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Avalon - Paris to Normandy

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Going on this cruise in May '19.  Would appreciate hotel recommendations in Paris for a 3 night pre cruise stay - location is key.  Also, what hotel does Avalon use for their extensions?

Thanks in advance.

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Also interested in Paris and London hotel recommendations

 

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Do you like boutique hotels? Check out the Hotel Verneuil St Germain. We loved this hotel! We love to walk and we walked almost everywhere. Opt for a club room so the room is a little larger. 

 

Book your tickets online for the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Download the free Rick Steves podcasts. He has lots of free helpful info. 

 

We loved the Avalon Paris Normandy experience. We recommended to friends and they loved it too. Especially that Avalon docks directly in Paris. 

 

Avalon uses a large convention type hotel. Since Paris is so easy to get around we didn’t feel it necessary to do extenstion. 

 

 

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We are taking this cruise in August and have pre-cruise hotel at Pullman near the Eiffel Tower.  Booked through Avalon. Very interested in your review of this cruise since it is my first River Cruise.  

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Going on this Avalon cruise in June. It's our first river cruise.  Interested to hear anyone's thoughts.

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On 5/15/2019 at 3:01 PM, susiebcat said:

Going on this Avalon cruise in June. It's our first river cruise.  Interested to hear anyone's thoughts.

We loved this cruise. We then recommended it to other friends and they loved it also. The tours were first rate. We took the optional tours in the afternoons also because we wanted to see as much as possible. My only suggestion is to spend extra days in Paris. 

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We're booked on this cruise in 2020.  Can someone tell me the general area where Tapestry will be docked in Paris?  

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On 5/19/2019 at 1:43 PM, Got2Cruise said:

We loved this cruise. We then recommended it to other friends and they loved it also. The tours were first rate. We took the optional tours in the afternoons also because we wanted to see as much as possible. My only suggestion is to spend extra days in Paris. 

 

We are looking into this cruise for May 2020, actually the extended version to Mt. St Michel, prior to coming back to Paris.  You mention extra excursions.  Based on my research we saw that there were a choice of 2 excursions in Le Harve (Honfleurs or Etretat) and in Paris - Versaille.  Are there others that aren't revealed until you get on board?  We are hoping to not have to take extra excursions to see the sites each town has to offer.  We definitely will spend a few days in Paris prior to the cruise.

 

Two years ago we took a Viking Ocean cruise in Italy and were thoroughly disappointed that we have to buy excursions if we wanted to see the sites in Italy.  Example, Naples - free walking tour of downtown Naples vs pay to go to Sorrento and Pompeii.  I guess when you travel to Italy the stops are not small towns where the main interest is a cathedral, etc..

 

It's better to find out the surprises before we book.  Thanks in advance.    

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@NJCruisers there were extras in Paris when we went. Museums, Montmartre, Moulin Rouge. You can decide when you’re on the cruise. 

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As far as included shore excursions, I have to remind myself that an ocean cruise generally requires payment for most of them.  A river cruise generally has an included SE every day, with options to pay for more.  This makes a big difference when it comes to evaluating total costs of the different vacations.

 

I'm still curious where Avalon has docked in Paris in the past, if anyone remembers the location. 

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On 6/26/2019 at 2:34 PM, Got2Cruise said:

Avalon Parked next to Parc Citroen. 

Most of the river boats - with the exception of Viking - moor next to Parc Citroen.  We had done Paris to Normandy as our 1st river cruise with Uniworld over 10 years ago - and then again with Avalon in 2017.  As we had been to Paris a few times before, we did not do their included tour of Paris.  Instead, we walked up to the Eiffel Tower (a reasonable walk from the boat) - where we had pre-booked a tour "Beneath the Eiffel Tower".  We got to see the hydraulic lifts working under the tower - and then, on the 1st level, climbed the stairs to the roof of the restaurant for some pretty amazing views.

 

When we arrived in Paris before the cruise, we had quite a few hours before we could board the boat - so Avalon had a reception room booked in a room close to the Eiffel Tower.  They have snacks and beverages there for us. It was so close to the Tower that we could have easily walked over and gone up...  but we already had the other tour booked.

 

Fran

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Thank you Fran!  This is exactly what I was looking for.  Merci beaucoup.

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NorthWildwood's post asking for others on the August 20, 2019 sailing has been moved to All Other River Cruise Roll Calls:

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/16/2019 at 2:32 PM, jsn55 said:

We're booked on this cruise in 2020.  Can someone tell me the general area where Tapestry will be docked in Paris?  

Avalon docks at one of three locations., Port Grenelle (nearest to the Eiffel Tower), Port de Javel or Quai du President Rosevelt.

On our June 2019 cruise they used Port Grenelle. The picture is of the Sun Deck taken from the bridge right next to Port Grenelle 

We had a wonderful cruise and really enjoyed the excursions.

 

Edited by Haysiedaze
spelling

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Terrific shot with Tour Eiffel in the background - thanks so much!

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Posted (edited)

On the June 10th, 2019 75th Anniversary of D-Day Rememberance Cruise on the Tapestry II Avalon held a special ceremony for our ship at the American Cemetary in Normandy that was one of the most memorable experiances I have had in my travels. They kept saying we needed to be at the monument at 2:30 for a ceremony. We assumed it was a daily occurance there. Well at 2:30 a speaker from the cemetary gave a short talk. He then asked us to turn and face the Crosses and Stars of David. They then played the Star-Spangled Banner, we were told we could sing or stand in silence I lost it. They then asked us to face the monument while Taps was played. Two of the guests from our ship were asked to lay a wreath at the foot of the monument.

Then they asked for a moment of silence. Wow that was special, thank you Avalon. By the way this is not typical but rather had to do with the Rememberence Cruise.

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Edited by Haysiedaze
missing letter

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Two more things that stuck out on this cruise.

 

We chose to go to Monet's Garden. Avalon had us there in time to be the first ones into the grounds (not by accident). When we got to the reflecting pools there was nobody there yet but us. 30 minutes later it was packed. We got great photo ops.

We were headed back to Monet's House as Ama Waterways excursion was just headed over to the pools.

 

We also chose to book the Palace of Versailles. Our tour director told us to make sure we had some extra patience with us because of the crowds. Wow we wish we hadn't gone. It was packed in the palace to the point you couldn't enjoy it. Below is the famous Hall of Mirrors.

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Perfect timing on the Giverny and Versailles photos!  My daughter is going to Paris next week on her honeymoon and mentioned that they would like to do a day trip to Versailles.  I have been trying to council her toward Giverny instead.  These photos are worth more than the proverbial thousand words!

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Versailles wasn’t quite as bad but still bad when we were there. Certain tour groups just didn’t follow the expectations and made a crowded situation worse. That said the gardens are spectacular and I’m glad we went. 

 

From the window:

B59F195D-453B-4C11-AF7E-523F2B6A1693.jpeg

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Versailles is always a zoo.  Last time, I just did the gardens and the Petit Trianon without any waiting for anything.  Gazing at the facade of the palace on arrival is a wonderful experience and you can buy a book full of photos to read later. 

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