Yangtze River Cruise was officially my first luxury-scenic cruise experience. I’m not exactly ‘luxury’ type of a traveler, but I wanted to experience what I don’t normally do.


Four days of the cruise was one of the highlights of my China trip, no doubt. Because of the scenery and because of the cruise experience. Here are three things I got to know from this cruise trip.



Group tour can be informative


History of Shibaozhai pagoda
Our Guide Explaining the History of Shibaozhai Pagoda


I’ve been on group tours. Once for my friends who were visiting me from New Zealand, and once a short trip to Japan that sponsored by my university. And countless school trips were of course, group tours. For me, the problem of group tour is that I just couldn’t remember the details. HOW did I get there, WHAT did I eat and see, WHY it happened, WHERE did I go, and WHEN did I do stuff. Everything’s vague. Because I didn’t involve with all the planning and reading ahead, I think I just didn’t care much. Whatever happened, it wasn’t a my responsibility.


However, this time around was different. Because I cared, because I wanted to cherish every moments, I enjoyed the aspects of the group tour. Since there’s no internet access on the cruise ship, the guided tour was a good source of the information. This cruise is included most of the tour programs except three shore excursions. We had a guide every step of the way; Shibaozhai Pagoda, Shennong Stream, Three Gorges, and Three Gorges Dam. And it was informative and entertaining.


Most importantly, I walked with one of those flag. Finally, I did it! I was finally in China.



It is easy


Picture with the captain
Pre-arranged Picture Time with the Captain


We didn’t have to do anything. Everything was in order. We just needed to follow the instructions from the central audio system. They told us the schedules and where we had to be. Food was served according to the time schedule and it was perfect. All the food was the perfect Chinese food. They even called us in the morning to make sure we were up for the breakfast. During the free time in between tours and meals, I worked on my writing while drinking tea. Unfortunately it was foggy for few days, I didn’t have a chance to have ‘enjoy the scenery while drinking tea’ option. Certainly, it was easy.


After three months of hardcore travel in China, no decision-making was refreshing and peaceful. No more where to go, what to eat, how to buy read this, why we can’t do this, and when should we go there. It was like a dream I never wanted to wake up.



It is too perfect


Farewell Banquet at Yangtze River Cruise
Farewell Banquet at Yangtze River Cruise


It is like a whining from a spoiled child. For us independent travelers, ‘easy’ can be equalized as ‘boring’. The decision-making is stressful but that is what makes travel so much fun and worthwhile. Especially in China, we faced a problem every step of the way. The simplest thing a human can do; sending a postcard, caused a lot of troubles (somehow) so we ended up spent 30 minutes at the post office, solving the problem we didn’t know. It was exciting.


Following the schedule made me tired. I felt weirdly tired after the second days on the cruise ship, and I just couldn’t figure out why. I didn’t do any exercise, I wasn’t stressful, I didn’t think much, I ate well and I slept well. And I realized I was tired because of the exact reasons I just mentioned. I wasn’t moving and thinking like I did before. Food was too perfect, room was cleaned whenever we came back, the whole world was in just five deck cruise ship. And I wasn’t used to that.



Long story short


It was a short trip, but I got to know the great aspects of the cruise. Certainly it was something that was different than what I knew. Long story short, if you are asking me if I want to do it again I can surely say yes to that question. I liked the atmosphere of the cruise. Also I liked the idea of using cruise as another way of transportation. It is scenic and relaxing, and also it will bring you to the destination you want to be. Of course, it was a bit boring in some ways, but it was due to the sudden environment change. Aren’t we all used to what we already know? I’m going another cruise trip in Vietnam soon. Then I will know more about the cruise. Can’t wait.



26 thoughts on “What It Is Like to be in a Cruise”

  1. I understand your point! I worked on a cruiseship and often didn’t understand why people would pay so much to simply lounge by a pool on a boat! But on the other hand, it’s always nice to take a vacation, even when traveling! Hopefully you’ll enjoy the Vietnam cruise!

  2. I’ve never been to a cruise before, though I have ridden ships already. In my case, I was lucky enough to gain access to the bridge and have a chat with the captain and the mates.

  3. I haven’t been on a cruise yet and I really want to try it one of these days. 🙂 I guess a guided tour would indeed be a relaxing one for independent travelers once in a while.

  4. It sometimes is nice to have things all planned out for you, but I totally get what you’re saying about needing that stimulation. Last week I wrote a piece called “I Hate Cruises” (I’ve linked it through CommentLuv), that echos some of your concerns. I’ve not been on a river cruise, so that’s something I may try in the future.

  5. The good thing about guided tours is that you can let someone else do all the planning…. If they are good, and experienced, you can rest assured that they are taking into account all the positive and negative feedback they have received from past tours and applied it to make their current tours as memorable and enjoyable as possible. It looks like you really enjoyed yourself!

  6. Lenox Brantt

    I have been on group tours too and I can attest to the fact that they are so informative, amazing and just a wonderful experience. You get to know about your friends, the new environment and the experience with people is just amazing. You must have had a really good time on your trip to china.

  7. Wow, I would love to be in a cruise. I just have to have to wait a year or two and maybe have one.

  8. How lucky you are to be there and feel the beauty of Yangtze. Congratulations. I’ looking forward for your trip in Vietnam.

  9. I’ve not been on a river cruise, so that’s something I may try in the future.Thanks for sharing with us..

  10. Thanks for sharing this Juno. This is a topic I’ve debated before because I am not a big fan of cruises. To me, the ship itself is much more the destination and center of attention than where you are going. I like that you mentioned it was too easy – having too much done for me bothers me. I want to do some things on my own.

    I do like the idea of a river cruise and I think you hit on some of the positive aspects. I don’t like the idea of spending days on the ocean where the fun is all about what you do on a ship (or what I call a mini floating city). I appreciate your honesty with this post and despite my reservations with cruises, I would definitely give a river cruise a shot.

  11. Cruise travel is the most special things that I ever had… I can say that, it’s the best among better things to have for the rest of our life.. Try it… 🙂

  12. I have not been to any cruise ship but I’m not a fan of ships. It makes me dizzy. However, with all the amenities in a cruise ship, do you think it will make me feel any differently?

    Thanks for sharing!


  13. I’ve never had the opportunity to take a cruise, but based on your post here, I’ve really been missing out. Maybe I’ll take some time to take my first cruise too – it looks like you had a lot of fun!

  14. Danyelle Franciosa

    I never been in the cruise ever since and it is my dream actually. How it feels when you are in the cruise? Do you feel happy? I am sure, you are. By the way, the banquet are good to look and delicious!

  15. Delicious-looking meal!!! Well that’s one of the perks for an organized or group trip. You don’t need to look for great food, they are usually included in the package especially in cruise ships. 🙂

  16. Hi Juno

    Enjoyed reading your blog, and although I have been on few cruises I have never done a river cruise. I do not like flying, so cruising is the only other alternative to see other Countries. It is very structured, but you can do your own thing, but holidays are supposed to be relaxing and cruising is certainly that. The only thing you really have to think hard about is what you are going to eat. Ship’s excursions can be informative and you end up going to places that you wouldn’t find yourself. Cruising however is not for everyone, and you know if cruising is for you after your first one, you either love it or hate it. I myself love it

    Happy cruising


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