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Royal Caribbean Voyager of the seas


mswoody50
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8 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

In Saigon, you will probably dock in Phu My, which is a good 60-90 mins out of the city. Although we haven't been to Hanoi, I believe cruise ships dock at Ha Long, which is about 100 miles.

 

Yes, like most cruise ships she's too big to sail up the Saigon River into HCMC.

Used to be a big problem - cruise ships berthed at Vung Tau, a tortuous drive of well over 2 hours. Phu My was opened a few years ago -  it's closer, and the road has been dramatically improved so I believe the drive is somewhere around an hour.

You're advised to fix up a tour or transfer in advance - as well as ships' offerings there are plenty of local operators but do use a well-reviewed one. The major sights in Saigon are tolerably walkable, so if you're a DIYer it's no big problem if you arrange just transfers rather than a tour.

 

Hanoi isn't on - or even near - the coast.

Ships go to Ha Long Bay - for some it's a tender port, others berth. Check your itinerary, if your ship tenders it should indicate that with an anchor motif or wording like "ashore by tender". Tendering isn't as slow as at most tender ports - usually ships tie up to a big pontoon and a number of tenders can use it at the same time. Ships' "junk cruise" excursions leave directly from that pontoon - but IMHO they're over-priced and over-crowded, better to share a private cruise (via your cruise RollCall?). And don't mess with a 2 hour cruise cos you'll be sharing the route & stops with hundreds of others - book at least a 4 hour cruise, 6 hours is better, or even an overnight cruise if that appeals.

Hanoi is a slow drive, about 3.5 hours each-way, so a day excursion will be spent mainly on the bus.

If you're really keen to visit make it an overnight visit. But if you do that you'll need a tourist visa - ships provide a landing card for just a few dollars (charged to your on-board account, no need for you to do anything in advance) and these avoid the need for a tourist visa at Vietnamese ports but they're only good for arrival & departure on the ship and overnighting on the ship. 

 

Instead of Hanoi, consider a good long junk cruise, lost amongst the limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay. It's an eerie watery moonscape, made even more atmospheric by the frequent mists over the bay. Bring up googleimages of the place 

 

As usual, some facts, some personal opinions

 

JB :classic_smile:  

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9 hours ago, John Bull said:

Hanoi is a slow drive, about 3.5 hours each-way, so a day excursion will be spent mainly on the bus.

If you're really keen to visit make it an overnight visit. But if you do that you'll need a tourist visa - ships provide a landing card for just a few dollars (charged to your on-board account, no need for you to do anything in advance) and these avoid the need for a tourist visa at Vietnamese ports but they're only good for arrival & departure on the ship and overnighting on the ship. 

 

Ships (at least Celebrity) also provide visas for overnight off-ship stays at a little higher cost than for just day visits - back in 2016 they were $28 vs. $6.

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6 minutes ago, NantahalaCruiser said:

Ships (at least Celebrity) also provide visas for overnight off-ship stays at a little higher cost than for just day visits - back in 2016 they were $28 vs. $6.

 

That's a little above the rate for a tourist visa for US citizens, so it's probably a tourist visa plus a small and fair procurement charge for saving their passengers the bother.:classic_smile:

 

But if it was a Princess  ship..... :classic_ohmy:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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