Despite the long journey, it was worth it. It's important to have a comfortable ride and the minivan that we had was good. As what Admiral Halong Cruises has promised, there were only 8 of us plus the guide Sunny & the driver in the van with the capacity for 16 passengers. So it was pretty spacious. Sunny was knowledgeable and informative. The cabin crew on the boat was friendly and even entertained us playing a flute.
The boat was relatively new compared to many others which I saw at the harbor. Really enjoyed Halong Bay, Thien Cung cave and the boat rowing. I was abit hesitant to take the latter as I can't swim but the water was very calm. The lady on the boat was very friendly and kept voluntarily taking pictures for our family. Overall, the trip was great and we had a fun time to be closed to Mother Nature.