Spirit Asia 1/2007

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#1
4 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
My husband and I are going on our first Seabourn Spirit cruise 3/1/2007 Asia. Would appreciate any ideas or info as we are first time cruisers too like tours and booking restaurants. Only two weeks to go - getting excited

Thanks
#2
548 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
You should have received excursion info from Seabourn by now but you will not know the daily schedule for the tours until you board. Most of the descriptions are pretty accurate but take care to note the amount of time devoted to transportation (i.e., bus rides).
#3
4 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
We have got the info re tours thanks, but our travel agent said that tours tend to book out and we could miss out so we should book them as soon as we check in - is this so.
#4
548 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Some fill up soon, others don't. Hard to tell. But you will have to wait until you board to see how they are scheduled and there may be scheduling conflicts. Take time to note the amount of the excursion devoted to travel, whether the tour is a drive-by or actually makes stops and whether meals are included (which adds to the cost). Many excursions also include excessively long shopping stops so you may want to inquire at the excursions desk about the details of a particular tour. Don't be afraid to ask hard questions-they have the answers and you're the one who may be stuck on the bus. All in all, however, Seabourn has some of the best excursions of any cruiseline and they try not to fill up the buses so that you can have room to spread out and store your stuff.
#5
Tucson,Arizona
4,326 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
We just returned from Seabourn's Singapore to Hong Kong cruise -- had a great time -- went to wondeful places, met many nice people and ate too much. We had a couple of rough sea days up off the coast of Vietnam and a little fire the Hong Kong Harbour patrol boat had to help put out as we docked in Hong Kong -- but other than that it was uneventful. We ran into a couple from Sydney we first met on Seabourn 5 years ago in the Med - it is a small Seabourn world!

Regrding tours, Sailor Boy and I usually pass on tours in the Med --we prefer to go off on our own. However, Asia was a different story and we ended up taking two tours -- the one to the Imperial City of Hue from Da Nang and the one to Hanoi from Cai Lan. Both were long 10 -12 hour tours but would have been hard to take on our own without risking missing the boat( something one couple almost did in Saigon, or HCMC as it is now known). We enjoyed both very much but it was alot of time in the bus -- two to three hours each way. The reward is that you get to see alot of the real Vietnam -- both rurual areas and villages that you miss if you stay in the port cities. In Saigon Seabourn provided a shuttle bus to take passengers the very short ride into downrown Saigon -- by the Rex Hotel. It is a great location to launch out and engage in major retail therapy -- prices are extremely low and quality is pretty high. For premier silk products head to Khai Silk -- for small gifts the road to the market is full of great little shops and the market is better than the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul ( which never did much for me). In Bangkok, the traffic is the worst I have ever seen. The shuttle bus took passengers a 20 minute bus ride to modern mutil level shopping mall not convenient to any of the major tourist spots. We then had to catch a cab to the main temple area -- it took over 30 minutes to get back to where the bus picked us up. We did not take the excursion to the Kwai River as did a number of passengers who enjoyed it ( and the elephant ride) but again it entailed 10 hours with many hours on the bus. One of the highlights of the trip was Seabourn's beach bbque on Ko Kood Island -- even better than when we did it with Seabourn in the Caribbean on Prickly Pear Island -- beautiful soft, white, fine sand and clear blue water at a perfect temperature. Life does not get better than that -- especially when you through in the champagne and caviar in the surf and bountiful buffet. We loved Hong Kong and though not as big a bargain as Vietnam there were great deals on custom fitted suits ( now Sailor Boy wants to dump all of his other suits) and luminous black pearls for moi. If you have time in HK take the MTR and KCR to Sha Tim to visit the 10,000 Buddha's -- very worthwhile excursion that is easy to do on your own.Enjoy!
#6
Sunny Vancouver, B.C. Canada
124 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
and a little fire the Hong Kong Harbor patrol boat had to help put out as we docked in Hong Kong
Okay, Chairsin, that’s a bit of a dangler. Did somebody ask for too many well done steaks at the Skygrill lunch and soot up MY ship?? or was this just something seen across the water?

Bill
#7
136 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
This was a real fire with limited consequences. The Spirit left the harbor that night right on schedule. It was exciting to see the Haz Mat , dive boats and the fire boats all come along side the Spirit. Some of the crew was covered with soot but as we could tell nothing serious occurred to any of the crew.
#9
136 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
The fire occurred right before docking in Hong Kong. Passengers were milling around on the decks but I think most were still in their suites getting ready to disembark. We went to the Verandah for Breakfast and there was soot on the table settings on the outside. We had a good view of all the fire engines and water craft coming along while we had our breakfast. The crew appeared to have everything under control and the Captain gave the all clear to the crew prior to us finishing our Breakfast. He had some of the crew on standby near where the fire had been and everything for the passengers appeared as normal. Of course one must have known something was up when the Captain called Station Bravo over the loud speaker before 7 in the morning.