Our journey through the Rhône took place on board the luxurious Avalon Poetry II. Built in 2014, she is one of the lines’ signature suite ships. She has 67 rooms, of which 52 are suites, that’s such a high proportion! (I’ll talk about accommodation in more detail in a later blog).
The look & Feel of Avalon’s fleet
Avalon’s suite-only ships offer something totally different to both river and ocean ships. One thing I noticed about the ship is that it never felt crowded and there’s plenty of space to relax and chill-out, without anyone else around you.
The layout of the Poetry mirrors most other river ships, with a main lounge and casual dining area, a main restaurant and then atrium/reception area. While the layout is similar, I’ve found that river ships décor differs so much line-to-line. So, let’s take a look around the Poetry.
Panorama Lounge & Bistro
At the heart of the ship you’ll find the Panorama Lounge & Bistro. This open space is very contemporary feel, with dark woods giving it a luxe feel. There’s also plenty of comfortable seating for everyone on board, although it is designed to help you mingle and be social with other guests on the cruise. There’s also a fully stocked bar, dance floor and a self-serve coffee station.
Here you’ll find many of the port talks and other activities taking place through the course of the cruise. Every evening there is a selection of live music, from the on-board pianist to local acts which are brought on during the cruise.
Part of the lounge is also known as the Panorama Bistro. If you fancy a light bite at breakfast or lunch this is the perfect spot to grab something. And on certain nights, this becomes a casual spot for enjoying food, without the formality of the main dining room. If you also enjoy afternoon tea you won’t be disappointed, with a daily feast offered in the Bistro. Again, more to come about this in a later blog.
The observation lounge
At the bow of the ship is the outdoor observation lounge. With comfortable rattan furniture, it’s great way to watch the world go by as you and your fellow guests scenic sail day-to-day.
Atrium & Reception
At the main entrance of the ship you’ll find the reception of the ship. This is very light and airy due to the big skylight that dominates the atrium space. Here you’ll find all services you may require from your cruise, including to book excursions, daily port information, a small shop and internet terminals. There are also handy interactive displays that have all the information you could ever want about the cruise.
At the base of the atrium you’ll also find other amenities such as the on–board fitness centre with state-of-the-art equipment.
Found on the deck below reception, the main dining room on board is an intimate space with large windows, a generous buffet area and a true mixture of table sizes. Something that I really loved was the number of tables for two, meaning if you just wanted a quiet dinner by yourselves you had that option. These easily turned into tables for four or more, and we found ourselves doing just that on more than one evening.
Found at the back of the ship, the Club Lounge is a haven to relax in. With comfy seating and a great view over the wake of the ship, I really loved spending time here. There’s also a self-service coffee machine and freshly made (and replenished) pastries provided throughout the day. The doughnuts were to die for!
Sky Deck and Sky Bistro
The top deck on board can be split into three distinct areas. Firstly, an extension of the observation lounge, with comfortable seating to enjoy a cocktail at sunset, or to sit and enjoy one of the many locks you go through.
Secondly, just behind the bridge of the ship is a covered casual dining area which features a grill for eating al-fresco. And finally, the main part o the Sky Deck has lots of premium sun loungers, shady spots, deck games such as giant chess and it even features a Jacuzzi. It’s an enjoyable and expansive space to spend time in.
What do you think of the interior design of Avalon Waterways’ ships? Comment below or on social media.
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