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About ChocolateLover919

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    West Chester, PA
  • Interests
    Golf, travel, cruising, reading, knitting, Mah Jongg
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    all of them

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  1. I started researching Vietnamese tour companies a year prior to our cruise. Tours by Xuan was highly recommended by many cruisers. I started corresponding with Xuan and others prior to making our decision. Xuan has an International guide license since 2012 and he has been working for a big travel company in Ho Chi Minh city for many years. Like many individuals starting out, the last couple of years he has been a local guide for Toursbylocals, mostly private tour & small group tours on his own. Xuan still works for a travel company in Ho Chi Minh City as freelance guide. Since he is an independent freelance guide with a tour guide license and doesn’t own any travel company he doesn’t need any bonding. He feels confident to conduct the tours with full legal documentations as behind him is another travel company where he has been working for many years. There are many good guides & travel companies in Vietnam and I and others have given Xuan excellent reviews. We are not saying anything negative about other guides and companies. Everyone will make their own decisions by reading and exploring the many options available. Happy Travels!
  2. In March 2019, we too went on tours with Xuan to Danang and Hoian. Since he was busy with another tour, we had an associate of his for Ho Chi Minh City. I concur with your assessment of Xuan and the tours and HIGHLY recommend him and his associates for tours. The highlights were the 45 minute Trishaw ride in Ho Chi Minh City and the restaurant off the beaten path where only locals knew about. It's wonderful to only have 8 people on a tour that is so reasonably priced.
  3. Laem Chabang/Bangkok: I contacted Mike, www.bangokasiatravel.com, for a private tour for 8 of us after reading many positive reviews. He was responsive to my numerous questions and I thought gave us a very fair price for the tour. We made a $50 deposit thru PayPal and paid the balance in USD the day of the tour. It takes about 2-2.5 hours to drive from the cruise port to Bangkok, since there is a great deal of traffic closer to the very clean city. Mr. Chi, our tour guide, was informative and professional on our ride to the city and throughout the day. Our visits to the Wat (temples) both men and women need their shoulders and knees covered with shoes off. If you don’t like walking on hot walkways or with no socks, bring a pair to put on when you go into the temples. Walking thru the flower markets watching people making the beautiful decorations/arrangements along with the intoxicating smell of jasmine and other flowers was wonderful to experience. Mr. Chi was thoughtful to purchase local fruit to share. The Grand Palace was an area that was extremely crowded with people and many beautiful buildings and other statues, etc. My favorite was the beautiful mosaic building that shimmered in the sun. We had lunch at the Navy Club, included with our tour except for beer, served family style with many options and sat outside overlooking the busy river. My favorite was chicken with cashews which had a delicious sauce and there were many options from soup to dessert. There were many other fabulous stops, sights and smells of the day we all got to enjoy! I highly recommend contacting this company for a tour of Bangkok.
  4. Interesting but there's a month break between the Singapore to Hong Kong cruise we are on. Thank you.
  5. We were so disappointed when the Jewel did not announce the Hong Kong to Tokyo leg as they had this year for 2019. We are cruising Singapore to HK overnight and changing to Holland America for the HK to Tokyo portion that NCL is no longer offering.
  6. Thanks so much for this information. I'll definitely look into it. Rita
  7. Thanks for your prompt response. This link did take me to where I found some private tour options previously and happy to know I'm in the right spot. Greatly appreciated. Rita
  8. Thank you for responding. By chance I found some recommendations for some of the ports in Vietnam but not sure I was looking in the correct spot to view all the ports. Also, CC website seems to have drop down options on some pages but not others. If there is a link to the ports, please let me know. We will be traveling March 2019 but I want to secure tours soon. There are the The NCL cruise ports: Singapore, Ko Samui, Sihaoukville, Ho Chi Minh City, Chan May, Hanoi, Hong Kong. We are following up the next day with Holland America cruise with ports: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Qingdao, Tianjin/Beijing, Nagasaki, Kagoshima, Yokohama & then on our own a few days in Kyoto. Thank you for your guidance. Rita
  9. In March 2019, there is an overnight cruise stop in Tianjin and we plan to visit the Great Wall of China at Mutianyu and other sites in Beijing. Sharing any private tour company/individual you have used would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Rita
  10. In the past, we've mostly booked land tours thru NCL but I'm interested in doing private tours for our cruises in March 2019. I would appreciate helpful hints on finding reputable private tours since I've looked at several sources. We have 3 overnights and our 2 previous overnights in the middle east we booked thru NCL and not sure what to do about these overnights and day trips. Thanks so much. Rita
  11. Hi! We have sailed numerous times on NCL including Hong Kong to Sydney in 2017. In 2019, we are considering the Singapore to Hong Kong on the Jewel so if anyone can give us an update, please do. We are very disappointed though there is no Hong Kong-Beijing-Tokyo sail for 2019 since that's the one we truly want. There is another cruise company that does have that option and we are thinking of sailing on that after the 12 day NCL Jewel ending in Hong Kong the day prior to this other cruise line leaving for Tokyo. Thank you for information you can provide. Rita
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