September 2013 Imperial Jewels of China: Viking Emerald Cruise Review by juliesaddiction
Overall Member Rating
September 2013 Imperial Jewels of China
The 12 days were balanced very well time wise. We had only a couple of days that were hectic, but only because we chose to do the optional excursions, and even then we had a few hours of down time on those days. The on board ship days we had excursions each day and the rest of the time on the ship, it was so relaxing.
We saw and did so many amazing things that it was hard to wrap your mind around everything we saw and did, the photos bring it all back each and every time I look through them. I really enjoyed the Acrobatic Show (included excursion), the Bells Performance (included excursion), the Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show (optional excursion) and the Peking Opera (optional excursion). My favorite stops were the Lesser Three Gorges excursion, the Pagoda Visit, seeing the Giant Panda bears, the Terra Cotta Army visit and the Great Wall. Usually you have just a few highlights....I have many more from this trip. I loved The Regent Beijing the best of the hotels, they were all 5 star but this one was much more in my opinion.
The best part of this trip was the Tour Escort and the group tho. We had a group of 31 and our Tour Escort was Terry. Terry managed to create a family of us and he was always there for anything we needed. His relaxed attitude and his love of his country shined right through and was very comforting and fun. He shared the right balance of personal information about life in China as a child and as an adult and history of the country. He held our attention with interesting facts and stories and was so natural. We had some great local guides as well but no one could compete with Terry. Of the 31 people in our group we became close with 10 of them, not bad for a group of 31! By the end of the trip Terry was able to peg us pretty closely as to what type of person we were. I hope that Viking realizes what a gem they have in Terry.
As for the very very very picky eater, I did well, there were only 2 meals out of 36 that I had a tough time with and ate mostly rice. The lazy Susan meals were fun, and Terry did tell us each time what each dish was. My mom was the taster, she tasted first and gave her impression. We all had great time at the table discussing the foods. It did'nt take long for any of them to figure out that I was the picky one, lol!
So in closing I will share the one negative I had about the trip and that was the Intra China flights. There were problems with delays and gate changes and even being bussed out to the field to board a plane. These are not things we typically experience in the US but it happened on all 3 flights and it didnt appear to be out of the ordinary for China. This in no way reflects upon Viking. And I am aware that the flights are necessary to be able to see that much of the country in 12 days at a pretty relaxed pace (which was so welcome). Less
Cabin review: ver225
Viking Emerald, room 225, second floor, veranda. The room was larger than a regular balcony room on a big cruise ship as it included a desk and loveseat with coffee table. We were the second room down from the reception desk on the same floor as the dining room. The hallway was not noisy nor was the reception lobby area. It is located in about the middle of the ship. The room seemed of good size and I loved the bathroom...finally a shower that is comfortable, loved the glass enclosure.
Port and Shore Excursions
Badaling Great Wall
Amazing amazing amazing!!! Great amount of time given. Perfect amount of free time with lots to do. We walked just a little of the wall, took lots of pictures and had a great time shopping!!
We spent alot of time here, maybe more than I wanted to, however since we walked south to north to meet the bus there wasnt alot of choice. The walk was long but broken up with stops so wasnt hard.
I enjoyed the excursion but would have liked to spend more time there. The weather was very misty but it was great anyway. There is alot to see at this stop so just felt like it was a bit rushed.
Not really thrilled with this stop. I am not sure that I understand the meaning and that could be part of it. Also we only got about 10 minutes there because they closed the square for some visiting dignitaries.
Very interesting place. Loved walking around on our own and choosing what we wanted to see. We had plenty of time at a relaxed pace.
Amazing sites but it was hot that day. I would have rather had another excursion than the brief walk we took.
Our first excursion. It was the perfect introduction to China. Beautiful buildings and gardens, relaxed pace, great information.
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