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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2011
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
4 Helpful Votes
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: May 2012
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2013
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014
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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We sailed on the Victoria Sophia as part of a Magic of the Yangtze trip and sailed down the river from Shanghai to Chongqing staying on the boat for 8 days. A number of tours off the boat was also included in the packaged holiday cost at ... Read More
We sailed on the Victoria Sophia as part of a Magic of the Yangtze trip and sailed down the river from Shanghai to Chongqing staying on the boat for 8 days. A number of tours off the boat was also included in the packaged holiday cost at the various places it stopped including Nanjing, Wuhan and the three Gorges. So first of all the boat which was (according to them) 5 star but I'd put it nearer 3+, the cabins were in essence all the same (except the rather expensive suites) and were of a similar size to most big Cruise ships, functional but not over spacious. All of the areas were kept very clean and the staff were excellent as was the food (mostly buffet style) provided in the restaurant. As per most ships nearly all purchases aboard were charged to your ship board account to settle at the end, the exception being the on-board artists which preferred cash for decorated jars, paintings, engraved stones etc. As part of booking early we received a $200 on board credit to our account but we couldn't use this to pay for any optional trips, on-board artist products or the mandatory service charge (staff tips) so effectively had to use the $200 just to buy drinks. To be honest for the first 3 days we were very disappointed with the scenery down the Yangtze as it's all industrialised and sailing for some 500 miles with factories either side of the river bank and being accompanied by coal barges and container ships down the river was no fun. In general most of the tours they do from the boat are quite reasonable and do show you more of rural China but the one trip I'd recommend is an optional trip to the "Tribe of the Three Gorges" which goes to a very beautiful, peaceful and picturesque area. On board the boat there weren't many activities planned during the day with the exception of some talks presented by the boat's English speaking River Guide who was quite excellent and provide us with some Chinese history as seen by the Chinese people. On some evenings the boat's staff put on various shows (Chinese costume, culture etc.) and these were all very good. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
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