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117 AmaWaterways Romantic Cruise Reviews

As newcomers to river cruising we were a little apprehensive before our trip but now cannot imagine that any other company could beat Amawaterways for the standard of our holiday. The ship was beautiful, the crew attentive and welcoming ... Read More
As newcomers to river cruising we were a little apprehensive before our trip but now cannot imagine that any other company could beat Amawaterways for the standard of our holiday. The ship was beautiful, the crew attentive and welcoming and the cruise manager an absolute delight. The trip went smoothly right from the chauffeur driven transfer to the airport and the welcome at the other end to the excellent care shown to us on board (little touches such as supplying gloves for us on a particularly wet bike trip were much appreciated). Everything was of a high standard and the programme of excursions was varied and well organised.The cabin was very well appointed and had the benefit of both a full balcony and a French style one so was very light. We were on the Cello deck as the Violin one was fully booked but we couldn't see any disadvantage in that. We will definitely go on another river cruise and would choose Amawaterways again and would recommend others to use them also. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first river cruise and we were not disappointed. It was everything we wanted it to be and more. We took a cab from the Basel Airport and was dropped right off at the ship. Embarkation was a breeze and we were in our room ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we were not disappointed. It was everything we wanted it to be and more. We took a cab from the Basel Airport and was dropped right off at the ship. Embarkation was a breeze and we were in our room with our luggage within 15 minutes. We had room 2106 which had a French Balcony and it was larger than I anticipated. It was perfect. We thought the food was wonderful and the wine pairing they did every night was so good. Also loved how everything was included. As you walked off the ship to do an excursion you were actually given water and not charged! I am so tired off the nickel and diming that gets done on cruises and it was refreshing that it never happened once! It was a perfect trip and we have been on 10 other cruises and I thought river cruising was the best especially with Ama. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise because we were going with another cruise and they had cruised with AMA before...We decided to spent an extra two nights in our departure city of Amsterdam before the cruise and then added the 4 night land package to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were going with another cruise and they had cruised with AMA before...We decided to spent an extra two nights in our departure city of Amsterdam before the cruise and then added the 4 night land package to the cruise as well. All I can say is that everything was perfect...our cabin was great and we did not chose the largest one available, our bed was so comfortable and the bathroom was very nice as well. The ship was beautiful and clean and modern and upscale...dining was out of this world, the service was perfect but not too stuffy, the ports and shore excursions was spot on and the whole thing ran like a perfectly oiled machine but you didn't really notice, it was all just very natural. The crew took such good care of us and spoiled us and there were tears in my eyes on the day we left the ship. Our cruise director was unbelievable and was always willing to go the extra mile to make every thing work well. I know that we will certainly do another cruise with AMA, the only hard part is deciding which of their trips to do next. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We just Cruised the Melodies of the Danube cruise on the AmaSonata in April for our Honeymoon. This was my first cruise and first time in Europe. From the moment we met our AmaWaterways rep at the airport, our trip was fantastic. Once ... Read More
We just Cruised the Melodies of the Danube cruise on the AmaSonata in April for our Honeymoon. This was my first cruise and first time in Europe. From the moment we met our AmaWaterways rep at the airport, our trip was fantastic. Once we got to the ship the crew acted as if we were old friends. From the personal escort to our room and our luggage arriving only a few minutes later. Our Cruise Director, Matyas, was knowledgeable and funny and always available to offer any assistance. The rooms were small as expected on a ship this size, but after comparing some other lines, the mid grade rooms on AMA are larger than almost everything but a suite on other lines. Everything fell into place all week everything was well organized. With the small number of guests, there were no "cattle calls" getting on and off the ship as I have heard with the large ocean cruises. We enjoyed the balcony a few times but mostly sat on the sundeck if we were cruising so we saw the sites on both shores. The meals were fantastic. So many options at breakfast from the buffet or menu. Lunch was a salad bar and apps and then soup, entrée and desert from the menu. Dinner was always a 5 course meal catering to local sites. Goulash and Hungarian wines in Budapest, Weiner schnitzel and Austrian wines in Vienna and sausages and local beers in Germany. The excursions were varied so you had your choice of a hike, bus tour or bike ride at almost every stop. The guides were knowledgeable and usually very personable and funny. We took in the Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna and the Folklore dinner in Prague. Both well worth the extra money. Everything else was included. The staff, especially Mariuz, Ivo, Alex, Arun, Janos and Matyas were all phenomenal. This cruise exceeded every expectation and we are already looking to plan our next cruise with AMA. Either the Douro or the Danube again from Budapest East towards Bucharest. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
From being transported from the airport to ship, having snacks and a light lunch provided while we waited for our cabin to be readied, receiving a map and some ideas where we might visit in our departure city, the excellent room--every one ... Read More
From being transported from the airport to ship, having snacks and a light lunch provided while we waited for our cabin to be readied, receiving a map and some ideas where we might visit in our departure city, the excellent room--every one has a computer with wi-fi and is surprisingly spacious, the two champagne receptions, the excellent and very varied cuisine (always something different), the option of two tours a day to local attractions, well, what was not to like? Every need was met, most before we were even conscious of needing something. The staff was exceptional--my husband came down with a cold and the man who cleaned our room was so solicitous of his welfare; he was sent broth from the dining room, etc. We especially enjoyed the cruise director, who began each announcement with, "My dear ladies and gentlemen," and sounded like he actually was thrilled to talk to us. When we returned from our tours, we were met with a special beverage (always something different) and lemon scented fresh towels to wipe our hands. The places we visited were interesting, with local guides who knew the history of the sites and shared stories with us. We were offered wines coordinated with our evening meals, plus California wines as a fall-back. We were given a chance to have a special meal at the chef's table, and watched the ship going through the lock from the special dining room as we tasted three appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Postcards were mailed home for us; we heard our tours on individual programmable devices with ear pieces, and after we returned home, received a hand written post card thanking us for being on the cruise. What a pampering experience! We'd love to do another river cruise with such a great company. There was nightly entertainment with a variety of performers and music. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I'm an experienced ocean cruiser, but this was my first smaller river cruise, and I was unsure of what to expect. Well, it was great! We took the March 30th Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland cruise on the AmaCerto. We arranged our ... Read More
I'm an experienced ocean cruiser, but this was my first smaller river cruise, and I was unsure of what to expect. Well, it was great! We took the March 30th Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland cruise on the AmaCerto. We arranged our flights to Amsterdam and home from Zurich through AMA, but we did not do their extensions, so transfers were not included. That was fine with us. The timing of the AMA extensions didn't work with our schedules, so while we did stay in Amsterdam 3 nights before the cruise, then in Lucerne 2 nights after, this did not coordinate with their offered extensions. (The post-cruise extension offered was for 4 nights, and my work schedule did not allow for that.) After spending 3 nights on our own in Amsterdam (and falling completely in love with that city) we got ourselves to the boat. That was a little confusing, we were just dragging our suitcases through the train station to the harbor behind. Signage wasn't great, but we just started walking to where we could see several river boats at one end. The AmaCerto was docked at the far right end, behind a couple river boats. It meant we were a little sweaty and bedraggled by the time we each rolled our heavy suitcases that far, but once to the boat they took over. We were met outside by a couple of nice crew members who instantly took our bags from us and let us walk up the gangway unencumbered. Check-in was super fast and easy. Nothing like the slow security line you go through for ocean cruises. Within 60 seconds of entering the ship we had our room keys and were being escorted to our room. We were in a fixed window, Category D room on the Piano Deck. We were in room 103, with fixed, water level, windows. I went with my normal ocean cruise theory that we would not spend a lot of time in the room, and opted for the lowest level. The room was better than I'd expected. There was a very roomy closet, with plenty of room to hang any and all clothing you want. There were pull out drawers under the beds too, for non-hanging items. Though, because of the underbed drawers, there was only room to stash one suitcase under the beds. The other we stuck in a corner behind a chair. The room was tight, but comfortable. We expected this, we booked it knowing it was the lowest square footage of the rooms on the ship. We are on the youngish side of river cruisers (in our early 40s) so we weren't bothered by squeezing around each other, or even crawling across the bed, when we needed to quickly get around the room. But, I know some less mobile cruisers (such as my parents) would not be happy with such tight quarters. There is only about 12-18 inches from the foot of the bed to the wall, so no room to walk past each other. Both sides of the bed had bedside tables, each with 2 drawers. Plus, the large windows (and they are large, not just little port holes) had a deep ledge that ran the length of the room. So, we were not lacking for any storage space, or room to set papers, purses, bags, etc. The bathroom was very nice. The shower stall was a little bigger than I'd expected, and the overall look of the bathroom was very nice. There was almost zero counter space, just a little around the sink. But behind the mirror was a very large cabinet, and another was below the sink. So, while we couldn't leave much out on the counter, it was all within quick reach in a cabinet. In fact, some friends we made that had a larger room 2 decks up came down to see our room. They actually liked our bathroom a little better. Even though they had a long thin counter, they did not have the medicine cabinet or under sink storage. They felt we actually had more bathroom storage than they did. The ship's WiFi didn't always work in our room. I just assumed the router was probably on a higher deck, and we were just far from the signal. Each room has an Apple computer in the room that can be used for the internet, or switched to TV to watch in-house ship channels or a limited selection of TV stations. Plus some recent movies were available to watch (Jurassic World, for example.) The ship's crew was wonderful, all of them. It was obvious the cruise director (Frederico) really enjoys his job. He was always nice, friendly, and excited about our next destination. He held a meeting the first full day of the cruise to explain all the stops and excursions. Then, each night before dinner, he would hold a short meeting going over the next day's plans. This kept confusion down, as people could ask questions before the busy activities of the day. And the rest of the crew were wonderful too. We tended to sit in same general area of the dining room, so we saw the same waitstaff all week. We very much enjoyed talking to them, and they took great care of us. And speaking of the dining room, the food was all terrific! I went in to this thinking there would be less food than on an ocean cruise. And while yes, unlike ocean cruises there was not 24 hour pizza available, or a midnight chocolate buffet, when there was food, there was a lot of it, and it was all good. Breakfast was a buffet with several healthy options (yogurt, granola, fruit, etc) plus some decidedly unhealthy options like sausage, bacon, pancakes, etc. There was an omelet station, and every morning there were some items you could order from the kitchen such as waffles or eggs benedict. Lunch was also a buffet, with several options that went along with where we currently were. And, like breakfast, there were always some special choices you could order from the kitchen. Then dinner was always a beautiful meal. It was difficult choosing what to order each night, as the options were all so good. Most nights dinner was a 4 course meal (salad, soup, entree, dessert) but a couple nights it was a 5 course, with the addition of an amuse bouche. While they advertised wine and beer with lunch and dinner (which was true) I want to note there was always champagne on the buffet at breakfast. So, anybody wanting to start their day with a mimosa easily could. Then yes, lunch and dinner the wine and beer was freely flowing. The bartender that worked the area we tended to sit quickly learned the type of wine I liked, and the beer my husband liked, and made sure we didn't run out. We made reservations for one night in the Chef's Table dining room. There is no extra charge for this (like on some ocean cruises) but seating is limited. I HIGHLY recommend to anybody taking an AMA cruise to do this one night. It is an absolutely fantastic meal that should not be missed! Every port we stopped in, at least one type of excursion was offered. Sometimes as many as 5 options. For example, our first stop in Koln (Cologne) Germany had a city tour. But there were 2 times offered: 9am, or 10am for "late risers." The 10am ended the same time as the 9am, it just skipped some stuff. So, 2 options for Koln. Then at our stop at Speyer, there were several options: 1)Regular Speyer city tour 2)Gentle Walker Speyer tour 3)Heidelberg city tour 4)Heidelberg Gentle Walker tour or 5)Heidelberg hike. That was a LOT of options! We could only pick one! I know it sounds confusing, but this is why Frederico had a meeting every night. This way people knew if they needed to be a "gentle walker" due to lots of hills or steps in an old town for example. Some stops had the option of taking a guided 15-17 mile bike ride around the area. We did not do this, since it they were only recommended for people who ride bikes regularly. My husband does, but I haven't been on my bike for almost 4 years. I didn't feel up to the 15+ mile rides! We always did the "Active Walker" tours (as opposed to the Gentle Walkers) and we found all the tour guides to be very informative and friendly. The only problem was this was the first cruise using new "QuietVox" listening devices. The guides were obviously using them for the first time, and some cruisers were having trouble with them too. But, by the 3rd or 4th port, most everybody was used to them and had few problems. Personally, I liked them. There were 3 different musical acts brought on board for evening entertainment throughout the week. The first was a classical trio, that was very good. The second was a singer that we did not get to see (we were docked in Koblenz Germany that night, and my husband and I chose to go off the ship that night and wander the town so we did not see him,) and the third was a French singer with an accordion player as her accompaniment. She was great, and her accordion player very entertaining. We really didn't expect to like the evening entertainment, and we were pleasantly surprised. As for the AmaCerto, it was a lovely ship. The main dining room was on the level below reception, and above was a large lounge. The lounge was where the evening entertainment took place, pastries were set out for late risers, and where most people ended up when just wanting to relax and watch the scenery. There was always coffee, tea, and cookies in the lounge. There was enough seating for everybody to fit in there at the same time. And the couches and chairs were surprisingly comfortable. A good place to just sit with a cup of tea or coffee and read and watch the scenery go by. I used the fitness room one time, basically just playing around on the rowing machine and treadmill. They room had 2 stationary bikes also, which I did not use. And 3 different weights of free weights (probably 1 pound, 3 pounds, and 5 pounds.) Lemon water and towels were available for those wanting them. At the end of the cruise, even though we did not have an airport transfer booked with AMA, they still called us our taxi to the train station. In fact, on the 2nd day of the cruise, they distributed forms to all rooms asking how everybody was getting off the ship. This way, nobody was left scrambling the morning of disembarkation. There was an option to check AMA transfer, private transportation already arranged, or a taxi is needed. We checked that box, and on the morning of disembarkation we were on a list with our room number and what time our taxi would be there. All in all, I would say this was a great river cruise. I'm already hoping to take another river cruise in the next few years. Most likely the Danube or the Douro. We're wishing AMA had some cruises in South America, or even into Alaska (getting further in the fjords than the big ships can go) but maybe those will come someday. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My husband and I were a little apprehensive to book any cruise, as my husband gets a little green with the rocking of a boat. There was no rocking whatsoever and we spent some of our time on the top deck enjoying the scenery. We booked on ... Read More
My husband and I were a little apprehensive to book any cruise, as my husband gets a little green with the rocking of a boat. There was no rocking whatsoever and we spent some of our time on the top deck enjoying the scenery. We booked on the AmaSonata... the "Romantic Danube"-Wine Theme Voyage and had a vacation of a lifetime. We spent our first 3 nights in Prague. The hotel was nice and the beds were very comfortable. We went on a city tour of Prague....beautiful and so much history. Ama had optional tours to choose from. We went on the Terezin Fortress tour, which we would recommend to anyone. We spent a wonderful week on board. The ship had everything we needed and more. The food was delicious, as was the wine (which there was an never ending flow). The service was awesome. The staff and crew incredible and all had a great sense of humour. The crew let us know when we would be entering a lock, as this was an interest of a few in our group. Very interesting. The whole experience from when we arrived to our extension in Budapest, left nothing to be desired. A warm thank you to all the staff and crew. We didn't meet a staff member we didn't like. Awesome sense of humour. There were a variety of excursions to choose from, all of which were interesting and informative. There wasn't a town which was too big or too small. There was amazing history in each and every one. I would recommend this cruise Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We recently cruised from Vilshofen, Germany to Budapest, Hungary on the AMAPrima. Having only been on one other river cruise which was quite different (the Rhone on an Abercrombie and Kent barge), I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I ... Read More
We recently cruised from Vilshofen, Germany to Budapest, Hungary on the AMAPrima. Having only been on one other river cruise which was quite different (the Rhone on an Abercrombie and Kent barge), I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I loved the choices: of food, wine, tours etc. The staff was phenomenal. They anticipated your needs and not one showed anything but pleasure in fulfilling them. For example: The first evening I lost a bracelet I had bought in Bavaria the week prior. It was (I was sure) in a tent on the dock by our boat where we had enjoyed an Octoberfest sendoff. When my husband and I went to look, the tent was fastened up tightly. A crew member was nearby and I asked if he could help us. I explained that the bracelet was not expensive but just a memento of a great week. He said "Well it meant a lot to you" and quickly got to work unfastening the tent. I got in and found my bracelet. That night I realized he was the First Mate!! The cruise director was also very attentive.He went on the tours, knew the tour guides by name and was very hands-on. The entertainment onboard in the evenings was always fun and regional. With only 150 on board, he made it a point to try to get to know you at least by your face. The Maitre'D was in the dining room for every meal, getting drinks, cleaning tables, etc. It was a very memorable week for 2 Americans!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My husband and I have taken eleven ocean cruises since 2006. This was our first river cruise and it was recommended by my daughter's in-laws. What can I say? It exceeded ALL of our expectations in all areas: ship size, more ... Read More
My husband and I have taken eleven ocean cruises since 2006. This was our first river cruise and it was recommended by my daughter's in-laws. What can I say? It exceeded ALL of our expectations in all areas: ship size, more intimate number of fellow cruisers (158 vs. 3,000), tours, service, cleanliness and on and on. Our cruise manager, Karen Bies, did an outstanding job. She was at her desk from early morning to late evening (by late I mean 11 pm). The difference between her and ocean cruise managers is that they are only available for about four hours a day, if that. Karen was always available, she even joined us on several tours, she worked miracles when we decided to change tours at the last minute. Our captain was always visible, friendly, genuine. The food was excellent and it was representative of whatever town/city/country we were visiting on that day. Sailing along the coastline gave us a view and insight into each town's history and beauty. We made friends that we will probably have for a lifetime because of the intimacy and coziness of a small vessel. We felt like we were traveling with family and friends and we looked forward to what adventure each day, each tour would bring. We placed a deposit on a future river cruise and look so forward to traveling on AMA Waterways in the near future! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our 2nd river cruise and we were traveling with another couple from our hometown. Both cruises were with AmaWaterways, and we were not dissappointed with either cruise. In fact we were pleasantly surprised at the views while ... Read More
This was our 2nd river cruise and we were traveling with another couple from our hometown. Both cruises were with AmaWaterways, and we were not dissappointed with either cruise. In fact we were pleasantly surprised at the views while slowly cruising down the Rhine from Basel Switzerland to Amsterdam Holland. Our Cruise Manager was the best, since his heritage was part German and part Spanish his knowledge of the area couldn't have been more perfect. His sense of humor, story telling ability, managment ability for small issues and calming the tide for those who on occassion run into trying circumstance are to be commended. His ability to know the names of every castle, village, and vineyard along the Rhine made our trip so very educational and of course relaxing while enjoying the views. The ship; AmaCerto was new, clean, well wired with wifi thru-out the ship and comfortable. The dining servers were all very accomdating, friendly, and took care of each of our needs. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We chose Ama Waterways for our 25th Anniversary cruise and we were not disappointed. From the moment we stepped onto the pier in Amsterdam until we said goodbye in Basel, everything was done for our comfort and enjoyment. The ship is ... Read More
We chose Ama Waterways for our 25th Anniversary cruise and we were not disappointed. From the moment we stepped onto the pier in Amsterdam until we said goodbye in Basel, everything was done for our comfort and enjoyment. The ship is tastefully appointed and sparkling clean, despite it's *relative* age in the industry (built in 2008). Our stateroom was stylish and comfortable, with plenty of space for our belongings and nice features such as a French balcony and flat-screen TV with internet access. Meals were freshly prepared (we saw fresh produce come aboard at every port of call) and portions were just right. The shore excursions were informative and featured different ability groupings so that all passengers could enjoy the sights as their mobility level allowed. Where Ama Waterways truly stands out, however, is in the professionalism and attentiveness of the crew. Everyone from the Captain and Cruise Director, to the wait staff and housekeepers, worked to make the cruise a wonderful, memorable experience for all passengers. I would not hesitate to recommend Ama Waterways to anyone who wants a truly first-class cruise vacation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My husband and I took this cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest. It was our first river cruise and we really enjoyed it! The service was great throughout the boat, the staff was friendly and very interested in your comfort and enjoyment. ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest. It was our first river cruise and we really enjoyed it! The service was great throughout the boat, the staff was friendly and very interested in your comfort and enjoyment. Ama spends a lot of effort on small touches that add value to your experience, late night food after a concert in Vienna, fresh towels and a drink when you return from an excursion...and many more. Our cabin was well appointed, cozy, but comfortable with plenty of room for things. The make up of the passengers was older, 60 and up. In each case there was a variety of activities including hiking and bike riding in addition to the shore excursions. There were also several groups on each excursion, designed for those who need more time and those who wanted to move right along. Definitely something for everyone! Shore excursions were well organized, although it would be nice to have a bit more time on your own...tough to do with so much to cover in each location. (Moving groups of people is always a challenge, so many folks on their own planet, so be patient. Not a fault of the company, just the nature of dealing with people in general). Our local guides were very good in most cases. Our full day guide to Salzburg, Gabor was especially good, well organized, patient, told the good stories, and gave you lots of information, but didn't feel the need to talk constantly. Food and presentation of the food was excellent and the local dishes which changed with our location were great! We especially enjoyed Violeta and Marc as our servers! We came home with a few souvenir pounds extra! Dragon, our cruise director was charming....great personality and very interested in making your stay a memorable. While we had 3-4 days of rain or part rain, the highlight had to be Budapest. We just had no idea how beautiful it was. And the evening cruise with all of the city lights (and a lovely night) was really a great finale for the trip. I can't imagine going the other direction (ending in Nuremberg). The length of the cruise 8 days...was just the right amount for us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We were lucky enough to go on the first “beer” AND “tulip” themed cruise. In addition to the beautiful flowers/ports the tulip cruise had to offer, we also had to an opportunity to discover new and wonderful breweries and beers, ... Read More
We were lucky enough to go on the first “beer” AND “tulip” themed cruise. In addition to the beautiful flowers/ports the tulip cruise had to offer, we also had to an opportunity to discover new and wonderful breweries and beers, popular in this countries that we visited. Our cruise was extremely well-organized by managers Nick Hartog and Victoria. I believe this was the first “beer” themed cruised (which was also a tulip themed cruise). Nick and Victoria did an outstanding job juggling the needs of “tulip” cruisers and the “beer” cruisers. They were friendly with all the guests and efficiently managed to organize a double themed cruise. Onboard entertainment, speakers and beer tastings were terrific. Meeting individual needs and guest availability is a priority for this pair. The stateroom layout was good with the French and outside balcony. There is ample storage/closet space. Housekeeping staff were excellent. We appreciated the bottled waters which were provided daily and the in-room internet. The food in the dining room was wonderful. I found it very helpful that the menu is allergy coded to enable guests to make informed choices. The beer choices were outstanding and changed each night. I liked that the food choices often reflected the country that we were visiting. The friendly service staff was attentive to all requests. The excursions were well organized and the local guides were exceptional. Since the “beer” was added to this “tulip” cruise, it was a real treat for us to be able mix (for example) a city tour with a brewery tour/tasting. The clean buses were never over-crowded and the group sizes were very reasonable. This cruise exceeded my expectations in almost every way. The entire crews, from the captain to our housekeeper, were efficient, courteous and friendly. Everyone associated with AmaWaterways went out of their way to make the experience enjoyable and worry free. I would definitely recommend this beer/tulip cruise; it meets all your sensory needs! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My husband and I did the Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg. Wonderful food, service and staff on the ship were outstanding. You didn't need to ask for anything; everything was well organized. The ship and cabin were ... Read More
My husband and I did the Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg. Wonderful food, service and staff on the ship were outstanding. You didn't need to ask for anything; everything was well organized. The ship and cabin were clean; the cabin a good size and a great bathroom. Christan our cruise director payed attention to every detail. The tours were so organized and wonderful local guides, clean buses, and efficient. We couldn't have asked for anything more than AMA Waterways offered. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our first River cruise. We had always wanted to see the tulips in Holland so we chose the Tulip Time itinerary. We embarked in Amsterdam and our ports of call were Hoorn, Arnhem, Nijmegen, Antwerp, Ghent, Wilemstad, Kinderdijk ... Read More
This was our first River cruise. We had always wanted to see the tulips in Holland so we chose the Tulip Time itinerary. We embarked in Amsterdam and our ports of call were Hoorn, Arnhem, Nijmegen, Antwerp, Ghent, Wilemstad, Kinderdijk and Schoonhoven. Upon arrival our cabin was ready and our luggage was taken to our room and we received a quick orientation of our cabin features. Our cabin was 212 and we had a french balcony/ balcony combination. The French balcony would be a huge asset on this cruise due to the weather. The cabin was spacious and had a queen bed. The bathroom had a great rain shower head with great water pressure. The Apple entertainment system and tv were state of the art in each cabin. Our Cruise Manager, Uwe was absolutely fantastic. His organization skills were stellar and were evident in all activities. He had such a great personality and was so enjoyable to speak with. Even though our weather was rainy the entire trip with high winds as well, he always remained up beat and helped assure everyone's comfort. The Staff are a huge asset to the ship and all worked extremely hard to assure customer satisfaction. No request was ignored and all were accommodated. You were always greeted with a smile. We enjoyed the smaller ship size and the personal touches that AMA works so hard to provide. We would certainly consider taking another river cruise with AMA. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We flew into Munich Germany and took the train on our own to the nearby port of Vilshoven, Took a cheap cab ride to the AmaSonata. AmaWaterways was wonderful about telling us exactly where the ship was docked by e-mail. Since we spoke no ... Read More
We flew into Munich Germany and took the train on our own to the nearby port of Vilshoven, Took a cheap cab ride to the AmaSonata. AmaWaterways was wonderful about telling us exactly where the ship was docked by e-mail. Since we spoke no German we were a little uneasy but all went exceedingly well and was a fun adventure for US citizens not familiar with Europe's trains or languages. The AMaSonata was absolutely pristine, the staff was fantastic, and the food and wine far exceeded ordinary cruise ship fare. For the first time ever, We had what was classified as an inside cabin on the lower level which did not turn out to be a problem at all due to the great technology on the ship. We could see the forward view from the bridge on our television and could see out of a high side window which put us at water level on the port side. The windows were so clean that I actually took some great pictures by holding my iPad to the window for shots of beautiful castles or small villages going by. A few short steps would take us to the deck above for a more complete view. We enjoyed the captains specialty restaurant dinner on the second night on the cruise, which was lovely. We never used the pool or the workout room because we were far too busy with the included tours. We only took one optional excursion to Schonbrunn Palace for $39 per person, which was a great price for a wonderful tour. The included tours usually picked us up in a bus, took us to the site with a guide and included admission and wireless earphones in order to hear the guide. Buses were extraordinarily clean and guides were great. Onboard entertainment was wonderful starting with an Oktoberfest in July at dockside and including topical musical performances such as costumed Sound of Music presentations. All in all, one of our best Cruises ever including the fantastic fellow passengers we met along the way.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
About us: I went on this cruise with my sister and mother. I am 52, sister is 56 my mother is 82 she is in good health for her age but, has back and knee pain at times. I give this information to help others that may have mobility issues. ... Read More
About us: I went on this cruise with my sister and mother. I am 52, sister is 56 my mother is 82 she is in good health for her age but, has back and knee pain at times. I give this information to help others that may have mobility issues. We have been on many ocean cruises and 2 river cruises both with Uniworld. This is our first time on an AmaWaterways cruise. Embarkation: We arrived in Amsterdam without any issues. We purchased the transfer from AMA for the transportation to the ship it was $30US pp and we felt it was worth the cost. After exiting the arrival hall there was a gentleman waiting for us. He helped us with our bags waited while we used the restroom and escorted us to our van for the 25 min ride to the ship. We arrived at the ship at approx. 1pm. We ate buffet lunch. There was not a lot of selection as was the case throughout the cruise but the food was good. Our Cabins: My sister and I were in room 226 on the Cello deck and my mom across the hall in room 227. The rooms are quite small especially it seems in our room where we had the beds separated into twins. But, even with 2 women in the room (yes we over packed) we had enough space for everything. Our room had the French balcony not the double balcony. We looked in the double balcony room and decided even though the room was a little bigger we felt for the price increase it was not worth the added space and the weather being cool we did not think we would use the balcony that much. Maybe in a warmer month it might be worth the added price. The bathroom is smaller than on any other ship I’ve been on (ocean or river) but the shower is larger and the shower head was great. You could use it as a regular shower head or a rain shower. I just wish you could use it both ways at the same time. We did not watch much TV but there seemed to be a lot of channels and we did not use the internet in our room so I can’t comment on that. Amsterdam-Day One: We wanted to go to the Rijksmuseum but, we did not want to ride a bus. It had been a long flight and I wanted the easiest way to get there without any hassle. We had the reception desk get us a taxi to the museum. It cost 23 Euro for the taxi there and 15 Euro for admission. We got there late and only had 1 hour to see the museum. We wished we had longer but, we were able to see the Night Watchman painting. The lady at the reception desk on the ship said we could ask the information desk at the museum to call a taxi. That was incorrect information. They will not call a taxi but there is a taxi stand on the road opposite the entrance. The taxi back to the ship was 20 Euro (less traffic). Amsterdam-Day Two: We took the Canal cruise because we have been to Keukenhof Gardens on our previous cruise. We enjoyed the canal cruise with the guide pointing out sights. We also took a bus tour of the city stopping at the Rembrandt Windmill where we could take pictures from the bus. Maybe if it wasn’t raining they would have made a longer stop to get out for a better look. This night we cruised all night and we could really feel the vibration. My mother and I both had a hard time falling asleep. This was the only night it bothered us and all I can think that might be the reason is we were going fast to get to the next port. Cologne, Germany: We took the Walking Tour & Kolsch Tasting. We joined the gentle walking group and the guide was very good walking slowly, and not taking the stairs when she could avoid them. We are not beer drinkers but we tried the Kolsch beer and the potato pancakes which were delicious. Rudesheim, Germany: This morning was the castle viewing along the Rhine. It was very chilly and the staff served Rudesheim coffee which is coffee with chocolate and whip cream - YUM! After lunch we went on the Gondola Ride. This is where a good cruise manager would have been welcome. I will go into more detail about the cruise manager later. Each gondola only holds 2 people so my sister rode alone. The restrooms which at most sites are 50 Euro cents are 3-10 Euro cents here. We were lucky a gentleman gave us the correct change. We had specifically asked the cruise manager how many steps up to the gondola ride and she stated 25 steps. It was actually 40. Not a big deal for me but my mom said her knees were sore later in the day. I don’t think we would have changed our plans but it would have been good to know. In the evening we went to the Siegfried’s Mechanical Museum. They take you into the town via a tram and drop you off right at the museum. It was very interesting. Speyer/Heidelberg Germany: They had a brunch on board from 8:30am-11:30am due to the long tour to Heidelberg (45 min drive each way). I had asked on Cruise Critic how strenuous the walk was to the Heidelberg castle and after getting several responses we decided to take this tour. The walk up to the castle was not bad at all. Again we took the gentle walkers group and our guide walked slow and waited for everyone. The castle itself was very impressive. I thought it would be more of a ruin but, there was quite a bit still standing. I was told on Cruise Critic that we could take the funicular down but, our guide did not inform us of this option so we walked back down to the bus and did some shopping in town. We stopped at a bakery and bought some sweets to eat but, all the tables nearby were for the restaurants and bars so we had to eat our pastry on the steps of a fountain. If I knew it at the time we would have ordered something from one of the bars and used their table. Kehl Germany/ Strasbourg France: We took the Strasbourg City Tour. We had a narrated tour of Strasbourg and the bus dropped us off with our guide to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the astronomical clock which chimes at 12:30pm. I would recommend getting there early to get a good view. We went back to the ship for a quick lunch to be ready for our next tour, the Obernai Wine Tasting. The bus ride was 45 min each way. We then went to the wine tasting and had some delicious Alsatian Bundt Cake afterwards. We were driven to the town of Obernai which is a very quant town with narrow cobblestone streets and unique shops where we enjoyed some shopping and gelato. Breisach Germany: We took the Breisach & Freiberg Tour. We specifically took this tour because the tour book stated you “take a panoramic drive through the black forest”. If we went through the black forest the guide did not tell us we did. He did point out the black forest many miles away while we were driving. The winery we went to was very nice the owner took us through the wine cellar as he spoke about making the wine. Although learning about the wine was interesting the owner was too philosophical for me. Telling us how making wine is life changing and like Bach writing a symphony. The bus took us to Freiburg where you could shop but the stores were mostly clothing and shoe stores. This was our least favorite tour because we did not go to the black forest (that we know of), the shopping was not to our liking, and we did not enjoy the wine tour. Disembarkation: I thought this was not done well. We took the time to go to the disembarkation talk on the last night. The cruise manager had no information for us. She said we would find out after she posted the schedule on her desk about 6:30pm that night. So when we went to dinner we did not know when we would have to be off the ship. During dinner I went up to the cruise manager’s desk to find out that our bags had to be outside our cabins at 8:30am and our pickup to the airport was at 9 am for an 11:15 am flight. We were able to get up in the morning and finish packing our bags without any problem but, it would have been nice to know earlier rather than having to stress about when we needed to have our bags outside the room. We did purchase transfers from AMA for $60US pp to take us from the ship to Basel airport. This all went smoothly. Our driver was there to help us with our bags. A couple was supposed to be traveling to the airport with us but, they never showed even after the ship crew made an announcement for them so, it was just the 3 of us. I again think the transfer was worth the price we paid. I know we could have informed the reception desk the night before that we needed a taxi and they would have arranged one. It probably would have been less expensive but, this worked best for us at the time. Overview: Our cruise manager: Kata was not the best. She was not very knowledgeable about the ports and not very friendly. Yes, she would say “hello” when she saw you but not personable as I am used to with other cruise managers. Also the tours were not well organized. For instance, she informed everyone to wait in the lounge and not mill around the reception desk before the tours so we did. There was only us and 2 couples in the lounge. Everyone else was at the reception desk. I just happened to stand up and look at the reception area and no one was there. They were already out to the busses. We were the last ones on the bus because she did not make an announcement and because my mother walks slow. Needless to say, we got a couple of dirty looks from the people waiting for us. Also, in the brochure it states there is a late starters group. There was never a late starters group. We did not think about this until our last tour day. Maybe if we asked they may have started one. Staff: The entire staff was very friendly and helpful. They always had a smile on their faces. The food staff went out of their way to get us what we wanted. For instance my sister wanted a dessert but she wanted some cherries with it. When the dessert came (some type of cake) there was a side bowl of cherries. Our cabin steward (I don’t remember her name) was very responsive. We requested a top sheet and extra towels and they were there with the night turndown. My mother had her hair done -wash, blow-dry and set - for 22 Euro and she liked the results. My sister had a 30 min massage for 30 Euro and she said it was one of the best she has ever had. Wine Cruise: We did not know when we booked this cruise it was a wine cruise. My mom drinks wine and enjoyed the Captain’s Dinner with wine pairing but, my sister and I do not enjoy wines so we tried all the wines but, they are not to our taste. They had a wine expert who gave several lectures while on board but, we did not attend. Ellebnis Restaurant: We went to this restaurant one evening. I read the Cruise Critic posts before we left and they said to do this restaurant when the ship is moving. So, that is what we did. The scenery is beautiful and the sunset was picturesque. I know food is subjective. With that being said we did not enjoy most food here. We don’t like caviar and foie gras but, the entrée was good and the dessert was the best! I feel the food at the main dining room was always good, freshly prepared but had a limited selection. Entertainment: The piano player was nice but, we really enjoyed the night the local entertainer came onboard. Her name was Jela and she got everyone on the dance floor with music from the 60’s-80’s. They also had a local female French singer and accordion player one night that we enjoyed. With this all being said we would go on another AmaWaterways cruise. I hope with a different cruise manager. Others on this cruise who have sailed AmaWaterways before agreed that the cruise manager, Kata was not as good as others. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
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