It’s a long way to Hong Kong – but are cruises my thing?

Written by kvfawcett on December 23, 2010 – 11:14 am -

I’m in the process of embarking on the trip of a lifetime. Let’s see if it’s what I imagined. Whether or not it is, it’s going to be an interesting voyage and to be sure, one heck of a saga.

Typing from the a room at the Hong Kong Intercontinental I’m excited to be in one of my favorite cities. Watching the sun rise over Victoria Harbour and seeing the buildings on Hong Kong Island takes my breath away. The boats ranging from freighters, junks with red sails and cruise boats peacefully coexist. And then there’s the Star Ferry which shuttles back and forth.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Hong Kong and consider it an adult playground. If I were younger, I might have opted to move to Asia rather than Paris. Please don’t tell Bonjour Paris readers.

If you stay at the Intercontinental, bite the bullet and pay the supplement for the Club Intercontinental. If you play your cards right, you never need to eat anywhere else—breakfast, tea and cocktails are served gratis in the lounge — plus its members are entitled to free Internet in their rooms and guests have access to free computers, so you’re not running up business center bills. There’s no question we got our money’s worth. Plus there’s nothing like being served very good French champagne, merci. How many glasses can you drink in two hours while sampling a more than generous selection of hors d’œuvre?

I’m not suggesting you don’t go out to eat. There are wonderful noodle houses on Nathan Road, and Michelin just announced that its Hong Kong Macao 2011 guide has awarded four restaurants three stars, twelve restaurants two stars and fifty-three were given one Michelin star. In fact, the Yan Toh Heen in the hotel merits a one star and features healthy cuisine. If you like dim sum, you’ll be in heaven. So much for chop suey, which they don’t make or eat here anyway.

Toby, a friend with whom I’ve traveled for many years, decided we were getting a bit old for adventure travel and packing and unpacking every two days and being subjected to way too much airport security as we flew from here to there. Seeing the area by water might be the ideal solution. We relaxed in Hong Kong and didn’t do our usual hit all of the markets and buy it all because we needed to rest up for our trip. That may sound strange, (resting up to go on vacation?) but crossing thirteen time zones between New York and Hong Kong can play havoc with your internal clock.

We’re going to be taking a two-week-long cruise on the Seabourn Pride. We’ll be sailing through Vietnam, stopping in Bangkok and disembarking in Singapore. I’ve made many trips to this part of the world since my husband had a consulting project here. But, we were always on land with the exception of a few get-from-here-to-there boat trips. Oh yes, there was the outing in Manilla on the Chinese Junk where the entertainers sang Hawaiian songs and we ate Indian curry.

Some people love cruises and others don’t. I’m curious to find out whether or not they’re for me. My understanding is they’re are people who wouldn’t consider traveling any other way. Will I be one of them? Are you? Please give me as many hints as possible about what I should expect.


Posted in Consumer Traveler |