Shute Harbour, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef was beautiful and definitely worth a trip, but the cruise would have been a lot better if the staff there were more organised. We booked (and paid for) a guided snorkelling tour as well as scuba diving, but the staff there forgot that we booked for two tours and we spent a good 15 minutes chasing the relevant staff to book us in again. We could have spent that time enjoying the reef, rather than stressing ourselves out! For the scuba diving tour, my boyfriend and I ended up being separated and had to dive with complete strangers - definitely not what we had in mind.
There are quite a lot of people on the cruise. If you want to really enjoy the reef, you may want to spend a night there. Apparently on 12 guests are allowed on the pontoon and when the vessel leaves at 3pm, the reef is all yours to enjoy. We are definitely doing this next time!
Whitehaven beach was beautiful! We had a good time swimming in the crystal clear waters.
Daydream Island however was quite average - it was really just a resort island.
We would recommend just a half day cruise to Whitehaven beach and skip Daydream Island all together.
The boat trip was nice and relaxing, and the scenary was great. Just remember to bring a hat and sunscreen on a hot day - we all got burnt during the 2 hour boat trip.
The bike tour however could have been done better. Whilst we had some very nice scenaries during the trip, there was rarely an opportunity to stop and take photos. You'd think that a "leisurely ride" would allow you to take photos.
The 3 day cruise was one of the highlights of our trip in Vietnam. Every morning we woke up to some stunning views and we finished each day by kayaking under a specatular sunset. The most memorable moment was perhaps the candle lit dinner we had in a beautiful limestone cave. We were most pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed the dinner.
The only disappointment was day 3. We did not have any activities at all and finished the cruise early at 11am. Return transport just added to our dissatisfication. First the driver was late, then he misread our hotel name and got lost. We did not get back to our Hanoi hotel until almost 5pm (the itinerary said 3pm)!
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The Mekong River cruise was interesting, as it gave us a glimpse of the day-to-day life of the people that make a living there on the river. However the scenary was really not the best. The best part of the tour was the lunch. The food was fantastic, and the coffee there was also the best we had in Vietnam.
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