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leenieweenie

Just back from Viking China cruise

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I had so many questions before our Viking China river cruise. I thought I would share my experience. First of all, relax! None of the things I fretted about were an issue at all. Food...I am a picky eater and don’t eat any seafood, so this was a major concern for me. The food in our hotels was awesome and there was so much variety that I could always find lots to eat. Same on the ship- always something available that I liked. My big concern was the Chinese lazy Susan lunches, but again...not an issue. Our guide made sure I knew what dishes had sea food in it and there was always rice and veggies and chicken. I was fine with it. If you are a more adventurous eater, you will be able to try all kinds of things! Money... We debated on getting Chinese yuan before the trip, but decided to wait till we got there. We took 2 credit cards and some  American cash. We were able to convert our cash into yuan at our hotels and we were able to use our credit cards at the larger shops we went to. The market vendors preferred yuan, but many would accept American. They also would bargain and we had a lot of fun with that! Squatty potties... Always have toilet paper and hand sanitizer with you. There was usually one western toilet available ( marked for the handicapped) but the lines for that one got very long. Most of the tour stops had western ones available, I only had to use the Squatty ones twice the whole trip and that was because I didn’t ( couldn’t) wait in the longer line. Hotels... Exremely impressed with our accommodations.All our rooms were above and beyond my expectations. The rooms on the ship were acceptable. The humidity was very high on the river and things were a little damp. To be expected. No complaints about the service on the ship.

Be prepared to be on the go... we saw and did so much on this trip. We really loved it. This was our first Viking trip and they did a great job. From meeting us at the airport, to having one guide take care of us for the whole time, we couldn’t have asked for better customer service! Any questions, I will try to answer. 

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Sounds like a great trip! Thats for your comments.

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Glad you had a wonderful time!  We did Imperial Jewels of China with Viking in 2010, it was also our first trip with them, Was incredible and exceeded our expectations, of course we didn’t quite know what to expect.  Now 9 years later we’ve done 9 Viking river cruises, 3 viking ocean cruises and have #10 river cruise booked for April 2020.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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Leenieweenie, what time of year did you do your river cruise in China, and how was the weather? Thanks, Nicole

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We just got back ! We left May 6  and flew home May 19! The weather in Beijing was warm. Upper 70s, perfect for the Forbidden city and Tiananmen Square which both days have a lot of walking.  Once we were on the river it was   Still warm and very humid. We had rain two days but it didn’t ruin any of our excursions. Shanghai was in the 80,s  and again perfect for strolling around the Bund in the evening.

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Which of the China trips did you do?

We are doing Roof of the World in 2020

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21 hours ago, suspaul said:

Glad you had a wonderful time!  We did Imperial Jewels of China with Viking in 2010, it was also our first trip with them, Was incredible and exceeded our expectations, of course we didn’t quite know what to expect.

 

Ditto, OP, glad you had a great time!   We did Imperial Jewels of China with Viking in 2011, and it remains one of the best trips we've ever taken.  Viking did (and clearly still does) an amazing job in China.   First rate all the way.  

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Posted (edited)

Interesting!  I just started a thread relative to Viking China. Leenie...I don't believe you mentioned which itinerary you did?  I've been looking at both "Roof of the World" and "Undiscovered".  One question...how much of a hassle is it to get a visa? I think I read in a previous thread that you have to mail in your passport? 

Edited by gretschwhtfalcon

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We did Imperial Jewels of China. 14 days, Beijing to Shanghai!

We used Genvisa service thru  Viking  and had no problems at all. Yes, you have to send your passports in with your application, but we did the insurance and the certified return mailing and all went well. If I remember it took about 4 weeks to get our visas and passports back,just as they said! There will be all the info you need in your info packet once you are booked,on how to apply. We did use AAA to book our trip, but we filled the application out ourselves and just let AAA mail it from their office( it was a free perk from AAA). Have a great trip, no matter which one you choose, you will be amazed by China!

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Question-

Since these China trips are long- Were you able to go to a laundromat to wash your "unmentionables"? 

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We did not ! We packed plenty,and of course you could pay for laundry on the ship. Again, we did not use this service,as we had enough clothing for the whole trip.

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OMG!!!!

19 days.....I will need an extra suitcase.

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For us, it was a very casual vacation. Even dinners in the dining room were not “formal”! We were so busy on excursions and such that we didn’t worry about clothes. We kept our suitcase weight to 44 lbs so that we could bring home souvenirs without worrying about overweight luggage. We did hit the 50 lb mark on our return flight. Worked out perfect! This was the first time I used packing cubes and I must say I am a convert to them now. I packed everything I wanted  and still had room in my suitcase. A first for me, usually I have to take over part of my DH suitcase,lol.

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3 hours ago, leenieweenie said:

 This was the first time I used packing cubes and I must say I am a convert to them now. I packed everything I wanted  and still had room in my suitcase. A first for me, usually I have to take over part of my DH suitcase,lol.

Slightly off track, but someone once told me to always cross pack your luggage, with some clothes for each of you in each suitcase. That way, if one of your suitcases goes astray on the flight, at least you both have some of your things!

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Lack creativity, that is smart! We only had lost luggage once in our travels. And it was all my DH clothes. Luckily we had travel insurance and were able to shop to replace his stuff while in a port. We usually pack at least one change of clothes in our carry-on bag, just in case!

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Let me ask another question-

All things Money-  Did you have any problems using a credit card?  Can you put the Viking tips on a credit card...both river and land portions?  Is their a need to brush up on one's bargaining skills?

Thanks again

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We were able to use credit cards in the larger stores such as the Jade factory and some others we stopped at on the tour. We took US dollars with us and were able to exchange them into yuan at the hotels. Your guide will tell you where that service is available. We pre- paid our gratuities and the drivers and local guides were happy to accept dollars or yuan as tips. Same for any ship personnel that we wanted to tip extra- dollars or yuan.

Definitely be prepared to bargain- street vendors expect it! We had so much fun negotiating with the vendors who would line the streets on our excursions. Just remember this is their livelihood — you can get a great deal and still be fair😉 And listen to your guide, they know the best place to buy and when to pass. Our guide was Tom and he was excellent.

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