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About ekco

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  1. I thought the same thing. On a side note we are watching the series of Great Railways Journeys in the Far East with Michael Portillo on the iplayer. Quite a few episodes feature places that the ship visits so you can get an idea of what they are like.
  2. It would probably be best if you read through this thread or check out the reviews section. It looks as though you will miss out on Sihanoukville, no great loss, and have Malacca reinstated. Paying £23 for a visa in Sihanoukville even if you stay onboard really rankled so you might be lucky and not go there, it’s derelict.
  3. Danube, nice. I think I’m right in saying they are only flying from Gatwick so unless we travel not much use to us. Maybe next year. Good advice about the voucher Pensioncruiser. Correction, just saw an offer on Travelzoo for a Tui river cruise flying from Heathrow or Birmingham. Hopefully, as Keith says, things have improved on the ship and they are not sending passengers into markets in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok as they did to us. We didn’t go in, maybe overly paranoid but having caught a virus on a trip in a Tenerife from the Majesty a few years ago which made me very ill for 4 weeks it’s understandable I think.
  4. Yes it was, hard earned too and it’s a good job we have free calls included with our internet package. It could have walked here quicker. That’s the trips paid for anyway. I think they could have organised the itinerary better in the first place, to keep Sihanoukville and Vietnam (3 days at sea in total) and knock off Koh Samui and Malacca was head scratching. Luckily we just boarded in time for Koh Samui to return to the itinerary. I noticed that the price of face masks has soared on eBay, average £1 each, we paid £2.99 for 50 four weeks ago. Always an opportunity for some. Maybe now Marella and Manchester Airport will start taking this seriously, hiding your head in the sand is not acceptable. We have been responsible and kept to ourselves for nearly two weeks, we took precautions in port but lots of people on the plane coughing, all of which mysteriously stopped on landing when an announcement was made about reporting coughs and fever. Rant over, lol. It must be the weather getting to me.
  5. Hurray! Finally! After countless phone calls and hours of time the refund is finally in the account. Far from refunding it to the card as they said they wanted the bank account and sort code then had the cheek to say it would take 5-10 days, it took 7. A cheque would have arrived and been cleared quicker. This started on the 20th December when they sent the email.
  6. Almost an hour to the beach on the other side of Vang Tau. If you look on google earth for the Imperial Hotel then it will give you some idea of the geography. The beach is nice enough with fine sand BUT the strong incoming tide washed up a disgusting amount of plastic waste on the tide line. Straws, bottles, cartons, fishing nets, etc. Now, a lot of people couldn’t care less about this but I found it sad and disturbing personally. How the sea life gets along I don’t know. The same can be said of the harbour near Langkawi, lots of rubbish on the water mark on the breakwater, but we saw sea eagles flying near the ship early evening. Langkawi, Singapore and Koh Samui are accessible from the ship, don’t know about Malacca as we didn’t go there (not even going to talk about Sihanoukville). With a bit of research Singapore would be a good diy place as they use the western alphabet so easy to navigate and has a good transport system. We did a trip which was very good, we went to the botanical garden with the orchid garden included, an hour not enough, drove past the Raffles hotel, same with the Indian quarter, had some time on the water front which was nice and then an hour in China town. We had a fair amount of time to ourselves on this trip which is what we like.
  7. You could get a taxi or a port side trip In Vietnam but everything is a long way. Maybe brave the coach trip and do the Saigon on your own trip. The beach day we did with the sightseeing knocked off was not worth the money at £46pp and I wish we had cancelled. I overhead two ladies saying they couldn’t wait to get back to the ship.
  8. When we were on we were the only ones wearing face masks off ship, just one other while we were in Bangkok. Lots of locals everywhere wearing masks, although a lot weren’t. We used ours in the city on crowded streets, also First Defence nasal spray. The ship carries on as if nothing is happening. Four cases positive from that cruise repatriation yesterday, now in Arrowe Park quarantine.
  9. No, the Imperial hotel was right across the busy main road. You can see the larger part of the hotel here.
  10. Here is a photo of the beach day at Vang Tau. Also the Batu Caves at Kuala Lumpur with the hundreds of steps.
  11. Yes, you can change up to 24 hours before. Not sure if it’s the same one as we were there most of the day. It’s basically a patch of sand by the side of a restaurant with a pool just above the beach. Lunch was nice but I got bored after an hour as I can’t lie on a sunbed for long, we arrived about 10.30 and left about 2.30. I don’t know why but I thought it was attached to a hotel with extra facilities, it isn’t. After lunch a wind got up and blasted us with sand. On leaving that evening we could see the bright lights of the actual Vung Tau resort and that looked a better option for a trip as the beach we were at was on the other side of the hill that Christ the Redeemer was on. Depends if you like sunbeds really, we had them on our balcony and that was enough. We did regret not cancelling when we had the opportunity. My big tip would be to get small amounts of the local currency of countries you want to visit, we didn’t and found difficulties especially in Thailand where we had to find money change kiosks. Even changing 30 US dollars we needed our passport details, photocopy is ok. Talking of temple steps we did the Hindu temple one with hundreds of steps. Ouch! Actually coming down was more difficult as the locals think nothing of leaving banana skins on the steps.
  12. We did the Vung Tau beach day and wish that we had cancelled as they cut out the temple and Christ the Redeemer stops due to “negative feedback” as they put it. After lunch, and tiring of the sunbeds due to being blasted by the wind and sand, we walked across the road bridge and spotted Christ the Redeemer in the distance. Our coach didn’t go back that way but we did get the opportunity to see it lit up in the dark as we sailed away past the resort outbound, it is the very last headland before the open sea. Binoculars are helpful.
  13. It’s not lovely weather here that’s for sure. Howling wind AGAIN. We have kept away from people as much as we could do, we are fine having taken face masks and used First Defence nasal spray while near crowds but were sat in between two rows of people coughing the whole way home. An enormous jumbo jet sent to bring just over 30 people home last night, where are the other 40?
  14. Walls do seem to be a recurring feature.😁 All quiet from the ship, all this fuss about the cruise ship in Japan when we were allowed to walk right through Manchester airport and disperse without any temperature checks. Unbelievable.
  15. That Extinction Rebellion lot want to go over there and lecture them. I hung over the rail for an hour leaving ports in Malaysia and lost count of the plastic bottles bobbing by the ship, not to mention small pieces of plastic and even large crates. One of the guides in Langkawi told us that locals just dump their rubbish outside and when the monsoons comes it just washes away into the sea. There was an awful lot of rubbish around, especially next to roadside cafes, which surprised us as we thought Malaysia was very strict.
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