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About hxhbk

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Travel, Photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCCL, Clebrity, Oceania
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  1. MARA88 - So glad that you had a good time in in the region. The fog (or we call it the cloud) that you encountered at the Hai Van pass gives the name to that location: "Hai Van" means "Ocean Cloud". It sounds like you visited Da Nang City at the time when the Dragon Bridge did not show its fire breathing act which is on Saturday and Sunday at 21:00, as well as on national holidays. Lastly, I hope that your guide served you the Vietnamese Sandwich made with french baguette (in Vietnamese we call "banh mi") which I think is really what you meant to say.
  2. I think in your message you mean "from the port Civitavecchia to the train station". There is a shuttle service (free of charge in my case with Oceania cruises) from the ship which will drop you at the location where you can either walk or take a bus to the train station. The charge for this bus ride is 2 euros per person and the bus will drop you right at the train station. It appears to run frequently during days when cruise ships are in port. This was my experience last month.
  3. I think your itinerary is doable. We also used Tuscany Bus last month from Livorno to Florence and the arrival/departure time is quite similar to yours. The bus arrived at the parking lot next to the Florence train station. We pre-booked tickets for the Academia at 12N and at the Uffizi for 2PM. We walked fast, spent about 1 hour at each museums. We had time for a walkby the Duomo (not inside) and Ponte Vecchio.
  4. When I was planning for our most recent Med cruise share the concerns that mapleleaves expressed above. However, my experience was very good. We dis-embarked in Civi on Aug 14 2019. Beside our Oceania Riviera, there was a MSC ship at the dock. Our plan consisted of going to Bologna after disembarkation. Because of the concerns that I had similar to mapeleaves, I only pre-booked the train from Rome Termini to Bologna, and I selected a ~12 noon departure. The rest we go with the flow. And the flow was actually pretty smooth in our case. We self-disembarked at 8am and our shuttle bus to the port entrance left at 0820. There, we paid 2 euros per person for the bus to the Civi station. It was full after we boarded and several couples were forced to wait for the next bus. The bus ride took about 5 to 7 minutes. At the Civi train station, we had the option to book the regional train or the Freccebianca train to Roma Termini. Either options will take us to Termini way ahead of our ~12 noon departure for Bologna. We bought our ticket for the Freccebianca, and had 2 seats next to each other. I was prepared for the situation of separate seating due to this last minute purchase, but it did not happen. One party that was left behind when the bus to Civi Station was full showed up about 15 min later, also waiting for the Freccebianca. We had almost a couple hours to kill in Roma Termini, grabbed some lunch, but the key is that I had no time pressure.
  5. For what it's worth, the drive from Ha Long to Hanoi is now about 90 minutes compared to the ~ 3 hours it used to take. This is due to the opening of a new highway between the 2 cities about 1 year ago.
  6. One way to fond out is to do a dummy booking on AA.com for the exact flight that you have in mind and see what class of services pricing (economy, premium economy, business, first) do they have for that flight.
  7. The key difference between the 1st and the 2nd tour is the visit to the Cai Be Floating Market offered in the 2nd tour. The floating market scenery is accurately described but only can be fully experienced if you are there during its peak hours which is around 5am to 8am. This detail is usually not mentioned in the travel program so the visitors may have the incorrect expectation that it is a morning long or even a day long affair. In my opinion the Cai Be Floating Market, due to its location next door to the city of Can Tho, is best visited when you have a stop in Can Tho city as part of a land trip. You overnight there and get to the pier the next morning around 430am and even if you have not pre-arranged for a water taxi, there will be plenty of folks there offering a ride to the see and record the sights and sounds of the market before the first ray of sunlight. It is a true experience not to be missed. Back to the OP question, I would suggest the free tour unless you are really keen to see the floating market at its closing stage (with your expectations properly set).
  8. This is a picture from the local news (dateline Dec 28 2018) of the Millenum docking at the new cruise terminal in Ha Long bay.
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