My husband asked me to arrange this cruise to celebrate our 46th anniversary. We were sure we wanted to cruise the Danube River; so the biggest decision was itinerary and date. I knew I didn't want to go later than September or earlier than April. We arrived in Prague April 29.
We took advantage of the 3 day pre-cruise package in Prague, staying at the Intercontinental Hotel, which we enjoyed...great breakfast buffet each morning. We were met by AmaWaterways at the airport in Prague at 9:30 in the morning and taken to the hotel where we met Rachel Coutos-Gomez, our Cruise Manager. Our room was ready for us. For the next almost 2 weeks, Rachel worked tirelessly! I don't know when she slept. She was always on the ball, arranging the city tours, buses, guides, optional tours, etc. And, her suitcase must be huge, because she changed clothes several times most days...and had an outfit to compliment each port, it seemed. She even arranged a special tour of the Doheny Street Synagogue in Budapest, at the request of fellow passengers. And, at the end of the cruise in Budapest, she escorted each passenger off of the ship...even those who left the ship at 3 a.m. She is a gem to AmaWaterways!!
Hotel Manager Victoria was also wonderfully helpful and cheerful at all times, as was Maitre 'd Cipi.
Captain Andreas had a great crew. He may be short in stature, but he knows how to run a “tight” ship...especially going through those narrow locks! Hats off to him! I thoroughly enjoyed Rachel's talk on the workings of the river lock system...very informative.
The ship, itself, was wonderfully decorated. Our cabin had a French balcony, which allowed us to check out the river scenery when we were in the cabin. The cabin had plenty of storage area. We didn't feel cramped. Fahro, our cabin steward, was great! He was very pleasant and he kept our room straightened up, replenishing bottles of water each day. One evening, he had kissing swan towels on our bed, celebrating our anniversary. And, the dining room staff brought out a special dessert for us at dinner. The lounge had plenty of seating. It was nice to sit in there in the afternoon and read or watch the river scenery.
After 3 days in Prague and a bus trip to Nuremberg, we began a wonderful cruise down to Budapest. The scenery was exquisite; and, even though it was a little windy and cool out on the deck, most days the sun was shining and the weather was beautiful! Some of my photos look like postcards!
We thought all of the city tours did a good job of introducing us to the best that each city had to offer. We mostly had great tour guides in Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Vienna, and Budapest. When we go back on another cruise, we'll know what to concentrate on...or what to see that we didn't get to see on this trip. In Regensburg, we had Henry (Helmut) Winkler....an older version of the Fonz! We only wish that we'd had a little more free time in most cities. It seemed like we were always in a hurry to make it back to the ship. We're not big shoppers; but we would have liked to have done a little more exploring...and eating!
Speaking of eating...we thought the food onboard AmaLyra was very good and the waitstaff attentive and pleasant. Breakfast buffet was great! There were plenty of breakfast meats and fruits. We could special order eggs; or have a made-to-order omelet. It seemed there was a special each morning, whether it was grilled mushrooms, baked tomatoes, French toast, etc. The bread and pastry table was so wonderfully tempting. And, in addition to a selection of juices, a bottle of champagne was available to make mimosas! At every meal, there was also a selection of cheeses.
For lunch, we could order from the menu...soups, sandwiches, entrees or partake of the buffet. There were plenty of salads and salad makings, meats, and cheeses. Then, there was usually a pasta dish of the day. There was either a cream based or broth based soup at lunch and dinner. Both were delicious; but, personally, I enjoyed the broth soups better.
For dinner in the dining room, there was an option of 2 appetizers, 2 soups, 3 entrees, and 2 desserts. If none of the entrees suited you, we could order staples of salmon, steak, or chicken. One of the entree options was always vegetarian. At one meal, the 6 of us at the table made our entree selections and then asked to have the vegetarian entree served for the table to taste!
Wine and beer were complimentary at lunch and dinner.
On a couple of evenings, entertainment was brought onboard. While it was nice; we didn't think it was anything really outstanding. We did enjoy the piano player each afternoon and dancing in the evening.
My husband took advantage of the 3 guided bicycle tours, which he enjoyed.
We love river cruising. This is our second river cruise and we're ready to book another one. We like the intimacy. It's so much more easy to meet fellow cruisers. We made some wonderful friends, with whom we will keep in contact.
We will definitely book with AmaWaterways again.