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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were looking for a five star experience on a River that had been recommended to us by fellow travelers on the Danube. The river scenery is indeed five stars. But the boat itself, while new, is not. Laminate throughout. The cruise ... Read More
We were looking for a five star experience on a River that had been recommended to us by fellow travelers on the Danube. The river scenery is indeed five stars. But the boat itself, while new, is not. Laminate throughout. The cruise also has major flaws. Not worth the price paid. The crew was very good to outstanding. But when you contrast that with an amazingly poorly organized dinner service - not the servers fault - and other serious flaws, you get a less than could have been experience. The small ports stopped at are pleasant enough, but really no suggestion was made by the crew to get off the boat and visit them. Instead of visiting a local restaurant or two, we were bussed to large wine estates. Interesting, but instead of a 45 min bus ride each way, surely there were closer local options. Pastry - 5 stars. Had 7-8 outstanding offerings each lunch... Breakfast - 4 stars. Nice variety in the buffet, but not all was fabulous. Nice cook to order stuff tho, and great bread and pastries. Dinner - 2 to 3 stars. Mostly hit or miss. Some items four stars, some inedible. But the real negative was the system for ordering, and delivering the food. Negative 2 stars. How can it take 1 3/4 hours to deliver three items to a dining room.? There were only 75 people on our boat and limited choices. .....plenty of dining room staff.... The rooms were a little strangely laid out but ok. Ours had a balcony, but there definitely is a better way to design same. Beds comfy, and cabin service good. This boat has a great top deck, but it was rarely used by other guests, or promoted by the crew. No lunches or events there, in spite of the wonderful scenery we were passing by. Oh what our fellow travelers missed.. The local entertainment brought on Board was outstanding, especially a Tuna band, but more could have been done here. Again, not the crew’s fault, as they worked with what was given them. The average age of those on board was probably 75. Options were offered on tours for slower walkers, which was nice, and needed. Overall, plenty of potential with the Amadouro, but AMA has a long way to go to get this boat to a five star level. 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
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first river cruise, or cruise of any kind, and we picked AMA based on a review of various materials that reviewed cruise lines.The cruise was easy to book through a travel agent. The embarkation was smooth , the ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, or cruise of any kind, and we picked AMA based on a review of various materials that reviewed cruise lines.The cruise was easy to book through a travel agent. The embarkation was smooth , the disembarkation was well handled and included transportation from the ship to the airport. The price would have included free airfare had we wanted to fly to coincide with the ship's day of depature, But since we wanted to spend a few days in Europe prior to sailing, we had to have that booked separately, but we were given an airfare that was very inexpensive for the route taken. The ship was beautiful . Our room was surprisingly spacious at 230 sq. ft. and had both French and outside balconies.The bathroom was large with a great rain shower, thick, comfortable towels and high quality grooming products. It was serviced twice every day by a professional,conscientious, helpful, abd friendly staff. The food service could not have been better. The breakfast and lunch were buffet, although there were always choices available to be served from the kitchen. The dinners were four courses with several options, including vegetarian and gluten free. The wines were high quality (and free flowing).. The waitstaff was attentive to every need. Cocktails were available for free for an hour before dinner, but also available all day long. there were also early risers' breakfast t available later in the morning. Lunch was also available as just soup and sandwich in the ship's lounge. In addition, every person had access to a special dinner at the Chef's Table dining room one night during the cuise. As for activities, there was stretching and Yoga every day and other fitness activities available throughout the day. Bicycles were available all the time and there were scheduled bike trips as shore excursions. There were also several strenuous hikes. And the standard city tours had both active and less active itineraries so every person had access to a pace with which they could be comfortable. The staff was wonderful from captain on down . The cruise director was tireless in her efforts to insure that all was perfect and did her job with boundless energy and humor. In short, we would gladly sail with AMA Wayerways again and give them our highest recommendation. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this trip for our 39th Wedding Anniversary and the wish to experience a river cruise on the Danube. The Romantic Danube itinerary seemed to catch our eye and booked this cruise with the 2 night Hotel option in Munich Germany. ... Read More
We chose this trip for our 39th Wedding Anniversary and the wish to experience a river cruise on the Danube. The Romantic Danube itinerary seemed to catch our eye and booked this cruise with the 2 night Hotel option in Munich Germany. After clearing customs/immigration, we exited the baggage hall and were met by our AmaWaterway transfer driver. He whisked us away to our Hotel located in the heart of "old" Munich and easy walking distances to any restaurants, market plaza's and old cathedrals. The Hotel room was ready upon arrival and the staff took good care of us. There was a very helpful AmaWaterways representative in the Hotel Lobby who gave us information related to our stay, the included walking tour and departure time to meet the ship at Vilshofen. The Hotel was wonderful, the local tour guide Annette gave our group a wonderful tour full of history and background of the area. The Sunday departure to meet the ship was flawless. It left on time, picked up additional passengers at the airport and arrived at the ship safely and on time. The embarkation to the AmaCerto was smooth, we were welcomed aboard by the tour manager Camille, reception had everything organized well our cabin was ready, luggage in room and times for some important briefings and safety demonstrations. The cabin we picked was nicely appointed, clean and comfortable. The washroom/shower was very adequate for our needs. We had a balcony and French balcony in our cabin. We used our balcony quite a bit. The food was fantastic, service was friendly and spot on and we really liked the open seating policy. The cruise manager arranged a host of talented singers, musicians and folk dancers for the evening entertainment. There were various fitness activities each day put on by the Wellness Coordinator. Camille had all the shore excursions organized, offered different fitness levels and had good local guides. All the excursions we attended went smoothly and added a lot of depth to the cruise. Final disembarkation to the airport was well organized and went smoothly. It was sad to leave as we had a excellent time, met many interesting people. We would definitely do this again!. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We arrived in Porto Friday April 5 after the pre-cruise package in Lisbon. Lisbon was fine, but Porto is truly an amazing place. Definitely worth a visit! The inaugural cruise on the AMA Douro was supposed to be Saturday April 6. We ... Read More
We arrived in Porto Friday April 5 after the pre-cruise package in Lisbon. Lisbon was fine, but Porto is truly an amazing place. Definitely worth a visit! The inaugural cruise on the AMA Douro was supposed to be Saturday April 6. We were initially told via email the ship wasn't ready and it will now be Sunday April 7. They put us up at the Yeatman-- a 5 Star hotel in Porto and paid for everything including our scheduled shore excursion. Then they announced we are delayed another day. (Don't ever do an inaugural cruise-- even if the owners of AMA are on board.) So we got on busses and followed the incomplete ship down the river to another hotel that was 4 Star at best. We finally met the ship 1/3 of the way down the Douro River on day 3 Monday April 8. Most of the ship was complete, but there were plenty of cosmetic issues that were worked on throughout the week. By now, the ship is probably decorated and 95% as it was intended. The other issue with the inaugural cruise is that many of the servers didn't know what they were doing and our dinners were regularly incorrect. Most of the staff was very pleasant and tried to do everything they could. For an expensive river cruise the breakfasts were excellent at 5/5, lunch 4/5, but dinners only 3/5. I'd say the biggest issue going forward is with the Douro River itself. Excursions required long bus rides and most ports had nothing to offer, but a dock and maybe a café. Salamanca Spain was the highlight and that was 2 hours each way by bus. There were no bikes available and no reason to go out at night. You were either on the boat or on a bus. This was not the Danube or Rhine where cities and castles are right by the ports. We are in our mid 50s and were by far the youngest people on the ship. The piano player was very good, but there was little to do and this is clearly a cruise for retired folks. We did get three great surprises at the end. We were offered 1/2 our money back in cash or a future free cruise credit; they paid for all our drinks (not just the free wine/beer during meals); and the Christening event on Friday was really special. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first river cruise. We will definitely do it again, and based on this experience AMA will be our first choice. Everyone on this ship went out of their way to be friendly and helpful, from the captain to the cruise and ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We will definitely do it again, and based on this experience AMA will be our first choice. Everyone on this ship went out of their way to be friendly and helpful, from the captain to the cruise and hospitality directors, to food service personnel, waiters and bar attendants, and to housekeeping staff. Food was excellent, particularly the Chef’s table which was served with pride by the chef and his staff in the special eating area at the ships stern as we happily took in the (sunny) view of the picturesque waterways. Activities were well organized and interesting with enthusiastic local guides. Was particularly impressed with the cruise director who proved to be a great entertainer while bringing us all up to date on upcoming events and schedule. He seemed to always be there to interact with guests or solve problems. Amazing how he also made challenges of scheduling of supporting transport and guides invisible to ship guests. Appreciated the security of on board entry and the concerns of local guides to always have the right number in the group or safely avoiding the crazy Dutch cyclists and cars. Entertainment highlight was a classical trio who were fantastic. Other entertainers were comfortably appropriate for guest demographics. Judging by the age of cruise guests, this cruise was most frequented by 55+ folk. Often they retreated to cabins after dinner. Despite fitness leader, not a big draw except for small number who usually took more active cycle tours. There were a few kids on this cruise but with much walking and historical focus, probably not best for kids. I have written reviews for trip advisor on several occasions but have never had the opportunity to be so positive about a trip experience. Keep it up AMA, we’re looking to do this again next year! A final word on the weather. It was cold and damp for early April so bring warm clothes and rain gear. Fortunately only one day was rainy but our umbrellas saved the day. Despite the weather Keukenhof was beautiful, as was the Florillia flower show that AMA arranged access to before the show opened a few days later. Btw, when in Bruges, make sure to get your chocolates from Dumont’s. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Sailed with AMA before, loved it! Their attention to detail is superb. This time we experienced a drought that altered our course and experience. AMA took us to 2 extra countries not on our original itinerary, made everything pleasant and ... Read More
Sailed with AMA before, loved it! Their attention to detail is superb. This time we experienced a drought that altered our course and experience. AMA took us to 2 extra countries not on our original itinerary, made everything pleasant and seamless, remained positive and upbeat, and gave us a 100% credit for a future cruise of our choosing! We were on two ships, identical accommodations. Cabins great, ships great, dining excellent, service great, entertainment and activities great, excursions fabulous, staff attentive and wonderful, embarkation, disembarkation and ship transfer went smoothly and perfectly! AMA is an outstanding company, a class act, and I will most certainly travel with them again! They outperform all of the others and are far superior! The Captain gives each lady a rose upon arrival, and by the time you get back from dinner, the rose is in a vase. The crew knows your food likes and dislikes, allergies, and every detail to make you feel comfortable. They make special occasions unforgettable and treat you with the utmost respect! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
AmaWaterways cruise schedule and ports met our desires and the total cost was slightly less than major competitors. Our mid-October cruise was from Basel, Switzerland, north to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. We were given copious ... Read More
AmaWaterways cruise schedule and ports met our desires and the total cost was slightly less than major competitors. Our mid-October cruise was from Basel, Switzerland, north to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. We were given copious information in advance of the cruise (text, photos, and maps) about the ports and available tours so we could study and plan our days and photo shoots. We had a little time before embarkation to explore Basel and that city was quite interesting. Ama offered at least 2 complimentary tours in each port as well as a bicycle tour in some ports. We could sign up for regular paced walking tours or leisurely (more time to take photos). The tour guides were knowledgeable and looked out for us so that we would not get separated from the group in crowded areas. And a headset enabled us to still hear the tour guide when we were looking at the sights (as long as we were within about 50 feet of the guide). Our cabin was clean, quiet, comfortable, and cozy. The Rhine was extremely low (no rain for 4 months) and the ship (AmaStella) could not go farther north than Strassbourg but Ama had a solution and transferred us to another Ama ship (AmaKristina) that was heading south from Amsterdam but could go no farther than Dusseldorf -- a real logistical challenge for the ship crews to swap all the passengers and their luggage but handled extremely well. Once on the AmaKristina we finished our cruise, debarking in Amsterdam. Since the river was too shallow for the ship to go though the "Rhine Gorge" area (with all its castles), Ama arranged for passengers on both ships to go on a tour boat along that stretch of the Rhine, with complimentary wine and beer. Both the ships we were on (AmaStella and AmaKristina) were first rate in terms of crew helpfulness (all spoke good English), cabin comfort, and dining (the beef was particularly tender and delicious on both ships -- every meal was a delight and the waiter was happy to increase or decrease the portion size. While we did not take advantage of the evening entertainment (tired from walking), the exercise room or the beauty salon, we did enjoy the daily "happy hour" with complimentary drinks from the bar each evening before dinner. Weather (mid October) was too cool to take advantage of the pool and swim-up bar. Despite the river level being low and forcing some trip changes (beyond Ama's control) we had a marvelous time and are starting to plan our next AmaWaterways cruise. A fantastic company that we feel provided exceptional value for our money. Marcia Ehrhardt, the cruise director, was patient, took the low water schedule change and other challenges in stride, and kept us very well informed. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Family recommended the Amawaterways cruise company . We couldn’t of had a better trip. The ship was in excellent condition from brass bell down to the on board bikes to take ashore . We were wowed by the crew especially the cruise ... Read More
Family recommended the Amawaterways cruise company . We couldn’t of had a better trip. The ship was in excellent condition from brass bell down to the on board bikes to take ashore . We were wowed by the crew especially the cruise manager “Marcia”. The food was excellent and suited all types of tastes and appetites along with the abundant poured wines paired with all the meals .(except breakfast Thank God)! We saw lots of other cruise companies as we traveled up the Rhine and our ship always looked the best and had active guests and crews having fun on deck all the time . Others cruise ships seemed to not have the same energy . Our on shore activities were great especially the hired by ama tour guides in each port , turely amazing and so knowledgeable and fun to follow through village listening to all the history and amusing details of our visit . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise exceeded all expectations. From the time we arrived, we were greeted with exceptional service from all of the friendly staff. We were amazed at how many of the staff addressed us by name within the first day of arrival. With ... Read More
This cruise exceeded all expectations. From the time we arrived, we were greeted with exceptional service from all of the friendly staff. We were amazed at how many of the staff addressed us by name within the first day of arrival. With so many guests, that was very flattering. Talida was a great cruise manager and kept us informed of happenings each day. The laundry service was fast and not too expensive. The food, OMG, what can we say to express how impressed we were. How they managed to serve everyone at a table at the same time with the right order was amazing. The beds in our cabin were so comfortable that the first night we slept right through breakfast the next morning - slept from 10PM to 10AM Luckily we didn't miss our Pecs Excursion. We really appreciated being able to choose the gentle walking tours and they even had a town train to take us around on one of the stops. The tour we enjoyed most was the Banitsa making one, with Pavel and Ramona's entertaining explanation of how to make it. I plan to try that recipe soon. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
An travel agent acquaintance made some suggestions when my sister and I decided we would like to try a river cruise and we are so grateful she suggested AMA. The service was wonderful and the cruise manage, Camille, was terrific. She was ... Read More
An travel agent acquaintance made some suggestions when my sister and I decided we would like to try a river cruise and we are so grateful she suggested AMA. The service was wonderful and the cruise manage, Camille, was terrific. She was friendly and professional and personal. She supplied pertinent information at the exact time we needed it. The excursions were timely and informative and guides were excellent. The time at the excursion sites is relatively quick. If you really want to explore a city, you really don't have time to do so - you mostly get an overview, then move on. We did a bike tour along the Danube, as well as a hiking tour, but the rest were city tours, which are informative, but next time I might do something more specific to the area, such as a wine tasting, etc. The cruise was relaxing but never boring. You can be as active as you wish, or relax as necessary. The excursions were offered for easy walkers, regular walkers or active walkers, along with bike and hiking. Be sure to pack clothing to enjoy the deck. As you travel along the Danube (we sailed from Budapest to Vilshofen) the scenery got more and more beautiful as we sailed up the river. The food was delicious but not in excess like it can be on an ocean cruise. The only thing I would criticize would be the on board gym. It could have used a few free weights and an elliptical machine, but after a few days I didn't have the time or energy to use it anyway! Can't wait to cruise with AMA again! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we liked the idea of a smaller group of people. We didn't want to dress up for dinner and loved the idea of country club casual. This cruise was absolutely wonderful. We were on the bottom deck and did ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the idea of a smaller group of people. We didn't want to dress up for dinner and loved the idea of country club casual. This cruise was absolutely wonderful. We were on the bottom deck and did not feel slighted in the least, the crew took wonderful care of us as if we were in the Ritz Carlton. AMA will always be my choise for a river cruise and I will request Camille Dernis as the cruise manager. She treated us as if we were the only ones on the cruise. She was fabulous!! I lost my passport and she coordinated help with the American Consolate and this was after our cruise was over!! All of our transfers were handled for us and AMA made travel stress minimal. We were met at the airport and the shore excursions were great as well, all of our travel guides were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We had heard a lot of good things about AMA Waterways so when it came to choosing a company we didn't look anywhere else for a river cruise. We chose the 7 night Danube cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest. The brand new Ama Lea ... Read More
We had heard a lot of good things about AMA Waterways so when it came to choosing a company we didn't look anywhere else for a river cruise. We chose the 7 night Danube cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest. The brand new Ama Lea was beautiful and nicely appointed. I can't say enough about the staff who made sure our experience was exceptional. The food was delicious and always beautifully presented. We dined at the Chef's Table one night and everything was exceptional. The tours in each port were well organized and informative. They had tours for different levels of activity so they catered for all levels of physical abilities. We usually chose the active tours, hikes to castles and the bike ride along the Danube in Weissenkirchen. The ride took us through quaint villages, vineyards and apple orchards. The scenery in the Wachau Valley was gorgeous. Thank you AMA Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Good experience with inconvenience of record hot summer, and drought across Central Europe. Captain did the best one could, "Everyone talks about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it"-Mark Twain. Some minor ... Read More
Good experience with inconvenience of record hot summer, and drought across Central Europe. Captain did the best one could, "Everyone talks about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it"-Mark Twain. Some minor itinerary shifts, and less convenient docking, due to low water. Small staff, morale and attitude very good, professional. Open seating 3 meals a day made connecting with specific waiters, though certainly seamless hand-offs. Occasional coordination slight delays at breakfast for coffee. I missed the Ocean Cruise relationship w a single waiter throughout. The ship offered Sip and Sail, an unadvertised feature of cocktails, beer, wine, complimentary for one hour prior to dinner, along with complimentary, beer- Stella on tap- wines with lunch and dinner. One red one white the meal, the same unoaked French Chardonnay every day, some variation in reds. Generous pours- the inexperienced be careful! Food quite good, compared to experiences with Holland America and Cunard. I ordered entercôte very rare, ie 'bleu', twice and, both perfect, NOT overcooked both times. (I have been told water hate the order 'rare', as it id cooked to order, then complaints and returns, 'ugh, this is raw'." I have learned to assure, "I will not send it back for under cooking". Variations, request all provided w/o hint of protest or inconvenience. I only undertook 2 excursions, the trip to the Amsterdam flower auction, massive facility, was great, as it is impossible to describe, scale, scope, and complexity of the system. walk across the building and back, 1 mile. The final day excursion to Riquwehr FR, was fun. Alsatian village from 15500-1600's, lot of tourists, but no pizza or MaDonalds. Sat in café, watched it flow by. Cabin snug, public areas laid out well, so cabin for sleep and naps. Ship was impeccably clean Dress casual, well heeled group of mostly retired Southern professionals, dressed same as if home. PROS- All-inclusive approach means the feeling of nickeled and died to death was blessedly missing CONS Not really. Close quarters of boat. Its a boat on a river, so it's a big as possible Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Our cruise on AMAWaterways AMAViola was such a wonderful experience. We looked at many river cruises and finally selected this one because of the timing of our vacation and excellent ports. We flew from Philadelphia to Munich and spent 3 ... Read More
Our cruise on AMAWaterways AMAViola was such a wonderful experience. We looked at many river cruises and finally selected this one because of the timing of our vacation and excellent ports. We flew from Philadelphia to Munich and spent 3 nights there before taking a train to Vilshofen. The embarkation went smoothly and as we arrived early we were able to leave our luggage on ship to explore the town and have lunch. Everything from our arrival to disembarkation was nothing less than excellent and professionally handled. The ship was lovely as well as the cabin. Most of the crew and staff knew us by name as well as our likes and dislikes in a very short time. We were able to meet many wonderful people both fellow travelers and staff. This is one of the advantages of a smaller ship with less passengers. The cruise director, David was amazingly helpful and guided the activities, making the cruise much more enjoyable. Our ports and shore excursions were excellent! Vilshofen, Passau, Weisenkurchen, Wachu Valley, Linz, Austria, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. All shore excursions were guided by local tour guides speaking English. All were excellent guides and very knowledgeable about the area. Dining on the ship was quite a unique experience. The food was wonderful, nice variety with great service at every meal. There was always a good variety of choices. This was my first cruise of any kind in my 63 years and I don't think I would ever choose a large ocean cruise. The intimacy of the smaller group was so enjoyable. If we choose to go on another cruise in the near future it will be with AMA Waterways. I can't imagine another cruise line being able to top the experience we had. Thanks to all the staff who made our cruise so special. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have been on a bunch of Ocean Cruises but this was Our First River Cruise and I always wanted to travel the Danube - so we did. We travelled with another couple and while cruising we met a bunch of new friends. We ended up being a group ... Read More
We have been on a bunch of Ocean Cruises but this was Our First River Cruise and I always wanted to travel the Danube - so we did. We travelled with another couple and while cruising we met a bunch of new friends. We ended up being a group of 9 hanging around together for dinner and cocktails, catching up on our day of tours. We started with a few days at The Hilton Old Town in Prague arranged by AMA Waterways which included a get together and a couple of tours with our Fantastic host David Rosell. On Embarkation day, Ama Waterways took us to our ship in Vilshofen Germany. Everything worked out great, very smooth transfer. AMA thinks of everything. David Rosell was our Cruise Manager and if you ever have him on your cruise consider yourself very lucky. David was absolutely fabulous - with Everyone!! He took the time to talk and laugh with each person, help you with whatever you needed and entertain you with his stories. The crew of the AMA Viola is amazing. They all work so very hard, very helpful, polite, pleasant and they can't do enough for us to make our cruise special. The engineers who hook up and un-hook our ship at each port work so extremely hard. It was great just watching them. I cannot say enough about this crew - FABULOUS! Dining on The AMA Viola is fantastic. If you have a special dietary need, just let them know. They will remember you and therefore will take care of your needs for the duration. They even knew which day we were going to dine at The Chef's Table restaurant and told me in advance that they had everything set up. WOW! AMAZING!! The meals were great. Lots to choose from. Presentation was amazing at the buffets, A la Carte Dining and The Chef's Table. Your beverages at lunch and dinner (yes, you can have free champagne at breakfast) are included as well as happy hour each day before dinner. The wait staff remembers what you like to drink so they are well prepared. There is nightly entertainment (and also during Happy Hour) on board. This takes place in the lounge which is where the onboard entertainment is and yes, it holds everyone - they have set it up quite well. Some nightly entertainment is better than others. Ports and Shore Excursions keep you very busy... everyday. Each port is very well set up for all excursions with lots to choose from. Everyone has their own listening device so you can hear the very knowledgeable guides. Yes, there is a lot of walking but remember, you are in Europe to explore and enjoy and that is exactly what we did. When Docking at some of the busier ports, you definitely dock beside / with other cruise ships. It makes it very interesting. Not only do you walk thru the other ships lobbies (where you can be snoopy) but you can also see what the other ships / cruise lines look like. I have to say that the Top Deck of AMA Viola was far superior than any other river boat we saw. No other ship had a pool, some did have a hot tub but it wasn't rare to see a 'boring sundeck' with just a few chairs - no cushions on these other ships. AMA is a very relaxed and casual way of cruising the rivers. If you want to get dressed up then you can but if you want to just be 'smart casual' - no jeans then that works also. Gentlemen, bring a jacket if you want but you don't need one. Not even at The Chef's Table Restaurant. Another great thing..... there are no photographers running around trying to take your picture for $$$$ so don't forget to bring your own smart phone or camera. One of my favorite things was cruising during the morning and watching the beautiful scenery go by. I wish we had more of that. I absolutely LOVE AMA Waterways and will definitely travel with them again. AMA is now my first and only choice for River Cruising. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The ship and crew I can’t say enough good things. EXCELLENT personal service 24/7. Took the cruise from Amsterdam to Basel. Simply amazing. The cabin was a 10 plus with plenty of room and George my housekeeper was excellent.Food was ... Read More
The ship and crew I can’t say enough good things. EXCELLENT personal service 24/7. Took the cruise from Amsterdam to Basel. Simply amazing. The cabin was a 10 plus with plenty of room and George my housekeeper was excellent.Food was spectacular. When I cruise again in Europe this truely will be my only choice. All the shore excursions were handled correctly, on time, and very interesting. The details they took were great. Reception and housekeeping remembered my name. Waiters remembered what I drank and what I wanted. There was great entertainment with a violins one night and disco the next. So a wide variety. One night they have a Chefs table where 15 or so partake in a special meal put on by a special chef in a separate room. It’s a 5 course meal you won’t forget. Everything, even the desserts are made fresh each day.Thank you Crew and especially Marcia the cruise director. She was so kind and accommodating for everyone.... Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose to cruise with AmaWaterways based on our Travel Agent’s recommendation. Right from the time we embarked in Basel to our departure in Amsterdam, we had a wonderful time. Everything on the AmaKristina (commisioned in 2017) was ... Read More
We chose to cruise with AmaWaterways based on our Travel Agent’s recommendation. Right from the time we embarked in Basel to our departure in Amsterdam, we had a wonderful time. Everything on the AmaKristina (commisioned in 2017) was great, from the on-board staff and entertainment, to the food and the well organized off ship excursions! Our stateroom had a French balcony and a small balcony with a couple of chairs and a small table-very useful for sitting and watching the Rhine castles and vineyards as we steamed downstream towards Amsterdam! At each stop along the way during our seven night journey, the excurdions were well planned and organized. Alghough we were encouraged to sign up for the events well in advance of our trip, we discovered that we could make changes while on-board. Most excursions had options for gentle, normal and active walkers and this were well received by the guests. We will definitely sail with AmaWaterways again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Sometimes when you cruise multiple times on a particular line, current expectations don't meet past cruise experiences. Not so with AMA. Each cruise is as good if not better than previous ones. Our 11 day Rhine & Moselle ... Read More
Sometimes when you cruise multiple times on a particular line, current expectations don't meet past cruise experiences. Not so with AMA. Each cruise is as good if not better than previous ones. Our 11 day Rhine & Moselle Fairytales cruise was no exception. Everything from the service to the food to the cabin to the ship and personnel to the itinerary was impeccable and first class. AMA is in a class alone and can't imagine ever cruising Europe's rivers on another line. Dejean is one of the hardest working cruise managers we have ever been involved with. He was always pleasant and ready to engage in conservation or discuss cruise details. Captain Gerd is the most accessible captain we have known. Bigger than life personality, he would welcome you in the wheelhouse and loved to talk boat and navigation stuff. We really enjoyed getting to know him. Hotel manager, Patrice always greeted you with a smile and wanted to know if everything was alright with our cruise. His staff did a wonderful job. Maitre'd Pawel greeted us at in the dining room with a smile and a hearty handshake. Thanks again for your help in the grocery store in Kues. The variety and quality of food on the AMAPrima is awesome. Our cabin was perfect. We used both the balcony and the french balcony. A lot of room, storage space, big bathroom and comfortable beds. We were a little disappointed with the variety of entertainment, but knowing that this was the first cruise on this itinerary, it could be expected. We, however, enjoyed listening to Norbert's piano each evening...sometimes singing along or dancing. The AMAPrima has some of the friendliest staff we have experienced. All to a person greeted you with a smile, made each guest feel like family and wanted to make sure you were have a great cruise. The excursions were well planned as always and interesting. AMA makes this process very easy and Dejean carried out the plans very well. The AMAPrima as with all AMA ships is beautiful, clean and very functional. We regularly used the top deck lounges. We would highly recommend AMA when cruising Europe's rivers. You'll love an AMA ship experience. Thanks AMA for another fantastic cruise. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
It was on a river , my wife has a motion sickness problem. The itinerary looked interesting. My wife uses an electric trike to travel any distance but it is not needed on board. The excursions all had a gentle options so we assumed ... Read More
It was on a river , my wife has a motion sickness problem. The itinerary looked interesting. My wife uses an electric trike to travel any distance but it is not needed on board. The excursions all had a gentle options so we assumed we could cope. Unfortunately mainland Europe has not progress as far the UK and north america in disability access. Another problem was the boat was frequently double or triple parked so we had to get to the top deck, no lift to that and then go up and down over one or two other boats. The crew helped as much as they could but it was still a problem. No idea why they did that there seemed to be unused berths in places. My biggest problem was the quality of the shore excursions the guides seemed to pitch the talks at a very superficial level. The only ones I enjoyed were the tasting options when the guide or subject expert had the time to talk to us as adults. Of the other guests two thirds had booked as a group this appeared to limit social interaction. Given the price I ticked the luxury box and marked accordingly. Enrichment activities not sure any were offered. They had a resident pianist, bland, inoffensive and quiet. Fitness room had a treadmill, 2 bikes and a high tech multi-gym with virtually no instructions, I would have preferred an elliptical machine instead of the second bike. Never saw any of the machines in use. One guide I found really irritating referred repeatedly to the visit the Royal Air Force made to her town on 16/4/1945 and yes we did flatten most of it but we were at war. Very difficult to avoid asking what here parents did in the war years. Another tour the guide sent most time talking about basket ball (ex pro 7ft 2inch) of no interest to me and not what I paid for. We found the almost total absence of both bird life and fishermen along the rivers interesting makes you wounder what is in the water. In-spite of the crew and the food being excellent we would not repeat this or try another cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We took our first river cruise on the AmaDolce Bordeaux cruise. I should have checked the amount of cruising because there was very little scenic cruising on this route. To me, this river cruise is just assisted living on a ship. Your ... Read More
We took our first river cruise on the AmaDolce Bordeaux cruise. I should have checked the amount of cruising because there was very little scenic cruising on this route. To me, this river cruise is just assisted living on a ship. Your meals are prepared for you at specific times and you go on excursions on large buses. We're not quite at that age, yet. If you like river cruises, then I would recommend not upgrading unless you have a daily scenic cruise. Otherwise, you're paying for balconies and doors to use while you're sitting at the dock, sometimes with other ships attached to your ship. Not really worth the extra money. Plus, and this applies to all Amawaterways ships, DO NOT get a room on the same level with the Chef's Restaurant. Rowdy and inebriated folks will come down the hallway at all hours and will wake you up if you choose to retire after 10PM. We need to age 10 more years until river cruising would be worthwhile. We should have just gotten a hotel in Bordeaux; taken some private chateau tours and then sat at a wine bar every day to try all the different wines. Then, go to a wine shop, order and ship. A local Bordeaux river cruise would have been better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
My wife and I have done around 25 cruises. We have never had the level of service provided on this cruise. We spent a few nights in Prague before boarding the ship. Highly recommend doing this. Its a beautiful city. We also added days ... Read More
My wife and I have done around 25 cruises. We have never had the level of service provided on this cruise. We spent a few nights in Prague before boarding the ship. Highly recommend doing this. Its a beautiful city. We also added days at the end in Budapest. Very nice cities. The tours that AmaWaterways provided in both cities were very helpful in orienting us to the city. Plus the tours had great local guides. The hotels were top notch on great locations. This ship was not crowded. Plenty of room on the deck, restaurant or lounge. Very relaxing. My wife and I went alone. So we sat with others to eat or relax. Even tho this is not normally my thing it worked very well on this trip. The included wine may have helped . Met a lot of great people from many places around the world. The food provided at lunch was local a number of times. German food when we were in Germany goulash in Hungary ETC. very good. Dinner was high end and very good. The service was great. Very accommodating and very well trained. The room was laid out well, the bath and shower was nice. and we had no issues. If you don't want to walk as far request a room towards the lounge area. You will save a few steps. The ports were really nice and the local guides were great. If you are comparing to other ships consider this fact. The tour guides were very good. The quiet vox listening device is in your cabin to use on tours. This is really nice because you can hear even when you stop to take photos. Kudos to Roxy, Carman, Pasquel and Christian. Only names I can remember. The entire staff was great. Our room 324 was made up perfect every time. We wanted for nothing. With Christian managing the cruise and PasqueI managing the house everything was just right.I could do a review on these 2 they are that good. I didn't even mention the nighttime light tour in Budapest. Oh my. Just book it. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
AmaWaterways was our second choice when we discovered Viking had booked up this particular Danube Cruise. Our experience up to this point has been 2 ocean cruises on Viking and both experiences were 5 star. We were not sure we would even ... Read More
AmaWaterways was our second choice when we discovered Viking had booked up this particular Danube Cruise. Our experience up to this point has been 2 ocean cruises on Viking and both experiences were 5 star. We were not sure we would even like a river cruise much less go with a cruise line we had never heard of before. Our adventure on AmaStella was above and beyond our expectations! River cruising is definitely a different experience than ocean. Our ocean cruise carried approx. 800 and I believe our river cruise had somewhere around 135. That in itself changes every aspect. I cannot say that i even prefer one to the other...now I know they are each simply unique. Also unique to this particular cruise is the atmosphere on ship. The entire ship is decorated for Christmas - so lovely, sparkling and festive. One night we even helped decorate some of the trees that only had the lights trimmed. The crew provided us with entertainment one evening by "caroling". Absolutely hysterical !!!! And of course the emphasis of the excursions was on the Christmas markets in each port. Excursions: Cannot say enough about quality of tour guides, tour buses used, itinerary, etc. Again, this cruise had a special theme so no doubt excursions in the same towns and cities another time of the year are going to differ. AmaWaterways provides an incredible choice of INCLUDED excursions - high quality ones in fact. Sometimes there was one offered for those who just wanted to visit the Christmas Market and perhaps drive through the town seeing points of interest, while offered at the same port was an excursion that included walking and exploring interiors of points of interest and adding the market at the end. In Passau, there were several of included choices, one of which a 2 hour ride into Salzburg and the opportunity to spend approximately 5 hours exploring Salzburg either independently or with a guide and then the return to the ship through the gorgeous snow covered mountains to Linz where the ship had sailed while we were in Salzburg. That excursion was a no-charge. Amazing. A wonderful aspect of Ama excursions is that for almost every one, they provided an option for 2-3 levels of "walkers"...gentle, normal, active. Each level was given their own guide. Again, we found this to be ever so accommodating. Cabin: We had a room with a balcony and french balcony and it was fairly roomy. Even though we rarely used the balcony due to weather, it did provide us with more space in the actual room. Be aware that there is not a lot of useable space underneath the bed for storing actual suitcases that are very deep. Fabulous that they provide a TV that is also a computer with a keyboard. You can pull up your boarding passes for your flight home and it will print directly to the Cruise Director's printer. Same thing for tickets to concerts or whatever extra you might have booked separate from what Ama was offering. Bathroom is decent size and very bright and "new". Beds were comfortable enough. We were well taken care of by the sweet young man in charge of our room - he anticipated our every need. Dining: I rarely eat breakfast but when I was ready mid morning, I could grab a cappuccino from the machine (love!!) and a pastry from the restaurant buffet. We were rarely on the ship during lunch. Dinner was always very good but the best meal we had onboard was definitely at the Chef's Table. And just a tip: one meal at Chef's Table is included, however if you check, there most likely will be another night that they are not booked and you can enjoy a second meal there. Worth checking on! This is the only area that i prefer the ocean over the river cruise. Some nights, we were looking forward to spending at a table with others (no tables for 2) getting to know them and having a very social dinner but most nights we were tired from the day's excursions and would have preferred being able to go to dinner when we wanted, self serve a few items from a buffet, sit just the two of us and spend much less than 2 hours on dinner. That's just a personal preference and it was obvious that most other cruisers wholeheartedly embraced the "dinner experience". We are not wine drinkers so that may be some of the lure and enjoyment for some at dinner and would cause them to want to linger. Just not for us. The Ama Cruise Director for our ship was John Riley and we cannot even come up with words worthy enough to describe this man. How he does it...we just cannot fathom. His attention to detail and organization is just short of being physically and mentally impossible. He lacks in absolutely nothing (unless it's sleep)!! We are certain that our delightful experience on AmaStella can be attributed to his talents and his ability to inspire those who are working with him. He spoils you. Our plane out of Budapest did not depart until 2:00 in the afternoon yet we needed to be out of our cabin by 9:00. We were so warmly encouraged and welcomed to stay in the lounge of the ship by John until we needed to get to the airport. Despite the crew trying to get ready for the next batch of cruisers who were set to arrive at any time, again we were urged to stay onboard and partake of the food being set out for the new group and remain comfortable until it was time to leave. Oh and one most lovely thing...those who were needing taxi service to the airport that day...John personally arranged for a taxi driver to appear at the dock for every single cruiser that needed it and for every single time they needed to depart. We all waited in the lounge and he would announce when each of our taxis had arrived, we would walk off and there were our bags being loaded by the driver. We were the next to the last couple to leave the ship and the entire time we were made to feel more than welcome. So from start to finish this was a lovely, very special experience for us. Will we do it again with AmaWaterways? Absolutely!! Read Less
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