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We are doing this cruise in 4 weeks. Taking mostly US dollars as well as some Hong kong dollars (although we are in hong kong for a week prior to the cruise) and some Singapore dollars. as regards weather if you check out the World travel guide website it will give climate for the various countries you are visiting. we have prearranged visas for both Vietnam & China. Can't be doing with messing around waiting for visas at port, in China may well not let you into country without one. enjoy your cruise .
Thanks for the information enjoy your cruise stella.
We went on Diamond Princess far east cruise a couple of yars ago and found taking some US dollars was a good idea but needed to change some curencies In Beijing dollars were king no problems in hongkong or Vietnam either but sometimes a small amount of local currency was a definate plus for tips and small purchases and you need local currency if you use any public transport as we did in Japan and Taiwan also in Hongkong to get to stanley market and also to look at some of the bays which are absolutely beautiful. You needed to get your own Chinese visa when we went (or Princess would get it for you at an exhobitant price above the normal cost of when we went £40 each) for Vietnam the visas were put into our passports when they were handed in for scrutiny.
Don't forget you can use cashpoints in the Far East to draw local currency as is your need, just like in UK/Europe (that's what I do). As for weather, I have never been to the Far East in December but I have been many times late Oct into Nov & two words cover it, Damn Hot!
My husband and I sailed on the Nautica 2007 from Hong Kong to Bangkok the only visa we required as wer are british citizens was for Vietnam which we got our selves in London but we found out whist on board that the cruise company did a group visa which would have saved us allot of time and money. You should check with the cruise company direct we did try this but nobody got back to us so in the end we decided to get our own visas. We sailed in February and the weather was fantastic. We did an extension in Bangkok 4 nights then travelled to Huan Hin for 12 nights. If you get the opportunity to do a post cruise or pre cruise extension its well worth it Hong Kong Singapore etc. Money we took Sterling and changed as and when we needed it If you needed any more information get back to us. Linda and Andre Cyprus .
Thanks very much for the information stella.
Have jsut returned from this cruise. You will be able to use US dollars in some places in Manilla and Borneo and Brunei. Get Singapore dollars and Hong Kong Dollars and for Sanya get some Chinese currency - despite what they tell you if you take the shuttle bus there is quite a good range of shops there (beware if you take a taxi there - none of them speak English and it is quite hard to make them understand what you want to do).
The ship will arrange all of your visas so dont worry about that.
Unless it has changed by the time you go expext it to be around 30-34 degrees with high humidity - it rains quite a lot but not for a long time.
Prices in bars on ship are very expensive - you can buy a soft drink and a water package and I would recommend you do that but even so we still spent nearly 900 euros on drinks and never had more than 4 drinks any evening so beware.
Keep all of your receipts and check carefully - there were several people on our cruise had double charges.
Say hi to Christina and Angela (the entertainment team) they are great fun and all of the staff in the bars are lovely.
Food not brilliant (often cold but if you complain at the very start (ask for the restaurant manager) in the main restaurant you will find that it impoves greatly.
Hope you have a great cruise.
Thanks very much for the information Kind Regards Stella.