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Peregrina651

Everything Viking France: Normandy, Paris, Provence

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 Our guide in Tournon explained how to buy top quality natural Lavender products. When walking in beautiful Les Baux, we came upon a store that sold soaps and creams. I like to buy small gifts that come from the place(s) we visited so I bought Lavender hand cream. It smells delicious! DD and DIL like it too.I know Peregrina actually went to the Lavender fields but we didn’t do that excursion. 

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4 hours ago, Cairn Mom said:

 Our guide in Tournon explained how to buy top quality natural Lavender products. When walking in beautiful Les Baux, we came upon a store that sold soaps and creams. I like to buy small gifts that come from the place(s) we visited so I bought Lavender hand cream. It smells delicious! DD and DIL like it too.I know Peregrina actually went to the Lavender fields but we didn’t do that excursion. 

 

A visit to "The Lavender Museum" was included as part of our all day tour of the Ardeche Valley in Viviers. This is distinct from the Lavender tour that is offered in Avignon, mid-June to mid-July. Vineyards and lavender fields dot Provence and we saw plenty of them but in mid-March they had not even begun to leaf.

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Paris - a cautionary tale. Beware the very clever pickpockets in Paris. My sister and I are here in Paris for a week before our Viking cruise from Lyon to Avignon. We've been warned repeatedly about pickpockets, there are signs all over, we thought we were being very careful. Today, as we enjoyed a nice walk along the Seine from the Musee d'Orssey to the Eiffel Tower, we passed a British couple, and the woman had just apparently been dropped on by a bird. A couple walking by stopped and offered her tissues. A few minutes later, as we were walking down the stairs, my sister said she felt something wet land on her. A nice Spanish and English speaking couple stopped to help us, as we had both been bird-bombed big time. We both had grey crap all over us, but the woman kept pulling handy-wipes out of her purse, and both of them were cleaning us off: hair, backs, jackets. We thanked them profusely for their assistance. We then went on a boat tour for 1 1/2 hours, and then walked for another hour or so, then stopped for lunch. My sister went to pay, and when she opened her wallet, she found 2 of her credit cards were missing. Nothing else was taken, fortunately.  She logged onto the restaurant's wi-fi and had 5 notices from her two credit card companies of either purchases or declined purchases that had all been made within an hour., very shortly after our encounter with the "nice" couple. The total amount of charges or declined charges was $7,873.69! High end accessories, perfumes, watches, shoes. All the shops were just across the Seine in the nearby area. I was wearing my concealed neck purse under my shirt fortunately, or I'm sure I would have met the same fate.  The fact that they could, in the confusion, unzip her purse, remove the wallet, remove the 2 credit cards and replace the wallet and replace the purse without either of us having any idea she was being robbed is astounding. Thankfully they left her passport and envelope of money. You cannot be too careful. 

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47 minutes ago, Sacramento2012 said:

Paris - a cautionary tale. Beware the very clever pickpockets in Paris. My sister and I are here in Paris for a week before our Viking cruise from Lyon to Avignon. We've been warned repeatedly about pickpockets, there are signs all over, we thought we were being very careful. Today, as we enjoyed a nice walk along the Seine from the Musee d'Orssey to the Eiffel Tower, we passed a British couple, and the woman had just apparently been dropped on by a bird. A couple walking by stopped and offered her tissues. A few minutes later, as we were walking down the stairs, my sister said she felt something wet land on her. A nice Spanish and English speaking couple stopped to help us, as we had both been bird-bombed big time. We both had grey crap all over us, but the woman kept pulling handy-wipes out of her purse, and both of them were cleaning us off: hair, backs, jackets. We thanked them profusely for their assistance. We then went on a boat tour for 1 1/2 hours, and then walked for another hour or so, then stopped for lunch. My sister went to pay, and when she opened her wallet, she found 2 of her credit cards were missing. Nothing else was taken, fortunately.  She logged onto the restaurant's wi-fi and had 5 notices from her two credit card companies of either purchases or declined purchases that had all been made within an hour., very shortly after our encounter with the "nice" couple. The total amount of charges or declined charges was $7,873.69! High end accessories, perfumes, watches, shoes. All the shops were just across the Seine in the nearby area. I was wearing my concealed neck purse under my shirt fortunately, or I'm sure I would have met the same fate.  The fact that they could, in the confusion, unzip her purse, remove the wallet, remove the 2 credit cards and replace the wallet and replace the purse without either of us having any idea she was being robbed is astounding. Thankfully they left her passport and envelope of money. You cannot be too careful. 

 

Every city seems to have popular scams,  not just in Paris and but in Spain as well; I’m sure all over.  Pretty original whoever invented the fake bird crap though!

 

its important to familiarize themselves w pickpockets & fraud scams.  Pickpockets often work in pairs, one to distract & other to get the $.  

Dropping metro tickets in a crowd is popular in Paris, or any distraction in a crowd anywhere works.  

Popular scam is the friendship bracelet routine as they happily grab your hand & tie one on your wrist & then demand €5.  Of course, you can’t untie it & they run after you if you dont.  So you pay just to get rid of them. 

Or the gold ring & postcard scams more popular on Champs Elysees & Eiffel.

 

Just keep hands at your side and ignore anyone who approaches.  Locals on the street don’t bother w tourists.  

 

 

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Also, please always leave passport,  most of your money and one all but one credit card in the hotel safe.  No need to carry it around.  A copy of the picture page or your drivers license along with a hotel card will at least ID you in an emergency.  Glad your OK.  Enjoy the rest of of your trip.

 

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21 hours ago, MURPHY27 said:

 

Every city seems to have popular scams,  not just in Paris and but in Spain as well; I’m sure all over.  Pretty original whoever invented the fake bird crap though!

 

its important to familiarize themselves w pickpockets & fraud scams.  Pickpockets often work in pairs, one to distract & other to get the $.  

Dropping metro tickets in a crowd is popular in Paris, or any distraction in a crowd anywhere works.  

Popular scam is the friendship bracelet routine as they happily grab your hand & tie one on your wrist & then demand €5.  Of course, you can’t untie it & they run after you if you dont.  So you pay just to get rid of them. 

Or the gold ring & postcard scams more popular on Champs Elysees & Eiffel.

 

Just keep hands at your side and ignore anyone who approaches.  Locals on the street don’t bother w tourists.  

 

 

They tried the “gold ring” on us near The Louvre. I said, “ not ours” and walked on. Glad I knew about that scam from other cc posters. Fake bird crap, that’s awful!

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I don’t know of Parisians that would actually stop to help either.   More like snicker & keep walking.

Paris is like any big city, everyone has someplace to get to & they do not go out of their way to help unles maybe if you approach them for directions.

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This same scam has been ongoing in Buenos Aries for years. 

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54 minutes ago, caradara said:

This same scam has been ongoing in Buenos Aries for years. 

 

54 minutes ago, caradara said:

This same scam has been ongoing in Buenos Aries for years. 

 

Never “ran” into the bird before.  I probably witnessed most of the others however.  Even once was ripped off by a Prague taxi that hotel had called; shame on me to auto assume the desk would call an honest ride.  We had two cars- one was 90 krona and mine was 200!  Lesson learned and now insist on only using a few companies.

 

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This is interesting. We're sailing in late May, from Lyon to Avignon, and we all just received an email saying our "ship's docking location in Arles on Day 6 has changed."

"Instead of docking in Arles the full day as originally planned, Viking Delling will now depart Arles at 12 PM and dock in Avignon, approximately 24 miles north of Arles, for the remainder of the day. As a result, all guests participating in Arles shore excursions will return to the ship in Avignon after their completion.

We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause; however, we trust you will enjoy your time in Arles as planned.

Please note, should you have free time following the included Arles Walking Tour and wish to remain in Arles rather than return to the ship for lunch, a €20 per person Shipboard Credit will be added to your onboard account as reimbursement for lunch on your own. In addition, a complimentary shuttle will depart from Arles at 4:45 PM to transfer you back to the ship in Avignon."

I'm not complaining. Just thought it was worth sharing.
 

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35 minutes ago, peabody304 said:

This is interesting. We're sailing in late May, from Lyon to Avignon, and we all just received an email saying our "ship's docking location in Arles on Day 6 has changed."

"Instead of docking in Arles the full day as originally planned, Viking Delling will now depart Arles at 12 PM and dock in Avignon, approximately 24 miles north of Arles, for the remainder of the day. As a result, all guests participating in Arles shore excursions will return to the ship in Avignon after their completion.

We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause; however, we trust you will enjoy your time in Arles as planned.

Please note, should you have free time following the included Arles Walking Tour and wish to remain in Arles rather than return to the ship for lunch, a €20 per person Shipboard Credit will be added to your onboard account as reimbursement for lunch on your own. In addition, a complimentary shuttle will depart from Arles at 4:45 PM to transfer you back to the ship in Avignon."

I'm not complaining. Just thought it was worth sharing.
 

 

I suppose it is because of the lock schedule but Viking has a variety of routines for Arles and Avignon. The ship docks in Tarascon because it is too large for Arles proper. Sometimes Day 2 and Day 3 are swapped. Sometimes you will end your Arles day in Tarascon and sometimes in Avignon. Not that it matters because it is a short bus ride between the two towns. Nice to see that they have given you advanced warning.

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For those that sailed recently....were the tips added automatically or were you given the two envelopes for cash?  

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On 4/4/2019 at 7:17 AM, Peregrina651 said:

  Note, if you are shopping in any of the stores past security, you will need to show your boarding pass--even to just buy a bottle of water. 

Do you have any idea what the purpose of that is? I had to show boarding pass at the store, purchasing a bottle of water, but not at the coffee shop next door.

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On 4/6/2019 at 7:47 PM, chatdad said:

1.  Are cargo pants acceptable for dinner?  I know it's a more relaxed cruise than ocean cruising (which we are very familiar with) or should I pack a pair of slacks?

1.  My answer to this question is yes, cargo pants are acceptable. My husband and I have worn jeans and sneakers to dinner, well-fitting and clean, even though some here said that does not happen! At meals we were busy meeting people and talking, not really concentrating on other people's clothing. If you worry about not fitting in, you should bring both and decide for yourself.

2.  On the chocolate question, I often heard people asking the tour guide for suggestions. They have local knowledge.

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3 hours ago, lauraapp said:

For those that sailed recently....were the tips added automatically or were you given the two envelopes for cash?  

Yes, tips were added to the shipboard bill unless you prepaid them on MyVikingJourney.com. I prepaid about 10 days before we left home, no envelopes and no bill.

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2 hours ago, Knotagain68 said:

Do you have any idea what the purpose of that is? I had to show boarding pass at the store, purchasing a bottle of water, but not at the coffee shop next door.

Anything purchased at the duty free stores requires your boarding pass. They can't make a sale without it.

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Please, we are straying off topic. I know that threads can drift but let's drift back now in the direction of the stated topic/purpose of this thread: to share and discuss information that is specific to Viking's itineraries in France.

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6 hours ago, gnome12 said:

Anything purchased at the duty free stores requires your boarding pass. They can't make a sale without it.

I was not at the duty free store, just a sundries store near the gate at CDG.

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Has anyone experienced The Taste of Lyon or have any feedback about this tour?

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We are on our Paris trip and Viking river cruise in late June.  We anticipate arriving at the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile hotel early morning, but don't check in until later that day.  Does anyone have experience with what to do that first day with their personal belongings?  We don't want to start walking around Paris with our valuables.

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15 minutes ago, gers said:

We are on our Paris trip and Viking river cruise in late June.  We anticipate arriving at the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile hotel early morning, but don't check in until later that day.  Does anyone have experience with what to do that first day with their personal belongings?  We don't want to start walking around Paris with our valuables.

The hotel has a luggage room and they will store your suitcases.

You can ask if there is a safety deposit box otherwise we carry our valuables with us as we don’t like leaving them in our luggage.

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56 minutes ago, gers said:

We are on our Paris trip and Viking river cruise in late June.  We anticipate arriving at the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile hotel early morning, but don't check in until later that day.  Does anyone have experience with what to do that first day with their personal belongings?  We don't want to start walking around Paris with our valuables.

 

If you are lucky, you may even be able to check in early and get your room, especially if you have a  Hyatt loyalty card; just don't let them try to charge for you for another day just because you are checking in early. Letting them know in advance that you are arriving early may work some magic, too.

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5 hours ago, Cairn Mom said:

The hotel has a luggage room and they will store your suitcases.

You can ask if there is a safety deposit box otherwise we carry our valuables with us as we don’t like leaving them in our luggage.

 

6 hours ago, gers said:

We are on our Paris trip and Viking river cruise in late June.  We anticipate arriving at the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile hotel early morning, but don't check in until later that day.  Does anyone have experience with what to do that first day with their personal belongings?  We don't want to start walking around Paris with our valuables.

 

I use TSA locks and never have had one broken off.  

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7 minutes ago, MURPHY27 said:

 

 

I use TSA locks and never have had one broken off.  

I still wouldn't leave my valuables in a hotel storage room, even if the suitcase was locked.

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The hotel will gladly store them for you, but it’s not the same as locking them in your room safe. 

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