Meeting new people and doing our own self guided travel was the best part of our cruise.
The biggest disappointment was the food service, the food was dumbed down to feed the unknowing tourists, we have tasted better Asian meals at fast food chains.
4 out of 5
Nothing unusual or special, as good as expected
Food and Dining
2 out of 5
Being in a Asian cruise, we expected more authentic Asian foods on the ship, such as mangos, papaya instead we get the standard Apples, oranges, pineapple etc, we can get those fruits on ANY cruises (even in Alaska and New England cruises).
For a Asian cruise we expected authentic Pho, Bánh mì, Tom Yum Goong, Som Tum, dim sum etc, instead most of the Asian dishes are Indian (Is that because of the Indian chefs?) And the few Chinese dishes were Old school Chop suey quality, I strongly feel I can get better food at Panda Express chain.
I can only imagine what the China Chinese cruisers think about these so call Chinese food.
Very surprise they ship does not have a hand washing area before entering the buffet, just germ killing spray stations.
3 out of 5
The main nightly entertainment was very good, however this cruise have the fewest activities I ever experience in our over 8 cruises. One trivia event lasted a total of 9 minutes, most of the events on the daily activities are stuffs for sale.
The bright side, the fitness center is large and enough equipment for most guests even in peak time.
3 out of 5
Love the ship's main musicians and dancers shows. Full of energy and fun.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Our wait staff Bryan and Jims was perfect, very friendly and always on the ball.
4 out of 5
Being a older ship, the layouts are still very well keep up, clean and well-maintained.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
We are surprise at the large space, feel very comfortable. Almost as large as some of of balcony rooms we had in other ships. The shower space is not a tiny tube like other ships.
Overall: We are in the 50's in shape and adventurous, so we did all self guided tours.
Very easy to get in and out of the port on self guided tours. Just expected to walk 10-15 minutes to the MTR to get into the city.
The port is good 2 hrs to Bangkok, you need to use the ship's bus service to get into town.
Plan on much more time than needed to get to any tours, Bangkok traffic is one of the worst in Asia. It's not unusual to take 30 minutes to travel 2-4 miles in central Bangkok.
We stay over night and booked our own bike and boat tours and saved a lot comparing to ships tours, at next night's dinner we find out later we did and see more that's the's own offerings.
Once we got off the ship and by the gates entrance we found a bunch of other (5) self guided guests and hire our own van to drive us around for the day. It was the best thing we could have done! 2 of the ladies speak Vietnamese and was able to get us experience the real local culture: private boat ride on the perfume river, street Bánh mì, local beef noodle soup that are soooo good. Tours of the castle, museums and paddle bikes. I thinks we spend less than $45USD pp.
The experience from Chan May was so good, our group decided to to tour together in Ha Long Bay.
Once again our 2 Vietnamese ladies got us vans to tour the city and cruise the bay for $30USD and we saw the bay, caves with authentic experience instead of big bus Americanized tours.
On our way back we ask our driver to drop us couple of miles from the port near local restaurants and shops, we ended up eating locally and shop all the way back to the ship. Another perfect day.
Who knew one of our tour group person can speak Taiwanese;-)
The train station is only a 5-10 minutes walk from the port, the train ride into central Taipei station take 30 minutes. Once we got into town we went straight for local Taiwanese breakfast at Yong He Soy Milk King.
Than toured National Palace museum, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and finally up to the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, there were many local buses from the Taipei zoo up to Pingxi (USD$4?)
FYI, you don't need tickets to see the Lantern festival, it's free. You can even buy lantern onsite to release for $5 USD. The expensive tickets are for inside stadium area group releases.
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