Actually, oh dang, Da Nang would rhyme better! Yesterday, we were supposed to drop anchor in Nha Trang (it is a tender port). Did you notice I said “supposed to” rather than “dropped anchor”?
After days and days at sea, I was really looking forward to getting off the ship. One of the main reasons we had booked this cruise was to see Vietnam. I had booked a cyclo tour (pedicab) of the city. We were arriving at 8 am and would leave at 5 pm so I had told everyone in our group to get the first tender possible and meet on the dock (start time for the tour was 9 am).
Up until now, we have had amazing weather and sea conditions. The night before we were to dock in Nha Trang, that all changed. The waves were up to 18 feet which was enough to set the boat to rocking. In our cabin, we kept hearing creaking noises as well as cabinets opening and closing (they did not latch). This kept us awake much of the night as well as the anticipation of getting up early to get off the ship (I rarely sleep as well when I know I have to get up early in the morning).
When we got up the next day the seas were still very rocky. We had breakfast and returned to our cabin to wait until it was time to get in line for the tender. At around 7 am, the captain came over the loudspeaker to announce that we would not be stopping in Nha Trang; the sea conditions were too dangerous for tenders to run. Dang!
We decided to stop by guest services to see about getting our money refunded for our Vietnam visas. Since we had decided not to get off the ship in Chan May (nothing to see or do near the port) we had no use for the visas. The guest services rep said that it would not be a problem and that we would see the money refunded to our account by the next day (not too surprisingly, it is now the next day and no refund has appeared). Next up, a walk around the promenade deck. Due to the wave conditions, it was more like a drunken jag around the decks. We made one lap and decided to give it up; it was just too hard to walk. The motion of the ship at either end was significantly more noticeable than in the middle, making us very glad that we did not have a suite (most are located all the way fore or aft). I also emailed the tour company to let them know we would not be able to go on the tour today. I requested a refund, but due to the late notice, we will not receive one. Of the three companies that we prepaid for tours, one has promised a partial refund (less than 50%), one a full refund and one no refund.
Since it was supposed to be a port day there were very few activities planned onboard. And, since the weather was bad, the people that normally lay out in the sun had nothing to do, either. All of the public areas of the ship were overrun with people. Apparently, there was a “protest” of sorts as well – people hauled out their empty suitcases and congregated together. I assume the message was, “let me off the ship!”. Who knows. By the way, about 10% of passengers did indeed leave the ship in Singapore rather than doing an 11-day slow boat to China cruise.
It was a very, very long day.
We will be docking in Chan May tonight and will be there until tomorrow evening. As I mentioned earlier, there are no sights to see there. Taxis don’t even visit the docks hoping to pick up passengers. It is an industrial port and at least an hour away from anything worth visiting. Essentially, a person would need to take an NCL tour or stay on board; we are opting to stay on board.
There is one more port stop after Chan May – Sanya, China. From the research I had done pre-cruise, I had found very little to do there unless you want to go to the beach. This is another port where your only option is an NCL tour so we will stay onboard again.
Only 4 more days until Hong Kong!!!