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A welcome ceremony will specially be held for travelers who have just on board the cruise ship. Usually, an introduction to basic tour situation, management staff on board and tour schedules are to be told. The printed three-day activity schedule will be sent to your room in addition to the formal display in the reception hall. Schedules are subjected to change depend on the water and weather conditions. The alteration will be broadcasted and changes are not arbitrary. For your safety, drifting must be cancelled during heavy rain and/or flood. It should be noted that, although not happening quite often, cruises could be cancelled or postponed due to severe flooding and dense fog in the Yangtze River.
After boarding the ship, first you have to do is to know your room's position and please read the emergency evacuation procedures diagram stuck on the back of the room's door. Also, it is important to know where the life jackets are placed and how to wear them in case of any emergency.
Be familiar with the itinerary schedule and according to your personal interests to take part the activities. This will make a tidy arrangement for the tour. Meet your guide and know his/her name, know your seat number in the restaurant, the positions of entertainment venues and service facilities. Be familiar with the on board service telephone number, store your valuables and travel documents and prepare for your laundry.
Furthermore, it is recommended to exchange for some amount of pin money. Signature is needed when purchasing. It will be reckoned before leaving with 15 per cent service charge. Credit cards are accepted.
If you need the services in hairdressing, massage, exotic foods or business, should be booked in advance after you get on board, because generally there will be just one massagist or barber ready to serve on the cruise.
- Attention that should be paid to
Because the cultural differences between Chinese and Western societies, the following stated situations are quite normal in China.
It is not an impolite expression in China that young waitresses who are serving and talking to you but not actually looking at you. This is a Chinese tradition.
Either the staff on board or passengers might like to give helping hands while you have fallen ill or faced certain troubles. This does not mean they would like you to pay them tips.
Usually, for the reasons of passengers' safety and tour arrangement, every room in the Yangtze Cruise ship has mandatory audio broadcast system which passengers cannot turn off the sound.
It is no need to leave something over the dish after finishing your meal to display your politeness to the host, because the tradition of Chinese banquet has changed. Wasteful habits are no longer popular due to growing environmental awareness among Chinese people.
- Other on Board Important Tips
No pet is allowed in the ship and no service is provided for it. If you have any pet that you bring in, please take it to a caretaker to look after. According to Chinese laws, smoking is prohibited in public areas. You can light your cigarette on the deck.
Please try best to stick to your tour group during sightseeing trips in land and return to the cruise ship on time set by schedule. Also remember to bring your boarding card all the time.
Not to forget to handover your room key to the cruise staff before disembarking, remember to bring your valuable belongings and important travel documents and not to pack them into large luggage.
Shops are many along the tour line of the Yangtze River and Three Gorges itineraries. To buy souvenirs, arts and crafts, bargaining can be done especially to the expensive ones. You might have to state that you would like about a half price cut and insist that you will buy if you can have that bargained price. Not to lower the price or else the shop owner will think that you do not have the sincerity to buy the stuff.
Pay keen attention to curious items such as jade, old coins, imitation of ancient calligraphy and art works made of fossils, which are probably false products. If you are not sure whether they are genuine or not, do not buy them.
Souvenirs with unique and local characteristics such as textile, wood craft, copperware, stamp, book, t-shirt and sunbonnet might be good to buy some home. You can file complaint to local tourist administration authority if any guide forces you to buy souvenir products from him/her.
- Consumption Payment and Foreign Currency Exchange
Currently, after you board star-level deluxe cruises on Yangtze River, a special cruise card will be served. You need sign your name and the No. of your room, and then you consume on board relying on this card, and before your arrival in the destination, you can pay all you spend on board via cash or Credit Card. The credit cards available on board generally include: Master Card, American Express Card, Visa Card, Diners Club Card and JCB Card and so on. In general, the foreign currencies can be exchanged include: US Dollar, Great Britain Pound, Euro, Japanese Yen, Hong Kong Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar and so on. Even all the main currencies that can be seen on the international market can be exchanged on board. Although the cruise ticket contains the dining fee and special lighter charge, it excludes the personal consumption on board such as Wine, Laundry, Hairdressing, Bodybuilding, Massage, Amusement and others.
These service charges generally have a standard (exemplified with Orient Royal Cruise): Laundry 1-8 dollars per clothes
Hairdressing (Gentleman) 10-50 dollars
Hairdressing (Lady) 10-70 dollars
Massage15-20 dollars per hour
Tips 3-5 dollars per day (to disembark for extra visit, 15 dollars)
Additionally, all the services exclude extra15% service charge. Currently, the travelers' average consumption on board in Yangtze River like this: per day 150-200 US Dollars on four-star and five-star cruises, 120-150 US Dollars on three-star cruises and less than 100 US Dollars on two-star cruises. Compared to the large cruises on Nile River and European Inland River, the charge of cruises on Yangtze River is acceptable and appropriate.
Tip is not a must in China, and Chinese government also forbids the tourism service men to ask for pits or fees, but tip is an important part of income of tourism service men. Generally, the service men in China do not have a high salary, averagely 30-70 US Dollars per month, so they will be happier if they get the tips that the customers are willing to give. But if any guide or service man makes trouble based on travelers refuse to give tips, travelers can straightforwardly complain. In general, travelers had better pay some tips to luggage movers, room waiters and round-trip guide to show the compliments to their hard work. In the general cruises, each traveler usually pays 20 dollars or so as the tips on all the trips. The guides on board generally are paid higher and the luggage movers are paid relatively lower, roughly 1 dollar. In general, there is a public tip box on board, travelers can decide independently whether pay tips or not. How much you pay as tip is an encouragement of workers on board. The public tips are generally distributed by workers themselves together.
To ensure safety, today's all the Yangtze Cruise ship have passed the mandatory attestation of the CSM Ship Safety Management System and are operating in abiding to many regulations and laws of China. There are adequate lifeboats on board and life jackets in rooms for dealing with extreme conditions or emergency situations. They are located in clearly seen positions in the ship.
- Attention should be paid while traveling
Before disembarking to have a sightseeing tour, you will be given a "disembarking card", which is to be used to confirm that you are back on board at the end of a land trip. For safety reasons, life jacket must be worn when traveling to the Lesser Three Gorges and Shennong Stream. Be sure to remember your cruise ship's name, the location of embarking/disembarking pier, and bring your printed tour schedule(s) in hand. If something unpredicted happened you have to pay attention to notices and return to the ship before it sets sail again.
- Electronic Safety
Due to the cruise safety and fire prevention, bringing personal electrical appliances on board and use them are prohibited. If you have the need to use your own notebook computer or some other small appliances, which could be used in designated area or to ask for permission to the management personnel. The main power is 220V in Mainland China and the sockets in the Yangtze Cruise ships are mostly 220V, which is different from 110V applied in Japan and the United States. Therefore, be prepared to have electric plug converters. However, there are some better ships have equipped 110V in some places.
- Storing Valuables
Store personal valuables in the safe provided in your room. In case of your room is without safe box or there is not enough space, valuables could be saved in the service/information center and having your signature. The Yangtze Cruise ship has no responsibility to any loss caused when personal valuables which are not stored in safes.
If tourist in cruise ships due to their own behavior, negligence or breach of the law resulting fines, costs and losses is needed for liability. Whether you damaged intentionally or due to negligence on the cruise on the furniture, equipment or any other property, shall be liable for the losses that the cruise lines incurred.