31 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Luxury Cruise Reviews

Had always wanted to visit Vietnam / Cambodia but wanted to do it guided. had never been on a Scenic Cruise before but the “all inclusive” Scenic package really appealed. To be truthful I had no idea how all inclusive it would be ... Read More
Had always wanted to visit Vietnam / Cambodia but wanted to do it guided. had never been on a Scenic Cruise before but the “all inclusive” Scenic package really appealed. To be truthful I had no idea how all inclusive it would be but if you chose not to buy souvenirs or a drink in a bar when off ship then there was very little need to take cash. We budgeted for some spending but returned home spending very little at all. They say inclusive but I did not expect top shelf drinks including a gin menu, yes a menu there were that many to choose from. Food allergies were no problem either with a super attentive and highly skilled chef ensuring wonderful food. The level of service from all staff was exceptional, every cabin has its own butler, unpacking and room service drinks ....you don’t have to lift a finger. Great excursions and truly caring and memorable guides. In one word.....FAULTLESS......highly recommend Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Two thumbs up. Five stars. Off-the-chart in customer service from the time we landed in Ho Chin Min City to the time we were dropped off at the Seam Reap Airport by the Scenic staff. This was my first time in Asia so I was in culture ... Read More
Two thumbs up. Five stars. Off-the-chart in customer service from the time we landed in Ho Chin Min City to the time we were dropped off at the Seam Reap Airport by the Scenic staff. This was my first time in Asia so I was in culture shock. The Mekong River cruise was a combination of cultural immersion during excursions to being treated like royalty aboard the five star vessel. The staff could not be any more accommodating. I was a single traveler in room 208. I was upgraded to this level because the ship was not completely full. The rooms are huge compared to other ocean and river cruise lines. There is a walk-in closet with drawers, a shoe storage area, a safe, ample space for your hanging clothes, and a minibar that is restocked daily with whatever you want. That's right. Drinks are all inclusive and my drink of choice is Pinot Grigio. There was never a time after my person found that out that my mini bar was without a bottle. There is a sitting area with a sofa, chair, and small round table. There is a balcony that only becomes your balcony when you open the electric balcony window. On the balcony breakfast type table was a live iris that was so beautiful it didn't appear to be real. Next to the bedroom area. There is plenty of space to walk around each side of the king-sized bed. There is a built-in night stand on each side also. The bed can be adjusted to your needs. I could raise the head or elevate my feet as needed. The bed was amazing! Usually, nothing feels as nice as your own bed but this was not the case on the Scenic Spirit. To the right of the bed was the bathroom. It was perfectly laid out. There was a make-up light mounted near the main mirror. The water was always hot with good water pressure. The glass shower had plenty of room. Each room comes with what is referred to as your butler. Honestly, they anticipate your needs and fall over themselves to accommodate you. I have never been treated like such queen in all my life. One of the greatest things about Scenic Spirit is that there are 24 hour washing machines and dryers available, WITH DETERGENT! I only washed three small loads throughout the cruise but how nice not to have to drag dirty laundry home. There is a spa with very reasonably priced services. I had a deep tissue massage on board and it costs about half of what I would pay at home. There is a daily early-morning (light) exercise class that was held in the top deck. They provide fruit infused water after each session. The excursions are so culturally immersive. The excursions were moving, humbling, and educational. Scenic does an awesome job with five star transfer service to and from the airport. Also, the hotels before and after the cruise are high end. Scenic Spirit, with Toby's supervision, ran like a well-oiled machine! Our guides, Duc and Dara, were class acts. Scenic is very blessed to have them. I will forever cherish the memories of my Mekong River Cruise with Scenic. I will never forget Duc or Dara. I will never forget Seyla. I will never forget the children in the villages and so much more. Thank you, Scenic for showing me the Mekong Delta in such a way that had me in tears as I boarded the bus for Seap Reap. The only negative I can offer was with the Scenic USA booking process, namely the flights. There was only one person in this office dealing with flights and she did not respond to emails well, or at all. She also booked an impossible schedule for our return flight which made us miss one of our flights (of 3) on the way home. Just make sure you review your flight situation well before accepting the itinerary. The cruise experience was so great that I won't hold a grudge against Scenic for the flights being poorly planned but the customer service from that area is something they could work on. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose Scenic for the Megong River cruise to Cambodia because the last night included a 1st class outdoor dinner in front of a temple, including a team of Cambodian singers and dancers. This final night dinner was outstanding and I would ... Read More
We chose Scenic for the Megong River cruise to Cambodia because the last night included a 1st class outdoor dinner in front of a temple, including a team of Cambodian singers and dancers. This final night dinner was outstanding and I would suggest that it would also be a perfect event for a Corporate Award evening. The ship was 5 star, very clean, well appointed with staff that were attentive, friendly, gracious and extremely polite. Food, drinks and wine were always plentiful and of the highest of quality. Only 60 people capacity......very nice size. It was a true lifetime experience that any North American would be in awe of partaking. The agenda was intense with a Varity of daily excursions. There is too much to review here, however, the Cambodian small town excursion, that started on ox carts, and the Angkor Wat temple visits were my highlights. I am hard to please but after 11 days I had nothing but positives for the cruise and Scenic the company. Rob, Ottawa Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have been on several cruises both river and sea since 1980. This was the very best so far for many many reasons. The itinerary was spectacular. Sailing the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia. If you are thinking of doing this. ... Read More
We have been on several cruises both river and sea since 1980. This was the very best so far for many many reasons. The itinerary was spectacular. Sailing the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia. If you are thinking of doing this. DO IT NOW. 5 years from now you will not be able to experience the personal level of meeting local people doing what they do from working on the river, selling in markets or making silver or silk. The Scenic crew was one of the best. You could not want for anyone anytime. The ship was excellent and the staterooms were two times as big as any I have ever seen. We bought the regular fare not the premium but I cannot imagine what else you would need. The food was very different but if you wanted standard fare, it was always available. I could write 10,000 words describing each day but I won’t. JUST DO IT! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have traveled previously with Scenic in Europe and after the first cruise down the Rhine and Moselle they won us over. Everything they do is first class. The Mekong cruise is no exception. The accommodation is first class, staff are ... Read More
We have traveled previously with Scenic in Europe and after the first cruise down the Rhine and Moselle they won us over. Everything they do is first class. The Mekong cruise is no exception. The accommodation is first class, staff are magnificent, dining, service, excursions and entertainment are excellent. You always meet nice people on Scenic. Do yourself a favour and book with them on your next River Cruise..you wont be disappointed. The actual time on board the Scenic Spirit was 8 days with the remaining 5 days on land both in Ho Chi Min (Saigon) and Siem Reap. The accommodation in both those cities was 5 star and excellent in every way. There were organised excursions and/or you could do your own thing. Dining experiences were excellent with first class restaurants on the itinerary both for lunch and dinner and plenty of options to choose from. While the land content is excellent the cruising/on board experience is the icing on the cake and always a highlight of cruising with Scenic. Would we go again....absolutely. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because we had previously been on a Scenic River Cruise in Europe, for Amsterdam to Budapest and it was wonderful. We had never been either to Vietnam or Cambodia so thought this would be the way to see them. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had previously been on a Scenic River Cruise in Europe, for Amsterdam to Budapest and it was wonderful. We had never been either to Vietnam or Cambodia so thought this would be the way to see them. We travelled from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap. Before the cruise we spent time in Ho Chi Minh City, enjoying the clamour of the big city and eating in the local restaurants and after in Siem Reap doing similar things. Everything was thought of with Scenic. The ship was incredible. It is owned and operated by Scenic themselves unlike some of the other tour companies ships. It is luxurious and spacious. The common areas are large and beautifully decorated. Our cabin was large and airy and well appointed. We even had a bed that we could adjust both ends up or down! We had more than enough wardrobe space and plenty of other storage. The shower was the largest I have ever seen on any ship. The service was second to none. I have never felt so spoilt. Our butler was always at hand with drinks, food and any other assistance we needed. The wait staff were incredible. They all were. The entertainment on board was just what we needed, traditional dancing and singing. Really what we were there to see. The shore excursions were well thought out and educated us in the culture and history of both countries. Our tour guide was exceptional as were all of the other tour guides we had. They all were easy to hear and understand with the help of our head sets. The food on board was a mixture of Western food and local food and we enjoyed it all. It was a fabulous holiday. I could do it all again tomorrow. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise specifically for the opportunity to visit the temples of Siem Reap but also to learn more about the people of Cambodia, their bloody history, culture and their cuisine. We particularly wanted to experience River ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically for the opportunity to visit the temples of Siem Reap but also to learn more about the people of Cambodia, their bloody history, culture and their cuisine. We particularly wanted to experience River Cruising in Asia in a new ship with a fantastic passenger/crew ratio withe space Scenic Spirit seemed to offer. The cruise scored almost a perfect score as we did not make use of the gym or spa. The accomodation was amazingingly spacious with the most comfortable bed we have ever slept in. The ability to to have a real balcony was amazing and the crew superb. Our names and preferences in dining and service wereknown within days of boarding. The Chef is a genius - always coming up with the taste of the local cuisine with only the freshest of foods. Entertainment consisted of local groups of school children coming on board to perform Lion Dances and other entertainments on the large Sun Deck. The highlight of the tour was the Gala Dinner outside the Kravan Hindu temple dating back to the 10th Century with its magnificent Dances, Table decorations and Gourmet food. Our cruise Director Duc To was friendly, efficient, and when my wife became ill in Siem Reap compassionate and caring. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
To visit Vietnam and Cambodia. Saw only a limited area of each country. Cruise was great. Guides were fantastic. Got to understand more about each country. Visits to war memorials were very informative. Felt very safe. Cambodians so ... Read More
To visit Vietnam and Cambodia. Saw only a limited area of each country. Cruise was great. Guides were fantastic. Got to understand more about each country. Visits to war memorials were very informative. Felt very safe. Cambodians so friendly. Traffic is chaotic. Learning how to cross a road was a big education - not to hesitate when a motorbike is heading straight to you is a big mindset change! As usual Scenic surpassed all levels of service, experiences, and safety. Having everything included before leaving home makes for a stress free holiday. Deciding what to eat and drink are the only decisions to be made. This trip did disappoint in just one way. No pianist or musician. Essential for evenings as most days back to the boat early. Had some out of character early nights. River level of the Mekong for this time of the year meant some 'interesting' disembarkations. Too difficult for some passengers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because we had been informed by a man writing a book on the best river cruises in the world, that Vietnam/Cambodia was #1. We have been on over 25 cruises, ocean and river, and never have we experienced better service ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been informed by a man writing a book on the best river cruises in the world, that Vietnam/Cambodia was #1. We have been on over 25 cruises, ocean and river, and never have we experienced better service and caring for passengers. Top-notch crew. An all-inclusive cruise so if we wanted food or wine delivered to our room, it was included in the booking price. No tipping was expected. The choices of excursions were varied and interesting. The local guides were well-chosen. The ship had only 36 passengers so the experience was intimate and the boat easy to navigate. The clientele on this particular trip was primarily Australian and north American. The front desk, the chef and staff, and the guides could not have more accommodating. We felt safe and well-cared for at all times. The only disappointment was my own fault. I thought the Mekong River looked like Halong Bay in northern Vietnam. If I did the trip again, we would start in Hanoi and end in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It would add a few days to the two-week trip but it would have been worth it. I would highly suggest ending the trip in Siem Reap on this cruise because of the farewell dinner at an ancient temple which was a pinnacle experience. We will travel with Scenic Cruises again soon, if so fortunate. Outstanding crew and overall experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Every detail was completely organised by the tour directors who were 100 percent amazing, the guides were funny, knowledgeable and local. My husband had a disability at the time and he was completely safe at all times, back up transport ... Read More
Every detail was completely organised by the tour directors who were 100 percent amazing, the guides were funny, knowledgeable and local. My husband had a disability at the time and he was completely safe at all times, back up transport was available if he couldn't manage the Rickshaw, walking over uneven terrain, climbing stairs when visiting temples etc. The service, food and beverage was totally 5 star, the staff were just amazing, we could not have asked for better. The cruise director Chantelle was simply amazing as well, always friendly and happy to answer all questions. Scenic provide the most amazing activities, it was however difficult to choose as we wanted to do everything, all choices sounded amazing. The scenic enrich adventures were out of this world and exceeded our expectations ten fold. Overall the trip was simply amazing and we would strongly recommend scenic, it is truly all inclusive. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Scenic Luxury Cruises are exactly that - All the visits ashore were very well organised with local guides who were passionate about their country, both in Vietnam and Cambodia. The holiday started with a couple of days in Saigon ... Read More
Scenic Luxury Cruises are exactly that - All the visits ashore were very well organised with local guides who were passionate about their country, both in Vietnam and Cambodia. The holiday started with a couple of days in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in a central 5 star hotel - it included meals out with a small group (about18) and the highlight was a gastronomic tour of three local restaurants, with transport between stops was sitting on the back of a vintage Vespa Scooter. We transferred to the ship, to be greeted by all the crew - the luggage was already in the cabin and our Butler was on hand to get anything that we required. On the cruise, Scenic offered opportunities and experiences which are not available to other travellers. There was a trip ashore on most days, but these were not strenuous and helped to enrich our knowledge of these two fascinating countries. Yes, seeing the aftermath of the Vietnam War was not "fun" but it was interesting and experiencing the horrendous "Killing Fields" of the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia was truly emotional. But this is recent history - of our lifetime and cannot be ignored. The visits to the temples of Angkor Wat was the main reason for the holiday and did not dissapoint. The smaller temples were very crowded with scores of Chinese visitors, but there is a lot more space in the main temple complex. Scenic organised a final dinner at a temple in the grounds of Angkor Wat, just for 50 people, with entertainment throughout. It was unforgetable - a magical experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Looking for a Mekong River cruise, we chose Scenic. We were delighted with the 3 day pre and post stays. Well organized and interesting tours. Recommend ending in Siem Reap to get the temple gala dinner, it is really special. The boat is ... Read More
Looking for a Mekong River cruise, we chose Scenic. We were delighted with the 3 day pre and post stays. Well organized and interesting tours. Recommend ending in Siem Reap to get the temple gala dinner, it is really special. The boat is beautiful and very comfortable with every need met by its gracious and friendly Cambodian crew. Mundane sounding excursions were anything but! We travel a lot and were amazed and delighted everyday! Our tour director Man was from Vietnam and was a great leader and guide. He treated us all as adults and not as herd animals as can happen on group tours. He was very knowledgable and gave us a respect for Vietnam and Cambodias sensitive history. The food was of a very high quality and presented beautifully. Five star floating cuisine and service. Very delighted and have to remark that every single excursion was so interesting and unique. Loved it! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Luxury is a subjective word as is the definition 5 stars. Scenic is constantly reviewed as a 5 star product and because of this and the 5 star rating and luxury spruiked by Scenic in its tour advertising and brochures that we selected ... Read More
Luxury is a subjective word as is the definition 5 stars. Scenic is constantly reviewed as a 5 star product and because of this and the 5 star rating and luxury spruiked by Scenic in its tour advertising and brochures that we selected the Scenic Spirit from Vietnam to Cambodia. In my opinion some simple truths, grey threadbare towels are not luxury or even 5 star. We needed to asked the room service teams twice to fix the mould in the shower (soap holder cavity and where two walls joined) and exposed electrical wiring around the light in the shower area. 1* removed for mould and old thread bare grey towels, face clothes and hand towels. 1 * removed as the advertised L'Occitane products not available and they now use a local lemon grass product. So you have lemon grass scented, soap, shampoo, conditioner body lotion. I for one don’t particularly like the smell of lemongrass. Walk in wardrobe door stuck open with the sensor light stuck on for hours and hours – 1/2/ * So, far we have lost 2.5 stars and we have not left the main room. Food: To me “world class meals” are something that I can’t cook at home or a far better than anything I can cook. The breakfast and lunch is a buffet where the staff did everything for you it was a great effort – luxury no, world class meals no. Think a very small carving area fit only with chick/duck/beef and the rest was salads and other warming dishes and an egg station during the breakfast. Scenic advertise world class meals, No meal was a truly world class from start to finish. You often waited with no reason given and just when you thought you should go something would turn up. Despite the standard of the meals the Cambodian and Vietnam staff were excellent. So the good bits… Whilst the food was average the variety was good. The cabin size, beds and air conditioning were great. Crew – The Cambodian and Vietnamese staff for the most part were excellent. The tours etc for the most part were well arranged and managed. In some ways they were a little repetitive. Scenic have a simple philosophy if you are not at the meeting point on time then you have decided not to do the tour. On board it is inclusive of everything except the spa and a better wine list. Not so good… The daily briefings were more a ramble than a briefing. You will need to get used to the term “Happy House” (bathroom/toilet) which seemed to figure into every tour briefing and off boat visit, boat rides, bus rides, cart rides. The guide often just pointed out Happy Houses when we were walking and emphasised that it wasn’t a Scenic 5 star Happy House. Most times whilst the briefing went into every detail of the next day it did not actually mention times and places to meet. The briefing talks were then repeated during the actual tours. The embarkation process was poor, we were advised to meet at the Park Hyatt at 08:30 to hand over passports and luggage, then come back at 10:00 then to be told to come back at midday. You can easily and clearly hear the people in the next cabin, especially in the bathroom. Food was okay. Nothing special and nothing to rave about. The guides could do far more to protect its guests from the local street hawkers who follow you and slightly hassle you to buy. The food was very Western and could use some more Asian influence. The included wine and drinks list is large but not particularly great, Scenic could do better with a less is more philosophy, with a small list but better wines. I suppose the question is does Scenic do it better or worse than any other river cruise company on the Mekong. Speaking with many repeat customers of Scenic on this cruise it does sound like it’s a very different experience to Europe and South America. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
After a dodgy start caused by a cancelled flight and then a missed connection, once we finally got onto the ship everything was great. The ship itself is very smart, cabins large, food excellent, great service from predominately ... Read More
After a dodgy start caused by a cancelled flight and then a missed connection, once we finally got onto the ship everything was great. The ship itself is very smart, cabins large, food excellent, great service from predominately Cambodian and Vietnamese staff. The best part, however, was the quality of the excursions, - all included and really well thought out and put together. They were fascinating showing real life along the Mykong. The tour guides were all excellent - knowledgeable, witty and helpful. Examples of how cleverly they were put together were things like going to high tea at Raffles Hotel in Phnom Penh, but travelling on a tuk-tuk. Another trip included visiting villages on an ox cart. The Killing fields was very moving. But my highlight were a couple of trips to monasteries seeing both monks, nuns and trainee monks. My only criticisms which are pretty minor are as follows. There is absolutely no let up - very little free time and early starts every day. If you want to relax there is little opportunity. And we finished our trip in Siem Reap, and were literally overnight. There was no mention at the time of booking of doing Angkor Wat or any of the other temples. So you're 15 minutes away from one of the wonders of the world and no opportunity to see it unless you made your own arrangements in a very tight window. We returned home via Dubai for 2 nights and we would have much rather stayed in Siem Reap. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We received an initial email from Scenic 16 months ago. Price could not be ignored. I wanted to return to VietNam and this was the opportunity. Scenic monitored the process right through to the embarkation. We went independent pre- cruise ... Read More
We received an initial email from Scenic 16 months ago. Price could not be ignored. I wanted to return to VietNam and this was the opportunity. Scenic monitored the process right through to the embarkation. We went independent pre- cruise time in Saigon and post cruise in Siem Reap. From connection with the cruise everything was so well organised nothing went wrong. The ship shone like a new pin. Suite was spacious and practical. Food varied from good to great. Excursions, perhaps too many for us oldies but plenty of choice and you don't need to do any of them.. Entertainment, just enough. For the last several decades we have travelled independently, eschewing tour groups. If all tours were like this we would have changed our approach, but I can't see that the competition would have achieved this level of service. We have cruised Oceania, Silversea , Holland America (sorry) Norwegian (sorry again), Cunard, P&O (sorry again) and Princess (well). All except the first two were over the top with noise and nickel/diming, i.e. charging like a bull for every little service. This one did not. Brilliant Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We were recommended this company by our travel agent as we said we would like a tour in the Mekong Delta. The whole trip was excellent and our tour director MAO was a great host. The ship was fantastic, and only about a year old I ... Read More
We were recommended this company by our travel agent as we said we would like a tour in the Mekong Delta. The whole trip was excellent and our tour director MAO was a great host. The ship was fantastic, and only about a year old I believe. The food was great, which I was really looking forward to. The restaurants ashore well also very good and gave us a great variety of local cuisine and tastes. We had excellent service from the crew and they were very friendly and interacted very well with the passengers. The trips ashore were well organised we particularly likes the Classic Vespa Adventure which was pretty exciting through the streets of HO CHI MIN City Would recommend this trip if you fancy a tour in that area. Remember this type of trip is a tour not a holiday and it is pretty busy schedule so as you see as much a possible of the area in your limited time Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had the most fantastic time on the cruise. The ship was of a very high standard.The staff on board could not have done more to make our experience better. The cruise director Paula was absolutely brilliant. Always on hand to help and ... Read More
We had the most fantastic time on the cruise. The ship was of a very high standard.The staff on board could not have done more to make our experience better. The cruise director Paula was absolutely brilliant. Always on hand to help and always had a smile on her face. The waiters and waitresses were always happy and very attentive. The spa was lovely had I had a lovely massage. The evening entertainment was just enough. Not too intrusive and very good fun. The shore excursions were very well organised and very informative. We were well supervised by our guide Ngnoc. He looked after us so well. Always on hand with information. He was always looking after our welfare with hand sanitiser and giving us umbrellas to shade us from the sun. The food on board was outstanding. A great variety of food on board over the week. We had a few days in Ho Chi Minh city before boarding. The hotel was 5 star and the excursions were very good. The local guide was very good and helped make the city tour very interesting. We had three nights in Siem Reap after the the cruise finished. Again the hotel was 5 star and the land excursions very excellent. The final Gala dinner was an experience we will never forget. How we will ever top that we do not know. Fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise as it was a part of Asia we had not visited before and included time in Ho Chi Minh and then Siem Reap to see the temples at Angkor Watt . A stopover of two nights in Singapore had been added as a booking inducement ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a part of Asia we had not visited before and included time in Ho Chi Minh and then Siem Reap to see the temples at Angkor Watt . A stopover of two nights in Singapore had been added as a booking inducement The Scenic Spirit is a purpose built Mekong River boat catering for around 84 guests with a range of cabins over three decks. The ship I understand is about a year old. Most passengers are in the 55 / 70 age range mainly from UK, Australia, America, Canada . The cruise package is described as all inclusive and this was the case with the exception of free flowing drinks during the land portion. All aspects of the ship exceeded expectations and Scenic has got this part right. The markings below make that clear. We saw hardly any other boats and never shared a birth. Hyatt Hotels were used for the stops in Ho Chi Minh and Siem Reap and the service was first class and cannot be faulted - Trip Advisor testifies to this. The passengers tour in three groups and Guides were first class with a caring attitude towards their mature guests. The daily excursions were varied and of good quality although most guests were baffled around the brochure speak " free choice and enrich "and how these were timed and would slot into the day.The pace is fast with a lot packed in and it is hot ! Meals off the ship were at times disappointing - with a set menu and being confined to long tables in a separate room within the chosen restaurant. There was some entertainment brought on board for early evening, but do not expect the disco to be going strong at midnight. However the final Gala night in Siem Reap was the highlight of the cruise and comprise of outstanding entertainment and a top quality meal. Scenic cruise do not come cheap and they project themselves as being top dog in the river cruise business. However those of us from the UK had great difficulty in dealing with the UK Office of Scenic during the booking process. They seemed to have little understanding of the product especially the excursions and were clearly out of their depth in all respects. This appears to be because this package is organised by Scenic Australia and the communication between the two is shambolic. There are to many versions of the brochures with inconsistent information around such things as luggage allowances, excursions, laundry plus the value of courtesy stopovers being overstated. I get the feeling that Scenic have expanding a little to quickly and if it had not been for the above I would have given the whole package an overall of 5 Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
For many, a cruise means a huge ship, large crowd and the related stuffs therein. Then there is the other type of cruise: a small boat with a small number of guests, friendly staff and meticulous personal attention. The Coral Discoverer ... Read More
For many, a cruise means a huge ship, large crowd and the related stuffs therein. Then there is the other type of cruise: a small boat with a small number of guests, friendly staff and meticulous personal attention. The Coral Discoverer turned out to be such a boutique. My wife and I joined the South China Sea run from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, covering the long stretch of Vietnamese seashore, 22 January through 3 March 2017. The meticulous planning and attention to detail were obvious from the moment we gathered at the Saigon Opera House, Ho Chi Minh City. We handed over our baggage and boarded the coach to the ship docked near the city centre. The small crowd facilitated quick clearance of immigration formalities. We attended the Captain’s welcome reception that evening in the Explorer Bar. At the top deck, with drink in hand, and the spectacular panoramic view of the nighttime Ho Chi Minh City all around, the experience was enchanting. Then we moved to the spacious dining hall at the lower level. The majority of the gusts seemed to know each other. It turned out that they had shared past cruises in the Coral Discoverer itself or in one of the two other ships of the Coral Expeditions. The number of returning guests was impressive and was a testimony to the quality of the cruises. The sumptuous dinner was informal, enlivened with friendly discussions, and lingered on about three hours into the night. This set the pattern for every subsequent evening: drinks at one of the bars, then a leisurely buffet with affable banter. Food and wine were excellent and plentiful. In the bar, the selection of spirits was superb; the cocktails were tasty. We enjoyed a beautifully appointed Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom. The toilet is necessarily small, but properly planned, exquisitely appointed and well stocked with toiletries. Lazing on the balcony, casually taking the view, when the boat sailed, anchored or docked was an exhilarating experience. The ship is spotlessly clean, both public areas and private quarters. For a ship of this size, the facilities are remarkably lavish: three bars, a lounge cum presentation room, an exercise area, a sun deck and even a small library. Moving around was not difficult even for the elderly. Vietnam has a rich and troubled history. The cruise arrangement did justice to that heritage. Every day we docked or anchored near an interesting seaside town or village. The day started with a lavish Continental and hot breakfast in the ship. The Discoverer has a unique boat for transporting guests to the seashore, when anchored away from the coast. The Xplorer is securely docked to the ship at the back. The guests could just walk into this boat from the main deck. Then it goes down smoothly as an elevator cab to the water and glides to the shore. The boat rides were unique opportunities to enjoy scenic beauty and to see the seaside life. On land, we travelled in comfortable coaches, savouring scenic beauty and wowing at the rich historic legacy. Prominent among them were the cable-car ride up the Lin-son Truong Pagoda and the climb on foot to the huge Reclining Buddha statue. A visit to Vinh Moc Tunnel and the Benh Vien Hospital Cave of the Viet Cong rekindles the poignant history of the nineteen sixties. The Hue Citadel, Ha Long Bay, Sung Sot cave, Titop Beach and the steep climb to the top of the hill, Lan Ha Bay and the Cat Ba National Park were among the attractions we visited. When the plans demanded lunch or dinner on shore, impeccable arrangements waited for us. The tour team meticulously arranged every detail and took care of the entry fee for the attractions, eliminating any delay. An expert tour guide was travelling with us. Also included in the team was an expert on Vietnam. He made audiovisual presentations on history, social issues and life in general in Vietnam. Rough weather disturbed the cruise arrangement one day. Nevertheless, an equally interesting fallback plan was in place seamlessly. Another unique feature was the open bridge policy. The bridge of a ship, as the cockpit of a commercial aircraft, is a sensitive area. However, Coral Expeditions has an open-bridge policy in their ships. We enjoyed the experience of watching the captain navigating the ship, sitting on a nearby comfortable sofa. The dedicated team, at every level, is probably the greatest asset of this ship. Informal, pleasant and friendly, they were at the spot, at the time when a guest needed help. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our first experience of cruising. We liked the idea of a smaller ship with large suites and we were not disappointed. Everything from start to finish was well managed by Scenic, the ship was very well equipped with pool and gym, ... Read More
This was our first experience of cruising. We liked the idea of a smaller ship with large suites and we were not disappointed. Everything from start to finish was well managed by Scenic, the ship was very well equipped with pool and gym, the suite was very spacious as were the public areas and at no time did it feel crowded. The food was excellent, both buffet and a la carte menus, and the excursions, accompanied by very knowledge tour guides, kept us busy every day. We felt that we got to know a lot about Cambodia and Vietnam in a short space of time and visited some interesting places on route. The staff on board were fantastic and always had a smile on their faces. We will certainly consider booking another river cruise with Scenic, I just hope it can live up to the expectations set by this trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We are two mature couples spending 6 weeks travelling south east Asia. As we all are previous Scenic travellers we booked this cruise into our itinerary. So glad we did. We travelled from Ho Chi Min to Siem Reap. VISA formalities ... Read More
We are two mature couples spending 6 weeks travelling south east Asia. As we all are previous Scenic travellers we booked this cruise into our itinerary. So glad we did. We travelled from Ho Chi Min to Siem Reap. VISA formalities crossing into Cambodia were dealt with by Scenic. Beautiful ship, wonderful spacious cabin with walk in wardrobe. Lovely attentive friendly staff who always seemed to be on duty. All the ports of call were interesting and we enjoyed all of our tour excursions except the Silversmiths village was a disappointment and the Lovers House was a waste off time. Phomn Penn was amazing and we went from the depths of human depravity at the Killing Fields and the Prison School to having High Tea at Raffles in one day. Pool was lovely and the scenery was superb. Spa was very pleasant, I had a manicure and a massage. Meals were extremely good with good choices. Free laundry on board ship was a godsend. Tours of the engine room and kitchen were interesting. Walking on the deck track was noisy in deck 3 cabins. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose to return to Asia for the Christmas break and having travelled with Scenic before trusted them to make this a wonderful event. We were collected in Ho Chi Minh City and were taken to a nearby restaurant for lunch. This was ... Read More
We chose to return to Asia for the Christmas break and having travelled with Scenic before trusted them to make this a wonderful event. We were collected in Ho Chi Minh City and were taken to a nearby restaurant for lunch. This was followed by a bus ride to the port at My Tho where we boarded the Scenic Spirit. The cabins were much larger than we expected with a lounge which could be closed off from the bedroom and of course the balcony area which could be closed off from the room by sliding glass doors to be able to enjoy the evening on the balcony without the problem of insects in the room later. There is also a guest laundry on this ship which makes life much easier. The washing machines and driers do not have a charge and the washing powder is also supplied. This enabled us to wash at any time when we were on the ship and therefor could carry less luggage. This is a great innovation and for those who did not wish to do their own laundry there was still a paid laundry service available. The service by all the staff was amazing and the care provided at all times was superb. Food was delightful and there was no issue in dealing with dietary issues and allergies. The chef was wonderful and went out of his way to ensure everything was of the highest quality and beautifully presented. The only issue with the dining room was that all the food was so nice that many people found their clothes had shrunk by the end of the trip!. Scenic include Free Choice activities and Scenic Enrich activities, but at no time is there pressure to participate in any or all of these. The Scenic Free Choice trip to the Bird Sanctuary at Chau Doc for us was a highlight of the trip. This trip is somewhat physical demanding as there are areas where the ground is uneven and there is the need to change from the boat to smaller water craft on several occasions with the boats moored against a muddy bank. However the birdlife we saw was well worth the effort and due to being in very small water craft we were able to photograph the birds up close. The range of included visits from colonial houses, temples, the Royal Palace, museums to markets which sold everything you could imagine was a great eye opener and our local guides who travelled with us were very knowledgeable and made the trip more memorable. Scenic enrich included High Tea at Raffles Hotel, a tradition puppet show and a story telling dance performance by a very well trained group of school children accompanied by other students on traditional instruments. Disembarkation was seamless at Kampong Cham where we again were taken by bus to our final destination on the trip. Stops on the way also included sites and monuments which were further learning experiences. We had guides with us the whole time, some were national guides and others were local guides who had a greater knowledge of the specific area we were visiting for that day or so. On arrival in Siem Reap we were accommodated at a luxury hotel until we were collected by car, also with a local guide to be taken to the airport for our trip home. The whole trip was managed superbly by the Cruise Director and the Hotel Manager on the Spirit and it was a really wonderful way to spend the holiday season. Once again thanks to Scenic for their attention to detail and their ability to provide a truly Luxury Tour. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Scenic offer such great itineraries and know just what to package together to make a very experience. We had travelled with them previously and this cruise did not disappoint. The service could not be faulted. The food was a great mix ... Read More
Scenic offer such great itineraries and know just what to package together to make a very experience. We had travelled with them previously and this cruise did not disappoint. The service could not be faulted. The food was a great mix of Asian and western - and so many choices each meal. Having the River Cafe on level 2 complimented the Spirit Dining Room. The pool and bar area on level 3 was a great place to sit and relax. We left from Ho Chi Minh City and it was a leisurely day to port. The embarkation was fantastic with all the crew welcoming us on board. First impressions were very good. The ship was only 11 months old and you could tell a lot of thought had been put into the design. The laundry room a huge bonus - free washing machines, laundry powder and clothes dryers. Loved the Trivia night! Would we go again - probably not on this tour as we have seen what we wanted to see. We would definitely go with Scenic again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We have travelled with Scenic for 10 years and have completed 5 river cruises with them in addition to many land tours. We love the fact that everything is included, itineraries are varied and staff are so well-trained. The Scenic spirit ... Read More
We have travelled with Scenic for 10 years and have completed 5 river cruises with them in addition to many land tours. We love the fact that everything is included, itineraries are varied and staff are so well-trained. The Scenic spirit is a truly luxurious ship and we were fortunate to be upgraded to one of the Royal Panorama Suites. Luxuriating in our own jacuzzi with a glass of wine at the end of each day's shore excursion was sheer bliss. I also highly recommend Shretty's massages in the Wellness centre. Twenty-four of the 60 passengers had already travelled together from Hanoi for 12 days on a land tour and had formed a tight knit "Sticky Rice" group with our fabulous Vietnamese tour director, Nghia. This meant we were together for most of the shore excursions with him and Dara, a local Cambodian tour guide. One afternoon Dara gave us a lesson on how to tie the Khmer (Cambodian scarf) which had us laughing for days. Paula, Joyce and Eric run the cruise smoothly, like a well-oiled machine. Everything happened exactly as they said and their staff are super organised, friendly and capable.The Captain and his crew had to dock in some 'interesting' places and were very creative in making sure we were able to step ashore safely for our excursions. Ario and his team never let us go hungry and introduced us to lots of local delicacies and the friendly, happy waiters were a bonus. Our gorgeous Cambodian butler, Sithat, anticipated our every need and brought us fruit after lunch and chocolates after dinner. Thanks to her we were able to have several pre-dinner drinks and canape evenings with some of our new friends in our cabin. An added bonus with our cabin allocation was being able to send bags of laundry to be done every day. With the high humidity we certainly took advantage of this. All shore excursions were interesting and educational, some such as tasting snake wine and holding a python more challenging than others and the Killing Fields were really confronting. Scenic are to be congratulated for their support of local communities and children's charities. It was such a wonderful week we were all sad to have to leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This cruise on the Mekong Navigator was through Evergreen (Emerald) tours Great modern ship with very good facilities, fantastic dining and service. While cabins were roomy and clean, there were issues with the cabins we stayed in ... Read More
This cruise on the Mekong Navigator was through Evergreen (Emerald) tours Great modern ship with very good facilities, fantastic dining and service. While cabins were roomy and clean, there were issues with the cabins we stayed in (VS201 & 202) due to poor design of the ship's anchor system. We unfortunately were put into cabin VS201 (our friends in VS202) at the nose of the ship, which was hopeless for trying to sleep in due to the anchor chain constantly rubbing and clunking against the metal chute that it passes through. This was not an issue when tied up dockside, however there were about 5 nights where we anchored in the river which was when we had to put up with the loud metal on metal noise as the ship swung about the anchor, due to wind and river currents. The chute needs to be lined with hemp rope or similar to prevent the rubbing and clunking noise when at anchor. Facilities such as the bar and gym were very good. Entertainment was a bit light on as well, could have done with soloist singing & playing the guitar or games in the late afternoon such as Trivia in the bar. Shore excursions were great with a lot of interaction with locals in villages and cities that we visited. The guides did an exceptional job and knew their history really well. Transport for excursions were well organised and at times exciting, especially the tuk-tuk tours of Phnom Penh. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016

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