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1 Helpful Vote
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
2 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
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
6 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
3 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The AMA Stella is a great ship with an even greater staff. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this cruise. The shore excursions were well organized & there was a good variety of them. Food was generally quite good although the osso ... Read More
The AMA Stella is a great ship with an even greater staff. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this cruise. The shore excursions were well organized & there was a good variety of them. Food was generally quite good although the osso buco left something to be desired. I will give a shout out to Michaela from Romania who is a great bartender/waitress. All wait staff was friendly & did a good job. AMA provided many extra nice touches such as welcome gifts & candy or other treats brought by Boyan the cruise manager to the guests while on shore excursions. Boyan also deserves a shout out! The one hour open bar before dinner was an extra we haven’t had on other cruises. Everything was first class even though we were in one of the least expensive cabins. We have already put a deposit down on a future cruise. So we will be traveling with AMA again soon! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We just returned from our first European river cruise. Having only been on ocean cruises in the past, we weren’t sure how this vacation would compare. We absolutely loved it! Our cabin was small, but extremely efficient and clean! ... Read More
We just returned from our first European river cruise. Having only been on ocean cruises in the past, we weren’t sure how this vacation would compare. We absolutely loved it! Our cabin was small, but extremely efficient and clean! Our housekeeper, Gigel (George) was amazing and did an awesome job of keeping our cabin spotless every day. Martina, the cruise manager, was exceptional-bright, witty, entertaining, kind, compassionate, and full of boundless energy! She greeted us with enthusiasm on our first day of our pre-cruise land package in Switzerland and seemed to effortlessly take care of us from that point on. Honestly, the trip wouldn’t have been near as fun without her-she is absolutely amazing-so personable and what a gift she has for history! Our group all agreed that she made the trip so wonderful for all the passengers. Martina was so good with those that needed extra assistance and related to the thirty somethings and everyone in between just as easily. She was always available and we started to wonder, when does this girl sleep?! Overall the ship was in great shape. I think it is one of AMA’s older vessels, but it didn’t show it. Our cabin’s bathroom was small, but pristine and very up to date. The water pressure was amazing and the shower had nice fixtures. Our cruise was a wine cruise so we had additional wine tastings on and off the ship which were fun, interesting, entertaining, and very enjoyable. We also had an amazing beer tasting in Cologne. We enjoyed all the ports and shore excursions. We were wishing we could have spent more time in Strasbourg along with most of the ports because the villages and cities were lovely. We were very satisfied with the onboard entertainment. A couple of nights they brought in local entertainment. (Musicians) Everyone always seemed to be enjoying themselves in the evening whether just listening to the music, dancing, visiting with newly made friends, or playing cards. There was music and dancing every night in the lounge. But, if you are looking for ocean cruise type entertainment, you will probably be disappointed. We were pleased with the food. A couple of nights we chose the fish entree and compared to the meat entree, the portion size seemed rather small. That was our only complaint about the food. Breakfast is a huge buffet with a made to order omelette station OR you can order off a menu. I had the eggs Benedict for breakfast from the menu one day. Lunch is also buffet, but you can order pizza or a burger from the menu. I had a burger and fries several times and it was very good. Dinner was delightful as well aside from the fish portions I alluded to earlier. And you can always order a steak or salmon if you don’t like the main offerings. I had the salmon one night and it was wonderful. One evening the appetizer was duck and it was amazing. Another night the entree was veal cheeks and they were so tender and delicious. Our group also dined at the Chef’s Table on the last night and it was such a fun and satisfying experience!l For those passengers who want to workout while on the cruise, the ship has its own personal trainer who was great, but not pushy! I would definitely recommend this cruise. We boarded the ship in Basel and went north on the Rhine to Amsterdam. The day we went through the Rhine River gorge,where many castles are located near the banks, Martina provided amazing historical commentary over the ship’s speaker system. We learned so much from Martina and our expert guides on the shore excursions! Overall, the entire staff on the AmaDante is amazing. They work tirelessly and long hours to ensure that everyone has an awesome cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first river cruise. When traveling, I prefer to stay in luxury hotels and spas. Prior to the cruise, I was anxious about the quality and space onboard, since I had read many reviews of small cabin space. We opted for the suite ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. When traveling, I prefer to stay in luxury hotels and spas. Prior to the cruise, I was anxious about the quality and space onboard, since I had read many reviews of small cabin space. We opted for the suite upgrade and was given suite 304. I was pleasantly surprised at the space and finishes. We were given little extra tokens of appreciation such as in room champagne upon arrival, ama logo travel bags and luggage tags, Ama scarf and ama cap. These were nice little surprises that made us feel appreciated. There were numerous small things that they did for us that made us feel like family and that we mattered. The saying that people may forget what you say and do but never forget about how they make you feel, is so true with this ship. The entire staff was professional and considerate. Our bathroom had both a full sized tub and a smaller shower. The shower was a little tight for my husband as he is 6’3” and a big guy but he managed. The tub was full length and comfortable. We had both a French and traditional balcony. It was too chilly to sit on the balcony but would be nice in warmer weather. We had a computer and a wall of closet space. Very limited drawer space but plenty of hanging space and shelving The Amaserna is a beautiful boat. The interior looks new and well cared for. Due to staying busy with tours, food and finding new friends, We didn’t use the spa or small gym. They also have a small hair salon.a nice walking track and heated pool which were on the top deck. We were told they offer fitness classes in the top deck during warmer weather. The captain was pleasant and efficient. We had no issues with docking, locks or travels. The food was good and at times exceptional. The chefs table was a nice surprise and a fun and excellent dining experience. The breakfast was standard and good. I didn’t have lunch any day on the ship. We were constantly offered food - early breakfast, breakfast and late breakfast, lunch, tea time, sip and sail, dinner, and late night snack! Plus, we are at the Christmas Markets or stopped in small cafes in town. The tours were small groups of around 10-15 people. They offered active, regular and gentle walkers. My husband was having hip pain. So, a few days we did the gentle walker and it was so nice to have door to door service to and from the Abbey and Churches. We were given audiovox headphones to hear the tour guides. This was helpful. We could move away to make pictures while still hearing what they were saying. Of course, there was never enough time at any location. But, this was a 7 day cruise and we had 7 days of towns and cites to visit. It was nice that we were given the opportunity In Linz to (1) stay entire day in Linz (2) short Linz tour and half day excursion to Salzburg (3) full day In Salzburg. (4) morning in Linz and excursion to Chesky Krumlov I wanted to do all of them but chose the morning in Linz and half day to Salzburg. Great choice for us. On board entertainment was what I expected. Not the best and not the worst. We had a pianoman full time and some “lock hoppers” who hopped on board between the dam locks and provided unique local entertainment. We had a trio of classical musicans, “Von Trapp family of singing and dancing, lastly a one man acoustic guitar rock and roll oldies entertainer. These were fine and what one would expect on a small boat. Our transfers to and from the airport were easy and the staff was helpful. We had someone at the airports (arrival and departure) from Ama who helped with our luggage and finding our way to checkin and to security. Overall, it was a great experience and makes us want to do it again with Ama. If we had planned to visit all these cities and towns with tours and food , the cost would’ve been so much more. Currently, we are planning our next trip with Ama Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose the Magical Christmas markets to see Vienna, Salzburg, and Nürnberg, to enjoy some Christkindlmarkts, and to acquaint ourselves with river cruising. Ama has work to do. The cruise administration as we approached our travel ... Read More
We chose the Magical Christmas markets to see Vienna, Salzburg, and Nürnberg, to enjoy some Christkindlmarkts, and to acquaint ourselves with river cruising. Ama has work to do. The cruise administration as we approached our travel date was disrupted by the Woolsey Fire in the San Fernando Valley, where Ama is headquartered. Ama needs better contingency plans if they are going to stay in the Valley. Fires in Calabasas, from my youth in Woodland Hills, are NOT uncommon. We were impacted by the water levels of the Danube. Our cruise was shortened from Nürnberg to Vilshofen, and, after we boarded, to Passau. We missed one of the best Christkindlmarkts in all Europe. I recognize Ama is a hotelier, a restaraunteur, and a ship line, but they need better decisionmaking on how to make the traveller's experience the best possible. That includes leaving ship if need be. The sailing plan? OMW. On Monday, for reasons known only to Ama, we left Vienna for Tulin. Guess what? Everything was closed. DUMB. Then, at 11 at night, we sailed back to Vienna to berth in the nest of ships again. Better to have spent another day in Vienna, and help us see more of that great city. Speaking of bad calls, let's talk about Sunday. There were three ships abreast at Handelskai that morning. Three sets of busses, and no one on shore to direct us to which group of busses. We showed our color coded ticket, and the guide said "This is your bus." Welllllll .... no it wasn't. It was the bus of another ship to Bratislava. You need passports for that tour. Turned out a third of the people on that bus were from our ship, misdirected to it instead of the bus for the Eisenstadt tour. It's late fall, early winter. It was raining most days, so the upper outdoor deck was unusable. The lounge was a hospitable place, with free coffee and tea at all hours. I discuss our cabin elsewhere. The dining? Superb. An advantage Ama has over Windstar and their ocean sailings is the free wine and beer at mealtime. I liked that! Service? Superb. Yes, I paid the expected crew's gratuity, and then some, but I also gave some to my cabin housekeeper and two of the waiters. They deserved it. Vienna and Salzburg are grand cities, worthy of much more time than the cruise could provide. We will be back. Overall, this COULD HAVE BEEN A FIVE BUBBLE CRUISE. The administrative and logistics decision cost it points. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This cruise exceeded my expectations! The staff and crew were fabulous, especially Nick Hartog, our cruise manager. Our cabin was amazing, and our housekeeper (Vlad) kept it immaculate. Service in the dining room was attentive and kind. ... Read More
This cruise exceeded my expectations! The staff and crew were fabulous, especially Nick Hartog, our cruise manager. Our cabin was amazing, and our housekeeper (Vlad) kept it immaculate. Service in the dining room was attentive and kind. Everything went smoothly--even when river water levels were low and we had to make some adjustments to sail the Rhine River Gorge. I am not a lover of guided tours, and I often find the guides on trips like this to be a bit boorish and sometimes sexist in their remarks. We had a couple guides who disappointed, but a few who were great. I enjoy going off on my own more often--especially to the beer destinations for our beer tours. (Breweries and bars were great fun with our group!) I appreciated the healthy and vegetarian options in the dining room, but would suggest that you allow more of a cross-over here by designing healthy vegetarian. (i.e.: fewer carbs and better protein choices.) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise as a group cruise to see the sites of the Rhine River (and Castles of course). We departed Central Florida Friday evening on a non-stop flight to Amsterdam arriving Saturday morning. After checking into Hotel ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a group cruise to see the sites of the Rhine River (and Castles of course). We departed Central Florida Friday evening on a non-stop flight to Amsterdam arriving Saturday morning. After checking into Hotel Estherea, we all went out exploring the city. On Sunday we had arranged for a private tour that took us outside of the city. We visited Marken and Edam and toured through the Beemster polder, a UNESCO heritage site and visited the collection of old water pumping windmills in Schermerhorn. On Monday, prior to going to the ship, many of our toured the Anne Frank House while others went to the Riksmuseum. We all arrived at the AmaStella at different times but, regardless of time of arrival, embarkation was a breeze. Our bags were taken as we arrived at the ship and the next time we saw them was when we went to our room. We chose a CA French Balcony cabin feeling that we may not get as much use from a true balcony as we would on ocean cruises. This worked out fine for us. The rooms aren't large but, once we were unpacked and organized, it was very manageable. We were actually surprised to see that the sliding window opens the whole width of the room. We had thought it would only be half, so that was a nice surprise. Dining was superb. Actually, there is always something to eat. Breakfast and lunch had a buffet section as well as items you could order from the menu. We ate at the Chef's Table one evening and that was amazing (too much food for me however). Service was amazing in all areas. It was fascinating to me to be on the top deck watching one of the stewards cleaning and polishing every bit of the railings and flooring. I was impressed. We did excursions in every port. That would be my only criticism of this cruise. For the walking tours they have "gentle", "regular", and "active" paced tours. We chose regular for the first three. The first one was perfect but by the third tour, we felt they were going much too slow - too much standing around talking. So in Strasbourg we chose the "active" tour and it turned out to be too active - no time to stop and take a picture or two. I think they could find a better balance, but this would in no way stop me from going again. We continued with AmaWaterways for the 4 night land extension in Switzerland. I was surprised to learn that our cruise manager (the fabulous Sonja) would be staying with us for the remainder of the trip. This part of the trip was also done very, very well. I think the group was very impressed and had a fantastic time. Next time we will do the Danube or the Douro. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Started cruise in Basel, Switzerland. Side trip to Lucerne Switzerland the day before by taking a one hour train ride from city center, easy and further the time. Took a cruise across the lake and then a tram to top of Mt Pilatus, great ... Read More
Started cruise in Basel, Switzerland. Side trip to Lucerne Switzerland the day before by taking a one hour train ride from city center, easy and further the time. Took a cruise across the lake and then a tram to top of Mt Pilatus, great experience. Both citiies fun to explore. The market areas in Basel are very nice. The staff of the Amadante very welcoming and always smiling. They all appear to enjoy people and their jobs. The crew manager Edward fantastic. He planned so much and took care of everyone’s questions or needs. The chef and dining room staff was amazing. Great history lessons about the towns and Germany from friendly tour guides on every excursion. Visited beautiful towns and tasted delicious things on culinary excursions and on our own. Met great people from around the world. We appreciated the smaller intimate number of cruisers on this size ship. It makes it inviting to create friendships. This was our first river cruise and it exceeded expectations. Interested in doing another river cruise on a future vacation. Ken and Cathy Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
i called ama 3x to book a back to back cruise w/ Normandy and Bordeau. at no time was i told this was a wine themed cruise nor that it was also a cooking cruise. Joann who has a show on PBS invited 40 0f her customers so instead of ... Read More
i called ama 3x to book a back to back cruise w/ Normandy and Bordeau. at no time was i told this was a wine themed cruise nor that it was also a cooking cruise. Joann who has a show on PBS invited 40 0f her customers so instead of enrichment lectures we had cooking demos. boring. i was on the wrong cruise. i usually cruise w/ uniworld, therefore, i am used to exceptional service, but since i had just come from Amalyra (see my review) where i was pleasantly surprised w/ outstanding service and 5 star dining. i had clear expectations of amawaterways. The ship's public rooms and my cabin were identical. the coffee machine set up in the bar served great coffee on both ships. postcards were provided, stamped and mailed, free. if u buy your own postcard they charge for a stamp, but still mail. my grandchildren luv getting postcards. even better they arrived. Uniworld and Viking mail postcards, but they do not always arrive. i was warmed by the 2 postcards i received when i got home (one from ea. ship) thanking me for cruising w/ them. I also appreciate the stretch and yoga classes. on ocean cruises yoga is extra. i am baffled by the inconsistencies in service between Amalyra and Amadolce. My room stewardess from Amalyra was outstanding, therefore, the poor service provided by my steward on this cruise was glaring. he didn't clean my room while i was at breakfast so i would have to go to the bar to wait while he finished. he constantly forgot to replenish my bottled water and toiletries. i kept going to the front desk to meet my needs. when i asked him to dispose of my dying rose, he refused saying he would remove it tomorrow. i threw it out. Dining was a nightmare. I am diabetic and need an evening snack. on Lyra i received a plate (sans melon at my request) of pineapple, blueberries, bananas, apples, orange slices, kiwi. on Dolce the chef provided only pineapple. i am at a loss ... breakfast on both ships was fruit abundant. On Lyra, at dinner, they let me order double veggies or i could choose fish from one entree and vegtables from another. on Dolce i requested they hold the risotto and i was told by the water i had to have the meal set out on the menu. i left the risotto which was ok as long as i took what was printed on the menu. no extra veggies let alone combining meals. i had to order 2 entrees and combine myself i recycle religiously and wasting food appalls me. so i ate the menu item. I do not understand the rigid, inflexible kitchen and wait staff. most of the shore excursions ended in wine tasting. I sought out Dragan, the cruise coordinator (yes, that is his real name) who steered me towards a guide who, like myself, had a degree in art history. Dragan had charisma and exceptional customer relation skills. He also led the post-cruise into the Loire valley. Wheniwhmpered that iwas anold lady and not used to 40 degree celsius weather, he shortened the walking tour. he also arranged for a trolley to take usto the next chateau. my gratitude knows no bounds. the tour of the chateaus in the Loire Valley made the cruise all worthwhile for me. The cruise itself sucked. the postcruise was outstanding. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose Amawaterways because of their solo cabins w/ a french balcony. I removed a star because this was a wine themed cruise and i spoke w/ ama 3x and the reps did not mention this. i do not drink, therefore, i did not attend the 3 ... Read More
I chose Amawaterways because of their solo cabins w/ a french balcony. I removed a star because this was a wine themed cruise and i spoke w/ ama 3x and the reps did not mention this. i do not drink, therefore, i did not attend the 3 enrichment lectures all focused on wine. there was also a wine pairing dinner lost on me. in addition, most shore excursions ended in wine tasting. the last day in Paris only offered a visit to a wine museum. i felt strongly that i was on the wrong cruise. i usually cruise w/ uniworld so i was not expecting luxury and there were no Murano glass chandeliers. however, the service was equal, therefore, outstanding. my cabin stewardess quickly caught on that i went for breakfast at 7 am and cleaned my cabin then. she replenished the body products daily. i always refuse turndown service because i am diabetic and can not eat chocolate, but i was pleased w/ her service. she spoke limited english so i didn't have to chat which for me, as an introvert, was a bonus. i appreciated returning from breakfast to a clean cabin as if by magic. Valentine and Anton, in the dining room, were friendly, but not intrusive. i do not communicate before my morning coffee and again they quickly caught on to my dietary requirements and left me alone at breakfast. as a diabetic, i eat every 3 hrs., therefore, valentine always asked what i would like for my evening snack when he took my dinner order. all the waiters let me order double portions of vegtables. i ordered veggies from one item and the fish entree from another. i am well aware my dietary habits r wierd and appreciated their flexibility. the food was 5 star dining. all river cruises have a coffee machine in the bar, but i have never encountered coffee that was better tasting from the machine, than in the dining room. several cruisers and i marveled at this phenomenon. it was GOOD coffee. ama offers several options for shore excursions, although found it odd that passengers had to book excursions before the cruise. the cruise director, john, was competent. i was surprised a cruise in Normandy didn't offer an excursion to the Bayeux tapestry. .if i had not cruised to Normandy before w/ uniworld and seen the tapestry i wouldn't have taken this cruise. details make a cruise great. i was surprised to find ama had sent a thank u post card when i returned home. also, ama supplies postcards, stamps and mails them free. bonus. my grandchildren luv getting postcards they chagre for stamps if u send a postcard u have purchased. best of all, the postcards arrive. i mailed postcards from Hawaii that never arrived. i also appreciated the stretch classes and yoga. ocean cruises charge extra for yoga. i would cruise amaway again, despite the fact that i resent not being told this was a wine cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our second cruise with AMA. The first was the Danube and now the Rhine River. From the very beginning of each of these cruises.. every detail was noted to make sure all passengers were delighted. The cruise manager, Marcia and ... Read More
This was our second cruise with AMA. The first was the Danube and now the Rhine River. From the very beginning of each of these cruises.. every detail was noted to make sure all passengers were delighted. The cruise manager, Marcia and hotel manager Eduord were the best of the best. Also we had a very hands on captain. The staterooms were roomy enough and very efficient. The meals and entertainment were top of the line. What sets AMA cruises apart from others are the programs/guides/sites along the way to experiencing Europe’s famous cities and small villages. We never remotely had a concern/problem along the way. If we had, we were always assured anything could be fixed. The guides were extremely knowledgeable about the areas of the country they came from. There was extraordinarily history and experiences shared with us. We highly recommend any river cruise with AMA. They are a family owned company and want each of us to have a valuable travel experience. The Grants Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This was my first river cruise, and my husband and I were very impressed. From the excellent service on board to the delicious gourmet meals and multiple shore excursion choices, we felt pampered and relaxed. The ship itself, Ama Serena, ... Read More
This was my first river cruise, and my husband and I were very impressed. From the excellent service on board to the delicious gourmet meals and multiple shore excursion choices, we felt pampered and relaxed. The ship itself, Ama Serena, is clean and beautifully equipped. There was always something to do, on-board or off. There were interesting talks on the history of the local cities/countries and their wines, lounging poolside, listening to live music, or exploring the cities and shops on shore. Maddy, our tour guide was excellent with her knowledge and advice in planning shore excursions. Dining, particularly the dinners, were fun and excellent. Every detail was attended to, and we weren't ready to leave the ship after the week was over! We would definitely recommend AmaWaterways and would cruise again with them on another trip in the future. Our one complaint would be something many others found frustrating as well, and I'm not sure in this day and age with all the boat traffic on the river that this will improve or change any time soon. Be aware that in some ports and depending on what side your cabin is located, you will dock right next to another ship and you will look directly into the cabins of the neighbor boat. You may not be able to enjoy the views from your window/balcony and will want to keep your drapes drawn. When you disembark to go ashore, you will need to walk through the neighbor ship to get on land. This was particularly obnoxious when a neighboring ship (not AmaWaterways) had their laundry hung up all over their balconies (this only happened one time). I still would recommend getting a balcony room, however, because it is so beautiful to sit outside and watch the countryside go by, and even to experience the locks from your balcony. I really enjoyed going through the locks (we went through 12 of them!), especially at night--it was kind of spooky, but fun to experience. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Just finished my first river cruise and it was amazing! We did the Wine Cruise along the Danube with the most incredible stops along the way. My favorites being Durnstein and Krems in Austria. Our wine host onboard had amazing wines for ... Read More
Just finished my first river cruise and it was amazing! We did the Wine Cruise along the Danube with the most incredible stops along the way. My favorites being Durnstein and Krems in Austria. Our wine host onboard had amazing wines for us too! Another neat excursion AmaSerena provided was a day trip to a small town in the Czech Republic called Cresky Krumlov. Amazingly beautiful town! The crew onboard were amazing as well. I have nothing but positive feedback about their service, helpfulness, knowledge and experience. They are pros! The staterooms and public rooms on the ship were always kept clean and beautiful. And what can I say about the food. The best! I don't think I had a meal I didn't like! The whole experience and the people I met on this trip won't ever be forgotten! If you're never done a river cruise with AmaWaterways, you haven't done a river cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We decided to try a river cruise and selected this one because of the route (Budapest to Vilshofen/Munich) and good feedback we had heard about AMA Waterways. We were not disappointed! The crew and boat were fantastic. It offered a ... Read More
We decided to try a river cruise and selected this one because of the route (Budapest to Vilshofen/Munich) and good feedback we had heard about AMA Waterways. We were not disappointed! The crew and boat were fantastic. It offered a variety of shore excursions, including cycling, hiking and some special vineyard tours as it was a wine cruise. Clam Castle for example, was incredibly special, with a wine tasting and tour by the Count. The Viennese Wine tavern was great fun. And the simple walking tours in each place were all done by knowledgeable and interesting guides. The food on the boat was great, lots of it, good variety and choices and fantastic service. The wine and beer also really good. The ages of the guests was broader than expected, with some families with kids, lots of extended families and couples and friends in their 40s to 60s. Of all that, the thing that really made the trip was the crew. From our fantastic captain, to Rachel our incredibly funny and kind Cruise Manager, Zoran our wonderful security manager, to restaurant staff, and housekeeping staff, everyone was friendly, helpful, loved what they do, and really wanted to ensure that all guests had a great time. We will definitely do another river cruise on AMA waterways. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We have been long-time ocean cruisers and this was our first river cruise. I had always been warned that it is very different from ocean cruising and that is true - in a good way! I had also been told AMA is a first class company and ... Read More
We have been long-time ocean cruisers and this was our first river cruise. I had always been warned that it is very different from ocean cruising and that is true - in a good way! I had also been told AMA is a first class company and would not disappoint - also true. We boarded with these understandings and were open to a new and different cruise experience. Our favorite travel agent had formed a group to sail together (she is always lots of fun), so we knew we would enjoy the people on board. AmaKristina is new (last year) and very beautiful. Public spaces well-appointed and clean. Cabins were even more spacious than I anticipated with plenty of storage. Beds were firmer than we are used to but we neglected to ask for extra cushion. Dining was also very good, plenty of variety - well prepared and presented. Service also was very good ship-wide. I really have no complaints about the ship, its provisions or its personnel. There is not a lot of entertainmenton a river cruise, but we did enjoy the nights extra entertainers were brought onboard. We also had no problem "making our own fun" otherwise. Port stops are pretty much every day on a river cruise, so we were never bored. We have always enjoyed sea days so it was maybe more than we wanted to do. The shore excursions were well-organized and tour guides were very good. They provide a wide variety of activity options. You will cetainly find something to fit your desired activity level, and it is easy to get to know others on board. With about 150 passengers embark and debark were a breeze - easiest we have encountred ever. We definitely plan to do another river cruise in the future, and will be happy to sail with Ama again. They take very good care of their passengers! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise was chosen specifically because of the itinerary. It went from Amsterdam to Basel and for 11 days. Our cruise manager was Dejan Stancic and was absolutely one of the most fabulous and entertaining person! He made us smile and ... Read More
This cruise was chosen specifically because of the itinerary. It went from Amsterdam to Basel and for 11 days. Our cruise manager was Dejan Stancic and was absolutely one of the most fabulous and entertaining person! He made us smile and laugh each evening when he provided the passengers (guests) with previews and information for upcoming ports. He was very knowledgable and approachable so it was easy to ask questions of any kind that would help make your trip even better. The rest of the staff were absolutely awesome, all were friendly and smiling, we always looked forward to meals and just being anywhere on board because they made us feel like family quickly. The captain, crew and hotel manager were also very friendly. What a great time we had! The ports were fabulous (read the itinerary in the brochure) and there also was a few relaxing mornings on the ship so we did not need to rush as much like the seven day cruises would be. Of course, the views on the Rhine and Moselle were gorgeous and seeing the castles dotting the hillsides (as Dajan said, you would be seeing so many on each side of the ship that you would begin to feel like a ping pong ball!) This was truly a fairytale experience! The ship was beautiful, the cabins spotless and embarkation/disembarkation experiences were seamless. Thank you AMAPRIMA for this wonderful and memorable cruise!!! Loved every second of it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We just finished a cruise on Ama Dolce in the Bordeaux region and we could not have been happier. We have been on one other River Cruise boat and although it was very nice Ama made us feel more like family and the food was far superior. ... Read More
We just finished a cruise on Ama Dolce in the Bordeaux region and we could not have been happier. We have been on one other River Cruise boat and although it was very nice Ama made us feel more like family and the food was far superior. Although it would have been nice to have rooms with balcony's ( the slider opened up but the room did not extend into a balcony) there was sufficient room nonetheless. Our cabin was cleaned to perfection every day by Andreaa and she was always very friendly and helpful. Our Cruise Manager, Natalia, went out of her way to make sure we were happy and if we needed anything she was right on top of it. She really took the time to get to know us and we enjoyed her company. The Housekeeping Manager, Dierk, was always there to greet us and chat as were many of the other crew. The food was absolutely outstanding and the service in the dining room and lounge was top notch. We particularly liked the excursions, which was a lot of biking during the day into the vineyard areas and through small villages. We also visited several wineries which were all quite nice. The people that were hired to conduct our tours were well versed and enjoyable and our safety, especially when we were biking was always looked after. I would highly recommend this cruise line to anyone and to top of their hospitality upon our return home there was a hand written post card from the crew thanking us for sailing with them. I'm not sure who get's that fun duty to send out over 100 thank you notes after every sailing but that special touch meant a lot to us. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We were on a wine cruise. The ship is lovely, the staff fabulous. We enjoyed the cities and tours we took of wineries and sites. The cruise director Chris was very good. I generally enjoyed the food but after a few days the food started ... Read More
We were on a wine cruise. The ship is lovely, the staff fabulous. We enjoyed the cities and tours we took of wineries and sites. The cruise director Chris was very good. I generally enjoyed the food but after a few days the food started to taste the same. My last meal of a white fish and risotto was not very good at all. My biggest issue, food handling. I was surprised upon arrival on the ship to find platters of food available without staff present and passengers served themselves. They had many food stations similar to this at breakfast and lunch and I was really uncomfortable with this. Many people do not wash their hands and with everyone touching the utensils many times this can only lead to disaster, which it did for me. I had a terrible gastrointestinal illness as several other passengers did. I am careful to wash my hands many times but on a ship, illness is sometimes unavoidable. I am not an experienced cruiser except for a one time Mediterranean cruise on a smaller ship. On that particular cruise line, I recall that they did not have food available sitting out for self serve. Also, unfortunately, our cabin was on the side of the ship that was parked next to another ship for 24 hours. We did not have a view or sunlight for that amount of time. So bottom line, a very nice ship and staff but I would not travel with them again unless they improve some of the food handling procedures and find out if blocking out my rooms view by another ship would be avoidable. I realize that is no guarantee but it would be an improvement I am sure. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My husband and I choose this cruise because of its availabilty early in the river cruising season. In April we would rather deal with the weather (which was surprisingly spectacular for this cruise) then crowds later in the season. We ... Read More
My husband and I choose this cruise because of its availabilty early in the river cruising season. In April we would rather deal with the weather (which was surprisingly spectacular for this cruise) then crowds later in the season. We had been on a AMA cruise in Portugal last year and loved it. One of the issues that arises when you take a cruise early in the season is a staff that has not worked together or is inexperienced. The cruise director on this cruise falls into thist catagory and thus impacted our experience. Often there seemed to be confusion as shore excursions were organized. Our bus left 4 people at a church and did not realize it for many miles later. Our paid excusion had more people on it then they had accounted for. Many times the cruise director was on our bus, and interacted rarely with the people around her. One shore excursion which had groups going to the same places we were on a bus with 10 people and the other bus had 25, which made no sense. On the last day of the cruise, all of the afternoon shore excursions were to return at 5:30PM, while a special music presentation in the lounge was to begin at 5:00PM. This made no sense. One pleasant surprise was that during Happy Hour there was a special cocktail each day that was complimentary in additon to wine, beer and other mixed drinks. The staff was friendly and went out of their way to please. We have cruised many times before, but never have I seen the Captain present and as this one. We did not realize that because there were 56 locks to go through between Nuremburg and Luxembourg that the sun deck would have to be down most of the time. There were also low bridges that caused this. Thus, not able to enjoy the early warm spring weather from the top. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and would chose AMA again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
What a wonderful experience! It was the crew's first cruise of the season, but the Eastern European crew were very well-trained and friendly. This was a flawless cruise. The food, service, and accommodation were all as good as can be. ... Read More
What a wonderful experience! It was the crew's first cruise of the season, but the Eastern European crew were very well-trained and friendly. This was a flawless cruise. The food, service, and accommodation were all as good as can be. The fact that beer and wine are included during meals and excursions are included as well only added to the experience. The cuisine and the entertainment changed to match our ports. The intimacy of such a small ship was also very attractive, as we met many friendly passengers and got to know the crew. The excursions and guides on shore were all excellent. One tip to improve: more time in port in Budapest (last stop). I stayed on board rather than take a motorcoach excursion, and only had one hour after arrival before the final night party commenced. But, the cruise was ended with a fantastic illuminations cruise of Budapest after dinner. We would highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My family and I do a big adventure trip every year and we had been wanting to do SE Asia for a couple of year and just couldn't find anything escorted that lined up with school holiday breaks. We booked about 9 months in advance for ... Read More
My family and I do a big adventure trip every year and we had been wanting to do SE Asia for a couple of year and just couldn't find anything escorted that lined up with school holiday breaks. We booked about 9 months in advance for myself, my active but older parents and my 16 yr old daughter. We have previously done only land packages with Tauck tours and were looking for something close to that level of service and accommodation and we were pretty pleased overall with the AMA experience. We had a day of our cruise cut off due to a typhoon in the area closing the embarkation port. The cruise line added an extra day in Ho Chi Minh City at the Sofitel with lunch and dinner (but no additional excursions), we did not miss any ports but did lose time in pheom phen and had to forgo an excursion there. Accommodations on the land portion (all Sofitels, including the Phokeethra in Siem Reap and Metropole in Hanoi) were first rate. The Metropole is a truly special hotel experience, especially if you are as into history as our family is. We had a category B stateroom on the ship and I was pleasantly surprised (with limited cruise experience) having previously sailed with disney and on an expedition ship in the Galapagos, with the size and comfort of the cabins. The bathroom allowed for a shower without having to do any strange contortions, and there was ample space to spread out a little, dress and relax with two people. We chose the one on the end of the ship by the gym, didn't feel any movement at all, and it was much quieter location. Things we liked: The staff was all very nice and accommodating, but the hotel manager (Marcus) and the restaurant manager (I am horrible and forgot her name but she was beyond fantastic) were standounts. Massage/spa prices were very reasonable for a cruise ship, as were the additional charges for upgraded wines. The included wines were also very drinkable, but I wish they would serve wine by the glass in the bars instead of just at dinner. We did the chef's table one night, I didnt think it was anything extra special. In general the food was perfectly edible, but nothing standout EXCEPT when they cooked local. I wish they had more local options at dinner, where it was pretty much all western style. The local items on the action station and morning noodle soup were always excellent, the rice paper wraps and spring rolls, etc were also fantastic. We tended to leave dinner a little wanting some evenings. They do have more mainstream choices available for every dinner (salad w/chicken or shirmp, hangar steak etc), but when in a place like SE asia, there's too much good local stuff to be cooking up fancy french food - but the brand knows their audience and I'm probably the weirdo who wants to eat pho all the time. The local guides changed with each region, and they were all good, but we were lucky enough to have two really outstanding guides in southern Vietnam and in Cambodia before we got to Siem Reap. Vinh and Buntha really make the trip special with their insight and their stories. Loved all the shore excursions we did from the standpoint of the sights we saw, loved they had options for people with mobility issues or who wanted less challenging temple climbing etc but still wanted to actually see the highlights. The overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay at the end of the trip was also great for scenery and the accommodations on that boat were also really nice. The cooking class and bingo, and a a few of the other daytime onboard programs while the ship was in transit were fun. I wish they had more enrichment, maybe a photography class, more in depth lectures about the history and culture, etc. but what they did have was fun and informative. What i wasn't crazy about: Some of the shore excursions I would have liked to have a little more time allowed at some of the museums and temples, etc. I felt rushed especially at the War Remnants Museum and Temple of Literature, Reunification Palace and the market in Ho Chi Minh City. I also wasn't crazy that for New years eve we were tied up at basically a loading dock in the middle of nowhere Cambodia, and there was no place to get off the ship to maybe check out some local nightlife. The staff tried really hard with the evening entertainment, but it wasn't really my speed, especially in a region known for night markets and such. We were VERY and I recognize VERY lucky that our trip included a few multi-generation families with younger people so there were other people my daughter's age or near it on the trip, which made it more fun for her. the food on the Ha Long bay boat was edible, but nothing to write home about. Also, the wifi on the ship worked intermittently at best and there is no roaming service in Vietnam - no biggie for me, but for some it might be an issue. Also no wifi in the cabins, only the lounge and the sundeck unless you're in a suite. We also didn't get our documents from AMA until about week before we left (2 weeks before the actual tour start date) and as we were visiting another country on our own and 2 days of transit to get there, it left me a little anxious and we were unable to pre-register for shore excursions, as they had already closed by the time we had had a chance to review everything. Overall, we loved the trip, we were fortunate to have some experiences that were really life changing (touring the Killing Fields and S-21 Detention center with Buntha, Sunrise on Angkor Wat), I came back wanting to return to explore more because I found the people so welcoming, and feel like on such a whirlwind trip I didn't get to explore the cities as much as I would have liked to. The river cruise does allow you to get to places like Tan Chau, Sa Dec and the rural areas of Vietnam and the floating villages on the ton le sap, etc in Cambodia where there really aren't western tourist class accommodations. My mom thinks river cruising is now the greatest thing. It wouldn't be my first choice to go back to for something like Europe, but for something more exotic such as the Zambezi, the Irrawaddy I'd probably book another one. It was a good trip for the diverse ages we have in my family, there was plenty of activity for my daughter and i and enough down time to allow my folks to be able to enjoy most of the sightseeing and still relax. Read Less
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