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Author: drv5912nj

Joined: 4/19/2010
Posts: 10
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2001

November 06, 2012

Anyone recently taken this trip and have any suggestions / input on these topics . I have read the Handbook but relize reality is different at times.

Is Local Currency needed much, US $$$ accepted much ? 

Is the upgrade to " Executive Deck worth it on the cruise portion ? 


Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 724
GCT Trips Taken: 14
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

Antarctica, Argentina, Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

November 06, 2012

 When we went on China & the Yangtze in 2007, we used almost exclusively Chinese currentcy, although street vendors will accept US dollars. Almost everything hat the sell will be one dollah ot 2 dollahs. We did not end up buying a single meal that was not includined, so we did not need any money there. Anyone that you will be tipping will accept US. If you go into a small store or take a taxi, however, they will generally want Chinese currency. It is readily available at ATMs and the hotels will generally break the larger ATM bills to smaller denominations.

One couple on our trip upgraded their cabin on boarding, and liked it, but our cabin was comfortable and all of our cabins were clustered together right near the small library, so we had a meeting place, mostly to ourselves. The ship was a sister ship to the one used by GCT in Russia, before they got their own ships, but the chinese version was better apponted and more comfortable,

For our trip report on the trip see

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 231
GCT Trips Taken: 9
OAT Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2007

December 04, 2012

 We took the China trip in 2011, and we concur completely with nanandpapa, regarding both the upgrade of cabin as well as the money.  You will have little need of money for meal purchase until you get to Hong Kong, and then for only limited meals.  Besides, in Hong Kong, you'll use Hong Kong dollars, not Chinese Yuan.  We had no problem using credit cards in Hong Kong.


Author: ed watts

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 164
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

All seven continents, 113 countries and all states except Idaho.Plus some interesting places that are not countries such as The azores, Antarctica, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc.

Traveler Since: 2010

December 05, 2012

It is amazing to see the changes in China...I made my first trip there over 15 years ago and things were rather primative as far as tourist "accomodations" were concerned...I have made two trips back since and the changes are remarkable as far as currency acceptance, use of credit cards, general accomodations for tourists, etc.---Two years ago, I made an addtional trip across China into Mongolia and Siberia and was amazed that credit cards were accepted in many far "out in the sticks" places..They were way ahead of us even with those little hand-held credit card swip machines!!!

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 231
GCT Trips Taken: 9
OAT Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2007

December 07, 2012

 As an additional afterthought-we spent an extra three days in Hong Kong.  We didn't take the optional trip to the fishing village; we did it on our own.  And it's easy-you use public transportation.  You can purchase an Octopus card at any subway station.  You put a deposit on the card, then load it with however much you want( you can refil it indefinately  if you need ).  Make sure you purchase the senior cards( assuming you qualify, which is likely given our experience on Grand Circle trips ).  The senior rates are even lower than children's rates.  We took the trip to the Tai O fishing village( in our opinion a far better village than the optional of Grand Circle takes you to ) for approximately $1.30/pp U.S., when the cost of the optional is a whole lot more.  Of course, this didn't include lunch, but you can eat anywhere you want for less than the cost of the optional.  When you are done, you can turn in the Octopus card for your deposit and any unused fare money back( minus a small service charge ).  Traveling by subway in Hong Kong is a snap; everything is in English and the subway is very easy to navigate.  In fact, all we took in Hong Kong with Grand Circle was their included tour.  We went everywhere else on our own. 

Author: hloisb

Joined: 10/30/2012
Posts: 10
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

Turkey's Magical Hideaways/Oct 2015, Safari Serengeti/Feb 2015, Adriatic Cruise/Dec 2014, Burma/Mar 2014, China/Yangtze River trip/May 2013, Rhine River/Xmas 2013, Danube River cruise/Nov 2012), been to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Macau, Malacca, Paris, Versailles, Giverny, Rome, Siena, Cinque Terre, Florence, Venice, Vancouver, Toronto, San Miguel de Allende, Mexican Riviera and many places in the US including Hawaii and Alaska.

Traveler Since: 2012

March 28, 2013

My friend and I are taking the trip in May as well. Looking forward to meeting you!

Lois from Arizona

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