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South Florida
1,547 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
As to laundry prices, they do not have a list for the Vietnamese boats as they do not own them (they can email European laundry lists however) and their ballpark quote on prices seem way too low so we will wait for actual list on board. (Representative said office mates guessed about $2 for either a shirt or trousers.)[/quote]

The prices onboard were more expensive than that. I remember that underwear was $2 as were socks. The cheapest price was $1 for a handkerchief. I believe my pants were $4. It was cheaper than the Metropole but not as inexpensive as I thought it would be. I really recommend bringing your laundry to the local laundress. It is an experience that will be an adventure and you will see a great deal more about the culture and life of the locals while providing an income, something that they really need. We used the hotel and boat as a back-up since we did our laundry 4 times in 20 days.
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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
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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
New York
21 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by 2Fltravelers
Susutrav:

You will be very happy with HanoiKids. It will be a good overview for your time in Hanoi. As I mentioned in my review, you should consider what you want to see on your own and what is covered by AMA and then plan on an itinerary with your university student guide. If you want to go inside Ho Chi Minh's tomb, you may want to go with the HanoiKids guide as we did not go in with AMA. Had I known this in advance, I would have planned to go in with her the day before. I don't know of anyone on our trip that arrived in Hanoi more
than a day before. I think that with 4 days pre-tour you would be wise to take a day trip out of Hanoi as I think 3 days in Hanoi is sufficient. I was interested in the northern highlands (Sapa?) which sounded intriguing but that may be an overnight trip.

You will be very happy with Zoom. We correspond quite often by email and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time. Again, I recommend that you tailor your time with him as some of the sights you will have seen with AMA. It just depends on how much you want to repeat, etc,

As for dinner choices on the ship, there were some entree choices that were local such as fish that was prepared in a local style. Mostly, it was the soups and appetizers. Breakfast and lunch had many more local choices as I mentioned in my review. I think that AMA tried to provide a balance between local and Western tastes.
Thanks again for your valuable trip report 2 FLtravelers.
We like to spend at least a week in major cities when we travel, but may do a day trip from Hanoi; I have a list of them that we're considering. The extra days will also be chance to recover from an intensive trip to far Western China that precedes the AMAWATERWWAYS Mekong trip.
We love Vietnamese food, and look forward to sampling many meals while in Hanoi and
Saigon. Thanks again....SuSuTrav
Boca Raton, FL
168 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Hope 2FLtravelers are checking in every once in a while. Need their expertise. We got our frequent flyer mileage in order and booked Continental/United for our flights using points for next March. We arrive one day early and took your advice and let AMA take care of the hotel and transfers. We thought we would do a half day (afternoon) excursion with Hanoikids. What do you recommend. Should we do the inside of the Ho Chi Minh Masoleum as you pointed out that the AMA tour did not go inside or do you suggest something else.
Looking forward to your advice.
Thank you
Cruzin'd (Donna)- up the road apiece in Boca Raton
California Mother Lode
88 Posts
Joined May 2003
We have just booked the December La Marguerite trip. We were in Hanoi a few years ago and decided to extend a few days in both Hanoi and Saigon. We enjoyed Vietnam and the Vietnamese so much last time we really wanted to see more of the country.

Last December we were on an Antartica expedition with Hurtegruten. This will really be a different experience. No penguins!
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California Mother Lode
88 Posts
Joined May 2003
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
We are also booked for the December trip. Look forward to meeting you.

Armand
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guadalajara mexico
85 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by exsausd
We are also booked for the December trip. Look forward to meeting you.

Armand
Hello Armand,
Are you booked on the December 6 trip? There are three of us who will be traveling together. It will be great to meet you.
Cheers,
Lorna
California Mother Lode
88 Posts
Joined May 2003
Yes, we are on the Dec. 6 trip. We're doing the extensions and will be arriving a day before the tour begins in Hanoi. We were in Hanoi a few years ago and wanted to see a few things that we missed the first time.

Armand
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South Florida
1,547 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
[QUOTE=cruzin'd;29169984We thought we would do a half day (afternoon) excursion with Hanoikids. What do you recommend. Should we do the inside of the Ho Chi Minh Masoleum as you pointed out that the AMA tour did not go inside or do you suggest something else.
Looking forward to your advice.

Hi Donna:

Sorry for the delay in responding.I was checking in too frequently for awhile and didn't see any posts so I begged off.

I was disappointed that we did not get into the HCM Mausoleum. Since I don't know if that is standard or not with AMA, I would opt for it if you think you want to do it. I was told that his body gets shipped to Russia every September so I don't know when it gets back (assuming that's true). As for a half day, I was happy that we did a full day with Phang. While you can walk around the Old Quarter by yourself, I found it to be helpful to have someone walk me through and explain things since we only had the one day on our own. We are not tour people and like venturing out on our own but with little in English and arriving late the night before, it was a good decision for us. Hope this helps.
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HAL Koningsdam/11-Day Southern Caribbean-1/18
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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

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t
Boca Raton, FL
168 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
2Fltravelers, thank you for taking the time to answer. We were thinking of a half day tour in Hanoi because we get in late the night before and thought we might need some time to get our "legs". If we don't go to the HCM mausaleum in the morning then we can't go at all because it appears it is closed in the afternoon. We'll see if we can gather our strength for a whole day tour. Any other suggestions will be appreciated.

Again, thank you so much. You guys are the best source of information !

Donna
South Florida
1,547 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
We got in late also. I think we reached the hotel close to midnight but with the time change, we had no problem getting up at 7 and being at breakfast at 8. Whatever you ultimately decide I'm sure you will be happy with Hanoikids. You might ask them if you have the option of extending for a full day if you are up to it.
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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
Southeast Coast
3 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
This is my first post/reply on CruiseCritic so forgive me if I'm not following the correct procedure. I noticed you said the balcony was 'standing room for two only' and I wondered if you knew whether or not that would be the same as for the Indochina Suite? We will be going in September. Thanks in advance.
Camano Island, WA
996 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Sydneygolfs - Welcome to CC. Your question was posed in an entirely correct manner. These message boards are excellent sources of information about all aspects of cruising.

We are booked in an Indochina suite on La Marguerite in late November. On this link there are photos and construction diagrams of the cabins on the ship:

http://www.greentrail-indochina.com/...arguerite.html

When you click on the diagram next to the photo of the Indochina suite, you should get a larger view:

http://www.greentrail-indochina.com/...hina-suite.jpg

The balcony is on the upper right of the diagram. You will note that it is about 4.4 sq.m. or about 47 sq.ft. Unless you are fairly large, that should be easily enough room for two people.

On the other hand, the balcony on the standard cabin is about 1.54 sq.m. or about 16.54 sq.ft., a significant difference, irrespective of one's size.

Cheers, Fred
3,780 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I am only part way reading this board (up to the review and about 1/3 thru it) but though I would drop in and post.

We are booked on the AmaLotus for July 2012. We had booked several things for next year and when we saw this we decided to go with Cat C cabin, cheapest time of July and just do it. Cruise only. So we will be going early, staying over, and trying to visit some things on our own.

So, questions

1. Why is it cheaper in July? We were told on the phone by AMA that March - June is the hottest months. Sept is the wettest month. So not sure what the problem could be. Also noticed that the ferry that runs from the major airport in Cambodia up to Siem Reap doesn't run until July because of low water so worried about rather it is to low prior to that. Maybe someone else has gone during July and can answer.

2. Our cabin is 2 potholes on the Mekong deck. But it seems that it is the same size as all the cabins except suites. WE cruise a lot and usually get inside because we stay in our cabins very little. And the price for the next level is $400 more per person. We are going to be on a budget since we are booked on so many other trips so anyone else ever had the pothole cabins.

3. Any suggestions of what we should see in Cambodia on our own and in Vietnam? All new to us and we will definitely be picking up Frommers Books to see things to do. But does anyone have any experience with getting driver/guide and doing it on your own? We did that in China last year and it was wonderful. (and cheap)

4. Packing - did you pack a rain suit???? If so, does it need to be light weight due to heat. It is in the 90s in July she said.

5. Shoes - do your shoes just stay wet the entire trip?

6. Not sure how much everyone packed but in the first four pages, I noticed many people talking about having to do laundry. We have done many cruises that are 14 - 20 days and did laundry very little but that was packing outfits for daytime, outfits for night time along with formals. Plus multiple temperatures in the weather. So I am just wondering if night time dinner wear isn't needed (except capris and light shirts) and no formal wear needed or cold weather clothes - seems to me more clothes can be packed. (maybe we just are conservative packers lol but we only pack one duffle per person for all cruises rather it is 7 days or 20 days)

7. Is anyone else booking just the 7 day cruise? If so or have before, when did you fly in for CAmbodia? WE are having trouble with that and seem the big city to fly in is Phenom Phen (hope I spelled that right) and take a bus/ferry/plane/taxi/etc to get to Siem Reap. (we are trying to use AA miles and their afiliates) Also, what hotels and what cities would you stay at.

WE have the cruise on hold until Friday. We aren't able to book air for another 2 or 3 weeks. But want to be sure in the next two days that this is worth it. And it sounds like it is no matter what. And we want to figure out how much there is to see in Cambodia and afterwards in Saigon so we can decide how many days precruise and post cruise to do.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Debe
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Debe

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Montreal,Quebec
21 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
We are going on the Amalotus on July 02/2012, 7 days cruise only.
We are first flying to Bangkok , going to Hua Hin for 5 days then flying from Bangkok to Siem Reap 3 days before the cruise staying at the Sofitel,
then at the end of the cruise 5 more days at the Marriott in Saigon.
The cruise if reserved and paid the deposit, we are just waiting to be able to book ff flights from Montreal, we should be able to do that at the end of july.
We were in Bangkok last year at the same time in july and weather was fine,rain usually at the end of the afternoon but always clearing up after.
What date in july are you going??
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3,780 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by evelyne13
We are going on the Amalotus on July 02/2012, 7 days cruise only.
We are first flying to Bangkok , going to Hua Hin for 5 days then flying from Bangkok to Siem Reap 3 days before the cruise staying at the Sofitel,
then at the end of the cruise 5 more days at the Marriott in Saigon.
The cruise if reserved and paid the deposit, we are just waiting to be able to book ff flights from Montreal, we should be able to do that at the end of july.
We were in Bangkok last year at the same time in july and weather was fine,rain usually at the end of the afternoon but always clearing up after.
What date in july are you going??
We are doing that same week. So guess we will be on the same cruise. Cool. We have never been to either place so hoping to go 3 or 4 days early and stay 3 or 4 days after. We also will be looking for FF mile tickets and that could determine when we go and come back. But we were thinking of flying into Phnom Penh (since American Airlines has flights with its partners that goes there) and maybe doing a tour for 3 days that includes the flight/hotel/points of interest and ends up in Siem Reap. Then do the cruise followed by staying after in Saigon or whatever is the most popular at the end of the cruise. But we are waiting for Frommers books to get at least some type of hint of what is the most important things to do.

Hubby still works so he can't be gone super long but we would like to be gone 14 or 15 days total. We had already booked a cruise with RCCL in May for Dubai - Singapore and will be gone 15 or so days so this will be a lot in a short period of time. But I have been begging for this River Cruise ever since someone told us about it over a year ago. And if it is a little rainy, we will suffer through it.

Anyway, we are on the Mekong Deck 003. Porthole cabin. I know there are only 6 of them and we have one. lol But, we don't mind if it is lower level and only portholes. We had to confirm by today so deposit is now paid and now the waiting game. I am already excited even though it is almost a year away. But we have alot to figure out before we decide on those airline dates.

Debe
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Debe

CCL-Platinum; Celebrity-Elite; Costa-Steerage; Disney-Silver; NCL-Platinum; Princess-Elite; RCCL-Diamond +;

Upcoming 2017 vacations: Reelfoot Lake, Tn - Aug; Pagosa Springs CO - Aug; RCCL Mariner - Sept (77); Nassau-Sept; RCCL VIson(78) - Oct; NCL Epic - Dec (79)

Upcoming 2018 vacations: Celebrity Constellation - Jan 2018 (80);

NCL Escape-Jan 2017; CCL Triumph-Jan 2017; RCCL OvOS-Nov2016; RCCL AlOS-Oct 2016; RCCL OaOS-Sept 2016; CCL Dream-Jan 2016;Celebrity Silhoutte-Apr 2015;CCL Dream-Mar 2015; CCL Dream-Jan 2015;NCL Epic-Dec 2014; Celebrity Xpedition-Sept 2014; Ruby Princess-Mar 2014; CCL Sunshine-Feb 2014; CCL Sunshine-Dec 2013; NCL Epic-Oct 2013; AMALotus-Apr 2013; RCCL NOS-Mar 2013; NCL Epic-Jan 2013: RCCL NOS-Dec 2012; RCCL LOS - Oct 2012; NCL Epic-April 2012; NCL Dawn-Mar 2012; DISNEY Wonder-Jan 2012; RCCL VOS-Nov 2011; RCCL VOS-Oct 2011; Caribbean Princess-May 2011; RCCL FrOS-Mar 2011; Caribbean Princess-Jan 2011; RCCL EnOS-Dec 2010; RCCL AdOS-Nov 2010; Diamond Princess-Sept 2010; Ocean Princess-June 2010; Caribbean Princess-May 2010; RCCL NaOS-Apr 2010; Caribbean Princess (B2B)-Jan/Feb 2010; RCCL RaOS-Jan 2010; Grand Princess-Nov 2009; NCL SKY-Sept 2009; RCCL NaOS-Apr 2009; Costa Fortuna-Jan 2009; CCL Splendor-Oct 2008; RCCL EnOS-Sept 2008; Crown Princess - May 2008; Dawn Princess - Mar 2008; RCCL EmOS - Jan 2008; Island Princess-Dec 2007; CCL Destiny-Sept 2007; Celebrity Infinity-Mar 2007; Grand Princess-Jan 2007; Celebrity Galaxy-Dec 2006; NCL Majesty-Oct 2006; Caribbean Princess-Sept 2006; CCL Elation-June 2006; Golden Princess-Apr 2006; Costa Magica-Mar 2006; Dawn Princess-Feb 2006; CCL Destiny-Dec 2005; NCL Spirit-June 2005; Celebrity Horizon-Apr 2005; RCCL GrOS-Jan 2005; NCL Sea-Sept 2004; CCL Jubilee-Nov 2003; NCL Norway-Oct 2002; NCL Sea-June 2001; NCL Wind-May 2001; NCL Sky-Nov 2000; NCL Sea-Apr 2000; RCCL RhOS-Mar 1999; NCL Norway-Aug 1992; Seawind Crown-Dec 1991; Brittanis-1987; (5 more 1988 - 1998)
Montreal,Quebec
21 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Great to know someone else on this cruise, we have cabin 308 on Sadec (Sun Deck), it will be the first time we are able to go for more than 3 weeks, we have not booked any tours in advance but we will find a guide when we get to Siem Reap, we did this in Bangkok
( I found a lot of informations on Fodors.com)and it worked fine for us. My husband has been to Ho Chi Minh already on business , so he will be my guide. If you need to contact me you could use [email protected]
We have another long year to stay in touch and exchange info.
Evelyne
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New York
22 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Is anyone sailing on the Dec. 20th cruise on the La Marguerite? Looking to connect with fellow passengers. Can anyone advise as to the excusion situation? we are doing AMA's land and river but can't really decipher if all the excursions are included, if so...are they ample or should we suplement with additonal excursions? I would appreciate any helpful hints...it's not our first river cruise but first time with AMA...lastly, the beverage ie: beer, wine, soda, spirits, seems to be a bit of a gray area. Can someone clear up weather or not these beverages are included? Thank you in advance and happy cruising ! leplap
Southwest US
52 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
We are on trip too and have been on one AMA cruise (Budapest to Prague) which was handled very well in terms of excursions, food, service. However, this boat is leased and some info is unknown or incorrect. We have read all the info on Cruise Critic (especially 2FLTravelers review). We also are doing the entire program and arriving in to Hanoi on December 17th or maybe the 16th (depends on flight situation - United or EVA). We are probably not extending beyond January 4th. Also doing only the excursions included - program sounds busy enough! . The included liquor is local brands only - if you want American brands (wine?) then it costs extra. As to the weather, I pulled up the forecast for all the places last December and, except for Hanoi and Ha Long, it will be in the 90s but with humidity the real feel elsewhere is probably at least 100! We were in Vietnam 4 years ago on a cruise and did not have any problems with weather in mid January being too hot or uncomfortable but then we are from Phoenix.
The Florida review answered all of my questions
This will be our 7th river boat trip and we have liked them all.
Sylvia
New York
22 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
hi Sylvia; it will be nice to chat during the planning stages...thank you for the information, it was very helpful. I knew it would be hot but I'm told it's the most beautiful in december. We've been to Egypt in August & it was no less than 103 deg. so that doesnt bother us. I heard that the wine/beverages are local and not good, but thank you for confirming that. Unfortunately we can't get to Hanoi a day early due to business obligations so there wont be much time there for us, but we'll be staying 1 extra day in Saigon..still not enough time I'm sure but we're happy to be going. We've done many cruises on the traditional ocean liners, Middle east, Baltic, Medit. Greece, South America, land only in the Czech republic and once on the Viking River cruise to China. We were trying to combine Thailand this trip as well but there's just not enough time so we'll have to go back ! We booked the Saigon deck...the B categories were filled so we had to take the A..on the waitlist for a B ! Which other river cruises have you taken besides prague? and also, so far I've read mostly positive reviews about the tour company and the boat...do you have anything you can add? I'd love to hear all about your experiences and hope we will keep in touch. I'm from NY but we have family in Az, so I'm aware of the heat situation, I'm sure you'll do fine. Stay cool, Leslie