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AmaDara Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
26 Reviews

AMA DARA on Mekong River (Siem Reap to Saigon)

AmaDara Cruise Review by cocoallen1

21 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2015
  • Destination: Asia River

Our first time on this cruise line and first time on this brand new ship. First time river-cruising, but 15th cruise overall. The ship was very nice with an adequate size, immaculate cabin, facilities, A/C and terrace. The Asian food was excellent.......nice attempts at western food but not as great as the Asian. Lunches & breakfasts were best. Asian food when served was beautifully done. Friendly, friendly, friendly staff in all areas, but English is a struggle for many. While the cruise vessel was clean and comfortable, it was solely a means of seeing Cambodia & Vietnam which we LOVED.

The difference between a very good and an excellent rating, for us, was because we felt there was too much down-time. Some days there was only one excursion, not two. We totally prefer being off the ship exploring rather than sitting on the ship. Perfectly ok the way the schedule was to have a morning adventure, return for lunch then out again in the afternoon. But two days as I said, only had one activity. For some passengers one was enough, but for us, who enjoy seeing/doing as much as possible (especially after flying from NYC to southeast Asia apprx 19 hours), we want to see and do as much as is possible. Friends we made onboard also felt there was too much down-time. Additionally, time spent in some places was too short, with no flexibility to allow another 30 minutes or an hour.

Additionally, we seemed to ride up & back to some of the same points on the river. Would have liked to sail by parts we hadn't already seen.

One of the reviews mentioned the long bus ride. First, the collateral & itinerary that AMA (and my travel consultant) provided before the trip, clearly described the 6-hour bus ride from Siem Reap to the embarkation point, so we were aware of that. And we thought of it as part of the whole adventure, and looked forward to amazing scenery which we did see. There were two stops along the way; each with interesting local things to see. There was free WIFI so if looking out the window wasn't of interest to someone, they could go online. My only dissatisfaction is that the A/C did not work in the section of the bus we were seated in, so it was uncomfortably hot and sweaty. The guide tried to help make it cooler, but to no avail. The guide (Buhtang), however, was a never-ending fountain of knowledge and very interesting. Nice, nice guy with an interesting background. Talkative but not overly. He was with our "yellow" group for the duration in Cambodia. Excellent.

An onboard "gift shop" suggestion would be to have products made by locally-physically-challenged folks so we know we are supporting good causes. The shop was adequate and had an ok selection, but some mid-week restocking would have been good, as well as the supporting of certain organizations, and knowing which were sited. The local entertainment was great, but too infrequent.

AMAZING hospitable, nice touch of appreciation, was receiving a hand-written postcard signed by the Captain, Cruise Director & Hotel Manager upon our arrival back home.

cocoallen1's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Phnom Penh

The shore excursions were interesting & fun, just too short in duration and too few.

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