After seeing the brochure for this cruise, after booking it with our Hanoi hotel, we were extremely excited about it. However we were a little disappointed by the transport to Ha Long Bay. We knew the journey would be 4.5 hours and we thought with the money we were paying we would have had a decent mode of transport. However, this was not the case, on moth journeys (there and back) we ended up in a small minibus (van) that was cramped and extremely uncomfortable. It was also a very long journey and if we had not taken snacks we would have been very hungry. I think this is definitely an area that needs addressing.
However, once we were on the ship the staff made sure we were comfortable and the smiles and welcome we received made up for the horrendous journey we had just undertaken. We were greeted with a drum and refreshments and then had a welcome meeting. The room we stayed in was a twin room and it was beautiful. The large windows were fantastic as they gave you stunning views. The beds were comfortable with fresh linen and the bathroom was clean, always important. The rooms also came with a little balcony which was perfect to sit and relax on in the evening. The cruise itself was well organized with activities that kept us all busy. It was quite hectic but still very enjoyable. The food on the boat was lovely. As I don't eat fish the boat catered for me separately and made sure I received a course at the same time as everyone else.
The trip around Ha Long Bay was beautiful even though it was misty. The best views happened to be in the second day of our 1 night 2 day cruise as we sailed away from the other boats. There are a lot of other cruises and junk boats around and it can feel quite crowded.
Overall it was a great experience and one I would recommend. Just try to arrange a private car or something for the journey from Hanoi.
This tour was the highlight of our Vietnam trip. From the moment we stepped aboard the crew were amazing. Our cabin was well appointed as was the en suit. The bed was very comfortable and the boat was very stable so we slept well. We stayed 3days 2 nights which gave us time to see more of Halong Bay. We dined on fantastic food and were entertained by the staff dancing. We did a cooking class , fished for squid, visited caves, beaches, fishing villages. We were treated special and thoroughly enjoyed every moment.
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We booked our Halong Bay cruise thru our Australian travel agent.
We were supposed to go on a different boat but where allocated to the Sealife instead.
This boat is far better than I expected and certainly better than the original boat we had been assigned (based on TA reviews).
The staff are all very helpful, tour manager Jackie was great. As was our guide.
After boarding we had time to relax in room for a while before some lunch which was great. Plenty to eat.
Later we headed heading out to cave. This is a must, don't skip this part. Wear proper shoes, not thongs. Take your camera.
After the cave it's back on board for a relax and then some drinks upstairs and the short cooking demo. Tasty springs rolls.
Dinner which was a four course meal with three entree's, so much food.
Next morning apparently there was Tai Chi....zzzzzzzz
Coffee and pastries.
Then Kayaking out to special lagoon, monkeys climbing the rocks etc. great fun.
Breakfast at 9:15am - more food...
cruise back to port for 11am departure.
Room on boat was great, bigger than some hotels rooms I've stayed in. Queen size bed with big glass windows and small balcony to see the amazing Halong Bay.
We were the group of 16 from Sri Lanka Stayed on 23rd - 24th Mid day. We loved and really do appreciate the warm welcome that they gave us by playing a drum ( Traditional). The rooms are really nice and clean. We really Enjoyed the food. Also the demonstration of making spring roles was really interesting and thanks for educating, we really enjoyed while making it. Also we really enjoyed the dance by the Shipping Crew ;) it was really touching we all enjoyed it to the fullest. The Shipping Crew was really friendly with us and I personally did miss them and I didn't forget to say them good bye to each one of them. And saddest moment was saying good bye to the ship. I really wish I could come back someday again. Thank you so much for the hospitality.
We had a double room, where the bed was right next to the big window so that we had an amazing view on the bay. The room was spacious and clean, the bed was comfy. The boat was very safe and not wavy at all. The food was good and the staff was great, very caring and friendly. The tour and the activities offered were comprehensive and for free.
Tipp: we booked with Darian Culbert, he had the best prices and reliable and fast service.