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Better late than never? September 2012 Report -COMPLETE!

Discussion in 'Disneyland Paris Trip Reports Board' started by maryr1oz, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Mouseketeer

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    Our trip was 5 months ago – I can’t believe it! After we returned home I couldn’t bring myself to start a trip report, I was too depressed the trip was over. I guess better late than never though, right? :confused3

    This trip was specifically so my husband and I could attend my cousin’s wedding in London. DH works for a highly annoying company who hate approving leave during the year. He was lucky to get the 3 weeks he applied for. Our dates were (supposed to be) Friday August 31st to Sunday September 23rd.

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    On this trip we would visit Doha, Paris, London, Malta, Brussels and finally, Disneyland Paris. I’ll give you a basic report of our whole trip, paying extra attention to Disney. DH had never travelled to Europe before, so it was really cool seeing things through his eyes. We are foodies, so be prepared for lot’s of food pics.

    Let’s get started!

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    We were booked to fly to Paris, via Doha, with Qatar Airways. We were due to leave Melbourne late Friday night after we’d both worked. I was already home frantically packing last minute items when DH pulled into the garage. His face didn’t look good. I questioned what was wrong. Qatar Airways had called and let him know that our flight was overbooked. As we had a 36 hour stop over booked in Doha, they were wondering if we would be prepared to be bumped off our flight that night – and rebooked in Business Class the next night. My mouth dropped – things like that just don’t happen to us! Needless to say we took their offer, and ended up at the airport 24 hours later.
    We were given access to the Air New Zealand lounge in the International Terminal. We spent an hour or so in there using the wifi and relaxing.

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    When we were called to board we were taken through a separate gangway and straight into Business Class. We were seated in the very front aisle, against a window. The whole experience was amazing. We ate, we slept, we ate again, and we landed in Doha feeling so refreshed!

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    Although our flight had been delayed 24 hours, when we arrived in Doha we still had an 8 hour layover, and it was only about 6am. We had a room from the previous night booked and paid for at the Hilton Doha, so we thought we would go there for a few hours to shower, change and have breakfast. They sent the hotel car and driver to pick us up, and the trip to the city was quite short.

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    Doha is quite amazing. Much like most modern Arabic cities I imagine. The room we were given at the hotel was quite nice, and we enjoyed the chance to shower and change. We spent the time there having breakfast in their lounge, then walking around the grounds.

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    We went down to the pool area, and at 9am it was already close to 40 degrees and super windy.

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    When it was time we had the hotel call us a taxi, and we went back to the airport.
     
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  3. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Mouseketeer

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  4. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Mouseketeer

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    When we were boarding for our next flight to Paris, there was another stroke of luck. My boarding pass made a beeping noise when scanned, as did DH’s. We were ushered to the side. The flight attendant smiled, printed new boarding passes and told us we’d been upgraded to Business Class for this flight also – definitely NOT part of our original deal! We were ecstatic.

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    We were given more Ferragamo pamper packs, more champagne and more food!

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    On this flight we watched a couple of movies, ate, and soon it was time to descend into Paris. I could not get over how much food is offered in Business Class. Not only do they offer meals quite regularly, there is a menu of on demand food available at all times.

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    On all of our Qatar Airways flights the staff were wonderful, I couldn’t recommend this airline any more highly for long distance travel. :thumbsup2
     
  5. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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  6. Aussie Wendy

    Aussie Wendy DIS Veteran

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    Lucky! Sounds like a nice luxury start!
     
  7. Carrie_Cat

    Carrie_Cat I'm a Rive Gauche person Moderator

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    I'll be lurking ;) You have just been to some of my favourite places especially London and Malta so I'm looking forward to reading more :goodvibes

    We are looking at Qatar for our flights to BKK and back from SIN this year though I doubt we'd get as lucky as you in Business ! What an amazing start :cool1:
     
  8. Minniemum

    Minniemum DIS Veteran

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    Looking at your fantastic photos, I'd take the Business Class option too!
     
  9. areweindisneyyet

    areweindisneyyet DIS Veteran

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    I'm in. Looking forward to it all. Malta is high in my list. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on DLP
     
  10. Ms. Shuttergirl

    Ms. Shuttergirl DIS Veteran

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    Loving the TR so far. Looking forward to more.
     
  11. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    Lucky duck getting BOTH sections of your flight upgraded! :faint: What an awesome start to your trip!

    DH has heard good things about Qatar, so it's nice to hear from someone who's flown with them.
     
  12. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Mouseketeer

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    It really was a great trip, as always it went by much too quickly...

    It was amazing, something i'm sure we'll never be able to do again

    Malta was great, i can't wait to recount it all again in this report.

    It's definitely something i never thought i'd be able to do!

    Malta was great - i can't wait to write about it!

    Bet you're getting excited about your trip - not long to go now!

    Definitely recommend them - we came home in economy and it was great. Definitely better than Qantas - although i haven't flown on their A380's, so can't compare that.
     
  13. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Mouseketeer

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    We arrived into Paris late on Sunday evening. I think it was about 8pm. It was quite quick to get through passport control, get baggage and out onto the street where we would catch the bus to the city. We went with Roissy-Bus, and it was very easy. I did wish we waited for the next bus though - we had to stand and it was packed. I didn't mind the standing, but the bus ride was SO bumpy, i kept on seeing people falling all over the place.

    We stayed at the Hotel Paris France - http://www.paris-france-hotel.com/
    I cannot recommend this hotel more highly. Yes, it's small, the rooms are small and the bathroom was tiny - but for the price we paid it was fantastic. The staff were great, it was quiet, and the location was perfect. We had a street view room, with an opening window. Seriously - recommended!!

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    Monday morning we woke early - jet lag i'd say - and i was up and ready to get outside. This was the only day of our trip where there was a little rain - until we got to DLP (of course!). We left the hotel and walked down to Notre Dame, via the Hotel de Ville.

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    Through the garden there and across one of the several padlock covered bridges.

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    We wound through the streets close to the bank, then across to the Louvre. Up through the Tuilleries, and along Champs-Elysees. We climbed the Arc de Triomphe - so many stairs!

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    From there we walked down to the Trocodero, and across to the Eiffel Tower. I had desperately wanted to go up the tower, but months before our trip tickets were sold out. I think there was a tourist flow on effect in Paris as the Olympics had just finished in London. As expected, the queue to wait was about 3 hours long - just not worth it.

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    We kept walking back towards Pl. des Invalides, and then back to the hotel via Notre Dame again.

    Later in the evening, we caught the Metro down to the river and we boarded a sightseeing cruise. We'd timed it well for sunset, and then being able to see the Eiffel Tower sparkling with lights at the end.
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    It was a big day of walking - our pedometer said we'd walked about 25kms that day, but it was fantastic, and definitely the best way to spend our first day in Paris!
     
  14. zanzibar138

    zanzibar138 DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a great first day! Nothing like walking around a city to get a feel for it :thumbsup2
     
  15. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    What a fantastic way to end the day......nice cruise down the Seine coinciding with sunset. Lovely pictures.
     
  16. Isila

    Isila There is a big beautiful tomorrow

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    oh wow, this is the way to travel. Fantastic upgrade :thumbsup2
     
  17. Minniemum

    Minniemum DIS Veteran

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    You've really packed a lot into that first day. Great photos.
     
  18. maryr1oz

    maryr1oz Mouseketeer

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    I better get on with this report - so much for a quick intro to our trip before Disney. I'm having alot of fun recounting everything though... ;)

    Day 2 in Paris was another long one. We headed straight to Montmartre on the Metro. We looked at a closed Moulin Rouge, before walking through the streets to the Finiculaire railway, which took us up to Sacre Coeur.

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    This was pretty amazing. We walked through inside, and then went down into the crypt. My husband decided he would climb to the Dome, but i took the easy way out and sat on the steps in the sunshine enjoying the view. He said it was an amazing perspective from the top.

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    From Sacre Coeur we walked down the hill this time, returning to the Metro. We stopped briefly for a look at Galeries Lafayette, which was quite stunning.

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    Back to Champs-Elysees where we decided we'd spend the rest of the day taking the open air sightseeing bus tours of the city.

    Before we departed we made a very poor choice for lunch. Wanting to get moving on the bus tour, we walked into the closest sidewalk cafe. It was bad - extremely over priced (understandable for the location) but the food was just BAD. Absolutely tasteless and poor quality.

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    We'd already seen much of the sights on our own, and the pre-recorded commentary wasn't all that fantastic, but it was a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. We managed to do 2 and 1/2 of the 3 loops before the evening came.

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    That night we were a bit lazy and headed to a restaurant right by the hotel for a late dinner - of all things it was American cuisine! Oh well, it was quick, cheap and low effort.

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  19. Carrie_Cat

    Carrie_Cat I'm a Rive Gauche person Moderator

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    Wow you did a lot :eek: Most people collapse for the first day or so claiming jet lag :rotfl:

    Re the Eiffel Tower - When you came it had still work ongoing on the lifts so people were unable to reserve their places in advance and that's why the queues were really really long. Normally they would have been half that

    As you found out never eat on the Champs Elysées ever... it's over priced and bad quality and service as they know they can get away with it.

    Always go a few streets off it and you will find much better prices/food/service.

    Really enjoying your report and I love the photos, it's always nice for me to see Paris through visitors eyes :goodvibes
     
  20. PrincessInOz

    PrincessInOz Thanks for my avatar, Mary Jo!

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    Love the shots of Parisienne life. Makes me want to be there!
     
  21. Asker Family

    Asker Family Mouseketeer

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    Wow what an amazing sounding trip you had!! Looking forward to hearing about Disney of course, and Malta as we are off there this summer! Photos of Paris are great :)
     

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