Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: November 2009
Spent 5 days in Bangkok before cruise , had a great time .Make sure that you allow the extra time to see out of the middle of Bangkok ,the country side is incredible.
Spent 5 days in Bangkok before cruise , had a great time .Make sure that you allow the extra time to see out of the middle of Bangkok ,the country side is incredible. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
Had organised our own tours with local firm, very very good. The port is a short ride from the temples, etc. We unfortunately were told that we were leaving early, once we were on board, so we had to spend hours trying to email relatives ... Read More
Had organised our own tours with local firm, very very good. The port is a short ride from the temples, etc. We unfortunately were told that we were leaving early, once we were on board, so we had to spend hours trying to email relatives and the company to let them know, Azamara said it was not possible to give free internet access, so had to purchase a $50 package...not a good start!!! However Bangkok is fantastic, the temples amazing, a feast for the eyes, the food is great and really cheap, eat out locally if you get a chance. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
As first-timers to Bangkok with limited time, we took the Highlights Tour and are very glad we did as it crammed in as many of the sights as possible in the 7 hours available. If you do this city on your own, you should take a cruise on ... Read More
As first-timers to Bangkok with limited time, we took the Highlights Tour and are very glad we did as it crammed in as many of the sights as possible in the 7 hours available. If you do this city on your own, you should take a cruise on the Chao Praya river, stopping at the Wat Arun Temple and the Royal Barge Museum. The Grand Palace is also a must, although expect to share the experience with thousands of other sightseers. Be aware that there is absolutely no time for shopping on this tour. Also be aware that if you take the City Orientation and Bangkok On Your Own Tour, you will not get to see any of the historical sights as it takes you to the shopping area of the city. Fellow cruisers who took the tour to a floating market outside Bangkok said they had enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
The ship sailed all the way to Klong Toey (not Laem Chabang) which meant we were right in Bangkok City - about a 15 minute cab ride from downtown. We chose to spend two nights off the ship since we'd been to Bangkok before and were ... Read More
The ship sailed all the way to Klong Toey (not Laem Chabang) which meant we were right in Bangkok City - about a 15 minute cab ride from downtown. We chose to spend two nights off the ship since we'd been to Bangkok before and were very familiar with the city and it's incredible people. I can't do Bangkok justice here - it's my favorite place in the world. Suffice it to say, we shopped, ate, and partied ourselves silly in this super-friendly and affordable cultural capitol. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
Our Bangkok Experience Our first port of call after sailing from Singapore was the amazing Bangkok, Thailand. As this is my first page reporting about a port of call, I need to mention here that we did not use any of the ship’s shore ... Read More
Our Bangkok Experience Our first port of call after sailing from Singapore was the amazing Bangkok, Thailand. As this is my first page reporting about a port of call, I need to mention here that we did not use any of the ship’s shore excursions on this cruise. That’s because we were traveling with our Martini Mate buddies, Mike and Carol Preisman. Mike is the god of private tours. We have used tour guides Mike has researched and used in France, Italy, Alaska and beyond and never had a bad experience. This was the first time we had actually traveled with Mike and Carol on a foreign cruise with so many superb ports of call so we did the logical thing and just told Mike to book the tours and let us know how much money we needed to bring along to pay for them. (That’s Mike and Carol at the Grand Palace below. And seriously, besides being great friends, they know tours!) Once we were on the cruise all we had to do was ask Mike what time we needed to meet and where and we were all set. I should tell you here that every guide Mike booked on this cruise as well as every itinerary he planned was perfect (with one minor glitch--see my report on Danang--not his fault) and we had a superb (if not sweaty) time on all of them. It made the cruise as well as the planning so much easier for us. If you need more info on any port of call in the world and what tours to take you can do no better than going to their website and reading what they did in each city and then doing that. You can get to his and Carol’s website by going to www.thepreismans.com Day 1 in Bangkok All of that needed to be said before I moved on to describing Bangkok. We arrived midday on the fourth day of the cruise and were met at the pier by Tong of Tong’s Tours. You can see her website by going to http://www.tourwithtong.com. Tong has six or seven guides and a variety of tours she can take you to throughout Thailand. Mike had booked her far enough in advance that he was able to secure her personal services for the eight of us. (We traveled on all shore tours in a group of eight. They included ourselves, Mike and Carol, their neighbors Hans and Barbara and Jack and Debi, friends we had sailed with before.) Tong greeted us and we jumped into her beautiful van they was easily the best land transport we had on this trip and headed directly to the Bangkok Grand Palace. A few words about the absolutely delightful Tong. She is by far the most outstanding tour guide we had on this trip. Easily the equivalent of the best tour guides we have ever had in Europe. But more than that, she is hilarious, fun to be around and totally knowledgeable about her country. She is always on-time and kept us on-task and moving forward, but in a good way. She was flexible and did an excellent job of adapting to our needs dependent on weather, wanting to shop or just calling it a day. To truly experience Tong you need to see her in action. On our second day with her I realized I had to have a movie of her to help you understand the “Tong” experience. So if you click here, you will see a short film I made of her in the van as we headed out on day two to the Train and Floating markets. Suffice it to say that both our days with Tong were outstanding. Back to our first stop, the Grand Palace. I would love to put into words the magnificence that is the Bangkok Grand Palace but words just can’t do it justice. It is the most incredible set of buildings, temples, statues and so much more that I have ever seen. And despite the fact that it was near 90ƒ in the shade with 95% humidity, (I am sure it was well over 100ƒ in the sun) we trudged through the entire palace with our mouths hanging open in awe. We had seen pictures before we got there and you can certainly see mine but until you actually go there and see it for yourself, you won’t understand what I mean. We spent about two and a half hours touring the Grand Palace and to be honest, had it been early morning and about 25 degrees cooler I could have stayed there much longer. As it was, we felt we certainly got our money’s worth. Speaking of money, the entrance to the Grand Palace was not included in the cost of our tour so be prepared and have 350 Thai Baht (about $11) per person with you for admission. While I am on the subject of money, in Thailand you need their currency so make sure to change money on the ship into Baht. In Vietnam we were fine with US dollars but in Thailand they only want Baht. We were able to change dollars into Baht on the ship the day before until the ship ran out but they also bring a Thai tourism representative on board as soon as we dock and they have plenty of money to exchange. And if you have a great deal left when you return to the ship, they (the purser) will exchange it back for you at the same rate they sold it to you originally. We thought that was a great perk. And do not plan to rely on ATMs in Thailand as they were not really plentiful. In fact we only saw a rare few in the areas that we toured. After we finished our tour of the Grand Palace we jumped back into the van and headed to the river for our dragon boat ride. If you have never seen a dragon boat, imagine a long, thin boat that holds up to 10 people (two to a seat, side-by-side) with the driver at the rear. The main featured of the boat is the engine. A dragon boat will usually have an eight-cylinder car engine literally bolted on to the rear of the boat powering a single propeller on a very long pole that the driver dips into the water. It is an one-of-a-kind experience. Bangkok is known as the Venice of Asia and for good reason. There are hundreds of miles of canals and once we had boarded our dragon boat we set off to tour them. On our journey we got to see how many of the Thai people live. There were homes along the canals and they varied from the incredibly beautiful and expensive to one room shanties. In many cases, those two would be right next to each other. We saw all kinds of incredible sights including other small boats that were literally floating restaurants where one person would have an entire kitchen sitting in front of them. They would be hailed by someone on shore, pull up to that person(s) and sell them their meal. At one point, Tong had our boat driver, pull up to a house where she purchased four or five packs of what I can best describe as old-style cafeteria-type dinner rolls. For a few minutes this was a mystery to us as to why she was buying all this bread. She told us to look on the other side of the boat and we discovered we were completely surrounded by a huge school of some of the biggest catfish you have ever seen. She told us to break up the bread and throw it in the water to the fish and watch what happens. Two words---FEEDING FRENZY! It was was amazing watching these fish (which she told us were considered holy and were protected) attack the bread and each other to get to the bread. I took far too many pictures of them but thankfully I only include a small percentage of those in my photo albums. After feeding the fish we continued on until we got back to the river once again (check out all the pictures for the balance of what we saw) and disembarked for a short walk through a small marketplace until we reached the temple housing the incredible Reclining Buddha. If you are not aware of the Reclining Buddha then you just have to see the pictures and know that this Buddha is probably the longest Buddha in the world, that it is made entirely of gold, that it is laying down and at almost the length of a half a football field. The face are a work of art as are the feet and the entire statue is awe inspiring. The photo at right is Kathleen standing near the Buddha’s feet. It will almost give you an idea of the size and scale of this magnificent work of art. After our Reclining Buddha experience the next stop was supposed to have been downtown for dinner at a restaurant we had picked out in advance but some of our party had suffered through difficulties with Singapore food and were in favor of returning to the ship at this point. Having seen the sanitary conditions of the food markets, we were inclined to agree so we were off to the ship. I should add that we were very glad we did as the ship was serving their Thai buffet that evening and it ended up being what I consider the best meal I have ever had on a cruise ship. Check out the part of my review on food for more about it. Day 2 in Bangkok Early the next morning we left the ship to meet Tong for our second day in Bangkok. Today was to be Market day as she had planned visits to the Train Market and the world-famous Floating Market as well as some time for shopping. I love markets (especially food markets) as they usually provide me with great picture taking opportunities. Our first stop was the not-as-famous Train Market. They don’t sell trains at this market. It takes its name from the fact that the entire market (which is predominately a food market) is situated on train tracks. Not near the train tracks but ON THE TRAIN TRACKS. And not abandoned train tracks but tracks that carry a rather large passenger train, 16 times a day. Before entering the market, Tong warned us to stay single file, to follow her closely and if a train started coming through to follow her lead and get off to the side quickly. The market was a claustrophobic cacophony of sights, sounds and smells. More types of fruit, fish, meat and vegetables than I believe I have ever seen. Maybe even more than La Boqueria, the main market in Barcelona which is the most incredible market I had been in until this one. And unlike other markets, this one is not organized. It is a free market (since it is on train tracks) and the vendors pay no rent and have no permanent stalls. They just show up with their products each morning and stake out a place for the day, perhaps, cover it with an awning, layout out what they are selling and sell. When the train comes through, they literally remove their goods and themselves from the track and then within seconds of it passing, they put it all back together again and are back in business. It is a wondrous site to see. After we finished at the Train Market we were off to the more well known Floating Market. This market is one that has been famous in Bangkok for many years. To see it you take a boat ride (five to a boat and driver) and get paddled around to hundreds (if not more) open stalls along the canals. These are less about food than the Train market was and more about crafts, art and other touristy type items. As you floated by the vendors would attempt to hook you in and sell you something. We pretty much were able to resist and kept our boats moving. The ride around the Floating Market took about 90 minutes and by the time we were done and did a few more pictures and a few minutes of shopping it was time to head back to the ship which sailed at 2:00 pm to make high tide at the Bangkok river bar. Sail out was as cool as sailing in had been as the river is full of crazy twists and turns that our captain loved to run at as high a speed as possible. The only other thing I want to mention before I close the book on Bangkok is the traffic. This was true for most of the Asian cities we visited but I think the worst traffic we saw on the whole trip may have been here in Bangkok. In Vietnam most of the traffic is motor bikes while in Bangkok, most of the traffic is full-sized cars. Bangkok is the only city where we found ourselves sitting in traffic for long periods of time. In Vietnamese cities it seemed to constantly flow but not in Bangkok. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
After Vietnam, we didn't much like Thailand, we were given 'opportunities' to make donations everywhere we went. However, the tour we did of Bangkok, Venice of the East, was wonderful. It really is like Venice, all the big ... Read More
After Vietnam, we didn't much like Thailand, we were given 'opportunities' to make donations everywhere we went. However, the tour we did of Bangkok, Venice of the East, was wonderful. It really is like Venice, all the big hotels have their landings with motorlaunches for guests, there are waterbuses, and you can access a lot of it by boat. We saw the Royal Barge museum, where you have to pay if you want to take photos, and the Grand Palace and temples, which were a bit overwhelming, but quite an experience. We were docked for two and a half days, so the second day we went to Nong Nooch, which is like a garden centre crossed with Disneyland. Lots of strange pottery frogs, giant ants and flamingos. An elephant show, where the elephants throw darts, play football and paint tee shirts which are then sold. A cultural show which we couldn't see much of because we were at the back and people came and stood in front of us. There are elephant rides, but we took a trolleybus tour - it is a really strange place. Some people stayed over in Pattaya, we just drove through it, it looked like quite a garish resort. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
The problem with a large cruise ship is that it usually berths at uninteresting container terminals a long way from the excitement of the port and the passengers are transported by shuttle bus.The ship run bus tours to Bangkok included a 4 ... Read More
The problem with a large cruise ship is that it usually berths at uninteresting container terminals a long way from the excitement of the port and the passengers are transported by shuttle bus.The ship run bus tours to Bangkok included a 4 hour return bus ride-so we opted for the shorter free shuttle to Pattaya beach. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
The Princess shore excursion was adequate. It was well organized. This is a big Asia city with lots of smog and traffic but some absolutely beautiful temples and palaces. Due to our early arrival into Bangkok, we had an overnight. We chose ... Read More
The Princess shore excursion was adequate. It was well organized. This is a big Asia city with lots of smog and traffic but some absolutely beautiful temples and palaces. Due to our early arrival into Bangkok, we had an overnight. We chose to take the free shuttle into Pattaya and experience the "cabaret" show Tiffany's. It is a once in a lifetime experience and very unique. I found the endless bars with young prostitutes very disturbing. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Good facility, the dock is a bit difficult to find though. No sign at the port. Get shore excursion to Bangkok. Or catch a courtesy bus to Pattaya beach. Enjoy the beach , sun ,shopping, food. Lay around, get free tanning.
Good facility, the dock is a bit difficult to find though. No sign at the port. Get shore excursion to Bangkok. Or catch a courtesy bus to Pattaya beach. Enjoy the beach , sun ,shopping, food. Lay around, get free tanning. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
The drop down list does not include Bangkok Klong Toey which is where Azamara Quest docks. This is much nearer the heart of the city and taxis are allowed in.
The drop down list does not include Bangkok Klong Toey which is where Azamara Quest docks. This is much nearer the heart of the city and taxis are allowed in. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2011
This is a great port first time as there is plenty to see and do provided that you are into Temples. The river is fascinating and public transport is fine and easy to use.
This is a great port first time as there is plenty to see and do provided that you are into Temples. The river is fascinating and public transport is fine and easy to use. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Not quite as secure as Singapore but still a great fun city with the usual precautions. Pat Pong is a fun market but the 'girlie bars' best avoided unless you know what you are in for and are in a group. If you want a good ... Read More
Not quite as secure as Singapore but still a great fun city with the usual precautions. Pat Pong is a fun market but the 'girlie bars' best avoided unless you know what you are in for and are in a group. If you want a good massage reasonably priced then the shuttle bus crew can direct you. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
We docked in Klong Toey much closer to downtown. We took a private tour to Ayutthaya outside of Bangkok. Very impressive, informative and fun. The second day we took a ship's excursion to the Grand Palace and the canals. Again ... Read More
We docked in Klong Toey much closer to downtown. We took a private tour to Ayutthaya outside of Bangkok. Very impressive, informative and fun. The second day we took a ship's excursion to the Grand Palace and the canals. Again impressive, informative and fun. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Booked an excursion then noticed it was 4 hour round trip and we would have spent half the day on a coach.
Booked an excursion then noticed it was 4 hour round trip and we would have spent half the day on a coach. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Our first port was Bangkok, we had booked a tour with "Tong Tours" and our guide was Nina - highly recommend this company, it was a good tour. Although we did arrive about 1 hour late in Bangkok which made the tour a bit ... Read More
Our first port was Bangkok, we had booked a tour with "Tong Tours" and our guide was Nina - highly recommend this company, it was a good tour. Although we did arrive about 1 hour late in Bangkok which made the tour a bit difficult. The first stop we did was the "Train Market" it was very interesting, people set up their stalls right on the train track and when a train comes they quickly pull it up, let the train pass and put it all back again - check it out on You Tube - but as we were running late we missed the train!! We still got the idea of it all. Next stop was Floating Markets, very glad we experienced this as I have read about it and it is not until you actually do it you really understand it. Boats pushing each other to get through and just when you think the boat is not going to make it… somehow it does!! Definitely worth checking out. Our next stop was the Tiger Temple this was something different, although very commercial like and very touristy was a good experience. You get to walk with the Tiger and get to touch them as well. Timing is important with this as we had to arrive after they had lunch and when they were getting tired ready for a sleep. It was a long way away but if you love tigers - do it - you will enjoy it. Next stop was lunch which was at a nice little restaurant close by, had a nice meal and a relax time. That was basically all we had time for so it was off for the long drive back to the ship - you make your own fun in the van either sleep or have a sing a long - being aussies we did the sing along, was a long trip but fun. Tour with Tong can fit in what you want to do, we didn't pick a tour we created our own and then advertised on Cruise Critic for others to join us, worked well. The bus was very comfy, there were 8 of us and Nina was a good guide. The good thing about 2 days in Port, you can do a full tour like we did and then the next day you can do local sightseeing and shopping which works well. We departed Bangkok at 4pm. The next day was a sea day - a good rest day. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
This port is 2 hours away from Bangkok.We took taxi ride in and the driver escorted us around. Saw lots of Buddha s and temples. Did not have time to go round the Royal Palace. Ride down the river from Pier 1. Saw modern buildings next to ... Read More
This port is 2 hours away from Bangkok.We took taxi ride in and the driver escorted us around. Saw lots of Buddha s and temples. Did not have time to go round the Royal Palace. Ride down the river from Pier 1. Saw modern buildings next to tin shacks and temples. Very busy. Shopping centres. Would like to have gone to the floating markets but not enough time if you are only there for a day. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2011
We took the free shuttle from the port Laem Chabang into Bangkok. Each coach had a guide who gave you a non stop commentry. We were dropped off at a jewellery factory as part of the shuttle. Good quality. My wife is very happy with her ... Read More
We took the free shuttle from the port Laem Chabang into Bangkok. Each coach had a guide who gave you a non stop commentry. We were dropped off at a jewellery factory as part of the shuttle. Good quality. My wife is very happy with her purchases. We chose to take the canal cruise. We were dropped off at the river and were amazed at the amount of river traffic. The tour took about 1 hr and was a lot of fun cuising along in a "James Bond Boat" it was also quite reasonable. The boat dropped us at a market near the King's Palace. The Palace is well worth seeing. We spent about 1hr there. Time was always short in port. We took a tuk tuk back to the hotel to board the shuttle back to the ship. The tuk tuk's are an experience but may not suit everybody and you have to bagain hard with the driver. Money is no problem in Bankok as banks are easy to find. I am not sure about weekends! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
As we have been to Bangkok many times, we ventured into Laem Chabang (the port of Bangkok). Shared a taxi with another couple, costing us approx. £4 each. Interesting little town with a very big shopping mall.
As we have been to Bangkok many times, we ventured into Laem Chabang (the port of Bangkok). Shared a taxi with another couple, costing us approx. £4 each. Interesting little town with a very big shopping mall. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Another long drive into Bangkok from Laem Chabang Port using the ship's shuttle [at a charge of course] . We decided to take a river boat cruise. When we arrived a the Hotel which was our base, we then transferred to a smaller mini ... Read More
Another long drive into Bangkok from Laem Chabang Port using the ship's shuttle [at a charge of course] . We decided to take a river boat cruise. When we arrived a the Hotel which was our base, we then transferred to a smaller mini bus to go to the river. But of course you can't go past the ubiquitous gem and jewellery shop, so another hour later we were back on the bus heading towards the river. Another nearly 2 hours later, after being stuck in horrendous traffic jams, we finally arrived . 6 other people on this bus then pulled out , thinking we wouldn't make it back to the hotel in time. We decided to take the risk, and it was fantastic.It was interesting to see the way the people live with their meagre houses perched over the canals, such a divide between rich and poor in these Asian countries. We bought a beer from the floating markets and back to where we started from. We caught a taxi back to the hotel, this time only taking 1/2 an hour, had lunch at the hotel and back on the bus for the long drive back to the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2011
I am biased as I live in Bangkok. This trip wasn't the best time to visit because of the terrible flooding but those who ventured ashore were well rewarded. One couple took the excursion to Angkor Wat in Cambodia and rejoined the ... Read More
I am biased as I live in Bangkok. This trip wasn't the best time to visit because of the terrible flooding but those who ventured ashore were well rewarded. One couple took the excursion to Angkor Wat in Cambodia and rejoined the ship in Ho Chi Minh. This would have been my choice if I was a first timer. Read Less

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