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Cruise Stop in Le Havre 2 days - Want to visit Paris

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Jul 7th, 2014, 11:40 AM
  #1
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Cruise Stop in Le Havre 2 days - Want to visit Paris

We arrive in Le Havre on Oct. 2 at 7:00 a.m. and depart on Oct. 3 at 9:00 p.m. We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to visit Paris. Would it be wise to try to find a hotel in Paris in the area close to the river and walking distance to some attractions? I would not want to spend more than $250.00 a night and would prefer less. Let me say we are in our 60's so I want to be in close proximity to walking to cafes, restaurants, attractions. Is it worth the money to do this or just take a one day tour? Can anyone recommend whether to take the train or the ship's transfer (about $160.00pp transportation only). Is the train near the dock or would be need to take a taxi to the train. Can you recommend a hotel that is not "over the top." Restaurant for dinner? This is getting very confusing. We just found the cruise and booked last minute so we don't have that long to figure out what we want to do. Thanks for any help.
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Jul 7th, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Definitely leave the ship as early as possible and stay the night in Paris. Do it on tour own.

What is the cruise? There might be some other good options. Do you already have airline tickets? Might be some other options there as well.
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Jul 7th, 2014, 12:53 PM
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I just did a quick search for Paris from Le Havre cruise terminal and found a wealth of information. I looked purely because your post piqued my interest.

I also think you should stay in Paris overnight. I hope someone comes up with a good hotel suggestion for you.

What attractions are at the top of your list? That would help narrow down hotel choices.
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Jul 7th, 2014, 01:10 PM
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Can you do Paris on its own - perhaps tack a few days at the end of your trip?

You are going to eat up a chunk of both days getting to Paris. You will be fortunate to arrive in Paris in time for lunch on day one (getting off the boat, getting to the train station, arrival in Paris, finding your hotel to drop bags, etc) and then on your second day you should probably be physically on the train NLT 4 PM to ensure you make it to the boat. That is a lot of effort for only 28 hours in Paris.

There is a lot to do and see near Le Havre. Do you have an interest in Impressionism? Le Havre, Saint Adresse, Honfleur, and Etretat are all places Monet painted. I would not go to Etretat on such a short trip as it will be the only thing you visit on your time there, but, you can easily see the other three during your time in Le Havre. There are worthwhile museums, for instance.

Just a thought.
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Jul 7th, 2014, 01:34 PM
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Can anyone recommend whether to take the train or the ship's transfer (about $160.00pp transportation only)>

Well you can save a ton - probably about $60-80 p.p. by going to the train station and buying your own tickets to Paris (Gare Saint-Lazare I think, right near the Opera and in the heart of tourist Paris) - these are not TGV trains but regular slower trains that have pretty much a flat fare structure so just buy your tickets once at the station.

You could peruse www.voyages-sncf.com however for possible discounted tickets - they are train-specific however and sold in limited numbers so must be booked weeks in advance to guarantee and then have restrictions on changing or refunding. I think the walk up price on these trains is not that much (unlike high-speed TGV trains elsewhere in France where you can save a ton of money over just walking up and buying)

So unless there is a good discount to buy in advance just go to the station - French trains are comfortable and you just stay on to the last stop - Paris. Spend a little extra IMO and go first class for a much more relaxed ride - 2nd class can always be quite full or SRO at times - first class will always IME of riding French trains for centuries now = always have lots of empty seats - and seats are bigger too. For lots of good stuff on French trains check these superb IMO sites: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. Leave plenty of time for trains to be late coming back - rarely very late but you never know.
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Jul 7th, 2014, 02:03 PM
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Hello - I think you are on the same cruise that I am- have you looked thru the roll call over on Cruise Critic? Also there will be more info in the "ports" section of CC. Several people from the roll call are opting to go on their own - they can give you better info on how far is the train station in Le Harvre from the dock - I do not think it is super-convenient.

IMO the best idea is to go to Paris before or after the cruise - if you have not booked your airfare you should be able to book an open jaw ticket. There is so much to see and do in Paris - it deserves more than an overnight. And there are many other options for the time docked in LeHarvre.

But if that is your choice, you MIGHT want to opt for a tour. Either thru the ship or with a small organized group. I think you would maximize your time that way and not have to be figuring things out on your own. Alot depends on how comfortable you are with DIY. You could certainly take the train in, do a river cruise / HOHO bus and at least "see" the major sights.

As far as hotel, at this point I'd go to one of the booking engines (booking.com, Tripadvisor) and put in your dates and budget. It should narrow things down for you. Also on the roll call is a woman Lillian (Robandlil) and I think they are going on their own, staying overnight, in a mid-priced hotel. You might want to contact her for more help.
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Jul 7th, 2014, 03:17 PM
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Train fare in 2nd class is 34.50 euros each way or about 70 euros return - or about $100 total for each person - you'd save $60 p.p. over the ship's transfer and be able to set your own schedule.
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Jul 9th, 2014, 03:11 PM
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Hi Everyone,
Thanks for all of your suggestions. I do appreciate it. We are unable to return to Paris after the cruise. We are spending some time in London then. Yes, Sue, this is me from the cruise. Lillian and I have been talking. We did purchase train tickets from Captaine Train and are in the process of looking for a hotel in areas 5 and 6. Any additional suggestions always appreciated for a hotel (prefer under 250E) and restaurants that will put us near the Eiffel Tower at night. Thanks,
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Jul 10th, 2014, 04:48 AM
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Any additional suggestions always appreciated for a hotel (prefer under 250E) and restaurants that will put us near the Eiffel Tower at night. Thanks,>

If you make a separate post on this you'll get lots of advice but here it is buried from sight of most who react more to a heading for a thread than what's buried inside it.
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Jul 10th, 2014, 06:17 AM
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I say do an overnight if you can! We docked LeHavre a couple of years ago (it was 1st of Dec.) and only had the one day. I had researched hiring a private guide to take us to Paris for the day. I found a terrific guide who picked us up at the port and drove us to Paris and back to port that day. It is a very long 3 hr ride to and 3 hr back to port. However, our guide had planned our day so that we were able to see all of Paris and the attractions in the time we had there. We were off the ship at 7 am and off to Paris arriving around 10 am. It was a Saturday so traffic was very light and we made excellent time. Same traffic flow going back to port. Our guide no longer does the Lehavre/Paris tours due to the long distance drive. However, he still does private tours of Paris and outside the city as he lives there.

I purchased tickets to Eiffel Tower before we left home and printed out receipt. This is highly advised as they only have hourly slots for so many people. I could only get 1 pm slots as everything was booked. It was easy to book online. This worked out well as we drove around to several sights and then got dropped off for our tour. We spent about 1.5 hr. from ascent to descent. It was sooo worth it, sights were amazing at the top. Very crowded even in Dec. Pickpockets were prevalent at top and they were constantly announcing on PA to watch your bags, etc.

http://eng.bigbustours.com/international/home.html

http://budgettravel.about.com/od/hotelstrategies/tp/

http://www.hotelprinceparis.com/hote...ris_hotels.htm
(someone recommended above hotel that had stayed there with a group and believe it's near Eiffel Tower)

http://www.le-train-bleu.com/uk/index.php
(restaurant someone recommended)

http://goparis.about.com/od/sightsat...aris_views.htm

Be sure that you go to Notre Dame Cathedral and see interior - amazing! You can take a tour but we didn't have time.
http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/-English-

http://www.aviewoncities.com/paris.htm

Good luck.
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Jul 10th, 2014, 07:29 AM
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If you have a full-fare ticket that can be used on any regional train on that route I think you must validate that ticket yourself before boarding the train - some trains may not have conductors come thru and thus to cancel your ticket so it cannot be used again you must stick it in a composteur - validating or date-stamping machine before boarding or it will not be valid and you may face a fine.
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Jul 10th, 2014, 09:50 AM
  #12
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Great ideas and thanks for the suggestion to post a separate post for restaurants/hotels. Thank you for the info on the train ticket. I had not idea about that either.
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Jul 11th, 2014, 09:37 AM
  #13
 
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Here's a recent trip report you might be interested in reading - OP went to London and Paris w/ gdaughter so you will have to scroll down to Paris area.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-and-paris.cfm

She has noted hotels and restaurants they stayed at or visited.
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