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We are flying to Hong Kong then boarding for a cruise to Vietnam ending in Singapore on Voyager of the Seas in September, who else has done this trip?

I have heard that the cities are a long way from where the ship docks - can you tell me if there are things to do if we just get off the ship and wander around

eg: markets, places to see  etc if we don't want to any shore tours in that city, thanks.

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Our experience was April 2019 on Princess.

 

Majestic Princess docked in a commercial port 90 minutes coach drive from the centre. There were  a few market type stalls that set up outside the ship.. mainly 'genuine fake' t shirts, sunglasses, bags  and  cans of soft drinks, crisps. They accepted American Dollars.

 

Many on our roll call seemed to have arranged independent tours. They must have worked out as everyone was back in time for sailaway. No calls for late comers !

 

We took s ship's tour called 'Vietnam on your Own'. It was expensive..as ship's excursions are but we felt happier to do this with the centre being so far away, in case we had issues returning on time. There was an English speaking guide on the coach, but he was difficult to understand...mind you his English was better than our Vietnamese, so not complaining.

 

We were taken by coach to an hotel (The Rex)..where we could use the facilities. Then given a time to return to the hotel for transfer to ship. The hotel was quite grand. Many passengers seemed to be having drinks there before return. We were lucky that everyone on our coach was punctual.

 

Not sure whether Royal Caribbean offer the same.

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It is at least 90 minutes to Saigon, at least 90 minutes to Hue.  The guides we had on tours from the NCL Jewel spoke like they were advocates of the government, gave misinformation, resented being corrected, could say nothing negative about anything in Vietnam.  Enjoyed Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Singapore much more.

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We went to the vietcong Chu Chi tunnels juat outside Saigon, and a fascinating trip it was, too. In Hue we took a cyclo tour of the city, again very interesting.

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17 minutes ago, grandgeezer said:

I saw Viet Nam for free in 1966, and swore I'd never go back, not even for free.

Welcome home brother. Nor will I! 

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My Vietnam cruise was on the hospital ship USS Repose during 1969-1970. Food wasn't bad, but the amenities and nightlife were atrocious.

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2 hours ago, John Reid said:

My Vietnam cruise was on the hospital ship USS Repose during 1969-1970. Food wasn't bad, but the amenities and nightlife were atrocious.

Welcome home brother. ✌️

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27 minutes ago, davekathy said:

Welcome home brother. ✌️

And to you.

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We did the reverse journey in March.

 

Ho Chi Min is about 90 minutes from the port. We didn't bother as we have been there before, so went to Vung Tau, which is about half the distance from the port. Not a lot to see there. If you haven't been to HCMC before, there is plenty to see and do.

 

Nha Trang is a tendering port, and where the tenders drop you off is not far from the town. Again, we had been there before, but it is great to have a wander along the main strip and have food and drink if you're not doing a tour.

 

Hue/Da Nang are both about an hour from the port, and you can only choose one as they are in opposite directions. We went to Da Nang, and were actually surprised by how big it is, and there were plenty of touristy sightseeing opportunities.

 

Halong Bay we did the boat tour straight from the ship. It was worth the cost, although as it is a popular tour, the caves were rammed with people. There is a theme park close to the pier, and some restaurants and bars. It is a new port area, and it looks like much is still under construction, but it will be pretty spectacular when finished.

 

In short, At HCMC and Hue/DaNang, there is nothing you can just wander off the ship and do.

 

My main advice if you are going ashore is to keep your valuables secure. Plenty of pickpockets and snatchers around, especially in HCMC. Don't stand on the side of the road looking at your phone, or it will vanish as someone on a motorbike rides past and snatches it.

 

Beautiful country, and (with the exception of the thieves) lovely friendly people.

 

I hope that helps.

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