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Mekong Jewel Review

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Mekong Jewel
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Aaron Saunders
Cruise Critic Contributor

Mekong Jewel Overview

Though not a Uniworld-owned ship, Mekong Jewel will offer all the lavishness that passengers of the line have come to expect. Carrying 68 passengers in 34 cabins, Mekong Jewel has been designed with the elegance of a colonial-inspired hotel. Expect to find sumptuous wall treatments, recessed lighting and elaborate woodwork throughout.

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Mekong Jewel will feature two separate dining venues along with a swimming pool; a spa, sauna and steam room; a fitness center; salon; two inviting lounges; and even an onboard library.

At 263 feet in length, Mekong Jewel offers plenty of space per passenger -- another form of luxury. Just a decade ago, most Mekong vessels were comfortable but uncomplicated. Mekong Jewel is set to substantially raise the bar when it comes to luxury river cruising on the Mekong.

Two separate dining venues are offered aboard Mekong Jewel, both of which offer regionally inspired cuisines alongside Western favorites.

The ship's Main Restaurant on Lotus Deck is the more formal dining area, while a casual venue on Orchid Deck offers the ability to dine alfresco. Seating is always open, and meals tend to be served at set times throughout the day. Dietary restrictions can be catered to with advance notice provided at the time of booking.

As with other Uniworld ships, all beverages are complimentary.

There are three basic grades of accommodation aboard Mekong Jewel: Suites, Grand Suites and Royal Suites.

Suites are the most common cabin grade found onboard and are spread across all three accommodation decks. These range from 323 to 333 square feet and are lavishly decorated with hardwood floors, crown-molded ceilings adorned with a wooden ceiling fan, attractive headboards, decorative wall sconce lighting and elegant soft furnishings. All suites feature French balconies, interactive television systems and marble bathrooms.

Two Grand Suites (307 and 308) are situated on the Sun Deck and are substantially larger at 548 square feet. These lavish rooms include separate living and sleeping areas, a separate desk and makeup area, and a marble bathroom.

The top-of-the-line accomodations onboard are the two Royal Suites situated all the way forward on the Sun Deck. These forward-facing suites (rooms 309 and 310) are an incredible 915 square feet apiece, almost unheard of on the Mekong. Enlarged living and sleeping areas give way to a separated desk and makeup vanity area; an enlarged marble bathroom complete with window, dual vanity and soaker tub; and full French doors opening onto a wraparound balcony.

Top deck amenities include an outdoor swimming pool flanked by an attractive terrace and outdoor lounge, where refreshing libations are on offer throughout the day. This open partition takes up the rear two-thirds of the Sun Deck and is bordered by the ship's interior atrium and library.

Local entertainers sometimes come aboard in different ports of call along this journey, though like most river cruises, entertainment onboard generally revolves around socializing in the afternoons and evenings with your fellow cruisers.

Mekong Jewel operates Uniworld's "Timeless Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia & The Mekong," a 13-day journey between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap.

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Mekong Jewel departs from Ho Chi Minh City

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