5 Beijing Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

First of all I apologize for the lateness of this review as I've been busy with life since getting back. We went on the Viking Emerald Yangtze River cruise because a.) we wanted to see the real China, and b.) our daughter was ... Read More
First of all I apologize for the lateness of this review as I've been busy with life since getting back. We went on the Viking Emerald Yangtze River cruise because a.) we wanted to see the real China, and b.) our daughter was studying abroad in Shanghai and we decided to tack on a few days at the end of the cruise to visit her. It was our first Viking cruise, and if it was indicative of how Viking operates I am looking forward to being a repeat customer. Our journey started in Beijing. It took use four hours to get through the multiple lines, two artificial intelligence photos, one misplaced bag and countless immigration officials at the Beijing airport. We were sure that the Viking official who was to pick us up would have left by the time we made it through the gantlet. I was preparing to get a cab to our hotel. But no, Leo, who would serve as our guide throughout the trip, was waiting at the end of the maze for us. That got everything off to the right foot. It really is more of a tour than a cruise. You are split up into groups of about three dozen, and you stay in that group the duration of the trip with the same tour guide. You also start to make friends with a variety of people you did not know before. Leo was fantastic. The poor guy was herding cats the whole trip, and it started five minutes into our first tour at Tiananmen Square, where one person made a wrong turn almost immediately as we got off the bus. But Leo was patient, and eventually he was reunited with the group. China is a strenuous tour. But not impossible. There's a lot of walking, Viking did arrange a wheelchair for one person in our group, and even though China is not an accessible-friendly country, he did manage quite well with the aid of a Viking associate. Basically our tour started with land tours in Beijing, Xi'an, and Chongqing. That took about five days. In Chongqing we boarded the Emerald and traveled down the Yangtze for about six days. Then from Wuhan we flew to Shanghai to complete the tour. Viking offers the same tour in the opposite direction. In addition to the tourist sites, we got to see how regular people live, meeting an artist in her home in one of the poorest sections of Beijing, and visiting a primary school that is sponsored by Viking. The food was spectacular. We had Peking Duck in Beijing, and a variety of food throughout the trip both o the ship and in restaurants. I don't drink so I can't attest to the wine and beer, but I heard no complaints. The ship was great. The public rooms and our guest room were well-maintained and clean. The staff was friendly and always available to help. If China is something on the bucket list, I would highly recommend Viking. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I chose this cruise because sailed few years ago on independence which was fabulous from start to finish this royal carribean intinery was a disaster my partner is disabled and required special assistance at port which was pre booked ... Read More
I chose this cruise because sailed few years ago on independence which was fabulous from start to finish this royal carribean intinery was a disaster my partner is disabled and required special assistance at port which was pre booked absolutely nothing at port just q people its was 3 hours till got on boat not even drink offered bye staff and no special assistance on board was never away from large q at tiny customer service desks were i couldnt be understood as asian reps.got verbally attacked bye aggravated passenger in q, i had car hire arranged one terminal car not issued as boat keeps passport day wasted unorganised chaos chinese man fell of shuttle bus split head no staff to help just passengers trip was geared for chinese travellers food and entertainment oat had to turn back as 2 people died and 4 hours late to singapore i missed my bali connection had to pay $650 new flight but the worst is next they told people night before hold on to cases if you want off ship early guess what i reckon at least 3000 of 5000 wanted that people fighting each other in lifts no movement with weelchair in stifling heat and everybody getting very annoyed and frustrated the exact same in singapore port too many people and no help whatsoever from royal carribean a disgrace and terrible birthday memory. My partner had to actually teach the entertainment crew to play games they were trying and hadnt a clue ??? some staff great our room attendant and marrilo and info desk manager were fabulous my kind regards to them thanks Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is not our first cruise with RCCL but tis is the worst.customer service was unprofessional did not meet our needs out of 4000 passengers there were only 15 international yet the shore excursions we only for 15 english speaking and ... Read More
This is not our first cruise with RCCL but tis is the worst.customer service was unprofessional did not meet our needs out of 4000 passengers there were only 15 international yet the shore excursions we only for 15 english speaking and was sold out the north star is a waste of time and money we were left stranded at airport because we were the only one who brought transfer cost us over 150 on bus and taxi to get to pier on time customer service did not want to deal with any issues the food was horrible room service charge for eggs pancakes they nickel and dime you to death the shops on board were all over priced compared to use the room was very nice but too many negatives to sleep well they offered less for more money the entertainment was not as good as other cruises i know it was mainly for the local but they could have shown some consideration for the international that travel that far to be disappointedThis was our 48 th anniversary happy anniversary to us Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We typically travel suite class. Because it has been going where we want to go, when we want to go, we've been traveling Princess. The Sapphire Princess is a large ship! The disadvantage is that it often is berthed in a cargo area of ... Read More
We typically travel suite class. Because it has been going where we want to go, when we want to go, we've been traveling Princess. The Sapphire Princess is a large ship! The disadvantage is that it often is berthed in a cargo area of the port Vs. "in/nearer town". Despite the number of passengers, there is enough space on the ship so you don't think it is crowded. The dining rooms serves good food. The alternative dining rooms, additional fee, are fine too. There are formal nights; however, the dress code is slipping (on all the cruise lines). The code is not enforced. Some passengers make a mockery of the code. The ships tours are good. Eliminates the need to arrange for private tours at the various ports (although we have arranged to be met by private tour guides). No matter what category you are traveling on the ship, check-in leaves a lot to be desired. Typically, check-in is the worst part of the cruise. They haven't mastered it yet. Some cabins do not have a separate shower from the tub; ugh! Bottom line: You'll enjoy your Princess Cruise! Late submission due to extensive overseas travel April-July Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This is the second time we have sailed with RCI and before this trip it was considered our first choice, but after this it is most probably, the last. From basic organisation and communication the cruise failed in most aspects, as ... Read More
This is the second time we have sailed with RCI and before this trip it was considered our first choice, but after this it is most probably, the last. From basic organisation and communication the cruise failed in most aspects, as follows: 1. We had paid for "My Time Dining" which entailed paying gratuities in advance, only to be initially told it was unavailable. Then after considerable pressure from many customers it was re.instated. We were then told we were on a waiting list and after saying that, in which case we would like the gratuities returned, they miraculously said we were allocated a place! 2. Extortionate price of shore excursions.Other than Ho Chi Minh, you could do the main attractions yourself at a fraction of the cost and without the very limited time constraint. We did visit the latter and the excursion was over one hour late leaving, due to the chaotic organisation, and the guide made this up by cutting our time down. To highlight this the one feature involved a climb to a statue of Christ, which was over 800 steps high. To do this we were given about 20 minutes in 80+ degrees with 90% plus humidity. Needless to say most decided not to attempt. 3. Food quality and variety. This can only be described as average, with the same menu choices on most days. The quality also varied accordingly. 4. Staff and Service. Although in many case the staff tried hard, it was obvious that many were new to the ship and had not been trained in customer service, and hence stood back waiting for you to either do things yourself or wait to be asked. The latter then became quite an ordeal. The one exception we had was the Cabin Steward, who was excellent in all aspects. 5. Entertainment. The main point for the evening shows was the Savoy Theatre, and the quality of the shows varied from very good (Violinist, Beatles lookalike and Jamaican Singer) to very poor (Juggler and Magician). The Ice Spectacular was excellent, and is highly recommended. 6.Layout and facilities. The ship caters for over 3000 passengers and the design is well laid out with the central atrium being the place around which the bars and shopping areas emanate. A great area to visit before or after your evening Dinner/Show. 7. Guest Relations. Due to the number of customers and the issues arising, this became a very congested area and if you wanted to perform some simple tasks, such as replacing a Key Card that didn't work, frustratingly you had in most cases to join a lengthy queue. To finish, the above issues are "fixable" with some basic organisation, as they are not fundamental design issues, but they seriously detracted, from what was a fabulous itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015

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