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Sail Date: August 2019
I close this as a contrast to the huge ocean-going ships I had been used to. This was a new riverboat with a maximum of about 100 passengers. My cabin - hardly a stateroom - was on the lowest deck, and not large, but perfect for one, ... Read More
I close this as a contrast to the huge ocean-going ships I had been used to. This was a new riverboat with a maximum of about 100 passengers. My cabin - hardly a stateroom - was on the lowest deck, and not large, but perfect for one, although a bit cramped for two. Nonetheless, it was well designed, with a small but excellent bathroom. The window was certainly not panoramic, but I spent time in the spacious public areas. The cabin lighting and air conditioning were fine, and I have any need of the good-sized television. The excursions were very well-chosen and the transportation extremely comfortable, passing through some beautiful scenery. Alcoholic drinks were limitless during meals, and the daily happy hour for cocktails. Breakfast and lunch were mainly buffet style, and dinner was a little more formal with a well-varied menu, the offerings on which were of variable quality. The evening entertainment was generally good. I really enjoyed me trip up the Douro, and hope to travel again with same company. 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
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
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We arrived in Porto Friday April 5 after the pre-cruise package in Lisbon. Lisbon was fine, but Porto is truly an amazing place. Definitely worth a visit! The inaugural cruise on the AMA Douro was supposed to be Saturday April 6. We ... Read More
We arrived in Porto Friday April 5 after the pre-cruise package in Lisbon. Lisbon was fine, but Porto is truly an amazing place. Definitely worth a visit! The inaugural cruise on the AMA Douro was supposed to be Saturday April 6. We were initially told via email the ship wasn't ready and it will now be Sunday April 7. They put us up at the Yeatman-- a 5 Star hotel in Porto and paid for everything including our scheduled shore excursion. Then they announced we are delayed another day. (Don't ever do an inaugural cruise-- even if the owners of AMA are on board.) So we got on busses and followed the incomplete ship down the river to another hotel that was 4 Star at best. We finally met the ship 1/3 of the way down the Douro River on day 3 Monday April 8. Most of the ship was complete, but there were plenty of cosmetic issues that were worked on throughout the week. By now, the ship is probably decorated and 95% as it was intended. The other issue with the inaugural cruise is that many of the servers didn't know what they were doing and our dinners were regularly incorrect. Most of the staff was very pleasant and tried to do everything they could. For an expensive river cruise the breakfasts were excellent at 5/5, lunch 4/5, but dinners only 3/5. I'd say the biggest issue going forward is with the Douro River itself. Excursions required long bus rides and most ports had nothing to offer, but a dock and maybe a café. Salamanca Spain was the highlight and that was 2 hours each way by bus. There were no bikes available and no reason to go out at night. You were either on the boat or on a bus. This was not the Danube or Rhine where cities and castles are right by the ports. We are in our mid 50s and were by far the youngest people on the ship. The piano player was very good, but there was little to do and this is clearly a cruise for retired folks. We did get three great surprises at the end. We were offered 1/2 our money back in cash or a future free cruise credit; they paid for all our drinks (not just the free wine/beer during meals); and the Christening event on Friday was really special. Read Less
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