AmaDouro Cruise Review by brandshatch
- Sail Date: July 2019
- Destination: Europe River
- Cabin Type: Outside Stateroom with French Balcony
The boat was our first disappointment, painted a depressing brown,(not the boat shown on Ama as the Amadouro)
Being pnly four months old, we also found the interior disappointingly old fashioned in design.
And here in lies the problem, Douro Azur build, own and staff all the boats on the Douro ,and obviously turn them all out the same, the furnishings, restaurant runnings ,etc are parallel whether you are on Viking Ama, or other boats.
The staff are employed by Douro Azur on 9 month contracts, so may have worked on lesser boats previously, and answer to their Douro Azur hotel manager
All this said the staff were excellent (with only a couple of exceptions)
Big shout out to Antonio who cared for our cabin, and Pedro, with his sunny personality, who gave excellent care in the restaurant.
The cabin (french window) was fine, lots of storage. The restaurant was pretty with some tables for two which we really appreciated. Sip and Sail only operated 5 nights, of the seven. The first night we were only offered one glass of sparkling wine, similarly the last night captains cocktail party was just wine.
Breakfast and lunch were excellent, but unfortunately dinner was a let down.Long wait for courses with some courses inedible. Not La Chaine des rotisseur standard by a long chalk. On day two the hotel manager was taking photoes of a wine display, completely oblivious to the fact that we were all waiting an hour for food.
When I drew attention to the problem he muttered something about food having to come up in lifts. It is inexcusable that after four months they have not addressed this by bringing some starters up early, and having soup tureens in the restaurant for the waiters to serve from., thus freeing up the lifts. Be aware also that the menu is limited two starters often salad, soup, two mains, one pudding, fruit, icecream, or cheese
.There is also an extra menu, of chicken, steak, salmon & chips .Note if you choose not to do the tours this is the only menu available lunch and dinner which is boring.
The food at Quinta Avessada was poor, as apparently was the quinta dinner on day two,
The top deck was mainly tables and chairs (but no food was ever served up there) On the one occasion that there was a waiter serving drinks, he refused to get a coffee for a gentleman with obvious walking difficulties , telling him to go down and get his own from the coffee station (there is no stair lift as on the Amavida) Appalling service which we also encountered from same bar/waiter (tall, thin greying) on an other occasion.
There are only twenty eight loungers, and the usual crack of dawn towel reservers, so expect to be seated on an uncomfortable dining chair if you want to enjoy the sun.
The only Ama employee was the cruise manager, who by his own admission was new to the work. I am sure he was employed for his brilliant language skills, but on the Douro Ama needs to employ someone who has hotel management skills to see the failings of the on board operation, and know how to correct, otherwise Douro Azur will continue to offer a sub standard product.
All this said Porto and the Douro where fabulous, and if dinner had been as good as lunch I would be writing a very different review. Sort it out Ama this is not good for your reputation!
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The french window cabin is smaller, but we managed fine. We appreciated the huge comfortable bed, good linen, and storage (note there is only one chair) Being at the back of the boat, the engines can wake you.
Bring your own water bottles to refill...the ones provided leaked (the inside seals had been lost)
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