10 Shanghai First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

This was our first Viking cruise and won't be our last. The organisation was superb with an escort for the whole time who flew with us on the internal flights as well as being on the ship. The ship was modern, the cabin a good ... Read More
This was our first Viking cruise and won't be our last. The organisation was superb with an escort for the whole time who flew with us on the internal flights as well as being on the ship. The ship was modern, the cabin a good size with plenty of ammenities. The service in the restaurant was good and all the staff on board were friendly. Tthe evening entertainment was performed by the crew and was both entertaining and interesting! We found the talks and introduction to our tours helpful. Our escort, Leo, was informative about the traditions and culture and gave some additional information and opinions of modern China. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
As mentioned in other reviews, the on board staff couldn't have been more pleasant and efficient. The ship itself appeared to be in decent condition, and was never too loud when running. If your idea of a great vacation is ... Read More
As mentioned in other reviews, the on board staff couldn't have been more pleasant and efficient. The ship itself appeared to be in decent condition, and was never too loud when running. If your idea of a great vacation is spending 5 days of with very little physical activity, this might be the cruise for you. I am not a cruise fan, so maybe all cruises are like this. Told my wife I would NEVER go on a cruise, but this is what she wanted to do for her 50th birthday. Check and mate. For the people whose dream vacation consists of spending all but a few minutes a day sitting and eating, sitting and drinking or sitting and reading or sitting and playing board games or sitting and listening to a lecture (Basic Mandarin phrases, playing Mah Jongg or fun facts about the Yangtze River,) or laying in bed watching one of 5 television channels, this is the dream vacation for you. The other few minutes a day are spent going up or down the stairs to one of the aforementioned events. We were able to get off the boat on 3 of the 5 days: once to walk through the edge of a small city towards a temple while dodging a 4 block long gauntlet of aggressive local merchants who see American tourists as walking dollar bills, once to walk a few hundred feet to another tour boat where you sit for another hour and a half going through scenery, and the last time to finally do a little walking (after still more sitting on a bus ride) on the way up to the 3 Gorges Dam. The web page for this crew mentions a 'gym.' I called Viking to verify that the boat had a 'gym' before we left for the cruise. Only a few of us actually used those facilities, so for most people taking this cruise, the quality and condition of those facilities won't matter. The 'gym' had an erg that hadn't been lubricated since Nixon was president, a treadmill, an elliptical machine on which the display screen was non-functional and had a squeak so loud that it could be heard throughout the boat, and a small set of dumbbells, most of which were not marked with a weight. Nevertheless, the 'gym' provided virtually the only activity that didn't involve more sitting. The fore and aft outside decks provided sufficient chairs for yet more sitting and scenery consumption, but when you travel over 1,000 miles on any road or river, there are many extended periods of monotonous doldrums. This trip is certainly no exception. I would recommend taking the cruise during July or August, when you can enjoy the scenery when daytime temps are mostly in the upper 90's (mid-30's C,) the humidity is stratospheric and the air quality truly indescribable. At night, the temps MAY drop down under 80 (about 26C,) but then the humidity will be near 100%. You can't be that for a comfortable night's sleep!! I witnessed several American cities in the 60's before anti-pollution laws were enacted, but I have never seen air quality like we experienced in most of China. I thought the atrocious air quality might last for a day or so due to some unusual atmospheric condition, but the air quality only deteriorated the farther inland we went. Several of us developed sore throats and random coughing fits. A week after getting back home, I was still coughing up remnants of Chinese air from my lungs. Truly something one needs to experience first hand. The food on board was plentiful, but there are no snack bars & no in-between-meal offerings other than alcohol. The cooking staff was from China, and they did an admiral job preparing Western food. Unfortunately, they have mastered the art of making the food 'look' pretty long before they mastered taste. As there were cruisers from several parts of the U.S. and the world, it would be extremely difficult to please everyone with the small kitchen available on the river cruise its ship. My wife and nephew are Chinese, and they tell me that the crew did a respectable job with some Chinese breakfast items. For the most part, the food was acceptable, but that's about as far as one could stretch the description. You''ll get your steak they way they cook it, so don't bother with asking for RARE or MEDIUM WELL or WELL DONE. On the whole, the cruise staff made up for some of the cruise's shortcomings, so thank God for that. If you won't go completely stir crazy spending 95% of your day sitting on what amounts to a 'prison' ship, you'll love this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Although this is presented as a cruise the time on the water is only half of the trip. Nor did we embark at Shanghai but the option to choose Chonqing is not in the menu. This was our first experience of cruising since both my husband ... Read More
Although this is presented as a cruise the time on the water is only half of the trip. Nor did we embark at Shanghai but the option to choose Chonqing is not in the menu. This was our first experience of cruising since both my husband and I suffer from seasickness and had not thought it wise to try the oceans! The "Imperial Jewels of China", from Beijing to Shanghai is a once in a lifetime trip. It could hardly be called a "holiday" since leisure time is extremely limited at the beginning and end. Excursions to the "must do" sites such as Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Terra Cotta Warriors etc set off very early in the day to try to avoid the worst of the crowds (not apparently successful!) so leisurely lie in bed is not on the programme. And even on the ship the excursions and activities are time consuming. But apart from the endless crowds and the rather disappointing weather this is an amazing experience. The vastness of a country you see only a portion of, the different culture, the overwhelming scenery - so different as you pass through different regions, the seething crowds ...... The cruise part of the itinerary we enjoyed immensely despite a couple of wet days. Unused to the possibly more luxurious cruise ships we found The Emerald more than comfortable and the crew delightful. If you want more luxury stay put in the hotels that Viking arranged for the rest of the trip! We were unfortunate since the night we embarked at Chongqing was the night that the Chinese cruise ship went down in the Yangtze with the loss of about 400 lives. This impacted on our timetable but the crew were more than helpful and reassuring. We had hoped to be sunbathing on our stateroom balcony but sadly the weather was not that kind. In fact we saw the sun on few occasions which, coming as we do from Andalucia in Spain, was disappointing. The pollution in the big cities hides the sun and the weather systems down in the mountains mean the sky is often grey with heavy cloud and drizzle. So don't take this trip if you want luxurious leisure or if you have difficulty in walking for long periods of time or if bad weather might put you off or if you are allergic to crowds. Take it if you want to experience something totally different and have your mind blown by the "Imperial Jewels of China", it's something you will never forget! P.S. The Viking tour guides are fantastic, particularly ours, the lovely "Johanna", and make things run like clockwork even on such a tight and demanding schedule. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Our first cruise on a Viking ship was all that was promised and more! Our Chinese Guide Bob spoke excellent English as he explained the Chinese culture both in today's world and many centuries in the past. As we traveled Bob took ... Read More
Our first cruise on a Viking ship was all that was promised and more! Our Chinese Guide Bob spoke excellent English as he explained the Chinese culture both in today's world and many centuries in the past. As we traveled Bob took care of all of our luggage. All we had to do was pack our bags, they would be picked up at a designated time and we would find them in our room at the next destination. On the shore excursions we visited all of the sights promised but along with that the bus rides afforded us the opportunity to see the neighborhoods, the buildings, the atmosphere of the Chinese people. So many wonderful sights. We always had a second guide from the area who graciously answered all of our questions. We learned so much about the Chinese culture from guides who thoroughly knew their subject and had pride and love for their country The ship was no beauty from the outside. But once you entered the doors you would never know it. The interior was sparkling clean the rooms were spacious and beautiful. The staff was very friendly and helpful. By the second day many of the staff knew me by name. The food onboard offered many choices. It was fun to select from some of the Chinese delicacies. Yet steak and chicken choices were always available. Be sure to try the homemade yoghurt that is offered with breakfast. I usually am not a fan of yoghurt I tried a different flavor each morning and loved them all. They come in a cute little jar too. As to the entertainment on board I can't say I was really I impressed. I did enjoy the cooking shows but the nighttime entertainment left a lot to be desired. We were part of a tour group of about 30 people with Bob as our guide. This made it very easy to meet people and everyone was very friendly. There was always somebody we recognized that we could join in one of the sitting areas or at dinner. We became special friend with 3 other couples who we are still in contact with. We loved our trip to China with Viking. I would and have recommended it to everyone. The Viking style of travel has spoiled me. My husband and I have booked a second trip this November on the Romantic Danube trip. Looking forward to seeing the Christmas markets and another great Viking experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Let's start with the embarkation in Shanghai: it took 2 hours and with this I rest my case on this subject. Cabins: average, nothing special. Food: the smell in Windjammer was awful and the food is of poor quality. There is plenty ... Read More
Let's start with the embarkation in Shanghai: it took 2 hours and with this I rest my case on this subject. Cabins: average, nothing special. Food: the smell in Windjammer was awful and the food is of poor quality. There is plenty of choice, but if you have a little higher standard, pretty much nothing to choose from. We had dinner on deck 5, I can't remember the name of the restaurant, and the food was average. Shore excursions: we only had one, in Saigon, and it was well organized. The other cities we visited on our own and we did our homework before the cruise. PAY ATTENTION TO/BAD EXPERIENCE: 1: We only had a Euro credit card, assuming the exchange rate would be a fair one. But, they tried to scam us with an exchange rate they had in a bank in the Caribbeans and also saying we agreed to that. When asked to show us the proof that we agreed...surprise, surprise.....they showed a thing that we didn't untick. Needless to say it is illegal. By the law, one has to tick something if one agrees, not to untick it. Anyway, after 2h of discussion, we finally got our bill recalculated at a fair exchange rate. 2: Never, under no circumstances use the laundry service on board. We used it and we have all our clothes shredding apart. So, after this experience, hundreds of euros worth of clothes are gone, shredded apart. I don't know what they used to wash them with and I'm surprised how the crew still have their uniforms in one piece. So, in a nutshell.....it's a good option to see a few cities in Asia, but don't expect too much of it.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
The first cruising trip with my boyfriend. We were so excited for it. This was something we longed for a very long time. A 6D5N trip, from Shanghai to Nagasaki and Kobe is our choice. We booked for a balcony cabin because of the limited ... Read More
The first cruising trip with my boyfriend. We were so excited for it. This was something we longed for a very long time. A 6D5N trip, from Shanghai to Nagasaki and Kobe is our choice. We booked for a balcony cabin because of the limited budget. Both of us believed in an old saying in Chinese: a buck in exchange of a buck’s worth service. So we didn’t expect much. In contrast, the sea view turns out to be absolutely stunning!! We had a great time spending overnight in the balcony. We watched the sunrise with the dolphins swimming. The buffet area was filled with sea and sky view. In fact, we enjoyed the view more than the food. The food was not bad though. They was traditional Italian dessert called “Cannoli” which I love the most! If you like to eat dessert, you couldn’t leave without eating it in the Club Restaurant. Swimming alone was always a precious sport to pursue. I went to the swimming pool 30 minutes after the meal. I felt flesh and blood after exercises. So did my mind. I didn’t remember the route to get to my room! I got lost! Haha. Fortunately leading the way back to my room was part of the customer service. The staffs was nice enough to lead me until I set foot in the door. We went offshore and had a One-Day Tour in Nagashima. The atmosphere and clean environment in Nagashima were excellent. There were so much entertainments to we could do in the ship. Live music, Opera each night after dinner, art and craft sessions. We joined the Captains Night once. We got dressed up and showed off. LOL. This was our first taste of cruising. After all, we felt great and would definitely bring my parents next time and let them feel how relax I felt this time. After this trip, I concluded who suitable for cruising trip. 1. People who won’t have seasick: you could feel the cruise shaking 2. Family trip with seniors: you don’t need to spend too much energy on moving from one spot to another. Keep packing and unpacking the luggage is tedious thing to do.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
The Costa Atlantica has recently started operating out of Shanghai, targeting the Chinese market. One of my wife's friends had booked up to go on the ship and so my wife decided that we would go too. The cruise was from Shanghai to ... Read More
The Costa Atlantica has recently started operating out of Shanghai, targeting the Chinese market. One of my wife's friends had booked up to go on the ship and so my wife decided that we would go too. The cruise was from Shanghai to Korea's Jeju (Cheju) island and then to Busan city, one sea day and then back to Shanghai again. The ship uses a new cruise terminal in the Baoshan area of Shanghai, rather than the Internation terminal in the centre of the city. Baoshan is easy enough to get to by subway and then a short taxi to the terminal, but it is quite a bit away from the city centre and about as far as you can get from airport. Boarding the ship was relatively strait forward though I had never done this before and everything was in Chinese, I had to rely entirely on my wife to get through. Nobody at the terminal spoke any English and it would be quite difficult to navigate without a Chinese speaking guide. The ship itself is staffed with a very multicultural mix. All spoke English fluently but only a few spoke Chinese, thus the roles were reversed as I translated for my wife. We were travelling in February, so the outside parts of the ship were cold and windy. The outdoor pools were closed. Only the pool in the fitness centre was really usable. Chinese people don't go in for formal/casual dress distinctions. Thus at evening dinner everyone dressed in their jeans and sweaters as they had during the day time. The five course evening meal consisted of western style food which not all the Chinese guests appreciated. On the first night, the other guests at our table only ate ice cream. The second and third nights they didn't show. We noticed that a great many people were eating at the buffet counters on the 9th floor rather than the formal dinner. However, everyone attended for the final nights formal dinner which was Italian fiesta themed. The shows on the first two nights were excellent professional performances, though the male signer mist a few of the high notes. The third night's show was Cabernet by the staff, rather than professionals. It was a bit hit and miss and some of the acts just didn't work at all. We missed the fourth night's show because we had the later 8pm seating, which was late starting that night, and the dinner overran considerably. The excursions were included in the cruise package by our travel agent. We had to wait for the Costa excursions to leave first then we were taken out by the agent. The excursions themselves were poor quality. Much of the time was spent in duty free shops rather than attractions or wasted on the bus driving to the duty free shops. For example, on Jeju island, the boat docked at 2pm and we were disembarked within 30 minutes of that time. We spend 30 minutes in a museum, 1 hour in a duty free shop and 20 minutes at the sea shore in the city. The remaining 3 hours of the excursion was wasted on the bus driving to and from the duty free shop. A great shame as Jeju island was listed as on of the new7wonders of the world with volcanic craters, lava pipes, waterfalls and dramatic coastal scenery and we saw none of that. The cabin was sufficient for our family, my wife, two daughters and I. It consisted of a double bed and a set of bunk beds. The verandah was large enough for two to sit however, what with it being February, we didn't sit out much. We did spend a little time outside looking a the sea but not too much. The internal areas of the ship are finished to a high standard and the staff are always polite, happy and attentive. My youngest, two year old, daughter loved going up and down the glass lifts in the foyer. However she was too young to take part in the children's activities. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
First of all, this was not my choice of trips, it was my mom's. She wanted to go for a long time and since she treats me so well and lets me choose destinations a lot of the time I knew that I had to do it for her. I have a hard time ... Read More
First of all, this was not my choice of trips, it was my mom's. She wanted to go for a long time and since she treats me so well and lets me choose destinations a lot of the time I knew that I had to do it for her. I have a hard time with being in a country when I cant speak the language and I am a very very very picky eater so China checked off those two boxes for me right off the bat. I had decided I could always get rice so that would be what I would do if I had to...and I brought a bunch of meal bars with me. I have to say that I never ate any of those bars I brought with me....and this trip is in my top 2, actually its in a class all by itself in the number one spot. I was very pleasantly surprised and very very very impressed with Viking. From the time I collected my luggage from baggage claim upon arrival in Shanghai to the moment I checked in my luggage when leaving from Beijing I was completely taken care of. I felt comfortable and safe and free to enjoy myself. I never actually handled my luggage (other than carry on) during that trip except for arriving and departure from the country. The food on the Viking Emerald is the best I have ever had...ever. They make their own yogurt everyday.....6 different flavors...everyday!! To die for! The ice cream and sorbet was also homemade and so so good!! Great choices for meals and breakfast was killer. I loved going to the same table for every meal and getting to know the staff. Lucy, Amy and Andrew rock!!! There is an anytime menu available that I ordered from twice. I also loved the on board shops!!! Hand carved personalized stamps, tailored clothing, jewelery, tea (and instruction), painting and souveners (I loved the girl in the shop, Cherry), all very nice quality and good prices. The room was perfect, great size, loved the shower! Loved the shows put on by the staff and the lectures and narrations. The 12 days were balanced very well time wise. We had only a couple of days that were hectic, but only because we chose to do the optional excursions, and even then we had a few hours of down time on those days. The on board ship days we had excursions each day and the rest of the time on the ship, it was so relaxing. We saw and did so many amazing things that it was hard to wrap your mind around everything we saw and did, the photos bring it all back each and every time I look through them. I really enjoyed the Acrobatic Show (included excursion), the Bells Performance (included excursion), the Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show (optional excursion) and the Peking Opera (optional excursion). My favorite stops were the Lesser Three Gorges excursion, the Pagoda Visit, seeing the Giant Panda bears, the Terra Cotta Army visit and the Great Wall. Usually you have just a few highlights....I have many more from this trip. I loved The Regent Beijing the best of the hotels, they were all 5 star but this one was much more in my opinion. The best part of this trip was the Tour Escort and the group tho. We had a group of 31 and our Tour Escort was Terry. Terry managed to create a family of us and he was always there for anything we needed. His relaxed attitude and his love of his country shined right through and was very comforting and fun. He shared the right balance of personal information about life in China as a child and as an adult and history of the country. He held our attention with interesting facts and stories and was so natural. We had some great local guides as well but no one could compete with Terry. Of the 31 people in our group we became close with 10 of them, not bad for a group of 31! By the end of the trip Terry was able to peg us pretty closely as to what type of person we were. I hope that Viking realizes what a gem they have in Terry. As for the very very very picky eater, I did well, there were only 2 meals out of 36 that I had a tough time with and ate mostly rice. The lazy Susan meals were fun, and Terry did tell us each time what each dish was. My mom was the taster, she tasted first and gave her impression. We all had great time at the table discussing the foods. It did'nt take long for any of them to figure out that I was the picky one, lol! So in closing I will share the one negative I had about the trip and that was the Intra China flights. There were problems with delays and gate changes and even being bussed out to the field to board a plane. These are not things we typically experience in the US but it happened on all 3 flights and it didnt appear to be out of the ordinary for China. This in no way reflects upon Viking. And I am aware that the flights are necessary to be able to see that much of the country in 12 days at a pretty relaxed pace (which was so welcome). Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
I had a great experience with this cruise in June 2013, together with my family. Despite the weather at sea were not so good, the cruise ship itself is full of fun. We enjoyed the skate show, food, magic show, kids club, deck, and so on. ... Read More
I had a great experience with this cruise in June 2013, together with my family. Despite the weather at sea were not so good, the cruise ship itself is full of fun. We enjoyed the skate show, food, magic show, kids club, deck, and so on. The shore excursions on the land in South Korea were so so, particularly the one on the Jeju Island, but were acceptable. We also did some duty free shopping on board - the selection was not great, but had a few items that we wanted. The ship was old - and we heard it's going to be refurbished soon, but everything worked in good order except they did not have a working DVD player for rental in room. Most of the staff are very friendly, particularly the housekeeping staff and dinning room stuff. Maybe because we purchased suite so were VIPs on board. However, we did have a terrible terrible experience with the photo shop staff. We purchased an all-in-one photo package on the first day and were given a card. We swiped the card every time we took a picture. However on the second last evening we suddenly found out that the computer system somehow lost the right account info, and the computer was full of other people's photo under our accounts, and most of our photos were lost. We had to spend a couple of hours to look up all printed pictures posted on the wall - thousands of them - just to find ours and identify the code so that they can re-load into the system. It was very frustrating. However, one of the staff (was told she's a manager, Ms Wang), did not understand the problem, and was bad mouthed to us for some reason. Then we had a ugly verbal argument. The language she (and one of the other male staff) used were very offensive. We even had an iPhone recording for that as an evidence. Later on we logged a formal complain, and another manager of the photo shop talked to us, apologized, but we could felt that there were nothing he could really do. Till now, we still have not heard from the Royal Caribbean yet. This experience almost reined our trip. I still wonder what is the hiring standard for the ship. Honestly speaking, the lady desired to be fired.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
As this was our first cruise experience we were totally devoid of expectations - except that we had heard the service on Royal Caribbean ships was next to none in excellence. We were not disappointed on this front! Without exception, every ... Read More
As this was our first cruise experience we were totally devoid of expectations - except that we had heard the service on Royal Caribbean ships was next to none in excellence. We were not disappointed on this front! Without exception, every staff member on our cruise greeted us as if we were valued and important passengers, with a genuine smile. The fact that we were enjoying ourselves was their paramount goal. We boarded the Legend at Shanghai International Port and were transported by shuttle bus to the ship (which was docked at Boashan Port - 60 minutes travel) - this was due to construction at the Port. Even so, we were each given a bag of refreshments to last us the 60 minute bus journey!We arrived two hours ahead of the scheduled boarding time, so were easily through check-in and aboard the ship early, allowing time to explore and settle into our cabin well before departure. We were extremely happy with our cabin - a Grand Suite - which gave us space to move, entertain, a double sized balcony, bar, living room with a sofa bed and a bathroom with double basin vanity and a full-sized bath tub. The decision to pay a little extra for this Suite on Deck 8, was, we believe, worth every cent. Our Stateroom and Suite Attendants gave us true 'royal' service.Our five night cruise was to take us to Jeju Island (South Korea) for an overnight stop-over, then cruise to Hong Kong for another over-night stop-over. The weather dictated a change to our itinerary however and to avoid an approaching hurricane and typhoon, we left Jeju early and cruised for an extra day before arriving in Hong Kong. We enjoyed a slightly rocky but otherwise safe and pleasant journey, thanks to our very experienced Captain. The majority of people on our cruise were from China (1,300) and we were two of 49 Australians. The Cruise Director ensured that we were kept informed regardless of language barriers and our fellow passengers were all friendly and also obviously enjoying themselves. The 'Cruise Compass' (daily newsletter) delivered to our room each evening ensured that we were fully conversant with the following days activities, land tours, and other happenings. We were just settling into the swing of ship life when it was time to leave! We could have easily continued on for another back-to-back cruise and will probably do this in future.Entertainment on board the Legend was probably the high-light of our cruise! The Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers were of an extremely professional standard. We were in awe of their energy, dance technique and stage personalities - and what a bonus to have a fabulous, live, Royal Caribbean Orchestra with every show. We made sure we were early each night to get the best seats at both shows. The Juggler, Contortionist and Magician guest performers at the Welcome and Farewell shows were also very entertaining and highly technical in their speciality fields. Food was available 24/7 with flexible options depending on our daily schedule. Dining Room service was faultless and the waiters in the Windjammer were ever vigilant and helpful. Our friendly coffee shop attendant even remembered our personal preferences from our first visit onward!The cruise experience was much more than we ever expected. Royal Caribbean certainly live up to their name and give 'royal' service in every way. The Legend was just big enough so that we didn't get lost and for us to feel at home. We are already planning our next holiday with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011

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