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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This trip has been on our bucket list for a few years. The only thing that held us back was the price. But let me tell you. It was so well worth it. Everything was 1st class. From the transportation after the pick up at the airport, to the ... Read More
This trip has been on our bucket list for a few years. The only thing that held us back was the price. But let me tell you. It was so well worth it. Everything was 1st class. From the transportation after the pick up at the airport, to the cabin, to the food, to the entertainment they brought on, to the shore excursions. One draw back I found was no place to put your luggage. The closet had 2 bars in it so no place there and no room under the bed so we had to stack it up in front of the French door.. Everything else was really great. We spent 2 night in Vienna after the cruise, which was set up by Amawaterways. The transfer from the ship to the hotel was by bus and it went very smoothly Our cruise manager, Matyas Keresztes, could not have been more helpful. From recommending restaurants to helping everyone enjoy there time in such a beautiful city. My husband and I have been on several large cruise ships but this really spoiled us. We are hoping to get to go on the Rhine River next year and I would not even thing of anyone else to travel with. Thanks for making our dreams come true. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
After spending three days in Singapore and two days in Amsterdam which we thoroughly enjoyed my friend and I hailed a taxi and headed for the wharf to embark on our river cruise. We sailed on the Amabella from Amsterdam to Budapest and ... Read More
After spending three days in Singapore and two days in Amsterdam which we thoroughly enjoyed my friend and I hailed a taxi and headed for the wharf to embark on our river cruise. We sailed on the Amabella from Amsterdam to Budapest and had an unforgettable voyage full of wondrous experiences, discoveries, taste sensations and much more. I read the review by Lovable and Daisy and agree with and endorse their review of our time on the Amabella. Our first delight was our cabin - 317 on the top deck. Even though we had 2 single beds we had plenty of room as well as our twin balconies to spread out and be comfortable. It was lovely sitting on the balcony watching the small towns, vineyards and scenery passing by. Our next delight was the food- which was scrumptious. There were lots of food combinations and interesting tastes and presentations. We had plenty of options to choose from and excellent wines to compliment the adequate sized meals The shore excursions successfully catered for peoples' differing interests, hobbies and experiences and where necessary buses were always on time and waiting to take us into the town and return us to the boat after a great shore experience. The lounge was a great place to catch up with people, listen to the music, relax,have a delicious afternoon tea, watch going through the locks head on and enjoy a drink or two. All entertainment and enrichment actives were conducted in the lounge and appeared to be enjoyed by all. It really was a fantastic complete holiday package. All staff were very friendly and went above and beyond their duties to ensure that we all had a very enjoyable time at all times. I also enjoyed the Amabella over the Amaprima- felt it was more comfortable, or maybe I was just used to the Amabella. Kristen was an excellent Tour Director and started up an extra group (Pink group for the slow walkers) when she realised there was a need for it. She was always available to deal with any problems that could have interfered with the smooth running of our holiday programme. The captain was superb at going through the really tight locks and was really disappointed he could only take us as far as Viena and couldn't sail us to Budapest because of the low water level of the river. We travelled by bus to Budapest and transferred to the Amaprima and had an unbelievable night cruise sailing past the lights of Budapest - absolutely awesome. Unfortunately next day was disembarkation and taxis and buses took us all to hotels or the airport. It was a very smooth operation. I didn't want to leave the boat. Some people had a few small whinges but I couldn't find fault with anything on the cruise. I just loved everything about it. I also loved the small size of the cruise,-161 people can move around and have their own space without being on top of each other. I'm looking forward to my next river cruise. Well done Amabella staff- an excellent job Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
My husband and I have enjoyed numerous ocean cruises, but thought we would try a European river cruise for a change. Luckily, his vacation days line up for a magical "Christmas Market" cruise from Prague to Budapest on the ... Read More
My husband and I have enjoyed numerous ocean cruises, but thought we would try a European river cruise for a change. Luckily, his vacation days line up for a magical "Christmas Market" cruise from Prague to Budapest on the AmaWaterways Amabella. We began our holiday with four nights in romantic Prague in the Czech Republic. We also took an excursion to the lovely Cesky Kromlov. The cruise included the bus to Nuremberg where we boarded the ship. There we joined several informative excursions of the historical city ending with the enchanting sights and smells of our 1st Christmas market. All of the additional ports were equally as magical, each with a unique Christmas Market experience. The tours and guides were interesting and informative, with an appropriate time allowed for “on your own” time. Tours were often divided into groups according to their walking ability, which was appreciated by all. We stayed in a lovely, large stateroom with a French & outside balcony from which we enjoyed viewing the beautiful countryside and numerous locks and dams along the way. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were always delicious. Often they offered fresh local options reflecting the countries we visited. Not to be missed is the Chef’s Table specialty restaurant. One of the biggest differences on a river cruise is the personal interaction you have with the crew and the other guests. Nick and Victoria made sure that everything ran smoothly on and off the ship. The attention to individual needs and desire to please is something you would rarely see from large ocean cruise ship personnel. The passengers on this ship were also some of the most lovely, genuine and interesting people I’ve met. I almost felt like I was leaving part of my family when I disembarked. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
My wife and a friend of hers thought a "Christmas Market" cruise would be a great idea. While I disagreed, my martyr complex compelled me to go. I have not been on a cruise of any kind in over 30 years and was happy to keep the ... Read More
My wife and a friend of hers thought a "Christmas Market" cruise would be a great idea. While I disagreed, my martyr complex compelled me to go. I have not been on a cruise of any kind in over 30 years and was happy to keep the record in tack. Needless to say the cruise exceeded my expectations in almost every way. The crew from the captain to our housekeeper were courteous, friendly, and efficient. Everyone associated with Amawaterways could not do enough to make the experience pleasant. The food and service were very good, with a varied selection. Though most passengers were American, we also had German, British, Australian, Canadian, and a few other nationalities. The planned activities on board and at each port-of-call were entertaining, interesting, and well organized. The stateroom was lovely with a both a French and standard balcony which provided great views. Wi-Fi was slow to non-existent based on volume use and location of ship. Since most passengers were not of the "my face is stuck to my smartphone" generation, this was likely not a big problem. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
I am a single lady, British, in my mid-60's and I have just returned from an excellent cruise aboard Amabella river cruise down the Danube from Vilshofen to Budapest, taking in Passau, Linz, Durnstein, Melk-Krems, Vienna, Bratislava, ... Read More
I am a single lady, British, in my mid-60's and I have just returned from an excellent cruise aboard Amabella river cruise down the Danube from Vilshofen to Budapest, taking in Passau, Linz, Durnstein, Melk-Krems, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest. I flew by scheduled flight from Heathrow to Munich where several of us were met by minibus and transferred to Vilshofen. Everything including embarkation was very smooth and I even managed to have a late light lunch aboard having unpacked. As the ship was half full, all passengers were upgraded and I had a lovely stateroom with a queen-sized bed, balcony and every kind of convenience ranging from safe, hair-dryer, mini bar and fridge, robe & slippers, umbrella plus the usual complimentary toiletries. There is a choice of dining either in the main dining room or at the buffet laid out in the main lounge - the food & drink throughout the voyage were of a high standard, as was the service. There is a choice of shore excursions and you can take a more active route, a more moderately paced route etc. to suit individual needs and tastes. The cruise line provided several pleasant onboard evening entertainments relevant to the port being visited. I was lucky to be able to disembark mid-morning and again, the smooth transfer back to the airport was everything one could wish. The crew can not do enough to help you - everybody is so pleasant. I hope to return for another cruise on another occasion. Well done AMA Waterways.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
My 80+ mother and I were on the Romantic Danube cruise, our 2nd AmaWaterways cruise. Last year in October we did the Enchanting Rhine. We did our own pre-cruise in Prague so that mother could see things at her pace. Stayed at the Hotel ... Read More
My 80+ mother and I were on the Romantic Danube cruise, our 2nd AmaWaterways cruise. Last year in October we did the Enchanting Rhine. We did our own pre-cruise in Prague so that mother could see things at her pace. Stayed at the Hotel Lippert and enjoyed Prague. We missed our transfer bus from the Hilton Hotel to Vilshofen. Got there late. However the Cruise Director Veronika -who was on the bus - made arrangements for us to meet the bus in Regensburg, where we joined our fellow cruisers. Embarkation was easy and as we were a small group, everyone was upgraded! We were now in 209 and had a real balcony! There was also champagne with an apology for our late start, and an invitation to join the Captain for dinner. Disembarkation: Well organized and a very early start for Cruise Director Veronika. We left around 10ish as we were staying an extra day in Budapest. Loved Budapest and will certainly return. We were docked across from the Liberty Statue on the Pest side. Took a cab to the Intercontinental. Features:The Lobby was similar to AmaLyra, but the Lounge was a bit different. It was bigger, with a library section where one could relax in front of the fireplace and read the daily news or magazines. The Bar was the same. There was no dedicated dancing area in the Lounge - which did not deter us. There was another Peter at the piano, and he knew Peter from AmaLyra. Just reinforces the fact that AmaWaterways is one big family. We even got news about some of the AmaLyra staff we had last year. The Sun deck was nearly the same, but this hot tub was bigger, and did get used. Towards the end of the cruise the Christmas decorations were put up and everything looked lovely and festive. I never used the room internet as the wifi was sufficient for my needs. My 2 prong outlet with USB port was enough to recharge my phone and camera. Ports: Vilshofen: lovely. Passau, Linz, Alpine Lake District (instead of Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov for us), Melk, Wachau Valley and Dürnstein -Krems, Vienna, Bratislava (Slovania), Budapest. All beautiful places with differing charm, fabulous architecture and very good guides. Tours at the active, regular and gentle pace. Don't think anyone did the bike tours due to it getting dark fairly early. We saw Christmas markets being set up for the next weeks, but were lucky to see the Vienna Christmas markets which had just opened. Couldn't get any better! The warm towels and hot drink on returning after our tours were welcome. Umbrellas were available if needed. Food: Delicious and very chic but included burgers, sandwiches and fries for those who desired. Unlimited wine, beer, soft drinks with lunch and dinner. Local beers, wine and local delicacies offered everyday complimenting our port tours. AmaWaterways buys all local produce and everything including the bread and pastries are made fresh daily. The Lounge served early meals, tea time, late night snacks and the 24 hr. machine serving, hot choc, tea, coffee, cappuccino, espresso etc. Missing the food as I write this. Staff: Captain Cristian Creteanu, Hotel Manager Bogdan Stefanescu, Cruise Manager Veronika Holikova, Maitre' D Bobby Bozhinov, Chef Robert Kellerhaus, Purser Aleksandra Panaytova and my Special Favorite: Cabin Service Mariya. Two examples of going the extra mile: 1: I have a cream suede fur trimmed jacket. In Bratislava, during the tour the back of my jacket got wet varnish stains from the stalls being set up. Back on the ship, I explained the situation to Bogdan who took it to be cleaned. The next morning, it was returned wonderfully clean and dry but one spot the size of a quarter remained. Mariya told me that when I returned after my Budapest tours, she would try and see what she could do. So that evening I gave it to her. That night on returning to my cabin after the illumination tour and saying my goodbyes, there hanging in the closet was my jacket, looking brand new- with no stain. She had worked her magic. Cost: one time charge of 2.40 euro. 2: Due to the small number of cruisers, the Schönbrunn Palace tour was cancelled as the bus did not get the 14 it needed. However, Veronika went and notified those signed up that if they still wanted to go, after the Vienna day tour, she would take them by train, and I think most took her up on that. Fellow cruisers: We were a small group, mostly USA with 1 Brit (who also wrote a review), 3 Canadians, 2 Dominican Republic and 4 Hong Kong, and everyone came to know each other, and I think we all got along very well. A lovely surprise was having 4 friends we made on AmaLyra last October, come meet us on the AmaBella in Budapest. They had done the same cruise on the AmaSonata but were 3 days ahead of us. We had a great reunion and they did a mini tour for future reference. AmaWaterways -which does very little advertising - offers unbeatable value and service, carries fewer passengers than other ships and their Staff is extremely well trained and loyal. I heard others share the same sentiment or experience it after comparing with other cruises. With AmaWaterways my mother feels safe, relaxed and wonderfully happy - so much so that I have been given 2 itineraries to plan for the future. Hope to see you! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
AMA Waterways markets this riverboat cruise,but only 4 of the 20 nights was aboard the riverboat. Nonetheless, because of the nature of the trip,and the marketing by AMA, this seemed a good place to post the review. We were traveling to ... Read More
AMA Waterways markets this riverboat cruise,but only 4 of the 20 nights was aboard the riverboat. Nonetheless, because of the nature of the trip,and the marketing by AMA, this seemed a good place to post the review. We were traveling to Cape Town from our second home in Southwest France, so we made our own flight arrangements. Despite this, AMA arranged for a car service to meet us in Cape Town and to take us to our hotel, the Cape Grace. When we arrived at the hotel, the concierge immediately introduced us to the Tour Guide, Jason,who was going to be with us for the next seven days. He was waiting at the hotel and made a point of being available for every arriving passenger. This is typical of the care and thoughtfulness of everyone who was associated with the tour. We were a group of about 28 at this hotel, as most people purchased this extension on the theory that this was their one and only trip to Africa. I hope we were wrong about that. We had several days visiting with the group in Capetown, and were delighted with the sights and information that Jason provided. The Cape Grace is a very nice Leading Hotels property, and we were surprised to find that it was not the very best hotel as we checked into others on the trip.It is in the Victoria and Albert Waterfront redevelopment and is an easy walk away from many restaurants and shops. We then flew to Botswana via Johannesburg. The only problem we encountered, and one which is clearly beyond the control of any tour company, was the need to check in and out of Botwana and Zambia on nearly every day we were on the Zambezi Queen. This added about an hour to several day trips, but we learned to deal with that. During the time on the Zambezi Queen we had several excursions on small boats, thank goodness I am no longer using film cameras, and a day trip into the Chobe National Park. It was interesting that it was arranged that no more than six persons would be in each 10 passenger vehicle in the park so that everyone had a clear view and the chance to see and take photos. We saw several tour groups arranged by other companies which were far less considerate of their passengers. The Zambezi Queen is a converted river barge, and is very pleasant. It is not a super luxurious experience, but it was very nice and made all the more pleasant by its exceptional crew and captain. We were greeted by the crew singing a welcome song, and then they made us feel as if we had been cruising with them for years. They learned our names at once and made certain we were comfortable in every way possible. Incidentally, one of the excursions was to a nearby river village where the crew comes from on two week rotations. No water or other utilities, but a solar panel which was used to recharge the ubiquitous cell phones and television which was tuned to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. After four nights on the Queen we boated and bussed to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. (Three border crossings.) We were at the Victoria Falls Hotel which is another exceptional property , and were able to visit the falls, an elephant rescue and a lion rescue. Somehow, we never looked relaxed in the photographs of us petting a 14 month old lioness. She, on the other hand, just looks bored. From there, we went on to the Kilimanjaro airport. This was a change in plans,made at the last minute, with no extra fees, because there had been a State Department warning for Nairobi. We spend a night near the airport at a another nice hotel, had an interesting ride in the Ngorngoro area the next day, and began our tour of the Lake Myanmara and Ngorongoro parks. Again the hotels were wonderful. We then flew into the Serengeti, not for the small plane or dirt runway averse, and spent five days there with a wonderful tour guide, Adam, and millions of wildebeest, zebras, elephants, and 6 male lions over the five days. These tours are not for young children who would have difficulty with the low noise requirements or restrictions about staying in seats when the animals are walking by in touching distance. On the other end of the spectrum, getting in and out of the boats, range rovers, small aircraft, and transferring from small boats to the river boat were difficult for the mobility impaired among us. While every effort was made to accommodate those issues, several tours were missed by at least one person who felt unable to make some of the transfers.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
I have long wished to be in the Netherlands during the tulip time at the Kerkenhof Gardens (sp) and so this trip was a dream come true. I did find that my disability in walking spoiled much of the trip for me but I did have a wheelchair ... Read More
I have long wished to be in the Netherlands during the tulip time at the Kerkenhof Gardens (sp) and so this trip was a dream come true. I did find that my disability in walking spoiled much of the trip for me but I did have a wheelchair available for some key side trips. However, I don't think I will repeat such a trip and that saddens me. Nothing else bad to report - only joys! Our stateroom level two was comfortable if a bit tight during dressing. Well thought out storage, comfortable beds, and chairs and work desk. Nice big windows if often facing a competing river boat tied up by the dock. I enjoyed the safe grab bar and small shower after the deep tubs and elaborate plumbing in Italy, our trip prior to this. Our very honest room steward keep it perfectly in order with towel animals on the bed most days to amuse us. Lots of mirrors. We only enjoyed the balcony one time but we were glad we hadn't stayed with our original choice of the lower level suites. The key to our enjoyment of the trip was the staff! They really seemed to like their work and therefore made us feel welcome and appreciated. A request for anything was very cheerfully seen to. Since they work almost around the clock for 7 days their attitude is remarkable. The cruise manager, Peter Whitehead, is a gem! So amusing, helpful, etc. I said before that the only way to improve him would be to clone him! Even his end of the trip tasteful discussion of the gratuities was enjoyable and would encourage generosity from anyone.. I liked that the Captain was willing to give time to address the passengers on more than one occasion. There were lots of little touches such a rose for each lady on the first night, tulips on the tables and in the rooms and the opportunity to dine at least once in the smaller upper level special dining room. The introduction by the Captain of the crew set a tone of appreciation of them on more than one occasion. The servers in particular were amazingly gracious and friendly to us at all times. Sure must be hard to do! And I haven't even mentioned the best part - the wonderful dining options from dawn to after I was fast asleep. I am overweight and always feared a cruise imagining overwhelming amounts of overly fattening food that I could not resist. The cuisine options on this cruise were like magic! One could eat all 5 courses at dinner enjoyably and not feel overly fed. A good variety always attractively served with freely flowing wine. What more could one ask? Congratulations to the culinary crew! And smiling servers. Et al. I will recommend AMA to everyone, and only wish I was fit enough to enjoy more of the onshore options. I did get into the "hot" tub one sunny day, and I will say the "hot" tub is not so hot! Almost perfection otherwise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
This was our 7th river cruise, and 3rd with AMA. We arrived on time in AMS and found the AMA desk. The excellent service we have consistently experienced on AMA started there and continued until we were in our taxi on the return to the ... Read More
This was our 7th river cruise, and 3rd with AMA. We arrived on time in AMS and found the AMA desk. The excellent service we have consistently experienced on AMA started there and continued until we were in our taxi on the return to the airport. Highlights: - Staff and crew were excellent and our Captain, Rob, was very personable. - Cruise manager Peter Whitehead was not only a great CM, but also quite a personality. He was witty and warm and it was delightful getting to know him over the course of the week. - Staff members who made our experience extra special were Csaba in the main restaurant, Elvis in the main lounge, Octavian in Erlebnis and also manning the omelette station at breakfast, and Viktor at reception. - Our BA twin balcony cabin was comfortable and the weather balmy enough to enjoy it throughout the cruise. We love AMA's power showers and lovely bath amenities. - Erlebnis was wonderful! As past passengers we were invited to dine with the Captain one evening at Erlebnis and that was the best meal of the cruise - exceptional. - Keukenhof Gardens was at its peak the day we visited. The sun was shining and the weather was warm. We spent about 90 minutes here and that was perfect. There was an option to stay longer but we had other plans for our afternoon in Amsterdam. - The Limited Edition tours were very good. Our favorites were chocolate making in Ghent and a walking tour of the Jordaan district in Amsterdam. Itinerary: - Scenery while cruising in this area is nothing special and did not compare to the other rivers we have traveled. - Antwerp was our favorite port. We decided to head to Brussels on a DIY day as soon as we arrived and walked to the station and hopped the train for the one hour ride. We were very happy we did as we enjoyed Brussels. We were back by 2pm and spent the remainder of the day in Antwerp. The weather was cold and very windy on this day, spiked with rain showers. That made exploring the city less enjoyable than it would have been otherwise but it is a lovely city and easy to navigate. - Ghent was pleasant and this was our second visit. We walked for hours in the areas of the city that were away from the main tourist area and then grabbed a taxi back to the boat late afternoon. - Hoorn was a last minute itinerary change (from Volendam) and was charming and pretty. Much was closed on this Monday but we enjoyed the lovely scenery of this port. - Amsterdam is not our favorite city but it is growing on us the more we visit. This was our 3rd visit. The boat docks in a very convenient location and we were able to walk everywhere we wanted to go. We now know that we prefer the area away from the tourist center and it is there we find the charming neighborhoods and quieter canals and streets that we prefer. Since the weather was pleasant, the outdoor cafes and bars were very busy and it was fun to wander the various areas of the city and explore. We do not care for the center of Amsterdam that attracts the hard partiers and bachelor parties but it is easy to get away from this area and discover the quiet and pretty residential neighborhoods. Ship experience: We preferred our cruises on AmaDante and AmaCerto to AmaBella in terms of the ship itself. The layout and design of the ship was not as functional. Dining room was cramped and cut up; bar was very small in main lounge; there was no dance floor. Our bed was not very comfortable and lighting in the bathroom and cabin was dim, making it hard to put on makeup. Wifi was problematic throughout the cruise. Entertainment was not a strong point of this cruise, as it was on our other two AMA cruises. Rolf, an excellent vocalist, was the best of the local entertainment brought aboard. Things were quite dead after the evening entertainment wrapped up, unlike past AMA cruises (this could have been the demographic which was not as young as our past cruises). The 60's party was a non event, where on AmaCerto, it was a cruise highlight and so much fun! The piano player, Peter, was very nice and we enjoyed him during the afternoons but had much more fun with the in house piano player on our other two AMA cruises. This aspect of the cruise was a disappointment as we do enjoy a bit of dancing and socializing after dinner. Food was good on AmaBella, but not as interesting or exceptional as on our other two AMA cruises, with the exception of Erlebnis. Breads were wonderful and my husband totally enjoyed the ice cream selections at lunch each day. My two pasta dishes (saffron gnocchi with spinach and tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms) were the best of my meals in the main dining room. My husband had a lovely duck one afternoon at lunch and the salad bar choices were always fresh and varied. The cheese board, which I look forward to every day on AMA, had the same choices every day at lunch and dinner and did not reflect the local offerings. We enjoyed the wines served with lunch and dinner, which varied by day. There were no passed hors d'oeuvres at the Captain's welcome or Farewell cocktail receptions, as there were on our past cruises with AMA. They did offer tapas at the bar, which we tried once after coming back in from port. We never saw anyone else ordering these so not sure if this is an experiment that will last. All in all, we enjoyed our cruise. We prefer other itineraries/destinations to Belgium and the Netherlands overall, especially in terms of visual beauty and interest while cruising. We look forward to our Rhone cruise with AMA in the fall and will be booking a cruise on the Rhine for 2015 shortly.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
We cruised from Budapest to Nuremburg. We had a D class stateroom and I was concerned that it would be small and our views very limited. It turned out that the cabin was spacious and the views fine. AmaBella's standard outings were ... Read More
We cruised from Budapest to Nuremburg. We had a D class stateroom and I was concerned that it would be small and our views very limited. It turned out that the cabin was spacious and the views fine. AmaBella's standard outings were free but there were a few optional tours available for additional cost. We stayed busy the entire trip. Wine, beer, and soft drinks were included at lunch and dinner. The foods were well prepared and tasty with a good selection every day. Staff was friendly and helpful. They wore several hats on a ship this small but all performed well. The cruise director was knowledgeable, very personable, and full of energy. She made last minute adjustments through-out the trip to meet changing conditions. Local entertainment was brought on board several nights. The piano player in the lounge was quite good and played every evening. The bar was well stocked and prices reasonable. This was a very good cruise. Our only complaint is that with only one public space you do not have the opportunity for a bit of quiet time unless you hole up in your cabin. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
We began our tour with two nights in Prague in the Czech Republic. We had a walking tour on the first day. We asked Balosch, our cruise director, for a dining suggestion for a restaurant for dinner and he gave us an excellent one that ... Read More
We began our tour with two nights in Prague in the Czech Republic. We had a walking tour on the first day. We asked Balosch, our cruise director, for a dining suggestion for a restaurant for dinner and he gave us an excellent one that featured wonderful Czech food. We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel in Prague as part of the cruise package. It was comfortable, the breakfast was excellent, and it was centrally located. We then drove to Nuremberg where we boarded the ship. Using Nuremberg as a port was a bit of a challenge since it's not really suited to as many ships as it handles. There is only a rough single lane road and it is used by all of the cruise buses. Sometimes a bus that is entering must back up quite a way to allow another ship to leave. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas. The staff was very welcoming and tried to accommodate all requests. We found the beds to be quite hard and many other passengers felt the same way. We asked for a foam topper to make the beds more comfortable. Our cabin steward changed out the room in no time. We found the cabins to be small. They were supposed to be 170 square feet, but when my husband marked them off they were quite a bit smaller. Since it was winter, we had quite a few bulky clothes. There were not enough hangers to accommodate our clothes and the storage was inadequate. A few hooks on the wall for coats would have freed up some closet space. Breakfast was quite good and you had the choice of ordering from the menu or going to the buffet. Because of the tight space, it was a bit of a crush to go through the buffet, but once we got the timing right, it was fine. Lunch was also either from the menu or a buffet. Dinner was adequate, but nothing really was outstanding. Considering the price of the ticket we did expect a little higher quality in the food. The wine was free flowing, however, and always was local vintages. Erlebnis, the specialty restaurant, was a real treat. It accommodates 24 people and is a chef's table experience. The chef greets you and explains the courses that are available. You can actually see him work while you are dining. We were able to dine here twice and each time was a treat for the eyes and the mouth. Several times local entertainers were brought on board. They were always excellent. Many times we were greeted at the ship after a day of shopping and sightseeing with a lovely glass of mulled wine. Really hit the spot after being thoroughly chilled by the cold weather. Several times, other ships were tied up to our ships so we had to exit our ship by walking through the other ships. From our cabin we were also able to see the cabins of the other ship. From what we could see of the cabins and public areas of the other ships, the Amabella ship was comparable. The stops on our trip (Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau/Salzburg, Melk/Vienna, and Budapest) were all excellent. Most of the time you could walk off the ship and into the town. The ship always provided maps and personnel to answer any questions as you left the ship. The walking tours were excellent and you are provided with audio devices so that you could hear everything the tour director was saying. Our cruise director gave a commentary on the one day that we spent just cruising. Since everyone has a sliding glass door, it was very enjoyable to sit by the window sipping mulled wine and seeing the world go by. All in all, it was a terrific trip and the problems we encountered were minor in nature and easily addressed. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
We are retired and we did the river cruise Amsterdam to Budapest, and with many quality sea cruises under our belts (Cunard, P &O, Princess etc) we were amazed at the quality of service. We have never before been on a ship where we ... Read More
We are retired and we did the river cruise Amsterdam to Budapest, and with many quality sea cruises under our belts (Cunard, P &O, Princess etc) we were amazed at the quality of service. We have never before been on a ship where we could not find one passenger who had anything but praise for the ship, the crew, the food and facilities. Must be a record. When faced with the possibility of being slowed right down in Germany due to a lock keepers strike,the Captain and Cruise Director Roland (who never seemed to sleep) rescheduled everything so that without in any way affecting our ports of call and excursions the ship could speed up and get out of Germany the night before the strike with a complete rearrangement of coach trips which sometimes had four busses arriving at a river bank miles from anywhere to rendezvous with the ship. By the way, on another cruise we would choose a cruise purely on the basis that Roland was the cruise director, so good was this guy! The bar staff were generous with the fully included drinks available at any time (we had expected some rationing!) and with great excursions included along with all tipping, our only bill on leaving was for some laundry, such was the totally inclusive nature of APT cruises. Great to have good quality bicycles on board as well. IF there was a negative, it would be that everyone on board was Australian (along with a few of us New Zealanders) and it would have been nice to have more of a mix of countries. Would heartily reccomend APT and AMAWaterways for a river cruise. Read Less
AmaBella Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.8
Entertainment 4.0 4.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 1.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.8
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 5.0 5.0
Value For Money 5.0 5.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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