We cruised on VOTS from Singapore to Shanghai June 11 .Here are a few thoughts on our cruise
Embarkation was smooth and the Singapore weather hot .New terminal huge and impressive .
First impressions were of a well maintained older ship with lots of character . We liked the look and feel of the layout - and the Promenade .
Promenade rooms we booked were fine and would book one of these again .
Cabin attendant - Lu - was fantastic - polite , efficient , reliable and friendly.
MDR waiter Ariel and Darla - were outstanding - bread & rolls immediately and wine list presented and delivered perfectly. Happy , smiling and fun conversation always. We were very happy to have them .
MDR -Food just average and disappointing compared with other cruises we have been on. Portofinos ( ate there twice ) was very good and well worth the extra $20 given the MDR food selection was surprisingly limited . I found the MDR beef to be very good however - tender and cooked as requested. ( lucky ? )
Wine list ( limited )and prices ( high for mediocre )were a disappointment.
Would have also liked to be able to bring a bottle or two onboard as we have done on other cruise lines to celebrate a special occasion .( without having to pay over the odds for a bottle we would have preferred not to drink ).
Hair dressing salon - rude , unprofessional - our complaint sent directly to RCI.
Pool and whirlpool areas well maintained , space always available - relaxing.
Bar staff - fine . Bar prices reasonable . Drink of the day always good ( $6:25 )and the $3 happy hr a great idea.
Ports of call -
Ho Chi Minh - went to Vung Tau - nice day , not wanting to do the 2hr each way trip to Ho Chi Minh City . This call needs some thought in my opinion.Who is looking after the roads in and out of the terminal? Surely there must be some alternatives closer to the port ?
Hong Kong - the tender , move and docking at the container port ? Seriously this was a joke.We had intended to stay on the Island when we eventually found out this was happening - secret RCI business ? Decided we would go with the flow , but it was a logistical nightmare for the ship and the passengers. Must have cost the cruise line a bomb let alone the organizational nightmare. Surely this will change for future cruises.
Xi amen - good port of call but not a real intro to mainland China - the Gulangyu Island is the preferred destination and a tourist spot.Good fun .
Shanghai - disembarked smoothly . Fantastic port of call for an extended visit to China. Stay on the Bund - Can HIGHLY recommend Les Suites Orient. Recommend Annie Gou from Shanghai Lander - she was a lovely guide .Smart and to the point.
Flew to Beijing - air quality poor but they have THE WALL . Recommend Da Dong for Peking Duck . Recommend Catherine Lu as a guide - she is a treat . Great fun and she drinks beer. Took us to a great Dim Sum restaurant and had an excellent driver. Beijing driving is not for the faint hearted .
Entertainment - pretty good , ice-skating was great , VOTS orchestra talented , shows were predictable but song choices sometimes obscure (on purpose ?) Pub was good fun.
VOS Sail - smooth voyage , calm seas , overcast , bit of sunshine , bit of rain , pleasant temperatures .Enjoyed the cruise -- really , why wouldn't you ?