We were very excited to go on this 5 day 4 night cruise down the Amazon River. We were VERY disappointed to realize we were not really on the Amazon on this cruise but instead on a river that is an offshoot off of the Amazon. We spent ... Read More
We were very excited to go on this 5 day 4 night cruise down the Amazon River. We were VERY disappointed to realize we were not really on the Amazon on this cruise but instead on a river that is an offshoot off of the Amazon. We spent $20,000 for the 5 days for the 4 of us so we had high expectations of luxury.
The boat was so magical looking when we arrived late in the evening from hours of a bus trip from Iquitos. The rooms were nice and we got 2 connecting rooms for our family of 4. They were clean and nice at first glance but when you look closer the whole boat (and rooms) have been caulked and re-caulked near windows and in bathrooms and it is getting a little long in the tooth. The vents in the bathrooms had tons of dust so it was kind of gross to look at each time we went to the bathroom (as well as the grungy caulk). Overall the rooms were nice and clean though, just worn.
The best part of the boat was the common bar and seating area. it was beautiful and cozy. Nobody used the pool/hot tub the entire time so I am not sure if anyone ever does. The drinks were good but the service to get them was slow and not proactive. We had to ask for drinks every time and go up to the bar. There were virtually no snacks so if you were hungry you were out of luck unless you wanted to eat the same nuts and chips EVERY day. Sometimes it is nice to play a game, have a drink, and have some good things to eat. You get 3 meals and nothing in between.
The excursions started very early every morning and it did not feel like vacation. They seemed to try to keep everyone off the boat all day as long as they could so they could clean and prepare for the evening. The animals were so hard to spot on the shores that we wondered if we really saw what our guides told us we were seeing. it was very hard to be in a skiff for 4-6 hours a day in the heat and searing sun and straining your eyes to see wildlife. Our favorite things to do were the jungle walk and visiting a local village (bring things for the kids with you). We skipped out on one thing we really wanted to do which was to fish for pirhana because my daughter got sick from the steamed broccoli she ate on the boat and my son had had a sever allergic reaction to the pine nuts in the pesto he was served the night before so waking up at 6:00 in the morning to go on an excursion was just not doable for us. It was a bummer.
Speaking of the food. We had ONE thing we could not have served and it was on our profile and the boat lead spoke to us about it the first day we arrived, My son can not have pine nuts as he is severely allergic to them. In fact we specifically said NO PESTO either since it often has pine nuts. Well, guess what was in the bread sticks and my son unknowingly are them and had a severe reaction and could not breathe and threw up all night. The staff was not helpful and luckilly we travel with an epi-pen since we were in the middle of the Amazon and had no healthcare anywhere in sight.
I do want to give the entire staff a bug kudos because they work very hard and try to make everyone happy. We just would not go on this cruise again. In fact we just booked Cambodia/Vietnam next year and have a 7 day river cruise on the RV Javamaran booked and we did not even consider booking on the Aqua Expedition Mekong. The experience was not luxury enough for what the cost is. The food was all local and when we saw the town that the food came from where they sell skinned monkeys and tortoises we realized nothing was flown in special and there was no luxury in the food. It was all local and when you are in the Amazon on a luxury cruise the last thing you want is the local food. Everyone had to eat the same food and you did not get any choices. You get what you get and that is it. The options for kids food was even more slim.
I would like to end this by saying that my family of 4 (2 adults and kids ages 11 and 13) travel the world and stay in really nice accommodations and do many adventure travel things together. Our kids have been to 25 countries already and we have been to over 50. here is a link to my Tripadvisor profile to show our travel experience https://www.tripadvisor.com/members/renee94903 This cruise was not worth the money it cost. Read Less