We received a telephone call to say we were being picked up at 5.45 and to be at reception 5 to 10 mins earlier. A few minutes after reaching the reception area a mini bus arrived and the driver came in to fetch us. He could not speak english and we got into the mini bus that had no air conditioning. It was very hot and sticky. He then proceeded to another hotel to pick up some more passengers. Unfortunately he could not find the hotel and stopped several times to ask directions but nobody seemed to know where the hotel was. He then pulled into a car park full of rubbish and left us sitting in a very hot mini bus while he went to ask directions. After about 15 minutes he returned and proceeded down the road to the hotel. At this point we wondered if we would reach the river for the cruise. He then proceeded to the River where he entered a multi storey car park. We were then escorted to a shopping centre were we were greeted by Boat staff and had an orchid pinned to us and a blue sticker and photographed and issued our tickets. We were then told to go shopping and return to the boarding area at 8 o'clock. We decided that we didn't want to go shopping so we went into a coffee bar and drank coffee and people watched for 1 and a quarter hours. Not happy There was a lot of people boarding boats and the area was very crowded and it was a little disorganised. Eventually we boarded our boat by crossing over another boat. We were showed to our table. After boarding the boat started sailing and the entertainment started and they announced that we could go help ourselves to the buffet. There was not much organisation and everyone was pushing in. There was plenty of food and we enjoyed what we had. The entertainment was ok nothing special. The singer worked hard to make a party atmosphere. On the whole was disappointed with the hanging around and only 2 hours on the Boat.
Although we had seen the views in daylight, it was fantastic to see them at night.
The pickup was fine and we had a good driver to get us through the traffic. When we arrived it was a little bit like organised chaos with boats leaving every 10 minutes but we managed to get get on the right one.
The staff on the boat were very helpful and pleasant and the buffet was great. Lots to choose from!
Our trip was on Christmas evening and we were out to enjoy ourselves, the entertainer tired to get everyone to join in but there was only us dancing. Still we had a good time.
The only thing that I would say is that it was a 2 hour cruise and not a 3 hour cruise as advertised.
All in all, we had a very good time
White Orchid Dinner Cruise:
This tour was advertised as being from 7pm to 10pm. We were picked up at our hotel at 7:00 and did not reach the ferry terminal until 7:30. Once the 12 people in our van got out, our guide herded us into the ferry terminal and told us to wait while he got our tickets. When he returned and distributed them and slapped some stickers on our shirts, he said he would meet us at that particular spot at 10pm and to go through Gate 1 to get on our boat
It was complete chaos inside and outside the terminal, absolutely packed with people who all were confused about where and when our boat would be. Once you go out the gate 1 door, there are a few docking points, so you don't really know where you're supposed to be. There were only a couple of very harried security people answering questions about where we should wait and what time our boat would board. He said 8pm, so we had to wait in a jam-packed crowd for another 45 minutes while several other ships came and went, and we were subjected to loud techno- trance-dance music while a few lady boys danced it up on the stage next to the boarding area.
Once our ship finally arrived at 8:15pm, we endured the crush of passengers boarding and being directed to our assigned table seats for dinner. Some were given seats that were right next to a solid wall so that they had no view at all. Ours was in the center of the boat so we really had very little view through the glassed in windows.
Once they announced that the dinner buffet was open, it was once again pure mayhem. People shoving, pushing, cutting in front of you, piling on the food onto their plates. The food selection was quite large, but overall the quality and flavor was mediocre at best. Once we were able to get our portion of chow at the feed lot, we returned to our table. We were then serenaded by a saxophone player who I think failed to pass the audtion at the junior high band, and a female singer who was consistently flat. After dinner, most people went to the upper deck to take in the views and dance to the pumping music.
The only portion of this trip that we enjoyed was the views of the river outside after dinner. Everything else was a cattle call. The trip was supposed to be 3 hours but we docked promptly at 10pm, making the actual trip time about one hour and forty-five minutes. No problem though, since we were so disgusted by the whole experience that we couldn't wait to get off.
Our shuttle guide met us in the mayhem of the terminal at the appointed place and time, and we were all back on the van at 10:30.
I can wholeheartedly recommend that you NOT take this tour. There are a number of other river boat tours available, so I would suggest you check out their reviews. My immediate impression was that they all operate under the same crummy framework, so do your research.