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  1. You are right, TravelerThom, it's actually Dutch. I think I thought it looked somewhat Swedish, hence the confusion. Thanks for challenging me to go look it up! Carolyn
  2. Hi, Dragon of the Seas, love that you are featuring Saba. It's a really sweet place -- some of the smaller lines call there -- and is Swedish in heritage. It's totally vertical and most services are up the mountain rather than at the seaside. And it's got an airport that's so treacherous we were told that it beats even St. Barths when it comes to terrifying. Fortunately, we were on a cruise 🙂 Enjoying your posts from your crazy trip. Carolyn
  3. Laughing, wripro; am planning a trip to visit family and actually was shopping a train trip rather than fly. Carolyn
  4. Terry, I always love your trip reports on Cruise Critic, and this one is particularly interesting because we did our first ever South Africa cruise in April/May of 2019. Found it fascinating! Enjoying your take -- thanks for making time and sharing such wonderful experiences. Carolyn Carolyn Spencer Brown
  5. First, a huge thank you for being a partner in support on these two stories about Seine River cruising. This is a link to our new Viking River Cruises' hub, and then you can see there's a day-by-day story about our Seine River trip and also a port guide. I did 'em both and might have missed stuff you've discovered, so please don't be shy! And if you're considering other rivers -- Danube, Rhine, Rhone -- they're covered here, too. Thanks again -- and hope you'll share with your friends! Carolyn https://www.cruisecritic.com/sponsored-content/viking-rivers-europe
  6. Thanks, Katie. The story is due Monday so it's a working weekend 🙂 In Paris, you could take a designated shuttle in and also just hop on one of the included tours' bus, and get off in the center of Paris. There weren't a lot of shuttles, maybe just one each way, and the last one left from a central location on the Seine at about 4 pm or so. You can also take Uber to Le Pecq though of course that's extra. Still, it's an option. Rouen was really easy to wander around in. We docked about a 10 minute walk from the cathedral and from there it was easy access to all of the old town. I do deal with that in our port guide; hang tight! One of the things that's fun about this job is it's almost as wonderful to relieve the trip in detail while you're writing about it as it is just taking it! 🙂 Carolyn
  7. This is why I love Cruise Critic members. I was looking hard for this information the other day and could-not-find-it. Thank you, NavyVeteran, for sharing! Carolyn
  8. Hi, would love some help (yes, still writing the story, laughing). When Viking does the tour of Giverny, do the guides stay with you and guide you through? Or are you set loose to explore on your own? I was sort of restless and went off on my own but can't remember if there was a tour.... Many thanks! CSB
  9. Actually it wasn't Calvados (have tried that) but a hard apple cider. It was so hot that I just tasted the apple juice, best apple juice I've ever tasted! And yes, we saw both the house and the gardens. Carolyn
  10. Hi, OneSixtytoOne. I did the bike tour (and I've done the motorcoach tour to Giverny on another trip) and the only real difference is how you get there. I loved the bike part, it was 99 percent flat, and so pretty (though not all of it on the Seine). Oh, there was a difference; at the end of the tour, before we crossed the bridge back to Vernon, we stopped in a darling park by the old windmill (and on the river) and a lovely local brought us apple cider and some kind of apple liquor and the most delicious pastries. Perfect way to end!
  11. Hi, Monique, loved your question about all things Paris/Normandy, primarily because I took the cruise in July and loved it, and tomorrow am sitting down to finally write about it for Cruise Critic. Definitely have recommendations. I'm writing two stories; one is a day-by-day account of our cruise (which was magic by the way), the other is a cruise guide to the ports we visited. I'll post here. My deadline's tight so am hoping to have the pieces ready to send a link -- next Friday. Yikes 🙂 And after that, absolutely happy to talk about any aspect. I really loved it, and you're doing the right thing to spend time in Paris beforehand. FWIW, have been to Paris a few times, and love it, but the most special moments of the cruise were actually on the Seine, in Vernon and Rouen and other places I hadn't had as much time in.... We did board in Le Pecq and I didn't mind it at all. It's a lovely suburban village and kept my blood pressure low 🙂 -- mind you, probably it is more convenient to board right in the heart of Paris, but I didn't actually miss it. And if cruising on the Seine on a true Viking Longship requires it, I'd do it again, just for time spent on the Aquavit Terrace. Loved dinners there, especially. Carolyn Carolyn Spencer Brown Chief Content Strategist Cruise Critic
  12. Ironically, before my Seine cruise in July, I booked myself at the Paris Hyatt and there was a Viking pre-cruise group there. I really liked the hotel -- especially the location. As noted, it's a pleasant walk to the Arc d'Triomphe and other fabulous spots (it's very near the 8th arrondissement which is pretty pricey real estate in Paris). I also liked that there was a mall connected to the hotel with both a gourmet grocery and a Marks and Spencer grocery. Great place to pick up supplies. And last but not least, it's adjacent to a wonderful neighborhood called Neuilly sur Seine, which is absolutely beautiiful and not terribly touristy. Plenty of good restaurants there. My room at the Hyatt did not look out at the Eiffel Tower; I got the so-called "b" view (there's only two views): Montmartre and rooftops. I adored the view, will try to find the pic I took from the room. Carolyn
  13. We're just back from a Viking Seine trip in July and it was a long, powerful day (and the time spent on the bus was actually quite restful!). Also, a nice surprise: The bus is equipped with WiFi and power outlets for charging devices!
  14. We did this tour last month, Carol, and loved it. It was mostly very flat so not hard, and the countryside is so beautiful! On the way back, we stopped in a river-front park and a lovely young woman from a local cider distillery showed up with the most amazing ciders to taste (the apple juice alone was so delicious) and sweets. Fun! On our trip, on another call, there was a canoeing option (really it was kayaks) and that was absolutely great too. Carolyn
  15. Just (er, a week or so) back from the Viking Seine cruise. I loved it. Would be interested in doing it again, but maybe stretching it out for ten days. I will admit that I spent my first weekend home on the couch, bingeing on Downton Abbey, laughing. Happy to answer any specific questions, and will say that at the end of the day, this was the best of a triangle of aspects: Loved the cruise itself, the crew was great, and made some wonderful connections with fellow passengers. Carolyn
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