Christina Crawford had the opportunity to visit France and dive deep into the history and culture within Paris and Normandy. She visited such sites as Monet’s Gardens, Rouen’s Cathedral of Notre Dame and the unforgettable beaches of Normandy where Allied forces landed during WWII’s D-Day invasion. While the destination was memorable on its own, getting there aboard AmaWaterways along the Seine river made it that much more special.
What did you enjoy most about the cruise experience?
Seeing the French countryside up-close. It’s so beautiful.
Tell us about the ports/cities you visited with this itinerary.
Vernon – The home to Claude Monet in nearby Giverny and boasts Chateau de Bizy, which is known as the “Little Versailles.”
Le Havre – A seaside town with a very picturesque harbor.
Caudebec (Normandy Beaches) – About an hour and a half bus ride from where we docked is where you’ll find the D-Day Museum, Landing Beaches and American Cemetery. Truly a moving experience that every American should see.
Rouen – The Capital city of Normandy. This is where Joan of Arc was tried and burned at the stake. The history and buildings of the city date back over 500 years. Great shopping and a good nightlife scene.
Les Andelys – The former home of King Richard of England (Richard the Lionheart). His fortress was built on a hill overlooking the Seine in the late 1100’s and their ruins remain. Climb the hill to explore his ruins and get a phenomenal view of the river and valley below.
Paris – The City of Light offers museums galore! You can spend a month there just going to the different museums.
What shore excursions did you go on? Which ones would you recommend?
Normandy Beach Excursions. Separate excursions for American and Canadian/British sites. This is a must. I’ve never felt so proud to be an American and so grateful for the “boys” that landed there. Also the excursion to Richard the Lionheart’s fortress offers the most picturesque views of river and countryside seen during the whole trip
What advice would you give to someone going on a similar trip?
a) Rather than stay on the ship when you’re docked (and you’re not on an excursion), take advantage of the bicycles available for use and explore the area. You’ll find great restaurants and shopping that are off the beaten path. Plus, the wind blowing through your hair is a plus. Don’t do this though in Paris! Traffic is a killer!
b) Take the air from the cruiseline so they’ll include the airport transfers. It made the trip to the ship flawless and stress free.
c) Take a travel mug to put your coffee or tea in. That way you can fill up and sit on the deck sipping your coffee in the morning while enjoying the ride. The cups they provide are too small.
d) Four easy French phrases will help you fit in while shopping and help establish a feeling of goodwill by the merchants:
1-Bonjour (Good day)
2-S’il vous plait (please)
3- Merci (Thank you)
4-Au Revoir (Good bye)
What did you like most about the cruise line?
The staff. They are all very accommodating and will do whatever they can to make your cruise memorable and enjoyable.
What are 3 things one can expect from this cruise line?
a) A fairly casual dress policy. Jeans are acceptable and routinely seen during dinner.
b) A willingness to help.
c) A very approachable staff all the way up to the captain. He’ll allow you to hang out with him in the wheel house as he navigates the ship.
Did you do any shopping or specialty dining on board the ship? What were your favorites?
There is a small gift shop situated by the front desk with good prices but limited hours. However, the desk clerk will usually open up for you if you need something.