When people ask us about river cruising, commonly we hear the question “am I too young for a river cruise?”. I’m here to tell you no. No no no. You aren’t too young for a river cruise! I am 34 years old and have just returned from my second. Disclaimer! If you are the type of person who needs to be entertained 24 hours a day, river cruising might not be for you.
When we were thinking about our 2015 cruise, I saw this beer themed river cruise from Avalon Waterways. Personally… not a beer person. I like it ok, in small quantities. My husband is a beer snob though. So I figured this was right up his alley! My best friend, Lauren and her fiance signed up right away also.
This was my second river cruise. The first was my honeymoon in 2013. There will probably be some comparisons in these posts :). I can’t help myself. So we were on the Avalon Expression. This is one of Avalon’s new Suite Ships.
One of my very favorite things was the cabin. I love that when you walk in it doesn’t feel like you have stepped in a cave. The window was wall to wall sliding glass doors. Even though it was super cold, I loved opening them wide and enjoying the fresh, crisp air! The bed was my second favorite thing. (Just a warning – when you get onboard and there is a note saying that they have limited king size comforters and that you should call to request one… do. We never got one and it was a source of disappointment). They have the beds facing the windows so even while laying in bed you get to enjoy the amazing scenery. This would probably have been better for me if we were the kind of people who went to bed earlier and woke up later, but I was out of bed every morning to work out, so I kind of lost out on this awesome feature! The furniture and decor are modern and sleek.
The bathroom was also great. I first noticed how much space there was in the bathroom. It was almost the length of the cabin with a long vanity and long shower. I noticed that they use L’Occitane bath products. They put two sets in each bathroom, definitely not stingy. There is an alcove behind the toilet with a reed diffuser which I thought was a beautiful touch. I always travel with a scent diffuser of some sort because I always worry that there will be icky smells. The shower was awesome! I’m used to the little space capsules that the ocean cruises ships have for showers. It was so nice to be able to move around and stretch out without hitting my hands on the walls! A well laid out bathroom for sure!
The ship was modern, spacious and well laid out! I’m not saying everything was perfect, but if you are going to be using it as your home away from home, it was great! Our room was on the middle deck (riverboats typically have 3 decks that have cabins). I would never take a cabin on the bottom deck because they don’t have the sliding glass doors that open, they have windows higher on the cabin. Not for me! I want the full view of my beautiful surroundings! The third deck would have been great too, but it was out of my budget for this trip. When you walk on the ship you are in the atrium. To the left is the lounge. There is nightly entertainment there with TiTi playing the keyboard and singing. One other night on the cruise they had a duet of local opera singers come on-board. Right below the lounge is the dining room. Everyone eats at the same time for dinner so we would all go to the lounge for the talk about the next day and then head down to dinner together. Then there was the top deck with a hot tub, sun chairs that I don’t think anyone ever used because it was so cold, a life sized chess set, and a jogging track you couldn’t pay me to use because I was so cold!!!!
I did use the little fitness center. Little being the operative word. Usually this wasn’t a big deal because I was the only one in the room, but once there were three of us and it was tight! There was one treadmill, two bikes (one was broken) and a weight bench with a set of free weights. There was one yoga mat and one stability ball that needed air. All in all, functional and I was able to do my workouts, but not entirely comfortable.
Enough about the hardware! Next week I’ll tell you more about the experience!!!!