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23 Victoria Cruises Cruise Reviews

We did not choose this river cruise boat. It was part of a Cruise.co.uk bucket list tour. Three days on the Yangtze. The boat was boarded in Chongquin. A city that I would have liked to spend more time in. It was boarded via ... Read More
We did not choose this river cruise boat. It was part of a Cruise.co.uk bucket list tour. Three days on the Yangtze. The boat was boarded in Chongquin. A city that I would have liked to spend more time in. It was boarded via hundreds of steps. On reaching our cabin, over several metal floors that were seriously buckled and flipped you up as you walked over them, we were not at all pleased. There was a pervading smell of damp, the bathroom had black mound around extremely ageing bathroom fittings. They needed a deep clean and bleaching. Our single beds were falling apart, rust breaking off them. They were wet with damp. Our clothes began to smell and some hand washing done on board stayed wet for three days. Some from our party had mould growing on their washing. Cleanliness was not a priority. Bins were emptied and beds made. I dare not lift the covers to see what the mattress was like!! Our cabin was never hoovered. Cups were dirty. The room thermos of hot water was filled by the room attendant, from the same tap they used for their mops and buckets!! Our cabin floor was buckled and dangerous, especially on night time trips!! Drawers were falling apart and the wardrobe stank. Food was strange. Two hour buffet sitting resulted in food being taken away after just over an hour on two nights. Several items ran out early. The last night Gala Dinner was largely inedible. I resorted to biscuits in my cabin, but the damp had got to them. They were soft. In fact books and passports became wrinkled with the damp, my tin of mints became soft and crumbly and we all ended up with chesty coughs as a result of damp spores. I had previously spoken with Victoria at the World Travel Market and their literature dies not give a true image of their service. Our tour guide said this was their o,desk and cheapest ship and she should be retired! A really nasty experience, saved only by cheap drinks, which may have been reduced to placate us, and the young bar and entertainment team. One star rating, as lowest I could give!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
A 4 night cruise on the Yangtze was part of our package tour. I have given this ship a 1 star rating only because there is no option for a lower one. Absolutely appalling in every respect - the cabin, dining, no entertainment as ... Read More
A 4 night cruise on the Yangtze was part of our package tour. I have given this ship a 1 star rating only because there is no option for a lower one. Absolutely appalling in every respect - the cabin, dining, no entertainment as such. We had some locals attending dinner wearing singlets. The meals were self serve of a very basic standard. There is no option to upgrade dining not that I'd recommend paying for it. The floors on the cabin decks are "rippled" ie not flat, and they buckle when you walk on them. It was a standing joke amongst the western guests. Service - there was none. Dirty coffee cups, wine glasses were never collected from our cabin for the duration. Passengers had to ask at reception for toilet paper or soap as cabin stewards dont replenish supplies. We enjoyed our Yangtze trip despite this barge, not because of it. Avoid at all costs! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This 4 day River Cruise was part of a package. We were told the Victoria Lianna was a 5 start ship. What they forgot to mention that it was 5 star by Chinese standards, when in reality we thought it about a 2 1/2 star by western standards. ... Read More
This 4 day River Cruise was part of a package. We were told the Victoria Lianna was a 5 start ship. What they forgot to mention that it was 5 star by Chinese standards, when in reality we thought it about a 2 1/2 star by western standards. We paid for an upgrade at USD400 to a junior suite. The suite was located at the stern and was extremely noisy and the vibrations were quite extreme. Ship is very dated although they will tell you it was fully updated in 2011. Don't believe it. Check in was a disaster. We were part of a tour group of 39 and check-in took almost 2 hours. On a positive note the staff were friendly (although hardly any one on board spoke English), and the food was good, but not exceptional. Rooms were clean and beds comfortable. Be warned, no double beds on board, even in the suites....all small single. As long as you don't have high expectations you will enjoy your stay on the Victoria Lianna. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I needed a non-smoking ship for the Yangtze River cruise and so opted for this 'American' ship rather than one of the Chinese ships for that reason. It was a great choice. The ship is small but beautifully appointed with a large ... Read More
I needed a non-smoking ship for the Yangtze River cruise and so opted for this 'American' ship rather than one of the Chinese ships for that reason. It was a great choice. The ship is small but beautifully appointed with a large dining room, large bar and lounge area, fitness room, beauty facilities and lots of outdoor space. Don't bother booking a higher rated cabin, they will upgrade you as you get on board for a fraction of the price. The cabins were well appointed. The staff couldn't be more helpful, cleanliness and hygiene were paramount, the food was plentiful although fixed to one-hour mealtimes as well as a bit bland at times and modified for Westerners but that was to be expected. Excursions were excellent. Dr Lee, on- board Chinese doctor fixed a leg problem that I have had for months! It was a really fantastic trip, an intimate ship and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The cruise was an add on to a land tour of the major cities in China booked by Friendly Planet Travel. The first thing you notice when you walk on to the ship is the pervasive mold smell throughout. We were promised a "superior" ... Read More
The cruise was an add on to a land tour of the major cities in China booked by Friendly Planet Travel. The first thing you notice when you walk on to the ship is the pervasive mold smell throughout. We were promised a "superior" cabin but were put into a standard cabin that was so mildewed that my eyes started to water within ten minutes of arrival. After they argued with us regarding what is supposed to constitute a "superior" cabin (this one was eight feet wide with no closet and sofa width single beds) We paid $300 for an upgrade to a junior suite (BAIT AND SWITCH!!!!!!!!) that was marginally less mildewed than our original cabin that I could almost breathe in. At least we had a place to put our suitcases. The dining was the best part of the cruise. The wait staff was excellent and the food edible. The lectures were boring and more like sales pitches than informational programs. Because we both got sick from the mildew, we needed to visit the on board physician, Dr. Lee, who seemed quite personable and competent. None of the shore excursions matched the description given in the brochure. We were supposed to go through the locks at the Three Gorges Dam but instead sat on the boat for an entire day not moving and going nowhere. Instead they took us on a horrible bus ride to the dam where you couldn't see anything. AWFUL. They promised a ride on a sampan through one of the smaller gorges - never happened. Instead they took the riverboat upriver to a Chinese style shopping arcade. I feel we were totally taken in and it was probably the WORST cruise I have ever taken. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date May 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
Sail Date March 2017
We sailed on the Victoria Jenna from Chongqing to Yichang for 3 nights during our 3 week tour of China. I didn't really know what to expect but it was about 100% better than I ever imagined. It was a well needed peaceful break after ... Read More
We sailed on the Victoria Jenna from Chongqing to Yichang for 3 nights during our 3 week tour of China. I didn't really know what to expect but it was about 100% better than I ever imagined. It was a well needed peaceful break after going full speed for 2 weeks all over China! Our cabin was beautiful.....even better than when we sailed on Princess cruises! We had comfortable beds, large tv, sitting area, large bathroom and a nice balcony. Our cruise staff, Amy and Stephen, were so sweet and nice to us and to everyone. Stephen is hysterical.....great sense of humor. We had the amenities package so we ate in the dining room on level 6. Since this was their last cruise before winter vacation, there were only 2 other tables that were occupied....8 people total. Wow, we had that whole dining room almost to ourselves! (there was another dining room on level 2). They made a huge buffet for us every breakfast and lunch that was really, really good....everything you ever wanted....eggs, pancakes, pastries, sausage, bacon, French toast and on and on. You definitely would not go hungry on this ship! For dinner, you got to pick a choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert. The last night, I had duck with a spicy orange sauce that I wish I could eat every day!! OMG...it was that good! The food was 100 times better than Princess cruises in my opinion. Wine and beer is included in the amenities package....Happy Hour everyday! The shore excursions were interesting but it was cold and windy......probably would have been more fun in warmer weather but this is what we chose. The scenery was beautiful .....very hilly and green. The only bad part was passing through the locks at the dam from 11 pm to 3 am.......it is very, very loud and you will not be able to sleep. But, we got off the next day and had a nap when we got to our next hotel. All in all, I would definitely say........if you have a chance....DO NOT miss this cruise. It is a wonderful experience while touring China. An experience to not miss! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Born in China and lived in the US for more than 30 year, I chose the Victoria Cruises because the cruise line claims that they are the only 'American company' on the Yangtze River. It turned out that the advertisement from the ... Read More
Born in China and lived in the US for more than 30 year, I chose the Victoria Cruises because the cruise line claims that they are the only 'American company' on the Yangtze River. It turned out that the advertisement from the Victoria Cruises is a total misleading. On November 11, 2016, we boarded Victoria Grace and started our 4-day Chongqing to Yichang (the three gorges) cruise and it is the worst cruise we even taken (we took more than dozen of cruises including river cruise in Europe). The ship. The so labeled “5-star” ship is absolutely outdated and nowhere close to a 3-star ship, and there is NO elevator. The floors are uneven and you can feel the metal sheet waving underneath the carpet and hear the noise when walking on the floor. Decoration is at the minimal and pale, at least. The embarkation. First, all passengers had to walk about 2 km to board the ship carrying all luggage and there was no help from the ship. When we asked for help to move our luggage to our cabin after we got on the board, we were told that we had to pay for the service by using the local labor whom the ship allowed to do so. During check-in, we were immediately asked to pay gratuities (150 RMB per person) at front because we are not Chinese citizen (however, the ship asked us to pay tip again at the end of cruise which we declined for the experience we had). Be aware that there is no food provided for the first night. The cabin: We had a standard cabin which is small, tired, dated and smelly. Bed is soft, furniture, sheets, bedcover and towels are old. We had toilet and door lock problems during our 4-day cruise. Food: Buffet breakfast and lunch were provided, and dinners were either buffets or Chinese style table dinner. Foods was boring with limited choices. Sometimes passengers had to wait for items to be refilled. Service: The ship provided absolutely minimal service. No greetings, and smiling was almost non-exist. There is thermal bottle in cabin but the room attendant wanted passages to fill the hot water themselves. It was a great effort to get the waiter/waitress to bring a cup of tea or coffee to you during lunch or dinner. Some of the staff were doing better job than others. However, if you complain, then the situation became worse! There was one English speaking person on board but she could not do much because all she could do was listening and reporting it to her boss. Excursions: There were couple of included excursions that were good but the poor air quality and visibility greatly discounted the true beauty of the three gorges. The optional excursions were very expensive and not worth to take. In summary, if you want to cruise the three gorges, go with other cruise lines and do a good homework. Do not simply believe the advertisement and DO NOT go with Victoria Cruises! Read Less
Sail Date November 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
Sail Date October 2016
I chose it on price..but also on reviews. The Victoria Selina does not look impressive in photographs, but do not let that affect your decision. It is in a good state of repair and although not super luxurious everything is well ... Read More
I chose it on price..but also on reviews. The Victoria Selina does not look impressive in photographs, but do not let that affect your decision. It is in a good state of repair and although not super luxurious everything is well ordered and well presented inside. The bar and dining room are both very attractive public spaces. It was very reasonably priced, and our twin bed cabin with en-suite was spotless, with comfortable beds and excellent bathroom. But it was the staff that made the cruise so enjoyable. The staff on our cabin floor were excellent, practising their English at every opportunity. Translation software made questions easily answered, but their service was faultless. The food had great variety, suiting all. And it was buffet, plentiful and tasty. We had a banquet on our last night..fabulous. Side trips from the ship were well organised by our Cruise director and enjoyable despite soaring summer temperatures. Our guides spoke good English; sometimes excellent, allowing questions to be asked and answered without resorting to software. The on board river guide, Tom gave excellent talks in English about the Yangtze and about the Gorges as we travelled and we enjoyed each evening's entertainment at which he was a great M.C. We saw a professional version of our own waiter's mask switching dance in Beijing last night which showed us just how good he was. We recognised at the time how much work the staff put into their evening performances of minority ethnic dancing and other things...and how multi-talented they are. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Victoria Jenna “an unreservedly positive experience” Sailed the VICTORIA JENNA , on a 7 nite/8 day cruise Chongqing to Yichang (return), April 2016. Can easily say, overall was the most outstanding cruise trip ever taken by ... Read More
Victoria Jenna “an unreservedly positive experience” Sailed the VICTORIA JENNA , on a 7 nite/8 day cruise Chongqing to Yichang (return), April 2016. Can easily say, overall was the most outstanding cruise trip ever taken by us. - the Jenna, was essentially a “new” ship, just on it's second trip out after refurbishing, with everything working to our satisfaction - we were booked into an Executive Suite on deck 5, a large room with two double beds, new updated bathroom, ample storage, and outside balcony - room location was very close to Executive Lounge, a large area on deck 6 utilized for all our meals, daily Happy Hour (wine, beer, snacks), and designated as a quiet area to hang out during the day for coffee, tea, and snacks, allowing us to meet new friends ... the Lounge was very popular with us with the attention and service provided second to none - excellent meals more than met our expectations ... buffet breakfast and lunch served, with an a la carte dinner menu ... a mix of Western and Chinese - passenger mix was mostly non-Asian with use of English-Mandarin on equal basis - central to our cruise success was the Jenna”s Cruise Director (Dick) who demonstrated time after time that he was a master of his trade. His Jenna staff, youthful and vibrant, was ALWAYS on top of everything, no matter what department - onboard entertainment was above average – the costumes, traditional music and dance - the Jenna River Guide (Steven) was very active providing timely and informative commentary as we wound our way thru the Gorges and other areas of interest - the Yangtze sights, as advertised, provided us with great scenery thru the various gorges and the dam itself. Made three off-ship excursions (two via excursions on smaller vessels plus the dam tour itself) ... our favorite was on a small vessel thru the Gorges of Goddess Stream ... highly scenic and a must see. Overall, the Yangtze scenery was very good and spectacular in many spots ... in certain areas the perpetual mist resonated with some of the Chinese paintings that one comes across - the Jenna provided us with a relaxed atmosphere. All land excursions were well organized and led by very experienced English speaking guides - Wifi on the Jenna was great ... both for internet speed and reliability (note: no Google or Facebook access in China) - special assistance was proactively provided by the Jenna front office to ensure the ease of boarding and that offloading went smoothly, including arrangements for ground transportation back to our Chongqing hotel and even calling the hotel the night before from the Jenna to ensure that the hotel would be ready for our early checkin ... all this was done without asking - the Jenna team quickly saw upon boarding that I had limited personal mobility (canes) and really stepped up to provide all kinds of additional assistance to ensure I could get to wherever I wanted, literally every step of the way, including the land excursions. Can”t say how much I (and especially my wife) appreciated this - to top it off, this cruise was very close to our 50th anniversary and Victoria Cruises made sure we would well remember ... a very special dinner was planned and personally prepared and served to us by the Executive Chef (Jack Shapensky) on our last night, including a large anniversary cake that we were pleased to share with others ... this was a big and pleasant surprise to us and totally unexpected Would I recommend Victoria Cruises and the Victoria Jenna? ... the answer can be said in one word ... ABSOLUTELY! Our experience was 5 Star without question, far exceeding all (high) expectations, with the Jenna being a great complement to some wonderful Yangtze scenery. Special kuddos to Victoria Cruises and the Jenna team under Cruise Director Dick Carpentier. The very high level of service quality provided by a staff who sparkled at all times, the standout ship, the amenities, and the Yangtze itself, made for a most memorable trip Only wish that Victoria Cruises sailed to more places than the Yangtze ... if/when they do, we will be lined up for Booked this cruise through Victoria Cruises office in New York Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The Victoria Queen has been rennovated and is now known as the Victoria Lianna. Our 4 night cruise was booked through Affordable Asia Travel as part of a larger China tour. Victoria Cruises advertises their cruises as being 5 star ships. ... Read More
The Victoria Queen has been rennovated and is now known as the Victoria Lianna. Our 4 night cruise was booked through Affordable Asia Travel as part of a larger China tour. Victoria Cruises advertises their cruises as being 5 star ships. From an American perspective this is not true. If you think of their ships as being a 3 star facility with 4 star service your expectations will be better met and you will be happy. Our upriver cruise began in Yichang January 12, 2014 and ended at Chongqing on January 16, 2014. Dinner on embarcation day is not included. We were in an Executive Superior Cabin, which entitled us to perks like free internet, free happy hour, free soft drinks in the lounge all day, and 4 pieces of free laundry per day. The cabin was comfortable with a small balcony and a bathtub in the bathroom. There was plenty of heat, but it was either off or on without individual temperature control. There were two shore excursions offered per day. We bought a package that included one shore excursion per day: a tour of the 3 Gorges Dam, boat tour of one of the Yangtze trubutaries, and a tour of the Fengdu "Ghost City" Temple Hill. Those who did not purchase the shore excursions were not permited to disembark the ship. The shore excursions were worth the package price of $90 for the three excursions and included good commentary from fluent English speaking guides. The three other excursions that we did not purchase were about $45 per excursion. The food on board was of a good quality and was tasty. Think good, not gormet, food with a selection of two or three entrees plus soup, salad, and dessert. Executive Cabin guests dine in their own dining room and have menu service for dinner, rather than a buffet. The Lianna's crew provided some nice folk dances for entertainment two of the nights. There were also Chinese lessons and Mah Jong (Chinese game) lessons offered some afternoons. A small gym was available for passenger use. The River Guide (like a cruise director) provided good commentary in both English and Chinese as we cruised through the scenic gorges along the river. You had to rise by 7 am to see some of the gorge areas. Transit of the locks at the 3 Gorges Dam was at night, but you saw the locks during the day on the Dam tour (if you took it). English speakers are a minority on these cruises, and only some of the staff speak English (beyond simple greetings). With a little patience and persistance, you will find out everything that you need to and will get what you need done. All in all, a great cruise experience and a comfortable way to see the scenic areas of the Yangtze River. Upon disembarcation, we visited the Chongqing Zoo to see their Pandas. We saw 5 of them in their nice habitats and 3 of them were feeding during our early morning visit. Afterward, we visited the historic old town part of Chongqing for some shopping and snacking (both of which were good here). Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We recently enjoyed a 4 day Yangtze River Cruise on the Victoria Jenna. This was part of a pre-cruise China land tour booked through Princess Cruises. We boarded the Jenna in Fengdu because the Yantze was too low for the riverboat to ... Read More
We recently enjoyed a 4 day Yangtze River Cruise on the Victoria Jenna. This was part of a pre-cruise China land tour booked through Princess Cruises. We boarded the Jenna in Fengdu because the Yantze was too low for the riverboat to meet us in Chongqing. After a four hour bus ride from Chongqing, we arrived about 9:00 pm. The steps down to the riverboat are steep and there is no railing but the entire crew was there with flashlights to assist us. Our luggage was promptly delivered to our cabin. The cabins are small but efficient. They have a sliding glass door and a small balcony. The room has two twin beds, a small closet, a small flat screen TV, and a desk and chair. The bathroom had a very small bathtub/shower. It definitely was sufficient for this short cruise. Every meal was a buffet except for the last night's dinner. A wide variety of Chinese food and a few western selections were available at every meal. The crew, including the cabin stewards, waitresses and bar staff, also provide the nightly entertainment. On the second night, the crew modeled and explained traditional Chinese fashion and its history. They entertained us with historical Chinese singing and dancing and some current hits on the third night. We were lucky to have superb weather throughout our trip. Of course, the highlight of this cruise is the amazing scenery along the Yangtze River. This was enhanced with excellent lectures by the riverguide. In addition, the riverguide gave a lecture in the lounge and shared pictures of his life with his family growing up on a farm, his wedding, his new daughter, and his new apartment which gave us a wonderful and delightful insight into the Chinese lifestyle. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We have never been on a cruise. We travel extensively but never been on a cruise. When we signed up for a 19 day private tour with Vietnam Royal Tourism one of the suggestions was to go on a 3 day 2 night cruise on the Victory Star - a ... Read More
We have never been on a cruise. We travel extensively but never been on a cruise. When we signed up for a 19 day private tour with Vietnam Royal Tourism one of the suggestions was to go on a 3 day 2 night cruise on the Victory Star - a cruise on Ha Long Bay. We have heard of Ha Long Bay and have seen pictures and it was definitely one of the places we wanted to see. So there we were on the Victory Star for a 3 day Ha Long Bay cruise. It was fantastic. The cabin was a little bigger than I thought they would be. The staff was outstanding. - the food was some of the best we had ever had. And there was more than enough at each meal. We traveled around Ha Long Bay and the second day out we had a trip on the Day boat to a fishing village. Only 8 of us signed up for this trip. And we were to have lunch on the Day boat. I really wasn't expecting much, I didn't think they could match the meals we were having on the Victory Star. Well they did, with only 8 people on the Day boat lunch was great. The ship was in excellent shape, it was clean and the presentation of the meals was terrific. Who knows after this great experience, we may become "cruise people" If you planning on a trip to Vietnam, definitely have the Victory Star in your plans, Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
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
Sail Date September 2011
Arrived at 1830 for our 4 night cruise. Warmly welcomed by staff and Dick (cruise director from USA). Found we had been upgraded to a suite, and what a lovely experience. Huge double bed, flat screen TV, lounge area, double balcony, spa ... Read More
Arrived at 1830 for our 4 night cruise. Warmly welcomed by staff and Dick (cruise director from USA). Found we had been upgraded to a suite, and what a lovely experience. Huge double bed, flat screen TV, lounge area, double balcony, spa bath and separate shower. Food was quite good, would have liked to have snacks available in evenings. Our table were independent travellers and were a mixed bunch of lovely people who we got to know quite well. Lots of night sailing but good trips to Dam, Ghost City and mini gorges. Clean ship, not too formal, drinks available at docks at cheaper prices than boat to drink in room. Disembarked at Chongqing, beware of taxi drivers wanting 100 - 50 RMB for a 10 RMB journey to hotel. We walked down the road a bit and got a taxi for 20 RMB but could have asked for meter to be put on. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We booked the short 4 day jaunt on Cunard's Queen Victoria, not for the itinerary. We wanted a taste of Cunard, and this shortie was a great way to experience it. Embarkation: In LA went very smoothly. We were on the ship and ... Read More
We booked the short 4 day jaunt on Cunard's Queen Victoria, not for the itinerary. We wanted a taste of Cunard, and this shortie was a great way to experience it. Embarkation: In LA went very smoothly. We were on the ship and having lunch by 1pm. We were able to go to our stateroom and drop our things as soon as we boarded. The elevator to the lido lunch buffet was easy and no wait. Dining: Our dining room was the Brittania, where guest staying in balcony accommodations and below dined. It was a lovely dining room, with exceptional food quality and taste. The happiness ends there. Service was slow, unfriendly, and seemed to actually get worse instead of better throughout the cruise. Say, I was to ask for a plain green salad, instead of one of the featured salads, the waiter would frown, puff, pretend like he wasn't getting what I was saying, and never offered or agreed to bring me a plain green salad. I sometimes would ask for Cunard's famous "Marie Rose" salad dressing to accompany my salad. This irritated my waiter to no end, and I would eventually get it, but he made me feel bad for asking. And ask I would have to do, instead of him remembering and having it waiting for me at every dinner. Getting bread, or even more bread was a battle as well...iced tea or coffee was also a nuisance. I had better service a few times when dining in the dining room at lunch when we had random servers. Some were actually pleasant, but we did encounter a lot of guests up in arms about the poor service they received aboard. I expected a lot more from Cunard's White Star service... Cruise Critic Meet and Greet: I arranged our M&G 2 weeks prior to the sailing. They kept messing up and getting either my date wrong, or time wrong. I finally corrected their paperwork, and asked for final confirmation, which was never received. We decided oh well, we will wing it, everyone on CC knows where to meet, the date and the time as all agreed upon. The evening before our M&G I got a note from the personal asst. to the Hotel Manager stating that our M&G was set to take place in the game room. I called, and said, no we are set for the specific cocktail lounge we had chosen, and been confirmed previously. With a rotten attitude she informed me "We would never schedule a group there as its cocktail hour". Well, that's precisely why we booked that room, we wanted to order cocktails while we all visited. She insisted we had to be in the card room. I told her I had no way of contacting the other members, perhaps she could post a sign where everyone was supposed to meet. 15 minutes prior to meet time, we went to the card room. There were many people playing games, and no set up for our M&G.The people playing card games did not appear to want to be disturbed by a group of 40 some folks meeting for socialization, so we went to the original place and there was no sign...people started gathering and we chose to stay where we were, where we had booked, with our CC sign on the table in front of us. One of us would keep running up to the card room to see if any cruise staff or officers had arrived, or if a private party in progress sign was ever put up. Nothing but card players...so we merrily ordered our drinks and had a lovely M&G in the lounge. The following day I had a very snide message from the same pa to the Hotel Mangager. saying that we did not show up and our group stood the Capt. up. I called her up, explained the situation and she scolded me...told me she looked for us where we said we would be, and we were not there. Well, somehow she missed a group of about 40 people with chairs all pulled together and a bright CC sign sitting in front of us. She made me feel so bad, when indeed, they were not prepared, or accommodating to our CC group. Silly not to realize CC has a definite influence on others wanting to book cruises. We all speak from our experiences. We did indeed write a letter about the ordeal sent to the Hotel manager and The Capt. We did get a lovely response from the captain, and basically another scolding from the Hotel Manager herself. You just don't do business this way. BIG THUMBS down to Cunard and their customer service. You should never be made to feel like an unwanted intruder on a cruise ship, but as a welcomed and valued guest! Accommodations: We were in a balcony stateroom. It was beautiful! The bathroom was small, but well appointed with nice amenities. Very small shower, but very doable for a short cruise. The bed was very comfortable, great pillow selection, and comfortable linens. The balcony was spacious for two chairs and a table. A small sofa was by the balcony door. The colors and fixtures were really nice, it was an elegant room and one of my favorites to date! Our room steward Marilyn, was spot on and never intruded on us. Plenty of storage in the closets and drawers beside the beds. ENTERTAINMENT: The theatre production was so different and refreshing from the usual cruise ship show. We reserved a private theatre box for the production night. What an experience that was! Box guests met for champagne cocktails and chocolate desserts prior to the being personally escorted one by one to our box seats. Every one's heads in the theatre turned to see who was being escorted and occupying the box seats. More chocolates and a small split of champagne awaited us in the box. The performers seemed to cater to us up in the boxes and it was the most memorable experience we have had at sea! The other entertainment left allot to be desired, and not up to even the poorest cruise ship standards. The public rooms were beautiful, and never felt crowded. Bar service was quick, drinks reasonably priced. The Queens Room ballroom is so elegant, but we never danced, as everyone there seemed to be professionals. It is nice that Cunard employs dance hosts to dance with the ladies without partners. The pools were never used as it was a bit chilly, but the hot tubs were like bath water and very enjoyable. SMOKING: You are only allowed to smoke on your balcony, not inside your room. NO PUBLIC rooms allowed cigarette smoking, not even the casino. There were two open decks that smoking was permitted, but never by the pools. Yes, I would sail on Cunard again, because maybe they just didn't get this cruise right. But they will not be my first, or even second choice. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
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
Sail Date May 2010
Victoria Queen By Jim Thornton China November 10, 2009 This was our sixth river cruise in contrast to our 13 ocean cruises. Our cabin was a deluxe cabin, called the Shangri-La Suite, on the port side of the second deck near the bow of ... Read More
Victoria Queen By Jim Thornton China November 10, 2009 This was our sixth river cruise in contrast to our 13 ocean cruises. Our cabin was a deluxe cabin, called the Shangri-La Suite, on the port side of the second deck near the bow of the ship and close to the bow stairway. We sailed on a four-day about 500-mile Yangtze River cruise from Yichang upstream (towards the west) to Chongqing. Each day there was something new to see like the controversial Three Gorges Dam, which is more than three and a half miles wide, and created a 20-mile long lake displacing over one million people and submerging their 13 cities, 140 towns, and 1,352 villages. Ship: Is one of the larger ships on the river. It and its identical Victoria Cruise ship (the Victoria Prince) were originally built in 1995, rebuilt in 2003, and refurbished in 2008. The ship has four passenger decks without elevators and carries 206 passengers with a crew of 121. Cabin: Our room was larger (622 square feet) than on the previous river cruises that we sailed on. There are two of these deluxe suites each consisting of a bedroom with king size bed with two nightstands and large outside windows on two sides of the cabin on the entire port and bow sides; a large private balcony over looking the bow, a couch, a small table, a small desk and chair, a TV set with two English language channels - CNN and HBO and lots of Chinese language channels and DVD player, two small clothes closets, a small refrigerator and mini-bar, and a large bathroom with a western toilet, two sinks, shower, and a bathtub. The ship has 93 standard cabins (211 square feet) with two single beds on the second deck; six junior suites (294 square feet) with two single beds on the second, third, and fourth decks, and two deluxe suites (458 square feet) with king size beds on the second deck. All cabins have and private bathrooms with separate showers, and balconies. The ship's electrical voltage is the same as the country's 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Laundry: A fee-based same day laundry service is available. Dining Room: There is a single dining room where breakfast and lunch is a serve yourself buffet and the buffet lines get very long and the food in mainly Chinese with a little western. At dinnertime, the individual Chinese courses are brought to your table and placed on a large common circular plate that rotates so that you may serve yourself. Chopsticks are always provided but so are forks. Tips: A suggested $10 (US) per passenger per day is suggested for the entire ship's crew, plus a separate $4 for the "River Guide". Evening Entertainment: Varies as the crew provides live music, dances, and acrobatics. Internet: There are several for-a-fee computers for passenger use to access their e-mail accounts, the Internet, etc. Bars: There is a bar on the fourth deck and it is a full bar. Meeting Room: Is on the fourth deck in the same large room as the bar. Tours: Visiting and seeing the Three Gorges, the relocated villages, the Three Gorges dam, the large ship locks, and the Xiling Gorge. These tours are included in the overall price of the cruise. Doctor: A Chinese trained medical doctor is onboard. Overall Opinion: This was our second Yangtze River cruise. The previous non-Victoria Queen cruise was on the Princess Sheena, a German built ship that contained a working German-standard water purification and sterilization system meaning that you could drink the water from the cabin's sink. On the Victoria Queen all your drinking water came from small commercial plastic water bottles. Each day in your cabin, one bottle was provided per passenger. In the dining room, you could order only a single small glass of water but there are no refills. Thus I could often take my bottle of water from my cabin to the dinning room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
This is an older ship, but is a great experience. We had a Junior Suite which was large and had windows on two sides. The bath was adequate and included a tub. The cabin was attractive and beds were comfortable. A large screen high ... Read More
This is an older ship, but is a great experience. We had a Junior Suite which was large and had windows on two sides. The bath was adequate and included a tub. The cabin was attractive and beds were comfortable. A large screen high definition television with satellite access completed the accommodations. Non-suite cabins appeared to be small compared to major cruise ships, but were fine for a short cruise. Internet access was available, but large mountains rendered service less than completely dependable. Food at all meals was very good, and included Western selections at breakfast and lunch. Chinese selections at dinner were quite tasty and attractive. Ship's crew were extremely friendly and helpful, especially the Chinese cruise director, Campbell, who made sure all passenger needs were satisfied. On a slow afternoon, he made sure we knew we could arrange special movies to be viewed in our room, or in a larger venue. Evening entertainment was better than on some major ships, and the captain's welcome recession was much better, both as to choice of food and availability of sparkling wine. Included tours were well run and very enjoyable. There is a small boat tour of two of the gorges, plus a half day tour to the dam. There is a small gym with machines in good working order. Hair care and massage was available. We were sorry to leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
"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
Sail Date October 2007
Yangtze River, Victoria Queen July 3-7 YiChang to Chungqing I took a four night upstream Yangtze river cruise on the Victoria Queen. The cruise started in YiChang and traveled upstream to Chungqing. I took this cruise as part of an ... Read More
Yangtze River, Victoria Queen July 3-7 YiChang to Chungqing I took a four night upstream Yangtze river cruise on the Victoria Queen. The cruise started in YiChang and traveled upstream to Chungqing. I took this cruise as part of an extensive 22-day adventure tour with Overseas Adventure Travel, which is owned by Grand Circle. As this is a review of the cruise portion of the tour I won't be discussing the details of the land portion of the trip. As there are many choices for travel in China, I would like to point out that if you like traveling off the beaten track, enjoy traveling with a very small group of 16 people or less, are interested in learning first hand about the culture and people and are in fairly good physical condition then you should consider Overseas Adventure Travel. The trip was fantastic. We had 15 travelers and 2 guides and a driver. We all received personal attention from the guides, we could do extra-unplanned activities with the OK of the group and nearly everything was included. The Yangtze River Cruise Ship - The Victoria Queen was rather typical on the exterior of other ships sailing the Yangtze. The Victoria Queen was ~12 years old but had recently been expanded and refurbished for cruising the Yangtze. Everything looked fresh and new. There was no smoking on board except outside on the back of the ship, so there were no bad odors onboard. This ship has five public decks and no elevator. If walking up and down stairs is a problem, then this may not be the ship for you. The dining room is on floor 1, there are rooms on floors 1-4, mini suites on floors 2-4 and suites on floor 2 and an observation deck on floor 5. On floor 3 there is a library/ lecture room. On floor 4 there is a work-out center, card room, beauty parlor, and the Yangtze Club, which is the bar, internet center, entertainment venue and best observation area on the ship. Cabin - I stayed in cabin 303 on the starboard side of the ship. This cabin was right next to the bridge at the front of the ship. The cabin was spacious. I had the cabin to myself and had lots or space. All cabins were at least 210 sq ft and had a balcony, which was the width of the cabin and only two feet deep. Just wide enough for the two patio chairs. I would like to point out that if you have a choice you should try to be on the north side of the ship if you are traveling during the summer. This way you can sit on your balcony in the shade of the ship. China in the summer was hot during the day. It typically reached 95F during the day. It was still comfortable sitting outside during the day as long as you are sitting in the shade. Keep this in mind if you have a cabin choice. The cabin had two comfortable twin beds. Each bed had two fluffy and soft pillows. The sheets were soft and the bed was topped with a duvet. This was the most comfortable bed I slept in, in all of China. The room had great air-conditioning. It didn't seem very adjustable. I kept it on most of the time and was comfortable. The room had a TV with HBO and several other English speaking news channels. The TV was located high up the wall and was viewable from the two beds. There was no refrigerator, but I asked the room stewardess Annie for ice and an ice bucket full of ice appeared and was refilled with ice twice a day throughout the cruise. There was a small closet and bench for placing your suitcase. There weren't many drawers for storage that I can recall. There was a desk and chair. The bathroom was quite large. There was a sink and large countertop, WC and large tub/shower combination. There was always plenty of hot water. The room was supplied with high quality shampoos, shower gels, soaps and lotions. Food - The food was very good. But if you are expecting all the choices, and quantities typical on an ocean cruise then you may be disappointed. Breakfast and lunch were buffets. There were western and Chinese choices and lots of fresh fruits and veggies. I always found many things to try and enjoyed most of the selections. Dinners were served family style at the table. Most dishes were Chinese, but I feel that most people would find the food fairly good. There was nothing "unrecognizable, squiggly or slimy". There were also some western items served. There were always ~10-15 different dishes served and no one went hungry. Deserts we not spectacular. Deserts were rather bland or else were fresh watermelon. The meals came with your choice of bottled water, regular Coke, regular Sprite, hot tea or coffee. Beer and wine were available. The selection was sparse and the cost fairly high. I skipped the shipboard offerings and bought the local beer, which I enjoyed on my balcony. My only complaint with the dining room, as they seemed to rush you through meals. Before you were finished they would whisk away your plate, or utensils. It was aggravating. I can understand the employees trying to get their work done so they can have some free time. It just felt very rushed. Hey, I'm on a cruise. I expect to be able to linger over dinner, enjoy desert and a cup of tea. Also note that coffee and tea is available in the Yangtze Club every morning from 6:00 to 7:30 am. I always took advantage of this while checking my email, about 10 feet away at the internet center in the Yangtze Club. Service - The service was fabulous. Everyone was friendly and greeted you as you walked by. The cabin, as well as the entire ship was immaculate. There's not much to say other then it would be difficult to have better service on a ship. Entertainment - There were two cruise directors on the ship, Monika Pichler and Ernie Kemm, two river guides, Jacky Qin and Michael Sun, a kite master, painter, and medical doctor and Tai Chi instructure, Dr Liu. What!? a medical doctor is an entertainer? Yea, sort of, Dr Liu gave a lecture and demonstration of Chinese medical treatments like acupuncture, massage and suction cups. The Chinese medical treatments were available to the passengers as well as western medicine. The lecture from Dr Liu was very interesting. Try to be the person he demonstrates on. Unfortunately I don't think he will demonstrate on you if you are female, as you must remove your shirt! The cruise directors were very friendly and efficient. The Ernie Kemm was a talented singer and piano player and entertained the crowd daily. The Monika Pichler was a wealth of knowledge and very open with information about the ship and the Yangtze. Monika also seems to know the idiosyncrasies of the internet service onboard. She can help you if you are having trouble. The river guides seemed adequate. Maybe it was just me, but I don't need someone to tell me that a rock formation looks like an elephant. There were lots of interesting facts I'm sure. I just avoided listening to the river guides and sat in peaceful quite on my balcony. Tai Chi lessons were given every morning in the Yangtze Club and were well attended. There were lectures and demonstrations by the kite master and painter. I skipped these, so have no comment. Every night there was a show put on the cruise staff. I attended these and even though they were not professionals they were interesting. There were fabulous Chinese costumes, dancing, recorded music and a staff/cruiser talent show. There was the Captain's welcome aboard cocktail party held in the Yangtze club on the first evening, that was very nice. Sparkling wine and hors d'oeuvres were served. We all toasted to an enjoyable cruise and had a great time. Internet - There were four laptops available for internet access in the Yangtze club. The cost was 50 Chinese yuan or $6.00 for the entire cruise. I jumped on this offer and think it was well spent. The service is dialup and could be extremely slow while cruising through the gorges. Never the less I was able to check my email, write a few emails and post to the Cruise Critic board so it met my needs. Since there were so few people on board, computers were always available. I never had to wait for a computer. Access is limited to 20 minutes if people are waiting. But this never occurred on my cruise. Tours- Everyday there was a tour. Everyone left the ship and took the daily tour. The tours were divided up by the groups you were traveling with. So since I was traveling with a group of 15 people, we toured daily with our OAT group and trip leader. The tours were lead by the Victoria Cruise trip guide and a driver. Here is a summary of the three tours I took. 1. Three Gorges Dam - This tour was excellent. We took a bus to an area just river from the spillway. You could see the completed powerhouse, the spillway with the powerful water and mist and the in progress second powerhouse and cofferdam. Next we drove to a lookout point above the dam which had a great model of the river and dam project and a great lookout for taking pictures. While driving to the lookout and back we went over the ship locks which we would be traveling up as soon as we returned to the ship. I purchased a small finely carved beach wood lion at the gift shop at the lookout point for about $6.00 that I really love. Be sure to bargain. 2. Lesser Gorges scenic area - Another excellent trip! We took a boat through the Shennong stream where we saw monkeys and wooden coffins in the walls of the gorge. This was very cool. The walls on both sides are the river are very steep and covered with vegetation...beautiful. After about 40 minutes we got off the large boat and got into small wooden boats. We were dragged upstream by these very buff guys. When we reached the top we turned around and rode the rapids down. Lots of fun and very pretty. We got back on the larger boat, and made the return trip to the Victoria Queen. 3. Wanzhou, Relocation City and the Three Gorges Museum - really lame. This tour took us to the Three Gorges Museum. Not so good. This museum featured the story of the wooden coffins such as we saw in the lesser gorge the previous day. Kind of a let down after seeing the real thing. Next we went to a families apartment. Very uncomfortable experience and not too interesting. Families in old brick primitive structures are forced to relocate to modern, spacious apartments due to the dam. Seemed like a good thing to me. Finally taken to a rip-off store selling silk clothing. Don't buy here. It's about 5X more than you will pay in Hong Kong. I should mention that if stairs are a problem then getting off the ship and climbing up the 300 stairs to get to the tour bus could be an issue. I'm relatively young and in fairly good condition, but I can tell you that going up the 300 steps had me puffing and sweating. Embarkation and Debarkation were not an issue on this ship. You walked on, you walked off. No problem. This was a fabulous trip that I really enjoyed. Hope this review gives you some idea of what a Yangtze River cruise will be like. It was relaxing, interesting, and slow paced. But a Yangtze River cruise is the only way to see this part of China the will be undergoing dramatic changes during the upcoming years. Laura Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
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