I agree with other reviews of Pearl dragon cruises....... With some reservations.
I think we were unlucky to have a very long bus trip to Halong Bay, 6 hours on a bus is not fun. So maybe I was a bit tired by the time I reached the boat however, I did find the "lecture" by the guide a little annoying. I did feel as though I was back in a classroom and not on part of a paid holiday. I also found the not so veiled hints about tips annoying at the start of the short stay on the boat. Most people do tip do I felt it was a bit unnecessary and off putting to mention tips so often.
The food was good and the staff did go out of their way to provide tasty things for various diets. The staff were also friendly if a little abrupt which I put down to lack of experience.
So do book Pearl Dragon cruises, the boats are comfortable, the food is fine however, do be prepared for a lengthy trip to the Bay and be certainly be prepared to tip the staff as they do hang around waiting for it. Also be prepared for a rather lengthy stop at a shop in both directions, our stop on the return journey was a far too long 45 minutes, the driver did not speak English so could not tell us the stop would be do long and boring
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