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Join Kristin & Jean-Marc on a Seine/Normandy River Cruise!

Join us in Paris for the next AMA river cruise!

Remember that river cruise that my best friend Susan (a.k.a. "Rouge-Bleu") and I went on last month? I have some very good news to share with you: Jean-Marc and I will be hosting the next one along the Seine—and we would be happy if could join us!

I'm going to let Susan tell you all about it here. Susan writes:

Since coming back from France a few weeks ago and experiencing AMA Waterways first hand, I have worked with AMA Waterways (my most favorite river cruise line) about the idea of becoming an onboard host on one of their sailings along with Domaine Rouge-Bleu & French Word-A-Day,  and this request was recently approved!

The best part for any of those joining us is that the guest hosts and those who will be doing the special lectures onboard are author of French-Word-A-Day, Kristin Espinasse (my best friend for 30+ years from high school) and her husband Jean Marc (famous wine maker and former owner of Domaine Rouge-Bleu, where he remains a partner).

The cruise departs and returns to Paris 8-15 NOV 2013 with a focus on Normandy and charming towns along the Seine. There is an optional 2 day land portion in Paris following the sailing. For complete details on the day/day itinerary, please click this link:

The reason I love AMA so much (over many of the other cruise lines) is because of all that is included with their river cruise:

  • 7 nights deluxe cruise accommodation in an outside stateroom - 82% of the staterooms with French balconies
  • Life enriching tours and excursions daily with personal headset included
  • Culinary Delights – Bites & Sights excursions
  • State-of-the-art Infotainment System in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access, hit Hollywood movies, extensive music library & English language TV stations
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
  • Terry bathrobes and white-on-white plush bedding in all staterooms
  • Gourmet dining with all meals included during your cruise
  • Free-flowing red & white wines from Europe's great wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every dinner on board
  • Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
  • Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain's Gala Dinner
  • Transfer from the ship to the hotel in Paris if opting for the land portion
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Paris, including daily buffet breakfast with land portion booked
  • Special highlights including lectures, theme dinners, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and afternoon/evening piano music
  • Bicycles to explore on your own & guided bicycle tours
  • Services of professional Cruise Manager
  • All English language on board in a non-smoking environment (smoking permitted only on the Sun Deck)
  • All transfers are included if one opts to purchase the complete cruise, land & air package
  • All local taxes. Port fees and taxes are not included in the quote on the flyers.


Very few cabins left - please don't delay in reserving your place
There are a limited amount of cabins left on this sailing and the special promo of $500 off per cabin and $100 per person onboard ship credit runs only through Jan 31, 2013. Cabins must have deposit on them by 31JAN 2013 in order to qualify. In order to qualify for this promo, all sailings must be booked with Critics Choice Vacations.

Look over the flyer, below, and if you would like a quote on a cabin, I would be delighted to offer you one!

Click to view page 1 of the flyer or Click to view page 2 of this flyer

Warm regards,

Susan Boehnstedt, ACC, DS 
President,  Critics Choice Vacations
mailto:[email protected] 

Phone/Fax: 480-831-9076 


Click to view page 1, the full version of the flyer:

Capture plein écran 15122012 181942

Capture plein écran 15122012 181704

Click to view page 2 (above), the full version of this flyer


Best Friends (c) Kristin Espinasse

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lLal Minton

J'aimerais bien m'y inscrire mais pas en hiver. Si vous deux en donniez en ete en francais. Je vais en France pour entedre et parler francais. Lal Minton


Comme Lal,
I would prefer one in French, maybe with less luxe and not an all American group.
Don't need so much food or luxurious accommodations....need the bikes, etc. Like to immerse self more than to be pampered.
But would absolutely LOVE to have you two as hosts...on even a simple barge tour ANYwhere in France, and any season.
Merci bien, de m'ecouter.
Guess I should just come do y'all's vendange!!!



Once Kristi and Jean-Marc get the hang of this new adventure I am sure there will be more to come, more ways for all of us to meet-up somehow in our future. I have been begging for them to try something like this for years - and now out of the blue they have this opportunity...even thought I don't think John and I can afford this particular cruise I do hope in the future that there will be another event that we will be able to enjoy. Of course my fantasy will always be that the entire group would be French Word-A-Day friends and also my daughter Heidi - and then of course my two X-husbands and their beautiful wives - plus JM's mom of course. I like my dream.




Remember, the cruise sails the Seine River in France; every time you step off the ship you will have constant opportunities to speak French with every local and person you encounter! It's in France, right?

Leslie in Portland, Oregon

Will Smokey and Braise be helping you host the cruise? XOXO, Leslie


I like Jules' dream! Someday I hope it will be my reality :)

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

Normandy, very appealing!

Very recently I discovered a cousin on my LaBelle side, who researched our roots in New France. We knew my grandfather & his sister came from Montreal to Chicago in the 1870s, but nothing about how they came to Canada.

We have been delighted to learn of over 200 years in New France, descending from those original brave settlers from all over France. Louis Hébert, the apothecary from Paris who came with Champlain in the early 1600s is one of them. Plus many from Perche and other places in Normany, some from La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast, and some from Rhones Alpes region. The tiny farming village of our first LaBelle. Roots all over France!

Those ancestors who made the huge change from Europe to this New World always intrigue me. this group who travelled in the 1600s and the rest who came in the 1800s. I have all that blood in me of brave settlers in a totally new place -- yet I am within 25 miles of where I was born.

I wonder if that is part of the appeal of your blog for me, Kristin. You did the same thing in reverse.

You do not have to face the natives and decide if they are friendly or warlike, as those New France settlers did, but you started from scratch in your new world.

Ah well, such river cruises are not in my scope, but I hope it is a big success for the two of you.


Hi Sarah,

Thanks for sharing your lovely story about your LaBelle roots...



Peggy Wright

This sounds wonderful and I hope to join you on this adventure. Will it be possible to stay a few days more in Paris, either before or after the cruise?

Kathy en Californie

Ce sera sans doute formidable, mais j'attendrai faire un voyage avec vous deux où on parle français. Mais bon voyage! Je suis sûre que vous aurez beaucoup de monde à le faire avec vous et que vous vous amuserez énormément ensemble! (Et ne te fais pas trop de soucis, Kristin!)

Eileen - Charlottesville, VA

Hi Kristin,
What a wonderful idea and adventure! I'm sure this cruise will fill up fast!


I would also love Jules idea (for all of the family of French word a day to get together and meet on the cruise)...wouldn't that be such FUN !!!

Ginette Mazloum

Je ne veux pas être pessimistique mais croisière en Novembre? dans le Nord? Brrrr. J'aime la chaleur.

Jeff Dempsey

Hi Kristin,
We booked the AMA Cruise departing April 12th, 2013 last June......I am curious any chance Jean-Marc will be lecturing on this one??? As a long time follower of French Word-A-Day, that would be such an added treat for the family vacation this Spring!!!
Thank you for always inspiring, teaching and sharing your beautiful photography. Love It

Edie Schmidt

Merci Kristin:

I'm always finding the things my husband has misplaced. I enjoyed your story of domestic bliss!
I also love the expression "zut de zut!" and will share that one with my weekly French group. We are always looking for new vocabulaire.

Edie from Savannah

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