We chose this cruise as it was a part of Asia we had not visited before and included time in Ho Chi Minh and then Siem Reap to see the temples at Angkor Watt . A stopover of two nights in Singapore had been added as a booking inducement
The Scenic Spirit is a purpose built Mekong River boat catering for around 84 guests with a range of cabins over three decks. The ship I understand is about a year old. Most passengers are in the 55 / 70 age range mainly from UK, Australia, America, Canada . The cruise package is described as all inclusive and this was the case with the exception of free flowing drinks during the land portion. All aspects of the ship exceeded expectations and Scenic has got this part right. The markings below make that clear. We saw hardly any other boats and never shared a birth.
Hyatt Hotels were used for the stops in Ho Chi Minh and Siem Reap and the service was first class and cannot be faulted - Trip Advisor testifies to this.
The passengers tour in three groups and Guides were first class with a caring attitude towards their mature guests. The daily excursions were varied and of good quality although most guests were baffled around the brochure speak " free choice and enrich "and how these were timed and would slot into the day.The pace is fast with a lot packed in and it is hot ! Meals off the ship were at times disappointing - with a set menu and being confined to long tables in a separate room within the chosen restaurant. There was some entertainment brought on board for early evening, but do not expect the disco to be going strong at midnight. However the final Gala night in Siem Reap was the highlight of the cruise and comprise of outstanding entertainment and a top quality meal.
Scenic cruise do not come cheap and they project themselves as being top dog in the river cruise business. However those of us from the UK had great difficulty in dealing with the UK Office of Scenic during the booking process. They seemed to have little understanding of the product especially the excursions and were clearly out of their depth in all respects. This appears to be because this package is organised by Scenic Australia and the communication between the two is shambolic. There are to many versions of the brochures with inconsistent information around such things as luggage allowances, excursions, laundry plus the value of courtesy stopovers being overstated.
I get the feeling that Scenic have expanding a little to quickly and if it had not been for the above I would have given the whole package an overall of 5
A top quality cabin on the Diamond deck which comes with an invite to the chefs table for dinner and a top quality tasting menu. I do not think you would fault any of the cabins on this boat which has been purpose built throughout to deliver an excellent standard in all respects.