AmaLotus Cruise Review by Vasco de Gama: Do your homework. for Mekong cruises
Overall Member Rating
Do your homework. for Mekong cruises
If you select the Amalotus or her sister ship you must understand the seasonal patterns of river flow, lake heights and rain season characteristics along the Mekong because this causes get variations in the nature of the environment and point of Siem Reap arrival/ departure. Brochures advise about this. There can be over 30ft height difference in the lake level. In late Sept 2011 there was a very high flood late in the wet season and many roads to the lake edge became impassable even by bus thus causing a five hour bus trip, the dry season journey
The vessel had acute problems with vibrations of the prop shaft, air condition problems in the upper cabins, and anchor noise. The cruise experience some teething problems but the crew made light work of any problems. There were no problems with service except trip departures were a bit confused. Food was good but will improve when the staff become more familiar with the ovens and grills. Quality was good and there was ample More selection. Free drinks were plentiful, if you do not like it buy your own. Local beer is very good and equal if not better than most US brands.
The crew were young and very willing and their enthusiasm and personality were the making of many positive experiences. Talk to them, learn their stories, share their emotions, look analytically at what has happen in Cambodia and Viet Nam and Laos and do not accept the spin put on the history by any one from US political departments. WE had the former US ambassador to Cambodia on board who tried to validate all aspects of US involvement as positive and beneficial?Shore visits and boat trips are interesting whatever the weather, they provide an excellent perspectives on river life in the different countries. The larger cities are too big to cover in a day or two but visit the graves and killings fields of Cambodia. IT will put the problems of your own life in perspective.
Our wet season trip was great; Yes, we had rain, we had some experiences with floods and tuk tuk rides, the paddies were full, the landscape was green, the lake side settlements were reachable by boat, the temples had mysterious atmosphere, insects were absent and the people were fantastic especially in Cambodia. Remember 80+c/80+rh
Two days in Siem Reap is insufficient to do there are any justice. Find a 4 star hotel and stay for longer at a mush lower cost. Hire a tuk tuk by the day and just go with the flow of people or water?
I will do it again.
Shore tours groups seemed to be based on who you booked your cruise with. APT and AMA were segregated and independent travelers were formed into other groups. Not all took any notice and formed friendship groups. This is not a European cruise, this is the real SE Asia but the quality and value is very good. Just go and enjoy. Less
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A Mekong River Adventure!