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Everything posted by editor@cruisecritic

  1. You are right, TravelerThom, it's actually Dutch. I think I thought it looked somewhat Swedish, hence the confusion. Thanks for challenging me to go look it up! Carolyn
  2. Hi, Dragon of the Seas, love that you are featuring Saba. It's a really sweet place -- some of the smaller lines call there -- and is Swedish in heritage. It's totally vertical and most services are up the mountain rather than at the seaside. And it's got an airport that's so treacherous we were told that it beats even St. Barths when it comes to terrifying. Fortunately, we were on a cruise 🙂 Enjoying your posts from your crazy trip. Carolyn
  3. Laughing, wripro; am planning a trip to visit family and actually was shopping a train trip rather than fly. Carolyn
  4. Terry, I always love your trip reports on Cruise Critic, and this one is particularly interesting because we did our first ever South Africa cruise in April/May of 2019. Found it fascinating! Enjoying your take -- thanks for making time and sharing such wonderful experiences. Carolyn Carolyn Spencer Brown
  5. First, a huge thank you for being a partner in support on these two stories about Seine River cruising. This is a link to our new Viking River Cruises' hub, and then you can see there's a day-by-day story about our Seine River trip and also a port guide. I did 'em both and might have missed stuff you've discovered, so please don't be shy! And if you're considering other rivers -- Danube, Rhine, Rhone -- they're covered here, too. Thanks again -- and hope you'll share with your friends! Carolyn https://www.cruisecritic.com/sponsored-content/viking-rivers-europe
  6. Thanks, Katie. The story is due Monday so it's a working weekend 🙂 In Paris, you could take a designated shuttle in and also just hop on one of the included tours' bus, and get off in the center of Paris. There weren't a lot of shuttles, maybe just one each way, and the last one left from a central location on the Seine at about 4 pm or so. You can also take Uber to Le Pecq though of course that's extra. Still, it's an option. Rouen was really easy to wander around in. We docked about a 10 minute walk from the cathedral and from there it was easy access to all of the old town. I do deal with that in our port guide; hang tight! One of the things that's fun about this job is it's almost as wonderful to relieve the trip in detail while you're writing about it as it is just taking it! 🙂 Carolyn
  7. This is why I love Cruise Critic members. I was looking hard for this information the other day and could-not-find-it. Thank you, NavyVeteran, for sharing! Carolyn
  8. Hi, would love some help (yes, still writing the story, laughing). When Viking does the tour of Giverny, do the guides stay with you and guide you through? Or are you set loose to explore on your own? I was sort of restless and went off on my own but can't remember if there was a tour.... Many thanks! CSB
  9. Actually it wasn't Calvados (have tried that) but a hard apple cider. It was so hot that I just tasted the apple juice, best apple juice I've ever tasted! And yes, we saw both the house and the gardens. Carolyn
  10. Hi, OneSixtytoOne. I did the bike tour (and I've done the motorcoach tour to Giverny on another trip) and the only real difference is how you get there. I loved the bike part, it was 99 percent flat, and so pretty (though not all of it on the Seine). Oh, there was a difference; at the end of the tour, before we crossed the bridge back to Vernon, we stopped in a darling park by the old windmill (and on the river) and a lovely local brought us apple cider and some kind of apple liquor and the most delicious pastries. Perfect way to end!
  11. Hi, Monique, loved your question about all things Paris/Normandy, primarily because I took the cruise in July and loved it, and tomorrow am sitting down to finally write about it for Cruise Critic. Definitely have recommendations. I'm writing two stories; one is a day-by-day account of our cruise (which was magic by the way), the other is a cruise guide to the ports we visited. I'll post here. My deadline's tight so am hoping to have the pieces ready to send a link -- next Friday. Yikes 🙂 And after that, absolutely happy to talk about any aspect. I really loved it, and you're doing the right thing to spend time in Paris beforehand. FWIW, have been to Paris a few times, and love it, but the most special moments of the cruise were actually on the Seine, in Vernon and Rouen and other places I hadn't had as much time in.... We did board in Le Pecq and I didn't mind it at all. It's a lovely suburban village and kept my blood pressure low 🙂 -- mind you, probably it is more convenient to board right in the heart of Paris, but I didn't actually miss it. And if cruising on the Seine on a true Viking Longship requires it, I'd do it again, just for time spent on the Aquavit Terrace. Loved dinners there, especially. Carolyn Carolyn Spencer Brown Chief Content Strategist Cruise Critic
  12. Ironically, before my Seine cruise in July, I booked myself at the Paris Hyatt and there was a Viking pre-cruise group there. I really liked the hotel -- especially the location. As noted, it's a pleasant walk to the Arc d'Triomphe and other fabulous spots (it's very near the 8th arrondissement which is pretty pricey real estate in Paris). I also liked that there was a mall connected to the hotel with both a gourmet grocery and a Marks and Spencer grocery. Great place to pick up supplies. And last but not least, it's adjacent to a wonderful neighborhood called Neuilly sur Seine, which is absolutely beautiiful and not terribly touristy. Plenty of good restaurants there. My room at the Hyatt did not look out at the Eiffel Tower; I got the so-called "b" view (there's only two views): Montmartre and rooftops. I adored the view, will try to find the pic I took from the room. Carolyn
  13. We're just back from a Viking Seine trip in July and it was a long, powerful day (and the time spent on the bus was actually quite restful!). Also, a nice surprise: The bus is equipped with WiFi and power outlets for charging devices!
  14. We did this tour last month, Carol, and loved it. It was mostly very flat so not hard, and the countryside is so beautiful! On the way back, we stopped in a river-front park and a lovely young woman from a local cider distillery showed up with the most amazing ciders to taste (the apple juice alone was so delicious) and sweets. Fun! On our trip, on another call, there was a canoeing option (really it was kayaks) and that was absolutely great too. Carolyn
  15. Just (er, a week or so) back from the Viking Seine cruise. I loved it. Would be interested in doing it again, but maybe stretching it out for ten days. I will admit that I spent my first weekend home on the couch, bingeing on Downton Abbey, laughing. Happy to answer any specific questions, and will say that at the end of the day, this was the best of a triangle of aspects: Loved the cruise itself, the crew was great, and made some wonderful connections with fellow passengers. Carolyn
  16. To all of us who have wondered why most contemporary river boats don't sail past Rouen, I had an interesting chat with the captain of our Viking ship, Viking Rolf. He said that 110 feet long is the absolute limit, so that's interesting, but also there are challenging requirements. For instance, ships that travel below the Rouen bridge (I took a pic, can't remember if I shared it, wil share it again if that's the case) toward the Channel have to be ocean-certified (or rather, maritime certified). One thing the captain shared was that one of Viking's challenges is a design challenge: The windows are too close to the surface of the water (which of course is what makes river cruising so magical) to fit the ocean (maritime) requirements. Make sense? Carolyn PS this was an ocean ship from Cruise & Maritime Voyages that came up as far as it could on the Seine, just below that bridge in Rouen. We turned around here (it's a wide basin) and headed back to dock alongside the old town.
  17. Also, I've been on ships (ocean ships) that called at Honfleur, though come to think of it I think we anchored 🙂 -- one ship was Swan Hellenic's R-class vessel. And it was many moons ago. Carolyn
  18. So I've asked around, and actually this morning (noon) as we came into Rouen, we actually went past the bridge that is the demarkation point for maritime, as philw1776 says -- and there was a Cruise and Maritime vessel docked just behind. It looked so big compared to our darling Viking Rolf! I'd forgotten that it's not just French lines that can go to Honfleur -- Uniworld goes. I was told today by one of the officers that it has to do with getting a maritime license, in addition to what you have to get for river cruising on the Seine, and it is a lot. I'm still trying to nail this down, but it's definitely not the size of the riverboat..... Carolyn PS The pic is of us turning in the basin....
  19. Fascinating, philw1776. I'll track down the details.... Carolyn
  20. I'll ask around, notamermaid. Great question. I'm with the other poster who said that only French lines can go as far as Honfleur; on our other Seine cruise about 8 years ago or so, we also didn't go past Rouen (different line), and did the bus trip to Honfleur. I've also been lucky enough to visit on ocean cruises, but never overnight -- that's on the list. Carolyn
  21. I'll try to help if I can, philw1776 🙂 Dinner was lovely. Had it on the Aquavit Terrace. Was surprised by two things; one is that the waitstaff seems to expect everyone to arrive at the beginning (rather than operate more like a restaurant); that surprised me a little bit. And there's no separate menu there (used to be the more casual dining option at night). Curious. Also, for future travelers on Viking Rolf, note that the nearly adjacent Monoprix closes at 1 p.m. or so on Sunday. I didn't make it 🙂
  22. Thanks everyone, for the LePecq info. I'm going to spend the day in Paris and head over to the ship later this afternoon. This afternoon! Excited. If there's anything you all want to know while I'm onboard, please let me know.... Carolyn
  23. Beyond the Monoprix (which I'm absurdly excited about), is there anything to see in Le Pecq? Is there a good walk? And one more question (leave tonight for Paris, excited!): On our last day we stop in Mantes de Jolie -- is that just to let shore excursions off as the ship continues back to Le Pecq? Thanks again for all the great conversation and advice. Carolyn
  24. Yum. Looks delicious. I booked for lunch at 1:30 p.m. on the day we arrive; since tours leave the ship at around 1 p.m. I figure I'm safe on the time?
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