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Reliability of halongcruises.net?

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Sydney, New South...
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Reliability of halongcruises.net?

Hi there,

I'm planning on booking a Halong Bay tour for this October, and have been hunting around for prices.

The lowest I've found for a particular cruise is on halongcruises.net.

Just wondering if anyone has booked through this website before and if it is a reliable source?

I know booking directly with the tour operator is recommended, but the tour operator does not allow me to pay via my preferred method and have not replied to my emails as to whether halongcruises.net represents them.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Waiheke Island, New...
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11. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

Hope you had a good cruise and hope this reply helps anybody in the future. We just returned from a Halong Bay cruise that we booked through Andy at Hainam travel, they are the guys that run the Halongcruises.net website. They did a great job helping us choose from the hundreds of options and they only work with cruise companies that they know will live up to the expectation.

Andy was great, he responded to all emails within a couple of hours and was able to get me a price that was actually cheaper than when I contacted the cruise company directly. They are an up and coming business and so have asked if I would be happy to endorse them based on my experience and I have to say that in the future I would always book through Halongcruises.net and deal with Andy. Also, if you are booking as a group or would like to split the payment across two or more cards they use the online Onepay system (Vietnam's version of Paypal) which makes this very simple, so great if you are travelling with a friend and would both like to pay separately, also much more secure than wondering the streets of Hanoi with hundreds of dollars/millions of dong in your wallet.

Incidentally, we booked a cruise with Paloma for 3 days and 2 nights and it was amazing I would highly recommend them.

12. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

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Removed on: 11 September 2013, 11:22
Kennesaw, Georgia
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13. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

I understand your concern. I had the same concern before booking with this company. Luckily I had a friend in Laos whom I trust and she suggested this company to me. I was very scared at first. The concern started to go away after my persistent questions kept being answered by Andy. As Andy would answer my questions, I researched many of his answers and found them to be true. But it was really his consistency in answering my questions that helped convince me. I thought to myself, "If this were fake, why would he keep answering my questions, and with great detail and timeliness."

In the end, after it was all said and done, I got everything I asked for with the company and they met me afterward to see how the trip went.

The company is real and I got what I asked for.

14. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

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Removed on: 11 February 2014, 15:50
Wellington, New...
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15. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

I recently completed a review before leaving NZ for Vietnam to give this company credit for all their help before the trip, especially after I had to seek a postponement due to a loss in the family and having to change our plans. We have now had our four nights in Hanoi with our one day tour to Halong Bay. It was a very long day with a 3 1/2 hour drive each way, but we are personally really happy to have done it that way given our short time in the area.

We booked the 6 hour private cruise and I highly recommend it. It was really good value for money. We were met at our hotel by a guide with excellent English, who also turned out to be great company. We were then also met by our own driver in a very comfortable, air conditioned car. We stopped at one tourist place on the way and probably got a bit carried away with the purchases. We were able to ask the guide all sorts of questions a long the way, which was great, since this is our first trip here. He was also interested in NZ which made for nice conversation.

The thing that really made the day though, was the boat. It was beautiful and ALL FOR US! It was a bit embarrassing to start with, a boat that can hold 40 people reserved for us two, one nicely set table for lunch and a big sun deck upstairs. But, then we just enjoyed it. The lunch was very nice. Might be a bit light for some western appetites, but it worked for us.

Halong Bay is stunning. We went to the large cave and the swimming beach, with a walk to the top of that island for great views. You need to take cash with you if you want extras like beach chairs, or a bucket of fresh water for after your swim (I recommend that too). Drinks on the boat are also extra.

Our only tip would be to take some snacks for the trip back. Our driver and guide were willing to stop somewherefor dinner on the way back, but we were really tired and not due back until after 9 as it was.

Lastly, Andy and I had been in a lot of contact before the trip so him and his colleague invited us for coffee on our last day in Hanoi. We went to kne of their favourite places and tried some amazing coffee (you must try coffee with egg in Vietnam, we haven't been able to find itin Nha Trang yet and I am dying to have it again). They gave us heaps of advice on what to do on our last day and offered to answer any questions by email when we are in Nha Trang. It really started our last day in Hanoi on a high, having a great chat with some locals. They did ask if we minded making a short video recommendation for their site, which we were happy to do, since we understand how hard it is to decide what company to book with in such a crowded market and we really were so happy with our experience.

I should also point out that we paid the deposit and balance with Onepay which I researched a bit and had no problem with.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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16. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

All of us understand that, booking through a travel agency, we have to pay an extra except from the real total cost. :) If you want to save this amount, you can contact directly with cruise operator

Abu Dhabi, United...
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17. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

I travel extensively throughout the world and I have used their service very recently and indeed, as others have already said, they are extremely efficient people. I am totally happy with them and if I am going to go back, I will definitely go for Halongcruise.net, again. Andy and his colleague even met up with me after my cruise asking me if I am happy with the service - after chatting with them for about an hour, I really do feel that they are people who are trust-worthy and there is nothing "mysterious" about them.

Melbourne, Australia
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18. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

My husband and I with our 8 year old son travelled to Vietnam in September/October this year. When deciding to book a Halong Cruise I spent hours trolling through various Trip Advisor forums on the many different cruises offered. I discovered Paloma Cruises and thought that this would satisfy our needs - budget, type of boat with a family suite that offered a private balcony and most importantly the itinerary. I was keen to experience both Halong and Bai Tu Long Bays and Paloma Cruises did both in the 1 night/2 day cruise. The next step was shopping around for a quote.

I contacted 3 travel agents and settled with Andy from Hainam Travel (via Halongcruises.net.) Andy was quick to respond to a myriad of questions and organised a private car because I didn't fancy sitting on a shuttle bus for 4 hours there and 4 hours back (the road to the pier is full of pot holes and so bumpy!)

The night before the cruise, a friend and his wife were very keen to join us on the cruise. So at 9.30pm that night I contacted Andy to see if it was possible for him to organise an extra cabin for 2 adults. I was very impressed that at such short notice and that it was so late at night, Andy was so accommodating and arranged for my friend to accompany us within half an hour. (Luckily Paloma Cruise was not fully booked.)

We were all impressed with the cruise - the food, hospitality and staff were wonderful. They had (via Andy's suggestion) arranged a surprise 10 year wedding anniversary cake, cocktails, flowers and an ornamental plate for my husband and I. It was a lovely surprise, which I thank Paloma Cruises for very much!

If you have limited time in Vietnam, the 1 night/ 2 day cruise is still ample. You get to see a fishing village, a quick kayak & swim (weather permitting - in our case it wasn't) and the cave the next day before Lunch. We found that we saw heaps and didn't feel that we missed out. Other patrons who had the extended cruise saw more but we felt satisfied. If we had more time we may have considered the 2 night/3 day cruise.

The family suite was lovely especially having our own private balcony. I would definitely choose Paloma Cruises IF I were to come back to Hanoi with family/friends who had not been to Halong Bay and I would most certainly email Andy to make the reservations.

Singapore, Singapore
1 post
2 reviews
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19. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

My experience with halongcruises.net was very good! Andy is very fast with replying his emails and he is most helpfull in every situation. We didn't know what cruise to take with all the different cruises around and eventually we chose the Bai Tu Long Junk. Andy made it possible to get us an upgrade to the White Dolphin cruise for the same price, which is a much better boat. Our trip was perfectly organised and Andy even managed to switch our pickup place while we only knew about the hotel switch te evening before. It is very convenient that he was always attainable and that we never had to worry about any of our request, Andy fixed all of them!

Nova Scotia
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for Nova Scotia
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20. Re: Reliability of halongcruises.net?

It is amazing how many new posters have found this thread to give their testimonials.