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Hong-Kong/Shanghai: Hotel and Transfer Suggestions to port and airport.

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Hi all,

 

In 2020, we are booked on a Millenium cruise from Hong-Kong to Shanghai. It will be our first visit in Asia.

 

We will be flying to Hong-Kong International (HKG) and flying back via Shanghai (PVG).

 

I am looking for nicely located clean hotels, which will offer easy transfers to/from airport and to/from Millenium’s pier in each city.

 

I did a bit of research on internet and it’s not easy as it seems to find the information.

 

I was wondering if any of our experienced community cruisers would have any suggestions for us? ( we will be 3 adults travelling - Me, DW and adult DD)

 

Thank-you in advance for your time and assistance!

 

 

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Your Roll Call members may have suggestions for you, if one has been started. Or check the Roll Calls for the same itinerary for 2019. You could also check the Ports of Call Asia subforum for previous threads.

 

Since you're more than a year out, it may be too early to book yet

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subscribing for info as well....I will e on this cruise as well. The Asia board doesn't seem to get much traffic....it's possible the traffic picks up more with Asia cruising season...but right now it's pretty dead.

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We did this cruise in March 2017. In Hong Kong we stayed at the Panorama Hotel in Kowloon. It was great. In Shanghai we stayed at the Metropolo Classiq YMCA Hotel. It is older, fomerly a YMCA as the name indicates but is quite nice. Hope you are planning to stay a few days in each city as well as doing the cruise. When we got off in Shanghai we were met by The China Guide for an all day tour of the water towns outside of Shanghai and then at the end of the day we were taken to our hotel. It was a beautiful tour and something very different. We also used The China Guide to arrange our overnight tour in Beijing. As Mom Says says, join your roll call, it is a great place to share information and form groups for private tours.

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We have done 2 cruises like yours the last 2 years. In Jan 2017 and March 2018. In Hong Kong we stay at the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers at 20 Nathan Rd. The cruise terminal is on the Kowloon side at the old airport. After our cruise we hired a private tour of Shanghai with drop off at Shanghai Disney Resort. Shanghai Disney Resort is closer to the airport than downtown Shanghai.

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Thank you very much for all the suggestions! I will definitely look them up!

Regarding The China Guide, was it private or organized via the cruise line?

 

P.s. Thank you very much for the suggestion regarding the roll call also. We were already registered on it, but as mentioned by txflood33, so far it is a pretty quiet roll call. This is why, I chose to ask the question outside of that forum.

 

Thank you very much once mor, for taking the time and sharing your experiences! It is very helpful and appreciated, especially when planning to discover a very unique world, where verbal communication may be difficult.

 

 

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It is always about your budget. I always stay at the JW Marriott at Pacific Place and I have been to Hong Kong for more than 30 times, for both business and pleasure.

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The China Guide is a private company and they arrange private tours. We formed a group of 10 from our roll call for Beijing and 6 of us booked with them for Shanghai. China is very much a communist country and rules must be followed so the idea of checking in to a hotel early is a non-starter. That made the all day tour of the water towns a great thing for us. http://www.thechinaguide.com Their prices were much more reasonable than ship's tours and moving in a small group is much easier.

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The China Guide is a private company and they arrange private tours. We formed a group of 10 from our roll call for Beijing and 6 of us booked with them for Shanghai. China is very much a communist country and rules must be followed so the idea of checking in to a hotel early is a non-starter. That made the all day tour of the water towns a great thing for us. www.thechinaguide.com Their prices were much more reasonable than ship's tours and moving in a small group is much easier.

 

Can you please elaborate on this statement?

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We stayed in Kowloon. We took a taxi from the airport to the hotel. There were three adults. It’s amazing how much they fit into the car. Must cheaper then a transfer

 

 

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It seems that you are doing the cruise on Millie in March 2020 with 3 nights in Beijing. While our 14 night cruise in March 2018 was overall fine. It was not great. It would have been disappointing if it was our 1st or only cruise to Asia.

Our problems were weather. Our 1st problem was Seoul (Incheon) we were unable to dock until late in the day because of fog. They had already canceled the tours to the DMZ. The tours that went to Seoul saw most of the tour in the late afternoon evening. As Seoul is a hour plus away from Incheon. Because of delays in Incheon and fog at the port for Beijing we lost the 1st day of our 3 day stop in Beijing. Our cruise was ending in Shanghai, but because of fog we did not dock until 2 pm.

I've been to Seoul a number of times we had already decided to stay on the ship. We had booked our private tour of Beijing with China Highlights as we had used them the year before in Shanghai and all went great. We had booked a private tour for the 2 of us. As we had been to the Great China Wall years ago so we decided on a 2 day tour staying over night in Beijing. As the port is 3 hours by car away from the port. I emailed my contact at China Highlights and slid our tour one day.

I just found a link to someone that was on our cruise, great info but it is a travel agent. I dont think I can add the link.

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It seems that you are doing the cruise on Millie in March 2020 with 3 nights in Beijing. While our 14 night cruise in March 2018 was overall fine. It was not great. It would have been disappointing if it was our 1st or only cruise to Asia.

 

Our problems were weather. Our 1st problem was Seoul (Incheon) we were unable to dock until late in the day because of fog. They had already canceled the tours to the DMZ. The tours that went to Seoul saw most of the tour in the late afternoon evening. As Seoul is a hour plus away from Incheon. Because of delays in Incheon and fog at the port for Beijing we lost the 1st day of our 3 day stop in Beijing. Our cruise was ending in Shanghai, but because of fog we did not dock until 2 pm.

 

I've been to Seoul a number of times we had already decided to stay on the ship. We had booked our private tour of Beijing with China Highlights as we had used them the year before in Shanghai and all went great. We had booked a private tour for the 2 of us. As we had been to the Great China Wall years ago so we decided on a 2 day tour staying over night in Beijing. As the port is 3 hours by car away from the port. I emailed my contact at China Highlights and slid our tour one day.

 

I just found a link to someone that was on our cruise, great info but it is a travel agent. I dont think I can add the link.

 

 

 

Thank-you very much for sharing your experience! It is really appreciated! You are correct, we are planning to do the 14 nights Millenium cruise, with the three day stop in Beijing. It will be our first and possibly only lifetime opportunity for a visit in the area.

 

I am sorry to hear about the bad weather encountered during your 2018 cruise. Weather, is unfortunately, the variable that is out of our control, for any holidays. We just came back from an Alaska cruise where the expected/forecast weather was 100% rain for the week. So, we were prepared for rain and were fortunate to enjoy sun or rainless days for 95% of the cruise.

 

So, thanks to your warning, in addition to be very careful when booking private tours, I will do further research regarding weather in the area, at least to be prepared, it something such S what you experiences comes up.

 

Thanks again!

 

 

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The weather is always a risk...anywhere you go. On our cruise the day we went to see the Great Wall it was foggy and pouring rain. 8000 KM of great wall and we saw about 100M before it disappeared in the fog.

 

To elaborate on my comment on the Chinese government. Lots and lots of rules that seem to change as you go at times. We had two sea days between our last port in Korea and Tianjin, our first port in China. That is the port for Beijing but it is a 3 hour drive from the port to Beijing so we all wanted to get an early start. In Korea we took on Chinese immigration officers, all of our passports were collected and we were "all processed" while at sea so we could get off the ship quickly. We docked at 6am, were supposed to be allowed off by 8:30am but "due to technical issues" we could not leave the ship until almost 11am and then we had to deal with the lines at immigration so it was closer to 11:30 by the time we met our guide who had been there since 6am. On the ride to Beijing there is an inspection stop about midway between Tianjin and Beijing. EVERY vehicle has to get off the highway and present their papers. Lots of guards armed with automatic weapons just in case.....Lots of lines and "checks" where ever we went. We were supposed to sail from Tianjin to Shanghai at a lesiurely 14 knots but at the last minute the Chinese official demanded that we make a "port call" at a foreign port before going on to Shanghai. Thankfully we were only required to sail close enough to Jeju Island Korea to be in radio contact with the harbor master and our port agent so the captain could transmit the necessary paperwork to the Korean officials at the harbor. It took us 160 mile out of our way and the captain had to run all day and all night at 22 knots and burned up a lot more fuel. He was not a happy camper about that one. Oh, a visitors visa for China if you are holding a US passport, $140 plus to have to make at least two visits to the Chinese consulate closest to your legal residence ( one to drop off the application and pictures and your passport and then one to go back to pick up your passport with the finished visa in it. My legal residence is in NJ so I would have had to go to NYC twice. Between tolls, gas and parking my minimum out of pocket cost would be over $40 per trip so I opted to use an agent to handle it at a cost of about $70 per person. The visa application is long, very long and you better get it right or back you go... with all of that, we found the people, the regular people in the cities we visited were very nice and friendly and our guides were great. Oh, allow a good 20-30 minutes to check into a hotel, even if they have your reservation. It took us almost an hour to check in in Shanghai because they could not find our reservations. Our guide stayed with and worked out but we had to front the cost of the stay for three nights even though we had pre-paid it and had the paper work from Orbitz. The extra payment was refunded before left once the "found" the paperwork the next day. It is well worth going, we really enjoyed it but you need to go prepared mentally. Oh, taxi from the hotel in Shanghai to PVG, he would not let us out of the car until we paid him.....not a big deal if your money is somewhere you can reach easily but when it is in your back pocket and you are crammed into the back seat of a little Chinese car, not fun. 5 security checks at the airport departing before we could leave including one as we boarded the plane where they yelled, NO WATER!!!!. So I tossed out my 1/4 fi;; bottle of water that I had taken out of the Air China lounge.......ok, enough. Go and enjoy it, it really is a great trip and the Millennium is a great ship with a great staff and crew.

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The weather is always a risk...anywhere you go. On our cruise the day we went to see the Great Wall it was foggy and pouring rain. 8000 KM of great wall and we saw about 100M before it disappeared in the fog.

 

To elaborate on my comment on the Chinese government. Lots and lots of rules that seem to change as you go at times. We had two sea days between our last port in Korea and Tianjin, our first port in China. That is the port for Beijing but it is a 3 hour drive from the port to Beijing so we all wanted to get an early start. In Korea we took on Chinese immigration officers, all of our passports were collected and we were "all processed" while at sea so we could get off the ship quickly. We docked at 6am, were supposed to be allowed off by 8:30am but "due to technical issues" we could not leave the ship until almost 11am and then we had to deal with the lines at immigration so it was closer to 11:30 by the time we met our guide who had been there since 6am. On the ride to Beijing there is an inspection stop about midway between Tianjin and Beijing. EVERY vehicle has to get off the highway and present their papers. Lots of guards armed with automatic weapons just in case.....Lots of lines and "checks" where ever we went. We were supposed to sail from Tianjin to Shanghai at a lesiurely 14 knots but at the last minute the Chinese official demanded that we make a "port call" at a foreign port before going on to Shanghai. Thankfully we were only required to sail close enough to Jeju Island Korea to be in radio contact with the harbor master and our port agent so the captain could transmit the necessary paperwork to the Korean officials at the harbor. It took us 160 mile out of our way and the captain had to run all day and all night at 22 knots and burned up a lot more fuel. He was not a happy camper about that one. Oh, a visitors visa for China if you are holding a US passport, $140 plus to have to make at least two visits to the Chinese consulate closest to your legal residence ( one to drop off the application and pictures and your passport and then one to go back to pick up your passport with the finished visa in it. My legal residence is in NJ so I would have had to go to NYC twice. Between tolls, gas and parking my minimum out of pocket cost would be over $40 per trip so I opted to use an agent to handle it at a cost of about $70 per person. The visa application is long, very long and you better get it right or back you go... with all of that, we found the people, the regular people in the cities we visited were very nice and friendly and our guides were great. Oh, allow a good 20-30 minutes to check into a hotel, even if they have your reservation. It took us almost an hour to check in in Shanghai because they could not find our reservations. Our guide stayed with and worked out but we had to front the cost of the stay for three nights even though we had pre-paid it and had the paper work from Orbitz. The extra payment was refunded before left once the "found" the paperwork the next day. It is well worth going, we really enjoyed it but you need to go prepared mentally. Oh, taxi from the hotel in Shanghai to PVG, he would not let us out of the car until we paid him.....not a big deal if your money is somewhere you can reach easily but when it is in your back pocket and you are crammed into the back seat of a little Chinese car, not fun. 5 security checks at the airport departing before we could leave including one as we boarded the plane where they yelled, NO WATER!!!!. So I tossed out my 1/4 fi;; bottle of water that I had taken out of the Air China lounge.......ok, enough. Go and enjoy it, it really is a great trip and the Millennium is a great ship with a great staff and crew.

 

 

 

Wow! Thanks for sharing! I knew that China was communist and expected some kind of paperwork/governmental challenges. Just trying to assess/research what kind of Visa is needed and the procedures to obtain it, including when and where to get it, is not as easy as it seems.

 

Reading your feed back was very helpful as it provides concrete examples as to where the challenges may be. Thank you very much!

 

 

 

 

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Take a taxi in both cities.

 

Stay at any of the big name hotels (Hilton/MArriott/Hyatt) and they will be nice.

 

If you need a China Visa I recommend a visa service like Allied PAssport and Visa. Unless you live in a city with a consulate it is a huge pain. They will walk you through the process for a reasonable fee.

 

Contrary to what Mr CLick says, you can check into hotels early in China just like anywhere else. If you have status at the hotel chain you increase your odds of success.

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We just did this cruise in March,

 

Hotel in Hong Kong: The Kowloon Hotel

we used an Uber to the pier (Kai Tak Cruise Terminal) for about 20 USD

 

Shanghai: Le Suites Orient Hotel right on the Bund

Taxi into town. Take around an hour and the cost is around 200 Yuan (30 USD).

 

We do all our tours on our own. In China we used Chinahighlights for the overnights in Beijing. Highly professional and recommendable!!! We got stuck in Seoul for a day because of fog and they had monitored Millennium´s progress. When it was clear that we would not make it that day, they already cancelled a night at the hotel and we got a refund while still on the cruise.

 

You can find a lot of Shanghai pics by clicking on the link to our Japan review in my signature (last day was also Shanghai).

I have not gotten to writing a review about the China cruise yet :(

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As the port is at KaiTak you might be better having a hotel on the Kowloon side. Look in the Tsim Sha Tsui area you will find loads of hotels there. Look at The Salisbury - YMCA Hotel not visited HK for a while this used to be great value and an amazing hotel with great views

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We used itseasy.com for our visa and they were great. It was well worth the money to not have to go back and forth into NYC.

 

Since I no longer have status with any hotel chain I opted for local brands and found them to be very nice. In Hong Kong the Panorama was great and even provided a car to take the 4 of us to the port. The fee was reasonable and since it was their own car it was super easy. We bought a HOHO bus package in Hong Kong that included one RT ferry ride, the bus routes and a ride on a sampan around the harbor. The one thing we missed in Hong Kong was Victoria Peak because we never saw a clear sky during our 3 days there.

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Mr Click - Thank you for your thorough reply, I have been following numerous reports from Asia cruisers since we booked some time ago. I do remember reading about your challenging trip. Thankfully, that experience seems to be an exception, rather than the norm.

Based on the recommendations from others, we have booked Les Suites Orient Bund in Shanghai. We are using China Highlights for a pre-cruise excursion to Xian and a three-day Bejing tour. (So far they have been extraordinarily responsive and flexible.) Post-cruise, we are visiting Tokyo Disney, and will use the designated bus from the Yokohama station, directly to the resort.

I have found it a bit perplexing to book private tours in Japan, not only are they very expensive, but most require a significant deposit up front and non-refundable, full payment in advance. One place where ship's excursions seem more attractive.

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I greatly appreciate the info provided here. We will be looking to have a couple of days in Hong Kong pre cruise as well as a couple of days in Shanghai post cruise. The tour info is very helpful as well.

 

Just curious, has anyone here used or heard any reviews about Tours by Locals? They were recommended to me by a trusted TA. I guess they have local people all over the world and will give you private tours in your native language. Seemed a little pricey but I haven't really looked at excursion prices outside of Celebrity yet.

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We just did this cruise in March,

 

Hotel in Hong Kong: The Kowloon Hotel

we used an Uber to the pier (Kai Tak Cruise Terminal) for about 20 USD

 

Shanghai: Le Suites Orient Hotel right on the Bund

Taxi into town. Take around an hour and the cost is around 200 Yuan (30 USD).

 

Thank you very much Miaminice for the above mentioned estimated taxi cost from hotel to pier/pier to hotel as well as the currency conversion! It’s really helpful in making choices «*transfers*» versus taxi.

 

Thank you also for your hotel suggestions and location! (I apologize for loosing the quotation marks, I mus have made a manipulation error!)

 

 

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It is VERY easy to get from the Airport to Hong Kong by the Airport MTR express train - it stops in Kowloon and Central and from there you can get a free Airport Shuttle to the Major Hotels.

 

I've stayed many times in Hong Kong and at the better hotels if a room is available there is usually not a problem checking in very early (8am once) or late out. If not getting your room early is a problem book the night before you arrive and just let the hotel know you will be arriving the following morning.

 

I think Hong Kong is one of those places that has such fantastic world class hotels that if you can afford to push the boat out you are unlikely to be disappointed - rates go up and down but (relative) good prices and room upgrades can be had (Kowloon Shangri la often has very good deals on their full harbour view rooms) .

 

It's a coin toss whether to stay in Kowloon or on Hong Kong - it's very easy to commute between the two - a few minutes and about 30p on the Star Ferry or on the MTR for a bit more. Kowloon's waterfront hotels have the better views (of Hong Kong island). Hong Kong island has the more upmarket shopping, The Peak, the Trams. The one area I would personally avoid is the relatively new development around the Ritz Carlton hotel and the other new area around the Kai Tak area - I think both are a bit out of the main tourist area.

 

On Kowloon if your budget will stretch to it I would recommend The Peninsula (New Tower Harbour view are the best rooms), The Intercontinental Hong Kong(will be changing name to The Regent soon) - has probably the best Harbour views (Don't confuse with the Intercontinental Grand Stanford- which is good just not as good). The Kowloon Shangri La often has very good rates and superb very large Full Harbour View rooms ( extra of course and not to be confused with the side Harbour View Rooms which are not worth the supplement IMO).

 

On the island - The Mandarin Oriental is a fabulous old school luxury hotel - there are fours hotels at Pacific place that are all very good (Island Shangri La, Conrad and JW Marriott in that order for me) there is also The Upper House which is the most expensive - haven't stayed there. The Four Seasons also gets very good reviews but never stayed there.

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... China is very much a communist country and rules must be followed so the idea of checking in to a hotel early is a non-starter. T....

 

I think the two are not connected. Following a massive rise in tourism, china suffers from a lot of poorly managed hotels with many staff having a poor grasp of English giving rise to communication and service problems. At the better western-managed hotels or the international Asian chain hotels (Peninsula, Mandarin Oriental, Shangri la) you'll find a lot of very well trained staff who understand what their customers want - this is particularly the case in Hong Kong. Certain hotels in Hong Kong have a world renowned reputation in this area - I recall once running late to get back to the Mandarin Oriental to catch my flight, I rang the hotel and they sent 2 members to my room to help me pack . I was staying in a regular room and not an expensive suite.

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