning around 4.30pm for dinner at 7pm. The guides on the excursions speak very good English and are very informative. The one tour we paid for was 'Paris by Night', this was the worst tour we did. We set off at 9.30pm, taken to the Eiffel Tower and allowed off coach for photographs. We then had a quick drive around the Arc de Triumph and then spent the next 20 minutes or so in traffic driving down the Champs Elysees. We went to the Louvre, parking a short distance away. Once off the coach, it was hard to keep up with the guide and the return back to the coach. We arrived back at the ship around 11pm. The next day was an inclusive tour around Paris, much much better and saw more. The places visited along the Sienne were great, especially Rouen, where it would have been nice to have had an overnight stop here, instead of an overnight in Paris where it wasn't that easy to go into Paris. The ship do a Bistro menu which is only for 20 guests at a time. This is taken in the main lounge at the front of the ship. It is small sample dishes of the local cuisine with wine, even though small dishes there is ample food. Would certainly recommend this but do it on an evening when the ship is sailing as you pass the scenery on the river. Disembarkation was co-ordinated by the cruise director and worked very efficiently. Luggage to be outside cabin by 9am, with everyone off the ship by 10am. You identify your luggage prior to getting on the coach. As our flight wasn't until mid afternoon we were taken to a hotel for approximately 1 hour, some guests went sightseeing, we chose to have a coffee in the very nice hotel. On arrival at CDG airport we were dropped off at terminal F as apparently the coach driver can't park at terminal E. We then retraced our steps as when we arrived, what we hadn't been told is that you have to go to level 2 for departures. It is a self automated machines for check in where it prints out your luggage labels, then stand in queue to go to self automated check in for luggage. Staff very unhelpful at all sections of this airport.

First river cruise and certainly not the last

Avalon Creativity Cruise Review by jeanhindson

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Stateroom with French Balcony
This was our first river cruise and doing quite a few ocean cruises we were not disappointed. Saying that it didn't start off well, the VIP chauffeur service didn't arrive at the time arranged, after a few phone calls a car came to pick us up, this was from the local taxi company, anything but VIP executive car, the same thing occurred on our return journey. Anyway after arriving at CDG airport we were met in terminal E by a representative and he walked us through to terminal F, here he asked us to wait as he had to go and meet someone in another terminal and would return. Some 30 - 40 minutes later he returned, we boarded the bus and completed our journey to the ship. Where you embark is not the greatest scenic area of Paris. We were met by the captain and his crew and offered a welcome drink. Check in was quick and efficient and within 20-30 minutes our luggage was delivered to our cabin. We were situated near the back and close to the small lounge which was great for 24 hour tea/coffee, biscuits and muffins. Each evening, in the main lounge, the cruise director gave a short run down on the excursions the next day which was good. At this time the bar would have a happy hour, which guests would take advantage of as drinks are quite expensive. Seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner is wherever and with whoever you want. Waiters are friendly and helpful and the food is very good, although the chef who makes the omelettes, fried eggs at breakfast is rather slow. Wine is served with lunch and dinner and this is not skimped on, it flows quite freely. Excursions start around 8.15-8.30 each morning and cruise director and captain are there each time to see you off and return. This may be early, but we went on an excursion to Monet Garden and were the first in, it was fabulous. Excursions return around 11.30-11.45 ready for lunch at 12 noon. This is where I can get hectic, as if you are doing an excursion in the afternoon the coaches leave around 1.15-1.30pm, returning around 4.30pm for dinner at 7pm. The guides on the excursions speak very good English and are very informative. The one tour we paid for was 'Paris by Night', this was the worst tour we did. We set off at 9.30pm, taken to the Eiffel Tower and allowed off coach for photographs. We then had a quick drive around the Arc de Triumph and then spent the next 20 minutes or so in traffic driving down the Champs Elysees. We went to the Louvre, parking a short distance away. Once off the coach, it was hard to keep up with the guide and the return back to the coach. We arrived back at the ship around 11pm. The next day was an inclusive tour around Paris, much much better and saw more. The places visited along the Sienne were great, especially Rouen, where it would have been nice to have had an overnight stop here, instead of an overnight in Paris where it wasn't that easy to go into Paris. The ship do a Bistro menu which is only for 20 guests at a time. This is taken in the main lounge at the front of the ship. It is small sample dishes of the local cuisine with wine, even though small dishes there is ample food. Would certainly recommend this but do it on an evening when the ship is sailing as you pass the scenery on the river. Disembarkation was co-ordinated by the cruise director and worked very efficiently. Luggage to be outside cabin by 9am, with everyone off the ship by 10am. You identify your luggage prior to getting on the coach. As our flight wasn't until mid afternoon we were taken to a hotel for approximately 1 hour, some guests went sightseeing, we chose to have a coffee in the very nice hotel. On arrival at CDG airport we were dropped off at terminal F as apparently the coach driver can't park at terminal E. We then retraced our steps as when we arrived, what we hadn't been told is that you have to go to level 2 for departures. It is a self automated machines for check in where it prints out your luggage labels, then stand in queue to go to self automated check in for luggage. Staff very unhelpful at all sections of this airport.
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Stateroom with French Balcony
Cabin P 325
Plenty of storage space, bathroom has La'Occatine products, shower good and always hot water. Safe in cupboard. Being on this deck is quite good, especially when going through the locks.
Royal Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins