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deladane

Detailed Photo Review of Paris and London Trip in June 2019

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On 9/6/2019 at 3:39 PM, pd7277 said:

Bravo!!!!!!  Another wonderful review.  

 

Thank you!

 

Thank you!!

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On 9/6/2019 at 8:40 PM, MzShae said:

I thoroughly enjoyed your review. Your pictures were excellent. 

 

Thank you so much!

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On 9/6/2019 at 10:28 PM, PurpleTraveller said:

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this fantastic review. I have thoroughly enjoyed following you on your travels. Your writing style is excellent and your photos wonderful. Where are you off to next? I will keep an eye out for your next review as I enjoyed this one so much. Thanks again. 😊

 

Thanks for reading!  As of right now, we have no further vacations planned.  Whenever we do take our next cruise, I promise to come back here to write up another long review!!

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On 9/7/2019 at 10:28 AM, Walt fan said:

Extremely well done and so very impressed with your planning.  Thank you for all of your time and the amazing pics.  Hope your memory bank is full.

 

I just got an email from Conde Nast about Norwegian Airlines.  They are on the brink of declaring bankruptcy, and if they do go under, the news is that flights to Europe will increase significantly from other carriers.  Glad you got affordable airfare!

 

Thank you again!  I have enjoyed every minute.

 

Oh wow, how sad about Norwegian Airlines!  Just last night, DH was reminiscing about how that was his all-time favorite flying experience and how he would love to fly with them again if possible.  I hope they pull through!!  Thanks again for reading and for all of your comments along the way 🙂

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On 9/7/2019 at 6:59 PM, Biris said:

Thank you, again for taking time to write this review. I've thoroughly enjoyed it. your review surely helps me with my planning and gives me a broad idea of what to expect for my upcoming London and Paris trip.

 

 

 

Hope you have a wonderful time in London and Paris!  Let me know if you have any questions about the planning 🙂

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10 minutes ago, deladane said:

 

Thank you!  Now it's your turn... I'm looking forward to your upcoming Greek Isles cruise review!!  

 

Thank you! Can't wait!  Only 14 more work days left to go.

 

In the meantime Norris started posting his trip report over on the CElebrity board so I'll be there until we fly!

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On 9/8/2019 at 12:46 PM, crusingnut said:

Thank you for a FANTASTIC review!! I do all the research for our trips with our next one being Paris, & London before & after our cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. I appreciate all your hard work in compiling this review as it has made my research that much easier.  Glad you had a safe trip home and enjoyed your trip. Thanks again!!

 

So glad you found this review helpful for your planning.  I hope you have a wonderful trip!  Maybe you will come back to write a review of your own? 😄

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On 9/4/2019 at 8:54 PM, deec said:

PCrum. "We spent two nights in Windsor after our TA cruise in April/May, "

Where did you stay in Windsor...spending a week in London area pre-cruise and would like to spend a few days/nights renting a cars and touring Windsor, Bath, Stonehenge and Oxford... All suggestions welcomed

 

 Dana your help and advice is so valuable...thanks...I am definitely going to check where else you have reviewed....how about a cruise to the Midnight Sun and a River Cruise in China!

Hi:  What time of year are you visiting Windsor?  We stayed at the Harte and Garter Hotel, directly across from Windsor Castle on the High Street.  I wouldn't recommend this hotel; the main building does not have a/c.  We stayed in an annex of the hotel called Goswell House, which did have a/c, but no lift.  Our first choice hotel, Royal Adelaide Hotel, was booked during our stay.  I have previously stayed at the Royal Adelaide and highly recommend it.  There is also a Travel Lodge in the Windsor town center if you are looking for a budget hotel.  Also on the Hight Street, across from Windsor Castle in the Castle Hotel.  I have not stayed there, but the reputation is good.  

 

You mention renting a car, be aware that most of the hotels in Windsor do not offer a parking lot; instead you must park in the central parking garage in the town center.  Parking is tricky in most of the UK, you never know what type of parking you will come across.  For that reason, we tended to travel by train as we went throughout the country.  Petrol (gasoline) is quite expensive in the UK and when I lived there, it took me 6 months and some driving lessons to get comfortable driving on the left side of the street.

 

Be sure to purchase your tickets to any attractions online prior to your visit; that will save time.  In Oxford, Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Winston Churchill) is a good place to spend half a day.  It has beautiful grounds to tour, as well as the house.  

 

Dana's other cruise reviews are so enjoyable.  I have been reading the Paul Gauguin review and have no intention of doing a Polynesian cruise, but it is just so interesting to read!  

 

Enjoy your trip!

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I'm so sad this review is over.  It was so well written and brought back so many wonderful memories!!  I hope to read more of your reviews in the future!!  Thanks so much!!

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Dana thank you for your well written, most interesting review! We will be spending time in London and Paris in a few weeks and I am packing your notes along with my Rick Steves guides! Your photos were lovely too!

linda

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I am very late to this wonderful review, but totally enjoying. I’ve read all your others in the past. Love the calendar you made, but I couldn’t find a Google drawing app.  Is that the specific name? I really want to make a calendar like yours for our upcoming trip. Thank you so much for the review. Beth

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pcrum...thanks for the help.  We will be in England early June 2020 so ac might be needed.

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On 9/15/2019 at 5:41 PM, pcrum said:

Dana's other cruise reviews are so enjoyable.  I have been reading the Paul Gauguin review and have no intention of doing a Polynesian cruise, but it is just so interesting to read!  

 

Thank you!  That is my favorite of all my reviews... it was impossible to take a bad photo with such beautiful scenery! 🌴

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On 9/15/2019 at 6:39 PM, pcrum said:

I'm so sad this review is over.  It was so well written and brought back so many wonderful memories!!  I hope to read more of your reviews in the future!!  Thanks so much!!

 

Thanks so much for following along!  

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On 9/15/2019 at 8:34 PM, Lkphomes said:

Dana thank you for your well written, most interesting review! We will be spending time in London and Paris in a few weeks and I am packing your notes along with my Rick Steves guides! Your photos were lovely too!

linda

 

Thank you Linda!  Rick Steves is a great resource for traveling in Europe.  I hope you have a wonderful trip!

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On 9/16/2019 at 5:32 PM, kbklcamp said:

I am very late to this wonderful review, but totally enjoying. I’ve read all your others in the past. Love the calendar you made, but I couldn’t find a Google drawing app.  Is that the specific name? I really want to make a calendar like yours for our upcoming trip. Thank you so much for the review. Beth

 

I found the drawings app by going to "my drive", clicking on "new" on the top left side, then clicking on "more" at the bottom of the list.  "Google Drawings" is the second option in that tab.  Hope that helps!!

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Thank you very much! I wasn’t clever enough to go to my laptop and couldn’t figure out what you  were talking about. Fortunately, we visited our son in college, and of course he knew😁. He laid one out for me and taught me how to get icons for it. Yay!  Thx, again. Beth

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16 hours ago, kbklcamp said:

Thank you very much! I wasn’t clever enough to go to my laptop and couldn’t figure out what you  were talking about. Fortunately, we visited our son in college, and of course he knew😁. He laid one out for me and taught me how to get icons for it. Yay!  Thx, again. Beth

 

When in doubt... ask a millennial 🤣 Glad you got it to work!

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Great review! I will have to remember it for our Europe trip next year. We are not sure where we are going yet (other than Amsterdam to catch our cruise), but I will definitely use some of your Paris tips if we go there! You also did some great things in London I didn’t know about!

 

I will say for others that might be reading this that not all Tube stations in London have escalators. Many of them do not have elevators either. Anyone with mobility concerns should do plenty of research to become familiar with the system.

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On 9/6/2019 at 10:36 AM, deladane said:

Our flight was making great time and the pilot announced that we would be landing 30 minutes early.  This made for a beautiful approach into New York and JFK Airport with the sun setting over the city.

 

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If you look closely at the horizon, you can see the Manhattan skyline!

 

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I should have known not to be excited that we were landing early.  Sure enough, a minute after we landed, the pilot announced that we were too early and there was still a plane in our gate.  The details of what happened next are a bit fuzzy, partly because it happened several months ago, but mostly because it was now after midnight London time and I was too tired to follow the specifics.  I think there was a problem with the plane in our original gate, so they had us taxi out to some distant point in the airport to wait for a new gate.  It took over an hour before we finally did get a gate assigned to us.  Meanwhile, I had called my parents to let them know we landed and they should pick us up, then I had to call back to say never mind, we don’t have a gate and don’t know when we can get off the plane.  At some point, my phone stopped working!  Several people in seats near us had the same problem and we realized it must be something to do with the metal construction of the airplane and it was blocking our signals, so I had no way to communicate with my parents!  The pilot kept coming on the PA system to say he was not happy with how JFK airport was handling this situation and he apologized many times that we were being held captive on this plane.  The one positive, at least for DH and myself, was we were sitting comfortably in our premium seats during this whole ordeal.  When the flight attendants came around to collect the blankets 20 minutes before landing, I asked if I could hold onto mine until it was time to get off the plane because I was cold and it was so comfy to snuggle up underneath the blanket, so I was very happy to still have that blanket for this extra hour on the plane. 

 

When we finally did get a gate, it was complete mayhem with everyone pushing to get off the plane ASAP.  The flight attendants held back the people sitting in coach so the people in the premium seats could exit first, so of course, the people in coach were upset about that and started yelling at the flight attendants.  After exiting the plane, we went through immigration using the computer kiosks, then spoke with an agent inside the booth for all of 10 seconds so he could stamp our passports, and we were on our way to collect our luggage.  The downside to getting off the plane first is that JFK is a huge airport so we got to the luggage carrousel long before our luggage did!  I called my parents while DH waited for our bags.  I thought another perk of the premium seats was that our luggage would be first off the plane, but that did not happen.  It is possible that that was not a perk, I’m not sure.  Our bags came out in the third batch of bags, and we met my dad outside.  By the time we got back to my parents house, it was close to 3am London time and we were completely exhausted!  After a quick hello to my mom, we went straight upstairs to the guestroom and fell asleep moments later.

 

I won’t go into the details of my time in New York since that has nothing to do with this review.  We celebrated my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, we went to the beach, and on Wednesday night, we went to Citifield with DH’s cousins for a Subway Series game of the Mets vs. Yankees. That was one of my arguments against seeing the London Series… knowing we would see the Yankees play 3 days later in New York!

 

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On Sunday, we packed everything up, my parents took us to the airport, and we flew back to San Jose on JetBlue. 

 

That concludes my review of our trip to Paris and London.  Overall, we had a wonderful time and really made the most of our limited days in each city.  Please let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for reading!

 

Fitbit Daily Summary for Tuesday 7/2/19… Steps: 13,900,  Miles: 6.72,  Flights of Stairs: 13 (not too shabby considering we spent a third of the day on an airplane!)

 

 

Pro-tip from someone who lived at the foot (not exactly, but just about where your last picture before landing was) of final approach to JFK for almost twenty years, for your next international trip that requires going in/out of JFK (and there are a LOT of good reasons to do so) if at all possible, avoid arriving at the time that you did; night times are among the busiest. I saw on your departure screen shot that your expected arrival was about 7pm EST; you got in a bit early. Nights, especially on a Sunday, the noise from air traffic was indescribable and never let up, meaning: an airplane about every 30 seconds, and yes, because they have two runways able to accept traffic in the same direction if weather is good, depending upon the aircraft. 

 

More on the evening flight time: Most European, and some domestic, carriers schedule their Europe flights for depart starting from 5pm onward, but more like 6pm and onward. Hence the lack of gates available for when you got into JFK. They'd not yet finished boarding and weren't ready to push yet. Take off times are assigned and held fairly strictly unless well, again, weather or say, Air Force One or another VIP warranting clear air space (not common) is around. Flights to parts of Asia might also be at the gates too being cleaned, serviced and prepared for later boarding and departure in addition to the Europe flights, Asia flights departing bit later, but even larger airplanes (those Airbus 380s) which have their own gates but all other planes use ordinary gates. So, nights are hopping. A Sunday night was busier, I'm sure because everyone was just flying in for the new work week; it's NYC! Not everyone can afford to fly into White Plains (HPN) or Teterboro which serves a lot of private jets or commercial flights that tend to be more expensive (but not always) for folks who can pay it because it's closer to Manhattan and in Westchester county.

 

JFK and the weather. Another great reason to continue using JFK; if the weather is yucky, this would be the last (if ever) of the major NYC airports to close, and the worst it would ever be is just delayed (barring any low fuel issue) but nowadays they simply don't even depart if it looks that uncertain. That said, JFK can and does handle anything, the IRL (instrument landing approach) on 13R (same runway you landed on) I knew bad weather was coming before it turned cloudy because the strobe lights were switched on alongside a stretch of the Belt Parkway by my house so sometimes I'd rethink where I was going. This was the bad weather approach (still is) into JFK. And again, we'd be in for a very noisy (planes fly even lower when it's bad weather) day and/or night, planes arriving more spaced apart but still frequent. There's no place I'd rather come into in bad weather than JFK; I had a return trip from, maybe Paris one time when it was impossible to see anything until we were actually on the ground. No visibility at all. It's not scary, just odd. There were days when I worked on the 101st floor and we were in the clouds, nothing to be seen. It's weird at first, you get used to it eventually. 😉 

 

From where you are, I think you landed on 13R, and indeed the weather was good! There's also been construction going on at JFK for awhile, not sure of the current status, to either reinforce a runway (I think this is it) or...extend one of them, I can't remember. I just knew on my last flight in, the word was to allow extra time but I ended up with TOO much time. Not having a gate or taking too long to taxi, which was what I thought you were going to write about, can be a thing unto itself simply because of the amount of traffic the airport manages and that the airport seriously needs some upgrading but also that the airlines are kind of running the show, TBH. Ultimately, it's them that schedule the flight times, assign the aircraft, decide on routes, they own access to the gates; port authority just runs the place and a lot of that is by sub contractor. Put simply, the airlines do what makes them the most money. That delay was costly for them, but it's hard to control. And it surely ticked off the crew but, they don't get overtime pay, they want to get off the plane as fast as passengers do, it's an exhausting job. My goodness what the cabin crew had to cope with, but it's tough being stranded in a plane for an hour going nowhere. A lot of the crew commutes, i.e. don't live wherever the plane lands, so a number of them probably had to catch a plane home somewhere. Short hop night flights are harder to get at night, or non-existent at JFK, or they gotta get to LGW. OK they get to travel free, but I don't wish going to LGW after that on anyone.  

 

Cali to Europe flights might  eventually be offered if the airline thinks it can make money because the 787 can make that distance now, though the 767, 777 can too but not as cost efficiently as the 787. It weighs less, less fuel, cheaper to fly. So who knows, that might mean some airlines do SFO or LAX to LGW or LHR CDG FCO trips, as more of the 787s go into service. But the hub/spoke system makes more sense for most of them now. 

 

It's not easy selecting flights. I call it airport/airline slot machine bingo because when I'm searching for something, I have to keep entering in different combinations of dates, airport codes, checking different airlines, and/or points or rewards or more variables if applicable. My friend who is a 777 pilot says to still check the airline websites first (he wasn't necessarily advocating his, just to do this, and yeah, he is as up on the $ of it as he was on the tech aspects) for prices. I didn't ask why but on a recent segment I needed going out of JFK, this was in fact the better way and I was so conditioned to my airport slot machine bingo that I never considered checking the airline (not his) website. 

 

The nice part of living on final approach to a huge international airport was that it took me five minutes to get there anytime I went somewhere. Later, I lived in Brooklyn and it still wasn't too bad; I'd park in my old neighborhood (no alternate side for street cleaning!) and voilà, avoided airport parking, took car service from there. Now, I'm still close to NYC but it's still not hard to get there, just takes a few more steps that I don't mind taking to utilize JFK. Anything to avoid La Guardia. Anything. And we figure sooner or later they'll improve JFK. They do things sort of piecemeal here so it may only ever go that way, kind of like how they did the sky train. It was slow, it eventually happened, it was only ever catching up to most other airports. 

 

I'm glad immigrations and customs went quickly, and sounds like baggage wasn't too horrible; it was there, it didn't take too long. Priority baggage handling isn't included in Prem Econ, I believe the only upgrade is extra baggage and/or increased weight limits which is no small thing these days. Not sure all airlines offer priority baggage handling, but for the ones that do it's probably only first class, doubt it even comes with business class. And a factoid for you: on long flights, with two or more classes (business, coach and possibly first) the cost of the flight is generally covered by fares/fees for business/first and cargo (assuming majority px in upper class aren't upgrades; they can control this too) and the rest...is what it is. 

 

It's thrilling you got to attend the subway series, aside from Yankees/Red Sox games, these are among the toughest tickets to come by around here! I've been to Mets and Yankees games, and had great seats lots of times, but none of those games. It's a special event and I'm glad you had the opportunity to attend a very NYC event here. I hope you weren't too tired to enjoy it but it sounds like you still had lots of energy left.  And of course, it's the Yankees always over the Mets but we don't dislike the Mets ever. 

 

Thanks again for the wonderful trip review, you did an amazing job.😊 It's too bad no one liked it 😉 

 

 

 

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What an awesome trip!  You really need a cruise just to relax from the land vacation. We’re planning on doing something similar in the near future with a trip to Paris and the UK.   We recently returned from a 2 week trip to Scotland that was land based.  I could post a review of it in the ports of call section if anyone would be interested. Thanks for your review!

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I've read your Paris section so far - excellent!  My Mom and I did 5 nights in Paris last spring - so many similarities in our trips.  I, too, researched and planned for months, and it's so rewarding when it all takes place :)  I did the Sandeman's and Discover Walks free walks and wasn't as impressed with the Le Marais walk either - ours had too much history and not enough sites IMO.  Montmarte and the General Seine area tours were both excellent.  We stayed in the 6th arrondissement at a great little hotel, Hotel le Clement, with a postage stamp elevator as well lol. (and a 2 bedroom suite which was ideal for the 2 of us)  It was an excellent location within walking distance to so many attractions - and loads of neat restaurants and cafes. One thing we did that I don't think you did was the Musee Rodin. We really enjoyed the rose gardens.  The roses were in full bloom the week we were there, and it was absolutely gorgeous and refreshing to walk the gardens. We stayed quite near the Luxembourg Gardens which was a lovely, relaxing area as well. I had researched and jotted down a few restaurant/cafe possibilities in each section which did end up saving quite a bit of time searching for somewhere reasonable and good to eat.  Only once, were we walking and walking to find a spot....- I'll be reading the rest of your posts on London next as I'm planning the next trip there soon!  Thanks for all your time and work - it's my passion too :) 

Edited by tartana
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