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Sail Date: December 2018
Our Uniworld tour, starting in Hanoi and ending in Saigon, was flawless and fully met our expectations. Along with the land tour, we traveled on a 7-night cruise on the Mekong Navigator and, once again, this was flawlessly executed. As ... Read More
Our Uniworld tour, starting in Hanoi and ending in Saigon, was flawless and fully met our expectations. Along with the land tour, we traveled on a 7-night cruise on the Mekong Navigator and, once again, this was flawlessly executed. As to the land tour, the sights visited were directly on point and as advertised, travel arrangements were well done and every element of the tour was meticulously organized. In particular, our tour director (Binh) performed in an exceptional manner. The hotels on the land portion of the tour (Hanoi, Siem Reap and Saigon) were also excellent. As to the cruise portion of the tour, the food was great, our "prestige suite" met our expectations (although the quarters were a bit smaller than a suite on a sea-going cruise ship) and the staff was truly remarkable. From the waiters, to the "butlers," to the people who cared for our cabin, genuine friendliness was the standard - at all times. I also note the Uniworld representative (Roberto) on the cruise was present almost "everywhere" and was very helpful. The only negative I can think of centers on the fact the tour guides (one in Hanoi, one in Cambodia and another in Saigon) were, at times, a little difficult to understand because (of course), English was not their native language. One other point, I became ill (vomiting and diarrhea) one night and the crew was helpful in addressing this situation. Fortunately, i recovered fairly quickly. In summary, I very much recommend Uniworld in general and the Vietnam/Cambodia tour in particular. Both my wife and I fully enjoyed the tour and offer our highest recommendation. As we frequently visited "rustic" sights or areas, those who may be mobility challenged may find portions difficult. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This is my first review...I have to share this so others will not hesitate to go. Our cruise/tour actually started with 5 nights land based, first in Delhi. You are met at the airport by your Oberoi Hotel Mercedes driver. 4 of us were ... Read More
This is my first review...I have to share this so others will not hesitate to go. Our cruise/tour actually started with 5 nights land based, first in Delhi. You are met at the airport by your Oberoi Hotel Mercedes driver. 4 of us were travelling so there were 2 cars for our us!. The Oberoi Delhi is very nice hotel, clean and the service is absolutely wonderful for our 2 night stay. This is consistent with each of the amazing Oberoi Hotels that are used on this trip. You will get a briefing and meet your Tour Manager. (ours was Vishal..fantastic and totally organized and on top of everything for the entire journey). Our land based Guide (Rishi) was excellent too! We boarded a very clean comfortable bus (there were 2 buses for our group of 27 and never felt crowded) and did a sight see around Delhi and fortunately due to a Political rally that would of had us caught up in traffic, we altered the Gandhi Tomb portion and went to the place he spent his last days. This we recommended to be in the tour in the future instead of the tomb, it is so worth while to see. Agra and the Taj Mahal were the next stop. From the Oberoi hotel, every room has a view of the Taj! It is a short golf cart ride to the main gate. You get to visit twice, once in the afternoon for sunset and then again for sunrise. Do both visits! Next was Jaipur. Here you get to view a place where they make inlaid marble items. (a bit of a tourist stop, no one purchased anything and we never felt pressure to do so). Next was a carpet stop, you get the presentation etc..prices are good. (we actually bought one after we had a super lunch around the corner.) There were lots of other stops too during our stays in Dehli, Agra & Jaipur, this is just a taste. The next day is an early rise for the flight to Kolkata. Upon arrival we are met by our two new local guides & board a bus for our transfer to the Ganges Voyager II, the bus is ok, not as nice and smooth as the ones used for the other cities. A city tour of Kolkata gets you ready for the next leg of your journey. During the travels through India, you will see lots of areas with people living amongst garbage & animals, tough to see, and the honking is constant, (Honking is a language on the road, it will be explained and then you realize how they communicate as they drive). Once you board your ship, if you thought the land portion was crazy hectic, prepare to be swept away!! The service on board is outstanding! The cruise itself is something you can't explain but have to experience! The stops on the Ganges starts with Kalna. This is were you start to realize how friendly the people are in the villages all along the river. They have very little in terms of possessions (comparing that of most westerners). They have a culture and way of life that works for them. The children come up to us to say hello and wave as they are so happy to see us. The smiles go on forever! This is the first step into the incredible life along this amazing river that is used by the people every day. Each day we traveled to a different village and each time it was a new adventure. You will see how families, and their way of life, come together. The colors along the river bank are another highlight. No one in our group suffered with any major stomach issue. A bit gassy one day by one, but didn't stop any plans. We had our vaccinations as recommended, and we all took Ducoral before arriving. There were 3 people on board who had a bit of tummy trouble, don't know if they had used anything prior to the cruise. The water on the ship is treated but we used bottled water for teeth brushing just to be sure and there is an ample supply of water. Each day when you return from the shore excursion, as you enter the ship, you remove your shoes and they clean them and return them to your door in a few minutes. On your shore excursions, the staff from the ship are always around to keep you supplied with hand sanitizers and help you with translation if you need. They are outstanding every day! The food on board was another highlight. If you are not wanting to try the local foods, there is plenty of western style options that they will have or prepare for you. Their Indian cuisine was excellent. So much variety and flavors that you want to keep eating! I will explain my ratings here: This Ganges Voyager II is not Uniworld's own ship, it is used by them but is definitely the nicest one on the Ganges. Embarkation- smooth and easy Cabin, no issue, bathroom counter is a bit small - shower is huge, bed is comfy. Dining - lots of variety of food, even for myself being probably too cautious. Enrichment activities - cooking demo, talks about the way of life of the Ganges people and Saree & turban wearing demonstration, tour of the engine room, yoga twice a day, everyone had fun. Entertainment - couple of Indian dance groups came on board, very colorful and gave you a taste of how deep their traditions are. Small gym- not a lot of time to use it but you can fit it in if you like. Spa has two ladies for facials & massages. My wife had 3 massages and I had one and they were excellent. Onboard experience- above a 5 if I could give it. The crew are your friends and gracious and always there for your every need. wifi service was good in some locations and in and out in others. Might be a few hours without but not too long as I managed ok. Public Rooms- Lounge outside and bar area both on upper deck providing views of the Ganges left and right, just don't know which way to keep looking! Shore excursions- you will get use to the sight of Water buffalo on the streets along with cows and pigs. The people and colors and smiles will stick with you! Value for Money- ABSOLUTELY, this is a great way to see a little part of India. This is a luxury cruise and you get totally immersed into it all on the Ganges. There were so many highlights on this trip, but here are some extras I wanted to add. I mentioned this one above- All the Oberoi hotels, Ghandi's last place residence, Taj Mahal, Rickshaw ride in Kalna, Craftsman in Matiari village, having a try at Cricket in Murshidabad with the crew. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We have just returned from a fabulous trip down the Mekong River on Scenic’s Spirit cruise ship. The ship, the stateroom suite, the staff, the food and the excursions were all phenomenal. The Hotel Manager, Toby, was on top of ... Read More
We have just returned from a fabulous trip down the Mekong River on Scenic’s Spirit cruise ship. The ship, the stateroom suite, the staff, the food and the excursions were all phenomenal. The Hotel Manager, Toby, was on top of everything. His staff were amazing, friendly and attentive; they were all very genuine and caring people, paying attention to details while enjoying their jobs. The food was tremendous and plentiful offering both Eastern and Western choices. There was at least one shore excursion every day, with most days offering two excursions and sometimes three. The excursions were diverse, interesting and well planned, with a variety of options to choose from to suit different tastes and energy levels. The tour guides were amazing; they were knowledgeable and considerate, engaging both the travellers and the local people. We experienced parts of Cambodia and Vietnam that we would never have seen on our own. We highly recommend this trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
NO COMMENTS ON VESSEL (OR CABINS) BECAUSE THIS WAS HER LAST VIKING CRUISE. A BRAND NEW SHIP IN 2019!!! Our 2-week Imperial Jewels odyssey, Shanghai to Bejing, celebrated our 50th anniversary. It was extremely well-organized by very ... Read More
NO COMMENTS ON VESSEL (OR CABINS) BECAUSE THIS WAS HER LAST VIKING CRUISE. A BRAND NEW SHIP IN 2019!!! Our 2-week Imperial Jewels odyssey, Shanghai to Bejing, celebrated our 50th anniversary. It was extremely well-organized by very competent staff. Airfare booked thru Viking provided direct flights on American Airlines & included all transfer of ourselves & bags. Welcoming Viking escorts met us, took us to our hotels on the first of many tour bus rides & handled check-in. We met our excellent, personable & continually informative Viking escort, Roy Liu, & our "family" of 35 fellow travelers. All 3 cities featured elegant 4-5 star hotels like Ritz-Carlton. We sailed from Wuhan after 2 nights. The tour includes 3 internal flights on Chinese airlines via vast modern airports. Plentiful daily sightseeing utilizes travel days to see things en route. It is a VERY strenuous tour including countless stairs & uneven pavement. (Few wheelchair service opportunities.) Our only excursion-free "day of rest" was the first on the river. Fascinating, constant learning opportunities introduced the culture, history, landmarks, etc.plus activities like daily Tai Chi exercise class. The hard-working, totally service-oriented Chinese crew provided night time entertainment with colorful costumes & folk dancing. No formal nights or casino. Nice bars with live music duo. No smoking. The ship's elegant dining room had 8-person tables; no assigned seats. Breakfast & lunch had both buffet & menu service. Western-style foods are plentiful on board & at hotels, but don't go if you dislike Chinese cuisine. Restaurant meals on excursions usually many dishes family-style on a "lazy Susan." LOVED the food's variety, flavors, & freshness but missed ice cubes! Viking constantly supplied necessary bottled water. (Even used for brushing teeth!) Free-flow "house" wine, beer, soft drinks at meals. ON SHIP: Wi-fi free but seldom available due to geography. OFF SHIP: Wi-fi free at hotels but no Google, Facebook, etc. Need alternative apps. ALWAYS carry toilet paper; ladies, brief wait for western-style public toilets. Highlights too numerous to list included the expected like Terra Cotta warriors & Great Wall & unexpected like a Chinese elementary school & the exotic Goddess stream gorge. This trip does NOT go to the panda breeding center. We adored these charmers at their Chonqing Zoo enclosures. Glad we went south-to-north as Beijing was the peak experience! November chilly but bearable up north, still warm & humid in the south. (October has millions of Chinese traveling for biggest national holidays.) Viking doesn't waste time at overpriced "factory" businesses but took us to a few quality establishments selling silk embroidery, bronzes, jade, etc. The few small shops on board had higher prices than on land & didn't bargain. Most popular was a tailor creating custom-made silk garments that were bargains compared to US prices. Order early! Added-cost excursions: Only 3, We did the Tang Dynasty Dinner/Show at Xian & the Kung Fu Theatre in Beijing. Both FABULOUS theatrical productions with music,dance, thrills, astonishing special effects worthy of Las Vegas. Incredible value! SO GLAD we experienced this journey to an endlessly surprising, dynamic destination! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I have always wanted to cruise the Mekong and this boat came to my attention. This boat is out of this world, the rooms are beautiful, the food is magnificent, the breakfast and lunch are self served with something for everyone, the ... Read More
I have always wanted to cruise the Mekong and this boat came to my attention. This boat is out of this world, the rooms are beautiful, the food is magnificent, the breakfast and lunch are self served with something for everyone, the evening meal is waiter service with a good selection of starters, main course and desert. The service is 2nd to none, staff cannot do enough for you and are always smiling and happy the daily tours are well put together and the guides are perfectly appointed for the Campuchia/Cambodia start to the Vietnam My Tho, their knowledge is amazing and the command of the English language is very very good. I cannot recommend this cruise enough, you want for nothing. My thanks need to go to everyone of the staff on board and Mom, Phanne, Bora, Jerry, Wa & Sarif to name only 6 of the 40 staff looking after about 30 of us. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We have been to a 3 weeks trip through Myanmar and booked this 2 days trip to have a different experience in travelling. This short 2 days ride from Mandaley to Bagan was an unforgettable experience for us. We have never travelled by boat ... Read More
We have been to a 3 weeks trip through Myanmar and booked this 2 days trip to have a different experience in travelling. This short 2 days ride from Mandaley to Bagan was an unforgettable experience for us. We have never travelled by boat so it was totally new for us. The RV Strand and especially the crew, thanks Barth! and at least everybody on board - were excellent. Especially the BBQ dinner on the sandbank was outstanding, but also cooking class, beauty tips and how to wear the Longhi will be never forgot. Thanks for the nice picture from all of us. Also the handed recipes are helpful - I will try my best to cook them at home. The whole boat, the sun-deck, bar, restaurant, SPA, the cabins, guided trips outside made a real difference to a lot of things we have seen before. So thank you all again and hope to see you soon in your beautiful country. Annette & Martin Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I completed this cruise a week or so ago. The cruise itself in very nice and relaxing. The stops along the river are interesting but this is so very different from one of the European sailings. You really can't explore on your own. You ... Read More
I completed this cruise a week or so ago. The cruise itself in very nice and relaxing. The stops along the river are interesting but this is so very different from one of the European sailings. You really can't explore on your own. You are assigned group color and a guide for Vietnam and a different one for Cambodia. Our guide in Vietnam, Sonny, was not good. It was almost impossible to understand him and he yelled all the time. Our guide for Cambodia, Peter, was excellent. AMA Waterways needs to vet the guides a bit better since you are stuck with the same one for several days. Get a bad one and it affects the whole experience. Huong, our Cruise Manager was fantastic. Always there to help. Very nice and genuinely wanted everyone to have a great experience. The ship itself is nice, but very different from the European ships. There are less areas to mingle and the lounge was always set up as a lecture hall rather than a place to talk to fellow guests. The food was very good and they were excellent at managing dietary restrictions. Maria, the Restaurant Manager, was really fantastic. She was always there with a smile and a good word. She also knows the dining room and menus inside and out, so any questions were answered swiftly and accurately. The food at the Chef's Table was okay, but both the meals and service were better in the main dining room. The cabin sizes are similar to the European ships but with less storage. Entertainment was a bit lacking. WiFi is terrible and is something AMA really needs to address. In addition to the cruise, I also booked the pre cruise package in Ho Chi Minh City and the post cruise packages in both Siem Reap and Hanoi. I recommend the post cruise package in Siem Reap (with Angkor Wat) wholeheartedly. It was amazing and Peter, our guide, was teriffic. The pre cruise package in Ho Chi Minh City is not worth it. You can easily see the city on our own in two days. The post cruise package for Hanoi is similarly not worth it, nor is the Ha Long Bay Cruise. I would recommend booking this privately as you will see more. Try to find a Ha Long Bay cruise that does not follow all of the other 700 boats to all the same locations. AMA Waterways continues to be an excellent company to travel with and this cruise would easily be 5 stars with some minor changes. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We read about the Aqua Mekong in the Andrew Harper Hideaway Report and decided to make it the centerpiece of our tour to Vietnam and Cambodia. We came at the perfect time of the year, at the very end of the rainy season when the weather ... Read More
We read about the Aqua Mekong in the Andrew Harper Hideaway Report and decided to make it the centerpiece of our tour to Vietnam and Cambodia. We came at the perfect time of the year, at the very end of the rainy season when the weather was perfect and the water high enough to make it into the Tonle Sap Lake to see the floating villages. The boat itself was just fabulous, our room extremely well appointed and the public areas delightful. The staff was uniformly excellent and the excursions fascinating, it was truly a life-changing experience to kayak past floating villages and realizing we are some of the only westerners these children had ever seen. If you’re wanting to cruise the Mekong River, I highly encourage you to go with Aqua Mekong, rather than Viking or Uniworld. We are big Uniworld Fans, but in this area of the world, the experience on the Aqua Mekong is more specialized and authentic. David Thompson, the famous Thai chef, developed the menus and the areas we visited are exclusive to this ship. We saw no other boats on the river the entire trip until we got to Siem Reap. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We attended a local presentation. The catalogue gave all the pertinent information. Overall, the tour and cruise were unbelievable. All the activities and sights, eg Angkor Wat at sunrise, pagodas, circus, etc; were exceptional. The ... Read More
We attended a local presentation. The catalogue gave all the pertinent information. Overall, the tour and cruise were unbelievable. All the activities and sights, eg Angkor Wat at sunrise, pagodas, circus, etc; were exceptional. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and considerate. When on shore, the meals in different restaurants were delicious and gave us a taste of their local dishes. The Hotels in Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh were definitely 5 star and luxurious. The highlight was the attentive staff and excellent food on board the Scenic Spirit. The Gala dinners on board were always well presented and delicious, as were the everyday meals. We thoroughly enjoyed the comforts of our cabin. Our butler was also very helpful and attentive. We learned a lot about the Cambodian people and their culture from the staff we met on board. Activities such as yoga, Tai Chi and swimming helped keep us fit. The massages were very reasonably priced and enjoyable. Also the free laundry facilities came in handy. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
The whole cruise from start to finish was excellent. The staff and crew couldn't do enough to ensure our comfort and overall experience. Cabin, food, service were all first class. Shore visits to local villages along the river were ... Read More
The whole cruise from start to finish was excellent. The staff and crew couldn't do enough to ensure our comfort and overall experience. Cabin, food, service were all first class. Shore visits to local villages along the river were exceptional and couldn't be any better!! We would strongly recommend this cruise to those seeking a uniquely real adventure in India and specifically Assam Province. The cruise director Neena, had a great rapport with all the passengers. She hosted the passengers as if they were her personnel guests. The crew on board were absolutely amazing and couldn't have done any more for us than they did. My wife and I have done several small river boat cruises in Asia and the cruise down the Brahmaputra on the MV Maahabahu. Overall this was probably the best small boat cruise we have been on. Looking forward to 2020 when hopefully we will be able to cruise with Neena and ARC again on the Ganges!!! Read Less

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