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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We boarded the Victoria Anna for what was supposed to be a "5 day 4 night" cruise. I think that needs to be corrected to a "4 day 4 night cruise" How day 1 can be counted as boarding at 9pm with no dinner supplied is ... Read More
We boarded the Victoria Anna for what was supposed to be a "5 day 4 night" cruise. I think that needs to be corrected to a "4 day 4 night cruise" How day 1 can be counted as boarding at 9pm with no dinner supplied is beyond me!!!! Cabins were just ok, very small but sufficient. When you get on you are hit with opportunities to upgrade your cabin and your dining option. We decided to upgrade our dining option, as the main dining room wasn't that large and sharing it with 350 odd people fighting with a buffet style, compared to upstairs with 50-60 and a peaceful meal was to good to pass up. We were very glad we spent the extra 200 yuan pp. The biggest problem with this cruise is the lack of activities. If you were not on a shore excursion there is literally NOTHING to do on board. The TV is all in Chinese with Chinese sub titles, there is nowhere to get a coffee or morning/afternoon tea, just nothing except sitting in your cabin or lounge. At one port we were very clearly advised that we were not permitted off the ship if we were not going on an excursion. It was made over the PA system numerous times, due to some Chinese law (which was fine and we understood) However, at the next port, my daughter and I spent 3.5 hours in our cabin with absolutely NOTHING to do, while an excursion took place. After talking to some of our group they asked if they were permitted to go ashore and they were told yes providing they go 1 hour after the tour departure and were back at the same time. When I found this out I was furious, as we had just wasted a whole afternoon bored to death in our cabin, when we could have gone for a lovely walk and for some afternoon tea. When I approached "Marion" the cruise director, and asked why it wasn't announced that we could go, I was told "because we have to pay a tax per person that goes ashore". When I said I was very upset at having wasted a whole afternoon, she shrugged her shoulders and walked away. Food is great but only at dining times. So there is no food available on board at other times. 2/4 days we ate lunch at 12 and had nothing else to eat until 7pm dinner. We had to resort to taking pastries and cakes after lunch to have later in the day. Getting off the ship was also an experience.We had to walk along a pontoon of about 1 k then up 100 steps (yes we counted) and then a further walk to our bus. All I can say is thank goodness we only had to carry our carry on luggage. If you are going on this cruise with high expectations, it is not the cruise for you. Very much a river cruise on a budget, and no services for people with any physical disabilities. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We accompanied friends on what we thought would be an amazing journey through the Three Gorges area of the Yangtze River. Overall the trip was "OK" but did leave a bit to be desired. The Victoria Anna is old an tired and must ... Read More
We accompanied friends on what we thought would be an amazing journey through the Three Gorges area of the Yangtze River. Overall the trip was "OK" but did leave a bit to be desired. The Victoria Anna is old an tired and must have been through many refurbishments in it's time. Originaly we had opted for a standard cabin but one look at this saw us quickly fork out $1000 to upgrade to a suite!!! The suite was spacious and well appointed but, as with the rest of the ship, tired and dated. Despite numerous complaints about the air conditioning not working the temperature in our suite remained too hot for the duration of our voyage. We suspect that it was actually an economy measure and that they didn't want to turn on the air conditioning plant for a few "picky" westerners! Embarkation and disembarkation was through slums and construction sites over rickety pontoons. We had to stand waiting on one of these pontoons with our baggage for 30 minutes or more as the company had changed the access time without letting our tour company know. The baggage porters were local "coolies" who tied rope to the handles of our expensive luggage and then toted them with a bamboo pole much to our protestations at the time. The passenger mix was predominantly Chinese with a few Americans and us. We were persuaded to upgrade to the al a carte didning room for $100 and I quote "so we wont have to mix with the Chinese in the buffet" end quote. The food was terrible and possibly some of the worst we have come across. The breakfast buffet was tolerable but lunch and dinner, especially dinner, were almost inedible. The staff were very friendly and helpfull with the exception of the reception staff who's goal in life was to try and upsell services at every possible opportunity. There was nightly entertainment of reasonable quality and the bar area and drink service were quite good. There were daily information sessions conducted by Andy who was the shining star of the staff on the Victoria Anna. The daily morning tours were outrageously expensive for Chine and, consequently, were almost empty. The free afternoon tours were better attended and generally interesting with the exception of one bizarre excursion which took us some distance up a tributary to a plastic pontoon area to be serenaded by a group of Chinese tour guides singing what sounded like Chinese "pop" songs. We disembarked at a town near the Three Gorges Dam and transferred to another boat to be taken through the dam on the new "ship elevator" which was an exciting and interesting experience. We were subsequently put on a bus and taken for a very brief and abridged tour of the Three Gorges Dam area with a very interesting and funny guide who played the harmonica for our bemused entertainment. Was it an unusual and different experience that we enjoyed to some degree - yes. Would we do it again - no way! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2011
I cruised the Yangtze River in China for three nights in Sept 2011. The entire ship smelled like bad curry initially. My cabin had a strong musty odor. I had to febreze the entire cabin! The cabin was large and had a good sized sitting ... Read More
I cruised the Yangtze River in China for three nights in Sept 2011. The entire ship smelled like bad curry initially. My cabin had a strong musty odor. I had to febreze the entire cabin! The cabin was large and had a good sized sitting room, separate bedroom, and bathroom. The water in the shower was not working--it was discolored and took 4 calls and an entire day to get fixed. The crew spoke very poor English. All of the entertainment was provided by the crew. The lectures were provided by the Chinese doctor who spoke English very poorly or the river guide who also had a very strong accent. The food was good although the lines for the breakfast and lunch buffet were very long. The excursions were fair. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2010
I am an American who have lived in China for many years, and a frequent cruiser. I finally got around to taking a trip in my own backyard - the Yangtze River. I booked online through one of the government owned travel agents and the price ... Read More
I am an American who have lived in China for many years, and a frequent cruiser. I finally got around to taking a trip in my own backyard - the Yangtze River. I booked online through one of the government owned travel agents and the price was excellent, and the travel service was good. I speak the language so getting to and from the boat was easy - albeit expensive by Chinese standards. In Yichang the boats dock outside of town in a scenic area and there are few taxis. Outside the gate and a few hundred yards up the hill is a pretty canyon with restaurants dug into the cliffs, and some outstanding food. Some others on the ship complained of the places their travel agents took them. The night we arrived we were told to board before 8, which we dutifully did, only to be told the boat would not leave until the next morning. We then left the boat, after signing a waiver, and went into town. They asked us not to return too late - before midnight. No problem. The boat is sizable and comfortable. The staterooms are of typical size for a cruise ship, with two single beds, and the public rooms are clean and simple. The air conditioning in the stateroom was too strong and even at the highest setting was freezing. The passengers were about half Chinese and half foreign (although many of Chinese were from Hong Kong and Taiwan, but there was at least one group from a textile company in Shanghai). It was a holiday weekend in China and that might have attracted more Chinese guests than usual. The foreign group included a fair number of expatriates living in China and the typical geriatric set on the cruise as part of a longer tour of China. It was a good combination of people and they mixed well. Dining tables were mostly assigned by tour group, while I think most people would have preferred to have mixed things up a bit. Tours were well organized, interesting, and mostly included in the cruise price. There were two add-on tours with a modest charge, but only one ran and it was worthwhile. Passengers were divided by language into tour groups and the local guides spoke English well. The dam tour was most interesting as was going through the five locks. Meals were in the main dining room. The separate menu dining mentioned on this site seems to have stopped. The food was well prepared, but the quantity was barely enough - plates were scrapped pretty clean. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style, and you needed to hit the line early or you would miss out. Although they said they ran breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30, we came down the first morning at 8:15 only to find them hauling off the last of the food. We asked for coffee, only to be told there was none. A complaint to the front desk resulted in quick action, with apologies all around and a fruit basket to the room, and great service from that point forward. The crew is all Chinese, most everyone you come into contact with speaks good English. I need to put a word in for the pastry chef - this guy could work at Crystal Lines. The cooking was good - a mix of Chinese and Western that went together well. They are not spending enough money on quality and quantity of ingredients, however. I felt like a poor kid whose mother knows how to make the best of very little - it was quaint, but not what I expected. China has come a long ways in service in the last decade. This line is not keeping up. The experience was very much like a 3 star hotel in most major cities. It is comfortable, but not up to the standard that modern Chinese and foreign tourists have come to expect from someone advertising a five star experience. There really is a niche here for a more upmarket offering. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2007
"Magical China & the Yangtze River". We traveled with a group of 28 and we, personally, booked a mini-suite. The ship, tho' new is already showing wear. Amenities are scant. The reception, dining, bar, and deck areas are ... Read More
"Magical China & the Yangtze River". We traveled with a group of 28 and we, personally, booked a mini-suite. The ship, tho' new is already showing wear. Amenities are scant. The reception, dining, bar, and deck areas are lovely and always kept clean. The crew is friendly, and many are very talented. The entertainment was wonderful (costumes, dance routines, etc). The shore excursions were well-planned and very interesting! The extra displays of art, goods-for-sale on deck 3, seemed distracting. The nail salon was not prepared to do anything except manicures; they'd didn't know how to nail fills. They struggled to put the beds into a king configuration (linens were for twin beds not king). The use of the top level dining room for suite guests was very nice --- breakfasts were very good throughout the cruise. Lunches and dinners in the main dining room all five days were extremely disappointing. The food was not good and we normally love Chinese food and in the past, have been eager to try new foods. We're rethinking this, given this ship's menu and food preparation. There was no alternative selections when the food was poor. There was lots of left-over food and people were not eating --- that should have been a clue to the food manager and chefs. Yet, the poor selection of food for lunches and dinners continued throughout the entire cruise. The Yangtze River and Three Gorges Dam were most interesting. The ship was comfortable and overall, very pleasant. If it wasn't for the poor food, we would have rated this ship much higher. They have work to do and must be ready to meet the needs of Western travelers if they want to continue to attract the tourists on this ship line. We are not new travelers to either riverboats or ocean liners -- if meals are not good, that spoils the trip and the reputation of the ship line! We hope the food service for the Victoria Anna improves for future travelers! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Took a five day, four night Yangtze River Cruise on the Victoria Ann from Yichang to Chongqing. The ship was renovated in 2013 and has 133 cabins. Went with a Wendy Wu tour. We all had standard cabins which are similar to Caribbean cruise ... Read More
Took a five day, four night Yangtze River Cruise on the Victoria Ann from Yichang to Chongqing. The ship was renovated in 2013 and has 133 cabins. Went with a Wendy Wu tour. We all had standard cabins which are similar to Caribbean cruise cabins, maybe a tad smaller. However, the bathroom is a little larger than most standard cruise ships and they have a tub/shower combination. All standard rooms come with a balcony also. There were bulk toiletries-shampoo, shower gel, shoe mitt, shower cap. Could not hear noise from other rooms. Bed was comfy and soft. Washcloths were available in the rooms. Had BBC World News which was a treat as typically news is censored in China. Wifi was available for a charge. Room could use a little more of a cleaning-shower curtain, vacuum dust around edges of floor but cleaner than most rooms in China. Had eastern and western dishes served buffet style during meals. Coke, sprite, coffee and tea were included with meals but no diet soda. Happy hour discounts in bar area.Safe and refrigerator in room. Two bottles of complimentary water in room. Had various tours that you could sign up for along the cruise, some were included already with Wendy Wu. Had some entertainment at night but usually performed by staff. Andrew was the ships's historical guide-excellent presentations as we went along the Yangtze River and gave interesting classes also--Chinese 101, etc. Scenery was beautiful. Definitely would recommend going with Victoria Cruises as I believe that they are considered the luxury cruises on the YangtzeRiver. Read Less
Victoria Anna Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins N/A 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms N/A 0.0
Fitness Recreation N/A 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 0.0

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