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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was a bucket trip to celebrate a significant birthday. We had never cruised before--opting instead of sailing adventures. What a delight to be able to leisurely experience the sights and the history of a trip that started in Prague ... Read More
This was a bucket trip to celebrate a significant birthday. We had never cruised before--opting instead of sailing adventures. What a delight to be able to leisurely experience the sights and the history of a trip that started in Prague with a pre-cruise and then down the Danube to Budapest. Maddy Caldaruse was a superb cruise director, filled with facts as well as fun. Her patience and pleasure was evident. The tour guides on the different options we took were so filled with information and enthusiasm. we also walked out kegs off--meaning that despite such fabulous food and drink, we didn't gain a pound. Now that's a trip. From our cabin steward to the dear reception attendant, from the wait staff to the crew, Ama delivered as promised. The food offered options to fit any palate. I particularly found the breakfasts to set the healthy stage for the rest of the day! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We asked our travel agent for a Danube cruise. She suggested AMA Waterways vs Viking. saying that since Viking started ocean cruising they have moved some of their best people away from the river boats and AMA Waterways gives better ... Read More
We asked our travel agent for a Danube cruise. She suggested AMA Waterways vs Viking. saying that since Viking started ocean cruising they have moved some of their best people away from the river boats and AMA Waterways gives better service. We had previously taken a Viking Ocean cruise of the Western Med and were very pleased. We flew from Jacksonville, FL to Atlanta and then to Amsterdam using Delta Priority status and found that we did indeed have more seat room. Regardless that 8 hour flight was tiresome. Arriving in Budapest we were met by an AMA driver who brought us to the Sofitel Chain Bridge Hotel where we had a lovely room and perfect service. We walked around the area and ate that evening at the Four Seasons Hotel which is located nearby in a gorgeous old castle. The next day we transferred to the AMAViola, a beautiful ship with the most hospitable staff and a comfortable room with a balcony. Later that day we had a guided tour of Budapest. Evening cruise for Budapest lights From then on each day was at a different city where there were morning guided tours with 3 choices: Active-which meant hiking or biking, Regular- generally a bus to the center of the historic district and then a guided walking tour or Gentle- usually a bus tour with less walking. Afternoons often had second included tours or optional events such as a classical concert in Vienna. Every cities was wonderful, filled with history and beautiful architecture. The guides were marvelous, they actually are schooled as guides for a minimum of 2 years. The regular walking tours were not strenuous but we easily fulfilled our daily 10,000 steps per day. Almost everyone we met understood English as most of these Eastern European countries require English education as early as 3rd grade. Although almost all tourist places accepted Euros you got change in the local currency. Be sure to carry sufficient Euros to tip the guides and drivers. All meals were on the ship and couldn't have been better. There were many meal choices, open seating, and tended to always include local and regional dishes. After the cruise we extended two Prague where the AMA tour manager accompanied us and was constantly available to lead us to both organized tours and free time activities from the Hilton Downtown hotel in the heart of the city. Suggestion: Dining at both The Portfolio restaurant and the White Horse restaurant were great experiences. Both had seating underground in old (like fro 1200AD) basements decorated in absolutely the finest taste. Food Was excellent, perhaps the best I ever had. Unfortunately, the water level in the Danube was very low. The AMAviola had a small draft but the other river ships, including Viking weren’t able to sail and had to tie up and bus their passengers. These folks were pretty upset. Weather was very hot, high 80s to low 90’s. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first cruise of any kind, and it exceeded our expectations. The ship was clean and well-organized, with helpful and pleasant staff. Monika, our cruise manager, was very knowledgeable and professional, and I think her skills ... Read More
This was our first cruise of any kind, and it exceeded our expectations. The ship was clean and well-organized, with helpful and pleasant staff. Monika, our cruise manager, was very knowledgeable and professional, and I think her skills played a big role in how much we enjoyed the cruise. Shore excursions were well-organized, and nearly all of the tour guides were very knowledgeable and competent. It worked well to group us by activity level (or walking speed) for the shore excursions, and in general the group size was manageable for a each activity. The weather was very hot during the entire cruise, and the guides did a good job of finding shade and adapting the pace of the tour for the weather conditions. I thought the "Taste of Bratislava" activity was especially good. (Of course, on a cruise you can only get an introduction to each location, because there isn't time for a more in-depth visit.) We were fortunate about the size of the ship - the water level on the Danube was very low, but the AmaViola was able to sail all the way from Vilshofen to Budapest. (After our cruise, we talked to people who were on other, larger ships that could not complete their cruises and had to be bused back and forth.) Our cabin was comfortable, and there was adequate space for two people and our belongings. The bathroom made good use of the available space. Temperature controls in the cabin worked fine once we got used to the system. Food on the AmaViola was consistently very good, and we enjoyed the regional wines that were served with meals. The breakfast buffet featured an enormous variety of items, and the evening meals had a nice range of options. The only meal that wasn't top-notch was the barbecue picnic on the sun deck - and that was mostly due to the very hot weather. Monika and the ship's crew kept us well-informed about activities, procedures and safety instructions. We would definitely recommend AmaWaterways cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Superb dining - lots of choice, some of the best meals I've had in any restaurant, including the best local wines. Three places to dine - lounge for casual, quick meals, the restaurant for full service and the Chef's table for ... Read More
Superb dining - lots of choice, some of the best meals I've had in any restaurant, including the best local wines. Three places to dine - lounge for casual, quick meals, the restaurant for full service and the Chef's table for more intimate dining. Drinks are free at lunch and dinner, and quite reasonable other times. Climate on board is friendly and relaxed. Every guest is made to feel so special. Real pampering with such thoughtful touches (cool Spritzers and towels upon return from a hot day trip/small gifts like roses and scsrves/ice cream up top by the pool!) The staff are very professional, yet so friendly. They seem to really enjoy working on the ship. The climate on board is so wonderful. Make the end of the voyage so hard. I could have definitely spent another week. We had so much fun and amazing experiences together. Great - local and special - onboard entertainment. Not run of the mill at all. Just the right size ship. Small enough that you get to know many of the other guests if you like, but big enough that you have different conversation partners each day. Tours were also smaller, so they seemed more special and personalized. Well worth the expense. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife and I along with another couple took this cruise from July 27th thru August 5th 2018. We had an excellent time. The ship was very , our cabin adequate in size with a French balcony and the service excellent. From the Cruise ... Read More
My wife and I along with another couple took this cruise from July 27th thru August 5th 2018. We had an excellent time. The ship was very , our cabin adequate in size with a French balcony and the service excellent. From the Cruise Director to the Housekeeper we were proved with great service. We were welcomed to our cabin with a bottle of wine and chocolates. The food was plentiful with a buffet for both breakfast and lunch and at least a 4 course dinner to choose from every night. Wine and beer with lunch and dinner was complimentary and poured freely. We had a great waitress named Nicci that took very good care of us. The entertainment on board was enjoyable from the Hungarian musicians and dancers to the trio playing classical music and very in tune with where we were on the cruise. The guides provided for the shore excursions were all very knowledgeable and we learned so much about the history of each area visited. Even with all that was going on we still had time to relax on the top deck and see the beautiful countryside as we cruised the river. We added on the extension into Munich and were glad we did. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
The entire crew was excellent -- efficient, helpful, and attentive to all needs. The Captain's Table tasting dinner was also excellent and beautifully presented. The food in general was great. But the overall plan of the trip and its ... Read More
The entire crew was excellent -- efficient, helpful, and attentive to all needs. The Captain's Table tasting dinner was also excellent and beautifully presented. The food in general was great. But the overall plan of the trip and its cost was the issue. In each city, we had a local guide, and they varied wildly in quality from excellent to worthless. The trip was short and expensive for the time it covered, esp. when airfare was not included, and so I always felt rushed at most of the stops and without a good feel for the people and places. This was very much a trip that felt like "If this is Tuesday, this must be Vienna." I would recommend the Budapest to Prague trip to friends as the cities and countryside are beautiful and full of history. But I used AMA for reasons involving travel companions; I've been much more satisfied with two Grand Circle cruises I've gone on and will always use them from now on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Our cruise on AMAWaterways AMAViola was such a wonderful experience. We looked at many river cruises and finally selected this one because of the timing of our vacation and excellent ports. We flew from Philadelphia to Munich and spent 3 ... Read More
Our cruise on AMAWaterways AMAViola was such a wonderful experience. We looked at many river cruises and finally selected this one because of the timing of our vacation and excellent ports. We flew from Philadelphia to Munich and spent 3 nights there before taking a train to Vilshofen. The embarkation went smoothly and as we arrived early we were able to leave our luggage on ship to explore the town and have lunch. Everything from our arrival to disembarkation was nothing less than excellent and professionally handled. The ship was lovely as well as the cabin. Most of the crew and staff knew us by name as well as our likes and dislikes in a very short time. We were able to meet many wonderful people both fellow travelers and staff. This is one of the advantages of a smaller ship with less passengers. The cruise director, David was amazingly helpful and guided the activities, making the cruise much more enjoyable. Our ports and shore excursions were excellent! Vilshofen, Passau, Weisenkurchen, Wachu Valley, Linz, Austria, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. All shore excursions were guided by local tour guides speaking English. All were excellent guides and very knowledgeable about the area. Dining on the ship was quite a unique experience. The food was wonderful, nice variety with great service at every meal. There was always a good variety of choices. This was my first cruise of any kind in my 63 years and I don't think I would ever choose a large ocean cruise. The intimacy of the smaller group was so enjoyable. If we choose to go on another cruise in the near future it will be with AMA Waterways. I can't imagine another cruise line being able to top the experience we had. Thanks to all the staff who made our cruise so special. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have been on a bunch of Ocean Cruises but this was Our First River Cruise and I always wanted to travel the Danube - so we did. We travelled with another couple and while cruising we met a bunch of new friends. We ended up being a group ... Read More
We have been on a bunch of Ocean Cruises but this was Our First River Cruise and I always wanted to travel the Danube - so we did. We travelled with another couple and while cruising we met a bunch of new friends. We ended up being a group of 9 hanging around together for dinner and cocktails, catching up on our day of tours. We started with a few days at The Hilton Old Town in Prague arranged by AMA Waterways which included a get together and a couple of tours with our Fantastic host David Rosell. On Embarkation day, Ama Waterways took us to our ship in Vilshofen Germany. Everything worked out great, very smooth transfer. AMA thinks of everything. David Rosell was our Cruise Manager and if you ever have him on your cruise consider yourself very lucky. David was absolutely fabulous - with Everyone!! He took the time to talk and laugh with each person, help you with whatever you needed and entertain you with his stories. The crew of the AMA Viola is amazing. They all work so very hard, very helpful, polite, pleasant and they can't do enough for us to make our cruise special. The engineers who hook up and un-hook our ship at each port work so extremely hard. It was great just watching them. I cannot say enough about this crew - FABULOUS! Dining on The AMA Viola is fantastic. If you have a special dietary need, just let them know. They will remember you and therefore will take care of your needs for the duration. They even knew which day we were going to dine at The Chef's Table restaurant and told me in advance that they had everything set up. WOW! AMAZING!! The meals were great. Lots to choose from. Presentation was amazing at the buffets, A la Carte Dining and The Chef's Table. Your beverages at lunch and dinner (yes, you can have free champagne at breakfast) are included as well as happy hour each day before dinner. The wait staff remembers what you like to drink so they are well prepared. There is nightly entertainment (and also during Happy Hour) on board. This takes place in the lounge which is where the onboard entertainment is and yes, it holds everyone - they have set it up quite well. Some nightly entertainment is better than others. Ports and Shore Excursions keep you very busy... everyday. Each port is very well set up for all excursions with lots to choose from. Everyone has their own listening device so you can hear the very knowledgeable guides. Yes, there is a lot of walking but remember, you are in Europe to explore and enjoy and that is exactly what we did. When Docking at some of the busier ports, you definitely dock beside / with other cruise ships. It makes it very interesting. Not only do you walk thru the other ships lobbies (where you can be snoopy) but you can also see what the other ships / cruise lines look like. I have to say that the Top Deck of AMA Viola was far superior than any other river boat we saw. No other ship had a pool, some did have a hot tub but it wasn't rare to see a 'boring sundeck' with just a few chairs - no cushions on these other ships. AMA is a very relaxed and casual way of cruising the rivers. If you want to get dressed up then you can but if you want to just be 'smart casual' - no jeans then that works also. Gentlemen, bring a jacket if you want but you don't need one. Not even at The Chef's Table Restaurant. Another great thing..... there are no photographers running around trying to take your picture for $$$$ so don't forget to bring your own smart phone or camera. One of my favorite things was cruising during the morning and watching the beautiful scenery go by. I wish we had more of that. I absolutely LOVE AMA Waterways and will definitely travel with them again. AMA is now my first and only choice for River Cruising. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This was a perfect way to visit 4 countries and 8 cities along the Danube - Beautiful cities - Beautiful ship - Great Service We had never done a cruise of any type - and based on research selected AmaWaterways - we are very glad ... Read More
This was a perfect way to visit 4 countries and 8 cities along the Danube - Beautiful cities - Beautiful ship - Great Service We had never done a cruise of any type - and based on research selected AmaWaterways - we are very glad we did - We traveled with an adult daughter with physical limitations and every part of the trip, the ship and the excursions were suited for her ... The "Easy or Relaxed" excursions - the elevator on the ship and the super attentive AMA Employees made this trip so easy for all of us. The ship is outstanding and the service from all of the employees could not have been better. Every part of the ship was spotless and stayed that way throughout our trip - The "lounge area and upper deck of the ship nicely decorated and always clean - and great places to relax or meet up with people. - The staff worked so hard and could not have been more attentive. The food was outstanding throughout the cruise - The menu changed daily depending on the region and country we were traveling but there was always several options for people not wanting to try the regional food - and the presentation of the food - Breakfast, lunch & dinner looked like food out of a magazine - and was served with a smile - If you wanted something prepared or cooked differently - they made it happen - The selection of wine and cocktails was great throughout the trip - The dining room was beautiful - and the layout and design made you feel like your were in a very nice restaurant and not a dining room of a ship... We really can not think of one thing that was not outstanding !! We are already talking about our next trip on AMA and have recommended to friends... Thank you AMA Waterways and the crew and staff of the AMAViola !! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Single Canadian traveller; AMA partnered with Canadian Automobile Association travel services to remove single supplement cost of $2500 on most cruises, plus offered numerous credits as well. Huge incentive for me. Two year old ship was ... Read More
Single Canadian traveller; AMA partnered with Canadian Automobile Association travel services to remove single supplement cost of $2500 on most cruises, plus offered numerous credits as well. Huge incentive for me. Two year old ship was spotless inside and out; excellent customer service; good quality amenities in room, bottle of wine and chocolates plus beautiful limited edition shawl. Very very organized at each port, excellent guides plus numerous shore excursions. Provided with a colour print out nightly on the history of the next port stop plus very detailed itinerary. Dining room 5 star calibre, food was exquisitely presented at dinner. Excellent breakfast and lunch buffets; regional wine and food at every stop plus a daily cocktail hour. I only wish spa services like a manicure/pedicure would have been nice. I will definitely recommend this company and I hope to travel with them again. Never felt alone, was taken care of at each step, even at arrival in Prague and disembarkation in Budapest, an AMA staff was with me the whole time. Truly wonderful experience overall. Read Less
AmaViola Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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