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Everything posted by Bpos

  1. Good luck in getting a straight answer even from Princess direct. My feeing is that providing you are not staying on land overnight in Vietnam, the visa will be organised on the cruise, abiet at an inflated price because Princess chooses to fleece their passengers on visa costs. But probably the easiest way to do it.
  2. That is because Princes chooses to fleece its passengers when the actual cost of the Visa is US$5. Most other cruise lines just add an extra processing fee of $1 or so.
  3. If you use the search function above and enter the port name as you have already noted you should access a lot of information there on each ports and past cruisers advice etc. Once you have done that you may want to come back with specific questions which may elicit more responses.
  4. Overseas visitors to Australia should bone up on the following thread to enrich and enhance their visit downunder. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2362723 Couple of years old now but still relevant today.
  5. Bpos

    Phu My port

    Your not confusing Baria with Vung Tau? Baria is about 17 km from the port, whereas travel to Vung Tau is more like the time you have quoted above. Know the area well, was there nearby in 1970.
  6. Bpos

    Phu My port

    The City of Baria use to put on a free shuttle service from the Port to the city (about a 15 minute ride), at least this was the case on the two occasions we were in Phu My, the last being 4 years ago. Does anyone know if that shuttle is still provided, I thought it may have been the yellow school bus in the photo above?
  7. Have been to both these areas on a few occasions and as someone said above, unless you are at Cai Be floating markets very early in the morning there is not a lot of action after 8.00 am. Cai Be market, to my knowledge is no where near Can Tho city which has a very different floating market to Cai Be. I believe the city nearest Cai Be is My Tho. Anyway, you will see enough whichever trip you take so I would also recommend the "Free" option and save the money for another excursion elsewhere.
  8. I would recommend you consider hiring a car for the day to do this area and probably give you time to see a few other attractions around Adelaide as well. As Aussies you know the road rules etc so easy peasy. Hans Heysens (spelling?) gallery in Hahndorf is well worth a visit but a bit out of town so transport is necessary if you want to spend an hour there.
  9. If you do not know your gem stones then there is every chance whatever you buy from whatever shop in Sri Lanka you will suffer the consequences of buying a "mystery bag" which will turn out to be not what you thought you were buying and cost you money.
  10. I wrote a warning for overseas cruisers wanting to hold a koala while visiting Australia. i will repeat it here for the benefit of recent intending overseas cruisers. Posted June 1, 2016 (edited) Overseas visitors to Australia love to cuddle or/and hold Koala bears as they seem to be such cute little animals and everyone loves them. Can I just say if you are fortunate to be able to hold a Koala during your visit downunder then please take the following precautions: A Wear a full raincoat that covers you from head to toe B If A above not applicable, then try a plastic sheet or poncho from a $2 shop. WHY is it necessary to take these precautions??? The answer is simple - the little cute Koala will pee all over you - and I can tell you from experience that your Husband/Wife/friend on the cruise will not want to be within 10 meters of you for the rest of the day or perhaps even the next several days? Even a Australian Government minister some years ago experienced what I have outlined above - I think it cost him his re-election. But even worse - the bus driver who took you on the tour will probably not let youon his bus for thr trip back to the ship - just imagine that! Is it that bad - yes it is. You may even be denied entry back on the ship and even if you do get aboard, your cabin steward will probably call the Head Housekeeper and have you put in quarantine for a week. If you want to cuddle a Koala then follow the advice in A and B above.
  11. I am a little confused here, on the Australian and NZ forum you said you paid the $5 visa fee on the Diamond Princess in 2013. That is 6 years ago to my reckening. Much has changed since then, particularly with the cost of Princess arranged visas for Vietnam.
  12. well that is good news - how long ago did you travel as I m quoting the $56 charge by Princess for the Vietnam Visa for travellers as recently as 4 months ago?
  13. You should go to the Ports of Call - Asia and then search Vietnam Visas - plenty of discussion there on this topic. Unfortunately Princess will charge you $56 USD for your Vietnam Visas whereas Celebrity and RCL charge $6 USD. The cost of the visa as set by the Vietnamese Government is $5 so any extra is a "processing charge" imposed by the cruise line. However getting the visa onboard is a painless process and so even through you will pay much more with Princess than most other cruise lines, for convenience, probably the best way to go. Just a proviso, some countries, ie UK were getting 15 day free visa entry to Vietnam, still not sure if this is the case so if travelling on a UK passport or another country passport (but not Australian) worth a check to see if you qualify for the "free Visa"
  14. The $5 visa fee imposed by the Vietnam Government has been so for some time now (at least a couple of years). However while some cruise lines charge a $1 processing fee on top of that (ie $6) Princess line has continue to charge $56 and thereby imposing a very hefty "processing" fee on each and everyone of its passengers who transit through Vietham.
  15. So True and the unemployment rate, particularly among the Kanaks is quite high. With prices charged on the island we were not surprised to see so many what appeared to be unemployed and poor locals hanging around Noumea during our recent visit there. One can only hope for a better outlook in the future but the city itself did not seem to go our of their way for tourism and enthusiasm for tourist to enjoy and spend money. We went there 50 years ago and had a very different experience and after living in Port Moresby for the three years before our visit we were quite fond of the city with its distinctive French influence, which in the intervening years seems to have been replaced with concrete and quite plain looking homes and public building and shops.
  16. If you are worried about the exchange rate for the gratuities and OBC we are only talking about a few dollars so I would not let it worry you too much - all part of the cruising experience as well as credit card fees etc which often causes some people distress when the alternative of carrying lots of cash or taking travellers cheques which may or may not be cashed these days has inherent dangers as opposed to a card.
  17. We were there in February and there were ships in Patong Bay that stayed overnight at ankor and passengers utilised tenders to get to and from the ship
  18. Bpos

    Angkor Wat Question

    I would look at the cost of air fares in making a decision. I have used Silk Air from Singapore, a subsidiary of Singapore airlines, and they were very good, on time and full service airline.
  19. That is a steal, on Ovation last week it was either $78 or $72 ( one or the other) USD to buy on the ship. Not hard to consume a few drinks to make it worthwhile when a can of good beer was $8.25 USD and a glass of NZ wine $12 USD a glass.
  20. Just back from a family cruise on the Ovation of the Seas from Sydney and quite a different experience from our cruise on her sister ship, Anthem of the seas in the US late last year. Never saw a fresh flower or carved watermelon ( or any carved fruit or ice creations for that matter) on the Ovation but still at about half the cost of our cruise on the Anthem last year what is there to complain about (except no coffee bags available in the cabins). The way things are going, am just a little concerned that we shall have to pack our own food on our next cruise!
  21. Have always been a little perplexed about this thread and the never ending glowing reviews for this one or that. Seems to me that some posters are being encouraged to report/review in order to persuade others to book with this one or that without looking at other possibilities. Call me a cynic but having visited Vietnam many times since the Government sent me there for a 12 month paid holiday in 1969, something is not quite right!
  22. Try Fatties in Bencoolen, Just over the road from the Bencoolen Ibis hotel and easy to get to by train. . Old Singapore institution, not fancy but cold beer and good food. Old Fattie died years ago but on last visit young Fattie now running the show. Old haunt for airline staff stopping over in Singapore.
  23. In Noumea now, can answer my own question. Never asked by anyone, any where before getting on the ship, while on the ship or when getting off in Noumea. Hope the situation does not change for others in future cruises to this destination
  24. Bpos

    Vietnam Visa

    The reason your local Vietnamese embassy/consulate will not offer you a $5 visa is that the fees collected for visa by the said office pay for staff wages, running costs etc of the office. The consulate here in Perth even tells clients that anyone travelling to Vietnam should get "their Visa from Them" as other means are highly suspect and you may not be admitted when you get there? Which is a load of crap as most would be aware off.
  25. Bpos

    Vietnam Visa

    Great information that will assist other cruisers visiting Vietnam by RCL. There is no doubt Princess are ripping off their passengers with the $56 charge when RCL do the same for $6.
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