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Marc October 18th, 2005 06:54 AM

Greetings From Vietnam
Greetings from the Seven Seas Mariner!!

Sorry to be so long without writing.

Our flights to Hong Kong were interrupted by weather. Instead of traveling via JFK and Seoul, we flew straight from Atlanta to Tokyo on Delta and then Dragonair from Tokyo to Hong Kong. Only problem, our luggage didn’t make the same connections. In fact, we didn’t get our luggage until Saigon, yesterday. TEN days with only our carry on bags. Luckily, the ship loaned us tuxedos for the men and waitress skirts for the women for the formal nights. The Guest Relations manager and Social Hostess also loaned clothes and shoes to my wife and mother. In addition, they provided free laundry; picking up each night and delivering by the time we arose. It has not been too bad. However, we were overjoyed that our luggage arrived yesterday so we can start having some variety.

Hong Kong was wonderful. My folks had met a Hong Kong native while traveling in mainland China 22 years ago. He was thrilled to see them again after so long. He took us to restaurants wherein we were the only Caucasians. He also showed us all around Hong Kong Island and the New Territories.

Hanoi was great. Took an old MI-24 helicopter over Ha Long Bay and then onto Hanoi. Then took bus tour of the sights. Fascinating! Then, a long three and a half hour bus trip back to Ha Long Bay. Interesting with all the motor scooters and old trucks. One of the strangest sights was a man driving a motor scooter with a live pig tied up behind him.

Next we went to Da Nang. We had a private tour. My stepfather served two tours as a Marine in Da Nang. We were matched up with a guide who had befriended Marines as a kid. He knew every hill and every spot my stepfather wanted to see. He even took us to the exact spot on Red Beach where the Marines landed in 1965. He had a picture taken the day of the landing so we could line up the exact spot.

Saigon was quite a sight. To see the Reunification Palace wherein the basement looked just like when South Vietnamese President was there to fight the war. Today was Cu Chi tunnels where VC hid and Cao Dai temple out by the Cambodia border. Do not miss the Cao Dai temple if you are ever in Vietnam.

Tonight, we are sailing back down Saigon River. Tomorrow is a sea day then onto Bangkok. I will try to write again later in the cruise.

skymaster October 18th, 2005 11:38 AM

Been there, and done that,,,,,40 years ago. Don't care to go back.

MaryLou October 18th, 2005 11:59 AM

Marc: Your cruise sounds wonderful, except for the lost luggage. I'm glad it finally arrived. Can't wait to see pictures and hear more. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

Kuki October 18th, 2005 01:17 PM

Hey Marc..

Nice to hear from you. The cruise sounds fascinating. Glad you finally got some clothes LOL

Jim Bragg October 18th, 2005 02:57 PM

I hear you Skymaster. They kept shooting at me and my friends last time we were there so I won't go back now. <VBG>

Donna October 18th, 2005 06:11 PM

Oh Marc,
What a way to start a cruise, just glad your luggage did finally show up. Enjoy all those exotic locations, its about time we heard from you....take care and have fun!

CruisinK n J October 18th, 2005 06:11 PM

Greetings from Vietnam
Marc, your trip sounds really interesting. Hope you post pictures when you get back. :D


Janmd October 18th, 2005 06:50 PM


So glad that your luggage has finally arrived! I am sure that Arlene is so happy also.
I am loving your posts.
You wait- when you all come home the luggage will be with you!!

Enjoy the rest of the trip. :)

Luanne Russo October 18th, 2005 07:44 PM


Glad to see you are okay. Hate it about your luggage. Let us hear more about your adventures.


Marc October 19th, 2005 11:05 AM

Skymaster and Mr Bragg, why did you even bother to post. You didn't add to the discussion. I may or may not prefer to travel to St Augustine or Lakeland; but I don't thow that in to one of your threads.

We do have our luggage, we are heading to Bangkok. The ship is putting us up in the Shangri-La hotel tomorrow night so we don't have to go back and forth to ship. After the overnight there, we will have one more sea day then an overnight in Singapore. After the cruise, we will have one more night in Singapore and then on to Cambodia to tour Angkor Wat. I will try to report after Bangkok.

bigjohn461 October 19th, 2005 11:12 AM

Sounds like you are having a great time. I have never been to Nam but I have heard that it is beautiful in some parts. Glad you are having a great time and I am glad your luggage found you. :D

skymaster October 19th, 2005 12:51 PM

Sorry about that Marc. I didn't realize this was your personal site. Silly me,,,,I thought it was for all of us to post our opinions. I posted mine,,,I guess you didn't agree with it.

Kuki October 19th, 2005 01:10 PM


Originally Posted by skymaster
Sorry about that Marc. I didn't realize this was your personal site. Silly me,,,,I thought it was for all of us to post our opinions. I posted mine,,,I guess you didn't agree with it.

Didn't go through it, but I would imagine many veterans would have very unhappy and memories of Vietnam, and other areas where they served.

But I do know that many veterans return often to areas they served in, like annual visits to the beaches of Normandie etc. There are also cruises set up specifically for veterans groups, some of them to Vietnam, as well as other past theaters of war.

Jim Bragg October 19th, 2005 03:24 PM

I posted because I have been there many years ago. Granted it was under differant circumstances and from the air there are some very beautiful parts of the country. I have a question, does it still stink of human waste? I remember that odor well as they used to fertilize the fields with it. Am I biased, definately. I can never forget the things that I saw these people do to one another and our military people. I wish you the best of luck and hope you enjoy yourself. My point is that I would not return to that place, ever.

Janmd October 19th, 2005 06:36 PM

Sounds like things are going well. That is perfect that you are staying in Shangi- La Hotel. Can't wait to see the photos.

My parents did a similar trip a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Dad being a pilot.
When they were in that area, I have the photo- in one of the cities- they had the Orioles score posted on a building. It is great to see that part of the world.

Glad things have turning out great. I guess N.K. shall be joining you soon. Have fun!!

BTW, the 007 group in Europe is having a ball! Marcie and Tom joined them as a surprise. I am following both trips right now.

KimJack October 20th, 2005 02:21 PM

I'm happy to read that you, Arlene and the family are enjoying your cruise, Marc. That's terrible about your luggage!:cry: I'm glad that it finally showed up.

Like other posters, I spent some time (2 years) in Vietnam. Based in Saigon, I often got C-130 or U21 flights to DaNang and wherever else the job took me in country. Of course, I never got to Hanoi or Ha Long Bay. Many of my memories are good, the best being that I found my wife Kim there. Having met her, you can probably understand my feelings.:) We haven't gone back since '71, but might do so one of these days.

Glad to read that you saw the Cu Chi tunnels. That's history with a cruel twist! Enjoy your time in Bangkok, Singapore and Cambodia. I never did get to see Angkor Wat, but from what I've heard it's an interesting place to visit. Happy cruising!


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