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16 AmaWaterways AmaPrima River Cruise Reviews

We chose the 2 week cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam on Amawaterways due to the reviews and they had the best options of tours for us. What we didn't know was how wonderful the service would be, The staff knew our names and ... Read More
We chose the 2 week cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam on Amawaterways due to the reviews and they had the best options of tours for us. What we didn't know was how wonderful the service would be, The staff knew our names and preferences by the 3rd day and we felt pampered the whole time. There were no issues, everything went extremely smoothly. All of the guided tours were on time, with excellent guides. I learned so much history and understood the culture of each country better because of the guides. The food was really very good and there was a lot of variety for each meal. The on board entertainment was good quality and there was a nice variety, from Rock and Roll to folk dance and even a beautiful classical male quartet. When we booked the cruise, the tour I was least interested in, was to Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Cabinet Museum but it was one of the best and most interesting tours we took. I loved the tours of The Residenz, and Melk Abbey. Our Cruise Director, Sebastien LeRoy was amazing. He was helpful, and arranged everything to perfection. He even got up to make sure that our taxi, that he arranged for us, was there and helped us with our luggage at 4:30 am to get us to the airport on our last day. I am in a service profession and I know the energy it takes to make people happy. Amawaterways does this to perfection. Thank you for a great trip to all of the staff on Amaprima. Petar, Vladimir, Hendru, Josep, Aurel and all the rest, you were fantastic Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
When trying to decide which cruise line and river to choose for our first river cruise we talked to several seasoned travelers/agents and they recommended AmaWaterways along with the Rhine River and boy were they right on both counts. The ... Read More
When trying to decide which cruise line and river to choose for our first river cruise we talked to several seasoned travelers/agents and they recommended AmaWaterways along with the Rhine River and boy were they right on both counts. The Rhine River was a special place that was a split between some commercial/industrial activity to scenic spots that my wife and I had only dreamed about. It seemed that every time we rounded a bend in the river there was something else that warranted a look. The trip itself was peaceful with just the right mix of activities and tours coupled with enough down time to rest up. AmaWaterways was top notch in every respect and there was nothing they couldn't make happen. We had approximately 140 on our cruise that was filled with mostly retirees, however, there were some multi-generational family groups that ranged in age from 12-92 along with several younger married couples and a few single travelers. The open seating and casual environment lended itself perfectly for meeting new friends and never caused any awkward moments. By week's end you felt like you had established some long-term friends along the way. The food was expertly prepared and represented a wide mix of cultures which caused us to try some new things. The ship itself was spotless with the crew always bending over backwards to ensure your stay was perfect. If you needed anything, they would make it happen. When it came time to provide a critique at the end of the cruise neither my wife nor I could come up with anything critical to say. As such ,we are entirely happy with AmaWaterways and will seek to schedule another cruise with them without exploring any other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first river cruise. It was luxurious in all the right ways. Ama gave us features that we needed and used, without others (like climbing walls) that we haven't used on ocean cruises. We would love to take another cruise ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. It was luxurious in all the right ways. Ama gave us features that we needed and used, without others (like climbing walls) that we haven't used on ocean cruises. We would love to take another cruise with this line again. The staff were wonderful. We felt like AmaWaterways had selected highly trained people who got along well, which makes a difference in the cruise experience. There was a nice balance between high standards of service and the teasing and banter that went on. Also, they all seemed to be able to turn their hands to many jobs, which was impressive. Our cruise director, Balazs, was a gem. He kept us well informed with port talks and announcements of excursions and did some commentary. He seemed to be everywhere throughout the day. At one point in Bratislava I thought he must have been cloned, because he was keeping tabs on three excursion groups at the same time (making sure our guides were doing well). He also came through when my husband left his phone on the shuttle bus in Vienna - locating it and getting it back to us later, in Germany. Really great service. The food was great. The cuisine was inventive and all of the ingredients were high quality. We had heard that food service was limited to 3 meals a day on river cruises, but that's a joke. Sit down service in the restaurant only occurs 3 times a day, but there was some kind of food available from 6:30am to 11:30pm, and that was supplemented by additional celebrations of local specialties! The wine service was lavish and we enjoyed the selection of local wines. We loved that there was a specialty coffee machine always available (and it always worked, unlike others we've tried to use in hotels). The Chef's Table restaurant was lovely. The service was impeccable and the chef's performance in the open kitchen was impressive. Traveling on the rivers and canals was quite an experience with all of the locks and low bridges and high water. We were impressed with the variety of excursions that Ama offered at each stop, and the variety of fitness levels offered every time (from strenuous bike treks to gentle walkers who rode a tourist train while others walked). We had an excellent time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Cruising on the Amaprima was a complete delight. The staff were like a big family, inviting us as guests to thoroughly enjoy ourselves. The food was delicious, our cabin was quite comfy, and our visits on shore were well planned, nicely ... Read More
Cruising on the Amaprima was a complete delight. The staff were like a big family, inviting us as guests to thoroughly enjoy ourselves. The food was delicious, our cabin was quite comfy, and our visits on shore were well planned, nicely guided, and gave us a true taste of the regions we travelled through. Entertainment on board ship was also delightful, especially the gypsy music and the local folk dancing. dancing. Our group made several presentations with powerpoint and the Techies actually knew what they were doing! All in all, a memorable experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our first river cruise and we chose the Danube beginning with a land pre-excursion in Prague. We chose AmaWaterways based upon recommendations by friends as well as our travel agent. They don't advertise like other river ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we chose the Danube beginning with a land pre-excursion in Prague. We chose AmaWaterways based upon recommendations by friends as well as our travel agent. They don't advertise like other river cruise lines so I was always wondering how they would compare to commercials I'd seen. We are now loyal AMA cruisers. It was so elegant and was far beyond my expectations. The staff was remarkable, food was fabulous, wine, free flowing, local guides were extremely informed and spoke perfect English. There were also several optional land excursions that gave us even more insights into local culture. The major ports such as Vienna and Budapest were fabulous, but the smaller ports such as Bratislava and Regensburg were equally as beautiful. The ship was just beautiful and had every amenities you could imagine. There was nothing missing! We have done ocean cruises on smaller ships that excelled in elegance and AMA does the same. I highly recommend them. You won't be disappointed!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
After ocean cruising, I was ready for a smaller,easier, friendlier experience of a river cruise.While AMA Waterways is not inexpensive, it was well worth the excellent food,wine included,personable staff,music on board entertainment, ... Read More
After ocean cruising, I was ready for a smaller,easier, friendlier experience of a river cruise.While AMA Waterways is not inexpensive, it was well worth the excellent food,wine included,personable staff,music on board entertainment, choice of tours,handsome cabin design and general public area ambiance.The Danube River cruise began in Budapest and allowed us to unload our luggage before 3:00 pm boarding. We spent a fun morning in one of the oldest mineral baths that included a rapid water circular" human bumper car "experience. Everyone was laughing like a bunch of kids and it was a great start to our adventure.I particularly enjoyed docking right next to the small and large cities and not having commercial hawkers meeting you as you disembarked. Almost every tour included a head set and you could choose slow, medium or fast walk groups to join.Learned a lot about the history and culture of Eastern Europe. Several fun side trips to a local restaurant/wine tavern in impressive motor coaches. We added an optional end of the trip stay in Prague and I am so glad to have had the experience of traveling first class with AMA Waterways... Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary with AmaWaterways' Romantic Danube cruise. This was our first cruise of any kind. Therefore, although we have nothing to compare it to, we can't imagine a river cruise line that ... Read More
My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary with AmaWaterways' Romantic Danube cruise. This was our first cruise of any kind. Therefore, although we have nothing to compare it to, we can't imagine a river cruise line that could be superior. Many of our fellow passengers who were seasoned river cruisers agreed. Our ship, the AmaPrima, was named "Best River Cruise Ship 2013". It has 3 decks of rooms and carries about 160 pasengers. There is a spacious and comfortable lounge area (and like the entire ship, impeccably clean -- we'd see crew on deck early in the morning, cleaning and polishing every square inch, every day), with plenty of seats, tables, an attractive bar area, and and 24-hour self-serve coffee and tea area with a wide selection of teas, milks, sugars, dark hot chocolate (not too sweet), and an espresso machine that produced everything from a cup of coffee to a cappuccino with milk foam. This area, by the way, was also always in order and perfectly clean, as if we were the first of the day to use it. On the lowest deck, there is a large dining room with an assortment of table sizes and booths for 4 or 6. There is open seating, so you can seat wherever and with whomever you wish, for any meal, and there is always plenty of room. There was one seating per meal, and they recommended that you arrive within 20 minutes of the beginning of a meal to have plenty of time to relax and enjoy it. There is an attractive buffet with a wide selection of choices at breakfast and lunch, as well as a menu from which you can order. At breakfast, there is a chef present who will make an omelette or eggs any style you wish. The dinner menu always has 2-3 choices for the appetizer, salad, entree, and dessert, plus other main courses (such as a main dish salad or quiche) that you can order. The quality of the food, as well as its presentation, exceeded our expectations. Every night, we had a choice of fine wines (included) and the servers were most generous with it! At the back of the ship between the middle and top deck is a smaller restaurant, The Chef's Table, that seats about 24. You have an opportunity to dine there on one night of the cruise (you make a reservation when you embark), perhaps to celebrate a special occasion. This meal has multiple courses served by attentive staff in tuxedos -- and you can observe the chef preparing the meal in a glass-walled kitchen adjacent to the dining room. We were pampered by all of the AmaPrima staff, in the nicest way possible, for the entire week -- but the staff to guest ratio in The Chef's Table was even greater. We were in cabin 208, an AA (the roomiest) cabin (other than the suites), on the middle deck of three that had cabins. We had plenty of room, thanks to all of the clever storage features and both an inside and outside seating area. Our luggage was out of sight under the bed. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable. It came made up with a duvet, but the housekeeper will change that to sheets and a blanket if you prefer. I think a slightly smaller cabin would be fine too, and that cabins on the top and middle decks are equally good. I'd also like to add that the decor was classy but simple and tasteful; I nixed a couple of cruise lines while I was perusing different ones online because of the fussy, overly feminine decor. I think what sets AmaWaterways apart, other than their ships, is their staff. Our captain was German, our outstanding cruise manager Frederico was Croatian, and the rest of the staff largely hailed from Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Without exception they were very friendly, thoughtful, cheerful, polite, and accommodating. I've heard that it's tough to get a job with AmaWaterways, and they certainly have a first-rate staff. Frederico (the cruise manager), was extremely knowledgeable, organized, present, and had a pleasant voice -- very important, especially when you're listening to him speaking into a microphone in the lounge or over the PA system as he gives a commentary while we're cruising. Our housekeeper, Andreea, was a prize; she would whisk in while we were at breakfast to clean our room, and again while we were at dinner to spruce it up again. Three times, we found our towels arranged origami-style into different animals: two swans for our anniversary, a dog, and the biggest surprise -- a monkey swinging from our ceiling! A fun surprise when we would return to our room. We tended to sit in the same area of the dining room, so we often had Christina as our server; if you happen to have her, you'll find she's not only efficient, hardworking, and attentive but exceptionally thoughtful and friendly. At different ports, there were choices of activities (including biking) both during the day and sometimes in the evening. Our four highlights were visiting Cesky Krumlov (with our outstanding guide Veronika), touring Melk Abbey, biking from Melk to Durnstein (though note: while rated by AMA as a "5" in difficulty, if you are fit, it's more like a "2") along the Danube and through the vineyards, and the evening concert at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. The orchestra and singers were not only first rate, but engaged with the audience and displayed a delightful sense of humor. AMA clearly tries to offer a wide variety of activities to suit everyone, from a "gentle walkers" group to biking, and from introductory city tours to behind-the-scenes hidden walks and wine and sacher-torte tasting. The only activities that had a surcharge were the evening concert in Vienna and the tour of Schonbrunn Palace near Vienna. Every evening, there was a gentleman playing the keyboard and singing in the lounge; some evenings, there was special entertainment brought on the ship: two opera singers, two violinists & a guitarist, and Hungarian dancers. All were excellent! In summary, if you're looking for a river cruise, we can recommend AmaWaterways highly. If you want to cruise the Danube, I think any of their Danube cruises would be equally good -- but I'm glad we cruised east ending in Budapest, because on our last night, the captain sailed the Budapest harbor so we could enjoy the illuminated bridges and buildings. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
My husband and I along with another couple took an AMA Waterways extended Danube cruise this fall, which started far from the Danube in Istanbul and ended somewhat past the Danube in Prague. There were 14 actual days on the ship with an ... Read More
My husband and I along with another couple took an AMA Waterways extended Danube cruise this fall, which started far from the Danube in Istanbul and ended somewhat past the Danube in Prague. There were 14 actual days on the ship with an almost total turnover of passengers and some crew in Budapest. There were many highlights -- several on the land extensions. Istanbul and Prague are both bucket list cities and live up to their billing. The illuminated night cruise of Budapest was exceptional and there were a couple of surprising charmers (Bratislava and Pecs come to mind). There were some lowlights as well -- being bussed through northern Turkey and across Bulgaria could be skipped. The hotel in Bulgaria where we spent the night (a Ramada) was truly the worst hotel I've ever stayed in, and I've lived in Asia. Actually, touring the poorest part of Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia from the Danube is educational but not necessarily entertaining. The AmaPrima was a nice enough ship but oddly designed. The small "library" was sparsely stocked with a few random coffee table books but no matter, with the little low-voltage pin dot lights, you could barely see to walk much less read. A built-in buffet station in the middle of the main reception room made the frequent all-ship briefings and onboard entertainment awkward affairs as the space was broken up by this massive buffet. Putting the buffet station at one end of the room or the other would have made much more sense. For a relatively small ship, more attention should be placed on maximizing form and function. Overall, the tours were good and there were the occasional opportunities to bike although not as many as we had thought that there would be nor as flexible as we had thought. One of the bike tours required biking almost 20 miles. For the first 16 days, we had a cruise manager who was impossibly arrogant and very disinterested in the guest experience. His only concern was establishing the fact that he was the guests' social and intellectual peer. Had we not had the polar opposite for a cruise director the next 16 days, we would NEVER consider cruising on AMA again. Our second cruise director was such a delight and made each guest feel valued. He not only was knowledgeable but had such a delightful manner and presentation that the daily briefings were a joy. The only cruise experience we have to compare this to was a fabulous Seabourn cruise in the Baltic so we're not comparing apples to apples. Would we do Ama again? The jury's still out but probably not. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
An awesome way to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This was our first river cruise and having cruised several times on the ocean going ships, we didn't know what to expect. We loved it-perfect in every way....the service was ... Read More
An awesome way to celebrate our 40th anniversary. This was our first river cruise and having cruised several times on the ocean going ships, we didn't know what to expect. We loved it-perfect in every way....the service was impeccable. We thoroughly enjoyed the intimacy of the ship and the ease of going on shore excursions, having meals,etc. Most excursions were included and well organized and informative. In some ports there were multiple options. Our cabin was lovely and well laid out. The sundeck had ample seating,including lots of shade. The local entertainment brought onboard was delightful and extremely talented. Transfers were timely and easy. Finally, the itinerary was wonderful with quintessential small villages and gorgeous Cities such as Vienna and Budapest. The 3 day pre cruise in Prague rounded out perfection. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was our first river cruise after four ocean cruises. A river cruise is almost an anti-ocean cruise. It is so different and may not be everyone. It was, however, for us. We absolutely loved it and are so glad we picked AMA as our ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after four ocean cruises. A river cruise is almost an anti-ocean cruise. It is so different and may not be everyone. It was, however, for us. We absolutely loved it and are so glad we picked AMA as our cruise line. A little history. First, we are not seasoned European travelers. This is only our second trip to Europe. Secondly, we are not rich! We did a lot of preparing (1.5 years in advance). We started with a larger, well known company, and was not happy with their service. After an initial discussion with them on the phone, I could tell this would not be the company for us. I then called a travel agent and she asked me to consider AMA. Wow! Their main office was awesome to deal with. Between them and my travel agent, they returned emails promptly, as well as phone calls. Our AMA cruise was 100% to our satisfaction. Everything about it; from the staterooms, to the food, to the customer service was just perfect. I cannot forget Kriss, our cruise manager. She was awesome! It was not just the big things they do well, it is the little. For instance, our cruise manager got up on our last day at 3:30 in the morning to see us off to the airport. She also got an appointment and transported one of our fellow passengers to a doctor and after one and half hours, this person was back on the ship and feeling better then next day. I am not going to go into a lot of detail about ports, etc. There are many good reviews on this site that will help you. You must remember that every cruiser is different. Our cruise went from Vilshofen to Budapest (Romantic Danube). If this is the cruise you select and have the option to go in this direction, I would strongly recommend it. The highlight of our cruise was traveling along the river at night looking at the lights in Budapest. This was an excellent way to end what was a spectacular vacation. You might also want to consider the size of the ship. Our cruise ship had a capacity of 162 guests. Other cruise lines, with the same size ships, have a capacity for 190 guests. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Loved, loved, loved our cruise along the Danube River. The Ama prima was beautiful, new, clean. The crew was delightful, helpful and always cheerful. Our cruise director, Czaba, was patient, helpful, friendly and enjoyable. Cruising a ... Read More
Loved, loved, loved our cruise along the Danube River. The Ama prima was beautiful, new, clean. The crew was delightful, helpful and always cheerful. Our cruise director, Czaba, was patient, helpful, friendly and enjoyable. Cruising a river is wonderful--even when traveling during the day, the views are beautiful. Lots to do or you can choose to just relax. The Lounge was nice, comfortable and had great views if you didn't want to go outside. The Chef was fabulous. All meals, but especially dinner, were delicious. My husband and I enjoy trying new and innovative restaurants and our dinners on the Amaprima were as good as any we have had at 5 star restaurants. I liked the "gentle" tours which suited by knee problem situation.(but there were certainly "active" tours for those with more stamina). I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. I wish I were there now! Read Less
Sail Date July 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
The Amawaterways staff was outstanding. The ship was great. We were on the top floor with a Juliet balcony. I thought that the tours were wonderful as were the local guides. The food outstanding(except we've had better bread on big ... Read More
The Amawaterways staff was outstanding. The ship was great. We were on the top floor with a Juliet balcony. I thought that the tours were wonderful as were the local guides. The food outstanding(except we've had better bread on big cruise ships). Free wine, beer and soft drinks with meals a plus. The cruise line was very classy in our opinion, giving us Christmas presents and bon voyage presents at the end of the cruise. The entertainment at night was very enjoyable. We loved the free wifi and internet in each cabin. We did think though that it was too cold to travel in Europe then. We only saw Christmas markets 1 day in Prague. Christmas day everything was closed and we had to scrounge to find somewhere for lunch before we got on the ship. We had too much time to kill in Wurzburg waiting to reboard the ship. It was too cold to walk around. I would DEFINITELY recommend this cruise line to everyone....just not in the winter. Our cruise director, Sebastien Leroy was also wonderful. It was outstanding working out in the gym, watching the castles along the river...but the gym should have an elliptical as well as bikes and treadmill Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first river cruise so we have nothing to compare it with other than luxury ocean cruising with Silversea and Regent. It was called "Great Capitals and Vintage of the Danube". It started with a 3-day land ... Read More
This was our first river cruise so we have nothing to compare it with other than luxury ocean cruising with Silversea and Regent. It was called "Great Capitals and Vintage of the Danube". It started with a 3-day land pre-extension in Prague (based in the very nice Hilton Old Town), followed by a 7-day cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest. It was a wine-themed cruise, with multiple on-board tastings of St. Frances winery (Sonoma Valley, CA) excellent wines, and opportunities to visit several Austrian wineries (not so excellent). We enjoyed our mostly stress-free easy-paced cruise and interesting shore excursions, but would not recommend it if you absolutely MUST have gourmet cuisine or stellar dining room service and fine wines when you travel. PRAGUE 3-day pre-cruise: we met our pleasant and intelligent cruise director Uwe Nietschke (sp), who coordinated a well-organized and interesting stay which started with practical recommendations for local restaurants, ATMs, safety, etc the first post-jetlag check-in evening. We had an interesting second day sightseeing tour (bus and walk) with a stimulating local guide, then just the right amount of free time. The Hilton Old Town was centrally located with good service and comfortable rooms. The optional, extra fee private Lobkowicz Palace tour the second day was fascinating, with many old musical instruments and weapons on display, followed by a classical music performance. We did not go to Terezin, a former internment camp for Jews, as I had been there before, which was another optional sidetour (recommended if you have any interest in European Jewish history). Instead we visited the Museum of Communism on our own (Uwe helped us with details), sandwiched between a McDonalds & a casino. We then were bussed over to the ship in Vilshofen, with a stop in the colorful old city of Regensburg on the way. We did a city walking tour with a well-spoken guide, then had free time (we opted for a tasty local cuisine lunch at Regensburger Ratskeller in the town square). EMBARKATION was easy (walk right on), then everyone sat in the noisy lounge area for 30-45 minutes until cabins were called (it might have been particularly noisy because there was a very large lively group traveling together from Puerto Rico). It was crowded during the initial milling around with limited service and toilet access lines, but I do not know how this could be improved. A lot of time (too much) was spent introducing all staff. CABIN: (AA violin deck) was modern, always immaculate, and spacious enough, with a beautiful bathroom (would be too small if you are a Person of Size) and two balconies (one where you could sit outside if weather would allow it). The queen-sized bed was disappointingly hard, with no option to turn the mattress over for a softer side, as we have seen on Silversea. The free in-room WIFI worked quite well most of the time (not in locks) and was a refreshing change from ocean cruising where wifi is slow and very expensive. There was an in-room fridge to use as you wished, or with the free still water (no sparkling option) provided daily. Laundry service was quick, efficient, and cheap, so I used it several times instead of struggling with in-sink rinseouts and line-drying (our clothing was only lost once, then found, with apologies). DINING: On-board dining and waiter service were mediocre, but tolerable. Breakfast and Lunch were basic buffets, crowded but always with a place to sit on comfortable chairs, adequate enough, with fresh produce, but nothing special except for the breads, which were fresh and crispy, baked daily. Pastries and cookies were mediocre. Guests were oddly not allowed to take their (free) food on a tray into cabins, which would have helped alleviate the crowding or allowed for privacy when guests are not in a social mood at mealtime. Each day also offered a clear or creamed soup option, and the creamed misc vegetable soups I tried were quite good. The overstressed waiters not uncommonly had difficulty keeping track of any unique requests (e.g., they would rush over at dinner to pour regular water and would be put off when I would ask for sparkling instead; I usually had to ask two to three times for the sparkling, and trying to buy expensive sparkling water bottles at the bar to take into my room in between meals was met with initial resistance). If they happened to be pouring white wine to start, but I wanted red, it would not uncommonly be a long time before the red would finally appear, requiring reminders. Dinner was served at a fixed time for everyone, with an unremarkable fish, vegetarian, and meat (usually beef) option each night and a generic white and red local wine, neither of which were very good, but not horrible. The specialty restaurant option we could eat at once during the cruise that had a lot of buildup and required reservations was actually nothing special (they had beef or fish options which were ok, but accompanied by suboptimal service -- e.g., other than getting water poured, for the first 30 minutes we sat there we did not get bread, wine, or an appetizer and were basically ignored, and the bread, when it finally came, was stale). The reds poured at dinners were typically not big enough to stand up to the beef dishes. There were almost no options to order nicer wines for a fee (only a couple reds were available off-menu, none of them full-bodied). The exception was the night when St. Frances wines were allowed to be paired with the food (though the cruise-featured St. Frances wines we tasted were excellent, they were surprisingly not allowed to be sold or drunk on-board other than at the pairing or the tasting, not even in the bar, so even if you do a "wine cruise", do not count on routinely being able to drink really nice wines with your meals, as this was the only "pairing" dinner). Coffee drinks were available around the clock for self-serivce, out of a push-button instant machine, which provided mostly tasteless weak coffee that all tasted the same whether it was labeled espresso or cappuccino. Really good coffee drinks were not to be had on board, neither at meals nor from the bar for a fee. Other than overworked and sometimes irritable waitstaff, personnel on the ship were polite and helpful and spoke English reasonably well. Personnel were mostly Romanian, Bulgarian, and Hungarian (the captain was Dutch). Front desk girls were pleasant and helpful. When we returned from excursions, it was nice to be greeted by varying little treats offered on reembarkation, e.g., hot wine, hot tea, tasty sweet morsels, or similar. EXCURSIONS we did while cruising are listed below. Whenever we had bus trips as part of the tours, I appreciated that the buses had on-board toilets for "emergencies", which helped allay any anxieties about drinking too much coffee or wine while touring. We did not bike, so cannot comment on bike options at ports, which a surprising number of passengers did despite cold weather. PASSAU walking tour -- very interesting old town, awesome church, huge pipe organ, recommended CESKY KRUMLOV -- fascinating though touristy old Czech town which has been remarkably renovated since the fall of Communism; weather was bad, so we could not appreciate outdoor dining, would be stunning to tour in warmer weather MELK Abbey -- awesome old library with ancient books, scenic views from the hill, amazing old church DURNSTEIN walking tour -- cute little old town, but as it was Sunday morning, most stores were closed & some guests complained about no bathroom access. SCHLOSS GOBELSBURG wine tasting: a lovely old castle and winery; oddly, we had to do our tasting of the Gruener Veltliner wines (not my favorite) in a cold, unheated castle room, and there was not enough time allowed to actually BUY wine as multiple tour groups were going through. Interesting cellar tour, though too long, saw old bottles covered with decades of mold. HIDDEN VIENNA WALKING TOUR -- very interesting and good exercize, followed by free time; another night in Vienna would have been good to allow more touring options without rushing or getting overly fatigued. We ate hearty Austrian cuisine at an old inn, Griechenbeisl, where Mozart and Beethoven signed the walls. BUDAPEST CITY TOUR -- basic overview of this war-ravaged city, followed by the ship's cruising up and down the Danube in town at night to highlight the pretty illuminations of historical buildings. We stayed an extra day after the cruise at the Budapest Hilton, which the city tour takes you right by, on the castle hill (also don't miss the "Hospital in the Rock" museum we did on our own, and note paying the fee to go into St. Stephen's Basilica is worth the price) FINAL FAREWELL DINNER: (this followed the late afternoon/early evening Budapest city tour) -- again, there was a fixed time for all to appear, and people were hungry post-tour, but had to wait 1.5+ hours sitting around before they were able to access food, while personnel spent time reintroducing and thanking the crew for a great cruise with abundant applause, repeatedly praising themselves and solicting customer applause, followed by a somewhat lame "Hungarian" folk music presentation which delayed dinner even more (the Hungarian part was fine, with an excellent violinist, but the musicians then also tried to play modern music , apparently to something for everyone, including out of place Michael Jackson style gyrations by a young girl). This long, protracted pre-dinner thank-you session and music would not have been so bad if guests had not already had crew introductions on embarcation and had had waiters going around serving tasty appetizers and drinks. DISEMBARKATION -- stress-free; though rooms had to be vacated by 9am, people who had later flights could comfortably hang out in the lounge for a few hours and get coffee from the machine. SUMMARY We definitely enjoyed the itinerary, port excursions, and comfort of the modern cabins, the seamless connections, and overall had a good time. The outstanding cruise director, Uwe, was a soothing highlight of the service. The dining/food/wine/coffee selections and other culinary service (other than the St. Frances tastings) were basic and adequate, but disappointing in what I expected from a luxury-priced cruise, but I have no other river cruise experience, so perhaps they are all like this and my expectations were unreliastic.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We just returned from one of the most enjoyable vacations we have ever taken. It combined an AMA Waterways Danube cruise with a pre-stay in Budapest and a post-stay in Prague (both pre-stays booked on our own). The itinerary was a little ... Read More
We just returned from one of the most enjoyable vacations we have ever taken. It combined an AMA Waterways Danube cruise with a pre-stay in Budapest and a post-stay in Prague (both pre-stays booked on our own). The itinerary was a little exhausting but thoroughly enchanting. More on those stays in a bit but I'll focus on the cruise portion first. To preface the review, we consider ourselves "veteran cruisers" having taken about 15 trips (I've lost count!) with Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, NCL, and Carnival. Itineraries have included both the Caribbean and Mediterranean. We had wanted to take a river cruise for a couple of years but were held back by the cost (both cruise and airfare) and the concern that river cruises were only for seniors (we're in our 50's). Once we decided to take the plunge, I began to research cruises via Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor. It became quickly apparent that river cruise reviews are few and far between. Especially for newer ships. Therefore I was determined to post this review as soon as we returned. For those who don't want to read the entire review, I'll simply say that our experience was excellent and AMA Waterways is a first rate cruise line. We absolutely would sail with them again. And more specifically, the AMA Prima is a beautiful river ship with a crew that is second to none. From the moment we first approached the ship to the final farewells (including hugs), they worked tirelessly to provide a first-class experience for every guest. From the outside the AMA Prima is attractive, though after seeing many cruise ships on the river, none of them will win a unique design award. The limitations imposed by low bridges and locks pretty much dictate a low, squat profile--very different from the big cruise ocean liners. AMA Prima is a little different in that the bridge (or wheelhouse) is large and modern-looking. When needed, it hydraulically lowers almost flush with the top deck. The top deck also includes a small pool--just enough for a dip to cool off on hot days. One interesting treatment was the deck floor covering. While most ships we saw had bright blue or gray indoor/outdoor carpet, the AMA Prima has a brown carpet with stripes that makes it look somewhat like teak flooring on ocean liners. The outdoor furniture was either cushioned wicker or teak deck chairs. The overall effect was contemporary and upscale. Once inside, the ship's beauty became instantly apparent. Materials were higher end and it felt like an upscale hotel. Off of the lobby/front desk was a very large lounge with a variety of comfortable (and colorful) seating groupings, a dance floor and piano, a bar plus a breakfast/snack area and separate coffee station. In one side area they had electric fireplaces and a small library--likely a great spot on a winter's day/Christmas market cruise. On the deck below the lounge was an attractive dining room. The rest of the ship was mostly cabins and crew areas with a few exceptions. A small exercise room, beauty salon and in the very rear, a 20+ person restaurant were aft. As a point of comparison, we had the opportunity to go through one of the new Viking ships on the way to our ship. While it looked very nice and had a larger lobby, the decor seemed rather stark, modern and monotone compared to the AMA Prima. Our cabin was in steerage (as one of our traveling companions called it). Located on the lowest deck, the cabin was very nice and had two small windows just above the waterline. While we missed having a balcony (those cabins were sold out when we booked), I have to admit that I was happy we did not spend the extra money on one. As other reviews have mentioned, often the ship is docked next to other ships making them unuseable, and the fact that you are on the go so much, I think we would have made little use of it. Plus the seating areas on the top deck are so comfortable and offer a panoramic view not available on a balcony. The cabin layout was a little tight compared to large cruise liners but is so well designed that almost everything fit without a problem. The only complaint would be in the bathroom. Storage is very tight and an extra shelf would help to hold toiletries. Despite that, the bathroom is like the rest of the ship...well done with upscale materials. Floors and shower were marble (or a faux marble tile).The shower was fantastic. It is angled and has real sliding glass doors (no more sticking/blowing shower curtain!). It offers a choice of rainshower or handheld shower heads. Countertops in both bath and cabin vanity were stone. One very slick feature was the closet clothes rod. Instead of an overhead light, the rod has a strip of LEDs built in the rod that downlights the clothes hanging below. The same feature is used on some of the stair railings elsewhere in the ship. Another interesting (and convenient) feature was the cabin door lock. A simple touch of the key card to the handle unlocked the door. We found the beds and duvets to be very comfortable despite a few reviews that said AMA's beds were on the hard side. Room service was impeccable, with twice a day cleaning and restocking. Meals were near gourmet (at least for us) and they tried to use local recipes/favorites for all of the dinners. Overall I felt the food was superior to normal cruise ship dining. We did eat one evening in the Erlenebis specialty restaurant. It was a fun experience and a great way to meet fellow passengers in an even more intimate setting. Service and food were great. I will say, however, that we thought the main dining room food and presentation were so nice that the specialty restaurant was really not needed. Service was very good in the main dining room at every meal. And AMA's free flowing wine and beer policy with meals is just that--free flowing. They are generous with the pours and glasses never went empty. While I am not a wine connoisseur, my wife and our friends "know their stuff" and found the quality of the wines to be very good. What really set the ship apart, however, was the crew. They were really outstanding. Most cruise ships have staff that are pleasant and polite, but to a person the AMA Prima's crew seemed to be genuinely happy to have us aboard. I'd guess there were only about 25 or so and they were all very friendly...from the head chef (Gino Guadagni) stopping me several times to ask how the meal was and truly interested in my reply... to the captain (Josef Olaj) saying hello all the time... to the cruise director (Reka Piros) who appeared to be on call about 20 hours a day and never lost her enthusiasm and infectious attitude. A little more on Reka. Obviously the cruise director tends to be the best known of any staff on a cruise ship. On a river ship the CD is even more visible because of the small number of passengers. Reka is the consumate cruise director. A real "people person", she was constantly on the go, whether it was introducing onboard entertainment, organizing tours or flagging down busses! Every conversation with her made you feel like you were an old friend. And her skills were certainly put to the test when the lock situation happened. She was wonderful at providing updates and reassuring us that they were working to guarantee that we had a great experience no matter what happened. Reka is one in a million and certainly helped make the cruise a memorable experience! Despite my initial concerns, the ship had a very nice mix of passengers (140+ in all)--most from the US and Canada, the rest from Australia, UK and a few from Europe/Japan. Ages ranged from about 12 (only one kid on the trip) to over 90. We had a group of about 18 guys from the US/Canada- all of whom were personable and a lot of fun- that booked through a gay travel agency. AMA's tours were well done and most of the guides were professional, well-prepared and entertaining. Tour busses were modern and spotless. The bike rides were great... bikes carried on board were in good shape and the crew was happy to adjust seats and handlebars to accommodate the various riders. We weren't sure what the difficulty level would be and were pleased to find that the rides were at a comfortable pace and not hard for the average rider. As for "glitches"...the only thing that happened was that for the last 3 days there was a lot of uncertainty as to whether we could reach Nuremberg on the ship. German lock keepers had gone on strike and they didn't know if they could make it through all of the locks we needed to pass. The situation changed hour by hour. As a result, we sailed faster in some spots. In the end we made it to about 45 minutes outside of Nuremberg. The ship docked at a stone/gravel yard and they provided buses to get us into the city and return for an overnight. We didn't get as much time in Nuremberg as planned due to a late bus arrival (I was disappointed). But on the good side, Reka offered to have us travel with ship extension passengers going to Prague on cruise line buses at no cost (it saved us over $500 collectively instead of traveling on the planned German Railways bus). They had an excursion planned to a spa town, Karlovy Vary, in the Czech Republic that we also were able to go on as we traveled to Prague. We enjoyed all of the stops, though Budapest was probably the highlight. The city suffered much destruction in the war yet they had rebuilt it exactly as before (also in Nuremberg and Prague). Absolutely beautiful public buildings, bridges, castle, etc. A very young city....lots of 20/30 somethings. One friend went to the mineral baths (the other 3 of us chickened out) and said it was a great experience. Many of the most impressive buildings are on the riverfront and they light them at night. As we sailed away, the captain did a riverfront cruise by. It was really spectacular, the whole city by the riverfront was golden light. If you haven't been there and get the chance, go! The rest of the places were all worth the visit. Probably the least charming was Bratislava, where you could really see the remnants of Soviet control and they are just catching up with many of the other cities. Had a great 18 mile bike ride in Austria right along the Danube, took a current-powered ferry across the river with the bikes and even stopped for a beer at a beer garden on the way. Vienna was huge and sprawling with so many beautiful buildings. Took a tour to Salzburg (inland from the river). The scenery was breathtaking. It is called the Lake district and is surrounded by mountains and lakes. People come from all over Europe to bike from town to town. We are all fans of the Sound of Music and on the trip to Salzburg stopped at the town where they filmed the wedding scene at the local church and had time in the church. In Salzburg itself we saw the gardens where they filmed several of the movie scenes in the Royal garden. Ate lunch in an old part of the cathedral. One of our friends and I took the bike ride to Valhalla. It is a place that looks like the Parthenon in Greece and is dedicated to famous Germans. It was 400 steps up the mountain to the summit (harder than the bike ride!!). In Nuremberg we did a WW II bus tour of the Nazi Zeppelin grounds where Hitler gave many party rally speeches. There is also a colossal building near it (never finished) that was to be his party congress hall. It is the only major Nazi building still remaining. Rode by the courthouse where the Nuremberg trials were held (closed on the day we were there). One final note, we booked our hotels in Budapest and Prague ourselves. In Budapest we chose the Continental Hotel Zara based on Trip Advisor reviews and great rates . We were not disappointed. The hotel is located in a large renovated building that had once been a mineral bath. Rooms were contemporary, clean and very pleasant. The hotel manager Zoltan Geher and I had corresponded beforehand via email and he made a point of sending us a bottle of wine in the room and coming to meet me before we left. I can highly recommend the hotel. While a little ways from the city center attractions, it is still within walking distance of the sights. In Prague we chose the Louren Hotel based on recommendations in Rick Steves "Prague" tourbook. Again a great choice. The Louren is a small (20 room) family-owned hotel. It had a charming lobby and bar/breakfast room. Our rooms were large, nicely decorated with new bathrooms and spotless. Best of all, the staff were very welcoming and helpful. Even to the point that when we asked for a recommendation to a local bakery to buy a birthday cake, they sent a chilled bottle of sparkling wine for our friend's birthday. While the hotel is a subway ride away from the city center, the metro station is close by and easy/cheap to ride. All in all, it was a wonderful trip and AMA provided a first-class experience. while we had initially considered Viking, I am very glad we chose AMA in the end. Our next river cruise will almost certainly be with AMA!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Our first river cruise turned into a bus trip. Fortunately we were booked with AMAwaterways, a first class company. The team on the AMAprima and AMAwaterways moved mountains to make our cruise the best experience possible in spite of ... Read More
Our first river cruise turned into a bus trip. Fortunately we were booked with AMAwaterways, a first class company. The team on the AMAprima and AMAwaterways moved mountains to make our cruise the best experience possible in spite of floods and cold weather. The ship is brand new and is very well laid out with two beautiful dining spaces and a large lounge. The staff in the dining room was very friendly and many knew us by the third day on the ship. The service was excellent. The cabin decor was very tasteful and the shower was great as was the bed. The French balcony was private and very well designed. There was always an AMAwaterways representative in the lobby of our two hotels (Prague and Budapest). Our guides were typically excellent and we loved the QuietEar head sets so we could always hear the guide. When floods prevented the ship from continuing on the Danube, our amazing cruise director managed to reschedule on the fly and find guides and buses to allow us to follow our itinerary. We were booked into a 5-star hotel in Budapest and arrangements were made for all our meals and tours. Any of the ports that we could not visit because of the floods were covered by bus trips. We would highly recommend AMAwaterways and would travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
AmaPrima Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 1.0 4.0
Shore Excursions 5.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.8
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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