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“Good cruise and a spot of sunshine”

Review of Garden Bay Cruise

Garden Bay Cruise - Triple cabin
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Garden Bay Cruise - Triple cabin
Garden Bay Cruise - Halong Bay - Overview Garden Bay Cruise - deluxe twin cabin with large window.
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Very good
76 reviews
Garden Bay Cruise - Triple cabin
Garden Bay Cruise - Halong Bay - Overview
Garden Bay Cruise - deluxe twin cabin with large window.
Garden Bay Cruise - Open Sundeck
Garden Bay Cruise - Private Balcony
Garden Bay Cruise - early morning taichi lesson
Garden Bay Cruise - Waiting Lounge at Hon Gai Pier
Garden Bay Cruise - Waiting lounge at Hon Gai Pier
Garden Bay Cruise - Fishing Village
Visit Surprise Cave ( Sung Sot Cave)
Visit cave with Rowing boat
Private bathroom with full- toiletry
Private bathroom with full- toiletry
Restaurant - dinning room with sea view
Garden Bay Cruise - Open sundeck with sea view
Garden Bay Cruise - Overview
Garden Bay Cruise - Morning Tai Chi Lesson on Sundeck
Garden Bay Cruise - Morning Tai Chi Lesson on Sundeck
Garden Bay Cruise - visit fishing village
Garden Bay Cruise - Including Kayaking
Garden Bay Cruise - Cooking Class
Garden Bay Cruise - Overview
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Overview
Boat house -
12 Bedrooms, 12 Bathrooms, Sleeps 24
Halong Bay, Quang Ninh Province

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 76 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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French first
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Any
English first
Theodor11...
Zuerich
Level 6 Contributor
253 reviews
174 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 261 helpful votes
“landscape great, cruise below average”
Reviewed April 3, 2014 for a stay in March 2014
2
people found this review helpful

We booked at first onj another boat, we agreed to move to this boat and they offered us complimenary massage. Later on it came up that the massage was only for one of us. Hmm, stingy.

The trip by bus was nearly 4 hours and for older people not recommended, as it is exhausting.
The boat was clean and a little bit old.
The food was o.k., it was a lot but nothing special, all the same u can get in every average restaurant.
The drinks are not included and quite pricy.
The so called activities are below our expectations. The cave was totally overcrowded and the the cave itself is heavily damaged by tourist. Not worth to go there. the so called beach is 5 m wide and the water is dirty.
And this is the main problem: All the hundreds of boats dump their garbage and the toilets in the bay. therefore the water is smelly and a lot of rubbish is swimming on the bay.
I m quite experienced traveller but this was the worst i ever seen.
Rooms are small, average standard. Wifi is quite slow.
Staff wasn´t to friendly and not much caring.
Conclusion: I would not choose this boat again.

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Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Kitchen & utensils Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked least: dirty bay
Travelling group: Other
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Nein.
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathryn B
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good cruise and a spot of sunshine”
Reviewed March 30, 2014 for a stay in March 2014

We did the 2 day 1 night cruise on Marguerite booked through Tonkin Cruises. The minibus on the way there was a bit small and uncomfortable but on the way back we had a luxurious bus with leather reclining seats. Our guides were Que and Tien, however we broke off into two different groups and Tien was our main tour guide. He was very knowledgeable and friendly. The rooms on the boat were lovely, the food was great (so much of it), the drinks were a little pricey though especially on top of what you have already paid for the junk cruise, plus an extra $22 per person for entry into the bay as we booked through Booking.com. Halong bay is a little poluted both in the water and the air but it is a busy tourist destination so I guess that is to be expected.

Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
karpatore...
Fuengirola, Spain
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience: amazing landscapes and great food”
Reviewed March 25, 2014 for a stay in February 2014

We booked the 2 nights 3 days option on Marguerite Junk. They picked us up from our hotel in Hanoi (Old Quarter) on time (they even called the reception the day before to reconfirm our pick up time) and we got on a comfortable minibus. The driver was very careful and we felt safe the entire journey. The guide Tien was very informative.
On the cruiser the room was great, very clean, not too small and they even prepared flowers and rose petals on the bed for our special occasion (honeymoon). We recommend you pay a bit more for a room on the upper deck as we did, as fellow travellers booked on the lower deck told us there was a really bad sewage smell in the mornings.
The food on board was exceptional, very varied, large quantities and simply delicious. My husband does not eat fish nor seafood so they prepared separate food for him. However, I must say the drinks on board are really overpriced! No wonder people buy drinks from the small boats, it’s less than half price.
We really recommend the 2 nights 3 days option as on the second day you really get to experience more of Ha Long, go kayaking in the beautiful area of the Caves of Light and Darkness and visit the Pearl Farm. The guide we had for this day however (I can’t remember his name unfortunately, but it is a local guide, not from the cruise) was quite terrible. He spoke very bad English, we struggled to understand him and tried all the time to talk us out of doing the activities we were supposed to do… For example he tried to convince us not to kayak because of the cold weather and pay extra for going on a rowing boat. Fortunately we insisted on kayaking and it was definitely worth it (with the rowing boat you don’t get to see the smaller caves). Also, while we were on the kayak the guide was always way ahead and not concerned at all about the rest of the people, we felt totally unsupervised and it was our first kayak experience… Then he said we could not go to a beach further South because of the wind… we still don’t know if it was true or he made it up. Anyway, the kayaking was great and it is worth the extra day in Ha Long.
On the last day you do a bit more kayaking around the floating village and they teach you how to make the delicious spring rolls which is good fun and you get the recipe, too. After that you get to see fruit and vegetable carving, which I first thought was just something they do to fill in the spare time, but I must say it was very interesting. It is amazing what that chef can do with a tomato or a carrot…

Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jenny_Was...
Hamburg, Germany
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good service on board, hidden coasts and unfriendly behavior from the office”
Reviewed March 2, 2014 for a stay in February 2014
1
person found this review helpful

The cruise itself was very good. Guide, boat, food and crew were perfect.
Sadly all this good feelings were destroyed at the end of the tour. We booked it on booking.com for around 207 Dollar. When we wanted to pay this, the guide told us, we have to pay 44 Dollar more as fee for the Bay. We we're quit surprised and spook to the office at the guides phone. They always said they sended us a mail after the booking and informed us over this price. As I said, that's it's not okay to give this informations after a booking, she wanted to send us the mail again. We looked again on booking.com and even in the field "included/excluded" we couldn't find informations about these fees. Than we looked on "more" information and there, at the end of the whole text, they wrote about the fee. So we said: okay, judicial they are right and we'll pay it. But: be honest, how looks at more informations when he's booking at booking.com? This are hidden costs and the reason why they have such a cheap offer (in other cruise-prices the fee is included). We told the guide, we'll pay the money, but that I would like to speak to someone one the office, just to tell them, that it would perhaps be helpful for clients in future to write about this fee in the discription, so nobody will be confused like we were. After we had to fill a feedback already on the boat, I thought, they will be really thankful for this advice. The guide gave me the phone, but the lady on the other side was extremely unfriendly, didn't really listen to me and didn't let me finish my sentence. She always said: But it's written there! And I just said: "Yes it is, but it would be much more clear if it would be mentioned in the discription." She ended the conversation. After this I should the guide on my App, what I spoke about, and he understood and thanked for the advice.

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Service
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GS2013_13
Hartlepool, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
196 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“A really enjoyable 2 days.”
Reviewed March 1, 2014 for a stay in February 2014

Booked the cruise on line with a company called Sunshine tours Wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. The journey from Hanoi takes over 3 hours and there is one stop on the way. The stop over was ok in both directions at different places. There clean toilets café and a shop selling handicrafts and no pressure to buy. Was pleased with the Boat and accommodation. From the out side view of the boat thought it was a bit past its sell buy date but the cabins and public rooms where in very good condition. my cabin had a large bed and aircon which coverts to a heater. The upper deck had a pleasant sun bathing area. unfortunately for our group the weather was undergoing a cold snap so we just made the best of it. We took a tour to a very large cave I think it was called the surprise cave, we did canoeing then went to a small island and climbed to the top for some fantastic views. Next day we visited an oyster farm and were show round and given a talk. After that we slowly returned to the jetty for our lunch. Halong bay was fantastic and the highlight of my trip to Vietnam .

How easy was it to book the property? How easy was key pickup/access to the property?
Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: Halong bay was fantastic and the boat was comfotable
Liked least: Price of drinks were double of on shore prices.
Travelling group: Solo Traveller
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amadeus30...
Brooklyn, New York
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great experience”
Reviewed February 21, 2014 for a stay in February 2014
1
person found this review helpful

Very nice boat, extremely nice staff. Especially our guide Tien and the Cruise Manager Mr. T were very nice, forthcoming, engaging and funny. Beautiful, elegant meals with generous portions. My wife is a vegetarian and they created vegetarian versions of all the meat dishes served just for her - an extremely considerate and highly appreciated gesture! It was one person's birthday (they noticed it when registering by passport) and they surprised him with a beautiful cake and flowers, which was extremely thoughtful. Cabin was nicer than most hotel rooms we've stayed in. Tastefully decorated with a great bathroom and hot (!) water. Tours were fun. Only about 20 people on board, which made it comfortable enough and allowed you to connect with most people. We were picked up and dropped off at our hotel in Hanoi. Halong Bay is stunning and definitely a must when visiting northern Vietnam.

Keep in mind: You do share the area and the tours with lots of other boats and people, so it can be quite crowded at times. Watch out for boat traffic when kayaking! Make sure to bring enough water!The schedule is quite rigid and specific, but it seems like it has to be, so that everything can be fit into the program. Wifi is very slow (but you're on a boat, so it's amazing it even exists). I'd recommend maybe doing a longer tour than just one night, so that you (might) venture out further into the bay (not sure).

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Halong Bay
Liked least: Very crowded
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
magistros
Glyfada, Greece
Level 6 Contributor
312 reviews
157 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“We had a great time with plenty of food”
Reviewed January 9, 2014 for a stay in January 2014

We had a great time with plenty of food, there was a problem with WiFi but it was solved after 2 hours. Our guide Mr. Rocky was great offering us plenty information to was we were seeing.

Travelling group: Με φίλους
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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