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

Sailing the Mekong--Visiting the real Cambodia

AmaDara Cruise Review by mauicruiser

21 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2017
  • Destination: Asia River
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom

We were looking for an interesting trip and hadn't been to Cambodia. AMA very organized at embarkation and throughout the cruise. Sofitel in Saigon lovely with a staggering breakfast and dinner buffet!!!

Ship is beautifully maintained. Mekong is a very lively river with much small commerce. Floating markets, fishing boats of all sizes, and more stilt houses than you could ever imagine. River in VietNam is really dirty with lots of flotsam and jetsam coupled with floating lotus. As we sailed into Cambodia, the river became "cleaner".

We stopped at several small villages. The best was a village where we visited an elementary school. Six hundred students, all in clean uniforms, in a bare bones school. Playground was dirt with two swings. Children were charming and sang "Old McDonald" with gusto. Forty well behaved 6-11 year olds. They all learn English. We brought schools supplies and the teacher was very grateful. More Cambodians speak English than Thai's.

Cambodian people are happy and welcoming. Our guide, Adam is Cambodian, speaks English like a native speaker and provided great insight into the country with grace and humor. We were part of his yellow family(each group was a designated color).

In Pnom Phen, we did not do the tour of the killing fields or the museum of atrocities committed by the Pol Pot which those who did said was really sad and depressing. We visited the Central Market which was great fun and the best shopping on the trip!!! The next day we visited the royal Palace and other landmarks. Well done.

Entertainment--staff talent show was really good and brought lots of cheers from an appreciative audience.

Staff was terrific. Can't say enough about them--guides, dining and bar staff awesome!

Dining--do not miss the live action station at breakfast and lunch. Omelets, eggs your way at breakfast. Lunch is Cambodian delights--one day was a chicken curry soup that was so delicious people went for seconds!!! Everything we tried we liked. Cambodian food is sweet, sour, and salty--no hot spice like Thai. Many options at dinner--western or Asian style food.

All reports re the little spa were excellent. Lono did a foot massage that was one of the best I've ever had.

Pack comfortable shoes. Be prepared to walk the plank when visiting the villages. Lots of help to get up the river bank. Casual cotton clothes that cover knees and shoulders to meet the "dress code" for local scene.

You must be prepared that you will be traveling in third world countries. It should make you grateful for how you live but appreciative of how happy people are in their own circumstances. Cambodia is the land of smiles. We are richer for the experience.

mauicruiser's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B 116

Very nicely laid out. Plenty of closet space. Two comfortable chairs and a small table in cabin pop out. Balcony was nice but it was too muggy to use. Bathroom great--nice shower. Well maintained. Whole ship reminded us of the Orient Express experience--lots a polished woods. Bed very comfortable with four pillows--2 soft, 2 firm.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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