Scenic Spirit on Mekong River
Sheila Healey from the US.
Mekong River in Cambodia & Vietnam.
# OF NIGHTS
DEPARTURE DATE & PORTS
October 2018, from Siem Reap, Cambodia downstream into Vietnam.
5 out of 5 stars (5=excellent, 4=very good, 3=good, 2=poor, 1=terrible)
-Food Rating: 4
-Cabin Rating: 4
-Service/Crew Rating: 5
-Itinerary Rating: 4
HOW MANY SMALL-SHIP CRUISES HAVE YOU BEEN ON?
If you want an escape in comfort, with a good balance of UNESCO World Heritage sites and small village and temples excursions while river touring, then the Scenic Spirit is the ticket. This over-worked New Yorker was in love from the get go. As Australian-owned you get a well appointed Modern-designed vessel along with a realistic view of the region.
This 10-day trip transported me to 9th-century Angkor Wat with a knowledgable guide and then back to Siem Reap for total comfort at the lovely Hyatt Regency for two days before we began the river segment of the trip. The guide team was exceptional in their knowledge throughout Cambodia and Vietnam and happy to assist in any need. The staff on the Scenic Spirit was just lovely and aimed to please. One of the highlights on board was the spa and pricing — a plus while traveling in Asia. With 45-minute foot massages for $20, I happily booked three times while on board. It’s the little things in life!
As many will ask about our food and wine selections while on board — overall decent choices and the kitchen did its best with a lovely fresh juice selection daily at breakfast. I absolutely took advantage of the watermelon juice offerings! Local cuisine was always a staple as well as western ala carte selections for the less adventurous traveler. Yes, we had the option of beetles and scorpions for one of our lunch selections. If you are a hard core foodie you may be let down at times, but you will have plenty of time to explore Saigon and Phnom Penh for that special food experience, which of course we did!
Our Cabin was super comfortable and the beds beyond inviting. The size of the cabin is much larger than most river cruise ships and one feels the need to linger at times to enjoy the river views. A real plus was that the windows open with the touch of a button. perfect for your own private sunset photo opportunity while sipping champagne.
The excursions were quite good overall. To me, the Cambodian side of the trip was more interesting (given excursions like Angkor Wat and the Killing Fields) than the Vietnam side of the trip, which was much more in the vein of local markets and small temple visits. We opted one afternoon to stay on the boat and enjoy the small pool and bar, which was quite enjoyable. WIFI is available, but at times non-existent, which assists in getting one off the grid and much appreciated.
If you are looking to get off the merry-go-round of western life, but don’t want to let go of your creature comforts this may be your kind of holiday. For me Cambodia invaded my soul and touched my heart in a way I wasn’t expecting. The Mekong awaits!
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