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“Boat was good but itinerary not so much”

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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English first
Dutch first
English first
French first
German first
Italian first
Portuguese first
Spanish first
Any
English first
HN_travel...
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Boat was good but itinerary not so much”
Reviewed 1 August 2013 for a stay in July 2013
2
people found this review helpful

We booked this cruise (2 day, 1 night) through a local agent in Hanoi 2 days before we went, our boat was the Marguerite 2 and we paid $122USD pp for an ocean view room. We were lucky to get perfect weather on our trip given that it is the rainy season. The boat itself was very good, the rooms were quite nice although a little dated, in particular the bathroom but you are honestly only ever in there to sleep so it's not a big deal. The beds are rock hard though and this is something that they should definitely address. The other areas of the boat were great and the food was very good, the cocktails were also very good although a bit on the expensive side for vietnam. The thing that was annoying about this cruise was the itinerary. We got in the boat at about 12.30pm and then the afternoon was spent first visiting the surprise cave (which is very impressive and well worth a visit) with about 50 other boats, then kayaking again with about 50 other boats before visiting a very small patch of sand with about 50 other boats right at the end of the day when the sun was almost down, this small island is also undergoing massive works to construct a new wharf and has loud speakers blaring out Vietnamese at various intervals, certainly not relaxing and not what I expected of halong bay. The water was also very murky at the beach and there was a lot of rubbish. I asked the guide and apparently all the boats have to do the same route which just seems ridiculous and appears to be concentrating a lot of rubbish and tourism traffic in the same places at the same time. Also, we were told that we couldn't even lean on the handrails on the boat or the boat could get a fine, and we were also not allowed to jump off the boat, something that we had really been looking forward to. The best part was the evening once the boat had anchored and we got to relax and enjoy the area just being on the boat. All in all, the boat itself was great and halong bay was pretty spectacular but it's certainly crawling with tourists and I'm not sure the government is concentrating its efforts in the right areas. The set itineraries are not great and if i could do it again id want to try and pay more for a tour that allowed flexibility or a longer time. Also, The journey to halong bay from Hanoi is actually 4 hours each way including a 30 min stop over. And the roads for about half of it are roadworks and the conditions are not good, so bumpy that you couldn't even read a book. But again, it is definitely impressive to see so worth a visit.

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Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark C
Singapore, Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Simply magical. A great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life as time came to a standstill.”
Reviewed 28 July 2013 for a stay in July 2013

A definite recommendation to families and groups on vacation looking for a relaxing time. The guides and staff on the junk were helpful and really did all they could to make your stay on board a pleasant one. Services provided all went the extra mile. Amenities were good and accommodation was comfortable. All in all, it was a great to experience one of the wonders of the world with the crew.

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Liked best: The opportunity to mingle with the other holidayers
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
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Langley4
Langley, BC
Level 6 Contributor
295 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“5 star experience, 3 star price”
Reviewed 28 July 2013 for a stay in July 2013

We did the 2 day, 1 night Ha Long Bay cruise, and it was the highlight of our trip! From the moment we were picked up at our hotel in Hanoi, the experience was top notch. The Marguerite is well-maintained and clean. The cabins and ship exceeded our expectations. The bed in our cabin was probably the most comfortable out of all our rooms in Vietnam! The shower was phenomenal! The food was gourmet and absolutely delicious! All the excursions were timely and fun, and our guide spoke nearly perfect English. Our only complaint is that the wifi didn't work - but then again it was kind of nice to be off the grid for a couple days. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Marguerite Junk, and would stay again (and do the 3 day!!!) were we to return.

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Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
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Liked best: Food and cabin
Liked least: Needed more time for kayaking
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
EnriqueCo...
Madrid, Spain
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Nice trip in a delightful place”
Reviewed 27 July 2013 for a stay in July 2013

As a part of an organized trip, a group of friends came to Marguerite Junk for a 2 days 1 night tour in Ha Long Bay. First of all I Have to say Thang the guide was always very nice, kind and helpful... very solicitous towards all of us in a perfect English, better than mine btw...

Kayaking was the funniest part of the trip. I enjoyed it very much!

Another positive thing was food... a lot of good and very tasteful vietnamese food!!

But the negative side was the night on the boat. Nothing to do nothing to see... nothing nothing. Very boring. Maybe for families with babies is okay but for young and mid-age people... boring! Maybe a good idea could be doing cruises targeted only in a type of people: only families only singles.. etc.

Finally, boat was nice, clean and comfortable.

Overall, Margarite Junk is a very good option for a short trip in Ha Long Bay.

Value Rooms
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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
Daryl C
1 review
“Scenically Beautiful”
Reviewed 25 July 2013 for a stay in July 2013

Not knowing what to expect of the tour, other than reading the experiences of others on Tripadvisor, the bus trip from Hanoi was made enjoyable by the commentary of our guide, Thang. We were initially surprised at the mass loading of tourists at the Halong Bag embarkation terminal, but everything went smoothly. Once we had been ferried from the mainland to the Marguerite Junk, we were greeted by friendly staff and great facilities. The scenery of this natural wonderland is outstanding and the Marguerite Junk made the experience even more personal by breaking away from the pack of other ships to allow uninterrupted views of the islands and coastline.

The three day, two night cruise was perfect and we enjoyed every moment. The ship facilities were excellent and crew always on hand to help. Without a doubt, I would recommend the Marguerite Junk cruise to anyone and would encourage you to take the 3 day, 2 night option to enable you to get the most enjoyment from the Halong Bay experience.

One of the highlights of the tour was the excellent services of our local guide Thang, who provided concise information on local culture, history and the Halong Bay experience. Our family were very impressed with the helpful and friendly nature of all the staff and particularly a big thank you to Thang who assisted us when we changed our travel plans to remain in Halong Bay instead of returning to Hanoi.

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: The overall experience, facilities and friendly staff
Liked least: Nothing
Travelling group: Teenagers
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway 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
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