I, my Husband and his sister and her husband sailed from Hong Kong for 5 nights on 20 February. After queuing for 2 1/2 hours we finally managed to board our ship. No drinks were offered during this time and I believe at least one person fainted. This was not a good start. We have sailed with Norwegian Cruise line before and their embarking process went a lot smother and drinks (water) were offered.
The cabin was great and after unpacking and life boat drill, explored the ship. A Jug was provided in your room for making tea but no coffee was available. Yes you could ring for room service but I like a cup of coffee when I awake in the morning didn't like the 10 minute wait.
Our first port of call was Halong Bay, Vietnam where we disembarked by tender. This went smoothly. Harassed a bit by the post card sellers and nothing to see at the wharf. We sailed around Halong Bay which was beautiful but the weather was dull and overcast but no rain. Next port of call was Hue, Vietnam. We elected for a bus trip to Hoi An, lunch included which was great, lovely surrounds then on through Danang to Hoi An all in all a great day.
Our next stop was Sanya, H China. Here is where the rot set in. We were suppose to be there for 4 ½ hours. Some tours were for 4 hours. These were then shortened to 2 hours and some cancelled. We elected to use the shuttle bus to go into Sanya. It took about 1 hour to get of the ship. We had to go through Chinese immigration, my husband by this time had had enough and elected to go back on board, the 3 of us continued. A bustling city, some shopping and a walk to the beach. Then the hassle of trying to get back on the boat. This did not take as long but still took about ½ hour.
There were lots of choices in the Windjammer Restaurant; we found seating without any problem. We did not dine in the other restaurant. The next slug was the 15% surcharge on all drinks. Gratuities we an other silly game played. You could pay these yourself or elect to have the ship take them out of your sea pass account but they really pushed this idea.
The next major problem was trying to get off the boat in Hong Kong. This time at least we were seated in the theatre and other groups were placed in different locations. This took another 2 ½ hours before we finally left the ship. When we were finally called we then had to snake our way through the restaurant to see the Chinese immigration officers. There were 5 of them to clear approx 2000 people. This left a lot to be desired. Not sure whose problem this was but not very satisfactory.