AMA Paris-Normandy Wine Cruise Review (Aug 3-10 )

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!


Unregistered, just back from your river cruise? Get published on Cruise Critic; Write a Review!
River Cruising
Find Others on Your River Cruise! River Cruising Roll Calls
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 06:19 PM.
#1
Nova Scotia, Canada
573 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
After 25+ ocean cruises, we booked our 1st river cruise with AMA last August...a Bordeaux wine cruise. We just returned from our 2nd river cruise, another AMA wine cruise from Paris-Normandy. I couldn't find much info about this cruise before we left so I'm hoping I have some helpful info for those who are taking this cruise.
We landed in Paris at 8am and had arranged for BT-Transfer to drive us to our hotel. The driver was waiting for us as we exited with our luggage. It was close to an hour drive to the hotel. The car was clean and comfortable and the driver was excellent on the very busy Paris streets. The cost was 55 Euros.
We have visited Paris a few times before and decided to stay out of the tourist areas and chose a hotel in the 15th arr which is where Port de Javel is located. The 15th arr is mainly residential and quiet compared to some of the other arr in Paris. We stayed at the Hotel Home Modern in a comfort double room. When I checked their website there was a special price for 3 night's stay, all taxes and breakfast for 2 for 250 Euros. The room wasn't large (they have larger rooms) but extremely comfortable, clean and bright. The hotel has been recently renovated and everything looked brand new. The rooms have a safe, TV, AC (which worked like a dream and was very quiet), mini fridge, wifi, 24 hours reception, small closet, a big window that opens in the bedroom and a frosted window in the bathroom that opens. The buffet breakfast was excellent, I thought the croissants, pain du chocolate and fresh fruit salad was better than on AMA and there was a nice variety of things to choose from. Lots of restaurants, bakeries, shops and a park are just down the street. The bus stops outside the hotel and 2 metro stations were a 8-10 minute walk.
When our documents arrived, AMA had info about the docking location. They noted that taxi drivers may have difficulty in finding it and include directions in French to show your taxi driver. They also have a free shuttle from the Intercontinental Marceau Hotel at 3 pm. There is no luggage storage there so you have to arrive 15 minutes before the shuttle leaves. The hotel assured us that we would have no problem with a taxi finding the port and when we checked out at noon, it was a 6-8 minute drive (13 euros ) to the port.
Other boats beside the AMALyra were docked there, lots of people were walking around, there was an outdoor bar that was packed. On the free time that we had in Paris at the end of the cruise, we walked in the opposite direction from where the taxi dropped us off and a 10 minute walk (mostly with sidewalks) took us to the Javel metro and a bridge that crossed over the Seine so that you could choose the left or right bank. Lots of tourists, restaurants and shops and a 30 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower.
More in the next day or two..
#2
Nova Scotia, Canada
573 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
We were on the Lyre shortly after mid-day and the boat had lots of people on it. People whose flights arrived early in the morning went to the boat, we heard that some people arrived at the boat as early as 8:30 am. Some went to explore Paris while others rested in the lounge or sundeck as most of the cabins weren't available until 2 pm. A light lunch of soup, sandwiches and pastries were available from 11:30 am until 3 pm.
We met Selina who is the fitness coach. She does a variety of activities on and off board such as yoga, stretching, core, active walks, jogging etc. All classes are complimentary and she usually does 4-5 different activities a day. That afternoon she was doing a brisk walk to the Eiffel Tower from 1:30- 2:45 pm. The AMALyra is the only AMA boat that has a fitness coach but the response has been excellent so far so the plan is to put more fitness coaches on more boats in 2018 and go fleet wide in 2019.
A cocktail reception was held at 6 pm to met the Captain and staff. The boat left Paris at 10 pm making a small detour to cruise by the lit and sparkling Eiffel Tower.

Vernon
This morning we filled out our excursion choices even if you had already filled them out online. There was some disappointment with the Rouen Gourmet Tour. There were 3 tours ( 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm ) but each tour had a maximum of 20 people and most everyone had signed up for it online. They took the 1st 60 people who had signed up online for it. They did add another tour at 5 pm so that 20 more people could go.
From 10-11 am there was a wine tasting and around 10:30 am the boat docked in Vernon. There was only 1 tour today from 1- 6:15 pm. It was Giverny (Monet's Gardens ) and Chateau Bizy where there was Normandy Apple Cider and Norman Cheese Tastings. We cruised to Caudebec-en-Caux overnight.

Caudebec
Arrived here at 8 am. The morning had free time to walk the town and see the market. A wine tasting was held from 10:45-11:45 am. A choice of 2 tours this afternoon...Honfleur or Fecamp and Benedictine Palace Excursion. Both tours left at 1:15 pm and returned around 5:30 pm. Tonight was the Chaine des Rotisseurs Dinner and the boat stayed overnight in Caudebec.

More to come..
#3
Nova Scotia, Canada
573 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Caudebec and Normandy Beaches
Today were 3 full day tours. The Canadian and British Landing Beaches, the American Landing Beaches and a excursion to Pays d'Auge. The Landing Beaches excursions left at 8 am and 8:30 am depending on which one you were on and both returned at 6:30 pm. The Pays d'Auge excursion was from 9-5:30. We all received box lunches which contained a ham and cheese baguette, a spinach turnover, small fruit salad, apple tart, apple, orange and bottle of water. We were on the Canadian/British excursion and there was only 12 of us. We were out of the bus quite often and did a lot more walking than I expected. The boat left tonight for Rouen.

Rouen
The boat arrived in Rouen during the night. There were 4 tours this morning, biking, hiking, walking and a late walking tour. The afternoon was free time but 2 optional tours were offered...4 Gourmet Tours (chocolate, cheese and meat tasting) and a Jewish Heritage Walking Tour. Notre Dame Cathedral is closed in the morning but opens in the afternoon for visiting. Tonight was the Wine Pairing Dinner and at 10:15 the Cruise Manager, Helene walked anyone who wanted to see the light show over to the Cathedral. The show is amazing and not to be missed. The boat stayed overnight in Rouen.

Les Andelys
Left Rouen at 8 am. There were talks this morning on the Paris Post Extension Program and a Disembarkation Briefing. There was also a talk on how healthy wine is for you followed by the final wine tasting. A special Normandy Lunch was served and then an ice cream party in the lounge. Arrived in Les Andelys around 2:15. There was suppose to be 3 tours but because of heavy rain, the hiking and bike tours were cancelled. The Chateau Gaillard excursion still ran which was mostly a walking tour and then a bus ride to see the Chateau ruins. We departed for Paris before dinner. Tonight was the 1st time we went to the evening entertainment which was a tribute to Edith Piaf and was fantastic.
#4
Ventura, CA
68 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Hi LTC. Thanks for the great, concise AMALyra review. We had a great time on the AMALyra and it more than exceeded my expectations. A friendly, professional crew and mingling with other great passengers made this a wonderful experience!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Future Cruises:
Norwegian Getaway - 10/29/2017 (Western Caribbean from Miami-7 nights)
Norwegian Star - 2/16/2018 (Panama Canal from Miami - 14 nights)

Norwegian Star - 3/16/2019 (Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles-7 nights)
Previous Cruises:
Norwegian Dawn - 1/18/2015 (Western Caribbean from New Orleans-7 nights)
Norwegian Escape - 11/14/2015 (Eastern Caribbean from Miami-7 nights)
Norwegian Jewel - 2/17/2016 (Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles-7 nights)

Norwegian Escape - 10/29/2016 (Eastern Caribbean from Miami-7 nights)
AMALYRA - 08/03/17 (Paris/Normandy - 7 nights)


#5
Nova Scotia, Canada
573 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by Socalev
Hi LTC. Thanks for the great, concise AMALyra review. We had a great time on the AMALyra and it more than exceeded my expectations. A friendly, professional crew and mingling with other great passengers made this a wonderful experience!
Hi Evelyn,
Hope you and Cleve enjoyed your time in Paris after the cruise! Barrie and I caught some sort of bug shortly after returning home and are just getting back on our feet now. Glad it didn't happen during the cruise! Hope you and Cleve stayed healthy and are looking forward to your next cruise.
Karen
#6
Pacific Northwest
110 Posts
Joined May 2006
Yes, thanks for this. We will be on the AMALyra for the same cruise in March 2018. It will be our 3rd AMA cruise and our first in France.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Cruises:
  • Windstar Panama Cannal - March 2007
  • AMAPrima Magnificent Europe - May 2013
  • AMASonata Magnificent Europe Christmas - December 2014
  • AMALyra Paris to Normandy - March/April 2018
#7
Nova Scotia, Canada
573 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by KLRDUKS
Yes, thanks for this. We will be on the AMALyra for the same cruise in March 2018. It will be our 3rd AMA cruise and our first in France.
It was a wonderful cruise, you'll have a great time and you'll certainly enjoy France!
#8
Jacksonville, FL USA
48,553 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Thanks for the review........I sailed AMA for the first time last year (TULIP TIME). It was my first river cruise and I LOVED IT. I keep looking at this Paris cruise........it keeps calling out to me......maybe I need to book it for next spring
#9
Reston, Virginia USA
292 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by Lois R
Thanks for the review........I sailed AMA for the first time last year (TULIP TIME). It was my first river cruise and I LOVED IT. I keep looking at this Paris cruise........it keeps calling out to me......maybe I need to book it for next spring
Leaving in 9 days for Paris for the Normandy cruise. This will be our 3rd on Ama after Tulip Time and Romantic Danube. Can't wait!

Allyson
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




Cunard Countess - Caribbean - mid '70s, Song of Norway - Caribbean 7/89, Norwegian Sea - Bahamas 12/01, Sovereign of the Seas - Bahamas 12/29/2002, Radiance of the Seas - Alaska 8/23/03, Mariner of the Seas - Caribbean 05/15/05, Brilliance of the Seas - Mediterranean 09/30/07, Jewel of the Seas - Baltics 08/21/09, Navigator of the Seas - Western Caribbean 02/27/10, Enchantment of the Seas - Bermuda 09/04/2010, Celebrity Infinity - South America 03/13/2011, Liberty of the Seas - Jamaica 12/29/2011, Enchantment of the Seas - Bahamas 12/29/2012, AMACerto - Tulip Time - 04/15/2013, Explorer of the Seas - Bahamas - 12/29/2013, Celebrity Reflection - Mediterranean/Greek Isles 06/02/2014, Grandeur of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean 11/11/2014, AMASonata - Romantic Danube 09/06/2015, Grandeur of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean 11/11/2015, Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean 02/14/2016, Grandeur of the Seas - Bermuda 09/10/2016, AmaLyra - Paris and Normandy 09/07/2017, Anthem of the Seas - Bahamas 04/07/2018, Serenade of the Seas - Norwegian Fjords 08/11/2018
#10
Nova Scotia, Canada
573 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by Lois R
Thanks for the review........I sailed AMA for the first time last year (TULIP TIME). It was my first river cruise and I LOVED IT. I keep looking at this Paris cruise........it keeps calling out to me......maybe I need to book it for next spring
This Paris cruise was wonderful. I did the Bordeaux AMA cruise last summer and I hate to compare them but I enjoyed this cruise more. I hope you get the opportunity to book it
#11
Nova Scotia, Canada
573 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by aldukenew
Leaving in 9 days for Paris for the Normandy cruise. This will be our 3rd on Ama after Tulip Time and Romantic Danube. Can't wait!

Allyson
Lucky you! It's a fantastic cruise. Have a wonderful trip.
#12
FL
14,432 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Having done all 3 itineraries in France, the Rhone is my hands down favorite. While we loved Normandy, I would definitely do by land next time as it was very rushed (we did this with Uniworld) and there was too much time in Paris (not a favorite of mine).
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
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