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5 AmaWaterways Spring Break Cruise Reviews

This was a wonderful experience with all things given priority. Great excursions ,food, staff were at the forefront with meticulous attention to details!! Thank you to Monika, our director, for planning and ensuring that everything went ... Read More
This was a wonderful experience with all things given priority. Great excursions ,food, staff were at the forefront with meticulous attention to details!! Thank you to Monika, our director, for planning and ensuring that everything went smoothly!! The excursions were for every ability with many choices. The guides were knowledgeable and fun giving a lot of historical details and explaining any questions asked. The food was delicious and also many choices were given at each meal.The staff was attentive and oh so accommodating! I had a great massage and and was able to sneak in a couple of glorious naps!! The ship was always clean and I loved having my bed turned down each night with chocolate left on my pillow. The snacks left in the lounge each day was wonderful. So there was always a snack for those of us who get peckish. I have already planned for next years tour!! Thank you AMA!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I will summarize and then expand more for families who want more details. We have visited Europe with our children a few times, but have been predominantly in the west. We wanted to experience Eastern Europe and this cruise had several ... Read More
I will summarize and then expand more for families who want more details. We have visited Europe with our children a few times, but have been predominantly in the west. We wanted to experience Eastern Europe and this cruise had several stops in major cities along the Danube that we wanted to begin to explore. We traveled with our children, ages 11 and 12. This was our second cruise with AmaWaterways (first was in Vietnam/Cambodia 1.5 years ago). Our first experience was excellent and so we decided to try this itinerary. Short and sweet, it was fantastic and met our expectations. The crew and the service is exceptional, the food was great and they provide a sufficient number of excursion options. We would not hesitate to do another Ama cruise with our children - they were treated wonderfully, there were bikes that fit even our smaller child, the adventures allowed plenty of active time. However, do know that the vast majority of the travelers are older so if your children are looking for companions that will be less likely (unless you do the Disney version of this cruise on this same ship with basically the same itinerary, which we did not). Also for families, we stayed in two of the connecting rooms (another reason we specifically chose this itinerary) and it was PERFECT for our family of four. More details: Generel info: our children are pretty adventurous eaters, and they loved sampling the local cuisines. However if your children are not, there is the "always available" menu that includes chicken, steak, potato wedges and French fries. My son often got a side of potato wedges as "dessert" instead of the dessert on the menu and they were always happy to accommodate any request. Try to stay up for the evening entertainment - it is really great quality and local. Our children enjoy live music/theatre/dance/etc, but even if yours do not these shows are about an hour and are generally quite entertaining so that kids get a nice exposure to amazing music and culture in smaller doses. We do not pack particularly light, especially as it is spring and the weather varied from the 30's to the 60's F. Ama takes care of getting your luggage on board and to your room as soon as you get dropped off at the ship. There is not a lot of storage room in the cabin, but it was absolutely adequate. The adjoining rooms were fantastic for our family. There is a sliding door between the rooms that allowed the kids to watch a movie here and there without us hearing it and of course gave the adults a bit of alone time while still having the safety of the kids immediately next door. We did not feel crowded at all, and the only issue was where to store the larger suitcases (no under bed storage), but we managed. Embarkation was smooth in Vilshofen. It was Good Friday, so they did not have the traditional Oktoberfest celebration that evening but made up for that on two other occasions on the trip. Each time there was a celebration like Oktoberfest that included alcohol, they always had non-alcoholic beverages for the children. The traditional music and dance was quite fun. Passau - we did the castle hike. The views were wonderful. If you do even city park hiking with your children they will be able to handle this hike. Although we think Ama does a good job describing the difficulty of the excursions ahead of time, they don't do a super job of regulating who goes on the hikes. For example, there was an older gentleman with a walker who went on this hike with us. That can really slow down a group like us who typically choose the most active excursion. Early in the week we had this problem with less mobile guests signing up for the active excursions, but that tapered off during the week so that by the end of the trip it ended up mostly being our family of four and maybe one or two other people, so it worked out in the end. (In fact in Budapest our family of four had the tour guide all to ourselves! A personal tour of Budapest - more later) Linz/Salzburg - We were there Easter Sunday. Linz was a bit cold but we still did the morning bike ride. It was so quiet and peaceful yet active - a nice way to see this city. It was really an easy bike ride with few to know hilly sections at all. Mostly riding through the squares. The guide stopped several times to show us different sites. There were multiple size bikes and helmets and the crew assisted each passenger in fitting the bikes. On our cruise of about 140 passengers approximately 15-20 went on that first ride. There is a guide in the front and one in the back to ensure the group stays together and that the traffic is managed. Our children are good cyclists (not competitive by any means) and they had no difficulty keeping up, in fact they mostly led the pack. Traffic was minimal and we felt very safe, especially with the guides assistance at street crossings. We took the Salzburg half day walking tour. I personally would, in retrospect, just take the bus there and walk around this very manageable small city myself with the family. Some of that was due to a few minor issues: 1. the weather was cold and drizzly, so would rather pop in and out of coffee shops when we wanted, 2. there were two smokers in our group and they would not hesitate to light up through the tour, even in the middle of the pack of about 25 people and 3. the city was manageable if you read a little ahead of time or have a walking tour itinerary. It was crowded the day we visited, but again, it is early in the season so we felt lucky. Weissenkirchen/Durnstein - Morning was sailing and our kids enjoyed some down time in the cabin watching a movie. When we arrived, we did the castle hike. There were only 5 of us on this tour so it was very personal and we could see quite a bit and keep a good pace. Again, this is really not difficult for the kids as long as your children are moderately active. Again the views were magnificent and we felt that we got a bit of exercise in. At the end of the tour the guide stops to buy you an apricot liquor to sample and she will have an alternative for the kids (apricot juice). Our kids really liked this hike. The weather was beautiful this day, so that helped of course. Vienna - it was billed as a walking tour and we chose the active option. In reality you ride around on a bus for much of the tour so that you can see the major sites of the city and then you walk around the main square and church area. Then you have a bit of free time before we went back to the ship for our afternoon bike ride. We had hoped to walk more of the sites, but in retrospect we decided that this was a good introduction to the city and that we will come back to visit on our own some day. It is a big and beautiful city and probably deserves more than a day. In the afternoon we did the bike ride - there were a few more hills here and there, but very manageable. The day was perfect for a ride and we loved this route. It was essentially traffic free around a city island/park. Again, 2 great guides that led and brought up the rear of the group. A few stops mixed in with nice ride stretches to point out sites. We felt, again in retrospect, that this was a wonderful way to be active. There was no real way for us to see all that we wanted in Vienna, so it was a good introduction to the city followed by a nice active excursion. PLEASE try to go to the evening concert. It was approximately 2 hours long with an intermission. It really is a nice mix of classical music that most people will recognize (our kids had heard most of the selections before even though they didn't know the names of the pieces) and there was quite a bit of toe-tapping. For several pieces they had ballet performers or opera singers. Again, even if your children do not think opera will be their "thing", these are just 2-3 short performances and the performers are wonderfully engaging. The male performer, in particular, was a wonderful actor and my 11 year old son was so engaged and laughed (appropriately) at his performance. One piece of advice - for us the concert hall was quite warm - wear layers that you can adjust. Brataslava - we did this town on our own. After the Salzburg experience we did just a little research and figured out how to walk this very manageable small city ourselves. We were so pleased. We hiked up to the castle, visited a few churches, walked the historic streets, sat in sidewalk cafes to have a glass of wine/ice cream cone, and just enjoyed being at our own pace this day. The pleasant weather always helps, but this was a really enjoyable family day for us. Budapest - by this point in the trip most of the older passengers, and most of the middle-aged as well, took the bus tour. In fact our family of four were the only ones to sign up for the "strenuous" tour - also called the castle hike I believe. It was PERFECT! We walked the city with our guide from 9:30-1:30 and felt we saw so much. It was not all that strenuous. We missed the City Market that the bus tour saw, but we will spend 2 extra days in Budapest at the end of the cruise so feel that we will have time to see many more things. The tour guide told great stories and we really enjoyed this tour. After our introduction to the city we enjoyed the local dance and music that was brought on to the ship. Again, these are relatively short for the kids but a great introduction to the culture and quite entertaining. Highly recommend. We will disembark today, and they have a very organized system. All rooms need to be vacated by 9am, so after a leisurely breakfast we set our luggage in the hall and waited in the lounge until our cab picked us up at 11am for a noon hotel check-in in Budapest. There are pastries and coffee/tea/water/hot chocolate to enjoy in the lounge while we waited and the lobby bathroom is easily available and clean. Overall, most of these river cruises are geared toward the older traveler, but they still accommodate our family almost perfectly. Again, the only minor problems we had were the pacing of some of the tours (billed as "active" but sometimes people who we would not consider "active" attending), that some of the other passengers are obnoxious - smokers on the tours, extremely loud guests who talked the entire way through the cruise manager's talks, the couple who allowed their son to play loud shooting video games in the dining room - but these people are found on every cruise or tour everywhere and it was fairly easy to avoid them most of the time. We are definitely going to plan on another Ama cruise with the family in the next two years and will continue to choose itineraries that are a little less accessible to us - maybe Africa next! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our first river cruise, and we chose AMA Waterways based on the reviews and the available trips for our spring break. We have no reason to ever try a different company! This was the Amalea's maiden voyage, so the ship was ... Read More
This was our first river cruise, and we chose AMA Waterways based on the reviews and the available trips for our spring break. We have no reason to ever try a different company! This was the Amalea's maiden voyage, so the ship was sparkling perfection. Our standard room was comfortable and roomy enough; the bathroom was designed well and had space for storage. Comfort: the bed, shower, in-room monitor/computer and cabin controls were all high-end. The food was AMAZING - high end gourmet, fresh ingredients, way too much at all times, and standards like pizza, chicken and steak were always available. We really liked that they picked up fresh regional specialties, like cheese and chocolate, along the way, to make each dinner relevant and special. The wine selection for dinner was good quality. The lounge was very comfortable for having a drink or enjoying the entertainment. The entertainment was okay, but we would have liked to have danced more. The service, across the board, was IMPECCABLE. From the waitstaff to the cleaning staff, everyone was efficient, pleasant, and sincerely interested in making our vacation the best experience it could be. Our cruise manager, Rachel, was the best. Our shore excursions went off without a hitch, and the tours were well planned, varied and very interesting. We got only one mediocre guide out of 5, and the staff was attentive to our feedback about that. Otherwise, the local guides were knowledgeable, entertaining, and well vetted. We have already booked our next cruise with AMA on the Danube for July, 2019. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
dIdnt know what to expect,several years since we river sailed,spend more time sailing on the oceans. What a treat,beautiful ship,clean bright lovely fabrics ,would imagine it would be idyllic in summer when you can spend more time on ... Read More
dIdnt know what to expect,several years since we river sailed,spend more time sailing on the oceans. What a treat,beautiful ship,clean bright lovely fabrics ,would imagine it would be idyllic in summer when you can spend more time on the top deck,lovely sitting areas even a swim up bar wasn't used this trip top temp reached about 52c but this didn't detract from the the trip The the crew were great pleasant always Ready to help can't fault the service , Food something for everyone,and well prepared,nice wines with lunch and dinner,if there was room for improvement I would suggest that they have a more varied choice of house wines for purchase Chardonnay seemed to always be served,would have been nice to have had an alternative. The mix of passengers was also very good which made for a very pleasant and happy ship The captain was excellent always around very approachable nice man To describe this trip in one word Excellent Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The food on board was superb and we enjoyed trying the Chef's table dining room on the last night where there was a tasting menu. We had to share a table in the evenings with tables for 4 or 6 mostly. We especially liked the light ... Read More
The food on board was superb and we enjoyed trying the Chef's table dining room on the last night where there was a tasting menu. We had to share a table in the evenings with tables for 4 or 6 mostly. We especially liked the light lunch served in the lounge which enabled us to have room for the evening meal. There is no room service that I could see so you might want to take a travel kettle. The crew were delightful from the Captain down. He interacted with the guests at each port and welcomed visitors to the bridge. The cruise director, Csaba, was active from morning until night and always available for queries. He couldn't have done more. There was plenty choice of tours at each port, for active and not so active walkers and bikers, so everyone was catered for.. Budapest was a great city for the departure port and it is well worth staying a few days before sailing. The Wachau Valley was beautiful. Vilshofen, the final port ,not so interesting, but it is near a train station. Our ship's transfer to Munich at 0900 was $30 which was the easiest way of getting there. We were in time for a 1240 departure. We didn't go to a lot of the post dinner activities as the tours left at 0900 'ish every day, but there was music in the lounge most evenings. We particularly enjoyed a classical trio. We felt as though we were leaving a family when we left and will definitely return to AMA. A nice touch was the post card we received, from the crew, on getting home, thanking us for sailing AMA. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
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