Glory Legend Cruise Review: Halong Bay
On our trip to Vietnam we knew we could not miss the famous UNESCO Heritage site of Halong Bay. There are only a few options to explore this historic site and the most popular is an overnight cruise. We tested the new Glory Legend Cruise experience for a three day and two night cruise in luxury and comfort.
The room was small and simple but well decorated and had a night stand, lamp and racks to hang our clothes on. The bathroom was pretty nice and had a good size shower and surprisingly strong water pressure for a boat. The bed was pretty comfortable and since we had a lower room we could not feel any of the boat’s movements at night which made for nice restful sleep. We had a large window to watch the scenery in the bay but we didn’t have a balcony like the second floor rooms.
The glory legend boats seemed to be fairly new and were in much better shape than most of the cruise boats that we saw drifting by us during our time in the bay. It was a smaller boat with fewer rooms than the large Paradise cruise boats and had a boutique feel to it. Even though the boat was smaller, there were plenty of places to lounge and relax. The dining room was surprisingly spacious. The weather kept us under cover for most of our trip, but we did enjoy spending an evening at the rooftop bar and lounge area.
We ate all of our meals on the boat and everything was served family style at tables of 4-6 people. Every meal was fantastic and exceeded my expectations for food quality and presentation. We were served multiple courses with different dishes at each meal. Quite frankly, I was impressed. During the evening, we learned how to make Vietnamese spring rolls with a demonstration by the chef. Breakfast was served buffet style and included pho as well as western options like omelets and yogurt.
The cruise itself was very fun and we had a great time getting to know the other passengers on the boat. The daily activities were very touristy and not as adventurous as we had hoped. The caves were interesting and it was cool to see the large lit up caverns, but we were still walking through in a line of tourists. The beach we visited was crowded with tourists and several makeshift bars selling drinks at the highest price they thought you’d pay. However, I can see that it might be difficult to create unique activities when there are dozens of cruise boats full of tourists all trying to see and do the same things. The service we experienced during meals and down time was perfect.
The staff were excellent and did a great job ensuring that we were pleased with every aspect of the cruise. I was sick during the second day and the staff were very accommodating and offered to serve my breakfast and other meals in our room. They even whipped up a special lunch for us, since we were not at our group’s scheduled meal.
The weather was slightly gloomy during our cruise but the experience overall was pleasant and for the price of the cruise it was well worth the money. Halong Bay is beautiful even in the mist, but you may want to check the weather before you visit. Perhaps if the sun had been shining our experience would have been more exciting, but if we were to do it again, we would just go for one night.
- Bring a jacket as the temperature drops at night and it is chilly in the winter months
- Get ready to relax and bring a good book to enjoy on the roof during down time
- Take advantage of happy hour every night
- Bring some big bottles of water or purchase several during happy hour for the next day
- Visit Glory Legend Cruises’ website for more information and booking