7 Mandalay Senior Cruise Reviews

We have looking forward this cruise for a long time, it was advertised to us as being one of the finest in luxury on the ayeyarwaddy river. So we thought it would be a nice and tranquil journey. But too many kids running around and so ... Read More
We have looking forward this cruise for a long time, it was advertised to us as being one of the finest in luxury on the ayeyarwaddy river. So we thought it would be a nice and tranquil journey. But too many kids running around and so noisy (we cannot blame them, they are full of life), We have been surprised to see so many "locales" onboard, it shows that the country has some very wealthy people. We enjoyed our time there, but, the tranquility was not there , around the pool so noisy... The excursions was nice but the French magician (he did a trick or 2 to us during the trip) was so rude and so careless on "local" guests, culture and about the country. We were so disappointing about such negativity towards this country... Even our guide has been told off by this person (I think the name was Bilu, but not sure)... My husband did not feel well, but the Indian cruise manager and the French F&B manager looked after him and me well. We wanted to watch the formula 1 grand prix, and they did manage to have it on tv for us.... It was challenging as there was bad connection, but we saw it !!! The service in spa, reception, restaurant and housekeeping was top notch, no time to wait that whatever you asked them, it was done promptly and at times no need to ask, they are bringing it to you. For breakfast, no need to ask for coffee that your waiter (Kel doo too) knew our order before we even asked him... That is service! So overall we enjoyed it it very much, but too many kids (noise, running,...) and a bit more consideration for local people would have made our trip being of the best. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Myanmar was on the bucket list. True much of the country is still 3rd world but the cultural experience and friendly attitude of the people coupled with the luxury aboard ship made the entire experience worth while. Also don,t forget to ... Read More
Myanmar was on the bucket list. True much of the country is still 3rd world but the cultural experience and friendly attitude of the people coupled with the luxury aboard ship made the entire experience worth while. Also don,t forget to bargain when purchasing tourist bits and pieces, its still the real deal there. The only warning to give is take care on various river disembarkations, but the crew do there most to ensure all is safe for passengers. There was a wide variety of shore excursions to choose from and moderate fitness was required, although with those not quite up to it every assistance was given to ensure they could enjoy experiences. Overall the cruise met all our expectations and we had researched it so we were aware of some challenges, for example onshore in some areas Asian toilets only available and of course drink , the supplied, bottled water. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We Love river cruising and nobody does it better than scenic! My husband and I have recently returned from cruising the Irrawaddy through Myanmar, we chose the eleven day option, and added a couple of days of our own in Mandalay, and ... Read More
We Love river cruising and nobody does it better than scenic! My husband and I have recently returned from cruising the Irrawaddy through Myanmar, we chose the eleven day option, and added a couple of days of our own in Mandalay, and one in Yangon. We chose to stay at the Mandalay Hill resort, which is the hotel that scenic uses for its longer trip option. It is a lovely hotel, and we were lucky enough to be upgraded to a top floor junior suite. We met our fellow passengers and tour guides the night before the commencement of the cruise, and on the day of the cruise our bags were picked up from the room, and the next time you see them they are in your room on board! wonderful, and so easy. The ship is really fantastic, We were in room 303, top floor, second best rooms on the ship. All the rooms are good, I visited the other rooms, and would have been happy with any of them. so choose from price point, but if money is no object get the Diamond deck 301 or 302 ! own front deck, with jacuzzi! 70msq. the room we had was huge, at 40 sqm and had to full windows, balcony if you wanted it, The most comfortable bed ever! lovely bathroom, walk through robe and loads of space, we also had our own lounge area, it felt like a small apartment ! I could have lived there permanently! the availability of washers and dryers for guest use at any time was a boon indeed. The staff on board are the most delightful friendly bunch . Notably Yii Mon , our guide and helper in all ways, TJ who made everyone happy, and what a dancer ! and also the chefs, who bent over backwards to please. All the staff were wonderful. Some reviewers have criticised the shape of the bar lounge, being a horse-shoe shape, but this is to accommodate the swimming pool on the floor above and is, therefore totally worth it ! you can't beat a little swim at the end of a busy day sightseeing. Others have said that the ship needs a lift. If you need a lift to get around, this is not the trip for you, a certain amount of fitness is required for the offshore trips, and getting on and off the boat is 'interesting' at times. the staff were always there to help those less able. Bagan was the stand out onshore event, we didn't get to do the hot air balloon ride, it is only available at certain times of year. The Trishaw rides would be more comfortable for those with small bottoms! Bring shoes that are easy to slip on and off.you will need them. there are times when the local sales pitch ladies can get a little over the top, but try to remember that it is there livelihood, and smile. buy something, and help the local economy! There is a long bus ride between Pyay and Yangon, the bus is comfortable, but in retrospect, I would probably have chosen the Yangon to Mandalay upstream run, and got that bit done at the beginning. Having said that, I would have no hesitation in recommending this journey with Scenic, and loved the intimacy of the smaller boat with only 44 guests max. it was super, and I am so glad we did it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This cruise was fantastic, in fact so good we are thinking of doing the Chindwin in 2018. The vessel was just beautiful, rooms a good size, nice little balconies to sit on, and great showers. What can you not say about the catering. ... Read More
This cruise was fantastic, in fact so good we are thinking of doing the Chindwin in 2018. The vessel was just beautiful, rooms a good size, nice little balconies to sit on, and great showers. What can you not say about the catering. Executive Chef Sumet Sumpachanyanont (ex Mandarin Oriental Bangkok) and his staff were amazing. The food was brilliant and everyday a different dish to try. The buffet lunches were marvellous and the set menu dinners excellent. The two Chef's Fine Dining Experiences consisted of carefully planned 5 courses. All the staff on board were wonderful very attentive without hovering. Our thanks of course go to Tim and AB, their organisation of excursions and entertainment was exceptional. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to the Mandalay deck which was nice, but the only difference was we were up higher than the deck we originally booked, the rooms were actually the same. One of the highlights of the cruise was to visit a local school which Sanctuary Retreats sponsor, and to leave gifts and meet the teachers and children. The villages and temples along the river were just beautiful. Did try to post some photos but wouldn't allow it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Our cruise was on the Upper Irrawaddy. This is our 3rd Pandaw cruise in 2 years. They epitomize the benefits and joys of Myanmar experience. The food is great, the itineraries are creative. We faced a couple of crises (caught on sand bars) ... Read More
Our cruise was on the Upper Irrawaddy. This is our 3rd Pandaw cruise in 2 years. They epitomize the benefits and joys of Myanmar experience. The food is great, the itineraries are creative. We faced a couple of crises (caught on sand bars) and the crew is empowered to find solutions. The staff are friendly to the point of knowing passengers quite intimately which guarantees a personalized service, especially at meal times. This does NOT have ocean liner evening options. Pandaw takes you into the heart and soul of this country whose citizens are probably the nicest people on this planet. Despite having already done the Chindwin River cruise last year and Halong Bay/Red River out of Hanoi this year, we have been reminded of why Pandaw fulfills our river cruise needs. We almost certainly will return next year for another Pandaw experience. Children would not find this satisfactory. The clientele on all of our Pandaw cruises have been 'Senior' or close to it. The excursions are not particularly demanding but are VERY rewarding. One day, we found ourselves in the middle of a wedding and a funeral, just a few minutes apart and were urged - by the parties involved - to join them and participate. The interaction and opportunity to meet the Burmans is truly the highlight of our Myanmar experiences. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Relaxing way to visit Burma. This holiday was booked through Travelmarvel on a full board basis and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. The boat was modern and immaculately clean and all staff could not do enough for us, even cleaning our shoes ... Read More
Relaxing way to visit Burma. This holiday was booked through Travelmarvel on a full board basis and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. The boat was modern and immaculately clean and all staff could not do enough for us, even cleaning our shoes every day. The food was five star and the choice was amazing. Wine and beer was served freely in the restaurant and was of very good quality. The cabins were spacious with comfy beds and good air conditioning. The sun deck had plenty of shade on hot days and was a nice place to watch the world go by as we cruised downriver in the afternoons. Sightseeing was at a comfortable pace, usually in the morning, and the staff all helped us on and off the boat. We cannot fault the service and hospitality on the Princess Panhwar. The staff soon became friends who were keen to share the history and culture of their beautiful country and also their hope for a democratic government in the future. We felt totally safe the whole time we were there and would encourage others to visit before it changes too much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This cruise was the first of the season. Although it was still during the monsoon season, we were lucky in that we only had a half hour delay on one land tour because of rain. It was however very hot and humid throughout the cruise. The ... Read More
This cruise was the first of the season. Although it was still during the monsoon season, we were lucky in that we only had a half hour delay on one land tour because of rain. It was however very hot and humid throughout the cruise. The service and the food was beyond exceptional. I have never had better service or food especially on a river boat. The capacity was 56 passengers, but because this was the first of the season, we only had 9 passengers with 32 crew members. All passengers were solo travelers, and some of the single supplements were waived. The country is still quite unspoiled, and the people were very friendly. They really need tourism in the country. It's only been since about 2012 that tourism has started to take off. We only saw one other international level river boat during the entire cruise. What you will see is many many pagodas. However the highlight for me was when we visited a local school in the village of Pha Hto. The children had very little, but when the passengers distributed school supplies to them, they were very happy. There were two issues, one major and one not so much. The major issue for me was that I found out when I tried to fly from Kunming to Mandalay that my visa was not valid. Myanmar has a policy of electronic visas. Unfortunately the on-line company that I chose was a fraud. Their website was meant to look official, but it was not. I was delayed in China for two days while applying for a new visa. During that time, the AMA Waterways staff in Mandalay failed to answer the emergency contact numbers. I was left on my own, but eventually I was able to connect with the cruise at a location I found on my own by reviewing the detailed itinerary. The second issue was the evening before we were to visit Mount Popa, one of the tour highlights in Bagan, we were told that there would be an extremely large gathering of 80,000 pilgrims. We were not going to be allowed to visit. The following day was a bust, as almost the entire itinerary was cancelled. Because of river conditions the boat ties up every night. When traveling downstream from Mandalay to Pyay, I suggest booking odd numbered cabins. Most nights the odd numbered cabins face towards the river. There is some river traffic at night, but it is less noisy than the local riverbank intrusions and the views are worth it. I encourage everyone to visit this country soon, before the country changes too much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016

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