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mek

Cruising from Shanghai

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I'm looking at a Princess cruise next June that is RT from Shanghai.  I've traveled all over the world, but this will be the first time by myself without my husband or a friend.  I plan to arrive a day or two early and my question is how safe/easy to navigate is the Shanghai airport and then get transportation to a hotel?  I've previously been to China, but that was semi escorted and hotel/transfers were part of the package.  When we were in Beijing none of the taxi drivers spoke english and our hotel would write destinations and return instructions for us to give to the driver so we wouldn't get lost - is this the case in Shanghai?   

Has anyone done a pre cruise package with Princess in Shanghai?

Since I will be alone, am I better off looking at the RT from Tokyo?  I like the itinerary and price for the Shanghai cruise better, (and I realize the China visa cost has to be figured into the price), but if it is going to be stressful, then it's not worth it.

I have to make a quick decision because the promotion that is being offered expires in a few days.

 

 

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Just to add, China is fast becoming a cashless society.  The trouble one finds,

is not having a Chinese bank to link your cell phone and pay service with.

That being said, go with the Princess pre tour---they will lead you and assit

you.  They will take you where you can shop with your credit cards and cash.

The China visa is now good for 10 years.  I would go out of Shanghai.   The airport

is a long ways out of the city and to the port.  It is easy to get around in signage

in Chinese and English.   

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Cab drivers in Shanghai will likely not be able to speak or read English.

 

If you are booking a hotel on your own, ask the hotel what they suggest for getting from the airport to the hotel. At the very least, they should be able to give you instructions in Chinese that you can give to a cab driver.

 

When we had a Princess cruise out of Shanghai we did let Princess book our hotel. It included transportation from airport to the hotel as well as from the hotel to the ship and we were glad that we did.

 

Of course a Princess booked hotel may be more expensive than if you booked one on your own, especially if there is a single supplement, but remember that the transportation is included in that price from Princess.

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At both the port and airport they have an information area- if you tell them where you are staying they will write it out in Chinese characters to give to the taxi drivers.  You can also print those out in advance (the hotels can help with this to get back to the ports)  We actually didn't have any problems in Shanghai at all!  Also, the metro in Shanghai is very good for getting around

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Shanghai is a beautiful  city. I would stay a night after the cruise and fly home the next day. You can drop your luggage at your hotel when you leave the ship. You room will probably not be ready, but you can just leave the luggage there 

 

The next morning, you check out of the hotel and check your luggage.  it when you are ready to head to the airport. 

This gives you 2 days in Shanghai for one night hotel charge.

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Shanghai PuDong airport is massive and modern.  Key signs are written in English.  You'll have no trouble navigating the airport itself.  Any hotel you book on you own will be able to provide you with recommendations for transportation.  As others have suggested any airport information kiosk will gladly translate your hotel name into Chinese for use by your taxi driver.  Usually (but not always) you'll be shown to a taxi by a taxi manager who generally does speak English - make sure they know exactly where you want to go as a double check.  

 

I've had no trouble using cash for taxis in Shanghai though exchange rates for RMB are lousy (the same can be said for many other currencies).  One thing to pay very close attention to in Shanghai is traffic, short drives can take epic amounts of time, make sure you don't underestimate how far it is from where you are to where you need to be.  

 

All and all Shanghai is a very (very, very) modern city.  It's well worth while to arrive a day or two early or stay a day or two after for some exploration.

 

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I agree that the Metro is a convenient and inexpensive way to travel in Shangai. You might want to check if one goes to the airport . Used it frequently when in Shangai. Very clean and safe.

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38 minutes ago, diesel1973 said:

You might want to check if one goes to the airport . 

Definitely metro for PVG - Line 2, I think for SHA but not sure.

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One of the best “tours” in Shanghai is the MagLev train that takes you to Shanghai Pudong Airport - at about 300 mph - floating in the air. No other airport in the world has anything like this.

Cost is 50 RMB, one way.

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Yeah, I did metro to MagLev to PVG one trip - it was fun! [it was easy - that was a work trip and my hotel was on top of a subway station]

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