Posted April 29th, 2012, 06:59 PM
We were in Beijing in March 2012 following a cruise on the Diamond Princess.
I used a combination of looking on TripAdvisor.com and CruiseCritic to determine with whom I wanted to book tours. Since it was our first time to China and I was unsure as to what type of service to expect, I booked our two days of sightseeing with different companies as I didn't want to be stuck with someone for two day if they weren't any good.
We used the services of Catherine Lu (highly recommended on TripAdvisor.com) to arrange our pick up at the Tianjin port, transfer us to Beijing and give us a tour. I contacted Catherine in January, but I'm sure you could contact her a few weeks out and she would arrange something. She was not available and we had her colleague Maggie as our guide. We had to send $100USD by PayPal as a reservation and the rest was paid in USD on the day of the tour. We had arranged that all entrance fees and lunch be included in our price ahead of time. We visited the Forbidden City, Tienanmen Square, Temple of Heaven, and the Pearl Market. Our guide and driver were good and I would recommend them.
We used The China Guide www.thechinaguide.com
(recommended by someone on Cruise Critic) for attaining discount tickets to the Chaoyang Acrobat show and for our second day of touring Beijing. I contacted The China Guide in January to arrange our March visit. Again, I'm sure you could contact them a few weeks out and they would accommodate you. This company is owned/operated by an American living in China, which appealed to me. They offer unlimited bottled water all day and lunch and entrance fees were included the price. We did not have to put a deposit down and paid in Chinese Yuan the day of the tour and night of the acrobat show. (On a complete side note - the acrobat show is a MUST see while in Beijing!) On our full day tour we saw the Beijing Zoo, Summer Palace, Great Wall at Mutianyu, and Olympic Venues. We had a great guide and driver. If I were going to Beijing again today, I would book with The China Guide.
April 2018 Windstar Star Pride Caribbean; December 2017 Regal Princess Caribbean; April 2017 Harmony of the Seas Eastern Caribbean; July 2016 Oceania Marina Europe Baltics; April 2016 Carnival Breeze Western Caribbean; December 2015 Silversea Explorer Antarctica; April 2015 Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii; July 2014 Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos; April 2014 Royal Caribbean Western Caribbean; December 2013 Carnival Breeze Southern Caribbean; March 2013 Carnival Legend Western Caribbean; June 2012 Paul Gauguin South Pacific; March 2012 Diamond Princess Asia; June 2011 Coral Princess Alaska; April 2010 Carnival Victory Eastern Caribbean; February 2008 Carnival Fascination Bahamas; June 2002 Carnival Fascination Western Caribbean
2017 Tauck Africa (Bostwana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa); June 2013 Insight Eastern Europe (Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Romania); October 2011 Globus Polar Bears Churchill, Canada; June 2011 Princess Alaska; July 2010 - Globus Peru; June 2009 Globus Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland); March 2009 Prometour Costa Rica; July 2008 Globus Eastern Europe (Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria); July 2007 Globus New Zealand & Australia; July/August 2006 Globus Great Britain (England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland); June 2005 Globus Europe (Netherlands,Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, England)