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Viking Emerald Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
297 reviews

Return to the Mekong on Viking Tonle

Review for Viking Emerald to Asia
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buffcurmudgeon
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Mar 2011
Cabin:

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This is an unvarnished subjective review of my recent Viking river cruise on the Mekong on the RV Tonle. Viking is the most recent of a number of tour companies that contract the Pandaw river boats for their vacation packages. We had taken Viking cruises in China and Russia and enjoyed them very much, so we had no qualms about booking this one. We had to work with the Viking travel agent (TA) for several days before we finally obtained a sailing date that fit our schedule, although we put ourselves on a waiting list for several others. At this point communications with our TA ceased, as he no longer returned my phone calls or answered my emails. Other TA's could not, or would not give me any information about the wait lists, so I finally gave up and resigned myself to the March 19 sailing. The Generations visa service was expensive but efficient and I had no complaints. The air booking person was very helpful and made some modifications for me so I could leave Hanoi a day earlier due to a commitment here at home. I was also able to use some frequent flyer miles to upgrade to business class on the trans-pacific flight to and from Tokyo. By the time we landed in Saigon, it was 1030 PM and we were escorted to the hotel by our Viking representative and checked in by midnight. Thus, the first day of the tour was already over. The good news was that the Sofitel Saigon Plaza hotel in Saigon was wonderful, as were all the hotels on this vacation. Viking always does a great job in picking top-notch lodgings. We were escorted to the hotel by one of our two guides (Tom and Kong). Our guides were superb, spoke excellent English and did a good job in looking after our every need. There were 62 of us on the cruise. I would guess that the average age was about 70. Most were well-heeled, well- traveled, and well- educated. There were a few that should not have been on the trip due to mobility issues. Many of the tours require physical dexterity and good balance. The American Disabilities Act standards do not apply in Vietnam and Cambodia. I assume that they either did not read the caveats in the brochures or chose to ignore them. They ended up being a burden for our guides. Potential customers should use some common sense before booking a cruise such as this. My recommendations are as follows:

If you use a cane to walk- Don't go.

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