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  5. AmaBella (APT) Cruise Reviews
Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: May 2018
My husband and I travelled on the AmaBella on the Amsterdam/Budapest route on the 11 May. With respect, I vehemently disagree with some earlier comments (but I acknowledge that everyone’s entitled to their opinions). This was the first ... Read More
My husband and I travelled on the AmaBella on the Amsterdam/Budapest route on the 11 May. With respect, I vehemently disagree with some earlier comments (but I acknowledge that everyone’s entitled to their opinions). This was the first river cruise for us and won’t be the last. We felt this cruise was seamless with absolutely nothing to complain about. Our Tour Director, Emese, was competent, affable and accommodating. I don’t think she ever slept. She was always at the whim of the passengers organising their on shore tours with the utmost efficiency, and appeasing those passengers who consistently whinge; this woman was the ultimate professional. All tours were very well co-ordinated with great guides, full of enthusiasm and wit. Entertainment was organised on most nights which we found enjoyable. We even got the opportunity to dance on most occasions. The food was always tasty and well presented, in particular the Chef’s Table, in which each passenger had the opportunity to attend on two occasions, for a 5-course dinner in a gorgeous room at the aft of the ship. I am gluten intolerant and all my needs were attended to and catered for. There was a “Gluten Free Corner” set up in the dining room as well as the lounge upstairs, and all restaurant and bar staff were acquainted with all the needs of those passengers with dietary requirements. Hand sanitising was enforced at all times before and after dinner and on the return of onshore excursions. The restaurant was divided into two areas. My husband and myself sat on the so called NOISY side, whereas others elected to dine on the “quiet” side. We loved the jokes, the antics, the high 5’s etc from the happy waiters. We are Aussies and we loved every minute of this camaraderie between the crew and passengers and hence, applaud APT for allowing this. Most of our Australian cohorts on board couldn’t get over how happy the crew were; their enthusiasm was infectious. Cabin details are outlined below. Some reviews mentioned noise emanating from the upper deck and while sailing through the lochs during the night, we never heard a sound or felt any impact......maybe we were just lucky. We were entitled to Butler Service but we didn’t need it as we used to go to the lounge for tea/coffe which was available 24/7. Although he did bring us hor d’oeuvres (gluten free of course) each afternoon. The one bag of free laundry per week was a bonus. Most of the passengers were Australian, a few New Zealanders and a hand full of British. We became friendly with an English couple who had the time of their lives; they couldn’t get over how much fun the Australians were. The three Gold Signature Experiences are not to be missed, namely, the visit to Namedy Castle in Andernach, Germany, a private concert at the Lichtenstein Palace, Vienna and a ride on the Majestic Imperator train from Passau to Salzburg for the day and then onto Linz, to join up with the ship. The age of the passengers varied, mostly 55-75, but I should mention there were some super fit people in this age group who did the 34km bike ride from Melk to Durnstein and two other excursions that required the use of bicycles. In relation to the onshore tours, there was a fast paced group (red group). My husband and I always joined the regular group (green, yellow or blue) as we are photo-taking junkies with cameras. Lots of passengers were using their IPhone and IPad cameras. Those that had mobility issues were catered for and well looked after (pink group). We also had a young couple on their honeymoon who appeared to be having fun with us oldies. In conclusion, I would happily go on another river cruise just to take in the magnificent sights I missed. We were kept busy (by choice) the whole time, we never missed a tour, we never stopped but we loved it. If you go with an open mind, go with the flow, and embrace anything and everything that is on offer, you will have a ball, just like my husband and I did. Congratulations APT, you never disappoint. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Highs - Excursions - The daily excursions were great. Well organised with great guides. - Royal Collection - Three highlight tours - Namedy Castle, Majestic Imperator Train to Salzburg and a night of classical music in ... Read More
Highs - Excursions - The daily excursions were great. Well organised with great guides. - Royal Collection - Three highlight tours - Namedy Castle, Majestic Imperator Train to Salzburg and a night of classical music in Vienna. All superb. - Service - The service of the staff in the dining rooms, reception and our rooms were wonderful. All very friendly and helpful. Just ok - The food was plentiful but certainly not to the standard we expected. Selection of beers and wines was surprisingly limited. There were only two beers and they ran out of the one I liked early in the cruise. Despite stopping at a port each day and being told each night they would get the beer tomorrow, it took nearly a week before they got additional stock. Lows - Service - bar staff - it became obvious it was the last cruise of the year and they were tired. At times you felt you were a bother to them. - Entertainment - It was a real mixed bag but average overall - Dining - It looks like their are two different restaurants but in reality they are the same and offer the same food. We were a couple and as you couldn't reserve a table found it difficult at times finding a seat with out upsetting people. There were many larger groups who wanted to sit in the same seats every day, breakfast lunch and dinner. You certainly got the message if you sat in someones seat. - Public Areas - too small for a full cruise. People had to sit on arms of chairs at times. I have little doubt the majority of people on the cruise loved it. I think it depends on age and expectations. We felt that whilst enjoyable there were too many let downs to call it Luxury also considering the price. And please APT don't have you cruise directors tell all and sundry that tips are looked after by APT and if we felt we got good service to could tip. We paid for the staffs tips in our price. It certainly created and expectation to further tip the staff. I'm happy to tip good service but only once. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Ship shabby and tired albeit staff excellent. Entertainment on board low class. Overall cabins noisy. When perusing details prior were never advised deck would be unavailable for substantial period of cruise due to locks. Majority of trip ... Read More
Ship shabby and tired albeit staff excellent. Entertainment on board low class. Overall cabins noisy. When perusing details prior were never advised deck would be unavailable for substantial period of cruise due to locks. Majority of trip had bad smell in corridors and cabins. Value for money rate 4/5 out of 10. Majestic train trip uncomfortable due to heat and not explained re food and refreshments. Some of excursions too long trying to kill time. Pillows in cabin need to be reviewed. Carpets each level need to be replaced and perhaps colour coded. Air conditioning in cabins need to be addressed. Also in dining areas airconditioning not acceptable. Staff loyal and helpful. Advertising of trip different to actuality. 5 to 6 days were very average scenery. I may not recommend this trip to family or friends due to the price and as stated before this has been disappointing. Will rethink any APT tours very closely in future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This has been on our bucket list for some time. It was very enjoyable with a good mix of relaxation and activity. Some of the APT specials are not to be missed - the Grand Imperatore train (albeit some of the air con failed on a very hot ... Read More
This has been on our bucket list for some time. It was very enjoyable with a good mix of relaxation and activity. Some of the APT specials are not to be missed - the Grand Imperatore train (albeit some of the air con failed on a very hot day) and the Vienna Concert in the Lichtenstein Palace. Food was always excellent with many choices and the staff very willing to keep you pleased with a smile. Entertainment was limited to the space available, but overall enjoyable. Our room was in the lowest level and well maintained, comfortable and with no noise issues. Given it was nearly the cheapest cabin there was nothing to complain about. There was sometimes a smell, which we worked out was only while in major ports, so probably unavoidable. Wasn't an issue on any night we slept on the boat. Cruise operator could make it plain that low bridges will mean top deck is unavailable for 5-6 days while on the Rhine/Danube canal. I know this is mentioned but perhaps made a little clearer. The dining experiences at the special tables in the stern were a highlight, for both food and service. Apart from these small issues (to us at least) you could not fault the whole experience. This is our third APT/TravelMarvel trip and we plan another. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I am a first time poster and I owe a great deal of gratitude to those who have posted before me. We, two well travelled couples, joined the APT cruise on the AmaBella after a stint in Madrid, Cordoba and Barcelona. We travelled with ... Read More
I am a first time poster and I owe a great deal of gratitude to those who have posted before me. We, two well travelled couples, joined the APT cruise on the AmaBella after a stint in Madrid, Cordoba and Barcelona. We travelled with good friends,which contributed greatly to our enjoyment. We left Australia on 17th of October and after our stay in Spain made our own way to the AmaBella on the 31st of October. Names tags provided by APT meant we soon learnt fellow travellers names. From the time we joined the AmaBella to the last day when we left the AmaPrima we were cosseted and cared for. Both ladies had minor mobility issues and were worried initially about having booked the “aquarium” cabins but it turned out not to be a problem. We were two among several with knee and mobility problems.. Several times two of us went on the gentle walkers excursions and found it was just a bit too fast and once or twice perhaps it was a bit too slow but no matter, we were able to change our mobility status on the tours daily as and when needed. Our fabulous waiters Aleksander and Yani often admonished us for carrying our own plates from the buffet and made sure to intercept us and carry our plates back to our table. We were happy with our cabins and even although one couple could not fit suitcases under the bed (Very Large suitcases) it was easy to stand the suitcases in the corner for the duration of the trip and they were not in the way. Excursions,tipping, all meals and alcohol were included in the cost of the APT cruise. Wine flowed freely and inclusive alcohol was available from the time you embarked on the boat until we left it. Whilst not big drinkers it was nice not to have your hand in your pocket or be nickel and dimed throughout the trip. The only money spent by us during the two weeks were for an odd souvenir or coffee or beer whilst in towns and then only to try different flavoured beers. Several times we went on the same excursions as our friends but with different tour guides and it was entertaining to impart additional information re the tour to each other when we met, and often we chose different tours to each other and learnt about the alternative when next we met. On our return from our excursions the staff welcomed us back to the boat each time with cups of hot flavoured teas and local treats. Breakfast was buffet, My husband had the made to order omelettes each day and we all enjoyed the daily specials,fruit smoothies and pastries. Lunch also a had a buffet starter component with main course and soup courses ordered from our waiter. Different flavoured ice creams (3) each day and a selection of cheese completed leisurely lunches. Dinner was served by the waiters. Wine flowed freely. Going through the locks never paled, and Kristen's descriptions of the European Union, Wachau Valley and the Castles were informative and interesting. Our sightseeing on the top deck was enhanced by little titbits, cookies, onion tarts etc and interesting alcoholic drinks. Blankets were provided by the solicitous staff for those who feel the cold and I can't think of a more enjoyable way to spend an afternoon than sailing through the Wachau Valley sitting on a comfortable chair on AmaBella's top deck with a shawl around my shoulders drinking white wine spritzers and eating onion tart whilst listening to Kristen's commentary. Having watched the water level conversations on cruise critic forums over the previous few months, thank you Notamermaid and co,we were aware that perhaps we may have to be bused for part of the trip as water levels were ridiculously low that summer/autumn. Our Kristen kept us informed of the possibility of a ship change and although at one time we were advised we would be able to stay on the AmaBella for the entire journey, it was not to be and we had a ship change for the final night in Budapest .Those who were going home from Budapest were grateful not to be trying to adjust travel arrangements,it also meant we were able to enjoy the Budapest evening golden buildings sail past, albeit on the Amaprima. I have read all the time about making lemonade out of lemons and thought we were lucky to be sailing on two ships. I have to express a preference for the AmaBella over the AmaPrima. To my mind it is by far more waiter friendly. Our waiter on the AmaBella had a space to organise himself well away from the diners, not so on the AmaPrima, the small table area for the waiter is right next to the window and right behind the passengers back, not ideal to my way of thinking. The Buffet area on the AmaBella is better laid out,the food varied slightly between ships, but if you had been on the AmaPrima and changed to the AmaBella perhaps you would have different preferences. We were extremely lucky with the weather, it only drizzled once or twice and the temperatures were almost balmy at times. Of course that meant low water but the ship change went smoothly and apart from a few passengers who did not know how to make lemonade from lemons the four hour bus trip and the brief stop at the petrol station did not detract from the trip. Our crew and Cruise director Kristen were fabulous, our Captain Arjen worked tirelessly to get the AmaBella as far as we did. All in all we had a once in a lifetime experience, one my husband has said just can't be improved upon, so I guess we will have to look for another APT trip, perhaps to Antarctica? Several people were sick on our trip, must have bought the bug on board as the use of hand sanitisers were enforced when re embarking the ship and there were sanitisers in the entrance way to the main lounge and dining room, It is hard to watch those who pick up food in the buffet area with their hands but staff we always ready to catch those people out and whisk away those trays contaminated. Several times i watched staff gently admonish culprits. We learnt of the Paris attack on disembarkation morning and the Russian fighter plane was shot out of the sky on the morning we left Istanbul, we live in frightening times, we wish all of our fellow travellers safe journeys. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2011
Brand new ship, Amaverde, and it lived up the the descriptions put out by APT. First night tried to get a glass of red wine. Bar attendant could not find a cork screw. Fifteen minutes later when up to get my wine. Same bar attendant ... Read More
Brand new ship, Amaverde, and it lived up the the descriptions put out by APT. First night tried to get a glass of red wine. Bar attendant could not find a cork screw. Fifteen minutes later when up to get my wine. Same bar attendant looked at me with a vacant stare wondering what I was talking about. Still no corkscrew. Bar menus on every table. Its a shame they did not have half of what was on them and some items, brandy for one, none at all.Some of the crew had a work ethic of doing everything as slow as possible or not at all. I think APT should review their training of crew as this ship had a few who needed more.Service at meals very slow as only four crew serving meals to 159 passengers. Long wait for meals at times. Food service area needs a redesign. People lined up at breakfast waiting to get eggs cooked by the chef blocked everyone else from trying to get other things from hot boxes or benches.Guides at all stops very good but felt rushed at times when we had free time. Had to get back to the ship. Meals were very good but would have liked more variety at lunch. For the money you pay to go on the Concerto class ships NO VALUE FOR MONEY. Go Aria class for better value and hopefully a better crew.Beautiful public lounge area but all windows covered by gauze curtains. When questioned personnel at reception did not have a clue that we would want to look outside to see the magnificent views as we sailed along the rivers. Every time we opened them they were closed the next day. Why curtains at all?? Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2010
We travelled on this boat last year and were bitterly disappointed and had a number of problems. They used completely false advertising, they state that there are 3 restaurants when in truth there is only one. There are 2 side by side ... Read More
We travelled on this boat last year and were bitterly disappointed and had a number of problems. They used completely false advertising, they state that there are 3 restaurants when in truth there is only one. There are 2 side by side but they are serving the same food but under different titles for example one restaurant had chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella the other had chicken breast stuffed with buffalo cheese! The third restaurant fits no more than a dozen people and you basically have to book as soon as you step onto the boat but no one informs you of this. Having sailed on other cruises where the food and service was wonderful, APT was very disappointing on both counts. While we were on board there were numerous complaints and both the staff on board and back in Australia could not have cared less and were very rude. They advertised that on a number of occassions you will eat on the top deck with great views. Not once did this happen and when we complained along with others they did nothing to correct it. We paid extra for the privilege of having a balcony however they dont state in their advertising that half the time when you pull into dock, you're literally pressed up against another ship which has full view of your accomodation and you're forced to pull your curtains. Their descriptions of the tours were completely false. The tours were run to the convenience of the staff not the travellers and we were stuck in hot coaches going nowhere for the majority of the time. Finally, when spending this amount of money you expect first class food, service, accomodation and tours. A tour to the opera which was an added expense was bitterly disappointing and all the passengers from this cruise were stuck behind huge barriers and were unable to see anything. Read Less
AmaBella (APT) Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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