My husband and I are in our mid to late fifties. We have been on several ocean cruises. We enjoy the aspect of unpacking once on cruises plus having all your meals arranged. After two successful cruises on a moderate priced line, we ... Read More
My husband and I are in our mid to late fifties. We have been on several ocean cruises. We enjoy the aspect of unpacking once on cruises plus having all your meals arranged. After two successful cruises on a moderate priced line, we wanted to try Amawaterways because we heard many good things about them, especially that their food was high quality. Even though Amawaterways was more than a few hundred dollars more than the other brand, we were pleased with our choice.
Would I use the other moderate line again? Yes, because for us, the quality of the tours is most important and we didn't find any difference between the two lines. The food was better on Amawaterways, but food is not the most important thing to us, the food on the other line was average, and Amawaterways was above average. The only time the food on Amawaterways was exceptional was our one meal at the "Chef's Table".
We loved the itinerary of the Budapest with Munich extension. Others on the sailing chose the Prague extension. You can't go wrong with either. For us, Munich was on our bucket list and having the ease of the transfer plus the high quality guides that Ama provides was the reason we chose to do the post cruise with Ama instead of DIY.
I do think that the staff on the Amasonata were trained very well. The Cruise Manager, Viktoria was outstanding. She was very detailed oriented and I watched her noticing little details that could be improved on the ship and mentioning it to the person responsible in a very diplomatic way. I am a "big picture person" versus a "detailed oriented" person. Some folks might be impressed with the red rose given to each woman at the welcome party, or the gifted scarf at the end. For me, it doesn't matter. . . the rose, I gave it to them to put it in a group vase because what was I supposed to do with it? The scarf was a nice gesture but I really don't wear scarves. . .
Our last two cruises we went Aquarium Class. We saved at least $1,000 by going this way. We were very pleased especially because the square footage was exactly the same as the French Balcony cabins on Avalon. This time, I decided to try a French Balcony cabin because I wanted to know if there was any big difference, enjoyment wise, or if the cabin was less noisy going through the locks. By the time I booked, there were no French Balcony cabins available, only dual balconies which is a french and an actual balcony combined. What the hay, we went for it. We were Cabin 216 mid ship. We were able to use our balcony several times in port because we got lucky. If you are not aware, because of the popularity of river cruising, the ships double dock and even triple dock while in port. This is termed "rafting". There were some occasions when we looked out our balcony, all we saw was another ship's balcony. (Read more about rafting on the CC River Cruise boards about this before deciding if you want to spend extra on the balcony) Bottom line, the balcony was a lovely extra, but I'm on the fence if it is worth the at least $1,000 extra in fare.
The excursions of Amawaterways were excellent. There was always many different choices as to activity level. Amawaterways took extra special care to those in the gentle walkers group. I am not a gentle walker myself, but I can heartily recommend that you consider Ama if you need a little tlc. If you are an active person, Ama is also perfect for you. There was always a hike, which near the Danube involved walking up hundreds of steps to a castle lol, and a bike ride. The guides on the "regular" tours were very informative and interesting.
The service was very good on the Amasonata. We met some new friends who have cruised on the Regent ocean cruise line, and they were a little disappointed with the service, just throwing that in as a reference point. Most of the staff was very friendly and work hard to make you happy.
The only negative aspect of our trip was the selection by Ama of the post cruise extension hotel in Munich. The location of this hotel was a very poor choice and one would think that Ama with all of their detail oriented customer service would have better quality control. Not going into detail here, but I'm certain Ama knew about the changing neighborhood surrounding LeMeridien Hotel and should have been proactive in changing the hotel even if it meant that they would lose money. . .
In summary, Amasonata is a beautiful ship with a friendly, hardworking staff. They work together to give you a wonderful vacation. Amawaterways might cost a little more than other lines, but the extra cost is worth it. Read Less