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Our trip included visiting Hong Kong for 2 weeks on our own, then flew to Beijing to start our tour with Viking: 3 days in Beijing, 7 days Yangtze River Cruise on board of Viking Emerald, then 2 days in Shanghai. In Beijing, Viking had us divided into 5 groups, each group had about 26 people. Lots of seats to choose from in the tour bus. We were assigned JW Marriott Hotel, with one optional BOGO buffet dinner included in our arrival night. Breakfast, lunch (sandwich kind) and dinner were included rest of our stay in Beijing. Our JW Marriott stay was not pleasant. It was hot and stuffy inside our room with no air-conditioning. Everyone has the same problem. Apparently, it was the country's policy not to turn on A/C before certain time of the year. There was a small window at the corner of our room that could be opened but that didn't do much good. Their buffet breakfast and dinner were quite good. Beijing's tours were awesome. We visited Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Badaling Hills of the Great Wall, Ming Dynasty tombs and Hutongs via Rickshaw. All were enjoyable except Ming Dynasty Tombs. We didn't see any tomb or burial chamber. We only walked through the Sacred Way, backward as in from back to front. I didn't think it was meant to walk backward, but I guess it gave the bus driver the most convenient route. This was the most disappointing tour but weather was great that day. Xian's Mausoleum of Qin Shi- huang and his Terra Cotta Warriors were also awesome. Shibaozhai was a challenging walk, not too bad to walk to the temple but very trying and uneven steps up the temple. The view from the top was quite nice but not worth the climb for people with hips and knees problem. Be prepared for the early morning rise to tour the Three Gorges. The hills were impressive but we got rained on and it was quite cool in March. I loved the little boat ride though and our tour guide was very entertaining. Jingzhou and Wuhan were so so. Interesting but not like you have to visit once in your life time. Shanghai was nice. Don't skip the optional night tour when the Bund is alive with lights. In Chongqing, we have to go down long flight of steps to reach the ship. If I were to do it all over again, I would hire the porter. There were tons of them waiting when we got off the bus. They were nice and honest people, eager to carry the luggage for you for a mere CNY$30-50 (US$4-5), depending on how many pieces. It would be worth it because those steps and floating planks were hard to manoeuvre. It was quite a walk for people with bad ankles and knees. I wished we had done that. I saw how grateful and happy they were when they were paid, and they carried the luggage all the way to port side of the ship. Now about the ship: embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly with very little wait time. Some Chinese music were playing while we lined up for our shipcards. We stayed in a suite which has a good size balcony and big floor to ceiling sliding door. Local cuisine was featured everyday, with one American night, and one Chinese Banquet style dinner. What we loved was the fact that we've been travelling with the same group of people through our touring in China. So once we were on the ship, we could always find someone we knew to sit with and chat with. We learned how to play Mahjong together. Not a lot of shops on board but who needs them? There were educational lectures most nights to prepare you for the next port. We were never bored. They also have cultural dances, performed by their own staff. Also folk music performed by local musicians, tea ceremony, and Free WiFi. We thoroughly enjoyed all those performances. Staff were friendly. There wasn't anyone we met who wouldn't bend over backwards for us to get what we needed. They have a Chinese doctor on board who was awesome, taught Tai Chi in the morning for those early risers. Servers in the Dining Room need further training. However, their attitude made up for what they didn't understand (some language barrier here). One young lady in particular kept forgetting our order, night after night. I would also wish that they have coffee cream (10% or 18%) available, or even coffee mate. But they didn't even know what they were. Finally they brought us thick heavy cream used for cooking! One note: Cocktail in Cocktail Hour are not free but drinks ordered during meals are.

Small intimate ship, local cuisine, personable services

Viking Emerald Cruise Review by Emerald22

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Our trip included visiting Hong Kong for 2 weeks on our own, then flew to Beijing to start our tour with Viking: 3 days in Beijing, 7 days Yangtze River Cruise on board of Viking Emerald, then 2 days in Shanghai. In Beijing, Viking had us divided into 5 groups, each group had about 26 people. Lots of seats to choose from in the tour bus. We were assigned JW Marriott Hotel, with one optional BOGO buffet dinner included in our arrival night. Breakfast, lunch (sandwich kind) and dinner were included rest of our stay in Beijing. Our JW Marriott stay was not pleasant. It was hot and stuffy inside our room with no air-conditioning. Everyone has the same problem. Apparently, it was the country's policy not to turn on A/C before certain time of the year. There was a small window at the corner of our room that could be opened but that didn't do much good. Their buffet breakfast and dinner were quite good.

Beijing's tours were awesome. We visited Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Badaling Hills of the Great Wall, Ming Dynasty tombs and Hutongs via Rickshaw. All were enjoyable except Ming Dynasty Tombs. We didn't see any tomb or burial chamber. We only walked through the Sacred Way, backward as in from back to front. I didn't think it was meant to walk backward, but I guess it gave the bus driver the most convenient route. This was the most disappointing tour but weather was great that day.

Xian's Mausoleum of Qin Shi- huang and his Terra Cotta Warriors were also awesome.

Shibaozhai was a challenging walk, not too bad to walk to the temple but very trying and uneven steps up the temple. The view from the top was quite nice but not worth the climb for people with hips and knees problem.

Be prepared for the early morning rise to tour the Three Gorges. The hills were impressive but we got rained on and it was quite cool in March. I loved the little boat ride though and our tour guide was very entertaining.

Jingzhou and Wuhan were so so. Interesting but not like you have to visit once in your life time. Shanghai was nice. Don't skip the optional night tour when the Bund is alive with lights.

In Chongqing, we have to go down long flight of steps to reach the ship. If I were to do it all over again, I would hire the porter. There were tons of them waiting when we got off the bus. They were nice and honest people, eager to carry the luggage for you for a mere CNY$30-50 (US$4-5), depending on how many pieces. It would be worth it because those steps and floating planks were hard to manoeuvre. It was quite a walk for people with bad ankles and knees. I wished we had done that. I saw how grateful and happy they were when they were paid, and they carried the luggage all the way to port side of the ship.

Now about the ship: embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly with very little wait time. Some Chinese music were playing while we lined up for our shipcards. We stayed in a suite which has a good size balcony and big floor to ceiling sliding door. Local cuisine was featured everyday, with one American night, and one Chinese Banquet style dinner. What we loved was the fact that we've been travelling with the same group of people through our touring in China. So once we were on the ship, we could always find someone we knew to sit with and chat with. We learned how to play Mahjong together. Not a lot of shops on board but who needs them? There were educational lectures most nights to prepare you for the next port. We were never bored. They also have cultural dances, performed by their own staff. Also folk music performed by local musicians, tea ceremony, and Free WiFi. We thoroughly enjoyed all those performances. Staff were friendly. There wasn't anyone we met who wouldn't bend over backwards for us to get what we needed. They have a Chinese doctor on board who was awesome, taught Tai Chi in the morning for those early risers.

Servers in the Dining Room need further training. However, their attitude made up for what they didn't understand (some language barrier here). One young lady in particular kept forgetting our order, night after night. I would also wish that they have coffee cream (10% or 18%) available, or even coffee mate. But they didn't even know what they were. Finally they brought us thick heavy cream used for cooking!

One note: Cocktail in Cocktail Hour are not free but drinks ordered during meals are.
Emerald22’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 504
Large floor-to-ceiling sliding door, good size balcony, comfortable bed and pillows, kettle, big TV. Bathroom was a bit small but have very good amenities: L'Occitane toiletries and plush towels.