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4 Paris to Europe - River Cruise Avalon Scenery Cruise Reviews

Just returned from a very busy and enjoyable wine-themed cruise through the Burgundy, Beaujolais and Provence regions of Southeastern France. The trip included two days in Paris and one in Monte Carlo, which we extended on both ends. I ... Read More
Just returned from a very busy and enjoyable wine-themed cruise through the Burgundy, Beaujolais and Provence regions of Southeastern France. The trip included two days in Paris and one in Monte Carlo, which we extended on both ends. I highly recommend the additional day in Monte Carlo as the coach does not arrive until after noon on the day before checkout. You really need the extra day to experience Monte Carlo and, in our case, Eze. Overall great trip with top notch crew on the ship. Highlights included: 1. Bike excursion we took as a side trip in Versailles 2. Hotel-Dieu in Beaune 3. Guided walk of Vivier 3. Pont du Gard & Uzes tour. 4. Lyon silk museum and market tour 5. Les Baux and olive oil tasting tour 6. Eze 7. The cruise director Katy 8. Our bartender (Eddie) and waiter (Petro) 9. The Fairmont Hotel in Monte Carlo 10. The exceptional meals on board Disappointments included: 1. The tiny size of the stateroom (smaller than on other Avalon boats) 2. The cold, wet weather on part of the sail (unusual for this time of year) 3. The Pullman hotel in Paris (poor service, location, amenities) 4. The Perouges tour (cold, wet and empty) 5. A virus/flu that hit about 20 passengers at the end of the trip (which Avalon handled very weil) Everything else either met or slightly exceeded expectations. I would recommend this trip, but book during warm weather months and pace yourself with the wine consumption. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise from the moment we arrived in Paris to the time we got on our flight home in Nice. The staff were spectacular. We were greater at the airport by a wonderful driver and then when we arrived at the hotel ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise from the moment we arrived in Paris to the time we got on our flight home in Nice. The staff were spectacular. We were greater at the airport by a wonderful driver and then when we arrived at the hotel there was a host to help us with all our planning. The rooms were fabulous, clean and well appointed. The ship was the nightlight of the whole trip. The staterooms were very nice, spotless clean and the entire crew could not have made us feel more welcome. And the food! I really didn't want to leave. The meals were so delicious and the wine flowed freely. The dining room was a bit noisy at times but we found that the tables at the front of the dining room ( the ones for four people) were the quietest. The tours were great, very informative and the extra ones that we took were well worth the money. We did the olive groves, wine tasting at Chateauneuf du pape and the evening in Monte Carlo. They were all fantastic! We would go again in a minute and if you are lucky enough to have Jean Loup as your tour guide it will be even more spectacular. A wonderful way to see France. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
The idea of taking a French river cruise was SO appealing. I had images of us floating lazily down the rivers of France, stopping at lovely old towns to wander around and take in the atmosphere and history, without the hassle of unpacking ... Read More
The idea of taking a French river cruise was SO appealing. I had images of us floating lazily down the rivers of France, stopping at lovely old towns to wander around and take in the atmosphere and history, without the hassle of unpacking and lugging our things with us. How wrong we were. The cruise we took in May 2012 with Avalon Waterways on the Scenery was a living hell. If you choose to pay big bucks to be herded around like cattle, treated like school boarders who have to eat, drink, shower at certain times and wind up exhausted after being bussed EVERY day, don't say I didn't warn you. The crew on the boat was superb and did their best to accommodate the needs of the passengers but too many things went wrong. For a start, the rooms (even the "good" ones) are very small, requiring one person to jump on the bed to allow the other to move around the cabin. The double beds have 2 separate single quilts so that you are always uncovered in the middle...hardly luxury! The food was not a reflection of the local cuisine. Every night we had to put up with long multiple course meals that blended into sameness after a couple of nights. Good food, but I would rather have been supporting local businesses. The Saone River was in flood, (a fact known to the cruise company before we boarded) so we could not berth at the first little town and had to be bussed back to visit it. Then we were stuck for another couple of days in no-man's land outside Lyon as, again, we could not get under a bridge. Again, we spent days in buses. We were missing out on the very things we paid for on the cruise...time to relax on the boat and the ability to wander from the boat directly into the towns we were to visit. Then, when we finally cleared the bridge and entered the Rhone, the electrics on the boat blew. We were forced to berth next to a camping ground and troupe off the boat, down a lane and into the communal washrooms to use their facilities. For the next 24 hours as we had no water, toilets, air con, refrigeration etc. The smell of the rotting garbage which had been piling up for days began to permeate the now aircon- free lounge! The poor crew tried their best, but that doesn't help when you only do this cruise once. To make up for lost time after the boat was repaired, we were bussed for hours to Avignon for a tragically hurried view of this great city. Herding 120 around DOES take time and becomes very tedious for anyone who is used to being an independent traveler. We were more than disappointed at the 2 minute view of the famous bridge! Then, back on the busses to catch up with the boat. Every evening, many hours are taken up with a "port talk", which you must attend if you have any hope of keeping up with the crowded, confusing schedule, and long, tedious dinners going over the same conversations while you wait for the next course. It can be fun for a short time, but gives no opportunity for down time. I would much rather a choice of a quick healthy meal and time to relax in my cabin reading or sitting on the upper deck. The time allocated for these pastimes was so little, I felt we were being rushed everywhere. One more point, we didn't realize that you have to pay extra for almost all shore excursions. You would be wasting your money travelling through France and not seeing as much as possible, but it did add to the costs. In our case, because of the various disasters, several of the shore excursions were cancelled. All up, I would NEVER recommend going on a cruise. When we left the boat we spent another month doing our own thing in Europe. The ability to decide when and where you did things, the massive savings compared with the cost of the cruise make independent travel the ONLY way to go for us in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Avalon River Cruise on the Scenery, France: Burgundy & Provence, Paris & Chalon to Cote d'Azur, Port Charles & Monte Carlo, March 25-April 5, 2012. We highly and contentedly recommend a River Cruise as a way to enjoy ... Read More
Avalon River Cruise on the Scenery, France: Burgundy & Provence, Paris & Chalon to Cote d'Azur, Port Charles & Monte Carlo, March 25-April 5, 2012. We highly and contentedly recommend a River Cruise as a way to enjoy continental travel. Voyage by ship gives a duck-eye view from the river. Docking then affords the opportunity to waddle around the old town, which is usually just steps away onshore. If not, say in a bigger city, the trip includes the bus transport for the local tour. We always enjoyed the walking tour that highlights key sights and then affords free time to explore on your own. The tour guides included are always expert and personable and provide fascinating history and charm. The guides' cordless audio device is most convenient for a group. A comment on the favourable quality of the passengers. I don't know where the cruise line gets these people, but everyone is worldly, smart, polite, educated, in a word, genteel. Of course, here, I include myself and my attractive partner. They must employ that dreaded technique called profiling. And this leads to a series of very pleasant and interesting conversations (in various accents) at meal conclaves and social functions. Another highlight of the journey is the people met. A superb variety of gustatory delights are exciting for the palate. Not for me is the light breakfast for early and late risers; I'm the full breakfast buffet type, with made-to-order stations and complimentary champagne, sipped, not added to juice. Can't face fellow passengers early? Breakfast can be delivered to your stateroom. The lunch buffet features appetizers, soups, homemade breads, cheeses, cold cuts, salads, hot dishes and delightful desserts. Afternoon tea with cakes or cookies is served in the lounge or on the top deck. Dinners are casually elegant sit-downs with multiple courses and complimentary wine, beer and sodas. Cappuccinos, espressos and other specialty coffees are available throughout the day. Finally, those with urgent night cravings can snack after 10 pm. (Yeah, I copied this from the brochure!) If this is insufficient (and for some it seems it is,) get off! At your cost, onshore, you can sample regional specialties while enjoying local culture. In Lyon, chow down at the Paul Bocuse restaurants, rated three stars (Michelin's coveted top rating). The Avalon cruise includes afternoon and night variety presentations and entertainment, games, movie nights and ship tours of the galley and the bridge. The entertainment is likely to be local, ethnic, charming. My partner and I are dancers, who prance at the drop of a hat or the sound of music, and we love to show off. It's our mission to enlist unwary guests as our target dance partners, now we have 4 on the floor. The ship always has an amiable and multitalented east-European musician in the lounge who thrives on this and takes requests. Autretemps, don't forget the fitness centre, where you can atone for your rich eating habit and rethink your travel strategy. Did I forget the reason for the trip? The itinerary places are delightful snatches of history, geography, archeology, art and culture. We were thrilled with a surprise short organ concert in a church; and the fresh markets; shopping as a palliative for those with available suitcase room and credit. Let me not go on, not. Bon Voyage, en France! See you around. The world. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Avalon Scenery Ratings
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