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.
The cabin was spacious with all the amenities that could even be imagined. The lounge area was very comfortable and had a door which could close off the bedroom area. Storage was excellent with plenty of draws to house personal items. The bedding was very comfortable and there were two air conditioners. one in the bedroom and the other in the lounge which meant that the room was always a comfortable temperature. The shower was large and the water supply excellent. Toiletries were all supplied and replenished as required.