I made grand plans for a romantic, cliché, honeymoon in the Maldives. Etihad First Class, Park Hyatt, you know, the usual blogger special…but that plan was not meant to be.
Heidi was finishing her degree, I had a business to run and we were simply at a point in life, even just a day into our marriage, in which we could not get away. So instead of a 5,000-mile trip to “paradise” we made a 300-mile trip to Paris by high speed train.
TGV, the French high-speed rail service, is operated by SNCF. On German – French routes SNCF (TGV) and DB (ICE) team up. At least in Germany, I have never found much benefit to paying for a first class seat on ICE because there is no difference in service beyond less crowding and free newspapers.
Thus, I planned to buy an economy (“second class”) ticket to get us to Paris, but waited too long and the train sold out. The walk-up price for two first class tickets was nearly 500EUR, pretty brutal, but I did not want to deal with an Air France flight and a transfer from Roissy Airport into central Paris.
Tickets in hand, we spent an hour in the lounge prior to our departure, then boarded our train.
TGV First Class Seats
Economy class may have been crowded, but first class was not – not at all. Seats were plush, velvet-like, and very comfortable.
Power ports are available in front every first class seat. Foot rests too:
We took off at a moderate pace and never exceeded 300km/hr until we crossed the French border beyond the Strasbourg stop.
TGV First Class Dining
Complimentary water is available throughout the journey and a meal was served. The boxed-lunch had a variety of picnic-items and while I ate it, I would have never paid for it. Hot bread was served with it and refills offered. During the lunch service a cabin attendant also came around with a drink cart that included wine.
The German and French countryside is beautiful and without functioning wi-fi onboard, we just looked out an enjoyed it. German weddings run very late, so it was nice to have a quiet, relaxing day as we traveled to Paris.
We arrived ahead of schedule in Paris Est and connected by subway to the Park Hyatt.
There is still something romantic about traveling by train and I was pleased by the smooth and comfortable journey in TGV First Class.
For comparison purposes, we returned to Frankfurt on TGV in economy class. The seats were not as comfortable and the cabin was much more crowded: