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9 Paris to Europe - All Cruise Reviews

This was our first river cruise, first time with Viking, and first trip to Europe. Throughout the entire journey, the Viking staff was very attentive, well-trained and polite. They truly want their passengers to have a good experience. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, first time with Viking, and first trip to Europe. Throughout the entire journey, the Viking staff was very attentive, well-trained and polite. They truly want their passengers to have a good experience. The room: We were in Veranda Cabin 339 toward the end of the ship, but still convenient to everything. The room was clean, and up-to-date, with everything working properly. (same with the rest of the ship). We chose to have the balcony room, but I think we would have been fine with the lower level small upper window. However, it was nice to have a view of the shore, and keep an eye on the weather. Good sound-proofing; rarely heard any outside noise. The bathroom is small, thick and thirsty towels, and good bath products. Water pressure was fine, even to wash and rinse my long hair. Hairdryer is provided. The food: Food was very good, featuring the regional favorites, which I enjoyed since almost all our meals for the 8 days would be onboard, and I wanted some French cuisine. Each night there are varying chef specialties on the right hand side of the menu. The Chateaubriand was incredible. My favorite was the Goat Cheese Souffle. I ordered two! Order them while you can, because they are not repeated. The left side of the menu has more basic items, that are repeated each night. A similar light buffet is also an option. Alcoholic Beverages: We opted not to get the Silver Spirits Beverage package, but those who did, said it's a better value than other cruise lines. We occasionally ordered a drink, since I like sparkling wines, and they were not offered in the free wine that comes with lunch and dinner. In addition, there are times the crew provides free bubbly for toasting, or a small cocktail sample as we returned from a shore excursion. There were also free mimosas on the breakfast buffet. Crowding: There is none. You don't have to rush anywhere to save a seat. Getting on and off the ship is a breeze. Not like the cattle call of an ocean liner. Just show up where you need to be and there will be room for you. We booked our excursions in advance, but I believe that on most of them, you could still sign up the day of. Onboard Entertainment. There is a low-key piano man in the lounge. Plus a few other nightly programs such as learning French phrases, learning about cheeses, and one we didn't do: a watercolor painting class. Also dancing one night. The entertainment is one area that could use some improvement, however, it was not a high priority for us. As for in-room TV, I watched a few travel videos, but didn't spend any time watching TV or movies. Hey, it took me 58 years to get to France, and I'm not going to watch movies. In our limited free time, I planned our next day and wrote down our adventures in my travel journal. Wi-fi was not great, but this was my time to disconnect. Shore Excursions: We did the following included tours: Napoleon's Chateau de Malmaison (very interesting), Vernon Walking Tour (visited a Cathedral, with a little free time to shop), Monet Foundation Giverney (my absolute HIGHLIGHT of this trip--the Gardens were SPECTACULAR! with enough time to enjoy them), Normandy Beaches US. (good overview, but not much time spent at each stop). Panoramic Paris day trip (saw some highlights of the City, but yikes, only 15 minutes at the Eiffel Tower !?!). We paid extra for some upgraded tours: Rouen Farm and Countryside (toured the apple farm, watched a border collie herd sheep, sampled hard cider and Calvados apple brandy with a few light bites including a small apple tart.) La Roche Guyon (nice ride in the countryside to tour a Chateau, probably the least memorable of our excursions) and Paris by Night (hmm...City of Light? Saw many of the same buildings as the day trip, and only 10 minutes at the Eiffel Tower) Tour Guides & Devices: All of our tour guides did a good job, definitely looking out to not lose anybody in narrow streets and passageways. Helping those with mobility issues. You're provided an audio device to wear for each guided tour that you keep charged up in your room. Considering retirees are not always the sharpest in learning electronics, these were pretty easy to use, with minimal problems getting people hooked up, and we could hear well throughout each excursion. Weather: there is a reason Europe is so green and beautiful. It rains a lot. So be prepared with layers. Viking crew members hand you an umbrella as you depart for each excursion, if you want one. We knew the forecast for our trip was not great, but decided to have a great time anyway, and never really got poured on. Only had about a day and half of sunshine. Shipmates: At age 62 & 58, my husband and I were one of the youngest couples onboard. Almost all retirees, but fun, active, well-behaved pleasant people we enjoyed getting to know. Almost all of them had taken multiple Viking cruises! It's open seating, so use the opportunity to get to know some wonderful people and find out about their travels. Their are no children on Viking ships. I also noticed that not one person had any complaints about anything not working properly in their rooms or on the ship. Everyone seemed to be very happy. Crew: None stood out at huge personalities, but all were attentive and if anyone had a need, they were on it. Magali, our activities director, was working hard around the clock to make sure everyone was happy with their experience. Oftentimes, the Captain himself and other crew members greeted us as we returned each day. The Executive Chef was always present too, with food demos, explaining the specials, and even helping load luggage as we departed. Everyone seemed to be very happy. If there were any behind-the-scenes problems, we were never aware of them. What you don't have on the Rinda: No spa, no pool, no fitness center, no casino, no sales pitches. Negatives: The itinerary for Paris and Normandy lists Paris three times. The reality is that you will be nowhere near the heart of the city on the first two days. Timing was bad to have the only full day and night there on the last day of the cruise. If you really want to explore the main attractions in the heart of the city, you would need to add additional days. Tips to Viking: A photographer would be a nice addition to capture trip highlights. Although I don't need a full-service spa, a couple massage therapists with a massage chair would be awesome to work out those aches and pains. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This cruise was chosen because of the itinerary which turned out to be as expected. The visits to WW1, WW2 Battlefuelds and Giverney were good. However the on-board experience was not as expected - overpromised but underdelivered. The ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because of the itinerary which turned out to be as expected. The visits to WW1, WW2 Battlefuelds and Giverney were good. However the on-board experience was not as expected - overpromised but underdelivered. The 'personal butler' was hardly seen during the 10 day cruise and the services to be given by that person did not happen. Many people had difficulty with the app for a smart phone that was to be used with one's own personal device when on guuded excursions. It either did not work, or the quality of the sound was poor. There were a very limited supply of devices from Scenic, but one was not available when the app did not work on my phone. It was after 3 requests from 3 different people that the technical problems were largely resolved. The waiting staff were attentive but at times appeared to be more interested in refilling wine glasses than providing other services. As one who does not drink alcoholic beveriges, requests for alternatives at times were not met. As with many enterprises, the plans and intentions were good but some staff did not perform to expectations. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our third Viking River Cruise (previously did 7 day Rhine and 7 day Danube, both of which I cannot recommend highly enough). Viking does an outstanding job, somethings I wish I had taken into consideration before leaving (which ... Read More
This was our third Viking River Cruise (previously did 7 day Rhine and 7 day Danube, both of which I cannot recommend highly enough). Viking does an outstanding job, somethings I wish I had taken into consideration before leaving (which are completely out of Viking's control). 1. Our cruise began on the Thursday before Easter, this led to crowds and closures at various points of our trip. 2. In preparation for the 2024 Olympic games, Paris has construction projects taking place everywhere, traffic getting in and out of the heart of the city is absolutely dreadful (this from someone born and raised in Los Angeles) 3. Another factor for crowds, a European explained to me, springtime is when many school children take field trips to various locations. 4. Finally, the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral led to increased tourist traffic at other locations. The Viking staff from booking to final departure were fantastic. We did not take the extension on either side of the trip, but booked our flight to arrive in Paris in the late morning. This allowed us to get our bags on the boat and spend several hours at the Louvre, which otherwise (due to other booked excursions) we would not have been able to see. Embarkation was great, the ship staff are outstanding. Excursion highlights, we took every included excursion (except those that conflicted with paid excursions) - several stops (after leaving Paris) include houses built in the Middle Ages that are incredible to see (Vernon and Rouen). Monet's Garden is beautiful. Out of Rouen we paid for the Farm and Country Tour which was a nice view of the Normandy country side, the farm is a neat experience. The excursion to the beaches of Normandy will leave you with a sense of profound gratitude for the soldiers of the D-Day Invasion. Having studied the history, then touring the site, I still cannot fathom the courage of the men that day. Paris at night was a treat, especially seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night. Our cabin steward Filip was great, the room was always perfect. I've seen other reviews where people complain of the size of the cabin, it is not spacious, but sufficient. The only time we are in our cabin is basically to sleep. I cannot speak to the entertainment options in the lounge in the evening, we never attended. We try to stay in town as long, doing as much as we can, after dinner, we're ready for bed. Several people we talked to mentioned the different events were a good time. The food is always top notch and the dining staff attentive to your orders and requests. The guides at each of the locations are always outstanding, usually locals who give you some much more than a guide who read a book about where you are going. At the tour in Versailles, it was absolutely packed, (literally shoulder to shoulder, front to back with people in some rooms), almost impossible. Our guide (I forgot her name) went out of her way trying to keep us together, inform us about the artwork, history, etc, and made the most out of the trip, she was phenomenal there. We will undoubtedly taking Viking again (Portugal, Rhine at Christmas, and the Norwegian Fjords for starters). It was the crowds that took the shine off this trip for us. So if that is an issue for you, the Fall would probably be a better time to book this trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We sailed on two Uniworld cruises prior to our first Viking River Cruise. The itinerary and date on the Viking Rolf matched what we were looking for to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The only low point was that several excursions ... Read More
We sailed on two Uniworld cruises prior to our first Viking River Cruise. The itinerary and date on the Viking Rolf matched what we were looking for to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. The only low point was that several excursions were cancelled, including Versailles, due to the riots in Paris. Most attractions were closed during the organized demonstrations on the weekends in December. Highlights of this Cruise were: Touring all the sights with no Summer crowds; Normandy, Vernon, Rouen; Cruise Director Michael Brightman — hIs genuine enthusiasm for this area of France is contagious; Meeting great people! The best part was the post-excursion to The Loire Valley — a must do! We ended up having a “semi-private” tour of this wonderful area. There are no words to describe Château de Chenonceau at Christmas! Thank you Viking Rolf for your attention to detail, outstanding service, and making this an extra special trip! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our second Scenic cruise. We did the Duoro river in Portugal last fall. We have also been on 3 Uniworld 1 Viking river cruise and an Avalon cruise. .This itinerary - Paris to Paris and the cruise length were ideal. As well, our ... Read More
This was our second Scenic cruise. We did the Duoro river in Portugal last fall. We have also been on 3 Uniworld 1 Viking river cruise and an Avalon cruise. .This itinerary - Paris to Paris and the cruise length were ideal. As well, our previous experience with Viking was reason enough to go with them again. I had been cautioned by an acquaintance that the food on his Scenic cruise in Bordeaux earlier this year was not very good. I have to agree with that. At best the food was medioce. The best meal was the Rack of Lamb. All other meals were forgetable. On our last evening, we ate at the l’amour restaurant. Our table had the duck confit. The flavour was good, but the meat was extremely dry and tough. Everyone I spoke to (who had the duck) had the same comment. It was a good way to end the cruise. In general, the breakfast and lunch buffets were very good. The food was kept hot, was varied and tasty. In all cases the desserts were excellant. The staff on board were extremely efficient and very friendly. Our cabin was made up promptly. Special kudos to Sophia, Daniel, and the rest of the wait-staff. As well, Benjamin was an excellant cruise director. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We really enjoyed our first river cruise. The main reason we picked this cruise was the Normandy destination and history lectures. They were excellent. We are experienced Ocean Cruise people and frankly the river cruise is little too laid ... Read More
We really enjoyed our first river cruise. The main reason we picked this cruise was the Normandy destination and history lectures. They were excellent. We are experienced Ocean Cruise people and frankly the river cruise is little too laid back for me. However, if we do another we would choose Avalon. Great service, excellent food and really nice people. We loved our Royal Suite but have no way to compare to other lines. Except for the lectures we found the little bit of entertainment that was provided just average. Also since there is no gambling there is not much to do when you return from excursions. The people at the reception desk were very helpful and although I need A wheelchair to go off the ship, they made that experience seamless. Our Cruise Director was very helpful and did a nice job keeping people informed of activities. We were a little disappointed that many activities started late but that was not an issue with most people. Overall we had a really great time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This is our third Viking River Cruise. We enjoyed the food and wine on this cruise. We also thought the captain and the cruise director were brilliant and fun. More importantly, the excursions were well organized with knowledgeable tour ... Read More
This is our third Viking River Cruise. We enjoyed the food and wine on this cruise. We also thought the captain and the cruise director were brilliant and fun. More importantly, the excursions were well organized with knowledgeable tour guides (particularly Leif). Our only disappointment on this cruise was “the early bird” special mentality of the passengers. Guests rushed for the dining room frantically and grabbed the window tables. After say 2 hours, the waiters started to rush people out of the restaurant to clean up the dining room. On other cruises, we have had flexibility to tour a museum and arrive at dinner between 8 and 8:15 p.m. at a more leisurely pace. It was odd. The cabins are tiny, but housekeeping was excellent. Indeed, the housekeepers work from morning to evening and supplies are attentively replenished daily. Definitely take the tour of the wheelhouse. The captain is so charming when he tells how everything works. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our second Viking cruise. The first was from Switzerland to Amsterdam a few years ago, and it was wonderful in all respects. The Paris to Normandy cruise was not as good. No issue with the room, which was nice and well ... Read More
This was our second Viking cruise. The first was from Switzerland to Amsterdam a few years ago, and it was wonderful in all respects. The Paris to Normandy cruise was not as good. No issue with the room, which was nice and well maintained (except for difficulty flushing the toilet). The onboard entertainment was sparse but of good quality, the ports of call were interesting, and the excursions also were fine and well run. However, the ambiance on the ship was bland, the staff was not particularly ingratiating, and the food was certainly nothing special. Nothing was dramatically bad, but it was not particularly welcoming or positive, and certainly not up to the standard set on our prior cruise. Now that we are a few months removed from the cruise, I realize that it just was bland and not exciting, although Normandy was moving and the excursions along the way were enjoyable. We also extended the trip in Paris, and truly enjoyed those extra days and the city. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I chose Uniworld as I had had wonderful experiences with 1 Avalon cruise ship and 2 APT cruise ships in the past.I still think that River Cruising is the only way to travel. I caught a cold whilst travelling on APT and cannot speak more ... Read More
I chose Uniworld as I had had wonderful experiences with 1 Avalon cruise ship and 2 APT cruise ships in the past.I still think that River Cruising is the only way to travel. I caught a cold whilst travelling on APT and cannot speak more highly of the staff attention I received. My suite was turned into a hospital room with fresh juice, constant care, change of linen and meals delivered to my room - all with a smile from the helpful friendly staff.The Captain even took me to the Doctor in Avignon where the Cruise director was waiting to translate for me as I do not speak French. Sadly, although Uniworld provided a wonderful experience on my Paris to Normandy River cruise with the most beautiful suite, delicious food, comfort and friendliness I must advise other solo cruisers of my terrible experience with Uniworld. While on a Walking tour of Paris 25 July,2015 as part of the Uniworld cruise, I was injured as I attempted to board the RATP train at the Concorde Station and the Conductor closed the doors too soon. I was trapped by my right arm and leg, screaming for help and the Tour Guide stood petrified and did not help me at all! If it wasn't for the clear headed thinking of two Parisian men who tore the doors open, I would had my limbs amputated when the train that was revving up and about to start dragged me along the Railway station! Although I had 6 months treatment for the injury and am still suffering from the side effects of these injuries, Uniworld ignored my plight on the day and has continued to refuse to take any responsibility what so ever. As a solo traveller I was deserted when I needed the help of Uniworld. It is one thing providing a beautiful ship, food etc. but when the unthinkable happens there should be someone to take care of you if you are travelling alone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016

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