Advice on Cruise in Asia for Westerners - 1st trip to Asia

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#1
MN
973 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Hello - we are seeking some advice on what would be the best cruise line for us to choose for a 5-7 day cruise in Asia.

We live in the US and are unsure of which would fit us best.

We are 2 couples in the their mid 40's traveling with 3 teens 14, 16, 18. We have cruised Carnival and Norwegian and would like a product like these but don't want to feel like complete outsiders if everyone on board is Chinese.

I was told to look into Royal and Princess - advice?

thanks
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#2
Toronto Canada
1,331 Posts
Joined May 2010
Celebrity is good in that region for your group, but the teens will not have the same bells and whistles.
It also depends on the time of year you are looking at.
#3
MN
973 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Thank you for your response. We are looking at the time frame of late July - Mid July. There is a cruise on Princess (July 4th) that goes to some nice stops, any thoughts?
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#4
Newbury Park, CA
403 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
I assume you are going in July because the children will be out of school and you can only take a week for a cruise.. Note that July - August are very hot and humid in Japan. Of the two Princess cruises around July 4th, I would suggest the Vietnam & Hong Kong cruise rather than Japan. The Japan cruise goes to ports that are not major tourist sites where as the Vietnam & Hong Kong cruise will give you a sample of Southeast Asia and will contrast the very modern cities like Singapore, Hong Kong & Taipei versus Viet Nam which is less developed.

From what I have read, the majority of the passengers on the Japan cruise will be Japanese. On the Southeast Asia cruise there may be more Chinese. However, on the two cruises we have taken from Singapore, the majority of passengers (on Holland America and Celebrity) were from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
#5
Sydney
182 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
We've also been looking at Asia cruises but haven't booked anything yet except for a re positioning cruise from Sydney to Singapore for next year. One thing to be careful of is how far the cruise port is from the city/town. I was excited to see cruises stopping at KL and Bangkok until I looked closer and saw that the ports were hours away from the city. I would love to cruise into Hong Kong one day though. Would be spectacular.
Another thing to mind is the smoking policy. In Australia we are lucky to have many public areas smoke-free now. Not sure how I would cope on cruise where smoking was permitted inside some of the bars.
#7
Newbury Park, CA
403 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
I should have mentioned, that it will also be hot and humid on the Singapore to Taipei cruise since the area is close to the equator.

To help decide on which cruise, you might search youtube for videos on the different cruises and ports. As an example see the links to a couple

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLpvOK5Q0QE


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY0DBlTeKQg&t=868s
#8
Ontario, Canada
2,109 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
We have taken two Celebrity cruises out of Singapore and agree with the previous poster that the passenger mix included Australian, American, British and Canadian, probably in that order. There were a few from Asian countries, but the atmosphere of the cruise was western. We will soon be on Quantum of the Seas from Shanghai and are expecting a very different experience. We have never been in that area in summer, but spring and fall were warm and quite humid.
#9
Big Apple
7,030 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Looking at the Princess cruise next July 4th. Singarore with 2 stops in VN, HK for a day and finally Taipei - all those places are going to be very humid, super humid, hot & sunny, very uncomfortable and sticky the moment you step out of air-conditioned places. Be prepared, very prepared, dress accordingly - we would never cruise the summer months here to the Bahamas or Caribbean for the same reasons ... with children/teens, options aren't the same.

Without overnight stops, be prepared to use "pricey" ship's excursions to ease the language factors with taxi drivers. You will definitely only get a largely drive-by tour of HK in 7 or 8 hours, pick & choose when there is so much to do and see. Kai Tak Cruise Terminal was the formerly airport's runway and an excellent passenger friendly facility (our friends took these pictures - below - during the late summer.)

Disembarking at Keelung, which is about 1 hour via highway into Taipei's city centre, plan for 1 to 2 nights stay at a minimum to sightsee and see, and eat/excellent food, etc. - it's an easy DIY city with excellent subway trains, buses & taxi.

VN is a crazy places with motorcycles and cars, crossing the street is an adventure & challenge - trust me, we've done it but we plan to do it again, on a land tour again (in a chartered MB Sprinter van, air-conditioned with a bilingual guide & driver)

Odds are that you will come across Chinese passengers, not all of them are from mainland China well known for their less than civilized manners ... others from the rest of Asia are generally acculturated with the norms & manners for cruising, and you should be fine with them.
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#10
MN
973 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Thank you all for the information.

I went to try and book the Princess cruise and was told that they had reached their capacity for minors on the ship! What!!

So now I am looking at a 9 nine day cruise on the Voyageur RCI - I am just kind of concerned with how far away all of the cities are from the ports and the reviews are not that great of that ship!
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Coming Up:
NCL Spirit -Med (Venice) 7/6/16
Past:
NCL Spirit 12/19/15
NCL Epic 7/19/15 & 7/26 Med.
Carnival Liberty - 3/15/15
NCL Jade 7-26-14 Greek Isles
NCL Pearl 3-21-14
Next up land vacation....12/13

Carnival Legend Baltic 7-15-13
NCL (yes this not a typo!!) 3-23-13
Carnival Dream Xmas/NY 12-22-12
Carnival Conquest (Nola - Western) 3-25-12
Carnival Valor (8 day Xmas/Nyrs) 12-24-11
Carnival Magic Europe 7-24-11
Carnival Miracle 12-21-10 Southern
Carnival Triumph (again!) 3-20-10 Bd/Anniv. cruise
Carnival Dream 12-19-09
Carnival Fantasy 11-26-09
Carnival Spirit (Alaska) 7-15-09
Carnival Victory (Southern) 3-22-09
Carnival Splendor 12-27-08 New Year's
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Carnival Legend 10-12-08
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Carnival Triumph 3-8-08
Carnival Miracle (Exotic Southern) 12-24-07
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Carnival Freedom (Greece) 6-18-07
Carnival Valor 2-25-07
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Carnival Celebration 5-25-06
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#11
SF Bay Area
1,504 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
In addition to being hot & humid during the summer months, please keep in mind that it's also typhoon season.

The Captain will of course make the necessary course adjustments and itinerary adjustments. It would not be uncommon for a delayed arrival or missed port.

Check your trip insurance and plan an extra day or two pre & post cruise in case those ports are affected by the storm.

We were in Taiwan late July and two minor typhoons within 24 hours of each other paid a visit. Our driver from the airport told us the first one was coming in later that night and the airport would be closing ops soon.
#12
12,341 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
It depends where you want to cruise. We would say that a cruise is not the best way to see Thiland or Vietnam. Same with the port stop in Cambodia. The port stops are not great...too far away from the attractions.
#14
12,341 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
You might want to take a hard look at the various port stop options. Understand how far the port is from the sights. In some instances, depending on the port, you will find it to be 2-3 hour trip to the sights. That is 4-6 hours return just for travel.

Singapore might be good if you get a cruise that is stopping at KL, Penang, Langkawi.
#15
CA
1,550 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Stay well hydrated. Especially the kids. You don't realize how quickly you get dehydrated because everything feels so wet.

I ended up having to go to a hospital outside a major city in the SE Asia area. Reminded me of one of those warehouses people get slaughtered in in horror movies. And this was one of the highly developed countries.
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#16
Surrounded by oranges, grapes, and blueberries
759 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by bp traveler
Thank you all for the information.

I went to try and book the Princess cruise and was told that they had reached their capacity for minors on the ship! What!!

So now I am looking at a 9 nine day cruise on the Voyageur RCI - I am just kind of concerned with how far away all of the cities are from the ports and the reviews are not that great of that ship!
We were on the Voyager of the Seas in Asia and Australia...she may be old but she is still wonderful not to mention a great crew. Your teens will have plenty to do onboard...rock climbing wall, basketball court, ice-skating/roller skating, and the flowrider. Happy Sailing!