This was our first River Cruise and it will not be the last with AMA. From start to finish it exceeded our expectations. This review really has to be done in two parts, the ship and then the ports of call.
The ship and crew is easy, it was outstanding. Everything and everyone was top notch. The staff could not do enough for you. The food, from the morning breakfast buffet to the dinner was delightful. Our Cruise Directer, Sebastian, was everywhere,doing anything he could to make things better. At times we thought he had to have a twin, he was doing so much. On board the one man band and singer entertained each evening, and local performers were brought on board to share the regional music and dance with us. The ship is well maintained, clean and warm. Each cabin has it own TV and wifi center. When the system failed a technician was flown in to correct it.
We began our trip with an optional start in Vienna for two days.We also took the extension at the end to Istanbul. Both were wonderful. We think this route would be preferable to the reverse. The excitement of Istanbul was a wonderful ending to the trip. The other ports of call were not ones that you would normally think of going to. That being said the local guides were of such good quality they made them all interesting and worthwhile. We were always in small groups, with individual ear sets to hear the guide.
The ship had about 140 guest and a crew of 42 ... which made it easy to meet and mingle with almost everyone. This is truly an all inclusive trip. You are not nickeled and dim-ed to death. From the simple thing of always having bottles of FREE water available to surprising the women with a rose at the first dinner, or paying the small fee for toilets on a tour and making a donation for our visit to a Mosque. Tipping was additional for the crew and tour guides.
We ended our tour in Istanbul and were housed at The Ritz-Carlton. A little service they provided was almost expected after the attention provided by AMA. When we called for a 2 am wake up call the operator offered us free complimentary coffee at 2:10 am. What more could you want.