FAQ: Cruise Answer Place

Asia Cruisetours

The mysteries of China await as you join the Best of China or Yangtze Experience cruisetour. We look forward to welcoming you on your upcoming land and sea vacation with Princess.

Below is supplemental information for the land portion of your cruisetour. Click on a topic headline to view detailed information relating to your selection.

Asia Cruisetour Answer Book (301 KB)

Flight Guidelines

 

To report delays en route (flight/weather)
US & Canada only 800-545-0008
Outside US & Canada 661-284-4410

Airport to first hotel transfers
If you purchased a transfer through Princess, you must provide your air arrival information to ensure that we are able to meet and transfer you. Please add air arrival and departure information into the Cruise Personalizer.®

Note: Most flights arrive in Beijing, China between 2 p.m. - 10 a.m. local time.

Special Needs/Access

 

Princess requires notification in advance if you choose to travel with a wheelchair.

In general, we request that non-ambulatory passengers be accompanied by someone who is able to assist them throughout the duration of the tour. We will request additional information to help us determine how best to meet your needs. Many areas require advance planning to be ready to accommodate wheelchairs and we cannot guarantee your needs will be met in the absence of this information.

We have a department designated to assist you in the coordination of these details so that we can provide you with a quality experience. If you have special requests or questions regarding accessibility, please have your travel agent contact the Princess Access Office at 661-284-4521. You are required to provide your own wheelchair for travel on land tours.

On Land in Asia

 

There are important differences between the cruise and land portions of your cruisetour. Please read the following section to better understand those differences.

Time Zones

  • China: +8 hours Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or +16 hours Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Currency

  • China: Yuan Renminbi (CNY)

Exchange rates fluctuate daily; we suggest you check for the most current exchange prior to your departure. Major credit cards are accepted at hotels, souvenir shops and most venues on tour.

Cash Expenses
Unlike cruising, cashless travel does not apply on land. Make sure to have cash and/or a credit card and valid ID on hand. Additional expenses will include and are not limited to: non-included meals at your hotel and elsewhere, room incidentals, shuttle services, laundry, and gift shop purchases. If you wish to charge incidentals to your hotel room, stop by the front desk upon arrival to establish credit.

Meals/Dining
Daily breakfast (buffet hot and cold selection) is included in your tour, along with select lunch and dinners. We strongly recommend drinking bottled water while in Asia. Visit the Cruise Personalizer® for your detailed itinerary regarding specific inclusions for your tour. Your tour director will also be able to provide you recommendations for meals on your own as well as the hotel concierge.

As a reference point in US Dollars, an espresso coffee in a café will cost between $3.50 - $4.25, bottled water about $2, and sandwich $8 - $14 depending on what city you are dining in.

Tipping
Gratuities are a personal matter and an expression of appreciation for genuine, personal service provided by knowledgeable and creative professionals. The customary end-of-tour gratuities to your tour director, full day touring motorcoach driver, local guides and other service staff are not included, as they are at your discretion.

Below are suggested ranges for China to assist you in determining what gratuity amount is appropriate. 

ServiceGratuity
MealsNot expected for service in restaurants
Motorcoach Driver$20 (CNY) or $3 (USD) per person, per day
Escorted Tour Director$48 (CNY) or $7 (USD) per person, per day
Local Guides$34 (CNY) or $5 (USD) per person, per day
Yangtze River Cruise Staff$205 (CNY) or $30 (USD) per person, per day

Electricity Information
China is 220 volts. An international adapter is recommended and can be requested at hotels. A converter plug is not an adapter. In each country electrical receptacles may be different than those used in the US. Please make sure the plug you are using is always through an adapter and converter that fit the outlet properly as an electrical fire can occur with only a converter.

Cell Phone Coverage
Given the areas through which you will be traveling, wireless reception in Asia may at times be limited or in some cases, non-existent. Please take this into consideration prior to your departure so that your family and friends are aware. Contact your cell phone carrier to determine limitations and services that exist.

Traveling with Children
Due to heightened security, many countries have adopted practices to prevent international abductions of children. If a child will be traveling with grandparents or with only one parent, it is recommended that a notarized letter be written by the parents or non-traveling parent stating the dates of travel and granting authorization to travel. We suggest that you also contact the appropriate consulates and airlines, who may have additional requirements.

The CDC recommends that you speak with your child's doctor about your travel plans outside of North America. He or she can give you recommendations on which vaccines or medicines are safe for your child. You may also want to consider bringing your child's car seat, as the availability and quality of such seats abroad may be limited.

Climate
These average low/high temperature charts will give you an idea of what to expect on your cruisetour.

Average Low/High Temperatures (degrees Fahrenheit)

China

DestinationMarchAprilMaySeptemberOctoberNovember
Beiijing52/3168/4580/5682/6262/5350/31
Wuhan51/3862/4572/5484/6880/6054/37
Xian58/3869/4778/5677/5967/4953/37

Optional Land Excursions

 

There are no optional land excursions available at this time on Asia cruisetours.

What to Bring

 

You may experience a broad variety of weather on your cruisetour. We recommend that you bring casual, comfortable clothes for sightseeing while on tour.

In China we suggest low-heeled comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing, a warm sweater or jacket, a collapsible umbrella as well as an all weather coat. Some venues may restrict entry if clothing is inappropriate or overly casual. Your tour director will inform you in advance as to appropriate dress before visiting these venues.

No formal attire is required at any of the hotel properties or restaurants on tour; however smart casual attire is more appropriate for dinners out.

Luggage

 

All Princess cruisetours include our hassle-free luggage handling service every step of the way. During the land portion or your vacation, your luggage will be transported via motorcoach and delivered to your hotel room. Please check with our airline carrier for luggage allowance/restrictions and guidelines prior to departure.

Follow these important luggage reminders:

  • Essential medicines, travel documents, valuables and breakables should be hand carried in your possession at all times.
  • Princess will make every effort to assist you in safeguarding your belongings. But remember, you are responsible for your things at all times. Princess is not responsible for money, jewelry, cameras, binoculars, documents or any other articles you retain in your personal control.
  • All luggage should have a sturdy personal identification tag that will not be lost or damaged in the course of typical airport and trucked luggage handling.
  • On journeys including air travel, luggage will be subject to a considerable amount of handling and we would recommend that your luggage be of sturdy construction.
  • Princess recommends that your travel protection is adequate enough to cover any possible loss or damage which may occur. Any loss or damage caused by Princess or an airline must be reported immediately to the responsible party.
  • Air regulations for domestic air travel in China require that each passenger check one suitcase with a maximum weight of 44 pounds on the domestic flights. Weights over 44 pounds may be subject to the excess charges which you will need to pay. These rates vary by carrier and can be as high as 2 USD per pound.

Luggage needed during Land Tour
Pack one bag per person to travel with you on the land portion of your vacation. This piece of luggage should include items you might need at your hotel after check-in but do not need access to during the day. The bell staff will deliver the luggage from the motorcoach to your room and vice versa. Your tour director will give you instructions on where to place your luggage. This bag will be transported separately from you and will not be accessible during transit.

  • If you are on the Best of China cruisetour, your excess baggage will remain in a secure location at your Beijing hotel during the Xian segment of your tour. We suggest you pack a bag that is manageable for use during the 2-night stay in Xian. If you are on the Best of China cruisetour that includes Shanghai, all of your luggage will travel with you throughout the entire land tour.
  • For the Yangtze Experience cruisetour, you are allowed to bring one bag of 44 lbs. during the Xian, Yangtze River and Wuhan segments of your tour. Any excess baggage will remain in a secured location at your Beijing hotel where you will be reunited with it upon your return.
  • You will be allowed to stow up to two suitcases per person in Beijing.

Luggage not needed during Land Tour
These bags should contain items you may need on your cruise but will not need on your land tour, such as formal wear, dress shoes or dinner jackets. On the land portion of your cruisetour, the dress code is casual so there is no need for any formal wear.

Hand-Carry Tote/Backpack
You'll want this bag with you every step of the way, so include only the essentials. Items to pack in this bag include travel documents, photo ID, important medication, toiletries, camera, collapsible umbrella and any extra layers of clothing such as jackets or hats. Your hand-carry tote bag should be a size that is comfortable to carry and should be able to be stowed under your seat. We recommend soft-sided tote bags or backpacks no larger than 17" x 14" x 4" with a zip enclosure. Wheeled carry-on cases that are used as carry-on luggage on airlines are too large and are not suitable as hand-carried luggage on motorcoaches in Asia.

Service

 

An experienced and knowledgeable tour director will personally join you on your travels on the land portion of your vacation, taking care of all the details. A welcome letter with further details will be provided with your room key upon arrival at your first hotel indicated in your itinerary. It should be noted that the tour director does not accompany you on the cruise portion of your vacation.

Transportation

 

Motorcoach Travel

  • Princess contracts with trained and knowledgeable drivers for your motorcoach travels.
  • Seating aboard the coaches is assigned daily. Your tour director will explain the details.
  • Ample stops are made for photo and rest breaks. Please note some coaches may not be equipped with restrooms.
  • Coaches are comfortable, equipped with PA system and are air-conditioned.

Accommodations

 

Hotel Stays
Hotels are selected for their location, amenities and staff services. Princess communicates bed configuration requests to the hotels, but bed types can be limited and room assignments are at the discretion of the management of each hotel. While we forward the request, non-smoking rooms are not guaranteed. Disabled rooms are available at the hotels but must be requested in advance. Please put the request in writing and fax it to the Princess Access Office at 661-284-4408 at least 30 days prior to your travel. Or if you have questions about the program in general, please call the Princess Access Office at 661-284-4521.

Your tour director will provide a key packet upon arrival at each hotel and assist with your hotel questions and check-in information. Credit card check-in/check-out is not necessary unless you plan to charge incidentals to your room (phone calls, room service, etc.). Incidentals must be cleared one hour before departure. As a general rule, check-in time at all hotels is not prior to 4 p.m.

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