A family trip to Paris (AF J 777/380, Meridien Etoile)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by NYBanker, Apr 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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  2. tondoleo
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    Nice TR NYB. Thanks for sharing it.
     
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  3. Toula
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    I enjoyed reading your TR. I just returned from Paris last weekend and your report reminded me of a couple of things that I have vowed I will never do again. The first is I will always try and avoid CDG, it is an awful airport. Crowded, poor checkin service, takes forever to get thru security. We entered France thru Orly and whilst it is a dump, immigration was quick and painless.

    The hotel dilemma, it's crazy how much you pay for such ordinary hotels. When we went in November we stayed at the Westin which was not worth the cash portion of the C&P. This time we rented an apt for 7 days and it was a much better experience. Any time we go for more than 7 days in the future we will go for the apt option.
     
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  4. NYBanker
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    Thanks for the kind words.
    Helpful, thanks. What service did you use to find your flat?
     
  5. hotelsallover

    hotelsallover Silver Member

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    The hotel seems pretty crappy, but that was a fabulous use of points which certainly makes up for the less than perfect stay.

    Thanks for taking the time to write the TR.
     
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  6. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Well done. Thanks.
     
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  7. DeltaExpert
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  8. mattsteg
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    Outstanding report and the timing is great as well for my purposes, as my wife and I have a trip coming up involving some of the same products (and that for a time had a reservation held at the Le Meridien Etoile as a backup plan which has since been shelved). Like you, we realized exceptional value from our Skymiles for travel primarily on AF J.

    Views on the value of Skypesos do confuse me as well - like any loyalty currency they're often on the brink of losing much of their value, but as you mentioned, it is quite often possible to get good value out of them. I think Delta's rather dismal domestic availability (very problematic if you do not live in a gateway) and own-metal availability (not that the alternatives are always better in any meaningful way), glitchy IT, sometimes questionable agents, and poor customer communication have generated quite a bit of backlash - to the point where they are automatically disparaged without fact checking.

    I recall a thread fairly recently where someone wanted to book a spring trip to or via paris, and the response was "good luck, there's no way there is any availability, especially with skypesos". When I looked, there was transatlantic availability for 2 in J nearly every day for 2 or 3 months straight surrounding the desired travel period!
     
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  9. mynameismud
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    Living close to Gare de Lyon, i usually pay approx 50 € for a cab ride, however 70€ for a van from Paris to CDG doesn't seem so expensive. It's more than with a regular cab but still seems decent. AF buses are a good option too, even if you are flying with another airline.
    Glad you enjoyed your stay in Paris with your familly
    Nice TR
     
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  10. NEVERhome

    NEVERhome Silver Member

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    [quote="mynameismud, post: 1334421, member: 4203" AF buses are a good option too, even if you are flying with another airline.
    Glad you enjoyed your stay in Paris with your familly
    Nice TR[/quote]


    Can I second that, I enjoyed this TR, whilst all the time thinking , imagine two ankle biters on the same plane as us, but your two angels come across as perfect. i loved the part where the two teamed up for hours, neither understanding the other. I watched two young children in Cambodia the other week, one local the other British or American, both of them were chatting continuously in their native tongue, they were making cars/tanks/trucks out of foam insulation batts. I was reading in an open lounge arrangement and the children were off the patio, under trees and shrubs, in the dirt, they were having a ball. Every now and then they would both laugh and give each other a huge hug, is it possible they have a secret understanding of a sign language or as we get older have we forgotten how to communicate. In Paris i catch the Roissy bus, costs little and leaves me off at Place d' Opera, then it is a short walk to the Hotel.
     
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  11. sobore
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    Great Report! Thanks!
     
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  12. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Great, detailed trip report. I especially enjoy reading about someone else who travels en famille.
     
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  13. Scottrick
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    Great report. When I have kids, I hope to take them to Paris as often as possible. A great city.
     
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  14. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    For what it's worth, after trying the apartment route in Barcelona a couple of summers ago, I don't think I'd ever choose a hotel for a week-long stay in Europe.
     
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  15. cennas
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    Thanks for the report!

    Brought back a lot of memories, especially the Le Meridien Etoile part. I stayed there three times as a teenager back in the late 90s (somehow my dad just loves the hotel) and then once again in 2007. Looking at your photos, it seems that they had another round of renovation since my last stay. While I thought the hotel was nothing special, I also thought that the location was excellent. I especially liked the close proximity to the Metro and the AF bus and also the neighborhood around hotel made for nice walks.
     
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  16. theBOAT
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    Enjoyed the TR

    So, for a fun Q&A session, how young is too young for a visit to Paris (or London, et al.)? My wife & I just had our 1st about 3 months ago, and I'm already itching to take our next trip to Europe. My worry is that until he's about 4 or 5 years old, he won't really remember anything... but at the same time, my wife & I will :)

    I'll just use the next few years to keep banking up miles / points, so we can take up about half of LH's F class on the A380 :cool:

    theBOAT
     
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  17. Toula
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    I booked thru VRBO. We worked out by doing business direct with the owner we saved approx. 25% over what we would have paid thru one of the more professional apt renting sites.
     
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  18. NYBanker
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    Thanks for the kind words.

    At that young of an age, the question is will you enjoy the trip with the little one in tow. To me, 4 years old or so feels like the right age to start such travel....where it will begin to make an impression on the youngsters. Against that, if you want to go somewhere for you and your spouse, assuming the child won't be too much effort or woefully inappropriate (ie: Mt Kilimanjaro or something), you should do it.

    We've had our kids on planes since they were two weeks old (in the case of my son), but till they were 3, it was principally to make it to family locales. Never had an issue. We always, always get a seat for each of our kids.
     
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