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4 AmaWaterways AmaStella Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

10 passengers in our family chose this cruise for the Christmas Markets. We departed from Amsterdam on the 22nd of December for Basil. We noted a small notation on the website that many markets closed on the 22nd or 23d, however the ... Read More
10 passengers in our family chose this cruise for the Christmas Markets. We departed from Amsterdam on the 22nd of December for Basil. We noted a small notation on the website that many markets closed on the 22nd or 23d, however the itinerary listed several markets to visit. On board, our updated schedule listed an added market. What this cruise company failed to mention was all markets were closed on Dec. 25th and 26th. They also failed to note that markets did not open until 11:00a.m. At one port our excursion was scheduled to leave at 8:00 a.m. for a short walk and then visit the Christmas Market. During the walk our local guide advised us the market didn’t open til 11:00 a.m. the problem, our ship was scheduled to leave port at 11:00 a.m. so, we missed one of the open markets. When we complained to our cruise director about this, she replied “it is not my fault”. In addition our embarkation on the ship was delayed til after 6 p.m. because of some problem they experienced on the previous cruise and extra sanitation was needed..so we sat in a hotel lobby for several hours. “Award winning” cuisine was featured in the promotion of this cruise line and this ship. Actually, the food was modest and most of the food service slow. The ship has a capacity of 160 plus. There were only 86 of us on the cruise, and we were the last cruise for the season. The entertainment was zero and the very limited lectures or discussions were from a brochure. I note in AmaWaterways website advertising Christmas Markets cruising late in December for 2020. Beware. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The AMA Stella is a great ship with an even greater staff. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this cruise. The shore excursions were well organized & there was a good variety of them. Food was generally quite good although the osso ... Read More
The AMA Stella is a great ship with an even greater staff. We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this cruise. The shore excursions were well organized & there was a good variety of them. Food was generally quite good although the osso buco left something to be desired. I will give a shout out to Michaela from Romania who is a great bartender/waitress. All wait staff was friendly & did a good job. AMA provided many extra nice touches such as welcome gifts & candy or other treats brought by Boyan the cruise manager to the guests while on shore excursions. Boyan also deserves a shout out! The one hour open bar before dinner was an extra we haven’t had on other cruises. Everything was first class even though we were in one of the least expensive cabins. We have already put a deposit down on a future cruise. So we will be traveling with AMA again soon! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise as a group cruise to see the sites of the Rhine River (and Castles of course). We departed Central Florida Friday evening on a non-stop flight to Amsterdam arriving Saturday morning. After checking into Hotel ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a group cruise to see the sites of the Rhine River (and Castles of course). We departed Central Florida Friday evening on a non-stop flight to Amsterdam arriving Saturday morning. After checking into Hotel Estherea, we all went out exploring the city. On Sunday we had arranged for a private tour that took us outside of the city. We visited Marken and Edam and toured through the Beemster polder, a UNESCO heritage site and visited the collection of old water pumping windmills in Schermerhorn. On Monday, prior to going to the ship, many of our toured the Anne Frank House while others went to the Riksmuseum. We all arrived at the AmaStella at different times but, regardless of time of arrival, embarkation was a breeze. Our bags were taken as we arrived at the ship and the next time we saw them was when we went to our room. We chose a CA French Balcony cabin feeling that we may not get as much use from a true balcony as we would on ocean cruises. This worked out fine for us. The rooms aren't large but, once we were unpacked and organized, it was very manageable. We were actually surprised to see that the sliding window opens the whole width of the room. We had thought it would only be half, so that was a nice surprise. Dining was superb. Actually, there is always something to eat. Breakfast and lunch had a buffet section as well as items you could order from the menu. We ate at the Chef's Table one evening and that was amazing (too much food for me however). Service was amazing in all areas. It was fascinating to me to be on the top deck watching one of the stewards cleaning and polishing every bit of the railings and flooring. I was impressed. We did excursions in every port. That would be my only criticism of this cruise. For the walking tours they have "gentle", "regular", and "active" paced tours. We chose regular for the first three. The first one was perfect but by the third tour, we felt they were going much too slow - too much standing around talking. So in Strasbourg we chose the "active" tour and it turned out to be too active - no time to stop and take a picture or two. I think they could find a better balance, but this would in no way stop me from going again. We continued with AmaWaterways for the 4 night land extension in Switzerland. I was surprised to learn that our cruise manager (the fabulous Sonja) would be staying with us for the remainder of the trip. This part of the trip was also done very, very well. I think the group was very impressed and had a fantastic time. Next time we will do the Danube or the Douro. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We actually chose this cruise just on the basis of the itinerary and dates. Having sailed with AMAWaterways, however, we would definitely take another cruise with them based on the outstanding experience we had. We sailed from Nuremberg ... Read More
We actually chose this cruise just on the basis of the itinerary and dates. Having sailed with AMAWaterways, however, we would definitely take another cruise with them based on the outstanding experience we had. We sailed from Nuremberg to Budapest on the beautiful new ship AMAStella, visiting Christmas markets along the way. By the end, we had pretty well exhausted our interest in markets. Luckily, the shore excursions (all accompanied by knowledgeable guides) also included city tours and there were on-board activities related to Christmas as well. The food was unbelievably well done. We were so impressed with the variety and the preparation, as well as the wine service. We traveled with a one-year-old in our group, which could have been a recipe for disaster. Instead, we found we could easily take part in meals and activities, and the crew was welcoming and helpful. In fact, the entire crew was as friendly, professional and helpful as one could wish in all aspects of the trip. Embarkation and disembarkation were also expertly done. In short, we felt we hit almost a home run on our first experience cruising. Our only complaint relates to AMA's business office. When in April 2015 we booked 6 adults for December 2016, we also indicated that we would be bringing a 13-month old child. With 6 reservations on the line, they agreed to allow the infant, but wanted our acknowledgement that they had no support for an infant: no crib, high chair, stroller, car seat, dirty diaper pail, car seat or life vest. We agreed, we would provide our own. A week before the trip we were informed that we should have been charged an almost $1000 supplement for the infant, but they agreed they were a little late on that. But we were also informed that the parents of the infant would have to move from Deck 3 to Deck 1 because Deck 3 cabins had a balcony and the infant could fall overboard, so they would apply the rate reduction for Deck 1 against the supplement and waive the balance. Obviously the "balcony" issue was a pretext (who opens a balcony in December from Nuremberg to Budapest, much less what parent opens the balcony with a 13-month old infant). I talked to another parent who had a somewhat similar experience with a young child on another AMA cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
AmaStella Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.5 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 3.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.7

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