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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
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
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
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
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
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2011
We took a week long cruise from Chongqing to Shanghai in July. Finding the ship was very difficult, even with Chinese instructions for the taxi driver and we were dropped at the wrong dock. Some porters miraculously appeared and took ... Read More
We took a week long cruise from Chongqing to Shanghai in July. Finding the ship was very difficult, even with Chinese instructions for the taxi driver and we were dropped at the wrong dock. Some porters miraculously appeared and took our luggage about 1 km to where the VP was docked next to 2 rusty barges that we had to walk through. Just as we arrived, a brass band started playing to greet us, and stopped the minute we walked on board! Cabins were basic and contained a bath. Meals were quite nice, but they seemed to hussle us out of the dining room as soon as possible. No afternoon tea or snacks provided. Ports Fengdu- 500 steps- didn't go. Wuhan- interesting archeological museum and we were taken by bus. Three Gorges dam- interesting bus tour to dam and tourist centre. Boat trip down 3 gorges. This was beautiful, and then we transferred to smaller boats for the Shennong streams. Fascinating day learning about the TGD and the raised water levels. Yellow mountain- 2 hour bus ride, long queue for cable car, but the sight was awesome. Also lots of steps.Nanjing- didn't go to Sun Yat sen's memorial because of 500 steps. Afternoon spent in pleasant shopping mall in Nanjing. Debarkation quick and painless and we found a taxi to take us to hotel. Overall- staff were very pleasant and accommodating. No night life except a couple of shows. Chinese tour director Luther worked very hard for all of us and there were a few interesting speakers about art, medicine, the dam. Bar service basic. A pleasant 3 star cruise but not in the league of the 5 star ocean liners. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2004
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
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