– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
For our group it was “old hat” as we now know the routine, have bonded with our guide and have been introduced both to Cambodia and the AmaWaterways’ way of doing things. So as we headed for Reception at the Sofitel Angkor Hotel, we noticed a line for check-in for those only doing the cruise portion of this trip. The “newbies” are put into two other groups and then the now four groups board their respective busses for the drive.
Our guide asks us if we mind being last. Huh?
And then he says he prefers the longer drive to Prek Kdam (required due to the low water level not allowing our ship to pass into Tonle Sap Lake) rather than a short one to the lake near Siem Reap. What?
I mean doesn’t everyone want to be first? Don’t you “win” if you come in first? And why the heck would you want to be trapped on a bus for 5½ hours rather than 45 minutes? Is this some sort of Cambodian cultural or philosophical approach? Is Buddhist approach now affecting our journey? Seriously, could it just marketing trying to make a sitting on a bus sound better than it really is?
I can emphatically tell you,”NO!”
What he was saying is the journey is more important and more interesting than the trip. He is talking about “travel”. He explains that once you board the ship on the lake you don’t see much of anything because you are far from the shoreline, but driving on the road you have the opportunity to observe everyday Cambodian life. He was, of course, correct and the drive was fascinating as was his discussion of Cambodian history, culture, present day issues and nature.
To be sure I will fondly remember our bus ride far more than some rather non-descript initial cruising on the AmaLotus.
Our first stop was unplanned. We found ourselves passing through a small town with a number of wooden contraptions along the road. He stopped the bus after a couple of us asked what the things were. They were a sort of mortar and pestle which crushes the rice into a cereal. The people then sell the cereal to passersby who mix it with bananas, mangos or coconut milk.
I can see why the tarantula is so popular…once you get past the “creepy factor”. Not only are they inexpensive at two-for-a-dollar, they taste very similar to a food I love: Soft-shelled crabs.
On the other hand, the giant water beetles (you should remove the wings…in case you have any interest in trying them) were sort of dry and crunchy and, to be sure, had a much higher creepy factor for me.