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Sail Date: August 2019
We had first river cruise in Europe, and we fell in love with it! The food was outstanding, our ship is beautiful and comfortable. Cabin is very clean with the best service ever. The food is absolutely delicious, everyone enjoyed it, and ... Read More
We had first river cruise in Europe, and we fell in love with it! The food was outstanding, our ship is beautiful and comfortable. Cabin is very clean with the best service ever. The food is absolutely delicious, everyone enjoyed it, and appreciate it. There are a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits served daily and creative menu, which is also variety of wonderful food. The service is awesome, they are polite, kind, welcoming, friendly. Entertainment and activities were very nice with different musicians on board. We would like to see some shows in the future. Service was excellent, very organized, detailed. Ports and Shore excursions overall were very good, only first one in Amsterdam was very short and less informative, also the last one in Freiburg was very short. We traveled with a 10 year old child and she really enjoyed it, we would do it again and again! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We went on a Backroads biking cruise, and for this purpose a river cruise was great. The AMAWaterways staff was wonderful - interesting, always willing to help, and just generally very competent. I can't say enough - the staff made ... Read More
We went on a Backroads biking cruise, and for this purpose a river cruise was great. The AMAWaterways staff was wonderful - interesting, always willing to help, and just generally very competent. I can't say enough - the staff made the trip. It's a small ship, and they did the best with what they have. The music was great, the facilities were spotless, and they had a decent selection of fitness classes which is nice because the exercise room is pretty minimal (2 people max, bike and treadmill). Logistics were great. The food was very "American" - no local cuisine. That's a shame because the countries traveled on this cruise had fantastic food. That said, it was plentiful and of good quality and fresh, and while a bit on the bland side for my tastes, there were a lot of choices, and the service was great. Having a local option would have been nice. The wine choices were limited but excellent - better than average for a cruise. The exercise guy had a lot of classes, and there were a lot of excursions and walking tours. The top deck has chairs and a bar which is nice for viewing. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
My 10-days with AMAWaterways in Prague and on the AmaDante were totally wonderful. The suite was extremely comfortable, the food and beverages were exceptional, the staff was incredibly thorough and attentive while remaining almost ... Read More
My 10-days with AMAWaterways in Prague and on the AmaDante were totally wonderful. The suite was extremely comfortable, the food and beverages were exceptional, the staff was incredibly thorough and attentive while remaining almost invisible, and the excursions were well organized and varied. I met so many delightful people and saw incredible historic sites, while enjoying wine and beer tastings, and hikes and exercise. Our tour director provided activities for all levels of ability, and I was glad this included “active” options. Just spending time on the sun deck or in my stateroom with the floor to ceiling windows was great, too. This was officially a “wine cruise” and we had an onboard winemaker who guided us through tastings of the wines from the different regions through which we traveled as well as providing samples from his winery. Combined with the four- course dinners and the other meals (breakfast, late risers parties, lunch, tea, tapas, and late night snacks), it was a true “foodie” delight. I’m already looking forward to the next cruise with AmaWaterways. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I dreamt of taking this trip for years and finally made it starting in Amsterdam, Netherlands; going through the Rhine River in Germany and the Main River and Canal; then to the Danube River to Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary. The AMA ... Read More
I dreamt of taking this trip for years and finally made it starting in Amsterdam, Netherlands; going through the Rhine River in Germany and the Main River and Canal; then to the Danube River to Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary. The AMA Waterway ships seemed to have more staterooms with balconies than other lines. My ship, the AMA Viola, was constantly being cleaned, banisters being wiped down, windows cleaned and everything sparkling clean. I traveled alone, however, since there was no assigned dining seating I was able to meet people from all over the USA, Canada and England, talk with them and exchange e-mail address. The ship traveled at a slow speed because of the water level while we passed various castles, towns, churches. A lot of the shoreline was forested, but about 3 trees in you could see a walking, biking lane or street. The ship stopped at cities in each of the countries where we could get a view of the history and shops. Guides were very knowledgeable. After the individual tour, there was always time for personal exploring or shopping. One nice part about the excursions was that we each had a Quiet Voxe. Each day we would pair it with the guide and while she talked we could hear her up to two blocks away. If we stopped to take a picture, it was easy to catch up and we could hear without having to stand right in front of her. Each group had their own color and a guide holding a colored paddle. Each day our Cruise Director, Rachael Couto would update our itinerary with pictures and funny antidotes. When we were gathered in the lounge, there was guitar music and disco music at night. Several times, special groups or individual would entertain. Of course sitting on the top deck while cruising was always an option. There was a mixture of time to take in shore excursions, meals (in the main dining room, lounge, or chef's table), visiting with new friends, listening to music, lots of laughing and dancing, enjoying the view on the top deck or a quick nap in the cabin. All the crew members greeted you. My room steward always had the room made up while I was at breakfast. The other room steward on the floor always had a warm 'good morning' and a comment that I was the first one down for breakfast or I was late and was 3rd one down. If a seaman should pass you on the steps, he would always say good morning/afternoon.. If you had a question, there was always someone to help. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I booked thru a tour company. Had never heard of this cruise line until then, this was an absolute amazing cruise. The ship is spotless, all the crew is very helpful and friendly. The food was amazing. The excursions were very good. ... Read More
I booked thru a tour company. Had never heard of this cruise line until then, this was an absolute amazing cruise. The ship is spotless, all the crew is very helpful and friendly. The food was amazing. The excursions were very good. Did not have to pay extra for most of them. At lunch and dinner you could have all the wine or beer you wanted to drink. They had a sip and sail every night with other drinks you could have. Our dining room girl Ayu was amazing. We tried to sit in her area every day for our three meals. It was nice to try the different ethnic foods. It was so much nicer than the bigger cruise lines. Only 164 passengers. It was easy to get off and on for the excursions. Used the pool one evening, it was very warm and relaxing. I would recommend this cruise to anyone, but not a cruise for children. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I can only start by saying that AmaWaterways is on a completely different level. From the very first moment that we stepped foot on the AmaKristina, to the time we departed, the crew made us feel comfortable and we were treated like ... Read More
I can only start by saying that AmaWaterways is on a completely different level. From the very first moment that we stepped foot on the AmaKristina, to the time we departed, the crew made us feel comfortable and we were treated like royalty. We were amazed at the size of the ship and it was nice to have a small number of tourists with us, instead of a massive ship with over 1,000 people. Additionally, the food and drinks were impeccable, along with the service from the crew who were friendly, helpful and clearly LOVED their jobs. The excursions were amazing and we loved the walking/ bike tours because of how simple and easy they were. We wished the pool was bigger, and the bar on the sun deck was open, but we couldn’t of asked for a better vacation. We will definitely use AmaWaterways again and highly recommend it!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my first time on a river cruise and the AmaMagna did not disappoint. What an incredible ship, itinerary, and experience for the entire family to enjoy. We sailed to destinations I would not have ever imagined of visiting and ... Read More
This was my first time on a river cruise and the AmaMagna did not disappoint. What an incredible ship, itinerary, and experience for the entire family to enjoy. We sailed to destinations I would not have ever imagined of visiting and were able to experience the most delicious, superb dining venues onboard. The staff is the best I've experienced in the industry and by day 3 was greeted by my first name. The service levels are best in the industry. You have non stop wine and beers during lunch and dinner and get to take your full glass with you (something they don't allow on most cruise lines) The cocktail hour drinks vary by day and its a great ambiance before dinner. The four dining venues could not be any better...The Chef's Table experience, just WOW....then there is Jimmy's where we had the most amazing Osso Bucco that I've ever had in my life...Al fresco has the most amazing view od the Danube river. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our third cruise with Ama. As always, service was outstanding, food was delicious, and the daily excursions were interesting and very informative. We visited several wineries and learned a lot about viticulture. AmaDolce is a ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Ama. As always, service was outstanding, food was delicious, and the daily excursions were interesting and very informative. We visited several wineries and learned a lot about viticulture. AmaDolce is a lovely ship with room for 138 passengers. Ship is well appointed, very comfortable and impeccably clean. Staff extremely helpful. Ama has added a free drink happy hour which is much appreciated. They serve a light lunch in the lounge if one does not want to lunch in the formal dining room. There also is a light breakfast in the lounge for early risers. There also are mid afternoon refreshments for tea time. Ama offers bike excursions in addition to walking excursions. Bikes and helmets are provided. There also is a Gentle Walkers option for those who prefer less activity. Our cruise manager was Natalija, and she was fantastic. Our local guides were knowledgeable and personable. We also did both the pre and post cruise extensions, and are very happy we did so. We learned a lot about the Basque countryside and history. Evening entertainment was excellent, and ncluded Peter on the piano, as well as guest artists doing Motown, older rock and classical music on different nights. We also had an Illumination cruise in Bordeaux, which was beautiful. We happened on Ama five years ago, when a better known river cruise line was all booked for the time we wanted to cruise. A friend who is a travel agent suggested we might like Ama. We booked with Ama and absolutely loved our cruise. We've done 3 river cruises with Ama, and hope to do another in 2020. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had been on many ocean cruises, but never a river cruise. Booked a Baltic Sea cruise that ended in Amsterdam and decided, since we had made the trip across the Atlantic anyway, let's try a river cruise. We knew nothing about ... Read More
We had been on many ocean cruises, but never a river cruise. Booked a Baltic Sea cruise that ended in Amsterdam and decided, since we had made the trip across the Atlantic anyway, let's try a river cruise. We knew nothing about river cruise lines, and, in fact, looked for a Viking river cruise simply because we had traveled on Viking ocean cruises. Viking had nothing available, so the travel agent convinced us to try AmaWaterways. The AmaMora happened to be available on the dates we needed. In other words, we lucked into a great experience. I can only rate our experience on this ship and have no other river cruise to compare it to, but don't know how any other ship on any other line could have been as nice. The food was great; there was a choice of included excursions, and our choices worked extremely well for us and were great. We knew the ship was new, but when we booked the cruise and got the itinerary, nothing was included about a christening cruise. AmaWaterways ownership apparently decided the cruise we took was at the right time to christen the ship, so that found its way into our itinerary. A bonus for us. The food was much better than on the ocean cruise we had just left. The ship was immaculate, the service was perfect, and the staff all wore a perpetual smile on both their faces and in the voices. (You can read my review of our ocean cruise on the Holland America Rotterdam and find that I don't always offer rave reviews.) This was a truly exceptional experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
With this being a. New river boat, expectations were high, the cruise and itinerary were outstanding, our cabin was great 210. The bathroom lacked shelf space which could easily be remedied by putting corner shelves on either side of the ... Read More
With this being a. New river boat, expectations were high, the cruise and itinerary were outstanding, our cabin was great 210. The bathroom lacked shelf space which could easily be remedied by putting corner shelves on either side of the mirror. The crew was fantastic and their goal was to make the cruise memorable. Captain Pedro was ever present and interacted with everyone. This is the first river cruise we were able to use the balcony more than once. No nighttime cruising so many early morning coffees on the balcony. We also lucked out on our bus Guide Louis (blue bus) who was knowledgeable and funny, our bus started off with 22 anded up with 30+ because we were talking about how good he was. Breakfast was always good, however dinners could be hit or miss, I never saw so many meals sent back on any other cruise we have taken. The scenery was spectacular. We lucked into very good weather which also added to the enjoyment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The previous review by Mr Polich in June, was exactly our experiance in July. The boat was our first disappointment, painted a depressing brown,(not the boat shown on Ama as the Amadouro) Being pnly four months old, we also found ... Read More
The previous review by Mr Polich in June, was exactly our experiance in July. The boat was our first disappointment, painted a depressing brown,(not the boat shown on Ama as the Amadouro) Being pnly four months old, we also found the interior disappointingly old fashioned in design. And here in lies the problem, Douro Azur build, own and staff all the boats on the Douro ,and obviously turn them all out the same, the furnishings, restaurant runnings ,etc are parallel whether you are on Viking Ama, or other boats. The staff are employed by Douro Azur on 9 month contracts, so may have worked on lesser boats previously, and answer to their Douro Azur hotel manager All this said the staff were excellent (with only a couple of exceptions) Big shout out to Antonio who cared for our cabin, and Pedro, with his sunny personality, who gave excellent care in the restaurant. The cabin (french window) was fine, lots of storage. The restaurant was pretty with some tables for two which we really appreciated. Sip and Sail only operated 5 nights, of the seven. The first night we were only offered one glass of sparkling wine, similarly the last night captains cocktail party was just wine. Breakfast and lunch were excellent, but unfortunately dinner was a let down.Long wait for courses with some courses inedible. Not La Chaine des rotisseur standard by a long chalk. On day two the hotel manager was taking photoes of a wine display, completely oblivious to the fact that we were all waiting an hour for food. When I drew attention to the problem he muttered something about food having to come up in lifts. It is inexcusable that after four months they have not addressed this by bringing some starters up early, and having soup tureens in the restaurant for the waiters to serve from., thus freeing up the lifts. Be aware also that the menu is limited two starters often salad, soup, two mains, one pudding, fruit, icecream, or cheese .There is also an extra menu, of chicken, steak, salmon & chips .Note if you choose not to do the tours this is the only menu available lunch and dinner which is boring. The food at Quinta Avessada was poor, as apparently was the quinta dinner on day two, The top deck was mainly tables and chairs (but no food was ever served up there) On the one occasion that there was a waiter serving drinks, he refused to get a coffee for a gentleman with obvious walking difficulties , telling him to go down and get his own from the coffee station (there is no stair lift as on the Amavida) Appalling service which we also encountered from same bar/waiter (tall, thin greying) on an other occasion. There are only twenty eight loungers, and the usual crack of dawn towel reservers, so expect to be seated on an uncomfortable dining chair if you want to enjoy the sun. The only Ama employee was the cruise manager, who by his own admission was new to the work. I am sure he was employed for his brilliant language skills, but on the Douro Ama needs to employ someone who has hotel management skills to see the failings of the on board operation, and know how to correct, otherwise Douro Azur will continue to offer a sub standard product. All this said Porto and the Douro where fabulous, and if dinner had been as good as lunch I would be writing a very different review. Sort it out Ama this is not good for your reputation! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My husband and I were celebrating our 65th birthdays. This is our first river cruise. Our travel agent highly recommended AMA over any other river boat cruise. The ship, cabin, food, entertainment and service were outstanding. We ... Read More
My husband and I were celebrating our 65th birthdays. This is our first river cruise. Our travel agent highly recommended AMA over any other river boat cruise. The ship, cabin, food, entertainment and service were outstanding. We particularly enjoyed the new "Wellness" program. Marcelo was an excellent fitness instructor. The shore excursions were very well planned. The local guides were excellent. We would have enjoyed all of the excursions. It would have been nice to spend more time in each port to enjoy more of their offerings. In general the time available for excursions (especially free time) was limited compared to time on the ship. In some ports, the docking locations made access to nearby cities/towns inaccessible. With regards to the staff there were some standouts. The Cruise Manager, Vanessa was delightful. She was very accommodating and approachable. Her Port Talks were very informative. We also enjoyed our Chef's Table Specialty Restaurant experience. In addition to the great food, the waitstaff made the dinner extra special. Alex, the Head Waiter was the perfect combination of charm, class and wit. The only dissapointment we experienced onboard was the coffee machine that dispensed instant coffee. We would have enjoyed freshly brewed coffee instead. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We cruised on the AmaSerena in July 2019. Our embarkation was very smooth. We were allowed on board early and had a light lunch available. Our room was excellent. We were in room 306 - we had a nice balcony and a very roomy bathroom. ... Read More
We cruised on the AmaSerena in July 2019. Our embarkation was very smooth. We were allowed on board early and had a light lunch available. Our room was excellent. We were in room 306 - we had a nice balcony and a very roomy bathroom. The dining experience was excellent. The food was great and plentiful. Plenty of options for a vegetarian in the party. We enjoyed our shore excursions, especially the option to be in the Active walker group, which gave us more (and faster) walking. Another highlight was the Wellness program. The available exercise programs helped us work off some of the good food. We had some time before our flight at the end of the trip. We were able to explore Basel, and then wait in the lounge of the ship (again with a light lunch) before we caught our ride to the airport. I would heartily recommend the Rhine cruise and the ship. Truly a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We did a cruise that combined daily biking via the Backroads company and we all thought we would have been too inactive had we not included that activity. The fitness room was only able to allow 2 persons on a treadmill and 2 on stationary ... Read More
We did a cruise that combined daily biking via the Backroads company and we all thought we would have been too inactive had we not included that activity. The fitness room was only able to allow 2 persons on a treadmill and 2 on stationary bikes at a time. The free weight set was lacking. Many of the fitness classes were not able to be held on the top deck due to weather and it was very small hosting them on the general activities floor. Wine flowed freely and I think it altered the tastebuds of most guests as the food was beautiful but really unremarkable in taste. The creme soups all tasted the same and the cookies were terrible. Seasoning was lacking but perhaps they try and downplay the salt because of heath. Serving size was small which was smart for the various courses. They did accommodate food allergies, gluten free, etc. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We read many reviews and for our first river cruise experience, we decided AMA was the way to go. It was a bit more costly than Viking but I can tell you it was worth it. The food and the service was impeccable and there were only 150 ... Read More
We read many reviews and for our first river cruise experience, we decided AMA was the way to go. It was a bit more costly than Viking but I can tell you it was worth it. The food and the service was impeccable and there were only 150 guests on board opposed to Viking which I believe has over 190 on each boat of the same size. Nicola, the Cruise Director was a delight and very helpful and oh, so funny. We met some lovely people on our trip. We were only the fifth group of people on this new boat and it was gorgeous. So clean and roomy. The rooms were cleaned every morning and there was turn down service at night. You received the itinerary and schedule for the next day in your room while you were at dinner. The restaurant and hotel staff were incredible and all were very helpful and friendly. The wine pours are very generous. Happy hours feature a special drink of the day as well. We did book the Chef's table for dinner and it was lovely with excellent service. Small portions but it was 7 courses. I would highly recommend AMA Waterways and the AmaMora for your Rhine river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Wanted to sail on the Rhine River. Great ship, service and scenery! Food was delicious and service impeccable! Cabin was so nice, small but great balcony and a place for everything. Our Cruise Manager, Marcus, was the best! He took great ... Read More
Wanted to sail on the Rhine River. Great ship, service and scenery! Food was delicious and service impeccable! Cabin was so nice, small but great balcony and a place for everything. Our Cruise Manager, Marcus, was the best! He took great care of our group and made sure we were all where we were supposed to be. Entertainment was super as well as lectures about our destinations! Will certainly look to go with AMA again! The pre-cruise days in Zurich and Lucerne were great even though there was a heat wave in Europe. Especially loved Lucerne-beautiful and the hotel was great-right on the lake. Only negative of the whole trip was day of embarking in Basel. Got to HOT Basel and everything was closed -nothing to see or do. Had to walk to the boat in 100degree sun. Very difficult. Perhaps, in the future, don’t get to Basel until time to board. Other than that, everything was great! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
After thoroughly researching river cruises for a year, I chose this AmaMagna cruise to celebrate our’s and three other close couple friends’ 50 th wedding anniversaries. We also had another close couple who decided to join us for ... Read More
After thoroughly researching river cruises for a year, I chose this AmaMagna cruise to celebrate our’s and three other close couple friends’ 50 th wedding anniversaries. We also had another close couple who decided to join us for their honeymoon, as well as three other close couple friends. I knew the ship would be beautiful, but it is even more impressive than we thought it would be. With Captain Wijnand Korvemaker officiating, we renewed our wedding vows in the beautiful area in front of the bridge and were treated to a special celebration brunch , arranged by our fabulous cruise director, Mariana. I can’t begin to compliment enough every single staff member we met. Everyone made sure we all had a wonderful time. The food and wines throughout the week were always delicious, varied, and wonderfully presented. We enjoyed The Chef’s Table, Jimmy's Wine Bar and Restaurant , Al Fresco, as well as the Main Restaurant. After saying how much I loved the soups throughout the week, someone in reception delivered recipes for them to my room. The ship is beautifully furnished and decorated , spacious, and always spotlessly clean. Our king bed was very comfortable. We had plenty of storage room in our cabin. The Danube itinerary is great. Our guides for our excursions were all local, very welcoming and informative, and anxious to have us love their villages and cities as much as they did. Our guide to Melk Monastery, Lisa Koark, was especially great. For about half the excursions, it was nice to have buses transport us to the major sites. We started in Prague and ended in Budapest, two of the most charming cities we’ve ever visited. Our optional Mozart & Strauss concert in Vienna was well worth leaving the ship that evening. We were treated to a typical goulash dinner, complete with a Fourth of July cake, upon our return. The nightly Sip and Sail time before dinner was great, as was David, our DJ in the lounge each evening. We didn’t have time to do everything that was offered. Embarkation went very smoothly; ladies were greeted with a rose. Disembarkation was very organized; Kinga, in reception, graciously arranged our transportation for us. We all loved everything about our cruise! We’ve traveled for 40 years and think this is our very favorite vacation. We’d gladly go on AmaMagna again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were looking for a five star experience on a River that had been recommended to us by fellow travelers on the Danube. The river scenery is indeed five stars. But the boat itself, while new, is not. Laminate throughout. The cruise ... Read More
We were looking for a five star experience on a River that had been recommended to us by fellow travelers on the Danube. The river scenery is indeed five stars. But the boat itself, while new, is not. Laminate throughout. The cruise also has major flaws. Not worth the price paid. The crew was very good to outstanding. But when you contrast that with an amazingly poorly organized dinner service - not the servers fault - and other serious flaws, you get a less than could have been experience. The small ports stopped at are pleasant enough, but really no suggestion was made by the crew to get off the boat and visit them. Instead of visiting a local restaurant or two, we were bussed to large wine estates. Interesting, but instead of a 45 min bus ride each way, surely there were closer local options. Pastry - 5 stars. Had 7-8 outstanding offerings each lunch... Breakfast - 4 stars. Nice variety in the buffet, but not all was fabulous. Nice cook to order stuff tho, and great bread and pastries. Dinner - 2 to 3 stars. Mostly hit or miss. Some items four stars, some inedible. But the real negative was the system for ordering, and delivering the food. Negative 2 stars. How can it take 1 3/4 hours to deliver three items to a dining room.? There were only 75 people on our boat and limited choices. .....plenty of dining room staff.... The rooms were a little strangely laid out but ok. Ours had a balcony, but there definitely is a better way to design same. Beds comfy, and cabin service good. This boat has a great top deck, but it was rarely used by other guests, or promoted by the crew. No lunches or events there, in spite of the wonderful scenery we were passing by. Oh what our fellow travelers missed.. The local entertainment brought on Board was outstanding, especially a Tuna band, but more could have been done here. Again, not the crew’s fault, as they worked with what was given them. The average age of those on board was probably 75. Options were offered on tours for slower walkers, which was nice, and needed. Overall, plenty of potential with the Amadouro, but AMA has a long way to go to get this boat to a five star level. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I am getting emotional just reflecting on how good the experience was. The food, the outstanding service, and the staff all exceeded what I expected. As a teacher, It was nice to sit back and forget the worries of teaching, grading ... Read More
I am getting emotional just reflecting on how good the experience was. The food, the outstanding service, and the staff all exceeded what I expected. As a teacher, It was nice to sit back and forget the worries of teaching, grading papers, and the responsibilities of just being an adult. It appeared that every moment was thought out in detail, and the service was what I think resembled near butler service. I am already thinking of planning another cruise next year. For anybody thinking about taking a river cruise, don't give it a second thought and book. I traveled with my life long partner, and we've been together for 30 years. There were other couples of the same sex, and we were all accepted and treated as one of the family by the staff and cruise members. What an experience to last a lifetime! Oh, a thank you card from them arrived today. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Wanted to see Provence when chance to see lavender in bloom. Chose AMAWaterways based on price. Travel solo and while still paid single supplement the promotion going was the best deal for the time could go. Did not do pre or post ... Read More
Wanted to see Provence when chance to see lavender in bloom. Chose AMAWaterways based on price. Travel solo and while still paid single supplement the promotion going was the best deal for the time could go. Did not do pre or post cruise package. Cruise only. Did pre-cruise time in Paris on own. Purchased transfer from Paris to Lyon from AMA. Worked great. Met group at hotel for transfer to train station and ride to Lyon. From that moment entire vacation great. First stop in Lyon was a cooking class. Lot of fun. Because visiting during heatwave the cafe/school geared lessons things that did not require lot of 'cooking'. Cabin on ship was fine. Had a single cabin. The bed was small/single but worked ok. French balcony. Service excellent all around. Had a good cruise manager in Dragan. Our captain was very personable and friendly. I enjoyed the quality and variety of the food presented. I liked that the walking tours offered different levels of activity. There were active walker groups and gentle walker groups. I joined gentle walkers and felt that saw enough of given sights without stressing about keeping up with the group. Appreciate that crew helped bring luggage to top of ramp when disembarking. Entertainment different as jazz dagen group had their own. The excursions offered were fun. The ones I attended: Walking tour of Vienn plus little train to panoramic view--Enjoyed the view. Interesting through trip to discover so many vestiges of ancient Roman influence Steam train--Beautiful scenery. Kind of short ride. Forgot the smell of burning coal and the cinders/soot. Still recommend because of beauty. Truffle farm--A Highlight. Owner Serge and his truffle hunting dog Aimee. Such personality. Beaujolais village and wine tasting Arles-light show in quarry-van Gogh plus asylum visit--Light show was fantastic. Arles- van Gogh featured walking tour Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Background information: I picked this cruise because I wanted to revisit the places I had been on a trip I made in 1964, and I took my 18 year old granddaughter with me because she wanted to see France and practice her French. She had ... Read More
Background information: I picked this cruise because I wanted to revisit the places I had been on a trip I made in 1964, and I took my 18 year old granddaughter with me because she wanted to see France and practice her French. She had been on 2 cruises prior to this and I had been on 30 cruises. One of my prior cruises was on AmaViola which was a newer AmaWaterways ship with a pool. The AmaCello was an older ship. I use a mobility scooter because I cannot walk very far, and although the crew on the ships are most helpful, it is sometimes difficult to get on and off the ships with a scooter. The actual cruise on AmaCello went from Lyon to Arles, with two days in Paris at the start and an option of two days in Barcelona at the end. I decided to arrive in Paris four days before the tour. We flew in to Charles de Gaulle airport - arriving on 20 June, and our travel agent arranged for us to be picked up and taken to the hotel. HOTEL: We stayed in the same hotel as the AmaCello groups were staying in. Originally this was to be the Renaissance Arc de Triomphe but we were switched to the Renaissance La Parc Trocadero. I think the switch was because there was a large Jazz group on this cruise and they filled up the first hotel. The hotel had three steps up to the lobby - they had a small lift for wheelchairs but it was awkward because I had to have staff assistance to use it. It had to be unlocked both at the top and bottom. Normally I went in to my room through the garden (which was a cool relaxing space) because there were no steps. The hotel had handicapped rooms (with a shower instead of a tub) but they were all doubles. I didn't want to sleep with my granddaughter, so I got a rollaway bed Breakfast was included and it was more than adequate, and we also got room service twice and ate in the restaurant which had delicious food. Our travel agent (who was with Vacations To Go) also arranged a private tour of Paris, a trip to the Louvre and the Catacombs, and a Riverboat cruise dinner. On our own we visited the Musee d'Orsay and L'Orangerie, and I booked a walking tour of the Left Bank with a company called Discover Walks. The rest of the group came in on June 24th. We had a meeting with our Cruise Director Dragan Reljic that evening. Paris was in the middle of a unusual heat wave where the temperature would be over 100 deg. F. EMBARKATION was 27 June. We were to take the high speed train from Paris to Lyon. Initially I was told that I would have to ship my scooter with the luggage and that I would have to walk to the train. After I flatly refused to do that, they figured out that there were elevators in the station, and Dragan took us (my granddaughter and me) to the elevators. In Lyon we got on a bus and there was an arrangement for us to cook and eat some food and then walk or take a shuttle to the ship in Lyon. But it was way too hot to do that, so most of us just went directly to the ship. At the ship, they had a buffet for us while we were waiting for our rooms, and quite quickly, we could get into the room and unpack. We had a meeting to do the safety briefing - the Captain kept us laughing and then Dragan talked to us about the schedule. When the meeting was over, all the women got roses. There was a vase in the cabin for us to put the roses in DINING: The dining room is on the lowest deck. For awhile the door to exit into the dining room would not open and this was a problem for me. After a day or so they figured out a manual override, but I always had to wait for someone to let me out (or for the person with the key to let me in). The food at dinner was excellent. Breakfast and Lunch were mainly a buffet. I absolutely cannot do a buffet. There's no room for the scooter, the food is almost too high for me to see, and if I get something, I can't carry it. If my granddaughter was with me, she could sometimes bring me food from the buffet, and sometimes the waiters would help me. The food was good, it was just hard for me to get. ACTIVITIES and ENTERTAINMENT There was a gym and Alex was the guy doing the exercise classes. There were nightly concerts, which in the case of this cruise were often Jazz performances. Neither the ship nor any of the hotels had a pool, which was a big disappointment to me. I normally do my exercises in a pool for a hour three or four times a week. My health deteriorates when I can't get into a pool. This ship only had a hot tub. I did go up on the Sunshine Deck once and sat there in the shade and enjoyed the breeze. SERVICE: In all aspects, excellent. PORT and SHORE EXCURSIONS PARIS: Most people arrived on 24 June. On June 25th, we had two tours. First an overview of Paris in the morning. And in the evening we had an evening illumination tour - first they took us up to Sacre Coeur where we could have dinner on our own. Then we went down the funicular, and got back on the bus. We got to the Eiffel tower a little before 11:00 - just in time for the sparkling light show. The next day (June 26th) we had on our own but then our cruise director Dragan Reljic had arranged an optional visit to a dinner show cabaret up on Montmartre. This was really a terrific show and a lot of fun. LYON: There was a Bike Tour, but my granddaughter can't ride a bike, and a City Tour which my granddaughter took. They went up to the Basilica and did some of what my granddaughter called "secret passageways" (Traboules) She enjoyed this tour. It was too hot for me to go BEAUJOLAIS: Neither of us took this excursion because we are not interested in wine tasting. VIENNE: The Mount Pipet hike was my granddaughters favorite tour. She said: The view of the city was spectacular. Vienne is definitely my favorite of the places we have visited so far. It’s beautiful and quiet with more story to it than it seems. Vienne is the underdog city. TOURNON: Steam Train RIde: This was the first tour that I did, and it was a really nice ride up the gorge and back. We went through tunnels, and then at the top, the engine turned around and went to the other end of the train to pull us back down the mountain. I went to the little museum at the end of the train trip. AVIGNON: My granddaughter did the Pont du Gard (aqueduct) tour and then the visit to the Truffle farm, both of which she enjoyed. Dragan arranged for me to get a taxi, and the taxi took me up to Las Baux, and to the Les Remy Antiquities, to King Rene's palace and then around to the Pope's Palace ARLES: We went on the Camargue and Aigues-Mortes tour and this was a disappointment. For some reason I thought we would see some of the Camargue horses, and we did, but just through the bus window. We did see lots of sunflowers and the bus stopped so we could get out and take photos. Then my granddaughter went on the Van Gogh walking tour. She felt that she knew more about it than the guide. Also it was very hot. BARCELONA: I have been to Barcelona before, but I had not seen the old city nor had I been into the Sagrada Familia. So we made a reservation for the Sagrada Familia for 12:15 which I thought would be at the end of the "Best of Barcelona" tour. Be the tour had been rearranged so after we saw the Gothic Quarter, we got a taxi to the Sagrada Familia. It was an amazing experience. The following day my granddaughter did the Mountains and Abbey of Montserrat excursion, which I think she enjoyed. DISEMBARKATION: Some people got off the ship in Arles but we were going on to Barcelona. So first we went to Nimes, where we had a nice tour, and some free time so we could buy lavender honey. That part of the day was good. We got to the train station and first we had to change platforms for the train and then we had maybe 6 minutes to get everyone and their hand luggage (and the scooter) onto the train. The train had two levels, and I was blocked getting to my seat in a timely manner because someone was getting another person settled and wouldn't get out of the aisle. We finally got to our seats which were facing another couple which means you have no room for your feet like in a regular seat. Although you have someone to talk to. There was no real provision for lunch, but my granddaughter went and got me a sandwich. I ate it, but it was soggy. I hate soggy bread. Then the train stopped in a station and just stayed there for a hour. The A/C was not keeping up. It was hot. We got to Barcelona about a hour late. HOTEL in Barcelona - It was another Renaissance. Other people got handicapped rooms with a shower, but I did not. They had to scramble around to find one that had a shower, and, as before it had a double bed. I got a rollaway. My granddaughter loved this hotel. She said it was fancy. The bathroom has one of those rain shower heads and a button IN the mirror that turns on this LED light around one part of it. At one point it got really really cold in the room, and I had to turn off the A/C and the fan because it was blowing cold air on me. I opened the window and let the sun warm up the room a little. SUMMARY: It was very hot, but that (and the non-working bow camera) was almost the only flaw in this cruise. The cruise director was great, the service was excellent, the food was good, and there was a good variety of excursions and things to do. When I didn't go on an excursion I could sit on the bow and take photos (until it got to hot, and then I could go to my room and take photos) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose Amawaterways after reading some very positive critics about food and excursions on their ships. On Amaviola, food was fair but not exceptional compare to other cruise lines but "La table du chef", once by cruise, ... Read More
We chose Amawaterways after reading some very positive critics about food and excursions on their ships. On Amaviola, food was fair but not exceptional compare to other cruise lines but "La table du chef", once by cruise, deserve congratulations. For excursions , it's true that choices were varied for every kind of people, young and older ones even with bike rides offered. What bother us the most on this cruise was general atmosphere with a lot of american's families getting together with grand ma et grand pa and not attending at all at cultural shows presented on the ship ....8-10 persons on a cruise of 150 persons for listing a french signer at Strasbourg, every body was on sun deck instead....it was pitiful! The night after, ship canceled show supposed to be presented !!! A separated club of 45-50 cyclists was on this cruise and may be this separated group changed atmosphere on the ship ! I don't know ! Also, service was average in room, bar and restaurant nothing too bad but nothing too good also. At bar, we were running to get drinks at tables, we were obliged to go the the bar counter .At front desk, smile wasn't included also.! On the upper deck or sun deck with a little pool very attractive and useful, under 35C weather, no service at all during all week with one exception to offered us once German coffee! We cruised twice before on Avalon's ships ( Danube and Seine rivers) and the personal was more joyful, friendly, service was better and food as good as on this Amawaterways cruise, member of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs For the river and cities to visit , it was amazing and we recommend this cruise with what companies you like but not necessary with AMA. For arrival and departure at ship and airports ....wow...exceptional personalized service and for that AMA deserves congratulations. We know that AMA can't be responsable of participation of their clients on a cruise but for those who want more joyful cruises, look before at what kind of people ships companies try to attract. May be we were only back lucky and AMA can offer more friendly cruises . Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because of Backroads. We were doing the biking/river cruise trip and felt that unpacking once on a ship and not having to think of where to get meals, etc would be a good decision. Backroads and their guides were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of Backroads. We were doing the biking/river cruise trip and felt that unpacking once on a ship and not having to think of where to get meals, etc would be a good decision. Backroads and their guides were amazing and wonderful. The AMASonata and its crew were beyond our wildest dreams. I have never been more pampered, offered so much amazing food and drink, and been provided with every imaginable form of entertainment. From the Captain right through to Ali our housekeeping staff member, we were impressed and incredibly pleased. Wei-Ler our cruise concierge was everywhere all of the time, doing anything and everything to make our trip more exciting and seamless. We recommend this trip, whether you do it with the Backroads biking or just do the cruise, very highly. In fact, it was the best trip we have taken in our entire lives. Thank you one and all on the AMASonata for this trip of a lifetime. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We selected this cruise based on recommendations from Cruise Managers from our prior cruises who highly recommend the Colors of Provence cruise. In addition we booked the pre cruise visit to Barcelona and the post cruise to Paris which I ... Read More
We selected this cruise based on recommendations from Cruise Managers from our prior cruises who highly recommend the Colors of Provence cruise. In addition we booked the pre cruise visit to Barcelona and the post cruise to Paris which I would highly recommend. The Ama Waterways staff was excellent notably the Cruise Manager Rachel Coutro who was with us for the entire two week and did a marvelous job. The Ama Cello is referred to as the Grand Dame of the fleet and is well appointed and comfortable. The food was very good and presented in a delightful way. They blended the food with Provence, the morning we visited a Truffle Farm when we returned to the ship for lunch the chef served pasta with truffe oil which was out of this world. The cabins are smaller than ocean going ships but are very comfortable. I am 6 foot 4 inch's and I fit in the shower without a problem. I would highly recommend Ama Waterways and will sail with them in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
REVIEW:      I am back from my May 23rd, AmaDolce Taste of Bordeaux.    Lets just say I'm glad I sailed on AmaStella and AmaPrima previously.  If this was my first Ama sailing I would never have sailed her again.    The ... Read More
REVIEW:      I am back from my May 23rd, AmaDolce Taste of Bordeaux.    Lets just say I'm glad I sailed on AmaStella and AmaPrima previously.  If this was my first Ama sailing I would never have sailed her again.    The bad:  The food offerings were far different from my previous experience.  There were two main entrees in the evening to chose from, one fish and then one meat.  Then had the always available burger, chicken breast or steak.  I can honestly say that neither the steak or meat options was ever tasty.   I recall their meat dishes melting in your mouth.  This wasn't the case.  The service was terrible.   They would bring french fries, disappear and when you finally get their attention to bring ketchup it would take 15 minutes and usually a second request.    Same with the drink service during dinner.  One night we sat and there was no butter (normally there were three types), one was missing and again, after asking we had to ask again after 15 minutes it was brought.     Two nights prior to disembarkation, we decided to sit in a different section and did receive good service, so shame on us for not changing servers sooner.  (although service should be the same throughout).    Keep in mind this ship that normally sails with 146 only had 115 passengers on board.   There were many empty cabins.   Being in wine country we expected to have more tastings and such on the excursions.   It just seemed a lot of time was spent trying to kill time.   Overall, in a day we may have actually visited one winery a day and received three small tastings.     The good:     Love the new Wellness coach on board who held fitness stretches, yoga, to high intensity classes each day.    Love the Sip and Sail cocktail hour each night.  Their complimentary wine offerings are very tasty.  My own tips:   If you need a hotel prior/after the cruise in Bordeaux, I highly recommend Hotel Vatel.  It is part of the international hospitality school and the service is excellent, the room large for a European hotel and it was very reasonable ($150).  You can walk to the river cruise from there.   They actually saw us walking towards the ship and a staff ran up to take our bags.  We did our own pre-cruise in Tours & Amboise.  It was very easy.  From Paris CDG we took the high speed rail and in 1 1/2 hours you are in Tours (St. Pierre des Corps station) we stayed in an airbnb nearby.  Took a train for $1.30 to tours one day and Amboise another on our own, recommend the Le Petite trolley in both towns to give you an overview then return to the areas your like.    One day we did a full day excursion to three Chateaux out of Tours.   We got back on the high speed rail and continued onto Bordeaux.   Very easy as that is the same train whether we would have taken if directly CDG-Bordeaux.     Our travel agent knew we would stay one night in Bordeaux before embarking.  He advised us to pick up our Cit du Vin tickets the day we board and arranged that and recommended booking lunch in their rooftop restaurant Le7.  We dropped our bags off at around 10 am with Ama who gave us our tickets (for all passengers this Cit du Vin excursion is done (for our cruise) the last day after arriving back in Bordeaux).   Cit du Vin is an interactive museum (personally my daughter nor I cared for it) and many passengers we spoke with the last day did not either, but it is hyped up to be great.   You will be left on your own and an audiovox to do it at your own pace.   You can spend an hour to half a day if you want.    We did enjoy the glass of wine up top (part of your ticket) and then we proceeded to have lunch at Le7 (i booked this months in advance on my travel agents recommendation.      We really did enjoy doing this.    My daughter did do the city tour of Bordeaux with the excursion but when the rest continue to Cit du Vin she returned to the boat.  I had taken a bicycle from the ship and did my own thing.    Probably my favorite day as it was always the best weather day we had.     Read Less
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