Report From Rendezvous on the Seine Departing 9/5/2021
We are starting the tour tomorrow, but I wanted to provide some information about two days in Paris pre departure. No judgments just observations about life so far.
We flew Houston to Paris via Washington Dulles on United airlines. Things went reasonably well and no issues on the planes. Several announcements on the planes strongly reminding people that masking was enforced. No incidents were observed. Prior to departures the gate people announced to have you passport and CDC card available. We used facial recognition to board and passports and CDC cards were not presented by anyone.
Upon arriving in Paris, I had the French non-covid declaration ready but no one asked for it. Been here two days and no
one has asked for it.
While walking the streets outside almost no one is masked. I have not seen anyone unmasked inside of a building except when they are eating or drinking. It seems is is allowable to keep it off during the entire meal, and most all people mask up when they leave their table. All the waiters remain masked.
The Passe Sanitaire and CDC card (we have been vaccinated for almost 7 months)--- We stayed at a non Tauck hotel for two days using hotel points. They looked at the CDC card at our check in and there were no issues. They provided information for a nearby pharmacy which could provide us a QR code . We had applied for our QR code three weeks before our departure, but no response until yesterday. That response basically said that the French government was over whelmed with applications and that it was too bad Charlie, I wasn't going to be getting one.
The non Tauck hotel provided pharmacy information as follows: Pharmacie Opera Casanova, 6 Rue Danielle Casanova, 75002 Paris, telephone 01 42 61 48 93. QR conversions cost 29 Euros per person. The hotel said that they are closed Saturday and Sunday, but the pharmacist said they were now open seven days a week (business may be good). We went to the pharmacy stating that the hotel sent us. We also saw a sign posted beside the cash register stating the price of QR conversions and vaccines, also 29 euros. The pharmacist was very friendly and helpful. He took our CDC card and our passport and the QR code was issued in less that 5 minutes. He gave us a paper with our QR code on it and we scanned it into our French covid app. You may want to download the app before you leave home, maybe not. This pharmacy is a 5 minute walk from the Tauck hotel, the Park Hyatt Vendome.
We met another Tauck couple who had checked into the Park Hyatt. The clerk told them that the CDC card would not work for the breakfast. I gave them the pharmacy information because the Park Hyatt had not provided any information. It did not seem to matter in the end because the next morning they went to breakfast They did not have to show anything. I guess it depends on who you talk to?
We went to the Orsay museum today and I used my CDC card and the wife used the Passe. Both worked fine. We went to an outdoors cafe for lunch and they did not ask for anything.
These are just my observations and thought they might answer questions people may have about Covid and Paris. I will report additional info as our trip proceeds.
Thank you for sharing…great tips and information! I’ll look forward to your posts. We won’t be in Paris until April…wish we were there now!
Sounds like it is all very hit and miss, like many places. I guess as long as you were not denied entry for one reason or another all is well, though not necessarily psychologically reassuring.
There is always another gin joint one block down1
Thanks for the update. Please continue to post your experience/impressions. We are booked on the 9/30 departure and looking forward to it with a bit caution. Have traveled with Tauck before so know they will do all they can to ensure a safe and wonderful journey. Have a great trip!
I know I’m repeating myself. But, being my ‘sexist’ non-woke self I will repeat again. (;-) We just spent two weeks in Europe … Germany, France, Italy, and Malta. (That was me and my wife who is quite accustomed to and fond of her many nicknames … babe, baby, little girl, chick, in addition to her real name. It actually worries her a little when I use her real name cuz she thinks I might be angry about something. She knows I am not ‘sexist’ in part because most of my favorite first officers (co-pilots) were women. One of them jumped through a few hoops to get assigned to my last (retirement) flight sequence. She made sure that we (my chick and I) got a special room at the layover hotel, and provided wine and flowers. End of my non-woke rant which was caused by a couple posts I consider insulting. I was the person who laughed at them and flagged them.). At present you need nothing except the CDC card and a ‘copy’ of your passport. We actually were never asked for the passport, just the CDC card which they sometimes called the ‘green’ card … their’s is green.
Sealord, did anyone try to use COVID documentation other than a "CDC" card at any of the COVID check points?
My card, along with my drivers license and military ID went missing from my wallet sometime on our way back from Maine this week. When I went for a replacement, our health care provider, who also administered both shots, gave me a signed COVID, inoculation summary paper instead, even after I explained to the shot doc we travel nationally and internationally and preferred the card. She said, "too many people are losing their cards and want replacements so we will only give you the signed summary, instead. You know, you can buy a counterfeit on the internet?" I have no idea why she added that last bit of common knowledge or what I was supposed to do with it. I hate it when I'm forced to work my way up the food chain.
I think I would work my way up your health care provider ‘food chain’. I don’t know if your provider needs clients, but offering to change might make an impression. You could test the system and see if they know you were previously vaccinated. I don’t know if there are any hazards to doing the whole thing over to get a CDC card. I’m pretty sure a bar/restaurant in Marseille would not recognize anything but the CDC card, but many did not even ask. All of the museums required the CDC card. I’m sorry that happened. The Points Guy has pointed out that protecting that card is probably more important than your passport. When we went to St. Maarten we had to present the CDC card, a PCR test result, and the St. Maarten entry permit just to check into the hotel. I’m afraid there are many who will not understand what a ‘signed summary’ really represents. I don’t know the answer. Perhaps you could inquire at the embassy of your intended travel locations.
I can afford to wait awhile since we don't travel until March. I have a physical sched for Oct. so can ask my personal doc. Also, probably sooner or later I will be eligible and getting a Pfizer booster.
I agree with Sealord that AlanS should continue to pursue it. After my husband had his first inoculation, and after we were already home, I noticed that the nurse had added one letter to my husband's name, changing it from a male name to female. It took me quite some time to have it corrected and only after elevating it within the hierarchy.
The preferred way to replace your Covid Vaccination card is to go to the place who administered your vaccines: Walgreens, CVS, County Health, private doctor etc. They have your records. We have a friend who washed it in her pocket...didn't survive the wash😉. Hers was replaced in a matter of days. Hope this helps.
If where Alan got his shot is like where we went to, a mass site at a high school, they probably would not let him through the door.
In the big locations, probably your County Health department ran the clinic. As a nurse, I helped with many of these big vaccination clinics, run by county Health. Someone has his records…our County had volunteers inputting thousands every week. Literally!
Just clarify, my local health care provider has my records and gave me a copy (I can also access them online.) They just wouldn't issue me a new CDC card.
A problem will only arise if a domestic or foreign establishment or official is locked into accepting the CDC card only. I see that as a definite possibility.
Buzz48: I am very interested in your travel experiences on this trip. My husband and I are booked on the ‘Impressions from the Seine’ starting Sept 23, which is the same ship and similar itinerary but just 8 days.
Has anyone required the QR code you got on the first day?
It looks like your itinerary included an after hours visit to the Louvre on Day 1. How was it? Ours is scheduled to do that as well.
Enjoy your trip and looking forward to hearing more.
SueMS- Sorry for the delayed reply. I tried to sign onto the message board during my trip but I was unable to do so for some reason.
We ate out several times and did some museums before the Tauck portion and the CDC card was accepted at all places. The French mostly go maskless outside and 99% mask up inside restaurants and venues. They are not shy about reminding people to put on their masks while inside establishments.
While on the boat Tauck "requires" you to mask up everywhere except when seated during meals or snacking up top. As a general rule people took off their masks while seated on the sundeck and then masked up when walking around. While dining indoors a few of the passengers (usually the same ones) occasionally did not wear their masks while going through the breakfast buffet line. There are no sneeze guards at the buffet. The dining room staff made no effort to enforce the mask rule. There were a few people who did not follow the Tauck pledge on occasion and the tour director did not actively enforce it.
The breakfast was always buffet style but you can order from a menu for eggs, bacon, and pancakes. All dinners were ordered from the menu with no buffet items.
Our tour ended on a Tuesday so on the preceding Sunday the boat docked in a small town and a nurse came on board. Each passenger as given a 30 minute window to come and get the covid test. It took about three hours and the ship was on the way again. The tests were 20 euros cash for each person. There were no reported positive tests.
Our tour had 52 passengers. The cruise after ours had a reported 44 passengers.
The after hours tour of the Louvre was excellent. Indeed no one other that a couple of Tauck tours were there. The same thing for the early morning tour of the Monet gardens, we had it for all to ourselves for about an hour.
I’m absolutely horrified about the lack of mask enforcement etc. No wonder people are canceling. This is a huge disappointment in Tauck’s reputation. They are breaking their own so called pledges.
I agree with British, very disappointing. We were scheduled for the 8/29 trip, glad we cancelled.
We have done two ‘cruise tours’ in the last couple months. We did two weeks on Windstar’s “Star Breeze”, and we did the Med. Isles tour on Ponant’s “Le Bougainville”. The protocols were nearly identical, and I believe mostly dictated by the CLIA. Masks indoors in public areas, on buses, during tours. Masks were not worn while eating or drinking, nor while swimming or hot tubbing’. Sometimes people forgot their masks (including me) and were politely asked to ‘mask up’ … which everyone did … no one refused. All foods at buffets were protected by plastic shields, and you could not serve yourself. You would point out what you wanted and a ‘server’ would serve you. All guests, and all crewmembers were vaccinated, and we all were tested several times. We did attend several cocktail parties, and masks were not worn while drinking. When you left the party you ‘masked up’. We were certainly ‘safer’ than going to Costco or our neighborhood supermarket. All that being said, I can see that there is no way to satisfy the ‘mask’ people. We had a great time on our two trips, and we felt far less vulnerable than at home. We were taken care of very well. At home you will encounter many who have not been vaccinated. On your Tauck tour you will have close contact with none.
Buzz sounds like all in all it was a wonderful trip. We are scheduled to leave on the 9/30 departure. It is a bit disturbing about those who did not follow the mask protocols and that the tour director did not address it. Hopefully Tauck will see your post and follow-up.
It is my understanding that the buffets are not self-service....correct? How ever a sneeze guard would be nice.
How was the bus travel....masked, social distance etc.?
SueMS...please post any experiences. Bon voyage!
Thanks again for your update.
aeh --The buffets are self service. Breakfast was the only meal that had the buffet but you could also order from a small but complete menu if you wanted. The breakfast pastry and bread section was buffet only and did not have any shielding. All passengers were required to wear masks while on the bus. There was not what I would call distancing on the bus. Our cruise was only about half full and the bus seating was a hit or miss. One could self distance because of the half full bus but it was not an organized distancing.
Sealord-- I do not consider myself a "mask person" and I can be satisfied. I am only trying to report what protocols are in place and how they are being followed. I certainly felt safer on the cruise than I do at my local Costco. I understand your outlook on the mask thing but I also believe that some people want a realistic idea on what to expect once they arrive at their tour. Each person has their own level of comfort during these times and i respect that.
‘Statistics and Probability’ should also be considered. A vaccinated person can get covid … probability ‘if’ you have close contact with an infected person is roughly 5%. A vaccinated person could get covid from an infected vaccinated person … probability about 5%. The probability of those two things happening at the same time is calculated by multiplying probability of ‘A’ times the probability of ‘B’. So it is .05 X .05 which equals ,0025 which is the probability of that happening ‘if’ those two people meet in close proximity. It could happen … so wear that mask. I follow the required protocols, but you need to ask yourself if it makes sense if everyone in the group is vaccinated.
SeaLord. I realize the risks are reduced, but two factors for me to make decisions about myself and my husband are this.
One, we have young unvaccinated grandchildren who we love dearly. I’d never forgive myself if I unknowningly had a breakthrough infection and gave it to them.
Two, I don’t want to test positive while on vacation and not be able to get home.
Finally, I’ve just gotten back from my silver sneakers class where mask wearing while exercising is not compulsory. I have no idea if everyone is infected and at least two people in that class are immunocompromised. One has already told me she has no antibodies despite vaccination because she is on chemo. I want to protect her and me.
Now my hubby is wondering about canceling our Tauck tours if rules they imposed are not being followed.
I probably do not understand probability all that well. Tauck asked me to pledge to follow the rules. I do and you do. Everyone should ..until the powers to be see fit to change the rules.
British. I think you are far more at risk at your ‘silver sneakers’ class than you would be on a Tauck tour. I’m not going to our health club right now because masks are compulsory while exercising. My wife goes but she is the exercise bunny. When she is finished her mask is totally soaked. I don’t think any of the guests intentionally don’t follow the protocols, but people sometimes forget to do things. On our ships, buffets were an option at certain meals, but you could always order off the menu. Buffets were always served, you did not help yourself, so there was no need to get close to the food.