Mekong river cruise, Dec 2018.
We chose this cruise because we know and trust Viking, and had not seen much of Asia (this was my wife’s first trip to Asia). This cruise certainly met our expectations: The food was great, the staff was friendly, and the ship’s cleanliness was impeccable. We had ground tours before and after the river cruise which were fantastic. A suggestion about the pre-tour: Stick some tissue in your pocket when you leave your hotel. A number of the rest stops do not provide toilet paper. Speaking of the hotels, they are indeed the best in town. The Reverie in Saigon is by far the best hotel we have ever stayed in.
Our guide for the pre-tour survived the Cambodian holocaust and told us at length of the horrors of trying to survive under Pol Pot. We visited one of the killing fields, which is not for the faint of heart, since there is a large reliquary filled with skulls. Our guide stressed that if we don’t remember, these things will happen again.
We missed the first day because of passport problems. The Viking staff smoothly found us very late at the Hanoi airport and joined us up with the tour.
There were a couple of negatives about the river cruise. The shower had a serious ‘flush shock’ problem. If anyone on the same deck flushed, the shower temperature would jump. If someone in the cabin behind ours flushed, the water became dangerously hot. Unfortunately this is a design problem, and it would take a complete re-fit to fix. The second issue happened at dinner when the staff served KFC... Khmer Fried Critters. The plate of crickets and grasshoppers did not bother me at all, my wife has eaten them before and I might try them sometime. However, when a platter of fried tarantulas was placed in front of me, an arachnophobe, without any warning, it was too much. I grabbed my wine and bolted. The staff could have showed some sensitivity in this case.
Overall, this was a wonderful experience, and I recommend it to any adventurous traveler.