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  #1  
Old March 3rd, 2012, 09:46 PM
Liza555 Liza555 is offline
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Default Paris advice?

Our river cruise will start with 2 nights in Paris in early May. Does anyone have any good tour companies to recommend? Here is what Avalon is offering for their included excursion, but I do not believe we will actually enter any of the places, so thought I would look into purchasing a more detailed tour of Paris.

Paris’ famous sights are living history: your included city sightseeing shows you magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, Champs Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower, a structural miracle of its age. The city is well known for its colorful nightlife, including some of the world’s most famous cabaret shows.

Liza
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  #2  
Old March 3rd, 2012, 09:54 PM
Talisker92 Talisker92 is offline
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I agree that you will be driving past these places. Take a taxi or the Metro from your hotel to the Eiffel tower and the Louvre. We actually took the Chunnel from London and visited both sites in one day. The Louvre is fantastic. Be sure to get the English audio guide. IMO you can get "museumed out".
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  #3  
Old March 4th, 2012, 05:39 AM
robynkc robynkc is offline
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Hello, yes i am trying to work out the same thing. I have looked at a couple of tour companies for the Eifle Tower and the Louvre but they charge so much for their tours as they have a guide for the 2or 3hours. The entrance fee for the Eifle Tower i saw was only 13 Euros and the Louvre about the same but these companies wanted about 50 Euros . The reviews all say its worth it as you dont have to be in the long queues . Hopefully we might get some advice from people who have been there before.
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Originally Posted by Liza555 View Post
Our river cruise will start with 2 nights in Paris in early May. Does anyone have any good tour companies to recommend? Here is what Avalon is offering for their included excursion, but I do not believe we will actually enter any of the places, so thought I would look into purchasing a more detailed tour of Paris.

Paris’ famous sights are living history: your included city sightseeing shows you magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, Champs Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower, a structural miracle of its age. The city is well known for its colorful nightlife, including some of the world’s most famous cabaret shows.

Liza
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Old March 4th, 2012, 06:20 AM
kuldalai kuldalai is offline
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In Paris you do not need to book an expensive tour .

Near the front of Notre Dame Cathedral (facing the cathedral in the street running across the front and on the left hand side of the cathedral) you will find the Stop for the Red HOHO Bus . A ticket lasts two successive days. Buses start at 10am daily . Jump on commentary in many languauges with plug in ear pieces . Go right round takes around 2 hours and get your bearings. Then next day return and jump on and off see what sights you want, and service is very frequent .
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  #5  
Old March 4th, 2012, 07:14 AM
caviargal caviargal is offline
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Paris is an easy city to explore by foot and metro and the HIHO bus is another good option. We get the museum pass so we can come and go as we please (and take them in small doses) and a metro pass so we don't have to stop and get tickets every time.

Watch your valuables in the tourist areas, especially near the Eiffel Tower, as the pickpockets there are in a class by themselves.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 06:31 PM
robynkc robynkc is offline
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Did you find the lines for the Eifle Tower and The louvre extremly long?We will be there at the start of June
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Paris is an easy city to explore by foot and metro and the HIHO bus is another good option. We get the museum pass so we can come and go as we please (and take them in small doses) and a metro pass so we don't have to stop and get tickets every time.

Watch your valuables in the tourist areas, especially near the Eiffel Tower, as the pickpockets there are in a class by themselves.
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  #7  
Old March 4th, 2012, 08:29 PM
brandy6060 brandy6060 is offline
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Default Paris

We did Paris on our own for three days prior to our cruise. No need to hire a tour company. As already mentioned, easy to walk to major
attractions. Two things we would highly recommend. One, buy Fodor's PARIS book. It includes an excellent detailed map. It was our three day guide and cost little.
The second most important thing, buy the museum
pass. The only place you cannot use it, is for entrance to the Eiffel Tower. But, with the pass, you have the ability not to have to stand in any lines at all other major attractions. You go to the front of the line, show your pass, and you enter immediately. With only two days, this
would be of tremendous value.
Another good book is Rick Steve's book on Paris. After reading Fodor's and reading Rick Steve's book, select the sights you want to see. Use
your map to circle your points of interest. You will enjoy Paris so much more than seeing sights from a bus.
If you have any more questions, we would be happy to respond.
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  #8  
Old March 4th, 2012, 09:02 PM
Liza555 Liza555 is offline
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We arrive early morning in Paris on day 1, we have the rest of that day, (after a nap) and the next day, and then leave in the morning on day 3, so we only have the evening of the day we arrive, and one full day the next day, so not a whole lot of time. I was thinking maybe trying to do one of the tours that offers a evening Siene cruise and the Eiffel tower maybe??
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  #9  
Old March 4th, 2012, 09:35 PM
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Paulinda Paulinda is offline
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A day and a half in Paris is not much time, especially after a long flight.
You can easily do the Eiffel tower without a guide as well as some of the other notable sights like Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacre Coeur/Montmarte, Arch de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, etc etc. The Metro is really easy to use and gets your around fast and easy.

We enjoyed simply having a glass of wine or coffee on the Champs Elysees, shopping, walking around Pere Lachaise, and we actually enjoyed Musee d'Orsay more than the Louvre. You could spend several days at the Louvre and not see all of it. The Musee d'Orsay is much more compact. Your choice obviously.

One word of warning....watch for pickpockets, romas and petty theives. They love the tourists (we were targeted several times but never victimized). As always, do some homework before you leave.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 10:00 PM
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Wendy The Wanderer Wendy The Wanderer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liza555 View Post
... Here is what Avalon is offering for their included excursion, but I do not believe we will actually enter any of the places, so thought I would look into purchasing a more detailed tour of Paris.

Paris’ famous sights are living history: your included city sightseeing shows you magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, Champs Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower, a structural miracle of its age.
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Originally Posted by SJGOCH View Post
I agree that you will be driving past these places.
I'm surprised that everyone seems to accept that the Avalon-supplied tour would just be drive-bys of all these places. Is this normal for the river cruise lines to provide such cursory tours? Or is this just Avalon?
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  #11  
Old March 5th, 2012, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liza555 View Post
Our river cruise will start with 2 nights in Paris in early May. Does anyone have any good tour companies to recommend? Here is what Avalon is offering for their included excursion, but I do not believe we will actually enter any of the places, so thought I would look into purchasing a more detailed tour of Paris.

Paris’ famous sights are living history: your included city sightseeing shows you magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, Opéra, Madeleine, Champs Elysées, and the Eiffel Tower, a structural miracle of its age. The city is well known for its colorful nightlife, including some of the world’s most famous cabaret shows.

Liza
When in May are you going? We are going on the Scenery on May 6th.
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Old March 5th, 2012, 02:58 AM
Liza555 Liza555 is offline
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We are going on the Central European Experience May 2nd.


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When in May are you going? We are going on the Scenery on May 6th.
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  #13  
Old March 5th, 2012, 06:48 AM
robynkc robynkc is offline
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I contacted Avalon and they told me that their tours are just an overview of the city. I wish i had of known about the cruise only price as i think that would have been a better option than what i have booked. The hotels will be amazing where we are staying in Paris and Prague but i am sure there were much cheaper options as well that would have just been as good.
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Originally Posted by Wendy The Wanderer View Post
I'm surprised that everyone seems to accept that the Avalon-supplied tour would just be drive-bys of all these places. Is this normal for the river cruise lines to provide such cursory tours? Or is this just Avalon?
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Old March 5th, 2012, 06:55 AM
caviargal caviargal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liza555 View Post
. I was thinking maybe trying to do one of the tours that offers a evening Siene cruise and the Eiffel tower maybe??
There is no need to do an expensive tour to do the boat ride. Ask your concierge for a schedule of the English speaking boat rides and simply purchase a ticket and get on. We like to go at dusk and watch the lights come on over the city. The ride shows Paris at its best.

<Did you find the lines for the Eifle Tower and The louvre extremly long?We will be there at the start of June> Yes, they can be and you are there in high season.

< Is this normal for the river cruise lines to provide such cursory tours? Or is this just Avalon?> Yes, this is the norm IME. This is why we generally do not participate as these tours are cursory overviews of the town/city in most cases. When the included tour includes entry fees to a site we are interested in (Abbey at Melk, Palace at Wurzburg) we will go along for that portion but these intro tours upon arrival into a port are not in depth. We research and explore on our own or hire an independent guide.
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Old March 5th, 2012, 11:33 AM
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Two years ago we took an Ocean cruise that had two days in Le Havre. Our time is Paris was extremely limited as we had to take the train into Paris in the morning and be back onboard by 5 the next day. The first day we started out at Notre Dame and did it on our own, then we took the HOHO bus to get a scenic feel for the city. There were lines at the cathedral but they moved well and once inside we could take our time.

The HOHO was okay but when we circled the Eiffel tower for the third time we relaized it took too long in transit. With limited time we would of been better off deciding what we wanted to see and taking a taxi. Time was more of a concern than money.

The best investment for us was the Louvre tour with the guide we took the next morning. It fit in perfectly with our time table so we could get on the train by 1. The tour included entry and the guide was extremely knowledgeable. We not only got to skip lines but he knew the highways and byways of the museuem and we were able to see all the highlights.

With the size of the museum I know we would of barely scratched the surface on our own. Where there were big crowds he would take us down a different path and we were looking at what they were waiting to see within minutes. It greatly
added to our enjoyment of the musuem. Like the Hermitage the Louvre is huge and a guide is invaluable.

Doing it on our own would of only been a third of the cost, but I think we would of only seen about 20% of what we saw. Your choice, but again with limited time the 3 hours packed in a lot of stuff.
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  #16  
Old March 5th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Check out Paris Walks. Touring with them was quite reasonable -

http://www.paris-walks.com/
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Old March 5th, 2012, 05:16 PM
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During our 5 day stay in Paris last September we used City Free Tours and they were very good. Chris and Tamara have a number of very informative walking tours and they are free. All they ask for is a small tip at the end if you are satisfied with their efforts. If you wish you can check them out at ...
http://www.cityfreetour.com/home/

I highly recommend them.
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Old March 7th, 2012, 04:47 PM
robynkc robynkc is offline
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Thanks for all your advice, i was thinking that maybe we could just catch a boat down the Seine without doing a tour so i may contact our hotel beforehand for that. I asked Avalon re their Prague tours and they replied that it does include a walking tour but not an extensive one. I heard back from Jana but unfortuantley she will be away the date we are in Prague so she has recommended someone else .
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There is no need to do an expensive tour to do the boat ride. Ask your concierge for a schedule of the English speaking boat rides and simply purchase a ticket and get on. We like to go at dusk and watch the lights come on over the city. The ride shows Paris at its best.

<Did you find the lines for the Eifle Tower and The louvre extremly long?We will be there at the start of June> Yes, they can be and you are there in high season.

< Is this normal for the river cruise lines to provide such cursory tours? Or is this just Avalon?> Yes, this is the norm IME. This is why we generally do not participate as these tours are cursory overviews of the town/city in most cases. When the included tour includes entry fees to a site we are interested in (Abbey at Melk, Palace at Wurzburg) we will go along for that portion but these intro tours upon arrival into a port are not in depth. We research and explore on our own or hire an independent guide.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 03:58 PM
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Default Bateau Boat goes from site to site

We were there for a few days and bought Hoho bus and Bateau boat tickets. We liked sitting upstairs on the bus and taking pictures. (Maybe we still had jet lag.) We got an overview of everything, but it did take time. We also used the Metro and walked a lot.
The Eiffel Tower was a highlight of our trip as was the Orsay Museum. Great place to go if you love impressionist art!
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Old March 8th, 2012, 04:48 PM
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You can also go super touristy and do a seine river dinner cruise. The food was fine (not the best, not the worst) but you get to see many of the sights at night.
Paris is a very walkable city ( except for montmartre/sacre coeur) Assuming a decent fitness level, you can start at the Eiffel tower, go over to the Arc de Triomphe, walk down the Champs Elyssee, head to the Louvre and then over to Notre Dame. There are plenty of bistros, etc on the way to recharge with coffee/wine/pastries.
Have fun!

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We were there for a few days and bought Hoho bus and Bateau boat tickets. We liked sitting upstairs on the bus and taking pictures. (Maybe we still had jet lag.) We got an overview of everything, but it did take time. We also used the Metro and walked a lot.
The Eiffel Tower was a highlight of our trip as was the Orsay Museum. Great place to go if you love impressionist art!
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