Let me start from the beginning, we were supposed to travel to Vietnam last October, but due to some convention held in October and November, we were denied visas, so the AUCO team were very understanding and agreed to push our booking till January 2018, even though we paid the non refundable fare, that was a great start, and the communication all the way was very clear and professional.
The day of the cruise, everything went as agreed, we got picked up at 7.50 in a beautiful van, with free WIFI, we picked up a few more guests and went on our way, in the middle of the way, they stop to a rest area where they sell everything with super inflated prices, that was the only negative thing about our trip, we paid 5 USD per bag of chips.
When we reached the pier, we got a very warm welcome from the staff and they guided us to our meeting point were we met our cruise Manager John, very nice guy. after maybe half an hour, they guided us to the ship, we were greeted by drummers and the crew shouting and clapping from the upper deck, that was so much fun!
We got our room key , bags were delivered fast, and we were asked if we liked our room or we could switch to the front as there were 2 empty rooms there, we stayed in our original room which had a great terrace and was sheltered from the wind, and it is better with a 2 year old child!
We had a great lunch and introduction to the crew by John, then a briefing on what to expect from this cruise.
Activities w ere so much fun, with all the safety taken into consideration, we only missed the Tai chi classed early morning as it was cold and we preferred to stay in our cosy bed for an extra hour !
so the food was beyond amazing, tasted and looked very good, with attention to details, staff was beyond wonderful, we felt like we became like a big happy family, specially after they invited us to their private after party where they were having traditional food and drinks, we felt very welcome and special!
WIFI was not so reliable, we did not bother much as the purpose of the trip is getting closer to nature and having a real good quality time... I would recommend the AUCO to all my friends and will definitely be back soon for another round! I hope thy will have the amazing Creme Brulee in a Pineapple!
Let aside the amazing experience of spending a few days in this rare landscape, the AuCo was up to expectations. We had a standard deluxe cabin with our kid. Cruise comfort was good, onboard 40+ staff was always helpful and friendly. Special prize to the Chef who did his best to entertain. Our kid was amazed and wants to come back. Only regret : 2 days & 2 nights is really too short for a true exploration experience of the bay and the islands.
From the moment we walked alongside at the dock to the moment we disembarked the service was exceptional. The staff/crew were outstanding throughout. We ha an exec cabin on the 2nd deck. The cabin was excellent, decent size double bed, ensuite double shower/wc and private balcony. Double wardrobe provided c/w digital safe, bathrobes. Cabin had aircon also.
Food on board is plentiful with the crew on hand to check you are enjoying your meal. Crew were willing to provide alternatives to the set dinner menu and checked if you had allergies or not.
The cruise itself is at a leisurely pace with cave visits, beach visits at various times of both days.
Overall a great experience which is a must when visiting North Vietnam. Drinks on board are pricey compared to Há Noi street bars, but still cheap compared to the UK!