Just back Millenium 2 week Aisa Imersion Tour

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Ottawa, Ontario
704 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Ours is coming up in December. We are still planning the last few excursions and our pre and post cruise. The cruises in signature are all upcoming.
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Toronto Canada
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Joined May 2010
We have done Asia cruise in Feb and are doing again this year in Dec.
With weather HK is usually 17 to 20 Celsius in Dec. and about 15 to maybe 18 in Feb.
Never had big rain then that is the summer months (caught in typhoon once). Layering is best.
Singapore hot sticky and humid all year round night is less humid but warm.
We have used Thai Tour Guide for three days last trip in Bangkok and will use again, great Enlglish speaking guide safe driver and very clean van. Look on Trip Advisor. In Bali we used Bali Magic our guide we called Moose was amazing he was even going to take us to his house for dinner.
Very well priced for a full day where we wanted, just my husband and I.
Scotland
660 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
We are hoping to do a similar cruise on Millenium next February with 2 days in Bangkok. I see a few people have left the ship and stayed overnight in the city, is this the best thing to do or can you do 2 single day trips from the ship?
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[COLOR=rgb(0,0,255)]very soon to do NCL Star from Venice[/color]
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Los Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
859 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by champagne lover
We are hoping to do a similar cruise on Millenium next February with 2 days in Bangkok. I see a few people have left the ship and stayed overnight in the city, is this the best thing to do or can you do 2 single day trips from the ship?
Bangkok is a long drive in, like 2 hours one way. Most people stay over night in Bangkok as the 4 hour + round trip is pretty hard, staying over night gives you more time to sight see in and around Bangkok. Hotels in Bangkok are not expensive either so staying makes a lot of since.


Happy Planning,
Capt. Ron
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2,234 Posts
Joined May 2000
This is such a great thread and I have enjoyed reading each post as the information has helped us in planning our upcoming Asia cruise. Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences.
Ottawa, Ontario
704 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by SF
This is such a great thread and I have enjoyed reading each post as the information has helped us in planning our upcoming Asia cruise. Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences.
Agreed! Ron has been great and we will be testing out many of this recommendations in the next two and a half weeks.
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Western Australia
57 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Capt Ron, we're new to cruising and are doing a Princess cruise stopping both in Cambodia & Vietnam. In your opinion, is it best/cheaper to organise the visas yourself or do it through the ship. I understand as an Australian and travelling by sea, we are not eligible for an on line visa, is this correct? Any help would be very much appreciated.
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Our Cruises:
2005 Virgo, Singapore B2B
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2018 Sun Princess South East Asia
Los Angeles, CA (Sylmar)
859 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by suenterry
Capt Ron, we're new to cruising and are doing a Princess cruise stopping both in Cambodia & Vietnam. In your opinion, is it best/cheaper to organise the visas yourself or do it through the ship. I understand as an Australian and travelling by sea, we are not eligible for an on line visa, is this correct? Any help would be very much appreciated.


I recommend that you let the ship handle all your Visas needed while cruising. They do it all the time, very simple, they have a system and know exactly what's needed etc. Visa cost charged to your on board account. No stress, no fuss, relax and enjoy. The experts on board take care if everything. Didn't know you could cruise to Cambodia.
Happy planning
Capt Ron


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North Carolina
889 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by OntarioCruiser38
Capt Ron,

I would like to thank you for having set up this thread. Your information has been bang on. We have customized our vacation with some of the excursions you did and in other cases have gone our own way which was exactly what information we needed.


Word of mouth information helps provide confidence that we are making good decisions. Without your help I would not have questioned some of the advice I have seen on other threads. Namely researching the Visa issue needs to be done by each individual as the cost depends on your nationality and seems to be constantly changing.

Some prices are increasing. Indochina has indicated their prices have gone up across the board as of January 1st 2017. If doing the Ha Long Bay cruise there are two things one needs to remember:

1. You may have an additional port usage fee however you would have this fee no matter what you were doing for the day. The point being that one should add this to their budget.

2. The cost of the visa is important due to the fact that you need a visa that will permit you to stay overnight if you are taking the overnight Ha Long Bay tour. This price changes dramatically whether or not you are American. At this moment it seems that for non-Americans that the best game in town price wise it Celebrity. I contacted them on the weekend and they will help with obtaining a Visa that will permit an overnight stay. We are told you do not have to be going on a Celebrity overnight excursion to get this visa. (This was verified twice). I am Canadian and this is what is working best for us at the moment.

The main thing with all information it is important to do your own personal verification.

The other huge variable is the cost of airline flights. I was lucky as I met an Australian travel agent a number of years ago who has guided me on flights internal to South East Asia. She was able to give me advice on one flight, Hong Kong to Siem Reap to keep looking as the prices I found were in her opinion overpriced. In the end she was correct. I dug a little more and found a cheaper flight.

Finally for flights from Canada to the cruise, I looked for two months, I found the itinerary I wanted in terms of the airline and connections however for the flights I wanted were not opening up the economy seating. I was patient and in the end used another website that provides a booking service at a nominal fee. In the end I save hundreds and go exactly the flights I wanted at the economy rates that on other sites were not showing as open. Know your prices and be persistent. All this being said I know at some point the prices might drop or go up however I had to have my flights from Canada to Singapore and Hong Kong to Canada in place so that I could plan around the rest of the vacation.

Capt Ron, I again want to thank you for your time. You have saved me a load of time. You have been a gentleman by providing your time and advice. I will pay this forward and am paying this forward by helping others out where I can. I will post how things work out when I return in January 2018 (we leave November 30, 2017 and return January 1st 2018)


Regards,
Jon


Jon I’m assuming you are back. I would love to hear updated info and recommendations. We have this booked for 2020 so am just starting to copy/paste/take notes and dig in on the research for tours.

Can you share your experiences and suggestions? Thanks!!!


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North Carolina
889 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
And I apologize for not saying this earlier. Capt Ron! Thanks so much for all this info!!


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Carnival Sensation (1995), RC Monarch (1997), Grand Princess (1998), HA Amsterdam (1999), Golden Princess (2000), Celebrity Summitt (2002), Celebrity Constellation (2004), Carnival Conquest (2005), Sapphire Princess (2006), HA Zuiderdam (2006), HA Statendam (2007), Carnival Valor (2008), Grand Princess (2009), HA Westerdam (2010), NCL Pride of America (2010), RC Liberty (2010), RC Allure (2011), RC Allure (2012), Carnival Sensation (2012), RC Allure (2012), RC Freedom (2012), RC Liberty (2013), RC Navigator (2013), RC Oasis (2013), RC Liberty (2014), RC Oasis (2014), Carnival Breeze (4-15), RC Allure (6-15), RC Oasis (12-15). RC Harmony Inaugural Cruise (5-16), RC Liberty (12-16), RC Serenade (5017), RC Allure (12-17). Future Cruises: Symphony (12-18)
Toronto, Ontario
346 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Capt Ron...noted that you went to Siem Reap post cruise....we will be doing that on our next trip (also going to Chiang Mai). Where did you stay, did you do any tours or just hire a driver for Angor Wat....any tips/recommendations?
Thanks!
2,234 Posts
Joined May 2000
I read that the ship will get visas for you onboard to visit Vietnam but if we are planning to do an overnight in Bangkok, Thailand is a visa required and does the ship provide this at a cost for you also?
Perth Western Australia
821 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by SF
I read that the ship will get visas for you onboard to visit Vietnam but if we are planning to do an overnight in Bangkok, Thailand is a visa required and does the ship provide this at a cost for you also?
I know Aussies don't need a visa and I am fairly confident that most Foreigners are granted a free 30 day stay on arrival.

TO be sure, ask the question on Trip Advisor Thailand forum and include your nationality.
windsor, ontario, canada
21 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Originally posted by rakuroda
Aloha Capt. Ron,

You posted in reply to ep1987 question, "Also not asia board related but did any of the food onboard stand out as being either really good or pretty poor?"

Capt. Ron response, "Not really, food was Okay in MDR, had better on other Celebrity ships. Veggies cold twice for wife in MDR. Lobster one night without extra cost. They have added extra cost food items to order from the MDR menu which was new to us. Lobster, prime steak etc."



We are going on 8 day Celebrity Millenium in April 2017. We've sailed on Princess twice & RCCL once before. The food on our Princess cruises was very good. RCCL, not so good.

Please, could you expand on your experience of the food on the Millenium.

We've looked at the limited information provided on the Celebrity page for this cruise and it is very limited. We've read other reviews on CC that the food on the Millenium was not very good and that the staff keeps trying to upsell meals in the MDR and the pay restaurant packages. We've also read that people that have purchased the pay restaurant packages were dissatisfied with the wait to get into the pay restaurants & the quality of the food served there.

We've also read that there is very little variation in the buffet food & drink items (kind of like our experience with RCCL) and insufficient seating for the number of passengers trying to use the restaurant.

I look forward to your reply.

Aloha, rak
We just returned from Japan on Celebrity Millenium and food was mediocre at best. We did buy specialty restaurant package thinking it would be better but not so much. I have been on other Celebrity ships and never complained about food but for some reason this ship is not good. Don’t bother with specialty restaurants. The martini bar is great
France
43 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Hi Captain Ron ,

I know it is a while ago now but I have a couple of questions regarding port fees and visas .We are travelling in January next year .

We are travelling with Indochina Junk on a day cruise - my contact there has told me that there are additional port fees that we will have to pay in Bai Chay port - of up to 35 USD per person and that is not included in our tour price. Do you remember paying these fees , does that apply in all ports ? I haven't found any additional information on line yet so any insights you can provide would be great .

For Bangkok our boat departs at 15.00 - I am planning on organised a private transfer - based on your traffic experience what time would you plan on leaving Bangkok to get back to the boat on time ?

For Visa's - does the boat get a multiple entry visa for you for Vietnam ? As UK passport holders we don't need visas for single entry but we do for multiple entry but I am not sure if a day tour classifies as an entry or not ? Sometimes there are special arrangements for cruise boats . Do you have any extra information on that ?

Thanks in advance , I hope you can still remember .

Best Regards

Judi
Gold Coast
11,006 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by FWinmoscow
Hi Captain Ron ,

I know it is a while ago now but I have a couple of questions regarding port fees and visas .We are travelling in January next year .

We are travelling with Indochina Junk on a day cruise - my contact there has told me that there are additional port fees that we will have to pay in Bai Chay port - of up to 35 USD per person and that is not included in our tour price. Do you remember paying these fees , does that apply in all ports ? I haven't found any additional information on line yet so any insights you can provide would be great .

For Bangkok our boat departs at 15.00 - I am planning on organised a private transfer - based on your traffic experience what time would you plan on leaving Bangkok to get back to the boat on time ?

For Visa's - does the boat get a multiple entry visa for you for Vietnam ? As UK passport holders we don't need visas for single entry but we do for multiple entry but I am not sure if a day tour classifies as an entry or not ? Sometimes there are special arrangements for cruise boats . Do you have any extra information on that ?

Thanks in advance , I hope you can still remember .

Best Regards

Judi
In December, Azamara got Vietnam "visas" for all cruise ship passengers for US$6 (for three ports of call). However, if you wanted to stay off the ship overnight, you were required to get a proper visa. Are you planning on staying on the junk over night?

I haven't heard of additional port fees for a day junk trip, so suggest you enquire further with Indochina Junk. I do know passengers on one privately arranged day junk trip were requested to pay taxi fare from port of arrival to port of departure of junk. In the end, our ship disembarked passengers on the port to the right of the big bridge (not Bai Chay port as originally advised).

Bangkok - I would allow plenty of time for traffic. I would leave at noon for 2 pm back on board, for 3 pm departure.
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Gold Coast
11,006 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by SF
I read that the ship will get visas for you onboard to visit Vietnam but if we are planning to do an overnight in Bangkok, Thailand is a visa required and does the ship provide this at a cost for you also?
Not to my knowledge. I am Australian.
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Hurtigruten - Fram - 2018 - Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Halifax, Canada (Booked)
Hurtigruten - Fram - 2018 - Halifax, Canada to Miami, Florida (Booked)
Azamara - Journey - 2017 - Singapore to Hong Kong
Hurtigruten - Fram - 2014 - Ushuaia to Antarctica, via Falkland Islands and South Georgia Islands.
Princess - Ocean Princess - 2013 - Dover to Iceland and Norway, via Shetland and Faroe Islands.

Princess - Ocean Princess - 2012 - Singapore to Sydney
Fred Olsen Black Watch - 2012 - The Baltic, with Norway. Dover to St. Petersburg, via Kiel Canal.
Celebrity Century - 2011 - Auckland to Sydney

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France
43 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by MMDown Under
In December, Azamara got Vietnam "visas" for all cruise ship passengers for US$6 (for three ports of call). However, if you wanted to stay off the ship overnight, you were required to get a proper visa. Are you planning on staying on the junk over night?

I haven't heard of additional port fees for a day junk trip, so suggest you enquire further with Indochina Junk. I do know passengers on one privately arranged day junk trip were requested to pay taxi fare from port of arrival to port of departure of junk. In the end, our ship disembarked passengers on the port to the right of the big bridge (not Bai Chay port as originally advised).

Bangkok - I would allow plenty of time for traffic. I would leave at noon for 2 pm back on board, for 3 pm departure.
Thanks Ron , Transfer time ties in with what the company are saying too . So I 'll get that booked.

I have emailed the ship ( HAL ) re the visa's it sounds like there are special arrangements for cruise boats so I think I 'll just let the ship handle it ( I think it is 65 USD for our 3 stops )

We are not staying overnight on the Junk - its a day tour with Indochina picking us up outside the port in a bus and from there to the boat . We' re paying 80 USD per head for the 8 hour cruise . It is my contact at Indochina that says we will need to pay this 35 USD per person which is not included in our tour fee but I can't find any info on line about it which seems strange and it seems like an awfully high amount . I have emailed her for more information and also HAL directly to see what they have to say .

Thanks for all your insights .

Judi
301 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Originally posted by ronbetty2001
Started cruise in Hong Kong, then Vietnam (Hanoi, Da Nang, Saigon) then Bangkok ending in Singapore, 2 weeks. Willing to answer questions now that we've returned today. Ask away if you have any questions while it's still fresh is my mind. Also spent 5 nights in Seam Reap touring the area and Angkor Wat temples.
Capt. Ron
Capt. Ron,

Thank you so much starting this thread and for all of the information provided. Also, thank you to everyone else that has contributed.

The knowledge I have gained since discovering this thread has been invaluable and have been able to pass on several pieces of key information to members of our December 2018 Singapore - Hong Kong itinerary!

Thanks especially for the clarification on required Vietnam visas. Although I do not require one myself due to being a UK resident, there are obviously multiple nationalities on board.

Also, learning that Singapore and Hong Kong have free walking tours available is amazing to know!

Thanks again Ron, and everyone who has contributed. You have all given spot on information!

Thanks

Andy
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