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Scenic Tours Paris to Barcelona Live

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Arrived this morning in Paris and the Scenic rep was waiting for us to whisk us into downtown Paris for our 3 night stay at the Marriott Ambassador Operal Hotel. room is quite large by European standards. Walked down the street to the Galleries Lafayette to see if any money would escape my possession but I was very good. we are going on our own this afternoon to Giverny but will be back for a Meet and Greet with the CD and the other 40 or so passengers who are also doing the Paris pre cruise. Will try to post daily as the Internet holds up.

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any little bit of info re ship,cabin,staff,food,excursions,etc.would really be appreciated.With a few negative comments lately, I hope all will be GREAT for you.Take my first one on Scenic next June.:)

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Judy -

 

Will look forward to your posts. Hope that you enjoy Giverny.... I still look at the pictures that I took and marvel that we stood on "the" Japanese bridge in the garden. I could happily live there.

 

Hope that you will find some time to go to L'Orangerie while you are in Paris. It was wonderful to see Monet's Water Lily canvases in person after touring his home.

 

Alexandra Cruiser - we leave in about 10 days, and am planning on posting along the way. We will be (as always) in Aquarium Class (I seem to remember you booked a suite....) but can comment on the boat, crew etc.

 

Fran

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Giverny was wonderful especially the Japanese Gardens. We did the tour through Paris Vision, only 6 people in the minivan with hotel pick up and delivery. We did go in the afternoon so crowds were in abundance and all shots had people in them but I agree, just standing on that bridge seeing the water lilies was amazing. Our guide took the long way home and took us to see vertheuil as well as the sandstone cliffs along the Seine. was a great afternoon. our guide was David.

 

Met the Scenic Tour Guide this evening, Nickolas, who actually works in the Scenic Vancouver office but was asked to spend 6 months in Paris as the local rep. briefing for the next 3 days. the luggage will be transported to the ship by truck on Monday, bags have to be out the night before. seems Scenic is using the same hotel for all their Paris tours. We will go by TGV from Gare Lyon to Dijon, 2 hr lunch stop in Dijon then bus to Chalon. Nikolas saysmtheynare not experiencing any problems on their French cruises but is aware of the nightmare in the other European rivers. Great guy. Thinks Sylvie will be our CD on the Emerald. Henwill accompany us to the ship, about 95 people.

 

Well we are off to the Scenic tour to the Louvre tomorrow then we plan to go on our own to L'Orangerie and a walk through the left bank. Off to bed now, have been up for 38 hrs

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we also LOVED the Rodin musuem,esp.the gardens. Have been to Paris 3 times and love exploring new places.Took taxi tour by ourselves and stopped off at many old cemeteries,weird but interesting.

Yes, I did book a suite.Maybe you can accidently wander into one when its getting cleaned,,haha.Check it out for us.We do that,don t laugh.Maid lets us look around while she s there for a minute.

Look forward to both of your posts.:)

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Breakfast at the hotel was the usual fare, nothing special but expensive, I think 29 euro if you did not have it included in room rate. we took the included tour of the Louvre. Our guide Karin met us at the hotel and accompanied us on the bus to a drop off point near the Louve. she was amazing guide, very knowledgeable, knew how to avoid the crowds. Lots of walking, lots and lots of stairs. After we left the Louve, we headed on our own through the Tulleries Gardens to Orangerie Museum to see Monet's Lillie's, awesome. There was also another exhibition of some Renoir, Picaso, Moglidiani. Walked the Latin Qtr and then back to hotel. By this tome my back had given up. Love the sketchersnI was wearing, at least the feet were not hurting. Heading out soon to dinner somewhere local. Tonight nothing included.

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Breakfast at the hotel was the usual fare, nothing special but expensive, I think 29 euro if you did not have it included in room rate. we took the included tour of the Louvre. Our guide Karin met us at the hotel and accompanied us on the bus to a drop off point near the Louve. she was amazing guide, very knowledgeable, knew how to avoid the crowds. Lots of walking, lots and lots of stairs. After we left the Louve, we headed on our own through the Tulleries Gardens to Orangerie Museum to see Monet's Lillie's, awesome. There was also another exhibition of some Renoir, Picaso, Moglidiani. Walked the Latin Qtr and then back to hotel. By this tome my back had given up. Love the sketchersnI was wearing, at least the feet were not hurting. Heading out soon to dinner somewhere local. Tonight nothing included.

 

We are booked to stay at the Marriott pre cruise next year. We booked through Scenic so brekky is included. Can you let me know how central the hotel is for walking to say the Tulleries Gardens?

 

I am really interested in your description of everything that you are doing. Thank you.

Edited by Stratheden

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Day 3, last night in Paris. Today it poured rain all day so plans a little soggy. Took the Metro to Bastille to walk through the Marais. today being Sunday, all the big shops are closed in the city (except along Champs) but lots of shops in the Marais were to be open. We did the market which is just across the street from the Bastille Metro stop (purple line from Metro stop just down from the hotel), went in the wrong direction and by the time I realized it, we were soaking wet. Did manage to get to Place des Voges and into a few shops. Tonight was fantastic. We selected the dinner show at the Lido (rather than the Eiffel Tower). Food was better than expected, a whole bottle of wine between us and a wonderful cabaret show.

 

The Marriott Ambassador Opera is in a great location. You can walk to the Opera and Galleries Lafeyette (about 5 mins)' Montmartre, Louvre, Tulleries, Place du Concorde. We walked back to the hotel yesterday from Notre Dame area, good 45 mins. Our room is great and others happy as well. Did speak to,one lady who did not like her room and thought the hotel was not up tomScenic's usual standards. Free wifi at hotel is great.

 

Luggage is out by 11:30 tonight and will be trucked to the ship. We board the TGV tomorrow departing at 11:30 am, have lunch in Dijon and then bus to Chalon.

 

If wifi on the ship is good I will continue to,post.

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TGV train to Dijon today. Left the hotel at 9:30 am Train left Paris at 11:20 and arrived Dijon close to 1. Unfortunately the station was packed in Dijon with two Vantage cruises with all their passengers blocking the platform so almost impossible to disembark and make our way to the station. Raining again today but enjoyed the 2 hrs of free time in Dijon in any event. Bus to chalon left at 3:30 with arrival about 4:30. 10 mins later in the room with luggage already there. Buffet dinner at 5:30 followed by meeting with Captain and Hotel Manager and Sylvie the CD and safety info and next days program. Good wine and beer. Plenty of storage in the room. Bathroom small but compact, glass door on shower. L'Occitane products, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and bath gel. Internet excellent at the moment but we are docked. Ship leaves Chalon tomorrow at 5:45. Off to Beaune tomorrow.

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Yesterday we stayed in Chalon but the bus tour took us to Beaune, about 45 mins. We did the mustard factory which was interesting and we each made some mustard, then sampling. The other group that did the wine tasting also enjoyed. Set sail around 5:45 for Tournus but was raining in the evening so we stayed on board. This was the Welcome Dinner. Lots of jackets on men, saw only 2 ties, ladies mostly in pants/skirts and nice tops.

 

Today the tour to Cromatin Chateau and truffle farm was through wonderful countryside. Both places were great, really enjoyed the dog sniffing out the truffles and the tasting with accompanying local Chardonnay. chateau was wonderful especially the part that has been preserved from 17th century and the lovely gardens. Ice cream party on deck at 4:30 followed by sail away at 5. Enroute to Macon. An Avalon ship, Discovery II was docked alongside for a brief time today.

With respect to the rooms, lots of storage but my bed is quite had, could use a new mattress. Lots of free flowing included drinks and they can even make a Bloody Caesar! Lots of sunshine today and able to enjoymthemtop deck.

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OMG - Caesars, I'm going to be a happy camper in a few weeks!!! Of course since I come from the home of Bloody Caesars, I might be a little critical of theirs!!

 

Really enjoying your reports.

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Cruiseryyc...don't get too excited about those Caesar's...they are not as good As back home, bottled clam juice and tomato juice but somewhat passable. The wine on the ship has been good so far, both white and reds from each of the regions we are visiting. the best Chardonnay (this is not my favourite wine) was at the truffle farm, awesome local Chardonnay.

 

There are 155 passengers on this cruise, 6 of whom are Canadian, 2 Brits as far as I know and the rest from down under...no Americans. a very fun loving group. Tonight we have a Croisi Europe ship tied up beside us in Macon. Internet has been great so far, no issues.

 

Get to sleep in tomorrow, morning T leisure. Tour in the afternoon, I think 3 choices...2 busses going to Cluny, 1 to Beaujolais wine tasting, 1 to Bresse. Tomorrow night dinner is with a hosting family in Macon or on board if one does not want to go to a family home.

 

Only entertainment so far has been Indre who p,Amy's piano and sings but does a great job.

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Clam juice mixed with tomato juice????? Guess I'll stick to gin & tonics or maybe throw a box of Clamato juice in my suitcase :-)

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Thursday morning a walk into Macon. The Cd told us there was a Thursday market...a waste of time, 2 veg stands and a vendor selling Spanish tapas!!!Town itself was nice but nothing open til almost 11. Light lunch on board then buses left at 1:30, some to Beaujolais for wine tasting and others to Perouges, others to Cluny. e chose Cluny, a very interesting town and Abbey from the11th century. Great afternoon. Back on board around 5 pm, buses leaving at 6:30 for the evening dinner with a local family. Groups are assigned, about 12 or so in each group. You can choose to go with your friends when you sign up. We had a fantastic evening with a local vintner and his family in the Beaujolais area. Great scenery enroute, lots of wine pairing. Back on board 10:30. We actually sail tonight for Lyon, leaving around 1 am and arrive 9 am.

Internet has been great, no problems.

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Arrived in Lyon at 9 this morning. Our CD Sylvie did a commentary from 8 to 9 as we sailed into Lyon. We are docked on the Rhone not far upriver from the confluence. Right in town. There was a bus tour up to Fluviere and the Notre Dame de Fluviere. Cathedral which was beautiful as was the view from this spot. Followed by walking tour of he old town including those passageways between streets (taboules??). After lunch on board, we opted for the cooking demonstration at Paul Boucuse Institute. This was a very relaxing tour and we got to sample the food, today it was crawfish in a lovely sauce and chicken with morel mushrooms and truffles. An excellent excursion.Free time tonight to go into town. We sail again at 5:30 am tomorrow morning. No complaints so far except that the lounge is always so cold in the afternoon and evening. Dining room has been comfortable.

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By the way, the drinks have been very free flowing, no skimping on the alcohol. Crew have been wonderful, friendly, very accommodating. The only entertainment has been Indre but she is very good. Tonight was ABBA night.

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Arrived in Vienne at 8:30am. Tours left at 9. I recommend signing up for the little train, only 50 passengers max. But it goes around the town, up to the top of the hill for a spectacular panoramic view. It goes back down to the Center of town. Today was market day as well as a medieval fair so lots of vendors and activities. Unfortunately I managed to fall in town, did a face plant at the market, sprained my finger, scraped my nose, knees and hands but it could have been far worse. Appears to be nothing broken. We are signed up to dine at Portobellos tonight.

 

We set sail at 2pm and presently sitting in the lock as the ship is lowered.

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did you feel uncomfortable?My DH says he won t go,said to imagine if 12 people just showed up for ME to feed.Can you give details?PS.he said maybe we have to do dishes,hahaha.

Also, if you don t go(we have a lunch on ours),what is the alternative?Stay on boat,go to town,etc?

Odd you haven t had any entertainers come onboard.We enjoy local troups on occasion.Is the top deck always open?:confused:

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Dinner with family was fabulous. There were only about 40 people who did not go, they stayed on board for dinner. While the ship is docked you can get off at any time. Scenic has contracts with several families for these home visits so nothing to be uncomfortable about. If the host does not speak English, one of the Scenic guides will accompany you. Although not mandatory, most people took a small hostess gift, either something they brought from home or something like flowers or chocolates. The meal served is usually local cuisine. In our case we had what we would know as scalloped potatoes, homemade large sausage in a red wine sauce with a fabulous 'Beaujolais salad' which had lettuces, tomato, cheese, bacon, egg and dressing. Other homes served chicken.

Top deck was closed a couple of times on the lower Saone and the Rhone due to low bridges, similar to the Rhine/Danube but not for days on end. Today it was closed for sailing into Vienne but opened when we docked and then closed again for a short time after we left for a low bridge.

Indre is playing again tonight in the lounge. No outside entertainment mentioned.

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In Tournon yesterday, not much to see. Sailed down the Rhone as they had a BBQ on the sun deck. Last night was a music quiz night with cheese tasting in the afternoon. Docked in Viviers around 10pm after going through several locks.

 

today a walking tour of Viviers which is a quaint medieval town in the morning followed by lunch on board and then either a canoe trip through the Ardeche canyon or a bus trip. We chose the bus trip, it was spectacular scenery. Could have given the caves a miss. Just back on board at 5:30 and time to get ready for dinner. Internet has been no problem from either the cabin in aquarium class or in the lounge. I have been using my iPad mini all the time but there is a keyboard in the cabin as well.

 

We have had the Mistral winds for a couple of days, this morning it was quite strong but seems to have diminished this afternoon. The weather has been great apart from the rain in Paris.

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Judy -

 

Sounds like a great trip...

 

Leaving for the airport shortly. I hope to post along the way as well.

 

Fran

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First outside entertainment tonight, a dance group from the local Provence area. Chef's special tonight was Duck a l'orange, very tasty. Did I mention that the food has been excellent, much better than the food on my last trip with Scenic. Tomorrow Chateauneuf du Papr in the morning and dinner tomorrow night at the Palace du Papes in Avignon. Makes for a long day.

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GLad to hear about outside entertainment.Food sounds great so far.Love your posts and look forward to them.Keep it up...

 

Fran,have a great trip and try to post also.Good to have many opinions.In roll call section,it was posted dining room VERY loud and waiters sort of rude.Will be interested in your opinion(she was on Diamond).:confused:

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Wine tasting tour in Chateauneuf de Pape this morning. 4 buses, 4 different wineries. Then a ride up to the derelict castle and either a walk downhill to town or a bus ride down. Ship was docked in the middle of nowhere . In my opinion the ship should have docked in Avignon last night with the wine tasting offered as a optional tour. A waste of a good shopping day in Avignon. Tonight we are walking 30 minutes up to the Popes Palace for dinner. It is 35 degrees outside so not looking forward to that walk....should have arranged buses.

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The waiters on our cruise on the Scenic Jewel were fantastic and not at all rude in fact they couldn't do enough to assist with any requests. It was also not too loud.

Cheers

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The wait staff has been wonderful on the Emerald, also very accommodating. Tonight an excellent dinner at the Palace de Papes in Avignon. Beautiful old dining room, 4 string quartet and excellent food. Choice of veal roast or salmon with an API, desert, champagne, red or white wine and coffee. The walk up was done with a tour guide so some history given. Gentle walk. If mobility issues a taxi was called for you. There is a lift inside the palace otherwise the 80 stairs were a bit tough

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Today still docked in Avignon. Bus trip this morning to Pont du Gard and Uzes. Worthwhile going. The aqueduct is amazing that it is still standing after almost 2000 years. After lunch free time in either Avignon or Arles (by bus to Arles). We moved out of our docking space mid day to allow the Arosa Stella to take the inside position and we tied alongside her. That ship has a swimming pool and since it was almost 38 deg today, it looked mighty inviting. Tonight was the crew talent show, lots of laughs. We are now docked in Tarasco our last port of a all. Tomorrow morning we have the choice of free time in Arles or Tarascon. In the afternoon we are doing the tour to Les Baux. The ship sails back to Avignon in the afternoon. Tomorrow night is the Captains gala dinner. Friday is the last night on board.

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It is now Thursday our second last day. Docked in Tarascon this morning and took the shuttle service to Arles with a guide that took us to the Center of town via the Colisseum. Wonderful city, loved to see the Cafe de Nuit and the Hotel Dieu that were painted by Van Gogh. Back on board by 12 for a disembarkation talk followed by lunch. We have eaten many lunches in the lounge with the excellent soups and salad or,pasta. 1:30 and we are off again by coach for Les Baux and the olive farm. This was. Very good experience, les BAux was beautiful and lovely learning experience at the olive mill. Ship had moved to Avignon again. Back on board at 5:45. Port talk at 6:30 followed by captain's dinner. No energy to get off the bed to get dressed but guess I should. Tomorrow another long day in Camargue and packing to do for an 8 am coach on Saturday to Barcelona. Has been a wonderful cruise with Scenic.

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Last day..on the coach at 8:30 for trip to the Camargue to see the flamingos followed by a stop in Ste Marie's de la mer. This town is on the Mediterranean, lovely beaches full of sand but very touristy, lots of shopping and it was also market day so many more stalls. Another hour ride to the Bull Farm for lunch. I personally like eating like the locals with their simple food, roast, brown rice and tomato sauce and for starters a huge bowl of fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, endive, boiled potatoes, boiled eggs with a wonderful olive and anchovies tepanade. This was followed by a selection of goat cheeses and then a most delicious chocolate cake. Lots of water and wine. We enjoyed the meal but many did not. I would have expected to see bulls at the farm but apparently Scenic had many complaints from previous guests that they did not like the way the bulls were teased so they cut out the show.

 

Back on board at 4:30, very tired and hot. It has been in the 30's for days. Rain expected tomorrow for our trip to Barcelona. I must say the Internet has been great. This might be the last post until I get home.

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Last day..on the coach at 8:30 for trip to the Camargue to see the flamingos followed by a stop in Ste Marie's de la mer. This town is on the Mediterranean, lovely beaches full of sand but very touristy, lots of shopping and it was also market day so many more stalls. Another hour ride to the Bull Farm for lunch. I personally like eating like the locals with their simple food, roast, brown rice and tomato sauce and for starters a huge bowl of fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, endive, boiled potatoes, boiled eggs with a wonderful olive and anchovies tepanade. This was followed by a selection of goat cheeses and then a most delicious chocolate cake. Lots of water and wine. We enjoyed the meal but many did not. I would have expected to see bulls at the farm but apparently Scenic had many complaints from previous guests that they did not like the way the bulls were teased so they cut out the show.

 

Back on board at 4:30, very tired and hot. It has been in the 30's for days. Rain expected tomorrow for our trip to Barcelona. I must say the Internet has been great. This might be the last post until I get home.

 

Thanks for your comprehensive review.

Safe travels home!

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look forward to any final thoughts and review(under member review section) to balance out some negative ones just posted.

Would you go on another Scenic cruise?Was it 5 star(luxury) and worth the extra money?What would YOU improve,if needed?;)

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Just finished our last dinner. Food has been excellent. More than enough food, presentation is excellent. Have to say though that Duck seems to be a popular food. Several times as a starter and tonight was the second time this week as the main course. coquilles St. Jacques for me tonight with Creme brûlée, yum. The soups every day have been first rate. I would rate the food this trip as 5 star. I did not feel the same way last year on Scenic AMS to Bud. Maybe it has something to do with the local cuisine. The wines and champagne have been 5 star and I never once saw anyone getting charged for any alcohol. The bar is well stocked with good brands, cognacs, other apperitives. I will do a member review when I return home. Was this a total 5 star experience , not every aspect but I don't have much to compare with. I really enjoyed my AMA cruise as well.

We travelled in aquarium class, port side and only once did we have a pylon outside the window, we mostly docked starboard side and only once were we 'double parked'.

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Bus ride to Barcelona long with 2 hr stop at the Dali museum enroute. Arrived Barcelona 4 pm, checked into hotel. Great room. Bus tour left at 5 pm but pouring rain and not all that enjoyable. Did however gomintomthe Sagrada Familia, fantastic. Dinner on our own. Luggage has arrived. Tomorrow tour starts at 10. Internet sporadic

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We did the tour today to the Spanish Village. Thought it was very interesting and gave a flavour of different towns in different regions of Spain. This was a man made village built on a temporary basis for the 1929 World Exposition and was supposed to be torn down after 6 months. It is still there with some very good shops. Worth the time. We were back at the hotel at 1 and had the afternoon on our own. tapas tour this evening, 3 different places, lots of food and styles of service. Fun time. Tomorrow free time.

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Monday in Barcelona we basically shopped and did a walking tour of the Bari Gothic area. My legs and feet are starting to rebel. We actually ordered room service our last night in Barcelona, packed up and were ready for leaving. Our chauffeur picked us up at 10 am for a ride to the airport for a 1:15 flight. We had printed our boarding passes in the business Center at the hotel before heading to the airport. Barcelona airport has the most comprehensive shopping areas. Due to the overall strike in France, our flight was delayed by the French air traffic controllers so some stress that we could miss our connection in Amsterdam. We made up some time so plenty of connect time even though it is a very long walk from gate C to Gate F and we had to go through passport control as well. Our Toronto flight was on a 747 so they boarded first/business first and then used two ramps to board the other 45 rows. Not as bad as our previous boarding fiasco with KLM in Amsterdam. Flight delayed 40 mins due to rain and traffic backup but otherwise uneventful. Fed several,times on the flight, lots of included wine and beer for those who wished it and the food was really quite good. Still think KLM has the best meals of any flights via Toronto.

 

Have unpacked and 3 loads of laundry done and I am ready for my nap. Can't wait to see my granddaughters when I pick the up from school. I will do a member cruise review over the next few days. This will be my last post in this thread.

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