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“Worth the upgrade! Lovely staff- attention to detail”

Starlight Cruise Halong Bay - Day Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Starlight Cruise - a member of Oriental Sails' luxury collection - is a truly remarkable ship as she offers the luxury of more spaces than any other cruise ship on Halong Bay as well as features elegantly decorated cabins and public areas. The ship's 32 spacious staterooms feature all the high-end amenities of a five-star hotel of international standard. Starlight's elegant-appointed public areas include a restaurant, two lounges, a library, a gift shop, a spa and a wine cellar. The expansive Sundeck is a haven for relaxation, where passengers can mingle into unforgettable Halong Bay scenery on comfortable longer chairs while enjoying a cool drink served from the sky bar. On Starlight Cruise, we know that great service is more than just fulfilling your travel needs. It's the genuine smile that greets you each day and the security of your expertise. It's unprecedented warmth, care and consideration affording you pleasure from the first day on board to the end of your memorable holiday.
Reviewed September 2, 2018

If you search Ha Long Bay you’ll find mixed reviews ranging from the enthralled couple who spent their honeymoon here to the unimpressed wanderer who hates the crowds. Ha Long does have 500 hundred tourist boats, and a few hundred thousand visitors a year, from what I’m told, but I am usually that latter category of “hard to impress wanderer” and still found this cruise to be wonderful. The area has to manage its human impact, for sure, and you’ll see plastic bottles around as a reminder of how few places on earth are untouched, but I’m glad I went. I also picked up a few plastic bottles while I was here, hopefully others can do the same.

I would make a couple recommendations if you don’t want to feel like you bought into a tourist train in this location: 1) late season seems to be key, I am here in September 2) Upgrade- I took one of the nicest cruisers on the bay and the difference in it’s size and quality was really visible I saw one of my other cheaper options roll by and I could see it was much smaller and more crowded, much older boat too.

You’ll see lots of photos online taken of 7 -10 boats all in a cluster over a half a square mile or so— and we did anchor in gatherings each evening, but I suspect that is due to Ha Long preservation requirements, and I’m 100% for that if it’s the case. Most of the daytime there was only a boat or two anywhere in my line of sight, and they weren’t close. Easily cropped out of any photo I wanted to take- just not at anchor. Getting on and off the boat was also a bit of a clamor- six or seven languages being spoken rapidly around you, six or seven little kids running around, but once on the cruiser with my own space to be, I felt more comfortable.

Accommodations: Excellent, see photo. Large king size bed, private bath, jacuzzi tub, window to the outside was large and also opened for air or in the event of an emergency- many other yachts do not offer opening windows. AC got up and running and kept the room cool, TV didn’t play the movies it was loaded with but I didn’t care at all- didn’t need to watch any TV on this trip. Robes, bathroom amenities: comb, soap, shampoo but no hairdryer. Excursions offer beach towels. All appeared clean, well cared for. Wifi worked on the galley/bar floor, hosts will be the first to tell you it’s hit or miss during parts of the day as we move near/away from signal towers.

I had a cabin on floor two (sea level) near the front of the boat. Liked this a lot- away from noise of entertainment after 10pm (I sleep early and rise early) though you will hear the anchor chain in the morning (no problem for me, I was always already up and showered). Floor three might hear more of the evening noise up to about midnight, though you are closer to the top deck and the galley/bar in those rooms.

Food- Excellent- see photo of meals and menu— many revolve around meats and fish, a pescatarian wouldn’t have too many issues but a true vegetarian would likely have fewer meal options at lunch and dinner. Quality was excellent, Vietnamese-leaning tastes but palatable for nearly any culture I would think. I was stuffed full after six delicious courses every lunch and dinner. Outing day aboard the day boat was just as good, too! A range of beverages available for your relaxing needs, $2 beers to $7 rum smoothies, and paid on a cumulative bill at checkout. You are permitted to bring your own beer and snacks aboard- so I had a room supply as well for when I woke up too early for breakfast (7am) and wanted a snack.

Staff- Can’t say enough good things- everyone was so attentive, they learned us all by name as it was a smaller group. I was traveling alone and they checked on me often, excellent hosts for any need from dietary, entertainment, assistance on excursions. Tommy was a wonderful and attentive host, personal and friendly.

Activities- Loved kayaking to the beaches, though on a cloudy day the paddling was more appealing that sitting on the beach when it was warm but not sunny. Beaches are smallish due to the land formation, naturally. The day boat to the kayaking was great, hosts equally as attentive as the mother ship. Very scenic, I felt it was worth the second day (3 day, two night cruise includes an extra day trip further into the scenery). Our day boat did the whole shebang even though there were only three of us that opted in— literally only one couple, myself, and the crew on a day cruiser that was probably 60 feet long and had two floors for sitting/sunbathing.

Attire: The activities, beaches, wet hardwood floors aboard the boat (potential rainstorm odds decent) all suggest using very sensible footwear— I would recommend a Teva or ankle-strapped flip flop rather than just the toe thong variety. No need for full-on Keen water sneaker necessarily, but treads and staying-on power will be your friend stepping on and off kayaks, wet boats, beaches with coral shards. Light rain jacket also a positive choice. Sunscreen was applied liberally, bug spray was not needed even on the damp days or visiting the beach. Brought a little tripod for photos, my lightweight kite for fun, and a book— reading on the top deck before breakfast was a special part of the trip. **Phone attire: excellent waterproof case also highly recommend— for rain/kayaking/having handle strap a good idea!

Overall: This was a wonderful tour I loved throughout. The cabin was perfectly luxe, the staff were absolutely top notch. The chef and cooking staff really know what they are doing- professional for sure. I would recommend this tour to anyone— I’m personally a business traveler and had a weekend and one holiday day to spend away from Hanoi. The value of the tour is this: for the same price as a quality hotel in the city plus meals and entertainment plus transfers, you can sleep aboard a great cruiser in a really unique area of the world, meals, activities, and transportation right from your hotel doorstep is all included.

Date of experience: September 2018
1  Thank Carly M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"squid fishing"
in 24 reviews
"star light"
in 5 reviews
"tour guide jackie"
in 5 reviews
"fishing village"
in 20 reviews
"jacuzzi tub"
in 6 reviews
"french fries"
in 5 reviews
"ask questions"
in 3 reviews
"amazing room"
in 3 reviews
"cooking class"
in 14 reviews
"mr bean"
in 5 reviews
"fried spring rolls"
in 3 reviews
"staff were all very friendly"
in 3 reviews
"tai chi"
in 13 reviews
"oriental sails"
in 8 reviews
"one night"
in 15 reviews
"top deck"
in 9 reviews
"an excellent guide"
in 3 reviews

47 - 51 of 280 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2018

It was a wonderful time for my trip to Halong. The room was great, all the staffs on the boat had been hot, friendly and attentive with us and all of the visitors. Especially the food was actually actually delicious!. The tasks had been well organized.I got to do the kayaking , which was great experience for me and had a great time. I joined with Starlight cruise in two days one night trip. It was impressive for everything! Highly suggest! I will comback soon in someday.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Phạm H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 2, 2018 via mobile

I know Halong Bay has a lot of cruises company, however in here i got the best experience in my life. They have a such good arrangement and servicefor the trips . My wife is on her birthday and surpsingly, they arrange for birtday cake tp celebrate. It is awesome. Even the porpose to looking for lanscape and cruise, but they have a inner beauty service from their heart. I promise, I will go back here, of course with Starlight cruise.

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank suryadinatha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 29, 2018 via mobile

cruise interior and exterior decoration is excellent.
service was good and the staff were all very friendly. food was nice for the breakfast, lunch and dinner also.
tourguide tommy can was very friendly and he is also a nice photographer . So ,next time when I come here I really do contact him again .In conclusion,I satisified all of your services.Thank you all

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Thuya T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed July 27, 2018 via mobile

We enjoyed a 24 hour stay at the boat and we had nothing to complain. our tour guide was Mr Lang and his English was good and he wanted to help you in any way possible.

The boat was very clean, had jacuzzi in every room and the dinner, breakfast and lunch tasted excellent!

Date of experience: July 2018
1  Thank SanderH226
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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