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

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We had no hotel issues in Hong Kong. The hotel was great, the staff was perfect. In Beijing and in Shanghai it took forever to get checked in. It was not a language issue because the staff did speak reasonable English and our guide from The China Guide stayed with in both cases to make sure things were sorted out.

 

Tours by Locals---we have used them in various places including in Seoul and Tinjian and the guides and tours have always been great.

 

I think OP's cruise is going to Jeju Island. If you are check out the Jeju Glass Castle. We did a tour that included a glass blowing lesson as well as plenty of time to tour their gardens that are filled with glass sculptures. It was something different to see.

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Thank you so much for all the detailed suggestions. I am very impressed with the knowledge and support from Cruise Critics Members. You have saved me quite a bit of research.

 

I really appreciate the information mentioned. Thank you all!!!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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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.

 

Yes, we used Tours by locals in many locations.

In China or better Beijing, however, we preferred a full service - like booking the hotel for the overnight etc. and Chinahighlights.com and they were amoung the best organized company we ever used. Especially because we had a fog related delay of one day.

 

In Hong Kong we did a tour with http://hellohongkong.com.hk/

 

And in Shanghai we used

https://www.jennysshanghaitours.com/

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Yes, we used Tours by locals in many locations.

In China or better Beijing, however, we preferred a full service - like booking the hotel for the overnight etc. and Chinahighlights.com and they were amoung the best organized company we ever used. Especially because we had a fog related delay of one day.

 

In Hong Kong we did a tour with http://hellohongkong.com.hk/

 

And in Shanghai we used

https://www.jennysshanghaitours.com/

 

Thanks for the feedback. Our preliminary plan(with little research as we still have quite a bit of time) was to take the bullet train from Tianjin to Beijing and make our way to a hotel we booked on our own(from advice here of Tripadvisor). Use that first day to explore the city self guided...or is Beijing too big/spread out to see on your own even using cabs or public transportation? Day 2 we were going to hire a private company to take us to the Great Wall and maybe Olympic Village....I inquired about Tours by Locals because we are not a fan or big tour groups if we can avoid it. End of Day 2 were were going to head back to the ship and sleep there that night and then check out Tianjin on Day 3 before we leave that evening.

 

Is this a doable plan or am I overestimating my abilities to navigate a large city in China?

 

Edit: I read this after posting and realized I kind of changed the topic around from Hong Kong and Shanghai to Beijing and I wasn't trying to hijack the thread. I appreciate the tour info for Hong Kong and Shanghai. Beijing is where it was suggested to use Tours by Locals so my mind just went in that direction.

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Thanks for the feedback. Our preliminary plan(with little research as we still have quite a bit of time) was to take the bullet train from Tianjin to Beijing and make our way to a hotel we booked on our own(from advice here of Tripadvisor). Use that first day to explore the city self guided...or is Beijing too big/spread out to see on your own even using cabs or public transportation? Day 2 we were going to hire a private company to take us to the Great Wall and maybe Olympic Village....I inquired about Tours by Locals because we are not a fan or big tour groups if we can avoid it. End of Day 2 were were going to head back to the ship and sleep there that night and then check out Tianjin on Day 3 before we leave that evening.

 

Is this a doable plan or am I overestimating my abilities to navigate a large city in China?

 

Edit: I read this after posting and realized I kind of changed the topic around from Hong Kong and Shanghai to Beijing and I wasn't trying to hijack the thread. I appreciate the tour info for Hong Kong and Shanghai. Beijing is where it was suggested to use Tours by Locals so my mind just went in that direction.

 

I am with you on big groups... my personal nightmare :)

Chinahighlights arrange private tours. We did it with a group of 6. In this particular case we travelled with friends anyway. For other cruises I arrange a tour and find people to join us on the Cruise Critic Roll Call of the cruise. I limit the number to 6, maximum 8.

 

I would not do Beijing without the guide although I am usually a fan of DIY. Too spread out. Our trip was just extremely convenient (and private). The six of us were picked up at the pier, taken to all the sights, had an extremely nice hotel, and were returned to the ship. The worry free package... and it was worth it!

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Beijing without a guide would be challenging. It is a huge city, there is not a lot of signage in English. Like MiamiNice, we do not like big group tours but we did well arranging smaller groups through our roll call here. We used The China Guide and were very happy with them. We pushed the Beijing group to 10 because it was cost effective, we stuck to 6 in Shanghai because it was more fun that way and the cost was the same. Oh, in Shanghai, when you are dying for some really good western food, check out The Blue Frog. Best burger ever. We were lucky and there was one just a few blocks from our hotel.

http://www.bluefrog.com.cn/index.asp

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I want to extend my thanks again to the help and suggestions in this thread. I reached out to ChinaHighlights via email and received a quick response and quote. We emailed back and forth with questions and answers and very helpful info.

 

We were able to book private tours(just myself, wife and our guide) with visits to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, The Great Wall with cable car passes, a couple of the recognizable Olympic buildings, Summer Palace and Garden of Virtue...including 2 nights hotel in Beijing. Very please with the price and so far the service.

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I want to extend my thanks again to the help and suggestions in this thread. I reached out to ChinaHighlights via email and received a quick response and quote. We emailed back and forth with questions and answers and very helpful info.

 

We were able to book private tours(just myself, wife and our guide) with visits to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, The Great Wall with cable car passes, a couple of the recognizable Olympic buildings, Summer Palace and Garden of Virtue...including 2 nights hotel in Beijing. Very please with the price and so far the service.

 

I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did. Create lots of memories - they are the only thing that lasts.

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On 9/1/2018 at 10:25 AM, sippican said:

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.

Sippican,

 

Hope you had a great cruise. We booked last year a March 2020 cruise from Shanghai to Yokohama aboard Millie. Since we have already been to Shanghai in 2017 and did all the excursions there, we are thinking of doing a pre-cruise to Xi’an, like you did.  Did you arrive in Shanghai first and take the China Highlights excursion to Xi’an or did you fly directly to Xi’an? How many days did you spend in Xi’an? How did you like Les Suites Orient Bund in Shanghai? Did you use private airport and port transfers in Shanghai or did you use taxis? We are also thinking of using China Highlights for our 2 nights, 3 days in Beijing. I read in old roll calls that someone did an excursion to Xi’an on the 2nd day in Beijing of the 3 days excursion in Beijing while managing to see the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Do you think this is advisable? 

 

We are in the midst of planning and have not yet booked any flights until we have sorted out our itinerary, hopefully soon, as the March 2020 flights will open by the end of this month. 

 

Thank you very much in advance for sharing your experience. My email is kimdally2002 at yahoo dot com. I don’t like to sidetrack the original topic and would like to send you a message, but there’s no way to do so on CC. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Bocabeach said:

Sippican,

 

Hope you had a great cruise. We booked last year a March 2020 cruise from Shanghai to Yokohama aboard Millie. Since we have already been to Shanghai in 2017 and did all the excursions there, we are thinking of doing a pre-cruise to Xi’an, like you did.  Did you arrive in Shanghai first and take the China Highlights excursion to Xi’an or did you fly directly to Xi’an? How many days did you spend in Xi’an? How did you like Les Suites Orient Bund in Shanghai? Did you use private airport and port transfers in Shanghai or did you use taxis? We are also thinking of using China Highlights for our 2 nights, 3 days in Beijing. I read in old roll calls that someone did an excursion to Xi’an on the 2nd day in Beijing of the 3 days excursion in Beijing while managing to see the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Do you think this is advisable? 

 

We are in the midst of planning and have not yet booked any flights until we have sorted out our itinerary, hopefully soon, as the March 2020 flights will open by the end of this month. 

 

Thank you very much in advance for sharing your experience. My email is kimdally2002 at yahoo dot com. I don’t like to sidetrack the original topic and would like to send you a message, but there’s no way to do so on CC. 

 

We are still onboard the beautiful Millennium, returning to the US  on April 15th. I will be happy to answer your questions in detail when I get back home. Please e-mail me at making waves travel at g mail dot com

 

Meanwhile -I istromgly recommend that you do not use your Beijing time to squeeze in the long trip to Xian. China Highlights was awesome pre-cruise, will be happy to share the details. 

Edited by sippican

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4 hours ago, sippican said:

 

We are still onboard the beautiful Millennium, returning to the US  on April 15th. I will be happy to answer your questions in detail when I get back home. Please e-mail me at making waves travel at g mail dot com

 

Meanwhile -I istromgly recommend that you do not use your Beijing time to squeeze in the long trip to Xian. China Highlights was awesome pre-cruise, will be happy to share the details. 

Enjoy your great cruise! I should have looked up the sea scanner website to find out where beautiful Millie is. We are currently on the Edge - our first time - (btb HOS) and it really is a marvelous ship. It’s wonderful to know that Millie is still great. Thanks for your great advice on not to squeeze Xi’an during the 3-day Beijing excursion.

 

 I’ll contact u when u return to the US, around the time our cruise ends (on 4/14) at our home port, FLL, as we live in Boca, 1/2 hour away. 

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