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About Respbj

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  1. TJ's tours gave us lunch both days at local restaurants and some time in their shop to purchase items, I purchased Matroka (?? Spelling) Dolls on the ship at the class on how to tell real from fake aka Chinese nesting dolls
  2. We stayed at The Hideaway in Windermere an adult only hotel, our British friends who went with us booked it, it was perfect, could walk into town, cake and tea/coffee every afternoon. You will need a car, we flew into Manchester and drove up to the Lake District. Really enjoyed it, drove to different lakes and towns, took boat & train rides and of course visit to Beatrix Potters home. Don't miss Castlerigg Stone Circle...enjoy Not to be missed on cruise a Chateau de Flechers and Carrieres de Luminaries both were so interesting, I also enjoyed the villages we visited
  3. We always add extra days on to any cruise. We did Frances Finest in July and took a week in England Lake District and then flew out of Manchester to Marseille via Easy Jet and spent some time there before taking the train to Avignon (quick trip as we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express by St. Charles train station in Marseille so just a walk across the street for a quick train ride). We do our own plans as I think the Viking add on is a bit expensive for what you get and I like to do my own research and get my own places to stay. This trip since we actually used Viking air for our trip from Manchester UK to Marseille FR we used Viking to get us to Charles de Galle airport in Paris because I knew the ship was docked in an out of the way place outside of Paris I wanted to use Viking to get us to the airport and it worked out fine. Spending time before (so you don't miss the boat) and after to relax and see sites on your own is always an advantage.
  4. Respbj

    NZ eTA

    I had no problem, as we are leaving for a Road Scholar 31 day tour Oct 9 I was worried as it wasn't ready but I had no problem last week, they just want your money and passport info.
  5. Homelands was my favorite but will be doing Empires of ,the Med in April.
  6. Some people walked into the town by Le Pacq and said there were shops, we took the afternoon ( after morning train from Lyon to Paris) to chill at Le Pacq, but needed to pick up a few things so Monoprix was the answer, and there is a pharmacy, and little pastry/coffee shop too. By the boat there is a Walking/bike track by the river.
  7. The city is easy to walk around with great stores and the July sales are still in progress. We saw the restaurant right across from the modern St Joan church but we only went to a small cafe for cake and coffee. The ship docks right in the city. Also in Les Andelys you will have lots of time. The lady with the shop with scarfs has a great selection of French made products. She is in the Petite Andedlys. The new town has a big grocery store with lots of candy if you like to take back small gifts. At Le Pacq where we dock for Paris there is a Monoprix store if you forget anything they will probably have it.
  8. We are on the second leg of France’s Finest, we had the heat of last week and now it is very pleasant in Paris. We flew into Marseille a few days early to get over jet lagged and since we had been in the South of France before we discovered Marseille and took a trip to Cassis. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express directly across from St Charles train station with easy & cheap train direct to Avignon Central. Two additional tours we took which were awesome were Lumieres and Chateau de Fléchères. Thank you to CC friends on these boards as we would not have taken either if not for your recommendation. I highly recommend both to those who are still in the booking stages. The ship we are on now is one of their older ships, Rindal, but next year new ship that will dock in Paris. The Heimdal was very nice from Avignon to Lyon. The train from Lyon to Paris seamless.
  9. Do the Lumieres at the Les Baux quarry which really makes the experience when in Arles
  10. We went to Carrieres de Lumieres today and it was unbelievable. I have never seen anything like it. I think Sainte Chapelle is a must too. Versailles requires a full day. If you like Medieval Art then include the Cluny also. But with limited time I would do d’Orsay and Sainte Chapelle.
  11. We are on the Rhône now but we have a direct flight CDG to PHL on AA gets in at 1:15pm hope to get to S. Jersey before real rush hour on July 16, can I tell you it’s 97 degrees right now!! It’s a 2-3 shower trip but loving it. We started our trip in Manchester England with 70 degrees then to Marseille 98🥵 Luminaries this afternoon
  12. Thanks we are there on Bastille Day,(Sunday 7/14) also our anniversary so hopefully there will be celebrating and fireworks, we had planned to not do any touring that day and just enjoy small town France
  13. We used TJ’s tour picked us up at dock in a small bus, they guarantee to get you back to ship on time or pay to get you to next port. We got a group together on our roll call and got a CC discount. It’s a long day just be prepared but we saw a lot in the 4.5 hours as our guide zipped us around. We also used TJ for St Petersburg with group on the roll call and got a very reasonable 2 day mini bus tour. If you are only going once, it’s worth it.
  14. We rented out of Aix and returned to Marseille and it was horrible at the airport so they just gave us an upgraded car and no help at all, here are keys go (now this was back in 2009 so no GPS or NAT-SAT as they call it in the car) ok so we drove all over Provence for a week returned to Marseille train station as going on to Nice and the person wanted to charge us 2,000euro for the wheels being messed up (some small scratch that was probably already there) and since this was a upgrated car it was more. Well lots of yelling (Yes I was on the verge of being called an Ugly American) till finally the manager came over and called the Aix lot and they agreed no one checked the car with us at all so we didn't pay the charge but almost missed our train as our 4 other friends were waiting for us, we ran for the train. But after that when in Europe always check the car with an agent not like here in the states with Hertz if there is a small scratch they don't care. We had a problem last year in England after asking for GPS and our UK friends calling to confirm the GPS was going to be in the car, we get there and no GPS in the small car we rented, had to rent and pay the difference for a bigger car with GPS. My UK friends were horrified but lesson learned, in Europe it's different. This year before our Frances Finest cruise we will be in the Lake District of UK renting from Hertz with GPS included in our automatic (we pay the difference as we have used stick shift in Europe but in UK/Ireland we go with automatic as everything is on the other side, too confusing). It's been a pleasure hearing about your trip, this is the first time in Europe in summer, as we usually do shoulder seasons, and Christmas market time. This is our 5th river and 3 ocean with Viking, love their ships and crew.
  15. We will be in Les Andeleys on Bastille Day (7/14 a Sunday) which is also our anniversary so we hope to see some festivities as I always wanted to be in France on our anniversary.
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