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We took the land package also. Hanoi-Ha Long Bay-Siem Reap and after cruise Saigon. The land package is not to be missed! First-AMA is a delight to work with.  We needed to add an extra day and had a few questions and had 5star service. Second- pace was great. Saw a lot, didn't feel like rushed and could see in depth with a lot of variety but not so slow to be bored. There was a lot of uneven walking and getting on and off launches, so would be impossible if wheelchair bound or slow cane walker. Getting on and off the boats and up the hill sides were augmented by a gauntlet of the ship's crew with availability of lots of helping hands. Third- lots of choices of things to do every day. AM and PM- often 2 or 3 choises for AM and then again in PM. We had one land tour and cruise tour director Mr. Thai- start to end. He was awesome. Everything ran smoothly. He was everywhere at once and I swear he knew where all of us were by name at every moment. Lots of interactions multiple times a day- what did you like, guides, any problems etc. Accommodations on Indochina Sails on Ha Long Bay were great. Beside the National Geographic views, Tai Chai in AM, a very entertaining "Gear Guys" movie in PM riding motorcycles the length of Vietnam, carving demonstrations and very good food. Beach and cave adventure. All in 24hrs. Siem Reap one of the wonders of the world- go and see sunrise or later if want to sleep in. Guides top notch. Cruise boat new. Luxurious with hard woods and kept spotless. Never felt cramped and lots of seating and areas to be. Lots of space for the "hermits" and lots of friendly people to socialize with. We had a midpriced room on he second deck and never felt cramped. Not TV but DVDs (I never turned it on). On the cruise ,Wifi variable and not very frequent depending on if near a town and when everyone on- not able to access. I did get my emails and wrote sends which went out eventually but not in "real" time.. Really you are out in nowhere. Nice to be unplugged. 5 star service otherwise. Only disappointment to us was the food. Not much local cuisine at dinner. But some at breakfast and lunch with buffets. Breakfast a buffet- egg station and hot Asian Soup. Lunch 1/2 buffet with ordered soup and main course. Dinner totally ordered. The American food was what would expect on a 5 star cruise. We don't drink but lots of free alcohol, soft drinks, water and juices all day long. Wine is imported so only free at dinner- we did not try but people seemed to like it. The crew kept all the glasses full. Lots of MSG use by the cook, I was told by the head of food service- so was on my own to avoid but I am used to avoiding even in US-so no hot soups, sauces etc. I got no headaches as long as I kept with the Asian salads, cold fruit soups and nonsauced foods. As between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I did not expect to see families. One family with well behaved older grade school kids, one just married mid 20 yr olds and the rest 50+ with no frail elderly. I don't see how we could have seen what we saw if we hadn't taken this cruise. A very luxurious, safe adventure in a 3rd world country. Note AMA uses going downstream and APT (mostly Australians) use going upstream. I am told the menu is different -more Asian food and more spicy food with the Australian APT. Marguerite is run by the same shipping company and is a narrower ship. About 2ft in each room. Tourmore uses this ship and often Australian tourists. I am not sure if uses the same catering or tour company. I would definitely consider AMA again for a place I can't manage independently easily as Russia.

Great Way to See Cambodia and Vietnam

AmaLotus Cruise Review by debbyLA

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2014
  • Destination: Asia
We took the land package also. Hanoi-Ha Long Bay-Siem Reap and after cruise Saigon. The land package is not to be missed!
First-AMA is a delight to work with.  We needed to add an extra day and had a few questions and had 5star service.
Second- pace was great. Saw a lot, didn't feel like rushed and could see in depth with a lot of variety but not so slow to be bored. There was a lot of uneven walking and getting on and off launches, so would be impossible if wheelchair bound or slow cane walker. Getting on and off the boats and up the hill sides were augmented by a gauntlet of the ship's crew with availability of lots of helping hands.
Third- lots of choices of things to do every day. AM and PM- often 2 or 3 choises for AM and then again in PM.
We had one land tour and cruise tour director Mr. Thai- start to end. He was awesome. Everything ran smoothly. He was everywhere at once and I swear he knew where all of us were by name at every moment. Lots of interactions multiple times a day- what did you like, guides, any problems etc.
Accommodations on Indochina Sails on Ha Long Bay were great. Beside the National Geographic views, Tai Chai in AM, a very entertaining "Gear Guys" movie in PM riding motorcycles the length of Vietnam, carving demonstrations and very good food. Beach and cave adventure. All in 24hrs.
Siem Reap one of the wonders of the world- go and see sunrise or later if want to sleep in. Guides top notch.
Cruise boat new. Luxurious with hard woods and kept spotless. Never felt cramped and lots of seating and areas to be. Lots of space for the "hermits" and lots of friendly people to socialize with. We had a midpriced room on he second deck and never felt cramped. Not TV but DVDs (I never turned it on). On the cruise ,Wifi variable and not very frequent depending on if near a town and when everyone on- not able to access. I did get my emails and wrote sends which went out eventually but not in "real" time.. Really you are out in nowhere. Nice to be unplugged. 5 star service otherwise.
Only disappointment to us was the food. Not much local cuisine at dinner. But some at breakfast and lunch with buffets. Breakfast a buffet- egg station and hot Asian Soup. Lunch 1/2 buffet with ordered soup and main course. Dinner totally ordered. The American food was what would expect on a 5 star cruise. We don't drink but lots of free alcohol, soft drinks, water and juices all day long. Wine is imported so only free at dinner- we did not try but people seemed to like it. The crew kept all the glasses full. Lots of MSG use by the cook, I was told by the head of food service- so was on my own to avoid but I am used to avoiding even in US-so no hot soups, sauces etc. I got no headaches as long as I kept with the Asian salads, cold fruit soups and nonsauced foods.
As between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I did not expect to see families. One family with well behaved older grade school kids, one just married mid 20 yr olds and the rest 50+ with no frail elderly.
I don't see how we could have seen what we saw if we hadn't taken this cruise. A very luxurious, safe adventure in a 3rd world country.
Note AMA uses going downstream and APT (mostly Australians) use going upstream. I am told the menu is different -more Asian food and more spicy food with the Australian APT. Marguerite is run by the same shipping company and is a narrower ship. About 2ft in each room. Tourmore uses this ship and often Australian tourists. I am not sure if uses the same catering or tour company.
I would definitely consider AMA again for a place I can't manage independently easily as Russia.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 206
The boat is laid out with the lounges and dining in the rear 1/3, then the central staircase with 2 sets of grand circular stairs (no elevators) and then the cabins in the front. Our friends had room 308. Not wider but quite a bit longer and with a jetted tub (they never used as weather too hot). They also had in room internet which they never used (Internet available rarely as out in nowhere most of the time). Our room 206 midship. 2nd floor on the AC salon with bar. 3rd floor the open and mostly covered lounge. 1st floor the dinning room. I think any closer would be too noisy (200-205) as near the central staircase. No engine vibration either. Our room was quite spacious as was our bathroom with a shower. We rarely used the except to step out and take a picture as heat comes from the air-conditioning unit which between each room abutting the balcony- which adds to the already high environmental heat. But the ceiling to floor windows across the room were great. Rooms on the first floor were sometimes obstructed when in dock. We got a chance to look at our sister ship the Marguerite. Much like ours but narrower, 18 less staterooms. and Of course lounges and dining room smaller but less people on the ship. Each stateroom about 2 ft narrower. I think the rooms a little small for comfort.
  AmaLotus Deck Plans