Since Viking has an excellent marketing effort, we were introduced to the idea of a River Cruise while watching Downton Abbey! However, our longtime travel agent advised that AMA Waterways was a cut above Viking. After attending an AMA ... Read More
Since Viking has an excellent marketing effort, we were introduced to the idea of a River Cruise while watching Downton Abbey! However, our longtime travel agent advised that AMA Waterways was a cut above Viking. After attending an AMA presentation, we were sold and selected the Romantic Danube River Cruise, including 3 days in Prague.
Our travel agent was right! We loved the AMA experience Their agent was right there at the airport on time. The Intercontinental Hotel in Prague was very nice and perfect for getting into Old Town easily. Our Cruise Director, Maddy, was at a table at the hotel and was also in charge during the cruise.
We cannot say enough good things about Maddy Calaruse. Friendly, knowledgeable, anticipatory of our needs. For example, when we were in Budapest, searching in our wallets for Hungarian money to use the bathroom, all of a sudden, she popped up out of nowhere and gave us the money. Like a Bathroom Fairy Godmother. She remembered our names immediately and would curtsy when she saw us because we are "Kings." Gave us good advice on what to do, where to go, etc. An outstanding employee of AMA. We also had dinner at Captain's table one night. He was very good and answered all of my questions with good humor and knowledge.
My husband loved Budapest the best, I think my favs were Prague and Salzburg. All places lovely. I told the Captain that one "complaint" was that the marketing material showcased more picturesque towns along the River than we saw as we were cruising. He acknowledged that Linz and Passau didn't really offer this and perhaps they could modify this a bit. The Danube is the Danube so if I were them, I'd highlight Prague, Salzburg, and Budapest to manage expectations. I'm guessing some of those marketing pics are from the Rhine. Budapest at night is magnificent!! I'm glad I got to see that in my lifetime. Awesome clear night for viewing.
The cabin rooms are very small. So glad we upgraded to the balcony and had a little more space! I expected the small rooms but wow. We learned how to negotiate around that pretty well though and by the end, it really wasn't an issue. Food was uniformly good. The Chef's Table one night was a cut above that. Service was usually good but occasionally we got a "that's not my table" attitude. But overall, service excellent. The receptionist was particularly good and it appears the employees are conditioned to say "yes." I liked that.
For example, my husband had injured his neck before the cruise (2herniated discs) so I asked if we could keep a combination walking stick/seat from the reception area for the duration of the cruise so my husband could use it. Big smile and "of course!" The "gentle walking" tours for the "halt and the lame" were outstanding and, I think, saved the cruise for my husband. We saw everything we needed to see at either a gentle pace or in a little train or little bus. Separate knowledgeable tour guides even for these fairly small groups. It made a significant difference.
Highly recommend AMA and River Cruises. Read Less