We recently got home from a 9 night cruise on the Voyager with stops in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Danang and Nha Trang. We left from Singpore and returned to Hong Kong. Royal Caribbean once again did not disappoint. Yes the ship is on the ... Read More
We recently got home from a 9 night cruise on the Voyager with stops in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Danang and Nha Trang. We left from Singpore and returned to Hong Kong. Royal Caribbean once again did not disappoint. Yes the ship is on the older end and going into dry dock soon, but that being said, we couldn't find much wrong with the ship. The crew and service was probably the best we've ever had, and we have cruised over 22 times. Very attentive, but not in your face. Didn't have the spa or specialty restaurants pushed all of the time which is great and no countless announcements over the PA interrupting you every half an hour. You actually had to go out and find things to do which is refreshing. The crowd was a mix of multi-generational families, with the majority of the guests being from Austraila, then Britain and then the USA. It was a wonderful group. The dining room service for all meals was fantastic and there were different menu options from other RCCL ships which made it exciting to go to dinner every night. The dining room lunches also had great options. Our waiter and asst. waiter were fantastic. The Windjammer is the same as the other RCCL ships, but we found the food to be tasty, different and it didn't look as if it had sat out all day under a heat lamp. Entertainment was so-so and probably the biggest con for the trip. For some reason the RCCL singers and dancers weren't on key both with the singing and the dancing. It was clearly visible that maybe they hadn't practiced much together and the sounds just weren't that good. We didn't feel bad if we missed most of the show (although we tried and got to all of them.)The cabin was kept clean and we never even saw our steward. We asked for extra towels and they were always there when we returned from the day's activities. We never had to ask twice for anything.Info on ports:
Singapore- beautiful terminal and easily accessible from the subway if you are staying there pre-cruise. A bit of a walk, but definitely easy to do. Very efficient and we didn't even have to sit down before being called to board and we arrived at 10:30. Super simple to get on. Singapore is a beautiful city with lots to do and a wonderful public transit system.
Bangkok - We took a private guided tour for the two days (overnight) that we were there. The first day we went to the Sanctuary of Truth and the Elephant Preserve. Both spots were nice. We had a 45 minute elephant ride through the woods, not just in a circle and were treated to a local show. The guide and driver met us at the port for the 45 minute drive to Pattaya. We got back around 8 and then were picked up again at 6 for the tour of Bangkok. It is a far drive but we saw the real city life on the way. Did a bit of shopping, visited the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, had an authentic lunch and were back on the ship by 4. It was a very long and extremely hot day. The temples are very touristy and busy. Didn't seem very spiritual because of it.
Ho Chi Minh - took a ship sponsored tour and again it was about an hour and a half to the city center. I'm glad we were with a large tour group and not doing it on our own. We are adventurous people but I'm glad we didn't do it by ourselves this time. The tour was expensive and we didn't feel we got much out of it. Could have been our guide, but there really wasn't much to see. Went for an authentic Vietnamsee buffet lunch and not many guests ate. Food wasn't too good. Went to Notre Dame Cathedral which was closed and then to the Post Office, then to the old government headquarters. We had too much time here with not much to do. He took us to a market to walk through but didn't leave time to do much shopping. We lost half of our group and he didn't seem to mind. Very difficult to cross streets here and downright scary. I think the whole bus was happy to get back to the ship.
Nha Trang - again we took a cruise tour because after the day in Ho Chi Minh, I would have been uncomfortable to do it by ourselves. Not many people with taxis at the port either. It may have been difficult for our family of 5 to even get a large taxi. We were dropped at a beach restaurant and they had just enough chairs set up. Not everyone got an umbrella which was not too good. The guide said all you can drink beer and soda, but when I got charged for my second, we were told we were misinformed. The guide said not to go outside of the restaurant as it was dangerous. This was the first we heard of danger, so I think everyone just stuck together. The beach did not have clear water, no fish, and extremely dirty as the day went on. Five hours at a beach like this was way too much, as was the cost of the tour. We were happy to get on the bus going back.
Danang - Day 3 of Vietnam and we had had enough. We did not take a tour, but luckily for us, there was a bit of port shopping right at the ship. This ended up being the best we had seen over the past few days. Lots of bargains and make sure when they say $10, you offer $5 and go from there. They will usually take it and they love the American dollar.
Hong Kong - easy to get off and we spent 3 days post cruise there. Fantastic subway system. Visited Lantau Island/Big Buddha ( an absolute must and plan on most of the day there!), a day of sightseeing and exploring (did a food tour which was interesting to say the least) and ended at Hong Kong Disneyland. We were very impressed.
Overall a fantastic vacation and it's not the cruise line's fault if Vietnam was just so-so. Just wasn't impressed with anything about it! Read Less