By Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief
AmaWaterways has carved out a niche for itself in the river cruise arena with its emphasis on wine and food amid comfortably stylish surrounds. AmaPrima, the line's newest ship, carries on that tradition.
Unique to AmaPrima (and sisters AmaCerto, AmaBella and AmaVerde) is that the majority of staterooms feature double-balcony configurations. One side is a French verandah, with floor-to-ceiling doors that open wide, and the other is an actual balcony, with comfortable chairs. Notable, too: These spacious staterooms aren't limited to a lucky few. On the top two cabin decks, they're plentiful.
Other delightful features on AmaPrima make it such a welcoming ship. On the sun deck, a splash pool (with swim-up bar) and its deep, comfy wicker-like sofas are popular gathering spots. The small gym is well stocked with state-of-the-art equipment, and the sprawling lounge features a library nook with a faux fireplace.
It's important to note, though, that the ship's gorgeous decor and creature comforts are a backdrop to the experience you'll have on land. AmaWaterways features a nice range of possibilities in each port (most of which come in the complimentary category) that target a variety of travel styles. Highlights include standard tours, themed experiences geared toward interests in areas like art, food and wine, and recreationally oriented expeditions on the bicycles.
AmaWaterways offers terrific value-for-money extras on its cruises; these include free and unlimited Wi-Fi (with an unusually fast connection for a cruise ship) and complimentary beer, wine and sodas at lunch and dinner.
Rounding out a superb cruise experience, the crew on AmaPrima were outstanding. Warm, efficient and personable, the tone was set on the first night onboard, when a couple, having traveled all day, arrived well after mealtime. They and plaintively asked the bartender if there were snacks available. Instead, she went down to the kitchen and assembled them a full meal.
AmaPrima Fellow Passengers
AmaWaterways generally appeals to well-traveled, 50-plus passengers with a strong interest in culinary arts and active exploration. Geographically, passengers are strongly drawn from North America, but the cruise line attracts a solid representation from the U.K. and Australia, where its partner, APT Touring, also markets the line.
AmaPrima Dress Code
Day and night, the prevailing dress code is country club casual, except for the once-a-cruise Captain's Dinner, when male passengers don jackets and ties, and women wear cocktail garb.
Recommended gratuity is 3 euros per passenger, per day, for the ship's cruise manager and 12 euros per passenger, per day, for the crew. This can be paid for with cash or credit card. It's good form to tip tour guides 1 to 2 euros for half-day tours and 5 euros or more for full-day outings.
An awesome way to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This was our first river cruise and having cruised several times on the ocean going ships, we didn't know what to expect. We loved it-perfect in every way....the service was impeccable. We ...continue
Loved, loved, loved our cruise along the Danube River. The Ama prima was beautiful, new, clean. The crew was delightful, helpful and always cheerful. Our cruise director, Czaba, was patient, helpful, friendly and enjoyable. Cruising a river is ...continue
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This was our first river cruise after four ocean cruises. A river cruise is almost an anti-ocean cruise. It is so different and may not be everyone. It was, however, for us. We absolutely loved it and are so glad we picked AMA as our cruise line. ...continue