…and other exciting adventures like eating snails!
Truth be told, we’ve only been on one (1) other cruise before. It sailed from Long Beach, CA, to Ensenada, Mexico. And across 3 days, we consumed 70,000 calories each (give or take a burger or two). Not much to write home about.
Turns out, when given a buffet, we’re the first ones in line pushing everyone out of the way. For the sake of our health (and our reputation of always being polite), we swore off cruises forever 😱
UNTIL, just two weeks ago, we went on our very first river cruise together.
The cruise: U by Uniworld’s inaugural voyage across the Seine River (from Paris to Rouen, up in the Normandy region of France, and back again to Paris).
The timing: four days and four nights, all at the beginning of October. “Paris in the Fall,” très romantique ❤️
The verdict: we were so surprised. SUCH an incredible surprise.
Surprised by how young everyone was on the cruise (the cruise itself is designed and tailored for millennials, specifically in the 21-45 age range). Surprised by how trendy the entire ship was (including a photograph of Kylie Jenner outside of our cabin and a photo of Britney Spears on the way to the ship’s restaurant). Surprised by the unique, behind-the-scenes perspective we were were presented with on the trip; we’ve been to Paris multiple times before, but have never experienced the city this way.
Surprised by the green goddess juice served every morning (among all other brunch items). How healthy! And surprised by the quality, craft cocktails with bartenders knowledgeable enough to recommend them, instead of a Mai Tai or a Sex on the Beach (i.e. standard cruise-fare).
Did we mention we were surprised?
We could go on and on and on, but we’ll cut to the chase: here’s what we did for four nights and four days.
DAY 1 — Paris
Amidst collecting our bearings after an 11-hour flight, we ran straight to our cabin and took a nap. NECESSARY. The beds were plush and pillow-topped. And despite the compact space, our room was well-equipped with storage, including a space for our huge suitcases beneath the bed itself.
Three hours later, we were back in the ship’s main quarters, having our first meal, and heading off to our first excursion: a behind-the-scenes tour of the Eiffel Tower. We skipped the line 😉
The night was dedicated to La Nuit Blanche across all of Paris, an all-night arts festival, with the city bustling until the early hours of the morning. Meaning: we were up until 5:30am dancing the night away. Oopsie poopsie! We can sleep when we’re dead.
DAY 2 — Paris to Rouen, France
Bright and early, we were on a glass-topped brunch bus by 9am, being served breakfast and mimosas while driving through the city’s boulevards. Probably one of the highlights of our entire trip.
From there we took a tour of Paris’ rooftops from the Left Bank to the Right Bank (as one of our cruise excursions), and might or might not have had McDonald’s on the way back to the ship (not tailored to the cruise experience, but tailored from our own prerogative; we needed Big Macs!) 😛
The second night marked the official send-off of the trip along the Seine, complete with dancing in both lounges on the ship until 4am 😀
DAY 3 — Rouen, France
We woke up in Rouen, in the Normandy region of France, had brunch and immediately took off on a tour of the city, seeing the site where Joan of Arc was burned and a cathedral bestt known for Monet’s cathedral series. Two completely polar opposite moments in history, but awe-inspiring equally 😜
Once more, we may or may not have had McDonald’s as a snack while wandering the streets. You can’t really experience a city without tasting the local fast food! We also caught a glance of the restaurant where Julia Child was first introduced to the art of French cooking: La Couronne. OH, and we finally had escargot today, hurray! Yummy yummy snails.
And then after walking all day, we went straight back to the ship for our 10th meal of the day. Kidding, it was only our 6th — dinnertime! The dinner this night was exceptionally amazing: swordfish with molten chocolate lava cake for dessert.
DAY 4 — Versailles
Our last day was entirely dedicated to a trip to Versailles, where we visited one of the estate’s chapels (most famously known for where King Louis XVI married Marie Antoinette), the king’s chambers, and the Hall of Mirrors. And although we didn’t get to tour the gardens, we did get to explore the grounds in front, complete with a golden gate fit for our future mansion.
It was our last night and we celebrated in silky pajamas provided by the cruise, dancing the night away (again) in the ‘Ice Bar’ at the top of the ship. By the time we fell asleep (early in the morning, of course), we were already back in Paris, with a departure time set for 11am.
The trip, as a whole, was such an incredible experience, and one that we will, forever and ever, proudly endorse. Cheers to U by Uniworld.