Travel Photo Monday
Our flight from Xian to Chongqing landed an hour later than planned.
Jeff was there to meet us with a driver. The car was a very luxurious model, with leather seats and sun roof. Jeff is a student who has been working part time as a tour guide for 6 months. He is very funny and knowledgable. He is extremely proud of his city and perturbed that we only had a few hours to see it. Chongqing has 22 million people and is a hilly city. Jeff pointed out the sights as he was taking us to dinner.
The restaurant was a large banquet hall with lots of pink! The food was fantastic as usual.
Hitting the ABMs for cash!
We then headed out for the cruise ship for boarding around 8pm. To board the ship we got out of the car at the top with the luggage.
You then pay a porter to carry your bags for you as there are many steps down to the ship. The porters carry your suit cases on a a pole across their shoulders while watching out to ensure we do not trip on the stairs.
We then met Ben, our river guide, who would be showing us to our rooms on the 3rd deck.
He mentioned that there were 2 presidental suites available for upgrade. He showed us our assigned rooms, very tiny, with twin beds and a balcony. Then he suggested we look at the suites before we decdied. Well, as you can guess, we upgraded for a price that we negotiated. Both suites are at the front of the ship. There is a huge bedroom withking size bed. The bedroom is at least 6 times bigger than the standard room. But the most amazing thing was the sitting room right at the front. Between our two rooms we commanded the best views of each shore and the front view of the river.
This ship is not up to 4 star rating according to our standards. We would give it a max of 3 stars. The ship is a refurbished Nile cruise ship. There is no grand lobby, you enter through a small door and climb some steps to get to a very sparse reception desk.
The view from our sitting room
There were 24 English speaking nationalities on board who were given priority treatment over the Chinese passengers. The agenda is laid out in half hour segments with 15 minute breaks and there is an assumption that you must/want to attend everything. However, we are on vacation and may like to just relax!
Breakfast was served as a buffet from 7am to 8am. If you weren’t there by 7:30 am Ben called your room. Breakfast was fine with a western and Chinese menu.
Lunch and dinner were served Chinese style from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. The food was placed on the lazy susan prior to you sitting down which meant that the food was generally cool to cold. You were given one glass of beer after that you had to pay.
Board your deluxe M.V. Yangtze Paradise Cruise(President No.6) Ship and settle into your comfortable outside cabin to begin your memorable cruise downstream.Departs Chongqing in the night.
Go ashore to visit Fengdu, the "Ghost City", where the Chinese believe the soul of the dead goes.The balance of the day is free to explore the ship's many amenities. Tonight, you are our guests at the captain's cocktail party.
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Cruise through the first of the fabled Three Gorges : Qutang Gorge ,framed by steep mossy cliffs. Then, sail on through Wu Gorge , celebrated for its 12 peaks. At Badong, transfer to a small cruiser for an exciting excursion on Shenlong Stream to view its breathtaking small gorges. Next, sail through Xiling Gorge, the last and most scenic of all the gorges. Finally,pass through the dramatic Three Gorges Ship Lock.
MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning, stop at Sandouping to view the historic Three Gorges Dam project, the largest hydroelectric project in the world.Reboard the ship and sail on to Yichang where you disembark.