Halong Bay Junk photos or video?

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#1
florida
3,649 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Does anyone have AMA s Halong Bay Junk cruise info..such as ship name,details re cabins,dining,sidetrips etc. Have looked at some on You tube but not sure if similar.
We leave in 1 mo.and enjoy anticipating cruise,but LOVE details.
#2
So Cal
183 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Hi, Alexandra!

We are inside two weeks now and beside ourselves with excitement! Just started a blog and will try to blog along the way if you'd like to follow along! We leave on December3! Woo-hoo!! www.katzesinasia.blogspot.com!
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MS La Marguerite, Mekong River, 12/4/12
Oasis of the Seas, Eastern Caribbean, 10/8/11
Mariner of the Seas, Mexican Riviera, 1/2/11
Vision of the Seas, Mexican Riviera, 9/21/08
#4
California
328 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Originally posted by alexandra cruiser
Does anyone have AMA s Halong Bay Junk cruise info..such as ship name,details re cabins,dining,sidetrips etc. Have looked at some on You tube but not sure if similar.
We leave in 1 mo.and enjoy anticipating cruise,but LOVE details.
While the itinerary could be dependent on timing, here is how our cruise went a year ago. All times are rough estimates. The boats may have been the Indochina Sails Indo 1 or Indo 2. Cabins were not large but very well appointed. Dining was single seating, no reserved tables. Meals were fine. Overall, this was an enjoyable trip.

Day 1
9, depart Hanoi
11, stop for restroom break at a very large gift store, workshop(?)
12:30, arrive HaLong Bay, wait a few minutes in the Indochina Sails pier
1pm, arrive at boat via a tender, attend a lunch buffet as ship departs
2pm, safety drill and arrive at TiTop Island for a short stop to walk up to the top for the view/photos, back to boat thereafter for continued cruise
4pm, take tender to a floating fishing village pier, transfer to smaller row boats for close view. Return to ship for dinner.

Day 2
7, arrive at Surprise Cave, take tender to cave pier for walking visit.
9, return to ship, for 30 minutes before breakfast buffet. Bags must be packed and out the door at 9:30. As we packed before 7, we had enough time for very quick showers.
9:30, breakfast and settle bill
11, arrive at pier for bus to Hanoi airport
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Blog: http://travelscrivener.blogspot.com

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#6
florida
3,649 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
exactly info I wanted.Love to know all the details and see photos to help imagine it all.Saw a great video last time ,,Samantha Brown in Cambodia and another in Vietnam. So excitied. Appreciate the photos especially,can know google Indochina Sails and see even more.
#7
florida
3,649 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
and cruise is still not sure WHAT junk we ll be using? Is this normal?Did they tell you ahead of time?
Hate to "assume" it ll be Indochina Sails and then NOT>

Also for MLK,,,maybe you should post your blogsite on new thread to get more people to join? I ll be checking in,of course.
#8
So Cal
183 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
I posted it on my cruise roll call. But yeah... once we are off and running I will try to post a new thread.

And OMG today is my last day of work before we leave!!!!!!!
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MS La Marguerite, Mekong River, 12/4/12
Oasis of the Seas, Eastern Caribbean, 10/8/11
Mariner of the Seas, Mexican Riviera, 1/2/11
Vision of the Seas, Mexican Riviera, 9/21/08
#9
Florida's Gulf Coast
1,510 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
AC - we just got off the junk this morning. The rooms seem to be distributed at random - we got a cabin on the second floor and it had a French balcony and a tub with a separate shower, and our friends got a cabin on the first floor. Smaller cabin, no tub (not much of a loss for such a short stay) and no balcony.

Make sure you pack a rain jacket - we had rain at Halong Bay and it was cold and rainy in Hanoi. Better safe than sorry.
#10
florida
3,649 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
also, wonder if its possible to request certain rooms at check in?

Have been checking weather, was planning on possibility of cool/rainy weather. But HOPING for better,of course.

How has it been so far? We leave Dec.24th..was the hotel nice,tours to your liking,guides,etc??
#11
Florida's Gulf Coast
1,510 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
It was Indochina Sails. They seem to be nearly the only game in town. There were a couple of boats that were fancier and a few that looked like scows.

Hotels have all been good. We stayed in the old wing of the metropole, which seems to be different from past tours, and we got the memo about the long drive to the ship before we left home.

I brought a bunch of little Starbucks Via packets and have been quite happy I did. the rooms have tea kettles in them, but only two packets of Nescafé or two tea bags. The Via has been terrific. We fill up a glass with milk at breakfast and keep it in the mini-bar until the next morning to use for creamer.
#12
Florida's Gulf Coast
1,510 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
AC - something else I threw in at the end with my rain jacket and I'm glad I did is powdered Gatorade. My doctor told me to get it in case of a need to rehydrate after dysentery, but they've been wonderful on the hot excursions. We spent the past two days sweating and sweating and sweating, and while they give you water every time you reboard the bus, you need electrolytes too. It comes in individual packets where they sell the regular Gatorade.
#13
florida
3,649 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
and will pack these items too.Funny, you said it was cold and rainy in Hanoi and Halong bay,,now you went to opposite extreme and sweating,,,funny.Will pack accordingly,,sounds like winter in FL>right?You can go from hot to cool in 1 day(its going to be 80 today,and last wk.in 60s..)
Will look up the Junk co.to get an idea of boats,,maybe Ill ASK for 2nd floor.
Hope you DON T need to use Gatorade for dysentery,,,and NO ONE gets sick .My Dr.gave me a RX to fill,just in case.
Still haven t rec d my travel documents ,,and leave in 3 wks.
Have fun....love the updates.
#14
Florida's Gulf Coast
1,510 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
A/C - just boarded the boat and a little kid ran up to our balcony miming that he wanted a toothbrush. All the hotels and the junk have disposable ones - grab them to pass out. We had about three of them, I wish we had more.
#15
Toronto, Canada
6,445 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
We were on Violet - had a lovely trip with a huge balcony and room but the third person bed broke three times. Finally they put a mattress on the floor!

Food was fabulous and they took us to this cave for dinner.
#16
Camano Island, WA
964 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
When we were there last year, AMA used only Indochina Sails junks, since Indochina Sails is the owner of La Marguerite and part-owner of AmaLotus. We were not on the AMA land portion of the trip and therefore chose our own junk, the magnificent Halong Violet, which has only six cabins, the smallest of which is larger than any other cabin on Halong Bay.

I have read that, sadly, some goofball bureaucrat in Vietnam decided that all of the junks on Halong Bay should be painted white, in order to make them look more like cruise ships. I cannot determine from online research whether than dreadful order has been carried out and will welcome any comments regarding this issue. Many of the junks, including the gorgeous Halong Violet and its sister junks, Halong Ginger and Halong Jasmine, along with the Indochina Sails junks and many other high end junks, are built of wood and look wonderful with their wood structures highly varnished (and certainly not painted white).
#17
Florida's Gulf Coast
1,510 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Freddie, it's true, the junks are all white. They look terrible, like they were whitewashed by Tom Sawyer. Such a shame - I'm sorry we didn't see them in their full glory, but they were beautiful inside still.
#18
Camano Island, WA
964 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Amyr - Oh, how it pains me to read your confirmation that those gorgeous wooden hulls have been whitewashed!! Although I realize that Vietnam is a "young" country with respect to tourism and may make some bad decisions in its efforts to promote tourism, the "whitewash the Halong Bay junks" decision has to rate amongst the worst tourism policies in history. As you say, however, it is good that the lovely interiors of the junks have not suffered the same dreary fate. Cheers, Fred