My wife and I sailed on the Rinda, "Paris and the Heart of Normandy" on November 9. While we had read some less-than-complimentary reviews about the ship not docking in Paris, we were met right outside the Customs area gate and taken directly to the ship. The little village of Le Pecq was delightful, and we purchased wine at the Monoprix, a less than 5 minute walk from the ship. An ATM was directly across from Monoprix. Lunch was provided and then a walking tour of LePecq.
All tours were just as the brochure reported. We enjoyed them all and had exceptional guides. Normandy cemetery and Omaha beach were especially moving, as I am a veteran. Food was delicious, plus lunchtime and dinnertime beer and wine was a very welcome addition. Someone had previously posted that the wine was "ordinary" but we thought it was quite good. Though variety is not as large as ocean going cruise lines, we felt the food overall was significantly better. The cruise director, Michael, was a gem. We so much enjoyed his historical, and sometimes comical, talks on the next day's excursion.
On the 2nd to the last day, Paris was attacked. The crew of the Viking could not have been more supportive and compassionate concerning the disruption of some of our plans as well as the concern for the people of Paris. Anyone wanting to call back to the States to reassure family members could do so at Viking's expense. Tours for the last day had to be cancelled as Paris was on lock down. The staff then arranged a wonderful tour to the cathedral at Chartres, at no expense to any of us.
We felt that cocktails and drinks from the bar were very reasonably priced with no additional service charge added. Likewise, there was no hype or pressure to buy additional items or services on the ship. All crew members were very pleasant, helpful, and competent.
Following the cruise, Viking transported us directly to our Paris accommodations at absolutely no cost to us. We can't think of any thing negative and we would definitely sail with Viking again. The ship and crew were truly exceptional.
A short tour of the palace and gardens in the city; a nice way to see the city. Very good tour guide.