I have just came back from 3D2N trip in Halong Bay and I would say it’s totally worthy. Recently, buying package accommodation and cruise is now trending and it has many advantages and makes your trip stress – free. I’m a super busy person with my job so that booking a package tour became my first priority and that was a very economical choice. For our last trip in Vietnam, me and my best friend have booked luxury package Paradise Elegance Cruise and Apricot Hotel for our stay.
Experience the Truly Luxury holiday - Package Paradise Elegance Cruise & Apricot Hotel
For 3 days 2 nights stay we booked, It includes 2 days 1 night tour on Paradise Elegance Cruise and 1 night stay at Apricot Hotel on the night before cruise date (with breakfast). Since we will have flight in afternoon on 3rd day therefore this package is perfect for us.
Hanoi Hotel Check-in
We flew from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi and landed around 11am, after collecting luggage, we were picked up and transferred to Apricot Hotel. (Pick up service is included in the package). We arrived to hotel at 12 noon. The time check in is around 14pm however on that date, the hotel has room available so that we were checked in right after arriving. Our first impression about hotel is super luxury and cool. Excellence location which facing to Hoan Kiem lake and close to tourist attraction places. This is the best thing that I love this hotel. We have booked Sketch room-type, room is clean and comfortable. Apricot hotel also has outside swimming pool with lake view which you can enjoy romantic moments with your relatives. In the afternoon, we walked around the lake and eat some local food then back to hotel prepare and relax for the trip on next day.
On the next morning, We had breakfast at hotel restaurant and my friend had say ‘Wow” because the breakfast was very hearty and the staff were enthusiastic as well. I gave 9/10 for the hotel.
Transportation Hanoi to Halong Bay
I was scheduled to meet the bus between 8: 45-9: 00 AM. Before that, a guide came to our hotel to check the information of guests as well as remind travel time and make sure guests are ready when the bus arrives. We are group of 2 and were on the bus with 5 other guests on Limousine bus. The seats on bus are comfortable and spacious . It takes about 2.5 hours by the new highway road Hanoi - Ha Long (As far as I know there will be some trains still going on national road and takes about 4 hours to transfer so you should check before book a cruise) and have a break on the road about 10 minutes . We arrived in Ha Long around 12 noon and were checked in at lobby of Paradise Suite hotel. We were given a pretty bracelet to distinguish guests between ships. Then the electric car delivered us to the Paradise Elegance Cruise port (about 3 minutes). As far as I can see, the other cruises will let guests check in at the cruise waiting lounge at the port – Tuan Chau Marina then go on board instead of checking in at the hotel.
About the Paradise Elegance Cruise
The cruise we picked is Paradise Elegance, the most luxurious steel cruise in Ha Long Bay, the ship is huge with 31 cabins, the maximum capacity of 62 guests. All rooms have a private balcony and have table outside the balcony so you can sit and enjoy the breath- talking view of Halong from your room’s balcony. 1st and 2nd floor are bedrooms for guests, on the 3rd floor will be restaurant and indoor bar while on the top deck is the sundeck and outside bar.
I booked an Executive Balcony Cabin, the room is located on the 2nd floor. The room area as I find out is 25m2 - spacious for a room on the yacht. This room and the deluxe balcony cabin are exactly the same, only different about location. I prefer 2nd floor therefore, I have paid about 20 usd more to upgrade to this room. There are also two more suite type : Elegance Suite and Captain view at the back and front of the ship. If you have good finance, you can choose these 2 classes to experience rooms with a wider sun terrace . My room has 2 single beds, all the things in the room are fully equipped like 5 star hotel with mini bar, tea table, bathroom. Especially we have huge window with glass from ceiling to the floor so we can take the sightseeing from our bed.
2 days 1 night cruise itinerary
Day 1: Upon boarding, we were warmly welcomed by all crew team at the cruise's restaurant with a traditional Vietnamese dance. After the management introduces the safety regulations on the ship as well as the notice of the 2D1N schedule, the staff will deliver the room key for each group. With large luggage, the staff had left at front of your room, I went to check the room and rested for about 10 minutes then went to the restaurant to enjoy lunch around 13:00 pm.
After lunch, everyone will have about an hour to take a quick rest before going sightseeing in the afternoon. For transfer at the Bay, the cruise have been using a tender boat which takes about 5 minutes from the main boat to the sights.
In the afternoon, I visited Sung Sot Cave and went to visit in the Pearl village area. Sung Sot Cave is the largest and most beautiful cave in Halong Bay with limestone stalactites. The path inside is quite small and crowded so you will have to follow the line when entering the cave.
The second destination is the Tung Sau Pearl Farm . Here you have 2 options: Visiting the pearl farm area and see how to make a pearl or kayaking. We opted kayaking and I would recommend you to experience kayaking one timein Ha Long Bay. The feeling of boating in the middle of nature is very peaceful. After an hour, the tender took us back to the big ship. We had about 1.5 hours to rest and take a shower. At 6:30pm is time for cooking class activity. Staffs on the cruise will guide people how to make fried spring rolls – a delicious Vietnamese dish.
Then we went down to the inside bar to relax and listen to music before dinner. One of my favorite things on the boat is having a live music with Philipines band. After dinner, you can relax by listening to music or do squid fishing.
Day 2: In the morning of day 2, there will be a Tai Chi session for those who get up early (6am). After that, we visited Titov Island - one of the most beautiful islands in the bay. Here, you can swim or hike to the top of the Titop to have a panoramic view of the bay from above. I climbed to the topand took some really cool photos.
After visiting, we returned to the ship, packed the luggage and checked out cabin then move up to the restaurant for breakfast, sightseeing while the main boat returns to the harbor.
About 10:30, the Paradise Elegance Cruise arrived to the dock, I was taken to the Paradise Hotel’s restaurant to wait for the bus back to Hanoi. About 11:30 we were served a light meal then got the bus back Hanoi at 12h. We arrived to Hanoi around 2:30pm, since we have domestic flight at 7Pm, so that we askedstaff to leave luggage at Apricot Hotel and then walking around Old Quarter then take taxi to airport at 5pm
Food on cruise:
Only 2 words to comment: ‘Extremely delicious’. The meals on board are carefully prepared. Staff always set up different layout at every meal. I had 2 buffet meals at lunchand breakfast.Food is a combination between European and Vietnamese. Dinner is prepared according to a lar cate set, I chose Asian menu to better suit with my taste. All meals on board are included in the price when you book the package. You will only have to pay for beverage on board. The price for drinks is about 5 USD for a bottle of beer or glass of fruit juice.
I am very satisfied with the service of the cruise as well as the hotel. Experience overnight Halong cruise feels like you are stayed at a 5-star hotel in the middle of the natural bay.
Also, staff on cruise are professional , very funy , friendly and they well noted the smallest details to bring the best experience for guests.
This is a memory trip for us when we go Vietnam and I will definitely recommend it to my friends and I will come back again when I have a chance. For those who want to have a complete holiday with a reasonable price, the package tour like me will be a perfect choice. You can also book your cruise only if you find hotel that you like.
There are many choices for cruise in Halong bay with different prices and you might overwhelm about it. You should check about cruise photos, schedule, prices or reviews from customersand choose the most suitable one. We have booked our package at Halongbaycruises.com – official website, at first I was very confused about which one I should choose however when I submitted a request on the website, their travel consultant was very helpful to recommend us the good and suitable package.
Hopefully the review of my trip has brought a lot of useful information as well as a good suggestion for everyone wish visiting Ha Long bay. Wish you will have a memorable trip to Ha Long!