Avalon Seine cruise
We got a great deal by late booking this cruise due to tourists' reluctance to go to Paris. Their loss was our gain. As Avalon offered Courtesy transport to the airport or to Eurostar terminal we chose the latter and how lucky we were; the day of travel was when BA messed up holiday travel at half-term weekend for thousands but we got to enjoy our holiday instead of a cancellation. The cabin was very comfortable although the engineer could not bleed the gas out of the air conditioning, causing noisy gurgling all through the night. Good food, excellent service and interesting excursions included, Monet's Garden being one of the best. The cruise director emphasised at the start of the cruise how important it is to be on time for each excursion; if you are not there promptly it will start without you. However for his port briefings each evening he was normally five to ten minutes late himself - hardly a good example. Otherwise he was very good. There was minimal on-board entertainment as is usual on river cruises but the string trio that played light classical music was very good. The Portuguese Chef de Cuisine did a brilliant job providing some excellent food, though the restaurant coffee was not as good as that from the machines in the lounges, available 24/7 so we did not have coffee after dinner in the restaurant but retired to the lounge for it. Sadly the trip was marred on our return to St Pancras where we should have been met by our taxi, but all the other passengers' taxis came and went leaving us stranded for 50 minutes. The driver said he allowed that amount of time for us to get off the train and collect our cases, but at St Pancras that takes five minutes maximum as all formalities are done in Paris.
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