We are very well traveled, and know what to expect from a travel experience. Ama waterways did not fulfill our expectations at all. Our trip was Prague to Budapest on the not so blue Danube .Our stay at the Intercontinental Hotel in Prague was nice. The location was great. Our ama tour guided tours were not so great. Thank heavens we spent 3 days in Prague prior to Ama contact, so we were able to see many things that would have been missed by relying on ama tours. The guides in Prague did not speak English very well, and many times it was very challenging to understand the information being provided. The "included" tours were rushed. We would be shown the outside of buildings or churches. If you wanted to see further into the buildings, there was usually a fee, which you paid yourself when you were on your "free time". This scenario was the setting for all of their included tours for the entire trip. The fees, for the most part were nominal, but..... The expensive optional tours, which at times were also rushed, did include many of the entrance fees. After an hour or two, the guides would tell you that you now have "free time" to explore on your own, then disappear so that you could not ask further questions or find out other information. You "met up" with the guide at a predetermined place for your walk or bus ride back. The different levels of walking so advertised, was a complete joke. As I was told by the VP of guest relations, their advertisement states that the "gentle walkers" or the late risers groups or even active walkers, were stated to be "when available". (I must have missed that paragraph as it was rarely available)
Everyone was grouped together, and hopefully you could make the bus prior to departure.
Our embarkation in Nuremburg was without incident and very smooth. We had a suite with French balconies, which were really not needed. In each of the ports they dock the ships side by side, up to 4 deep (not just ama...all the lines do this), so you cannot even open your drapes
because you would be staring into the cabin next to you on the next boat. You had to walk through each of the lobbies of the boats until you reached your boat. The ports are not close to the towns that you visit, so unless you are on a tour, you must find your own way into the towns, and more importantly back to the boat. It would have been a nice gesture for ama to provide a continuous running shuttle for this purpose.
The service on the ship for the most part was very good. Overall communication, poor. It would have been nice to know where we were on the river at any given time. The captain did little to provide information of any kind
Our suite, which was on the small side, was spotless. The beds were VERY HARD. Our cabin attendant managed to make them bearable by adding padding etc. He was great.. The food was good, nothing special. Your meals were either buffet or at dinner, served in the small dinning room. The head maître d told me, that, If you did not eat in the dinning room, you did not eat. As I was again told by the VP of guest services," we don't advertise or provide the amenity of any kind of room service.".
There are many locks that you travel through while navigating the Danube. It is a slow procedure .For a good part of our trip we were not allowed on the top deck due to the numerous bridges and the minimal clearance afforded the ship. The adds showing everyone on the top of the boat relaxing and looking at the scenery are somewhat misleading, depending on level of the rivers and of course weather.
Because we are well traveled, and can adjust to just about any situation, we had a wonderful time. The cities are beautiful. May is concert time in Prague. Many venues, especially in the churches are free. The optional concert in Vienna is a must, as is the "horse show" and ranch in Budapest. Budapest is also a wonderfully beautiful city. We extended (not with ama) at the Sofitel chain bridge hotel. The rooms were very nice and comfortable, the service excellent and the views spectacular .
We will probably venture to another river cruise, but it won't be with ama. The overall experience with them and their tours was very disappointing. I found their guest relations department to be unconcerned and superficial in their responses to problems and concerns that we voiced regarding our welfare and the welfare of others with disabilities or mobility problems.