Well all my worries were for nothing, this was a great cruise. We left from Singapore with stops in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Nga Trang, Da Nang/Huey and ending in Hong Kong. Embarkation was smooth, everyone went straight to the buffet of course, and then our cabins were available from 1.30. My friend and I had each packed a couple of bottles of wine in our luggage. Her luggage arrived promptly, but mine never showed so I guessed it would be at the “naughty room”, which it was. They had a note on it saying 2 bottles (which you are allowed) and didn’t seem to want me to open the bottles to check it was wine so I’m not sure what the point was, or why my friend’s luggage got through.
I just had an internal cabin with a “virtual balcony” so you could see what was happening outside. Nice in theory, it worked most of the time but maybe because of salt build up on the camera plus the Perspex covering the screen, it was a very hazy picture and you couldn’t tell if it was sunny or cloudy outside, it was like an old black & white TV. The cabin was small and the shower was tiny but I expected that as I had booked the cheapest and I spend very little time in the cabin so it was fine. The ship in general was showing its age and on occasion we would get a little drip of water from the ceiling in public areas, but as we know it goes into dry dock in September. It was amusing more than anything, and at least the water was coming from above, rather than a leak from below lol. The atrium area and Sapphire dining room are quite spectacular – really beautiful.
One of my concerns was the reports of hordes of pushy, rude Asian customers. In fact the majority of passengers were from the US, also English, Spanish, Australians and a few of us New Zealanders. There were certainly a few Asian passengers but I never saw any rudeness or pushiness from them, they were just as polite as any other group.