On our first cruise in Halong Bay, we spent the most mesmerizing 2 days on Scarlet Pearl. Remarkably, it is really worth the lap of luxury. If you intend to go on a 5-star cruise, please keep scrolling through my comprehensive review below!
How I Went For Our First Halong Bay Cruise
At first, we considered choosing between a traditional junk and a modern yacht. Then I realized that most junk boats in Halong dated back to more than 10 years ago. Not to mention, they lack entertainment facilities onboard. That’s the reason why I decided to pick a new ship for the first time.
Over a hundred times of googling and surfing the internet, I luckily saw a YouTube video review about Scarlet Pearl Cruise from a travel agent named BestPrice Travel. They had over 13 years of experience in Halong Bay cruise booking and received nearly 3,000 excellent reviews on TripAdvisor.
How to book Scarlet Pearl Cruise at bestpricetravel.com
In the end, Scarlet Pearl was a perfect choice for a medium-sized boat and up-to-date facilities at a very reasonable price (182 USD/pax). Most interestingly, it is the only Halong cruise line that offers a catamaran for sightseeing on the second day.
5 Reasons Scarlet Pearl Cruise Is Worth It
Depart from Hanoi Old Quarter, I booked an additional limousine round trip to Halong International Cruise Port (extra cost of 40 USD/pax). It took me nearly 3 hours including break time on the way. Upon arrival, I was welcomed at the waiting lounge and transferred by a speedboat to the ship’s mooring point in Lan Ha Bay.
After 30 minutes, I embarked on the ship and was led to Tahiti Restaurant, where I was greeted with a welcome drink and had a buffet lunch before the afternoon excursion to Dark and Bright Caves.
I was really excited about the trip and delighted to tell you how Scarlet Pearl is worth the value.
📖 Recommended Reading: If you’re looking for more useful information, check out Tips on Staying Safe and Sound while Embarking on a Dream Cruise.
#1 State-of-the-art Cabin
I booked a Silver Pearl double room for 2 days and 1 night at the cost of 364 USD (including fees and taxes). This rate covered the accommodation, all meals onboard, sightseeing entrance fees, kayaking/ bamboo boat at the cave, 30-minute catamaran, welcome drink, as well as fresh fruits and complimentary water bottles in your cabin.
Upon opening the door, I was like Wow. It perfectly fit my expectations: comfy king-size bed, pleasant aromatherapy, indulging Japanese-styled decor, floor-to-ceiling glass, ocean-view bathroom, and amazing balcony view from the second deck.
One of my favorite features of the room was the eco-friendly setup in the bathroom. In specific, plastic bathroom amenities like razors, toothbrushes, and toothpaste were not provided for environmental purposes.
#2 Luxury Catamaran
The most exciting part of the Scarlet Pearl Cruise was the catamaran trip on Day 2. As far as I know, this is the ONLY overnight cruise to offer sailing on a catamaran boat included in the cruise program. It means NO surcharge!!!
I went on a 30-minute ride to secluded parts of Lan Ha Bay on the morning of Day 2. If you take a 3-day-2-night tour, you can join a full-day catamaran instead of transferring by a smaller day boat on other Halong cruises. Imagine how amazing it would be when you sunbathe, enjoy sightseeing, and sip a cocktail at the bow.
*** Just a small note for young couples, booking a charter catamaran for a surprising proposal is not a bad idea. Please contact the cruise manager to make all the arrangements.
#3 Fancy Yacht
Despite the recent launch of some brand new yachts in Halong Bay, Scarlet Pearl still won my heart. There were only 23 cabins, half as large as other ships. In fact, it was medium-sized and I felt tranquil much of the time aboard.
With regards to the decoration, the dark wooden furniture was well-matched with the scarlet-themed color. From the inside out, all created an intimate atmosphere with high-end architecture.
To ensure the fullest relaxation, you can find a spa, a bistro bar, a sky bar, a 4-season jacuzzi, a large dining area, a library, and a movie room. Basically, everything you need for 2 days at the bay.
#4 Excellent Food
Like any other 5-star cruise line, Scarlet Pearl offered buffet lunch and breakfast, while the dinner was set up in a fine dining course. However, I would like to choose this cruise over other options.
Why Scarlet Pearl? It’s all about tasty food, great fusion, and proper serving size.
On our cruise, I opted for pan-fried seabass fillet and roasted cabbage with black pepper sauce, a popular Vietnamese fish in Halong. Meanwhile, my travel mate picked beef steak with mashed potato served with red wine sauce, a top choice for Western cuisine. Both stood out for impressive flavor and culinary arts.
Overall, I highly recommend this cruise for any foodie!!
#5 Interesting Activities
Taking a route through Lan Ha Bay – a perfect alternative to Halong Bay, I had a chance to visit the most well-known attraction named Dark & Bright Cave. This was a water cave for kayaking around and admiring the picturesque landscapes. I find it struggling to paddle through the low stalactite. So, quite challenging for a beginner but nothing is possible.
Once you cross the cave, you will feast your eyes on calming crystal clear waters surrounded by beautiful karsts. The only thing I didn’t like about this was the crowds that sometimes caused traffic jams in the tiny cave.
*** If you are not energetic enough to do kayaking, just sit back and relax on a bamboo boat rowed by the locals.
In addition to the offboard excursion, I took part in some onboard activities like cooking classes to make Vietnamese spring rolls, doing Tai Chi, etc.
To be honest, the 2-day cruise offers very few things to do as well as places to visit. If you are eager to discover more, try the 3-day program to Viet Hai Village and Ba Trai Dao Beach.
My Final Words
Overall, I love my first trip on Scarlet Pearl Cruise and the magnificent Lan Ha Bay is out of the world. This truly becomes my first choice for the Halong Bay luxury cruise whenever I come back to Halong.
If you have any feedback and suggestions, please share your thoughts in the comment below.
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Last Updated on February 7, 2024