Viking came very highly recommended by very dear friends. I was not disappointed for one second..we did a pre trip extension & it was wonderful. Our flight was on Air France & took off without a hitch. Arrived in Paris & we were greeted & escorted to hotel. Le Meridian Hotel way perfectly located in heart of Paris. We walked the streets & felt very safe. At one point I looked up & there was Arch de triumph! Couldn’t believe we were actually in Paris and walking the same streets as Audrey Hepburn. We took tour through Viking & went to Momartre & Notre Damn (please excuse my spelling) it was like heaven...all the artists, flowers, shops...This is where u should shop. If u see anything that strikes your fancy...buy it! Our 3 days in hotel were fabulous. We even rode Metro which was easy as pie...and I have no sense of direction. We met 2 couples that we would continue on river cruise with & I think we might be friends forever! We ate at local restaurants. Food, breads, wines, fish, cheeses & service was wonderful. Waiters were accommodating & fun. They bent head over heals to make us happy campers!
Then it was on to ship...I have no words to describe how beautiful this was. We had a standard room. I was afraid of size...but it all worked out. Room was very efficiently arranged & lovely. Beautiful decor on ship & room. Very clean. Room was stocked w many amenities & efficiently serviced twice a day. If we needed anything we called & it was delivered in seconds. They didn’t know what to do first for us.
These river boats are not huge & very easy to get around. Our room was right off concierge desk. So we just walked out of our room & up stairs to restaurant. (I think). Anyway you cannot get lost & it’s very easy. By the end of trip we knew practically everyone on board. everyone was so friendly. Staff always greeted us w big smiles, were so courteous & accommodating.
The food was amazing. All meals were so elegantly served. For breakfast, lunch & dinner we felt as if everything was being prepared for us individually...the waiters remembered our preferences exactly. We had perfect meats, steakes, veal, pork, poultry, fish. Fresh vegetables..pasta, sauces, cheeses, wines breads. The desserts were excellent, pies, cakes, ice creams
Then all the tours...with the expertise of the tour guides we were taken on a dream come true. They explained details in such interesting ways. We were taken through the Lourve in a dream come true of alll the masterpieces. Unbelievable to see all these indescribable works of art up close & personal w stories behind the scenes of how they were created. Then at the end to see Mona Lisa in all her humble glory. Will neve4 forget this—as little as she is!
We docked in a town where u could have taken a tour to Versailles. We opted out of this tour & instead walked into the town where we were docked. Well, this was such a sweet stop for us because we felt like we were getting a true taste of France. It was a short walk from ship. There were amazing cute shops, outdoor vegetable, fruit, meat, cheese, fish & bread stands. No supermarkets! Beautiful flower stands. Buy a little of this & some of that...just enough...the French way. It was a great way to get a real taste of France.
We went to Richard the Lionhearted castle & town of Gailliard. Beautiful countryside landscaping. The town was so charming, beautiful church, cute shops, coffee shops, pubs. Cobblestone streets.
Monet’s home/town was so beautiful. I couldn’t believe that the scenery we were in the middle of was actually his masterpieces. The lily ponds, the flowers, the trees, the pond, the little row boat. I had seen it all before on canvas but now I was really seeing it through Monets eyes. Our guide was precious. She was an environmentalist & knew all the flowers, trees, bushes etc by name. His house was so beautiful & every window situated w a view so he could paint. So many paintings—Too many to count. Cute strore to shop for souvenirs and gifts.
Then to Normandy. Learned so much about invasion. How it came about. What France experienced w the invasion. Sacrifices that were made by families that had to host Germans. Our guide in Normandy had ancestors that were forced to accommodate German officers & what the family had to endure for 4 years. So real...to see the bunkers, bullet holes in walls. How they built a port for ships to dock & then actual invasion. So many young lives lost, but for a victory on foreign shores. Quite an emotional experience we will n3ver forget.
We had no idea we would experience so much emotion...
After each day of touring we were greeted by crew & Captain and offered wine, cocktails, & cheeses and then a delicious dinner. Food service was very elegant & comfortable...meaning that after a day of amazing tours we could relax, be served a perfect dinner with fabulous wines & all the trimmings of very special dinner.
The staff was constantly there for us. They couldn’t do enough for us and we always felt very cared for & protected. You know sometimes when you are in a foreign country you might feel insecure. But not with Viking. They are there for you 24/7!!!
I loved this Viking cruise. In fact we have booked another in 2020 to Greece! Bon voyage❤️
Was worried cabin would be too small. It was very efficiently arranged. Beautiful furniture. King size bed. Bathroom nice size. Lovely amenities...lotions, shampoos, water. Never felt it was small. Room service was great. Very clean! Perfect!
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