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Do your homework before signing up for Pacific Delight China Tour/Victoria China Yangtze Cruise.
Since the death of its founder Mr. Francis Luk in October, 2007, Pacific Delight Tours has been bought out by James Pi, the owner of Victoria Cruise. Pi, known in the business for his 'cut penny' service in Victoria Cruise, replacing soup bars with dormitory liquid soup, tooth brush available only upon requests, asking each passenger to tip US$50 to cover the Chinese crew's salaries.
With the fact that PDT has become a cheap, it would only target on the China shoppings rather than sightseeings, getting kickbacks from Cloisonne factories in Beijing(50% kickback, 55% for big items), the so called "Jade factories" in Xian(50% kickback, 60% for big items, pearl stores(50% kickback) & carpet stores(50% kickback) in Shanghai(50% kickback).
It is funny to listen to the local guides in the bus, they kept saying that the stores they brought people in were selling geniue stuffs where the stores on the streets were selling junks, the fact and the matter is the reverse.
Pearls from China look like fish eyes compared to Mikimoto pearls in Japan.
American tourists in China should ask their tour mangers and local guides to return the kickbacks or it should be deducted from the gratuities. It's the hard earning money for these Americans, most were retired seniors who worked hard their whole life to make out China trips.
Victoria China Yangtze Cruise had never been the top or outstanding cruise, its self proclaimed American service was merely having a Caucesian host/hostess standing at the Reception Deck like a "human furniture".
The bogus patriotism of Victoria China Yangtze Cruise has shown off the real skin by replacing all the US based tour directors with a few Chinese country kids in early 2009, at a time when the US financial crisis was at the prime, putting more than 50 Americans on the US unemployment toll.
These US bi-cultural tour directors were known to be the best in the business.
Victoria Cruise spent a lot of money offering free trips for US travel agents. For most American travel agents, Victoria is the only Yangtze ship they know or have been.
Do your homework and don't throw your hard earning money into Yangtze.
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