Uniworld SS Joie de Vivre Christmas cruise????

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#1
Galveston
72 Posts
Joined May 2009
Hello, I'm thinking about booking the 12/19/17-12/27/17 Parisian Royal Holiday cruise. I have been wanting to go to europe to see the christmas markets but the priceing on this cruise is much better than the SS antoinette. This is a new ship and itinerary -so I guess I'm having a few questions.

1) How is being on the ship on Christmas eve and Day? I've read the itinerary but was wondering if the excursions will still take place on the actual holiday days? The brochure had the day to day but didn't mention if the excursions will happen.

2) How are the Christmas markets in Paris (and christmas itself)? The itinerary looks different the the regular Normandy so more time in Paris.

3) Cruise starts on a Wednesday so really thinking about flying in early and taking in a few of the Christmas markets in other parts of Europe. Which ones would you suggest?

4) If I fly to Europe a few days early-I would like to catch the Uniworld transfer from the airport. If I come by train is it difficult to find the Uniworld rep? Or I guess depends on which Christmas markets I go see-option of flying into paris so it would be easier to meet the rep. Thoughts?

So any suggestions or help would be apprecated. Thanks
#2
FL
14,432 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by TikiIslandGirl
Hello, I'm thinking about booking the 12/19/17-12/27/17 Parisian Royal Holiday cruise. I have been wanting to go to europe to see the christmas markets but the pricing on this cruise is much better than the SS antoinette. This is a new ship and itinerary -so I guess I'm having a few questions.

1) How is being on the ship on Christmas eve and Day? I've read the itinerary but was wondering if the excursions will still take place on the actual holiday days? The brochure had the day to day but didn't mention if the excursions will happen.
2) How are the Christmas markets in Paris (and christmas itself)? The itinerary looks different the the regular Normandy so more time in Paris.
3) Cruise starts on a Wednesday so really thinking about flying in early and taking in a few of the Christmas markets in other parts of Europe. Which ones would you suggest?
4) If I fly to Europe a few days early-I would like to catch the Uniworld transfer from the airport. If I come by train is it difficult to find the Uniworld rep? Or I guess depends on which Christmas markets I go see-option of flying into paris so it would be easier to meet the rep. Thoughts?

So any suggestions or help would be apprecated. Thanks
1) We sailed on JDV in April and enjoyed it. While I have not cruised with Uniworld over the holiday week, I have cruised with two other lines over those dates, Avalon and AMA. AMA really made the .whole week special (taking us to places not on the original itinerary where markets were still open; caroling around the piano in the evenings; visit from Santa; a great NYE celebration; a beautifully decorated ship) and we had a wonderful Christmas Day and NYE. (Avalon was quite a disappointment.) I suspect Uniworld would make this a memorable event. You must really love Paris IMO to find this itinerary attractive and many places will be closed on Christmas Day, IME, as well as Boxing Day, the 26th.

2) The markets in Paris are ok, but nowhere near the variety and festivity of those in Germany and Austria, our favorite markets in Europe. The decorations in Paris were beautiful and the stores were as well but it did not compare IMO.

3) Bavaria has wonderful markets, as does Austria. Salzburg is a postcard over the holidays and we have spent many days there in the market season. Concerts and special events take place over the entire period. Munich is a good base as well for day trips within Bavaria, as well as the local markets. Berlin is one of our favorite cities in Europe and we love the markets there. Prague and Budapest are two other great options.

4) Uniworld has a scheduled transfer included from airport only and you would have to make your way to the airport from the train station, which is not at all convenient and would not save you money. I personally would not make a decision based on the provided transfer. We usually book a private as we don't like to wait and we almost always go in a few days early.

This year we are headed to Salzburg for a few days prior to our Christmas market cruise. Can't wait!
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143 cruises since 1964, 15 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#3
Galveston
72 Posts
Joined May 2009
Thanks Caviargal for the reply. The itinerary is probably why the cruise is a good price. I've been to paris once for 1 1/2 days and have wanted to go back. I was raised where there is winter and it felt like christmas. I have been in the Houston, Tx area since 1992 and it just never feels like christmas. I thought a christmas river cruise in Europe would fit the bill. I'll have to really think about it before I book. Thanks!!!!!
#4
Rhine, Germany
2,118 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
From a religious point of view France is probably a good country to be in over Christmas, but a caveat here: Christmas days are very much family affairs and Christmas markets either close before the 24th December and are closed on the Christmas days or, the big ones that are open have very limited hours on the Christmas days. You also need to consider the fact that Paris is not a cold place as such so in warm years you might not see any snow. Snowfall on Christmas day is statistically unlikely anyway. To make sure you see snow choose the Danube instead, the Upper Rhine valley with its hills might be an alternative.

I would not want to be in Paris over Christmas, but then I am not a fan of Paris. For a French city I would prefer Strasbourg or Metz, but neither of them are really French in feel for me, they are in Alsace and Lorraine, respectively.

For additional Christmas markets to explore in Europe before your cruise - if you choose to book it - I recommend Brussels, Metz - both easy by train - and the Bavarian ones. Dresden would be great to see probably but is quite a train ride away. If you do not mind flying, there is much to explore, you could even check out Scandinavia...


You could consider staying in Paris first and then heading into the snow somewhere else.

notamermaid
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Transocean Belvedere Danube April 2013
English Channel Crossings 1984 to present:
Calais - Dover
Ostend - Dover
Dutch island hopping 1980's
Many Rhine river short trips
#5
FL
14,432 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by notamermaid
From a religious point of view France is probably a good country to be in over Christmas, but a caveat here: Christmas days are very much family affairs and Christmas markets either close before the 24th December and are closed on the Christmas days or, the big ones that are open have very limited hours on the Christmas days. You also need to consider the fact that Paris is not a cold place as such so in warm years you might not see any snow. Snowfall on Christmas day is statistically unlikely anyway. To make sure you see snow choose the Danube instead, the Upper Rhine valley with its hills might be an alternative.

I would not want to be in Paris over Christmas, but then I am not a fan of Paris. For a French city I would prefer Strasbourg or Metz, but neither of them are really French in feel for me, they are in Alsace and Lorraine, respectively.

For additional Christmas markets to explore in Europe before your cruise - if you choose to book it - I recommend Brussels, Metz - both easy by train - and the Bavarian ones. Dresden would be great to see probably but is quite a train ride away. If you do not mind flying, there is much to explore, you could even check out Scandinavia...


You could consider staying in Paris first and then heading into the snow somewhere else.

notamermaid
All good points and I agree! We live in FL and want snow over the holidays. This is why we do often end up in Germany and Austria. And I also am not a fan of Paris.
Expand Signature
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143 cruises since 1964, 15 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017