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Author: gailwolfe7

Joined: 2/17/2011
Posts: 5
Traveler Since: 2011

March 03, 2011

Would love to hear from anyone going on this trip Sept. 15. 

Author: bobandjudy1

Joined: 4/29/2010
Posts: 11
Traveler Since: 2007

March 20, 2011

I just posted under the "currency" post and should have posted here.............wanting more information from Nancy who recently traveled on this trip........

thanks, Judy

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

March 20, 2011

@Bob & Judy-- So glad you are going on this trip. I hope you get Albert for your PD, but feel sure that others are good, but he is special!! Anyway, to answer some of your questions: (1) there were washcloths at all 3 hotels. I had carried some, as I usually do, but didn't need them.....however, I believe that GC is changing the hotel in Shanghai, and that we might have been the last ones to stay at the one we did, but I would imagine that whatever hotel they use now will have cloths, but.........and shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap was provided in each hotel also (2)Hair dryers provided in all 3 hotels, but see note above about changing Shanghai hotel......(3) You will need a converter (changes electricity) for charging your cameras, etc., unless your appliance is 110/220, which is probably unlikely. I took lots of different adapters for the plugs/outlets, but actually the outlets accommodated our 2 prong straight plugs.......but once, again, better safe than sorry, and I would take at least the 2 rounded prong adapter, and the 3 straight at-angles-to-each other adapter, just in case. I bought a converter a couple of years ago that not only works as a converter, but also a charger for my camera and Kindle and has the capability of plugging a regular appliance into it, but also has the USB port for plugging into it my camera charging cord and Kindle charging cord. I hope that last statement makes sense. I bought this converter/charger from Magellan's online. Really like it.......(4) We worried about the 11 pound carry-on also, but it didn't seem to be a problem. I know mine weighed over 11 pounds, but Albert said not to worry. Who knows how "strict" they will be on your trip. I would suggest that you pack as much in your regular checked luggage, so as to not only free up your carryon as far as weight, but to also have room for bringing things home. I always take a folded canvas bag (that I bought at Chico's a few years ago) in my luggage so it give an extra bag to help bring home goodies. Then I check my regular checked bag and the one that I had been using as a carryon and just carry that other bag......(5) I did not mail home anything, and I am not sure if anyone else did either. I couldn't tell you about the cost for that. I bought quite a few things, but they were all relatively small: jade necklace for my daughter, chopsticks for grandkids, stuffed panda bear (small) for a baby grandson, silk pjs for a granddaughter, small set of terracotta warrior for my grandson--if you do this, be sure it's from the museum shop, not the vendors....I followed Albert's advice, and was glad......anyway, I could not tell you about mailing home stuff though! Sorry!......(6) I always lock my luggage with TSA locks on flights anyway, but you will be required to lock your checked bags on the in-China flights, so be sure you have locks for that.

Well, I have gone on and on with more info than you probably wanted/needed. We had a great time, and even though the food was good and plentiful, we did get a bit tired of Chinese food!! If you like desserts, don't look for them there. They mostly served watermelon for dessert, which was good and refreshing though. If you want something sweet, like chocolate or cookies, better take some with you to snack on in those moments when you really "need it"!! And whatever you do, don't order a hamburger from roomservice on a night that you have free and wish to stay in the room because you are tired!!  :)   If you like beer, the local Chinese beer that they will offer you at lunch and dinner is very good!

I read these posts nearly everyday, so if you have some more questions, please feel free to ask. I will get back to you quickly!!

Author: mauiwahine

Joined: 12/28/2010
Posts: 8
Traveler Since: 2011

March 20, 2011

Aloha Gail,

My mom and I are taking the China river trip on Sept 15th.  We were originally scheduled to take the Egypt/Jordan trip but with all that is going on there we decided to switch.  Maybe do Eqypt next year!  Anyways, my name is Robyn and I live on Maui.  My mom is Virginia and she lives in So. Calif.  Looking very forward to the trip. My mom took one of the European cruises last year summer with GCT and had a wonderful time.  Looking forward to meeting you!

Author: mauiwahine

Joined: 12/28/2010
Posts: 8
Traveler Since: 2011

March 20, 2011

My mistake, we are going on the China & Yangtze river cruise!  I hope you have a wonderful trip.

Author: bobandjudy1

Joined: 4/29/2010
Posts: 11
Traveler Since: 2007

March 21, 2011

Nancy, Thank you so much for your thoughtful and thorough reply to my questions. We are getting very excited about this venture.  I won't pack the washcloths or hairdryer.  I will take the charger/converter things.........it is always confusing to me. It is surprising to me that  more people have logged on to say they are going as there are 41 I think on our final list. Our first trip with GCT was the Alpine Sampler and I understand they may bring that one back.  If so, our guide was Lisa and she was fantastic and I hope she returns also. Our second trip was a river cruise and last year we did the National Parks with Mary as our guide and she was wonderful, full of extra information and she and the driver Ken, made it a very memorable trip.  I'm sure more questions will come up..............oh yes,!  Did you do the optionals and do you recommend any?   We usually do most of them and have enjoyed them.  thank you again  I know your trip to Egypt was cancelled and hope you are able to do that one before too long. Things would have to settle down a lot more for me to go.    Judy

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

March 22, 2011

@Bob & Judy-- Yes, we were disappointed about the Egypt trip, but will rebook it later in the future....probably in 2012 after we see how "settled" it becomes. I wonder if that whole area will ever "settle", but time will tell.......

On the converter/adapter thing--you said it confuses you, I may have misunderstood what you meant, but the converter is just for converting the 220 coming from their outlets (so to speak) to the 110 that our appliances run on. If you did not use a converter, it would probably "fry" your appliance. The adapters are because our plugs have 2 straight prongs, and a lot (most?!) of non-U.S. countries' outlets only accept different kinds of plugs, like 2 rounded prongs or 3 straight angled prongs, etc. Most of the time you can google these things and find out what kind the country uses. I usually just take my whole set, just in case. Now, your appliance (for example, curling iron) plugs into the converter, the converter into the adapter, the adapter into the wall outlet. Hope this makes sense!! In the hotels in China, their outlets were designed to accept our 2 straight prongs (which is also on the converter), so I didn't need the adapters. Any more questions? I will try to answer.....

We did all of the optionals except the opera in Beijing....more about that in a minute. I always think the optionals add a lot to any trip. The Acrobatic performance in Shanghai was really good and fun to see. The Tang Dynasty show was quite stunning with the costumes and dances. Do not miss the Summer Palace one/Panda Visit! Now back to the opera. My friend had developed a bad sinus infection about a day after we got there, but she "carried on", but when it got to the time to decide on the opera, she decided she wouldn't go because she was feeling too bad/tired. I decided to stay back at the hotel with her because of that, and I was a bit tired also. Big mistake!! She went to bed almost immediately after dinner, and I wished--too late!-- that I had gone to the opera. The others that went raved about it the next day. I vowed then that I would not miss any of the optionals again on any trip!! I mean, how often will I get that chance again? Probably never!

 

Author: redheads2

Joined: 5/16/2010
Posts: 7
Countries Visited:

Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Spain, Italy, Central America, Hawaii, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Greek Islands, Israel, Canadian Rockies, Mexico, China

Traveler Since: 2000

March 22, 2011

Nancy,

Thanks for all of your helpful information on the China Cultural Capitals trip regarding currency, converters, etc.  I too was concerned about the 11 lb carry on within China, but it doesn't look like it will be much of a problem. 

Nan

 

Author: redheads2

Joined: 5/16/2010
Posts: 7
Countries Visited:

Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Spain, Italy, Central America, Hawaii, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Greek Islands, Israel, Canadian Rockies, Mexico, China

Traveler Since: 2000

March 22, 2011

Bob and Judy,

Look forward to meeting you on 4/1.  Can't believe that only 7 people are taking the pre-trip to Hong Kong. 

Nan

 

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

March 22, 2011

@redheads-- about the 11 pounds. As I think about it now, I think that I just checked both my regular luggage and my carry-on for the in-China flights, and took anything I needed for sure (medication, etc.) in the red canvas Chico's bag as a carryon. Then you really don't have to worry about the 11-pound carryon thing!! (the 11 pounds didn't count for anything checked).

Does seem strange that only a few are doing the Hong Kong pre-trip. Wish we had done it. On my OAT trip this past summer to Peru, only 4 of us were on the pre-trip to the Amazon, and we had a wonderful time, even with such a small group! When we got to the main trip, there were many who were "envious" and wished that they had gone on it!!

Author: bobandjudy1

Joined: 4/29/2010
Posts: 11
Traveler Since: 2007

March 24, 2011

@Nancy  Thank you for the information on the optionals.  We also have enjoyed the ones we have taken and only chose not to take 1 or 2 on our other 3 trips. I had ordered a travel vest from Scottevest, it has a lot of pockets and may help with "wear" some things to lighten my carryon until I get on the plane!  Anyway it came today and I am excited to give it a try on this trip. Watching the weather and will decide on the final things to take just before packing on Thursday next week.  I pulled out the converter and adapters and now it does make sense.........my husband just laughs but he doesn't need the hairdryer, phone and iPad chargers that I do!   (well not the dryer on this trip, thanks to your information). I appreciate you taking the time to respond............I'm sure many others have read your advise also!     My one tip is to put your first name on the back of your name tag using a black permanent marker(big letters)and use a piece of clear package tape over it.  Half of the time my badge is turned the wrong way, it sure helps to learn names if you can read it!

Judy

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

March 24, 2011

Name tag tip---good idea! Albert, our PD, put a sticker on the back of our nametags that had his name written in Chinese and his cell phone number, so that if we got separated from the group or whatever, someone, like a policeman, could call him! Good idea! Actually it came in handy when one of the couples, who, by the way, were always talking and not listening to directions (ahem!) (wasn't me!), didn't listen where to meet after our free time at Tiananmen Square, and we couldn't find them. They eventually got a policeman to call Albert, and all was well!!

Author: dnljansa

Joined: 3/27/2011
Posts: 1
Traveler Since: 2006

March 27, 2011

Hong Kong rocks.. Very crowded but people are respectful..incredibly clean... great restaurants.. and if you enjoy gambling at all... take the ferry.. about 1 hour.. to Macau.. cheap.. about $25 round trip.. On arrival the casinos offer free buses to their places.. they are spread out so in general not a walk to the next one... The Venetian is the place...

The ferry ride is a blast.. very fast.. hydro plane deal.

China is a wonder.. you won't believe it.. there is something to be said for authoritative leaders.. They get things done.. dj

Author: nancyf

Joined: 4/26/2010
Posts: 155
Countries Visited:

43 of the 50 United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, England , France , Italy , Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Africa (Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe. South Africa), Israel, Canada, the Carribbean, Peru, going to Egypt & Jordan in February 2011 ( canceled due to the unrest there, but I will take this trip later!), China, Russia, Kenya, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Sicily.

Traveler Since: 2007

March 27, 2011

I don't know about that "something to be said about authoritative leaders, they get things done'.......they also see to it that there is censorship, that the people have a hard time advancing, that they don't feel free to speak in public on certain issues, their health care is expensive and doesn't cover much, their cities are way over populated with people, traffic, and smog, the education process is a strange one, and so on. Their one child policy is understandable due to overpopulation, but it still stymies people's freedom and freedom over their own bodies, and so on...... I will take the U.S.A. anyday over the government they have there.

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