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17 AmaWaterways AmaSerena Romantic Cruise Reviews

We were on the Iconic Christmas Markets Cruise during Christmas Week, and purchased the additional two nights in Prague though Ama. We have traveled extensively through the years, including ocean cruises, but this was our first river ... Read More
We were on the Iconic Christmas Markets Cruise during Christmas Week, and purchased the additional two nights in Prague though Ama. We have traveled extensively through the years, including ocean cruises, but this was our first river cruise. To say we were completely pleased is an understatement. The entire experience was top notch from the moment we landed in Budapest until our departure from Prague. We traveled with our two children, who are in their 20s. The Boat: Overall, the ship was extremely clean, and the rooms were comfortable. We had two rooms on the Cello Deck (mid-level) with a French balcony and outside balcony. It was too cold to use the outside balcony, but it made the room brighter. Our Housekeeper cleaned the room at least twice a day, including turn down service. The room was quiet and we slept well with nice linens and pillows. Since the boat is small, everything is a short walk and we never felt rushed to get to dinner or to the lounge. The Food: Excellent! Breakfast was primarily buffet style with a great selection of meats, cheeses, fruits, juices, eggs to order, and a huge pastry table. There were a couple of menu options, like Eggs Benedict. There was also a light breakfast option, pastries, in the lounge for late risers. Lunch was primarily buffet too, with different soups and main courses available. We could also order some items off of the menu, like cheeseburgers, which were delicious. Beer and wine were included with lunch, along with different desserts. Dinner was the highlight of the day. Each night featured a different 5 course menu with a couple of choices for each course. The main courses varied from beef to fish to chicken to lamb. We had dinner one night at the Chef’s Table Restaurant, and it was awesome. Beer and different wines included at dinner. Entertainment: There is only one lounge, and it was the meeting place at all hours of the day. There was a coffee/tea/chocolate maker that was available all the time. As far as I could tell, there was always a bartender on duty. People gathered in the lounge to read, socialize, and view the stunning countryside. At night there were some local entertainers, and there was a piano player/DJ to keep the guests entertained. In the rooms, the entertainment system didn’t always work, but it was not a problem for us. Wi-Fi was also spotty in some areas, but we enjoyed the views as we floated up the Danube. The gym is very small, but it was fine. The Cities and Tours: In order, Budapest, Vienna, Melk, Passau, Regensburg, Nuremberg. The Illuminations Cruise in Budapest was amazing. Since it was Christmas week, we only had Christmas markets in Budapest and Vienna (also Prague, but more on that later). The Christmas Markets were fantastic, and having cash was preferable for smaller purchases, like food and drink. Each stop had its own magic and charm. The contracted tour guides in each stop were incredibly knowledgeable. Since this cruise was over Christmas, most shops in the towns visited from December 24th – 26th (Melk, Passau, Regensburg) were closed as Christmas was being observed. Regardless, each was still charming to walk through and some coffee shops and restaurants were open. Each location was also busy with locals out strolling. On Christmas Day, anyone wanting to attend Mass could do so at the Cathedral in Passau, about 10 minutes’ walk from the ship. The Crew: Even though this group had been working for months and had encountered a couple of thousand guests and were almost done for the season, they were all amazingly friendly and helpful and patient. Every crew member I encountered smiled and greeted me and took the time to answer my questions graciously. The service was as good as any we have encountered in our journeys. Due to high water in Germany, the cruise was slightly modified, requiring us to spend the final full day at sail – no stops. The crew adjusted well, hosting a Bavarian themed lunch and ice cream party. We did not mind at all. The Captain and Cruise Manager provided briefings to the passengers on river conditions. Post Cruise Tour: We purchased two nights in Prague for a reasonable price. We were transported by bus from Nuremberg, and were treated to a top hotel, the Cosmopolitan. The Cruise Manager accompanied our group, which was great. The hotel was located just a few minutes from the Christmas Market and historical center of the city. Even though it was after Christmas, the Christmas Market was still open as the holiday is celebrated through January 6th in Prague. The package also included breakfast in the very nice hotel restaurant, and a walking tour of historic Prague. Transfer Service: We purchased from the airport in Budapest to the ship; and from the Cosmopolitan Hotel to the airport in Prague. Both experiences were great. In Budapest, we were greeted by Ama reps and transported in a roomy bus. They had bottled water, which was a godsend after the long trip. In Prague, our Cruise Manager greeted us as we left, even though it was 4:30 AM, and gave us a boxed meal to go. At the airport, an Ama rep met us and guided us through check in, which was much appreciated. 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
Sail Date December 2018
From the moment we arrived in Munich, AMA waterways service was top notch. We opted for the smallest cabin. The layout was very good, storage under the bed for suitcases, plenty of closet and drawer space for clothing, and good space ... Read More
From the moment we arrived in Munich, AMA waterways service was top notch. We opted for the smallest cabin. The layout was very good, storage under the bed for suitcases, plenty of closet and drawer space for clothing, and good space in the bathroom for toiletries. Transfer from the airport was on a very comfortable coach with our guide providing nice commentary along the drive to Vilshofen,but knowing when people were getting a bit of shut eye so she kept it to a minimum. Although the room was not ready when we came onboard, there was a light meal in the lounge and we set off to walk around Vilshofen with a map from reception to stretch our legs after a long flight. Upon return to the ship our room was ready and our bags were in place waiting for us. We enjoyed the Octoberfest in the tent on the pier and then dinner in the dining room. Our waiter was so wonderful we tried to sit in his area throughout the cruise. The staff could not do enough to make you happy. Wine poured freely and the food was very very good. Breakfast was basically the same every day on the buffet but there was plenty of choices as well as options from the kitchen. Champagne was available at breakfast, as was the detox/vitamin water or the day. Lunch on board was a good variety. One day they had make your own Pho soup, you picked the meat and veggies and the chef put it together with the noodles and broth. So delicious. Again if you did not care for the buffet, there were menu options. Dinners were delicious. I will never forget the lamb or the mushroom soup. Although there was open seating it was nice to find new friends to eat with. People from all over the United States and the UK. Excursions were good with most guides being very knowledgeable. The only guide we didn’t care for was in Budapest. The captain was very nice, and our cruise director, Nicola was the best. Due to low water levels we had a change in plans and had to be bussed from Bratislava to Budapest. We spent one night at the Kempinski hotel. Beautiful room (and coming from the smallest room on the ship, a huge upgrade for us!). But the food on the illuminations cruise was not good but AMA stepped up and offered a credit on a future cruise. We met a travel agent on board who said we had picked the right company to cruise with. Although I had seen Viking commercials every Sunday while watching Downton Abbey, my research showed that AMA was the way to go. We are in our mid 50’s and felt there were people of all ages on board. The only negative of river cruising is the lack of time in ports such as Vienna and Budapest where you need more time. But that said, we can always go back. Ports - Passau was wonderful as was Melk and Linz. Loved Cesky Krumlov. Durnstein was ok...I would have preferred more time in Vienna instead or Budapest. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose AmaWaterways Melodies of the Danube river cruise to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary, and we could not have made a better choice. We were to embark in Budapest, but unfortunately, due to low water levels on the Danube, ... Read More
We chose AmaWaterways Melodies of the Danube river cruise to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary, and we could not have made a better choice. We were to embark in Budapest, but unfortunately, due to low water levels on the Danube, Budadpest closed its ports, and the ship was in Vienna. This was at no fault of AmaWaterways. Although we were disappointed, AmaWaterways and our cruise manager, Sebastien, made sure that we did not miss a meal, excursion, or port due to the closure. We had arrived in Budapest two days prior to our cruise, and upon learning of the port closure, AmaWaterways arranged a room for us in the Budapest Ritz Carlton. It was here that we met Sebastien and soon realized how valuable he would be to the success of our cruise. He was very knowledgeable of the ports and excursions, and extremely organized. With his guidance, we were bused to Vienna where we embarked the AmaSerena, and the cruise continued its schedule unimpeded. The AmaSerena was impeccably maintained, and AmaWaterways commitment to safety, comfort, and service was at the highest level. Cleanliness was a high priority throughout the ship. The crew of the ship was very friendly and helpful, and exuded a pleasantness that made you feel like family. Our cabin, though on the small side, was very clean and well stocked. Our cabin stewardess was very efficient and timely in maintaining our room. Meals were well organized, and the food was of the highest quality utilizing many locally grown products from the area near our ports. The ship has two dining areas; one being open seating, and the Chef's Table Restaurant, requiring reservations and providing a wonderful fine dining experience. Following meals, entertainment was provided in the lounge for both listening and dancing. Local musicians and entertainers were brought on board to provide a taste of the local culture. AmaWaterways even provided an exclusive "Oktoberfest" in a tent on the pier next to our ship in Vilshofen, Germany, the terminus of our cruise. Lastly, excursions were well planned and used local guides knowledgeable in the customs and history of the city being visited. A brief description of the next day's excursion was placed in our cabin nightly. We could not have been happier with our AmaWaterways anniversary cruise on the AmaSerena. Service was top notch from beginning to end. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We decided to try a river cruise and selected this one because of the route (Budapest to Vilshofen/Munich) and good feedback we had heard about AMA Waterways. We were not disappointed! The crew and boat were fantastic. It offered a ... Read More
We decided to try a river cruise and selected this one because of the route (Budapest to Vilshofen/Munich) and good feedback we had heard about AMA Waterways. We were not disappointed! The crew and boat were fantastic. It offered a variety of shore excursions, including cycling, hiking and some special vineyard tours as it was a wine cruise. Clam Castle for example, was incredibly special, with a wine tasting and tour by the Count. The Viennese Wine tavern was great fun. And the simple walking tours in each place were all done by knowledgeable and interesting guides. The food on the boat was great, lots of it, good variety and choices and fantastic service. The wine and beer also really good. The ages of the guests was broader than expected, with some families with kids, lots of extended families and couples and friends in their 40s to 60s. Of all that, the thing that really made the trip was the crew. From our fantastic captain, to Rachel our incredibly funny and kind Cruise Manager, Zoran our wonderful security manager, to restaurant staff, and housekeeping staff, everyone was friendly, helpful, loved what they do, and really wanted to ensure that all guests had a great time. We will definitely do another river cruise on AMA waterways. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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
What a wonderful experience! It was the crew's first cruise of the season, but the Eastern European crew were very well-trained and friendly. This was a flawless cruise. The food, service, and accommodation were all as good as can be. ... Read More
What a wonderful experience! It was the crew's first cruise of the season, but the Eastern European crew were very well-trained and friendly. This was a flawless cruise. The food, service, and accommodation were all as good as can be. The fact that beer and wine are included during meals and excursions are included as well only added to the experience. The cuisine and the entertainment changed to match our ports. The intimacy of such a small ship was also very attractive, as we met many friendly passengers and got to know the crew. The excursions and guides on shore were all excellent. One tip to improve: more time in port in Budapest (last stop). I stayed on board rather than take a motorcoach excursion, and only had one hour after arrival before the final night party commenced. But, the cruise was ended with a fantastic illuminations cruise of Budapest after dinner. We would highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Other friends had been on some. All had thoroughly enjoyed it! Our 50th Anniversary was in April...so we thought we would treat ourselves! Contacted our Travel Agent and she did all the research work for us...it was wonderful! It was a ... Read More
Other friends had been on some. All had thoroughly enjoyed it! Our 50th Anniversary was in April...so we thought we would treat ourselves! Contacted our Travel Agent and she did all the research work for us...it was wonderful! It was a marvelous cruise....so much to do and so many points of interest! The staff and crew in every role were amazing...friendly...smiling...it was all just like a dream! The dining was second to none...the food was plentiful and so delicious!! The shore excursions were very educational and interesting. The nightly entertainment was also very good...and pertinent to which country we happened to be in. We met a lot of very nice people on board...mostly Americans...I think we may have been the only Canadians on this cruise..:) We may choose another River...another time of year...next time...in a couple years maybe. We highly recommend it....I wasn't sure I would like it...but I did!! All in all a wonderful trip...and I really look forward to another! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
After speaking to numerous people, we selected AMAWaterways for our Christmas Markets on the Danube and couldn't have been more happy that we did. There was nothing that I would change. The accommodations were comfortable. The ... Read More
After speaking to numerous people, we selected AMAWaterways for our Christmas Markets on the Danube and couldn't have been more happy that we did. There was nothing that I would change. The accommodations were comfortable. The food was out of this world. The tours were fabulous and tour guides (except Regensburg) were great. And the Cruise Director Christian was wonderful. So to start - we went over early and spent a few days in Prague prior to the pre-cruise with AMA. We did a tour starting at the hotel and going up to Prague Castle. Then walked down to the Christmas Markets. The QuietVox headphone system was great in hearing the tour guide. Only complaint is that for me the earpiece was too big and hurt my ear - but otherwise great. The tour guide gave us plenty of information - but didn't overwhelm us. Then we left Prague on buses to Nuremberg. They had plenty of buses so that not everybody was sitting on top of each other. We had a guide on the bus that gave us lots of information as we traveled from Prague to Nuremberg. Once we reached Nuremberg, we were let off to enjoy some of the Christmas Market and part of the city for a couple of hours while the buses went to the ship and unloaded our luggage. We met the buses and they dropped us off at the ship where we were greated by the staff with champagne. Our luggage was in the rooms already - but we waited in the lounge until our section was called where we went to the front desk, had our picture taken and given our keys to our room. A room steward then took us to our room, explained everything and left us. We unpacked and went to the restaurant for lunch. Evening we met the staff and had a wonderful first night dinner. Meals on the ship were great. Several options and one thing that was nice was they had a list of allergies and each course showed any allergies for that meal so that you could make sure you wouldn't eat something you shouldn't. The staff remembered your allergies and made sure that they took care of you. Our wait person was Stevan and we LOVED him. Also the wine was continuous. You take one drink and he was there filling your glass back up. Same with water or other drinks you had. The room was BB201 and was spacious and comfortable. If you lifted the bed - the luggage would fit under the bed and gave you more room. Plenty of room to hang clothes and shelves to put non-hanging clothes and other things. Free Wi-Fi was nice. Tours - we really loved the tours. We only had one guide that we thought was lacking - the others were full of information and interestingly. Was surprised about how much I learned about each of these sites we visited. Loved the Christmas Markets. I think Thurn and Taxis was our favorite Christmas Market and Salzburg was our favorite city. Embarkation and Disembarkation was smooth. On ship entertainment was great. One night was decorating the Christmas Tree, one night was former members of the Regensburg Boy's Choir who sung for us for about 30-45 minutes which was great. One night the staff entertained us with Christmas Markets and we understand that was a first - but they said they had a blast and we did too. They really got everybody involved. Highlight was the Illumination Cruise in Budapest. It was COLD but breathtaking to go up on the top and see the buildings lit up. Beautiful. As mentioned - I can' say enough good about this cruise line. The staff was great and I would do this in a heart-beat again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was our first river cruise but we had done ocean cruises in large ships previously. We choose a river cruise to have some good conversations with other passengers and I wanted lots of walking, whereas my wife didn't want much. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise but we had done ocean cruises in large ships previously. We choose a river cruise to have some good conversations with other passengers and I wanted lots of walking, whereas my wife didn't want much. Meals on the boat were excellent but outside of meal time to get good food on the ship was hard. I guess that we imagined that there would be something all day that we could help ourselves to. The coffee is out of a machine and is poor, or served in a pot at breakfast (which again is 2nd rate). We enjoyed the excursions but after a few, we realised that they were all fairly similar ie cobblestoned streets with a church or castle. I guess that I wanted a three hour solid walk a couple of times on the trip, or a visit to a really good art gallery or museum. My wife one time did the apricots 'excursion' which ended up being 20 minutes in a tiny room sampling apricot liquors. Location after location I would end up just wondering around the shops of the various towns after the tour had finished. I guess if I did another river cruise I would ensure that I organised a couple of my own excursions in advance. The cruise was advertised as the romantic danube but it could have been called anything as this theme was not carried forward anywhere on the cruise. Time went very fast on the ship but seven days was enough. The cabin was excellent. We were in the middle deck and had a verandah. There was plenty of room. The entertainment on board at night time is only very average. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We’re a late 50’s couple on the AmaSerena’s Oct 2-9 Vilshofen-Budapest sailing. Comments regarding the AmaSerena itself likely apply as well to the other AmaCerto-class ships. (AmaPrima/Sonata/Reina/Venita) Although not ... Read More
We’re a late 50’s couple on the AmaSerena’s Oct 2-9 Vilshofen-Budapest sailing. Comments regarding the AmaSerena itself likely apply as well to the other AmaCerto-class ships. (AmaPrima/Sonata/Reina/Venita) Although not quite the youngest couple on this sailing, it appears AMA’s Danube appeals to a mainly retired yet affluent, cultured & fit 65-75+ Northeast US crowd. Notably, no one ever used the ship’s signature round glass elevator. No wheelchairs, walkers or scooters on this cruise! We partook of AMA’s flight bookings (JFK-PRG on DAL, BUD-AMS-JFK on KLM) and AMA’s 3-night pre-stay in Prague. While air and hotel can certainly be booked somewhat more cheaply oneself, we found that for our first foray to central Europe, all transfers & arrangements were flawless in execution. Particularly nice is that your Cruise Director, in our case the ineffably pleasant & witty Peter W., greets you at the pre-stay hotel (in our case the Prague Hilton Old Town), and maintains a desk in the hotel lobby to answer any questions of any kind regarding Prague or any other aspect of the cruise. The Hilton Old Town, as well as the other two Prague hotels employed by AMA, are within very short walking distance to Prague’s, well, Old Town tourist area and attractions. AMA’s included Prague-Vilshofen transfer, although a long bus haul, is punctuated by an interesting walking tour and plenty of free time in Regensburg, Germany. Do allow time to stand in line at the Regensburg Sausage Kitchen (Historische Wurstküche zu Regensburg) next to the Stone Bridge on your way back to the bus. The wurst on a bun w/mustard & kraut is well worth it. Absent AMA’s transfer to Vilshofen, the alternative is likely Prague-Linz-Passau-Vilshofen, by train. All bus rides for transfers and tours were on new, comfy full-sized european coaches, deliberately not filled to capacity. Many of them were in fact AMA Waterways-branded. Embarkation @ Vilshofen was flawless; luggage magically appeared in our cabin within 30 minutes. The embarkation evening “Mini-Oktoberfest” located in a tent outside the ship, was nicely done, with free-flowing beer and pretzels, including oompah & slap dancing in full lederhosen by a wonderful local band. We chose a Cat C. (French Balcony) cabin, starboard-side aft on the mid (Cello) deck. Although significantly smaller than the touted “Twin-FrenchDoor-Balcony” cabins (Cat BB & up), one exceptional feature of these is that the sole french door slides completely away, essentially leaving one entire side of the cabin, floor-to-ceiling, completely open. With a railing of course. Thus, do not dismiss these Cat C. cabins. If this is your first time on the Danube, avoid the Cat D & E Window cabins on the lower (Piano) Deck as you’ll mostly miss the endless scenery passing by, including the occasional middle-of-the night concrete lock-wall. Being at the aft end of the ship was not an inconvenience. No engine noise. Obviously, no waves. Also, up the rear stairs to the Violin Deck and in the Chef’s Table is the second, lesser-known, 24hr Coffee/Espresso/Cappuccino machine. The spacious bathroom features a sliding-door shower with both “rainfall” and hand-held showers. Both it and the cabin were kept spotless. I found the pillows to be a bit thin, perhaps worn, but a request for new ones was executed forthwith. Notable is the iMac-based en-suite infotainment system, easily the most sophisticated yet intuitive such system to be found on the water. When the batteries on the iMac’s Magic Mouse died, the ship’s engineer, doubling as its I.T. guy, instantly made things right. Printing boarding passes, or anything else, to the printer on the Hotel DIrector’s desk was super easy. Don’t forget your Euro-to-US plug adapter and an outlet strip to keep all your technology charged up. Free, fast & unlimited WiFi throughout the ship was an equally pleasant surprise. The minifridge was kept full of complimentary bottled water, which would also appear whenever disembarking for a tour, and on coaches. The “Quietvox” (radio) listening devices used during walking tours are brilliant and worked very well. Tip: Bring your own favorite corded earphones, they work better and are much more comfortable than the disposables provided. On our particular sailing, “rafting” at docks was less prevalent than we had feared, and not particularly an issue. When it did occur, it was often during mealtime and amusingly the staff closed the restaurant drapes against the adjacent ship, no doubt to forestall any jealousy from passengers on those lesser companys’ ships… Interestingly, when two river ships are rafted together at dock and the “inside” ship wants to leave, the “outside” ship pulls away briefly, then re-docks, usually then alone. No doubt a “river ship etiquette” thing. This being fall in central Europe, the Sun Deck and its pool & swim-up bar, and giant chessboard, remained unused, despite the pool kept full and usable. The exception was of course the evening cruise around the lit-up bridges and buildings lining the Danube in Budapest. Few things beat sitting out on the Sun Deck with blankets and spirits watching Budapest by night. The Chef’s Table, included, is definitely worth booking early to ensure you experience it on your desired evening. It is both a food and presentation experience, with each course being presented by the Maitre D’ , whose unfortunately fractured english made comprehension a bit challenging. As the menu, and overall experience, is identical each night, you won’t need or want to experience it more than once. Wines served at lunch & dinner, were generally local Austrian/German and quite decent, particularly the whites given the region. Speaking of evenings, one of the few extra cost excursions most worthwhile is the Mozart & Straus concert, the evening of the Vienna overnight. It’s actually fairly priced compared to the ticket face pricing, includes narrated coach tour to and from the venue, and a majority of passengers do book it. (Chef’s Table is thus closed that evening; the Main Restaurant opens for a simpler early buffet) (This is also why if you choose to forego the concert, it’s the perfect evening for a dinner out in Vienna) Our concert venue was one of the four halls in VIenna’s Kursalon Hübner, seating 200-300, and featured a 7-string, 4-wind, percussion & piano orchestra. “Sound of Vienna” featuring six Straus waltzs & polkas, with Mozart well represented, plus a dash of Lumbye & vonSuppé, with a ballet couple interpreting Straus waltzs, as well as arias, duets & operetta by a humorous tenor & soprano couple. AMA prints up and hands out a little program sheet, a nice attention to detail. Outstanding. Staff on AmaSerena, both navigation and hotel, were universally Romanian, with English skills ranging from passable to excellent. Notable exceptions were our Swedish-residing-in-New-Zealand Hotel Manager constantly attending to high levels of excellence, and of course our priceless Aussie-residing-in-Austria Cruise Director. The local land tour guides running the various walking and bus tours all had various levels of english language skills; which added the the authenticity of the experience. In the end, it’s really, really hard to nitpick anything regarding the AMA Danube experience, easily earning its consistent five stars in all respects. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We were lucky to happen upon a great deal on the Amawaterways Romantic Danube River cruise. It was an amazing trip, we were sent a package of information weeks before so we were prepared. Everything was so well organized. Their cruise ... Read More
We were lucky to happen upon a great deal on the Amawaterways Romantic Danube River cruise. It was an amazing trip, we were sent a package of information weeks before so we were prepared. Everything was so well organized. Their cruise director was amazing, there was nothing overlooked. Our excursions were well run and so interesting, something for every level of activity. The food was wonderful and the wines well picked, and the service staff was above reproach and so welcoming. I hated for the trip to end because we had become so close to them. The chef table is a must not miss experience! If you have a chance to do some of the extra excursions I totally recommend them, Schronnberg Palace was such an experience, and the concert in Vienna made the whole trip for me. I also did various castle hikes and the views made all the hiking well worth it. We never had a bad tour guide, all of them were very knowledgable and often funny as well. Make sure you choose the Trip to Salzberg, you get to see so much, including the church from the sound of music in a quaint little town. As and added bonus when we returned their were warm towels and hot fruit tea waiting which was so nice. The weather was not great when we went but it didn't seem to bother anyone as we were enjoying the trio way too much! There were only 142 people on the boat which made it easy to meet new people and make some wonderful friends. The ship itself was so clean and well maintained and our room was perfect, and most importantly the bed was very comfortable. Each night had different performers come in. The sounds of Austria was so beautiful, the Hungarian folk dancing so much fun, and the singer they brought in had everyone up and dancing with his music which appeared to everyone. This was a trip of a lifetime for us and Amawaterways made sure that it would be just that. I would travel with them in a heartbeat and will recommend them to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our first river cruise after several ocean cruises. I am now hooked on the river cruises, as they said I would be! With only 121 on board, it was easy to meet people which made it more intimate than an ocean cruise. Areas were ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after several ocean cruises. I am now hooked on the river cruises, as they said I would be! With only 121 on board, it was easy to meet people which made it more intimate than an ocean cruise. Areas were never crowded. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. Food, wine and beer (from the regions we visited) was excellent. Also, 24 hour coffee machine, including cappuccino and expresso was very appealing. The Chef's Table was a wonderul culinary experience!! When we first entered our room, there was a hat for my husband and gorgeous shawl for me. Champagne and rose from the captain- Free postcards and postage. Such nice touches. Lots of appetizers being served. All of the excursions were well organized and interesting, Loved that they were included in the price of the cruise, with a few optional tours where you were offered, at an additional cost, to go to places like the Schonbrunn Palace and a Strauss and Mozart Concert-fantastic and worth the money! The guides were well informed. Loved the QuietVOX, so there was never a problem hearing the guide. The pace in visiting the towns was good. Never having been through locks before, we were fascinated. Great local entertainment each evening! The evening cruise in Budapest was magical. Edward was a great cruise director! I can't say enough how wonderful this cruise was!! This was a fairytale cruise and I hope to cruise again on AMAWaterways! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I was lucky enough to win this cruise through my job. I was hesitant to go I was not familiar with this area of Europe. It would have been the biggest mistake of my life if I would have skipped this cruise. The entire crew was helpful ... Read More
I was lucky enough to win this cruise through my job. I was hesitant to go I was not familiar with this area of Europe. It would have been the biggest mistake of my life if I would have skipped this cruise. The entire crew was helpful from start to finish. Special appreciation to Jo Anna our server (Dracula). She is the queen of happy!!!!!. Ship was perfectly clean and had everything that you could possibly want on board. The ship was like new in every way perfect inside and out. In motion the boat was amazing smooth as silk. Fun to sit on my balcony and watch the world go by. So smooth that I never woke from sleep from any vibration or noises even as we docked. It was fun to wake up each morning to see where they have taken me next. Ride this ship you will not be sorry. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
AMA was recommended to us for it's food and service. It more than lived up to my exceptions in every way. The food was memorable both for it's preparation and quality. In each country they served the food specialty from the ... Read More
AMA was recommended to us for it's food and service. It more than lived up to my exceptions in every way. The food was memorable both for it's preparation and quality. In each country they served the food specialty from the area plus many other items. Unlimited wine and beer were served free of charge at lunch and dinner. Our cabin was lovely with ample storage and sitting space. The TV with the apple was a great plus. AMA is know for it's split balconies. Most cabins have both a french balcony and an outside balcony. You could choose depending on your mood or the weather. The service was as good as in any three star European hotel. We liked the tours on land because you could chose your speed and ability from gentle walking to heavy hiking or biking. Every person used a Quietvoxes on land tours to clearly understand what the guide was telling us. I would go an AMA cruise again in a minute. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
As newcomers to river cruising we were a little apprehensive before our trip but now cannot imagine that any other company could beat Amawaterways for the standard of our holiday. The ship was beautiful, the crew attentive and welcoming ... Read More
As newcomers to river cruising we were a little apprehensive before our trip but now cannot imagine that any other company could beat Amawaterways for the standard of our holiday. The ship was beautiful, the crew attentive and welcoming and the cruise manager an absolute delight. The trip went smoothly right from the chauffeur driven transfer to the airport and the welcome at the other end to the excellent care shown to us on board (little touches such as supplying gloves for us on a particularly wet bike trip were much appreciated). Everything was of a high standard and the programme of excursions was varied and well organised.The cabin was very well appointed and had the benefit of both a full balcony and a French style one so was very light. We were on the Cello deck as the Violin one was fully booked but we couldn't see any disadvantage in that. We will definitely go on another river cruise and would choose Amawaterways again and would recommend others to use them also. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
From being transported from the airport to ship, having snacks and a light lunch provided while we waited for our cabin to be readied, receiving a map and some ideas where we might visit in our departure city, the excellent room--every one ... Read More
From being transported from the airport to ship, having snacks and a light lunch provided while we waited for our cabin to be readied, receiving a map and some ideas where we might visit in our departure city, the excellent room--every one has a computer with wi-fi and is surprisingly spacious, the two champagne receptions, the excellent and very varied cuisine (always something different), the option of two tours a day to local attractions, well, what was not to like? Every need was met, most before we were even conscious of needing something. The staff was exceptional--my husband came down with a cold and the man who cleaned our room was so solicitous of his welfare; he was sent broth from the dining room, etc. We especially enjoyed the cruise director, who began each announcement with, "My dear ladies and gentlemen," and sounded like he actually was thrilled to talk to us. When we returned from our tours, we were met with a special beverage (always something different) and lemon scented fresh towels to wipe our hands. The places we visited were interesting, with local guides who knew the history of the sites and shared stories with us. We were offered wines coordinated with our evening meals, plus California wines as a fall-back. We were given a chance to have a special meal at the chef's table, and watched the ship going through the lock from the special dining room as we tasted three appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Postcards were mailed home for us; we heard our tours on individual programmable devices with ear pieces, and after we returned home, received a hand written post card thanking us for being on the cruise. What a pampering experience! We'd love to do another river cruise with such a great company. There was nightly entertainment with a variety of performers and music. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
AmaSerena Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 5.0 4.8
Entertainment 3.0 4.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.4
Family 2.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.7
Enrichment 4.0 4.6
Service 5.0 4.9
Value For Money 5.0 4.7

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