Seine Northbound October 13,2016

Ted and Terry Kwiatkowski from Middletown NJ traveling with friends Charlie and JoAnne.
Any suggestions on "Must-sees" during our free time in Paris or anywhere else on this cruise that are not included in our tour?
I'm thinking about booking a guided tour to the Eiffel tower including the summit,any thoughts ?

Thanks fellow Tauckers !

Comments

  • I would suggest a night tour of Paris -- especially if this is your first time there. Your concierge can book it for you. We did one when we took Rendezvous on the Seine last September. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the company we used. It was a van rather than a large bus and we ended up having a private tour. There was very little traffic at night and we were able to pull right up to all of her beautifully illuminated monuments.
  • Not sure I'd bother with a guided tour of the tower but we plan to go up it on our own next year on the same cruise. The Eiffel Tower website has great information on tickets, restaurants, champagne bar etc.

    I also want to go to Montmartre. Am a little frustrated with Tauck that it is only an option compared to going to Versaille. One of the main points of this tour is Versaille. Why make people choose.

    If you find yourself over in the 9th arrondissement near the Opera house (and the Intercontinental hotel where many Tauck tours start), you can either have a tour of the opera house for a fee or walk about a block over to Blvd Haussman and find the Galeries Lafayette shopping mall. The interior is amazing and you can take escalators up to a 7th floor roof deck (for free) with nice views of Paris. There's also a variety of restaurants/bars and some of the least tacky souvenirs available.

    A note on museums, we did the French Waterways 2 yrs ago and went to the D'orsay on our own. Learned the hard way that without a guide, unless you are an art expert, you don't get much out of the tour. Wish we'd spent the extra for the English language audio guides.
  • Correct. We passed on the guided tour through the advice of a friend and trip adviser and were able to book it at a fraction of the cost. Thanks for your input for had I just gotten that info I would have followed your advise and would have wound up up with the same good result.Once again great to have Tauck friends.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for our evening and extra free day in London at the end of the trip?
  • One other question ,Claudia. It appears we have two free afternoons in Paris in addition to the arrival day. Do you think Montmartre is possible then ?
  • Claudia -- I agree with you about the choice of Montmartre or Versailles. It was the same on Rendezvous on the Seine and seemed like a strange choice. I have been to Versailles and although my husband had not and we had been to Montmartre several times -- we still chose Montmartre. Versailles is magnificent -- but when I went it was wall to wall to wall people. The good news is that Tauck goes early in the morning -- but people on our tour who chose Versailles said that it was still beyond crowded. That said -- if you have never been you will probably want to go and then go to Montmartre on your own.

    Drfun48 -- If you have a decent amount of free time in London -- the hop on hop off bus is great. There are three routes and it stops at every London attraction and you can get off and visit whichever ones you choose. The one place we had not been after many times in London was Churchill's War Rooms -- which when we finally went we found to be fascinating. The location is great and you can easily combine the War Rooms with Big Ben -- Parliament -- and Westminster Abbey. You should try to plan out which sites in London you want to see before you go to optimize your time. There is an overwhelming number of incredible sites to visit.
  • Drfun48 wrote:
    Correct. We passed on the guided tour through the advice of a friend and trip adviser and were able to book it at a fraction of the cost. Thanks for your input for had I just gotten that info I would have followed your advise and would have wound up up with the same good result.Once again great to have Tauck friends.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for our evening and extra free day in London at the end of the trip?


    In London --Does your tour take you to the British Library? Want to see Handel's original Messiah scores? Shakespeare's plays in his own hand? The Magna Carta? Gutenburg Bible? Beatles songs? Beatrice Potter's Peter Rabbit? Then this is for you. Right near Paddington, so you can wander there for champagne or tea, too.
  • Dr Fun, please let us know where your interests lie, there are weeks worth of things to see in London and I would hate you to have a quirky interest and then find out you missed a chance to go to a museum devoted to it.
    On a recent group trip to London, one of our couples who has been to London many times, said one of their favorite places is the British museum for just the artifacts mentioned and more. I finally made it to the Churchill war rooms, it is good, but takes I would say a minimum of 3 hours to do it any justice at all. This short trip, I toured the Charles Dickens house, the Tate Modern and the Museum of London and my bonus find was doscovering that Clarence House was open for tours. It's worth doing lots of research on your destination, well in advance, finding what peaks your interest, noting opening times, writing out a dream list and when you get there, doing what you can to get through it, but still finding time to sit and enjoy the ambience of whereever you are.
  • Drfun48 wrote:
    One other question ,Claudia. It appears we have two free afternoons in Paris in addition to the arrival day. Do you think Montmartre is possible then ?

    I think so. Either day should work. In my experience, most Tauck guided tours take about 2 hours. We might on day 4 after the museums. I'm thinking the tower visit would fit in well on day 5 after the war museum, a stroll thru Rur Cler for some picnic lunch items, then the tower. All pretty close together.

    If you haven't already bought a guide book, I highly recommend Rick Steves Pocket Paris. It's small, has nice maps, and good info. Even includes Versaille information. I plan to buy the London version closer to our departure as it will likely have just been updated then.


    For London, there are sooooo many choices. One of the forum regulars (British) returned from there recently and mentioned how inexpensive theater tickets were. I'm sure the concierge at the Savoy could help you with that and a dinner recommendation (unless you get cheap like us and go looking for take out). My personal choices there will include riding the Big Eye and touring the Victoria and Albert.

  • judy05 wrote:
    Claudia -- I agree with you about the choice of Montmartre or Versailles. It was the same on Rendezvous on the Seine and seemed like a strange choice. I have been to Versailles and although my husband had not and we had been to Montmartre several times -- we still chose Montmartre. Versailles is magnificent -- but when I went it was wall to wall to wall people. The good news is that Tauck goes early in the morning -- but people on our tour who chose Versailles said that it was still beyond crowded. That said -- if you have never been you will probably want to go and then go to Montmartre on your own.


    I kind of understand it for a tour like Rendezvous, but when the name of the cruise includes "Versaille" it seems weird. Alas, if we had only known before French Waterways to arrive in Paris 1-2 days earlier. It was our first tour and the $$$$ were freaking us out. We've learned the hard way to get the most our of our airline purchase and jetlag.

    We're planning on using our gift of time at Versaille to tour the gardens only - a Sunday and yes I've read that's the worst but can't be helped. Hopefully the Chateau tour with Tauck won't be too bad.
  • British Museum sounds great as my wife,an English teacher, is very interested in the literature, particularly Chaucer,which I'm guessing is also there.
    Thanks again to all.
  • edited September 2016
    Please be aware that the British Museum is not the same place as the British Library

    When we stayed at the Savoy hotel, we found the Concierge very helpful, we wanted to go to off the beaten track things and he came up with some great suggestions on that visit, like the Soane museum and the Duke of Welligton house museum, plus others, all within easy walking distance of the hotel. We figured on that visit we would concentrate on lots of walking in the pleasamt weather. It's good to save the big museums that take many hours to see for winter visits when you don't want to have too much time out in the cold or rain. Look out for cheap flights in the winter when London is less busy than usual. It will get dark by about 4 or 4-30 but all the tourist areas remain safe for strolling.
  • Thanks for clearing that up. So I want the British Library.
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