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“Magical proposal site”

Review of Garden Bay Cruise

Garden Bay Cruise - Triple cabin
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Garden Bay Cruise - Triple cabin
Garden Bay Cruise - Halong Bay - Overview Garden Bay Cruise - deluxe twin cabin with large window.
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Very good
77 reviews
Garden Bay Cruise - Triple cabin
Garden Bay Cruise - Halong Bay - Overview
Garden Bay Cruise - deluxe twin cabin with large window.
Garden Bay Cruise - Open Sundeck
Garden Bay Cruise - Private Balcony
Garden Bay Cruise - early morning taichi lesson
Garden Bay Cruise - Waiting Lounge at Hon Gai Pier
Garden Bay Cruise - Waiting lounge at Hon Gai Pier
Garden Bay Cruise - Fishing Village
Visit Surprise Cave ( Sung Sot Cave)
Visit cave with Rowing boat
Private bathroom with full- toiletry
Private bathroom with full- toiletry
Restaurant - dinning room with sea view
Garden Bay Cruise - Open sundeck with sea view
Garden Bay Cruise - Overview
Garden Bay Cruise - Morning Tai Chi Lesson on Sundeck
Garden Bay Cruise - Morning Tai Chi Lesson on Sundeck
Garden Bay Cruise - visit fishing village
Garden Bay Cruise - Including Kayaking
Garden Bay Cruise - Cooking Class
Garden Bay Cruise - Overview
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Overview
Boat house -
12 Bedrooms, 12 Bathrooms, Sleeps 24
Halong Bay, Quang Ninh Province

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 77 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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English first
Dutch first
English first
French first
German first
Italian first
Portuguese first
Spanish first
Any
English first
Lauren H
Liskeard, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Magical proposal site”
Reviewed 23 July 2013 for a stay in July 2013
1
person found this review helpful

After arriving to Ha Long we had booked in to the Novotel Hotel on the bay for three nights, it took us an hour to realise we wouldn't be staying three nights at all. Within a few hours and reading the helpful reviews of TripAdvisor we had decided on the Marguerite Junk to take us in to Ha Long. I emailed them direct and as we were already in ha long, unlike many of the trippers who came from Hanoi they arrived a rep to pick us up by taxis and take us to the meeting area.
We were able to take both huge suitcases on to the boat and they whisked them off and taken to our room.
The whole trip was fantastic and I really recommend it. Tien the guide is a brilliant guide and make this trip worthwhile.
Tien kindly looked after my engagement ring without my knowledge all day, where we walked through caves, (amazing views from the cave). Went canoeing, swam of the beach, and then trekked up to the top of one of the limestones, where my boyfriend proposed.
Once we returned to the boat we watched the sun set from the top deck and had drinks and fruit.
Such a magical day.
The food was pretty good as well, I was worried about the menu's once I saw what was offered hopefully trying everything was great fun and certainly had something for everyone's taste. There was no chance of us going hungry, even the most fussiest of eaters. Even if you are worried about food, you can take your own or even buy all sort from the women to row up to the boats.
The evening's entertainment is a bit... quiet. We sat on the top deck ringing family for quite a while, but most where in bed by 2100 and no one was on the bar.
Tien was really fantastic and was keen to introduce everyone and find some common ground. Had some really interesting information and wanted to get involved. It must be boring for him day in day out.
We were returned to the bay with our baggage, although we did have a scary moment when the bag my engagement ring was in nearly went over board. They didn't look overly secure to us, but I suppose they know what they are doing.
My only one negative about the boat was the bed, the shower and bathroom were fine considering you were on a boat and clean. The bed room was very clean, however the bed was so hard. The mattress wasn't very thick at all.
However, don't let this put you off, we had the time of our lives, the other guests were great to chat to, from many different countries which was so interesting. I really recommend this tour.
P.S wifi was terrible...don't rely on it!

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Liked best: Tour up the limestones
Liked least: The bed
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBVLondon
London
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great trip but be prepared to be moved from boat to boat”
Reviewed 19 July 2013 for a stay in June 2013

We chose the 3 day trip as I had a feeling 1 or 2 days wouldn't be enough and we are really pleased we made this choice. 1 or 2 days from Hanoi would just be too rushed baring in mind how long the drive is down to the coast.

Another reason we were looking for a 3 day trip was because we wanted to be able to unwind for a few days as we were on our honeymoon so we were a little annoying on the evening of day 1 when we were told we had to check out of the boat the next morning and be moved to another boat. We had just unpacked so it was really annoying. There was some story about the boat being put out of service the next day but the fact we hadn't been informed earlier was inexcusable. We met a couple at dinner who had been told something similar and knew another couple who it had happened to. I guess they simply take your booking regardless and worry about what boat to put you on later. We shouldn't have been able to book on to that boat if it wasn't available as they have 3 in the fleet and one of the others was going out for 3 days from the day we arrived. We booked directly on their website www.margueritejunk.com

This was the only negative though. The food was excellent - be prepared for a seafood feast. The tour guides were average, we had 4 in the end as we were moved around constantly. They varied from good to poor, the poor being because his English was bad and not having much to say. The cabins were beautiful and comfortable and the bathrooms of a good standard with lots of hot water. You only really spend the evenings on the junk and in the day you are moved around a lot on small boats to get closer to the sites but all the trips we went on were interesting and we kept busy. We stayed on the marguerite Garden initially which was slightly more expensive but the only difference is that it is the newest (although you couldn't really tell) and the rooms on the higher deck has views from both sides of the room. The marguerite 2 which we also stayed on was lovely, I'm not convinced the marguerite garden is worth the extra money. Pick up to and from our hotel in Hanoi was good. They called us the night before to confirm which was good as we'd booked on the web and I was worried they wouldn't turn up

As for Halong Bay, it was stunning and well worth the visit. Just try to go for 3 days if you have time

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Liked best: The general ambience of Halong Bay
Liked least: The fact we booked on to one boat and were moved around from one boat to another after one night. It made the trip less relaxing
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Neelielin...
Singapore, Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A wonderful and well balance trip with a splendid view of the seven wonder!”
Reviewed 24 June 2013 for a stay in June 2013
1
person found this review helpful

Trip started from the pick up from our hotel door at old quarters and with the guide Mr Tien (not sure of the spelling) He is a great guide answering all our questions during the trip from where to get special food or delicacy on land or any seafood to add on to our dinner on the cruise. We must be the most greedy group of 4 he have seen. Keep asking about food and clean up all the meals on the Junk :)

The program was well organize and pace without jamming with the other Junk. Additional information was given to us to bring what is necessary for each trip away from the Junk. All items was paid and no hidden cost. The guide even help us to look around for seafood at seasonal price for us to bring back to the kitchen for some additional dishes. We were lucky to found a seller near the surprise cave and a great marketing experience to buy from the auntie on the rowing boat with baskets of fresh sea delicacy!

The only sad sight, i would say is that the junks have been ordered by the government to be painted white recently so don't expect to see any colorful or authentic brown junk for any 1 nite cruise.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Bedding & mattresses Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: The program and friendly staff at work
Liked least: Not able to swim on board.
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jan M
Adelaide, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“an excellent way to see HaLong Bay, comfort and friendly atmosphere”
Reviewed 13 June 2013 for a stay in June 2013

We spoke to people who had also stayed on other boats who said Marguerite was a much better experience.
The boat was clean and comfortable with good bathroom facilities.
All staff very friendly and helpful with good English language skills. Food was excellent, with outstanding presentation.
Our guide was knowledgeable and informative as well as being friendly and committed to making everyone welcome and fostering communication between all groups of passangers.
Would definitely recommend this cruise

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Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chk86
india
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Good cruise experience”
Reviewed 9 June 2013 for a stay in June 2013

I had chosen Marguerite cruises based on TA reviews, and had made my booking through Brilliant cruises.
1. The tour guide Mr.Thung was a great, fun and jovial guide. He made the trip very memorable for all of us.
2. The junk itself is very well appointed, I loved the wooden decor and luxurious oriental feel inside. Impeccable cleanliness.
3. We were vegetarians, and were sceptical about food. But the food was phenomenal, and we had as many dishes as the others. We absolutely enjoyed the food.
4. The pick up/drop was to and from the hotel, and the pick up vans were very good and comfortable.
5. Great value for money.

If I had to complain, it would be only that I took a pedicure in the cruise and it was one of the worst I have ever had. And it was priced too high. I heard a few other cruises offer WiFi, there was a router here but we didn't have WiFi. These are the only two complaints.
But I would definitely go with them again, as Mr.Thung said in the beginning , they had only objective, to ensure we keep smiling, and they certainly succeeded in that.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
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Liked best: Tour guide, Junk interior
Liked least: Pedicure in the spa
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
edtkh
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Impeccable Service and Unforgettable Experience at a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
Reviewed 26 May 2013 for a stay in April 2013
1
person found this review helpful

For the benefit of potential travellers considering Marguerite for their trip to Halong Bay, note that all Marguerite Junks currently operate under the umbrella of a recently-established company Tonkin Cruise.

I have actually been on Marguerite junks twice (on board Marguerite 01 and Marguerite 02 junks) with the most recent experience coming in April 2013. My family and I had booked a 2D1N overnight cruise to Halong Bay on the Marguerite 02 junk.

All in all, we thought the junk offered terrific value-for-money and a very memorable experience to view the mesmerizing sceneries of Halong Bay. From the hotel pick-up to the actual boarding of the Marguerite junk at the Bai Chay wharf, everything is arranged seamlessly (now, passengers actually get to rest at a lounge across the Bai Chay wharf should they arrive too early for boarding the junk). On board the junk, we were well looked after by the cruise manager Mr T who takes much interest in the welfare and comfort of travellers through ensuring everything is well-explained and understood by the passengers (from safety evacuation procedures to detailed explanation of itinerary for the cruise and brief introductions of the delicacies served during meal times).

Beyond the exceptional service rendered, what marks Marguerite out is the fact that the value for money offered comes as promised - there are no hidden costs, shortchanging of travellers through cutting corners in the menu or activities listed in the itinerary (which is commonplace based on the tales offered by other travellers we met). For instance, kayaking and the hiring of a rowing boat to visit the Luon Cave (or Tunnel Cave) is completely covered by the fare you pay when booking your trip - even tips are collected on a voluntary basis through leaving an envelop at your dining table during your last meal (as opposed to having someone walk up to you with a "Tip Box" to pressurize you into giving something which is fairly common across Vietnam).

In short, what we really appreciate about Marguerite is that they truly offer what is promised at the point you sign up for the cruise. There are no schemes in place to either shortchange what you paid for or "extort" you through hidden costs.

More amazingly, the dedication and commitment of the staff we encountered from Tonkin Cruise are brilliant beyond question. On my first trip back in April 2012, I made my booking with Hoan and had arranged to meet her at my hotel on the day I arrived in Hanoi to make my payment as we planned to depart the following day. Due to a flight delay, we missed the appointment time and Hoan did not have any reservations about dropping by at our hotel again later that evening to (this occurred against a backdrop where no payment - not even a deposit - had been made prior to my arrival) finalize arrangements for our departure the next day. At the end of both my trips in 2012 and 2013, I had separately requested that I would like to have some tickets to the areas we visited as souvenir and Hoan did not hesitate to mail these tickets to my residential address as souvenir. In many ways, while we were first acquainted with many of the cruise's staff as strangers, we pretty much parted as friends.

Simply put, for a Halong Bay cruise of similar budget, the quality of amenities and service offered by Marguerite is unparalleled and would certainly serve as my port of call on my next visit to Halong Bay.

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Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
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Liked best: The quality of service and amenities offered.
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
layne01
Palmerston North
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Amazing experience in an amazing place!”
Reviewed 19 May 2013 for a stay in May 2013
1
person found this review helpful

We were on Junk number 3 and from the beginning the tour guide (Tien) spoket perfect English about his country and introduced everyone to each other. On arrival we were met with an 3 course lunch (set menu) of seafood which was excellent.

The rooms were clean and well decorated. The dining room was immaculate. The boat was is a good condition.

Day 1 involved the cave tour, which was spectacular. Then there was the option to either kayak or walk to the top of Ti Top island which offers a panoramic view from the 180m high vantage point which was worth the walk.

The evening meal was well cooked and the service from the staff was excellent and professional. An evening activity was planned for but guests opted to relax on the deck in the evening or try their luck at squid fishing.

The morning of day 2 involved a cave tour then a return voyage through more of the spectacular Halong Bay and through one of the many floating villages.

Overall an pleasant and relaxing experience.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The scenery
Liked least: The bus ride
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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