Being on a budget, my sister and I took our dream vacation to Paris. The idea sprung into our heads after reading David McCullough's book entitled, "The Greater Journey, Americans in Paris. I had been on a Viking cruise previously and loved it so to remove the stress we agreed to go Viking.
The ship was the Viking Pride. I was concerned because I had cruised with my husband on the new ship, Viking Embla on the Danube & Rhine and that ship was spotless and very accomodating. We found our room on the Pride was also very clean and there was no need to worry. I did notice a faint smell of smoke in the bath which was quite odd. It disapated once we were underway. I don't know why. Our cabin stewardess was wonderful. My sister was frequently squirreling her money and such into and out of the safe. One day we returned to our cabin and she noticed she had left $700 on the counter!! It went untouched. Enough said.
Also our cabin was a "D" and was not below the water but was right at water level. We had no balcony. I noticed on the previous cruise there were so many locks and such that a balcony frequently goes unused.( Besides it was March.) I did like the huge window and shelf and there was plenty of viewing opportunity.
Cruise Highlights: We did not know @ booking that Giverney is closed until April 1st so they substituted Van Gogh's last residence and a famous church he painted in Auvers-sur-Oise. Loved this tour! Also, the Musee d'Orsey in Paris which we did on our own, The Bayeaux Tapestry...stunning!!!! Made in 1011! And of course the Normandy tour. We took the Canadian tour to see the Bayeaux Tapestry but also got to see the Pegasus Memorial.
Cruise "Lowlights" : My only complaint is the dinner service. There is no other option but the formal dining room unless you make arrangements to eat off the ship. I did love interacting with fellow passengers, and we were not locked in to a table so we could dine with many different people however the evening dinner service is a very slow starting @ 7pm (I normally eat no later than 6pm at home) and it drags on until 9pm or later.
The ships hotel staff is first rate and do everything possible to please. By the way, I just read the book, "Happy Money" and it said that travel is one of the very best bangs for your buck. Why? Because you get to spend lots of time planning, then you spend the time on the trip and then afterwards you get to spend lots of time sharing the memories.