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About Shebely

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Madison WI
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  1. No one else has said this but, to me age doesn’t matter. We have been on 8 river cruises and we find that our fellow travelers are well traveled interesting people. As I have told a friend who has only done ocean cruising, on ocean cruises will find passengers needing wheel chairs and walkers, but not on river cruises.
  2. 1. Check the web page embassyofcambodiadc.org for options for a getting visa. I got our visas ahead of time by mailing the visa application to the Embassy in DC. It was quick and easy. We sailed from Vietnam to Cambodia so getting a visa at the airport was not an option. 2. Depending on the time of year that you travel, Tonle Sap lake dries up and boats cannot sail between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. In that case Avalon flies travelers rather than putting people on buses for a 7-8 hour ride. I am assuming the weight limit for luggage is related to the possibility of air travel. We were able to sail on September 21 from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. We saw only one other boat on our sail that day.
  3. On river cruises we want to see both sides of the river as we cruise. We are either up front by the bow, in a lounge at the stern, or top deck if it is open. Because of frequent rafting in ports, we don’t want a balcony.
  4. River cruise companies are not like ocean cruises. They would rarely, if ever, reduce prices.
  5. In September, 2015 we did a land and river trip with Avalon Waterways on their new ship that year, the Siem Reap. On September 21, we cruised from Phnom Penh to Seam Reap on the Tonle Sap lake. The whole trip was fabulous and if anyone asks us which of our 8 river cruises is our favorite, we say this one. Our interactions with the children we met in Vietnam and Cambodia really made this trip so memorable and special. We started by flying to Hanoi for a pre extension including Halong Bay. Then we flew to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) for several days before sailing directly from Saigon. Most Mekong cruise ships do not sail directly out of Saigon. The hotels in Hanoi, Saigon and Siem Reap were high end in great locations. The crew and local guides could not have been better. The Viking ships did not could not sail from Phnom Penh. The passengers had to be bused up to 8 hours. Tonle Sap lake is only passable certain times of the year, so plan your trip accordingly.
  6. Last year we did the Douro river cruise with Vantage including a precruise trip to Madrid. We are seasoned river cruisers and this was our 7th river cruise. We felt isolated because there were so many groups and they stayed by themselves. If we went into the lounge and asked to sit down, they would say the seats were reserved. In the dining room, they chose tables at the start of the cruise and every meal that is where the were. We did find a few other couples to socialize with, but not many. We booked with Vantage because our preferred company, Avalon, does not do Douro cruises. This really turned me off to considering another Vantage trip.
  7. I am responding to JohnOClark. We have highly enjoyed 6 Avalon river cruises starting in 2013 and our most recent one 2 months ago. We have never had disco music. Avalon takes you to all the “key sites” just as every other river line does. In Vienna, the excursion to Schronbrunn Palace is very important from a historical perspective as it show cases the Habsburg Empire. The Habsburg ‘s ruled for almost four hundred years throughout most of what we now call Europe. Anyone cruising the Danube will also hear about the Habsburg’s in Melk at the famous abbey. Salsburg France is one of our most favorite visits. We will never forget our history lesson that morning. Question for you JohnOClark - Have you traveled on Crystal cruises? I personally do not compare cruise lines unless I have traveled on each of them. Of course, there are more expensive cruise lines. I do not want to pay more for options that we do not need or want. Dear Senior Lady. I am sure that you will have a great time.
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