We had a great time on our first river cruise. We sailed from Nuremberg to Budapest.The AMA Certo crew was fantastic. They were friendly and their service and attention to detail was impressive! After the first day, most of the staff knew our names. Our cruise director, Peter, was superb! He had a great sense of humor and he was always willing to help.
Embarkation was a breeze. We were treated to snacks in the lounge while we waited for our room to be ready. There was no standing in line like on ocean cruises.
The AMA Certo is a beautiful ship. The cabins were smaller than on an ocean cruise but efficiently designed. There was room beneath the bed to store luggage, and there was sufficient closet space. The shower seemed larger than on an ocean cruise, probably due to the corner design.
Morning tours of each port were included. The audio headsets allowed us to listen to the guides even when we were wandering away to take pictures. All of the guides were informative and interesting.
We felt that the food was excellent. We enjoyed trying the local specialties, but there were also some standard dishes that you could choose. Wine and beer were included with both lunch and dinner. We also enjoyed meeting and chatting with new people at mealtime.
The Christmas markets made us feel like we were in a Christmas wonderland. The Thurn and Taxis market was our favorite due to the old Medieval feeling it provided (open fires, stalls covered in branches, old-fashioned ovens,etc.) Our favorite market to see in the evening, though, was the market in Vienna. The setting is beautiful at night.
Overall, we were extremely pleased with our cruise. We will definitely do another river cruise. In addition to the top-notch crew, I think what I really liked about the river cruise was the freedom. We could do the tours in the morning or skip them. We could do half the tour, and then skip out on the rest if we wished. We could get on and off the boat at will. We never had to wait in lines. I really enjoyed the smaller setting, getting to know the other passengers, and the camaraderie between the crew members and the passengers. AMA is a class act.