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boblerm

Trip Report- Uniworld's Grand France

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Bob,  Thank you so much for taking the time to give such a detailed review and upload so many gorgeous photos!  I have enjoyed all of your posts and valuable comments, both pros and cons.  We too are looking forward to our cruise; just booked for 2020!  😄

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Thanks for the detailed report.  It's interesting reading different views, and I loved your pictures.  It's a cruise we would love to do. 

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An excellent report from start to finish, Bob. Thanks for taking us along with you. As I mentioned before, I really enjoyed the recap of the Rhone trip because it brought back so many good memories.

 

A shame that you couldn't make it to the truffle farm. If they went to the same farm as we did, the guy was hilarious and his stories and demeanor really made the tour a hoot.

 

Did you mention whether your next cruise is booked yet? And where?

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22 hours ago, acwmom said:

Thanks for taking us along, and sharing your cruise with us. It was great for me to re-live the Paris-Normandy cruise. And, since my ultimate goal is to retire to France:classic_biggrin:, I need to cruise the Rhone to check out that part of the country.

 

Robin, you had mentioned earlier that you were hoping to retire to France, but I thought you were joshing.  Wow, that's exciting!  For what it's worth, (which may not be much considering the limited time I have spent there). the town that I got the best "feel" for was Viviers.  Besides it's charm, it seemed like a very friendly, happy place to be.

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Skinnylegs. Lois, and PrettyParrot, thank you for your comments, I wish you all a wonderful time on your cruises, I have no doubt that they will be great.

 

Daisi, merci beaucoup et tout le meilleur à vous.

 

JP, thank you, we do not have any river cruises booked at the moment, our next ocean cruise is on the Regent Explorer in the Norwegian fjords this August.  What's next for you? 

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1 hour ago, boblerm said:

Robin, you had mentioned earlier that you were hoping to retire to France, but I thought you were joshing.  Wow, that's exciting!  For what it's worth, (which may not be much considering the limited time I have spent there). the town that I got the best "feel" for was Viviers.  Besides it's charm, it seemed like a very friendly, happy place to be.

I really am serious about it. The cost of living in a smaller city/town/village is quite reasonable, we could walk to markets/restaurants/pubs. As long as my husband has a golf course nearby, he's set. I still have several years to plan it all out! Viviers is very much the place I'm looking forward to visiting when we do this cruise.

 

Robin

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Bob, we have two expedition cruises next. A circumnavigation of Iceland in August, and then Antarctica with South Georgia in January, both on Silver Cloud expedition. 

 

In between we are doing a land trip from Lisbon to Madrid this November. Kind of like a Douro River cruise, except by car, and independent. 

 

Robin's idea is great! I could see retiring in Languedoc, but I think Chris prefers elsewhere. 

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Bob,

 

Having taken 3 Uniworld cruises, I agree 100% with your assessment in "Final Thoughts".  Thank you again for the time and effort you put into posting photos, providing commentary, and answering questions.

 

Roz

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Hi Bob,

 

Thank you so much for allowing me to travel to France vicariously through your beautiful photos & narration.  I really enjoyed every post.  Just curious, where did you go on your river cruise(s) w/ Tauck?  We'd love to try a cruise w/ them but they are just a bit over our budget right now..  We've done 10 land tours w/ Tauck however & find them to be near perfect in every way.

 

Thanks again & safe & happy travels for your next trip!  

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7 hours ago, jpalbny said:

Bob, we have two expedition cruises next. A circumnavigation of Iceland in August, and then Antarctica with South Georgia in January, both on Silver Cloud expedition. 

 

In between we are doing a land trip from Lisbon to Madrid this November. Kind of like a Douro River cruise, except by car, and independent. 

Sounds great!  Have a wonderful time, no doubt you will.

5 hours ago, Roz said:

Bob,

 

Having taken 3 Uniworld cruises, I agree 100% with your assessment in "Final Thoughts".  Thank you again for the time and effort you put into posting photos, providing commentary, and answering questions.

 

Roz

 

1 hour ago, need2travel1 said:

Hi Bob,

 

Thank you so much for allowing me to travel to France vicariously through your beautiful photos & narration.  I really enjoyed every post.  Just curious, where did you go on your river cruise(s) w/ Tauck?  We'd love to try a cruise w/ them but they are just a bit over our budget right now..  We've done 10 land tours w/ Tauck however & find them to be near perfect in every way.

 

Thanks again & safe & happy travels for your next trip!  

Roz and need2travel1, your kind words are greatly appreciated.

Our cruises on Tauck were the Danube, Prague to Budapest, and the Rhine-Moselle, which was Amsterdam to Basel.  Both were great itineraries with fabulous scenic river cruising.

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Thank you for this stellar review, certainly the most comprehensive and entertaining of any I have seen. 

We are doing the Lyon to Avignon segment of your cruise in September. We are very independent travellers, and are looking to leave the ship and hope to do bit of sightseeing on our own in addition to the provided tours. 

Particularly in Lyon and Avignon : any insight as to how much time we will have to wander on our own?

Thank you.

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1 hour ago, bahamamama11 said:

Thank you for this stellar review, certainly the most comprehensive and entertaining of any I have seen. 

We are doing the Lyon to Avignon segment of your cruise in September. We are very independent travellers, and are looking to leave the ship and hope to do bit of sightseeing on our own in addition to the provided tours. 

Particularly in Lyon and Avignon : any insight as to how much time we will have to wander on our own?

Thank you.

My suggestion is to do your research, know the opening days and hours of places you might want to explore, and go with the flow.  You won't likely know for certain until the day before, or sometimes even on the day. If you are prepared you can make a quick choice to fit the available time.

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6 hours ago, bahamamama11 said:

Thank you for this stellar review, certainly the most comprehensive and entertaining of any I have seen. 

We are doing the Lyon to Avignon segment of your cruise in September. We are very independent travellers, and are looking to leave the ship and hope to do bit of sightseeing on our own in addition to the provided tours. 

Particularly in Lyon and Avignon : any insight as to how much time we will have to wander on our own?

Thank you.

bahamamama11, thank you so much for your kind words.

Assuming that the ship schedule is the same as the one we had, those 2 ports should be no problem for independent touring, as the ship is docked very close to the town centers.  In Lyon, all aboard was 8PM and in Avignon we were there overnight.  The included tours were in the morning, so the entire afternoon was free to explore on your own.  So you can forgo the ship tours and spend the day on your own, or take advantage of the tour guides (we found them to be generally excellent), and then either go back to the ship for lunch, and back to town in the afternoon, or have lunch on your own in town.    

Enjoy!

Bob

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If I might add to Bob's excellent advice - in Lyon, the ship was docked right at Quai Claude Bernard. There is a tram stop on the same block as the pier, easily reachable up the embankment. If you want to go to the Old Town, cross the street and take that tram. If you want to go to the Rhone-Saone confluence, stay on the river side (don't cross the street). You can get tickets at the tram stop from the machines. We went out in Lyon on our own on embarkation day, and also when we stopped back after the Burgundy day. Easy to do.

 

Ditto about Avignon. Lots to do on your own. And no transport required.

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