2 Beijing First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

We are first time cruisers on this type of boat, having done European river cruises and small boat cruising in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It is true the boarding experience in Tianjin was an absolute shambles. No information, queues ... Read More
We are first time cruisers on this type of boat, having done European river cruises and small boat cruising in Prince William Sound, Alaska. It is true the boarding experience in Tianjin was an absolute shambles. No information, queues going in every direction, everybody there at the one time as travel from Beijing was not co-ordinated. A really bad impression much commented on by regular cruise folk. Our disembarkation in Singapore was little better as we had contracted RCI to transport us to Changi Airport. Once in the terminal they left us for dead. Critical question , would we do another cruise, Only if it was to a different destination as we are not cruisers who love sea days, want to encourage skin cancers by becoming walruses by the pool or even refrigerate in the library or 'card room'. We had a D1 cabin 7356 which was quite adequate and serviced twice daily by Fabian with great courtesy and care. Our meals in the L3 Dining Room were pleasantly served by Harold and Tiu Lin, always ready with appropriate drinks and a friendly approach. Food quality was passable but not anything exciting. On one night the steak was not served to the second sitting! Prawns were always watery. Only did one formal night as our table companions deserted us. The alternatives, the Windjammer food hall crowded often and of poor quality (except the fries) or the paid venues were not that swish. We paid $105 US extra for half cooked lobster of good size on our only venture. We had bought the Ultimate Drinks Package as the only means to cover our wants. Converting US to AUD plus the 18.5% loading allowed the flexibility to cover anything we drank, within reason. Ellingtons or the Wig and Gavel were regular haunts. Wifi is a disaster, pricey and only worked on Deck 5, again at the Wig and Gavel. This was only established after more than one approach to Guest Services. Entertainment, liked the Ice Show. Watched one singer who was just a 'belter'. We chose half day tours, and were reasonably satisfied with our Asian sampler. It is in each individual's choice whether private touring is cheaper and more satisfying. To summarise, you make the most of what you get in life; our adventure on the Mariner had many good moments but as many when we felt let down. Overall it was a great experience but not something that would become habitual!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I was looking for Mediterranean cruise in April 2011. This cruise popped up and the price was irresistible, booked the cruise 10 days advance only. We had an ocean view cabin 244 on Plaza deck, or 5th floor. Check in at Xin ... Read More
I was looking for Mediterranean cruise in April 2011. This cruise popped up and the price was irresistible, booked the cruise 10 days advance only. We had an ocean view cabin 244 on Plaza deck, or 5th floor. Check in at Xin Gang (Tian Jin) was smooth, nice and new passenger cruise port terminal. No shop, nothing to buy or shop, just coffee and tea counter provided by the ship. The new terminal is a bit far off, we took the High speed train from Beijing at around 13.30 pm. Got there in slightly over an hour. Beware, buy the train ticket in advance, or you may not have a seat. From the train station, we took a cab, they over charged us slightly, but no big deal, understandable because the port is middle of no where. Taxi fee was 100 Yuan. One bad point is no direction to port or terminal at Princess website, nor provided to us by Princess agent in Thailand. A bit difficult to find the port info from Google. The ship departed 2 hours late due to heavy fog and highway accident that clogged the traffic. Passengers were arriving late. The lounge is nice, 3 storey of shiny brasses, glasses and chandelier. The cabin is ok, slightly old. But for foul smell at the fridge. Cabin layout is ok , we liked it. Sheet, mattresses, blankets are ok. Bed cover a bit old. No bed bug. Our cabin attendent is Ronald, a Philippino, he provided good service throughout the cruise. Toilet and toiletries are ok. The toilet flush broke down once , but was repair in a jiffy after a phone call. Food in the buffet is not that good,choices are vary enough, but quality is barely passing. The morning eggs are terrible. Buffet is available 24/7, good point. Coffee is just barely passing, tea bags choices are great. Available 24 hours at the buffet cafe. Dining rooms are nicely decorated, food quality, food choices, service are great. Most dishes are good, but for few. Wine choices and price are OK with us. But fellow passengers complained about the wine price. I love the morning and afternoon waffle, afternoon burger, and soft ice cream. Shows are great, both the stage and performance. Gym and workout facility is OK. Spa is good. Port visits are well organized, courtesy buses at most ports. Except for very bare and dull Phumy port in Vietnam, otherwise all ports are good. We visited Pusan, Nagasaki, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Thang Long, Phumy, Koh Samui, Laem Chabang, Singapore. We are independent travelers,so we didn't buy any port excursion. I would say if you are experienced travelers, been to Asia, you don't need to buy any for these ports of call, but may be Phumy if you wished to visit Ho Chi Min. Or Laem Chabang if you wish to visit Bangkok. It is a bit far off. If you are not familiar with China, cannot communicate in Mandarin, I suggest shore excursion for Shanghai as well. Beware of Shanghai Taxi, very bad indeed. Disembarkation in Singapore is very slow, but not ship fault. Probably due to two ships calling at the same time, and the terminal is very crowded and congested. Taxi queuing line is long. Plenty of taxi though. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010

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