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Coista Allegra - Help with Shore Excursions Please


tommcne

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Hi to all you seasoned cruisers,

 

We are sailing from Hong Kong on 8th May and calling at Manila, Kota Kinabalu, Bandar Seri Begewan, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang.

 

We have been to Hong Kong and Singapore before but the rest are new to us.

 

I have read that Costa's shore excursions are very expensive and also seen on here that people say it is fairly easy to do your own thing. (But I can't find the details again)

 

Can anyone give me a bit of a steer with what might be nice to see and the best way to organise it in each of the ports

 

Any help would be much appreciated

(I would reciprocate but have not as yet seen too many cruise ships on the Manchester Ship Canal)

 

Many Thanks

 

Tom :rolleyes:

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We did this cruise in December 2007 and did not take any Costa tours. In Manila Costa ran a shuttle bus to the Robinsons' Mall (about 5 euros I think) and from there is was a nice walk to the old city (Intramuros).

 

Kota Kinabalu is walkable but not too much to see in the city centre. As you walk from the port towards the city after about half a mile there is a jetty called Jesselton Point for boats to the little islands which would probably be a better thing to do.

 

In Brunei we organised a private tour in advnace over the internet which was fantastic. Do ask if you want the contact details and I will post them. It cost $150US for a minibus, driver & guide which we shared between 3 couples. We are not fans of guided tours but we learnt and saw so much it was truly one of the best days ashore we have had in about 30 cruises. If you don't want a tour I believe there is a local bus that takes you into the city centre of BSB which would probably work for you. Don't miss the water village or the royal regalia - both would be walkable from the city centre I think.

 

I can't help with Ho Chi Minh as we had to leave the ship in Singapore and rejoined in Da Nang, which is a huge industrial port a long way from the city. You would need a taxi to get anywhere and I'm not sure whether many would be available. Maybe someone else has experience of this ? If you can get a taxi it would be cheap to go to Hoi An via Marble Mountain, both worth a visit. I have a feeling that Costa did run a shuttle into Da Nang city but several people we spoke to were not too impressed with it. Hoi An is a nice ancient city, rather grotty in places but quite atmospheric, we thought. It is about half and hour's drive from the port.

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Somebody on a recent Legend of the Seas cruise reports that it cost US$100 for a taxi for the day to Marble Mountain and Hoi An (haggled down from $120) so that's what we plan to do from Danang. TIP - check out recent Legend cruise roll calls for advice ie. 14 Feb, 28 feb and 24 April

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  • 1 month later...

For Manila, recommended are:

http://celdrantours.blogspot.com/ and http://www.oldmanilawalks.com/.. Not sure if these will fit your schedule though. I haven't personally been in any of these walks but for the first one, my friends have and reviews were positive. For the second, Ivan actually toured Anthony Bourdain when he was in Manila.

 

Enjoy!:)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

 

We recently went to HCMC onboard the Queen Victoria.

 

We used smiletoursveitnam.com for out travel into HCMC.

 

We are really glad that we had organised this as it was a really pleasant day. You can organise a private tour so you can do what you want to do and leave off what you dont.

 

The car/van - airconditioned Mercedes - was waiting for us on the dock so we just got off the ship and walked straight over to the vehicle - we were much quicker than the ships tours as we were much smaller - I was a little concerned prior to the trip as smile tours wanted our passport details however my concerns were not justified. They need your passport details in order to get a port permit which allows them onto the dock. When you get there you will understand why this is a big bonus as I would not have liked to have to walk to the main gate (if I could have found it). You do not have to worry about anything after that as your tour guide will get you through customs without a problem.

 

The roads are so busy but these guides do this trip 4 times a day (one to pick you up, one there with you and one back and then they go back in at night as this is where they live) so they know the traffic levels etc and get you back to the ship with plenty time.

 

We were well ahead of the ships tours hence got to the attractions earlier so much nicer and easier to visit with less crowds.

 

We had lunch at their recomended restaurant Pho 2000 which was fantastic and cheap. It is located opposite the Ben Tranh markets which is definately worth a visit if you like to shop.

 

We ended up getting 6 additional people onboard the ship (total of 8) as it worked out a lot cheaper than the ships tour and we had a fantastic day.

 

I would have no hesitation in recommending smile tours vietnam for your visit to HCMC.

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  • 8 months later...
We did this cruise in December 2007 and did not take any Costa tours. In Manila Costa ran a shuttle bus to the Robinsons' Mall (about 5 euros I think) and from there is was a nice walk to the old city (Intramuros).

 

Kota Kinabalu is walkable but not too much to see in the city centre. As you walk from the port towards the city after about half a mile there is a jetty called Jesselton Point for boats to the little islands which would probably be a better thing to do.

 

In Brunei we organised a private tour in advnace over the internet which was fantastic. Do ask if you want the contact details and I will post them. It cost $150US for a minibus, driver & guide which we shared between 3 couples. We are not fans of guided tours but we learnt and saw so much it was truly one of the best days ashore we have had in about 30 cruises. If you don't want a tour I believe there is a local bus that takes you into the city centre of BSB which would probably work for you. Don't miss the water village or the royal regalia - both would be walkable from the city centre I think.

 

I can't help with Ho Chi Minh as we had to leave the ship in Singapore and rejoined in Da Nang, which is a huge industrial port a long way from the city. You would need a taxi to get anywhere and I'm not sure whether many would be available. Maybe someone else has experience of this ? If you can get a taxi it would be cheap to go to Hoi An via Marble Mountain, both worth a visit. I have a feeling that Costa did run a shuttle into Da Nang city but several people we spoke to were not too impressed with it. Hoi An is a nice ancient city, rather grotty in places but quite atmospheric, we thought. It is about half and hour's drive from the port.

 

Hi !

WE are going to Brunei and would like to find out information about the tour you took there.

Thank you

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