Sail Date: April 2009
We broke our rule here of not taking a tour off the ship.  We had been to Paris several times but wanted to go to the Beaches of Normandy.  We booked this tour on the ship at a cost of $179 each.  We got up at 6 since the tour left at ... Read More
We broke our rule here of not taking a tour off the ship.  We had been to Paris several times but wanted to go to the Beaches of Normandy.  We booked this tour on the ship at a cost of $179 each.  We got up at 6 since the tour left at 8:30.  There were 3 bus loads on this tour.  We were on the 1st bus.  We were spaced out so we all weren't at the same place at the same time.  It was a 2 hour bus ride to our 1st stop which was Pointe du hoc.  Our tour guide spoke excellent English.  He spoke for the 1st hour of the tour about the history of the Normandy invasion.  Very interesting.   Our next stop was Omaha Beach.  We only stopped for about 30 minutes to make pictures.  We would have liked to stay here longer.  Our next stop was the American Cemetary.  Our tour guide did an excellent job of telling us about all these places.  He answered questions and was very knowlegable about all our stops.  Our last stop was in Caen at a museum.  We had an excellent lunch here which was included in the tour price.  Wine was also served.  We spent about 2 hours here and got back to the ship at 6:30.  This was the best tour, we have taken off a ship.      Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
We had to walk around Le Havre because there was a disturbance and violence with the port workers. We finally got off the ship and were able to get into Le Havre...We ate in an open air cafe...when I had to use the bathroom, there was no ... Read More
We had to walk around Le Havre because there was a disturbance and violence with the port workers. We finally got off the ship and were able to get into Le Havre...We ate in an open air cafe...when I had to use the bathroom, there was no toilet paper nor could they find any...the bus station in the back was near the toilet and was filthy....They allowed their animals to "poop" on the street and they don't pick it up and many of them(the animals) are off leashes. Not going back there... Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
We didn't leave the LeHavre area as the Paris trip was 12+ hours, $100+ and one of the buses got caught in traffic, so they held the ship and made it even longer for the pool souls who did go. Politely put, we never want to return ... Read More
We didn't leave the LeHavre area as the Paris trip was 12+ hours, $100+ and one of the buses got caught in traffic, so they held the ship and made it even longer for the pool souls who did go. Politely put, we never want to return here. The city is OK, but the residents are VERY rude if you cannot speak French, and the town closes totally (So totally that you don't even have to feed the parking meters) from noon until 2.30 for lunch and nap time! No wonder the French are always at the bottom of productivity as basically nobody really works - at least nobody WE saw. We went back to the ship for our lunch as we got stared at as foreigners at two places we tried and never were waited on despite them being in the tourist quarter a block from where the ship's $5 bus left us off. So much for the local cuisine. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2009
Port of LeHavre - big discussion beforehand with others on Cruise Critic as to what to do at this port.Fact was that it is a 3 hr train ride to get to Paris and 3 hrs back leaving only 2 1/2 hrs in Paris.  If you miss the one train coming ... Read More
Port of LeHavre - big discussion beforehand with others on Cruise Critic as to what to do at this port.Fact was that it is a 3 hr train ride to get to Paris and 3 hrs back leaving only 2 1/2 hrs in Paris.  If you miss the one train coming back - you miss the ship.   NCL offers two trips to Paris.  One is a bus ride to a point in the city and then you get to walk around for 2 1/2 hrs and take bus back.  Another is a bus trip to "see" all the sites, a lunch on a boat; and a bus trip back to the ship.  Both are VERY pricey.   Those who "needed to see Paris" and went with NCL were glad they did so because they did not think they would every have the opportunity to go to Paris again.However, we opted to go a different route.  We took the train to Rouen.  Rouen was a total DELIGHT of a day.  This is the city where Joan of Arc was imprisoned and burned at the stake; there are two wonderful churches; Richard the Lion Hearted entombed in the cathedral; a tower where Joan was imprisoned; and the city is just a wonderful collage of very old tudor style building than lean with age and have character galore.  We had no problem finding information - tourist bureau was easy to find.  Went to the Ceramic and Art Museum - nice treasures there also.  Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2009
Le Havre very busy working port - booked an excursion to find it cancelled when I reached my cabin - booked another one - very pretty village nearby Honfleur - nice guided walk - flat for most of it - but it could get hilly if you wanted ... Read More
Le Havre very busy working port - booked an excursion to find it cancelled when I reached my cabin - booked another one - very pretty village nearby Honfleur - nice guided walk - flat for most of it - but it could get hilly if you wanted to wander off - as per usual every time I visit France it is shut - and it was!! walked into one shop selling stuff and got a very curt FERME (shut) from the owner - who says there is a recession??? On the quay side in a large warehouse - a small area full of nothing much! Just thought what a wasted opportunity - why not have local crafts bought out - like a farmers market?? Ship has crews that need cheap telephone and internet - it did have some - but not even a decent coffee shop/ bar area! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
Le Havre was a cute port and since we had time to kill before our excursion we explored the area. It has a cute area not far from were we docked but there is so much more past that!!  
Le Havre was a cute port and since we had time to kill before our excursion we explored the area. It has a cute area not far from were we docked but there is so much more past that!!   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
We decided to take a tour of Honfleur, France. We have been to Paris and did not want to spend 4hours on a bus for 4 hours in Paris. Honfleur is a beautiful little fishing port that dates back to the 14th century. We did a walking tour ... Read More
We decided to take a tour of Honfleur, France. We have been to Paris and did not want to spend 4hours on a bus for 4 hours in Paris. Honfleur is a beautiful little fishing port that dates back to the 14th century. We did a walking tour and the had a few hours on our own to explore the village.. We were not disappointed. The next port in France was Cherbourg. This is south of Le Havre on the other side of Normandy. We took a tour that included Ste Mere L'Eglise, Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery at Coleville. This is a must visit. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
Le Havre is not a very nice city but right at the dock you can rent a car, it has to be done before as they do not have many. ( le havre rent-a-car). We drove to Mont St Michel ( 3 hours and very easy) and it was just an amazing place. On ... Read More
Le Havre is not a very nice city but right at the dock you can rent a car, it has to be done before as they do not have many. ( le havre rent-a-car). We drove to Mont St Michel ( 3 hours and very easy) and it was just an amazing place. On the way back we also stopped in Honfleur a nice Normandy seaside artist town. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
Great and our favorite port. Instead of a bus tour to Paris or Normandy, why not hire a taxi with an English speaking driver? The prices are set as the taxis are independently owned and operated. We chose Honfleur for a half day tour and ... Read More
Great and our favorite port. Instead of a bus tour to Paris or Normandy, why not hire a taxi with an English speaking driver? The prices are set as the taxis are independently owned and operated. We chose Honfleur for a half day tour and really enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
2 hours to get to Paris and 2 hours back...it is a great City but you really only get about 5 hours there...not much when you are on the go trying to see everything.
2 hours to get to Paris and 2 hours back...it is a great City but you really only get about 5 hours there...not much when you are on the go trying to see everything. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
Moored equidistant between an oil terminal and a container terminal, doesn't give a great impression of this destination. The town centre is a gentle walk, albeit through some unsightly areas, but worth the effort as Le Havre is ... Read More
Moored equidistant between an oil terminal and a container terminal, doesn't give a great impression of this destination. The town centre is a gentle walk, albeit through some unsightly areas, but worth the effort as Le Havre is surprisingly well presented - all Paris shops, plenty of pavement cafes etc Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
We were also in LeHavre last trip and did the extensive Normandy tour, so this go round we decided just to go into the city and see what it had to offer. Paris is a three hour ride and having been there several times we didn't care ... Read More
We were also in LeHavre last trip and did the extensive Normandy tour, so this go round we decided just to go into the city and see what it had to offer. Paris is a three hour ride and having been there several times we didn't care make the long trip in. You need days to visit Paris properly, but I had suggested to several folks who wanted to go because they had never been there that the best way to see Paris in a short time is by the river cruise - and they heartily agreed when they got back. Anyway, LeHavre is very modern and quite nice and we enjoyed our short visit there. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
This is the port closest to the D-Day Beaches. Cabs have a fixed rate for the tour and are reluctant to change the itinerary to suit the travelers. At the dock is a local car rental agency, but a reservation is necessary as they have ... Read More
This is the port closest to the D-Day Beaches. Cabs have a fixed rate for the tour and are reluctant to change the itinerary to suit the travelers. At the dock is a local car rental agency, but a reservation is necessary as they have limited inventory. The car rental company will also rent you a Garmin or other navigation device to aid in traveling the area however the roads are well marked and easy to drive provided you have someone with you to navigate. Also, you need to have Euros and be prepared to pay a few tolls. Our ship was in port for 12 hours which was plenty of time to do the sights that our group wanted to see. The down side to our travel was that the ship's visit was on a Sunday and many small town shops were shuttered. There is no shortage of "museums" housing a multitude of military armaments. Every little hamlet has at least one, usually more. Except for the American Beach sights and Cemetery, all museums we visited had $5+ Euro entry charges. Some entry charges are adjust for "seasonal entries." Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
We docked in Le Havre which is a non inspiring port. We opted to make the short journey into town by the courtesy bus. Unfortunately the 10 minute journey took an hour due to a demonstration by French Dockers. The town had little to offer ... Read More
We docked in Le Havre which is a non inspiring port. We opted to make the short journey into town by the courtesy bus. Unfortunately the 10 minute journey took an hour due to a demonstration by French Dockers. The town had little to offer and 2/3 hours including lunch was more than sufficient. Obviously a trip to Paris is possible from Le Havre but we did not fancy the 3 hour journey one way! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
There's not much to do in Le Havre apart from get transportation to other destinations in France like Paris (3 hours + away - traffice dependant). Not our sort of port really but some of the more mature guests enjoyed the trip to ... Read More
There's not much to do in Le Havre apart from get transportation to other destinations in France like Paris (3 hours + away - traffice dependant). Not our sort of port really but some of the more mature guests enjoyed the trip to Honfleur but not much to do for families with young children. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
I went on the Paris trip with the river cruise, the rep gave us a very clear history of Paris and pointed out all the places of interest for much of the journey. We had some free time around the Eiffel Tower but not enough if you wanted to ... Read More
I went on the Paris trip with the river cruise, the rep gave us a very clear history of Paris and pointed out all the places of interest for much of the journey. We had some free time around the Eiffel Tower but not enough if you wanted to go up. queueing time was around one and a half hours. Beware of beggars they seemed to be every where and also seemed to be from eastern European countries. I wont mention which ones. Over all a very good trip to go on. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
I did not care for LeHavre. But, we took the train to Rouen, and found it very charming. We had a nice lunch on the square area (around where Joan of Arc) was burned at the stake. We shopped there and toured Cathedral du Notre Dame ... Read More
I did not care for LeHavre. But, we took the train to Rouen, and found it very charming. We had a nice lunch on the square area (around where Joan of Arc) was burned at the stake. We shopped there and toured Cathedral du Notre Dame (beautiful). Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
We booked with PCL only because of the short time there. Otherwise would have taken the train on our own. Though later I heard at the airport; that some passengers did go on the train but it was a bit risky. We chose the Paris on your ... Read More
We booked with PCL only because of the short time there. Otherwise would have taken the train on our own. Though later I heard at the airport; that some passengers did go on the train but it was a bit risky. We chose the Paris on your own - prety pricey - but we did not know if and when we'd get a chance to go back to Paris. The bus/coach ride took around 2.5 hours - not bad - we had around 4 1/2 to 4.75 hours on our own. However, the attractions are opposites of each other so if you have trouble walking - it will be a strain on you. Trust me. I had purchased online tickets for the Eiffel Tower and chose the 12:30 time giving us time for "problems" on the way. First mistake: We were at the Tower at 11:25 and had to wait for the scheduled time we chose. So, if you are in good health and can walk briskly; it probably is safe for you to book your online lift/stairs tickets for the 11:30am - if available - this way you safe an hour for the Arch and the Louvre. We purchased from the official website. Make sure you choose correctly!! I picked the 2nd level only thinking it was for the 3rd level also and was dissappointed. Though it turned out OK since the lines were pretty deep for the last level and with having lost an hour already; well you get the picture. All in all, it was amazing to see the Tower; the Louvre; and a glimpse of the Arch. One warning - there are signs all over about pickpockets. I did not trust to give my camera for anyone to take a pic of me and my husband; :( Also, many of the people there you could not make out if they were tourists or locals So just beware. Best thing is look out for others from the ship and then take the pics. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
For some reason, the ship announced that our time in port was reduced by one hour. We rented a car right at the port (e-mail le_havre@rentacar.fr for rates - they are the only car rental at the port - others are in town - we were very ... Read More
For some reason, the ship announced that our time in port was reduced by one hour. We rented a car right at the port (e-mail le_havre@rentacar.fr for rates - they are the only car rental at the port - others are in town - we were very happy with the car and their service) and were on our way by 8:45AM. While driving was easy - just watch the toll lanes to make sure you get in the cash lanes - sometimes the road markers would change or disappear for stretches and there are turnabouts everywhere. We had reasonably good maps/directions, but you may want to consider a GPS if you have one that supports international. Our first stop (about 1 hour 30 minutes drive) was Bayeaux where we saw the famous tapestry and visited Notre Dame Cathedral. Then we headed toward the Normandy beaches. First we stopped at Pointe-du-hoc (our furthest distance from the ship). There we saw the cliffs, artillery craters, bunkers, etc. When leaving we proceeded east (toward the ship) along the beach roads stopping at different sites before we reached Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery. Words do not describe the feelings you get visiting this solemn place. From Omaha, we stayed on the beach roads until Port-en-Bessin, where we headed back to Bayeaux to start our trip back to the ship. We stopped for 45 minutes at Honfleur, a beautiful fishing village about 35 minutes out from the ship. Be aware that there was heavy traffic in Le Havre at 6 PM when we arrived and we had to find a gas station. The car was due back at 7 PM, and we returned it at 6:45 PM. In the cruise terminal, there was an internet location that we used (2.5 euros for an hour) and we were on the ship by 7:20 PM. As it was, the ship left later than planned because the Paris excursions were delayed getting back. The ship excursion for the Normandy beaches was $179 per person and didn’t cover as much as we saw. We talked to some passengers that took that excursion, and they felt too much time was spent at the Caen Museum and the stop for lunch. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
Rented car at the pier. Make sure you book the car well in advance. Drove to the D Day museums. The cost for the car, tolls and museum entrance fees is about 1/3 of the cost of the ship's tours, plus you don't have to ride a bus.
Rented car at the pier. Make sure you book the car well in advance. Drove to the D Day museums. The cost for the car, tolls and museum entrance fees is about 1/3 of the cost of the ship's tours, plus you don't have to ride a bus. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Ship docked an hour and a half late, because of technical difficulties and a Head Wind. Captain (Keith Dowds), arranged for us to extend our stay. Excursions to Paris, Rouen, Honfleur, and the Normandy Countryside all bookable on board. ... Read More
Ship docked an hour and a half late, because of technical difficulties and a Head Wind. Captain (Keith Dowds), arranged for us to extend our stay. Excursions to Paris, Rouen, Honfleur, and the Normandy Countryside all bookable on board. And a Shuttle Bus from the Dock takes passengers into the town, with a choice of three points to alight from. Those shoppers who went into the local branch of C & A(sadly no longer trading in the UK), had a ball! We booked a Self Drive Car over the Internet prior to departure, and took a taxi from the Ship, to the office. Car was ours for a maximum of 9 hours, and cost us less than the price of 2 tickets for a Half Day excursion. Thankfully, we beat the French Tanker Drivers Strike, and bought a further supply of petrol for the tank. We took ourselves to Honfleur , which is both picturesque and charming. Then we drove along the Cote Fleurie: visiting Trouville, Deauville and Cabourg. With a little imagination, one can picture these resorts as they were in their 1930s heyday:for the Grand Hotels are still open for business. We thought Normandy was very pretty, indeed. Read Less

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