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Opinions Please on Those Seine Dinner Cruises

Opinions Please on Those Seine Dinner Cruises

Nov 14th, 2005, 07:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 839
Opinions Please on Those Seine Dinner Cruises

I am taking my mother to Paris next year and am interested in anyone's opinion on those dinner cruise on the Seine. Some people have told me they are not to be missed while others have said they are an overpriced tourist attraction.

Was hoping for some honest Fodor feedback. Thank you!

P.S. My mother is an active senior (67) and is up for anything so age is not a factor. Also, she has never been to Paris. Actually she has never been to Europe so this is quite an exciting trip for her and I want to make it memorable.
Dejais is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 08:10 PM
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Ok they ARE a tourist attraction, but a nice one at that. The food, in comparison with whatever else you would pay for in Paris, is not great. But sitting in a boat and floating down the Seine and seeing the city from a totally different perspective has some tremendous plusses. You won't see Notre Dame from that side if you were to walk up to it. Probably the rest of your trip you will be pounding the pavement. How about throwing in a boat ride? I personally enjoyed the views and at that time I didn't care if it was a tourist trap. Being on the water was cool and the Bateau Mouche (sp?) was the only way I got there! Everyone I talk to who has done these all laughs that it's a tourist trap but they all think it was fun. I would vote to do it, as did I!
Weezie is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 08:13 PM
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They are overpriced and the food is average at best . . however, I beleive it is a "do not miss" event. . once anyway.

We took the MIL to Paris a few years ago for her first time and did one, she absolutely loved it.

Rich is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 09:38 PM
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You can combine seeing the Seine by night with just a cruise, preceded or followed by a good meal somewhere in the vicinity. The prices for the dinner cruises are really excessive, IMO.
Underhill is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 09:54 PM
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I took my mum of 79 on a night cruise but we had dinner at Altitude 95 in the Eiffel Tower first. This was in May 2000. Downside was it drizzled during the cruise and all we saw was wet plastic windows!
Everything was pre-booked with Paris Vision so couldn't change the cruise part.
tod is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 10:10 PM
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I think you'd have a much better time eating a nice dinner somewhere (any where) and then take a night time cruise w/o a meal. Not only are the dinner cruises over priced, the food is not as good as you'd get in most neighborhood restaurants.

I prefer the Vedettes from the Pont Nuef over the Bateaux Mouche - but either would be OK.
janisj is online now  
Nov 15th, 2005, 06:41 AM
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Thank you all for your great repsonses.

Tod...I do have a question for you. How was the dinner at Altitude 95? We had considered doing dinner there and then the cruise but I was not sure what the food was like. One huge concern is I can not eat shellfish and I was not sure what the menu was like since it is not available on their web site.

Also, for everyone else, we are certainly not big "foodies" but would like to be able to eat something edible. Anything other than cafeteria food or fast food would be acceptable. (Ira, if you are reading this, try not to faint at that comment! *smile*)
Dejais is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 06:52 AM
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Hi D,

>Anything other than cafeteria food or fast food would be acceptable.<

Ahh, Ris de Veau as a starter, followed by Rognons de Veau au Naturel or a crispy Pied de Cochon....yum

I also suggest having dinner separately from the Seine Cruise.

You can get a multi-day pass on the Batobus (see www.batobus.com), which pays for itself if used only twice.

IIRC, there are very few Paris restaurants that serve only seafood.

You might find this helpful:

Ira's Mother's Trip to Paris

ira is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 06:54 AM
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I would second the suggestion to do dinner elsewhere. I just took my dad to Paris for four days and we did the hour's early evening cruise leaving from Pont Neuf. Look at their website (I think it's called Vedettes de Pont Neuf), they have several different evening departure times. After that we went out for dinner. The Pont Neuf location is brilliant as it's right in the middle of town and you can eat pretty much anywhere you want to afterwards. For us it was nicer not being stuck at a table, as we found we wanted to get up several times during the cruise and go outside to get a better view/take photos. This was particularly the case with the Eiffel Tower, so beautifully lit up, and the Notre Dame. We were able to see and photograph these two sights so much better being for outside (though I must admit it was a bit chilly!).
CarolineJ is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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We've taken the Marina de Bercy dinner cruise 2 years in a row and plan on doing it again in June. (http://www.marinadeparis.com/vf/index.htm)

It began at 9 from below the Musee D'Orsay and ended at 11:30. It was delightful and while the food wasn't 5 star it was certainly good. Its an elegant cruise, people dress up and the climax is when it hovers under the Eiffel Tower as it sparkles. Its a wonderful memory. I wouldn't have missed it for anything. Its how we have spent our last night in Paris.
ehughes is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 08:14 AM
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ehughes...Thank you for your link. I just looked at it and the prices are actually a lot more reasonable than others I have found. Can you tell me what the food choices were like for main courses (if you recall)? Thank you again.
Dejais is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 08:39 AM
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We did a Eiffel Tower Dinner/Seine Cruise combo (with Viator) two years ago with mixed results. The dinner was great. The food was outstanding and we had some great conversations with the couples around us. The cruise was about 90 minutes late, which then ended about midnight instead of the expected 10:30 pm. The worst part was that no one in a position of responsibility told us what was going on. We had no idea why the boat was not leaving. We had no idea when the boat would leave. We were on the verge of cutting our losses and leaving when they started boarding. It was a very frustrating experience. Once underway, the cruise was a nice enough experience, but we were very tired by then.
smueller is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 08:40 AM
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The prices for the Marina Bercy cruise are not bad. We did the Bateau Mooches (sp). It was fun and a great memory for us. I'm thinking that since the weather forcast is not looking too good for next week that a lunch cruise might be a good idea. Looking for inside things to do other than museums and department stores. Can you tell me if it is ok not to dress up and for men is it ok not to wear a tie to the lunch cruise. I know we dressed up for the dinner cruise. I think it was required actually. Thanks for the info.
Suzanne2 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 08:59 AM
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Dejais - I can honestly say that it was most enjoyable. Everyone from the bus sat at two big tables and got to know each other. I wish I could remember what we ate and only have a faint memory of fillet steak in a red wine and mushroom reduction.
I DO remember the desert however! A beautiful slice of cheesecake/maybe mousse cake with a rasberry coulis.
Lots of wine - the waiters topped up our glasses constantly!
If you go I hope it will still be of a high standard but don't expect a "gourmet meal".
tod is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 09:25 AM
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We followed many Fodorites' recommendations and did the cruise a few times (night and day, on Batobus) and had our meals ashore, and we were happy with that decision.

One piece of knowledge that might be useful (i.e., we wish we'd known beforehand) regards the hour that you return from your cruise. We got back to the stop at Musee d'Orsay around 10:30 pm, only to discover that the Tuileries (across which we'd trekked to and from our hotel on Rue de Rivoli in the 1st) locked up before then. We had to walk a bit looking for a taxi stand, since we didn't want to be walking forever that late at night in potentially dangerous areas. Plus we were tired!

But don't let that deter you - a night cruise is wonderful, as is a day cruise. Worth every penny (centime?) spent for our three-day pass.
knoxvillecouple is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 09:33 AM
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We went on a dinner cruise with Bateaux Parisiens. We had the Premier Service and the food was very good.I would recommend it to you with no problem at all. It's a great way to see the city and it's unforgettable.

Charley1965 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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We took a dinner cruise a number of years ago on bateuax parisienne and found it very enjoyable. One thing that made it great was to get an excellent table right at the windows. Every one was dressed up which added to the fun. (we were told when we reserved that "evening dress" was required.
SusieQQ is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 10:14 AM
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Another vote for dinner on land, then an evening cruise (or cruise then dinner). Vedettes de Pont Neuf is the best non-dinner boat IMO.
alan64 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 11:45 AM
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Dejais - Regarding Marina de Bercy cruise, I believe the menu selections are somewhere on the web site. They provide a bottle of wine, we had a wonderful chilled smoke salmon on a small pancake topped with sour cream and dill first course, a very delicious roast chicken entree and a choice of desserts but we chose chocolate mousse. The service was wonderful.

As per a previous post, at 11:30 p.m. we couldn't get a taxi at a taxi stand and had to walk 30 minutes back to our hotel at Place St. Michel. A very pleasant walk, I might add and we felt very safe but we were tired and I had fancy shoes on so it was a trek.
ehughes is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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Yes, Bateaux Parisiens is upscale isn't it? We had a table in the middle aisle of the boat but we could still see out of both sides very well. The meal was of a good standard, in fact we very pleasantly surprised. We do eat out alot and we are quite aware of good and bad food!

Personally, I don't want to sit at the same table as other diners. Our table was very private as there were only 25 tables at the very most.

We were on the Bretagne which I think can only be hired privately now. Very nice!

Charley1965 is offline  

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