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West Chester, Pa
113 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
You guys are awesome! Thanks for the detailed clothing suggestions. You sound as if you pack similar to us. I remember being in China and needing a couple of nice outfits but the rest were capris, etc. like you suggested. Unfortunately, we will be travelling in the summer--hot, rain, but we have been told that the river level shouldn't be an issue. Being a teacher only allows me to travel in summer, but I'm looking forward to the trip, rain, shine or whatever. I would love to see your packing list. Again, thanks for your most invaluable information. I truly appreciate it.
South Florida
1,547 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by PhillyGirl2
You guys are awesome! Thanks for the detailed clothing suggestions. You sound as if you pack similar to us. I remember being in China and needing a couple of nice outfits but the rest were capris, etc. like you suggested. Unfortunately, we will be travelling in the summer--hot, rain, but we have been told that the river level shouldn't be an issue. Being a teacher only allows me to travel in summer, but I'm looking forward to the trip, rain, shine or whatever. I would love to see your packing list. Again, thanks for your most invaluable information. I truly appreciate it.
It's true that the river level shouldn't be a problem at all. While it will be summer I was told by our tour manager that the worst months are April & May-intense heat and no rain. At least the rain will cool things off.

My packing list :

2 nightgowns
1 swimsuit & cover-up
undergarments for 5 days (changing 2xdaily)
1 jeans + 1 pants
1 lt. weight jogging type suit (for traveling to & from Asia)
5 capris (day)
3 ankle length pants-night (black, white & beige)
2 skirts (1 silk + 1 cotton)
9 tank tops
8 short-sleeved cotton shirts
1 short-sleeved linen shirt
3 long-sleeved shirts (1 very light cotton with roll-up sleeves)
1 linen shawl & 1 black linen sweater
1 silk scarf
2 belts
8 pr socks/peds
1 sun hat & sunglasses
1 jacket + gloves
Le SportSac cross body day bag
1 lt. weight back pack
1 evening black leather cross body bag
1 pr.sneakers
1 pr.sunooks
3 pr. leather sandals (black, white, pewter)
1 pr. havianas
camera
binoculars
Bose headphones
umbrella
alarm clock
sunscreen
bug spray (40% DEET)
hand sanitizers + antibacterial wipes
tissues
lip balm
hair ties
hair blower
power strip + adapter
laundry soap + plastic clothes hooks
iPad + international phone
camera + camcorder
2 4G memory cards + video memory chips
camera, phone & ipad chargers
box of pencils for handing out
first aid kit
tamiflu +z-pack
pepto bismol,immodium, bonine
tylenol + advil
Prescription drugs
toiletries
ziplocs
extra luggage (collapsible for laundry & purchases)
pashmina for plane & bus (blanket)
Travel Medical Insurance & Medical Evacuation Insurance

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.
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COMPLETED CRUISES:
HAL Koningsdam/11-Day Southern Caribbean-1/18
Celebrity Xpedition/Outer Loop Galapagos-4/17
Celebrity Equinox/10-Day Southern Caribbean-1/17
Royal Princess/10-Day Southern Caribbean-1/16
Celebrity Equinox/Transatlantic Barcelona to Ft. Lauderdale -10/15
Celebrity Silhouette/7-Day Eastern Caribbean-12/14
Celebrity Equinox/10-Day Eastern Caribbean-1/14
Island Princess/Panama Canal Partial Transit-2/13
Celebrity Equinox/Transatlantic Rome to Ft. Lauderdale-11/12
Celebrity Eclipse/Eastern Caribbean-1/12
AMA La Marguerite/Cambodia, Vietnam & Mekong-2/11

Celebrity Century/Western Caribbean-12/10
Celebrity Solstice/Eastern Caribbean-5/10
Celebrity Century/Western Caribbean-4/10
Crown Princess/Western Caribbean-10/09
Serenade of the Seas/Southern Caribbean-1/09
Azamara Quest/Eastern Med-10/08
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas/Bahamas-1/08
RCCL Majesty of the Seas/Bahamas-9/07
Oceania Regatta/Northern Europe & Russia-6/07
Celebrity Mercury/Mexican Riviera-4/07
Celebrity Millenium/Cape Horn-South America-1/06
Caribbean Princess/Eastern Caribbean-12/04
Carnival Paradise/Western Caribbean-12/03
RCCL Splendour of the Seas/Brazil-2/01
Carnival Fascination/Bahamas-10/00
Renaissance/Spain & Portugal-7/00

UPCOMING CRUISES:




t
4,089 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
We travelled with 2Fltravelers on the recent AMA trip - but we also took the 8 day pre-cruise extension from Saigon to Hanoi - along the coastline of China Sea (which the Vietnamese call the East Sea) - touring Saigon (other sightseeing than the included land/cruise portion - Cai Do temple and Cu Chi tunnels) Hue, Hoi An, crossing the Hai Van Pass, Da Nang (Marble Mountain)....

The hotels used were beautiful, we were at a beautiful resort in Hoi An, right on the beach - with beautiful manicured grounds and pool area. Hoi An is a town not to be missed, a UNESCO site - and we attended a fabulous cooking school where everything was hands-on.....

I would really recommend the extension, if you have the time and money - and would be happy to answer any questions regarding tours/accomodations/etc.
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Carol
West Chester, Pa
113 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Thanks, once again, for the feedback concerning your packing list. It is invaluable information and will be a great source of reference for packing. Now we need to figure out if we are going to get a Vietnam visa through the cruise agency through another source. Did you get your visa through the agency recommended by AMA? Thanks, your advice is so appreciated.
South Florida
1,547 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by PhillyGirl2
Thanks, once again, for the feedback concerning your packing list. It is invaluable information and will be a great source of reference for packing. Now we need to figure out if we are going to get a Vietnam visa through the cruise agency through another source. Did you get your visa through the agency recommended by AMA? Thanks, your advice is so appreciated.
I got my Visa through the Vietnam Embassy in Washington DC. It is easy to do and you will have it back in about 1 week. I contacted the visa service recommended by AMA and not only were they $160 more than the embassy for the 2 visas but they gave me completely wrong information about the Cambodian visa even though they said they went through the AMA desk for the information. They told me that I must have the Cambodian visa in advance and that I couldn't get it upon arrival. WRONG!! As CJCruzer will tell you, make sure you have enough pages in your passport since each visa takes one page and is then not available for stamping.
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COMPLETED CRUISES:
HAL Koningsdam/11-Day Southern Caribbean-1/18
Celebrity Xpedition/Outer Loop Galapagos-4/17
Celebrity Equinox/10-Day Southern Caribbean-1/17
Royal Princess/10-Day Southern Caribbean-1/16
Celebrity Equinox/Transatlantic Barcelona to Ft. Lauderdale -10/15
Celebrity Silhouette/7-Day Eastern Caribbean-12/14
Celebrity Equinox/10-Day Eastern Caribbean-1/14
Island Princess/Panama Canal Partial Transit-2/13
Celebrity Equinox/Transatlantic Rome to Ft. Lauderdale-11/12
Celebrity Eclipse/Eastern Caribbean-1/12
AMA La Marguerite/Cambodia, Vietnam & Mekong-2/11

Celebrity Century/Western Caribbean-12/10
Celebrity Solstice/Eastern Caribbean-5/10
Celebrity Century/Western Caribbean-4/10
Crown Princess/Western Caribbean-10/09
Serenade of the Seas/Southern Caribbean-1/09
Azamara Quest/Eastern Med-10/08
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas/Bahamas-1/08
RCCL Majesty of the Seas/Bahamas-9/07
Oceania Regatta/Northern Europe & Russia-6/07
Celebrity Mercury/Mexican Riviera-4/07
Celebrity Millenium/Cape Horn-South America-1/06
Caribbean Princess/Eastern Caribbean-12/04
Carnival Paradise/Western Caribbean-12/03
RCCL Splendour of the Seas/Brazil-2/01
Carnival Fascination/Bahamas-10/00
Renaissance/Spain & Portugal-7/00

UPCOMING CRUISES:




t
4,089 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
As 2 Fltravelers mentioned, please make sure you have enough pages, as the Cambodia visa, if gotten through a service or at the airport, requires one full page for the visa, and then 1/2 page for the entry and exit stamps....Also, the Vietnam visa will require one full page....And I do mean a full page!!

By applying for the Cambodian e-visa online, and scanning one passport sized photo - you print out 2 copies of the visa....can be stapled into your passport - one copy for entry, the second for exit....Once you are done, you can lift the one out of your passport - they recommend to staple it in do as no to lose it (although I travelled with multiple copies)....

The cost for purchasing the on-line Cambodia visa was $25 US - at the airport cost is $20 , and by AMA the cost was $60....
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Carol
West Chester, Pa
113 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Thanks to all for the VISA advice. We talked about going to DC for the VISA but it sounds as if you guys did it by mail. I always worry about them losing my passport, but it seems as if you didn't have any problem going through the mail. One reason I didn't book with a rival river cruise is that they were quoting me almost $600 per person for the required VISAs. Sounds like a racket. Thanks, again.
guadalajara mexico
85 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Hi,

Thanks for all the great information. I will be doing the AMAWaterway trip this December. So - my question is: Has anyone used the on-line Vietnam Visa service (www.vietnamvisa.com) to get the visa? If so, did everything go well? I really don't like sending my passport through the mail and would prefer an electronic service.
Thank you in advance and happy traveling!
Lorna
West Chester, Pa
113 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
We were told not to trust getting an e visa. Someone said that depending on who is on duty checking credentials might not look highly upon this document and could reject it. In his words he said "when entering a Communist country, you don't want to take any chances." However, I would like to hear if anyone else did this. We did send our VISAs through the mail for our China trip and not only did we get them back in plenty of time but we also received a call from the service to clarify something. this was a service recommended by Viking River Cruises. We were told that they had never lost a VISA in 13 years.
Boca Raton, FL
168 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I wanted to thank you for your wonderful review, clothing and packing suggestions, air arrangement suggestions and general info. All has been wonderful and I truly appreciate it. Your imput is now my "go to" for our trip. (in 2012 , if you can believe it)

Donna aka Cruzin'd
4,089 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Our tour guide (the one assigned from AMA as the managing tour guide from start to end) collected all our passports, and arranged for everything, presented them at Siem Reap airport, and we were whisked through the VIP line - an went straight to baggage claim --- after he re-distributed our passports to us --- we never even saw an official....Ont the ship, again the passports were collected, and the Cambodian officals came by power boat to collect them, brought them back (I believe with a ship official) to their office - and we had a leisurely wait watching the passing traffic on the river ---

Now that is not to say that EVERY tour manager will do this - I have no idea if this is the norm --- but it all went smoothly - on our bus, we were the only 4 out of 22 or 24 people who had pre-arranged the e-visa - but our tour manager arranged everything for the others.

Travelling as group, I would have no qualms about using e-visa - I printed out extra copies - our photos were on it - however, it all depends on your comfort level.

I am sorry to say, but I had quite a bit of "misinformation" given to me by AMA when I had some direct inquiries about visas, and a few other matters--- I believe the agents mean well, and err on the side of caution, and of course would prefer you to get your visas from them as there are surcharges involved.
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Carol
4,089 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by snorkling lady
Hi,

Thanks for all the great information. I will be doing the AMAWaterway trip this December. So - my question is: Has anyone used the on-line Vietnam Visa service (www.vietnamvisa.com) to get the visa? If so, did everything go well? I really don't like sending my passport through the mail and would prefer an electronic service.
Thank you in advance and happy traveling!
Lorna

I was going to use the online service - but my TA had done this trip in November as an escorted group tour (I could not make that date) and she sent my passport to the same embassy she used, and she had a contact there...the turnover is within 24-48 hours that the visa is processed....We sent it in a FedEX envelope (or you can use Purolator) with a return pre-addressed FedEX envelope included with the passports, bank check for fee, and forms.......As my TA was sending this, she just used her company FedEX account number on the returning FedEX envelope

The FedEx envelope went out Friday at about 2pm --- was back in her office I believe either Wednesday afternoon, or Thursday morning - so if you mail it out on Monday you would have it back the same week.....

Hopes this helps
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Carol
Southwest US
52 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Originally we planned on getting the evisa for Vietnam but after reading the boards' we are going to get the Vietnam VISA in advance directly from the embassy but use the online service for Cambodia that 2FLTravelers mentioned (which I didn't know about - thanks for tip!). My concern is that we will arrive in Hanoi after 10 PM and don't want to stand in any line at that time after 3 flights and was concerned that if a problem arose (no one there, on break, etc) at that time it would be more time consuming. PhillyGirl - thanks for your comments on possible problems as that reinforces my feelings.
We got VISAs for both Vietnam and Cambodia on our own, directly from the embassies and had no problem at all and fast service.
Southwest US
52 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Great review and thanks for writing it. Appreciate all the info especially on VISAs and shoes! Someone else just published a review on Viking's trip and with both of your reviews all our questions have been answered plus others we hadn't thought of.
Cotswolds, England
239 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by cruzin'd
I wanted to thank you for your wonderful review, clothing and packing suggestions, air arrangement suggestions and general info. All has been wonderful and I truly appreciate it. Your imput is now my "go to" for our trip. (in 2012 , if you can believe it)

Donna aka Cruzin'd
Yes, thank you so much "2FLtravellers", we are on La Marguerite with our 16 year old son and friends from Ireland in June and we really feel as though we have read a fantastic "trailer" of the cruise, what to expect down to the last detail. Thanks so much for taking the time to do such a comprehensive review.
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Past Cruises (most recent listed first):
Oceania Marina; Azamara Quest(2);Cunard Queen Victoria(3);Celebrity Eclipse(2); Norwegian Jade (2);P & O Azura; Star Clipper;Uniworld SS Antoinette; Oceania Insignia;AMA MS La Marguerite(Mekong);MSC Magnifica;Queen Elizabeth;Celebrity Summit;Diamond Princess;Queen Mary 2;Oberoi Philae(Nile);
Royal Princess;Marco Polo; QE2; Canberra; Carnival Celebration; Disney.....
*Sailed on various "Bucket" ships out of South Africa and to Indian Ocean islands during the 1980's
South Florida
1,547 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by cruzin'd
I wanted to thank you for your wonderful review, clothing and packing suggestions, air arrangement suggestions and general info. All has been wonderful and I truly appreciate it. Your imput is now my "go to" for our trip. (in 2012 , if you can believe it)

Donna aka Cruzin'd
Thank you Donna. Writing the review helped me remember certain things. I always write a trip report that I save for future reference and to send to friends who may be planning a trip to the same place (I also like to go back and read them myself). I am more than happy to answer any questions as I'm sure CJCruzer would too.
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COMPLETED CRUISES:
HAL Koningsdam/11-Day Southern Caribbean-1/18
Celebrity Xpedition/Outer Loop Galapagos-4/17
Celebrity Equinox/10-Day Southern Caribbean-1/17
Royal Princess/10-Day Southern Caribbean-1/16
Celebrity Equinox/Transatlantic Barcelona to Ft. Lauderdale -10/15
Celebrity Silhouette/7-Day Eastern Caribbean-12/14
Celebrity Equinox/10-Day Eastern Caribbean-1/14
Island Princess/Panama Canal Partial Transit-2/13
Celebrity Equinox/Transatlantic Rome to Ft. Lauderdale-11/12
Celebrity Eclipse/Eastern Caribbean-1/12
AMA La Marguerite/Cambodia, Vietnam & Mekong-2/11

Celebrity Century/Western Caribbean-12/10
Celebrity Solstice/Eastern Caribbean-5/10
Celebrity Century/Western Caribbean-4/10
Crown Princess/Western Caribbean-10/09
Serenade of the Seas/Southern Caribbean-1/09
Azamara Quest/Eastern Med-10/08
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas/Bahamas-1/08
RCCL Majesty of the Seas/Bahamas-9/07
Oceania Regatta/Northern Europe & Russia-6/07
Celebrity Mercury/Mexican Riviera-4/07
Celebrity Millenium/Cape Horn-South America-1/06
Caribbean Princess/Eastern Caribbean-12/04
Carnival Paradise/Western Caribbean-12/03
RCCL Splendour of the Seas/Brazil-2/01
Carnival Fascination/Bahamas-10/00
Renaissance/Spain & Portugal-7/00

UPCOMING CRUISES:




t
South Florida
1,547 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Ditto what CJCruzer said. I did get misinformation from the AMA recommended agency and I became quite frustrated.having done visas for China on my own and trusting CJCruzer, I went straight to the Vietnam Embassy in DC and saved quite a bit.
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COMPLETED CRUISES:
HAL Koningsdam/11-Day Southern Caribbean-1/18
Celebrity Xpedition/Outer Loop Galapagos-4/17
Celebrity Equinox/10-Day Southern Caribbean-1/17
Royal Princess/10-Day Southern Caribbean-1/16
Celebrity Equinox/Transatlantic Barcelona to Ft. Lauderdale -10/15
Celebrity Silhouette/7-Day Eastern Caribbean-12/14
Celebrity Equinox/10-Day Eastern Caribbean-1/14
Island Princess/Panama Canal Partial Transit-2/13
Celebrity Equinox/Transatlantic Rome to Ft. Lauderdale-11/12
Celebrity Eclipse/Eastern Caribbean-1/12
AMA La Marguerite/Cambodia, Vietnam & Mekong-2/11

Celebrity Century/Western Caribbean-12/10
Celebrity Solstice/Eastern Caribbean-5/10
Celebrity Century/Western Caribbean-4/10
Crown Princess/Western Caribbean-10/09
Serenade of the Seas/Southern Caribbean-1/09
Azamara Quest/Eastern Med-10/08
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas/Bahamas-1/08
RCCL Majesty of the Seas/Bahamas-9/07
Oceania Regatta/Northern Europe & Russia-6/07
Celebrity Mercury/Mexican Riviera-4/07
Celebrity Millenium/Cape Horn-South America-1/06
Caribbean Princess/Eastern Caribbean-12/04
Carnival Paradise/Western Caribbean-12/03
RCCL Splendour of the Seas/Brazil-2/01
Carnival Fascination/Bahamas-10/00
Renaissance/Spain & Portugal-7/00

UPCOMING CRUISES:




t
South Florida
1,547 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by sdianem
Great review and thanks for writing it. Appreciate all the info especially on VISAs and shoes! Someone else just published a review on Viking's trip and with both of your reviews all our questions have been answered plus others we hadn't thought of.
You're welcome!
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COMPLETED CRUISES:
HAL Koningsdam/11-Day Southern Caribbean-1/18
Celebrity Xpedition/Outer Loop Galapagos-4/17
Celebrity Equinox/10-Day Southern Caribbean-1/17
Royal Princess/10-Day Southern Caribbean-1/16
Celebrity Equinox/Transatlantic Barcelona to Ft. Lauderdale -10/15
Celebrity Silhouette/7-Day Eastern Caribbean-12/14
Celebrity Equinox/10-Day Eastern Caribbean-1/14
Island Princess/Panama Canal Partial Transit-2/13
Celebrity Equinox/Transatlantic Rome to Ft. Lauderdale-11/12
Celebrity Eclipse/Eastern Caribbean-1/12
AMA La Marguerite/Cambodia, Vietnam & Mekong-2/11

Celebrity Century/Western Caribbean-12/10
Celebrity Solstice/Eastern Caribbean-5/10
Celebrity Century/Western Caribbean-4/10
Crown Princess/Western Caribbean-10/09
Serenade of the Seas/Southern Caribbean-1/09
Azamara Quest/Eastern Med-10/08
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas/Bahamas-1/08
RCCL Majesty of the Seas/Bahamas-9/07
Oceania Regatta/Northern Europe & Russia-6/07
Celebrity Mercury/Mexican Riviera-4/07
Celebrity Millenium/Cape Horn-South America-1/06
Caribbean Princess/Eastern Caribbean-12/04
Carnival Paradise/Western Caribbean-12/03
RCCL Splendour of the Seas/Brazil-2/01
Carnival Fascination/Bahamas-10/00
Renaissance/Spain & Portugal-7/00

UPCOMING CRUISES:




t
29 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Hi, Jean6060,

We are planning on the land/cruise on 1/17/2012. Let me know if you choose that booking. We are travelling with 2 women friends who are inveterate tracellers.
I am also interested in 1 night pre & post.

Lady Marion
29 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Hi, [email protected],
What type of cabin did you have? We were thinking of the lowest deck with only a porthole. Did you see a cabin like that; there are *no* pictures in either the small or large AMA brochure.
Has anyone stayed in one of those cabins - category C?

Lady Marion