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Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because of Backroads. We were doing the biking/river cruise trip and felt that unpacking once on a ship and not having to think of where to get meals, etc would be a good decision. Backroads and their guides were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of Backroads. We were doing the biking/river cruise trip and felt that unpacking once on a ship and not having to think of where to get meals, etc would be a good decision. Backroads and their guides were amazing and wonderful. The AMASonata and its crew were beyond our wildest dreams. I have never been more pampered, offered so much amazing food and drink, and been provided with every imaginable form of entertainment. From the Captain right through to Ali our housekeeping staff member, we were impressed and incredibly pleased. Wei-Ler our cruise concierge was everywhere all of the time, doing anything and everything to make our trip more exciting and seamless. We recommend this trip, whether you do it with the Backroads biking or just do the cruise, very highly. In fact, it was the best trip we have taken in our entire lives. Thank you one and all on the AMASonata for this trip of a lifetime. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
A couple of friends had sailed AmaWaterways and were very happy with their experience. Our travel agent had also sailed on this cruise and said it was good. Raul (the captain) was kind enough to show us around the navigation bridge and ... Read More
A couple of friends had sailed AmaWaterways and were very happy with their experience. Our travel agent had also sailed on this cruise and said it was good. Raul (the captain) was kind enough to show us around the navigation bridge and explained how the ship worked. Raul (the cruise director) was ALWAYS engaging and kept us informed several times per day. Unfortunately, one of the locks broke on the Rhine river so we were delayed and missed a couple of shore excursions, but we still had a great time. They made it work. We traveled with our adult son and his wife, who is pregnant so this was an opportunity to travel with them before they have the baby. We were concerned that the age demographic would be too old, but it wasn't the case. There were people on board from 15 - 85 and several in their 40's. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first river cruise, or cruise of any kind, and we picked AMA based on a review of various materials that reviewed cruise lines.The cruise was easy to book through a travel agent. The embarkation was smooth , the ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, or cruise of any kind, and we picked AMA based on a review of various materials that reviewed cruise lines.The cruise was easy to book through a travel agent. The embarkation was smooth , the disembarkation was well handled and included transportation from the ship to the airport. The price would have included free airfare had we wanted to fly to coincide with the ship's day of depature, But since we wanted to spend a few days in Europe prior to sailing, we had to have that booked separately, but we were given an airfare that was very inexpensive for the route taken. The ship was beautiful . Our room was surprisingly spacious at 230 sq. ft. and had both French and outside balconies.The bathroom was large with a great rain shower, thick, comfortable towels and high quality grooming products. It was serviced twice every day by a professional,conscientious, helpful, abd friendly staff. The food service could not have been better. The breakfast and lunch were buffet, although there were always choices available to be served from the kitchen. The dinners were four courses with several options, including vegetarian and gluten free. The wines were high quality (and free flowing).. The waitstaff was attentive to every need. Cocktails were available for free for an hour before dinner, but also available all day long. there were also early risers' breakfast t available later in the morning. Lunch was also available as just soup and sandwich in the ship's lounge. In addition, every person had access to a special dinner at the Chef's Table dining room one night during the cuise. As for activities, there was stretching and Yoga every day and other fitness activities available throughout the day. Bicycles were available all the time and there were scheduled bike trips as shore excursions. There were also several strenuous hikes. And the standard city tours had both active and less active itineraries so every person had access to a pace with which they could be comfortable. The staff was wonderful from captain on down . The cruise director was tireless in her efforts to insure that all was perfect and did her job with boundless energy and humor. In short, we would gladly sail with AMA Wayerways again and give them our highest recommendation. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first river cruise after 15+ ocean cruises, primarily on Celebrity, Seabourn, and Oceania. Overall a great cruise, so much in fact we are planning to do another river cruise on AMA next year. Positives: All ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after 15+ ocean cruises, primarily on Celebrity, Seabourn, and Oceania. Overall a great cruise, so much in fact we are planning to do another river cruise on AMA next year. Positives: All inclusive (except gratuities) no crowds/lines on board - about 150 passengers. Easy on and off every time. very good food (we are food lovers!) Beef not as good as fish, however (Europe not known for their beef). Great deserts, baked goods, fresh fruit, plenty of choices. The meal at Chef's table was fantastic. Tours were groups of 10-15 and the guides were very good. The scenery was spectacular and The ship is beautiful and in great shape. The service was a high point - just outstanding. No real negatives to mention. There are some differences between ocean and river cruising (none which I consider negative, just different), but we enjoyed the cruise tremendously - can't wait to do it again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have had the Danube on our bucket list for quite a while. We chose the Magical Christmas Markets cruise because we knew our son--currently in graduate school--would be available between academic semesters to join us. Although we were ... Read More
We have had the Danube on our bucket list for quite a while. We chose the Magical Christmas Markets cruise because we knew our son--currently in graduate school--would be available between academic semesters to join us. Although we were excited about the trip and expected to see many wonderful sights, everything about our AMA Waterways experience exceeded our expectations. Every single meal--breakfast, lunch and dinner--was a five-star experience. But that's not to say it was stuffy or pretentious. It's just that the chef, baker, waiters, and other employers were amazing. There were always multiple options--eat a so-called "light" meal in the lounge upstairs, but the choices laid out were the types of hors d'oeuvres and finger food you might expect to find at an expensive wedding reception, plus assorted fruits, breads, and desserts. Meanwhile, in the main dining room, we could always choose to order off the menu or select items from a more extensive buffet. Or both, by which I mean that our waiters were quite fine with us mixing and matching anything we wanted. There was always a special table filled with a variety of fresh breads from the bakery chef, with desserts added to supplement what was featured on the menu. Local specialties were highlighted, as were local wines and beers. Our staterooms were clean and convenient. Towels were thick and spotless. Our housekeeper was friendly and honest to a fault. For example, we threw away an old pair of gloves that were falling apart. (We had found a new pair at a Christmas market and wanted to save space in our luggage.) The next morning, when she saw us in the hall, she expressed concern that if we were missing a pair of gloves, she had found a pair in the garbage. In fact, everyone on the AMACerto seemed to be concerned about our happiness and welfare. There were choices of tours at every stop--a "gentle" tour, a regular tour, a strenuous hike, and bicycle options. Bus tours to Salzburg, Melk Abbey, and other nearby sites were available, all most all of which were included in the price. Before, during, and after these tours, heads were carefully counted to ensure that nobody got lost. When it came time to settle the bill, everything was exactly as I had expected it to be. I could go on, but you get the point. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
After 5 spectacular river cruises with a rival company I took a chance on AMA based on their superior reviews, big mistake. The water level was too low to do our original itinerary (not AMA's fault) but the substitutions they made ... Read More
After 5 spectacular river cruises with a rival company I took a chance on AMA based on their superior reviews, big mistake. The water level was too low to do our original itinerary (not AMA's fault) but the substitutions they made were ridiculous and certainly not comparable to what we booked and paid for. To date, no compensation or consideration has been offered. But besides the bugled itinerary there was a lot of problems that were not related to water level. The "light lunches" and "late night snacks" were the same three sandwich combinations every day...salmon, tomato-cheese or peanut butter and jelly. Really! There are no food options offered outside of designated meal and "snack" times. Cabin interiors were a bit worn but adequate. The desk staff seemed overwhelmed and quite frazzled. The entertainment was basic at best. The over-all staff attitude seemed to be one of simply herding people about rather than one of service and a few were border-line rude. I will never sail AMA again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Family recommended the Amawaterways cruise company . We couldn’t of had a better trip. The ship was in excellent condition from brass bell down to the on board bikes to take ashore . We were wowed by the crew especially the cruise ... Read More
Family recommended the Amawaterways cruise company . We couldn’t of had a better trip. The ship was in excellent condition from brass bell down to the on board bikes to take ashore . We were wowed by the crew especially the cruise manager “Marcia”. The food was excellent and suited all types of tastes and appetites along with the abundant poured wines paired with all the meals .(except breakfast Thank God)! We saw lots of other cruise companies as we traveled up the Rhine and our ship always looked the best and had active guests and crews having fun on deck all the time . Others cruise ships seemed to not have the same energy . Our on shore activities were great especially the hired by ama tour guides in each port , turely amazing and so knowledgeable and fun to follow through village listening to all the history and amusing details of our visit . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We did a lot of research before choosing the Danube and AMA. Eight of us were traveling together so we had a variety of opinions before making our decision. The new ship, AmaLea, was beautiful and sparkling clean. The upper decks had ... Read More
We did a lot of research before choosing the Danube and AMA. Eight of us were traveling together so we had a variety of opinions before making our decision. The new ship, AmaLea, was beautiful and sparkling clean. The upper decks had plenty of seating, umbrellas, blankets, etc. Common areas were exceptionally clean with modular seating for groups to sit together. We loved the coffee area and all of the food options. The staff was fun, friendly, highly trained and looked after our every need. Our cruise director, Florentin, was caring, perfectly organized and our excursions were excellent. The level of security was also impressive. Our cabin was on the lowest floor without a balcony (we planned this). We didn’t miss a balcony because we spent a lot of time on the upper deck and on land. Even though there were worries about low water, we did not experience any disruptions with our trip. The trip exceeded our expectations and we will definitely book with AMA for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Just finished my first river cruise and it was amazing! We did the Wine Cruise along the Danube with the most incredible stops along the way. My favorites being Durnstein and Krems in Austria. Our wine host onboard had amazing wines for ... Read More
Just finished my first river cruise and it was amazing! We did the Wine Cruise along the Danube with the most incredible stops along the way. My favorites being Durnstein and Krems in Austria. Our wine host onboard had amazing wines for us too! Another neat excursion AmaSerena provided was a day trip to a small town in the Czech Republic called Cresky Krumlov. Amazingly beautiful town! The crew onboard were amazing as well. I have nothing but positive feedback about their service, helpfulness, knowledge and experience. They are pros! The staterooms and public rooms on the ship were always kept clean and beautiful. And what can I say about the food. The best! I don't think I had a meal I didn't like! The whole experience and the people I met on this trip won't ever be forgotten! If you're never done a river cruise with AmaWaterways, you haven't done a river cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
The staff are what makes this cruise so incredible. Getting home for dinner each night to the same lovely waiters, who made an amazing effort to entertain the children we had in our group, made every mealtime an event. Special mention to ... Read More
The staff are what makes this cruise so incredible. Getting home for dinner each night to the same lovely waiters, who made an amazing effort to entertain the children we had in our group, made every mealtime an event. Special mention to Ogi, Milos (Mr Vanilla), Ivo and Andre, for whom nothing was too much trouble and who went above and beyond to make sure our dining experience was amazing. They are an asset to your organisation. This cruise company is perfect for a family with different interests and different fitness levels. Each day there was the option of an "Easy Walkers" walking tour or a "Active Walkers" tour, and also just a "Regular Walkers" tour. The tour options were all amazing and made you really become immersed in the local areas. Cruise Manager Rolf made the tour presentations so entertaining and made choosing daily activities so simple. The extra onboard entertainment such as Hungarian Dancing and a Classical Concert, were an added extra we didn't expect. A truly exceptional cruise experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We had a perfect family trip with AMA Waterways on the AMA Certo. We traveled with my 3 teenage daughters ages 18,16 and 15. Two of the girls shared cabin 109, my oldest had cabin 111 to herself (both category D) and my husband and I ... Read More
We had a perfect family trip with AMA Waterways on the AMA Certo. We traveled with my 3 teenage daughters ages 18,16 and 15. Two of the girls shared cabin 109, my oldest had cabin 111 to herself (both category D) and my husband and I treated ourselves to a cabin with a French balcony 226, category C. The cabins are lovely, well decorated and with room to store all your necessities. The bathrooms are small but make efficient use of the space and have luxurious touches, like a rain shower and beautiful tile work. River cruising does attract an older clientele, however there was another family with younger children on our trip. I DO recommend this company and this trip for families. The ship had plenty of bikes, excursions for the more active crowd and a lovely pool. There was a small evening activity every night, but we only participated one or two nights as we were generally exhausted and fell asleep quickly. My family loved the dining experience. They treated us like royalty, always asked “where are the girls ?” if we arrived without them. The food choices were all excellent. Portions sizes were perfect for having a little bit of everything. We did not go hungry and my 15 year old said that she gained 4 pounds on board. Our trip was interrupted by an accident on the river (a barge got stuck in low water), which had river traffic backed up for miles. We only made it a little beyond Passau, Germany instead of our final destination of Nuremberg; so we had to take long bus rides to experience 2 days of excursions which wasn’t the best, but no fault of the AMA. The first stop was Bratislava, a beautiful town, where we hiked to the castle and then explored a local fair and locally made ice cream. Vienna was lovely, but we took the optional Schonbrunn Palace tour in the afternoon so we had to rush back to the ship and didn’t have a lot of time in Vienna. The girls loved Durnstein. We took the Apricots and Sweets tasking excursion which was lovely and then took a leisurely stroll back to the ship. Then my husband and I biked through the Wachau Valley while the girls sat in the sun on the boat. It was our favorite day. We also did the optional excursion to Salzburg. We thought Salzburg was beautiful but actually liked Regensburg (the next day’s excursion where we did another tastings tour) better. The tour of Nuremberg was an issue because of the river back up. To experience the tour you had to take a 3 hour bus ride (only because the boat never made it all the way to Nuremberg). My husband and 2 of my daughters went and enjoyed it, but mostly because some of the crew treated them to some entertainment after the tour. The crew was wonderful, the food was great. It’s an awesome way to see some parts of Europe. Plan on being flexible, the company has no control over weather or the river or other boat traffic. Yes take this trip or any other that AMA Waterays offers and BRING YOUR CHILDREN ! 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Our cruise on AMAWaterways AMAViola was such a wonderful experience. We looked at many river cruises and finally selected this one because of the timing of our vacation and excellent ports. We flew from Philadelphia to Munich and spent 3 ... Read More
Our cruise on AMAWaterways AMAViola was such a wonderful experience. We looked at many river cruises and finally selected this one because of the timing of our vacation and excellent ports. We flew from Philadelphia to Munich and spent 3 nights there before taking a train to Vilshofen. The embarkation went smoothly and as we arrived early we were able to leave our luggage on ship to explore the town and have lunch. Everything from our arrival to disembarkation was nothing less than excellent and professionally handled. The ship was lovely as well as the cabin. Most of the crew and staff knew us by name as well as our likes and dislikes in a very short time. We were able to meet many wonderful people both fellow travelers and staff. This is one of the advantages of a smaller ship with less passengers. The cruise director, David was amazingly helpful and guided the activities, making the cruise much more enjoyable. Our ports and shore excursions were excellent! Vilshofen, Passau, Weisenkurchen, Wachu Valley, Linz, Austria, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. All shore excursions were guided by local tour guides speaking English. All were excellent guides and very knowledgeable about the area. Dining on the ship was quite a unique experience. The food was wonderful, nice variety with great service at every meal. There was always a good variety of choices. This was my first cruise of any kind in my 63 years and I don't think I would ever choose a large ocean cruise. The intimacy of the smaller group was so enjoyable. If we choose to go on another cruise in the near future it will be with AMA Waterways. I can't imagine another cruise line being able to top the experience we had. Thanks to all the staff who made our cruise so special. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
I had cruised with Ama Waterways previously for a Christmas market cruise. That cruise was very nice and enjoyable, so I chose Ama Waterways again for my niece's cruise. I was expecting a nice cruise, but the crew and staff aboard ... Read More
I had cruised with Ama Waterways previously for a Christmas market cruise. That cruise was very nice and enjoyable, so I chose Ama Waterways again for my niece's cruise. I was expecting a nice cruise, but the crew and staff aboard the Ama Prima made this the best cruise ever! We enjoyed the food, drinks, excursions, entertainment and all the crew. It is a trip I will never forget. All the excursions were fun and informative. My favorites were the cable car in Rudesheim and Rhine Falls. The food was delicious. I enjoyed the lamb, and I usually don't care for lamb. My niece thoroughly enjoyed the cresants and cheesy rolls. Sebastian was spot on eith the wine recommendations. I enjoyed all the wines. I was content sitting on the sun deck soakung in the raus and cooling off in the pool. I looked forward to the wellness classes daily. One of the most enjoyable activities was the daily Sip and Sail! We had dinner at The Chef's table, and the experience wad amazing. I especially loved that they baked a birthday cake for my niece. Thank you Ama Waterways; especially the AMA Prima for making our holiday very enjoyable. I want to give a special recognition to our cruise manager, Dejan Stanic. He was the best!! Dejan went above and beyond to ensure the excursions went as planned, and Dejan worked tirelessly to ensure all passengers go to their destinations after disembarking. I could tell Dejan really cared about his job and the passengers. That is refreshing to see as many companies have forgotten how to provide excellent customer service. A big thank you to Catalin, Sebastian, Norbert and Nemanja for making this trip special and most memorable for my nieces. Thank you AMA PRIMA!!! Until next time.... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I will summarize and then expand more for families who want more details. We have visited Europe with our children a few times, but have been predominantly in the west. We wanted to experience Eastern Europe and this cruise had several ... Read More
I will summarize and then expand more for families who want more details. We have visited Europe with our children a few times, but have been predominantly in the west. We wanted to experience Eastern Europe and this cruise had several stops in major cities along the Danube that we wanted to begin to explore. We traveled with our children, ages 11 and 12. This was our second cruise with AmaWaterways (first was in Vietnam/Cambodia 1.5 years ago). Our first experience was excellent and so we decided to try this itinerary. Short and sweet, it was fantastic and met our expectations. The crew and the service is exceptional, the food was great and they provide a sufficient number of excursion options. We would not hesitate to do another Ama cruise with our children - they were treated wonderfully, there were bikes that fit even our smaller child, the adventures allowed plenty of active time. However, do know that the vast majority of the travelers are older so if your children are looking for companions that will be less likely (unless you do the Disney version of this cruise on this same ship with basically the same itinerary, which we did not). Also for families, we stayed in two of the connecting rooms (another reason we specifically chose this itinerary) and it was PERFECT for our family of four. More details: Generel info: our children are pretty adventurous eaters, and they loved sampling the local cuisines. However if your children are not, there is the "always available" menu that includes chicken, steak, potato wedges and French fries. My son often got a side of potato wedges as "dessert" instead of the dessert on the menu and they were always happy to accommodate any request. Try to stay up for the evening entertainment - it is really great quality and local. Our children enjoy live music/theatre/dance/etc, but even if yours do not these shows are about an hour and are generally quite entertaining so that kids get a nice exposure to amazing music and culture in smaller doses. We do not pack particularly light, especially as it is spring and the weather varied from the 30's to the 60's F. Ama takes care of getting your luggage on board and to your room as soon as you get dropped off at the ship. There is not a lot of storage room in the cabin, but it was absolutely adequate. The adjoining rooms were fantastic for our family. There is a sliding door between the rooms that allowed the kids to watch a movie here and there without us hearing it and of course gave the adults a bit of alone time while still having the safety of the kids immediately next door. We did not feel crowded at all, and the only issue was where to store the larger suitcases (no under bed storage), but we managed. Embarkation was smooth in Vilshofen. It was Good Friday, so they did not have the traditional Oktoberfest celebration that evening but made up for that on two other occasions on the trip. Each time there was a celebration like Oktoberfest that included alcohol, they always had non-alcoholic beverages for the children. The traditional music and dance was quite fun. Passau - we did the castle hike. The views were wonderful. If you do even city park hiking with your children they will be able to handle this hike. Although we think Ama does a good job describing the difficulty of the excursions ahead of time, they don't do a super job of regulating who goes on the hikes. For example, there was an older gentleman with a walker who went on this hike with us. That can really slow down a group like us who typically choose the most active excursion. Early in the week we had this problem with less mobile guests signing up for the active excursions, but that tapered off during the week so that by the end of the trip it ended up mostly being our family of four and maybe one or two other people, so it worked out in the end. (In fact in Budapest our family of four had the tour guide all to ourselves! A personal tour of Budapest - more later) Linz/Salzburg - We were there Easter Sunday. Linz was a bit cold but we still did the morning bike ride. It was so quiet and peaceful yet active - a nice way to see this city. It was really an easy bike ride with few to know hilly sections at all. Mostly riding through the squares. The guide stopped several times to show us different sites. There were multiple size bikes and helmets and the crew assisted each passenger in fitting the bikes. On our cruise of about 140 passengers approximately 15-20 went on that first ride. There is a guide in the front and one in the back to ensure the group stays together and that the traffic is managed. Our children are good cyclists (not competitive by any means) and they had no difficulty keeping up, in fact they mostly led the pack. Traffic was minimal and we felt very safe, especially with the guides assistance at street crossings. We took the Salzburg half day walking tour. I personally would, in retrospect, just take the bus there and walk around this very manageable small city myself with the family. Some of that was due to a few minor issues: 1. the weather was cold and drizzly, so would rather pop in and out of coffee shops when we wanted, 2. there were two smokers in our group and they would not hesitate to light up through the tour, even in the middle of the pack of about 25 people and 3. the city was manageable if you read a little ahead of time or have a walking tour itinerary. It was crowded the day we visited, but again, it is early in the season so we felt lucky. Weissenkirchen/Durnstein - Morning was sailing and our kids enjoyed some down time in the cabin watching a movie. When we arrived, we did the castle hike. There were only 5 of us on this tour so it was very personal and we could see quite a bit and keep a good pace. Again, this is really not difficult for the kids as long as your children are moderately active. Again the views were magnificent and we felt that we got a bit of exercise in. At the end of the tour the guide stops to buy you an apricot liquor to sample and she will have an alternative for the kids (apricot juice). Our kids really liked this hike. The weather was beautiful this day, so that helped of course. Vienna - it was billed as a walking tour and we chose the active option. In reality you ride around on a bus for much of the tour so that you can see the major sites of the city and then you walk around the main square and church area. Then you have a bit of free time before we went back to the ship for our afternoon bike ride. We had hoped to walk more of the sites, but in retrospect we decided that this was a good introduction to the city and that we will come back to visit on our own some day. It is a big and beautiful city and probably deserves more than a day. In the afternoon we did the bike ride - there were a few more hills here and there, but very manageable. The day was perfect for a ride and we loved this route. It was essentially traffic free around a city island/park. Again, 2 great guides that led and brought up the rear of the group. A few stops mixed in with nice ride stretches to point out sites. We felt, again in retrospect, that this was a wonderful way to be active. There was no real way for us to see all that we wanted in Vienna, so it was a good introduction to the city followed by a nice active excursion. PLEASE try to go to the evening concert. It was approximately 2 hours long with an intermission. It really is a nice mix of classical music that most people will recognize (our kids had heard most of the selections before even though they didn't know the names of the pieces) and there was quite a bit of toe-tapping. For several pieces they had ballet performers or opera singers. Again, even if your children do not think opera will be their "thing", these are just 2-3 short performances and the performers are wonderfully engaging. The male performer, in particular, was a wonderful actor and my 11 year old son was so engaged and laughed (appropriately) at his performance. One piece of advice - for us the concert hall was quite warm - wear layers that you can adjust. Brataslava - we did this town on our own. After the Salzburg experience we did just a little research and figured out how to walk this very manageable small city ourselves. We were so pleased. We hiked up to the castle, visited a few churches, walked the historic streets, sat in sidewalk cafes to have a glass of wine/ice cream cone, and just enjoyed being at our own pace this day. The pleasant weather always helps, but this was a really enjoyable family day for us. Budapest - by this point in the trip most of the older passengers, and most of the middle-aged as well, took the bus tour. In fact our family of four were the only ones to sign up for the "strenuous" tour - also called the castle hike I believe. It was PERFECT! We walked the city with our guide from 9:30-1:30 and felt we saw so much. It was not all that strenuous. We missed the City Market that the bus tour saw, but we will spend 2 extra days in Budapest at the end of the cruise so feel that we will have time to see many more things. The tour guide told great stories and we really enjoyed this tour. After our introduction to the city we enjoyed the local dance and music that was brought on to the ship. Again, these are relatively short for the kids but a great introduction to the culture and quite entertaining. Highly recommend. We will disembark today, and they have a very organized system. All rooms need to be vacated by 9am, so after a leisurely breakfast we set our luggage in the hall and waited in the lounge until our cab picked us up at 11am for a noon hotel check-in in Budapest. There are pastries and coffee/tea/water/hot chocolate to enjoy in the lounge while we waited and the lobby bathroom is easily available and clean. Overall, most of these river cruises are geared toward the older traveler, but they still accommodate our family almost perfectly. Again, the only minor problems we had were the pacing of some of the tours (billed as "active" but sometimes people who we would not consider "active" attending), that some of the other passengers are obnoxious - smokers on the tours, extremely loud guests who talked the entire way through the cruise manager's talks, the couple who allowed their son to play loud shooting video games in the dining room - but these people are found on every cruise or tour everywhere and it was fairly easy to avoid them most of the time. We are definitely going to plan on another Ama cruise with the family in the next two years and will continue to choose itineraries that are a little less accessible to us - maybe Africa next! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
What a wonderful experience! It was the crew's first cruise of the season, but the Eastern European crew were very well-trained and friendly. This was a flawless cruise. The food, service, and accommodation were all as good as can be. ... Read More
What a wonderful experience! It was the crew's first cruise of the season, but the Eastern European crew were very well-trained and friendly. This was a flawless cruise. The food, service, and accommodation were all as good as can be. The fact that beer and wine are included during meals and excursions are included as well only added to the experience. The cuisine and the entertainment changed to match our ports. The intimacy of such a small ship was also very attractive, as we met many friendly passengers and got to know the crew. The excursions and guides on shore were all excellent. One tip to improve: more time in port in Budapest (last stop). I stayed on board rather than take a motorcoach excursion, and only had one hour after arrival before the final night party commenced. But, the cruise was ended with a fantastic illuminations cruise of Budapest after dinner. We would highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My family and I do a big adventure trip every year and we had been wanting to do SE Asia for a couple of year and just couldn't find anything escorted that lined up with school holiday breaks. We booked about 9 months in advance for ... Read More
My family and I do a big adventure trip every year and we had been wanting to do SE Asia for a couple of year and just couldn't find anything escorted that lined up with school holiday breaks. We booked about 9 months in advance for myself, my active but older parents and my 16 yr old daughter. We have previously done only land packages with Tauck tours and were looking for something close to that level of service and accommodation and we were pretty pleased overall with the AMA experience. We had a day of our cruise cut off due to a typhoon in the area closing the embarkation port. The cruise line added an extra day in Ho Chi Minh City at the Sofitel with lunch and dinner (but no additional excursions), we did not miss any ports but did lose time in pheom phen and had to forgo an excursion there. Accommodations on the land portion (all Sofitels, including the Phokeethra in Siem Reap and Metropole in Hanoi) were first rate. The Metropole is a truly special hotel experience, especially if you are as into history as our family is. We had a category B stateroom on the ship and I was pleasantly surprised (with limited cruise experience) having previously sailed with disney and on an expedition ship in the Galapagos, with the size and comfort of the cabins. The bathroom allowed for a shower without having to do any strange contortions, and there was ample space to spread out a little, dress and relax with two people. We chose the one on the end of the ship by the gym, didn't feel any movement at all, and it was much quieter location. Things we liked: The staff was all very nice and accommodating, but the hotel manager (Marcus) and the restaurant manager (I am horrible and forgot her name but she was beyond fantastic) were standounts. Massage/spa prices were very reasonable for a cruise ship, as were the additional charges for upgraded wines. The included wines were also very drinkable, but I wish they would serve wine by the glass in the bars instead of just at dinner. We did the chef's table one night, I didnt think it was anything extra special. In general the food was perfectly edible, but nothing standout EXCEPT when they cooked local. I wish they had more local options at dinner, where it was pretty much all western style. The local items on the action station and morning noodle soup were always excellent, the rice paper wraps and spring rolls, etc were also fantastic. We tended to leave dinner a little wanting some evenings. They do have more mainstream choices available for every dinner (salad w/chicken or shirmp, hangar steak etc), but when in a place like SE asia, there's too much good local stuff to be cooking up fancy french food - but the brand knows their audience and I'm probably the weirdo who wants to eat pho all the time. The local guides changed with each region, and they were all good, but we were lucky enough to have two really outstanding guides in southern Vietnam and in Cambodia before we got to Siem Reap. Vinh and Buntha really make the trip special with their insight and their stories. Loved all the shore excursions we did from the standpoint of the sights we saw, loved they had options for people with mobility issues or who wanted less challenging temple climbing etc but still wanted to actually see the highlights. The overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay at the end of the trip was also great for scenery and the accommodations on that boat were also really nice. The cooking class and bingo, and a a few of the other daytime onboard programs while the ship was in transit were fun. I wish they had more enrichment, maybe a photography class, more in depth lectures about the history and culture, etc. but what they did have was fun and informative. What i wasn't crazy about: Some of the shore excursions I would have liked to have a little more time allowed at some of the museums and temples, etc. I felt rushed especially at the War Remnants Museum and Temple of Literature, Reunification Palace and the market in Ho Chi Minh City. I also wasn't crazy that for New years eve we were tied up at basically a loading dock in the middle of nowhere Cambodia, and there was no place to get off the ship to maybe check out some local nightlife. The staff tried really hard with the evening entertainment, but it wasn't really my speed, especially in a region known for night markets and such. We were VERY and I recognize VERY lucky that our trip included a few multi-generation families with younger people so there were other people my daughter's age or near it on the trip, which made it more fun for her. the food on the Ha Long bay boat was edible, but nothing to write home about. Also, the wifi on the ship worked intermittently at best and there is no roaming service in Vietnam - no biggie for me, but for some it might be an issue. Also no wifi in the cabins, only the lounge and the sundeck unless you're in a suite. We also didn't get our documents from AMA until about week before we left (2 weeks before the actual tour start date) and as we were visiting another country on our own and 2 days of transit to get there, it left me a little anxious and we were unable to pre-register for shore excursions, as they had already closed by the time we had had a chance to review everything. Overall, we loved the trip, we were fortunate to have some experiences that were really life changing (touring the Killing Fields and S-21 Detention center with Buntha, Sunrise on Angkor Wat), I came back wanting to return to explore more because I found the people so welcoming, and feel like on such a whirlwind trip I didn't get to explore the cities as much as I would have liked to. The river cruise does allow you to get to places like Tan Chau, Sa Dec and the rural areas of Vietnam and the floating villages on the ton le sap, etc in Cambodia where there really aren't western tourist class accommodations. My mom thinks river cruising is now the greatest thing. It wouldn't be my first choice to go back to for something like Europe, but for something more exotic such as the Zambezi, the Irrawaddy I'd probably book another one. It was a good trip for the diverse ages we have in my family, there was plenty of activity for my daughter and i and enough down time to allow my folks to be able to enjoy most of the sightseeing and still relax. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Our family of 8 went on the Christmas Market Cruise in December 2017. We were impressed with the AmaCerto boat because it was very clean, modernized, had a nice floor-plan, and the rooms were really clean and nicely laid out (albeit ... Read More
Our family of 8 went on the Christmas Market Cruise in December 2017. We were impressed with the AmaCerto boat because it was very clean, modernized, had a nice floor-plan, and the rooms were really clean and nicely laid out (albeit small). The staff is highly trained and it is clear they have very high standards of service. We loved our wait staff and felt a if they cared about giving us the best experience. The breakfast buffet was fantastic and always varied and the lunch and dinner were always excellent and we never had a bad meal for the 9 days we were on the boat. All of the excursions were good (for a cruise) and well organized. The on board activiteies were sweet and people seemed to enjoy them and we liked what we participated in. We never got bored on the boat. Overall we had a top notch 5 star experience! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Our family of eight (3 generations) traveled with AmaWaterways from Nuremberg to Budapest, visiting Christmas markets in Germany, Austria and Hungary along the way. Embarkation was quick and pleasant. We were greeted when we arrived and ... Read More
Our family of eight (3 generations) traveled with AmaWaterways from Nuremberg to Budapest, visiting Christmas markets in Germany, Austria and Hungary along the way. Embarkation was quick and pleasant. We were greeted when we arrived and shown directly to our stateroom. Our luggage soon followed. After settling in we attended the Welcome Cocktail Party, safety briefing and dinner. The Ship: The public spaces include a large comfortable lounge with access to a small deck, two dining rooms, a large sundeck with a fitness track and pool, a fitness room and a massage & hair salon. An elevator provides access to all but the sun deck. Internet is available throughout. Dining: Incredible! Breakfast and lunch were primarily buffet, with several kitchen prepared options. Early risers could also get a light breakfast in the lounge. Dinners were gourmet, multi-course meals offering several options and often featuring regional specialties. We had 3 children in our party and the kitchen made a special effort to provide kid friendly food for them. Service: Excellent. The crew went out of their way to assure that our needs were met. Ports & Shore Excursions: As this was a Christmas Market cruise, most of the excursions included visiting Christmas markets at each port. A market highlight was at the Thurn und Taxis Castle in Regensburg. Each day's activities were offered for a variety of fitness and ability levels, from gentle walkers to hiking and bicycling. Most of the local guides were very knowledgeable, personable and spoke excellent English. My husband and I attended an optional Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna and really enjoyed it. We had a wide range of ages and interests in our party, which ranged from 10 years old to 72. We all had a wonderful time and were able to break apart and come back together with ease. (Grandma and Grandpa liked the "gentle walkers" group while the kids were more energetic!) Disembarkation was well organized. Although we were asked to vacate our cabins by 9 a.m., we were comfortable in the lobby until our transportation for the next leg of our journey arrived. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
It was my sister who lives in London, England who picked the Amawaterways after reading great reviews online. My brother and mom live in Singapore and i myself in Toronto and we wanted to get together for a trip and to spend time with our ... Read More
It was my sister who lives in London, England who picked the Amawaterways after reading great reviews online. My brother and mom live in Singapore and i myself in Toronto and we wanted to get together for a trip and to spend time with our mom who is 81.. I was so glad that the Amaserena turned out to be our ship, based on the date and length of cruise suitable for all of us. . The cruise manager, Bali Kiss did an amazing job of welcoming us , making us feel important and providing us with briefings of excursions and information on the different towns covered on the trip. He was always smiling and approachable and I highly commend him on the execution of his duties & ensuring that everything runs smoothly. Zoran the hotel manager was just as courteous and well-informed.. The waiters were friendly and professional and our housekeeper quick & efficient . The food served at every meal was top-notch (credits to the chef and cooks!) and it was an undeniably splendid culinary experience every single day. All in all, a luxurious and awesome trip which I will always have fond memories of. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose AMA Waterways based on reviews from friends and a travel advisor who indicated that it was a step up from competitors. We had a lovely trip and very much enjoyed the AMAWaterways experience (apart from item #2, below). We ... Read More
We chose AMA Waterways based on reviews from friends and a travel advisor who indicated that it was a step up from competitors. We had a lovely trip and very much enjoyed the AMAWaterways experience (apart from item #2, below). We found the staff to be thoughtful, efficient and fun and the journey was very well organized. We’ll also share a couple of suggestions that we included in our end-of-cruise evaluation~~~ 1. The excursion offerings seemed a bit limited in some locations, and also somewhat short in duration. For example, in Cologne, the “general” excursion (the one not for hikers or bikers), was a drive into Cologne and a tour of the outside of the Cathedral. The excursion lasted 3 hours and could have included a stop at a famed chocolate factory or another site or two before returning to the ship. 2. The stateroom took some adjustment, as it is smaller than what we've seen on ocean cruises. It did have all you needed once you adjusted. However, the stateroom beds were more like dorm room mattresses than what would be expected on a luxury cruise line. AMAWaterways profiles itself as upscale hoteling, yet most upscale cruisers will expect a higher quality mattress with a pillow top in today’s competitive environment. And candidly, mattress comfort is a high enough variable for us that it would make us think twice about another AMAWaterways cruise, which is such a shame. Our Silversea mattress, for example, was of a much higher quality and more comfortable. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first River Cruise. We chose AmaWaterways and the Enchanted Rhine because of the Itinerary that included the Pre-Land Extension in Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland. We chose the AmaKristina because it is a new ship. I will ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise. We chose AmaWaterways and the Enchanted Rhine because of the Itinerary that included the Pre-Land Extension in Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland. We chose the AmaKristina because it is a new ship. I will focus more on the Land extension because I have not seen much focus on that on other reviews. We traveled to Zurich on our own after sightseeing in Munich. Our tour began at the Hotel Stiegenberger in Zurich. We came prepared but still dismayed that the hotel was not air-conditioned and the temps were already in the low 80's F. The room was sweltering even with a fan. It is a very nice and scenic hotel otherwise. However, the city view room was overlooking a crowded courtyard of buildings. The cruise director covered all aspects of the tour times as well as transportation and optional excursions. We were happy that the excursion to Rhein Falls and Stein en Rhein was available. It was an additional charge of about $80 per person. The tour guide, Judith was wonderful and she was with us for Zurich, Rhein Falls and Lucerne. We enjoyed a very informative and scenic bus trip to Vitznau followed by a beautiful boat trip across Lake Lucerne to the city. Our hotel in Lucerne was at the elegant Hotel Schweizerhof. I already knew from research that I wanted to go to Mt. Pilatus so we opted out of the AMA excursion to Mt. Stanserhorn. Mt. Pilatus was truly awe-inspiring and we really enjoyed our free time at Lucerne. Sadly, it was time to go. We traveled by bus to Basel. After completing a city tour and lunch on our own, we were delivered to the ship. Our check went smoothly. We were in Room 231 Cello Deck. I was disappointed that there was dirt on my bed before I even touched it. There was also a hair (not mine) on the pillow. For the money, I guess I thought the cleanliness would be impeccable. The bathroom is small and it contained an annoying metal trashcan that would tip over when you used the footstep to open it. The paper was not always replenished either. While new, the actual toilet seat cover felt loose and banged against the tile when you sat down. We felt the movement of the ship and it would feel like it shuddered when it went through other ship's wakes. I would definitely move to the higher (Violin) deck and near the front for the next trip. We also noticed a creaking noise coming from the ship around the midship area. Apparently, we were not the only ones that observed it because we saw a passenger speaking to the Ship Engineer about it one day. The WIFI was not operational for the first day. It also tended to be out when we were docked. We enjoyed the guided tours to which included Riquewihr and Strasbourg, France, Rudesheim, Heidleberg, Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam. I wish we could have had more time at Cologne. There was a lot to see there and I felt it warranted a full stop there instead of one afternoon. The guides were all good except for mine in Riquewihr. Johannes was not too informative and he did not even discuss the city gate and moat. I only know this because my mother took the Gentle walker tour and their guide covered it. I went on the Active Walker tour of Strasbourg. It was very informative and I believe we did cover about 6 miles. However, I wish we could have stayed at the Orangerie longer and/or visited Empress Josephine's Palace. It would be good if that were included on an actual tour. Friends that I talked to enjoyed the bike ride excursions. I chose a hike to Ehrenfels Castle and it was terrific uphill hike through the vineyards. The tour information listed it as 6 miles. It was only 3 miles. My favorite part of cruising was actually cruising. The deck chairs and seating were very comfortable. The boat was usually moving at night or during meal times so we did not get to enjoy the cruising as much as we would like. The cruise through the Rhine Gorge was incredible and my favorite part of the actual cruise. We were blessed with good weather and it was actually cool enough to need blankets. The cruise director provided excellent commentary on the scenic castles and towns that we passed. There was an added bonus when they brought up Rudesheimer coffee for us. The food on board was indeed wonderful and plentiful. The selection was vast. The Omelet Station attendant, Dejana, was wonderful and remembered how I liked my omelet after one visit. Do book your reservations for the Chef’s Table as soon as you arrive on the boat. It is a wonderful 5 course sampling meal full of imaginative and memorable dishes. We wanted to go again! There were a couple of things that marred the dining experience. The time between meal courses was exceedingly long. It did not matter which server station you chose. Dinner took at least two hours. Our table would finish a course and then it would take a long time for the next course to arrive. Meanwhile other tables that arrived after ours would be on to the next course. The other issue was with the wine and beverage stewards. They would not come by the table to offer any refills at times. Some mornings I got my excellent Cappuccino from the 24 hour Coffee bar and took it with me to breakfast just to make sure I received coffee. I do know everyone worked very hard. It seems like they need more crew to handle the meals but then where would you put them? Their memory is excellent. One morning the steward asked me if he had offended my mother because she did not touch her dessert the previous night. I assured him that was not the case. She was too full to eat anymore. The receptionist remembered our cabin number even before I did. Cruise culture is new to me but each meal involved a great deal of socializing. You could indicate to your waiter if you wished to either join someone else, have someone join you or dine alone. We met plenty of friendly people. There were mostly Canadians and Americans on the cruise. A few couples from the U.K. The Well to do’s kept to themselves. We heard the evening entertainment was very enjoyable but since it did not start until 9:30 p.m. thus we went on the prepare for bed. We got up at 6:30 each morning so we could get to breakfast at 7:30 a.m. before the rush. The sightseeing excursions usually loaded up about 8:45 a.m. We received some free time in every city and that was appreciated. I never even saw the fitness room or used the spa. Who had time? A few people used the walking track. Some friends enjoyed the pool but I did not bring a swimsuit so I missed out. The lounge was very tastefully furnished and comfortable. Our voyage with AmaWaterways has given us cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first River Cruise and found it most enjoyable. The ship's company were friendly and willing to offer assistance whenever needed. The Cruise Director had all the tours arranged and well organized. She is a great asset ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise and found it most enjoyable. The ship's company were friendly and willing to offer assistance whenever needed. The Cruise Director had all the tours arranged and well organized. She is a great asset AMA Waterways. The Captain and First Officer made them selves available to answer questions and socialize with the guests when not on watch. The wait staff and chefs were outstanding and the food was excellent and representative of the region and represented any five star establishment in a relaxed atmosphere. Being only having a 140 passenger it made it easy to socialize and make new friends. It was more intimate than the ocean cruises we have been on.This was our first experience on a river cruise, but will not be our last. Hats of to the Captain and crew, and AMAWaterways. This is a great concept and provide an opportunity to get to now the crew and for them to get to know you and your needs. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We went through a cruise club to book The Danube River vacation and had a fabulous experience. The ship was clean, comfortable and easy to navigate. Food was exquisite along with presentation. Entertainment, activities and excursions were ... Read More
We went through a cruise club to book The Danube River vacation and had a fabulous experience. The ship was clean, comfortable and easy to navigate. Food was exquisite along with presentation. Entertainment, activities and excursions were fun and enjoyable. Service on the ship went beyond my expectations. The room and bedding were comfortable.Everyone on board the ship from the Captain, to Cruise Manager, Hotel Manager, Bartenders, Waitstaff and Crew members went out of their way to make sure our needs were met. The scenery on the river cruise was gorgeous. All excursions were with a tour guide and I felt safe everywhere we ventured. There were bikes available, and if you were more active, hiking and active walking tours. I felt pampered and spoiled on the ship by the staff and would definitely use Ama Waterways again. After my first river cruise, I may have to book another one. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Amawaterways Sonata Rhine River Cruise vs. Ocean Cruises Recently made the journey from Amsterdam to Breslo, Switzerland on Amawaterways Sonata. Having only been on ocean cruises (SilverSeas), I have added some comparisons between the ... Read More
Amawaterways Sonata Rhine River Cruise vs. Ocean Cruises Recently made the journey from Amsterdam to Breslo, Switzerland on Amawaterways Sonata. Having only been on ocean cruises (SilverSeas), I have added some comparisons between the two. Hope you like it! Cruise Dates – We boarded on a Saturday afternoon and did not sail until Sunday afternoon. This is different from the ocean cruises, which sail same day. Translation: It may say 8 days cruise, but it’s really only 6. You don’t sail the first day, and you are out at 9:00 AM on the last day. Not complaining, but an ocean cruise is 7 days, not 6 since they sail same day. Cabins – OK, now I am going to complain. Six category upgrade gets me 210 feet? What? Two category upgrade gets me 330 feet on SilverSea. Yes, there was a French Balcony and Veranda, but we spent all our time on the sundeck up top. Would not get a Veranda again unless it was winter and bad weather. Just have to resign myself to bumping my elbows in the shower (there is no bathtub!) and running into my wife by the closet when I access the bathroom. Food – Excellent! Far better than SilverSeas. Their Chef’s Table is far superior to Le Champagne ($60 up charge!) on SilverSeas…and it’s free. You get it once per trip, but here is a tip: if it is not SOLD OUT you can get it multiple times. Here is the other BIG difference. Sonata had themed food for each country we visited. SilverSeas has an Italian restaurant. All Italian, all the time. Staff – No Butler like SilverSea. That is a bit of a bummer. Cabin Attendants on Sonata were superior to SilverSeas, as was our Cruise Manager Florentin. Brother was hustling 24x7. Desk Attendants were friendly, as were the tour guides. Tours – They are all included. Mostly hiking/biking, so best for active people, however there are also plenty of walking tours. NO CHARGE. My last bill on SilverSeas for tours was $2,000. It would be fine if they passed the tours through at cost, but they don’t. SilverSeas marks them up, and to my mind, gouges the customers. Entertainment – We had GREAT entertainment! Sonata had themed entertainment every night. German music in Germany and French music in France. That…was very cool. SilverSeas has production shows each night. Good, but different than themed music. Please Come Back! – They offered us 5% off the next cruise if we left a deposit. Let me make sure I have this right. You want me to pay 12 to 18 months in advance for a 5% discount? Seriously? Make it 15% and you have a deal. Amawaterways does discount, but they probably have to given the competition in the cruise market. And most people would tell you Viking is better. SilverSeas is like rolex: no discounts ever. One BIG Complaint – So here is my BIGGEST beef. Cruise companies need to control the passengers. Last out on SilverSeas we have a group of four drunks that were an issue most days. Playing their boom box by the pool while people were trying to relax or read a book. Getting wrecked on alcohol and stumbling around. Showing up 30 minutes late for tours and making us all wait. On the Sonata, same thing, a party of eight this time. They had issues…EVERY SINGLE DAY. Disrupted the introductions on day one. Disrupted dinner on day two. Late for all the tours. It is incumbent upon Amawaterways and Silverseas to NOT serve alcohol to passengers that are obviously inebriated and behaving badly. If I want that, I’ll cruise on Carnival. Bahahahaha! Read Less
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