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About Tarwood3

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Sarasota, FL
  • Interests
    Aviation, cruises, gardening, cooking, dogs, history
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn,Silversea, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacific/ Australia/NZ

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  1. We didnt have a problem with mosquitos......and we didnt use repellent. We have traveled so much around the world, that I’m up to date on all vaccinations anyway, so honestly I dont remember if we needed something for Vietnam. Usually if there are vaccinations required, it is listed on your invoice from Silversea at the bottom with all the info about the cruise...visas, vaccines, etc... otherwise, check with your doctor or go to the CDC’s website. Also, I’m sure there is a travelers vaccine clinic near you....just check their website or call...
  2. Yep, you can get SB or SS for $1000 a day...of course depends on when you book and where, but its not difficult to do. And thats the thing...we have always done a mix of luxury and premium lines...to balance out travel expenses. But lately, AZ has gotten so expensive and our Sky Suites on Celebrity are more than or equal to what we would pay on SS or SB...so for same price or lower, we will do SS or SB every time..
  3. You’re quite welcome....I hope you enjoy Vietnam as much as we did!! Xuan does some unique things that big tour groups cant...so that’s nice to have! Book as early as possible ...he’s quite popular. Like I said in an earlier post, if your cruise goes to Halong Bay in Northern Vietnam, please do the 12 hour Hanoi excursion . We were freaked out by the time at first. We only like half day excursions but we were assured by shore excursion staf that it is well worth it! There were only maybe 50 people who did Hanoi. We were split into groups of 6 and each group was in a comfortable mini van with private guide. And each group did its own thing. So we felt like it was a very private tour. Probably the best ship excursion we have ever done. The description of tour says its a 3 hour drive on uneven roads but this isn’t true. They built a new freeway and its great!
  4. One more thing...I just looked back at my texts to my guide...the actual port name that we docked at was called Hiep Phuoc Port in the Xa Long Thoi neighborhood. The shuttle went hourly to Union Square which is adjacent to the Hotel Continental Saigon that I sent a pic of. Obviously these things could change but for the mid size ships I think this is the norm. There was a Viking ship docked on the other side of the river from us. No ships were downtown. I think only the very small ships can make it downtown....
  5. Yes, I highly recommend our guide. I actually had found quite a reviews on him through Cruise Critic before our cruise and everyone raves about him and we were not disappointed. His name is Xuan Le....his English is excellent...and couldnt be a nicer guy. He customizes his tours to whatever you want to see, but will happily give you examples of itineraries. No need for advance deposit. Just pay him when finished with tour. His email is tourwithxuan@gmail.com and his name Xuan is pronounced like “Soon”. He is very used to dealing with luxury clientele . By the end of our 2 days together, we felt like old friends and still keep in constant contact with him. We have sent several friends to him and everyone has loved him! I will find a pic.... he will reply via email..but once you firm something up, he prefers to correspond via whatsapp. Tell him Gary and Ben recommended you....he loves us!
  6. You’re very welcome! Btw...the sail out was unlike anything I had ever seen. We went to the deck above Tors Observation Lounge for a good view forward...few people go up there btw. Anyway, I have never heard a ship blow its horn as much as we did...I lost count after about 40 times. The Saigon River is a very busy waterway with lots of barges and small boats that don’t yield to larger ships...they are pretty ballsy and arrogant. The captain was getting very impatient with slower vessels not getting out of our way....quite the sight.
  7. Hi there, we haven’t been but me and my partner are booked on the first Antarctica cruise late November. There are different things to see depending on the month you go . Some months are bettter for whale watching, others for penguin babies, others for seeing the large icebergs etc.... we found an easy to use guide at AudleyTravel.com which breaks down each month on “when is the best time to go”. We chose early in the season before many tourists have been and also because we want to see the massive ice bergs. We dont really care about penguin babies late in the season besides we have heard that the land is covered in penguin poop and smells late in the season...lol. Anyway, to each his own, we all go for different reasons. Do some simple google searches on best time to go and things to see...maybe we will even see you on our voyage!
  8. Kaiseki is aJapanese cuisine is known for its meticulous preparation and beautiful presentation. It's also known as the most expensive type of Japanese food — meals can have more than 14 courses. Kaiseki restaurants offer a private room — often with a view of a Japanese garden.
  9. Completely disagree with you on the poor planning comment...youhavent been and therefore you don’t understand the area...this is as close as they can get...the large ships like Royal Caribbean and Princess have to go to Phu My ...about a 3 hour drive each way......We have done the Vietnam cruise on the Muse and SS does an excellent job.
  10. So we did Vietnam in November on the Muse. We did not dock in Phu My or anywhere near. We were able to sail up the Saigon River quite a ways but sadly not in downtown. We were in an industrial port in an area called Xa Long Thoi. Silversea ran regular shuttles to Central Saigon. The distance isn’t too far to central Saigon, its the traffic that can be difficult. Sometimes it could be an hour, sometimes it was 30 mins. At first we were quite disappointed, but it ended up not being too bad. We had a private guide both days we were there. The first day he just met us at the shuttle stop in front of the Hotel Continental Saigon. At the end of the day, he dropped us off there and we took the SS shuttle back to ship. The second morning we started very early, so our guide just met us at the entrance to the port. I will try to include a map of where we were docked. Look for the red dot on the map. Hope that helps. Ask if you have any other question. We recommend you do Saigon one day and the Mekong delta another day...but there are so many tours and different places to go!! You will love it! Its an amazing place. We love Saigon but we loved Hanoi even more. Even though Hanoi is a 12 hour excursion from where you dock in Halong Bay stop..its definitely worth it!!!
  11. I was hoping that all ships would have itineraries through May 2021, but just a few....we were hoping to take a closer look at the Accra to Lisbon on the Cloud which usually is in March or April...but nothing on the Cloud or any of the expedition ships and Spirit only to March 2021...we have tentatively booked teh April 5th 2021 Tokyo to Tokyo...hits everywhere ,north , south and central. Excellent itinerary, but yes, very expensive.
  12. Actually that was very helpful....thats the kind of thing I was hoping to hear. Anxious is the right word for me, because if you are spending well over $20000 on a vacation , Idont want to regret having canceled my Silversea cruise that hit the majority of the same ports for a cruise that doesnt have the peaceful veranda experience that I enjoy...but with everything travel related, I’m always up for a new experience and trying something new...so only time will tell.. I was just curious if anyone else felt the same way as I did before they went on their first yacht experience.
  13. Agreed, dumb place to move it to...I’m sure the moderator just wanted to bury the story...
  14. The article was originally published in the Miami Herald...regardless of the source, it really is just terrible...
  15. Kind of a snarky response but I will overlook it since I was born and raised a Hoosier and my mom lives in Fishers...so I will forgive you.....anyway, the reason for the question is that perhaps someone else felt like me before they went on Esprit and so I would find their experience interesting...
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