This was our first river cruise and we put alot of thought into where we wanted to travel. We spent an extra night in Paris and stayed at the Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower. The hotel was fine - room was small but clean and functional with a partial view of the Eiffel Tower from the balcony. Front desk staff spoke English and were very pleasant. Elevators were sketchy at best. I should note that we arranged for ground transportation to and from the airport. When we arrived at the airport there was no one to greet us after retrieving our luggage (which took nearly an hour.) After wandering around for another 30 minutes the driver came walking in - I noticed his Avalon sign so figured he was there to pick us up (he was.) No explanation as to why he was so late and no apology.
Representatives for Avalon were available in the hotel the morning of the cruise. I was under the impression they would be able to help us select some sightseeing options for that day (until we left for the boat at 3:45) - that was not the case. They merely gave us our bus pass and stored our luggage. We were able to walk around the Trocadero and the Eiffel Tower - but the security lines for the Eiffel Tower were too long to wait in to go up in it. In addition, the weather was very hot (90+) that day.
We left for the boat promptly at 3:45 and our luggage was already in our stateroom when we arrived. We had time to unpack and walk around a bit prior to a going to the lounge and getting information on the cruise and all the activities prior to dinner. Everything was well organized and informative. Avalon does a great job making sure shore excursions are on time and well thought out. We scheduled every shore excursion possible. Nearly all of them were well worth the time, and in some cases, extra money. The only exception was the Paris at Night driving tour. A huge waste of money and time and we weren't the only ones who felt that way. Another note - on the first full day of the cruise we went to Giverny in the morning and then cruised into Les Andelys in the afternoon. We went on the gentle walking tour of the town. We entered a beautiful old church - the tour guide provided commentary on how France was no longer a Catholic country, but was now a Muslim country - it was an awkward, and unnecessary moment. Besides that- all tour guides were knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating.
Very clean and well maintained. Small, but lots of storage. Sometimes we when were getting ready we got in each others way - but that is to be expected. Luggage easily fit under bed which was convenient.