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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-19-2008, 08:39 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 12
Hi again to one and all :-)
Next lot of questions..
Are the tours arranged by P&O worthwile or are you better of arranging them yourself
Example. the trip organised by Diamond princess from where the ship docks to Hochi min city involves a lot of time sitting on a tours bur (around 5 hours I think) whereas you can arrange to get the hydro-cat yourself and its only one hour each way??? what do people think????
Next question< is it worhwhile getting on to the ship early (embarkation) or does it not matter??

In advance, thank you fro your replies, as this is my 1st cruise , I just want to X all the T's and DOT all the i's.

Happy sailing to one and all
JOHN from downunder
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-20-2008, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,043
You have to ask yourself how comfortable you feel organizing a tour on your own in a country where you don't speak the language. I visited Viet Nam in 2001. Those that work in tourism jobs can speak English, but doing it alone you may run into those that can't speak English. Also there is the Visa issue. The blanket Visa from the ship doesn't cover you doing tours on your own. When I went to Viet Nam I did all ship organized tours. I personally wouldn't do it alone. Also consider that a tour in Viet Nam takes you quite a distance from the ship. What if your private arranged tour would have problems?
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2008, 03:50 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra Australia
Posts: 14
We did this trip on the Star Princess a couple of years ago. The buses are ancient and the road pretty uninteresting...you will probably be given the option of a hydrofoil...now that is interesting...they are 1960 models ex Russia I think..they get you there a lot faster and probably worth it just for the ride.

Some other posters might have photos of the hydrofoils.
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 04-24-2008, 04:03 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra Australia
Posts: 14
I forgot to answer all of your questions. Getting on ship early, I can hardly restrain myself, sure you can usually board earlier than the posted time. Avoid the queues, get a drink, explore the ship and the Diamond is a big ship! Take in the views from the top deck and get ready for the sail away.

Organised tours just really depends on where you are going and how experienced you are. The advantage of the organised tours is that they guarantee to get you back on time. In less developed countries relying on old vehicles to transport you large distances from the ship can be risky. You can always do it cheaper but unless you are an experienced traveller or it is a well developed destination like Singapore or Hong Kong where everyone speaks English and it is easy to get to and from the docks (by the way the Diamond will be in one of the commercial dock areas)then it is probably best to do the tours.

IF going on your own, do some research on what you would like to see, get a group together and hire a cab, negotiate price first. Ask on cruise boards about specific tours and you will probably get some good advice from people who have done that specific tour or know that region.

Princess is a great cruise line, no matter what you will have a simply great time, write us a review when you come back...dont forget to take up the offer of a future cruise credit while on board. I guarantee you will be wanting to cruise again in the near future.
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2008, 02:44 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 12
Thanks for the feed back..
rugbypopsie, yes the hydrofoils sound fun, have travlled around asia a fair bit, though this is the 1st cruise
I think early on the ship is sounding like a great idea, tour the ship glass of vino in hand.
I will be sure to put a review when I get back (wish I was going next week, I am an ICU nurse and have had a busy few weeks)
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2008, 11:56 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canberra Australia
Posts: 14
I will look forward to your review. I am doing 42 nights around Asia (Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea etc) on the Dawn Princess but have to wait until Mar 09. Reading about others travels gives me my "cruise fix" while I am waiting.

I am sure you will love cruising but it is very addictive and we pay a premium cruising out of Australia compared to prices in the US for instance.

Each new ship is a new experience and for me the excitement never wears off.

Smooth seas!
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