AmaLotus Cruise Review by alexandra cruiser: AMAlotus cruise great on Mekong River in Vietnam
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AMAlotus cruise great on Mekong River in Vietnam
Embarkation: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
If you re interested in a combination land cruise in Vietnam and Cambodia along with Halong Bay Junk cruise and 7 day river cruise on MeKong,this was a great option.
Hanoi is starting point and all hotels were 5 star here and in Seim Reip and HoChiMinh city.Bus used in each town very nice with great tour guides,drivers,etc.
Halong Bay junk was only mediocre with small cabin,poor lighting,and so so food
The cool,cloudy weather didnt help,but still glad we went and area was beautiful.
Flight to Seim Reip short and Cambodia visa could be taken care of before hand with cruise manager($20 ea.plus passport photo).We did get our own Vietnam visa ahead of time.
Tours to Anghor Wat and other temples can be a challange to those not in good physical condition,,very hot,lots of climbing,uneven ground and loads of tourists.Wonderful to see and explore but was tired after am tours and took pm tours off to rest by pool.Do take tuk tuk to town and More explore.We ate in 2 good restaurants recommended by our guides(do ask).
Loved visiting the small towns along river banks and seeing the friendly kids and kind adults who tolerated us wandering thru their villages.Do bring some small gifts for kids(not money).
We took small boats to floating villages,toured market areas,visited pagodas,monastery.Most days had both am and pm tours,so you are kept very busy.
Amalotus is a great ship,fantastic crew,nice rooms,good food.We parked next to the Pandaw(Viking ship) and ours was much newer with outside balconies.I wish they had screens on balcony door to keep open at nite(but unable to now due to bugs coming in).
The ship had 4 major groups onboard and they tended to stick together for both tours and dinner.This can be a little difficult if your group isn t cohesive.It was difficult to mingle since others spoke different languages(with different guides and sometimes different meeting places for lectures,etc).This was very different from other river cruises I ve been on.For me,a little to structured.
HoChiMInh city and Pnem Penh were both great to visit and very crowded too.Hard to wander around due to traffic,especially the motorbikes.We took taxis or tuk tuks.
I would recommend AMA for Vietnam and Cambodia,but do a lot of online research,look at videos,read reviews,etc.This would not be my choice for first cruise,appeals more to the well traveled cruiser not overwhelmed with visitng a 3rd world country. Less
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Cabin review: 201
cabin 201...needs shower mat ,screening on balcony,better lighting in bathroom.
Port and Shore Excursions
Bus ride and walking tour to major sites.Informative.
Hanoi stay was 2 days at Sofitel Hotel.City tours included.Fantasic sites to visit,but be aware of crazy traffic.Loved the rickshaw ride. Halong Bay junk cruise only mediocre.Poor food and small rooms.But area beautiful.
Bus tour of city with stops at major tourist sites.
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