I’d always wanted to visit Vietnam and Cambodia and by choosing a Scenic River Cruises cruise this took all the hassle out of finding out what sites to visit, and where to stay and eat, as with Scenic it’s all included and taken care of so you can travel in complete luxury and peace of mind.
At the beginning of the tour we had a welcome meeting. All Scenic guests are split into groups with each having its own Tour Director to offer a more intimate experience. Our Tour Director was Nghia from Saigon, a big Chelsea fan who talked us through all the Scenic Freechoice excursions. Scenic include all sightseeing excursions, plus you have a choice of sightseeing activities so you can tailor them to your own interests. The guides are the best I’ve ever had, they are so friendly, and their expert knowledge really brings each destination to life. Exploring these countries simply wouldn’t be the same without their interesting stories.
Upon embarking the ship you are greeted with a refreshing towel and cold drink. You are soon shown to your room where your bags are waiting, and you have some free time to explore. Scenic Spirit is only two years old and boasts the largest suites on the Mekong and it’s true our Deluxe Suite was very spacious, and our butler arrived shortly to introduce herself and to see if there was anything we needed. There really wasn’t anymore we could ask for as the room had fresh fruit, champagne and a fully stocked mini bar. The room had the Scenic Sun Lounge which, at the touch of a button, drops the window down, creating a balcony. The bed was adjustable too, so you could raise your head or feet, something I’ve never seen on a cruise ship before.
By the time I went to dinner most of the staff already knew my name. One of the waitresses, Leakena, is a ray of sunshine, always happy and smiling and I was very sad to say goodbye.
All drinks are included on board, even the premium brands, and are available 24/7. If you want a light bite you can also dine in the river café or room service is available 24 hours, so you really won’t go hungry. In the Crystal Dining restaurant you can dine when and with who you want, so you can have an intimate table for two one night and then join your newfound friends the next.
With only 68 guests on board the ship is lovely and intimate yet so spacious it’s easy to find a spot to yourself. I really enjoyed sitting in the bar as we sailed along the Mekong, watching the local fisherman, or in the sun lounge in my room; the perfect spot to watch the world go by. There is even a pool on board which is great for cooling off in the hot weather.
Throughout the trip it is clear how much Scenic support the communities they visit from donations to excursions which contribute to the local economy. The exclusive Scenic Enrich events are spectacular, from your VIP seats at the Circus to a candle-lit dinner where you’ll enjoy a cultural performance with an Angkor Temple as the backdrop. These really are the highlight of the trip, offering unique, once-in-a-lifetime, money can’t buy experiences.
This has been a truly enriching experience I will treasure forever. I don’t feel like I have just visited these countries, I have been fully immersed in the culture, history and local way of life. This tour with Scenic is the perfect way to discover these countries in complete luxury and where the crew and guides’ priority is simply to make you happy and provide the holiday you dreamed of. My expectations have been completely surpassed and I would recommend visiting these countries soon as it won’t be long before the modern-day world catches up with them.