Personal Background Information Two 65 yr olds. 14th cruise. Like the smaller ships. Normally have a large transit component for the cruise, so the cost is high and so is the expectation. HAL had been given a good reputation by the agency (5 star reputedly). We expected good western food and good service.
Travel To Port of Embarkation
The connections through our local travel agent were good and bad. We would not use them again. There was confusion about the level of cabin to be assigned and HAL, when contacted, were singularly unhelpful.
Cabin was ok but at speed it was like being in a washing machine - (close to stabilisers?)
Been there before and it is a typical Thai resort island.
HAL charged for the shuttle to Pattaya which id nothing much.
HAL charged for shuttle to get to the main village which is very poor, dirty and full of pushy taxi drivers. The booze is cheap and the market large, surprisingly clean and friendly.
Docked at Phu My -- quite a ways from Ho Chi Minh and Vung Tau. Country and guide was terrific.
Called at Nha Trang first. It was very interesting. Da Nang was another shuttle that had to be paid for. It is a dirty city but Hoi An was near by taxi and very nice.
Actually Ha Long Bay - stunning, even in the crappy weather we got for that one day. The Junk tour to the caves were great.