Rachel T

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Rachel T

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Dec292013

Tour/Activity

Eiffel Tower, Paris Cabaret Show and Seine River Cruise

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

My husband and I did this to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary (29 December). There were 3 other couples with us, which was fun.

The dinner at the Eiffel Tour 58 restaurant was wonderful. The only thing that was disappointing was the fact that we were rushed and only had about 50 minutes for the 3-course meal. The service was quick, but it was hard to enjoy the food knowing we had to rush to be back downstairs for the river cruise.

If you go on the Seine River Cruise, sit on the left-hand side first. We braved the cold and sat outside and it was wonderful. Just bring a warm jacket. The views are worth the chill if you go in winter.

The Moulin Rouge show was INCREDIBLE. Our guide was able to get us to the front of the line, thank goodness! They are very strict about photos inside the Moulin Rouge. Right before the show started, I was trying to turn off my phone and an usher came and snatched my phone out of my hand and asked what I was doing. He apologized after I explained that I was just trying to turn off my phone, not sneak photos.

Make sure you request a return trip to your hotel. We didn't know to do that and were told that we'd have to find our own way back to our hotel. The show got out at 2:30am and the metro was closed and the queue for the taxis were insanely long. A couple on our tour had requested a return and their hotel was across the street from ours so they asked if we could be included in their return, for which we were grateful.

Pros: It was really convenient.
Cons: It was rushed.

Totally worth it though.

My Photos

  • The Moulin Rouge at Night

Dec282013

Tour/Activity

Seine River Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise in Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

Despite purchasing the 2-day Hop-on-Hop-Off, we used it only once.

The metro system was much quicker.

Had we only had one day in Paris and were only seeing the sites on the route of the Seine, it would have been worthwhile. We were in Paris for 3 days and really got familiar with the Metro. With trains every 3 to 5 minutes (instead of 20 for the boat), it was just quicker and more convenient to use the Metro.

I think the Hop-on-Hop-off would have been a great way to experience the main attractions in the spring or summer.

Dec282013

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Paris Louvre Museum Guided Tour

Paris, France

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

The Louvre itself was incredible. I'm grateful we went, I'm grateful we got to 'skip the line', and I'm glad to say that we've seen such incredible things.

Our experience with our tour guide, Chantel, however, really left a bad taste in my mouth. When I purchased our reservation, it was for the 8:30am tour. We arrived at 8:20am at the office that was on our reservation. We were then told by the woman at the desk that they didn't have room for us on the 8:30am and that we needed to go to the other office listed and we'd be on the 9:00am tour instead. She said that the office would open at 8:45am. Instead of being too upset about it, my husband and I took the opportunity to grab a quick bite to eat on our way to the other office.

When we arrived at the other office, the same lady from the previous office told us that there was no room for us on the 9:00am tour and that we'd be on the 9:30am. That was unacceptable to me and I told her so. We had paid for the 8:30am and were already being bumped and explained that we had other plans for the day that were made around the 8:30am start to our day. She was fairly rude to us after that but managed to get us in the 9:00am group.

When our tour guide finally met up with us outside the travel office, it was 9:40am. By the time we got to the Louvre it was 10:00am. By the time we got INTO the Louvre, got our headsets, and made any progress, it was 10:25am. The attitude that we got from Chantel was that of indifference and annoyance. It is very crowded in the Louvre and there is a lot going on. She seemed not to care whether we got separated or not and made no attempt to make herself visible when she would move on from one item to the next. She was less than enthusiastic and half of our group (including us) left halfway through the tour.

I think this tour COULD have been incredible had we experienced some organization and had a tour guide that cared.

My Photos

  • Outside the Louvre

Dec272013

Tour/Activity

Normandy Beaches Half-Day Trip from Bayeux

Bayeux, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

If I could give this 6 stars, I would. I wish we had done the full day trip but time didn't allow for us to do so.

Our tour guide, Daniel, was very outgoing, friendly, and knowledgeable.

We took the train from Paris and it took two hours. It was well-worth it. We were met at the train station and we left for the tour from there, picking up two other couples along the way.

The tour started at Pont du Hoc, then we went to Omaha Beach, and then ended at the American cemetery and museum.

My grandfather served in WWII (in the Pacific) and my husband is currently active duty Army. The whole experience was beyond educational and extremely sobering. I have always had a deep love and appreciation for our men and women and uniform and seeing this part of history up close and personal was something I will never forget.

We didn't have much time at the end of the evening for the museum, but from what I did see, it is awesome.

If you have the time, do the full tour! I wish we had.

My Photos

  • American Cemetery
  • Omaha Beach
  • Pont du Hoc

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