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Sweetmona

Newest Cruise Ship in Asia?

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I realize that the biggest and newest ships do not often, or cannot logistically, go to many ports in Asia, but can anyone tell me what are the newest (or most recently refurbed) ships in Asia? We have never been, and are flexible on our itinerary (Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, India). We are also flexible on cruise line and ship size. Thanks so much!

 

Edited to say: please include ships you know will begin sailing there in the next couple of years

Edited by Sweetmona
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Most of the newest ships being sent to the Far East are being assign to the Chinese market and not open to other countries.

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54 minutes ago, G.M.T. said:

Most of the newest ships being sent to the Far East are being assign to the Chinese market and not open to other countries.

 

Or after one or two seasons are sent to other areas.  NCL Joy was designed for the Chinese market, but is now doing Alaska, Panama Canal, & West Coast USA cruises.

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Piano Land (not a brand new ship) - more of a FYI

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/21397-astro-ocean-takes-over-piano-land-as-ship-sails-for-china.html

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/21638-piano-land-is-christened.html

 

Check with a local T/A that deal with CTS about possible availability, pricing & scheme for this refurbished (1995) luxury liner ... first state-owned partnership venture targeted at the mainland Chinese market, doing short cruises. 

 

Otherwise, I recommend looking at Royal Caribbean options - they've been homeport in Shanghai for 10+ years, excellent & modern airport, high speed rail & subway system, bus lines & taxi ... 

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If you can afford it I would strongly suggest you go for a smaller ship, say Azamara, Oceania, etc as their ships can go right up the rivers in Vietnam to Saigon and Bangkok and Shanghai etc.  These lines tend to have overnight stays and provide shuttles etc which will utilize your time much more efficiently than larger ships which have to often dock hours away and or in some cases tender offshore at some stops.

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On 10/17/2019 at 9:58 AM, Sweetmona said:

I realize that the biggest and newest ships do not often, or cannot logistically, go to many ports in Asia, but can anyone tell me what are the newest (or most recently refurbed) ships in Asia? We have never been, and are flexible on our itinerary (Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, India). We are also flexible on cruise line and ship size. Thanks so much!

 

Edited to say: please include ships you know will begin sailing there in the next couple of years

 

Looks like I'm from the same area as you.  I'll be sailing back-to-back on two very different ships next month: Silver Spirit followed by Spectrum of the Seas.  One was just "stretched" last year (not sure how much they refurbished the rest of the ship, but I assume at least some), while the other is brand new this year.

 

The Spirit was the main/original destination and the Spectrum was an add-on.  I was concerned (and still am) that going from a small luxury ship to a mainstream mega-ship would be jarring, but the timing worked out well, the itineraries were different, and I'm still used to being on big new ships with the familiar bells & whistles.  Although Spectrum's home port is Shanghai and it may have been primarily marketed to the Chinese market, sailings from Hong Kong (like mine) and Singapore may have a bit more international passenger list.

 

If you want longer and more port-intensive itineraries in Asia, you will probably have to settle for an older, smaller ship.  While the new mega-ships can hit many of the major cities in Asia (if that's what you primarily want to see), I'm not sure any of them visit more than a couple on any one cruise, and there are trade-offs for the size (like how you always hear about them being docked at container ports hours away from Ho Chi Minh or Bangkok).

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I was on Silver Spirit about 2 years ago and can attest that it is a wonderful ship and a great experience. Understated luxury. These small ships won't impress anyone with the coolest new stuff...just great spaces, great food, and great service.

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On 10/17/2019 at 9:58 AM, Sweetmona said:

I realize that the biggest and newest ships do not often, or cannot logistically, go to many ports in Asia, but can anyone tell me what are the newest (or most recently refurbed) ships in Asia? We have never been, and are flexible on our itinerary (Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, India). We are also flexible on cruise line and ship size. Thanks so much!

 

Edited to say: please include ships you know will begin sailing there in the next couple of years

 

You say you are flexible on your itinerary, but that should be your biggest decision.  It's not all the same.  There are so many great and very different experiences in Asia.  You might want to spend some time looking at the countries.  We went for the first time and picked Southeast Asia as our first cruise to Asia for good reason.  It even gives you the option of flying to Cambodia (for Angkor Wat) before or after your cruise.  Azamara constantly refurbishes its small ships and Oceania is doing the same.  Those are the two lines that can port in cities where you want to be.  The Celebrity Millennium was just refurbished but ports 2+ hours away from both Saigon and Bangkok.  Many choose it and pay 1/2 the price.  If money is a factor, it really is a great alternative.  

 

 

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2 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

 

You say you are flexible on your itinerary, but that should be your biggest decision.  It's not all the same.  There are so many great and very different experiences in Asia.  You might want to spend some time looking at the countries.  We went for the first time and picked Southeast Asia as our first cruise to Asia for good reason.  It even gives you the option of flying to Cambodia (for Angkor Wat) before or after your cruise.  Azamara constantly refurbishes its small ships and Oceania is doing the same.  Those are the two lines that can port in cities where you want to be.  The Celebrity Millennium was just refurbished but ports 2+ hours away from both Saigon and Bangkok.  Many choose it and pay 1/2 the price.  If money is a factor, it really is a great alternative.  

 

That's what I'll be doing for the first time in Asia. A 14 day Southeast cruise in Asia with 2 extra days to start in Hong Kong and 1 extra day in Singapore in the end.

 

It's ultimately a compromise. It was one of the lowest priced Southeast Asia cruise I could find and I will supplement with overnights in Hanoi & Bangkok.

 

That said, I certainly appreciate the smaller ships and their access to get closer to the action as I have done Silversea twice and most recently did Oceania for Bermuda out of NYC (example: stopped at Hamilton and St. George, most ships only go to King's Warf).

 

Azamara and Oceania share the same class of small ships and should be relatively comparable. Silversea is in a much different class. Celebrity is very good as long as you are fully aware of the trade offs. IMHO the ship is the least important part of the decision. Itinerary-> Cruise Line (experience and what is included)-> Cruise ship= Overall Value

 

Some other considerations:

 

- Silversea includes airfare & transfers in the price (no hassle, no worries)

- Celebrity has a "Flights by Celebrity" program that allows you to book and confirm air pricing (eliminates overall price risk) without any upfront payment: due 90-days prior along with final payment

 

 

2 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

 

 

 

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On 11/4/2019 at 9:08 PM, mdpa said:

I was on Silver Spirit about 2 years ago and can attest that it is a wonderful ship and a great experience. Understated luxury. These small ships won't impress anyone with the coolest new stuff...just great spaces, great food, and great service.

 

Glad to hear it!  I just hope the switch to Spectrum afterwards won't feel like a huge downgrade, new ship or not. ☺️  After almost 20 cruises, it felt like time to try something higher-end, on top of the fact that the ship wouldn't have to dock so far away in the big cities (although, I can't recall if it's Saigon or Bangkok, where the Spirit is too big to sail all the way in-town but won't be stuck at the big container port either).

 

I had eyed the Celebrity Millennium SE Asia itinerary (very similar to my upcoming Spirit one) for years, wowed by the cheap price and overnight stays, but didn't want to sail on a minimally refurbished 20-year-old ship.  After the big overhaul they got, it probably would have been my pick (despite the 2-3 hour bus trips in Thailand and Vietnam) if we had stayed with the mainstream lines this trip.

Edited by cityguy300

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I love the M class ships and have been on both the Millennium and Constellation (after Sosticization but before being Revolutionized).  I'd be happy to go on either anytime.  There is actually a third problem in Southeast Asia though and that is Ha Long Bay.  While the Millennium does dock there, none of the itineraries I see from Celebrity give you enough time or the right time  to do an overnight on Indochinese junk there.  I would have to say that doing an overnight on a Bhaya Premium 4-cabin junk was one of the great highlights of our cruise.  It was worth the extra cost to us to do this itinerary on Azamara, but I still love the M class ships.

 

 

 

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Actually the Millennium looks like it has way more time in Halong Bay than most.  On the itinerary that leaves the same day as my Spirit voyage -- only going from the opposite end, in the opposite direction -- it's there from 7 AM till 1 PM the next day.  We get something like 6-8 hours, lol, enough for a quick junk ride in the afternoon.

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6 hours ago, cityguy300 said:

Actually the Millennium looks like it has way more time in Halong Bay than most.  On the itinerary that leaves the same day as my Spirit voyage -- only going from the opposite end, in the opposite direction -- it's there from 7 AM till 1 PM the next day.  We get something like 6-8 hours, lol, enough for a quick junk ride in the afternoon.

 

The logistics are tight for the overnight for 1 pm departure.  Assuming you have a 12:30 pm all aboard and the overnight junks end at 11 am (Bhaya does), you could have a 20 minute wait for a taxi, another 25 minute wait taxi drive to the hotel near the dock, and then walk through the hotel to catch the port shuttle back to the end of the dock.  I suppose you'd be okay, with 30 minutes to spare if everything went right.  I usually like to leave an hour time of slack, but you're right.  An overnight on the Millennium is "doable" for those who want to take a little chance.  If I were to do one in that window, it would be Bhaya, knowing they'll have you back between 10:45 and 11:00 and would only do a small premium junk where I knew they would have my luggage to me in 5-10 minutes after my return.  Just make sure you can get a taxi right away.

Edited by hubofhockey

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5 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

 

The logistics are tight for the overnight for 1 pm departure.  Assuming you have a 12:30 pm all aboard and the overnight junks end at 11 am (Bhaya does), you could have a 20 minute wait for a taxi, another 25 minute wait taxi drive to the hotel near the dock, and then walk through the hotel to catch the port shuttle back to the end of the dock.  I suppose you'd be okay, with 30 minutes to spare if everything went right.  I usually like to leave an hour time of slack, but you're right.  An overnight on the Millennium is "doable" for those who want to take a little chance.  If I were to do one in that window, it would be Bhaya, knowing they'll have you back between 10:45 and 11:00 and would only do a small premium junk where I knew they would have my luggage to me in 5-10 minutes after my return.  Just make sure you can get a taxi right away.

 

Well, at the very least they have the option of a "leisurely" cruise the day/night before (assuming that's an option -- I don't know if the choices are strictly a short day cruise or a really extended overnight trip).  In my case, I think the Spirit is only scheduled for six hours (something like 8 AM to 2 PM), so by comparison, it's a quick spin around the bay and then back on board!

 

I'm doing the ship's offering -- lots of OBC I have nothing else to spend on, and with the time frame it does feel safer than DIY.  But it is interesting to hear the logistics -- I wondered where the ship docked in relation to the bay/junks, and what type of commute time & arrangements would have been required.

Edited by cityguy300

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42 minutes ago, cityguy300 said:

 

Well, at the very least they have the option of a "leisurely" cruise the day/night before (assuming that's an option -- I don't know if the choices are strictly a short day cruise or a really extended overnight trip).  In my case, I think the Spirit is only scheduled for six hours (something like 8 AM to 2 PM), so by comparison, it's a quick spin around the bay and then back on board!

 

I'm doing the ship's offering -- lots of OBC I have nothing else to spend on, and with the time frame it does feel safer than DIY.  But it is interesting to hear the logistics -- I wondered where the ship docked in relation to the bay/junks, and what type of commute time & arrangements would have been required.

 It's a 25 minute taxi ride from the international cruise terminal (dock) to the docks where the junks leave from.  It's a five minute port shuttle ride from the cruise ship dock to where the taxis are.  It's easy to find taxis near the cruise ship docks.  There are also gypsy (unofficial) taxis charging the same basic $20 rate.  

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