Sail Date: August 2019
Two year old beautiful ship, the food was excellent and the cabins had plenty of room. The ship was very easy to navigate for all ages, with the exception of the sundeck. The elevator did not go up. The off-shore excursions had enough ... Read More
Two year old beautiful ship, the food was excellent and the cabins had plenty of room. The ship was very easy to navigate for all ages, with the exception of the sundeck. The elevator did not go up. The off-shore excursions had enough options to meet interests and physical capabilities for all on-board. Staying on the boat always being one of the options. The staff and cruise manager were exceptional. You would not have known they have been on-board since March 1st only a couple of weeks vacation by their enthusiasm. The entertainment was a little different each evening and met our personal tastes a few of the times. Was still talented and good even though it may have not been our cup of tea. I am a person that has been on multiple ocean cruises and always battles motion sickness. No issues at all during the 7 days on the river. Would do it again if the opportunity arises. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally ... Read More
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally closed up all our bags ready to board the Avalon Vista to get settled. We had breakfast and prep for our Amsterdam Canal Cruse plus a walking tour, every day there was tours to a lot of the sights. The meals that were provided were very delicious, for those that didn't want a large meal there was a small were served in the Panorama Lounge, it was also the location for all the briefings for the next day’s activities and music/dancing. Each day was filled with tours provided by the cruise lines or optional fee. There were never wants for service because what you might want it was provided. The ports and shore excursions were very well arranged and informative. We know that it takes a lot of planning but the only disappointment was the day of disembarkment from the ship would we would like a mini tour of Basel. This was our first trip on a long ship but it won't be our last because we truly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The list of dates given above did not match our trip. We were on Rhine HIghlights beginning July 10 in Amsterdam. Howerer, the boat was lovely with great bathrooms. the staff, mostly Serbian and Romanian, were friendly and competent. The ... Read More
The list of dates given above did not match our trip. We were on Rhine HIghlights beginning July 10 in Amsterdam. Howerer, the boat was lovely with great bathrooms. the staff, mostly Serbian and Romanian, were friendly and competent. The Cruise Director, Andreea was a real trooper handling everything that came up with grace and excellence. The stops were very nice, and the guides were very good, except one. The complementary drinks and mini bar and excursions were a definite plus. Andreea spent a little time each afternoon explaining how it would all work the next day. The only drawback for us was the dinners. The choices were just not appealing to us. They did have chicken, steak, and salmon for alternatives, though. Breakfast was fine with a large buffet around the center serving area. One could also order special things like pancakes and french toast from a menu. Lunch was good, but difficult to maneuver the center buffet. There was no beginning or end, so one had to just jump in front of someone else. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband and I just finished 9 days on the Regent Navigator, a fund-raising private charter cruise sponsored by the WWII Museum in New Orleans. The trip was in honor of the 75th DDAY Normandy invasion commemoration, and its veterans, ... Read More
My husband and I just finished 9 days on the Regent Navigator, a fund-raising private charter cruise sponsored by the WWII Museum in New Orleans. The trip was in honor of the 75th DDAY Normandy invasion commemoration, and its veterans, and the excursions were primarily focussed on historic locations along the route and culminated in attendance of the DDAY ceremonies at the American Cemetery near Omaha Beach. My review rating of 3/5 is only about the ship experience itself, compared with other mostly luxury lines I have cruised with before (Seabourn (SB), Silversea (SS), Hapag-Lloyd (HL), and Crystal, plus Oceania, and also compared with a prior, non-charter cruise we had taken on the Regent Voyager several years ago. I was informed in advance by a Regent expert that the facilities, food and crew on Regent charters would be the same quality as one experiences on non-charter cruises, so this gave me a chance to resample Regent after several years of absence to give them another chance, though my primary reason for booking was the special event. Short summary: Overall I give the ship, food and crew a 3.4 rating overall and would not be tempted to book more cruises with Regent absent unusual circumstances. Again, this is my rating only for the ship, food and crew, not the customized entertainment and excursion agenda, as we did not have traditional stage “entertainment” as is usual on board Regent (BTW the topical events on and off ship organized by the WWII museum were very good, no regrets there, 5/5, though the ceremonies on DDAY involved very tiring long lines, neither Regent's nor WW2 Museum's fault). Food quality, service, and ship condition were good enough, though with flaws, i.e., like several years ago. Food on SB and SS previously was better, and it was much better on HL (though the latter also charges a higher per diem). Details: SHIP, ambience and suite: uncrowded and comfortable, well-maintained and clean in general, but the ship is showing its age a bit. All the furniture (the bed, couches, loungers, etc.) were much more comfortable and softer (important for those of us with musculoskeletal problems) than on SB. We were in a basic deluxe window suite (no veranda) on deck 5, aft. It had around 300 sq feet including a spacious walk-in closet, mini-fridge (all-inclusive and customizable), couch, desk area, vanity table, and bathroom with separate shower and bathtub areas with two nice grab bars and a rubber mat. Moderate ship/structure negatives were: 1. Initially we had brown water and low water pressure during high demand periods (but this was fixed with some pipe and filter work within 24 hours of reporting it). Per other reviews, this has happened before in recent months 2. The bathtub plug did not work (a common problem in my travels, so I used my portable rubber bathtub plug) 3. No bedside charger (only available at the desk and vanity). 4. The decor is a bit dated and carpeting is faded or slightly spotted 5. The desk area had no storage above or below it other than 1 small middle drawer (space was occupied by the fridge, glassware storage, and a flat-screen on the wall), though there was some room on top. TV had nice resolution, with basic dining venue menus available, though it did not display the MDR (Compass Rose) daily specials (only the “always available” options), and excursions listed were inaccurate Unfortunately the destinations descriptions and enrichment lecture recordings ran in a loop rather than being available for on-demand selection, like they were on other lines 6. Bath towels in our suite were thin and scratchy the first few days (definitely not luxury, as hey were old and worn out), then some got softer and fluffier. 7. Although our cabin was thankfully quiet and peaceful, with no vibrations, the main auditorium area (called the Seven Seas Lounge) often had loud vibration you could not miss during presentations. 8. There is also no large, dedicated forward outdoor observation area like on SB (here, you had to stand on the mini-golf lawn). 9. Internet was slow most of the time, impossible at others, but this is just like on all other lines I have been on, and (if not on a charter like this one where internet was included), quoted prices were high. 10. DH also did not like that the only two hot tubs were right near the pool, i.e., none were in a more private area like SB offers, and access was already closed early in the evening, before it even got dark, so there was no option for post-dinner soaks at sunset. FOOD: We had a few good, properly prepared meals (lamb dish in the small Prime 7 venue, and a good spare rib BBQ over noodles in MDR). We also had good croissants (though not as good as on SB) and generally good breads with variety (except in the Italian venue in the evening) . The food was mostly disappointing, though there were many choices, e.g., there were “always available” options to accommodate a variety of basic American taste combinations. Salmon entrees are hard to ruin, but they managed to do so in the MDR, Compass Rose. Most food was overcooked, e.g., ordering something medium meant it would arrive well-done. Breakfast meat and cheese selections were mundane, but morning bacon was always very good. The all-day coffee bar was self-serve push-button style, like on Oceania and Holland America, and was neither luxurious nor good anywhere. Desserts were no better than several years ago, and what they described as “cream” parts tasted more like Cool Whip than real whipped cream). Cookies at the cafe and cafeteria venue (La Veranda) were always the same sugar-free or regular basics, and were not very tasty, with no change for 9 nights. The evening Italian venue (buffet plus ordered entree) meal, was unremarkable. Hamburgers and hot dogs at the pool grill and room service were overcooked. The final insult was the “special farewell dinner” that was advertised to pax by the CD during the day, so the MDR got packed and was so full we were even turned away, so came back an hour later. It turned out to just be a labor-saving 3 course dinner with 3 fixed entree choices of fish, surf and turf, or vegetarian. We ordered the surf and turf and despite sawing away with great strength, I could barely cut, much less chew, the rubbery pieces of freezer-tasting disgusting old stuff they called lobster tail. Entrees also arrived cold, with oil around the potato and veggies already globbing up into clumps. I rarely send food with animal protein back, but I did here. Unlike on other lines (SB, HL), where we gravitated to enjoying a luxury lunch on board that surpassed venues portside, on this ship I would have made a point of eating off the ship as often as possible for lunch and dinner. SERVICE: Our cabin stewardess was a fast learner, and with her less bright male assistant, did a good job cleaning and meeting our limited customization requests in a timely manner, as long as we spelled everything out (so we had no service surprises or initiative from her, but she was good at following instructions). I still do not understand why hard, unripe fruit was mindlessly brought to the suite (bananas and apples are ready to eat, but what do you do with a rock-hard unripe plum or pear on a short cruise?) Very important was that the Do Not Disturb sign was always respected. Laundry came back the same day, unfortunately much of it shrunk as personnel likely did not always follow the international standardized laundry tag washing and drying instructions. Many clothing items that had been washed on other cruise lines without problems, shrank here, despite no weight gain. Food venue crew were mostly Filipino, who definitely smiled a lot, but who seemed inadequately trained for “luxury” service. Most annoying (beyond irritating fiascos with major wine service delays and comprehension barriers) was that most had an unfortunate habit of incessantly interrupting dining conversations, just as they did several years ago (I had forgotten about it until now). They would charge up to the table determined to recite their descriptions of food items or to ask questions, without pauses or regard for whether people were mid-sentence or had just put food into their mouths, and with no apologies for interrupting. They just needed to get their speeches over with and move on. I really appreciate the subtleness of good waiters on HL or SB more, when compared with most of these waiters and waitresses. Though they were almost always hard-working, because they were understaffed (e.g., tables in venues were often uncleared or unset for more guests to sit down), I did not find them to be any better than on mainstream Holland America. I usually have better and more consistent service at Applebee’s or other chain diners in the U.S. I only ordered cocktails a couple times at bars (cosmo), and each time they came back barely cooled and poorly prepared. Front desk personnel were polite and helpful (e.g., Julie). EMBARKATION and DISEMBARKATION: embarkation took an hour, probably because everyone showed at the same time from pre-cruise tours. Disembarkation was organized well by Regent, luggage had to be out at 11PM the night before, and we disembarked by color coding. IN SUM, even knowing what I know, because of the event, I would have booked this charter cruise anyway, as we came for the event, not for the food. We did not perceive the service we received here as up to what we expect from a company that calls itself luxury, however, and did not find it better than several years ago on a non-charter cruise on the Voyager. So we will be reluctant to book Regent again for a regular cruise, and will not consider it unless it is for a special event like this one where we book primarily for the event. Perhaps there were problems because this was a charter cruise and, contrary to what we had been advised prior to booking Regent, there may actually have been both food and staff cost-cutting measures implemented after all, without cruise line admission (we are not sure if Regent received more or less payment per passenger on this charter, compared with non-charters, though our total per diem for the event cruise was high). Management and crew may have known very well that most pax were there just for the event and would not likely be back anyway, so cut some corners, but I am speculating. So for now, we will stick with other luxury lines for non-charter cruising. After I had booked this cruise I learned that SB Ovation also had a charter option added for DDAY for the Museum, and in hindsight I of course have to wonder if food and service were similar, or better on that charter, event-oriented cruise. If there is a choice in the future, I will likely opt for a ship other than Regent Navigator. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The AMA Stella is a great ship with an even greater staff. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this cruise. The shore excursions were well organized & there was a good variety of them. Food was generally quite good although the osso ... Read More
The AMA Stella is a great ship with an even greater staff. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this cruise. The shore excursions were well organized & there was a good variety of them. Food was generally quite good although the osso buco left something to be desired. I will give a shout out to Michaela from Romania who is a great bartender/waitress. All wait staff was friendly & did a good job. AMA provided many extra nice touches such as welcome gifts & candy or other treats brought by Boyan the cruise manager to the guests while on shore excursions. Boyan also deserves a shout out! The one hour open bar before dinner was an extra we haven’t had on other cruises. Everything was first class even though we were in one of the least expensive cabins. We have already put a deposit down on a future cruise. So we will be traveling with AMA again soon! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This was the third cruise we have done with AMA. We love the service, quality and professionalism shown by all its employees. This year our cruise couldn't complete the journey to Basel due to low water. Instead they took us to ... Read More
This was the third cruise we have done with AMA. We love the service, quality and professionalism shown by all its employees. This year our cruise couldn't complete the journey to Basel due to low water. Instead they took us to various cities usually done on their April/May Tulip time cruise which was absolutely fine with us since we hadn't seen any of those countries. On top of that AMA has offered us credit for 100% of the cost of the cruise and we have 3 years to take another cruise. We cant say enough about how great this company is to deal with. They went out of their way to keep everyone happy and it was an absolute pleasure to travel with them. Our Cruise director Elia was superb, held up well under very difficult circumstances , was always gracious, pleasant and accommodating. We highly recommend travelling with AMA if you want to river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Recommended by a travel agent. Never do a river cruise in the past and want to experience the river cruise, especially Rhine River since it is very famous. We did have time to tour Amerstedram since we were able to dropn off our luggages ... Read More
Recommended by a travel agent. Never do a river cruise in the past and want to experience the river cruise, especially Rhine River since it is very famous. We did have time to tour Amerstedram since we were able to dropn off our luggages earlier on the ship. The included excuriosns are great since most of them are city tours with experienced/knowledgale guides to tell the history and explaint the architecture of buildings. The Black Forest trip of cuckoo clock shop was great, except the bus ride was too long and the length of time in the shop was too short. Could have left ealier for the trip and no need for rest stop. Or have people have watched the cucook clock shop history while enjoy black forest cake. Servie is very great and staff are very helpful. Really enjoy different variety of foods in the restaurant. Suggestions: should have hot water/tea service at lounge all the time. Not everyone does alcohol drinks. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise as a group cruise to see the sites of the Rhine River (and Castles of course). We departed Central Florida Friday evening on a non-stop flight to Amsterdam arriving Saturday morning. After checking into Hotel ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a group cruise to see the sites of the Rhine River (and Castles of course). We departed Central Florida Friday evening on a non-stop flight to Amsterdam arriving Saturday morning. After checking into Hotel Estherea, we all went out exploring the city. On Sunday we had arranged for a private tour that took us outside of the city. We visited Marken and Edam and toured through the Beemster polder, a UNESCO heritage site and visited the collection of old water pumping windmills in Schermerhorn. On Monday, prior to going to the ship, many of our toured the Anne Frank House while others went to the Riksmuseum. We all arrived at the AmaStella at different times but, regardless of time of arrival, embarkation was a breeze. Our bags were taken as we arrived at the ship and the next time we saw them was when we went to our room. We chose a CA French Balcony cabin feeling that we may not get as much use from a true balcony as we would on ocean cruises. This worked out fine for us. The rooms aren't large but, once we were unpacked and organized, it was very manageable. We were actually surprised to see that the sliding window opens the whole width of the room. We had thought it would only be half, so that was a nice surprise. Dining was superb. Actually, there is always something to eat. Breakfast and lunch had a buffet section as well as items you could order from the menu. We ate at the Chef's Table one evening and that was amazing (too much food for me however). Service was amazing in all areas. It was fascinating to me to be on the top deck watching one of the stewards cleaning and polishing every bit of the railings and flooring. I was impressed. We did excursions in every port. That would be my only criticism of this cruise. For the walking tours they have "gentle", "regular", and "active" paced tours. We chose regular for the first three. The first one was perfect but by the third tour, we felt they were going much too slow - too much standing around talking. So in Strasbourg we chose the "active" tour and it turned out to be too active - no time to stop and take a picture or two. I think they could find a better balance, but this would in no way stop me from going again. We continued with AmaWaterways for the 4 night land extension in Switzerland. I was surprised to learn that our cruise manager (the fabulous Sonja) would be staying with us for the remainder of the trip. This part of the trip was also done very, very well. I think the group was very impressed and had a fantastic time. Next time we will do the Danube or the Douro. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We were on the Tobin James cruse. Some friends had been prior on Viking river cruise and raves about it. We loved every aspect of this adventure. The staff was the best, very helpful and informative. The shore excursions were on time ... Read More
We were on the Tobin James cruse. Some friends had been prior on Viking river cruise and raves about it. We loved every aspect of this adventure. The staff was the best, very helpful and informative. The shore excursions were on time and informative. Viking does it right as most of the excursions are all run by their employees and you can tell they love their jobs. The food was exceptional prepared the way you liked it and plenty of it. The ship was really quiet as when you were under power you never heard it. When they docked you never felt the banging and jarring as you feel on other ships. They are amazing shipmates. During the sail days the cruse director was very informative as what we were passing by, mostly castles and talking about the history of them. Also talked about the towns we passed. She was great with keeping us informed without being annoying. I’m summary it was the best cruse, love the small format of ship, never really felt like we were being hearded like cows as you do on the monster ships . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
For this price range, I feel that everything should be in Tip-top shape. Celebrity's ship are way over due a facelift. I know that they are planning them, but I feel that the next year or so while we wait, I may try another cruise ... Read More
For this price range, I feel that everything should be in Tip-top shape. Celebrity's ship are way over due a facelift. I know that they are planning them, but I feel that the next year or so while we wait, I may try another cruise line, a newer ship. The service on Celebrity and the staff are always great! The food in the dining room and buffet are very hit and miss. This is another disappointment for this price level, I feel that you shouldn't have to spend extra to eat in the specialty dining to have great food. We did eat in the specialty dining. Tuscan Grill is always good, but I was so upset about getting rid of Qusine for this stupid Petite Chef- cartoon on your plate and a very mediocre meal, with only two choices- That was a rip off!!! I really missed Qusine the way it was. Our cabin was very comfortable, we felt that we had enough space. Bed very comfy, our stateroom attendant was excellent. I just felt that the cabin needed a facelift. The bathroom and furniture looked worn. I have a real bone to pick with Celebrity about their shore excursions. Do you notice that you cannot read any reviews on any of their shore excursions? I really wish you could. For that reason, I always try to book outside tours and excursions, but sometimes they seem like the best options, but we usually regret it, wishing that I had more information about what to expect. The other thing was that often we felt rushed during the day to get back to the ship and didn't feel like we had enough time to see anything. I guess this is the nature of cruising tho. I do love not having to unpack and pack to get to another location. I do love being at sea, But I think I may have to try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
I love the Scenic river cruise line. This was my 4th trip with them. I particularly like having everything included such as: all tips even for shore excursions, mini bar, cocktails, coffee & tea anytime, special shore Enrichment ... Read More
I love the Scenic river cruise line. This was my 4th trip with them. I particularly like having everything included such as: all tips even for shore excursions, mini bar, cocktails, coffee & tea anytime, special shore Enrichment events like a concert or Medieval dinner in a castle just for us. You can have an early or late breakfast and there is always something to eat between meals. There is a gentle walk excursion for those that have some mobility issues. This was great for those with walkers, canes etc. I also loved the opportunity to have a laundry bag stuffed full of dirty clothes laundered free of charge once during the trip as it was very hot and we changed clothes a few times a day. A waiter even remembered me and my first name from a cruise I took 2 years ago. Pretty impressive!! The crew on the Jade went out of their way to make our cruise a true hassle free excursion. In short, "What you pay before you start is all you pay". Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose to disembark from amsterdam because its inexpensive to fly there from most places in the world, and amsterdam itself is such a beautiful city to visit. the crew staff in general are extremely helpful and friendly, it really ... Read More
We chose to disembark from amsterdam because its inexpensive to fly there from most places in the world, and amsterdam itself is such a beautiful city to visit. the crew staff in general are extremely helpful and friendly, it really gave a good general feeling to chit chat and have a good relationship with the crew members. The only unfriendly ones are security staff, they have obviously not been told to have courteous or welcoming behavior. This feeling was mutual for everyone else on ship as well. The fact that we had to pay an extra fee of about 400 dollars/ per person, to get soft drinks and water during time on the ship was one of the companies sneaky ways of squeezing some more cash out of you. among other extra charges such as the gratuity charge every day per guest. The food options and timings were pretty good, there was a good range of different and same breakfast options everyday, same for lunch, and the dinner always had 2-3 new dishes everyday, which was great. The fact that we aren't allowed to explore in St. Petersberg without a visa to Russia was a huge pain, especially since it is the port where we are at for longest time ( 2 Days) . You are not allowed to explore St. Petersberg unless you are part of a shore excursion and you must stay with the group, unless of course you were prepared with a visa to Russia of course. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had good experiences with Royal C. in the past, so when we wanted to see the Scandinavian countries and St.Petersburg we chose them. But the ship was kind of old and small compared to ones we had in the USA with less space and less ... Read More
We had good experiences with Royal C. in the past, so when we wanted to see the Scandinavian countries and St.Petersburg we chose them. But the ship was kind of old and small compared to ones we had in the USA with less space and less amenities and services. Shows and food were just a little above average. Excursions were costly and not well organized. In one of them ( Stockholm) we spent almost 3 hours- out of our 5/6 hours excursion- on the road just to see a small village called Sigtuna with nothing special to see! Total waste of our time. There was nothing special to see in port of call Skagen neither. They should have managed to arrive earlier in Copenhagen instead of 10:30 to give people more time to see the town if leaving at 5:00. So all together the excursions could have been better if planned better. The cabin size was good although an interior one. Staff were nice and polite. There was a feeling that they wanted to make more money out of you with every thing that you wanted to do as if you hadn't paid enough when you bought your tickets! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We have been long-time ocean cruisers and this was our first river cruise. I had always been warned that it is very different from ocean cruising and that is true - in a good way! I had also been told AMA is a first class company and ... Read More
We have been long-time ocean cruisers and this was our first river cruise. I had always been warned that it is very different from ocean cruising and that is true - in a good way! I had also been told AMA is a first class company and would not disappoint - also true. We boarded with these understandings and were open to a new and different cruise experience. Our favorite travel agent had formed a group to sail together (she is always lots of fun), so we knew we would enjoy the people on board. AmaKristina is new (last year) and very beautiful. Public spaces well-appointed and clean. Cabins were even more spacious than I anticipated with plenty of storage. Beds were firmer than we are used to but we neglected to ask for extra cushion. Dining was also very good, plenty of variety - well prepared and presented. Service also was very good ship-wide. I really have no complaints about the ship, its provisions or its personnel. There is not a lot of entertainmenton a river cruise, but we did enjoy the nights extra entertainers were brought onboard. We also had no problem "making our own fun" otherwise. Port stops are pretty much every day on a river cruise, so we were never bored. We have always enjoyed sea days so it was maybe more than we wanted to do. The shore excursions were well-organized and tour guides were very good. They provide a wide variety of activity options. You will cetainly find something to fit your desired activity level, and it is easy to get to know others on board. With about 150 passengers embark and debark were a breeze - easiest we have encountred ever. We definitely plan to do another river cruise in the future, and will be happy to sail with Ama again. They take very good care of their passengers! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
My fiancé received an incentive trip provided by Brother sewing machines. We started in Amsterdam and also stopped in Germany, Switzerland and ending in Basel, France. All the way from special dining foods and wines in what ever ... Read More
My fiancé received an incentive trip provided by Brother sewing machines. We started in Amsterdam and also stopped in Germany, Switzerland and ending in Basel, France. All the way from special dining foods and wines in what ever region we were in was a delight on this all inclusive cruise. The service by the wonderful crew was superb! Nicolay runs a wonderful dining room, any request I had he fulfilled for us. Great waiters and waitresses, all had their own special qualities Plus the bar with Mariya and Silviya working very hard to please, constantly smiling. They never tell you no. Anthony making sure we were introduced to each city we came into port on great excursions. Our cabin was wonderfully taken care of by Tihimore who had a ready smile she shared. It felt like home the entire stay. Thank you so much, made many memories for myself and my fiancé. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We spent the first afternoon exploring Amsterdam and made it back to the ship about an hour before leaving port. Amsterdam was full of interesting sights and sounds and we did take time to tour through Anne Frank's hiding place. ... Read More
We spent the first afternoon exploring Amsterdam and made it back to the ship about an hour before leaving port. Amsterdam was full of interesting sights and sounds and we did take time to tour through Anne Frank's hiding place. This was our first river cruise and we loved the smaller ship and the lesser number of people on board. I really enjoyed the sites and scenery of the Rhine river. It is so relaxing to sit and watch the country side go by. The ship was spotless and beautiful as were the cabins. Modern and comfortable and maintained by the staff at every moment. The meals and servers were exceptional. The staff and entertainers exceeded our expectations. The ports and shore excursions were very entertaining and awe inspiring. The Rhine rive and the cities were fascinating. We were accompanied by three of our children. Ages 22, 17 and 14. They all absolutely loved it. We can't wait to book another cruise with Viking! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise was chosen specifically because of the itinerary. It went from Amsterdam to Basel and for 11 days. Our cruise manager was Dejan Stancic and was absolutely one of the most fabulous and entertaining person! He made us smile and ... Read More
This cruise was chosen specifically because of the itinerary. It went from Amsterdam to Basel and for 11 days. Our cruise manager was Dejan Stancic and was absolutely one of the most fabulous and entertaining person! He made us smile and laugh each evening when he provided the passengers (guests) with previews and information for upcoming ports. He was very knowledgable and approachable so it was easy to ask questions of any kind that would help make your trip even better. The rest of the staff were absolutely awesome, all were friendly and smiling, we always looked forward to meals and just being anywhere on board because they made us feel like family quickly. The captain, crew and hotel manager were also very friendly. What a great time we had! The ports were fabulous (read the itinerary in the brochure) and there also was a few relaxing mornings on the ship so we did not need to rush as much like the seven day cruises would be. Of course, the views on the Rhine and Moselle were gorgeous and seeing the castles dotting the hillsides (as Dajan said, you would be seeing so many on each side of the ship that you would begin to feel like a ping pong ball!) This was truly a fairytale experience! The ship was beautiful, the cabins spotless and embarkation/disembarkation experiences were seamless. Thank you AMAPRIMA for this wonderful and memorable cruise!!! Loved every second of it. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
The thing that enticed us to go on this cruise was to experience a cruise for the first time and see the tulips at the Keukenhof. The daily excursions were very enjoyable and educational. The Dutch water management with the shutoff dyke ... Read More
The thing that enticed us to go on this cruise was to experience a cruise for the first time and see the tulips at the Keukenhof. The daily excursions were very enjoyable and educational. The Dutch water management with the shutoff dyke and delta works, reclaiming so much land is amazing. The daily routine with full breakfast, lunch and dinner service was fantastic. If you are not fond of buffets you could order from the daily menu. The variety of food was very good, from vegetarian or vegan to regular diet. Desserts were always a big hit with different flavours of ice cream every day. Coffee and tea selections were also very broad, from normal tea and coffee to decaf or regular espresso crafted choices. Every afternoon there was flexible time to spend time in the lounge or sun deck to enjoy a cocktail. Daily briefings for the next day were presented by the beautiful and knowledgeable cruise director Andrea. The entire staff was professional and attentive. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We were on the Splendours of Europe trip from Amsterdam to Budapest from April 28th until May 12th with a group of eighteen people from Canada. Many of our group were celebrating special birthdays and anniversaries and for many it was our ... Read More
We were on the Splendours of Europe trip from Amsterdam to Budapest from April 28th until May 12th with a group of eighteen people from Canada. Many of our group were celebrating special birthdays and anniversaries and for many it was our first trip to central Europe. We all agreed that the cruise part of our trip was the highlight. The ship was nicely appointed, the food was good, the entertainment was enjoyable, the tours were well balanced with interesting historical information at a good pace but the crew were the BEST! I had inadvertently left my iPad in the Frankfurt airport prior to the cruise and would not have been able to arrange to get it back with the help of Michael, the cruise director. He went far above and beyond what would be expected to help me and in the nicest way. Thank you again Michael. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that the rest of the crew could not have been more pleasant and helpful. They all seemed very happy at their jobs and with each other. We would definitely choose Emerld Waterways for another river cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this ship/cruise because we had sailed with Emerald 2 years ago from Bucharest to Budapest. I like the lines of the Emerald ships. They are sleek and clean-looking. The staff are welcoming, courteous and accommodating. ... Read More
We chose this ship/cruise because we had sailed with Emerald 2 years ago from Bucharest to Budapest. I like the lines of the Emerald ships. They are sleek and clean-looking. The staff are welcoming, courteous and accommodating. Housekeeping is generally good with clean cabins and bathrooms. The trips were very well organised and interesting. If I could change anything about the itinerary I would have dropped the Volendam/Edam trip and replaced it with a full day in Amsterdam. We had only one half day in Amsterdam which is not really an adequate time for exploring and visiting the Rijksmuseum, for instance. Also the trip to the cheese factory, the day before, was a wasted morning. Most British passengers are not interested in watching cheese being made. We do make our own cheeses in Britain. Compared with our previous Eastern European cruise the food on this trip was not truthfully as good. The portions were tiny, not that I want huge portions. The fish for the main courses was pre-frozen and then cooked for dinner, and should really have been returned to the kitchen. The final dinner, the Chateau-Briand, was however, excellent as were the lunch time salads - superb. Timings and organisation to and from the airport were excellent. The Tour Director was informative and competent. The spoken English of a couple of the guides was difficult to understand. It was a nice touch when the Captain came to each bus on departure to say "Good bye" and to shake hands with all of us. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Wanted to see the tulips and the surrounding areas in Holland We started in Amsterdam and had a marvelous time. The cruise did offer some wonderful off board excursions that were well done, our guides, for the most part, were excellent. ... Read More
Wanted to see the tulips and the surrounding areas in Holland We started in Amsterdam and had a marvelous time. The cruise did offer some wonderful off board excursions that were well done, our guides, for the most part, were excellent. My only problem with the cruise was the "happy hour" - which offered drinks at half price for a couple of hours and the "snacks" were pretzels or nuts. The cruise I was on before had wonderful hors d'oeuvres both hot and cold and a different variety every night and beverages, all included! The entertainment was a lot of fun, and offered a variety. The gentleman that played the piano during the happy hour was wonderful, not an exceptional piano player, but an really nice and friendly performer. The staff was fantastic, very engaging, and that was from the housekeepers to the servers and the cruise director was wonderful. Would I do this again, yes! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
The garden lovers part of the cruise was good. All garden trips were included but the best was Keukenhof Gardens. We did the whole day tour, and used every minute of the time exploring. Traffic delayed us 1 hour or more. We even got to ... Read More
The garden lovers part of the cruise was good. All garden trips were included but the best was Keukenhof Gardens. We did the whole day tour, and used every minute of the time exploring. Traffic delayed us 1 hour or more. We even got to see some of the flower fields up close from the bus as we drove into Keukenhof. Prior to the ship leaving we went to Zaanse Schans for an optional tour. Zaanse Schans is a windmill city with mills that make cheese(with a demo and tasting of many different flavors of Gouda ), make wooden shoes (with a demo) as well as grinding pigments for paints (with demo). There were other windmills there, but it was only a 1/2 day tour, so we didn't get to see other demos. We could climb to the top of one windmill if we wanted. Would have liked more time there. The Botanical Garden in Antwerp, the 'hidden gardens' behind canal homes in Amsterdam and the arboretum in Ghent were all very interesting. There was a lot of walking from one hidden garden to another, and the last one we visited was not worth it. No beautiful flowers, just a church. The canal boat ride in Amsterdam was just OK bc our specific boat didn't have a clear view of the buildings. It was an older boat, and the top didn't open to the sky. Other boats did. Entertainment on board was a singer/piano player who was there everyday for happy hour as well as after dinner. Additional entertainment was a local clog dancing group who wore local costumes as well as a classical instrumental group. Both were good. The captain was excellent. He was at the gangway everytime we left and he greeted us when we returned. He was even up at 5:30 am to say good buy when we're leaving to go home. He mingled with the passengers and answered questions if we had them. Food was outstanding. Chef carved something everyday for lunch plus soups, salads etc. Alternate dinner choices were very good if we didn't like any of the choices on the menu which were quite extensive. They would alter our food choices to our liking bc of certain dislikes. Very accommodating!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I would suggest to replace excursion to Botanic Gardens with something else - tour of the Amsterdam for instance or Canal cruise. Botanic Gardens was our least favorite. Coffee with apple pie was lovely BUT not right before the lunch,,, ... Read More
I would suggest to replace excursion to Botanic Gardens with something else - tour of the Amsterdam for instance or Canal cruise. Botanic Gardens was our least favorite. Coffee with apple pie was lovely BUT not right before the lunch,,, Food on ship was mediocre. Wines were great, they do a nice job offering a different types of wine every night. Was a little strange that touring thru Netherlands and Belgium the only beer offered was German? Not that German beer was not good, it was great but I would like to have more Dutch food and drinks . I found more Indian or Chinese food on a ship than Dutch. And (not only my opinion) the piano music could be a little bit more softer while people staying for a chat after dinner. It seemed that the later it got the music was louder and louder so people could not hear one another. Big + that all gratuities were included! You don't have to worry to have some change always on hand for tipping. Bikes availability - BIG +. Pool on ship - excellent, although converting it to a movie theater is a good idea but seats have to be considered as well, whatever is there now is not comfortable for a long movie. It would be more enjoyable if boat was docked to a peer by it's own and not often squeezed between other ships - first of all you don't have a view and have to keep your windows closed if you want a privacy and second you don't have to walk up and down the stairs from one boat to another before you get on a ground. With so many people on board who were well over 60 I felt bad for them to do so much unnecessary steps. Transportation to and from the ship was great! Tours organization is great! In overall it was very nice and relaxing Holiday. I would go on another Emerald tours if the price is right and the itinerary is interesting. Thank you Emerald Sky staff for great times during our vacation!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Viking Mimir – April 9 – 19, 2018 – Tulips & Windmills Why this cruise?. We have done 37 ocean cruises, but only three river cruises, so we thought this one would be a good idea. And we were correct. It was a very nice ten ... Read More
Viking Mimir – April 9 – 19, 2018 – Tulips & Windmills Why this cruise?. We have done 37 ocean cruises, but only three river cruises, so we thought this one would be a good idea. And we were correct. It was a very nice ten days sailing on canals and rivers through the Netherlands and Belgium; and seeing huge amounts of flowers and windmills. We had Viking arrange the air which was a non-stop British Air from Phoenix to London and then a short hop to Schiphol in Amsterdam. Our flight was overnight, so we opted for business class. We were met by Viking at the airport, which is second only to Heathrow for size in Europe; and arrived at the boat in time for dinner. We were probably the last on board. Shore excursions Viking offers at least one free excursion every day, and a choice of paid trips. The cost of the paid trips is not high by cruise standards Our first day was spent touring Amsterdam by canal boat for a few hours in the morning. We have been there a few times; but love the central city. In the afternoon we took a paid tour of the Delft “Porcelain” factory. It is not true porcelain, but ceramic ware; striking nonetheless. The next day we arrived in Hoorn, which is on an enclosed bay north of Amsterdam. We took a paid tour which included a visit to a farm with a wind turbine owned by the farmer; but managed by his wife. Her explanation of the turbine, which is one of many supplying electricity throughout the country was fascinating. We then went to a tulip farm which was an amazing operation, growing millions of tulips, all for shipment outside Holland. It was difficult to understand the full process of this family run enterprise, but it was extremely enlightening. Thursday was spent in Arnhem; which was the location of a major battle, and allied defeat, in 1944. Driving through the beautiful countryside was nice, with the tour guide providimg a very detailed history of the battle. We stopped at a small, partly finished museum, and enjoyed a very good cup of coffee. We sailed at 4:00 A.M for Kinderdijk, arriving at 1:00 P.M. where Edith enjoyed a walking tour of a historic windmill, which showed how the family once lived in it. There also was a lecture on water management which she found very enlightening. Saturday we arrived in Antwerp in Belgium. The walking tour was conducted by a California girl. Most of our time was spent in the Cathedral, which had some very nice art works, but our guide did not manage time well and we had to return to the boat without seeing much else of the city. The next day was spent in Bruges, which is a very attractive old city that we had visited before. Our guide did an excellent job, and we particularly enjoyed the busy central square as well as the canal with its boats. Monday we were in Zeeland, which adjoins the North Sea and is entirely below sea level. We learned about the disastrous flooding which occurred in 1953, killing more than 1800 people. It led to the building of huge dikes to protect the land from the sea, and they are an amazing sight. We sailed that afternoon past Rotterdam, which is the major western Europe port, and very active. Tuesday we were in Amsterdam and our tour was of the Keukenhof Gardens. This is a stunning place containing a huge array of all sorts of flowers; both in the open and in buildings. It is open for only eight weeks each year from the end of March to the end of May. It occupies over 69 acres and is truly spectacular. This was a provided tour by Viking, which was nice considering that the normal entrance fee is 59 Euros. This did not stop a very large crowd of visitors, and it shouldn’t. We returned to the boat for our farewell dinner well satisfied with the day. The next day most of the passengers returned home, but we stayed overnight, visiting the Stedelijk Museum in the afternoon and attending a concert at the Concertgebouw that evening. This hall has perhaps the finest acoustics of any concert venue, and the orchestra is one of the top five in the world, so we enjoyed a Beethoven piano concerto, the Harry Janos Suite by Kodaly and a Prokoflev orchestral piece. The following day we flew home. The Mimir This is one of Viking’s “Longships” and was launched in 2015. It will carry 190 passengers and we had 183 on board, so it is as big as any river boat. The cabin furnishings are in a largely pleasant light wood, with enough room in our verandah cabin for everything. The bathroom was quite adequate with a shower that worked very well, maintaining the desired temperature. The stateroom had a small couch and coffee table, with an adequate desk. The verandah was small, with two chairs and a table. The weather did not encourage much outdoor seating. Deck two forward had the large dining room, with tables for six and eight, inviting interaction with one’s fellow passengers. The tableware was Villeroy and Boch, hotel quality of course, but very attractive. The boat’s lounge was on Deck three, and had comfortable seating, but probably did not hold all the passengers. There was an “alfresco” small dining area forward of the lounge, and an outside viewing area forward of that. The sky deck had a large covered area mid-ships, and, as always on riverboats, one could look into the captain’s bridge. A visit was provided here, and the equipment was quite impressive. The Food As river cruise boats go, the dining was quite good, although Edith felt that the vegetarian offerings fell short on some days. The choices were fewer than on ocean going ships, but the quality of the cooking and service was high. The baked goods were especially nice. The breakfast buffet did not have the full fruit selection we were accustomed to see on our ocean voyages, and the toaster was out of service for a few days. Lunches were also limited as to the items available; but we never went hungry. Wine and beer were freely poured at all lunches and dinners as well as at a few special events. The Crew Viking does a superb job with its guest relations and crew efficiency. Our cabin was made up by the time we returned from breakfast every day. The cruise director was always available, on board or on shore, and very helpful. The Captain was quite young, but always around and friendly. All the waiters were pleasant and efficient. The front desk people were especially nice. The atmosphere on board was as good as anyone could hope for. Onboard Entertainment There was a pianist and singer providing music every day. Twice a group of local musicians provided entertainment, and there were some talks on local life and culture as well. The cruise director explained the next day’s tour options every evening before dinner. Fellow Passengers A scurvy lot! No, of course not. The percentage of people from the UK was probably higher than 50%, which made conversations quite interesting. As usual we were almost all retired and enjoying life. While most on board had done a fair amount of river cruising, the number of ocean cruisers was low compared to our experience at sea. The Overall Experience This was a very enjoyable cruise, matching the AMA Waterways AmaVida we took on the Duoro River ln Portugal 4 years ago. While the weather was quite cool at times, we were able to dress warmly enough, and we had no rain on shore. The care and attention of the crew was superb, the boat very convenient, and the tours quite good. We can definitely recommend Viking for any river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Overall good cruise. However XMAS decorations lacking I asked why and staff told me that was "Viking". We had a suite and it was the nicest two roomed stay we ever had on a river cruise. Except for one night of a classical music ... Read More
Overall good cruise. However XMAS decorations lacking I asked why and staff told me that was "Viking". We had a suite and it was the nicest two roomed stay we ever had on a river cruise. Except for one night of a classical music performance that was outstanding the onboard entertainment was non existent. They had "location-bingo" most nights. No history lectures on the Sun King just bingo which we skipped. It was also very difficult to get advanced next day itinerary so we could review in advance. The food service was excellent. The chef was a joy to hear speak each day about the evenings meal. The best part was his accent and belly. You knew the food was good!! The Captains bridge tour was informative and interesting. This cruise might be better for the older age group then my wife and I in our 50'S as we like more in-depth type trips We usually do land tours but Viking has a superior reputation for cruising must see rivers and to do the rivers Vikings does it in style. The ships are new and worth the cost. We also did an extension to Lake Lucerne for XMAS and it was superb. Read Less

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