AmaDara Cruise Review by bbaltes
- Sail Date: March 2017
- Destination: Asia River
- Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
very clean and well maintained ship
Internet, when in port, works very well - no streaming
Good organization for departure
More things are included than on some cruises - most alcohol, for example, is included.
Variety of shore excursions was great and it is included in the price.
Food is very good. Well presented, healthy and small size portions meant less waste.
The ethnic dance we were treated to in our first night in Phnom Pen was extraordinary. Kids from a local school performed a one hour exhibition that was both interesting and informative.
Climate control for the rooms was superb.
Hot water for showers seemed to always be available any time of day.
Service was exceptional if not slightly overwhelmingly considerate
Things that should be included in the advertised details about the cruise:
ask before you book if the cruise you are interested in leaves directly from Siem Reap or if you will take a long bus ride down to the port (6 hours). The bus was comfortable, and the road the whole way was paved. But you should be made aware of this.
Only 2 per cabin. We are a family of 3, so we had to buy an extra cabin.
If you do have close friends or family going with you, book early and get cabins across from each other. That way, you can see things on both sides of the boat.
While never advertised as such, this is not a cruise for families. I would guess the average age on the cruise is about 55. We are struggling to make sure our 14 year old is having a good time. But that's not the cruise company’s fault. We knew this going in.
Also know that the majority of people on the cruise (at least on our cruise) are culturally unaware when it comes to foreign countries. From how they act and the excursions that are set up, this is more of a “photo op” cruise than anything experiential. That's not to say you can't get off the boat when it docks and explore the culture on your own. Just don't plan on the cruise company giving you that kind of option.
In addition to the above, leave frustrations and embarrassment about how your fellow cruisers act behind. Talking during performances, loudly laughing and cackling while receiving a monk’s blessing, wearing inappropriate clothing (after several written and verbal advisories) and not learning how to say “hello” or “thank you” in the local language is not something you're going to be able to explain or ask forgiveness. It's just the way people are.
The guide says that you may consider bringing “smart casual” clothing, but you absolutely don't need to. We love to pack light, so we didn't and never felt uncomfortable. Shorts that cover the knees and shirts that cover the shoulders along with decent walking shoes are the only necessities.
Laundry is expensive on board like most cruises. Try to do laundry before you depart. There’s really not a convenient way to do laundry after you start the cruise.
Lock the outside cabin doors in Phnom Penh. You're right up next to the dock, and while there is security, it would give you some extra piece of mind
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