Shore excursion to Paris

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#1
Citrus Springs, Fl.
4,221 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
I am considering the Oct 2011 Elclipse crossing. There is a stop that provides the day to go to Paris. The description of the tour is 2.5 hours in a bus, tour, 2.5 hour return bus ride.
Has anyone done this excursion through Celebrity, and if so was it worth it.
I must admit a total of 5 hours on a bus is not my cup of tea.....but to see a glimpse of Paris, the E Tower and a lunch on a river boat might be worth the effort.
Any experiences would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Tom
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#2
541 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Hi Tom,

I have done this excursion on another cruise line which I will not name. You are correct in assuming that you will spend a lot of time on a bus and when you disembark in Paris, expect to be rushed. Not my idea of "going to Paris"

I recommend touring Normandy and planning a separate day or two in Paris to get the full effect. That way you can get the full effect of Paris....jmho
#3
Novato CA
86 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Originally posted by RMS Olympic
I am considering the Oct 2011 Elclipse crossing. There is a stop that provides the day to go to Paris. The description of the tour is 2.5 hours in a bus, tour, 2.5 hour return bus ride.
Has anyone done this excursion through Celebrity, and if so was it worth it.
I must admit a total of 5 hours on a bus is not my cup of tea.....but to see a glimpse of Paris, the E Tower and a lunch on a river boat might be worth the effort.
Any experiences would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Tom
This tour is a waste of time. Traffic congestion,just glimpses of Paris from the bus window. I don't know if the lunch on the bateau mouche is included,that seems to please some people. Why not take a taxi to Honfleur, once a fishing village,now a delightful town to have lunch and wander around. Two other cities are about an hour away by train. Rouen is a city full of history and wonderful Norman buildings. If you want a taste of France that is not the least bit touristy,try Montvillers. It's a very small town and allows you mingle with the locals who are very friendly and make excellent recommendations for a place to have lunch. They are usually very interested in how you found their village. It helps if you try to speak a few words of French,(no matter how butcher it) the people really open up! Try SNCF.com for train schedules. Hope this gives you some ideas,you might also check out privateshoretrips.com. They are pricey but have some of the best trips and the guides are wonderful. Hope this helps!
#4
Shalimar FL
5,102 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Because of the long bus ride, we decided not to do Paris and took a taxi over to Honfleur, a beautiful town near Le Havre. I must have taken a picture of every door in town. Fantastic. Its around a little harbor with lots of open restaurants around it and good shopping. Not crowded until about 4pm when a lot of local French came into town to enjoy it also. Beautiful gardens, stores and buildings.

Sorry no help on Paris. If this is the only chance you thnk you'll get to visit Paris, then I guess the long ride would be worth it. My wife has been there a number of times, I haven't but wanted to go there when we had more time to really enjoy it. Tough call of riding 2.5hr each way to have lunch and see a bit, but that is a personal call, if it's worth it.

Edit: 14 day or longer and I have the same idea: Honfleur!

Denny
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#5
Myrtle Beach
14,144 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by RMS Olympic
I am considering the Oct 2011 Elclipse crossing. There is a stop that provides the day to go to Paris. The description of the tour is 2.5 hours in a bus, tour, 2.5 hour return bus ride.
Has anyone done this excursion through Celebrity, and if so was it worth it.
I must admit a total of 5 hours on a bus is not my cup of tea.....but to see a glimpse of Paris, the E Tower and a lunch on a river boat might be worth the effort.
Any experiences would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Tom
We're booked on the same cruise. Stop by the Roll Call and meet some great folks who will be traveling with you: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1166949

I would not recommend doing the ship's tour. If Paris is a "must see" for you, I would recommend hooking up with some others on the Roll Call and taking a private tour, and then it will be like a "drive by shooting."

If you haven't been to Normandy, It's worthwhile, and I would take a private tour vs. the ship's tour.

If you're adventurous, they have some nice little villages along the coast, including Honfleur. We don't pull out until 9pm. I'll be renting a car and doing it on my own.
#6
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
465 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
This is my suggestion. It is what we did several years ago when we did the British Isles and Norwegian Fjiords cruise with a stop in Le Havre. We flew to Paris four days before the cruise departure and spent them there. Then the day before the cruise we took the Chunnel train to Dover and spent the night there. This way we got to see Paris. When the ship docked in Le Havre, we rented a car with friends and went to see the Beaches at Normandy. It was a great experience.So, if you can be away for a few more days, it is worth the extra expense.
Shelley
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#7
Suffolk, England
3,047 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
We are off to Le Havre in June with Independence. There is an impressionist gallery called Musee Malraux with paintings from Monet, Renoir, Manet etc which is second in France only to the Musee D'Orsay in Paris which if you do visit Paris I highly recommend. The Malraux museum is closed Tuesdays according the website, free to children and 5 euros for adults. I shall certainly be heading for this gallery in June!
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#8
The Villages, FL
1,409 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
We did a ship's tour from Le Havre in 2007 and the bus ride was not that bad. The countryside is beautiful and the bus was VERY nice with a bathroom.

We did the Paris on your own, it did not include a tour or lunch. They dropped us off right at the E tower & we had about 5+ hours on our own. They DID give us a lot of info as we were arriving in Paris & the things we passed by on the way to park.

We took the E tower in, rode the Batobus (boat on the Seine), saw the Louvre, stopped at Notre Dame and then walked the streets, found a quaint sidewalk café to have crepe's for lunch, walked & explored some more, Arc De Triomphe, Champs Elysees and Sainte-Chapelle.

We didn't know if we would have the chance to get back to Paris, so we took this opportunity to get a taste. No regrets at all, we loved it. Arrived back to the bus early enough to grab a glass of champagne at another lovely sidewalk café.
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#9
New Jersey
247 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
We stopped at LeHavre with another cruise line and did Paris. We could not imagine being that close and not seeing it at all. It is a beautiful bus ride through the countryside and the time went pretty quickly. Paris was rushed, true, but we got to see things we might never be able to go back and see. I would love to spend more time there, but the world offers so much to see and do, that we weren't sure then, or even now, if we'll ever get the chance to return. Being rushed is better than not being there at all. It was a wonderful experience for us. When you set your eyes upon the Eiffel Tower, I know you will agree.
#10
5,946 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
A little different view . We have taken river cruises in Europe . The tours are included in your price & you aren't very far from the action as the river cruise boats can pull in close to the action. We found river cruising very relaxing & unrushed . Other than a river cruise if a person wants to see Paris ,you should fly there & really see Paris befor taking a TA .
#11
The Villages, FL
1,409 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
We are actually researching our first ever river cruise. Looking to do Amsterdam to Budapest. Would love to take Paris in again for a few days as we loved our short time there. River cruising is very interesting. I am learning SO much.
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Lynn
#12
Meriden, CT
1,173 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
I am booked on the Eclipse for 2010 and I am going on this tour. I will enjoy the ride and I am very excited. We are doing Normandy Beaches on our next stop. You can wait till I come back and I will reply.

FYI, last year I went on Celebrity Morocco's tour to Casablanca, I heard many people say the same thing. Take a private tour, the trip is so long. Yes it was a long ride, but it was worth every cent I paid. I loved the tour it was something I will never forget.

By the way, 10 people who paid deposits for a private tour, they never showed up and it was too late for them to book something other than a tour around the city by taxi.


I also like paying in USD and it's paid in full before I start my cruise. I

Dorene
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#14
Lakeland, FL USA
100 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
We took what sounds like this tour in 09/08 on an RCL repositioning cruise out of London (Harfleur). Personally, I would have picked the Normandy tour, but my wife wanted to see Paris, so I knew if we didn’t book some kind of tour into Paris that it would be a long, cold trip home, so we picked the Paris Highlights & Lunch on the Seine tour.

I was skeptical of the long bus ride, not looking forward to it at all, and expected to be exhausted, especially after a long flight crossing 5 time zones (from Orlando) the day before.

I must say that, contrary to my expectations, that I thoroughly enjoyed the tour in every respect. The bus ride, while long, was made enjoyable by our guide, who was informative and engaging at all times. The countryside was beautiful the whole way and once we reached the outskirts of Paris, we were transfixed by the many sights. After a drive down Champs-Élysées, we reached the Place de la Concorde, which has to be the grandest city square on earth. The tour takes a turn through Opéra district, through the Louvre, and across to the Île de la Cité. Then it’s over to the Left Bank and on to your luncheon cruise.

The barges for the cruise are large, comfortable, well appointed, with excellent visibility. The meal was one of the best we have had anywhere. The cruise goes down the Seine and around both sides of Notre Dame and the central islands. There’s plenty of time to dine leisurely before rounding Île des Cygnes with its Statue of Liberty. The quality of the meal and the sights from the river were better than I could have imagined.

It’s back on the bus for a quick ride past Les Invalides before being dropped of at the Eifel Tower for some time to tour and shop on your own. The bus leaves from there for the return trip to Le Havre without the guide.


Is this the best possible tour of the city? No, probably not. But for a good look at most of the major districts and key sights it certainly fills the bill. The lunch cruise was a real highlight of our entire trip and the whole experience made me pledge to return to Paris at some point for a decent stay and an opportunity to get acquainted with the many wonders that we were exposed to. In this respect, it surpassed my every expectation.

And I didn’t feel tired for the whole day.
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#15
The Villages, FL
1,409 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Although we didn't do the "lunch" tour, we really enjoyed doing what we did on our own, had more time to walk the streets & neighborhoods!
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Lynn
#16
Atlanta
231 Posts
Joined May 2009
I would rather stay in Normandy than spend that much time on a bus personally. Paris is as worth a separate trip as any city on Earth (So far in my experience, only Rome has more to see). However, if you are worried you will not get back, take the trip. But I would not waste any of the 5 hours on a Seine river trip. I would glance up at the Eiffel tower and rush to Notre Dame and try to see as much as I could in the Louvre and Musee D'Orsay before returning to the bus. It is a bit of a drive from Le Havre to the D-Day beaches, but they are a must see in my opinion as well. The Bayoux Tapestry is of interest to many. I really enjoyed seeing that. If you are a fan of Monet, a visit to Giverny to see his home and gardens is a nice choice as well.
#17
Citrus Springs, Fl.
4,221 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Based on the various responses, I think I will take the Paris Tour regardless of the bus time. The idea of the lunch on the river boat sounds really nice, and a chance to see the E tower is a good reason to go. I must admit I will probably not fly back to France to see more of the city as I prefer Italy first, Germany second. 2012 hope to do a german river cruise to get my fill of German food.....YUM YUM YUM.
Now what the weather will be like in Paris the first week of November is a good question. Guess I will need to pack like I did for my Baltic cruise....not exactly the caribbean.
Need to gather all the fun people on the boat to fill the tour bus......so the party can start right a way. Cranky people need not apply; wharped personalitites greatly desired.
Tom
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#18
107 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
I just did this "Paris on Your Own" last week. I have been to Paris before. I wished I had gone to Normandy or stayed on a much shorter tour. The bus will drop you at the E. Tower and pick you up there. It is a long bus ride, although the scenery is beautiful. Just makes for a very long day if you are doing anything the next day. Also, you cannot really do anything in Paris in such a short amount of time, worrying if you are going to make it back to the bus.

The grounds around Tower are full of beggers. Beware! We witnessed lots of police in the area.
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#19
Cornwall UK
12 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Hi,

I'm just back from the Eclipse 3 day trip to Le Harve. Instead of doing the trip to Paris through Celebrity, we got a train from LeHavre station into Paris. It is very easy, just a quick taxi ride from the port to the station, then a 2hr train ride (I think travelling via train is nicer and quicker than by coach). This also worked out cheaper than doing the celebrity coach tour, and because travel time into Paris is shorter, we got more free time to look around Paris. I would really recommend doing it this way.
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#20
Brentwood, Ca. USA
6,234 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by Denny01
Because of the long bus ride, we decided not to do Paris and took a taxi over to Honfleur, a beautiful town near Le Havre. I must have taken a picture of every door in town. Fantastic. Its around a little harbor with lots of open restaurants around it and good shopping. Not crowded until about 4pm when a lot of local French came into town to enjoy it also. Beautiful gardens, stores and buildings.

Sorry no help on Paris. If this is the only chance you thnk you'll get to visit Paris, then I guess the long ride would be worth it. My wife has been there a number of times, I haven't but wanted to go there when we had more time to really enjoy it. Tough call of riding 2.5hr each way to have lunch and see a bit, but that is a personal call, if it's worth it.

Edit: 14 day or longer and I have the same idea: Honfleur!

Denny
Denny, we also love Honfleur. What a picturesque little town. It's everything and more, that you would envision of a quaint seaside, French town.