We consider ourselves to be seasoned cruise customers, although we had not taken a river cruise until we booked with you for April 25th. We chose AMA because we were told that they ran a Mercedes-Benz type of experience. Sadly, this turned out to not be true.
We do want to acknowledge the staff of the AMADolce, from the cruise director to the hotel director to the Pursers to the support staffs, as being very good overall. However, somewhere in AMA’s literature it states that by the second day the crew will know our names. Never happened. There was never any attempt by the crew to learn our names. It's a small issue, but becomes a bigger one because the literature suggests a higher level of personal interaction that never takes place.
Our biggest complaint was with the food. The portions were extremely small, and there was not one night that the dinner appeared to have been custom cooked. One evening, the entrée was rack of lamb, which had the appearance of being precooked and reheated prior to serving. All four of us at our table ordered this main course, and all four servings of lamb had the same preprepared look and taste.
I am extremely sensitive to autolyzed yeast extract, also known as MSG. The kitchen either uses this ingredient or a similar one on a daily basis, or there was something else in the meals that caused me to be unable to sleep for the first four nights of the cruise. I'm sure the soups contained this ingredient also. For the last three nights of the cruise, I order the most bland choices available, skipping soups, and, lo and behold, I slept very well.
One thing we especially enjoy on our cruises are tasty, creative desserts. Not one of the AMA desserts was appealing to us… they were flavorless and unimaginative.
Overall, we liked our cabin, except for the fact that the mattresses were narrower than any we have ever encountered on a cruise line. Neither of us are large people, yet the narrowness of the mattresses was a contributing factor to our sleep deprivation.
We also encountered a noise issue that apparently is a way of life in River cruising. Our cabin was on the top deck, and twice while we were trying to sleep we heard the sound of many, many, MANY sets of feet climbing over our cabin on the way to their docked ship. We don't have any clue as to how AMA might solve this problem, but it added to the list of negative issues we encountered during our cruise.
Regarding the land tours we took, the tour guides were perfunctory but not special in any way. On the cruise was an older woman whose right leg was fused straight. The tour guides didn't seem to make any special effort to make this passenger comfortable.
Lastly, the Captain lacked a professional, authoritarian aura. His demeanor did nothing to improve our overall cruise experience.
We have cruised with six Star lines, five Star lines, all away down to our one and only cruise (our last cruise) with Carnival. We hoped that AMAWaterways would in some ways remind us of our Regent Seven Seas experience, and perhaps even excel. We are disappointed this was not the case.