Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
BlueDevil75

Viking China (Part 2)

Recommended Posts

On 12/7/2018 at 11:32 AM, Peregrina651 said:

 

For those who have been and for those who are planning to, the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, MA should be on your list of places to see art and artifacts from China. The museum was founded to house the " diverse collection of objects from the northwest coast of America, Asia, Africa, Oceania, India and elsewhere"  that members of the East India Merchants Society brought back from their world-wide trading expeditions. Chinese porcelain, among others, is abundance as well as the Yin Yu Tang house, which is open for touring.

 

yytfl2007033_417.jpgblogempLK003.jpg

 

Until February 10, 2019, you can see the impressive "The Empresses of China's Forbidden City" exhibition which is currently on display and featuring not only pieces from the PEM's collection but also stunning and beautifully preserved pieces from the Forbidden City's Palace Museum. DH and I finally managed to get there yesterday and now I am working on a return visit.

 

Definitely worth the effort to plan a visit.

 

 

 

Update.

 

This same exhibit will be at the Freer Gallery of Art and the Sackler Gallery, part of the Smithsonian, from March 30-June 23, 2019.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Update.

 

This same exhibit will be at the Freer Gallery of Art and the Sackler Gallery, part of the Smithsonian, from March 30-June 23, 2019.

If they manage to get the shutdown solved. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am 70 years old and must use 1 crutch to walk any significant distance - as we do on tours.  I would really like to do Roof of the World, but am concerned if I would be holding the group back.  Last year I had no problem doing Russia on Waterways of the Tsars,  While there were cobblestones and some stairs in palaces, these generally had a railing or a wall I could use.  I'm not sure about my ability to walk along the Great Wall, especially of it involves actual climbing, and I wonder about the great number steps at the Palace in Tibet.  This is when I wished I could use a horse - or even a mule!  Did all cruise passengers handle these sites well?  Please feel free to provide any insight, recommendations, opinions, or suggestions.  I need to make sure this is the right China trip for me even though its the one I want to go on.  Thanks, Fran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, FM-R said:

I am 70 years old and must use 1 crutch to walk any significant distance - as we do on tours.  I would really like to do Roof of the World, but am concerned if I would be holding the group back.  Last year I had no problem doing Russia on Waterways of the Tsars,  While there were cobblestones and some stairs in palaces, these generally had a railing or a wall I could use.  I'm not sure about my ability to walk along the Great Wall, especially of it involves actual climbing, and I wonder about the great number steps at the Palace in Tibet.  This is when I wished I could use a horse - or even a mule!  Did all cruise passengers handle these sites well?  Please feel free to provide any insight, recommendations, opinions, or suggestions.  I need to make sure this is the right China trip for me even though its the one I want to go on.  Thanks, Fran

 

An even bigger problem on the Tibet portion is the altitude and altitude sickness. My suggestion is that start searching this thread using the term Tibet and then using Potola to find further discussion about the Tibet portion-- using the search function will take a lot less time than trying to scan all 178 pages for the few mentions of that have been made here. Then I would expand the search to the River Cruising forum and after that, I would search the Ports of Call section.  There is good advice about the Tibet portion here but since there is so little of it, it takes perseverance to find.

 

Great Wall: where Viking takes you, there is the are steps to get up to the wall and then there is the choice of turning right for lots more steps or turning left for fewer steps but rather steep in places. However, as long as you can manage the first few steps to get up onto the wall itself, all you have to do is to take a few steps in one direction or another and you will be able say truthfully that you have walked on the Great Wall of China.

 

This is what it is like if you turn left:

enhance

 

And this is a view from the left side of the right side (which we did not attempt to walk because of the crowds that day):

 

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The steps on the Great Wall are not only steep, but some are a big step up from step to step. While there may be railings in some places, just not always.

 

At several of the ports on the Yangtze , it takes some extra effort to get on and off the boat after leaving the gangway.

 

For the land portion we had in Beijing and Xian, there was a lot of walking, but you could hire someone to wheel you around a little, but unless you were mobile, you would miss a lot. China is not ADA friendly, and I suspect Tibet is even less accommodating.

 

It really depends on your mobility and agility.

 

We talked to the cruise people about passenger mobility issues. They’ve denied boarding to some who showed up with wheelchairs or scooters. They really aren’t equipped to assist people.

 

We also did Manchu Picchu and Bolivia with Tauck, which is high altitude. We used prescribed Diamox and glad we did. One of the travelers on our group had problems due to altitude and breathing. Local wise, again, you must be able to get around on your own. No facilities or accommodation for people that need assistance.

 

For the person asking, it’s not really about slowing others down, but rather would you be ok not traveling with the others. You are the one who knows how well you can get around, and whether you need help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
We’re doing Shanghai- Beijing with the add on of Guilin & HK so laundry is an issue - any one have personal experience of laundry in hotels as we’ll be on land tour for over 17 days following the cruise .... I was hoping to use the hotel laundry services a couple of times if it was reasonable and efficient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Re: laundry

 

Your challenge will be cost, and making sure your have two nights at the same hotel. If so, the morning after your first night, submit your laundry and you should be able to get it back by 8pm. Determine the hotel you are staying at, and contact them directly about laundry service.

 

We travel a lot, with only carry on.  We pack 1 weeks worth of clothing each into our rollaboards, and one days worth into our personal item bag - a backpack, with our meds, electronics, camera, travel docs, and batteries.

 

In our rollaboard we have an REI camping clothesline, and laundry detergent sheets from Amazon. When we are traveling longer than a week, those two items take care of our laundry needs. Our travel clothes are quick-dry synthetics that are no-iron and comfortable. We did a 2 month RTW adventure where this China cruise tour was in the first month.

 

We've traveled like this for years. Our previous RTW trip in 2010 was 7 weeks, and included an ocean cruise midway thru. Traveled the same way, never using hotel laundry.

 

This week we are near the end of a two week trip to India. Fortunately, our room rate included free laundry for 2 pieces each day. It's hot here, so we made use of that service each day, and still did in room washing of socks and under things for my wife.

 

I hope this helps.

 

PS for formal nights on cruises, I bring a sports jacket, or rent a tux on the ocean cruises. I wear the sports jacket on flights, trains, and buses, or roll it up into my backpack.

Edited by m2inor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, m2inor said:

 

PS for formal nights on cruises, I bring a sports jacket, or rent a tux on the ocean cruises. I wear the sports jacket on flights, trains, and buses, or roll it up into my backpack.

 

 

Viking makes it easy -- no formal nights and jackets are never required.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/8/2011 at 4:10 PM, BlueDevil75 said:

Viking Emerald - China's Cultural Delights

 

 

WATER. You cannot drink the water! Not from any tap – not in the 5 star hotels and not on the ship. There is plenty of bottled water provided in your room and on the bus. If you run out just ask for more. We used the bottled water for brushing our teeth, rinsing off toothbrushes, drinking, taking pills, etc. We were very careful in the shower to keep our mouths closed. We only drank bottled water while on land even in the restaurants. On the ship they poured bottled water into pitchers and then into glasses. The ship used purified water to clean the food, so salads and fresh veggies were okay. We did not eat salads on land. Watch out for the ice cubes – okay on the ship but not on land.

 

ILLNESS. People were getting sick – mostly lower GI. Cipro seemed to clear things up in a couple of days. I definitely recommend bringing the medicine cabinet just to be safe. We had Z-packs, Cipro, Pepto Bismol, Day and NyQuill, Zyrtec, Zyrtec-D, and saline solution to ward off the evils of bad health.

 

Yikes!!! This water situation sounds scary. I tend to have sensitive stomach issues to begin with depending on what and where we eat, etc., so perhaps this is not the trip for me. Your post is from 8 years ago...does all still apply regarding the water consumption on land? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 3/4/2017 at 12:44 AM, caribill said:

 

 

Your Viking group guide is tipped the last evening. When we were on the tour, the guide sat at a table in the hotel lobby where he said goodbye and collected the tips.

 

During the trip, you may wish to give tips to a local guide and/or local bus driver. That would be on a daily basis.

 

And when on the ship on the Yangtze, near the end of the trip there will be a place to put tips to be shared by every crew member. What we did was tip the total suggested amount, but give our cabin steward and main dining waitstaff some of the money as they had provided the most direct service and put the remainder into the main box for tips.

 

Isn't there some sort of pre-paid gratuities option for the entire trip that would avoid all this individual tipping, etc.?  I totally dislike all that worrying about who needs to be tipped when, how much, etc. Too complicated. How is the currency situation over there? Have not read this entire thread since it's so long - but assuming you should have some local currency?  The general feeling I'm getting - the more I read about the China trips - is that Europe just seems so much easier and less to worry about. Have always wanted to go to China but the more I read here the less encouraged I am that it is one of those relatively stress-free adventures. Will have to sift through the entire thread I suppose. 

Edited by gretschwhtfalcon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, gretschwhtfalcon said:

 

Isn't there some sort of pre-paid gratuities option for the entire trip that would avoid all this individual tipping, etc.?  I totally dislike all that worrying about who needs to be tipped when, how much, etc. Too complicated. How is the currency situation over there? Have not read this entire thread since it's so long - but assuming you should have some local currency?  The general feeling I'm getting - the more I read about the China trips - is that Europe just seems so much easier and less to worry about. Have always wanted to go to China but the more I read here the less encouraged I am that it is one of those relatively stress-free adventures. Will have to sift through the entire thread I suppose. 

 

There was no pre-pay option when I did this tour a few years ago.

 

Tips to local guides should be paid in local currency because the guides may not have access to convenient or inexpensoive currency conversion,

 

Tips for the boat personnel can be put oin a charge card when on the ship.

 

The tip for your group guide can be in either local or US currency or (as I did) in a combination so I could use up my local currency.

 

It is easy to do currency conversion at the airports or major hotels. There is no currency conversion on the ship.

 

Also, souvenirs you may buy from vendors will usually be in local currency the further you get from the major cities. In the major cities, some vendors use local currency and some use US $.

 

When making small purchases from vendors, try to use small bills whether in local or US $.

 

Hotel and restaurant  personnel in China do not expect tips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hmmm...have to find out if there is now possibly a pre-paid option. All that you mention is just a bit of extra hassle...even moreso having to use local currency. Certainly doable though. Just trying (hoping anyway) to keep things as simple as possible I guess. 

Edited by gretschwhtfalcon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, gretschwhtfalcon said:

Hmmm...have to find out if there is now possibly a pre-paid option. All that you mention is just a bit of extra hassle...even moreso having to use local currency. Certainly doable though. Just trying (hoping anyway) to keep things as simple as possible I guess. 

Even if there is a prepaid gratuity option check to see what it covers. It still may not cover local guides, just ship's personnel and cruise director.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, gnome12 said:

Even if there is a prepaid gratuity option check to see what it covers. It still may not cover local guides, just ship's personnel and cruise director.

 

Pre-paid gratuities does not cover bus drivers and local tour guides. Those you pay as incurred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m at the airport in Hong Kong after being in China for 23 days with a different company.  Not a single person in my group of 14 had stomach issues from water or food...as mentioned above, bottled water is available everywhere.  No one drank from the tap.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, gretschwhtfalcon said:

 

We did Jewels with Viking, brushed our teeth, left our mouths open in shower, never had any problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/20/2019 at 8:03 AM, gretschwhtfalcon said:

 

I totally dislike all that worrying about who needs to be tipped when, how much, etc. Too complicated.

 

The general feeling I'm getting - the more I read about the China trips - is that Europe just seems so much easier and less to worry about. Have always wanted to go to China but the more I read here the less encouraged I am that it is one of those relatively stress-free adventures.

 

After travelling in Europe (mostly on our own) for 40 years, this past fall we spent two months on Viking Orion going through the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia.  We absolutely loved it!  So much so, that we’re going on Undiscovered China with VR in April 2020, then getting back on Orion to sail from Hong Kong to Vancouver.

 

So, I completely understand your concern about the extra stress in Asia travel.  And after your experience on Sky, you’ve had more traveling stress than most of us will ever have to endure.

 

But I think you’ll too be amazed at the experience of traveling in Asia.  There are many people on this board with much more experience than we’ve had, that I’m sure would encourage you as well.

 

MT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi Mark...wow...sounds as if you likely have more experience than you give yourself credit for! Thanks for your thoughts. The Undiscovered itinerary is certainly on the list of strong possibilities for using our vouchers. My encouragement is renewed from hearing so many good things about traveling in Asia. 

Edited by gretschwhtfalcon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...