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I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

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Toronto, Canada
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I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

Trying to arrange your Halong Bay cruise is a bit of a mine field. There seems to be a lot of poor business ethics in that industry.

Anyways, I arranged my 2-day/1-night Halong Cruise through Vietnam OpenTour. I paid $130 per person for the Luxury Imperial Cruise. Upon boarding the cruise and mingling with other tourists, I found that others on board paid anywhere from $80 to $135 (per person) for the exact same thing.

Before booking your cruise with any company, ask them what will happen if the cruise gets rained out (e.g., contingency plans, partial refund). And if they make nice promises, get it in writing and bring it with you.

Our cruise was rained out. We did not get to do and see most of the activities and sights listed on our itinerary. We paid luxury prices, and instead of staying on the luxury ship, we stayed in a very crappy hotel in Halong (Blue Sky Hotel) in a small town with little to do. We all asked about just leaving early for Hanoi so that we could be in our nice hotels. They said this was not possible, and had us sign a hotel register. We asked about partial refunds, and they indicated this would be possible by speaking with our tour operator upon returning to Hanoi. These were all lies.

Upon returning, we had a meeting with Le Thi Phuong, a Tour Operator with Vietnam OpenTour. It was quite clear she had no intention of giving us a partial refund. She told us that we chose to stay in the crappy hotel and stay the night, and signing the register was proof of that.

I argued that we paid for all of these activities that did not happen, and for a luxury room we did not get. And we were denied going home early to our hotel in Hanoi, which she did not believe.

After painful negotiations, I got the price down to $80 per person, which is what some other people paid anyways for the same experience. I think the only reason she gave in was because we had not paid for the excursion yet (since it was part of our hotel bill).

Unless you want to go through this headache and be ripped off, I suggest you do not use this tour operator:

Vietnam OpenTour

17 Hang Thung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

www.vietnamopentour.com.vn

www.dulichhanoi.com.vn

Ph#: +84 (0) 4 3926 2328

Italy
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1. Re: I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

I think it's always better to book directly with the cruise company itself.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

I think this up to the weather in Ha long Bay.

pacific palms
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for Mui Ne
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3. Re: I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

Post No 2 is humorous.

Ha- its about a failure of the Agent to properly look after their guests when the weather intervenes.

You wont get much business bounce from your posts with that attitude.

Product-of-canada, I think the Agent failed to provide and you should ask your bank to refuse the card transaction (if you used a card).

Cheers Ross

Vietnam
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4. Re: I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

Ross, it is not about the failure of agent to refund but the attitude to services.

pacific palms
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for Mui Ne
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5. Re: I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

IndochinaVoyages I suggest you re-read my post as it says exactly that.

Ross

6. Re: I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

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Toronto, Canada
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70 posts
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7. Re: I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

Chrella, I think this varies. I had heard that theory before.

But on our cruise, the couple that paid full price ($135/person) booked direcly with the cruise company.

The couple that paid $80/person booked it through a tour operator.

Kobe, Japan
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8. Re: I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

As i know there are few cheap (budget) tour operator in Vietnam, or in any where in Asia. Open tour is one of them. But the cruises in Ha Long bay are most luxury standard. So why don't you find a better tour operator for better services. Im sure you will be treated with much better way, also the refunds.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

Hello Kaito2005,

I think you failed to see the point. With so many options, and price not necessarily being an indicator, how do we know which is better? I did not go for the cheapest.

That is why it is helpful if TripAdvisor allowed us to review tour operators in some way. That is why I made this post.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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10. Re: I do not recommend "Vietnam OpenTour" to arrange cruise

Did you ask the tour operator to give you some options before you book? We compared the prices of the cruises online and checked for what included to make sure that we are not overcharged.

The prices from cruises directly are often more expensive than travel agent's prices and these travel agents work even more efficiently. It took a few days for the cruises to response our request while we got options from a local agent in Hanoi just after some hours. We did not ask for refund because nothing happened in our trip but we supposed they would give us to protect their business!