- Reviewed on May 28, 2018
I was delighted with the cruise, so here is some useful information for future guests, especially non-Chinese people
The cabins are great, non-smoking but people do seem to often smoke on their private balconies. They do offer you upgrades to the room, but I declined. they also offer you an upgrade for dining to the VIP dinner room, but do not go for it, as you will miss the atmosphere of being with everyone.
On my cruise there were about 200 Chinese and just 7 non-Chinese, however we were very well looked after with announcements etc in English and all staff had some command of English and one of the staff, Shirley, was exceptionally good at making us feel welcome and talking to us at our table every day. The 'foreigners' were all grouped together. Shirley advised us to go on some tours but suggested we avoided one as it was all going to be presented in Chinese and we probably would not find it very interesting!
Do not miss the 'Three Kingdoms Scenic Spot' show it was truly spectacular, one of the best live shows I have seen, beating those of Disney parks. And 'no' I have no idea what it was all about but it was amazing!
Each day a couple of bottles of water were provided free. My guide recommended I took my own drinks onboard which I did, he told me that the drinks were very expensive, however by hotel standards that was not so, a decent cocktail was around $12. There are small shops on several of the deck on the ship where you can buy snacks and soft drinks.
Meal times were a bit of a crush with everyone rushing to the buffet at the start, but the food was better than I expected. On our table we were provided knives and forks, but we all refused them and insisted on chopsticks!
I was surprised that the bars were empty a lot of the time, except for the 'Farewell dinner' when the 'foreigners' were given a reserved spot, another example of being well looked after. The crew gave a cabaret performance which was certainly not Broadway, but was fun to watch.
Dress on the boat was very casual, we were wearing shorts/very casual for breakfast and lunch and a little more 'smart casual' for the evenings. the advice of a shirt and tie for the Captains dinner was not correct, simple trousers and a casual or polo shirt for men and a simple dress etc for women.
The Chinese guests on the boat were very friendly at all times, with quite a few photos taken of us with some of them. One of the highlights for me was when a lady of 87 starting chatting to me in perfect English, but I then learnt she had been a professor of languages for a career.
You are not expected to tip the staff all the time, but a small tip for the cleaner of the cabin ($15) and the same for the waiter who served all the meals at our table seemed appropriate.
At the end of the cruise, my guide who took me to the airport was very pleasant and good conversation, She did not really tell me anything much about the area, but she was nice and made me confident of the journey and assisted me to check in for my flight and then took me to the restaurant before boarding at the airport and assisted me to buy my lunch before heading home.
The service I had from Yangtze Rover Cruises, and especially my contact Linda Deng was exceptionally good, far better than usually experienced from other agencies.
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