Is shipboard life different on an Asia cruise.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 09:30 PM.
#1
Connecticut
1,327 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
will be on an Asia cruise on the Westerdam in November. Will ship board activities be different? Will there be special entertainment onboard? Will there be any different menus in the dining room.?

We are going from Hong Kong to Singapore with stops in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

Are the ships as full? My cruise seems to have a lot of empty cabins.

Any comments will be greatly appreciated.
#2
Honolulu
437 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I have done asian cruises several times on HAL. Overall not very different than any other cruise. They did bring on a few local entertainment groups in a few spots....but not nearly enough as every one of the local performing group shows were packed and got loud ovations.

Ships seemed to have a few more asian guests from Hong Kong , Japan, Singapor, etc. Occupancy was always high but maybe not quite 100% which is a good thing. Passengers perhaps more well traveled than a carib or alaska type cruise. Maybe a few more asian dishes but mostly normal dining choices.

All in all wonderful trips...add in few days in HKG and SIN at beginning or end if possible.
#3
Connecticut
1,327 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by dockman
I have done asian cruises several times on HAL. Overall not very different than any other cruise. They did bring on a few local entertainment groups in a few spots....but not nearly enough as every one of the local performing group shows were packed and got loud ovations.

Ships seemed to have a few more asian guests from Hong Kong , Japan, Singapor, etc. Occupancy was always high but maybe not quite 100% which is a good thing. Passengers perhaps more well traveled than a carib or alaska type cruise. Maybe a few more asian dishes but mostly normal dining choices.

All in all wonderful trips...add in few days in HKG and SIN at beginning or end if possible.
Thank you. Doing three nights in Hong Kong and five in Singapore. We hardly do ships tours, but a bit concerned about Cambodia and Vietnam
#4
Walla Walla, WA
993 Posts
Joined May 2010
Check out Dung Pham's tours for Vietnam. I'm soon to be on the Grand Asia, and lots of us from the roll call are signed up with him. Just Google him.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
My website http://frenchletters.wordpress.com

Upcoming: 2018 HAL Grand Asia

9/12 Alaska on HAL Westerdam
7/12 Voyage of the Vikings on HAL Maasdam
10/11 Spanish Serenade on HAL Ryndam
10/10 Panama Canal on Celebrity Infinity
#5
Connecticut
1,327 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by IslandThyme
Check out Dung Pham's tours for Vietnam. I'm soon to be on the Grand Asia, and lots of us from the roll call are signed up with him. Just Google him.
Are you using them for just one port or for all Vietnam ports
#6
Honolulu
437 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Few more tips:

Sanya China. Ship provided a shuttle to some run down shopping center but gave zero advice as to what might be nearby. Most pax did the shopping center but did not know that a beautiful beach was less than ten minute walk away so they missed that. Lot of russians in Sanya.

Da Nang. Recommend u take a taxi to Hoi An for the day. Much more interesting than Da Nang I thought and private taxi easy and way cheaper than ship excursion. Ship offered shuttle into Da Nang and from there lot of taxis were avail to go to Hoi An.

Nha Trang: Ship sold a roundtrip shuttle for $12 each and said town was 20-30 minute drive. BS...it was a 10 minute drive. Can walk from ship to road in five minutes and taxi will take you for $4 per car one way. Ask them to drop u at the Nha Trang sailing club which is great spot right on beach with nice bar/restaurant etc....and central location to explore the area back from the beach where all the hotels etc are located.

Saigon/ Laem Chabang: Both are remote ports ruled with iron fist by taxi mafia quoting absurd prices. Laem Chabang is a two mile walk to the port entrance so you are pretty much captive. Bangkok is 1 1/2 hour away or Pattaya beach is about 30 minutes. Not much choice both places to either take ship tour or deal with taxi mafia.

Hope this helps a bit.
#7
Honolulu
437 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
oops forgot Sihanoukville Cambodia:

Ship offers free shuttle from port into town central market...about 20 mins or so. When the shuttle arrives at the very very busy market it is a major feeding frenzy of people chasing the bus and you to try and sell you a tour....best advise is to say NOTHING unless u are interested as even a simple no thanks will encourage them. Unless u want the tours walk ten mins or so away from market out of the chaos and u can flag down a tuk tuk that will take u to Serendipity beach about ten minutes away. ($5 or much less if you want to negotiate. The beach here is very pleasant with clear water and tons of beachfront bars/restaurants etc and lots of nice chairs/umbrellas etc if u fancy some beach time. Tuk tuk all the way back to ship was only $5 so no need to take shuttle back. Cambodia is very poor. Take some candy, cookies, boxes of kids cereals, tee shirts, packs of noodles (anything) etc to hand out to the kids and you'll meet some charming little folks.
#8
Connecticut
1,327 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Great ideas. You seem to like beaches. I was thinking about doing the beach in Sanya. HAL confirmed no visa is needed there to get off ship.
#9
Honolulu
437 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Sanya is a very nice beach and to visit and not see it seems a shame. Lot of Russians and Chinese vacation there.

Sihanoukville not a lot to do there other than beautiful beaches....i sure enjoyed sitting on the beach and handing out cookies etc to some of the kids who are always around. For me much more fun than riding around on a bus tour.

Hoi An has beaches but most explore the ancient city which is very nice...especially at night if u are there after dark. Lot of bycycle for rent in Hoi An if interested. The taxis will all stop at marble carving shops enroute which has some very nice statues etc for sale but low pressure and fun to watch how they do it.
#10
Walla Walla, WA
993 Posts
Joined May 2010
Roberts2005 - we are only stopping at Phu My and Nha Trang, and we're using them for both.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
My website http://frenchletters.wordpress.com

Upcoming: 2018 HAL Grand Asia

9/12 Alaska on HAL Westerdam
7/12 Voyage of the Vikings on HAL Maasdam
10/11 Spanish Serenade on HAL Ryndam
10/10 Panama Canal on Celebrity Infinity
#11
Connecticut
1,327 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Dockman, you posted this.
Da Nang. Recommend u take a taxi to Hoi An for the day. Much more interesting than Da Nang I thought and private taxi easy and way cheaper than ship excursion. Ship offered shuttle into Da Nang and from there lot of taxis were avail to go to Hoi An.


Are the taxis easy to get back from a Hoi An, or dou hire the taxi to wait. Do most speak English. Think I would like to spend more time in Hoi An.