August 2013 Destination:
This was my first river cruise ever, so forgive my starry-eyed perspective! Loved almost everything about this cruise: Topping the list: the itinerary: Giverny, Honfleurs, Normandy Beaches, Rouen, Les Andelys, and Auvers les Oise. Close behind: the food & wine, plus the dining service. Next: Sebastien, Cruise Director: Competent above all, then entertaining, friendly, funny and expert in a crisis! (Crisis was NOT AMALegro's fault.) One of the locks on the Seine broke. It was late Saturday night into Sunday, and we were at the mercy of French divers! All told, ship stalled 14 hours. Sebastien and his crew were masterful to minimize interruption to passengers. The first 8 hours or so, passengers were mostly sleeping, but then it was time for excursions. AMA brought their busses some 30km away from where we were supposed to be to pick us up. Guides met us at excursion launching locations. Crew made makeshift gangplanks to offload all passengers. All told, it was an adventure handled More
extremely well, even though unexpected. Everything else worked like clockwork. I know reviews are supposed to be balanced with the minuses as well as the plusses. Only "minus" that comes to mind is that one of the Guides, a Frenchwoman who accompanied us to the Normandy Beaches, had extremely inaccurate pronunciation of English/American words, so it was a lot of work to understand the huge amount of information she had. And it was such a serious topic. We wanted to learn everything there was to learn, but ended up missing so much because we got behind regularly, puzzling over the translation. The other guides, two Italians and another French woman, were, simply put, fabulous! Funny, interesting, informed, energetic, and all around delightful. OH! And by the way, maybe all the cruise lines do this for excursions, but we were offered, on all outings, the choice of "active, regular or gentle" walking groups, and I found that to be extremely passenger and service oriented. A great beginning to river cruising. Thank you AMA! Less
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