Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Ports of Call > Asia
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 12:07 PM
cmpaula's Avatar
cmpaula cmpaula is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 325
Default Question about Asia cruises....

We have booked a cruise that starts in Singapore and ends in Shanghai and found the following quote on a webiste about cruises to Asia:

"Please note: this product has been sold almost exclusively to guests from Asia; therefore services and products have been added to meet their cultural preferences in food and beverage and entertainment. While English language assistance will be provided, the local language will be the primary language spoken onboard."

Obviously, I don't expect everyone we encounter to speak English but I would appreciate any insight on exactly what this means. We are cruising on Royal Caribbean with our 18 and 20 year old kids, we are seasoned travelers but haven't had the pleasure of vacationing in Asia.

Thanks so much for advice!
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #2  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 02:00 PM
paul929207's Avatar
paul929207 paul929207 is offline
40,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Posts: 43,350
Default

I would check with RCCL or your travel agent. It sounds like most announcements and tours will be in the local language.
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 02:04 PM
cmpaula's Avatar
cmpaula cmpaula is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 325
Default

Thank you for your response, Paul. They said they announcements would be in Chinese and English but I was wondering about the excursions and entertainment. We have such a wealth of experience on this board, I thought someone had maybe done a similar cruise.
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 03:18 PM
paul929207's Avatar
paul929207 paul929207 is offline
40,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Posts: 43,350
Default

We have never been on a cruise where the language was other than English. We have been on a few day tours while touring on our own where the announcements were made in multiple languages and were not thrilled with that. If it were me, I would look for another cruise, but that is up to you.
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 04:17 PM
Ashland Ashland is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Southern California by way of Kentucky
Posts: 11,873
Default

Sorry but I would also avoid a cruise to Asia with this specific notation that has been discussed a few weeks ago on the boards ( might have been called an infusion cruise ??)..Even though I am very loyal to RCI I might opt for a Princess cruise for this itinerary and am considering it...

Last edited by Ashland; November 2nd, 2011 at 04:18 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 05:04 PM
cmpaula's Avatar
cmpaula cmpaula is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 325
Default

I must clarify that it was a travel company that posted the message that I had a question about....NOT Royal Caribbean. I have sent an email to RC asking for specifics. I just thought that someone on this board had done the same cruise.
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 05:54 PM
Kiwi Kruzer's Avatar
Kiwi Kruzer Kiwi Kruzer is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Orewa , Auckland , N.Z.
Posts: 14,612
Default

We inquired about a cruise in Asia once, I think it was with Star Cruises.Our TA checked it out and advised the same as above. She was more than willing to book it for us, but thought we should be aware of what it would be like....ie language and most important... FOOD.
We opted for a Princess cruise in the end , with a "Western style" passenger mix , and absorbed and enjoyed the Asian culture and lifestyle , from our shore tours.

__________________
DAVID

P&O...12
Princess...11
HAL ...4
Norwegian Capricorn ... 3
RCCL ...2
Cunard ...2
Star Cruises ... 2
Regent Seven Seas ...2
NCL ...1


Don't be afraid to go out on a limb ... Thats where the fruit is.

Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 06:40 PM
moondance75 moondance75 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 114
Default

POst what you find out- I am booked on RCCL next year Beijing to Singapore. I have never heard that and assumed it will be ok..
I am curious.. I have not seen that statement.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 07:30 PM
cmpaula's Avatar
cmpaula cmpaula is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 325
Default

It is interesting! We like a good adventure so we will probably end up doing it regardless. I will post what RCI replies.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 08:21 PM
paul929207's Avatar
paul929207 paul929207 is offline
40,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Posts: 43,350
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmpaula View Post
It is interesting! We like a good adventure so we will probably end up doing it regardless. I will post what RCI replies.
Good Luck. Hope you have a wonderful cruise. Let us know how it works out
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 09:43 PM
greatam greatam is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Arizona/Missouri
Posts: 14,569
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi Kruzer View Post
We inquired about a cruise in Asia once, I think it was with Star Cruises.Our TA checked it out and advised the same as above. She was more than willing to book it for us, but thought we should be aware of what it would be like....ie language and most important... FOOD.
We opted for a Princess cruise in the end , with a "Western style" passenger mix , and absorbed and enjoyed the Asian culture and lifestyle , from our shore tours.

Star Cruises is an ASIAN cruise company. Their main customer base IS Asian. I took the Super Star Virgo for a few day cruise to Thailand and Vietnam 3 years ago. The food WAS primarily Chinese/Asian (and I don't eat Chinese anyplace except Panda Express-LOL). The announcements were in 3 Asian languages and then English was the last.

But I didn't starve and it was OK. NOT very many Westerners (a few Aussies and Kiwis and some backpacker kids from Europe). But for something as long as a 2 week cruise where you really want to interact with other passengers and want to know what is going on, find something that caters to Westerners.

I really wonder how RCCL is going to handle the SMOKING situation. Asians SMOKE, particularly Chinese. If they are putting out announcements that the cruise MAY NOT be suitable for Westerners, I bet RCCL's smoking regulations go out the window too.
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 09:46 PM
slogam slogam is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 40
Default RCCL Asia cruises

Cruised many times with RC Legend of the Seas, Singapore round trips, Shanghai round trips as well as Singapore/Shanghai repositioning.

1) All annoucements are in both Mandarin and English, all service personel understand basic English. Purser officers have good command of English
2) Entertaiments are more oriented to Asian passengers, shows are more dances and performances.
3) MDR have all the usual western Menu PLUS 1-2 Asian items
4) Windjammer have mixture of Western and Asian foods
5) Land tours are separated to Language group. English group is always available.
6) Cruises departing Shanghai MAY have Korean and Japanese language added to the announcement when there is a big group from these countries. also Korean and Japanese foods are added in the Windjammer when this group is onboard.

Enjoy your Asian holiday

TeeKay
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 10:17 PM
cmpaula's Avatar
cmpaula cmpaula is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 325
Default

Thank you so much for your reply! My husband and I can have a great time anywhere and are so excited about this cruise! We just wanted to make sure that we would be able to understand the basics since we don't speak any Asian languages. The Voyager of the Seas starts service in Asia in June, I think, so there weren't any reviews on that particular ship. We want our kids to see the world before they graduate college and this will be a trip of a lifetime!
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old November 2nd, 2011, 10:25 PM
newfarmers's Avatar
newfarmers newfarmers is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 1,107
Thumbs up we have also sailed Legend SE Asia

We did a 12 day Shanghai to Singapore couple of years ago. Was only Legend's second season. A lot of the staff were Chinese, some only on there second or third sailing, but they were universally friendly and went out of their way to assist. I understand that the entainment has moved more to suit the market but for us it was all typical 'western' cruise fare.

Lots of great Asian choices, especially in Windjammer. We love Asian food so for us it was perfect.

Announcements were in English and Mandarin as TeeKay has said and for us tour groups were split as well.

There was also a very big German contingent on our cruise, at least two very large groups who had their own buses etc in ports.

One thing with Voyager is that at least in Shanghai, you'll dock way out of the city. Legend was able to sail right up to city, only a short distance from the Bund. As you're finishing here and not visiting for the day, not that much of an issue except if you're planning on flying out on the day you arrive. It's a long way.

Not sure of the length of cruise or itinerary but thinking back to our other ports - Sihanoukville, Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Phy My (Saigon), Na Trang (tender), Chan May (Da Nang), Sanya, Xiamen, Hong Kong - you'll possibly be docking at the wharfs that we did.

Spent three days pre in Shanghai, three post in Singapore.

We had an absolute blast.
__________________
Black Sea Shipping Fedor Shalyapin (ex Cunard Ivernia) Sept 1977 South Pacific 14 days
Celebrity Infinity Sept 2004 Ice and Fire Alaska and Hawaii 18 days
HAL Rotterdam VI Oct 2007 Spanning Three Continents Venice to Rio 25 days
RCCL Legend of the Seas Feb 2009 South East Asia 14 days
NCL Norwegian Sun
Aug 2010 Baltic Capitals 12 days
Princess Sun Princess
Mar 2012 East Coast Reposition Brisbane-Sydney 2 days
Princess Sun Princess
Mar 2013 Fijian Jewels Brisbane 12 days
The World
Mar 2014 Papeete-Auckland 23 days

http://www.travelpod.com/members/aussiepanda

Last edited by newfarmers; November 2nd, 2011 at 10:33 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old November 3rd, 2011, 05:43 AM
aussiecruzer aussiecruzer is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
Posts: 857
Default

We have just returned a few weeks ago from a Legend of the Seas cruise with Royal caribbean, Shanghai to Hong Kong. We had a wonderful time and although a lot of the staff were bilingual, I certainly found the main language was English. All announcements were made in English, the entertainment was definitely all in English, the Cruise Director was Chinese but spoke in English very well. English was certainly the predominant language. Shore excursions - we chose English speaking tours so no problem. I have cruised on the Voyager some years ago in the Med - a wonderful cruise ship. I am sure you will have a fabulous holiday with your family and kids. Enjoy, and dont worry
__________________
Voyager of the Seas Western Med -Sept 2007
Voyager Review http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=33645
Norwegian Jade Istanbul to Athens -Sept 2008
Jade Cruise review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=854450
Jade Ports of call review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=855020
Sapphire Princess Mexican Riviera Jan 2011
Legend of the Seas Shanghai/Hong Kong Oct 2011
Norwegian Epic Western Med May 2013- Review-
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1849404
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old November 3rd, 2011, 06:37 AM
cmpaula's Avatar
cmpaula cmpaula is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 325
Default

I can't thank you enough for the posts regarding Asia! I love this board and all the diversity we have on here. What did we do before internet?
We have no doubts about the cruise now and can't wait! We plan to tell the kids this weekend about our grand plans!

Any other tips are greatly appreciated and I have already started a file on each port. We are going to take a side trip to the Great Wall and Forbidden City which has been on my "bucket list" for a while.

Cheers!
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old November 3rd, 2011, 09:14 AM
cmpaula's Avatar
cmpaula cmpaula is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 325
Default

Aussiecruzer, LOVE your travel blog! Y'all sound like a hoot to be around! Happy sailing
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old November 3rd, 2011, 11:49 AM
cmpaula's Avatar
cmpaula cmpaula is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 325
Default

I received the following from Royal Caribbean:

"Our records indicate you will be on a Culturally Enriching Cruise on the Voyager of the Seas sailing on June 11, 2012. The criteria to identify these sailings is that at least 75% of guests onboard are sourced from a specific country or region and the primary language onboard is non-English - although English is still offered and supported throughout the ship.

These itineraries sail within a number of our international destinations and are therefore a popular vacation option for citizens of these countries. They are also sourced and staffed primarily from these regions. Because of this, the principal language onboard is reflective of this majority, although English is still offered and supported throughout the ship.

Many of the services and products onboard have been tailored to local flavor and flair, including: onboard programming, food & beverage, retail items and entertainment reflecting the culture of the region.

To streamline your arrangements and check-in at the pier, we strongly suggest reserving shore excursions in advance and using our on-line check-in system prior to arrival. Please also check with your local consulate or embassy regarding Visa requirements. If you do not possess the proper identification and Visas you may be unable to board your ship.

We recommend requesting English shore excursions. You may reserve your shore excursions online and then email our shore excursion department at
shorex@rccl.com to request an English speaking guide.

Production shows will be Royal Caribbean shows which place heavy emphasis on music and dancing as opposed to language. Comedians and guest entertainers will perform in the dominant language, not English. Activities will be offered in the dominant language as well as English if needed. Television channels will be offered in English with additional channels in the dominant language.

We are not sure about the announcements onboard. We believe they will be in both languages, but please check onboard. We hope we answered your questions and look forward to welcoming you onboard. "


They were very quick to reply to my question and we look forward to the cruise. I will post a review when we return for those of you who are interested in Asia cruising. We are a "low maintenance" family and look forward to experiencing something new....especially a new culture!
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old November 3rd, 2011, 07:49 PM
moondance75 moondance75 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 114
Default

interesting. how did you find out your cruise was one of these? I am interested to see i my voyager cruise is as well...
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old November 3rd, 2011, 07:59 PM
moondance75 moondance75 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 114
Default

Well I just called RCCL and got the same spiel for our Voyager cruise on Oct 8.. Sounds fun and exciting :-) I mean we are going to Asia- what should we expect?

I can't wait to see your June review!
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:50 AM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.