We hope you enjoyed the video we created from our overnight cruise aboard the MS Paradise Luxury in HaLong Bay, Vietnam. It was a dream come true for the both of us and the cruise was like staying on a floating luxury hotel complete with soft linens, thick towels, memorable cuisine, and sensational views. We wanted to give you a recount of all the fun they pack into an overnight cruise.
We boarded the boat shortly after 12:00noon. Prior to boarding we waited in the exclusive Paradise Cruise Lounge where they served light snacks, tea and juice.
Once onboard, we had an introductory meeting and safety instruction briefing. We were then invited to retire to our cabin to freshen up for lunch on the main deck. Our cabin was stunning and spacious! The room had a Queen-sized bed with similar linens to those in the rooms at Paradise Suites, ample plugs for all our electronics, and a large flat-screen TV that we never considered turning on as the views outside were more captivating. The room also had a large bathroom with jetted spa tube and shower.
After settling into our suite, we took a quick tour of the boat before lunch.
And then a delicious Vietnamese lunch was serviced as we cruised out to our first stop for the day.
After lunch, the crew advised us we had a busy afternoon of sightseeing! Our first excursion was to the largest caves in the area called the “Amazing” caves. They lived up to their name, they were quite amazing. I would compare the vast caverns to the Cango Caves in South Africa, though not as claustrophobic. Our enthusiastic guide shared many stories of Vietnamese gods and myths related to the caves.
After a thorough tour of the caves, we arrived back on the Paradise Luxury. While the crew readied the boat to move to our next destination, local women from the nearby floating village rowed up to the boat in an effort to sell snacks and souvenirs to the guests on the cruise. Finally we set off on our next excursion, Ti Top Island, to take in the stunning views from the viewpoint and enjoy some swimming from the white sandy beach.
At Ti Top Island, you should be prepared to hike up a lot of steep steps to reach the viewpoint. Though the climb can be taxing, the views are so worth it! We took in the views and took photos for a while, then made the decent back down to join up with the rest of our cruise passengers for a swim to cool off. Julie was not as keen too swim as sadly the waters here (and much of Southeast Asia) were not that clean. This is quite unfortunate especially now that the area has been designated as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Regardless, I enjoyed the opportunity to cool off in the middle of these awe-inspiring surroundings. We had roughly 50 minutes on the island and then we made our way back to the cruise to relax and freshen up for the evening.
The cruise set sail to a secluded bay were we would moor for the evening. After a nice hot shower, we took part in a cooking class and local cocktail “class” on the upper deck. Most of the guests on the boat participated in this and it was good fun to interact with the crew and chef. The short presentation taught us how to make traditional Vietnamese spring rolls, then we each got to try our hand at making one ourselves. The best part was enjoying the fruits of our labor with our new friends and a Vietnamese toast with rice wine.
Following the happy hour festivities on the upper deck we were escorted to our tables for an elegant five-course dinner. Dinner was delicious. The food was well presented and tasted magnificent. After dinner we retreated to the upper deck again where we enjoyed the company of the other passengers. It was a busy day aboard the Paradise Luxury and we knew that we had an early morning, therefore shortly thereafter we made our way to our cabin for bed. The beds are most comfortable and we slept quite well even through a fierce storm passed through the night.
The next morning we were both up really early for yoga class, but unfortunately it was cancelled due to the rain. It was still nice to be up early to take in the views as we slowly cruised out from the harbor we had anchored in for the evening. After enjoying coffee and a light snack we were off on another excursion. The boat tour took us through a small cave into this beautiful inclosed bay. We liked the surrounding views, but we were very disappointed with the amount of pollution that was in the water.
After the excursion we had our full breakfast and had to check out of our rooms around 9am. During breakfast the cruise made its way back to port and we disembarked shortly after 10:30am.
Our bucket list trip to Ha Long Bay was a dream come true for both of us. There are no words to describe how memorable and breathtaking the experience was. Ha Long Bay is definitely worth the trip when visiting Vietnam, but be sure to do a one night/two day cruise to get the full experience. A one day trip in the area is too rushed and tiring.
The Honeymoon Couple were invited guests of Paradise Cruises, however the views and opinions expressed are solely our own.