Having been on many of the European rivers with Emerald Waterways, we wanted to try somewhere a little different but keep to the brand we love and trust.
We flew with BA in premium economy, which was well worth it as we managed to sleep most of the night flight.
Ho Chi Minh
We stayed two nights in the Grand Hotel prior to the cruise, which was a great way of seeing the city. The street food excursion was the highlight of our stay. But just getting out and seeing the city was great.
The brand new ship was only on its third cruise but the crew felt like they had being doing it for years, they were so friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The ship has similar features to the European ships such as the Horizon bar, the restaurant and the sun deck games area. But it feels like less people and less cabins which make the ship very spacious. We think the cabins are bigger too.
Emerald know how to look after their guests and they get it right each time.
Our cabin was bigger than we expected, obviously very new and we had a lovely stewardess who even wanted to pack for us when we left.
The restaurant had a buffet style centre like the European ships but each evening there was a la carte menu. For lunch, this ship also had a Burger lab at lunch time, where we could create our own burger, we had it once but with so much choice of local food on the buffet and a la carte menu, we only got round to doing it once.
Daily excursions, like we had in Europe, are included. The ship anchors in the middle of the Mekong and small boats took us ashore. But in big cities we docked and walked off. HIghlights included the sailing through Ho Chi Minh City as we set sail. We also enjoyed the Phnom Penh tuk tuk ride.
Entertainment was early evening, before dinner. Which is great for us as we are not big late night drinkers. A lion dance came on one night and local dancers another. All good stuff. A third night we took a tuk tuk ride for an hour. After a day of excursions, we were happy to head to our cabin.
At the end of the cruise we choice to take the 3 night Siem Reap excursion. Be warned, there is a 4 hour coach journey but we got to see a bit more of Cambodia. Well worth the trip as we got to see the Angkor temples over a couple of days. The hotel we stayed in was very nice, and it was central so we could get out and walk on our own.
Overall this has possibly been the best cruise we have done. Emerald seem to get it right everytime.
Big, clean and a great stewardess. The beds are comfy and the shower was hot (in a good way)