1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Avalon Waterways
  4. Avalon Creativity Review
  5. Avalon Creativity Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted small vessel, low to the water, and slow-moving. No big ships anymore! The service was outstanding and the crew somehow seemed to know everyone by first name after the first couple of days. We will ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted small vessel, low to the water, and slow-moving. No big ships anymore! The service was outstanding and the crew somehow seemed to know everyone by first name after the first couple of days. We will definitely go on Avalon again soon! The food was outstanding at each meal and we really appreciated the included beer and wine with meals. The bar prices were very, very affordable too. The only downside for us is this was a romantic 25th anniversary cruise and we still had to sit with other guests. I know it's fun to meet fellow travelers but sometimes we just wanted to be alone. There were tables for two in the dining room, but they were 2" from the table for 6 so it wasn't really providing us a table for two. The classical trio brought onboard were outstanding. So much so, that we bought one of their CDs. We would also have liked tours that provided more time after the tour to walk alone. By the time our walking tour was over, many times we had only 30 minutes or so to explore on our own. We ended up skipping one entire tour just so we could meander the streets by ourselves. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We wanted to see France and the Sienne River and experience it on a small boat. Didn’t like big cruise boats. Too crowded and too regimented. On a river cruise you can have dinner with other guests or by yourselves. It was nice ... Read More
We wanted to see France and the Sienne River and experience it on a small boat. Didn’t like big cruise boats. Too crowded and too regimented. On a river cruise you can have dinner with other guests or by yourselves. It was nice having that choice. We got to seat with different people at each meal from all over the world. We enjoyed that very much and got to meet wonderful people. The included excursions were excellent and so were the tour guides. They were all very informative and spoke English very well. It was great being able to book the excursions ahead of time. Every evening, before dinner, we had a discussion with the cruise director and some of the crew about the next day’s excursions. They also gave us the option of changing what we booked the next day if we wanted. This way of cruising is the way to go. We had a great time. Would definitely do a River cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Honestly, checked Viking first because I was familiar with it through mailings and commercials. When dates and accommodations didn't work out, Googled further and found Avalon. It was our first river cruise and we wanted a great one. I'm ... Read More
Honestly, checked Viking first because I was familiar with it through mailings and commercials. When dates and accommodations didn't work out, Googled further and found Avalon. It was our first river cruise and we wanted a great one. I'm not comfortable with ocean cruises: too much water, too many people. The ship looked beautiful and modern, and the cabins were spacious. My traveling companion and I found a great cruise that encompassed both cultural, entertaining, and historical destinations as well as the option to visit Paris and London. Perfect! After checking the prices, which were quite reasonable, and dates etc., we booked. We called a 'human' because we preferred to connect more personally and get answers to questions. Our first days in Paris were fabulous, including the hotel which was a stone's throw from the Eiffel Tower! Service was phenomenal. We ended up with a view of the Tower from our balcony. The room was fabulous, which made up for an awful dinner. We went out after that. After three days, we boarded the ship. Everything went smoothly. Staff is extremely well-organized and attentive, not to mention friendly and personable. All meals served on-board were delicious and presented beautifully. The chef catered to our special needs (roomie is gluten-free and lactose intolerant.) Yep, they took great care. Wines flowed generously at every dinner and were excellent. We met so many fabulous people on the ship and made easy friends. (We're staying in touch with a couple even now.) The excursions were varied and interesting and fun. Leaving the ship, we were offered bottled water and a map and historical tidbits about our destination; upon return, we were greeted by the captain and security detail and offered a cool drink and hot face towels to refresh. Wow. We even had some entertainment on the ship in the form of a history lecturer on Normandy, a three-piece group playing classical music, and nighttime musicians. There were Captain's dinners, both at the beginning and at the end and even a world cafe night with unusual and 'rich' food. There were some intro meetings, including safety information at the beginning and when we were leaving to our various points of travel after the cruise. I know we have no control over weather, but amazingly enough, we had the best ever, even in Normandy, which apparently has rain and clouds almost exclusively. Talk about lucky! Our final stop was London. Our hotel was in the middle of everything...Westminster Bridge...and beautiful. Staff was wonderfully helpful and friendly. One disappointment was the room. Though modern and lovely, the lighting was terrible; the outlets were oddly placed; and our water temperature and pressure were terrible. But the convenience of location made up for it all. My biggest complaint, and it's a serious one, comes with the personal arrangements with the company. Because I was traveling with a friend, sharing a room, but not a spouse or romantic partner, everything in paper and emails went to my friend. I was virtually ignored as the second name on the reservations. I even called to ask that they send me my own correspondence. She had to send me emails. I was told that it was impossible to alter as this is how the company operates. ***IT NEEDS TO CHANGE***. Even our final packets of information with flight information, seat assignments, and hotel and room confirmations went to my friend's house! I have no access to her mail or house. What if something happened to her and I couldn't even access my own personal paperwork? This is disgraceful. I could almost understand if they are dealing with a couple who reside together, but never for two separate individuals who are paying their own way. I will tell others all the great stuff, but I must also share this problem. I have numerous single friends who travel together. I must say that this much-needed vacation on Avalon's river cruise was a great experience. I definitely will do a river cruise again. Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose this cruise because I wanted to go to Normandy. All the stops were great and our guides were all so interesting. I learned so much about the area. We were so lucky to also have a beautiful weather week. Everyone on the ship was so ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to go to Normandy. All the stops were great and our guides were all so interesting. I learned so much about the area. We were so lucky to also have a beautiful weather week. Everyone on the ship was so helpful and friendly. This was my first trip alone and it more than met all my expectations. We were very lucky in Normandy because not only was the weather terrific, but it was not crowded. We were able to see the German bunkers, the bomb craters, the American cemetery and were able to walk on Omaha Beach. Everything was so powerful especially for me, since my dad came ashore there in 1944. Another stop and tour was at the home and gardens of Monet. His gardens were magnificent, and you felt like you were part of one of his paintings. Yes, this was a wonderful cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because the itinerary offered options which were interesting for both of us. We also liked having the option to stay over in Paris on our own after disembarking the Creativity. This was our first foray into the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary offered options which were interesting for both of us. We also liked having the option to stay over in Paris on our own after disembarking the Creativity. This was our first foray into the river cruise vacation and I have to say that it exceeded our expectations. Our room (212) was adequate and offered plenty of storage space. The bathroom was typical for a boat, but the shower seemed just a bit larger than our large ship cruise experiences. While the room did not have a balcony per se, there was a sliding glass door which could be slid open easily to enjoy the breeze and the scenery while cruising. The room is small but every inch of space is well used. We were not uncomfortable and spent very little time in the room anyway! One negative is the size of the television screen. I only mention this because the FABULOUS cruise director would set up DVD showings about relevant subjects that would show on the televisions but the screen was so small, it was difficult to really watch it from the bed. No big deal. Embarkation was a breeze and the desk staff and housekeeping staff were phenomenal. In fact, everyone was phenomenal. Avalon should give these people a raise because they will keep the people coming back! The tours offered through the cruise were just perfect, with it being made very clear that some were "gentle" walking tours and some were not. We took 11 tours while on the cruise and it seemed that each one was better than the last. The guides were EXCEPTIONAL. Their knowledge of the places we toured and the historical significance of each location was just the icing on the proverbial cake. I would have to say that our experience at Omaha Beach and the American WWII Cemetery was unparalleled. We were not prepared to find the French people to be so grateful. They go to great lengths to make sure our heroes are remembered in their towns and villages. Maybe not in Paris, but in Normandy, near the D-Day beaches, our boys are remembered as the Greatest Generation. We were given a rose by a Frenchman to lay at a grave of our choice which was unexpected and appreciated beyond measure. The food was delicious and abundant without being overwhelming like food tends to be on an ocean cruise. They don't skimp on the wine, in fact, I had to ask them to stop pouring almost every night! Tony's nightly "Port Talk" set the stage for each new day while keeping us entertained for a bit before dinner. Overall, an 11 out of 10 for this Normandy River Cruise and we are already planning another with Avalon next year. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Avalon Waterways was recommendated by my travel agent and I highly recommend this cruise line. This was my first river cruise and our room with the French balcony more than met my expectations. I really enjoyed the evenings with the ... Read More
Avalon Waterways was recommendated by my travel agent and I highly recommend this cruise line. This was my first river cruise and our room with the French balcony more than met my expectations. I really enjoyed the evenings with the sliding door opened while cruising to the next town. We were impressed with the quality of food and it’s presentation. The waiters really contributed to the fun we had during meal times. They were friendly, funny, and accommodating. In fact, they were one of the highlights of our trip. The cruise director was knowledgeable, friendly, and accommodating to our needs. My friends and I enjoyed the pace of this trip. Excursions were well organized with excellent guides. We only wished we had more free time to wander in each quaint town. The trips were so well organized that we never missed getting back on board for meals. We will be looking forward to our next river cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
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 ... Read More
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. The staff on the Creativity were friendly and efficient - the tour director or captain was always there to greet people coming back from excursions. Security was also present at all times to note who was getting on and off the boat. Service was top notch. We met many interesting people from all over the world. Most were very well traveled and over the age of 55. We thought the food was okay - not great - but okay. The meals were rarely warm which is important to us. Wine was served with lunch and dinner - and your glass was never close to empty. The dining room was very noisy and sometimes hard to converse with others sitting close by. There were times we wished we could have enjoyed a more intimate meal - so if this important to you - this cruise may not be for you. Dinner was usually served beginning at 7:15 or 7:30. There is only one seating. Dress for dinner was very casual (though we didn't see any blue jeans or shorts.) There was one dressier night (farewell dinner) - but even then most folks dressed fairly casual. We did plan ahead and dressed up more that evening. We had someone on board to provide a lecture the night before we traveled to the D-Day landing beaches (highly recommend - very moving.) He was okay - albeit a bit long. On another evening the tour director gave a lecture on a young man who died in WWII in France that he had done some research on. He obviously had done alot of research. One afternoon a string trio - LaStrada - was onboard to provide entertainment. They were excellent!! We brought their CD to bring home to enjoy. Very talented young people. When it was time to leave, Avalon made sure everything was very well organized. Our transport to the airport was a little later so we had to vacate our room and wait in the lounge. It would have been nice if they had some coffee, etc., available in there for there - though I realize at this point they are flipping the boat for the next guests arriving in the afternoon.. Overall, we really enjoyed the cruise. We would recommend Avalon to others. The trip was exhausting for us, but in a good way. We feel we took advantage of every opportunity to see as much as we could - and Avalon made that possible. The staff on these boats work very hard - and always with a smile. Would we do another river cruise - I'm not sure - we might. It is definitely a good way to see a lot in a short amount of time. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We had an incredible week-long tour to celebrate a friend's birthday. We chose this cruise based on the itinerary and time spent in Paris. This was my second river cruise, although I've cruised on ocean cruise lines numerous times. I ... Read More
We had an incredible week-long tour to celebrate a friend's birthday. We chose this cruise based on the itinerary and time spent in Paris. This was my second river cruise, although I've cruised on ocean cruise lines numerous times. I like the size of a river cruise boat, the ability to see something new every day and the ability to meet/see a number of the other passengers. The staff was great, especially our wait staff in the dining room. There were 8 of us and we sat at the same table most nights. Our waitress was very attentive and ensured we had a nice experience. The excursions were memorable; my favorites were Monet's garden and Normandy - both places I've wanted to see. The food was superb; much better than I've had on other cruises. My only negative was the piano player. His music was so-so, and when we made requests, he wasn't willing to accommodate them. The other entertainment was good. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Loved our ship, Creativity. Our cabin was large - 172 sq ft as opposed to other river cruises where there was only 126 sq ft. Also, the bathroom was roomy and there was enough storage space for two people. And this was the lowest priced ... Read More
Loved our ship, Creativity. Our cabin was large - 172 sq ft as opposed to other river cruises where there was only 126 sq ft. Also, the bathroom was roomy and there was enough storage space for two people. And this was the lowest priced cabin! The food was delicious, and service was attentive. At every stop we had a choice of two included bus tours. My favorites were Giverny - I like Monet even better now and Normandy, very moving. The timing of the trip was good. Usually the shore excursion was in the morning, we were back to the ship for lunch and then all afternoon and evening we had time to explore the city. On our morning bus trip, we learned about the city we were visiting, so we were more knowledgeable when we were on our own. The other passengers were pleasant to talk to. Everyone spoke English. We met Australians, Israelites, New Zealanders and other Americans. My daughter and I are already planning our trip for next year and we are definitely including Avalon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our first river cruise after completing over 20 ocean cruises in the past few years and we would do another in a heart beat. We were concerned that the smaller vessel would be too confined after the space and entertainment ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after completing over 20 ocean cruises in the past few years and we would do another in a heart beat. We were concerned that the smaller vessel would be too confined after the space and entertainment facilities on the larger cruise ships but we were not disappointed. The cabins were very well appointed with facilities beyond our expectations and the the public rooms were large enough to hold all the ships guests at one sitting. The food on board was excellent and it was very pleasing to see the Chef and his assistants returning daily from the local markets with fresh produce and supplies for our enjoyment. The shore excursions were very professionally handled...departing and arriving back at the ship on time which meant everyone had time to relax before the next activity started. As expected due to space limitations the entertainment was scaled down compared to the large cruise ships however there was music recitals, dancing and lectures to keep everyone entertained. No complaints means a satisfying relaxing holiday and that's what we got from Analon. Thoroughly recommended. Read Less
Avalon Creativity Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.7
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family 1.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.6
Enrichment 5.0 4.4
Service 4.0 4.9
Value For Money 5.0 4.6
Rates 4.0 4.5

Find a Cruise