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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because we liked the route and loved the price. The Emerald Sun is a visually stunning ship. Our cabin was well positioned and the panoramic windows were a great asset to have. The dining room and lounge were well laid ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the route and loved the price. The Emerald Sun is a visually stunning ship. Our cabin was well positioned and the panoramic windows were a great asset to have. The dining room and lounge were well laid out spaces and designed to encourage interaction between guests. The space at the front of the ship was an awesome place to watch the world go by. Our Cruise Director, Jana, was cheerful, personable and extremely professional. She is the best Cruise Director we have ever seen. Activities were well planned and the tour guides used by Emerald were well-trained and very knowledgeable. The only thing that could be improved was some small details in both the lounge and the dining room. The bar staff were at times slow to notice that guests need a drink. The piano player in the lounge at times played too loud for comfortable conversation to happen. The dining room staff occasionally reached across another person to set a plate down, even if there was room to go behind and serve the plate properly. These are small complaints and could be easily corrected with better training. The trip interruption due to high water levels was handled with awesome efficiency and attention to detail. We stayed two nights in Vienna at the 5-star Bristol Hotel, located in the center of Vienna. We were within walking distance of so many historic sites we couldn't believe our good luck. None of our originally planned activities were compromised by this unexpected change in our itinerary. Our trip couldn't have gone better. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
although it primarily seems to handle group tours, it was one of our best cruises we have been on. We were the only English only speaking couple on board, but all crew were multilingual, one of the best we have encountered in cruising; ... Read More
although it primarily seems to handle group tours, it was one of our best cruises we have been on. We were the only English only speaking couple on board, but all crew were multilingual, one of the best we have encountered in cruising; all the other guests were from Europe (with exception of the Russian-American group who conversed in Russian the whole time) but that posed no problems - met some great people. excursions were great and well conducted. Food - ah 4-6 course lunch and dinners, all presented comparable to 5 star restaurants. Cabins were good size, even the shower was adequate. Cant say enough good things about this ship and crew and overall experience. The ship does not dock with the major lines in all ports and does seem to get some out-of-the-way places as in Basel. The Rhine was fantastic.... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I enjoyed the three rivers and cross country journey looking at more historic parts of Germany. Everything about the trip was excellent with perhaps the exception o the dining experience. The food was excellent but there developed a bit ... Read More
I enjoyed the three rivers and cross country journey looking at more historic parts of Germany. Everything about the trip was excellent with perhaps the exception o the dining experience. The food was excellent but there developed a bit of a scrum going in for dinner. We were travelling as a group of six and it was not possible to book a table in the restaurant for dinner. Consequently one of our party had to miss the evening briefing to ensure that we were able to sit together for dinner each evening. Apart from this small objection the rest of the experience proved to be excellent, especially the shore excursions. The guides were knowledgeable and responded well to questions. The length of excursions (about 90 mins) proved just right, particularly in the very warm weather we experienced during the journey. Special mention must go the the crew, all of whom were extremely friendly and helpful, Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly indeed with crew on hand to explain and help. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
We loved every aspect of the cruise. The service and attention to our every need as top priority for the crew. Once they knew what we wanted, we never had to ask for something again. It was always there for us without asking. The ... Read More
We loved every aspect of the cruise. The service and attention to our every need as top priority for the crew. Once they knew what we wanted, we never had to ask for something again. It was always there for us without asking. The excursions were fun and enlightening, helping us to experience the culture of the communities we visited. The food was top quality. We particularly enjoyed La Rive with the white glove service. What we really liked is that everything was included. We didn't have to pay for excursions. The only costs for us were the souvenirs we purchased. The room was large and we loved being able to lower the windows in the balcony. Scenic had special cultural events only available to Scenic passengers that were very high caliber. From an Oktoberfest to Medieval banquet, to a symphony performance, we were always entertained. They managed the logistics perfectly. We often arrived at our ports early which gave us more time to enjoy our destinations. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This cruise, "Melodies of the Danube", was chosen by our travel agent. Upon entering the AmaCerto, we were so impressed by the elegance of the foyer and the lounge. The cabin was well-appointed with adequate space for clothing ... Read More
This cruise, "Melodies of the Danube", was chosen by our travel agent. Upon entering the AmaCerto, we were so impressed by the elegance of the foyer and the lounge. The cabin was well-appointed with adequate space for clothing storage. Even though this cabin was not a suite, we had two balconies. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom very adequate with a great shower, and the entire cabin was scrupulously maintained by the Amacerto housekeeping staff. The cruise manager, Nikola Grujin, was fantastic! Humorous and exceedingly helpful. Nikola was there for all of us in planning the trips to care of an injured passenger. Due to no fault of the Ship's crew, a passenger hurt her finger. All this is to say that Nikola accompanied the injured guest to Vienna hospital. Message to us: Ama Waterways staff will go the extra mile in the care of its passengers. Food & Drink: For all three meals, passengers can choose from the abundant buffet, or order from the menu. One of our friends ate vegetarian; a special elegant breakfast, lunch, and dinner was served to her. This was a wine-tasting cruise with Dr. Doug Garman, wine expert, that gave special lectures and wine tastings for all passengers. Touring & Entertainment: The guides were very well informed supplied by the local population. Choice of gentle to vigorous touring were offered. Opportunities for biking trips were for the younger folks. Since we are an elderly couple, we chose the more moderate excursions. Our favorite entertainment was a special concert of Mozart and Strauss at the beautiful Vienna Konzerthaus. We were entertained by Wiener Hofburg-Orchestra under the direction of Svetoslav Borisov; operatic solos and duets by soprano Ella Tyran and baritone, Michael Havlicek. Classical ballet pieces and Vienna folk dances were also included in the program. Every evening hours: beautiful music was provided by pianist, Gabor. A special onboard musical vocal duet of Vienna music was delightful. Even an Octoberfest beer celebration was provided by the local population. Disembarkation was professionally accomplished. All passengers were carefully delivered to the Munich airport. I cannot believe any other longship river cruise could offer a passenger more enjoyment. Don't miss a fabulous opportunity for a river cruise. Select Ama Waterways to be guaranteed fabulous experience. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Though we are seasoned ocean cruisers, this was our first river cruise. We'll start with the documentation pack, which arrived in the post a few weeks before the cruise. We were most impressed with the elegant presentation, and ... Read More
Though we are seasoned ocean cruisers, this was our first river cruise. We'll start with the documentation pack, which arrived in the post a few weeks before the cruise. We were most impressed with the elegant presentation, and with the very comprehensive and well-organised information supplied. We were delighted by the river map, and later, on the ship, by the Douro guidebook, which was specifically tuned to all the places we visited. We were warmly and efficiently met at the airport by the cruise director, and transferred to the ship, where the captain greeted us at the gangplank. This was such a nice touch, and indeed Captain Afonso -- a most pleasant gentleman -- was often to be seen around the ship, doing everything from mingling with the passengers to helping with the mooring ropes, quite apart from his superb skills at the wheel. On the first night we had a short cruise under the Porto bridges as the sun went down. Emerald didn't have to give us that outing, but it was a lovely surprise. Our stateroom was not large, but the width and height restrictions needed to get the ship through the five locks make this understandable. It was nicely finished, and contained everything we could possibly need. There was a problem with intrusive mechanical noise on the first night, but Hotel Director Bruno resolved the situation promptly and very graciously. In fact, all of the crew were wonderfully warm and friendly; nothing was too much trouble for them. We won't list all the names, but nobody put a foot wrong. The one person we must mention is Executive Chef Nuno, who produced three wonderful meals every day: great variety, great flavour, great personality. He was often to be seen in the Reflections Restaurant, explaining the various dishes he had created, and frequently manning the egg station at breakfast. All the wines were Portuguese; every lunch and dinner featured at least one Portuguese speciality. We did only some of the included outings, on account of the very tiring heat, but we enjoyed those that we did. We avoided the evening trip in Folgosa, not only because of the heat, but also because of our dislike of mass catering. At the end of the holiday, our flight home wasn't until 6pm. We really appreciated being able to stay in the Horizons Lounge, and eat one more delicious lunch there, before our airport transfer at 2pm. After all that glowing praise, there were just a few minor things we weren't so happy about; we've written separately to Emerald about them. But the overall experience was excellent, and we're looking forward to our next Emerald cruise in 2018. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We were invited by dear friends and had never been on a river cruise before and really had no expectations. Without reservation the experience for both my husband and I was wonderful - The adventures from Budapest through Prague were ... Read More
We were invited by dear friends and had never been on a river cruise before and really had no expectations. Without reservation the experience for both my husband and I was wonderful - The adventures from Budapest through Prague were incredible not only from a historic perspective but from a cultural one also. The cruise was most appropriate for us in that it balanced relaxation with historic touring ( we can still picture both of us sitting on the top deck and viewing the magnificent bridges and churches in Budapest and viewing the vastness and beauty as we traveled along the Danube) . We took advantage of the walking tours offered by Emerald Star which were lead by the most informative tour guides and extended our experience by attending an optional tour to the Opera House where we attended a Viennese concert with music from Mozart and Strauss - an awesome night!! Wish we had an extra day in Vienna - loved the enchanting village of Durnstein - my handmade Christmas ornament will be front and center on the tree this year. The accommodations and service on the Emerald Star were outstanding - While we weren't big fans of the two buffets they had the meals were excellent with attention to details. Amazed at how efficient the staff was - kudos to the chef - Cannot say enough about the staff - professional and courteous - attentive but not overbearing - looked forward to seeing them each day ( especially Sasha) - the crew presented a "show" one night which we are still talking about - I recorded the "happy birthday" song they sang to celebrate someone's birthday at dinner - will play it now that we are home as it brings a smile to our faces. Accommodations were perfect for us - room well appointed - very clean - beds and pillows very comfortable. Glad we had the "balcony" which gave us more space and viewing opportunities. Arrival and Departures very organized and orchestrated. It was obvious that we were in good hands with Bolash. Great Experience - Thank you dear friends for the invitation and thank you Emerald Star!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We took this cruise to attack our "bucket list" and found it to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of our lives. Not only did we tour some of the most evocative sights in France, but we were treated exceptionally well by ... Read More
We took this cruise to attack our "bucket list" and found it to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of our lives. Not only did we tour some of the most evocative sights in France, but we were treated exceptionally well by arguably the most capable and entertaining crew imaginable. They truly made this cruise one for the books! The cruise director, chef, and other staff made the port briefings and subsequent evening dining a highlight and not merely the dissemination of information and provision of outstanding menu items. This is our third Viking cruise, and while they all have their own personalities, it is the interaction of the crew that will provided us with some of our more endearing memories. The excursions were exceptional as well, again because the staff worked so well together. Throw together iconic land destinations and the capabilities of the staff and you have an unbeatable combination. We'll see Viking again soon! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We have wanted to visit Portugal's famous Douro for many years. We couldn't have chosen a better way to explore this gorgeous wine producing region than our wine river cruise aboard the AmaVida. This ship offers everything: ... Read More
We have wanted to visit Portugal's famous Douro for many years. We couldn't have chosen a better way to explore this gorgeous wine producing region than our wine river cruise aboard the AmaVida. This ship offers everything: fine dining, outstanding daily excursions, spacious accommodations and a superb staff that anticipates the guests' every need. Each day was an exciting new adventure and by the time we departed the ship, we felt we had really come to understand and love the Douro and surrounding areas. While we chose to participate in each excursion, some friends in our group decided to stay on board and enjoy relaxing poolside. Their experience was just as special as ours. Whether you choose to immerse yourselves in Portugal's fascinating culture by joining the AmaVida's outstanding guides as they conduct their daily tours or simply explore the charming towns that are the overnight port stops, you can't go wrong. After this introduction to river cruising, we can't wait to explore other AmaWaterways wine river cruises. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My wife's grandparents were born in Budapest & Vienna areas, and was our initial interest in this river cruise on the Danube. The crew on the AmaSerena was excellent, and went out of their way to make everyone feel like family. ... Read More
My wife's grandparents were born in Budapest & Vienna areas, and was our initial interest in this river cruise on the Danube. The crew on the AmaSerena was excellent, and went out of their way to make everyone feel like family. The cabin was very comfortable, and having an outdoor Balcony made it very convenient to be outside without going up on deck. The crew provided 1st class service and dining was excellent, with both "Chef's Choices" and anything on the menu offered at all meals. The dining highlight was the intimate dinner at Chef's Table, with many courses included over a leisurely pace. The special dining room offered views from 3 sides. All excursions offered included up to 5 levels of walking difficulty, and provided detailed history, which covered many centuries, dating back to Roman times. The use of very knowledgable local Certified Guides provided a top notch experience. The night-time cruise thru Budapest offered a stunning view of all the city lights, including the Parliament building. One of our most memorable excursions was an intimate evening concert in Vienna. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We wanted to experience a more intimate, friendly cruise experience. We have grown tired of the big, mega ships with thousands of passengers. The meals were of top quality and a highlight of each evening. The ship staff were always ... Read More
We wanted to experience a more intimate, friendly cruise experience. We have grown tired of the big, mega ships with thousands of passengers. The meals were of top quality and a highlight of each evening. The ship staff were always polite and willing to help with any question s we had. The excursions were right on. They were long enough so we could enjoy the locale that we were visiting and still gave us time to unwind before dinner on the ship. In general, everything went well. All the events and excursions were well planned and went off without a hitch. GREAT TRIP. We enjoyed the experience so much that we have already booked another river cruise for next summer. Both of our fathers served in Europe during the second world war and we wanted to partially retrace their footsteps throughout France and Germany. Again a very good trip. Worth every penney. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We were invited to join friends on this cruise and are so glad we did. Our cabin was on the lower deck (230) and was very comfortable. It was above the water level and had a full picture window, unlike the standard cabins on the Rhine and ... Read More
We were invited to join friends on this cruise and are so glad we did. Our cabin was on the lower deck (230) and was very comfortable. It was above the water level and had a full picture window, unlike the standard cabins on the Rhine and Danube. No complaints at all. The food was excellent as was some of the local Russian wine. Our somewhat complex travel arrangements were expertly handled by the Viking travel desk. The only negative was that two of my flights in Europe were booked in basic economy class so I got hit with two unexpected baggage charges, but when I complained to Viking they refunded the amount of the charges. You can see photos and some background on our cruise at tsarwaterways.shutterfly.com but here are some additional comments. Our cruise began in St. Petersburg and ended in Moscow - I think that's probably the best direction to do it. We had spent two days in St. Petersburg in 2009 and were happy to repeat some experiences and add new ones. Repeat visits to Catherine Palace and Peterhof were excellent and I would highly recommend visiting these places. The canal cruise was most enjoyable and really showed how St. Petersburg was designed and built around the canals - an appreciation one doesn't get from driving around. An evening at the ballet was most enjoyable even though the performance wasn't by the Mariinsky as they were on tour for the summer. The folkloric show was totally geared to tourists but good fun and well done. The middle section of the cruise on the waterways took us through remote countryside. Because of this, most of the excursions required a bus ride to get to the site of interest and in some cases the amount of time to explore was less than one wanted. However, the quality of the guides was very good. Three (Russian) Viking guides accompanied the cruise from beginning to end and they were excellent in explaining the historical and cultural background to what we were seeing as well as in general organization (including locating one traveler who got lost in Moscow!). Yes, one sees a lot of churches but their beauty is outstanding. Despite the distance from towns of any size, the ship was adequately provisioned with fresh and plentiful food and even fresh flowers every day. We opted for the extension in Moscow and easily filled the extra days: there is so much to see. After being shown the ropes we became quite adept at traveling on the metro. It's really not that difficult, though it helps if you have learned the Russian alphabet (there are a few lessons on that on board the ship). While we didn't speak any Russian, I was glad I had taught myself the alphabet and a few words in advance. Most of the museums we visited had some English language displays and audio guides in English. The hotel in Moscow, the old Soviet Ukraina, was great: luxurious and centrally located. One thing that was different from our previous Viking river cruises was that we had to select most excursions before departure and many of them involved an additional charge. I imagine this is because the logistics of running such excursions is so much more complex in Russia. The main negative on this cruise, which is out of Viking's control, is that the ships have to dock far out of the center of St. Petersburg and Moscow so getting into the city involved a bus or metro ride. All in all, the few negatives were minor while the positives were huge and I have no hesitation in recommending this cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Went on our first river cruise after many Cruise ship trips. We selected scenic since they advertise a fully inclusive experience. With the exception of our massages EVERYTHING was included except that we arranged our own air and pre ... Read More
Went on our first river cruise after many Cruise ship trips. We selected scenic since they advertise a fully inclusive experience. With the exception of our massages EVERYTHING was included except that we arranged our own air and pre hotel. We arrived a few days early in Amsterdam. When we arrived at the ship, we were checked in immediately and they greeted us as they removed our luggage from our taxi and delivered them directly to our cabin. The ship was clean and decorated very nicely. Our cabin was larger than we had on cruise ships with plenty of space for all our clothes and stuff. We had a balcony room that allowed extra seating as well. All rooms were assigned a "butler" to get anything we needed in addition to the room steward. From room service to morning or afternoon coffee/tea all was available. The min bar was refilled daily with anything we requested. Again all included. Each port had multiple excursion available all included. They ranged from hiking and using the on board bikes to trips for the easy walkers. The average age was 65 and 95% of the cruisers were active. Some cruisers were in their 40’s and the majority 50s and 60s. There were private concerts at different venues in port as well as local performances on board. The daily port talks were informative and allowed us to select which level of excursion we wanted in the following ports. The dining room had plenty of space and the food was tasty and the presentation was eye appealing. They were more than happy to cater to any special dietary needs. Daily they offered the daily special, Healthy alternative, Vegetarian meals . If you had any other special requests they were more than happy to accommodate if possible. In addition room service was available as well as the river café for lighter foods. Our cruise director Cathy was always there to make sure everything was perfect. If there were any complaints she was on top of everything to make sure it got corrected quickly. This is an Australian based company so the majority of passengers were from there which only enhanced our travel experience as Americans. We would definitely go on another river cruise with Scenic again Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We had never done a river cruise. So we arrived with a little trepidation. Left with love. Food,crew, boat, was perfect. Other passengers were fine, mostly from the US. We fell in with a couple from Canada and another couple from Aussie ... Read More
We had never done a river cruise. So we arrived with a little trepidation. Left with love. Food,crew, boat, was perfect. Other passengers were fine, mostly from the US. We fell in with a couple from Canada and another couple from Aussie land and a group from the US, don't think we've laughed that much for years I'd include the crew in that. Cabins were as good as any hotel we've stayed in around the world, not huge, but then we spent most of our time either on trips or in the public lounge, on the sun deck or in the spar, we had a great bed and beautiful bathroom. I'm a fussy sleeper, a feather pillow I asked, "no problem said reception" We had been on a sea cruise in 2016, it was fine! But we are now river cruisers. The Captain and crew were friendly and very hard working. My advice to anyone reading this review is, ignore reviews that complain about food or their cabins or the crew. My wife and I spend a lot of the year traveling and if you think this review is over the top and sycophantic, please see other reviews on TripAdvisor under my Whinchmore hill reviews. For me the highlight of the trip was the excursion to the Normandy beach's, while my wife loved the visit to the Chateau of (Not to night) Josephine and Napoleon. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Timing and route. couldn't fault the staff and ship. Everything worked. Superb hard working crew and cruise director. Food as good as it gets and we have done 60+ such cruises since retiring 20 years ago . We did several optional ... Read More
Timing and route. couldn't fault the staff and ship. Everything worked. Superb hard working crew and cruise director. Food as good as it gets and we have done 60+ such cruises since retiring 20 years ago . We did several optional pay extra excursions and thought some over priced. additionally,would like to have heard more commentary on the "passing parade" given that we sailed more than 1600 miles amongst one of the great waterways of the world. note this is just a suggestion, not a criticism on what was truly a wonderful travel experience , great ship and superb all- american crew who looked after we guests who were allseniors as if we were family. After dinner musician entertainers were mostly themselves seniors who played the stuff relished by our own generation. as a former muscian i rate most of what i heard as "intrumental virtuoso". Well done american cruise lines. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Terrific cruise of “COMPLETE MISSISSIPPI” – August 4th thru 26th From New Orleans to Saint Paul MN (8 states in 22 days; 21 nights) on the paddle wheeler (fake) “America” operated by American Cruise Lines (ACL); launched in ... Read More
Terrific cruise of “COMPLETE MISSISSIPPI” – August 4th thru 26th From New Orleans to Saint Paul MN (8 states in 22 days; 21 nights) on the paddle wheeler (fake) “America” operated by American Cruise Lines (ACL); launched in 2016; has 185 passenger capacity but we had only 137 passengers on board. The Cruise Critic's professional review (https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=1182 ) was spot on but I would add my observations and opinions: • The itinerary was FANTASTIC for us (a photographer and an American history buff). DW shot about 300 photos on her phone and more on her professional camera (numerous eagles, herons, pelicans, cormorants, and others plus wonderful antebellum houses). Every port had interesting aspects; some were stunning! I loved the discussions (lectures) and the ports. The excursions were well done with very good local tour guides and with a Cruise Director or an Asst. CD accompanying on the buses (with restrooms). • Clientele is “older”! We had maybe 2 under 60 and several over 90. Many with mobility issues; the staff handled the situations well. Clientele was also “well-heeled”, well-traveled and congenial. • The formal entertainment was very enjoyable. The on-board “Riverorians” were terrific (better than Smithsonian’s lecturers on Regent Seven Seas Cruises) – discussions were about the Louisiana Purchase, cotton/slavery, Civil War, steam boats, immigration to the West, and controlling the Mississippi River water via dam/locks and dredging. Discussions were held in a spacious, comfortable, family room-like venue. The after dinner entertainment (about an hour) was music (jazz, Dixieland, blues, country, and “oldies”- that had some fantastic performers). • Cabin was best that we had on a river cruise – spacious, quiet, bright, with lots of storage drawers and a small but adequate closet. Bathroom is “cozy” but well-lit and well-ventilated with adequate storage and a nice shower with instant hot water. • Food (of course subjective) for us was good; baked goods were SUPERB, per my wife the baker and me the taster. Breakfast was better for me than what I had on "Luxury" cruises. Lots of complimentary wine (mostly California) and beer (some local) during lunch, “Happy-hour”, and dinner service. • Downsides? Yes! -The staff is American college “kids” for which service is surely not going to be a career. We came to expect at least one gliché per day in either dining or house-keeping. -The cruise is “pricey” as it is an American- registered boat that must meet all U.S. maritime regulations. - There is no Doctor or Nurse aboard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our first river cruise after completing over 20 ocean cruises in the past few years and we would do another in a heart beat. We were concerned that the smaller vessel would be too confined after the space and entertainment ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after completing over 20 ocean cruises in the past few years and we would do another in a heart beat. We were concerned that the smaller vessel would be too confined after the space and entertainment facilities on the larger cruise ships but we were not disappointed. The cabins were very well appointed with facilities beyond our expectations and the the public rooms were large enough to hold all the ships guests at one sitting. The food on board was excellent and it was very pleasing to see the Chef and his assistants returning daily from the local markets with fresh produce and supplies for our enjoyment. The shore excursions were very professionally handled...departing and arriving back at the ship on time which meant everyone had time to relax before the next activity started. As expected due to space limitations the entertainment was scaled down compared to the large cruise ships however there was music recitals, dancing and lectures to keep everyone entertained. No complaints means a satisfying relaxing holiday and that's what we got from Analon. Thoroughly recommended. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had been on a river cruise before with another company and very much enjoyed this kind of experience which you cannot get on an ocean cruise. We were not disappointed this time around. From the shuttle service which took us to ... Read More
We had been on a river cruise before with another company and very much enjoyed this kind of experience which you cannot get on an ocean cruise. We were not disappointed this time around. From the shuttle service which took us to the airport from a hotel in Paris (only four of us in the bus!), we knew we were in the hands of a company that was intent on providing first class service. The food was divine - for lovers of seafood this cruise is a paradise! Snails, mussels, and oysters on the last day! - the wine flowed freely, the staff were super-hospitable and attentive, the shore excursions were well-organized with several options for each venue depending on interest and the level of fitness of the travelers. The cruise director, Helene, is perhaps the greatest asset of this ship, so effervescent, funny and enthusiastic, that I don't think there was a soul on ship who didn't fall in love with her! Add to that the unique pleasure of a river cruise, where you can relax and appreciate the beauty of the scenery along the way and where the small number of passsengers - we were less than 100, I believe - creates a more friendly and intimate atmosphere which enables you to make friends more easily. And of course the beauty of Normandy and of Paris, for those like us who decided to extend our trip by a few days. I cannot think of anything negative to say about this cruise other than the fact it was over too soon! We will definitely go with AMA Waterways on more river cruises, perhaps next time to Vietnam and Cambodia. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
This is the first river cruise we have ever experienced - a bit of a risk since it was to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We neither of us liked the prospect of an ocean cruise and thought this might be a good alternative. We set off ... Read More
This is the first river cruise we have ever experienced - a bit of a risk since it was to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We neither of us liked the prospect of an ocean cruise and thought this might be a good alternative. We set off with no clear expectations. We need not have worried. Our programme director, Kieran, was excellent. Very funny, knowledgeable and customer oriented. The Viking Beyla is a lovely ship with a truly wonderful, hardworking and dedicated crew, and our excursions were very enjoyable with some first class guides. The ship is small and so, of course, was our stateroom but there was a place for everything and it was very comfortable. Food on the ship was plentiful and of high quality. The ship is well appointed with many quiet corners if you are in need of some peace. The entire crew was first rate and nothing was too much trouble for them. They worked tirelessly to ensure an excellent experience. Our only disappointment was the trip to Meissen. Due to our dates, we were there on a Sunday so after the trip to the porcelain factory there was nothing to do in Meissen itself if you did not want to do the guided tour as the shops were all closed It's a very small town so there is little to see and it was raining - hey ho! Given the size of the ship, there was no gym, fitness area or spa so we have only listed this element as average. The sundeck did have a little games area - quoits perhaps and one other. There were plenty of seats and umbrellas to accommodate all on board. There was a very small library opposite the reception area. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and faultless. Given the very hot weather in Europe, the Elbe was very low and we were therefore unable to embark from the intended first point and had to coach to Ban Schandau - a bit of a long journey from Prague but otherwise fine. The Captain used his knowledge of the river and contacts along the way to 'have a wave sent down to us from Decin' - yes, you read that correctly! The wave duly arrived which gave the Elbe enough depth to enable the rest of our journey. The hotels used in Prague and Berlin were the Hilton. They are rated 5*. The one in Prague was fine but we were disappointed in the Berlin Hilton. Whilst its location is excellent - right on the Gendarmemarkt and therefore an easy walk to Check Point Charlie, the Branderburg Gate and other sites - we found some of the staff quite arrogant and they charged for bottle water in the room (that did not happen in Prague). Apparently, charging for water is the norm in German hotels but this is an international chain and their standards should be the same, whatever the country. We felt the Hiltons are not to the standard they once were. So, in sum, this was a highly memorable holiday and we would certainly recommend Viking. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Never on a cruise. Selected 4 day to "try out" a cruise. We enjoyed it throughly. The ship new, well appointed and easily accessed by elevators and stairs. Enjoyable sun decks on levels 4 and 5. Open seating dining room allowed ... Read More
Never on a cruise. Selected 4 day to "try out" a cruise. We enjoyed it throughly. The ship new, well appointed and easily accessed by elevators and stairs. Enjoyable sun decks on levels 4 and 5. Open seating dining room allowed chance to meet other travelers. The excursions to. several plantations was a positive experience, especially the Houmas Hosee were the tour guides were especially engaging to help understand the story of the time. Meals aboard the ship were plated, well presented and of moderate quantity which was helpful. Throughout the day the breakfast, lunch and dinner meals were augmented with warm cookies at 10 am, tea and sweets at 3 pm, cocktail hour and heavy h'odouvres at 5:30 followed by dinner at 6:30. If that wasn't enough, during entertainment, ice cream sundaes and popcirn were offered. No one went hungry. It was a great ship experience and this cruise line paid attention to all the small details to give us a great experience. Thanks. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We had a nine year old and could not find a lot of cruise lines that allowed children. She had an excellent time and really enjoyed all the attention. Excellent food, great excursions and the service was exceptional. Next cruise ... Read More
We had a nine year old and could not find a lot of cruise lines that allowed children. She had an excellent time and really enjoyed all the attention. Excellent food, great excursions and the service was exceptional. Next cruise would be from Amsterdam to Budapest and definitely on Avalon. I love the smaller ship and special attention afforded all guest. This was our first river cruise and I found it much above an ocean cruise. I never realized that on an ocean cruise you spend so much of your time viewing water. On a river cruise you spend most of your day time exploring sites that have a lot of history and different culture. In the evening it is very relaxing to sit on top and watch the float up or down the river seeing the sites of river life. The next morning you are at a new port with all new experiences for that day. Very rewarding to a history buff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
We had taken 4 Viking River cruises previously, but we had never been to Russia. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Russia, and learning about the history of that country. We especially enjoyed the concerts and dance performances, and the ... Read More
We had taken 4 Viking River cruises previously, but we had never been to Russia. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Russia, and learning about the history of that country. We especially enjoyed the concerts and dance performances, and the on-board seminars about the history of the country and the present life in Russia. We also enjoyed the on-board entertainment very much, especially the opera singers from the Marinsky Theater. As always, the food selection at the buffets was very extensive, and complemented the menu listings. The food was well prepared and we were happy to see some Russian foods listed on the menu, and also available on the breakfast and lunch buffets. We enjoyed all of the included and optional excursions that we took. We were really enthralled with the performance of "Swan Lake" at the Hermitage. That is a show that is not to be missed. We were happy to see that in addition to the walking tours of cities, a "Panoramic" bus tour was also available, for those of us who need a more leisurely sightseeing adventure. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
My husband and I went on the Scenic Jade Budapest to Prague River cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary in June, 2017. The entire trip exceeded our expectations. From the airport pickup to the transfer to the Prague airport, everything ... Read More
My husband and I went on the Scenic Jade Budapest to Prague River cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary in June, 2017. The entire trip exceeded our expectations. From the airport pickup to the transfer to the Prague airport, everything was handled wonderfully. We had a deluxe Balcony suite on the diamond floor and the room was beautiful with plenty of space. The balcony was especially nice on the nights the boat was cruising. We were treated to a full moon these nights….very romantic. The food was very good and they accommodated my husband’s dietary restrictions. There were lots of choices of excursions. My husband is gluten free and everyday a menu would be in our room indicating which item he could eat. This was our first cruise and would definitely go on another one, especially with Scenic. I would highly recommend Scenic and this trip to anyone. Loved it!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
Covered a part of Europe we hadn't seen. Cruise director introduced a "leisurely walk"for our daily included exclusions which was much appreciated by us oldsters with back and knee problems. Our guide would give frequent ... Read More
Covered a part of Europe we hadn't seen. Cruise director introduced a "leisurely walk"for our daily included exclusions which was much appreciated by us oldsters with back and knee problems. Our guide would give frequent rest breaks, walk slowly, and in Strasbourg we were placed in taxis for part of the journey. Outstanding! Especially enjoyed meeting other people at meal times. Our server remembered out names from day 1 and was always cheeful. We had an electrical malfunction which was the fault of no one in particular. Unfortunately it wiped out all power to toilets which for about 6 hours was very inconvenient. The repairs weren't started until we docked at the next stop where an electrician came on board. I was surprised that the ship's engineers didn't handle the replacement of the burned out part while still moving upstream. The on-board entertainment was pretty good; the music was fine, the lectures were just OK.. When we didn't like the show we simply went to the cabin and watched TV or read a book. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We wanted a type of holiday that we hadn't tried before and didn't involve any type of sea cruise (prone to sea sickness) or long air flights. We also wanted a trip that gave us the option of joining in with day trips to ... Read More
We wanted a type of holiday that we hadn't tried before and didn't involve any type of sea cruise (prone to sea sickness) or long air flights. We also wanted a trip that gave us the option of joining in with day trips to interesting places or just staying on board and relaxing. The cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest certainly did that. The ship is big enough to navigate the rivers and locks yet with only 158 passengers on board, it never once felt crowded. In fact, often the opposite was true. We booked direct with Scenic and were treated to luxury, limousine transfers direct from home to the airport and from the airport to the ship, and the same on return. The daily excursions were to really interesting places, albeit we did take a day off a couple of times to rest because they can be a bit full on!! The ship I will review in the ratings below, but suffice to say it was fantastic. All of the facilities were spotlessly clean, the food was a really good standard and plentiful. The service was superb (big thanks to Branislav and Ricardo...) and it was all superbly coordinated by the Captain and the Cruise Director. A couple of tips though for future passengers. The Scenic paperwork does suggest jackets and ties for the gents as potential evening wear. I wore my jacket (but not tie) twice. Once to the Portobello dinner and once to the concert in Vienna. Hardly any of the passengers wore jackets and ties, and I was in the minority on the occasions I did were mine. There is also some wording in the Scenic literature about them only being responsible for one piece of luggage per person (or words that effect). We clearly didn't read that correctly because we could have used the new cases we bought to be used as carry on luggage on the plane. There was certainly plenty of storage under the bed for the cases during the cruise. All in all though, a fantastic trip and one to be repeated hopefully in the future. Read Less

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