The remaining three members of my family met up with our older daughter who was already in Vietnam. Our cruise included extra nights on the front end in Hanoi and the back end in Saigon. Highly recommend that you include these land excursions otherwise you will miss so much of what Vietnam has to offer. Our cruise was only half full because it was over Christmas but none of the service and amenities were reduced because of it. The time of year is perfect as well because it can get really hot and muggy in the spring time.
We met so many fabulous people on this cruise both as guest and AmaWaterways staff. The guides were so knowledgeable and interesting. As you travel, the guides change between Vietnam and Cambodia but all were great. Each guest is assigned a group by color so that you stay with that guide for the duration of your trip. The excursions themselves are breath taking at times. Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam and the Angkor Archeological Park in Siem Reap are UNESCO World Heritage Site top destinations and you will see why when you visit them. You must see these sites in person because pictures on the internet doesn't come close to the real thing.
The choice of hotels are all luxurious and amazing in their own right. Especially the Hanoi Metropole Sofitel hotel in the heart of Hanoi. OMG, the best hotel our family has ever been too period. This charming hotel has so much ambience and history. We will never forget it.
One last point I will bring up an example of the service you get with AmaWaterways. When we got dropped off at the Saigon airport on our way home I had accidentally dropped my cell phone in the van. I called the tour manager, Long Tran to tell him about it with my wife's cell phone. He immediately called the van driver and he brought my phone back to the airport to give it to me. Anyway, this cruise will enable you to see a part of the world that is so different from what you experience in western cultures. We loved it and have memories forever because of it.
Cleverly designed with duel balconies but found that we didn't' use them much. Still very open with full window views. The bathroom was larger than I expected. The hardwood floors and furniture were very nice and provided a luxurious feel. Best thing is that you entered through an interior corridor so that it is bug-free and well air conditioned.
Besides seeing the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, there are two additional days of outlining excursions to Oudong and Kampong Tralach. In the capital city of Phnom Penh, you take a Tuk Tuk ride from the hotel to the city center to see Independence monument, a sacred Buddhist Pagoda and the residence on Cambodia Prime Minister. The Tuk Tuk ride itself is a really fun adventure as you travel around the city. You can't help but notice all of the construction of high rise buildings going on and the Chinese influence based on all of the infrastructure capital coming from the Chinese.
The other outline excursions are also very interesting. The Buddhist monastery that resides on top of the hillside city of Kampong Tralach, which used to be the capital prior to the late 19th century. The monastery is huge and you learn a lot of about the lives of monks living in Cambodia and will receive a Buddhist blessing which is really cool. Finally you have the option to travel to the city of Oudong to take a fun oxcart ride. It's a short excursion but well worth the 30 minute bus ride to get there. I enjoyed the two outlining cities better than the capital city of Phnom Penh.