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AndiD

New Cruise Review: Paris/Normandy on Viking Rinda

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Andi - thank you for taking the time to pen the most informative and comprehensive review of a river cruise I have ever had the pleasure to read. You covered all the bases and gave an excellent overview as to what to expect as a first-time river cruiser. 

I know you are a planner like I am ... did you book all your tours in advance? Were there tours available to book on the cruise that were not available to pre-book?

For my own upcoming first Viking river cruise, I splurged for the balcony because the square footage in the French balcony cabin made it seem so tiny. Were you able to peek in on one, by chance, while you were on board? 

I am glad to hear Viking took great care of you, and now I can’t wait for my turn!

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Andi...your review is wonderful, and as Jan said very informative, and an excellent overview as what to expect for a first-timer.  Thank you for taking the time to write all of this.  I enjoyed all of it and learned a lot.  Thanks again, and so glad you had a nice cruise, and tours to interesting places.

Edited by Shari2

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As Shari said - an excellent overview as what to expect for a firt timer.  Thanks for al the time you spent on writing this detail for us.  It also gave me more clarity as to whether it would be worthwhile for Tony and I. We have done the Normandy beaches and a few other land based European trips .... and I think one has much more comprehensive coverage of Europe doing it by road by ourselves. I was particularly interested in the actual experience onboard and with your wonderful review have realized that it is a very pricey mode of transport to achieve this. The downside for me is not having enough time to just enjoy the cruise and the views from the river.  I guess a more balanced experience. More time "cruising" would make it a must do for us .....   it seems to be focused toward excursions.  Do I have this wrong???

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20 hours ago, Jan115 said:

Andi - thank you for taking the time to pen the most informative and comprehensive review of a river cruise I have ever had the pleasure to read. You covered all the bases and gave an excellent overview as to what to expect as a first-time river cruiser. 

I know you are a planner like I am ... did you book all your tours in advance? Were there tours available to book on the cruise that were not available to pre-book?

For my own upcoming first Viking river cruise, I splurged for the balcony because the square footage in the French balcony cabin made it seem so tiny. Were you able to peek in on one, by chance, while you were on board? 

I am glad to hear Viking took great care of you, and now I can’t wait for my turn!

Thanks, Jan - I feared that my review would make a good sleeping pill for some - it turned out to be so long!  I'm glad you found it useful.  We did prebook our optional excursions online and no, there were no additional options that needed to be reserved or paid for added once we were onboard.  You know, I didn't look at the difference in square footage between a balcony cabin and a French balcony cabin...the balcony was really not "usable space" as such, so if the size of the cabin itself is the same for both, then I don't think you would notice a difference.  But if that is not the case, then definitely you would want the bigger cabin.  Viking's website has a lot of great info on your ship and your destinations - I'm sure you have perused it already, but if not, it is very helpful.   

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7 hours ago, zebra said:

As Shari said - an excellent overview as what to expect for a firt timer.  Thanks for al the time you spent on writing this detail for us.  It also gave me more clarity as to whether it would be worthwhile for Tony and I. We have done the Normandy beaches and a few other land based European trips .... and I think one has much more comprehensive coverage of Europe doing it by road by ourselves. I was particularly interested in the actual experience onboard and with your wonderful review have realized that it is a very pricey mode of transport to achieve this. The downside for me is not having enough time to just enjoy the cruise and the views from the river.  I guess a more balanced experience. More time "cruising" would make it a must do for us .....   it seems to be focused toward excursions.  Do I have this wrong???

No, Jackie, you have pegged it pretty well.  I dearly missed my cruising time so when we do another one (and I think we will, because rivers do have a beauty of their own,) I will look for an itinerary that has a bit more sailing time.  I realized that this itinerary travels only a short distance compared to others and that the focus truly was on the Normandy history.  The Rhine might be one we look at, or of course, the Danube.  And you are also right - it is rather pricey, even when figuring in that the excursions are included, etc.  One thing that I think you would like is the chance to get to know the other passengers fairly well, as you are together on excursions, for meals, cocktail hour, etc. 

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Andi - you are so right. Cruising time is very important to us as well ... why else would one choose a cruise as the mode of transport, right?  One thing about Europe, is that it is super easy to travel by road and not that expensive to stay in wonderful hotels, B & B's, guesthouses or even castles. So river cruising would have to really have something EXTRA special for us to exceed that wonderful European experience. We've stayed in a castle in Ireland, a Villa in Tuscany, a house on the Seychelles island of Praslin in the indian Ocean, a beautiful B & B in London, an Houseboat on the Zambezi River at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Africa and many other awesome stays around the world. All such awesome lifetime experiences!!!    Ocean cruising is so special because nothing can compete with that type of experience, and as many others feel as well - the sea days are so special, especially when one has visited so many different ports already.  Nothing like a Transatlantic or Transpacific for the MOST unrivaled, relaxing vacation.  We are reminded every day (at our age) that life is so short, so new adventures are what we look to do these days. Again thank you for your wonderful review!!!!

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1 hour ago, Momwig22 said:

Thanks for the review- will be doing the exact cruise at the end of October. Will extend with a few more days in Paris at the end. Looking forward to it. We love river cruising. 

I do wish we had added the extra days in Paris - there is so much to see and do!  And you will love this itinerary.  Be sure to tell us all about it when you return, please!

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