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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
It was on a river , my wife has a motion sickness problem. The itinerary looked interesting. My wife uses an electric trike to travel any distance but it is not needed on board. The excursions all had a gentle options so we assumed ... Read More
It was on a river , my wife has a motion sickness problem. The itinerary looked interesting. My wife uses an electric trike to travel any distance but it is not needed on board. The excursions all had a gentle options so we assumed we could cope. Unfortunately mainland Europe has not progress as far the UK and north america in disability access. Another problem was the boat was frequently double or triple parked so we had to get to the top deck, no lift to that and then go up and down over one or two other boats. The crew helped as much as they could but it was still a problem. No idea why they did that there seemed to be unused berths in places. My biggest problem was the quality of the shore excursions the guides seemed to pitch the talks at a very superficial level. The only ones I enjoyed were the tasting options when the guide or subject expert had the time to talk to us as adults. Of the other guests two thirds had booked as a group this appeared to limit social interaction. Given the price I ticked the luxury box and marked accordingly. Enrichment activities not sure any were offered. They had a resident pianist, bland, inoffensive and quiet. Fitness room had a treadmill, 2 bikes and a high tech multi-gym with virtually no instructions, I would have preferred an elliptical machine instead of the second bike. Never saw any of the machines in use. One guide I found really irritating referred repeatedly to the visit the Royal Air Force made to her town on 16/4/1945 and yes we did flatten most of it but we were at war. Very difficult to avoid asking what here parents did in the war years. Another tour the guide sent most time talking about basket ball (ex pro 7ft 2inch) of no interest to me and not what I paid for. We found the almost total absence of both bird life and fishermen along the rivers interesting makes you wounder what is in the water. In-spite of the crew and the food being excellent we would not repeat this or try another cruise. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Pre Cruise: The vacation started off in the worst possible fashion with all our luggage being mislaid en route to Europe. Equipped with only a small carry-on bag we duly arrived at the Westcord City Centre Hotel, sans our suitcases, ... Read More
Pre Cruise: The vacation started off in the worst possible fashion with all our luggage being mislaid en route to Europe. Equipped with only a small carry-on bag we duly arrived at the Westcord City Centre Hotel, sans our suitcases, for a three night pre cruise stay in Amsterdam. Although our room was very small, the Westcord was reasonably priced and proved to be an ideal base for exploring the sights and delights of beautiful Amsterdam. Centrally situated, the hotel was within (active) walking distance of most of the main museums and art galleries, the downtown shopping area, Chinatown, the floating market and, of course, the ill-famed red light district. On our first day in a new city we usually opt for a hop on/hop off service to help us quickly orient ourselves to the new, strange environment. However, on this occasion we decided to explore Amsterdam on foot and are glad we did as it gave us the opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of the city and gave us a completely different perspective of the major sights from that of a canal cruise that we were to enjoy a few days later. Although our hotel was located some four or five blocks from the seamier side of town we nevertheless enjoyed the unexpected attraction of a few very attractive ladies of the night plying their wares from their rooms directly opposite our hotel window!! We were somewhat amused to witness how many middle aged men seemed to get lost in the street below, seemingly bewildered as they wandered up and down the street as if they did not know where they were!! We cannot commend the front office staff of the hotel enough for their commitment to customer service. They went out of their way to help us locate our missing luggage which happily arrived a mere day before we were to embark on our cruise. Our stay in Amsterdam was enjoyable. We think three days is quite sufficient to explore the major attractions. We had time to enjoy two of the many museums and art galleries, the Van Gogh museum and duly queued to visit the poignant Anne Frank House – both very impressive as was the floating flower market, while the mandatory stroll through the seamier side of the city was interesting to say the least although it was clearly noticeable that the business climate for the world’s oldest profession must have been pretty tight considering the number of prime trading windows up for rent! The Cruise: This was our second river cruise, both of which have been with AmaWaterways. Our first, some four years ago on the AmaCerto cruising the Danube from Budapest through to Vishofen with an add-on to Prague, was immensely enjoyable but we must confess that we were a bit disappointed with this cruise probably mainly because some of our perhaps overly optimistic expectations of the cruise were not always met. Apart from the one morning cruising the Rhine Valley that gave us many splendid views of the numerous impressive castles situated high on the banks of the river (made even more captivating by the misty, rainy conditions we sailed though), the Rhine is not the most picturesque of rivers with much of the countryside being pretty bland and repetitive. Also, coming from a temperate southern hemisphere climate, we had been hoping for snow in some of the towns we visited, even having the somewhat extravagant dream of experiencing a White Christmas for the first time. Sadly, temperatures did not drop sufficiently to entice the snow to fall and, we guess, this just added to our feelings that the cruise was perhaps, just that little bit less than what we had been expecting or hoping for. Nevertheless, our overall impressions of the cruise were positive. The better half has always wanted to experience the Christmas markets in Europe so the Rhine Christmas markets cruise gave us the opportunity of being able to tick another item off our ever extending bucket list and we again were reminded of the immense privilege we had of being able to experience the magical Christmas season in the ambience and luxury of the beautiful AmaPrima. Some random comments and observations about the cruise are detailed below. The ship: AmaPrima was in pristine condition and it was hard to credit the ship has already been sailing virtually nonstop for over four years. It was also tastefully decorated for the festive season festooned with lovely Christmassy decorations throughout the ship. Stateroom: We had been upgraded to a category B stateroom that offers both a standard French as well as an open balcony. The latter was seldom utilised because of the seasonally cold weather but the extra space offered by the higher graded stateroom was a boon indeed. Itinerary: We had chosen this particular cruise because it offered us the opportunity to experience the delightful Christmas markets that are unique to Europe. Even though our cruise was late in the season, we were fortunate that the markets were still open in all the quaint towns and villages visited during the cruise. Each market was distinctive and magical, especially after dusk when the true atmosphere of Christmas could be experienced with all the colourful lights and decorations on display. We were not disappointed. The markets in Cologne, Rudesheim and Strasbourg were particularly captivating. Tours and excursions: An included tour, usually a guided walking tour was offered in each place visited on the itinerary. Some were interesting, tour guides were invariably knowledgeable and competent, but we felt many of the towns could be better explored on one’s own. Indeed, many fellow passengers typically opted out of the guided tours and did their own thing. We enjoyed wandering through each of the places on the itinerary, getting lost on occasion and just soaking up the atmosphere of Olde Europe. The optional bus trip to the beautiful town of Heidelberg was perhaps the highlight although the general beauty and ambience of majestic Strasbourg was a close second. Cuisine: Good to excellent fare with the occasional memorable meal. The beef Wellington served on the last evening was equal to the best we have had anywhere and the tasting menu in the speciality Chef’s Table restaurant was also exceptional. We were nonetheless a little disappointed that the menus did not feature more, if any, local specialities – unlike our previous Danube cruise where traditional local cuisine was invariably included on the menu. A senior executive of AmaWaterways was on the cruise, probably doing a quality control audit of some sort, and in discussion with him and his delightful wife, he intimated that as the Ama’s customer base was primarily from the USA, menus generally had to be structured to cater for relatively bland American tastes. He indicated it was difficult therefore to find the right balance between more adventurous traditional local cuisine and the fare the primary customer base was used to and wanted. A pity because this minimises the “European” experience quite considerably. We were also a little surprised that nothing more was made of the dinner on Christmas Eve which coincided with the Captain’s farewell dinner. No special Christmas menu, no Christmas crackes, no special decorations – nothing, it just felt like a normal night on the cruise. Entertainment: Probably the most disappointing aspect of the cruise experience. Quite frankly the entertainment offering was poor by any standard. On our previous Danube cruise we had local singers, dancing groups and musicians entertaining guests almost every night either on board or through included local excursions, such as visits to a local wine bar and beer hall with oom pah band! Not so on this cruise where apart from an excellent (if misplaced) musical trio (pianist, cellist and violinist) and a pretty mediocre, ageing rock performer, the only other entertainment offered was a liar’s quiz and some enthusiastic carol singing from members of the crew. Nothing memorable. Some music with a more Christmassy theme would have been welcome. Service: Outstanding! Officers and Crew: From the genial, highly visible Captain, through the Hotel Director, to the barmen, waiters and cabin attendants, the crew generally impressed as being happy, close knit, competent and well trained. The Cruise Director Martina was exceptional in every way always being prepared to go the extra mile and attend to the miscellaneous needs and requests of passengers, without complaint despite her already onerous workload, and always with a bright, infectious smile. Fellow passengers: The usual suspects, mainly North American with a generous smattering of Australasians and a few Brits. As usual, we were the only South African on board! We nevertheless met some really nice people including a couple from Florida and what proved to be out regular dinner companions, a professional couple from Tennessee and a couple of Aussies who were relocating to Europe on business. Exceptionally nice, interesting people with whom we had many a lively dinner conversation on a variety of topics! Post Cruise: We had opted for the post cruise add-on of two nights each in Lucerne and Zurich. After disembarking in Basel on Boxing Day, we spent a wasted morning ambling around the deserted town until the tour bus took us to Lucerne arriving in this most delightfully situated city in mid afternoon. Our hotel was the truly five star Schweizerhof situated in the most majestic setting overlooking Lake Lucerne with good views of the distant Alps. The tour package included a guided walking tour through the town – very interesting and for the rest of our short stay we toured the town and its surrounds on our own. There was an optional (expensive) excursion up Mount Pilatus but we had been on a similar excursion on a previous visit to Lucerne and, as there was no snow on the mountain, we decided to save our money. After a short uneventful cruise across Lake Lucerne, we then departed by bus on a very scenic route along the banks of the lake en route to Zurich. As Zurich is situated in a relatively flat part of Switzerland, the scenery progressively got more and more mundane and we were pleased to reach our hotel in this very busy city in late afternoon. The following morning we had an included part bus, part walking tour of the inner city. A few landmarks to see but, frankly nothing noteworthy – just another big city experience! In the afternoon we opted to join an optional tour that took us through some picturesque villages that featured many impressive wooden homes to the Rhine waterfalls and included a boat ride right up to the falls which, although incredibly small at only 30 metres high, are nonetheless quite beautiful. The following day we took the train from the central station which was only a block away from our hotel to Zurich airport. Only a ten minute comfortable train ride for about 13 Euros compared to a taxi, that could take up to fifty minutes to an hour depending on traffic, for at least 50 Euros excluding tip. Then it was a short flight to Frankfurt for our return flight that evening to South Africa. Overall impressions In the highly competitive river cruising market where AmaWaterways has been consistently rated as one of the best river cruise lines in the industry, we couldn’t help but feel that Ama was resting a wee bit on it’s laurels. It is appreciated that there is only so much one can do to differentiate a specialised product such as river cruising, especially where one is attempting to compete in the luxury cruising segment where many competitors are already offering a more fully inclusive experience. For instance, offering unlimited beverages during meal times is all very well, but there is something off-putting having to fork out cash for a pre-dinner glass of wine when it will be provided free some few minutes later! Such “nickel and diming” in a segment where some significant rivals in the industry provide free alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at all times needs to be questioned if Ama wants to remain relevant as a luxury cruise line of choice. Of course, this is all a matter of market positioning and it may well be that the AmaWaterways top team have decided to pitch their product at a more mass market river cruising public. However, if it strategically wants to continue to appeal to the more discerning, (and demanding), upper end of the market, it is felt the company will need to up its game to remain truly competitive. Despite these, in the greater scheme of things, minor reservations about some degree of complacency perhaps creeping in about the AmaWaterways brand, we still had a great and relaxing voyage on board the beautiful AmaPrima. We met some wonderful people, enjoyed the ambience and up market facilities on the vessel and, of course, were quite captivated by all the magical Christmas markets we had the opportunity to see – the primary reason we took this particular tour anyway. And we still remain acutely conscious of just how enormously privileged we are that we have the necessary (albeit rapidly depleting ) funds and especially our health and mobility, to be able to continue to enjoy another aspect of our glorious planet in such comfort and relative luxury. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Background information: I picked this cruise because I wanted to revisit the places I had been on a trip I made in 1964, and I took my 18 year old granddaughter with me because she wanted to see France and practice her French. She had ... Read More
Background information: I picked this cruise because I wanted to revisit the places I had been on a trip I made in 1964, and I took my 18 year old granddaughter with me because she wanted to see France and practice her French. She had been on 2 cruises prior to this and I had been on 30 cruises. One of my prior cruises was on AmaViola which was a newer AmaWaterways ship with a pool. The AmaCello was an older ship. I use a mobility scooter because I cannot walk very far, and although the crew on the ships are most helpful, it is sometimes difficult to get on and off the ships with a scooter. The actual cruise on AmaCello went from Lyon to Arles, with two days in Paris at the start and an option of two days in Barcelona at the end. I decided to arrive in Paris four days before the tour. We flew in to Charles de Gaulle airport - arriving on 20 June, and our travel agent arranged for us to be picked up and taken to the hotel. HOTEL: We stayed in the same hotel as the AmaCello groups were staying in. Originally this was to be the Renaissance Arc de Triomphe but we were switched to the Renaissance La Parc Trocadero. I think the switch was because there was a large Jazz group on this cruise and they filled up the first hotel. The hotel had three steps up to the lobby - they had a small lift for wheelchairs but it was awkward because I had to have staff assistance to use it. It had to be unlocked both at the top and bottom. Normally I went in to my room through the garden (which was a cool relaxing space) because there were no steps. The hotel had handicapped rooms (with a shower instead of a tub) but they were all doubles. I didn't want to sleep with my granddaughter, so I got a rollaway bed Breakfast was included and it was more than adequate, and we also got room service twice and ate in the restaurant which had delicious food. Our travel agent (who was with Vacations To Go) also arranged a private tour of Paris, a trip to the Louvre and the Catacombs, and a Riverboat cruise dinner. On our own we visited the Musee d'Orsay and L'Orangerie, and I booked a walking tour of the Left Bank with a company called Discover Walks. The rest of the group came in on June 24th. We had a meeting with our Cruise Director Dragan Reljic that evening. Paris was in the middle of a unusual heat wave where the temperature would be over 100 deg. F. EMBARKATION was 27 June. We were to take the high speed train from Paris to Lyon. Initially I was told that I would have to ship my scooter with the luggage and that I would have to walk to the train. After I flatly refused to do that, they figured out that there were elevators in the station, and Dragan took us (my granddaughter and me) to the elevators. In Lyon we got on a bus and there was an arrangement for us to cook and eat some food and then walk or take a shuttle to the ship in Lyon. But it was way too hot to do that, so most of us just went directly to the ship. At the ship, they had a buffet for us while we were waiting for our rooms, and quite quickly, we could get into the room and unpack. We had a meeting to do the safety briefing - the Captain kept us laughing and then Dragan talked to us about the schedule. When the meeting was over, all the women got roses. There was a vase in the cabin for us to put the roses in DINING: The dining room is on the lowest deck. For awhile the door to exit into the dining room would not open and this was a problem for me. After a day or so they figured out a manual override, but I always had to wait for someone to let me out (or for the person with the key to let me in). The food at dinner was excellent. Breakfast and Lunch were mainly a buffet. I absolutely cannot do a buffet. There's no room for the scooter, the food is almost too high for me to see, and if I get something, I can't carry it. If my granddaughter was with me, she could sometimes bring me food from the buffet, and sometimes the waiters would help me. The food was good, it was just hard for me to get. ACTIVITIES and ENTERTAINMENT There was a gym and Alex was the guy doing the exercise classes. There were nightly concerts, which in the case of this cruise were often Jazz performances. Neither the ship nor any of the hotels had a pool, which was a big disappointment to me. I normally do my exercises in a pool for a hour three or four times a week. My health deteriorates when I can't get into a pool. This ship only had a hot tub. I did go up on the Sunshine Deck once and sat there in the shade and enjoyed the breeze. SERVICE: In all aspects, excellent. PORT and SHORE EXCURSIONS PARIS: Most people arrived on 24 June. On June 25th, we had two tours. First an overview of Paris in the morning. And in the evening we had an evening illumination tour - first they took us up to Sacre Coeur where we could have dinner on our own. Then we went down the funicular, and got back on the bus. We got to the Eiffel tower a little before 11:00 - just in time for the sparkling light show. The next day (June 26th) we had on our own but then our cruise director Dragan Reljic had arranged an optional visit to a dinner show cabaret up on Montmartre. This was really a terrific show and a lot of fun. LYON: There was a Bike Tour, but my granddaughter can't ride a bike, and a City Tour which my granddaughter took. They went up to the Basilica and did some of what my granddaughter called "secret passageways" (Traboules) She enjoyed this tour. It was too hot for me to go BEAUJOLAIS: Neither of us took this excursion because we are not interested in wine tasting. VIENNE: The Mount Pipet hike was my granddaughters favorite tour. She said: The view of the city was spectacular. Vienne is definitely my favorite of the places we have visited so far. It’s beautiful and quiet with more story to it than it seems. Vienne is the underdog city. TOURNON: Steam Train RIde: This was the first tour that I did, and it was a really nice ride up the gorge and back. We went through tunnels, and then at the top, the engine turned around and went to the other end of the train to pull us back down the mountain. I went to the little museum at the end of the train trip. AVIGNON: My granddaughter did the Pont du Gard (aqueduct) tour and then the visit to the Truffle farm, both of which she enjoyed. Dragan arranged for me to get a taxi, and the taxi took me up to Las Baux, and to the Les Remy Antiquities, to King Rene's palace and then around to the Pope's Palace ARLES: We went on the Camargue and Aigues-Mortes tour and this was a disappointment. For some reason I thought we would see some of the Camargue horses, and we did, but just through the bus window. We did see lots of sunflowers and the bus stopped so we could get out and take photos. Then my granddaughter went on the Van Gogh walking tour. She felt that she knew more about it than the guide. Also it was very hot. BARCELONA: I have been to Barcelona before, but I had not seen the old city nor had I been into the Sagrada Familia. So we made a reservation for the Sagrada Familia for 12:15 which I thought would be at the end of the "Best of Barcelona" tour. Be the tour had been rearranged so after we saw the Gothic Quarter, we got a taxi to the Sagrada Familia. It was an amazing experience. The following day my granddaughter did the Mountains and Abbey of Montserrat excursion, which I think she enjoyed. DISEMBARKATION: Some people got off the ship in Arles but we were going on to Barcelona. So first we went to Nimes, where we had a nice tour, and some free time so we could buy lavender honey. That part of the day was good. We got to the train station and first we had to change platforms for the train and then we had maybe 6 minutes to get everyone and their hand luggage (and the scooter) onto the train. The train had two levels, and I was blocked getting to my seat in a timely manner because someone was getting another person settled and wouldn't get out of the aisle. We finally got to our seats which were facing another couple which means you have no room for your feet like in a regular seat. Although you have someone to talk to. There was no real provision for lunch, but my granddaughter went and got me a sandwich. I ate it, but it was soggy. I hate soggy bread. Then the train stopped in a station and just stayed there for a hour. The A/C was not keeping up. It was hot. We got to Barcelona about a hour late. HOTEL in Barcelona - It was another Renaissance. Other people got handicapped rooms with a shower, but I did not. They had to scramble around to find one that had a shower, and, as before it had a double bed. I got a rollaway. My granddaughter loved this hotel. She said it was fancy. The bathroom has one of those rain shower heads and a button IN the mirror that turns on this LED light around one part of it. At one point it got really really cold in the room, and I had to turn off the A/C and the fan because it was blowing cold air on me. I opened the window and let the sun warm up the room a little. SUMMARY: It was very hot, but that (and the non-working bow camera) was almost the only flaw in this cruise. The cruise director was great, the service was excellent, the food was good, and there was a good variety of excursions and things to do. When I didn't go on an excursion I could sit on the bow and take photos (until it got to hot, and then I could go to my room and take photos) Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first river cruise. When traveling, I prefer to stay in luxury hotels and spas. Prior to the cruise, I was anxious about the quality and space onboard, since I had read many reviews of small cabin space. We opted for the suite ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. When traveling, I prefer to stay in luxury hotels and spas. Prior to the cruise, I was anxious about the quality and space onboard, since I had read many reviews of small cabin space. We opted for the suite upgrade and was given suite 304. I was pleasantly surprised at the space and finishes. We were given little extra tokens of appreciation such as in room champagne upon arrival, ama logo travel bags and luggage tags, Ama scarf and ama cap. These were nice little surprises that made us feel appreciated. There were numerous small things that they did for us that made us feel like family and that we mattered. The saying that people may forget what you say and do but never forget about how they make you feel, is so true with this ship. The entire staff was professional and considerate. Our bathroom had both a full sized tub and a smaller shower. The shower was a little tight for my husband as he is 6’3” and a big guy but he managed. The tub was full length and comfortable. We had both a French and traditional balcony. It was too chilly to sit on the balcony but would be nice in warmer weather. We had a computer and a wall of closet space. Very limited drawer space but plenty of hanging space and shelving The Amaserna is a beautiful boat. The interior looks new and well cared for. Due to staying busy with tours, food and finding new friends, We didn’t use the spa or small gym. They also have a small hair salon.a nice walking track and heated pool which were on the top deck. We were told they offer fitness classes in the top deck during warmer weather. The captain was pleasant and efficient. We had no issues with docking, locks or travels. The food was good and at times exceptional. The chefs table was a nice surprise and a fun and excellent dining experience. The breakfast was standard and good. I didn’t have lunch any day on the ship. We were constantly offered food - early breakfast, breakfast and late breakfast, lunch, tea time, sip and sail, dinner, and late night snack! Plus, we are at the Christmas Markets or stopped in small cafes in town. The tours were small groups of around 10-15 people. They offered active, regular and gentle walkers. My husband was having hip pain. So, a few days we did the gentle walker and it was so nice to have door to door service to and from the Abbey and Churches. We were given audiovox headphones to hear the tour guides. This was helpful. We could move away to make pictures while still hearing what they were saying. Of course, there was never enough time at any location. But, this was a 7 day cruise and we had 7 days of towns and cites to visit. It was nice that we were given the opportunity In Linz to (1) stay entire day in Linz (2) short Linz tour and half day excursion to Salzburg (3) full day In Salzburg. (4) morning in Linz and excursion to Chesky Krumlov I wanted to do all of them but chose the morning in Linz and half day to Salzburg. Great choice for us. On board entertainment was what I expected. Not the best and not the worst. We had a pianoman full time and some “lock hoppers” who hopped on board between the dam locks and provided unique local entertainment. We had a trio of classical musicans, “Von Trapp family of singing and dancing, lastly a one man acoustic guitar rock and roll oldies entertainer. These were fine and what one would expect on a small boat. Our transfers to and from the airport were easy and the staff was helpful. We had someone at the airports (arrival and departure) from Ama who helped with our luggage and finding our way to checkin and to security. Overall, it was a great experience and makes us want to do it again with Ama. If we had planned to visit all these cities and towns with tours and food , the cost would’ve been so much more. Currently, we are planning our next trip with Ama Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Sailed with AMA before, loved it! Their attention to detail is superb. This time we experienced a drought that altered our course and experience. AMA took us to 2 extra countries not on our original itinerary, made everything pleasant and ... Read More
Sailed with AMA before, loved it! Their attention to detail is superb. This time we experienced a drought that altered our course and experience. AMA took us to 2 extra countries not on our original itinerary, made everything pleasant and seamless, remained positive and upbeat, and gave us a 100% credit for a future cruise of our choosing! We were on two ships, identical accommodations. Cabins great, ships great, dining excellent, service great, entertainment and activities great, excursions fabulous, staff attentive and wonderful, embarkation, disembarkation and ship transfer went smoothly and perfectly! AMA is an outstanding company, a class act, and I will most certainly travel with them again! They outperform all of the others and are far superior! The Captain gives each lady a rose upon arrival, and by the time you get back from dinner, the rose is in a vase. The crew knows your food likes and dislikes, allergies, and every detail to make you feel comfortable. They make special occasions unforgettable and treat you with the utmost respect! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise exceeded all expectations. From the time we arrived, we were greeted with exceptional service from all of the friendly staff. We were amazed at how many of the staff addressed us by name within the first day of arrival. With ... Read More
This cruise exceeded all expectations. From the time we arrived, we were greeted with exceptional service from all of the friendly staff. We were amazed at how many of the staff addressed us by name within the first day of arrival. With so many guests, that was very flattering. Talida was a great cruise manager and kept us informed of happenings each day. The laundry service was fast and not too expensive. The food, OMG, what can we say to express how impressed we were. How they managed to serve everyone at a table at the same time with the right order was amazing. The beds in our cabin were so comfortable that the first night we slept right through breakfast the next morning - slept from 10PM to 10AM Luckily we didn't miss our Pecs Excursion. We really appreciated being able to choose the gentle walking tours and they even had a town train to take us around on one of the stops. The tour we enjoyed most was the Banitsa making one, with Pavel and Ramona's entertaining explanation of how to make it. I plan to try that recipe soon. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
An travel agent acquaintance made some suggestions when my sister and I decided we would like to try a river cruise and we are so grateful she suggested AMA. The service was wonderful and the cruise manage, Camille, was terrific. She was ... Read More
An travel agent acquaintance made some suggestions when my sister and I decided we would like to try a river cruise and we are so grateful she suggested AMA. The service was wonderful and the cruise manage, Camille, was terrific. She was friendly and professional and personal. She supplied pertinent information at the exact time we needed it. The excursions were timely and informative and guides were excellent. The time at the excursion sites is relatively quick. If you really want to explore a city, you really don't have time to do so - you mostly get an overview, then move on. We did a bike tour along the Danube, as well as a hiking tour, but the rest were city tours, which are informative, but next time I might do something more specific to the area, such as a wine tasting, etc. The cruise was relaxing but never boring. You can be as active as you wish, or relax as necessary. The excursions were offered for easy walkers, regular walkers or active walkers, along with bike and hiking. Be sure to pack clothing to enjoy the deck. As you travel along the Danube (we sailed from Budapest to Vilshofen) the scenery got more and more beautiful as we sailed up the river. The food was delicious but not in excess like it can be on an ocean cruise. The only thing I would criticize would be the on board gym. It could have used a few free weights and an elliptical machine, but after a few days I didn't have the time or energy to use it anyway! Can't wait to cruise with AMA again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This was a perfect way to visit 4 countries and 8 cities along the Danube - Beautiful cities - Beautiful ship - Great Service We had never done a cruise of any type - and based on research selected AmaWaterways - we are very glad ... Read More
This was a perfect way to visit 4 countries and 8 cities along the Danube - Beautiful cities - Beautiful ship - Great Service We had never done a cruise of any type - and based on research selected AmaWaterways - we are very glad we did - We traveled with an adult daughter with physical limitations and every part of the trip, the ship and the excursions were suited for her ... The "Easy or Relaxed" excursions - the elevator on the ship and the super attentive AMA Employees made this trip so easy for all of us. The ship is outstanding and the service from all of the employees could not have been better. Every part of the ship was spotless and stayed that way throughout our trip - The "lounge area and upper deck of the ship nicely decorated and always clean - and great places to relax or meet up with people. - The staff worked so hard and could not have been more attentive. The food was outstanding throughout the cruise - The menu changed daily depending on the region and country we were traveling but there was always several options for people not wanting to try the regional food - and the presentation of the food - Breakfast, lunch & dinner looked like food out of a magazine - and was served with a smile - If you wanted something prepared or cooked differently - they made it happen - The selection of wine and cocktails was great throughout the trip - The dining room was beautiful - and the layout and design made you feel like your were in a very nice restaurant and not a dining room of a ship... We really can not think of one thing that was not outstanding !! We are already talking about our next trip on AMA and have recommended to friends... Thank you AMA Waterways and the crew and staff of the AMAViola !! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise was chosen specifically because of the itinerary. It went from Amsterdam to Basel and for 11 days. Our cruise manager was Dejan Stancic and was absolutely one of the most fabulous and entertaining person! He made us smile and ... Read More
This cruise was chosen specifically because of the itinerary. It went from Amsterdam to Basel and for 11 days. Our cruise manager was Dejan Stancic and was absolutely one of the most fabulous and entertaining person! He made us smile and laugh each evening when he provided the passengers (guests) with previews and information for upcoming ports. He was very knowledgable and approachable so it was easy to ask questions of any kind that would help make your trip even better. The rest of the staff were absolutely awesome, all were friendly and smiling, we always looked forward to meals and just being anywhere on board because they made us feel like family quickly. The captain, crew and hotel manager were also very friendly. What a great time we had! The ports were fabulous (read the itinerary in the brochure) and there also was a few relaxing mornings on the ship so we did not need to rush as much like the seven day cruises would be. Of course, the views on the Rhine and Moselle were gorgeous and seeing the castles dotting the hillsides (as Dajan said, you would be seeing so many on each side of the ship that you would begin to feel like a ping pong ball!) This was truly a fairytale experience! The ship was beautiful, the cabins spotless and embarkation/disembarkation experiences were seamless. Thank you AMAPRIMA for this wonderful and memorable cruise!!! Loved every second of it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
This was my first experience of trying this River cruise and it was also my first Winter time travel which I hate to go during cold weather. I was bit scare at first and a bit of wonder why it too small from the outside but once I went ... Read More
This was my first experience of trying this River cruise and it was also my first Winter time travel which I hate to go during cold weather. I was bit scare at first and a bit of wonder why it too small from the outside but once I went inside, I was shock of how neat and beautiful the it was. The crew did an amazing job of help everyone and cabin room was something that I will never forget. I love the dining room. The River Cruise is not for Teenage or toddler. Activities and Entertainment was not the best but it was nice to have everyone enjoy a little bit but the big way I like about it was the Shore excursions and Ports. The ship did go very smooth and I didn't have no problem sleep. The only disappointment I have it there wasn't no one taking picture just like those on the big ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Since Viking has an excellent marketing effort, we were introduced to the idea of a River Cruise while watching Downton Abbey! However, our longtime travel agent advised that AMA Waterways was a cut above Viking. After attending an AMA ... Read More
Since Viking has an excellent marketing effort, we were introduced to the idea of a River Cruise while watching Downton Abbey! However, our longtime travel agent advised that AMA Waterways was a cut above Viking. After attending an AMA presentation, we were sold and selected the Romantic Danube River Cruise, including 3 days in Prague. Our travel agent was right! We loved the AMA experience Their agent was right there at the airport on time. The Intercontinental Hotel in Prague was very nice and perfect for getting into Old Town easily. Our Cruise Director, Maddy, was at a table at the hotel and was also in charge during the cruise. We cannot say enough good things about Maddy Calaruse. Friendly, knowledgeable, anticipatory of our needs. For example, when we were in Budapest, searching in our wallets for Hungarian money to use the bathroom, all of a sudden, she popped up out of nowhere and gave us the money. Like a Bathroom Fairy Godmother. She remembered our names immediately and would curtsy when she saw us because we are "Kings." Gave us good advice on what to do, where to go, etc. An outstanding employee of AMA. We also had dinner at Captain's table one night. He was very good and answered all of my questions with good humor and knowledge. My husband loved Budapest the best, I think my favs were Prague and Salzburg. All places lovely. I told the Captain that one "complaint" was that the marketing material showcased more picturesque towns along the River than we saw as we were cruising. He acknowledged that Linz and Passau didn't really offer this and perhaps they could modify this a bit. The Danube is the Danube so if I were them, I'd highlight Prague, Salzburg, and Budapest to manage expectations. I'm guessing some of those marketing pics are from the Rhine. Budapest at night is magnificent!! I'm glad I got to see that in my lifetime. Awesome clear night for viewing. The cabin rooms are very small. So glad we upgraded to the balcony and had a little more space! I expected the small rooms but wow. We learned how to negotiate around that pretty well though and by the end, it really wasn't an issue. Food was uniformly good. The Chef's Table one night was a cut above that. Service was usually good but occasionally we got a "that's not my table" attitude. But overall, service excellent. The receptionist was particularly good and it appears the employees are conditioned to say "yes." I liked that. For example, my husband had injured his neck before the cruise (2herniated discs) so I asked if we could keep a combination walking stick/seat from the reception area for the duration of the cruise so my husband could use it. Big smile and "of course!" The "gentle walking" tours for the "halt and the lame" were outstanding and, I think, saved the cruise for my husband. We saw everything we needed to see at either a gentle pace or in a little train or little bus. Separate knowledgeable tour guides even for these fairly small groups. It made a significant difference. Highly recommend AMA and River Cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
There are so many great things to say about Amawaterways AmaPrima, but the most important is the hospitality and service quality of the staff. Every single interaction with them was a pleasure -- waiters, housekeepers, the madly French ... Read More
There are so many great things to say about Amawaterways AmaPrima, but the most important is the hospitality and service quality of the staff. Every single interaction with them was a pleasure -- waiters, housekeepers, the madly French cruise manager, chefs, sailors met in the hallways or on deck, and the seriously Dutch captain. The ship is bigger than you expect -- 38 feet wide and much longer than a football field -- it feels spacious. The decor is very luxurious, and the crew is surreptitiously scrubbing and polishing all the time. The 140-ish passengers can all fit into the lounge at once for meetings and entertainment, and can also all fit into the dining room in one seating. Our stateroom was 220 square feet, including a balcony, which was plenty. Rooms without a balcony have equivalent space inside. Not a bad seat in the house! I do recommend a balcony stateroom, however, because it was delightful to sit on the balcony with a cup of coffee (morning) or a glass of wine (evening) and watch Europe go by. Food -- spectacular! My wife and I had to cut back halfway through our cruise to ensure we would fit in our clothes at disembarkation! Dining is open-seating, and one of the great pleasures of the voyage was meeting new people over meals. Free wine and beer with meals, too (and at other times, very reasonable prices at the bar). Snacks available at odd times, but not the same "eating all the time" feeling one gets on a big ocean-going ship. Our voyage was Budapest to Amsterdam -- two luxurious, relaxing weeks. Shore excursions organized by Amawaterways every day. Most of these were included in the trip price, with a few optional ones (around 60 euros pp) that involved an hour bus ride (e.g. a day in Salzburg). Another (very fun) optional was a baroque music concert after dinner, in the former stock exchange hall in Vienna. There was entertainment every evening in the lounge -- most of these were local musicians who came on board, played a set for maybe an hour, and hopped off at the next lock. These folks were very fun, quite professional. Seriously, folks -- Amawaterways has all the elegance, comfort and luxury of an ocean-going cruise ship, shrunk down into a 140-passenger, 42-crewmember package. And, between "ports", you get to enjoy medieval towns, spectacular vineyards, hillsides and locks go by outside your hotel window. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I chose AMA waterways for my second river cruise because I liked the variety of excursions and the different cities/towns on the itinerary. My wife and I just came back from a 7 day Romantic Danube cruise on the AmaCerto ship. All I can ... Read More
I chose AMA waterways for my second river cruise because I liked the variety of excursions and the different cities/towns on the itinerary. My wife and I just came back from a 7 day Romantic Danube cruise on the AmaCerto ship. All I can say is WOW. I felt like I was traveling on a floating 5 star hotel with excellent food and wine and a staff that was so friendly and accommodating. Our cruise director, Peter, was so welcoming and truly hilarious. He set the tone for fun and warmth. The itinerary included Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Passau, Bratslava. There were bikes available either with some of the tours or to be used individually. There were 2 optional excursions in Vienna to attend a night concert which was excellent as well as a tour of a palace. There was some nights with local entertainment including a mini-beer fest at Vilshofen, a Hungarian show in Budapest, a 3 person classical piece. There were also 2 wine tours. Overall, a most memorable cruise Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This cruise, "Melodies of the Danube", was chosen by our travel agent. Upon entering the AmaCerto, we were so impressed by the elegance of the foyer and the lounge. The cabin was well-appointed with adequate space for clothing ... Read More
This cruise, "Melodies of the Danube", was chosen by our travel agent. Upon entering the AmaCerto, we were so impressed by the elegance of the foyer and the lounge. The cabin was well-appointed with adequate space for clothing storage. Even though this cabin was not a suite, we had two balconies. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom very adequate with a great shower, and the entire cabin was scrupulously maintained by the Amacerto housekeeping staff. The cruise manager, Nikola Grujin, was fantastic! Humorous and exceedingly helpful. Nikola was there for all of us in planning the trips to care of an injured passenger. Due to no fault of the Ship's crew, a passenger hurt her finger. All this is to say that Nikola accompanied the injured guest to Vienna hospital. Message to us: Ama Waterways staff will go the extra mile in the care of its passengers. Food & Drink: For all three meals, passengers can choose from the abundant buffet, or order from the menu. One of our friends ate vegetarian; a special elegant breakfast, lunch, and dinner was served to her. This was a wine-tasting cruise with Dr. Doug Garman, wine expert, that gave special lectures and wine tastings for all passengers. Touring & Entertainment: The guides were very well informed supplied by the local population. Choice of gentle to vigorous touring were offered. Opportunities for biking trips were for the younger folks. Since we are an elderly couple, we chose the more moderate excursions. Our favorite entertainment was a special concert of Mozart and Strauss at the beautiful Vienna Konzerthaus. We were entertained by Wiener Hofburg-Orchestra under the direction of Svetoslav Borisov; operatic solos and duets by soprano Ella Tyran and baritone, Michael Havlicek. Classical ballet pieces and Vienna folk dances were also included in the program. Every evening hours: beautiful music was provided by pianist, Gabor. A special onboard musical vocal duet of Vienna music was delightful. Even an Octoberfest beer celebration was provided by the local population. Disembarkation was professionally accomplished. All passengers were carefully delivered to the Munich airport. I cannot believe any other longship river cruise could offer a passenger more enjoyment. Don't miss a fabulous opportunity for a river cruise. Select Ama Waterways to be guaranteed fabulous experience. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We hadn't planned on a cruise when we started planning our vacation but heard very favorable things about the Rhine cruise thought we would look into it. I have to say, one of the most wonderful vacations we have ever had. First of ... Read More
We hadn't planned on a cruise when we started planning our vacation but heard very favorable things about the Rhine cruise thought we would look into it. I have to say, one of the most wonderful vacations we have ever had. First of all I have to say that our Cruise Manager, Florentine is an asset to Amawaterways. The compassion this man had for some of the passengers was wonderful to watch. He was always in a good mood and always had a hello for everyone no matter the time of day. We could always see him checking out the various tours making sure everyone was enjoying themselves and making sure everything was running smoothly. The whole experience from start to finish was wonderful. We were met on the sidewalk by one of the crew who took our luggage on board for us. We were a little early so opted to go back to town for a look around. When we returned, even though our room was not ready, there was afternoon food available for the passengers. The food each day was beyond fresh and so good. We never had any complaints. If you didn't have a taste for something on the menu there was always a choice of items, such as steak, salmon, chicken, that you could choose from as options. The morning pastries for us early risers was always a treat. The ship was so quite and relaxing. The excursions were well planned and organized. Some days we had 2 excursions and one day we had an option of 4 to choose from. ALL INCLUDED in the price. The staff aboard were always friendly towards us. The ship provided flavored tea and hand clothes when we arrived back from excursions. Our room was always kept clean. We have nothing to say negative about our AMASonata Waterways experience. Thank you for making us want to go again. Also want to add, we have done large cruises before and probably won't go back to them. The smaller guest cruises is so much more friendlier. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Our travel agent booked our entire vacation, We felt our trip with AmaWaterways was very close to a Five star vacation. On board ship all our needs were met. The staff on the AmaSonata were superb. The dinning room staff and chefs were ... Read More
Our travel agent booked our entire vacation, We felt our trip with AmaWaterways was very close to a Five star vacation. On board ship all our needs were met. The staff on the AmaSonata were superb. The dinning room staff and chefs were outstanding, meeting all our dietary needs. The three in our group enjoyed the many different dishes our chef prepared and all the delicious breads that were prepared. Something for everyone... The cruise director was most informative for the different day trips we embarked upon. He was always at our service, a great asset to the cruise. We enjoyed the different activities and entertainment in the Lounge. Always kept immaculate for our enjoyment. The piano was a great plus for our group during cocktails and late night drinks with new friends. We are looking forward to our next adventure with AmaWatereays. Plus we felt safe on board ship, doors were always secured, Thank You one and all for a memorable vacation. Most not forget the impeccable service from our cabin steward. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I chose this cruise because I was travelling with my elderly mother and we liked the idea of unpacking once. Our travel agent assured us that APT would organise a wheelchair for mum to use for the excursions and the staff/crew were ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I was travelling with my elderly mother and we liked the idea of unpacking once. Our travel agent assured us that APT would organise a wheelchair for mum to use for the excursions and the staff/crew were brilliant. They could not have done more to help us with information about the places we visited and accessibility for the wheelchair. The meals were first class; choices were exceptional. We were able to attend the Chef's Table degustation nights twice and they were both wonderful experiences. Every staff member was helpful, polite and welcoming. They all made us feel special and none of our requests were too much trouble. Of course, we were lucky to sail on such a new, modern ship; it was amazing. The staff were very knowledgeable about everything; the ship, ports of call, planned excursions. The excursions were great and the tour guides were very informative and welcoming. We were impressed with the small group numbers in our walking tours and we were happy to be a part of the 'gentle walkers' - it suited perfectly. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We are experienced cruisers, ocean and river. Our last river cruise was a Grand Circle cruise from Budapest to the Black Sea. We wanted to see the tulips, looked for a cruise at the last minute. Viking was fully booked, we were unhappy ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers, ocean and river. Our last river cruise was a Grand Circle cruise from Budapest to the Black Sea. We wanted to see the tulips, looked for a cruise at the last minute. Viking was fully booked, we were unhappy with the beds on Grand Circle, so we investigated other options, and chose AMA for several reasons: wine with meals, a pool on board, and a week tour that covered all the places we wanted to see. We were not disappointed. We arrived in Amsterdam a few days before the cruise and had a great time at the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. We went to the Heineken Experience, reliving a memory from 50 years ago when I toured the factory and drank free beer as a college student. It was fun to revisit Amsterdam after many years. We boarded the Sonata with no difficulty, found our cabin small but adequate - no smaller than the hotel room we left in Amsterdam. We were on the lower deck, with windows but no balcony, The major drawback was that the elevator served the dining hall, but not the rooms on the lower deck. The next day we took the Amsterdam tour and canal cruise, something we hadn't done in fifty years. At a stop on the walking tour, my wife walked down to the rest room in a restaurant, slipped on the stairs and broke her arm. We went directly to the hospital in Hoorn, our first stop, accompanied by a representative of the ship. The ER, like ER's everywhere, was modern, clean and slow. We were worried that the ship would leave and we eould have to catch up with it at the locks at midnight! Fortunately, the Captain was in constant contact with our representative, understood our dilemma, and held the ship for an hour waiting for our return. The diagnosis was a broken arm, the treatment was a sling and pain killers, and advice that we contact an orthopedist when we return to America. For the rest of the trip, my wife's right arm was incapacitated, but the crew of the ship was fabulous in their concern and ability to help. The waiter cut her food. The cruise director offered a wheel chair for the walking tours and advised the leader of the slow group to accommodate us. We managed the rest of the cruise with their help, and the help of the pain killers. The cruise visits several small towns in the Netherlands and Belgium - none of which were tulip centers - but all of them interesting. After we returned to Amsterdam, we had the bus trip to Kukenhof, where the tulips were fabulous. Meals on the ship were very good - not quite fabulous. The selected wines served were very good and went very well with the Chef's recommendation. The special restaurant was very good. Wait staff was very helpful, other passengers were friendly and welcoming. Entertainment was limited and enjoyable. The heated pool was well used by passengers, but I never tried it - too chilly. We left Amsterdam on a 9 am flight, and were the first to disembark - with assistance from the staff. Made it to the airport with no problem. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2014
We disembarked one week ago at Budapest from MS AMASONATA finishing the River Cruise "Magnificent Europe" First of all, we had to recognize, it is a curiosity, that a married hungarian couple over 65 just fly to Amsterdam to ... Read More
We disembarked one week ago at Budapest from MS AMASONATA finishing the River Cruise "Magnificent Europe" First of all, we had to recognize, it is a curiosity, that a married hungarian couple over 65 just fly to Amsterdam to attend a luxury river cruise and sail to Budapest. As a bad luck, we had the worst 10-12 days of european wether during may. But nevertheless the cruise was so good, so wonderful, that we enjoyed it from the first moment to the last one. The brand new ship, AMASONATA is very nice with all imaginable comfort. The whole crew, the whole staff is incredibly polite, well trained, smiling, kind and first of all totally professional. Captain, Jan de Bruijn, Hotel Manager, Guido Kollmann, Chef Michael Ferstl made an excellent work. And of course the Cruise Manager, Nick Hartog, who is one of the best fellow, who I ever had met. The whole cruise was so marvelous, so admirable, so excellent, that we never shall forget it. The tours, the sights, the meals, the onboard entetainments, everything was remarkable. We had so many impressions, we will not forget at all. And finally let me mention our trip advisor, Betsy Scherr from San Diego, who helped us to organize the whole. Thank you wery much: Edit and Andras Miklovicz   Read Less
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