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Home > Member Reviews > Duane T's Port Reviews of Beijing, Nagasaki, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Singapore, Bangkok (Laem Chabang)

Duane T's Port Reviews of Beijing, Nagasaki, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Singapore, Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
Diamond Princess cruise in October 2012
Member Name: Duane T
Cruise Date: October 2012
Embarkation: Beijing
Destination: Asia
Member Review: Duane T's Diamond Princess Review
Beijing
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We arrived a day ahead the 3-day Princess Pre-Cruise Tour so we spent it walking to the nearby Silk Market, China World Mall, and grocery store. We had great weather and it was very easy to walk around the hotel.

Princess Tour Day 1: Tianammen Square, Forbidden City, Jade Factory. All very interesting but the Jade Factory was more for shopping.

Princess Tour Day 2: Great Wall of China was the highlight of this trip for us (Bucket List Item #1 for Asia). The Summer Palace tour and boat ride in the afternoon was relaxing.

Princess Tour Day 3: Heavenly Palace and Silk Factory were in the morning with a long 3 hour bus ride (one rest stop) to the Port to get on the Diamond Princess. All went smoothly.

Note: Our main tour guide on Day 1 had a death in the family but his protege step right in and took over. Very informative and efficiently run tours.

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Nagasaki
Nagasaki Peace Park Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Note: Before Nagasaki, we stopped in Busan, Korea but it was really not that great of a shore excursion.

We took the Nagasaki walking tour which was great. It showed us how to get around Nagasaki on our own using their trolley/bus system. The Peace Park was very tranquil...with the Peace Memorial on one end and the monument where the detonation took place on the other end.


The Atomic Bomb Museum Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Excellent Museum. I wished we could've spent more time here. Very intersting and graphic videos, pictures, and exhibition. Japanese School children were everywhere but were very polite and always accomodated our picture taking.


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Hong Kong
Aberdeen Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Alot of the old chinese junks and sampans were being replaced in this fishing village. The boat tour was relaxing.


City Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We stopped at Shanghai and Hong Kong in two separate shore excursions. Both cities had massive high-rise growth and their rivalry as economic and commerce centers was evident. Alot of the old chinese symbols (junks, sampans, etc) were being replaced as the city modernizes.

The day started off with fog/haze, but ended clear and the Diamond Princess was allowed to go straight through Victoria Harbor for the dazzling light show in Hong Kong at 8:00 PM.


Stanley Market Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Had 45 minutes to wander through the lines of shops...we wish we could've spent more time here shopping.


Victoria Peak Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Day was foggy. Not much to see. The tram ride to the top we entertaining.


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Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
City Tour Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Before Saigon, we stopped at the beach city of Nha Trang. Both locations were very hot, humid, sticky. The boat ride in Nha Trang offered some respite from the heat and humidity, but the tour was a little disorganized due to the tender system broke up tour groups. We ended up with a mix of people from different tour groups that got separated during the tendering.

Saigon is a long busride from the port. That left less than 4 hours in Saigon itself and we only got to go past alot of key sites instead of going inside to visit.


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Singapore
City Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Hot Humid and Sticky....always since 85 miles from the Equator. The new terminal is close by. Massive construction going on....amazing people have adapted to live and thrive in the heat. Good tour of old dwellings.


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Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
City Tour Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Signed on to Princess post-cruise hotel/tour package. The first day was spent mostly in Pattaya south of Bangkok. The part included a folklore show (part of which we missed due to late passengers disembarking from the ship), Elephant show, and botanical garden. Tour guide was not as well organized and the check-in at the hotel was a madhouse. We by-passed the cruise check-in and ended up going to the main lobby to get our room and luggage.


Grand Palace Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
You need to wear long pants that cover your ankles. Shorts/shirts/shoulders must always be covered at the palace and temples.

It's a huge complex and being covered up in long pants on hot humid weather was a challenge and not very comfortable.

Again, our tour guide talked alot but we could barely concentrate on her with the sun/heat bearing down on us.


River Cruise Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Cool downed on this which was really appreciated in the heat of the day. Interesting part was when the boat operator handed out bread...I thought for us...it was for feeding carp/fish at the temple.


Wat Po (Reclining Buddha Temple) Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Temples, temples, temples. After 19 or so days of temples, I was a little numb to viewing any more temples.


City Tour Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Signed on to Princess post-cruise hotel/tour package. The first day was spent mostly in Pattaya south of Bangkok. The part included a folklore show (part of which we missed due to late passengers disembarking from the ship), Elephant show, and botanical garden. Tour guide was not as well organized and the check-in at the hotel was a madhouse. We by-passed the cruise check-in and ended up going to the main lobby to get our room and luggage.


Grand Palace Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
You need to wear long pants that cover your ankles. Shorts/shirts/shoulders must always be covered at the palace and temples.

It's a huge complex and being covered up in long pants on hot humid weather was a challenge and not very comfortable.

Again, our tour guide talked alot but we could barely concentrate on her with the sun/heat bearing down on us.


River Cruise Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Cool downed on this which was really appreciated in the heat of the day. Interesting part was when the boat operator handed out bread...I thought for us...it was for feeding carp/fish at the temple.


Wat Po (Reclining Buddha Temple) Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Temples, temples, temples. After 19 or so days of temples, I was a little numb to viewing any more temples.


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Bangkok (Laem Chabang)
City Tour Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Signed on to Princess post-cruise hotel/tour package. The first day was spent mostly in Pattaya south of Bangkok. The part included a folklore show (part of which we missed due to late passengers disembarking from the ship), Elephant show, and botanical garden. Tour guide was not as well organized and the check-in at the hotel was a madhouse. We by-passed the cruise check-in and ended up going to the main lobby to get our room and luggage.


Grand Palace Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
You need to wear long pants that cover your ankles. Shorts/shirts/shoulders must always be covered at the palace and temples.

It's a huge complex and being covered up in long pants on hot humid weather was a challenge and not very comfortable.

Again, our tour guide talked alot but we could barely concentrate on her with the sun/heat bearing down on us.


River Cruise Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Cool downed on this which was really appreciated in the heat of the day. Interesting part was when the boat operator handed out bread...I thought for us...it was for feeding carp/fish at the temple.


Wat Po (Reclining Buddha Temple) Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Temples, temples, temples. After 19 or so days of temples, I was a little numb to viewing any more temples.


City Tour Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Signed on to Princess post-cruise hotel/tour package. The first day was spent mostly in Pattaya south of Bangkok. The part included a folklore show (part of which we missed due to late passengers disembarking from the ship), Elephant show, and botanical garden. Tour guide was not as well organized and the check-in at the hotel was a madhouse. We by-passed the cruise check-in and ended up going to the main lobby to get our room and luggage.


Grand Palace Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
You need to wear long pants that cover your ankles. Shorts/shirts/shoulders must always be covered at the palace and temples.

It's a huge complex and being covered up in long pants on hot humid weather was a challenge and not very comfortable.

Again, our tour guide talked alot but we could barely concentrate on her with the sun/heat bearing down on us.


River Cruise Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Cool downed on this which was really appreciated in the heat of the day. Interesting part was when the boat operator handed out bread...I thought for us...it was for feeding carp/fish at the temple.


Wat Po (Reclining Buddha Temple) Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Temples, temples, temples. After 19 or so days of temples, I was a little numb to viewing any more temples.


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