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Old 08-10-2012, 12:57 AM   #1
tsgirl
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Esprit de France: Day 6

Day 6 began with the coach departing at 8:45. There were incredible pain au chocolats on the breakfast buffet. Make sure to check your room bill before leaving, as we were charged for the mini bar when we hadn't used it. The charge was removed, but it is important to address this while there. Also, all hotels (so far) have had both safes and mini bars in the room. On a different note, only the first had hair conditioner in the bathroom, so bring some if you need it.
We had about a 45 minute drive to Chateau Chenonceaux. While at the chateau, we toured a few rooms with our "regular" guides. There was a little free time afterwards to visit the gardens and/or gift shop. Everything on this trip has seemed a bit rushed. It would have been a magical touch if ABD had surprised us with row boat rides (at Chenonceaux) and some extra free time to fully experience everything at most of our stops. What has been somewhat lacking has been those special touches that separate ABD from the average tour company. Helen, our phenomenal guide in Normandy, the visit to the Apple orchard (which we were late for because of the delayed lunch) and the surprise treat of crepes were some terrific "magical" touches. Our guides are truly exceptional, but they need to follow the planned itinerary. They gifted us all beautiful tins of cookies while on the bus, which was fantastic, but more changes are needed which are not within their control. The trip either needs to be longer or it needs to omit a stop. For example, we spent 2 nights in Deauville but never had a chance to enjoy either the town or the hotel. There has been a lot of time on the bus.






After Chenonceaux, we drove to chateau Le Clos Luce, which was the home of Leonardo da Vinci.




We again had a rushed visit, with no unique touches. Because of the change in the original itinerary (as I mentioned earlier, Chenonceaux was originally the day before), we were given sandwiches for lunch (with chips and a drink). We got to choose the type of sandwich days earlier (tuna, chicken, ham and cheese, or egg--cheese-tomato). I thought they were just average. To be fair, my daughter loved her sandwich. Most of the food has been average. We were then given apple tarts (which were practically frozen) for dessert. Lunch was disappointing. This would have been a great opportunity to do a lunch of traditional Croque Monsieur sandwiches (grilled ham and cheese with a white sauce) and fries.

The gardens were really fun and interesting, with a lot of interactive exhibits. How great would it have been to have an actor (dressed as Da Vinci) come and explore the garden and its exhibits with us!




At the conclusion of this stop, we boarded the bus for the 3 hour ride to Paris. Before our arrival at the hotel, we stopped at the Trocadero for photos with the Eiffel Tower in the background. This was wonderful.






Even though I have made some suggestions, I am still a huge fan of ABD. I know this trip is new and ABD will tweak it until it is just right. We just needed more time, so that they could add some magic and remove some of the rushing.

Upon arrival in Paris, we settled into our hotel, The Napoleon, which is charming and conveniently located. There is free wifi in the lobby. You just need to request the code from the front desk. Our guides offered an optional tour of the area and hotel, and then the evening is on your own. We made a trek to a restaurant about 3 miles away. It was worth it: a small bistro named Josephine Chez Dumonet. We walked the whole 3 miles back and enjoyed Paris by night.


Last edited by tsgirl; 08-12-2012 at 05:20 AM.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:13 PM   #2
asmith1113
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Eiffel Tower

Certainly can wait until you come back, but I was wondering if you went up in the Eiffel tower today. You said you took pics in front, so seemed like you did not although that's on the plan I have.

"The Eiffel Tower-Soar up towards the stars for a sky-high experience your family will never forget! Embark on a walking tour of the top 2 levels of this Parisian icon and discover the "heights" of art."

Thanks again for sharing!
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by asmith1113 View Post
Certainly can wait until you come back, but I was wondering if you went up in the Eiffel tower today. You said you took pics in front, so seemed like you did not although that's on the plan I have.

"The Eiffel Tower-Soar up towards the stars for a sky-high experience your family will never forget! Embark on a walking tour of the top 2 levels of this Parisian icon and discover the "heights" of art."

Thanks again for sharing!
I think tsgirl was talking about a "first sighting" of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero, which is an area near, but not next to, the Eiffel Tower. You're up & away a bit, so the view is magnificent. You have a hard time seeing the whole tower when you're right next to it! They took us by the Trocadero when we arrived in Paris on our Knights & Lights tour, also. The actual day at the Eiffel Tower was a couple of days later. I imagine they'll be back to "soar up" la Tour Eiffel!

I hope tsgirl, that you don't mind if I add a picture of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero, to give asmith1113 an idea of what you are talking about:

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Old 08-10-2012, 04:43 PM   #4
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Thanks. I just saw her Day 7 post and mentions they offered a tour on the final free day, so I think they probably didn't have time on Day 6 with the schedule change, so offered to do it the next day for those who wanted to. My guess anyway. I did enjoy seeing your picture...very nice!
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by asmith1113 View Post
Thanks. I just saw her Day 7 post and mentions they offered a tour on the final free day, so I think they probably didn't have time on Day 6 with the schedule change, so offered to do it the next day for those who wanted to. My guess anyway. I did enjoy seeing your picture...very nice!
That makes sense. tsgirl did mention that they made a lot of changes to the itinerary. I wonder if it was because of something going on during just her trip, or if these will be permanent changes.

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Old 08-11-2012, 12:56 AM   #6
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Hi everyone. Today is departure day from The Esprit de France. It worked out nicely to have the optional tour of The Eiffel Tower on the full day in Paris. We were told that there is only one working elevator all the way to the top, due to the construction of a new restaurant. Our photo stop upon arrival in Paris never would have allowed for the amount of time needed. We choose NOT to go to the Eiffel Tower (most did go) because we have been there and my girls wanted to sleep late, but those who went met in the lobby at 8am, walked to the metro, were given the full day Metro passes, and were there by 8:30 for a 9am opening. This allowed them to be some of the first few to go up. After heading up, everyone was on their own to spend either as little time or as long as they wanted before their free day in Paris.

Sayhello, I believe most of the itinerary changes were tweaks to improve the trip based on feedback from guests. I think it's great that Disney is always looking to improve! Also, could you message me to tell me how to add pictures upon my return? Thanks!

Cindy
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:59 AM   #7
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We were on the Esprit de France adventure with Cindy. Right now we're waiting for our flight home. We had a great time. This was our first ABD and my family is very excited about taking more adventures in the future. Our group was lots of fun. And Clementine and Jason were so wonderful. It's sad we won't be able to take an Adventure with Jason again, but maybe we'll luck out and run into Clementine once more. Maybe the south of France (hint hint ABD)?

We did go up the Eiffel Tower the last day. They had opened a 2nd elevator so it was faster than expected. Jason took us to the perfect spot for a family photos and then everyone went their own way to explore Paris.

I'll write more when I get home. Looking forward to seeing your pictures Cindy!

Kevin
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by tsgirl View Post
Sayhello, I believe most of the itinerary changes were tweaks to improve the trip based on feedback from guests. I think it's great that Disney is always looking to improve! Also, could you message me to tell me how to add pictures upon my return? Thanks!

Cindy
Cindy, that is great how they do look to improve. No matter how many dry runs you do on a new trip, I guess you'd never know for sure until you have the trip running with actual paying customers, just how well (or not) it will go. Heck, ABD will tweak existing trips, too. Things do change!

PM sent!

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We were on the Esprit de France adventure with Cindy. Right now we're waiting for our flight home. We had a great time. This was our first ABD and my family is very excited about taking more adventures in the future. Our group was lots of fun. And Clementine and Jason were so wonderful. It's sad we won't be able to take an Adventure with Jason again, but maybe we'll luck out and run into Clementine once more. Maybe the south of France (hint hint ABD)?

We did go up the Eiffel Tower the last day. They had opened a 2nd elevator so it was faster than expected. Jason took us to the perfect spot for a family photos and then everyone went their own way to explore Paris.

I'll write more when I get home. Looking forward to seeing your pictures Cindy!

Kevin
Glad you had a great trip, Kevin. You will find that ABD's are *definitely* habit forming! And don't worry, in my experience, ALL of the Adventure Guides are great! (Although most tend to have a soft spot for their firsts! )

Sayhello
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My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:07 AM   #9
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Sounds like they should add another day or two to this trip so you can enjoy your time. But it still looks like a beautiful trip!
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