78 Paris Family Cruise Reviews

We are serial river cruisers but this year we were only able to make a relatively late booking, due to unforeseen domestic circumstances. We had not experienced Shearings river cruises before but, at fairly short notice, Shearings were the ... Read More
We are serial river cruisers but this year we were only able to make a relatively late booking, due to unforeseen domestic circumstances. We had not experienced Shearings river cruises before but, at fairly short notice, Shearings were the only company that could fly us out of Bristol to Paris CDG. Our transfer from CDG to the ship was by a private hire car - very impressive - although we were quite concerned about the driver who seemed to spend lots of time looking at his phone and drifting into adjacent traffic lanes! We didn't see any of the well known parts of the city during the 30 minute drive, and finally stopped at a small and un-cared for river berth in a seedy part of the city about 15 miles from the centre of Paris. On all the other river cruise companies that we've used, a different and interesting excursion is included in the price each day. Shearings included only 3 excursions, and the others were 'optional' and had to be paid for. The highlight of the cruise was an included coach trip from the rather insignificant town of Caudebec-en-Caux to the Normandy landing beaches, which were most interesting. But the long coach trip each way could have been significantly shortened if we had moored at the beautiful harbour town of Honfleur at which the more upmarket river cruisers moor. Honfleur is a great favourite of most travellers and many our fellow guests were quite disappointed not to visit there. Perhaps this was something to do with port charges, In Rouen, we moored about a mile from the town centre while other river cruise ships were moored at the closest point to the town. Did this also have something to do with port charges for prime positions? Apart from Rouen, all the other stopping places were pleasant - but small and quite insignificant towns along the river. We spent a day and a half in Rouen, which was far too long, but at Vernon we only had half an hour to go ashore, following an interesting excursion to Monet’s garden. Why were we charged £22 for that excursion when the ticket entry price was only 8 Euros and the Shearings coach we used had been shadowing us throughout the cruise? Dining ! What can we say? There were two quite separate and different dining rooms available, separated by a kitchen and a mish-mash of alleyways in which buffet style food was laid out for each meal of the day. For almost £2,000 a week each, we would have expected table service, at least at lunch and dinner, and at no time were told that all meals would be buffet style. One of the corridors intersected at 90 degrees with the kitchen entry/exit door, resulting in frequent conflict with plate carrying stewards when removing plates from the tables or delivering drinks. In other areas of the buffet alley ways, passengers continuously got in each others' way which became frustrating at times – there simply was not enough space for passengers to easily access the buffet. The food was principally German in style and flavour - often salty or greasy and without any traditional English dishes available. e.g no bacon, beans, pork sausage or poached eggs for breakfast, and marmalade only available for 2 days before it appeared to run out. Also no British 'roasts' except for some pink-in-the-centre sliced beef and lamb on two occasions The principal language on board was German, with about 120 Germans against less than 50 British guests However, we were only told that we would meet 'International guests' and nothing about the main language on board being German and that the German theme would also extend to the food and the music. We have nothing against our German friends, but we feel that Shearings were rather economical with the details in this area. In general, cabin and catering staff were from various European countries, as seems to be the norm on river cruise ships, and they were generally very friendly and eager to please, although not all had a good grasp of English. We were happy to leave a gratuity which would be shared amongst all the crew. The German Cruise Director and the ladies on the reception desk all spoke very good English and were most helpful. Basically a very, very poor pre-cruise description, leaving passengers to discover that everything is not always as the Shearings glossy brochure presents. So our advice to potential guests would be to ask some searching questions about the above points before booking a Shearings/A-Rosa river cruise. For, unlike many of their competitors, Shearings don't have their own ships, so sub contract their passengers onto German flag vessels, which seems to be a consistent problem for several of the writers of some on line reviews I have read. Shearings took four weeks to respond to our letter (above) but did not acknowledge or specifically comment on much of what we had said, except for saying ‘sorry’ several times. Would we choose Shearings for a holiday again? No. Would we recommend Shearings river cruises to others? Definitely not. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
When looking for a British Isle vacation, this Princess Cruise seemed to be our best fit.... I wish we could have a do-over. The ship was older and the layout for many areas was poor. But we could have over-looked many of the negatives ... Read More
When looking for a British Isle vacation, this Princess Cruise seemed to be our best fit.... I wish we could have a do-over. The ship was older and the layout for many areas was poor. But we could have over-looked many of the negatives if the food and activities on the ship were, at least, tolerable. That was not the case. The food in the buffet, (which is our go-to after a long day) was, terrible. After trying every salad dressing, I gave up on eating salads on this trip. Desserts were also not worth eating. Each one of us (5 in our group) found a few things that we could tolerate eating. We then ate those few things throughout the trip. Towards the end, we found ourselves eating cheeseburgers and pizza on deck 15... not what we had in mind for good cruise food. We ate at the Crown Grill and Sabatini’s. Though our meals were better than the buffet or the dining room foods, we would never have returned If these were restaurants in our own city. And paying $29/person was quite a bit for a meal that consisted of, for example, noodles with jarred Alfredo sauce and crumbled bacon. The, much promoted, chocolate desserts were comical to us. The quality was extremely low. In addition to the food, we purchased the alcohol packages for 4 of our 5... (our fifth doesn’t drink.). That fifth person was billed for drinks that the others drank ... not sure how that’s even possible with the new Medallion. At the bar, we also found that many of the wines were priced outside the alcohol package. So to have a good glass of wine, (like a drinkable Pinot Grigio) one would have to pay for it ... even though they had bought an alcohol package. And the coffee ... was so terrible. To get a normal cup of coffee, we had to go to the Cafe and stand in a long line. The restaurants and buffets served a coffee product ... bad stuff. The two things that were great about this cruise were the itinerary and the beds. We had saved for a year for this vacation and were so disappointed that we chose a Princess Cruise Ship. We will never make that mistake again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Had never cruised Princess before but chose for the port intensive itinerary of places we had always wanted to visit. Crown Princess exceeded all my expectations. Service & food were excellent. Horizon buffet offered an abundance of ... Read More
Had never cruised Princess before but chose for the port intensive itinerary of places we had always wanted to visit. Crown Princess exceeded all my expectations. Service & food were excellent. Horizon buffet offered an abundance of choices and variety. Staff was friendly and helpful. Excursions were well organized and guides enhanced the experience. Especially liked the Discovery tours in Guernsey & Cork. Yes - we kissed the Blarney Stone - was one of our favorite excursions. Would have liked more time in Edinburgh. Invergordan was a surprise. The locals were prepared for the cruise passengers and greeted us warmly. The visit to Normandy and the American Cemetery was exceptional and emotional. Our group was there when the chimes played the Star Spangled Banner and then Taps - no dry eyes after that! Ship never seemed crowded and was very clean. Cabin had plenty of storage space. Would definitely cruise with Crown Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Booked this 3 generation cruise before Viking River raised age to 18. Our 14 & 16 yr old granddaughters loved it as did our daughter and her husband (1st time cruisers). We are river cruise veterans who were blessed by having our ... Read More
Booked this 3 generation cruise before Viking River raised age to 18. Our 14 & 16 yr old granddaughters loved it as did our daughter and her husband (1st time cruisers). We are river cruise veterans who were blessed by having our best Cruise Director Brenton and a super (English!!!) chef Martin Carter. Everyone loved their rooms, French Balcony & Veranda. The dinners were excellent with many choices to satisfy everyone and great service. We ate dinner together but everyone was able to do their own thing at breakfast & lunch, from Aquavit Terrace to the Restaurant, what they wanted, when they wanted it. The tours ranging from Paris itself to just strolling off the ship to walk through towns where we docked were all excellent. With 3 generations, everyone was able to choose what they wanted to do each day. Departure day the unannounced walk through St Germain-en-Laye was a great way to introduce touring to our family, a fun tour. In Rouen I choose to walk the city again on my own in the afternoon while others went on a farm tour or off to Honfleur. Of course, the highlight was Normandy. Not enough time but time well spent. We (Americans) opted for the Commonwealth Tour (British) because we wanted to see the historic Bayeux Tapestry before it moved to England. Another highlight of that tour was Pegasus Bridge where 3 gliders landed within 100 yards, then captured & held the bridge. The bridge is there as well as gliders and a museum. Very moving wreath ceremony at the gravesite. On the last day my wife & I skipped the Napoleon Estate tour and took Viking shuttle into Paris enjoying another wonderful day at the Musee D'Orsay and walking the Seine. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise with Viking. In all, there were amazing and some disappointing parts to the trip. On the positive, the food was close to the best I have ever had on a cruise. This was our first river cruise but we have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Regent Seven Seas, Disney, and Norwegian. The cabins were nice and our cruise director, Jerome, was hilarious and great at what he does. The itinerary was good and if you get the chance to go to Prague, don't miss out. Absolutely fantastic. I took my wife and two teenage sons on the trip and I would say that the first strike against a Viking cruise is the focus on an older age group. My wife and I are in our mid 40's and we were very near the youngest people on the ship and most of the ship board activities and excursions were geared around an older age group. In fact, I heard but never asked, that Viking is not allowing people under 18 to cruise on their ships after this season. Not sure but I do believe they are going to steer the middle age group with families away from their product if they don't address this. I would not recommend this for anyone under the age of 40 unless they are traveling with a group of friends. We enjoyed all the people we met on the ship but there were not many people our age and only one other family with kids near our teenagers age. A second strike against Viking was never having enough time in each port to do things on your own. It seemed that we were always late to pull into a port and when there was free time allotted, it was usually only 30-60 mins at most. EVERY person we spoke to on the ship was disappointed in the lack of time to actually spend shopping and exploring. Each excursion included a lunch but European restaurants are not in a hurry to feed you and we would spend 1.5-2 hours at a meal which took all the free time away. I would strongly encourage them to offer a lunch box option for people who go on excursions and don't want to sit all afternoon for a meal. The worst example was Rothenberg. I was so excited to revisit this town that I remembered going to as a young boy growing up. We were late leaving the ship again, hit traffic, had a 1.5 hour lunch and were left with 45 mins to explore the city. We quit eating with the group and broke free on our own. We also played second fiddle to multiple other Viking cruises that pulled into port on the same day. For example, on our trip to Marksburg Castle, we actually left on time, got to the castle and the first of our groups to tour went into the castle. Then another Viking boat with a 50-60 people arrived late and they moved them ahead of us. This caused the remaining people in our group to have to wait outside in the 90 degree heat for about an hour until the other Viking tour group went through. Then came our final stop in Bamburg where other Viking ships ported before us and we were sent to a shipping yard outside of the city to tie up for the night. Had a beautiful view of metal shipping containers with something rotten in them that smelled awful. We couldn't get off the ship to explore Bamburg at night and didn't want to be on deck because of the smell and view. Not everything was bad but it was not what we were told to expect which was why I gave it a 3* rating. Excursions that we did..... 1) Panoramic Paris- great overview by bus. Problem was Paris traffic which makes a bus tour strenuous and we were supposed to have 1-1.5 hours on our own at Notre Dame (which reopened to view but not go inside) and St. Chappell. We actually had only 25 mins so we didn't explore 2) Luxembourg and American Cemetery- Amazing experience and the walking tour of the town was nice 3) Trier city tour- part bus and part walking and very nice with time to explore which was great. 4) Bernkastle-krus wine tour- great wine tasting but very little time left to explore the town which would have been amazing. 5) Koblenz Marksberg Castle- fantastic castle but being stuck as mentioned above in the heat because another Viking ship got to the castle late was frustrating for everyone. 6) Heidelberg- neat town but we finally realized that if we want to explore the town, we would have to quit eating the provided lunches so we left the group and toured it ourselves and had a blast. Heard the lunch was good but restaurant was not air conditioned well and very hot. 7) Rothenberg- as mentioned, was really looking forward to this and was very disappointed in the amount of time spent in the city. The boat was an hour late arriving to port so that removed all the time we could have had to see it. The trip to Wurzberg Castle was perfect but very few people on the Rothenberg itinerary went to the Castle and missed it. I thought it was great and would strongly encourage people to go. 8) Versailles- amazing castle but it is VERY crowded. Not Vikings fault but really difficult to enjoy when each room is packed with 80-100 people. Would have liked time to spend in the gardens but only had 30 mins sooooo...... 9) Cochem- castle was beautiful and had a bit more time to explore the city which was nice. 10) Nuremberg- bus tour as well as walking tour of city which was nice and we were given a bit of time on our own to explore. 11) Prague- this was truly the highlight of the trip. The hotel was spectacular ( Hilton Prague). The old city is spectacular and the tour to the Palace and downtown was worth the trip. If you get a chance, there is a fantastic 1930's style bar in old ruins under the city called the "Black Angel Bar" which was a real find and worth a stop in. We did the silver package and think it was worth the purchase but remember that house wines and beer are included with lunch and dinner. Top shelf wines are not and liquor is not included so many people choose not to get it and remember that all people in a cabin must be on the package. We stayed in a Veranda room but no balcony. The windows are full length and slide open for a nice view. Rooms were larger than most cruise ships with nice full showers and heated floors. Musical entertainment was a nice married couple that sounded great but all of the music was based around an older crowd as mentioned above. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Age group is 47-50 with a 12 year old. Atlanta We chose this cruise for the ports and this was our daughters first trip abroad. We wanted her to see Paris along with the other ports fabulous ports in Ireland and Scotland. Pros to this ... Read More
Age group is 47-50 with a 12 year old. Atlanta We chose this cruise for the ports and this was our daughters first trip abroad. We wanted her to see Paris along with the other ports fabulous ports in Ireland and Scotland. Pros to this ship was the great new sleep system. They have all new beds with fabulous pillow tops that call to you after a long day of touring! Our cabin was clean, but a little too small for a balcony. Also the wait staff was friendly. I celebrated a birthday on board and I felt the balloons and the card felt like a great personal touch. Made me feel special. Cons to this ship were the food. The buffet was a hit or miss and the dining room was below standard or what we are accustomed. The ship's aged and in many placed severely, like the pool deck at the back of the ship had wood splintering off the steps. We didn't use the pool as it was to cold, but I would be concerned for injury. It would have been nice to have a ship that offered a enclosed indoor pool for this British Isles cruise. There are no frills of amenities on board. I believe there is a basketball court. The entertainment was poor. We attended a concert, comedy, and a production. We booked 1 shore excursion, London on your own. Which basically was transportation into London. Immigration policies changed, so it took longer to get off the ship, cutting into our time in London as it is 2 hours each way. Leaving us 4 hours in London. Because the cruise offers disembarkation and embarkation in several ports, and South Hampton was one of them, disembarkation for an excursion seemed disorganized. In hindsight, this excursion wasn't worth the expense, $99 pp. I am glad that we booked all private tours. This cruise was port heavy, with 2 at seas days. We were pleasantly exhausted and enjoyed almost every port. I'm not sure we could have stayed awake for late night entertainment, although we did try them. All in all, we had a great vacation and loved loved loved Ireland and Scotland. We went into this cruise excited and positive and we couldn't be more pleased. Would I sail with Princess again? Yes! A long as it's a newer ship with a great deal. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was to be a graduation cruise for my granddaughter. from day 1, the ship had trouble. toilets on my deck didn't work - had to call the front desk each time we needed to flush!! also, ship had issues with electrical or ... Read More
This was to be a graduation cruise for my granddaughter. from day 1, the ship had trouble. toilets on my deck didn't work - had to call the front desk each time we needed to flush!! also, ship had issues with electrical or something so it put us behind to where tours had to be cancelled for 3 ports so it could get fixed! Very, very disappointed as these were important ports for my granddaughter. The excursion we booked w princess to go to paris on our own left us off at a location that we either had to walk a long distance to see sights or find a hop on hop off bus. tour ran late leaving the port so our time in paris was cut short - awful experience and didn't see much of anything. Extremely disappointed!! Lights in dinning room were either out or flickered the entire cruise - no one cared to fix/replace them. dinning time was moved from 6pm to 5pm which was way too early if taking excursions in port. We were put into a dinning room that was an overflow for 1st seating and for anytime dinning. at 5pm, this dinning room was empty except for a few other couples. not fun and did not promote the dinnertime excitement it would normally have - especially on formal nights. The entertainment on board was horrible. princess singers couldn't hold a tune. they had low budget commedians that were awful. the only entertainment in the lounges were game shows that the cruise staff put on and were so dumb. no live bands in the lounges nor magicians, hypnotists, etc. EXTREMELY LOW BUDGET - Overall, this trip wasn't worth the money on princess. The cruise experience was awful as were the staff at the front desk. Extremely rude and uncaring for all the problems the ship had. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED PRINCESS CRUISES AND AM 1 CRUISE AWAY FROM ELITE, BUT AM DEFINITELY GOING TO RETHINK MY NEXT CRUISE AS THE PERKS OF STATUS DO NOT COMPENSATE FOR THE CONDITION OF THE SHIP Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
First of all let me start by saying I don’t usually bother giving any reviews as I believe nothing can be absolutely perfect in life and I like being tolerant and giving the benefit of the doubt. However I do feel that our experience on ... Read More
First of all let me start by saying I don’t usually bother giving any reviews as I believe nothing can be absolutely perfect in life and I like being tolerant and giving the benefit of the doubt. However I do feel that our experience on the A-Rosa Viva does warrant a review, especially as an ‘educational’ exercise to non- German speaking travellers like us. Will seek to make the review as detailed and fair as possible. The ports Let me start with a description or the trip itself. The ports which we visited were Secondary ports. Some locations were nice such as in Les Pays where we walked to St Germain. But the rest were nothing to write home about. Minor ports not much to see. The ship The vessel is average. Small to medium sized and with nothing much to do. It has one Main buffet restaurant and a lounge. The cabins As a family of four, 2 adults and 2 kids, and with just 3 family rooms on ship (which were all taken very early In the day), we had to be split and take two rooms and these were not even interconnecting. Pillows were awful and the ship offered no solution. I had to sleep on 3 folded towels. Toiletries were very very basic even for us premium payers Entertainment This was Average to mediocre. Practically it just consists of a DJ who changes music genre every night. Kids enjoyed dancing but for us adults it was quiet boring. There was no other entertainment except for this. New Year’s Eve was slightly better as two singers were brought in for 1.5 hrs. Fitness and leisure This consists of a Very small area for what they call ‘gym’ consisting of 3 cardio machines and a mat. Kids club The kids animator was a lovely caring lady. She organised crafts for kids and they loved it, but from a parent point of view, this solution was scant. This lady was on her own and kids club was not the usual organised club we are used to where kids are catered for with a full programme and with high security etc. This Was an informal arrangement with a very caring and nice animator. Food & Beverages This was average to high quality. Some nice dishes here and there but the genre was mainly German food except for one French cuisine night. The chefs were lovely people and very caring and good at their work. Excursions This was the cherry on the cake and the matter that literally could have ruined all the experience, were it not for the fact that we were a nice group and good company to each other. First of all, as soon as we went on ship, before any presentations were given to us on the excursions, we already knew which excursions we wanted to book. There wasn’t much to choose from anyway as it was practically one main excursion per port and we were ready to book immediately. But every time we went to book (three times in all) we were told off by two stern reception/admin ladies. We were practically put in place and told sternly to wait for the presentation on excursions which would tk place on the evening of the first night. We dutifully complied. We patiently waited for a 45 min presentation in German and a 15 min summary in English. Then we went to book. Only this time we were bombed by two main facts, mainly 1. Vernon excursion was now fully booked (but they had not taken our booking in the first place on the morn!) 2. All excursions would be in German! This cruise was sold to us as an international one. We were basically told we could book excursions at half price but these would not be in English. This was shocking to us! We wanted to pay full price fair and square but for something we could understand! How could one endure a 6 hour excursion in a language of which we understood nothing! We tried the first excursion and the experience was horrible to say the least. The guide was very rude to us and when we asked to have some points delivered briefly in English (just a couple of pointers), she practically shouted on top of her Voice that we have not paid for this! This Was highly embarrassing infront of other guests also since we had never asked not to pay full price. So we decided to just cancel all other excursions as it was a useless exercise. Of course this matter did ruin the rest the trip since we then went to towns on our own, and with no detailed guidance whatsoever. This leads me to a description of the staff on board the ship Staff - hospitality The cleaning and cooking staff were lovely people. They made sure nothing was a problem. One example is the fact that food on board is not very ‘child friendly’ but the chef always prepared pasta for kids to make sure there was something child-oriented. Staff- admin The receptionists and admin were a major issue. This relates to two ladies from three. The cruise manager tried his best to make things slightly better. However for such two ladies in question, everything was a problem. They always replied in an unfriendly, stoic way to our questions, they sent us away when we tried to book excursions early morn, they literally huffed and puffed at our questions, and never went out of their way to make things happen for us, despite knowing that the ship was at fault at having advertised its services and facilities as international and sold them as such to non-German passengers but did not live up to this promise. When we asked for a mere printout of a power point presentation in english of the locations we would visit, even this was a major issue. Our major complaint in fact is not merely that the cruise does in no way cater for non-German speakers but also the fact that our plea was handled so unprofessionally and with no empathy by these administrators. As a summary I would not recommend this cruise at all to non- German speakers and would give it an average 2-3 stars for entertainment Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The Parisian Royal Holiday cruise travels from Paris to Rouen and back, spending more days in Paris than a similar cruise that goes from Paris to Normandy. We chose it because of the length of the Paris stay and a big plus was the ... Read More
The Parisian Royal Holiday cruise travels from Paris to Rouen and back, spending more days in Paris than a similar cruise that goes from Paris to Normandy. We chose it because of the length of the Paris stay and a big plus was the ship's berth on the Seine with a view of the Eifel Tower. We also prefer river cruising because the ships are more intimate and generally have fewer than 200 passengers. Getting to know new people and building relationships is much easier in a smaller venue. Our airfare package include transfers to/from Charles de Gaul (CDG) airport which is a good distance from the ship berth, but was accomplished with speed and comfort. The cruise includes visits to Christmas markets in Paris and Rouen, although the Paris markets were somewhat disappointing. The local tours included visits to 3 different chateaus with an evening concert at one and a private reception at another. The highlight tour was the Versailles Palace with a tour of the private royal apartments as well as the rooms open to the general public. We were also able to enter the Palace through a group tour door that bypassed the long entrance line. The ship was decorated for the holidays, the cabins were comfortable and the bathroom fairly spacious. The ship's crew was very friendly and helpful and all living areas could be reached by elevator, which was especially helpful since one member of our party had a broken foot. The injury did create some issues with tours that involved cobbles and long walks since this cruise, unlike others we have made, did not have tours to accommodate "gentle walkers". Using a wheel chair to improve mobility was not an option. The local tour guides were knowledgeable and most were fluent in English. Most days there was free time to pursue your own interests, especially in Paris, and the ship offered optional tours at additional cost including a Rolls Royce night time tour of Paris (if you were so inclined). For us, the tour highlights, in addition to Versailles, were the Rouen Christmas Market, the tour of Notre Dame de Paris, the Paris Opera House, and a night tour of Paris holiday lights in the major shopping areas concluding with the Eifel Tower light show. We also considered it a plus that the cruise was "all inclusive" so we didn't have to keep money on hand to tip the tour guides, bus drivers or ship's crew. In addition to the wine and beer served at lunch and dinner, mixed drinks were also covered making the trip more enjoyable. Most evenings there was entertainment in the lounge and before dinner the cruise director gave an overview of the next days tours. The food on board was somewhat a mixed bag. Breakfast had similar offerings each day that included eggs, meat, potatoes, cereal and a variety of breads. The food offered at dinner was generally unique and even included frogs legs and escargot on one occasion. The non-meat or fish dinner option was usually pasta which got a little monotonous. If I had to criticize anything it would be some of the lunches. It became obvious that a part of the lunch offering was recycled from the previous evening dinner. While I understand the economy of this it did get a little predictable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have friends that have sailed on Viking and gave us rave reviews and boy they were not kidding. The service, the cruise, the excursions and especially the staff were excellent. Food is my biggest concern especially when away for seven ... Read More
We have friends that have sailed on Viking and gave us rave reviews and boy they were not kidding. The service, the cruise, the excursions and especially the staff were excellent. Food is my biggest concern especially when away for seven days. I was very happy with the food on this boat, there was a huge selection at every meal and the staff was the most accommodating that I have ever experienced and we have stayed at some very nice places. I would also like to comment on the excursions as the staff on board the buses as well as the bus drivers were excellent. I was very impressed with this trip and would highly recommend Viking to anyone who has high standards in a vacation trip and I have been known as a tough critic. I am not, I simply think you should get a true value for the money you spend and this one hit the mark. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Previous cruises with Viking We had to transfer ship to ship due to low water levels (not Vikings fault). The food was not very good and the food choices were limited. The guide on a particular excursion walked very fast and did not pay ... Read More
Previous cruises with Viking We had to transfer ship to ship due to low water levels (not Vikings fault). The food was not very good and the food choices were limited. The guide on a particular excursion walked very fast and did not pay attention to the elderly people who had a very difficult time keeping up. Several of us approached him about slowing down and he continued at his pace TOO FAST!!! We returned from an excursion to the ship and were delivered to an unlit muddy parking area in the middle of nowhere. No one from Viking attempted to help us navigate up a levee bank, also unlit, including an elderly lady that had to use a walker! The ship had not arrived, so we were forced to stand on top of the levee in a very cold wind! This cruise was not up to Vikings standards! We had been on other cruises with Viking without the issues we experienced on this cruise! TERRIBLY DISAPPOINTED! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Since I was very young I wanted to visit Paris and the Normandy beaches, then Viking gave me the opportunity. We had a previous Viking River Cruise and thought Viking could not top that trip but the Paris-Normandy was equal or better. The ... Read More
Since I was very young I wanted to visit Paris and the Normandy beaches, then Viking gave me the opportunity. We had a previous Viking River Cruise and thought Viking could not top that trip but the Paris-Normandy was equal or better. The trip was a combination of a great customer service, a modern, clean facilities, World-class tours and tour guides, and the best menu and food served the way each passenger wanted. The crew, especially the dining staff, quickly become friends instead of servers. The person that takes care of your room greets you each day with a smile and when you return you have a room that is clean and comfortable. The chef and his staff went out of their way in proving good food but a great dining experience. Highlight of all cruise are the tours. We had tour guides that spoke English, were very knowledgeable at each site, and always pleasant when answering questions. The other members of the staff were exceptional as well. Again we had a great time and it was hard to leave the boat. We are already planning our next Viking River Cruise and cannot wait for our adventure to begin. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife andI have made many ocean and river cruises. Our latest trip on the Avalon Tapestry II has been the best ever. The route is Paris to Normandy with many charming and informative stops. The guides provided by Avalon were without ... Read More
My wife andI have made many ocean and river cruises. Our latest trip on the Avalon Tapestry II has been the best ever. The route is Paris to Normandy with many charming and informative stops. The guides provided by Avalon were without exception top flight. The only negative was the 5 hour round trip on a bus to get to Omaha Beach. Listening devices were provided fo all guided tours and they worked marvelously l. The personnel on this ship are extraordinarily thoughtful. The food is as good as Oceania and special effort is made to cater to special diets. All the public spaces are well maintained and put the passenger at ease. Our room was well designed with plenty of closet and shelf space. The bathroom was smallish but well designed, with a great deal of space to lay out personal items. Because we booked late we had a room with just a high, not full, window. But there were plenty of comfortable chairs on the upper deck, and the windows in the interior public areas provided a full view of the passing shore line. The cruise director provided a lot of good information without the false heartiness so many of that breed are prone to. The dress code was very relaxed without a sports jacket in sight. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Having enjoyed the Budapest to Amsterdam cruise we chose Viking again to see Paris. We did the pre cruise stay. We used city taxied to get around and found them to be friendly and mini tour guides. We had tickets for the Eiffel Tower and ... Read More
Having enjoyed the Budapest to Amsterdam cruise we chose Viking again to see Paris. We did the pre cruise stay. We used city taxied to get around and found them to be friendly and mini tour guides. We had tickets for the Eiffel Tower and went to the top and had a glass of champagne to celebrate. It was beautiful! We had a dinner cruise at night that was exceptional. The lights on the Eiffel Tower at night were spectacular. Paris at night was special. Monet’s Gardens were paintings come to life. It was great throughout the cruise that Viking takes you on tours early- usually least crowded times. The informative talks about the following days destinations were well done and I learned a lot of things I didn’t know. I really enjoy the Joan of Arch history. Our tour of the beaches of Normandy was inspiring and there was not a dry eye after the ceremony at the American cemetery. We had 2 WWII veterans on our cruise so it added something special. I cannot say enough about how wonderful the Viking crew was. My sister and I are handicapped. Our guides were thoughtful and made very attempt to make our visits to museums and sites especially in the Louvre and Versailles where crowds were difficult to be exceptional. They helped us maneuver through the crowds with our scooters. We never felt unsafe as the French had a very visible police and military presence at all tourist destinations. The meals on the ship were very good but we missed the variety of cookies we sampled on our previous cruise. This was France and no Macaroons. I loved France and Viking helped me have a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our second Viking river cruise. As expected, the entire experience was wonderful. Embarkation was smooth, the crew very friendly. Shout out to Urska, the hotel manager. She was great, always smiling and willing to assist. Chef ... Read More
This was our second Viking river cruise. As expected, the entire experience was wonderful. Embarkation was smooth, the crew very friendly. Shout out to Urska, the hotel manager. She was great, always smiling and willing to assist. Chef Jozsef and his chefs did a lovely job with the food. Added treat, dinners on the Aquavit terrace while sailing. Glad to see a wider variety of shore excursions offered, like cycling and canoeing. Highlights were Monet’s Garden in Giverny and the D-Day Beaches. Included tour of Paris covered the highlights and gave us time to have lunch in Ile Saint-Louis. There were other opportunities to visit Paris at the end of the tour as well. One of the most enjoyable parts of the trip was being able to use the sun deck. Our first river cruise was on the Danube in November. Way too cold for the sun deck! Transfers to and from the airport were smooth. Another great cruise! Viking, we’ll be back! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Our family, of four, wanted to take a special trip to celebrate our high school senior's graduation. She chose France. As a senior citizen I wanted a relaxing tour, yet one which included the famous monuments, museums, and palaces. ... Read More
Our family, of four, wanted to take a special trip to celebrate our high school senior's graduation. She chose France. As a senior citizen I wanted a relaxing tour, yet one which included the famous monuments, museums, and palaces. We found the perfect combination in the Paris-Normandy Viking River Cruise. We took the extended cruise and spent three days in Paris, visiting the special attractions in The City of Light. By chance we were there on Bastille Day and the day France won the World Cup! When we boarded the Rolf, we were delighted to find our ship and cabins to be just what we needed: immaculately clean, comfortable and with adequate storage space. We enjoyed eating in the lovely dining-room and on the more casual aquavit terrace It was fun to experience delicious new foods and delicacies while watching the shore roll by. We had cautioned our teen that she might be the only young person on the ship, but were amazed to find many of high school and college age on board. The activities and excursions were outstanding. I appreciated that while the younger members of the family could go on those that required more energy and endurance I could chose those that were easier or even remain on the ship with friends. Surprisingly, one of the excursions I enjoyed the most and will always remember was to the Monet Gardens. They were absolutely gorgeous. Normandy, Omaha Beach and the American Military Cemetery were very meaningful for each of us, but especially to me, since I was a child during WWII. The entire trip was definitely beyond expectations. I have been recommending Viking to all my friends. Our family would love to go on another river cruise and have even been discussing it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This location was a place my late husband had always wanted to visit as a WW II history buff. My daughter and I took the cruise in his honor to visit and hear about the times and places he had such avid interest in. We selected this ... Read More
This location was a place my late husband had always wanted to visit as a WW II history buff. My daughter and I took the cruise in his honor to visit and hear about the times and places he had such avid interest in. We selected this cruise because of its focus and that there would be a historian to accompany along the trip. Nigel Stewart was wonderful on his delivery of what was happening during the time leading up to the Normandy invasion. His insight on the military figures, leaders and family stories was so engaging. The Captain, Cruise Director and the entire crew and staff were absolutely wonderful and made our cruise such a wonderful, delightful, and special vacation for us. Everyone was so attentive and cared for our every request. The Cruise Director, Tony Williamson, had the perfect communication plan to gather us to advise us on the next day's activities and what we needed to know. He and Captain Rudy were always at at the gang plank to send us off and greet us when we returned to wish us a great trip. Staff in the lounge or dining room were attentive and quickly addressed any requests for extra bread, drinks and freely poured wine during the entire meal. Excellent service by all. The ship was beautiful and our state room was great. Small, but that is what cruise cabins are, and the condition and fixtures were more than accommodating to our needs. The staff always cared for us and made our trip so enjoyable. Meals were amazing and the group dinner meals or the quick self serve lunch in the lounge were equally delicious and delightful. Cruising during meal times added so much to seeing sights along the river while gently cruising along. The only criticism we had was that if you sat in the middle part of the main diining room there were lengthy delays in being served. On one such meal iwe were not served our main entree, when our table neighbors had already finished their dessert. Excursions offered were very enjoyable and depending on the guide, we were provided with great history, background with time to venture around the villages. The only disappointments were a stop in Caudebec and one of the Paris excursions when we returned to port. We arrived at Caudebec, and the excursion offered was not of interest to us, but then it turns out that the village shops were not open on Mondays. So while we could walk around to visit see the village, we could not shop for any local specialties. The Paris bike tour was not as was presented and should have indicated not for a novice rider, Perhaps the group of 11 was too large, but we traveled through heavily trafficked Paris streets and tourists venues. So my own ride was stressful in that I was worried about staying connected to the group and out of the car and pedestrian pathways that I did not enjoy it at all. Embarking and disembarking were flawless, clearly defined processes, bags were picked up immediately as we put them outside our state room, and were outside our transfer without having to identify them first. The ship crew were wonderful and so professional. The Tapestry II cruise was our first ever cruise of any kind and I must say I feel spoiled that I would not want to cruise any other way!!! I loved being able to sit out on the front, top deck or rear lounge areas while we cruised. It was so peaceful, presented great opportunity for pictures along the way, or just to get alone time if you wanted it. Other travelers were so friendly and it was great to meet others and talk about their travel experiences and why they chose the cruise as well. We also booked additional time before and after the cruise that Globus assisted us with for hotel and transfers. All was done with no effort on our part and went very smoothly. The few negatives mentioned, did not spoil our trip and we had a wonderful time. Avalon will be a first choice for a new adventure! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was my first cruise and it was with my adult relatives. We started from Paris and went to Le Havre with a side trip to Normandy. Each day was 1 or 2 shore excursions that were generally enjoyable as they were to historic areas or ... Read More
This was my first cruise and it was with my adult relatives. We started from Paris and went to Le Havre with a side trip to Normandy. Each day was 1 or 2 shore excursions that were generally enjoyable as they were to historic areas or buildings. Tours of Versaille and Le Louvre were almost surreal due to the crowds so be prepared. I also had a couple of days before the cruise to see some of Paris which helped the trip feel complete. The rooms were compact but very comfortable, although we weren't in them much due to all the activities. Food was plentiful and leaned towards the high end, definitely not steaks and pasta. Although it seemed we were eating all the time the portions where small (but sufficient) so it was easy to not feel stuffed. Wine is all you can drink. There were also 24/7 snacks available. I would have preferred a little earlier dinner time but since there weren't planned events afterwards it worked out. A great memory was setting on the deck after dinner and watching the scenery go by as the sun set - really amazing. The crew was great, very friendly and helpful. Entertainment on board was mostly just happy hour, with a couple of events like cooking and a classical band - which I enjoyed greatly even though I am a rock fan. One criticism of the tour was that the bus travel cut into the time at the destination. Of course that is inevitable because the river doesn't just flow right up to everything. Normandy felt especially rushed because we went to Point du Hoc in the morning and then the Normandy cemetery in the afternoon with a quick lunch at a golf course in between. I think I would not want to skip either but we needed more time. In my case I probably could have ignored the tour guide because I was already familiar with the historic events so maybe less talking and more wandering would have helped. A box lunch could have saved time, too, although the restaurant did a great job at serving us quickly. I would have liked to gone to one of the private museums along the way. To me this was a trip of a lifetime (so far) and it was exactly what I wanted. The small boat made everything feel much more cozy and not just a floating hotel. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We took two teenage grandsons with us, and that was when they could go. We took the cruise as a high school graduation present for the 18 year old one and took the 14 year old one too. All 4 of us had a great time, and the cruise met and ... Read More
We took two teenage grandsons with us, and that was when they could go. We took the cruise as a high school graduation present for the 18 year old one and took the 14 year old one too. All 4 of us had a great time, and the cruise met and exceeded our expectations. We thought the food, service by the wait staff and presentation of the food was outstanding. The shore excursions and the talks before them were great. Those talks prepared us well for the excursions. We all learned quite a bit about the places we visited. Since the cruise was primarily for the boys, not knowing whether they would ever get back to Paris, the Normandy beaches and the wonderful towns on the Seine, they will have lasting memories of the places we visited and have the desire to return to France at a later date. Those were our primary purposes of the cruise, and the were fulfilled. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Friends who have had very positive experiences with Avalon Waterways, highly recommended it to us. It was our first and all our experiences exceeded our expectations. The crew, each one, was extremely efficient, courteous, and especially ... Read More
Friends who have had very positive experiences with Avalon Waterways, highly recommended it to us. It was our first and all our experiences exceeded our expectations. The crew, each one, was extremely efficient, courteous, and especially friendly to the guests which, I must say, were a delight to meet and great to become friends and socialize with. A plus was the knowledgeable cruise director and his meticulous attention to detail, schedules, and in simply directing everyone to where they should be at any given time and in a timely way. What a guy he is! Also, the tour guides were knowledgeable about the various venues we visited. The food served in the lounge and in the dining room was excellent, as well as the friendly ship's company who cooked and served the guests. No complaint or mistake, if any, went uncorrected as far as we know. I might add that the musical entertainment that was presented on the vessel was a pleasant and unexpected plus. The berthing was perfecto. Comfortable, very accommodating, and with marvelous riverside scenery. We are looking forward our booking another river cruise with Avalon Waterways. Our big and heart-felt thanks for making our vacation one of the best ever. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
On this cruise with friends. Some had been with Viking before, I had not. The flight was a little challenging, going thru huge airports but we were met with Viking rep. who kept us on track and got us where we needed to be. The cabins ... Read More
On this cruise with friends. Some had been with Viking before, I had not. The flight was a little challenging, going thru huge airports but we were met with Viking rep. who kept us on track and got us where we needed to be. The cabins on the Kadlin were so very clean, the staff was excellent, no request was too much. I very much enjoyed the excursions the guides were very well informed and spoke very well. Every time we left the boat we were given water and the same on the return if not a little snack. The Captain made himself available all the time. There were activities on board to prepare for some excursions. The food was excellent, if you went hungry it was your own fault, Especially enjoyed the local foods prepared on board. Enjoyed the restaurant at the Omaha Beach Golf club, local dining at it's best (part of the excursion). Would love to do another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My family members and I wanted to see the sights in Paris. We were thrilled during the Paris excursions. In addition, we wanted to see Normandy to include the WWII beach landing sights and the cemetery. The excursions there did not ... Read More
My family members and I wanted to see the sights in Paris. We were thrilled during the Paris excursions. In addition, we wanted to see Normandy to include the WWII beach landing sights and the cemetery. The excursions there did not disappoint. In addition, there were several other excursions that were noteworthy. One, in particular, was the tour of the fortress King Richard the Lion Hearted had built along the Seine River. This excursion was truly great. In addition to the excursions I was impressed with the smoothness and stability of the Kadlin. We never really new you were moving unless you looked outside. Finally, the support staff was wonderful. The service personnel were exceptionally nice and professional. Our servers in the Dining Room fully catered to our food and drink needs and requests. The food and drinks available were excellent. Overall, my family and I had a truly wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, which included a post cruise stay in London. This was my first time on Avalon, although I have done river cruises with other lines. On board I was very impressed with the staff, the service, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, which included a post cruise stay in London. This was my first time on Avalon, although I have done river cruises with other lines. On board I was very impressed with the staff, the service, the food -- as well as the cleanliness and comfort of the cabins. This was a family trip for seven of us, and we all had a wonderful time. The most important elements to me when taking a cruise are the excursions and the guides. Both were excellent on this cruise. The excursion to the Normandy landing beaches was very compelling and something I will not forget for a long time. But seeing some of the smaller towns like Honfleur and Les Andelys were among the highlights for me. But the highest praise goes to our cruise director, Jean-Loup Dormant. I don't think the man ever sleeps, yet he is always charming, funny and extremely helpful. Plus he works tirelessly to make sure his guests have the best experience possible. An important example of that is the fact that at the beginning of the cruise portion, there was another strike in France that affected the locks, which of course affected our ability to get from one place to another. But Jean-Loup and our captain worked their magic -- and their network -- to ensure that we saw everything on the itinerary. The schedule had to be re-worked a little, and we may have taken one more bus than we were supposed to, but there were no disappointments. In speaking to some of our guides along the way, we found that passengers of some other lines weren't so lucky, and they missed some of their stops. The one disappointment was our hotel in London. The location was excellent -- literally next to the Westminster Bridge and the London Eye. But the food was just awful, and the service well below par. Our family is hoping to plan another cruise with Avalon in 2019 and it's likely our group will expand since we have all been telling friends and other family members about the wonderful time we had. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We had wanted to visit France years ago, but didn’t speak French and felt it was asking a lot to expect the French to know English. We retired a few years ago, and decided to visit the country anyway. We thought it best to go with a ... Read More
We had wanted to visit France years ago, but didn’t speak French and felt it was asking a lot to expect the French to know English. We retired a few years ago, and decided to visit the country anyway. We thought it best to go with a proven leader in the travel industry, and my sister had recommended Viking as she had enjoyed a Viking Cruise from Holland to Hungary. We made our reservations and then learned that my sister and 3 of her friends from Minnesota were on the same cruise (14 days in France). We had a fabulous time! Sometimes we were on the same excursions; other days, we had different experiences, but had the opportunity to share what we had experienced over a delicious dinner. We so enjoyed the leadership on the ship, as well as the staff who waited on us at dinner. We enjoyed the happy hours prior to dinner, when we learned about the next day’s activities. The evening entertainment was fun, and we enjoyed the special cooking demonstration, the French lesson, etc. As my husband needed to be in contact with research colleagues in the U.S., we were happy with the internet connection onboard. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Wow, greeted with champagne, h, ow good is that. My advice to travelers is get to Paris a day early so you are not stressed by the travel. They pick you up at the Airport, they take your luggage, bring you to a staging place ( Hotel ... Read More
Wow, greeted with champagne, h, ow good is that. My advice to travelers is get to Paris a day early so you are not stressed by the travel. They pick you up at the Airport, they take your luggage, bring you to a staging place ( Hotel Pullman) and you wait several hours to take the bus to the meals were( for a cruise ship) bathroom. Real live orchids, a window wall that opens to a French Balcony. A very comfortable bed. We went to the lounge to here Caty our cruise director, tell us about the ship, the one time emergency drill and other features. Everybody loved Caty, everyday and evening she was there for our concerns and questions, thank you. We found out that we had 95 people cruising on the Tapestry II, not a lot when we have been on cruise ships with thousands. Our dining experience was fantastic, Gabriel our server made sure our wine glasses were full, take a drink and he would top it off. Thank you Gabriel for taking such good care of us. Just to mention, when we came on board the Matrei d asked if anyone had allergies, my wife is allergic to shell fish, informed him and at every meal he stopped by to see what she ordered. Caring and considering the welfare of the guests made us feel we made the right choice. Hard to be on a very personal cruise and not make new friends, we were grateful to the many new ones we made. The tours are many and fun, from the American cemetery at Normandy, Van Gogh, Monet, Paris and the many others we took, very interesting and knowledgeable guides. Would do it again. Thanks to the Captain for his singing New York, New York in French. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017

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