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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: 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
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
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
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first river cruise after 15+ ocean cruises, primarily on Celebrity, Seabourn, and Oceania. Overall a great cruise, so much in fact we are planning to do another river cruise on AMA next year. Positives: All ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after 15+ ocean cruises, primarily on Celebrity, Seabourn, and Oceania. Overall a great cruise, so much in fact we are planning to do another river cruise on AMA next year. Positives: All inclusive (except gratuities) no crowds/lines on board - about 150 passengers. Easy on and off every time. very good food (we are food lovers!) Beef not as good as fish, however (Europe not known for their beef). Great deserts, baked goods, fresh fruit, plenty of choices. The meal at Chef's table was fantastic. Tours were groups of 10-15 and the guides were very good. The scenery was spectacular and The ship is beautiful and in great shape. The service was a high point - just outstanding. No real negatives to mention. There are some differences between ocean and river cruising (none which I consider negative, just different), but we enjoyed the cruise tremendously - can't wait to do it again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We took the AmaSonata Danube cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen over Easter 2019. We did not do the pre-cruise add on, but did arrive in Budapest a few days early, staying at the Hilton Budapest by the castle. This was our first river ... Read More
We took the AmaSonata Danube cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen over Easter 2019. We did not do the pre-cruise add on, but did arrive in Budapest a few days early, staying at the Hilton Budapest by the castle. This was our first river cruise, and it was generally a great experience (helped by beautiful weather). The embarkation was incredibly smooth. Our taxi dropped us off about 30 minutes after the first cabin access, which worked well because no one else was boarding. Crew members took our luggage and that of our companions. Check in was minimal - mainly picking up the key and getting our picture taken for security. We were whisked to our cabin where our luggage was already waiting. The woman who showed us our cabin (one of the servers in the restaurant we later learned) identified a loose handle and had that taken care of quickly. Dining: buffet at breakfast, though you can order additional items. Buffet at lunch, always with a carving station, but the servers take orders for optional soup and entrees. The soups were always very hot. Sometimes great, sometimes so-so. Dinner was starter-soup-entree-dessert. The food was good but usually not outstanding. The servers were great, though. We were trying to be healthy at least sometimes, foiled often by being given a second dessert or alternate treat. Only one selection of white or red wine at dinner, but they changed each day and were usually local to the country. Lunch and/or dinner each day often offered local specialties. There is a second small restaurant that you have to make reservations for. A menu is posted outside - note that they have the same menu every day during the cruise. We failed to make reservations early so could only get a night that would have been a later dinner. We later canceled the reservation deciding that we preferred the main restaurant. Note also that tables in the main restaurant seat 4 or 6 people. It is open seating, but we found relatively little mixing from night to night (we were a group of 4). Shore excursions: the shore excursions were generally good. At each stop, there was generally a walking tour, a hike and a bike tour. The walking tours always had a gentle walker and regular walkers option. I had read that there were also active walkers options, but that was only true in Vienna. We were a bit frustrated with the Budapest tour because we had already seen several of the places on the tour -- we couldn't figure out in enough detail ahead of time to know how much to avoid going to early. We had a long free time in the market hall (which we had been to) and then very little time in Heroes Square, which we hadn't been to because it was farther out. (The basic tour was a mix of bus and walking). Other than that, the tours were good. They were always led by local guides, and groups tended to be fairly small (12-15 people, more if there was a bus). The buses were very comfortable and never full (perhaps because the boat wasn't at capacity). I also wish I had known earlier that "hike" wasn't what Americans would call a hike. Hikes generally meant up hill (usually to a castle) and often on cobblestones. But these were not difficult or nature walks. We did the hike in Bratislava and found it to be one of our favorites as it was more like a more robust walking tour. Bike trips, on the other hand, tended to be long and pretty strenuous. We worried that things would be closed over Easter, but all the tourist sites were available, including museums that would have been closed on our Monday in Vienna, but were open for Easter Monday. Most of the cities also had Easter markets. Our cruise director, Uwe, was fabulous. His desk was at the end of the hall of our deck, so we passed him all the time and could ask random questions. He had a tendency to pop up all the time when we had shore excursions (tours he wasn't on). We'd walk into town separate from a tour and run into him. He was really a resource person and made you feel taken care of. Entertainment might be a weak spot, but is barely needed. There was always music, and several times local performers came on board. There was one lecture near the end -- few people attended it, but I really enjoyed it. If I did a river cruise again, I'd look for one that was part of an educational tour to get more lectures etc. There was also a wellness lead on the ship who did workouts and similar activities, but I don't think many people took him up on it. We were getting a lot of exercise just on the walking tours. We are in our 50s and were in the middle of the age demographics. There were few very frail seniors, but also few young couples and no kids. All in all, service was wonderful. Disembarkation was handled very well too. We had arranged our own transportation to Prague at the end. We are usually independent travelers and had arranged a private car, but I wish we had known we could use the transport from the Prague add-on despite not doing the add on. We stopped at the same place the Prague bus from the ship stopped (Regensburg), but without the guidance of the tour guide. In fact, at one point when we were there, I joked "where's Uwe when you need him" and right at that moment we caught sight of him on the other side of the square. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I can't say enough about our trip on AmaWaterways where else can you see 4 countries and lots of villages and cities in a week. Not sure where to start. My friend and traveled to Europe for the first time together. Both of us give ... Read More
I can't say enough about our trip on AmaWaterways where else can you see 4 countries and lots of villages and cities in a week. Not sure where to start. My friend and traveled to Europe for the first time together. Both of us give everything 5 stars. neither one of us had one complaint. the staff was amazing, the ship is beautiful, the food and wine was over the top fantastic. They weren't stingy with the food or wine. Loved the wines form Austria, Hungary they served daily. Our cruise director Veronika was amazing. we commented among ourselves several times, "wow she works hard and doesn't miss a thing" Always there, smiling nice, her talks about the cruise, the ship, the region was so interesting and educational and fun. the waiters, cleaning staff cooks, captain any and all the rest were super great. enjoyed all of them. Our room was taken care of while we ate breakfast. the excursions were all excellent we loved everyone. the local guides were all great. the bus transportations were spotless, some had wi fi. the on ship enetertaiment was just perfect. the daily piano player was real good, they had an Austrian night song and dance performance, ad Hungarian night was real great. gypsy musicians, hunagrian dancers men and women. fantastic. our first night October fest was fun. great beer and prezles, german music. Can you tell I loved everything? Then even arranged for a vn to my hotel in Budapest. loaded my luggage and checked to make sure we were on and said good by. such service. thank you all, hope to see you again Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This is a very comfortable and well appointed ship. The crew is friendly and accommodating. We especially enjoyed Alex in the restaurant. The tour director, Veronica, is superbly well organized, very knowledgeable of all of the various ... Read More
This is a very comfortable and well appointed ship. The crew is friendly and accommodating. We especially enjoyed Alex in the restaurant. The tour director, Veronica, is superbly well organized, very knowledgeable of all of the various venues, and a pleasure to be around. The food on the ship is superb; they even accommodated my wife’s gluten dietary restrictions. We enjoyed the entertainment on board, particularly enjoyed the concert in Vienna, and the bicycle tour out of Weisenkirchen. The one activity on the tour that was a bit below par was the wine tasting in Weisenkirchen. We had a trip to Prague on the front end of the cruise. This was likewise very enjoyable and well organized; however, the hotel in Prague while adequate, did not live up to the luxury accommodations afforded us on the ship. This cruise was a fantastic experience on a wonderful ship with an attentive and friendly crew and a superb cruise director. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This ship line had received great reviews. The trip was absolutely wonderful. Everyone who takes these cruises knows about the low water problem with Europe's rivers. The Captain and the crew of our trip managed to take us ... Read More
This ship line had received great reviews. The trip was absolutely wonderful. Everyone who takes these cruises knows about the low water problem with Europe's rivers. The Captain and the crew of our trip managed to take us everywhere we were scheduled to go with no service disruption or problems presented to us. We had a Cruise manager, Camille, who seemed to be everywhere! She handled so many things that if a problem arose, she took care of it before we were even aware of it! Even with that, she did not "hover" over our group but helped us experience the unique value oil this cruise and the places we visited, providing plenty of time for our own discovery. She was absolutely delightful as were the Captain, Justyan, the Hotel Manager, Cristian and the rest of the crew! They were excellent! This is certainly the way to visit the great cities of Europe. The food was great and plentiful as was the wine and other beverages. The accommodations were great. The local guides were very good and were very helpful to us in enjoying the unique areas of each town and city we visited. We also had plenty of time to discover on our own and had a variety of ways to do that arranged by our Cruise Manager I would recommend this line, AMA Waterways, to anyone that wants to take a river cruise. We certainly will be back! In my view, this is the very best way to experience these historic places in the world. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
After 5 spectacular river cruises with a rival company I took a chance on AMA based on their superior reviews, big mistake. The water level was too low to do our original itinerary (not AMA's fault) but the substitutions they made ... Read More
After 5 spectacular river cruises with a rival company I took a chance on AMA based on their superior reviews, big mistake. The water level was too low to do our original itinerary (not AMA's fault) but the substitutions they made were ridiculous and certainly not comparable to what we booked and paid for. To date, no compensation or consideration has been offered. But besides the bugled itinerary there was a lot of problems that were not related to water level. The "light lunches" and "late night snacks" were the same three sandwich combinations every day...salmon, tomato-cheese or peanut butter and jelly. Really! There are no food options offered outside of designated meal and "snack" times. Cabin interiors were a bit worn but adequate. The desk staff seemed overwhelmed and quite frazzled. The entertainment was basic at best. The over-all staff attitude seemed to be one of simply herding people about rather than one of service and a few were border-line rude. I will never sail AMA again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise based on the recommendation of our cruise agent and the itinerary (we really wanted to visit Prague). We have been on almost a dozen ocean cruises prior to this adventure. The ship was clean and had a minimal ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the recommendation of our cruise agent and the itinerary (we really wanted to visit Prague). We have been on almost a dozen ocean cruises prior to this adventure. The ship was clean and had a minimal draft. This was important because it allowed us to cruise the Danube while several other lines could not. We could not start in Nuremberg as planned due to low water levels in the Main-Danube Canal. The first two stops were wiped out but AMA did everything they could to find alternate stops for us. They also offered a complimentary tour of Salzburg. Dejan, our cruise director, kept us as updated on river levels as he could. He was a tireless worker and seemed to be at his desk or on a tour bus all the time. His enthusiasm was contagious. Minor negative comments - my wife had two wine choices at every meal. I had hoped to experience German and Czech beers as well. There were only five beers offered; one gluten free, another was alcohol free and a third I can buy in Canada (and don't like it here). On board entertainment - AMA brought on some great performers during our cruise. However, at every show guests decided to speak at full volume around the bar or just behind it. I turned around once and asked them to allow us to listen to the performance. They glared at me, moved to the next table, and then spoke even louder. Dejan had appealed for us to appreciate the entertainers. I wish everyone had listened. There is a note in the cabin washrooms about water conservation. We hung up our towels on the racks every day but still got fresh towels. I thought about hiding the towels but we would have probably have just had double left. Either take the sign down or respect the guests' wishes. The excursions were mostly well done, well presented and informative. Our guide for Salzburg spoke about the Sound of Music as if we had all seen it the previous week. Our guide in Grein (an alternative stop) rambled on a bit too much. The food, for the most part, was excellent. My wife and I both felt that we directed too quickly to the buffets at breakfast and lunch. We preferred to order off the menu. Embarking and disembarking were smooth and easy. Highlights - sitting on the upper deck floating through the Wachau Valley watching the wineries and castles go by. "Shoes on the Danube" display - tragic and moving. The bike tour in Vienna was enjoyable and just the right amount of exercise. Would we do another river cruise? Not sure. After a while, the castles/cathedrals/churches all seem to look alike. We have nothing to compare AMA to as far as river cruises go, but we did not feel "wowed". But even as I write this, I cannot give any specific examples as what they could have done to "wow" us. Maybe the amount of money you pay for a river cruise is justified in the peace and lack of hassles we had. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have gone on 4 River Cruises in 4 years, first two on Viking and now AMA for two. The first three river cruises the Activity Directors were outstanding. They were Always visible, socializing with the passengers, you see them on your ... Read More
We have gone on 4 River Cruises in 4 years, first two on Viking and now AMA for two. The first three river cruises the Activity Directors were outstanding. They were Always visible, socializing with the passengers, you see them on your tours and in the dining room and lounge. This cruise was a little different. I know the director had to deal with a lot of changes with the itinerary (and he did a great job) because of low water levels but that is part of the job description. The director’s visibility is all about PR and marketing. Having gone on three other cruises I was able to compare and that is the reason for my comment and evaluation. Embarkation was excellent. Ship was very clean and personnel was outstanding. Loved the evening entertainment, housekeeping and dining room service. Hotels that AMA select are in walking distance to the city and very accommodating. River Cruising is definitely the way to travel. We always meet outstanding people which results in lifetime friendships via social media. Because of itinerary changes excursions were long because of long bus rides which was not a problem. They can’t control ‘Mother Nature.’ I felt that there should be an early bus to take people those people who were tired back to the ship because of the very long day, Maybe a hour plus earlier. We will definitely travel on another River Cruise next year. I thank AMA for a memorable River Cruise. AMA treats people like royalty. Hopefully we will see AMA people next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose Ama Waterways for a number of reasons, one being a recommendation by cruisecritic, that if we were looking to be active on our cruise, this was the cruise line for us. And active we were - went on four bike rides, one being a 22 ... Read More
We chose Ama Waterways for a number of reasons, one being a recommendation by cruisecritic, that if we were looking to be active on our cruise, this was the cruise line for us. And active we were - went on four bike rides, one being a 22 mile ride through vineyards, villages, farms - gorgeous! We also hiked straight up to a fortress and I mean straight up. Another recommendation by cruisecritic was the food offered by Ama. Lovely, beautiful, delicious, gourmet cuisine, with service to match. Our accommodations were so comfortable, the pool on the top deck divine after a day of biking or hiking. Our cruise manager, Chuaba (apologies if misspelled) was perfect in his role of overseeing all the needs of the cruisers. Also want to mention that I met a travel consultant vacationing on this cruise. Her comment, "This is my fifth cruise with Ama and it's the best cruise line in the business." We couldn't have been happier and we will be going on another Ama river cruise in the near future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was amazing! We chose a Danube cruise for the destinations. My husband is a musician and wanted to go to places where the famous composers actually wrote and performed the music so this itinerary was perfect. Everything about ... Read More
This cruise was amazing! We chose a Danube cruise for the destinations. My husband is a musician and wanted to go to places where the famous composers actually wrote and performed the music so this itinerary was perfect. Everything about this cruise was easy. Checkin was easy, they took our luggage to our room while we were checking in and they explained all the room features to us. We had been traveling for almost a week prior to getting on the ship so we sent out laundry that first night and asked to have it back in 2 days, it was back in our room same night when we came back from dinner! The cabin was well appointed and we opted for a balcony which we enjoyed. The food was great and service was top notch in both the restaurant and the lounge. The DJ in the evenings was entertaining and played great music and the dance floor was always full. The water level in the northern part of the Danube was too low so our itinerary had to change to accommodate that. No one wants a ship to get stuck! They reworked the itinerary on the fly and found other great locations for us to stop at and wonderful tour options. Every night before dinner we met the cruise director Csaba in the lounge and he updated everyone on the changes and let us know where we would be the next day. You could tell he was working really hard to come up with Plan B and he did not disappoint. As a result we did miss out on a few of the scheduled ports but all in all I don't think we really missed anything and we thoroughly enjoyed the options we did have. This was our first river cruise and we were anxious to compare it to the big ocean liners and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the smaller, quieter atmosphere. We plan to do another cruise with AMA in the next year or so. We had a fantastic time and the level of detail and service was above and beyond our expectations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first river cruise after many "big ship" cruises. It was a Danube cruise, with pre and post time in Budapest and Prague. AMA Waterways, which we had no knowledge of, had been recommended by our travel agent. We ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after many "big ship" cruises. It was a Danube cruise, with pre and post time in Budapest and Prague. AMA Waterways, which we had no knowledge of, had been recommended by our travel agent. We approached the trip with some trepidation, but this hesitation turned out to be unfounded. We can't say enough about AMA. The Sonata was beautiful, the food was great, and the staff was unbelievable. They were the best staff by far we have ever experienced on a cruise - headed by their cruise director Bojan Randjelovic. We took a Danube cruise from Budapest to Prague. The second day of pre-cruise in Budapest I fell in the shower at the hotel - at 7:30 at night - and suffered severe injuries. Bojan saw the ambulance come to our hotel, made inquires, found out it was an AMA guest, and from that point forward gave us assistance that made all the difference in the world. He rode in the ambulance with me and stayed with me for 5 hours, past mid-night, at two hospitals He also contacted an AMA guide who spoke Hungarian, she immediately left her home and came to the first hospital, and was invaluable at the two hospitals we visited (no one spoke English at the Hospitals). After another 5 hours, I finally got appropriate care. Were it not for Bojan, and the person he called to help us, my wife and I would have been totally helpless in a foreign country. Apart from this help, on the cruise ship and for the remainder of the trip, he was the nicest, friendliest, most informative and most helpful cruise director my wife and I have even seen in approximately 18 cruises. As I said, the cruise itself was great in all respects - especially the ship appointments, food and staff. Unfortunately, the water level was low, and we were not able to reach our final cruise destination of Nuremberg. AMA, and Bojan, did everything to give us alternate options of ports and places to visit by bus. Amazingly, after our trip was over, AMA gave everyone on the cruise a credit of 45% of their cruise fare towards a future cruise !!! This was unbelievably generous on their part. My wife and I immediately booked another AMA cruise for 2019, this one on the Rhine. We will be recommending AMA to all of our friends and family, and we will always remember that in our hour of need, Bojan was there for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our second Amawaterways cruise. The entire staff from reservation, crew, tour guides were amazing. We had first class treatment from start to finish. Professional, efficient and even some humor from everyone we ... Read More
This was our second Amawaterways cruise. The entire staff from reservation, crew, tour guides were amazing. We had first class treatment from start to finish. Professional, efficient and even some humor from everyone we encountered. We had some weather problems and natural bumps, but they handled everything smoothly. If they were not transparent of what was going on we never would have been the wiser. Highly recommend Amawaterways for river cruising. Can’t wait to book our next cruise. Esperanza in office assisted us when our flight was canceled, efficiently and pleasantly. Nick our cruise director effectively knocked down all the road blocks with a smile, humor, and efficiency. Contain our server was absolutely amazing! Rooms and ship were immaculate. Our every need was met. One guest even requested to pet a dog and at one of the ports Nick found one for her to pet! The entertainment was exceptional as well as the detailed tours. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Our third river cruise on Ama and all three have been really pleasant experiences. The first two were the Rhine and Seine; this time it was the Danube, a beautiful river indeed. We enjoyed stops in Brasislava, Vienna, the picture postcard ... Read More
Our third river cruise on Ama and all three have been really pleasant experiences. The first two were the Rhine and Seine; this time it was the Danube, a beautiful river indeed. We enjoyed stops in Brasislava, Vienna, the picture postcard Durnstein, beautiful Regensburg, and a full day of touring in Nuremberg. The staff is always professional, the food was very good with much to select from, and the excursions were well organized. Ama is an excellent company and delivers, in our experience so far, a consistently excellent product. That said, those who have not taken a river cruise will want to note that there are limited onboard activities, entertainment, and dining options. On this cruise, the onborad pianist serves as the DY, for example. They generally bring entertainers onboard a couple of nights during the week. The upside, however, is that you get a peaceful, hassle free experiences without the crowds found on traditional cruise ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This was my first cruise. I went upon the recommendation of a friend who did the same cruise last fall. Had I not heard that he had an exceptional experience, I might not have taken a chance with a river cruise. I'm glad I did. We ... Read More
This was my first cruise. I went upon the recommendation of a friend who did the same cruise last fall. Had I not heard that he had an exceptional experience, I might not have taken a chance with a river cruise. I'm glad I did. We arrived in Amsterdam three days prior to embarkation. I didn't want jet lag to ruin my first few days onboard. Plus, there was only one full day in Amsterdam once the cruise began...this is not enough time to see the city. Tip: if you want to see the Ann Frank House [and you should], you need to get tickets online. You're allowed to buy no more than 60 days prior to visit. So our embarkation did not occur directly off the plane but straight from our hotel. I cannot speak for the airport experience in Amsterdam. However, we arrived at the boat around 2pm and were immediately shown to our stateroom. Our luggage was brought from the cab to our room. The welcome crew were efficient and friendly. Our stateroom was comfortable. The airconditioning was a blessing as it was hot during our entire two week trip. The rest of the ship was a tad warm at times. Previously noted in other reviews, if you have oversized suitcases, you will find it difficult to store them in the stateroom. Our mid-sized suitcases fit in the closet perfectly. There are a few small drawers for clothing. I hung up most of my stuff in the closet. The bed was comfortable. No complaints about the bathroom. The shower was awesome. Dining onboard was fabulous. Inspired cuisine. Fresh baked bread everyday. Handmade desserts. Local wines from each region. There's a late risers breakfast in the lounge...so if you're worried about missing breakfast because you want to sleep in, you're covered. I can't imagine begin hungry in between meals but if you want snacks, you should buy stuff on land and bring it aboard. I never tried to order food onboard in between meals. Seating at meals is pretty straightforward. It's open seating so you can pick your table [or your favorite waiter's section]. There was a daily cocktail hour right before dinner [free drinks!] and of course endless drinks during dinner. The rest of the time, you must purchase your own. Free ice tea, coffee, and water throughout the day in the lounge. The entertainment was okay. There's no stage shows or anything like that. They bring in local talent from the towns along the river. Sorry...no karaoke. There was a shipboard pianist who was pretty good. The cruise manager, Raul, gave a presentation every evening before dinner. He usually chatted about local history and gave an over view of the next day. I was extremely impressed with the quality of his presentations: this guy knows his history! When we cruised through areas of interest, he used the PA system on board to give details on what we were seeing. Daily excursions usually fell into four categories: walking around town with a guide, visiting a castle or palace, going on a wine tasting or food sampling tour or a bike trip. You could also take a bike and cruise around. Or you could just walk into town on your own. Most of the ports were small medieval villages so walking from the ship was easy. Literally, the ship would often dock right in the middle of town. In the larger cities, there was a bus tour around the city to get oriented then some free time usually in a central area. Special trips were organized sometimes at extra cost. AmaWaterways will let you know about these trips/costs once you book. You can sign up for them ahead of time, if you want. We found that we could jump onto these trips at the last minute, too. Service was top notch all around. I can't say enough about how pleasant and helpful everyone was. We took a few extra days in Budapest at the end and then took a train to Prague before heading home. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Live in NY and went with my wife, mother-in-law for her 80th and her first cousin. Heard good things about AMA from a co-worker. We wanted a higher end experience but a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere and really only saw Viking ... Read More
Live in NY and went with my wife, mother-in-law for her 80th and her first cousin. Heard good things about AMA from a co-worker. We wanted a higher end experience but a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere and really only saw Viking advertised until we started looking. We did 2 nights in Zurich and 2 in Lucerne before departing out of Basel. From meeting Pau, our cruise manager, day one to the chefs, captain, hairdresser & masseuse Ilina, our room attendant Anda, head waiter Romeo, most other waiters, engine staff, Petar the bartender the list goes on and on - we only received positive attitides, a drive to provide impeccable service and a nice balance of humor 24/7. Multiple daily excursion options - all great (challenge is finding one or two to take off and just relax and read a book on the boat), food fantastic and for 7 days, wine pairings great, workouts w Tiago great. We all had an oppty to eat in alrovste dining area at the chefs table which was a great experience (I have the salmon recipe to try at home). Our boat was diverse and brought great oppty to meet others from the states, Asia, Canada, South America, and Europe. We met other couples we look forward to staying in touch w and may get our dog from one of them! If you are considering a river cruise - want the higher end and personalized experience, 5 star service, but comfortable atmosphere (button down and khakis for me and most other guys each night for dinner, few men wore a sport coat one evening, lots of polo shirts and pants for dinner as well) then I would strongly suggest AMA. I’ve been in two other cruises but they were the mega cruise liners such as carnival so all comments relative but we all had a very great and enjoyable time. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Embarkation and disembarkation was fast and easy with no waiting in line. We arrived early on a rainy day in Amsterdam and waited in the lounge where lunch was provided. The best ting about the Amawaterways cruise was the exceptional, ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation was fast and easy with no waiting in line. We arrived early on a rainy day in Amsterdam and waited in the lounge where lunch was provided. The best ting about the Amawaterways cruise was the exceptional, extraordinarily hard working staff. Sonya, Ben, Emile and Catalin were so warm and welcoming and did everything they could to be of service as did everyone on the ship.. The ship was immaculate. There was more included booze offered than any reasonable person would drink. Complimentary cocktails in the lounge for an hour before dinner. Unlimited wine and beer at lunch and dinner. Very drinkable wine. Wonderful breakfast spread. Really excellent breads and baked goods. I also loved the selection at lunch. We usually just had a quick snack in the lounge. Dinner - Appetizers and soups were consistently delicious. Desserts were good.. Main courses were good to excellent. Chef’s table was an outstanding meal. Dinner first night was a bit of a disappointment. I had some butterfish that was under seasoned and slightly over cooked. Served without sauce. Tiny serving of vegetables on the side. Dinner improved on subsequent nights and was consistently good and with each item perfectly cooked, but could have served more vegetables with the entree. Tours were mostly wonderful with each excursion being better than the last one. Amsterdam bus tour fine but the stop at theMuseums did not allow enough time to actually visit a museum. It was supposed to be an hour and a half but ended up with less than an hour. Charming canal cruise. Cologne - Magnificent cathedral, but not much to see in old town as destroyed in WW11. Rhine Gorge cruise - One of the many highlights of the cruise. We sat on sun deck for 3.5 hours for narrated tour. Beautiful scenery, dozens of castles and lovely towns. Rudesheim - Charming traditional German town and scenic gondola ride. Heidelberg - Beautiful city and castle ruins. We really enjoyed our time there. Strasbourg - One of the highlights of the trip. Beautiful historic city and cathedral. Ama ran shuttle buses between the ship and city all day. Riquewihr - Beyond charming preserved mideval village. Inspiration for Disney animators of Beauty and the Beast. Probably my favorite excursion. We too the extended tour to Switzerland which was wonderful. Lucerne was beautiful and the excursion to Mt Stanserhorn was thrilling. The hotel in Zurich was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Ama Waterways was recommended by a co-worker who had recently traveled with the company for the Christmas Markets trip. I was looking for a small ship with an intimate cruising experience to travel with a lifelong friend to celebrate many ... Read More
Ama Waterways was recommended by a co-worker who had recently traveled with the company for the Christmas Markets trip. I was looking for a small ship with an intimate cruising experience to travel with a lifelong friend to celebrate many years of friendship. We are very active and wanted options that appealed to our desire to ride bikes, walk fast while seeing the sights. My friend is an avid photographer and I love history so time to take pictures and experienced guides were also important. The team on the AmaSonata met or exceeded every expectation. Every team member, the cruise manager Sonja, hotel manager Cristian and the entire team went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Not to mention they were fun to be around if they were serving beer and pretzels as we crossed into Germany or dancing the night away with the disco music playing. We met wonderful like minded people who were interesting and easy to converse with at every meal. The Quiet Vox system is brilliant, especially as I dreaded following a guide through a city while they yelled over the noise, behind an umbrella. The lollypop system is the best and gave us all a wonderful experience. My highlight of the trip was riding bikes through vineyards, with follow travelers and two great guides. I plan to travel with Ama again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Chose because this line had such good ratings and rankings. After one week on the Christmas market cruise we saw why. Completely blown away by every aspect of this ship and cruise. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and they take all the ... Read More
Chose because this line had such good ratings and rankings. After one week on the Christmas market cruise we saw why. Completely blown away by every aspect of this ship and cruise. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and they take all the stress out of everything. Their pace especially with the excursions is so relaxing. They even provide "gentle tour" for those that prefer a slower pace.The cruise had everything laid out for you and the dining was some of the best we have ever had and we ocean cruise often. I give them an A PLUS on every aspect of this cruise. One of the great things about AMA is there is no extras, no hidden cost whatsoever. There is no doubt that we will cruise with AMA again and I give it my highest recommendation possible. We are so thankful that we chose AMA and cannot thank the entire staff enough. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Recommended by a travel agent....The good--the crew service was truly exceptional...Nikolai tremendous.....The staff were truly first class..... I can not praise them all enough. The bad...food--average at best...dining room is ... Read More
Recommended by a travel agent....The good--the crew service was truly exceptional...Nikolai tremendous.....The staff were truly first class..... I can not praise them all enough. The bad...food--average at best...dining room is cramped and it is like a cattle herd at dinner...Snacks every night at the bar--u ready???? fried drumsticks...thats it--no deserts/sandwiches --fried drum sticks... We ate dinner off ship when we could. A shame to be in Europe and not have world class cuisine. Entertainment....geared to people in their 70's...all ok but kind of like elevator music.... The guests--closed off/a little arrogant/stand offish. People need to realize this is vacation--not an elitist meeting. Excursions--we did most on our own and had a ball In short--I was hoping for Four Seasons......Got a Marriott instead.....OK...I need more words...The trip down the Rhine for the last 2-3 days was beautiful....Forgot...The captain is an arrogant, pompous horses a... This was ok....Just not the luxury I was promised...Try UNI next time Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose AMA Waterways based on reviews from friends and a travel advisor who indicated that it was a step up from competitors. We had a lovely trip and very much enjoyed the AMAWaterways experience (apart from item #2, below). We ... Read More
We chose AMA Waterways based on reviews from friends and a travel advisor who indicated that it was a step up from competitors. We had a lovely trip and very much enjoyed the AMAWaterways experience (apart from item #2, below). We found the staff to be thoughtful, efficient and fun and the journey was very well organized. We’ll also share a couple of suggestions that we included in our end-of-cruise evaluation~~~ 1. The excursion offerings seemed a bit limited in some locations, and also somewhat short in duration. For example, in Cologne, the “general” excursion (the one not for hikers or bikers), was a drive into Cologne and a tour of the outside of the Cathedral. The excursion lasted 3 hours and could have included a stop at a famed chocolate factory or another site or two before returning to the ship. 2. The stateroom took some adjustment, as it is smaller than what we've seen on ocean cruises. It did have all you needed once you adjusted. However, the stateroom beds were more like dorm room mattresses than what would be expected on a luxury cruise line. AMAWaterways profiles itself as upscale hoteling, yet most upscale cruisers will expect a higher quality mattress with a pillow top in today’s competitive environment. And candidly, mattress comfort is a high enough variable for us that it would make us think twice about another AMAWaterways cruise, which is such a shame. Our Silversea mattress, for example, was of a much higher quality and more comfortable. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
When we cruised the Danube on the AmaDolce it was one of the best trips we've ever taken. We knew we wanted to experience another river cruise and after much research we chose the Rhine. These two cruises are very different however, ... Read More
When we cruised the Danube on the AmaDolce it was one of the best trips we've ever taken. We knew we wanted to experience another river cruise and after much research we chose the Rhine. These two cruises are very different however, and what we loved about the Danube was not always present on the Rhine (plenty of time to enjoy the port cities for example). Despite the differences, we thoroughly enjoyed our time on the AmaSonata. It's a beautiful ship in perfect condition, staffed by dedicated and friendly professionals who really know how to make their passengers feel welcome. We spent several days in Amsterdam on our own before the cruise and hired our own taxi to the ship. If you don't use an Ama airport transfer to the ship, you can find the embarkation location printed one the cruise voucher. We arrived ahead of the 3 pm check in time, but embarkation was smoother than our previous experience. We waited in the lovely lounge where they had water, tea and cookies. Check-in includes having your photograph taken (later on, a credit card is requested prior to check-out). A crew member is assigned to each guest to carry the luggage and provide a cabin orientation. In our case, this crew member was one of the dining room wait staff. Later on the first day there is a Captain's welcome reception with drinks, introductions of key crew and a safety briefing. The ship is beautiful and it's kept spotless, inside and out. The lounge is where the tended bar is (hard liquor, beer and wine for purchase except for during meal times when beer and wine are complimentary), a piano, a buffet for the light meals and snacks, a very small gift shop (the prices were better or the same as shops in the cities), and a self-serve coffee/espresso/capuccino bar that is available 24 hours a day. The lounge seating is well thought out to accommodate everything from individuals to couples to larger groups, and large windows surround the area so everyone has a nice view. There is a small partitioned section with books and two couches. There is an elevator that accesses all levels, but does not go up to the sun deck. At the front of the ship is a covered area with tables and chairs and a wind screen. During rainy periods, this space becomes the smoking area. There is an automatic door leading to the front that allows the smoke to enter, so if you have a sensitivity to smoke consider sitting further back in the lounge during periods of rain. On top of the ship is the sun deck, a wonderful place to be if the weather cooperates. It has a good selection of varied seating, a track and stationary bike, a pool and an oversized chess set. The smoking area is at the very back of the sun deck. The wheel house is fully visible and our captain invited passengers to knock on the door to request a tour (any time except during lock passages). One thing Ama might consider doing is adding a binocular station on each side. There are so many castles on this ship it would be a nice addition for people who don't want to pack the added weight. There are thin flannel blankets provided on deck, but on our cruise most people used the wool blankets from the cabins. The fitness center is on the 3rd level, at the far end past the cabins. It is large and well equipped (actually rivals many hotels). There are also massage and hair style facilities. The Chef's Table restaurant is at the back with limited seating that requires reservations (a special set menu for the entire week that is different from the dining room). Also on this level are the desks for the manager of the hotel and the cruise director. The second level has two restrooms and a built-in watercooler at the entrance to the cabins. The main restaurant is on the lower level, which also contains cabins (accessed from a different stairway). There are two semi-private dining areas with tables for 8-10 at the front, six booths for 4 and tables from 4-8 inside. If traveling alone or as a couple, expect to join in at larger tables or be joined by someone. Seating is open and passengers begin to line up prior to meal times in order to sit in desired locations. The restaurant service is outstanding, both with wait and wine staff. They are skilled and do everything they can to accommodate requests. They are very pleasant and patient (some are really fun and interesting) and they are generous with the wine, extras, etc. I noticed that most people tended to pick a side and sit there every meal, often choosing the same tables and same dining companions. The food is very good, well prepared and beautifully presented and there is a lot of it - multiple courses including desserts. The food choices are generous and during breakfast and lunch the buffet in the center offers a huge array of self-serve options. These are in addition to the lighter fare that is made available throughout the day in the lounge. The wine choices were not as good on this cruise, and seemed to be less often the regional choice. There is entertainment daily, with the piano player in the afternoons and evenings except when they bring in performers. There were two especially good acts on our cruise, La Strada (two violins and a guitar - really outstanding) and a French singer and an accordionist. We were told that the main draw for this cruise for many passengers is the sailing through the Rhine Gorge, which has more than two dozen castles. It is beautiful and interesting and a very enjoyable part of the cruise. The shore excursions would benefit from longer times off the ship with the ability to wander, have a leisurely coffee or shoot pictures. Often, where we were docked over night and could have gone out, there was no place to go. There was a real sense of being rushed on the excursions. The city tour of Cologne was a disappointment, with an hour of walking and an hour in the cathedral, which was too long for a single structure. There were several excursion options in Rudisheim along with more free time, which made it a much better experience. The Heidelberg excursions include a long and strenuous hike that is great, but be aware that it leaves very little time to explore the city after, which is walkable and pretty (and for shoppers, quite a few stores in the market area). Strasbourg is another city that would benefit from longer time to explore. Riquewihr was wonderful and I would have loved to have an option to stay there for 4-5 hours, but again there was a sense of being rushed due to the 45 minute bus ride back to the docking location. The Rhine seems to have near constant cruising, with too little time to enjoy spots along the way. I heard several people complain about the sound of the engine on overnight cruises, though it didn't bother me. This may be a function of cabin location so if motion or noise is a problem be sure to ask your travel agent for cabin recommendations. This is a beautiful river and a very nice cruise. But if I were to recommend a cruise to someone I would recommend the Danube. Read Less
AmaSonata Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.6
Dining 4.5 4.7
Entertainment 3.5 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 2.5 4.3
Family 1.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.6
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.9
Value For Money 4.5 4.6

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