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  #941  
Old August 8th, 2012, 12:50 PM
cruisingatsea2 cruisingatsea2 is offline
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We leave for Imperial Jewels in early October out of Beijing and have yet to find any info on cc about the extension trip to Hong Kong. Has anyone done it or can anyone point me to some post that I might have missed. I'm also starting top think about clothes (I know it's early) but with the rainy weather and being October I'd really appreciate some ideas!!
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  #942  
Old August 8th, 2012, 02:14 PM
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Turtles06 Turtles06 is offline
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Originally Posted by cruisingatsea2 View Post
We leave for Imperial Jewels in early October out of Beijing and have yet to find any info on cc about the extension trip to Hong Kong. Has anyone done it or can anyone point me to some post that I might have missed. I'm also starting top think about clothes (I know it's early) but with the rainy weather and being October I'd really appreciate some ideas!!
Now that you mention it, I don't recall too many people writing about Hong Kong (except that the weight limits for airline baggage and carry ons are strictly enforced). Did you do a search on the original "Viking China" thread (link is below)? If not, you might want to take a few minutes to do that, and limit your review of any responses to the most recent posts, which were from the 2010 and 2011 seasons... Just a thought.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...ight=hong+kong

As for clothing: layers!
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  #943  
Old August 8th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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bayerisch bayerisch is offline
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Originally Posted by seanf View Post
bayerisch - I am glad that you got to visit Tibet, as this really was one of the highlights of my Viking tour and I hope to return there in the future. It is a shame that you required medical attention, but understandable as the altitude did seriously affect a few members of my group as I have mentioned before

Sean
Sean, where you there after the St. Regis opened? I was so tickled when I had ordered room service for a banana to calm my stomach and the butler delivered it, wearing white gloves with silver service and linen. That hotel is awesome and the staff incredible. I have never been in a place like this. I noticed the penthouse on the roof where Brad Pit stays when he visits. The view is unforgettable and so are the rooms.
You are correct that Tibet is the highlight and I am glad I got to see it. Would I return? I don't know. Perhaps the fact that I was so sick may scare me a bit, I was the sickest in my group. Also the fact that I waited too long to ask for help and the fact that I traveled alone may be a factor.
Most everywhere I was I had wished for more time to spend, alas, you can't see everything in a limited amount of time.
What time of the year did you see Tibet?
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  #944  
Old August 9th, 2012, 03:14 AM
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Peregrina651 Peregrina651 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtles06 View Post


Now that you mention it, I don't recall too many people writing about Hong Kong (except that the weight limits for airline baggage and carry ons are strictly enforced). Did you do a search on the original "Viking China" thread (link is below)? If not, you might want to take a few minutes to do that, and limit your review of any responses to the most recent posts, which were from the 2010 and 2011 seasons... Just a thought.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...ight=hong+kong

As for clothing: layers!

I don't remember that much discussion in Viking China, Part One either, other than as you said about the baggage limits. Perhaps there is some discussion in the Ports of Call boards and failing that, Trip Advisor.

If you have any specific questions, especially if they are Viking related, you can ask them here. You never know how many past guests are still following this thread and may have an answer for you.





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  #945  
Old August 9th, 2012, 02:49 PM
Holly1225 Holly1225 is offline
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Default Update on ship going through lock

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Originally Posted by Kohola View Post
Current plans for the Emerald are to sail between Wuhan and the Three Gorges Dam until August 7. There are a lot of ships sitting waiting for those locks so it will take some time for the gridlock to clear once the locks are reopened. Of course this is unofficial information coming from my sources in management on the Emerald...not from Viking itself. The Emerald is currently docked in Wuhan with passengers on board.
I would love an update on the status of the Emerald and whether it is back to a full cruise and able to go through the lock. I was reading an article on that murder trial in Chongqing and it mentioned the "driving rain" yesturday. My TA called Viking and, as others have reported, they know nothing about the weather or any changes to the schedule. I realize the weather is not Viking's fault and that they will do their best but not providing us with information is really gauling and is treating their passengers like we don't know what's going on.

I'm looking so forward to this trip and I'm going at the end of the month. Does anyone have an update on the status of the cruise. Thanks
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  #946  
Old August 9th, 2012, 04:41 PM
Kohola Kohola is offline
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Originally Posted by Holly1225 View Post
I would love an update on the status of the Emerald and whether it is back to a full cruise and able to go through the lock. I was reading an article on that murder trial in Chongqing and it mentioned the "driving rain" yesturday. My TA called Viking and, as others have reported, they know nothing about the weather or any changes to the schedule. I realize the weather is not Viking's fault and that they will do their best but not providing us with information is really gauling and is treating their passengers like we don't know what's going on.

I'm looking so forward to this trip and I'm going at the end of the month. Does anyone have an update on the status of the cruise. Thanks
The Emerald arrived in ChongQing on August 7th local time and should be on its way to Nanjing currently. There is nothing to indicate that the tours would not be proceeding as scheduled.

ChongQing is a foggy city which experiences monsoon rains in the summer. In August ChongQing averages almost 7 inches of rain spread across 11 days.
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  #947  
Old August 10th, 2012, 06:37 AM
bnkCC bnkCC is offline
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Default Why couldn't Viking have told me that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kohola View Post
The Emerald arrived in ChongQing on August 7th local time and should be on its way to Nanjing currently. There is nothing to indicate that the tours would not be proceeding as scheduled.

ChongQing is a foggy city which experiences monsoon rains in the summer. In August ChongQing averages almost 7 inches of rain spread across 11 days.
This the first time anyone has had info as to The Emerald making it through the locks. Someone should tell Viking because they don't seem to have a clue, or at least they refuse to tell their clients anything helpful. I called 4 times with the same patented statement...that are no changes to the itinerary, despite reports to the contrary. We are on the Aug 15th sailing out of Shanghai for the 17 day trip and have read reports of 3 typhoons hitting Eastern China in one week, flights cancelled, unbelievable flooding, many lives lost, 1 million plus evacuated, flood waters reaching Chongqing city center etc. We are trying to keep positive but its a real strain especially when Viking has not been forthcoming. For me, being up front is so important for developing a good relationship. This is our first time with them. Thanks again for the input.. its has really helped. Please keep us posted with any additional information. you are our only source of info at this time. Anyone else have anything to add?
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  #948  
Old August 10th, 2012, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by bnkCC View Post
This the first time anyone has had info as to The Emerald making it through the locks. Someone should tell Viking because they don't seem to have a clue
When you call Viking you're calling the sales and customer service department. These are not the management or logistics people. Some of those staff are working on the issues at hand specifically in China not selling cruises around the world.

This is "normal" corporate behavior. Call a car dealership and you will talk to a salesperson. The mechanics aren't given access to phones. It doesn't matter what business it is unless it's a sole proprietorship this is SOP. These forums are full of people noticing/reporting cruise company customer service people don't always know everything senior management does. This should not be a surprise.

Viking is dealing with thousands of customers/clients at any given point in time, not just you. This is the whole reason forums like this exist. People share information "from the front lines" in ways corporations cannot respond. It works in many industries and not just travel. Research on places such as Cruise Critic is also how we know about the monsoons in Asia (just one of the reasons prices are lower during monsoon season just as prices are lower in the Carribean during hurricane season.) This should also not be a surprise.
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Last edited by kbert92069; August 10th, 2012 at 10:30 AM.
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  #949  
Old August 10th, 2012, 11:39 AM
Holly1225 Holly1225 is offline
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Default Thank you Kohola

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kohola View Post
The Emerald arrived in ChongQing on August 7th local time and should be on its way to Nanjing currently. There is nothing to indicate that the tours would not be proceeding as scheduled.

ChongQing is a foggy city which experiences monsoon rains in the summer. In August ChongQing averages almost 7 inches of rain spread across 11 days.
Thank you Kohola!! It makes me feel so much better. Like bnkCC I'm wondering why Viking couldn't have said that. China is a trip of a lifetime and you can't help but worry that you won't get the full experience even if it is because of something you can't control like the weather.

Thanks to all the advice I'll minimze the sunscreen I pack and include a rain poncho. If you get any further updates please post them.
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  #950  
Old August 10th, 2012, 12:48 PM
Kohola Kohola is offline
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Originally Posted by Holly1225 View Post
Thank you Kohola!! It makes me feel so much better. Like bnkCC I'm wondering why Viking couldn't have said that. China is a trip of a lifetime and you can't help but worry that you won't get the full experience even if it is because of something you can't control like the weather.
Real time...the Emerald is currently at the Three Gorges Dam on 8/10/12 at 11pm local time ready to transit the locks and continue downstream. Downstream you navigate the locks in the wee hours of the morning and upstream in late afternoon if the ship is operating on schedule.

ChongQing is fine per my friend that lives there, but understand ChongQing encompasses a very large area with an urban population of some 32 million. She doesn't live far from the Yangtze. She told me they've had bright sunshine the last few days.

I asked someone on the Emerald about the conditions downstream of the dam and will post if I find out anything pertinent. Language barriers are always an issue.
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  #951  
Old August 10th, 2012, 02:07 PM
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Dear Viking Travelers,

We see that there is a growing concern around the level of the Yangtze River and how it has impacted – or will impact – sailings of Viking Emerald. The Yangtze, as you know, recently had a very high water level and therefore a few of our itineraries required some adjustments. When necessary we worked to provide our guests with an alternative itinerary that continued to highlight some of China’s many wonders. Similar to what Cruise Critic member bayerish has reported, we are hearing from many of the guests on these affected sailings that they too had a great trip. We understand that some are disappointed with the portion of the river cruise that we were unable to provide and we would be more than happy to speak with any guest about their feedback or concerns. We can be contacted directly at TellUs@vikingrivercruises.com.

Currently we are pleased to report that the level of the Yangtze River, in the area that Viking sails, has returned to normal. At this point in time we do not anticipate any future itinerary alterations will be necessary. Based on some recent posts to this thread we understand how frustrated a few of you are that you were not able to get the answers you wanted from our representatives on the phone. We apologize for that frustration and moving forward we will try to learn from this experience and adjust our internal communication processes. With that said, please know that the safety of our guests and employees is always our top priority and were that safety ever to be compromised we would take the action required to the fullest extent.

Sincerely,
Viking River Cruises
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  #952  
Old August 11th, 2012, 10:20 PM
Promisekeeper Promisekeeper is offline
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Just returned from Imperial Jewels of China and happy to report that the Emerald sailed from Wohan to Chongqing as scheduled. It was a wonderful trip and every aspect of the trip from Shanghai to the cruise to Beijing was fabulous. It is VERY hot in China right now but we had no rain; just "hazy" (smoggy) skies but otherwise our itinerary went like clockwork. If anyone has any reservations about being in China, Viking is completely organized from A to Z and it makes the journey completely stress free. The tour escort advises you on everything from what money to bring, where the "western" bathrooms are, to shopping, how to avoid the street vendors, and how to bargain. By far, the best trip we have had. The Emerald is a lovely ship and the food was outstanding. You will eat a lot of Chinese food but there is plenty of other food to choose from and it all is good.
The highlight for us was the trip to the school. One group had postcards from their home cities/states and passed them around to the children to see. It was a big hit.
Our tour escort was Johanna and she was first rate; we all loved her dearly and learned so much from her.
If anyone has questions I'd be glad to share our experiences.
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  #953  
Old August 12th, 2012, 09:54 AM
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bayerisch bayerisch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisingatsea2 View Post
We leave for Imperial Jewels in early October out of Beijing and have yet to find any info on cc about the extension trip to Hong Kong. Has anyone done it or can anyone point me to some post that I might have missed. I'm also starting top think about clothes (I know it's early) but with the rainy weather and being October I'd really appreciate some ideas!!
http://gochina.about.com/od/weather/p/Oct_in_China.htm

Attached is a google site about weather in China in October. It will give you the information you need.

Just click on the link.
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  #954  
Old August 13th, 2012, 08:09 PM
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Viking Cruises Viking Cruises is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Promisekeeper View Post
Just returned from Imperial Jewels of China and happy to report that the Emerald sailed from Wohan to Chongqing as scheduled. It was a wonderful trip and every aspect of the trip from Shanghai to the cruise to Beijing was fabulous. It is VERY hot in China right now but we had no rain; just "hazy" (smoggy) skies but otherwise our itinerary went like clockwork. If anyone has any reservations about being in China, Viking is completely organized from A to Z and it makes the journey completely stress free. The tour escort advises you on everything from what money to bring, where the "western" bathrooms are, to shopping, how to avoid the street vendors, and how to bargain. By far, the best trip we have had. The Emerald is a lovely ship and the food was outstanding. You will eat a lot of Chinese food but there is plenty of other food to choose from and it all is good.
The highlight for us was the trip to the school. One group had postcards from their home cities/states and passed them around to the children to see. It was a big hit.
Our tour escort was Johanna and she was first rate; we all loved her dearly and learned so much from her.
If anyone has questions I'd be glad to share our experiences.
Dear Promisekeeper,

Welcome home from China! We’re pleased to hear that you enjoyed every aspect of your cruise and that it was the best trip you’ve had. A stress free vacation certainly makes for a wonderful time, no matter where you go. It sounds like the service provided by our staff and crew helped you to cruise without a care – and that’s something we never grow tired of hearing.

Additionally, it’s nice to hear that the highlight of your trip was your visit to the Viking supported school. We’re sure the experiences your shared with the students will be treasured for years to come.

Thank you for choosing to sail with us! We hope to welcome you onboard again soon!

Sincerely,
Viking River Cruises
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  #955  
Old August 14th, 2012, 03:16 PM
Holly1225 Holly1225 is offline
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Smile Thank you

I have been away for a few days and am so glad to read the postings on the water level on the Yangtze and the return to normal. Thank you Kohla and Promisekeeper for your insight. And thank you Viking Cruises for responding to the concerns of your guests. We took our first Viking cruise last year in Russia and enjoyed it very much. We are looking very forward to China but were a little frustrated over the lack of information except on this board. Its great that you have rectified that and I can't wait for China.
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  #956  
Old August 15th, 2012, 11:08 AM
cailin2010 cailin2010 is offline
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Default Good News!

I want to echo the recent comment by Holly1225 AND thank Viking Cruise for their follow up. BTW: I wholeheartedly applaud the focus on safety. I can't wait for our cruise to China!!
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  #957  
Old August 17th, 2012, 04:06 PM
Ryan55 Ryan55 is offline
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Default SIM Card for China

I have an unlocked quad phone and am looking for a prepaid SIM card to use in China. The features I'm looking for are: low cost calls back to the US and inexpensive local calls within China. Does anyone have any suggestions for carriers or plans? Is it better to get the SIM card in China or in the US?
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  #958  
Old August 18th, 2012, 01:54 PM
Promisekeeper Promisekeeper is offline
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Originally Posted by Ryan55 View Post
I have an unlocked quad phone and am looking for a prepaid SIM card to use in China. The features I'm looking for are: low cost calls back to the US and inexpensive local calls within China. Does anyone have any suggestions for carriers or plans? Is it better to get the SIM card in China or in the US?
We used rebelfone. Good value and easy to use. We ordered the SIM card in the US and received it about a week before we left. We mailed it back the day after we returned. It is $9.99 for a month. Check their website for specific charges for calls, texts, etc. We got a local mobile number within China and a follow-me US cell number so that friends and family could call us from their cell phones without a charge. That way, we eliminated random calls and just gave out our number to those we wanted to have it.
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  #959  
Old August 18th, 2012, 08:32 PM
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Maredog Maredog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori Dobson View Post
I hope so! Please try and find us - on our ocean cruises, all the CC members wear mardi gras beads on embarkation day - maybe we can do something like that...
I may have marti gras beads. I'll look for them. I am registered under Mary Davis if that helps. See you soon.
You were right the package from Viking was really nice and informative. To anyone reading this that has not made this trip, Viking provides a booklet with info on almost everything you need to know. It arrives a month before you leave.
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  #960  
Old August 19th, 2012, 11:09 AM
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bettybc bettybc is offline
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Hi there
We're booked on the same trip but in April/May 2013. I'll be posting after our tour so just thought I'd let you know. You might want the update so send me a reminder if you want.
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