We chose this cruise because the itinerary offered options which were interesting for both of us. We also liked having the option to stay over in Paris on our own after disembarking the Creativity.
This was our first foray into the river cruise vacation and I have to say that it exceeded our expectations. Our room (212) was adequate and offered plenty of storage space. The bathroom was typical for a boat, but the shower seemed just a bit larger than our large ship cruise experiences. While the room did not have a balcony per se, there was a sliding glass door which could be slid open easily to enjoy the breeze and the scenery while cruising. The room is small but every inch of space is well used. We were not uncomfortable and spent very little time in the room anyway! One negative is the size of the television screen. I only mention this because the FABULOUS cruise director would set up DVD showings about relevant subjects that would show on the televisions but the screen was so small, it was difficult to really watch it from the bed. No big deal. Embarkation was a breeze and the desk staff and housekeeping staff were phenomenal. In fact, everyone was phenomenal. Avalon should give these people a raise because they will keep the people coming back!
The tours offered through the cruise were just perfect, with it being made very clear that some were "gentle" walking tours and some were not. We took 11 tours while on the cruise and it seemed that each one was better than the last. The guides were EXCEPTIONAL. Their knowledge of the places we toured and the historical significance of each location was just the icing on the proverbial cake. I would have to say that our experience at Omaha Beach and the American WWII Cemetery was unparalleled. We were not prepared to find the French people to be so grateful. They go to great lengths to make sure our heroes are remembered in their towns and villages. Maybe not in Paris, but in Normandy, near the D-Day beaches, our boys are remembered as the Greatest Generation. We were given a rose by a Frenchman to lay at a grave of our choice which was unexpected and appreciated beyond measure.
Great room. Housekeeping was precious. She brought us extra washcloths and gave us a top sheet because we are so American! Anything we needed, she was right there with it ASAP. LOVED the guest lounge on the 3rd. 24 hour coffee, juice, tea and snacks. There were daily papers printed for guests from their home countries, books and games. This was a great place to go to get out of the room while cruising. Like an extension of your room actually.