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This was my first River Cruise and my wife was concerned that I might not like it, because it is uniquely different than the mass market Cruise ships that I have sailed dozens of times. I actually loved the entire experience. Embarkation and disembarkation were so fast that they became a non-event. Faster than checking in and out of any hotel that you might stay at. The ship was easy to navigate around and our cabin was spacious and well laid out. The bathroom was nicer than my master bath at my home. Meals were a pleasure, there is no waiting or reservations to worry about. Every passenger can be seated at one time for meals in the dining room. The food was excellent and the variety of foods made it easy for everyone in our traveling party of 6 people to find something that excited them. The attention that the staff paid to us was was personal and attentive. They all knew us by name almost immediately and they quickly learn what you like to eat and drink. One of my surprises was the constant presence of the Captain, who took an interest in how we were enjoying all of the activities and amenities of the ship and he often stood at the door to the lobby of the ship and greeted us a "welcome home" at the end of each tour. This was also my first time in France and it far exceeded my expectations. The beauty of the River Cruise is being able to be city central in cities of all sizes which were stops along the route from Paris to the Normandy Beaches and back. The shore excursions were well organized and we found that in many cases the guides went above and beyond to ensure that we saw, understood and enjoyed all that we saw. Best of all, getting off and on the ship for the excursions was a breeze, not like the nightmare of getting off a ship with 3,000 passengers with 100 buses waiting! Our Cruise Director was Tony. who was personable, funny, and attentive. My compliments also go out to the Hotel Manager. She and her staff were wonderful. We enjoyed the Happy Hour on board ship most evenings,where there was a very talented entertainer, who played many instruments, including piano. Some evenings we played cards in the lounge, where there was a wonderful coffee maker that created all types of specialty coffee drinks, hot chocolate and tea, with fresh pastries as well. Sometimes we went up to the sun deck to lounge. Overall, I loved the experience so much, that I asked my wife if we could change our plans to take a bus tour next year and find an Avalon River Cruise instead. The River Cruise was also a good value, as the price includes the daily excursions, which for my wife and I can easily run $1,600 to $2000 per couple on any mass market cruise that we have sailed. I think I am now spoiled and it will be quite awhile before we get on a cruise ship with thousands of passengers. If you are thinking about an Avalon River Cruise, I highly recommend that you stop thinking about it and book it!

First River Cruise

Avalon Tapestry II Cruise Review by DaveBellshadow

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2018
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Outside Stateroom with French Balcony
This was my first River Cruise and my wife was concerned that I might not like it, because it is uniquely different than the mass market Cruise ships that I have sailed dozens of times. I actually loved the entire experience. Embarkation and disembarkation were so fast that they became a non-event. Faster than checking in and out of any hotel that you might stay at. The ship was easy to navigate around and our cabin was spacious and well laid out. The bathroom was nicer than my master bath at my home. Meals were a pleasure, there is no waiting or reservations to worry about. Every passenger can be seated at one time for meals in the dining room. The food was excellent and the variety of foods made it easy for everyone in our traveling party of 6 people to find something that excited them. The attention that the staff paid to us was was personal and attentive. They all knew us by name almost immediately and they quickly learn what you like to eat and drink.

One of my surprises was the constant presence of the Captain, who took an interest in how we were enjoying all of the activities and amenities of the ship and he often stood at the door to the lobby of the ship and greeted us a "welcome home" at the end of each tour. This was also my first time in France and it far exceeded my expectations. The beauty of the River Cruise is being able to be city central in cities of all sizes which were stops along the route from Paris to the Normandy Beaches and back. The shore excursions were well organized and we found that in many cases the guides went above and beyond to ensure that we saw, understood and enjoyed all that we saw. Best of all, getting off and on the ship for the excursions was a breeze, not like the nightmare of getting off a ship with 3,000 passengers with 100 buses waiting!

Our Cruise Director was Tony. who was personable, funny, and attentive. My compliments also go out to the Hotel Manager. She and her staff were wonderful. We enjoyed the Happy Hour on board ship most evenings,where there was a very talented entertainer, who played many instruments, including piano. Some evenings we played cards in the lounge, where there was a wonderful coffee maker that created all types of specialty coffee drinks, hot chocolate and tea, with fresh pastries as well. Sometimes we went up to the sun deck to lounge. Overall, I loved the experience so much, that I asked my wife if we could change our plans to take a bus tour next year and find an Avalon River Cruise instead. The River Cruise was also a good value, as the price includes the daily excursions, which for my wife and I can easily run $1,600 to $2000 per couple on any mass market cruise that we have sailed. I think I am now spoiled and it will be quite awhile before we get on a cruise ship with thousands of passengers.

If you are thinking about an Avalon River Cruise, I highly recommend that you stop thinking about it and book it!
DaveBellshadow’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Outside Stateroom with French Balcony
Cabin B
Well laid out, comfortable bed, balcony feature is outstanding, large bathroom
Sapphire Deck Balcony Cabins