I found it difficult to find reviews on the 3 day/2night Anantara cruises out of Bangkok so hope this is of use to future travellers.
My husband & I spent 3 fabulous days on the Anantara Dream last week (June 11-13) and cannot recommend it highly enough. It took us a long time to actually book as it is very expensive, particularly for Bangkok, but I’m so glad we did. Total cost for the 2 of us was 59,000 baht - but this did include all meals (although not alcohol which was exorbitant on board) & individual guided tours at Wat Arun, Royal Barges Museum, Ayutthaya & Bang Pa In Summer Palace.
We were originally booked on the Anantara Song (4 cabin), but as there were only 4 of us booked for those dates we were swapped to the Anantara Dream (2 cabin). The staff were friendly and welcoming – there are 4 onboard (in equal number with guests) – driver, chef & 2 cabin staff. The boat left the Anantara Resort in Bangkok at 10am, but as we were staying at the Chatrium we were able to be picked up at Saphan Taksin pier at 10.15am which was more convenient for us.
The boat itself is a converted rice barge, all dark teak coloured wood. The main deck has an open lounge with round dining table for 4 and 2 sofas that we spent quite a bit of time reading, chatting and generally lazing about on as we watched the scenery along the Chao Phraya unfold. Out the very front of the boat were 4 deck chairs that were lovely to relax on, although only for short spells as the sun was intense out there – perfect in the evening though. The 2 cabins were on the bottom deck and we fell in love with ours at first sight. You climb up stairs to reach the massive king bed, from which there’s a wonderful river view (with shutters that close on the outside if you want privacy). You then walk around and downstairs under the bed to the bathroom.
Day 1 – pickup from Saphan Taksin (at the hotel shuttle pier where the Anantara shuttle docks) at 10.15am to Wat Arun where we met our fantastic English speaking guide Chai. The other couple onboard were Swiss and they had their own German speaking guide. Back onboard to the Royal Barges museum, after which Chai left us for the day while we spent the rest of the afternoon heading towards Ayutthaya. Meals onboard are spectacular, Thai food at its best - lunches were 3 courses, with a huge afternoon tea followed up by appetisers in the evening and then a 4 course dinner, they practically had to roll us off the boat by the end of the trip.
Day 2 – arrived at Wat Pananchoeng to meet Chai & our driver at 2pm for tour to Ayutthaya – really enjoyed these ruins, very reminiscent of the early temples in Cambodia. Could have had an elephant ride here, but we instead visited another modern temple and indulged in a few local sweet treats that Chai bought for us.
Day 3 – Wat Niwet Thammaprawat – amazing temple in a European style church building with lovely stained glass window of Rama V. Short walk from there to Bang Pa In Summer Palace which was a wonderful surprise. Gorgeous gardens, palaces, temples and lighthouse to climb – almost felt like Disneyland scenery. Rejoined the boat for a final lunch and afternoon tea before returning to Saphin Taksin pier for us at 4pm and then on to the Anantara Resort for final drop off. The staff actually offered to drop us back to the Chatrium directly, but we were staying elsewhere for our last 2 days so Saphin Taksin suited us better.
So yes, this was an expensive 3 days but at least we always felt spoilt and that we were having a luxurious time. No internet onboard is actually a good thing for that time, meant we could really chill out and enjoy each other’s company. We spent our last 2 days at a local B&B to help reduce the average cost of the trip – if you want a little bit of luxury in Bangkok that allows you to both relax and see some of the wonderful temples in style then this is the trip for you.