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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
For 60 years my wife wanted to see the Tulips in Holland. The trip was amazing. The Kukenhoff Gardens are superb and possibly the best in the world. Our wonderful AMA experience began at the airport, with greeters to meet us and ... Read More
For 60 years my wife wanted to see the Tulips in Holland. The trip was amazing. The Kukenhoff Gardens are superb and possibly the best in the world. Our wonderful AMA experience began at the airport, with greeters to meet us and transfer both baggage and us to the ship. When we went on board the staff took over. The Cruise Director Edward Sengel was spectacular. He arranged everything, in spite of the difficult schedule because of the weather. He was extremely highly educated, his knowledge not only of the Netherlands and Belgium was vast, but his patienceand creativity in dealing with everything was wonderful The Hotel Manager Patrice Degron was also special. He did the little things to add the extra touch, like going out and buying at least twelve different varieties of cheese one day. The staff was also special. The difference between and AMA cruise and other cruises we took is the special things they add to make the cruise special: The Chef's table at the back of the ship for extra special dinner, the spa, the Wellness host and the varieties of tours were great. My wife enjoyed the biking tours9BIKES WERE ON BOARD) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Traveled with three women friends and they had picked this vessel. Have done many ocean "big ship" cruises and wanted to try something different. From the moment we arrived in Prague everything was perfect. The ship is quite ... Read More
Traveled with three women friends and they had picked this vessel. Have done many ocean "big ship" cruises and wanted to try something different. From the moment we arrived in Prague everything was perfect. The ship is quite lovely and such a perfect size, approximate 150 passengers. I stayed in suite 302 and it was worth every penny! The bathroom is huge by ship standards , two sinks, large vanity area, and a wall to wall glass shower with multiple heads. Every meal was wonderful and we loved the open seating. There is also a very nice bar and I shout out to the best bartender in the world, Valentin! Our cruise director was Peter Whitehead and he was a sheer joy to be around, not to mention extremely efficient. The entire crew and staff were exemplary. The majority of the offshore excursions are included and they were well organized and the local guides were great. The passengers were mostly over 55, well educated, and well traveled, and affluent. This was not the least expensive trip I have ever taken but one of the best and worth every cent! We had two balconies, great beds, plenty of room for two women who love to shop, and slept like babies. I cannot recommend this ship and this company highly enough. I would take this line again in an instant and probably will. Shout out to Vasi and Petr our butlers! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We'd never taken a river cruise as we normally travel independently, however, I knew we'd need help navigating our way through Bordeaux to learn more about wine. We were so impressed by our cruise director Elia, as well as the ... Read More
We'd never taken a river cruise as we normally travel independently, however, I knew we'd need help navigating our way through Bordeaux to learn more about wine. We were so impressed by our cruise director Elia, as well as the entire staff. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and professional. Virginie is truly a charmer!! Unfortunately, our experience was tainted by a large group of rowdy friends who dominated the ship and activities. Their main objective seemed to be drinking to the point of oblivion. I never expected that from a river cruise!! The staff handled it well, although I think the waiters lost patience towards the end as these guests asked for extra free glasses of wine to take back after dinner in attempts to not have to pay for it at the bar. Talk about reinforcing the "ugly American" reputation... The food was excellent, our room comfortable and spotless, and the morning views on the rivers were spectacular. Bordeaux is an exciting town and easily accessible from Paris by train. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We choose AmaWaterways for our first river cruise to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. We sailed from Amsterdam to Basel with a tour extension of 2 days in Lucern and 2 days in Zurich. We have cruised many of the large ships but ... Read More
We choose AmaWaterways for our first river cruise to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. We sailed from Amsterdam to Basel with a tour extension of 2 days in Lucern and 2 days in Zurich. We have cruised many of the large ships but Ama was the best cruise ever. Relaxing and the best service and food of any ship. We were in cabin 217. Our room was kept spotless and all ship personnel could not do enough for us. Dining was a wonderful event each day with the best food we ever had on any cruise. The Chefs Table was wonderful. Our waiters were great. We had entertainment brought on board in several areas plus beautiful piano music daily. Excursions were great. The knowledge of the tour guides was amazing and very well explained. Loved it. Our Cruise Manager, Sonja Lodewijkx was amazing. She went out of her way to make everyone feel special. Ages from 11 year olds to seniors. She also went on the Switzerland extension where she made herself available to all clients right up to checking on flights and saying goodbye as they were leaving. She made our anniversary special by having a special cake for us. She is a big asset to AmaWaterways. We loved our cruise and look forward to another. Hope Sonja is on our next cruise. 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise because we were going with another cruise and they had cruised with AMA before...We decided to spent an extra two nights in our departure city of Amsterdam before the cruise and then added the 4 night land package to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were going with another cruise and they had cruised with AMA before...We decided to spent an extra two nights in our departure city of Amsterdam before the cruise and then added the 4 night land package to the cruise as well. All I can say is that everything was perfect...our cabin was great and we did not chose the largest one available, our bed was so comfortable and the bathroom was very nice as well. The ship was beautiful and clean and modern and upscale...dining was out of this world, the service was perfect but not too stuffy, the ports and shore excursions was spot on and the whole thing ran like a perfectly oiled machine but you didn't really notice, it was all just very natural. The crew took such good care of us and spoiled us and there were tears in my eyes on the day we left the ship. Our cruise director was unbelievable and was always willing to go the extra mile to make every thing work well. I know that we will certainly do another cruise with AMA, the only hard part is deciding which of their trips to do next. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
First river cruise after many ocean cruises. We chose the longer itinerary because we felt like seven nights would not be long enough. The ship was immaculate. The service excellent. With 150 passengers, the crew knew your likes by the ... Read More
First river cruise after many ocean cruises. We chose the longer itinerary because we felt like seven nights would not be long enough. The ship was immaculate. The service excellent. With 150 passengers, the crew knew your likes by the second day. I always had a Diet Coke ready at meal time. Food was very good. You normally only have two or three entree selections. However, there was always a separate list of items always available. If you didn't prefer the pork entree, you could order a steak or chicken meal. Overall the food was very good. There was a light lunch served in the lounge which was just right. The ports we stopped at were interesting. However, be prepared to see small villages with a church and a town square. The included walking tours were nice. The bike tours excellent. We did three special edition tours and they were excellent. Everything was included We had entertainers on board several different nights and we enjoyed them. The cruise director did a great job of keeping us informed of current and future activities. I would recommend Amawaterways and the Amaserena. The room was very nice. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
My husband (Bob - age 80) and I (age 78 and mobility impaired) have been on 14 previous cruises together and I've also been on six cruises with my grandchildren. We've been on most of the mass market lines (in alphabetical order ... Read More
My husband (Bob - age 80) and I (age 78 and mobility impaired) have been on 14 previous cruises together and I've also been on six cruises with my grandchildren. We've been on most of the mass market lines (in alphabetical order Carnival, Celebrity, HAL, Princess, NCL and RCCL) We have also cruised on our own boat and rented a canal boat that we cruised on in England. This was a wonderful cruise which had a few problems. Only one of those problems was attributable to the cruise itself. One problem was my expectation for the cruise. I thought we would be traveling along rivers and canals and through locks so that we could view the passing scenery from our cabin, and then we could get off in towns and cities and either take excursions or wander around on our own. Unfortunately most of the traveling was done at night in order to maximize the time in port (which is good), and most of the excursions were walking tours. Even the 'gentle' walking tours had quite a lot of walking. The pace was exhausting because so much was packed into each day. My husband was sore for a week after we got home in spite of the fact that he is currently putting siding on our house and climbing up and down the scaffolding every day. A second problem which was totally out of anyone's control was the weather. We had a few sunny (although cold and windy) days, but most days there was some rain, and there was also sleet, hail and snow. The temperature was rarely above 50 degrees F. and it felt colder because of the constant wind. The one problem that was a ship problem was rescheduling of the ports. I particularly wanted to visit Volendam for an extended period of time (as it was originally on the schedule) and instead we went to Hoorn and our tour got to Volendam so late that the stores were closing and we were only there for a short period. I also thought we would be able to get off the ship in Kinderdijk but instead we had to take a bus to it. The ship itself was beautiful. There was a lovely lounge with a lot of windows - you could look out over the bow from there. They also had iced tea and water and something to eat there almost all the time, plus games and books. There was also a bar where you could get drinks. There were fresh flowers everywhere including in the dining room. You could sit wherever you wanted in the dining room. There were set time for meals, and you were asked not to come in during the last half hour. The elevator went from the third deck down to the dining room. It did not go to the top deck where the pool was, and there were some rooms on the lowest level that you had to go down stairs. The service was great - the dining room personnel would remember what you wanted to drink and bring it without asking. A problem for me was that breakfast and lunch were partly buffet, and I just cannot do a buffet very well on the scooter, and I can't stand there long enough to get food without the scooter. So I either ordered from the menu or Bob got me something from the buffet. They had a very decadent chocolate buffet, and Bob got me a plate of chocolate - I ate too much chocolate. Our room was kept very clean. Everyone was very helpful and cheerful. Wine was included with dinner, but since we do not drink, this was not a benefit that we could take advantage of. Travel to the port - I have been to Amsterdam twice before. Once in 1950 and once in 2009. So I did not expect to do much before embarkation. We landed the day before the cruise, so there were no people from AmaWaterways in the airport, but we didn't expect any. City Airport Taxis picked us up and took us to the hotel for 38 Euros. They were late in getting to the airport but that might have been because of traffic Hotel - We stayed in the Movenpick and it is a nice hotel, and we had a nice handicapped room, but it is very expensive and while it is very close to the cruise docks, it is too far by land for us to get from one place to the other on foot with our luggage. So we had to take a taxi which was 8 Euros. The hotel also had a buffet breakfast which was MEGA expensive - $25.25 each for breakfast. Totally not worth it. I had some things I would have liked to do in Amsterdam, but I ended up not doing any of them. The Marine Museum was closed for some function, and Bob was tired so on April 20th, all we did was check into the hotel and go and see where the ship was moored. Embarkation was very easy (after we got the taxi from the hotel). We unloaded our suitcases from the taxi and they were taken to our room. We were earlier than the 3:00 embarkation, but they had pea soup and sandwiches so that we could have lunch. Since this was the maiden cruise for this ship, there were no outgoing passengers, and we could go back to the room and unpack. Ports and Shore Excursions: The guides were in general very good and they had an excellent system for ensuring that the guides could be heard. There was one very large group from California with their travel agent and I think she poached all the best guides. The first day we were to take a canal boat tour of Amsterdam. I wanted for Bob to see some of the city. When I was here in 2009, I took the Hop-on-Hop-off canal boat tour and it was great. The tour we had from Ama was not as good - I was disappointed in it. Then we cruised to Hoorn (instead of Volendam) and had either a walking tour of Hoorn, or a bus to have a walking tour of Edam and Volendam. BIG PROBLEM - we were rafted between AmaStella (outboard of us) and a Viking ship (on the dock) We could not just walk across the Viking ship because the decks did not match. So we had to walk up to the Sun Deck (the top deck), cross our Sun Deck, walk across the bridge to the top deck of the Viking ship and then walk down to the dock level. One of the ship crew, thinking he was helping took the scooter all the way to the dock. That meant I had not only to walk up the steps to the Sun Deck (would not be a problem) but walk down the deck, and across the two decks and up the other deck and down some stairs. At that point I said I knew that the Viking ship had an elevator, so I took that down to the dock. I was disappointed in this tour because I would rather have skipped Edam and just gone to Volendam. There was a LOT of walking on these tours. Day 3 - I picked the Het Loo Palace tour, and the weather was good and since I had to separate from the rest of the group to use the elevator, we went around the palace basically on our own. I would really recommend this tour. After that, we cruised to Nijmegen, but I did not take the trip up the steep hill into town. the folks that did reported that it was quite windy Day 4 - Antwerp. I pick the tour to Ruben's house, but the weather was really bad today - it rained buckets and then sleeted and the wind blew everyone's umbrellas inside out. I was allowed to do the studio of Ruben's house and the garden, on the scooter, but not the house itself. Which was not unexpected, so I was not unbearably surprised. I was however not feeling well and wanted to get a taxi back to the ship, so we left the group before they went to the Cathedral. Which was just as well because it was Sunday and they could not go into the Cathedral to see the Rubens paintings there - they had to stand outside and be told about them. I would recommend this tour, but not if it is on Sunday. I had wanted to do some shopping, but of course on Sunday the stores were not open. Our taxi had a hard time finding where the ship was docked even though I had the daily program with the address on it. Day 5 - The Captain decided that the weather in the North Sea would be too much for the ship (a good decision), so we stayed in Terneuzen and did not cruise to Middleburg. We stayed in our cabin and parly because it was horrible weather, we did not go on any of the tours which were to Ghent and Bruges. Day 6 - This morning we were in Willemstad, and for the first time, I had the opportunity to get out and roam around town on my own taking photos. I had a wonderful time. I did miss the organ concert that was the tour for this morning. When it started to rain, I went into a little shop and bought some souvenirs and then when it stopped I resumed roaming around town. This was the day we were to have gone from Willemstad to Kinderdjik. Instead we went to Dordrecht and were to take a bus to Kinderdjik. Bob wasn't feeling well, and I'd been to Kinderdijk in 2009, so we decided not to go. The weather was apparently awful for those people that did go. Day 7 - this was the day which we were to visit the tulip gardens Keukenhof which was one of the main goals of the cruise for me. Goals were Amsterdam, Volendam, Antwerp, Kinderdjik, and Keukenhof. It was also Kings Day when everyone wears orange. We lucked out in that it rained fairly hard, but we were on the bus then (both going and coming) and was mostly sunny while we were in the gardens. It did rain one more time a little bit while we were in the gardens and we just went into one of the pavilions. We took a lot of photos of the tulips, and ordered some sent as gifts. We did not go to the village of Zaanse Schans because we were tired, and we had to pack. Day 8 - Disembarkation. we had the latest time. We would put our suitcases out about a half hour before our disembarkation time, and someone takes it down to the lobby (because the corridor is too narrow with everyone's bags in it. Then people shuttle the luggage down to a tent on street end of the pier. As your transportation gets there, you get your bags and you are off. Easy Peasy. The City Airport taxi that was to pick us up was an hour late, although the driver was cheerful and efficient. After the cruise we spent two days in Alkmaar. What I did not know: There were several things that I did not know which I wish I had known before we took this cruise. I did not know that the special dining room at the back of the ship did not cost anything extra. If I had known, I would have signed up for it. I did not know that the bicycles were electric as the Cruise Critic review says they were. I did not know that I could have just gotten a taxi to Volendam from Hoorn instead of taking the tour. I also wish I could have opted out of the canal boat cruise of Amsterdam and taken the hop-on-hop-off tour boat on our own. Summary - I loved the ship. The itinerary was great. The weather was horrible a lot of them time. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our first river cruise. It was a fantastic experience once we arrived at the ship (see AMA airline problems below). The ship is beautiful and well maintained. The crew was very friendly and provided great service. The dining ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. It was a fantastic experience once we arrived at the ship (see AMA airline problems below). The ship is beautiful and well maintained. The crew was very friendly and provided great service. The dining was usually very good except for first and least day when food/snacks were provided in the lounge--just okay. The local wine and beer selections with meals were very good. We cannot say enough good things about the cruise director Matyas from Hungary. The itinerary beginning in Budapest was excellent and well organized. The folks who lead the shore excursions were very knowledgeable, spoke excellent English and were the best we have ever used. Accolades to AMS for a great experience. FYI--the 5 rating for Value pertains only to the cruise itself (excluding air arrangements). HOWEVER--The included air arrangement was the WORST we have ever experienced and we do NOT recommend using AMA Air Dept. We made our reservations 8 months before sailing based on a recommendation from our travel agent. The price included airfare, but we did not receive details until Dec. 29. Immediately we recognized that a one hour and 5 min. layover at Charles de Gaulle was not enough time. We promptly called AMA but were told the transfer met minimum requirements. Any changes must be made through our travel agent and would involve $350pp plus additional charges for air ticket. Our agent tried three times to get a change to the itinerary but the costs were usually $650pp. Bottom line: Not enough time at CGA to change terminals and go through additional security. We actually had to jog to the gate---tough on a 73 yr old couple. We only got on board because the plane was delayed 10 minutes for baggage. Second air problem: Initial seat assignments were next to toilets on 3 planes, 2 long haul over the ocean. Although we tried to change seats 90+ days ahead we ended up paying another $540 for acceptable economy seats. Third air problem: We flew on three planes each direction when I could have arranged the trip with two. The additional cost for making my own arrangements was only $450pp more than what AMA charged on our package. AMA air would allow us to cancel the air but we would not receive a credit. CONCLUSSION--For the above reasons, we cannot recommend allowing AMA to make air arrangements. It is a shame that a wonderful sailing experienced can be tarnished by an unacceptable and unprofessional air department. Unless changes are made within the organization, that is the only reason we probably will not sail with AMA again. FYI--We have sent a similar report to the President of AMA. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We had never done a river cruise before, so my dad and I did some research on the best river cruise companies. Everyone has heard of Viking, but as we dug into the reviews we saw that AmaWaterways had excellent ratings. We knew we wanted ... Read More
We had never done a river cruise before, so my dad and I did some research on the best river cruise companies. Everyone has heard of Viking, but as we dug into the reviews we saw that AmaWaterways had excellent ratings. We knew we wanted to do a Danube tour and the AmaSonata ship sailed at the appropriate time. We flew into Budapest a few days early and spent some time in the city, and we also booked the Munich post-cruise land tour. If I had to sum up my experience in one word, it would be WOW. My expectations were exceeded in every way on this river cruise. I am writing this review from home, but would do anything to rewind the past couple weeks and re-do my trip. Here are some of the details: The Ship: The ship overall was very elegant - nicely decorated, comfortable lounge areas, and a great sun deck with plenty of chairs. The lounge had a coffee/tea machine and a full bar with staff members always available to get you what you need. They also had snacks out in-between meal times and served light lunches there as well. The restaurant was a few decks down, but had plenty of windows to see outside during meal times. Cabin: We were lucky enough to get upgraded to a room with a full sitting balcony (complete we two chairs). The room was small, but comfortable enough for my sister and me. The bathroom is also pretty tight, but considering the space the shower was a good size. The cabin came with a computer (Mac) that had movies (which we didn't watch) and internet access. Dining: * Breakfast - There was a wide variety of food at the buffet, complete with an omelet station that I ate at almost every morning. I'm also obsessed with the muesli in Europe, which was available in abundance each morning. Guests could also order things like eggs benedict and waffles off the menu. Juices, coffee, etc. were all available. * Lunch - Lunch always consisted of a buffet of salads, sandwiches, and a special dish (curry one day, vietnamese soup another, etc.) However, you could also order soups and main courses from a menu which were also delicious. * Dinner - Ama-zing. We had a 4-course dinner every evening, which I'm going to miss now that I'm back home. The soups were to die for; my favorite being the Parmesan soup. A few of the nights we had local-inspired food, such as wienerschnitzel or sausages in Bavaria. Note: Beer and wine are unlimited and included with lunch and dinner. However, if you want a glass of wine to sit on the deck in-between meals, you will be charged. Service: Since my sister and I were some of the youngest on the ship (river cruises have a tendency to attract a 50+ crowd...or so I'm told), we really connected with the staff. From day one, they made us feel like we were at home. Everyone from the bartenders to our housekeeping crew were so cheerful and hard-working, it gave me a new perspective on working at a job, because they work all the time, but still manage to have a sense of humor and connect with their guests. Special shout-out to Cornel, Millos, Alex, Marius, Yanos, and Evo. Ports and Shore Excursions Most of the port stops and excursions were really great. We had the occasional dud when it came to tour guides (only 1 or 2), but everything else was great. The guided tours were informative, and they always gave us enough time to explore a place on our own. We didn't do a lot of the extra (as in additional money) excursions, so I can't speak to those, but the included tours were good. Each day there were usually 2-3 options for tours and they had a gentle walking group, which was nice for my parents who sometimes wanted to take it easy. Traveling w/Children We traveled with four adults - my parents in their 60s and my sis/me who are 33 and 40. This cruise would NOT be good for children, in my opinion. As I mentioned above, most of the guests were 50+ and the tours/excursions are much more focused on history and things like wine-tasting. Although, Disney has partnered with AmaWaterways and I'm sure they'll create a much more kid-friendly option. I would hands down, 100%, go on a river cruise with AmaWaterways again, especially on the AmaSonata. I would go again next week if I could get the time off from work.:) Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
From being transported from the airport to ship, having snacks and a light lunch provided while we waited for our cabin to be readied, receiving a map and some ideas where we might visit in our departure city, the excellent room--every one ... Read More
From being transported from the airport to ship, having snacks and a light lunch provided while we waited for our cabin to be readied, receiving a map and some ideas where we might visit in our departure city, the excellent room--every one has a computer with wi-fi and is surprisingly spacious, the two champagne receptions, the excellent and very varied cuisine (always something different), the option of two tours a day to local attractions, well, what was not to like? Every need was met, most before we were even conscious of needing something. The staff was exceptional--my husband came down with a cold and the man who cleaned our room was so solicitous of his welfare; he was sent broth from the dining room, etc. We especially enjoyed the cruise director, who began each announcement with, "My dear ladies and gentlemen," and sounded like he actually was thrilled to talk to us. When we returned from our tours, we were met with a special beverage (always something different) and lemon scented fresh towels to wipe our hands. The places we visited were interesting, with local guides who knew the history of the sites and shared stories with us. We were offered wines coordinated with our evening meals, plus California wines as a fall-back. We were given a chance to have a special meal at the chef's table, and watched the ship going through the lock from the special dining room as we tasted three appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Postcards were mailed home for us; we heard our tours on individual programmable devices with ear pieces, and after we returned home, received a hand written post card thanking us for being on the cruise. What a pampering experience! We'd love to do another river cruise with such a great company. There was nightly entertainment with a variety of performers and music. Read Less
39 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Amawaterways AmaDara 7-14 Dec 2015 Siem Reap to Saigon We enjoyed a 7 day river cruise on AmaDara from Siem Reap Cambodia to Saigon Vietnam in early December 2015. This was our first cruise with AMAWaterways, on the AmaDara and on the ... Read More
Amawaterways AmaDara 7-14 Dec 2015 Siem Reap to Saigon We enjoyed a 7 day river cruise on AmaDara from Siem Reap Cambodia to Saigon Vietnam in early December 2015. This was our first cruise with AMAWaterways, on the AmaDara and on the Mekong River. Pre Cruise There were pre cruise and post cruise packages that we did not participate in. We organized our own tours with French speaking guides to satisfy the majority of our group. Meals All meals, breakfast lunch and dinner had a choice of Asian or Western dishes. Breakfast was an extensive buffet with Asian and Western selections along with an Action station where omelettes and eggs could be had along with pho (Vietnamese soup) which was excellent. If it had been a long day of tours and sightseeing you could simply sit and order the Chef's recommendation for lunch or dinner which we did many times. Wine, included with meals, was poured freely, the selection limited to a red and a white, I was never left wanting and a top up to take to the room after dinner was never denied. My wife thought Chardonnay was over represented during the cruise. There was only one sitting for all meals and one dinning area for all meals except dinner. There was a special higher end restaurant, the Chef's table, that you could book for dinner instead at no extra charge but the seating is limited. I suggest you reserve early so you get your preferred time and date. Bar brands of alcohol were available complimentary as were soft drinks and juice. There are no beverage packages required. High end alcohol brands and wine not during meals were an extra charge to your room. As wine was included with meals, nobody cared if you brought your own wine on board to have before or after dinner. Entertainment on Board The entertainment on board is a bit sparse compared to ocean cruises, but we were so busy with the daily tours we didn't miss it. That said there were a couple of evenings of local entertainment that was very unique. There was also a crew talent night, the kitchen won with YMCA, it was fun and we all got to eat the next day. There isn't a casino or any slot machines. Tours Throughout the cruise there were 2 tours a day, included in the price, a morning and afternoon tour. The morning tours started between 0815 and 0930 and always had you back on board for lunch. The afternoon tours varied in starting times but we were always back in time to freshen up and try the daily free cocktail before dinner. The Cruise Director, Long and Hotel Manager Markus were friendly and approachable. Most days Long had a short talk about what would be happening the next day. When leaving for a tour make sure to say, So long, he'll like that. Accessibility Having a handicapped family member (not on cruise) you become much more aware of accessibility issues. This is not a boat or cruise for a person in a wheelchair or with any significant walking impediment. There are no elevators and the gang plank to get on/off and local terrain is such that you need to be able to walk on your own. Pictures from our trip: https://picasaweb.google.com/105478908591388516194/MekongOnAmaDara?authkey=Gv1sRgCPj9lcTB9NWZ5AE Day 1 The cruise started with a 5 hour bus ride from the Sofitel Siem Reap to where the boat was 'docked' (tied to trees on shore). The boat rarely starts close to Siem Reap I was told, Tonle Sap lake, but usually well past the southern end of the lake, which we found a bit disappointing not being able to see the lake. The bus ride was quite nice though, there is a lot of country side to see and there are 2 stops, one to eat your complementary Sofitel box lunch and the other at Spiderville for crunchy desert spiders and other bugs. Those cost extra but they would have had to pay me to eat the tarantulas and I'm a fairly adventurous eater. The Sofitel box lunch was ok, a sandwich a piece of fruit, a cookie and water. We arrived at the boat mid-afternoon and walked down a grassy slope to a gang plank with railings on to the boat. A boarding cocktail, crew introductions and we were underway, upstream, roughly north, up the Mekong towards Tonle Sap lake! We didn't quite reach the lake though. We moored mid-stream for the night. Day 2 On day 2 the morning tour was a boat ride to visit a floating village, lots of great photo ops, no walking just a launch from shore to take us to see the extensive village. Many of the houseboats are painted a Finlander (Sky) blue in the belief that it wards off mosquitos and attracts Finns. Ok maybe not Finns. The launch returns you to the ship in time for lunch and a brief rest. The boat sails back down stream, close to where we started but on the opposite shore to visit a small village of silver and copper smiths. We were tied to shore for this excursion and through until the next morning and you could go with or without a guide Into the village. If you have space in your luggage, bring school supplies such as note books and colouring pencils as there is a small school here that would appreciate it. The classroom looked to hold about 40 kids so bring lots if you can. The kids selling the silver items are very good with English and salesmanship. I'm sure we paid more than we should have but the prices are so cheap and the kids so nice, it's not a big deal. Our guide told us that if we didn't want to buy anything do not challenge the salesmanship skills of the sellers by saying, no thank you. That means, try harder, to the sales people. Simply ignore them and don't say anything. It's hard to do but it works. Day 3 Today we took a short bus, less than 1 hour to visit a Buddhist Monastery and be blessed by 2 monks. This was quite interesting. Everyone gathered around the sitting monks and sat on the carpet in front of them careful not to get within a meter (yard) or so. Hats off, arms and knees covered and no touching the monks. They chanted for 5 minutes or so and then threw Jasmin blossoms over/on us. We could then take pictures with the monks. After we had a tour of the Monestary, where they slept, ate, the laymen and nuns etc. Then it was back to the ship for lunch and a short rest before the afternoon Ox Cart ride. Another short bus ride to a spot on the side of a small road where the Ox Carts were waiting. There isn't any suspension on the carts so you feel every crack in the road, fortunately it's not a long ride, maybe 20 minutes. 3 people per Ox cart including the driver. As the Ox Carts are making there way down the dirt road we passed a school as class was dismissed (there are morning and afternoon classes that the kids attend 1 of), the kids must see this money train every week and ran right for us. We had a young girl walk beside us and chat with us, then she sang if you're happy and you know it clap your hands, that turned us to jelly pretty quick. She never asked for anything or put her hand out but we gave her an apple and $1 USD, she seemed happy about that. After that I stocked up with apples from the ship, the kids really liked them and were very appreciative. I asked her what her parents did, her Dad was a taxi driver and her Mom cut rice in the field. Our guide said taxi driving is a good job but the rice harvesting is only $4-$5 USD a day. The little girl wanted to be a rice harvester like her Mom. I felt kind of depressed after learning that. Back onboard we were underway for Phnom Penh and our 3rd tour of the day, the Central Market. We had about an hour in the Central Market which is filled with everything you can imagine, clothes, jewelry, electronics, fresh crawling out of the pails food and flowers. We picked up a bouquet of flowers for our cabin for $5 USD. Back to the ship and dinner and then a final unescorted trip to the Night Market. Transportation was provided both ways with pickup and drop off times noted in the lounge. This was a full day. Day 4 Today we were off to the Killing Fields, it was a rather long bus ride as there were some demonstrations taking place on our route so we took a detour. Still the sights you see out the bus windows are just amazing, the little shop factories, markets, restaurants with impossibly small stools, the garbage everywhere, rice drying on huge mats in front of homes, so the time passes quickly. The Killing Fields are smaller than I imagined having watched the movie of the same name. It's a very somber place, human bones and clothing poking up from the ground here and there. They are building a wooden walk way but for now we had to watch where we walked, not wanting to step on anybody. A large shrine housed many skulls categorized by how the victim was killed, hoe, club, cleaning rod and gun. We had about 30min to ourselves to wander the site and look at the various displays. Back on the bus and we were headed to the Genocide Museum, formally prison S-21 In downtown Phenom Penh. How the bus drivers navigate in such congestion is beyond me. The scooters are like mosquitos, buzzing and beeping all around. The prison was ok, lots of pictures of people that didn't have a natural end. Back on the bus and we arrived for a late lunch around 1pm. The after lunch tour was of the Royal Palace, Golden Buddha and Silver Pagoda. It was scorching hot, I saved a couple of towels from the previous day and brought them with us in a baggy, really a relief in the heat. Our only problem with the cruise It was in Phnom Penh that the sister ship AmaLotus tied up beside us for a little over 24 hours. Unfortunately our cabin was facing the rear of the Lotus so it wasn't pretty or quiet with the engine or generator running day and night making it impossible to sit on our balcony with exhaust fumes as well. Other cabins on that side faced cabins from the other ship a mere 5' away so everyone kept their drapes drawn. The other side of the boat, all decks, sported a view of the underside of the pier, not so nice either. I don't know if this happens every cruise or not. After the Palace we were underway to the Vietnam border and Tan Chau. It was nice to sit down and relax after all the tours. Day 5 Enroute to Tan Chau Day 6 We cleared Vietnam customs last night, it was somewhat anticlimactic. After all the effort to get our Visa, we never saw an official. It looked like our passports were taken to shore by small boat, stamped and boated back. Today's tour started with a shore launch boat ride to shore where bicycle rickshaws picked us up, 1 per rickshaw, for a ride to a silk factory. The silk factory tour was interesting and noisy but conveniently had a gift shop. Apparently Angelina Jolie had a dress made from the silk produced here. Back on the rickshaw to a rattan mat factory, no word on rattan mats at Brad and Angie's place. After a short walk we were on a small dock where the launch met us and returned us to the boat for lunch. The afternoon while we were underway again, there was an exotic fruit tasting on the top deck including durian, jack fruit and a few others. Day 7 The last full day was an early start, up at 0600 for the launch to shore at 0815 and a visit of the market. Beautiful colors in the market, lots of variety including rats (to eat). Also visited the house from the movie The Lover, look for seats near a fan. This is how I picked all my seats during tours in hot climates, where's the fan? We then boarded the bus again for an hour or so ride to the Vietcong HQ facility, basically bamboo huts in the jungle with black holes into the ground for bomb shelters. Lots of small ponds courtesy of US bombers during the Vietnam war. The trail was narrow and it was hot, if I had to pick a tour I wouldn't do, this would be it. There were actually nice big ponds and other things to see if you didn't want to hike the trail. We were back on the boat for lunch and ready to go again for the afternoon tour of a floating market where the vendors advertise what they are selling by putting the produce on the end of a tall bamboo pole. The tour also included a visit of a large Catholic Church, candy manufacturing and snake wine. Day 8 The morning of departure, bags were out in the hall by 0730 and we were on busses to Saigon by 0930 for an hour or so bus ride to the Sofitel Saigon. Summary This was one of the most photogenic vacations we have ever been on. There are pictures everywhere, scenery, kids, temples, monks, boats, scooters and animals. The boat, only months old, was beautiful, wood everywhere, wonderful fixtures in the bathrooms, balconies for everyone and no ocean swells. The staff and food were excellent. The tours were extensive and well thought out. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Where to start? My family and I booked a cruise with amawaterways entitled "romantic Danube" a offering of ports from Prague to Budapest in about 10 days(though 7 day cruise). Sailing in November through middle and eastern ... Read More
Where to start? My family and I booked a cruise with amawaterways entitled "romantic Danube" a offering of ports from Prague to Budapest in about 10 days(though 7 day cruise). Sailing in November through middle and eastern Europe is really taking a chance on weather so be advised. You could have rain and fog the whole time with temps never climbing out of the 40s. We had a stroke of good luck, weather wise. Temps stayed in the 50s and low 60s during the day and most of those days were sunny. Good for travel bad for an already low river. More on that later. The ship: The amasonata. Almost nothing to complain about, its brand new. It's very clean, well appointed and has a lot of ammenties that large cruise ships have;pool, gym, hair salon, massage, running deck, lounge, bar. Rooms tend to be on the smaller side, but honestly with a 160 person capacity, they do wonders with space. Apple monitors in every cabin but honestly those were awful. The internet was shoddy at best. I know you don't go on a cruise to surf the net but if you offer such a cool high tech thing in your room, it should work better. Stairs to bottom level of the boat are extremely steep. I'm a young guy and I was afraid to walk down at night. Staff: All the staff were friendly and always corurteous. Everyone knows English well. Most are from middle/Eastern Europe. Everyone says hi all the time, which can get a little over done on such a small ship but I think that's my introvert speaking. Food/Drink: Everything is excellent. They fed you really well but not like a large cruise ship does. Larger ships stuff you with empty sugar and burgers and that's not to say they didn't have junk food but it wasn't in your face. If you had all three meals on the ship, you would never go hungry again. Basic wine and beer is complimentary with meals. They do change up the wine but the beer, which is standard imo, stays the same,which can get boring. Cocktails in the bar are additional. If you didn't have formal breakfast or lunch in the main dining room there would always be a "light fare" in the lounge that would suffice. Two main places to eat, the dining room and the "captain's table" which like most cruises is the "fine dining" option aboard and you need reservations. But like I said, food was quality with moderate portions, especially if you ate everything. Onboard entertainment: Lets be honest. These cruises are marketed towards an older crowd. You're not going to get silly antics of Broadway rip offs and hack comedy routines here. That's totally good though. I felt onboard entertainment was on the lighter side of things. They have a pianist that does karaoke and some lounge type music and a couple nights of the tour we had some great musicians play for about an hour. They should try and introduce more port talent at each stop. Though I was happy the entertainment was a little more adult. I'm 32 and rather watch a great guitarist and violinist play folk music rather than some cruise bimbo sing show tunes. Ports of call/tours: Major bias here. I do not like tours. I despise walking around with the little earbuds listening to a tour guide ramble on about centuries of info that you will never retain. It's tiring even for a young person. Also, churches.Gosh I know Europe has a lot of churches but seriously... One or two during an entire trip is enough. They are all the same and all have too much money that should go to help the poor. With that said! Amawaterways does a better job than most companies at coming up with variations and different tour offerings like, hikes, bicycles, food prep,concerts.Some are additional so be aware. Personal opinion, they should forgo small towns , mainly in Germany and Austria as they are tourist traps and all the same small town squares, and focused on the larger gems like Prague and Budapest. Also, we were in the same town as a historic bmw factory. Why not offer a tour there? They do conduct them. Get on that Ama! One thing to conclude on the port tours. I do appreciate the different walking paces they offer. My father has some trouble walking long distances and it was nice to know there was an option but I stress he took the regular walking tours and was fine. Walking sticks, umbrellas, walkers are always available to people. My biggest issues: A river can cause many issues that are out of your control. We never made it to Budapest via ship because the water level was too low. They bussed us in but it totally ruined the experience of such a beautiful city and gave us no free time there. This is a constant issue with all cruises. All they want to do is hold your hand and not let you experience things by yourself. No different with Ama. Also, we were notified that we had to back track from our port to a previous port because of more river related issues and were told last minute. This compounded issues related to our flight because of the ongoing Lufthansa strike as we now had to be bussed three hours into Budapest again to get out flight. Now I say this with much reservation. We booked our flights through amawaterways as well as getting their insurance so this is my experience. Our flights back to the states were cancelled due to the strike. Amawaterways did rectify the situation in a appropriate time and put us on a comparable flight schedule back to the states. I am unclear whether more hassel would have come about if we had not booked through them. So get trip insurance people! The end of our trip was just not good. All I can say is that you take a chance if water levels are low. It's out of their control but what is in control is when they tell us this information. You pay a steep price for these vacations and I'm still not convinced they do everything in their power to keep communication constant. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Have done many river cruises in the past, but this one is something special. (8) ladies traveled on this itinerary. We did the land portion prior to the cruise which included Halong Bay, as many of the competitors did not include Halong, ... Read More
Have done many river cruises in the past, but this one is something special. (8) ladies traveled on this itinerary. We did the land portion prior to the cruise which included Halong Bay, as many of the competitors did not include Halong, which should not be missed. Our tour director Tony did a fabulous job. All the local guides were excellent and shared many stories of their families experiences during the war. Cambodia was probably a high light because the people are so friendly and we visited rural villages and saw the way the people lived. The boat villages along the Mekong were very interesting too. You don't see this kind of stuff on a European cruise. The boat was fabulous, we were on its 4th sailing. The food was excellent, the staff very accommodating. The entertainment on the ship was good, and even the piano player played our tunes and we sang along. What a sport, because we are terrible singers. And the ladies in the spa are wonderful too, we did it all. In Cambodia we visited a local school in the village, we were asked to bring school supplies , some did some didn't. I was a little unsure of this visit, but it did turn out to be one of the highlights of our trip. So don't skip it, it is a very rewarding experience. 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: August 2015
I was referred to this site by Trip Advisor to write a review. On Trip Advisor I am known as "Beaune." I generally agree with the editor's extensive review of the AmaPrima which sailed up the Danube to Vilshofen. But I have ... Read More
I was referred to this site by Trip Advisor to write a review. On Trip Advisor I am known as "Beaune." I generally agree with the editor's extensive review of the AmaPrima which sailed up the Danube to Vilshofen. But I have two serious gripes to pass along. First, I paid over 10,000 dollars for a 7-day cruise. Compared to ocean cruises, such as Silversea or Oceana, that is a bit expensive. I spent this to have an ample cabin with the featured twin balconies. My first gripe is that I spent a total of 5 minutes on the veranda during the entire week. Generally, that was not by choice. The dirty little secret of river cruising is that in major ports, and some minor ones as well, the ships are stacked in port. So when we arrived on the ship in Budapest, we opened the door to our cabin to be greeted by darkness--our cabin was about 3 feet from the wall of the adjoining AmaDolce. These cruise lines are adding more ships each year and undermining the pleasure of the concept of river cruising. While others note this development and move on, I find it quite damning. This unfortunate occurrence was repeated throughout the trip, as the AmaDolce was tracking us most of the way. As a corollary to this, I suggest that the "twin balconies" concept is flawed. The queen bed in our cabin left about 12 inches on the veranda side. If the room had the French balcony all across, I would have enjoyed the extra space inside as opposed to the unusable space outside. My second gripe is with the "free" wine. It is terrible. It is plonk, short and simple. It is a shame that an company supposedly offering luxury cannot offer anything better than it does. On half the nights the red offered was Zweigelt, named after the man who created it. Check your wine publications and see if anyone is recognizing the merits of this obscure grape. I have written articles for wine magazines in the past, and all I can say is shame on Ama for serving such stuff. They should know better. And the problem I found is that there was no alternative. On ocean cruises, one can ask for yesterday's choice (I was told that was too warm when I asked) or ask for a wine list to buy something better. That did not work here. There is a wine list at the bar, but the connection between the bar and the restaurant is inefficient. Some other guests were smart enough to buy wine at the bar before starting dinner and carried their wine into the restaurant. So this is how luxury works? Now if you are just looking for alcohol rather than taste, the servers are very generous with their pours. Nevertheless, we did have a good time. The crew is just great. Very helpful and pleasant. Everyone. All the time. The excursions were excellent and well planned. The schedule of activities on board and the dining times were tailored to fit the excursion schedule. Very well done. Most important, the Danube was very low after a very hot summer. I heard that some ships could not sail, and passengers were bussed to the ports on their itinerary. AmaPrima sailed the entire itinerary! 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
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
Second cruise with AMA- even better than first. Friendly, professional crew, beautiful clean ship, great food presented beautifully,wonderful tours, lots of options.Chef,s table was wonderfull! Cabin had french and regular balcony, ... Read More
Second cruise with AMA- even better than first. Friendly, professional crew, beautiful clean ship, great food presented beautifully,wonderful tours, lots of options.Chef,s table was wonderfull! Cabin had french and regular balcony, beautiful marble bath, great movies on TV. It was a perfect trip with many highlights. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We were lucky enough to go on the first “beer” AND “tulip” themed cruise. In addition to the beautiful flowers/ports the tulip cruise had to offer, we also had to an opportunity to discover new and wonderful breweries and beers, ... Read More
We were lucky enough to go on the first “beer” AND “tulip” themed cruise. In addition to the beautiful flowers/ports the tulip cruise had to offer, we also had to an opportunity to discover new and wonderful breweries and beers, popular in this countries that we visited. Our cruise was extremely well-organized by managers Nick Hartog and Victoria. I believe this was the first “beer” themed cruised (which was also a tulip themed cruise). Nick and Victoria did an outstanding job juggling the needs of “tulip” cruisers and the “beer” cruisers. They were friendly with all the guests and efficiently managed to organize a double themed cruise. Onboard entertainment, speakers and beer tastings were terrific. Meeting individual needs and guest availability is a priority for this pair. The stateroom layout was good with the French and outside balcony. There is ample storage/closet space. Housekeeping staff were excellent. We appreciated the bottled waters which were provided daily and the in-room internet. The food in the dining room was wonderful. I found it very helpful that the menu is allergy coded to enable guests to make informed choices. The beer choices were outstanding and changed each night. I liked that the food choices often reflected the country that we were visiting. The friendly service staff was attentive to all requests. The excursions were well organized and the local guides were exceptional. Since the “beer” was added to this “tulip” cruise, it was a real treat for us to be able mix (for example) a city tour with a brewery tour/tasting. The clean buses were never over-crowded and the group sizes were very reasonable. This cruise exceeded my expectations in almost every way. The entire crews, from the captain to our housekeeper, were efficient, courteous and friendly. Everyone associated with AmaWaterways went out of their way to make the experience enjoyable and worry free. I would definitely recommend this beer/tulip cruise; it meets all your sensory needs! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
My husband and I did the Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg. Wonderful food, service and staff on the ship were outstanding. You didn't need to ask for anything; everything was well organized. The ship and cabin were ... Read More
My husband and I did the Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg. Wonderful food, service and staff on the ship were outstanding. You didn't need to ask for anything; everything was well organized. The ship and cabin were clean; the cabin a good size and a great bathroom. Christan our cruise director payed attention to every detail. The tours were so organized and wonderful local guides, clean buses, and efficient. We couldn't have asked for anything more than AMA Waterways offered. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
This was our first river cruise and we chose the Danube beginning with a land pre-excursion in Prague. We chose AmaWaterways based upon recommendations by friends as well as our travel agent. They don't advertise like other river ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we chose the Danube beginning with a land pre-excursion in Prague. We chose AmaWaterways based upon recommendations by friends as well as our travel agent. They don't advertise like other river cruise lines so I was always wondering how they would compare to commercials I'd seen. We are now loyal AMA cruisers. It was so elegant and was far beyond my expectations. The staff was remarkable, food was fabulous, wine, free flowing, local guides were extremely informed and spoke perfect English. There were also several optional land excursions that gave us even more insights into local culture. The major ports such as Vienna and Budapest were fabulous, but the smaller ports such as Bratislava and Regensburg were equally as beautiful. The ship was just beautiful and had every amenities you could imagine. There was nothing missing! We have done ocean cruises on smaller ships that excelled in elegance and AMA does the same. I highly recommend them. You won't be disappointed!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
Actually sailed from Vilfshoven, Germany after 3 days pre cruise in Prague. Those were three expensive and wasted days followed by a horribly uncomfortable bus trip backwards to the port of embarkation in Germany. Shocked when we entered ... Read More
Actually sailed from Vilfshoven, Germany after 3 days pre cruise in Prague. Those were three expensive and wasted days followed by a horribly uncomfortable bus trip backwards to the port of embarkation in Germany. Shocked when we entered the reception area of the ship-dirty carpet and a smell of the just departed last cruisers. More shocked when entering the tiny room, with a tiny, tiny bath and a closet that did not make any provision for travelers that had to carry enough to last 2 weeks. The beds are hard as rocks-felt mattresses on metal slabs and so very narrow that at first we thought they were rollaway cots. The pillows were so flat that we had daily headaches from failing to get neck support. If one sat at the desk, the other person had to crawl over the bed to reach the window area. We felt like prisoners sharing a cell ! Television channels had sporadic reception and facebook communication was slow or impossible. The public areas are small and in the dining room it was very hard to squeeze in and out between tables that were packed tightly together. We had 2 good entrees all week and the rest were poor to very poor. Every meal was loaded with salt and we soon had to deal with tissue swelling and sore tongues from the excessive use of salt. Breakfast was boringly repetitive with watery eggs, burned bacon, and rubbery fruit although there was too little choice of that to bother. Made to order was not much better. The Eggs Benedict were covered with a greasy sauce that tasted suspiciously like salad cream/mayonnaise and omlettes were crusty. Reasonably good soups and lots of breads and rolls which were good in the morning but the bread was always stale at dinnertime. There was no warning that the cruise was unsuitable for anyone with mobility issues. Someone confined to a wheelchair would have been left on the dock and with a rollator-walker it was a bone jarring endurance test, even on the so-called "gentle" tours. With a few happy exceptions, most of the guides were not interested in persons with mobility issues and just frog marched us through miles of cobbles. Many could not be understood as their accents were far too pronounced. On many tours there was no time available for self exploration and if one did want to stay somewhere to have a closer look, the drop point was so far from the ship that a return on foot was impossible for a physically challenged person. There were days spent in dull, uninteresting, and historically insignificant ports and then we were raced through Vienna when a 2 day visit there would have been sensible. A good concert in Vienna helped us to forget a poor one in Prague. We paid an additional 500 euros for tours so do not be fooled when they advertise "all inclusive" and do not look for free drinks at any time other than at meals. Most of the staff members were hard working and friendly but the Cruise Manager was unimpressive and clearly had his "favourites" among the guests. We were ready to abandon this cruise an hour after it started and by the end of it we were really desperate to get off the ship. We have many, many ocean cruises behind us and found most of them perfect. This was our first, and will be our last, river cruise. The price, compared to an ocean cruise, was prohibitive in relation to what was received in value. Easily our very worst holiday in over 40 years.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
The Amawaterways staff was outstanding. The ship was great. We were on the top floor with a Juliet balcony. I thought that the tours were wonderful as were the local guides. The food outstanding(except we've had better bread on big ... Read More
The Amawaterways staff was outstanding. The ship was great. We were on the top floor with a Juliet balcony. I thought that the tours were wonderful as were the local guides. The food outstanding(except we've had better bread on big cruise ships). Free wine, beer and soft drinks with meals a plus. The cruise line was very classy in our opinion, giving us Christmas presents and bon voyage presents at the end of the cruise. The entertainment at night was very enjoyable. We loved the free wifi and internet in each cabin. We did think though that it was too cold to travel in Europe then. We only saw Christmas markets 1 day in Prague. Christmas day everything was closed and we had to scrounge to find somewhere for lunch before we got on the ship. We had too much time to kill in Wurzburg waiting to reboard the ship. It was too cold to walk around. I would DEFINITELY recommend this cruise line to everyone....just not in the winter. Our cruise director, Sebastien Leroy was also wonderful. It was outstanding working out in the gym, watching the castles along the river...but the gym should have an elliptical as well as bikes and treadmill Read Less
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