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Ovation vs Encore Holiday Cruise 2020


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Hi all.  First time poster! My husband and I did our first cruise ever on Encore this September and fell in love! We enjoyed everything about it - the suite, the service, the food, everything! I'm now contemplating a holiday cruise for 2020 for our family (adult children, ourselves, and my 80-year old mother).  My choices are the Singapore to Hong Kong trip on Ovation versus the Sydney to Auckland trip on Encore.  None of us has been to any of the places on either cruise so it will be exciting regardless of which one we select.  Anyone have any advice on one versus the other? I have read a few reviews of the Singapore to Hong Kong which were pretty varied, and am aware that weather could be an issue if we choose that one.  Based on some research it seems that ports like Halong Bay might be cold/foggy at that time of year? I have no idea what to expect from the Sydney to Auckland route as far as rough seas/sunny days. To me both cruises sound fabulous, so I'm really just looking for some input from some who may have done either one at that time of year, just to tip the scales one way or the other.

 

Thanks in advance for any replies, and thanks to all posters from whom I have gained so much insight and information on cruising.  You guys are the best!!

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well to start here's a thread from last week about the Singapore Hong Kong cruise asking about the ports and trips. 

 

and I'll write something about Sydney/Auckland which we did one January a few years ago, in reverse, when I have some time later on. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think warm weather is much preferred to cooler weather on a cruise. Sydney to Auckland will be at the height of mid summer and should provide much nicer weather for you. You're going to have sea days to enjoy that wonderful weather.

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Mofrances- we just completed two weeks Hong Kong to Singapore on Silversea and it was a lovely cruise- its itinerary is very similar to Ovation’s in January.

 

Please be aware that the cruise ports are quite distant from the city center which may not be the best option for your family. Our stop in Saigon was one of the closest on the itinerary and it was 40 minutes, while Bangkok was two and a half hours each way 

(we opted for an overnight excursion).

 

In the past the smaller ships of both lines were able to navigate the rivers and dock closer to the city but the 600 passenger ships are just too large.

 

I am certain you will enjoy either itinerary but you should be aware of the complications of transport to the cities.

 

 

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On the Ovation Holiday cruise in 2018 we docked near to the centre of Saigon, our berth was very close to the area we docked on Sojourn a few years previously. A very convenient location.
In Bangkok we docked at the large port Laem Chabang, which was 90  minutes to two hours from the city, depending on traffic.

 

The weather was mixed.
Singapore was as expected, hot and humid. Thailand, Cambodia and Saigon were all hot with a bit lower humidity.

When we left Saigon we were caught up in a tropical storm which lasted a couple of days and so we had lower temperatures than usual along with rain.

 By the time we reached Halong Bay the storm was over, temperature there was in the late teens C or mid sixties Fahrenheit. Hong Kong was a little warmer.

 

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We have done both these cruises but not over the holidays.

 

We were on Ovation this January and can confirm that she can do the Saigon Slalom and go up the river to the city. Seabourn offers a shuttle which drops you at a shopping centre opposite the Rex Hotel.

 

Bangkok is a distance away as mentioned. As we only had a day in port and had been to Bangkok before we opted to organise a taxi and visit The Sanctuary of Truth. This is a very large wooden Temple with lots of interesting statues. They had fact plaques near them with descriptions in English and Thai.

 

Halong Bay was misty initially but it didn't rain and was still warm. The only really cold place is Hong Kong. Singapore can have rain but the downpours are brief and there is a lot to see indoors if need be. When we visit we just ensure we pack a folding umbrella.

 

Australia/New Zealand is over the Summer. We have been getting some very hot weather already this year in Australia but last year was much cooler. The Tasman Sea we have crossed a few times in Summer and it will vary. We have had one fairly rough and two smoothish. But not enough to concern me or put me off dining.😊

 

Aus/NZ is a wonderful place to explore...but I am prejudiced 🥰.

 

Julie

 

 

 

 

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Thanks all for the input. They both sound like great options but I am thinking the Australia/NZ might be better just for the weather aspect. 
 

Although I’ve been obsessed lately reading the CC posts on the Quest Antarctica cruises...very very tempting!😁

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13 hours ago, koalapanda said:

Hi Julie I concur your thoughts and experience

I should be on Encore now

Had a fall # both arms bit hard to type.

Enjoying CC each day. Jenny

 

Jenny, I am so sorry to hear that 😞. I hope you heal quickly and will send out positive thoughts to you. I will let you know how the shoe storage goes on our upcoming cruise. Plus how that new cocktail Isklaar recommended went.  Or will that be too cruel?

 

Julie

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9 hours ago, mofrances said:

Thanks all for the input. They both sound like great options but I am thinking the Australia/NZ might be better just for the weather aspect. 
 

Although I’ve been obsessed lately reading the CC posts on the Quest Antarctica cruises...very very tempting!😁

 

 

No worries and happy to help. 

 

Funnily enough Antarctica and South America are both high on the bucket list and we still won't get there before 2021. Friends who have done the cruises have raved about them. 

 

It will be interesting to see whether Quest will continue to do them after the 2020/21 year or if the Venture ships will take over. I have read that there have been even more stringent environmental rules put in place for the end of that sailing season.

 

Julie

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14 hours ago, koalapanda said:

Hi Julie I concur your thoughts and experience

I should be on Encore now

Had a fall # both arms bit hard to type.

Enjoying CC each day. Jenny


Wishing you a speedy recovery .

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10 hours ago, Isklaar said:


Wishing you a speedy recovery .

Thank you for your kind thoughts Isklaar. I am sure the thought of cruising Seabourn again willl be a great motivator.  Meanwhile I shall continue to enjoy your and other CC posts .

Edited by koalapanda
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12 hours ago, frantic36 said:

 

Jenny, I am so sorry to hear that 😞. I hope you heal quickly and will send out positive thoughts to you. I will let you know how the shoe storage goes on our upcoming cruise. Plus how that new cocktail Isklaar recommended went.  Or will that be too cruel?

 

Julie

Thank you for positive encouragement Julie. I would love to hear of your adventures, experiences and new delights. I will be watching the board in the next months as I heal.Jenny (Koala)

 

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