Hi all … this is our 4th TAUCK trip (and we already have a deposit on our 5th for next year!). We will be taking the trip that starts SEPT 13th. Anyone on that trip. Looking forward to a great trip and a wonderful group of people to enjoy it with.
Would love your comments when you return, as we are doing this trip next May. It will only be our second Tauck trip - we are really looking forward to it ! Have a great time on yours!
We did this trip in 2014. Out of the ten Tauck trips we have done, this was one of our favorites. I'm sure you will love it.
Will definitely comment on our trip, tonto524. Thanks sidecar... happy to hear you enjoyed the trip. We've never done a riverboat cruise, and my husband has never been to London (we're going in 2 days earlier), or France. I was in France with a girlfriend in college... a lifetime ago!!!!!
Marilyn. If you like theatre, a good website for cheap tickets is Westendtheatre.com. I just looked st the latest offerings and 20 pounds is a typical price. With the pound dropping like a stone against the dollar, that”s an awesome price for London Theatre
Any suggestions or tips will be appreciated. Any places to eat that were favorites as well. We are going in a few days early and are looking for some good places to eat … pubs, ethnic, dim sum, etc. Same with Paris.
I took this trip last summer. The itinerary included Versailles back then, but it looks like that part has been dropped. London is a great city for walking. I got over 28K steps in a single day walking from Buckingham Palace to the Tower of London and back to the hotel (crossing the Thames twice). If you like Indian food, I had a very nice meal at Veeraswamy. If you want a view of the city, you may want to look into City Social or the couple of restaurants at the top of the Shard (although the latter may be a tourist trap). If you like Afternoon Tea, you can get a good one at Fortnum & Mason. I have heard great things about it (but did not experience it personally) for a lower price than you would pay at the Savoy or Ritz. In Paris, the only restaurant I visited on my own is Maxim's. The food was very good, but the restaurant had just several tables filled even on a Friday night. I have also heard good things about Jules Verne Restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower, but make sure to have reservations in advance.
For us, site seeing is so much more important than finding fancy restaurants on a Tauck tour. They usually provide so much food that often on days where we do have to find a meal on our own, we want no more than a quick snack and so we have time to explore more. This summer on our river cruise I put on five pounds in two weeks.
I have eaten at the Shard, but not while on a Tauck tour, the views are wonderful but food is expensive and not that wonderful. On the same visit we went to the Oxo Tower, less well known but great views and much better food and service. We had to book these months in advance. We were visiting various friends and site seeing like crazy every single day. London has so much to see, it can take weeks to see it all. If you are Theatre goers like us, look for Westendtheatre.com to snag great deals on tickets for top shows, as little as 20 pounds a ticket.
Thanks Maximgr and British for your comments and suggestions ... we have tix for the Lion King this Thurs and we're going for tapas close to the theater for dinner. We LOVE to walk, which is why I didn't purchase the London Pass. We like a combination of trying new restaurants and sight seeing. I wish more meals were OFF the boat so that we could try local flavors. We did that on our Classic Italy Small Groups trip and it was fabulous. Whatever comes our way I'm sure it will be wonderful. Versailles is still part of the trip but one of the optional trips you can take from a choice of 2. That's the one we are selecting.
The only thing that was a little surprising to me is that there was not more substance in the London portion of the trip. They do a tour of the city and a trip to one of two museums (we are choosing The British Museum). I think an actual visit to one of the places, like the Tower or Westminster, etc would have made it even more special. Instead they chose to give the afternoon off. Leaving work early today to pack. Can't wait.
Marylyn, once you have been traveling for a while withTauck, you notice a pattern, they never do much at either the beginning or end cites. Many people arrive a day early especially as you get a free night’s hotel once you have taken one trip with Tauck. Others are able to add days at the end of the tour. Then they can chose what they want to do. When we first started traveling with Tauck, many more meals were included, but we noticed overriding pressure from more and more sophisticated travelers that they wanted to do their own thing with meals so Tauck made it more flexible, for us we find that more inconvenient at-times. Everyone wants to experience site seeing in a different way, there appear to be many who don’t like museums too. You mention the Tower of London, my tip here is to get tickets in advance, as soon as you get there, head for the Crown jewels line ,it gets hectic there, then see everything else. I noticed on my most recent visit there is a lot more to see there than years ago, it takes several hours to see it all.
We are back! GREAT TRIP. We were so lucky and had fabulous weather from start to finish. They warned us throughout the entire trip that Normandy is normally rainy. We had 45 mins of mist and the balance sun.
We went into London 2 days early and walked to the War Room and the Tower from the hotel (23,000 steps each day!). I would HIGHLY recommend both. We went late morning and had no issues purchasing tickets and getting in immediately (on a Thurs and Fri). I will say that when we got out of the War Room, there was a huge crowd waiting to get in. GO TO THE THEATER. I purchased tix in advance for that (saw The Lion King which was 3 blocks from the hotel, and really enjoyed the production). It was such a wonderful experience. We found a little hole in the wall Tapas restaurant close to the hotel/theater that was so good, we went twice, and recommended it to others. Most people commented that the coverage of London by Tauck was shabby, and put that on their comment cards. I do believe they have added a private tour of the War Room for 2020. SMART. British, this was our 4th Tauck trip and you don't allow for one day in London and do so little. It was almost wasteful. Thankfully we took the opportunity to do things on our own.
The riverboat was comfortable, the food was exceptional and the staff on board could not have been nicer. We had a category 6 room which was spacious and had a fabulous bathroom with a big shower. If your weather is good, get a drink and go to the top level of the boat. It's so relaxing.
Monet's gardens were jaw dropping, and the after hours visit to the Louvre a treat. Normandy will tug at your heart. A woman from Paris came up to my husband and me, asked where we were from, and when we told her the US, she thanked us over and over. OMG....
As always, we met so many wonderful guests aboard the ship. One couple was on their 26th Tauck trip.
Tonto524, let me know if you have any questions while everything is fresh in my mind. I'd be happy to share the name of the restaurant with you, if you'd like it. I hope your weather is as good as ours was and that you enjoy the trip as much as we did.