Are there any less expensive sightseeing tours to get from the ship to the city of Paris and back to the ship again. First of all, there is no longer anything being offered on the internet, and we would like to see Paris when we're so close.
I don't blame you. That's like going to Rome and not visiting the Vatican too me.
The transportation is 3 hrs. of the trip; 1 1/2 hrs. each way. You will never see everything in one day, but a full day ship tour will help give you a good overview. On Celebrity, we did the all day tour that included Lunch on the Beau Marche on the Sine River. This was fun (free flowing wine was included), relaxing and a great way to see another side of Paris. (It happened to rain while we were on the boat which had a total glass dome.) Time was spent riding around on the bus viewing the majority of the famous sites including The Arch de Triumph, the Eiffel Tower (we stopped for a photo opportunity), a drive through the Louvre, drive through the Champ d' L'aise, the Literary district and finally a stop and tour of Notre' Dame. Our free time was very limited at less than one hour, but we did "see" Paris. Others that we dined with took the Paris on your Own Tour, which included the round trip transportation and a 3-4 hr. tour including maps. Then you were left on your own to venture out where you wanted to explore. That may be worth considering if you are confident of your French.
Crusing Europe was exciting, but exhausting as it is port intensive. I would love to go back some day for Paris and Rome and do a land tour. Did you check out Portpromotions? When we sailed, they offered small group tours in some European ports.