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Sail Date: August 2019
I close this as a contrast to the huge ocean-going ships I had been used to. This was a new riverboat with a maximum of about 100 passengers. My cabin - hardly a stateroom - was on the lowest deck, and not large, but perfect for one, ... Read More
I close this as a contrast to the huge ocean-going ships I had been used to. This was a new riverboat with a maximum of about 100 passengers. My cabin - hardly a stateroom - was on the lowest deck, and not large, but perfect for one, although a bit cramped for two. Nonetheless, it was well designed, with a small but excellent bathroom. The window was certainly not panoramic, but I spent time in the spacious public areas. The cabin lighting and air conditioning were fine, and I have any need of the good-sized television. The excursions were very well-chosen and the transportation extremely comfortable, passing through some beautiful scenery. Alcoholic drinks were limitless during meals, and the daily happy hour for cocktails. Breakfast and lunch were mainly buffet style, and dinner was a little more formal with a well-varied menu, the offerings on which were of variable quality. The evening entertainment was generally good. I really enjoyed me trip up the Douro, and hope to travel again with same company. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Two year old beautiful ship, the food was excellent and the cabins had plenty of room. The ship was very easy to navigate for all ages, with the exception of the sundeck. The elevator did not go up. The off-shore excursions had enough ... Read More
Two year old beautiful ship, the food was excellent and the cabins had plenty of room. The ship was very easy to navigate for all ages, with the exception of the sundeck. The elevator did not go up. The off-shore excursions had enough options to meet interests and physical capabilities for all on-board. Staying on the boat always being one of the options. The staff and cruise manager were exceptional. You would not have known they have been on-board since March 1st only a couple of weeks vacation by their enthusiasm. The entertainment was a little different each evening and met our personal tastes a few of the times. Was still talented and good even though it may have not been our cup of tea. I am a person that has been on multiple ocean cruises and always battles motion sickness. No issues at all during the 7 days on the river. Would do it again if the opportunity arises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We had first river cruise in Europe, and we fell in love with it! The food was outstanding, our ship is beautiful and comfortable. Cabin is very clean with the best service ever. The food is absolutely delicious, everyone enjoyed it, and ... Read More
We had first river cruise in Europe, and we fell in love with it! The food was outstanding, our ship is beautiful and comfortable. Cabin is very clean with the best service ever. The food is absolutely delicious, everyone enjoyed it, and appreciate it. There are a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits served daily and creative menu, which is also variety of wonderful food. The service is awesome, they are polite, kind, welcoming, friendly. Entertainment and activities were very nice with different musicians on board. We would like to see some shows in the future. Service was excellent, very organized, detailed. Ports and Shore excursions overall were very good, only first one in Amsterdam was very short and less informative, also the last one in Freiburg was very short. We traveled with a 10 year old child and she really enjoyed it, we would do it again and again! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
wanted to Cruise on Danube to revisit Vienna and Budapest- AMA LEA answered my call- wonderful food, excellent service gleaming new ship- flew intoMunich met by AMA ground service- seamless transfer by Mercedes van to port Vilshofen- ... Read More
wanted to Cruise on Danube to revisit Vienna and Budapest- AMA LEA answered my call- wonderful food, excellent service gleaming new ship- flew intoMunich met by AMA ground service- seamless transfer by Mercedes van to port Vilshofen- greeted by a mini October fest around 6PM- arrivedat ship, around lunch time - offered a lovely light buffet luncheon in beautiful Lounge- talented piano player entertained us -about 1PM we were informed our cabins ready- - welcome cocktail party- then opted for dinner in specialty Restaurant, THE CHEF S TABLE- amazing experience could have happily dined there again- food is beautifully and artfully prepared- breakfast and lunch are buffet, with menu service also- dinner is full waiter service- am a solo woman traveller and was included and embraced by my fellow guests-who watched out for me on all our excursions ,which offered so many choices- scenic and cultural highlight was MELK ABBEY SINGLE SPECIAL EXCURSION WAS THE CONCERT AT OPERA HOUSE IN VIENNA- it is an optional extra charge well worth it- easy an well handled disembarkation Mikki F Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise to determine if a river cruise was a good fit for us. We have decided that for the money our bet is with the ocean cruises. If you are the type that can sit and enjoy a piano player or read. Then a river cruise is a ... Read More
We chose this cruise to determine if a river cruise was a good fit for us. We have decided that for the money our bet is with the ocean cruises. If you are the type that can sit and enjoy a piano player or read. Then a river cruise is a good fit for you. We consider ourselves to be active and the River cruise just does not have enough activity. As for the rooms we upgraded to a balcony and found them to be very small. Not enough storage for your clothes and no place to put your luggage, As for the balcony, you had to walk sideways to get out there. Sometimes you are docked next to a cement wall or if you are one of the unlucky ones to be docked beside another ship, your balcony becomes useless. I would have liked to have more food choices since I enjoy simple food. The countries visited were very nice and I wouldn't mind seeing them again just not on a river cruise. Most of the staff were very pleasant but sometimes you can tell they were just being nice because they had to. Once again, this can be a great cruise for people that like to relax and like fancy food. Not for the active or the fussy eaters. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I dreamt of taking this trip for years and finally made it starting in Amsterdam, Netherlands; going through the Rhine River in Germany and the Main River and Canal; then to the Danube River to Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary. The AMA ... Read More
I dreamt of taking this trip for years and finally made it starting in Amsterdam, Netherlands; going through the Rhine River in Germany and the Main River and Canal; then to the Danube River to Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary. The AMA Waterway ships seemed to have more staterooms with balconies than other lines. My ship, the AMA Viola, was constantly being cleaned, banisters being wiped down, windows cleaned and everything sparkling clean. I traveled alone, however, since there was no assigned dining seating I was able to meet people from all over the USA, Canada and England, talk with them and exchange e-mail address. The ship traveled at a slow speed because of the water level while we passed various castles, towns, churches. A lot of the shoreline was forested, but about 3 trees in you could see a walking, biking lane or street. The ship stopped at cities in each of the countries where we could get a view of the history and shops. Guides were very knowledgeable. After the individual tour, there was always time for personal exploring or shopping. One nice part about the excursions was that we each had a Quiet Voxe. Each day we would pair it with the guide and while she talked we could hear her up to two blocks away. If we stopped to take a picture, it was easy to catch up and we could hear without having to stand right in front of her. Each group had their own color and a guide holding a colored paddle. Each day our Cruise Director, Rachael Couto would update our itinerary with pictures and funny antidotes. When we were gathered in the lounge, there was guitar music and disco music at night. Several times, special groups or individual would entertain. Of course sitting on the top deck while cruising was always an option. There was a mixture of time to take in shore excursions, meals (in the main dining room, lounge, or chef's table), visiting with new friends, listening to music, lots of laughing and dancing, enjoying the view on the top deck or a quick nap in the cabin. All the crew members greeted you. My room steward always had the room made up while I was at breakfast. The other room steward on the floor always had a warm 'good morning' and a comment that I was the first one down for breakfast or I was late and was 3rd one down. If a seaman should pass you on the steps, he would always say good morning/afternoon.. If you had a question, there was always someone to help. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I can only start by saying that AmaWaterways is on a completely different level. From the very first moment that we stepped foot on the AmaKristina, to the time we departed, the crew made us feel comfortable and we were treated like ... Read More
I can only start by saying that AmaWaterways is on a completely different level. From the very first moment that we stepped foot on the AmaKristina, to the time we departed, the crew made us feel comfortable and we were treated like royalty. We were amazed at the size of the ship and it was nice to have a small number of tourists with us, instead of a massive ship with over 1,000 people. Additionally, the food and drinks were impeccable, along with the service from the crew who were friendly, helpful and clearly LOVED their jobs. The excursions were amazing and we loved the walking/ bike tours because of how simple and easy they were. We wished the pool was bigger, and the bar on the sun deck was open, but we couldn’t of asked for a better vacation. We will definitely use AmaWaterways again and highly recommend it!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my first time on a river cruise and the AmaMagna did not disappoint. What an incredible ship, itinerary, and experience for the entire family to enjoy. We sailed to destinations I would not have ever imagined of visiting and ... Read More
This was my first time on a river cruise and the AmaMagna did not disappoint. What an incredible ship, itinerary, and experience for the entire family to enjoy. We sailed to destinations I would not have ever imagined of visiting and were able to experience the most delicious, superb dining venues onboard. The staff is the best I've experienced in the industry and by day 3 was greeted by my first name. The service levels are best in the industry. You have non stop wine and beers during lunch and dinner and get to take your full glass with you (something they don't allow on most cruise lines) The cocktail hour drinks vary by day and its a great ambiance before dinner. The four dining venues could not be any better...The Chef's Table experience, just WOW....then there is Jimmy's where we had the most amazing Osso Bucco that I've ever had in my life...Al fresco has the most amazing view od the Danube river. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our third cruise with Ama. As always, service was outstanding, food was delicious, and the daily excursions were interesting and very informative. We visited several wineries and learned a lot about viticulture. AmaDolce is a ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Ama. As always, service was outstanding, food was delicious, and the daily excursions were interesting and very informative. We visited several wineries and learned a lot about viticulture. AmaDolce is a lovely ship with room for 138 passengers. Ship is well appointed, very comfortable and impeccably clean. Staff extremely helpful. Ama has added a free drink happy hour which is much appreciated. They serve a light lunch in the lounge if one does not want to lunch in the formal dining room. There also is a light breakfast in the lounge for early risers. There also are mid afternoon refreshments for tea time. Ama offers bike excursions in addition to walking excursions. Bikes and helmets are provided. There also is a Gentle Walkers option for those who prefer less activity. Our cruise manager was Natalija, and she was fantastic. Our local guides were knowledgeable and personable. We also did both the pre and post cruise extensions, and are very happy we did so. We learned a lot about the Basque countryside and history. Evening entertainment was excellent, and ncluded Peter on the piano, as well as guest artists doing Motown, older rock and classical music on different nights. We also had an Illumination cruise in Bordeaux, which was beautiful. We happened on Ama five years ago, when a better known river cruise line was all booked for the time we wanted to cruise. A friend who is a travel agent suggested we might like Ama. We booked with Ama and absolutely loved our cruise. We've done 3 river cruises with Ama, and hope to do another in 2020. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had been on many ocean cruises, but never a river cruise. Booked a Baltic Sea cruise that ended in Amsterdam and decided, since we had made the trip across the Atlantic anyway, let's try a river cruise. We knew nothing about ... Read More
We had been on many ocean cruises, but never a river cruise. Booked a Baltic Sea cruise that ended in Amsterdam and decided, since we had made the trip across the Atlantic anyway, let's try a river cruise. We knew nothing about river cruise lines, and, in fact, looked for a Viking river cruise simply because we had traveled on Viking ocean cruises. Viking had nothing available, so the travel agent convinced us to try AmaWaterways. The AmaMora happened to be available on the dates we needed. In other words, we lucked into a great experience. I can only rate our experience on this ship and have no other river cruise to compare it to, but don't know how any other ship on any other line could have been as nice. The food was great; there was a choice of included excursions, and our choices worked extremely well for us and were great. We knew the ship was new, but when we booked the cruise and got the itinerary, nothing was included about a christening cruise. AmaWaterways ownership apparently decided the cruise we took was at the right time to christen the ship, so that found its way into our itinerary. A bonus for us. The food was much better than on the ocean cruise we had just left. The ship was immaculate, the service was perfect, and the staff all wore a perpetual smile on both their faces and in the voices. (You can read my review of our ocean cruise on the Holland America Rotterdam and find that I don't always offer rave reviews.) This was a truly exceptional experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The previous review by Mr Polich in June, was exactly our experiance in July. The boat was our first disappointment, painted a depressing brown,(not the boat shown on Ama as the Amadouro) Being pnly four months old, we also found ... Read More
The previous review by Mr Polich in June, was exactly our experiance in July. The boat was our first disappointment, painted a depressing brown,(not the boat shown on Ama as the Amadouro) Being pnly four months old, we also found the interior disappointingly old fashioned in design. And here in lies the problem, Douro Azur build, own and staff all the boats on the Douro ,and obviously turn them all out the same, the furnishings, restaurant runnings ,etc are parallel whether you are on Viking Ama, or other boats. The staff are employed by Douro Azur on 9 month contracts, so may have worked on lesser boats previously, and answer to their Douro Azur hotel manager All this said the staff were excellent (with only a couple of exceptions) Big shout out to Antonio who cared for our cabin, and Pedro, with his sunny personality, who gave excellent care in the restaurant. The cabin (french window) was fine, lots of storage. The restaurant was pretty with some tables for two which we really appreciated. Sip and Sail only operated 5 nights, of the seven. The first night we were only offered one glass of sparkling wine, similarly the last night captains cocktail party was just wine. Breakfast and lunch were excellent, but unfortunately dinner was a let down.Long wait for courses with some courses inedible. Not La Chaine des rotisseur standard by a long chalk. On day two the hotel manager was taking photoes of a wine display, completely oblivious to the fact that we were all waiting an hour for food. When I drew attention to the problem he muttered something about food having to come up in lifts. It is inexcusable that after four months they have not addressed this by bringing some starters up early, and having soup tureens in the restaurant for the waiters to serve from., thus freeing up the lifts. Be aware also that the menu is limited two starters often salad, soup, two mains, one pudding, fruit, icecream, or cheese .There is also an extra menu, of chicken, steak, salmon & chips .Note if you choose not to do the tours this is the only menu available lunch and dinner which is boring. The food at Quinta Avessada was poor, as apparently was the quinta dinner on day two, The top deck was mainly tables and chairs (but no food was ever served up there) On the one occasion that there was a waiter serving drinks, he refused to get a coffee for a gentleman with obvious walking difficulties , telling him to go down and get his own from the coffee station (there is no stair lift as on the Amavida) Appalling service which we also encountered from same bar/waiter (tall, thin greying) on an other occasion. There are only twenty eight loungers, and the usual crack of dawn towel reservers, so expect to be seated on an uncomfortable dining chair if you want to enjoy the sun. The only Ama employee was the cruise manager, who by his own admission was new to the work. I am sure he was employed for his brilliant language skills, but on the Douro Ama needs to employ someone who has hotel management skills to see the failings of the on board operation, and know how to correct, otherwise Douro Azur will continue to offer a sub standard product. All this said Porto and the Douro where fabulous, and if dinner had been as good as lunch I would be writing a very different review. Sort it out Ama this is not good for your reputation! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We went on the AmaDouro in June 2019 as part of a three week trip through Portugal. It is by far the most expensive cruise we have done....much more expensive per day than SilverSea or Seaborne. The Douro cruise was between 27% and 100% ... Read More
We went on the AmaDouro in June 2019 as part of a three week trip through Portugal. It is by far the most expensive cruise we have done....much more expensive per day than SilverSea or Seaborne. The Douro cruise was between 27% and 100% more expensive that our cruises on SilverSea and Seabourne. We are happy to pay for quality, but we expect companies to live up to their promise. The Douro River was beautiful and the locks were amazing. This cruise is probably better for the older crowd as there is not much walking except in Porto. There are no bicycling excursions. And there is a LOT of food. Also be aware that the boat quite often docks with boats on either side; this means you have another cabin just outside your cabin! So needless to say, no view. Also be aware that the dock may be the same height as your cabin, so be sure to be dressed (or curtains pulled) when docking! The boat was new and the cabins were standard river boat cabins. A bit of a tight squeeze to get in the desk seat. The excursions and the guides were good. The food was good, with plenty of healthy options. There were some excellent shows on board. BUT the service on the boat was seriously sub-standard, and this slowly wore us down. We had an onboard credit that took a few days to resolve. What struck us was that reception were quite content to tell us that the credit wasn’t there and apparently to take no further action. It took a number of emails between us and our travel agent to resolve this. For the front desk staff, the problem was ours alone. Drinks are not included outside of meal times, so no drinks included during the shows. No herbal tea unless you walk down a deck and get it from the coffee/tea machine. Also, no room service, even for a coffee in the morning...only out of the machine. So at 6am (we woke early to get work done) we had to get dressed and walk down a deck to the coffee machine. There was virtually no service on the top deck. Generally the attitude of the staff seemed to be that they expected us to come to them. This was strange because in the rest of Portugal we had amazing service. I think with some of the staff this was a training issue; but with many it was just their attitude. I would suggest hire a small boat privately for 2-3 days on the Douro. A week is a long time...especially when the staff are not keen! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We cruised on the AmaSerena in July 2019. Our embarkation was very smooth. We were allowed on board early and had a light lunch available. Our room was excellent. We were in room 306 - we had a nice balcony and a very roomy bathroom. ... Read More
We cruised on the AmaSerena in July 2019. Our embarkation was very smooth. We were allowed on board early and had a light lunch available. Our room was excellent. We were in room 306 - we had a nice balcony and a very roomy bathroom. The dining experience was excellent. The food was great and plentiful. Plenty of options for a vegetarian in the party. We enjoyed our shore excursions, especially the option to be in the Active walker group, which gave us more (and faster) walking. Another highlight was the Wellness program. The available exercise programs helped us work off some of the good food. We had some time before our flight at the end of the trip. We were able to explore Basel, and then wait in the lounge of the ship (again with a light lunch) before we caught our ride to the airport. I would heartily recommend the Rhine cruise and the ship. Truly a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We did a cruise that combined daily biking via the Backroads company and we all thought we would have been too inactive had we not included that activity. The fitness room was only able to allow 2 persons on a treadmill and 2 on stationary ... Read More
We did a cruise that combined daily biking via the Backroads company and we all thought we would have been too inactive had we not included that activity. The fitness room was only able to allow 2 persons on a treadmill and 2 on stationary bikes at a time. The free weight set was lacking. Many of the fitness classes were not able to be held on the top deck due to weather and it was very small hosting them on the general activities floor. Wine flowed freely and I think it altered the tastebuds of most guests as the food was beautiful but really unremarkable in taste. The creme soups all tasted the same and the cookies were terrible. Seasoning was lacking but perhaps they try and downplay the salt because of heath. Serving size was small which was smart for the various courses. They did accommodate food allergies, gluten free, etc. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Wanted to sail on the Rhine River. Great ship, service and scenery! Food was delicious and service impeccable! Cabin was so nice, small but great balcony and a place for everything. Our Cruise Manager, Marcus, was the best! He took great ... Read More
Wanted to sail on the Rhine River. Great ship, service and scenery! Food was delicious and service impeccable! Cabin was so nice, small but great balcony and a place for everything. Our Cruise Manager, Marcus, was the best! He took great care of our group and made sure we were all where we were supposed to be. Entertainment was super as well as lectures about our destinations! Will certainly look to go with AMA again! The pre-cruise days in Zurich and Lucerne were great even though there was a heat wave in Europe. Especially loved Lucerne-beautiful and the hotel was great-right on the lake. Only negative of the whole trip was day of embarking in Basel. Got to HOT Basel and everything was closed -nothing to see or do. Had to walk to the boat in 100degree sun. Very difficult. Perhaps, in the future, don’t get to Basel until time to board. Other than that, everything was great! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
After thoroughly researching river cruises for a year, I chose this AmaMagna cruise to celebrate our’s and three other close couple friends’ 50 th wedding anniversaries. We also had another close couple who decided to join us for ... Read More
After thoroughly researching river cruises for a year, I chose this AmaMagna cruise to celebrate our’s and three other close couple friends’ 50 th wedding anniversaries. We also had another close couple who decided to join us for their honeymoon, as well as three other close couple friends. I knew the ship would be beautiful, but it is even more impressive than we thought it would be. With Captain Wijnand Korvemaker officiating, we renewed our wedding vows in the beautiful area in front of the bridge and were treated to a special celebration brunch , arranged by our fabulous cruise director, Mariana. I can’t begin to compliment enough every single staff member we met. Everyone made sure we all had a wonderful time. The food and wines throughout the week were always delicious, varied, and wonderfully presented. We enjoyed The Chef’s Table, Jimmy's Wine Bar and Restaurant , Al Fresco, as well as the Main Restaurant. After saying how much I loved the soups throughout the week, someone in reception delivered recipes for them to my room. The ship is beautifully furnished and decorated , spacious, and always spotlessly clean. Our king bed was very comfortable. We had plenty of storage room in our cabin. The Danube itinerary is great. Our guides for our excursions were all local, very welcoming and informative, and anxious to have us love their villages and cities as much as they did. Our guide to Melk Monastery, Lisa Koark, was especially great. For about half the excursions, it was nice to have buses transport us to the major sites. We started in Prague and ended in Budapest, two of the most charming cities we’ve ever visited. Our optional Mozart & Strauss concert in Vienna was well worth leaving the ship that evening. We were treated to a typical goulash dinner, complete with a Fourth of July cake, upon our return. The nightly Sip and Sail time before dinner was great, as was David, our DJ in the lounge each evening. We didn’t have time to do everything that was offered. Embarkation went very smoothly; ladies were greeted with a rose. Disembarkation was very organized; Kinga, in reception, graciously arranged our transportation for us. We all loved everything about our cruise! We’ve traveled for 40 years and think this is our very favorite vacation. We’d gladly go on AmaMagna again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Wanted to see Provence when chance to see lavender in bloom. Chose AMAWaterways based on price. Travel solo and while still paid single supplement the promotion going was the best deal for the time could go. Did not do pre or post ... Read More
Wanted to see Provence when chance to see lavender in bloom. Chose AMAWaterways based on price. Travel solo and while still paid single supplement the promotion going was the best deal for the time could go. Did not do pre or post cruise package. Cruise only. Did pre-cruise time in Paris on own. Purchased transfer from Paris to Lyon from AMA. Worked great. Met group at hotel for transfer to train station and ride to Lyon. From that moment entire vacation great. First stop in Lyon was a cooking class. Lot of fun. Because visiting during heatwave the cafe/school geared lessons things that did not require lot of 'cooking'. Cabin on ship was fine. Had a single cabin. The bed was small/single but worked ok. French balcony. Service excellent all around. Had a good cruise manager in Dragan. Our captain was very personable and friendly. I enjoyed the quality and variety of the food presented. I liked that the walking tours offered different levels of activity. There were active walker groups and gentle walker groups. I joined gentle walkers and felt that saw enough of given sights without stressing about keeping up with the group. Appreciate that crew helped bring luggage to top of ramp when disembarking. Entertainment different as jazz dagen group had their own. The excursions offered were fun. The ones I attended: Walking tour of Vienn plus little train to panoramic view--Enjoyed the view. Interesting through trip to discover so many vestiges of ancient Roman influence Steam train--Beautiful scenery. Kind of short ride. Forgot the smell of burning coal and the cinders/soot. Still recommend because of beauty. Truffle farm--A Highlight. Owner Serge and his truffle hunting dog Aimee. Such personality. Beaujolais village and wine tasting Arles-light show in quarry-van Gogh plus asylum visit--Light show was fantastic. Arles- van Gogh featured walking tour Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Background information: I picked this cruise because I wanted to revisit the places I had been on a trip I made in 1964, and I took my 18 year old granddaughter with me because she wanted to see France and practice her French. She had ... Read More
Background information: I picked this cruise because I wanted to revisit the places I had been on a trip I made in 1964, and I took my 18 year old granddaughter with me because she wanted to see France and practice her French. She had been on 2 cruises prior to this and I had been on 30 cruises. One of my prior cruises was on AmaViola which was a newer AmaWaterways ship with a pool. The AmaCello was an older ship. I use a mobility scooter because I cannot walk very far, and although the crew on the ships are most helpful, it is sometimes difficult to get on and off the ships with a scooter. The actual cruise on AmaCello went from Lyon to Arles, with two days in Paris at the start and an option of two days in Barcelona at the end. I decided to arrive in Paris four days before the tour. We flew in to Charles de Gaulle airport - arriving on 20 June, and our travel agent arranged for us to be picked up and taken to the hotel. HOTEL: We stayed in the same hotel as the AmaCello groups were staying in. Originally this was to be the Renaissance Arc de Triomphe but we were switched to the Renaissance La Parc Trocadero. I think the switch was because there was a large Jazz group on this cruise and they filled up the first hotel. The hotel had three steps up to the lobby - they had a small lift for wheelchairs but it was awkward because I had to have staff assistance to use it. It had to be unlocked both at the top and bottom. Normally I went in to my room through the garden (which was a cool relaxing space) because there were no steps. The hotel had handicapped rooms (with a shower instead of a tub) but they were all doubles. I didn't want to sleep with my granddaughter, so I got a rollaway bed Breakfast was included and it was more than adequate, and we also got room service twice and ate in the restaurant which had delicious food. Our travel agent (who was with Vacations To Go) also arranged a private tour of Paris, a trip to the Louvre and the Catacombs, and a Riverboat cruise dinner. On our own we visited the Musee d'Orsay and L'Orangerie, and I booked a walking tour of the Left Bank with a company called Discover Walks. The rest of the group came in on June 24th. We had a meeting with our Cruise Director Dragan Reljic that evening. Paris was in the middle of a unusual heat wave where the temperature would be over 100 deg. F. EMBARKATION was 27 June. We were to take the high speed train from Paris to Lyon. Initially I was told that I would have to ship my scooter with the luggage and that I would have to walk to the train. After I flatly refused to do that, they figured out that there were elevators in the station, and Dragan took us (my granddaughter and me) to the elevators. In Lyon we got on a bus and there was an arrangement for us to cook and eat some food and then walk or take a shuttle to the ship in Lyon. But it was way too hot to do that, so most of us just went directly to the ship. At the ship, they had a buffet for us while we were waiting for our rooms, and quite quickly, we could get into the room and unpack. We had a meeting to do the safety briefing - the Captain kept us laughing and then Dragan talked to us about the schedule. When the meeting was over, all the women got roses. There was a vase in the cabin for us to put the roses in DINING: The dining room is on the lowest deck. For awhile the door to exit into the dining room would not open and this was a problem for me. After a day or so they figured out a manual override, but I always had to wait for someone to let me out (or for the person with the key to let me in). The food at dinner was excellent. Breakfast and Lunch were mainly a buffet. I absolutely cannot do a buffet. There's no room for the scooter, the food is almost too high for me to see, and if I get something, I can't carry it. If my granddaughter was with me, she could sometimes bring me food from the buffet, and sometimes the waiters would help me. The food was good, it was just hard for me to get. ACTIVITIES and ENTERTAINMENT There was a gym and Alex was the guy doing the exercise classes. There were nightly concerts, which in the case of this cruise were often Jazz performances. Neither the ship nor any of the hotels had a pool, which was a big disappointment to me. I normally do my exercises in a pool for a hour three or four times a week. My health deteriorates when I can't get into a pool. This ship only had a hot tub. I did go up on the Sunshine Deck once and sat there in the shade and enjoyed the breeze. SERVICE: In all aspects, excellent. PORT and SHORE EXCURSIONS PARIS: Most people arrived on 24 June. On June 25th, we had two tours. First an overview of Paris in the morning. And in the evening we had an evening illumination tour - first they took us up to Sacre Coeur where we could have dinner on our own. Then we went down the funicular, and got back on the bus. We got to the Eiffel tower a little before 11:00 - just in time for the sparkling light show. The next day (June 26th) we had on our own but then our cruise director Dragan Reljic had arranged an optional visit to a dinner show cabaret up on Montmartre. This was really a terrific show and a lot of fun. LYON: There was a Bike Tour, but my granddaughter can't ride a bike, and a City Tour which my granddaughter took. They went up to the Basilica and did some of what my granddaughter called "secret passageways" (Traboules) She enjoyed this tour. It was too hot for me to go BEAUJOLAIS: Neither of us took this excursion because we are not interested in wine tasting. VIENNE: The Mount Pipet hike was my granddaughters favorite tour. She said: The view of the city was spectacular. Vienne is definitely my favorite of the places we have visited so far. It’s beautiful and quiet with more story to it than it seems. Vienne is the underdog city. TOURNON: Steam Train RIde: This was the first tour that I did, and it was a really nice ride up the gorge and back. We went through tunnels, and then at the top, the engine turned around and went to the other end of the train to pull us back down the mountain. I went to the little museum at the end of the train trip. AVIGNON: My granddaughter did the Pont du Gard (aqueduct) tour and then the visit to the Truffle farm, both of which she enjoyed. Dragan arranged for me to get a taxi, and the taxi took me up to Las Baux, and to the Les Remy Antiquities, to King Rene's palace and then around to the Pope's Palace ARLES: We went on the Camargue and Aigues-Mortes tour and this was a disappointment. For some reason I thought we would see some of the Camargue horses, and we did, but just through the bus window. We did see lots of sunflowers and the bus stopped so we could get out and take photos. Then my granddaughter went on the Van Gogh walking tour. She felt that she knew more about it than the guide. Also it was very hot. BARCELONA: I have been to Barcelona before, but I had not seen the old city nor had I been into the Sagrada Familia. So we made a reservation for the Sagrada Familia for 12:15 which I thought would be at the end of the "Best of Barcelona" tour. Be the tour had been rearranged so after we saw the Gothic Quarter, we got a taxi to the Sagrada Familia. It was an amazing experience. The following day my granddaughter did the Mountains and Abbey of Montserrat excursion, which I think she enjoyed. DISEMBARKATION: Some people got off the ship in Arles but we were going on to Barcelona. So first we went to Nimes, where we had a nice tour, and some free time so we could buy lavender honey. That part of the day was good. We got to the train station and first we had to change platforms for the train and then we had maybe 6 minutes to get everyone and their hand luggage (and the scooter) onto the train. The train had two levels, and I was blocked getting to my seat in a timely manner because someone was getting another person settled and wouldn't get out of the aisle. We finally got to our seats which were facing another couple which means you have no room for your feet like in a regular seat. Although you have someone to talk to. There was no real provision for lunch, but my granddaughter went and got me a sandwich. I ate it, but it was soggy. I hate soggy bread. Then the train stopped in a station and just stayed there for a hour. The A/C was not keeping up. It was hot. We got to Barcelona about a hour late. HOTEL in Barcelona - It was another Renaissance. Other people got handicapped rooms with a shower, but I did not. They had to scramble around to find one that had a shower, and, as before it had a double bed. I got a rollaway. My granddaughter loved this hotel. She said it was fancy. The bathroom has one of those rain shower heads and a button IN the mirror that turns on this LED light around one part of it. At one point it got really really cold in the room, and I had to turn off the A/C and the fan because it was blowing cold air on me. I opened the window and let the sun warm up the room a little. SUMMARY: It was very hot, but that (and the non-working bow camera) was almost the only flaw in this cruise. The cruise director was great, the service was excellent, the food was good, and there was a good variety of excursions and things to do. When I didn't go on an excursion I could sit on the bow and take photos (until it got to hot, and then I could go to my room and take photos) Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Wonderful staff. Our cruise manager Luis was just the best. A warm, wonderful young man who worked very hard to take care of all of his guests. And we really enjoyed our tour guide Rivas. This was our 11th cruise and I thought that the ... Read More
Wonderful staff. Our cruise manager Luis was just the best. A warm, wonderful young man who worked very hard to take care of all of his guests. And we really enjoyed our tour guide Rivas. This was our 11th cruise and I thought that the food was the best that we have had on a cruise ship. However we didn’t like food on a shore excursion to a Quinta in Regua. Cruising the Duoro is exceptionally beautiful and relaxing. I would highly recommend this itinerary,. We enjoyed all of the shore excursions and the extensions in Madrid and Lisbon. The demographic on our cruise was mostly 65+. There was wine, wine and more wine. Many of the shore excursions included a port wine tasting including morning excursions. Wine was freely poured at both lunch and dinner and gratis cocktails were served in the bar during the hour before dinner. I have never seen so many people of a certain age drink so much but it was very good wine. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My first river cruise experience was pretty good, They include wines and beers at dinner. The wines are not all of good quality but they are not bad. They include a happy hour an one hour before dinner, but the bartenders don't know ... Read More
My first river cruise experience was pretty good, They include wines and beers at dinner. The wines are not all of good quality but they are not bad. They include a happy hour an one hour before dinner, but the bartenders don't know how to make drinks. They are very bad preparing drinks and they get upset if I return the drink. Better change for beer or wine before returning the drink. The gym is very small, but nobody uses. Only 2 bicycles and a machine, not weights. The breakfasts are good and the staff serving the restaurant are excellent. We travel with a group of 44 people, so we had a great time on excursions. We paid on the cruise to see a folk dance that would be in an opera building, but the dance was done in a super small room with uncomfortable chairs and without air conditioning, The truth is not worth paying at the dance show cruises in the opera buildings because they only accommodate you in small rooms. The same thing happened to us in the Baltic cruise, it pays dearly for what they give. The room service was quite bad, even one day they put broken sheets on the bed.I had to look for soap because they never left another soap in the bathroom The dinners are very good. DO NOT pay for the Cheff Table, it is not worth paying, even the wine served was three dollars. It is a totally different experience than sea cruises. Very expensive cruise for what they offer. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
AmaWaterways does a great job with their attention to detail and overseeing all logistics to help assure a stress free travel experience. The new ship, AmaMagna is exquisite with 4 dining room options and a wine bar. Hopefully, this ... Read More
AmaWaterways does a great job with their attention to detail and overseeing all logistics to help assure a stress free travel experience. The new ship, AmaMagna is exquisite with 4 dining room options and a wine bar. Hopefully, this vessel will serve as a paradigm for all future Ama ships. Their forte lies in their shore excursions and tour guides. All guides are true experts in their respective subjects, while being respectful and open to questions. The staff on board are obviously trained with an emphasis on courtesy and attention to the voyager. The food was very good(not excellent)-we preferred the quality of the breakfast and lunches to those of the dinners. They do attempt to sprinkle in some local cuisine choices. The cruise director was a true gem. He was the point man that allowed this trip to be exceptional. Ama should be blessed to have John Riley on their staff. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had a wonderful time on the AmaCello in the south of France. The ship, cuisine, crew, staff, excursions, and scenery were excellent. This was only our second river cruise, the other being with Crystal, and we found Ama to be very ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on the AmaCello in the south of France. The ship, cuisine, crew, staff, excursions, and scenery were excellent. This was only our second river cruise, the other being with Crystal, and we found Ama to be very good, with the Crystal cruise being better in most every way, but of course, at a higher price point. This Ama cruise was just a notch below Crystal, but a better value, and every element was fantastic, so you can't go wrong with Ama. SHIP: I had read that the AmaCello was older, but there were no signs of that at all. It was clean, modern, classy, spacious, functional, well laid out, very nice. River cruise rooms are smaller than ocean ships, and these were smaller than Crystal's, but again, at a lower cost. I am 6'-8"/203cm, so I could not stand up in half the ship, especially the shower (which was tiny), but I was expecting that and an average or tall person will have no problems. Everything on board was comfortable and luxurious. There wasn't a big screen TV in the cabin, but there was a Mac computer that doubled as a screen, so that was a win/win. A little small, but we actually watched a couple of on-demand movies and it was fine. Bed & linens were comfy, french balcony was nice- good to be able to open it from floor to ceiling and sit there admiring the view and breeze while cruising the waterways. The fitness room was adequate and it even had a sauna that my wife used a number of times. There were a few cardio machines and just a few free weights. The heaviest weight was so light I had to put two dumbbells in each hand to get a sufficient weight workout, but I did it. There was a spa for massages, but we never got one. CUISINE: All the meals were top notch and wonderfully presented by the hard working and friendly staff. River ships have smaller galleys and staff than ocean ships so there is a more limited selection of what they can do, so the cuisine lacks the wow factor of ocean ships, but everything was gourmet and delicious. Compared to Crystal, which has a larger galley and more staff on their river ships, Crystal was a significant notch better, but Ama's food was wonderful and we were very pleased with every meal, drink, and snack. Crystal offers more sugar-free and gluten-free options, however. ama was very accommodating with my wife's food allergies. STAFF: The AmaCello staff were wonderful, friendly, delightful, and helpful in every way. Compared to Crystal, which has a much higher staff to customer ratio, I sensed that everyone was spread more thinly and had to work harder, but they did that all with aplomb. Where Ama exceeded Crystal was with their marvelous cruise director Cesario Santos who was with the group in the hotel in Paris before the cruise, took us on the train to Lyon, then on the ship, and then traveled with the guests on the train to Barcelona for the extra days after the cruise. This was a very nice touch that other cruise lines do not offer and it was very welcome. Cesario worked day and night, hammering out details, serving the customer, he was truly excellent and made me want to travel with Ama again. I had even left my coat in the hotel in Paris and Cesario immediately had it shipped to our next stop for me. Truly excellent service. CAPTAIN/PILOT: Our captain or his pilot did manage to bang the ship into a few pilings or river locks on the trip, in fact, they smashed into someone's room breaking the window and denting the whole french balcony. That couple had to be moved down to a below water level room. I think the captain got removed from the ship at the end of the cruise judging from his farewell speech. No one was hurt and the cruise was not impeded, and everyone was amused by it except the displaced couple. ENTERTAINMENT: There's not much entertainment on a river cruise due to space and staff issues, and that's fine. Compared to an ocean cruise where there is so much it can be exhausting, the river cruise model is more laid back. The AmaCello had nice pianists and DJs and such, and some musical guests, all who were good. EXCURSIONS: From the trip from Paris to the ship and all the excursions during the week (all the cruise excursions were included in the price), every one was fantastic, seamlessly integrated with the ship, informative, interesting, luxurious, really great. The Rhone Valley and Provence are simply beautiful, and the cities and towns are wonderful. They would be even more spectacular in the summer when the lavender blooms, but everything was so picturesque, we were delighted. The village of Grignan is a must-see, simply the most picturesque village I can remember anywhere. The Papal Palace in Avignon is well worth it, and the Carrières de Lumières show in Arles in an underground rock quarry is an amazing and mesmerizing experience that you shouldn't miss. If you continue on to Barcelona, the Basílica de la Sagrada Família is one of the most spectacular sights in all the world and is a must-see. So, we would highly recommend the AmaCello. Everything was top notch without breaking the bank. A highly enjoyable, luxurious vacation with all the details taken care of by a superb staff. We will definitely go on another Ama cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My mom treated my sister, my daughter and myself to a 7 day cruise- Europe's Rivers & Castles. We ranged from 76 years young to 14 years old. While my daughter was the youngest on the cruise she still had an amazing experience. ... Read More
My mom treated my sister, my daughter and myself to a 7 day cruise- Europe's Rivers & Castles. We ranged from 76 years young to 14 years old. While my daughter was the youngest on the cruise she still had an amazing experience. We arrived 4 days before the ship set sail. We stayed in Nuremburg, rented a car to explore Bayreuth, Rothenburg and Nuremburg on our own. We took a taxi to the dock. From when we were greeted dockside until we were escorted to the airport at the end of our trip we received amazing service. The staff was excellent: they remembered what we liked to drink in the morning, what we liked to eat or what we were allergic to and were very quick to make sure our trip was enjoyable. The cruise director/manager made sure that our tours in each port were well organized. There were a variety of options from sedate to adventurous each day. You could sleep in and cruise with the ship. You could get up early and work out with their wellness coach. You could ride bikes from port to port, climb hills to see castles or tour the city/town with a knowledgeable guide. Our favorite tour was to the Residenze Palace in Wurtzburg- stunning inside and out. Enjoyed extra time at end of tour to look around Wurtzburg on our own. One night a lock was broken so we could not travel as originally planned. The captain and cruise director were able to adjust our schedule and still allow us to cruise along the Rhine Gorge to see all of the castles during day light hours. I was very impressed with their ability to adjust and adapt with minimal disruption to the passengers. The food was delicious with the morning pastries and lunch time homemade ice cream being a favorite. The Chef's Table was phenomenal and a must on this cruise. We has so much fun that we are planning our next cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We sailed on the AmaKristina from Basel to Amsterdam. The cruise line was recommended by a long-time friend and travel agent. We had sailed with Ama last October, but low river levels prevented us from sailing north of Strasbourg (we ... Read More
We sailed on the AmaKristina from Basel to Amsterdam. The cruise line was recommended by a long-time friend and travel agent. We had sailed with Ama last October, but low river levels prevented us from sailing north of Strasbourg (we were bussed from there via Luxembourg to Antwerp where we met the ship sailing from Amsterdam). Ama took good care of us and gave us a cruise credit for what wa had paid. Wanting to experience the same great service and the same itinerary we had previously missed, we returned to basel this May for the same trip. The service was top notch and we loved getting to know the Cruise manager David and the Hotel Manager Eduard. The only down side I can think of was the firmness of the mattresses was a bit too hard for our comfort. Eduard indicated that could be fixed, but we were already halfway into the trip before we asked so kept it unchanged. Next time, we will ask about this as quickly as we can. We loved the new excursion at Breisach, a hike in the Black Forest. Because we had experienced Strasbourg just the year before, a different tour option would have been nice. But Strasbourg has so much to offer we were content to do this walk again. Bonus was tickets at the end of the walk to experience the Strasbourg Cathedral Clock in action (limited number of tickets are made available each day, and Ama landed these for their passengers). We would gladly do Ama again, and have made the deposit for a future cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Where do I start, from the time we stepped onto the AmaDante till the time we left we could not have asked for a better time on this ship. The Captain Raul did a great job maneuvering the ship and has an excellent staff. The cruise ... Read More
Where do I start, from the time we stepped onto the AmaDante till the time we left we could not have asked for a better time on this ship. The Captain Raul did a great job maneuvering the ship and has an excellent staff. The cruise manager also named Raul was awesome. He managed all the excursions and everything could not have gone any smoother. My spouse cannot walk very fast and he would walk behind sometimes to keep him company which was greatly appreciated. Raul was with us from start to end as our trip started in Prague and ending in Paris. If you read this review Raul thank you for all you do and did for me and my spouse to make this trip really special. And thanks to the AmaWaterways AmaDante family for making our trip so very special from dining with the Captain to our anniversary celebration with cake and music, to the warm towels when we came back from excursions and flavored teas when it was cold outside and a few times raining. Let me now say a few words about the meals OMG the food, the cheeses, the breads, deserts, entrees all so wonderful, thank you maître d Edward for making it possible to get a lunch meal also available for dinner (suckling pig)! Now I cannot finish before saying something about the ships hotel manager Zhivko such a very nice, funny guy we we all enjoyed on the cruise. If you are thinking about going on a river cruise please consider AmaWaterways for your next cruise you will not be disappointed, they try and make it a wonderful, unforgettable cruise from the food, service, excursions, on ship entertainment to all the amenities they offer. Can't wait for the day we get to go on our second cruise with AmaWaterways Read Less
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