AmaDolce (APT) Cruise Review by Tiger16
Am single & never entertained the idea of cruising as I didn't want to be stuck on a huge boat for days on end but friends were going on this 8-day (small ship) Grand Bordeaux River Cruise with APT and needed even numbers (twin share keeps costs down). It was amazing! I imagined I would be able to relax, read and generally have a real holiday. Not so, the itinerary of onshore sightseeing trips at every stopover was not what I expected. These excursions (included in the cost of the cruise) were daily, geared to those who had difficulty walking and those who didn't. I got to see so much and experience so much of the old French history in places such as Blaye, Libourne, St. Emilion, Libourne, Cadillac and Bergerac with wonderful local guides. And being in the region of Bordeaux, the visits to wineries, the tasting of amazing wines was wonderful. The highlight for me was the visit to a Caviar Farm and actually getting into waders and being in a pond with the male sturgeon..wow!
APT is an Australian company so by far the majority of people on this cruise were Australian. Average age would have been in the 60s to 70s - my group was the youngest and we did our bit to get others on the dance floor for some fun most evenings. There were no children thank god but there probably wasn't much for kids anyhow (none I know enjoy traipsing around ancient ruins and the like). There were a number of single ladies who were invited to sit at the Captain's Table on our last night on board - that was a nice touch.
The food, the service, the crew were phenomenal. The crew were so good and fun and the food, all meals, to a gourmet standard I have never experienced before and plenty of choices. One could get very used to champagne for lunch and dinner every day and all the chosen wines were local.. fabulous! The cabins were compact but perfectly adequate. WIFI was hit and miss but that seems to be the norm from reviews I have read.
I loved the fact that APT charge an all inclusive rate which is great, there are no extras to pay like some cruise companies where you pay extra for alcohol and tips. The onboard shop had some lovely jewellery at affordable prices. I hope I can travel with APT on their small ship cruise in the Balkans in a year or two, but that may depend on what they can do for me as a single 'solo' traveler. Outside of Australia and the UK, I don't think APT is that well known, but the quality of the whole experience for me was just so incredibly impressive.
Tiger16’s Full Rating Summary
Twin Beds, two bedside tables with lamps, two chairs with small coffee table, mounted TV on wall over shelf for laptop etc. WIFI reception problematic in cabin. Wardrobe good size including four shelves and 10 hangers each provided for hanging clothes - perfectly adequate for two ladies with excess luggage! Small bathroom with shower, toilet, washbasin and mounted cabinet above for some toiletries. Towels changed at least once, sometimes twice a day. Towels folded in designs eg elephants and other cute formations, left on bed several times during our week. Maid service very cooperative. Large window to look out over the rivers. Our cabin was towards the back of the boat and very quiet.
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