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boblerm

Trip Report- Uniworld's Grand France

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8 hours ago, Ritabob said:

I agree with Robin, the comfort of the bed is exceptional.  And when your eyes are closed during your blissful sleep you can't  see the decor.

Yes the decor is a bit much, and it is nothing like my house, but it always make me feel like I am somewhere special, and not in an Ikea store.

Enjoying your report.  Brings back memories of our first river cruise on the River Royale when it was brand new.

RB

Thank you RB, yes, the bed was great, and I did adjust to the decor after a while.

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Bob

 

The little icons on the dinner menu - looks to be a V (vegetarian) and a ?

Curious since the icons really do make selecting items much easier when one has dietary restrictions (had to go gluten free a few years ago).

Your photos are wonderful - thank you for sharing your trip - looking forward to traveling along!

 

Bob

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That ? icon looks to me to be "L", probably low-cal or low-fat, based on the items it has marked.  

 

Also thanks much for the wonderful review.

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13 hours ago, robertmartha said:

Bob

 

The little icons on the dinner menu - looks to be a V (vegetarian) and a ?

Curious since the icons really do make selecting items much easier when one has dietary restrictions (had to go gluten free a few years ago).

Your photos are wonderful - thank you for sharing your trip - looking forward to traveling along!

 

Bob

 

2 hours ago, cheeruson said:

That ? icon looks to me to be "L", probably low-cal or low-fat, based on the items it has marked.  

 

Also thanks much for the wonderful review.

Bob, I honestly never pay attention to these icons,but it is an L, I think cheeruson's explanation is the most likely.

In terms of gluten free, there are no menu indications, but one evening we sat with a woman who was gluten free.  The dining room manager came to the table and went over the menu with her, telling her which she could have, which she could not, and which she could have with modifications.  I asked her if he did this every evening-yes.  Nice. 

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I am going a little out of chronological order, as today, June 6 is the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing at Normandy.  I would like to share some photos taken on the day that we visited.

There are truly no words that can accurately express the depth of feeling that one gets when visiting here, so I will just say this-If you have the opportunity to visit this special place, I humbly suggest that you do.

1.thumb.jpg.424b6b54c7847b0ef3466034c821bd21.jpg2.thumb.jpg.3e40c6c238ae2caf05422f2e1b875ab4.jpg3.thumb.jpg.fb5d879404761b6947ff7a2fda4b3ed7.jpg4.thumb.jpg.f3184f31ad434e564f9b3b08eea8bdbb.jpg5.thumb.jpg.677238a3a62502fad0f7cd3e5c576e1a.jpg6.thumb.jpg.f0d423aa0e0cac52af02de6af35edff5.jpg7.thumb.jpg.092f63ca8bc16fd7c025e2cabfc6aa09.jpg

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1.thumb.jpg.653891985d25df55790abfab0b606ce6.jpg2.thumb.jpg.ff25230581f311a0fc8bc601a2c8c55e.jpg3.thumb.jpg.e27339c93c8b0f49cbcc9e2701fe3f24.jpg4.thumb.jpg.92937e11a3dd544e829b4ee78932e85a.jpg

 

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“I devoutly hope that we will never again have to see such scenes as these. I think and hope and pray that humanity will learn more than we had learned up to that time. But these people gave us a chance,, and they bought time for us, so that we can do better than we have before.

“So every time I come back to these beaches, or any day when I think about that day 20 years ago now, I say once more we must find some way to work to peace, and really to gain an eternal peace for this world.”

Dwight D Eisenhower, June 6, 1964

 

 

6a.thumb.jpg.05d9612002d8ec6d9f8a70498b39d2f4.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Bob

 

Thank you so much for the GF information! While I hate to be one of those diners with special requests / restrictions - sometimes one has no idea what ingredients are used in the preparation of a dish - and what I may think is okay - turns out it may not be. Glad to know if I am lucky enough to book a Uniworld sailing this winter - I will be in good hands!

 

Your postings are making it really tough! :classic_happy: not to start the conversation with the family!

 

thanks again!

Edited by robertmartha
spelling!

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Thank you for posting your photos of the D Day Beaches today.  It's such a moving place & I second your suggestion that if anyone who gets a chance to go to Normandy does so.    

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Day 4 May 20  La Roche Guyon/Vernon

Today we are docked in La Roche Guyon.  Our morning excursion was a tour of the Chateau, which was (and I believe still is)  the home of Dukes, built between the 12th and 18th centuries._DFC0429.thumb.jpg.4efa9518d1be5d8b00c90638c040e5ad.jpg

 

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This chateau was Rommel's headquarters during the occupation.  Interestingly, the room that served as his study has a series of paintings depicting the story of Queen Esther- the Purim story that describes the survival of the Jewish people and triumph over the evil Haman, who sought to destroy them.  We were told that Rommel did not have these paintings removed while he was there.  Was he not aware of what he was living with, or did he have no sense of irony?

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In the afternoon, we went to Monet's home and gardens at Giverny. 

WARNING:  for those who enjoy photography, Giverny presents a challenge:  Restraining yourself from constant snapping.  Not easy to do.

 

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Monet's home

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Here is tonight's dinner menu, I apologize for the difficulty reading, and for the shadow of my hand😡

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Bay Scallops, Bell Pepper Cappuccino, and Filet of Seabass.  Very good.

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There was entertainment after dinner, Cardine and Christophe, french performers that performed pretty much American pop music.  They performed well, and we got some dancing in.

 

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20190520_222551.thumb.jpg.4fac054e233c5b779c859b3b77cefb76.jpg

Edited by boblerm

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Hi Bob, the pictures are beautiful and moving...….after the 75th Anniversary of D-Day yesterday, those photos gave me the chills.   I have never visited the Beaches of Normandy but am wanting to go there.  

 

I am taking my first UNIWORLD cruise out of Venice in October and really looking forward to it:classic_biggrin:

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Beautiful pictures of wonderful places and gardens. 

A great report thank you.

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Beautiful and moving photography.  Thank you again for doing this.  I had to chuckle at "Cauliflower Steak" on the menu.  

 

Roz

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Hi Bob!  Thank you for your very  report and gorgeous photos!!  I know that this takes a lot of time and effort to post these detailed posts, and it is most appreciated!!  My husband and I are now planning to take a Uniworld cruise next year, and your information is giving us serious thoughts to take the Grand France cruise! 😀🇫🇷

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Hi Bob, Herb and I are enjoying your wonderful photos and trip report! Thanks for sharing here. We had planned to visit Giverny on an ocean cruise that docked in Honfleur several years ago, but the Seine was experiencing dangerously high levels at that time, with a serious risk of flooding in many areas. Monet's Gardens had to close for a few days, including the day of our visit. C'est la vie...it's still on our list!

 

Mary

Travel Blog: https://www.themodernpostcard.com

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On 6/6/2019 at 1:41 PM, robertmartha said:

Bob

 

 Thank you so much for the GF information! While I hate to be one of those diners with special requests / restrictions - sometimes one has no idea what ingredients are used in the preparation of a dish - and what I may think is okay - turns out it may not be. Glad to know if I am lucky enough to book a Uniworld sailing this winter - I will be in good hands!

 

Your postings are making it really tough! :classic_happy: not to start the conversation with the family!

 

thanks again!

Bob, no need to have any misgivings about special requests, they seem very happy and eager to accommodate!

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need2travel1, Lois R, pully8, Roz, PrettyParrot, Mary,

Thank you so much for your kind words!

 

PrettyParrot, this itinerary is wonderful, can't imagine not loving it.

 

Mary, I am so glad that you and Herb are following this.  Too bad about missing Giverny, I surely do hope that you make it back there, it is a photographer's paradise, and I know your photos would be over the top!

 

 

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Day 5 May 21  Normandy Beach

I have already posted my photos from this day (post number 30), as I felt the need to share those particular photos on the D-Day anniversary day.   But I just wanted to give a few details of the itinerary for the day.

 

We were docked in Rouen, and it was a 3 hour drive to the landing beach area.  The time was well spent, however, as our tour guide gave us a wonderful overview of the history of the operation. 

 

Our first stop was at Utah Beach, we then went to Sainte Mere-Eglise, which was a major site of paratrooper landing, and the first town to be liberated.  It is the site of the Airborne Museum, which is a fabulous museum that could easily take up the better part of the day exploring.  We had to pretty much breeze through it, as we had to spend part of our time there having lunch  (on our own).

 

Next stop was Pointe du Hoc, where Army Rangers scaled high vertical cliffs that were slippery and  full of brush and barbs, it just doesn't seem possible that this could have been accomplished, but accomplished it was.

 

Then the American Cemetery.  One down side of visiting a site when it is close to a large celebration is that sometimes access is somewhat restricted due to arrangements being made for the commemoration,  and that was the case when we visited, only 2 weeks prior.  But still, an incredibly moving experience to be among the graves of the brave men that gave their lives for our freedom.

 

Lastly, we went down to Omaha Beach.  A bugler played the Star Spangled Banner, and then Taps.  2 veterans from the group placed a wreath at the foot of the monument.  I think it is safe to say that there was not a dry eye on the beach.  

 

We arrived back at the ship at 7:30.  Rather than the usual dinner menu, dinner was a buffet that night, with a relaxed dress code.  I think this may be the first time in my cruising life that I wore jeans to dinner (Jeannie and I enjoy dressing a bit at dinner time)

 

There were 2 other choices for itineraries.   One of them included the  Bayeux Tapestry Museum, where is housed what I believe to be an incredible tapestry that depicts another battle, that of the Battle of the Hastings in 1066.  I have no doubt that this is a great place to visit, but we preferred to have more immersion in the D-Day story.  Perhaps another time.

The other choice substituted Juno Beach for Utah and Pointe du Hoc.  Juno was the landing site for the Canadian Infantry.  

I wanted to mention that later in the cruise, we were chatting with a Canadian couple who had chosen that excursion, but they were the only 2 to chose it.  No matter, the 2 of them were taken on the excursion anyway.  Good job, Uniworld!

 

 

 

 

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Bob

 

Thanks again. Really enjoying your posts and photo's.

Normandy Beach day - what time did the excursion leave the ship in the morning? And assume back on the buses around 4:30 to reach the ship at 7:30pm? Monet's gardens look absolutely beautiful. It would be a completely different experience for us if we sail on the sailing between the holidays at year end - thats for sure!

 

Bob

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17 minutes ago, robertmartha said:

Bob

 

Thanks again. Really enjoying your posts and photo's.

Normandy Beach day - what time did the excursion leave the ship in the morning? And assume back on the buses around 4:30 to reach the ship at 7:30pm? Monet's gardens look absolutely beautiful. It would be a completely different experience for us if we sail on the sailing between the holidays at year end - thats for sure!

 

Bob

Bob, the bus left at 7:30 AM.  If memory serves, the drive back was a bit shorter than the drive there, as we were returning from Omaha Beach, which is a bit closer to Rouen than is our first stop at Utah Beach.  Pretty much slept on the way back though.

 

Unfortunately, Giverny is only open to visitors from March 28th to November 1st.  I imagine you are going for Christmas markets, I think that is a very different experience, and you will see some things that one would not get at the time of year that we went.  I'm sure it will be great.

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6 hours ago, Roz said:

Beautiful and moving photography.  Thank you again for doing this.  I had to chuckle at "Cauliflower Steak" on the menu.  

 

Roz

That's not a menu item that used to be offered in restaurants! 

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When we were on the Uniworld cruise 3 years ago they offered the same 3 choices.  Since we had already visited the D-Day sites in the past we chose the Bayeaux Tapestry excursion and great enjoyed it.  The 3 groups met up at the Omaha Beach American cemetery and all allied veterans on the cruise were invited to participate in the wreath laying ceremony.  Then, like your ceremony on Omaha Beach, there was the Star Spangled Banner and Taps over the public address system.  No one in the entire cemetery (obviously regardless of nationality) moved or spoke.  Just when when we thought it was over, 2 French fighter jets flew over the memorial.  It was both breathtaking and heart wrenching.  I doubt their was a dry eye in the entire cemetery.  I know there wasn't among the Uniworld passengers.  It was the most emotional excursion we've ever experienced.  In fact it was one of the most emotional experiences we've ever had anywhere, any place, and any time.

 

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2 hours ago, boblerm said:

Day 5 May 21  Normandy Beach

I have already posted my photos from this day (post number 30), as I felt the need to share those particular photos on the D-Day anniversary day.   But I just wanted to give a few details of the itinerary for the day.

 

We were docked in Rouen, and it was a 3 hour drive to the landing beach area.  The time was well spent, however, as our tour guide gave us a wonderful overview of the history of the operation. 

 

Our first stop was at Utah Beach, we then went to Sainte Mere-Eglise, which was a major site of paratrooper landing, and the first town to be liberated.  It is the site of the Airborne Museum, which is a fabulous museum that could easily take up the better part of the day exploring.  We had to pretty much breeze through it, as we had to spend part of our time there having lunch  (on our own).

 

Next stop was Pointe du Hoc, where Army Rangers scaled high vertical cliffs that were slippery and  full of brush and barbs, it just doesn't seem possible that this could have been accomplished, but accomplished it was.

 

Then the American Cemetery.  One down side of visiting a site when it is close to a large celebration is that sometimes access is somewhat restricted due to arrangements being made for the commemoration,  and that was the case when we visited, only 2 weeks prior.  But still, an incredibly moving experience to be among the graves of the brave men that gave their lives for our freedom.

 

Lastly, we went down to Omaha Beach.  A bugler played the Star Spangled Banner, and then Taps.  2 veterans from the group placed a wreath at the foot of the monument.  I think it is safe to say that there was not a dry eye on the beach.  

 

We arrived back at the ship at 7:30.  Rather than the usual dinner menu, dinner was a buffet that night, with a relaxed dress code.  I think this may be the first time in my cruising life that I wore jeans to dinner (Jeannie and I enjoy dressing a bit at dinner time)

 

There were 2 other choices for itineraries.   One of them included the  Bayeux Tapestry Museum, where is housed what I believe to be an incredible tapestry that depicts another battle, that of the Battle of the Hastings in 1066.  I have no doubt that this is a great place to visit, but we preferred to have more immersion in the D-Day story.  Perhaps another time.

The other choice substituted Juno Beach for Utah and Pointe du Hoc.  Juno was the landing site for the Canadian Infantry.  

I wanted to mention that later in the cruise, we were chatting with a Canadian couple who had chosen that excursion, but they were the only 2 to chose it.  No matter, the 2 of them were taken on the excursion anyway.  Good job, Uniworld!

 

 

 

 

You were taken to more sites than we were. We didn't go to Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc nor Ste. Mere Eglise. Wish we had. We saw a cinema in the round about the landing and investigated bunkers near Arromanches, where we had free time for lunch, then time on Omaha Beach. Our 5 Canadians were taken to Juno Beach by taxi. Then of course quite a bit of time at the American cemetery and a wreath laying ceremony there. Left the ship at 8 and returned at 7. Certainly enjoyed the beautiful Norman countryside and thatched villages on the coach ride.

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jkcl. which river cruise company were you sailing with?

 

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