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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our first cruise of any kind and what an amazing introduction to the cruise world AMAwaterways provided us. We planned this trip somewhat last minute as a "girls" Christmas shopping cruise with Mom, 3 sisters and ... Read More
This was our first cruise of any kind and what an amazing introduction to the cruise world AMAwaterways provided us. We planned this trip somewhat last minute as a "girls" Christmas shopping cruise with Mom, 3 sisters and sister-n-law. Our expectations were exceedingly met from our touchdown in Zurich until our departure in Amsterdam 12 days later. We were met with such smiling faces of the AMAwaterways staff throughout our entire trip. We chose to include the 2 days in Zurich and 2 days in Lucerne before our transport to our ship in Basel and I would highly recommend doing this as well. The hotel accommodations were perfect and the planned excursions were very informative and allowed us the opportunity to get to meet our staff and other guests traveling on our cruise before setting sail. Our ship was so beautifully decorated for the Holidays and we were incredibly impressed with how comfortable and clean the entire ship was. We had one of the smaller state rooms, yet surprisingly it was sufficient enough for my Mom and me to share comfortably. Although it was too cold to actually utilize the balcony, it was nice to be able to step out side once in awhile to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful river vistas. The bathrooms were perfectly sized and equipped with all necessities and always freshly restocked. The beds were incredibly comfortable to the point that we just wished we had had more "down time" to rest in them! The food was more than exceptional and we particularly loved the paring of the regional foods with regional wine selections every night. There were enough excellent food choices to accommodate every taste and the staff was amazingly conscientious regarding any food allergies. The nightly entertainment was wonderful and festive as well. The service both on and off the ship by the AMA staff was always tip top. The tours and excursions were awesome at every port and the tour guides were very friendly, knowledgeable and incredibly personable. They did a great job with providing various levels of excursions to meet everyone's abilities. The coaches that transported us on all the tours were equally comfortable and clean. Overall the entire cruise was seamless and we were so disappointed when it was time to disembark! We left feeling that we now have an extended family through our staff on the entire ship. Our Christmas market cruise will provide us with a lifetime of fantastic memories and I could not imagine a better way to jump start the holidays! We can not wait to start planning out next AMAwaterways cruise! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I were a little apprehensive to book any cruise, as my husband gets a little green with the rocking of a boat. There was no rocking whatsoever and we spent some of our time on the top deck enjoying the scenery. We booked on ... Read More
My husband and I were a little apprehensive to book any cruise, as my husband gets a little green with the rocking of a boat. There was no rocking whatsoever and we spent some of our time on the top deck enjoying the scenery. We booked on the AmaSonata... the "Romantic Danube"-Wine Theme Voyage and had a vacation of a lifetime. We spent our first 3 nights in Prague. The hotel was nice and the beds were very comfortable. We went on a city tour of Prague....beautiful and so much history. Ama had optional tours to choose from. We went on the Terezin Fortress tour, which we would recommend to anyone. We spent a wonderful week on board. The ship had everything we needed and more. The food was delicious, as was the wine (which there was an never ending flow). The service was awesome. The staff and crew incredible and all had a great sense of humour. The crew let us know when we would be entering a lock, as this was an interest of a few in our group. Very interesting. The whole experience from when we arrived to our extension in Budapest, left nothing to be desired. A warm thank you to all the staff and crew. We didn't meet a staff member we didn't like. Awesome sense of humour. There were a variety of excursions to choose from, all of which were interesting and informative. There wasn't a town which was too big or too small. There was amazing history in each and every one. I would recommend this cruise Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I, along with my brother in law and his wife, boarded the Sonata for a cruise to Budapest. We loved the entire adventure. The staff on the ship was wonderful and couldn't do enough for us. The food was excellent, ... Read More
My husband and I, along with my brother in law and his wife, boarded the Sonata for a cruise to Budapest. We loved the entire adventure. The staff on the ship was wonderful and couldn't do enough for us. The food was excellent, with lots of choices. The tours we took were excellent. Knowlegible guides with a wonderful sense of humor made our daily tours so worth the time. In each port we were gifted with local groups who performed for us in the evening. They too were excellent. There was a pianist each evening to sing and dance. We met people of all ages, although most were over fifty. We were on the wine cruise and visited two amazing vineyards and had a resident vintner from California that gave wine education classes and tastings. The trip into Budapest was wonderful. We came in during the day and our tour director provided a narrated tour as we sailed in. She was from Budapest and was extremely well versed in the history and culture. That evening after dinner we then sailed again to see Budapest at night. It was stunning. We chose to stay three extra nights after the tour ended and I would highly recommend doing that. We are looking forward to our next AMA Waterways cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
The trip down the Rhine River with stops at 2000 year old German cities along the way and too many castles to count was stimulating and beautiful. The ship was new, extremely comfortable, food healthy and light ( although one could eat ... Read More
The trip down the Rhine River with stops at 2000 year old German cities along the way and too many castles to count was stimulating and beautiful. The ship was new, extremely comfortable, food healthy and light ( although one could eat more calories without any trouble), a good but small gym and an amazing staff. Everyone was extremely responsive to any logistical request and or maintenance need ( we had a water leak in our bathroom that was fixed within minutes) Departures were arranged with efficiency and no confusion even when fog canceled many flights and required re-booking. The only problem was the low level of the water in the Rhine due to lack of rain so our arrivals were slowed by the necessity of traveling behind other slower ships all using the only available channel with enough water. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We chose AMA for our cruise on the Mekong Delta (Siem Reap to Saigon) because they offered the most interesting itinerary. And, I must say we were not disappointed! We also took the land portion--2 days in Hanoi, a night in Ha Long Bay ... Read More
We chose AMA for our cruise on the Mekong Delta (Siem Reap to Saigon) because they offered the most interesting itinerary. And, I must say we were not disappointed! We also took the land portion--2 days in Hanoi, a night in Ha Long Bay and 2 days in Saigon. The hotels were beyond beautiful and service on the ship superb. The food was delicious and varied. For the land tours, we were broken up into groups of 10 or 12' which made it more fun and gave plenty of time for questions, etc. All of our guides were extremely knowledgeable about the history of the country, the people, etc. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We chose Ama Waterways for our 25th Anniversary cruise and we were not disappointed. From the moment we stepped onto the pier in Amsterdam until we said goodbye in Basel, everything was done for our comfort and enjoyment. The ship is ... Read More
We chose Ama Waterways for our 25th Anniversary cruise and we were not disappointed. From the moment we stepped onto the pier in Amsterdam until we said goodbye in Basel, everything was done for our comfort and enjoyment. The ship is tastefully appointed and sparkling clean, despite it's *relative* age in the industry (built in 2008). Our stateroom was stylish and comfortable, with plenty of space for our belongings and nice features such as a French balcony and flat-screen TV with internet access. Meals were freshly prepared (we saw fresh produce come aboard at every port of call) and portions were just right. The shore excursions were informative and featured different ability groupings so that all passengers could enjoy the sights as their mobility level allowed. Where Ama Waterways truly stands out, however, is in the professionalism and attentiveness of the crew. Everyone from the Captain and Cruise Director, to the wait staff and housekeepers, worked to make the cruise a wonderful, memorable experience for all passengers. I would not hesitate to recommend Ama Waterways to anyone who wants a truly first-class cruise vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
My husband and I took this cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest. It was our first river cruise and we really enjoyed it! The service was great throughout the boat, the staff was friendly and very interested in your comfort and enjoyment. ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest. It was our first river cruise and we really enjoyed it! The service was great throughout the boat, the staff was friendly and very interested in your comfort and enjoyment. Ama spends a lot of effort on small touches that add value to your experience, late night food after a concert in Vienna, fresh towels and a drink when you return from an excursion...and many more. Our cabin was well appointed, cozy, but comfortable with plenty of room for things. The make up of the passengers was older, 60 and up. In each case there was a variety of activities including hiking and bike riding in addition to the shore excursions. There were also several groups on each excursion, designed for those who need more time and those who wanted to move right along. Definitely something for everyone! Shore excursions were well organized, although it would be nice to have a bit more time on your own...tough to do with so much to cover in each location. (Moving groups of people is always a challenge, so many folks on their own planet, so be patient. Not a fault of the company, just the nature of dealing with people in general). Our local guides were very good in most cases. Our full day guide to Salzburg, Gabor was especially good, well organized, patient, told the good stories, and gave you lots of information, but didn't feel the need to talk constantly. Food and presentation of the food was excellent and the local dishes which changed with our location were great! We especially enjoyed Violeta and Marc as our servers! We came home with a few souvenir pounds extra! Dragon, our cruise director was charming....great personality and very interested in making your stay a memorable. While we had 3-4 days of rain or part rain, the highlight had to be Budapest. We just had no idea how beautiful it was. And the evening cruise with all of the city lights (and a lovely night) was really a great finale for the trip. I can't imagine going the other direction (ending in Nuremberg). The length of the cruise 8 days...was just the right amount for us. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
My husband and I were somewhat apprehensive of a river cruise with a view to the confinement onboard a small ship and my first thoughts were "what are we going to do whilst sailing - will it be boring. However we spent a lovely ... Read More
My husband and I were somewhat apprehensive of a river cruise with a view to the confinement onboard a small ship and my first thoughts were "what are we going to do whilst sailing - will it be boring. However we spent a lovely week on board the Ama Sonata, the food at all meals was delicious as was the wine at meal times and although it was classed as House wine it was the best House Wine I have ever drank. The hours and days just seem to drift by. We met some lovely people and hopefully we will stay in touch The staff in the restaurant could not do enough for you in particular Francis who served our table most of the time. The cabin was comfortable and well designed utilizing every space. The bed was also very comfortable. Wi FI in your cabin was a bonus allowing you to keep in touch with family. The excursions were well organized and although you were asked to make your choices at the beginning of the cruise you could easily change on the day. there was entertainment on a few evenings and also a resident pianist who played music relating to the Era of the passengers. We particularly enjoyed Cologne and the guide Marcus was excellent so entertaining and added a bit of humour to the tour. Bob and Jess Hefford Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Sailing on the new ship AmaSerena was a delight. *Activities are well planned and various for all choices, also optional tours were available. *Service was excellent, Christian's team was always ready to assist. *Travel to ... Read More
Sailing on the new ship AmaSerena was a delight. *Activities are well planned and various for all choices, also optional tours were available. *Service was excellent, Christian's team was always ready to assist. *Travel to embarkation port was a little confusing at the Amsterdam airport, but we did locate the Am waterways' staff and we were transported by coach, (Lufthansa on the other hand did not get our luggage at the ship for 3 days) the cruise manager Dejan Stanjik took on the task of getting our luggage back and a good thing he did, we are very grateful !! *Our state room was very beautiful with the twin balconies that we enjoyed, large bed, internet and mini fridge, good seize wardrobe and bathroom. As special thanks the service from our maids was very attentive and much appreciated. *Meals, from breakfast were you could order if you needed to but the buffet was plenty, lunch and dinner were excellent and the various choices made it easy to take on a few pounds (few only). The team of waiters with Daniel, Carmen, Elvis, Szifco who were there every morning, lunch and dinner for our table made our meals lots of fun, at the Capitan's table Constantine and his team along with Chef David made the experience very enjoyable. *Since I cannot compare other cruise companies, I would definitely recommend Amawater Ways on all levels. My wife and I had fabulous time. Many of the guest onboard were commenting that this was the best they had experienced. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Took the AmaSerena on its second sailing after its maiden voyage from Amsterdam to Basel. Took the optional pre sailing part of cruise and spent 2 days in Zurich and 2 days in Lucerne. Very helpful to get to know some of the other ... Read More
Took the AmaSerena on its second sailing after its maiden voyage from Amsterdam to Basel. Took the optional pre sailing part of cruise and spent 2 days in Zurich and 2 days in Lucerne. Very helpful to get to know some of the other quests you would be sailing with for the following week. Your cruise manager is with you prior to the actual cruise and this is very helpful. Never have been on a cruise before and didn't know what to expect. Everyone was professional and always had a smile and couldn't do more for you, whatever the time of day! The ship was beautiful and was easy to navigate. As a single, my room was terrific! Very luxurious. Wi-Fi was great except when you went through the locks on the Rhine...no biggie. Meals were delicious and beautifully presented. Love the open seating. The cruise manager, Balazs, was terrific and always made you feel that you, as an individual, was the most important person to him whenever you approached him for information, requests, etc. Touring was relaxed as you had options and never had to rush to get ashore to start your touring. Touring never started before 9:30am. Everything was very relaxed on the ship. You could participate with your program or do your own thing. The crew was there for your comfort and couldn't be more accommodating. Will be taking another cruise with AmaWaterways again very soon! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our first river cruise, but it seems to us that it would be hard to top. The staff was outstanding, the food and wine excellent, the ship's facilities were everything we expected. Our cruise manager, Kata, was tireless in her ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, but it seems to us that it would be hard to top. The staff was outstanding, the food and wine excellent, the ship's facilities were everything we expected. Our cruise manager, Kata, was tireless in her efforts to make sure everything went right. We had a great time! Forced to nitpick, the internet service was sometimes slow, but it was complementary and you know, we're not really on the cruise to surf the internet now are we? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary with AmaWaterways' Romantic Danube cruise. This was our first cruise of any kind. Therefore, although we have nothing to compare it to, we can't imagine a river cruise line that ... Read More
My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary with AmaWaterways' Romantic Danube cruise. This was our first cruise of any kind. Therefore, although we have nothing to compare it to, we can't imagine a river cruise line that could be superior. Many of our fellow passengers who were seasoned river cruisers agreed. Our ship, the AmaPrima, was named "Best River Cruise Ship 2013". It has 3 decks of rooms and carries about 160 pasengers. There is a spacious and comfortable lounge area (and like the entire ship, impeccably clean -- we'd see crew on deck early in the morning, cleaning and polishing every square inch, every day), with plenty of seats, tables, an attractive bar area, and and 24-hour self-serve coffee and tea area with a wide selection of teas, milks, sugars, dark hot chocolate (not too sweet), and an espresso machine that produced everything from a cup of coffee to a cappuccino with milk foam. This area, by the way, was also always in order and perfectly clean, as if we were the first of the day to use it. On the lowest deck, there is a large dining room with an assortment of table sizes and booths for 4 or 6. There is open seating, so you can seat wherever and with whomever you wish, for any meal, and there is always plenty of room. There was one seating per meal, and they recommended that you arrive within 20 minutes of the beginning of a meal to have plenty of time to relax and enjoy it. There is an attractive buffet with a wide selection of choices at breakfast and lunch, as well as a menu from which you can order. At breakfast, there is a chef present who will make an omelette or eggs any style you wish. The dinner menu always has 2-3 choices for the appetizer, salad, entree, and dessert, plus other main courses (such as a main dish salad or quiche) that you can order. The quality of the food, as well as its presentation, exceeded our expectations. Every night, we had a choice of fine wines (included) and the servers were most generous with it! At the back of the ship between the middle and top deck is a smaller restaurant, The Chef's Table, that seats about 24. You have an opportunity to dine there on one night of the cruise (you make a reservation when you embark), perhaps to celebrate a special occasion. This meal has multiple courses served by attentive staff in tuxedos -- and you can observe the chef preparing the meal in a glass-walled kitchen adjacent to the dining room. We were pampered by all of the AmaPrima staff, in the nicest way possible, for the entire week -- but the staff to guest ratio in The Chef's Table was even greater. We were in cabin 208, an AA (the roomiest) cabin (other than the suites), on the middle deck of three that had cabins. We had plenty of room, thanks to all of the clever storage features and both an inside and outside seating area. Our luggage was out of sight under the bed. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable. It came made up with a duvet, but the housekeeper will change that to sheets and a blanket if you prefer. I think a slightly smaller cabin would be fine too, and that cabins on the top and middle decks are equally good. I'd also like to add that the decor was classy but simple and tasteful; I nixed a couple of cruise lines while I was perusing different ones online because of the fussy, overly feminine decor. I think what sets AmaWaterways apart, other than their ships, is their staff. Our captain was German, our outstanding cruise manager Frederico was Croatian, and the rest of the staff largely hailed from Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Without exception they were very friendly, thoughtful, cheerful, polite, and accommodating. I've heard that it's tough to get a job with AmaWaterways, and they certainly have a first-rate staff. Frederico (the cruise manager), was extremely knowledgeable, organized, present, and had a pleasant voice -- very important, especially when you're listening to him speaking into a microphone in the lounge or over the PA system as he gives a commentary while we're cruising. Our housekeeper, Andreea, was a prize; she would whisk in while we were at breakfast to clean our room, and again while we were at dinner to spruce it up again. Three times, we found our towels arranged origami-style into different animals: two swans for our anniversary, a dog, and the biggest surprise -- a monkey swinging from our ceiling! A fun surprise when we would return to our room. We tended to sit in the same area of the dining room, so we often had Christina as our server; if you happen to have her, you'll find she's not only efficient, hardworking, and attentive but exceptionally thoughtful and friendly. At different ports, there were choices of activities (including biking) both during the day and sometimes in the evening. Our four highlights were visiting Cesky Krumlov (with our outstanding guide Veronika), touring Melk Abbey, biking from Melk to Durnstein (though note: while rated by AMA as a "5" in difficulty, if you are fit, it's more like a "2") along the Danube and through the vineyards, and the evening concert at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. The orchestra and singers were not only first rate, but engaged with the audience and displayed a delightful sense of humor. AMA clearly tries to offer a wide variety of activities to suit everyone, from a "gentle walkers" group to biking, and from introductory city tours to behind-the-scenes hidden walks and wine and sacher-torte tasting. The only activities that had a surcharge were the evening concert in Vienna and the tour of Schonbrunn Palace near Vienna. Every evening, there was a gentleman playing the keyboard and singing in the lounge; some evenings, there was special entertainment brought on the ship: two opera singers, two violinists & a guitarist, and Hungarian dancers. All were excellent! In summary, if you're looking for a river cruise, we can recommend AmaWaterways highly. If you want to cruise the Danube, I think any of their Danube cruises would be equally good -- but I'm glad we cruised east ending in Budapest, because on our last night, the captain sailed the Budapest harbor so we could enjoy the illuminated bridges and buildings. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
This was our first river cruise, and my first cruise. The pre-cruise information packet and the information provided by the travel agent AmaWaterways referred us to was excellent. We had some specific concerns and she addressed them ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and my first cruise. The pre-cruise information packet and the information provided by the travel agent AmaWaterways referred us to was excellent. We had some specific concerns and she addressed them clearly. We got a better deal through CruiseCompete.com, however, and took that. Arrival in Prague: we hadn't booked a transfer but we were on the same plane as others who did, so we got a ride in the van provided and they billed us for it, which was convenient. The pre-tour in Prague was well-organized, although the hotel (Old Town Hilton) was used by many cruise and tour groups and the elevator was jammed. Transfer to Nuremberg and embarkation: Well-handled, good commentary provided during the long ride. Stop at the Czech border with last chance to spend Czech money. Tour of Nuremberg and then embarkation. We had a cocktail welcome and snacks in the lounge while the crew boarded the luggage. It was all well done, and the crew was introduced. Our cruise director clearly explained our itinerary each day. My husband has some oddball food allergies. We called the cruise line in advance and then discussed them with the Maitre D. He ensured that we got a menu at each lunch and dinner marked as to what selections were "safe." In some cases, they crossed out a sauce and were prepared with an alternate for my husband. This worked perfectly, he was able to make selections with confidence. I love gourmet food and fine dining. I give the dining experience an excellent rating. While the dishes were "foodie" enough for me, they weren't over-the-top "adventurous." You had 3 selections for each course for lunch and dinner, plus standard options (such as a hamburger, steak, grilled chicken breast). My husband (non-adventurous eater) only resorted to the standard option once. Our only negative is that the menu didn't include local comfort food specialties of the area we traveled (Germany). We would have liked to see schnitzel and wurst as standard options. The only clunker of an entree I had was the sauerbrauten. Drinks: I loved the 24-hour coffee/tea station, where cookies were also always available. I never had to wonder where my next cup of coffee would come from. Wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee, tea was included at all meals and usually reflected the local wine of the area we were sailing through. Our glasses were filled expeditiously. You are allowed to bring your own wine and spirits onboard and we bought our favorites in the villages along the way to enjoy in our cabin. The waiters really hustled and did an excellent job. We were always served promptly. The dining room had a good selection of 2-person and 4-person tables as well as a couple of larger tables. This was excellent as we usually preferred to dine alone. There is no assigned seating, which also gave us some variety in where we sat. Cabin: We had a top floor standard cabin with French balcony. The amount of closet space and storage was very good. Although the bathroom was small, the shower had lots of room to maneuver and fancy spray nozzles. The hairdryer worked well. We used the storage space above and below the sink. Excellent towels, bathrobes, slippers. The air conditioning was super -- we had very hot weather and the cabin could be kept pleasantly cool -- even cold! We loved the laundry service, which we thought was reasonably priced. Our items were back in 24 hours or less. That was our only additional expense for the cruise. The beds were firmer than we are used to but not too firm. Good easy chairs for watching the river go by from the floor-to-ceiling full-length wall of windows. We enjoyed opening the sliding window to enjoy the breeze while sailing (once the weather cooled!). We didn't need to go to the lounge or sun deck but could enjoy the views comfortably in our cabin. We loved having the infotainment system tuned to the bow camera. On that setting, you could also listen to any lecture in the lounge or the Cruise Director's daily updates and instructions. The internet connection through the infotainment system worked well (except when going through locks or deep in a river gorge), with a keyboard provided, and you could print to the printer in the aft lounge. I also used the free Wi Fi and it worked great except at the downtimes in locks, etc. In general I had access most of the time I wanted it, at good speed. The cabin was amazingly quiet, we never heard our neighbors below or on each side. Far quieter than any hotel I've ever stayed in! We only got a little use of the Sun Deck because our first 3 days were on the Main-Danube canal with too many low bridges and locks to allow access. But it was great that both the main lounge and the sun deck appeared to have enough seating for all passengers. Some passengers used the small hot tub once we had access. They had a sun shelter that they put up at times. I used the walk/jog track. For the shore excursions, I grew to love the Whisper System audio sets provided. You could follow along with your local tour guide's directions and commentary without having to huddle around him/her. I have hearing aids and it still functioned well. I loved the Active Walker options each day -- the same walking tour as the Regular group but at a little faster pace (still VERY LEISURELY WALKING - nothing aerobic). That left us more free time in the town or city to shop, eat or explore on our own. There was also a gentle walkers group that usually had a shorter route. We often had a short bus ride into town to start the walk and a ride back to the ship, but sometimes we started from the ship itself. There were clear instructions if you wanted to break off from the group and explore on your own, meeting them at the bus or ship at the appointed time. We had excellent maps provided at each dock. The walking tours were definitely easy-paced and the distance was minor, usually only a mile, maybe 2 miles total for the longest ones. They had seat canes available for those who needed to sit while listening to the guide. We appreciated the little extras included in the tours, such as beer or wine tasting. We only went to one of the evening entertainment offerings, we preferred to head to the cabin (just like at home!) We liked the amount of downtime provided each day, enough to relax and enjoy the scenery but not too much leading to boredom. We bought a couple of items at the ship gift shop. They have a nice selection of things. At the end of the cruise, our only additional expenses were the airport transfer, laundry, and the two items we bought at the gift shop. They arranged for our taxi to the airport at the end, setting the price so we had no surprises. The tipping was handled well, with suggested amounts (stated in advance in the packet you got pre-cruise, so no surprises). You could pay by card or cash, with envelopes provided. Overall, this cruise was perfect. We would probably choose to have lunch more often onshore to enjoy the local cuisine -- not that the food on board wasn't super (it is), but just because we love the local food. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2013
I just returned from sailing on the Amalyra, Europe's Rivers and Castle Tour (Paris to Prague, 6-25-13) with my sister and mother. Easiest way to describe the journey - a fabulous experience - a five-star hotel set on top of a very ... Read More
I just returned from sailing on the Amalyra, Europe's Rivers and Castle Tour (Paris to Prague, 6-25-13) with my sister and mother. Easiest way to describe the journey - a fabulous experience - a five-star hotel set on top of a very quiet barge that glides down beautiful rivers. I'm in the hotel business, so I can be pretty critical. First off, the ship was absolutely spotless. You could literally eat off any surface on this ship. Cabins are small compared to a hotel room, but plenty of space to unpack and stow belongings – you’re not in the room that much anyway. French balcony, the ceiling-to-floor sliding door/window, made the room seem plenty spacious. Bathrooms were tiny, but laid out very well. Showers were wonderful (long hair needs good pressure.) I would suggest putting in memory foam mattresses - beds were a bit hard with the scaled-down mattress depth and no box spring. Ratko, the hotel manager, ran a very tight operation. At no point during the time on the ship did we experience ANY half-hearted or poor service. Having the crew made up of mostly couples obviously keeps the morale and service culture thriving. The aft lounge was beautiful, but they had just refinished the floor so it needed a lot more airing out - maybe windows that could open? Housekeeping staff was excellent and we absolutely loved the towel surprise and the little touches each night. The captain, Hank, and the very small contingent of sailors performed what seemed to me a miraculous feat of moving this floating hotel down the rivers and through the 55 locks. The nautical crew never seemed to be off shift; and yet they always smiled when the passengers pestered them with questions. We saw a Viking ship sailing in the opposite direction one day and it had peeling paint and a run-down appearance. The Amalyra sparkled in comparison with gleaming paint and polished wood. The crew never rested between sailing and sprucing. Again, the entire ship was spotless. Be warned - the sun deck does close down often (high water - low bridges), but there was always seating around the wheel house. The food service on board takes into account that people are waking at different times. The early bird offering in the lounge is a great idea - loved the 24-hour coffee machine. Having 2 options for lunch - lighter fare in the lounge rather than table service in the dining room was also a great feature. The culinary team was excellent. The menu each night was varied and the food beautifully prepared and presented. The menus for both lunch and dinner offered plenty of options. I heard some grumbling about wanting more regional fare. However, 7 nights of unfamiliar German food would have caused massive complaints. It is a great mix of cuisines. We were a party of 3, so the table arrangements caused us to seek out new dinner partners. Some large groups ran to the dining room and "hoxied" tables - sort of rude. Free flowing wine and beer during meals were served by the bartending staff, who always had a smile and a very generous pouring hand. Bar service is not included, but the prices were very reasonable and, again, very generously poured. Entertainment was provided most nights, variety of styles. Some got people dancing - Oh, my 82-year-old mother and those spiked heels! Visions of hospital trips and casts abounded but she had a blast because the atmosphere was fun and festive. The final artist of the cruise was a bit of a diva apparently and actually stopped her performance to shush the passengers. Since this was the last night of the cruise, maybe a band-type of entertainment would have been more appropriate when people were enjoying conversing with each other before leaving the next day. Amawaterways advertises that the ship docks at small towns which you can disembark and stroll to the town center. Be warned that this is true for only SOME of the docking sites. Your excursions are included (with the exception of Rothenburg) but you are bussed to most locations. Some local guides were better than others (a small complaint that a few talked way too much), Keeping us tourists together is probably akin to herding cats. Almost lost someone in Heidelberg, but the guy just didn't get on the right bus. Local guide was in a panic until all the guides added their numbers together. Buses were also spotless, drivers amazing (although a few us saw death coming going up to Bernkastle - thank goodness we backed up - LOL.) Vox system for tours is excellent. I saw many other tour groups huddled around their guides trying to hear instead of being able to enjoy the experience. System was easy to use and pretty flawless. Our cruise manager Kata was very knowledgeable, but seemed a bit stressed at times. I think they need to give them an assistant on the cruise. Organization is excellent, but sometimes info was presented in such a way that it was a bit confusing. Language was never an issue - English was spoken by all the crew and staff - accents could be heavy however. The daily "newspaper" which explained where, what and when was a great feature. Be aware that if you do the land portion - hotel in Paris was in the middle of the left bank (we chose to stay elsewhere and meet the tour for the transfer) and didn't scream "I'm in Paris!" Also passengers were a bit upset when they realized Prague was a four-hour bus ride from Nuremberg. It wasn't that bad, small rest stop break in between. Intercontinental in Prague was beautiful and extremely close to where you want to play tourist. The price for the entire tour was expensive - be prepared. You are not nickel-and-dimed to death - so it was very relaxing when on board (loved the warm towels and tea when we returned from an outing) - but this is not a cheap way to see Europe. You are pampered, wined and dined, entertained and astounded by the beauty of the land, buildings and sheer history of the area. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat - as soon as I pinch my pennies and save up for it. Amawaterways hits every note with precision, excellent service and top-notch accommodations.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2012
We boarded the Amacello in Amsterdam for the first leg of our APT cruise to Monte Carlo. The cruise was everything we had hoped for and more. Right from the start , Kate our fantastic tour director set the tone for a fun, well organized , ... Read More
We boarded the Amacello in Amsterdam for the first leg of our APT cruise to Monte Carlo. The cruise was everything we had hoped for and more. Right from the start , Kate our fantastic tour director set the tone for a fun, well organized , informative holiday. The staff were all really helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. We were always greeted with big smiles and it was easy to tell that they were happy to be working on the Amacello. The excursions were well paced for the most. We were at the younger end of the passenger list and so found the pace of some of the walks a little slow but there was ample opportunity for free time to do things at our own pace. We struck a very hot spell in Germany when it was 40 degrees plus 3 days in a row and we always had plenty of bottled water, cool towels and iced drinks on our return. The ice cream party went down a treat one hot afternoon! APT used excellent local guides and high quality coaches for the excursions. The group size on these was not large at all and the Vox boxes were really good because you could move away a little and still hear. Last but not least the food was incredible. Breakfast was the usual buffet but with the addition of beautiful freshly cooked omelettes! Lunch and dinner was beautifully presented and represented the local cuisine. Wine flowed freely and was a better quality than the usual house wine. I would like to make a special mention of the delicious cheese board too! Our first river cruise was incredible but little did we know that it could be bettered! Read on for the second installment of this review! We left the Amacello early in the morning to travel through Switzerland to Lyon to board the Amadagio for the second part of the cruise. Same great tour director Kate, different but just as fantastic staff and another very well kept boat greeted us in Lyon. This is the first year that APT has sailed on the Rhone but you would think they had been doing it for ages by the quality of the included tours and local guides. The boat only sailed during the day and only for short times as the towns were a lot closer than on the Rhine. This meant that each evening we could take a walk into the town after dinner. One evening there was a guided ghost tour into Viviers which was a highlight for us! The itinerary for this cruise has something for everyone- visits to hilltop villages, medieval and Roman towns, wineries, a truffle farm, a goat farm and an olive farm. Again the food and wines were beautifully prepared and chosen and the servings just the right size. On this cruise the evening entertainment was fantastic as was the silk demonstration one afternoon near Lyon. My husband really enjoyed the visit to the wheelhouse with Captain Alain too. The only time we could not get Internet on our iPad was when we were in a lock and there was always enough strength to use Skype video. The laundry service was really efficient and reasonably priced and both boats had a great little gift shop with topical souvenirs so that you did not have to waste time ashore looking for them if you did not want to. The one tiny disappointment was that there weren't many people our age on the cruise, most being in their late 60's or 70's. However we soon learned that age is no barrier to having fun just that maybe we can go a little longer! Thanks again to the wonderful Kate for giving us so many laughs and good information about the towns we visited or sailed past. This may have been our first river cruise but it won't be our last! Thank you APT or Amawaterways as it is known in USA. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
Our first river cruise on the delightful AmaWaterways "AmaCerto" from Budapest to Vilshofen on the Danube river was a wonderful, memorable experience. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the cruise and the add-ons in ... Read More
Our first river cruise on the delightful AmaWaterways "AmaCerto" from Budapest to Vilshofen on the Danube river was a wonderful, memorable experience. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the cruise and the add-ons in Munich, Budapest and Prague, all uniquely beautiful and interesting cities. The boat itself was lovely. Brand new (this was only AmaCerto's fifth cruise), the vessel was clean, well laid out and stylishly furbished. Cabins are understandably a bit smaller than on the bigger ships but had quite sufficient storage space. The only minor criticism is with the strange triangular lay out of the minute shower that makes it difficult to do anything but get wet when in the confined space! We had a cabin with a french door configuration. The more costly cabins have both a french door and a full balcony. Interestingly, we did not miss a balcony at all. With the french door open it was just as if one was sitting on a balcony in any event and frankly, the extra cost of the balcony on a river boat seems to be an unwarranted expense as they are unusable for much of the time particularly when docked. As is typical of all river cruises, the boats tend to dock in stacked fashion adjacent to each other so, unless one is an inveterate voyeur who delights in staring into the cabin windows of the adjacent boat, it is advisable to keep ones curtains drawn! However, the balcony class cabins are probably about 20% bigger so perhaps the extra space justifies the additional cost. It is difficult to find fault with the Amawaterways brand. The almost all inclusive nature of the river cruise experience makes it a compelling option. Three plus meals a day with gourmet style dinners often featuring regional specialties, unlimited free bottled water, unlimited wines and beers at dinner ( generally quite quaffable but occasionally of questionable provenance!), included guided tours in each destination with excellent, knowledgeable local guides, welcome and farewell drinks with the Captain together with some unexpected "extras" such as a visit to a regional wine bar in Venice, a "beer fest" organised free by the Town Council of Vilshofen especially for Amawaterways, and the occasional free drink offered at lunch, can all be added to the plus side of the balance sheet. However,we found the overall experience to be somewhat restrictive, especially with the lack of any real alternative dining options on board. Having to take almost all meals in only one dining venue becomes somewhat tedious. The AmaCerto has a main dining room used for breakfast, lunch and dinner capable of seating all guests at one sitting. The only alternate dining venue is a small 20 seater speciality restaurant open only for reserved dinner to which each guest is only entitled to make a reservation once per seven night cruise to give all guests the opportunity to experience the excellent speciality menu. Apart from these a limited snack lunch is served in the bar/lounge area daily. Surprisingly, no use was made of the top sun deck for al fresco dining despite the weather being pretty good on a number of days during the cruise. Serving a limited menu such as brockwurst rolls and salads on the sundeck could make a delightful alternative luncheon option while slowly cruising through the beautiful surrounds of Central Europe. We have usually found that an ocean cruise of between 12 to 15 days to be just about right. However, because of the number of towns and cities visited in such a concentrated period (sometimes as many as three different destinations in a single day), we found the seven night river cruise to be about optimal - anything longer could have been too hectic and tiring. Destinations visited were all worthwhile and interesting. In each port an included tour was offered - normally a walking tour, sometimes a coach tour and on some occasions a combination of both. Local English speaking tour guides were knowledgeable and universally excellent. Interestingly, walking tours are split into gentle and active walker groups to enable passengers with mobility difficulties to tour at a more gentle pace while not limiting the needs and sight-seeing expectations of the more active guest. There was even a tour group that catered for the late risers! All guests are issued with an audio headset to make it easier to follow the commentary the commentary of the tour guide - especially useful on walking tours. Only three optional tours were not included in the tour price, all in Vienna. The one we went to was the obligatory Mozart/Strauss concert which was enjoyable if perhaps overrated. Other optional tours (all by coach) - a choice between a visit to the beautiful city of Salzburg, or to the picturesque Grumden Lake district or the historic UNESCO protected Czech village of Cesky Krumlov, were included at no extra cost. Entertainment options on board a vessel the size of a river boat are obviously limited. An excellent resident pianist delighted guests with his unobtrusive melodies most afternoons and evenings while on a number of occasions regional dancers or musicians were brought on board to entertain guests in the lounge/bar area. On one evening in Vienna an included visit to a local "Heuringer" (wine tavern) was organised where guests enjoyed an evening of wine and music. We are pleased we added short stays in Munich and Budapest before the cruise and are very happy we chose an AmaWaterways Prague add-on option. All three cities are just so full of culture. The history, art work, statues, monuments, music, majestic and historic old buildings of old Europe are absolutely awesome. We took organised tours in all cities but probably most enjoyed just ambling around on our own soaking in the ambience, history and culture of these delightful gems of central Europe. Have we been converted to river cruising? As indicated, we found the experience to be bit too limiting. However the wife seems to be far more enthralled with the river boat option so we could be in for some interesting negotiations when we start to plan our next adventure after we complete an Oz/New Zealand cruise next year that has already been scheduled! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Our initial river cruise and what a delight. The ship is relatively new and quite stylish. The beds were nice and firm, luxurious linens and delightful cabin staff. We loved having our room at the end of the hall as we had much less ... Read More
Our initial river cruise and what a delight. The ship is relatively new and quite stylish. The beds were nice and firm, luxurious linens and delightful cabin staff. We loved having our room at the end of the hall as we had much less traffic than others. The rooms were quite but this just added an additional layer. The food was well presented by an artful culinary staff who took pride in their work. The wine selections were also of good quality that paired well with the evening meals. All the breads, cookies, pastries were made fresh on board...in addition to homade ice cream ! Previous cruise lines serve volumes of calories without taste but AMA serves well proportioned meals with wonderful favors reflective of the areas you are visiting. The size of the ship and number of passengers is just right. We felt like we were on a floating five star hotel. The water motion is almost nonexistent on the Rhine river. No readjusting of balance when on land. The cruise director Cheri Coll did an outstanding job. The excursions were all included and offered a third option for those who had been to the area before, this also included a culinary twist which again was delightful. The shore guides were some of the best we have experienced and the transportation, if needed was first class. By far the best deal for the money. Ports: Breisach, Germany: you had the option of Colmar France,Blackforest, Germany or Breisach Germany. We chose the Freiburg and Breisach tours which are delightful communities one from the 12 th century. Strasbourg and Speyer: options included tour of Strasbourg with or without an additional canal cruise. We were delighted by rows of nesting storks with their young ones just recently hatched. The cathedral with it's astronomic clock was wonderful. We opted to stay out and explore and ate at a wonderful cheese Resturant "la Cloche a formage" which had pairings of cheese with the fresh white asparagus that was in season. Speyer options included a walking tour of the town, or a trip to Heidelberg. We choose Speyer which again contains a cathedral in the Romanesque fashion. This also allowed us time on our own to walk in the parks adjacent to the ships docking site. Rudesheim : included a visit to siegfried's mechanical museum which included all forms of mechanical instruments. Difficult to describe but well worth the visit. Then we had free time on our own and hiked to the top of a hill to visit the Abbey of St Hildegard. Other options included wine tasting Cologne: Cologne is a large bustling city dating back to the 13 th century. We enjoyed a walking tour and visit to the cathedral with plenty of time to explore on our own. We also managed to fit in a tasting of Kolsch style beer. Venlo: Floriade expo: this is a horticulture expo that occurs every 10 years with contributions from all over the world. We only had 2 hours so not alot of time to cover the entire area. I would suggest taking the cable cars to get an overview and then visit the sites at either end. It was quiet interesting and my favorite site was the food tent where one learned about organic food production and chefs created various dishes for tasting. The wooden tulips sold here can be purchased at 1/2 the price in the markets inAmsterdam. Amsterdam: if wanting to go tour the Anne Frank house it would be wise to request tickets on line 3 months in advance, otherwise you wait in line for a chance at a ticket. They also have a wonderful purse museum. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2010
This was our first river cruise ~ WOW! We arrived in Budapest the day prior to boarding & stayed at the Hilton Hotel on Buda side ~ this was booked at the time of booking the cruise ~ What an excellent location ~ our double room ... Read More
This was our first river cruise ~ WOW! We arrived in Budapest the day prior to boarding & stayed at the Hilton Hotel on Buda side ~ this was booked at the time of booking the cruise ~ What an excellent location ~ our double room overlooked the river & straight across was Parliament building lit up ! The view was like a postcard when we opened the curtains. The next day, we were able to walk down from the hotel to the ship whereby we were welcomed on-board even though we were early we were shown to the lounge where lunch was served until cabins were available. The ship was amazing, sleek, clean and felt very plush. We had a very friendly crew who we got to know due to the size of the passenger/ crew ratio. As on an ocean cruise you only get to recognise a few crew members because of the vast size etc. The passengers were mostly Americans & so friendly (we were the only English) The staterooms are very well equipped and presented. Each day you have free bottled water in your room. The housekeepers do a wonderful job. Food ~ there was an excellent choice & local cuisine & wines relating to the countries we were visiting. The chefs were very creative with the presentation too ! Also the waiters always had smile ~ even though this was their last week! Nothing was ever too much trouble for them. Dress code ~ This is what I was trying to find info on before we went ~ I struggled to find any information only smart casual ~ well for you ladies that also want to know what to pack before you go I will give you a few suggestions We went in the fall though ~ layers, long sleeved t shirts/ blouses/ jumpers cardigans. smart jeans/ cords / trousers no need for skirts unless prefer to wear skirt to trousers. most people had trainers on,but we wore flat leather boots & heels for evening. smart tops for evenings with jeans / leggings. Formal dress for captains night ~ they did request to 'dress up' I wore long maxi dress made from t-shirt fabric ~(no ironing as it rolled up :)But anything goes. If you do go in the fall remember to pack gloves & scarves! Hope this helps you. Excursions & guided walks ~ these were superbly organised by cruise director Lisi ~ every excursion ran like clockwork ! The places we visited were ~ Budapest city tour, Bratislava walking tour Optional Mozart & Strauss concert in Vienna I would recommend this. Vienna city tour, Durnstein walking tour ~ a must to climb up to castle ruins! great views. Melk Abbey, Linz walking tour, excursion choices ~ we went to Salzburg Loved it! Passau walking tour ~ we gave this one a miss and did our own walking tour due to the fact it was thick fog! Last stop Vilshofen where we had 'Oktoberfest' local lager and music/dance. I have listed the places we enjoyed the most 1st ~Budapest this was our favourite city especially when we sailed away at dusk !! I found it quiet moving. 2nd ~ Durnstein ~ very scenic especially if you climb up to the castle ruins joint 3rd ~ Vienna & Salzburg both have lots of history and interesting buildings. This was our first river cruise and we would definately recommend it ~ we only have one weeks holiday at this time of year and it was a great way to see lots of countries in a short time and we met some amazing people too. once home ~ we received a handwritten post card from the captain and crew thanking us for sailing with them ~ what a lovely touch ! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We have never been on a cruise of any kind and chose AMA based on the recommendation of a friend/travel agent. We were looking for a ship with a small number of passengers and a solid reputation. AMA is apparently known for the food ... Read More
We have never been on a cruise of any kind and chose AMA based on the recommendation of a friend/travel agent. We were looking for a ship with a small number of passengers and a solid reputation. AMA is apparently known for the food onboard and bundled activities - both did not disappoint. The staff on board were all fantastic and well trained in customer service. Extra effort was made by all to make sure that our needs were met. Here are my pros & cons: PROS: - food - public shared areas - french balcony - beautiful concept - high service level of the staff - choice of bundled shore excursions (including a choice of pace) - bikes on board CONS: - some of the shore excursions necessarily were quick overviews with limited flex to be able to see more. We're used to traveling on our own and having more time. This isn't an AMA Waterways problem but something we learned about cruising - we like the port itinerary for most part including stops in areas we wouldn't otherwise see. With that said, 2 days in Vienna vs. 1 would make sense. I'd add another night to make this happen. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our very first river cruise and we chose AMAwaterways based upon reviews and sailing dates and embarkation point. Aside from the weather - clouds or showers the entire trip - the cruise met our expectations and more. The cruise ... Read More
This was our very first river cruise and we chose AMAwaterways based upon reviews and sailing dates and embarkation point. Aside from the weather - clouds or showers the entire trip - the cruise met our expectations and more. The cruise manager was very accommodating and helpful. The staff very friendly and good at their tasks. The tours offered gave us a good feel for the people and towns we stopped at. The evening entertainment offered was very good and added to the enjoyment of the cruise. As said previously, the weather was lousy but we weren't going to let that spoil our first river cruise. If we choose to do another, we would certainly opt for AMA. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our first river cruise - the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel. We spent 4 days in Amsterdam and I definitely recommend a few days before embarkation. Jet lag is tricky and we pay so much for the cruise we wanted to truly ... Read More
This was our first river cruise - the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel. We spent 4 days in Amsterdam and I definitely recommend a few days before embarkation. Jet lag is tricky and we pay so much for the cruise we wanted to truly enjoy it. We stayed in the Marriott by the docks and loved. We are the type of couple who like to just wander around and we did. Our only scheduled events were the Van Gogh museum (get your tickets online ahead of time) and a dinner cannal cruise (also got tickets ahead of time and we loved it.). Second only to Paris I think Amsterdam is beautiful. Take time to appreciate it all. The Amercerto We had an AA stateroom (314) with French and real balcony. It was worth it for us. There was plenty of room, plenty of storage, and we are not tiny people. Be smart and think ahead. We went in October and took lots of UnderArmor. It was the perfect selection. We had jeans washed and laundry was ultra reasonable. We took black pants or black jeans for dinner with long sleeves, collars, and fancy scarves. No fancy clothes necessary. We spent a lot of time on our own. Our first excursion - Cologne- we went with the guide. Because of low water we were late and missed going into the cathedral. That was a huge disappointment. Other than our Heidelberg Tour, we went off on our own and had a fabulous time. Our guide on Heidelberg was great. We also decided that if something was important, like the Cologne Cathedral we were doing it on our own. We never had trouble finding our way back to our motor coaches to return to the ship. We loved the Chef's Table, eating there twice. The other dinners were just mediocre to us. Our favorite nights were when we had cheese, crackers, and fruit in our room and watched a movie. Great down time and togetherness. Our cruise director was very good. We liked his lectures every night. We also found that people who did not know were really at a loss the next morning. One irritating factor were the guests who did not take the QuietVox systems for the tours. The rest of the guests who did listen to the CD and remembered theirs had to wait up to 30 minutes while these others were taken care of. The staff were unbeatable. One night my husband had back problems and we were staying in out room. I was in sweats getting hot chocolate and at least 4 staff members asked if we were eating dinner and if not going to the dining room could they send a try to our room. And remember there is no room service on AMA! I also loved talking Spurs basketball with the Purser Christian. He was a delight. My husband has already booked the Douro cruise for next year. What a surprise! I made us go on this cruise and it turns out he loves the life. Believe me when I say you can be as social or antisocial as you want. The cruise is to make of it what you want. Oh, and before I forget, the Rhine Gorge might be the most unforgettable thing I will ever experience! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Just back from an AMA Waterways river cruise from Paris to Prague. In summary, it was a great cruise and AMA certainly took care of its passengers. The cruise itself is seven nights from Luxembourg to Nuremburg and then we added on ... Read More
Just back from an AMA Waterways river cruise from Paris to Prague. In summary, it was a great cruise and AMA certainly took care of its passengers. The cruise itself is seven nights from Luxembourg to Nuremburg and then we added on extensions in Paris at the beginning and Prague at the end. Overall I would give the 14 days a 4+ Rating. We are Elite plus Captain Club members with Celebrity but this would be our first river cruise and we were somewhat apprehensive on what to expect. Talk about first impressions, we made our flight arrangements through AMA so transfers were included. We arrived in Paris at 6:30 a.m. and when we cleared customs there was our private driver picking us up to escort us to our hotel, the Pullman Montparnsse...and to top it off he drove us in a 2014 Jaguar...beautiful car...so far, oh so good. Check-in at the hotel was a breeze and even at 7:15 a.m. we were able to get right into our room....not everyone was so lucky as they had to wait until 3-4 pm to check-in. Big room pretty good location near a metro stop and restaurants. One complaint from people -- the shower was located in a very high step in tub...difficult to get in and out of. It was great to visit Paris again and after the city tour arranged by AMA we stayed downtown to walk on our own. Next big event was a high speed train (not a bus) to Luxembourg to pick up our river boat but first we boarded a bus in Luxembourg, did a city tour and stopped by the American Cemetery where General George Patton is buried and other soldiers from the Battle of the Bulge. We have been to Normandy before and this was just as impressive. Come to find out there was a lady on our trip (accompanied buy her daughter) whose first husband died in the Battle of the Bulge and was buried here. She met with the cemetery superintendent who escorted her to the gravesite where she placed flowers on the grave.....very moving. Grounds are immaculate. We then boarded the ship and there are only 139 of us. The one big thing about a river cruise vs. ocean cruise is with so few people, you practically get to know them all. Of the 139 who cruised, close to 100 were at the pre-cruise function in Paris and 110 ended up in Prague. Mostly Americans but others from Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Brazil. Ages 40's to 90's with majority between 65-75. Food very good along with excellent service. Chef's table offered at no cost and everyone is afforded at least one opportunity to eat there...Entrees were lamb chops or wild salmon along with other tidbits pre and post main course. The wines offered (as well as beer) at NO CHARGE during lunch or dinner were German whites, French Cabernets or a French Bordeaux which easily would have cost $80-100 on a cruise ship...wines were outstanding. Cocktails (pre dinner) typically cost $7-8....two nights were on the captain. You would not leave hungry on one of these cruises. Staterooms were very nicely adorned and set up like a very nice hotel room....not opposite side sofas that converted to beds at night. Bathrooms were small but hot water plentiful, room cleanup always there, including nightly turndown. All crew members were very polite and helpful. English is the language of all AMA Waterways Ships. Internet and TV are offered in each cabin. Evening entertainment....(here's where we were really skeptical), but here is what was offered, a resident piano player is on board, classical group one night, a Mama Mia dance group another night, trip to a local coffee house or a local museum another. These were actually fun nights and offered something for everyone. Our group was very lively so we enjoyed the Mama Mia dance group and then the piano player filled in playing polkas and other dance songs on the off nights. Much much better than expected. City tours.....Tour guides: You you have to understand Europeans have a very historical insight/perspective into every city and monument and sometimes it can become overwhelming for most Americans. If you did not want the city bus tour one thing that AMA offers is a bike tour using 10-speed easy shifting bikes. Now these tours have 2 guides, one in front and one in back, and the easiest was 26km or about 17 miles taking 4-5 hours. Prague...Outstanding first class hotel Intercontinental only a five minute walk to city square. Breakfast provided at the hotel but lunch and dinner were on your own but the food was very reasonable in cost and very good. Had some rain and cold weather in Prague which did put a damper on the city activities. Attended an evening dance/local custom show in Prague...very good. Leaving for home, AMA had escorts greeting some people off from the hotel as early as 330 a.m. and then someone at the airport making sure you got to the right check-in terminal. Your hotel departure was based on your scheduled air flight home, so you were NOT all required to get up at hauled to the airport in one big bus . AMA was a first class act!! Read Less
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