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Old March 31st, 2006, 08:11 PM
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Default Tips for Upcoming Asia Cruisers

I am currently on the Statendam sailing and have a few tips for folks who will be sailing to Asia, especially China.

1. Carry the photocopy of your passport or your passport itself if you are on your own. The ship will give it to you but you will have to wait until everyone has left the ship. You will need it to check into a hotel for an overnight or to exchange currency.

2. Take an ATM card!!!!!! Travelers checks are not the way to go. Only major hotels and American Express will accept them.

3. Local currency is the way to go. U.S. dollars are not as accepted as they once were.

4. In Xingang (Beijing port) do a ship's excursion or arrange a private tour. The port is 2 hours, at best, from Beijing. The train is too complex for most people to handle. We were informed that the port entrance was 30 miles from the ship. This is not correct. It is 100 yards.

5. Local currency was not available on the Statendam. Make sure you have an ATM card or are prepared to find a bank to exchange money.

6. Subways and public buses are easy to use in Hong Kong and Busan and Nagasaki. Give them a try.

Take care,
Mike
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 11:33 PM
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Mike we are very short timers now for our cruise on the same ship. We fly to Hong Kong on the 12th and board the Statendam the 17th! I have printed all your suggestions and they are very welcome. we have never been to Hong Kong or China before, so thanks for blazing the trail! I am going to visit a currency exchange and pick up some cash before we leave. thanks Richard
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 07:32 PM
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Thank you Mike....your information is very timely. We have booked the Beijing to Bangkok May 29th cruise on the Pacific Princess (yes I know I am on the HAL board).

We are also doing the 10 day pre-cruise tour of Beijing, Xian, and a 4 day river cruise thru the Gorges.

We received the ship's info packet and purchased our multiple entry China visa, but nothing was mentioned about shots (think Bird Flu). I found the ships info packet to be less than helpful. We hope when the tickets arrive there will be more information forthcoming. We have no idea about room assignment on the riverboat portion, no info on meals while on tour. Bottom line THERE IS VERY LITTLE INFO on the pre-cruise tour.

There were many tours offered for the 16 day cruise on the Pacific Princess, but none of them sounded like they were worth it. I would love some further info on the ports you visited, tours you took, places not to miss. My personal email is slotl@bellsouth.net.

What weather should we expect in Mid May thru Mid June. Please don't say monsoon season.

I would love to learn from your experiences.

P.S. taking the Prinsendam on Nov 7th from Capetown to Ft. Lauderdale via the Amazon. It will be our 3rd time on Prinsendam (we have the 100 day medallion from HAL).

Slotl
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Old April 5th, 2006, 01:21 PM
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One more update:

Also make a photocopy of your visa and take that with you. If you have booked with an outside tour company make sure it is registered with the Chinese government. This makes travel much easier.

Holland America will probably have their act together for their next visits but for ours the information was terrible. The things they can't control are the weather and the Chinese government but some pre-port research would have eliminated many problems that many of their customers had.

Luckily we did our own tours and did our research and had no problems.

Take care,
Mike
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Old April 5th, 2006, 03:20 PM
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Thanks Mike, invaluable info! We are short timers now, we are Leaving Denver the 12th and arriving Hong Kong the 13th, board and sail the 17th! I think I'm looking forward to the 4 days in Hong Kong almost as much as the cruise itself. I'm sort of a Chinese food junkie.
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Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.

Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
Golden Princess
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