Avalon Myanmar Entertainment & Activities
On Avalon Myanmar, entertainment comes in the form of enrichment. Shore excursions take place in every port, and they usually start early in the morning and conclude by lunch. Lectures take place onboard, covering a variety of topics about the Burmese culture. For example, you might learn how to wear a traditional Myanmar longyi, or how to apply the popular all-purpose cosmetic thanaka, favored by the Burmese people. Lectures are both entertaining and educational. Activities aren't always listed on the daily schedules, which appear in your cabin each evening, but the cruise director will make impossible-to-miss announcements over the boat's loudspeaker.
Entertainment is also brought onboard. For example, a stop in Bagan will begin or end with a traditional Burmese puppet show, where local entertainers will board the boat and put on a performance.
All excursions are included in the cruise, and most take place in the mornings. Like everything else on Avalon Myanmar, the organization is casual. All passengers leave the ship at the appointed time, picking up a laminated boarding pass as they head off. They meet the local guide, who is waiting onshore. When everyone arrives, the tour begins, in one group. It might be a walking tour or something that requires coach travel. A few are more active, requiring longer walks uphill. The cruise director will indicate that ahead of time. Headsets are provided that pick up a signal from the guide's microphone so you never miss what's going on. Most excursions get passengers back to the boat for lunch. Occasionally, excursions take place at sunrise or in the evening, and sometimes you might have a morning and afternoon excursion on the same day.
The boat's only bar is located in the Panorama Lounge, on Deck 2. Decor is simple yet lovely, with dark wood floors, cushy beige chairs, red couches and plenty of throw pillows. The showstopper is an intricately carved floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, created by local artisans. (The bookshelf serves as the boat's library and game room: This is where you'll find a small selection of books -- many about the region and some fiction options, too -- as well as games like Scrabble and Monopoly.) Just prior to dinner, the lounge hosts a cocktail hour, featuring two drinks of the day and hors d'oeuvres. While tables are set up for four people, passengers tend to bond quickly, and crew are happy to rearrange seating for a more social experience.
Every few nights, passengers can head to the Panorama Lounge after dinner for a movie -- something related to the region, ranging from documentary to drama. You won't find -- or miss -- a theater, casino or lounge for dancing onboard; many passengers head to bed early to be rested for the next day's activities.