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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
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dutch first
English first
French first
German first
Italian first
Portuguese first
Spanish first
Any
English first
Caecilie...
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Good to see the bay, but could have done more on the boat”
Reviewed 29 April 2014 for a stay in April 2014
1
person found this review helpful

We stayed on the Marguerite Junk for one night and although it was good to see the bay, we could have had more time for activities, as there was a lot of sitting around. We did about an hour on the canoes and the cooking demonstration lasted about 15 minutes. They also provide limited free water, so make sure you take some with you!

Having said that, our tour guide Tong was very kind and knowledgeable about the islands, city and told us about the Vietnamese culture on the bus transfer down. The food was also good and the rooms were very clean.

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
Katie F
Vientiane
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“No attention to detail, overpriced, and overbearing”
Reviewed 20 April 2014 for a stay in April 2014
2
people found this review helpful

My family and I did a two day, one-night cruise with Margeurite Junks and would not recommend this company to anyone looking at Halong Bay cruises. The boat is nothing like what the pictures look like. Small, cramped, horrible beds. The cabins were not ready (no batteries in air conditioner control, dirty beds, trash shoved in room closet, dirty windows, cockroaches in bathroom, etc). When we were asked for feedback on the boat it ứa in front ò all the other guests and it made it awkward since we had so much to bring up. The response from "Mr. T" the cruise manager ứa that since he didn't stay in the guest rooms, he đin't realize the problems. All the boat crew smoked cigarettes that you could smell near the cabins at night. One bottle of water only that ứa complimentary and then we got yelled at for buying bottles from a local seller and bringing them on the boat.

The thing that made the trip really bad however ứa the tour guide- Peter. He hovered and controlled every movement. Stood by my husband and I while we were playing cards and trying to enjoy alone time and the scenery. He couldn't take hint and really made things hard to enjoy. Ì we weren't right by his side during the cave tour, he would ask why, even ì we were just trying to get out of the way of other people. During the shuttle rides from Hanoi to the bay, he awkwardly kept trying to entertain the group, when it ứa clear everyone ứa doing just fine on their ơn and đin't want to be bothered.

If there ứa any way to get our trip refunded, it should be. I will be talking with our travel agent as well to not recommend this Halong company again. Therere are plenty of other options~!

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Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunrise83
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Good, but too expensive.”
Reviewed 8 April 2014 for a stay in April 2014
4
people found this review helpful

We booked the Marguerite Garden Halong Bay boat cruise for the 3 day 2 night itinerary, online with BestPriceVietnam.com, about 6 weeks before we left England. We had to pay a deposit to secure the booking - paid via OnePay as requested by Best Price Vietnam. We thought the communication before the day of departure was very good, with a few emails being sent to and from, all in good English and them understanding all our questions. On the day of departure, we were met in our hotel reception in Hanoi by a Best Price Vietnam staff member to pay the remainder of the balance, as agreed in previous correspondence. I remember being impressed with the professionalism of the lady who met us. She stayed with us and kept a look out for the coach until the Tonkin Cruise tour guide arrived. The coach journey to the wharf in Halong City went well, with a 30 minute rest stop about halfway. The small coach was very clean and comfortable, and a bottle of water each was given out just after we boarded. Total time took nearly 4 hours. From the outside, the Marguerite Garden boat looks weathered and a bit old, but once on board I was pleasantly surprised. I would recommend booking an Ocean View cabin on level 2, as you will have windows both sides, and no one making noises above you. Our cabin was clean and presented nicely. The actual itinerary of the cruise did not fully match the one on the website. We went with the flow but at least 2 other couples on the boat were not happy with this. Kayaking was fun, but the activities on day 2 finished by 16:15, with the intention of relaxing until dinner served at 19:00. Problem is we all would have liked to have carried on exploring and kayaking, but we were not allowed. Due to the weather being overcast and misty, we ended up just sitting inside with not much to do - and with the boat being moored up for the night, there wasn't even any new scenery to admire. If the sun had been shining, we would've been up on the top deck sun bathing, and probably wouldn't have noticed the down time. All the staff were extremely friendly and helpful, plenty of tasty food at every meal, clean boat, shower pressure good in cabin, and the wifi only was only accessible in the restaurant area (and very slow, but it was a bonus to have any at all considering the location). During the day, they take you out on one or two smaller boats so you can transfer between the various islands. Towels and snorkelling equipment was provided for free, and the lunch we had on board the smaller boat was just as good as on the sleeper boat. When we were all out kayaking, we felt confident our bags and belongings were safe, and also when leaving our big bags in the cabin - the tour guide emphasised the Maguerite Garden was equipped with CCTV. Only small bottles of water were provided, one each, on a daily basis when our cabins were cleaned. We recommended in our feedback that there should be free water and tea/coffee available, as all drinks are fairly pricey on board. On reflection, we do not think this particular cruise is worth the money (we paid 484USD for 2 people in the ocean view cabin), as we felt the time spent in Halong Bay was not utilised to its maximum, and too much attention was spent on the meal times, and not on the activities/sightseeing.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Theodor11...
Zuerich
Level 6 Contributor
253 reviews
174 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
“landscape great, cruise below average”
Reviewed 3 April 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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Liked least: dirty bay
Travelling group: Other
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Nein.
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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 30 March 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
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Adults2
Children0
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