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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We were lucky enough to go on the first “beer” AND “tulip” themed cruise. In addition to the beautiful flowers/ports the tulip cruise had to offer, we also had to an opportunity to discover new and wonderful breweries and beers, ... Read More
We were lucky enough to go on the first “beer” AND “tulip” themed cruise. In addition to the beautiful flowers/ports the tulip cruise had to offer, we also had to an opportunity to discover new and wonderful breweries and beers, popular in this countries that we visited. Our cruise was extremely well-organized by managers Nick Hartog and Victoria. I believe this was the first “beer” themed cruised (which was also a tulip themed cruise). Nick and Victoria did an outstanding job juggling the needs of “tulip” cruisers and the “beer” cruisers. They were friendly with all the guests and efficiently managed to organize a double themed cruise. Onboard entertainment, speakers and beer tastings were terrific. Meeting individual needs and guest availability is a priority for this pair. The stateroom layout was good with the French and outside balcony. There is ample storage/closet space. Housekeeping staff were excellent. We appreciated the bottled waters which were provided daily and the in-room internet. The food in the dining room was wonderful. I found it very helpful that the menu is allergy coded to enable guests to make informed choices. The beer choices were outstanding and changed each night. I liked that the food choices often reflected the country that we were visiting. The friendly service staff was attentive to all requests. The excursions were well organized and the local guides were exceptional. Since the “beer” was added to this “tulip” cruise, it was a real treat for us to be able mix (for example) a city tour with a brewery tour/tasting. The clean buses were never over-crowded and the group sizes were very reasonable. This cruise exceeded my expectations in almost every way. The entire crews, from the captain to our housekeeper, were efficient, courteous and friendly. Everyone associated with AmaWaterways went out of their way to make the experience enjoyable and worry free. I would definitely recommend this beer/tulip cruise; it meets all your sensory needs! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
We did our own pre-cruise trips. Loved Zurich, Lucerne, Basel. The Swiss trains, trams and bus system is amazing! People were friendly, welcoming, and most spoke decent English. The countryside, the Alps, the architecture = spectacular! ... Read More
We did our own pre-cruise trips. Loved Zurich, Lucerne, Basel. The Swiss trains, trams and bus system is amazing! People were friendly, welcoming, and most spoke decent English. The countryside, the Alps, the architecture = spectacular! Money: In Switzerland you can go to a bank for CHF. In our small cruise towns, banks did not exchange $s. You had to have an ATM card or go to the '"main bank,” or '"main post office” for EUR. The ship gave us the best rate $100= EUR 65. Cruise: First time River cruisers. Mother had a wonderful time! Itinerary and pace was perfect for her. The fact that '"everything was taken care of '"was a big plus. Most cruisers were from North America, with a couple from each; Brazil, Colombia and Argentina. Australia? Most were seniors. The people we met played a BIG part in our enjoyment of the cruise. Very compatible crowd. Ship: Nothing negative, clean and sparkling. It might be old but it was gold. Checked out the hot tub, exercise room, aft lounge and beauty salon, but never used them. Enjoyed the Lounge and Peter at the piano. Dining room was fine: tables for 2, 4, 6 very comfortable. Umbrellas and foldable stools at reception level for use, - besides umbrellas in room '" so no need to bring any for the cruise section. Captain Henk Klos aka Hunky Hank, big and well-liked. Staff come and stay because of him. Cruise Director: Reka Piros. Excellent. Has the right attitude, personality and tone for such a job. People were asking for her schedule to book future cruises with her. Weather was good for most of the trip. Scattered rain here n there. Fall colors everywhere. Cabin: 104 Piano deck, mother had no problem walking up and down stairs. Twin beds. Enough space. Bathroom was fine. Room steward Stephan kept our cabin spotless. Daily Cruiser delivered every evening during dinner. Bathrobes on the second night. Flat screen for information and internet. Bad weather or locks mean Wi-Fi was slow or unavailable. Tours: All enjoyable. Guides very knowledgeable, friendly and willing to help. Sometimes humor is lost in the translation, accents and smiles vary as their personalities. Levels: Active walkers, Gentle walkers, Limited mobility walkers, and bikes, something for everyone! Picked up a map and list of tips (sights, food etc.) from Reka/front desk before every tour. VOX boxes = fantastic! Warm towel and a glass of hot tea on returning from tours = perfect. Attention: Before every tour you collect a boarding pass and a colored ticket to show which bus you are on. On returning to the ship boarding passes MUST be returned so that they know you are back. (drop box) Staff: Mostly Eastern European (Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Hungary etc. ) Their temperaments are different from the '"Latin” ones most North Americans are used to. We enjoyed ALL the staff we came into contact with, even when we thought a response was not quite suited to the service industry! It became our funny moments to remember  Restaurant Food: Attractive and many options. They tried to have local dishes at every port. Whether your palate appreciates such food is another matter. Wine and beer as much as one wished for during lunch and dinner. Lounge: Afternoon tea had cakes, cookies etc. Coffee machine = 24 hrs. milk, coffee, macchiato, cappuccino, hot chocolate packages, teas, iced water and iced drink. Improvement needed: Cookies were the same every day, and Late Night snacks were sometimes inedible or insufficient. Bar: Reasonable prices. People could drink their own wine in the lounge too. Cruise Ports: There are probably many port reviews, so nothing here. Suffice it to say: All get a thumbs up! In addition, you need to have a few nice surprises  Embarkation: Basel. At the main train station there is a Tourist Information office for maps etc. Tram 11 on Platform 5 took us to St. Johaan Tor. (8th stop). CHF 3.20 p/p. Exit and walk a few feet down towards the water. Staff saw us and came to get our suitcases. Mom had refreshments in the lounge whilst I walked the town. 3pm cabins ready. Passports are collected on arrival (for harbor authorities). Pick them up the next morning. Docking was never a problem -even if we had to walk through Uniworld! Someone asked for and got a tour  Bring comfortable walking shoes. Stairs (on ship and tours) especially during the wet season, need extra attention. There was always a biergarten or café in walking distance for a local '"one 4 the road” and some fun after the onboard entertainment. Gratuities guidelines: Cash or credit card. Crew (everybody but cruise director) E84/guest. Cruise Manager: E 21/guest or E 33/guest if pre-trip taken. Tip box at reception desk and envelopes in cabin. If someone has been especially nice '" an extra E1-5 may be given directly to the person/s. Disembarkation: Early Breakfast served. at 6.30am with Early pastries etc. in Lounge at 4.30am. Luggage out according to your tag time, then board bus. At airport, staff member will help you get a cart for your luggage and then you are off. Independent Travellers; you have preordered your taxi with Reka the previous evening. 9am All Cabins Vacated. The Lounge is available till transfer time. Sample of daily program: 6.30 am '" 7.30am : Early risers Pastries in Lounge 7.30am '" 9.30am : breakfast in Restaurant 9.30am '" 10.30am: Late risers Pastries in Lounge 10am: Reka gave a presentation on upcoming stops, briefings etc. 11.30am: lunch is served in Restaurant. Light lunch of soups, salads, in Lounge 1pm: Tours depart 4pm '" 5pm : Tea in Lounge with Peter playing music on piano @ 6pm ish: Tours return 7.30pm: Dinner 9pm: Entertainment 10.30pm: late night snack NO walking or jogging on Sun Deck before 8am or after 10pm. Shout out to Staff: Reka, Romeo, Stephan, Peter, Grumpy, Damien, Dorina, Boris…… THANKS for the memories to my fellow cruisers especially my Cali pals. Travel again with AmaWaterways? In a heartbeat!  Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2013
This was our first river cruise and we chose AMARIVERWAYS at the suggestion of my travel agent. It was, by far, the best cruise in over 30 I've enjoyed. From start to finish, we were treated like royalty: the airport were a bit late, ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we chose AMARIVERWAYS at the suggestion of my travel agent. It was, by far, the best cruise in over 30 I've enjoyed. From start to finish, we were treated like royalty: the airport were a bit late, but it could've been that we arrived in Amsterdam at 6:30 a.m. (an hour early!). On the cruise and post trips, we NEVER TOUCHED OIUR LUGGAGE! They were delivered from air to cabin, from cabin to bus, from bus to hotel room, from hotel room, to bus, to airline. The food was outstanding and the service was superb; our waiter Romeo became a friend and treated us with promptness, aplomb and generosity. The tours (walking and bus) were perfectly paced. I chose the "gentle walks" (still recovering from a broken ankle) but the others in my party went on the other walks. Each group used the very convenient "quietvox" apparatus, with which we could hear the guid without hovering around him/her. Most days we had free time to shop, walk, bike, or rest. For the first time I returned from a cruise satisfied and rested, rather than exhausted and frazzled. The passengers (140 of them) were of various age and very friendly. We made many friends with whom we'll keep in touch. Special kudos to Nick, our cruise manager/director: the essence of good humor, patience, compassion, and knowledge. We can't wait to take AMA again and recommend it without reservation! Peggy Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
After a wonderful cruise on AmaLyra in 2012 to see the tulips in the Netherlands and Belgium we were enthused to go again on the same ship to travel on the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland.We traveled both times with a ... Read More
After a wonderful cruise on AmaLyra in 2012 to see the tulips in the Netherlands and Belgium we were enthused to go again on the same ship to travel on the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland.We traveled both times with a large group of folks from the midwest. Uwe was the Cruise Manager and did a fantastic job organizing all our tours and making sure all was going well, keeping his friendly spirit all along the way. Our room was just right, lots of room for storage, plenty of hot water in the shower. We had a french balcony so a lovely window to look out of , though most of the time you are not in your room. We loved the tours each day, led by well educated guides and the VOX devices made listening easy while photographing the sights. All the staff on the boat were friendly and willing to help in any way. We especially enjoyed being greeted when we returned from touring by warm towels to cleanse our hands and cups of lovely tea! The food was served very attractively and there were many options like having a light meal in the lounge instead of the dining room . I enjoyed the 'tea' in the afternoon :) . We took the post cruise option of 4 days in Switzerland and Uwe accompanied us on that portion as many took advantage of it. The weather was not the best, cloudy, rainy but we were glad we went anyway...loved the cities and the small towns in the countryside were beautiful. Hope to travel again with Ama Waterways! Read Less
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