Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It's time to set sail! Boarding the Avalon Waterways Tapestry II! 6/20/15

It's hard to believe we'd only just arrived in Paris the day before! We'd already been all over it felt like!  After our food tour in the morning, we went back to our hotel and found the Avalon Waterways reps and introduced ourselves. We still had quite some time before we had to be back to board the bus. As I mentioned earlier, the hotel we stayed at was the meeting point to take the bus to the ship. We didn't have to meet back there until sometime around 3:00 I think? Maybe even later. So, the rep gave us a map, some more sites within walking distance and a recommendation for a place to get crepes for lunch! Off we went!

This was really our first time venturing out totally on our own with no where to actually have to be!  We really had no idea where we were going, but we did it! 

We had some pretty amazing crepes for lunch - because of course the food tour snacks had worn off by now!

And then found our way back to the hotel with plenty of time to spare. 

We sat up in one of the conference rooms as people started arriving.  Everyone seemed pretty excited!  Some people came in groups.  Others were couples, or friends. The mood was festive! We were given cards of sorts as to which bus we'd be on.  There were two if I remember correctly.  And off we went!  And somehow I totally did not take a picture of the boat as we arrived, so I'm going to have to use this picture from Avalon...thank you!

That would be what our riverboat looks like!  The Avalon Tapestry II.  It's a new riverboat, just started sailing in March, 2015.  We boarded and went to our cabin.  It was lovely!  We had one of the Panorama Suites which means the window is floor to ceiling and the door opens up so you have a built in balcony as part of the room.  Maybe not the best picture since the curtains are closed, but there will be more coming!  You can see from the picture how we have a huge window, and two twin beds.

So here is a little tour of our cabin!  We had plenty of space, and plenty of storage room.  Try to ignore our mess, we just walked into the room and dropped everything here!

The space between our beds was a decent amount.  If we were a couple, the beds would be together and there would be more room between the bed and the desk.

I like that the TV was up on the wall in the corner.  It didn't take up any room and we both could see it.

Of course, the biggest benefit of the beds in this Panorama room, looking out the window at the amazing views going by!  Jumping ahead a couple days for a picture of just what I mean!

Ok - back to the tour!  The bathroom - it was amazing!  For a ship bathroom, I couldn't have asked for anything else!

Even the products in the bathroom were nice.  I brought my own shampoo and conditioner, but these were better than what I brought, so I just used them instead!

I has some lovely gifts when I arrived, and the flowers stayed fresh the entire week.  They brightened the room so very nicely!

And so it was time to set sail.  Carol and I popped the champagne, opened the chocolates and watched the world go by as we sailed along the Seine River.  Life was good, very good!

We relaxed for a bit, noticed some familiar sites as we left the Paris area...

and then went to the lounge area for our first night's Port Talk about the next days events.  The lounge would be the main inside gathering area on the ship.

And then it was time for our first dinner on board.  The meals are not dressy as they can be on a traditional cruise. They're not shorts and a t-shirt either. But the food was always very good. We made some great friends by the end of the cruise since there were only 120 guests on board. I don't have a lot of food pictures, but this would be a typical looking entree.  Every meal consisted of a choice of an appetizer, soup or salad, main course and a dessert.  There also was always an amuse-bouche to start the meal and an intermezzo between the salad and main course.  There were rotating special dishes and then the "always" on the menu options.  We never, ever left feeling hungry and the wine was free flowing at dinner for sure!

After dinner we walked up to the Sky Deck, and noticed on the way that we were going through our first lock.  This whole lock system was absolutely fascinating!  It's pretty cool that in this picture you can see the boat coming the other direction is up so much higher than we are, and that we just were lowered the level of the water that's on the wall.

And this was one of the smaller locks!

This is the Sky Deck of the ship.  Most nights it was pretty cool up here, and most days we were off the ship, so we never really spent any time here other than a few pictures. But it's nice, very spacious and there's a hot tub too!

Believe it or not, this picture was taken at almost 10:00 pm! Just look how bright it is out! Even so, we knew we had a busy day ahead of us.  We'd be visiting two different towns tomorrow!  Our cruise had begun.  We were ready!

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