5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We have never been on a cruise of any kind and chose AMA based on the recommendation of a friend/travel agent. We were looking for a ship with a small number of passengers and a solid reputation. AMA is apparently known for the food ... Read More
We have never been on a cruise of any kind and chose AMA based on the recommendation of a friend/travel agent. We were looking for a ship with a small number of passengers and a solid reputation. AMA is apparently known for the food onboard and bundled activities - both did not disappoint. The staff on board were all fantastic and well trained in customer service. Extra effort was made by all to make sure that our needs were met. Here are my pros & cons: PROS: - food - public shared areas - french balcony - beautiful concept - high service level of the staff - choice of bundled shore excursions (including a choice of pace) - bikes on board CONS: - some of the shore excursions necessarily were quick overviews with limited flex to be able to see more. We're used to traveling on our own and having more time. This isn't an AMA Waterways problem but something we learned about cruising - we like the port itinerary for most part including stops in areas we wouldn't otherwise see. With that said, 2 days in Vienna vs. 1 would make sense. I'd add another night to make this happen. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Right from the moment it started, this cruise was first class all the way. The way the staff, beginning at the airport greeter, all the way through the cruise met and exceeded every expectation we could have had. Every member of ... Read More
Right from the moment it started, this cruise was first class all the way. The way the staff, beginning at the airport greeter, all the way through the cruise met and exceeded every expectation we could have had. Every member of the Viking crew worked hard to make this a great trip. Had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people, eat great food, and see a lot of history with great tour guides. Everything was set up to accommodate the travelers comfort. The ship was fantastic! Very clean, very professional, and decorated to make it feel as if you were still home for the holiday season. The staterooms were small. But they were designed with very modern features that truly seemed to expand the space. To be honest, we really didn't spend much time in the stateroom anyway, because there was always something of interest to do. Food was fantastic, and housecleaning made sure your stateroom was always in excellent condition. They were in twice a day, minimum, to make sure everything was in perfect condition. The staff was friendly and worked extremely hard to make sure everyone had a great experience. The program director, David Parker, was excellent, upbeat, and always made sure you had a good understanding of what was available to you daily. If you missed something, it's because you were not listening. We also had need of the services of the on-board concierge, Attila, and he went out of his way to make sure that everything was taken care of with no effort on our part. We told him what we needed, and he arranged it. This was our first trip with Viking, but definitely not our last. Very professional, very accommodating, and well worth the cost. Thank you Viking for a great tirp! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I, along with my brother in law and his wife, boarded the Sonata for a cruise to Budapest. We loved the entire adventure. The staff on the ship was wonderful and couldn't do enough for us. The food was excellent, ... Read More
My husband and I, along with my brother in law and his wife, boarded the Sonata for a cruise to Budapest. We loved the entire adventure. The staff on the ship was wonderful and couldn't do enough for us. The food was excellent, with lots of choices. The tours we took were excellent. Knowlegible guides with a wonderful sense of humor made our daily tours so worth the time. In each port we were gifted with local groups who performed for us in the evening. They too were excellent. There was a pianist each evening to sing and dance. We met people of all ages, although most were over fifty. We were on the wine cruise and visited two amazing vineyards and had a resident vintner from California that gave wine education classes and tastings. The trip into Budapest was wonderful. We came in during the day and our tour director provided a narrated tour as we sailed in. She was from Budapest and was extremely well versed in the history and culture. That evening after dinner we then sailed again to see Budapest at night. It was stunning. We chose to stay three extra nights after the tour ended and I would highly recommend doing that. We are looking forward to our next AMA Waterways cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
When my husband and I planned this trip, we decided to add on 4 days in Paris and 2 in Lyon, France. Our adventure started out pretty rocky; the CDG airport (which I suggest you avoid at all costs) was unfriendly, unwieldy, and ... Read More
When my husband and I planned this trip, we decided to add on 4 days in Paris and 2 in Lyon, France. Our adventure started out pretty rocky; the CDG airport (which I suggest you avoid at all costs) was unfriendly, unwieldy, and unintelligible to those who speak no French, and when we got to the train station to board a train to Paris, we learned that the prepaid train tickets did not work. Had it not been for the kindness of a French traveler, we would still be at the train station in tears! We enjoyed Paris, loved Lyon, but had a very long travel day on the train from Lyon to Paris, and then a flight to Munich, where we caught the Uniworld bus (after waiting another hour for other arriving passengers who were joining us on the cruis) that took another 2 hours to get to Passau, where we embarked on the cruise. As soon as we stepped foot on the ship, we both sighed a huge sigh of relief (and I shed a few tears of joy) because we now knew that all our needs would be met. The crew that met us were incredibly hospitable, and this was the beginning of a magical journey down the Beautiful Not-so-Blue Danube. Everything was nearly perfect. The staff, the accommodations, the food, the service, the tours, the guides, the destination points for the tours, the shipboard entertainment, the free-flowing drinks and wonderful attitude of all the crew on board, the free time allowed, the additional opportunities for excursions (the Vienna concert is a must do!), and the people, all were wonderful. We made friends with many of the passengers, and even had dinner with the captain on our last night on the ship, which was a complete surprise. The only complaint I had and that which was shared by other passengers with whom we spoke, was that the bathroom in our stateroom often smelled of "sewer gas." Much like a bathroom on an airplane smells. When we mentioned this to the ship's staff, they did something, but it did not eliminate the problem, so we spent 8 nights in a room with a somewhat foul odor, which we seemed to "get used to" as long as we were in the room. Other passengers suggested putting a wet wash cloth over the drains in the sink and shower, but when we did this, they were removed by ship staff -- probably believing we had left them behind by accident. All in all, we would do another river cruise in a heart beat -- unfortunately, finances don't allow for such luxuries for us more than once every several years, but we will definitely look into another Uniworld destination in the future. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our first river cruise and did not know what to expect, especially given the fact that I had never heard of Arosa cruises. However, the room (a suite) was bright, very clean, quiet, and spacious. The food was very good and we ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and did not know what to expect, especially given the fact that I had never heard of Arosa cruises. However, the room (a suite) was bright, very clean, quiet, and spacious. The food was very good and we are picky. We were the only Americans on the boat, with the remainder of the passengers German. Every member of the crew spoke some English, but of course, some were better than others. My only complaint is that it was not made clear to us what services were provided with our suite. I am sure I read about when booking, but it would have been nice if a crew member had reminded us. On our last day I asked about the remaining credit and was told that we had 218 Euros left to spend. Glad I asked. I am not sure if this is true for every river boat line, but we had our own table in a quieter section of the dining room, which was very nice. Overall, we were very pleased and will most likely return to Arosa. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise, if I have to dress for dinner, I won't go. We went 3 days early to spend some time in Munich (was stationed in the area while in the army). Munich should be a pre-cruise choice. Took the train to Passau and ... Read More
This was our first cruise, if I have to dress for dinner, I won't go. We went 3 days early to spend some time in Munich (was stationed in the area while in the army). Munich should be a pre-cruise choice. Took the train to Passau and had no trouble finding the ship. During the cruise all of the excursions were great. Especially the "Back-stage tour of the Vienna Boys Choir" where we got to hear a 45-minute concert by one of the choirs and meet them afterwards. The castle in Bratislava is really impressive at night. The Hungarian horsemen tour was surprising, I didn't know what to expect, but it was fantastic. David, the Program Director was exceptionally good. The cabin was plenty big enough for us. Always clean and neat. The food service was special. I had a diet-coke (my preferred caffeine) at the table for breakfast almost before I sat down. The food was excellent. I enjoyed the Chef coming around to talk to everyone. The only downside was something that can't be foreseen, low water in Budapest. We didn't miss anything, just had longer bus rides to places and back to the ship. All in all it was well worth doing. We have been telling our friends that they should go. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Although we have traveled to Europe several times, the Danube Waltz cruise on the Viking Legend was the most fun and relaxing trip we have taken recently. Our favorite stop was Salzburg, where coffee and a pastry at Furst's was ... Read More
Although we have traveled to Europe several times, the Danube Waltz cruise on the Viking Legend was the most fun and relaxing trip we have taken recently. Our favorite stop was Salzburg, where coffee and a pastry at Furst's was simply wonderful. The tour offered excellent photo opportunities, but the time in Salzburg seemed so short. The Melk Abbey tour was awe inspiring ... it was amazing to see the work of Immanuel Kant. The beautiful frescoes were breathtaking. The Vienna tour seemed rather hectic, but we did have an opportunity for a brief visit to the Art Nouveau Museum to see the Gustave Klimt exhibit. We had the pleasure of attending the Mozart Strauss concert in Vienna. The acoustics were amazing and the performance was wonderful. The Viking staff moved patrons to and from the venue in a quick and orderly manner. There were no long lines or waiting for transportation. It was as we were heading to Bratislava that we learned we would be unable to cruise all the way to Budapest due to low water levels on the Danube. An adjustment was made to spend more time in Bratislava. Although we were disappointed initially, we loved spending time in Bratislava, enjoying the shops and outdoor markets. Viking tried to make the best of the situation by providing excellent coach service to Budapest. The travel time reduced the amount of time to visit Budapest, and we were unable to visit shops we had patronized before. There was, however, a lovely lunch at The Spoon on the Danube. We sadly left the Viking Legend, but the disembarkation was extremely well organized ... luggage was removed like magic. The food and service aboard the Viking Legend was excellent. There were many choices for even the most particular diner, and the staff made every effort to provide a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Chef Michael was present during most meals. We wish there had been more time to explore these exceptional stops on the cruise, more time to sit and breathe in the atmosphere with a glass of wine, listening to music ... or quietly reading. We will cherish these memories forever ... this is a very special way to travel, to relax, to meet new friends, to laugh and to make memories that will last a lifetime. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
Enjoyed a lovely river cruise down the Danube recently. This was my first cruise of any sort. The rooms were amazing ( we, along with another couple, booked a category 3 room, #301 & #305.) These rooms were among the category 2 rooms ... Read More
Enjoyed a lovely river cruise down the Danube recently. This was my first cruise of any sort. The rooms were amazing ( we, along with another couple, booked a category 3 room, #301 & #305.) These rooms were among the category 2 rooms which were in the middle of the ship. Ours were on the end. We could not tell why the rooms were in a different category and they were quiet and very lovely, and a bit cheaper then the rooms in the middle. The rooms were small but had everything you could want. The bed linens, mattresses, towels, were all top quality and luxurious. The food and service were beyond amazing and the staff can not do enough for you. We are gluten free, and the chef made a point to come out each evening and point out what we could eat or modified what was on the menu to fit our needs. Truly impressed with the quality and variety of food. The ports we stopped in were lovely and at times we could walk right off the boat into the little towns. I was not prepared for the larger cities and that we would be bussed around so much. We took the all day trip to Salzburg and visited a small town on the lake. Only stayed about 45 minutes and then back on the bus. Would have loved to stay on the lake a bit. That part I didn't like, as I felt like I was constantly watching my time. If I had to do it again, I would have skipped Salzburg and walked around the town of Linz instead just to avoid being on the bus so much. I know everyone loves Salzburg but 4 hours on the bus was too much for me. I have a few things that I didn't care for. Most of the dining tables are for 8 people. There are only 4 tables for 4, and 2 tables for 6. While we did meet 2 lovely couples that we hit it off with, my husband commented that every dinner he never got to talk with me as he was talking with the others at the table. Kind of a forced socialization whether you felt like it or not. We were on this trip with another couple, and it would have been nice to have a choice whether we sat together with them or with a larger group. If you wanted a table for 4 you had to be the first one at the door to grab it. I heard others complain about that as well. If you were a couple and wanted some quiet dinners alone you would be out of luck. I think this is something they should work on and perhaps on the intake questionnaire they could ask if you prefer to dine with your group or be at a large table. Another thing I didn't like was the lack of anything to nibble on after the afternoon tea served from 4 - 5 PM and until the 7 PM dinner. We were never around for the afternoon tea, and some crudités and cheese and crackers during cocktail hour would have been a nice touch over the bowls of chips and nuts. Just a suggestion. It's a high end, expensive cruise and I would rather not have BBQ chips with my drink. Lastly, we had a wonderful cruise director and captain. But every night in the lounge where everyone was gathered during cocktail hour, and before dinner, we had to sit and listen to the next day itinerary along with slides and power point presentation. It was informative, but I sort of felt as if I was held hostage. Couldn't talk, hard to get up and get a drink, impossible to socialize. My suggestion would be for them to tape it and you could watch it on your in room TV at your leisure. I enjoy that cocktail hour time of the day and sometimes it was a struggle to sit and listen to these talks. Some of the shows they had during this time were fantastic, but some were not so good ( the marriage play of Franz and Cissy was a little hokey.) Again if it was not your cup of tea, you sort of had to sit and watch anyway. Weather permitting I suppose you could go to the top deck, but we had some rainy, damp weather. So there was no where to go. The captains lounge is available, but no bar there. All in all, it was a wonderful experience and a trip of a lifetime. We stayed a few days in Munich at the beginning, and Budapest at the end. We did this on our own as I had read that sometimes if you book the post cruise expeditions with Uniworld they tend to put you in hotels closer to the airport. Don't know if that's true, but we were right in the heart of Munich and Budapest and location and proximity to things were important to us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was my first river cruise. I had never been to Europe. I had to go by myself as my friends could not afford the cost. I felt I got my money's worth and more. From the minute we landed in Germany I had no trouble locating the ... Read More
This was my first river cruise. I had never been to Europe. I had to go by myself as my friends could not afford the cost. I felt I got my money's worth and more. From the minute we landed in Germany I had no trouble locating the cruise staff. The bus ride to the ship in Passau was very smooth and I enjoyed seeing the country side. I found the staff on board very impressive. Quite a few of them called me by my name and always spoke. Since I was alone I had a single cabin. I am a tall person and was concerned about the bed which was a pull out couch. The crew went out of their way to make sure I had another mattress put on the couch which was very comfortable. I thoroughly enjoyed the port excursions. The travel guides were very informative. I loved the history and the scenery. I had been concerned about the food but it was very much to my liking. The wait staff were very good and attentive. The diembarkation was very efficient and I had no trouble. I would highly recommend this as a form of travel. I probably will not go on the large cruises again as I found this to be a very gentle and peaceful way to travel. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our first river cruise, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We started with a pre-cruise stay in Prague at the Hilton-Prague (beautiful hotel). Pre-booked two city tours (a walking/boat/dinner tour and a food tour the next day). Both ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We started with a pre-cruise stay in Prague at the Hilton-Prague (beautiful hotel). Pre-booked two city tours (a walking/boat/dinner tour and a food tour the next day). Both took us to different areas of this fascinating city. Then it was off to Passau, Germany and the Legend on the Danube River. Wonderful trip visiting fascinating cities, beautiful churches, countryside and historic sites. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and clued us in to the real Von Trapp family history in Salzburg. Wish we had more time to spend in many of the places. Thank goodness for a/c in the hotel and on the Legend, as Europe was experiencing a drought and heat wave. Delicious food, wonderful service, friendly staff and--best of all--we didn't have to pack and unpack for one whole week! How good is that! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
First of all, Avalon does a fabulous job of catering to everyone. I just had seen the ads and was mentally prepared to float down the Danube, gazing romantically at the beautiful scenery along the way. Unfortunately, the Danube was too ... Read More
First of all, Avalon does a fabulous job of catering to everyone. I just had seen the ads and was mentally prepared to float down the Danube, gazing romantically at the beautiful scenery along the way. Unfortunately, the Danube was too low to do much sailing, so we only were able to dock in 3 planned ports and a couple of unintended ports, used for bussing us places. So this fantasy didn't come true and not Avalon's fault at all. If you are planning a trip like this, make sure there has been enough rain for the trip to actually pass through the river. If not, you will spend hours on busses going to the places that way. You may have many more tours than you wanted and hear much more history than you can ever remember. If you are someone who will enjoy this, then no worries. We discovered it wasn't comfortable for us. They feed you well on the ship- I would say not quite the tastiness of the big ocean cruises, but certainly enough to satisfy you. The people are so nice and we made lots of friends. The age group on the ships is approx. 70-80 average, I'd say. If you are handicapped and use a cane, they make provisions with the tours for you, but the countries may not be compliant with this. Lots of cobblestones, so come prepared to strengthen your ankles on those with good shoes. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Our 11 day Avalon cruise started with three days on land in Prague. Very nice accomodations, great city tour. We met on first night with cruise director, at that time concerned travellers questioned the river levels, as we heard they were ... Read More
Our 11 day Avalon cruise started with three days on land in Prague. Very nice accomodations, great city tour. We met on first night with cruise director, at that time concerned travellers questioned the river levels, as we heard they were low. We were told that by the day we were to sail, that the water levels were probably going to be okay. We were lead to believe that somehow the water levels could be manipulated by man power, dam? Departure date came and we were given a choice to see Nuremberg by bus, as we couldn't sail, due to low water, or take a bus to A small village up river where boat was docked. To see Revensburg, we also had to bus, ship couldn't get there either. Did not dock in Passau, had to be bussed there from village. Avalon advertises their cabins with the great view. Anytime we were docked, there would be another ship parked directly beside us, never even got to open curtains. Our sailing was done in early evening or night, so never got to see the wonderful sights advertised. We did dock in Linz and Budapest, so we were able to go ashore to explore on our own. Daily tours were really early. Biggest disappointment was that we never got to enjoy the views from our cabin, which was explained to our group the last night: reason being that River cruising is so popular that there is not enough port space for the ships. The staff on the Avalon Vista was great, cruise director not so much. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
As I was about to board the plane with my friend for Prague, I received an urgent call that our Central European Experience cruise was cancelled due to a cargo ship blocking the river. They didn't have an alternate plan as they had ... Read More
As I was about to board the plane with my friend for Prague, I received an urgent call that our Central European Experience cruise was cancelled due to a cargo ship blocking the river. They didn't have an alternate plan as they had just received the news. By the time we reached Prague, Avalon Waterways had redirected our cruise to take us down the Danube. They did an outstanding job of giving us an amazing substitute cruise including all the wonderful side excursions from Passau ,Germany to Vienna,Austria and Budapest, Hungary. When the were no longer able to take us by train to Paris because of the distance from Budapest they chartered a plane and flew us there. They went above and beyond what was expected of them. I am 100% sure the other cruise lines would have sent us on the original itinerary on a bus instead. Our cruise director Danielle and all the crew were wonderful and went out of their way to make sure we had a great cruise. I tell everyone if you have future plans to take a river cruise, Avalon Waterways is the way to go! Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We booked the Amsterdam to Budapest 14 night Cruise departing 9 August 2015 on Amadeus Silver. On the way to the airport for an LA stopover of 2 nights we were advised that the first 5 days of the Cruise would be 'on land' as ... Read More
We booked the Amsterdam to Budapest 14 night Cruise departing 9 August 2015 on Amadeus Silver. On the way to the airport for an LA stopover of 2 nights we were advised that the first 5 days of the Cruise would be 'on land' as the Rhine river levels were too low. Also that we could 'cancel' but if we accepted the changed itinerary there would be no further compensation. Of course, there was no choice. So for five days we 'cruised' the autobahns in coaches, arriving at hotels late in the evening. When the ship finally departed Passau we found it cruised overnight, so no lovely lazy days floating along looking at castles on the hills for us. Paying extra for a suite with a balcony (to enjoy all the lovely passing scenery!) was a waste of money unless wanting to sit outside and watch concrete lock walls at night or reaching out to touch the ship berthed so close alongside you could step over the rail on to it. Lovely ship. Good crew. Included 'excursions' for us involved a lot of 'walking tours'. Finally, we were despatched off the ship by 8.30 am. "at the latest" on the final day, rather than the 9.30 a.m. in our booking. Our overall impression was that the passengers on Luftner are definitely not the priority. If you want a river cruise which lives up to the promotional publicity, don't book Luftner. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
We sailed on the Legend from Passau in July and found every aspect of our holiday excellent. The ship was one of the older ones in the fleet, but we found it well presented and it had all the facilities we wanted. We had not sought a ... Read More
We sailed on the Legend from Passau in July and found every aspect of our holiday excellent. The ship was one of the older ones in the fleet, but we found it well presented and it had all the facilities we wanted. We had not sought a balcony, and would not do so, since there was plenty of room on the full-length sun deck. The itinerary was excellent - sailings being timed to optimise the time at the stop-overs. Going down stream, the night cruising was at low throttle and quiet. Obviously, Viking had managed to obtain the best of the city-centre mooring locations. Throughout our holiday, the crew were excellent- efficient and professional, yet always having time for a little chat or banter. Their great personal qualities were the stand-out memory of our holiday. On shore excursions were all good to excellent, though I think those who went to the optional (expensive) Mozart recital had poor value. So good that we have already booked for next year. HINT - location of stateroom on boat is more important than facilities such as balcony etc Backroom staff deserve praise, since everything worked well, but we largely saw just the dining room staff. A musician played in the lounge each night, and two nights when local entertainers performed were enjoyable. Nothing much to find fault with, at all. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
The cruise was excellent. Comfortable room- that we weren't in very much. The food was good - I gained 5 pounds on the trip. My husband and I enjoyed all the excursions. We also stayed the two extra days in Budapest which was all we ... Read More
The cruise was excellent. Comfortable room- that we weren't in very much. The food was good - I gained 5 pounds on the trip. My husband and I enjoyed all the excursions. We also stayed the two extra days in Budapest which was all we expected. If we could we would do another cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This was my first river cruise, based on my wife's recommendation, she did the Moscow to St. Petersburg cruise last year with a friend. From the moment we boarded on the first day to reluctantly leaving on the last day we received ... Read More
This was my first river cruise, based on my wife's recommendation, she did the Moscow to St. Petersburg cruise last year with a friend. From the moment we boarded on the first day to reluctantly leaving on the last day we received 5 star treatment, nothing was too much trouble for our hosts. The accommodation was clean and comfortable, the food was tasty and well presented (I'm a fussy eater) and gave you a flavour, pun intended, of the area being visited. The evening entertainment was excellent. Apart from the overall package, a couple of things struck me as being a nice touch, every time you left the ship you were given a bottle of cold water also, as one who uses a walking stick, I appreciated the fact that each walking tour had an "easy walking" group that went at a more leisurely pace and avoided the steeper routes. The ship was not one of the new longships but it did not detract from the overall feeling of being on an elegant cruise. I would thoroughly recommend a Viking river cruise for a relaxing holiday. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
My friend choose the Danube Waltz cruise for her birthday/retirement. We both had wanted to try a Viking cruise but I would never have chosen this trip and am very happy she did. I learned a lot about these countries, especially with the ... Read More
My friend choose the Danube Waltz cruise for her birthday/retirement. We both had wanted to try a Viking cruise but I would never have chosen this trip and am very happy she did. I learned a lot about these countries, especially with the 3 day Prague and 2 day Budapest extensions. We spent here rather than upgraded cabin, and glad we did. Day tours were excellent, being organized and with guides knowing well English and their tour area. So much history and wonderful architecture! Everything was well organized and all Viking personnel were polite and helpful. Meal service excellent. Plates looked lovely. Do agree with another reviewer that it is not for vegetarians. In general, I found vegetables, except for potatoes and sauerkraut, to be scarce in these countries. On ship, salad was an option for lunch and I took advantage of it. I enjoyed all the meals. Lovely cruise, though too much rain on our trip, allowing only 2 days of top deck time and a lot of umbrella time on city tours. Thoroughly enjoyed our trip.Viking is a class act. Also appreciated that our air and ground transportation were included with out Viking package. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We won this cruise through the Daily Mail and not having been on a cruise before we did not know what to expect. Travelmarvel took care of everything including ensuring that my wife, who is disabled and walks using two crutches, was ... Read More
We won this cruise through the Daily Mail and not having been on a cruise before we did not know what to expect. Travelmarvel took care of everything including ensuring that my wife, who is disabled and walks using two crutches, was helped with assistance through Manchester airport, Frankfurt and return from Budapest to Munich, full marks to them for that. At Prague we were met by the company reps. who escorted us to the coach which took us on a 4 hour journey to Vilshofen where the ship was waiting. It should be noted here that the normal port of embarkation is Nuremburg but lock maintenance did not allow the ship to get any closer than Vilshofen. Luggage was placed in the cabins whilst everyone was welcomed on board by the crew. The cabin on the ship was about the same size as a Travelodge hotel room with a very comfortable king size bed. Meal times were 'civilised' and the food was first class. A whole list of excursions were offered, some free and a few to be charged. The tours also catered for the disabled by ensuring that the group toured on an almost level route, nice touch. Evening entertainment was sourced via the area that we berthed each night. The ship travelled daytimes only when we were going through a picturesque part of the Danube which made the week more interesting. The crew were fantastic and looked after us all with professionalism and friendliness. The disembarkation went smoothly. Overall the whole experience was rated as totally organised without being obvious, totally relaxed with good food and comfortable surroundings. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
To say an experience of a life time one I will never forget. The Enchanting Danube was an experience of a life time, from the ship itself it was beautifully decorated had everything we needed on board, we were totally spoilt. The service ... Read More
To say an experience of a life time one I will never forget. The Enchanting Danube was an experience of a life time, from the ship itself it was beautifully decorated had everything we needed on board, we were totally spoilt. The service provided was First Class, the food was amazing you would certainly not go hungry. The staff each and everyone of them so welcoming, especially the staff Carla, Marcus, Elena, Ivan, Romeo, Richie & Boris they made us laugh and took good care of us as did all the staff but they stood out. You could fault nothing. I wish I was back there right now. And would 100% go again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We started with our pre cruise in Prague for 3 nights. We booked our own flight and they were there to pick us up. We stayed at a beautiful hotel; The Art Deco Imperil which was lovely. We had a drink (included) before on information ... Read More
We started with our pre cruise in Prague for 3 nights. We booked our own flight and they were there to pick us up. We stayed at a beautiful hotel; The Art Deco Imperil which was lovely. We had a drink (included) before on information meeting that night for our tour the next day. Breakfast was included. Our guide was great and loved the tour of the town. The restaurant at the hotel was very good and reasonable. Our trip to Passau was over 4 hours with one stop and our guide also was great with lots of information. Then we arrived at the ship and we were greeted by Marcus. He is such a great asset to the organization was wonderful and enjoyable during the whole week. We had booked a suite and we were guided there by our butler, Lazlo who was just charming and could not do enough for us. The room was spacious and we loved it. The bathroom had Hermes and L'Occitane toiletries. In fact, since our ship was not filled up when 2 other couples saw our room, they also upgraded tot he suite! Everything that Uniworld is first class from the gifts to the excursion. We toured in every town with a briefing the night before. In Vienna, we had a private concert in a palace. This was optional and worth every penny. The dining was very good and the dishes and wines reflected the country but they always had other options if you wanted it. The entertainment was a fabulous singer and piano player. Before dinner that brought in other entertainment from the local area. Disembarkation was easy and relaxed. Everyone had to be out of their rooms by 8:30AM but you still could have breakfast and relax in the lounge until you had to leave. Tips were included and the only charge we had was the concert! I cannot stay enough about the crew and staff of the River Beatrice. They always had a smile and wanted to please your every wish. I am sold on Uniworld! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary with AmaWaterways' Romantic Danube cruise. This was our first cruise of any kind. Therefore, although we have nothing to compare it to, we can't imagine a river cruise line that ... Read More
My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary with AmaWaterways' Romantic Danube cruise. This was our first cruise of any kind. Therefore, although we have nothing to compare it to, we can't imagine a river cruise line that could be superior. Many of our fellow passengers who were seasoned river cruisers agreed. Our ship, the AmaPrima, was named "Best River Cruise Ship 2013". It has 3 decks of rooms and carries about 160 pasengers. There is a spacious and comfortable lounge area (and like the entire ship, impeccably clean -- we'd see crew on deck early in the morning, cleaning and polishing every square inch, every day), with plenty of seats, tables, an attractive bar area, and and 24-hour self-serve coffee and tea area with a wide selection of teas, milks, sugars, dark hot chocolate (not too sweet), and an espresso machine that produced everything from a cup of coffee to a cappuccino with milk foam. This area, by the way, was also always in order and perfectly clean, as if we were the first of the day to use it. On the lowest deck, there is a large dining room with an assortment of table sizes and booths for 4 or 6. There is open seating, so you can seat wherever and with whomever you wish, for any meal, and there is always plenty of room. There was one seating per meal, and they recommended that you arrive within 20 minutes of the beginning of a meal to have plenty of time to relax and enjoy it. There is an attractive buffet with a wide selection of choices at breakfast and lunch, as well as a menu from which you can order. At breakfast, there is a chef present who will make an omelette or eggs any style you wish. The dinner menu always has 2-3 choices for the appetizer, salad, entree, and dessert, plus other main courses (such as a main dish salad or quiche) that you can order. The quality of the food, as well as its presentation, exceeded our expectations. Every night, we had a choice of fine wines (included) and the servers were most generous with it! At the back of the ship between the middle and top deck is a smaller restaurant, The Chef's Table, that seats about 24. You have an opportunity to dine there on one night of the cruise (you make a reservation when you embark), perhaps to celebrate a special occasion. This meal has multiple courses served by attentive staff in tuxedos -- and you can observe the chef preparing the meal in a glass-walled kitchen adjacent to the dining room. We were pampered by all of the AmaPrima staff, in the nicest way possible, for the entire week -- but the staff to guest ratio in The Chef's Table was even greater. We were in cabin 208, an AA (the roomiest) cabin (other than the suites), on the middle deck of three that had cabins. We had plenty of room, thanks to all of the clever storage features and both an inside and outside seating area. Our luggage was out of sight under the bed. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable. It came made up with a duvet, but the housekeeper will change that to sheets and a blanket if you prefer. I think a slightly smaller cabin would be fine too, and that cabins on the top and middle decks are equally good. I'd also like to add that the decor was classy but simple and tasteful; I nixed a couple of cruise lines while I was perusing different ones online because of the fussy, overly feminine decor. I think what sets AmaWaterways apart, other than their ships, is their staff. Our captain was German, our outstanding cruise manager Frederico was Croatian, and the rest of the staff largely hailed from Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Without exception they were very friendly, thoughtful, cheerful, polite, and accommodating. I've heard that it's tough to get a job with AmaWaterways, and they certainly have a first-rate staff. Frederico (the cruise manager), was extremely knowledgeable, organized, present, and had a pleasant voice -- very important, especially when you're listening to him speaking into a microphone in the lounge or over the PA system as he gives a commentary while we're cruising. Our housekeeper, Andreea, was a prize; she would whisk in while we were at breakfast to clean our room, and again while we were at dinner to spruce it up again. Three times, we found our towels arranged origami-style into different animals: two swans for our anniversary, a dog, and the biggest surprise -- a monkey swinging from our ceiling! A fun surprise when we would return to our room. We tended to sit in the same area of the dining room, so we often had Christina as our server; if you happen to have her, you'll find she's not only efficient, hardworking, and attentive but exceptionally thoughtful and friendly. At different ports, there were choices of activities (including biking) both during the day and sometimes in the evening. Our four highlights were visiting Cesky Krumlov (with our outstanding guide Veronika), touring Melk Abbey, biking from Melk to Durnstein (though note: while rated by AMA as a "5" in difficulty, if you are fit, it's more like a "2") along the Danube and through the vineyards, and the evening concert at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. The orchestra and singers were not only first rate, but engaged with the audience and displayed a delightful sense of humor. AMA clearly tries to offer a wide variety of activities to suit everyone, from a "gentle walkers" group to biking, and from introductory city tours to behind-the-scenes hidden walks and wine and sacher-torte tasting. The only activities that had a surcharge were the evening concert in Vienna and the tour of Schonbrunn Palace near Vienna. Every evening, there was a gentleman playing the keyboard and singing in the lounge; some evenings, there was special entertainment brought on the ship: two opera singers, two violinists & a guitarist, and Hungarian dancers. All were excellent! In summary, if you're looking for a river cruise, we can recommend AmaWaterways highly. If you want to cruise the Danube, I think any of their Danube cruises would be equally good -- but I'm glad we cruised east ending in Budapest, because on our last night, the captain sailed the Budapest harbor so we could enjoy the illuminated bridges and buildings. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Good and bad, mostly good. Good = a clean, quiet ship; every meal began on time; meal servers efficient, attentive -- ready with coffee refresher, ready with a second glass of wine or beer; meal portions sensible; food tasty, nicely ... Read More
Good and bad, mostly good. Good = a clean, quiet ship; every meal began on time; meal servers efficient, attentive -- ready with coffee refresher, ready with a second glass of wine or beer; meal portions sensible; food tasty, nicely presented; breakfast buffet variety of items (cereals, eggs, omelets, sausage, fruit, croissants, jams/jellies, OJ, grapefruit juice, coffee, tea, butter, honey, etc.); 24/7 quality coffee from a dispenser near the lounge; treats (cookies, pastry) always available by the dispenser; sanitary standards obviously a priority, from your room to the hallway to the lounge to the restaurant Bad = tours to Salzburg and Durnstein too much emphasis on shopping -- not worth the 2-hour trip to Salzburg, although scenery was beautiful; Salzburg bus dropped you off just outside the main shopping district (don't believe the Web and brochure of the Salzburg gardens because it is only about two blocks long and a block wide) and although some free time was available to get to the hilltop castle there was not enough time to actually stroll into the city proper to see neighborhoods and other city life; Durnstein was one long, narrow street packed with touristy shops, with the ancient castle perched above, reachable by a hike on a steep trail, which actually was good exercise; my advice is to skip Salzburg and stay in Linz to see the city there and you'll have all day to do it; conversely, not nearly enough time in Vienna, only a morning tour with afternoon free time -- it's a city worth part of another day, which could be accomplished by leaving Durnstein off the itinerary and just docking in Melk, with its beautiful abbey. Good = some of the local tour guides who actually were informative because they mentioned modern life in whatever community we were in (Bratislava, Budapest, Passau) with details about the economy, housing prices, political conditions -- in addition to the usual history info. Bad = some of the local tour guides who stuck to a script and did not deviate, had almost no sense of humor or otherwise put no personality into their talk (Salzburg, Vienna). Good = free time in Passau and Budapest to explore the cities on your own, get away from the tourist areas. Bad = not enough independence allowed you, because we would rather have gone off on our own with a good local sightseeing book rather than being stuck in a slow-moving group. Good = attitudes of ship's crew, servers, program director and assistants, concierge; all to be expected, of course, because their livelihood depends on it, but still pleasant to encounter. Bad = attitudes of too many fellow passengers who never tipped the local tour guides or bus drivers; this is inexcusable because that's how these people earn extra income and saving a few euros a day by not tipping just so you can pay for the extra booze you want is awful. Good = We did our airline travel, and we would recommend it because you can rest a day before your cruise and you can continue to where you want to go when you want to go. However, even though we booked our own flights Viking made sure we had transportation (we paid for transfer from Budapest hotel) and a Viking representative met us at the airport as the sun rose in the sky to make sure we got through the baggage process. Viking doesn't forget you when you leave the ship. Would we go again? A couple years from now. Meanwhile, what we learned was how to plan our own trip at less expense. We took trains before and after our cruise (this was a dream vacation that stretched to 22 days) and now we feel comfortable navigating Europe (English, French, German trains).   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
This was our first cruise of any type. We arrived when dinner was well underway and we were not especially impressed by our reception - we were somewhat hassled to get into dinner (they knew we would be late arriving due to the fairly long ... Read More
This was our first cruise of any type. We arrived when dinner was well underway and we were not especially impressed by our reception - we were somewhat hassled to get into dinner (they knew we would be late arriving due to the fairly long wait at Munich to be transferred which was not our fault or our choice). We were shown to a table where we were fortunate to be sharing with folks on our wavelength who quickly became friends. I imagine that this could have been a different experience and feel that an option sometimes of a table for 2 would be welcome - perhaps some bookable small tables for a special day or because one needs some privacy would be a good idea. All that said the cabin, though small, was well equipped and comfortable(we were on the middle deck with a French balcony). I would not pay extra to be higher up as our friends had done because they had trouble with noise overhead from people playing quoits and from early joggers - also whilst an outside balcony would be lovely it is an expensive way to see nothing but another boat jammed up against ours in most of the ports. The tours and guides were variable but it was a great way to get a taste of different countries and cities. We saw so much and were delighted with the experiences. The food was excellent; some waiting staff were without doubt more committed than others to the service but overall they were good. The 3 line whip to pay large tips at the end of the cruise is unwelcome. This is an expensive holiday to start with and it should be an entirely discretionary tip for individuals who have offered especially good service. The rooms were serviced every day and I cannot fault the domestic staff. Overall a lovely holiday and we have booked to do another river cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
I have never done a cruise before, ocean or otherwise, but my friend and I who are both in our 50s decided to do the Passau-Budapest Danube Waltz. The advertisements were compelling, but they don't do justice to the stunning sights. ... Read More
I have never done a cruise before, ocean or otherwise, but my friend and I who are both in our 50s decided to do the Passau-Budapest Danube Waltz. The advertisements were compelling, but they don't do justice to the stunning sights. Our flight to Munich was great; a Viking agent picked us up immediately and put us on a cushy bus to Passau....absolutely no problems. The boat, the Magni, is clean, new, tasteful, and we were greeted with a champagne cocktail. Our room was ready when we arrived, even though we were there before check-in time. It had ample room for our luggage and ourselves and was chic and well-designed--down comforter and smart finishes. No wasted space. A huge flat screen TV that offered CNN, BBC, and a few other channels, (that seemed to show American crime dramas only), as well as the weather, movies, and travel videos. The floor in the bathroom is heated!. We had the French Balcony room and could open our door and look out whenever we wanted. I was surprised at how quiet it was. And smooth too--I couldn't tell when we were moving or docked. The food was delicious--mind you I am not a connoisseur---and certainly not adventurous with food---so I was pleased to see food I recognized. American cuisine along with local/European dishes. They have GREAT coffee machines--espresso, cappuccino, coffee, tea, hot chocolate---anytime of day or night. Everyday there are activities planned--mostly bus or walking tours of various places--but you are free to go off and do what you want. I am not much of a group-tourist--I prefer to go on my own, but I did find that the 45 minute bus and/or walking tours did give me lots of information and afterwards we would go exploring on our own. Don't underestimate the places on the tour. Our first site in Passau was a cathedral. I yawned at the thought, but the place just floored us! Baroque style (get used to it--it's everywhere in Europe) and we even got an organ concert! There are other excursions you can do. We did Schonbrunn Palace but I wouldn't do it again. It was crowded, vast, and held so much ornateness and over-the-topness that I became overwhelmed after the first few rooms. It seemed to me that the stops got better as we went--first Passau, then Melk (whoever heard of Melk? It has an abbey that is nicer than anything you have ever seen--who knew?), Salzburg, then Vienna. I didn't think there could be anything grander than Vienna---until Budapest appeared. We arrived at night and the place was lit up like a birthday cake for God! DO NOT MISS IT. The service onboard is impeccable. Rooms cleaned thoroughly. Food served quickly and special requests honored gracefully. Every one of the staff, from the program director to housekeeping, were friendly and attentive. Bed turn-down service with next day's itinerary on your bed when you come back from dinner. I had never been treated so well and at the end of the cruise, I didn't want to leave. That is service. Okay now for the downside :# 1. We went to shop the Christmas markets, but everything was way too expensive. Wait until Bratislava or Budapest to shop--prices are much more reasonable. But it was still fun drinking their mulled wine and soaking up the atmosphere. #2. If your airfare is included and Viking is making your reservation, you cannot upgrade your seats beyond economy 'comfort' class. The seats were roomier but not like in first class. Overall, we had a great cruise. I have no other cruises to compare it with, but at this point, I don't plan on cruising with anyone but Viking again.   Read Less

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