Lovely way to see Halong Bay
Liked á The boat was gorgeous - spacious, clean, well looked after. I loved the sun deck and our room was really lovely and very well-equipped. The bed was huge and comfortable and the windows offered a great view. The shower was brilliant and had hot water and the spa bath was an extra treat (although it seemed to have not been used for a while!). The air con was great and it was lovely to have the option to sit out on our own balcony as well as going up to the sun deck with chairs and sun loungers.
There was a wide selection of food, which was delicious and fresh.
The trips off the boat and activities on the boat were really well organised. The kayaking was really fun and included an introductory demonstration for anyone who hadn't done it before. Viet and his team gave us an introductory talk when we landed at the cave and when we went to the fishing village, so we knew where we were and what we were seeing.
In reality, you're on the boat for less than 24 hours, but the whole trip was really well organised and the staff were very friendly, helpful and kept us well-informed.
Disliked á Once you book, there are a lot of extra charges - $25/ person for a return transfer from Hanoi, $10/ person for the kayaking trip and no drinks are included.
I was disappointed about the amount of plastic being used on board - it is sad to see so much plastic floating in the bay, especially when we went out on the kayaks and into the fishing village. I would have hoped that companies operating in the bay would be doing more to help combat this, but plastic straws were served with drinks and the sale of water in plastic bottles was pushed - only at lunch on the first day and brunch on the second day was drinking water available, even then, when we just asked for a glass of water, we were not directed to the jugs available and instead they tried to sell us a plastic bottle. If we wanted water with our dinner or up on the sundeck, we had to buy a pricey plastic bottle. There were a couple of glass bottles of drinking water in our room, but making drinking water available in jugs/ glasses throughout the trip would be a big step towards helping reduce the amount of plastic being used.
The journey to get there took a very long time - from being picked up at our hotel to arriving at the waiting area, it took 4 hours. We then had a further 45minute wait before boarding the boat. According to Google Maps, which I have found to be pretty accurate around the world, the journey should take about 2 hours 15 minutes. There was no traffic hold-ups and somehow the journey took over an hour longer than that. We mentioned it on our comments form and they tried to claim that Google maps wasn't accurate and that it was because the drivers took safety into consideration. On the transfer back (which took an hour less than our journey there), I tracked our journey on Google Maps and the route they use shows as over an hour longer than the suggested route on Google Maps. Be prepared for a lot of time sat in a mini van!
Liked á We had a fantastic trip with Huong Hai Sealife Cruise. We were upgraded to the Legend cruise for no extra charge which was amazing.
From being collected at our hotel to boarding the ship it was very relaxed and well organised. Once aboard the ship we met the crew - Mr Jackie Pham, Minh, Rosie and Hana. All of the staff make this cruise extremely comfortable and memorable - the food, spa, itinerary and the route taken is superb. Regarding the food, Rosie and her team made sure that GlutenFree food was available as I am a Coeliac and they went above and beyond to do this.
I couldn't recommend the cruise enough- a huge thanks to Mr Jackie for such a memorable time. Definitely would have done 2nights retrospectively!
Liked á The luxurious cabins. Beautifully furnished and spacious. Friendly and courteous staff. Fantastic meals and excursions.
Disliked á That we could not stay longer.
Liked á We had a fantastic time with a two night cruise on this boat. Kien, Viet, Ha and all the staff made it a great experience. Relaxing with great food, drinks and of course the scenery. The boat was well appointed, clean and comfortable. Contrary to other comments we have seen very little rubbish on the water.
Liked á we did the two night cruise and had a lovely time. the crew is amazing, very welcoming and friendly. the food was great too- really tasty. especially the dinner- which consisted of 6 courses- was delicious. definitely recommendable.
Disliked á the ONLY - really minor- negative thing, that I can think about is that there was no water jug at diner time. ;)