I always do a lot of research before we take any trip. This was our second European river cruise and our first time with Avalon. I would definitely sail with them again. However the two things that were not great were the dinner menu choices and our particular cabin. (see below)
The food was nicely prepared and the wait staff was terrific, but the dinner menu was lacking in good choices. We previously cruised with Emerald Waterways and thought the menu was much better.
The cabin was large and loved having the small couch and chair. Felt spacious for a river ship.The public areas were all beautifully appointed.
The cabin was beautiful. Bed and pillows extremely comfortable. Bathroom was awesome. Loved the sliding French balcony doors and beds facing the window.
HOWEVER, for this particular cabin, there was a smell of raw sewage when you entered the cabin. The staff was never able to resolve the issue. We booked this cruise more than a year in advance and specifically chose this cabin because it was close the the lobby, lounge, etc. Paid extra to be on the top cabin deck. We were offered to move to the very back of the ship. No other compensation. We finally devised some of our own methods to try and get rid of the smell by covering up the vent and buying lavender to fragrance the room. It only helped minimally.
Loved our local guide who has spent her whole life in Arles. Very interesting city with two Roman amphitheaters, splendid shopping, and familiar scenes that Van Gogh painted all around. Sadly, Arles does not have any of Van Gogh's work.
Loved the history of the second papal palace.
Took an excursion to Pont Du Gard - ancient Roman aqueduct. Not to be missed.