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12 Amsterdam AmaWaterways AmaStella Cruise Reviews

Our trip on AmaStella’s 14 day River cruise of Europe was our first river cruise. We arrived early morning on day one and waited 45 minutes at the airport for our transfer to the ship. We were told that room check in was in the ... Read More
Our trip on AmaStella’s 14 day River cruise of Europe was our first river cruise. We arrived early morning on day one and waited 45 minutes at the airport for our transfer to the ship. We were told that room check in was in the afternoon so we did not expect a reception…..but it took some time before we were acknowledged by a few men in Ama uniforms who approached us, took our luggage, and led us onto the ship. Since we had plans to meet a private tour guide in Amsterdam that afternoon, we picked up our key cards and left to enjoy the rest of the day in the city. Our room was small but comfortable. Luggage storage under the bed and enough hangers (there was very little shelf space) kept our clothing organized. On a river cruise the humidity in the room is a bit higher and the air conditioning in the room didn’t dehumidify, thus hand- washed clothing stayed damp and the room had a slight dampness that I didn’t like. Erika, our housekeeper was fantastic. Always greeted us with a smile and was quick to put the room in order, keeping it clean for the entire trip. She was very fast at helping us resolve an air conditioning problem. The TV services were only available on an Apple computer screen: streaming television shows were inconsistent; various shows would stop for 20-30 minutes at a time making it frustrating to watch. In addition, show availability was limited to mostly reality TV reruns. Excursion offerings were divided into regular pace, active pace, and biking. Every guide on each excursion we took was excellent. Kata, the cruise director, was available to help guide excursion choices. In some cities we participated in two excursions because of the time allowed; in others we had time to explore museums and sites on our own. We chose this cruise, in part, to see a variety of cities of Europe and we were not disappointed. Food and dining were a huge disappointment because of the lack of service in the dining room, a lack of variety of vegetarian options for dinner, and generally tasteless entrees. Vegetarian options had to be suggested by us, fish dishes had no flavor, and one night’s meat entrée tasted “gamey”. Rarely did the dining room manager make his way to our table to ask about our experience. Often refills on beverages (tea and coffee) had to be requested along with replenishing the butter on the table. There were 149 passengers, one dinner seating at 7:00 or sometimes 7:30 pm (which was not to our liking) and yet attention to customer service fell short. Finally, this river cruise had some unpleasant surprises. The sun deck, one of only two public places on the ship, was closed for 4 days because of low bridges along the river. Locks on the Rhine and Main plunge the ship into a damp darkness, one misses daylight as the ship slowly passes through each one. As many of the locks were traversed during daylight hours, one’s ability to sit and enjoy cruising on deck was impossible. The locks also prevented opening of the room’s door wall, sitting on the sundeck, or seeing anything out a window from the interior of the ship. The second public room, the lounge, was the location of a daily light lunch, afternoon entertainment (an electronic piano keyboard player), and drinks at 5:00 to “lubricate” readiness for dinner and after dinner entertainment. It was neither a comfortable nor quiet place to sit and reflect on the days sightseeing. Several staff members were quick to point out that this is a “5 star” cruise line but we found the trip inferior, especially given the high price. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had first river cruise in Europe, and we fell in love with it! The food was outstanding, our ship is beautiful and comfortable. Cabin is very clean with the best service ever. The food is absolutely delicious, everyone enjoyed it, and ... Read More
We had first river cruise in Europe, and we fell in love with it! The food was outstanding, our ship is beautiful and comfortable. Cabin is very clean with the best service ever. The food is absolutely delicious, everyone enjoyed it, and appreciate it. There are a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits served daily and creative menu, which is also variety of wonderful food. The service is awesome, they are polite, kind, welcoming, friendly. Entertainment and activities were very nice with different musicians on board. We would like to see some shows in the future. Service was excellent, very organized, detailed. Ports and Shore excursions overall were very good, only first one in Amsterdam was very short and less informative, also the last one in Freiburg was very short. We traveled with a 10 year old child and she really enjoyed it, we would do it again and again! Read Less
Sail Date August 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
This cruise was chosen because of an interest in the history of the Netherlands and Belgium and the tulips. In advance of the cruise, I spent three days in Amsterdam where I explored the city, visited the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because of an interest in the history of the Netherlands and Belgium and the tulips. In advance of the cruise, I spent three days in Amsterdam where I explored the city, visited the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum. I met the AmaStella at the pier in Amsterdam. Everything was perfect onboard ship and with the excursions planned for the journey. The staff/crew on the ship were amazing and attentive to all needs and foresaw the desires of all onboard. The cruise director was visible and accessible at all times. He made everyone feel like a family member and made sure that everyone was informed and looked after. The ship was beautiful, clean and functional. The bed and bedding were so comfortable that it was difficult to leave it the mornings. The food was excellent and the dining room service was outstanding with attention to every detail. The evening activities were perfectly suited for the journey and the guests onboard. There is absolutely nothing that I would have changed about this adventure. I would go again in a flash. The cruise line also initiated an app for this cruise which allowed us to follow our route and check information about each port. Further, we were able to add our pictures to this app and then share them with family and friends while we travelled. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first river cruise. We will definitely do it again, and based on this experience AMA will be our first choice. Everyone on this ship went out of their way to be friendly and helpful, from the captain to the cruise and ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We will definitely do it again, and based on this experience AMA will be our first choice. Everyone on this ship went out of their way to be friendly and helpful, from the captain to the cruise and hospitality directors, to food service personnel, waiters and bar attendants, and to housekeeping staff. Food was excellent, particularly the Chef’s table which was served with pride by the chef and his staff in the special eating area at the ships stern as we happily took in the (sunny) view of the picturesque waterways. Activities were well organized and interesting with enthusiastic local guides. Was particularly impressed with the cruise director who proved to be a great entertainer while bringing us all up to date on upcoming events and schedule. He seemed to always be there to interact with guests or solve problems. Amazing how he also made challenges of scheduling of supporting transport and guides invisible to ship guests. Appreciated the security of on board entry and the concerns of local guides to always have the right number in the group or safely avoiding the crazy Dutch cyclists and cars. Entertainment highlight was a classical trio who were fantastic. Other entertainers were comfortably appropriate for guest demographics. Judging by the age of cruise guests, this cruise was most frequented by 55+ folk. Often they retreated to cabins after dinner. Despite fitness leader, not a big draw except for small number who usually took more active cycle tours. There were a few kids on this cruise but with much walking and historical focus, probably not best for kids. I have written reviews for trip advisor on several occasions but have never had the opportunity to be so positive about a trip experience. Keep it up AMA, we’re looking to do this again next year! A final word on the weather. It was cold and damp for early April so bring warm clothes and rain gear. Fortunately only one day was rainy but our umbrellas saved the day. Despite the weather Keukenhof was beautiful, as was the Florillia flower show that AMA arranged access to before the show opened a few days later. Btw, when in Bruges, make sure to get your chocolates from Dumont’s. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Sailed with AMA before, loved it! Their attention to detail is superb. This time we experienced a drought that altered our course and experience. AMA took us to 2 extra countries not on our original itinerary, made everything pleasant and ... Read More
Sailed with AMA before, loved it! Their attention to detail is superb. This time we experienced a drought that altered our course and experience. AMA took us to 2 extra countries not on our original itinerary, made everything pleasant and seamless, remained positive and upbeat, and gave us a 100% credit for a future cruise of our choosing! We were on two ships, identical accommodations. Cabins great, ships great, dining excellent, service great, entertainment and activities great, excursions fabulous, staff attentive and wonderful, embarkation, disembarkation and ship transfer went smoothly and perfectly! AMA is an outstanding company, a class act, and I will most certainly travel with them again! They outperform all of the others and are far superior! The Captain gives each lady a rose upon arrival, and by the time you get back from dinner, the rose is in a vase. The crew knows your food likes and dislikes, allergies, and every detail to make you feel comfortable. They make special occasions unforgettable and treat you with the utmost respect! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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
The staff are what makes this cruise so incredible. Getting home for dinner each night to the same lovely waiters, who made an amazing effort to entertain the children we had in our group, made every mealtime an event. Special mention to ... Read More
The staff are what makes this cruise so incredible. Getting home for dinner each night to the same lovely waiters, who made an amazing effort to entertain the children we had in our group, made every mealtime an event. Special mention to Ogi, Milos (Mr Vanilla), Ivo and Andre, for whom nothing was too much trouble and who went above and beyond to make sure our dining experience was amazing. They are an asset to your organisation. This cruise company is perfect for a family with different interests and different fitness levels. Each day there was the option of an "Easy Walkers" walking tour or a "Active Walkers" tour, and also just a "Regular Walkers" tour. The tour options were all amazing and made you really become immersed in the local areas. Cruise Manager Rolf made the tour presentations so entertaining and made choosing daily activities so simple. The extra onboard entertainment such as Hungarian Dancing and a Classical Concert, were an added extra we didn't expect. A truly exceptional cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The ship and crew I can’t say enough good things. EXCELLENT personal service 24/7. Took the cruise from Amsterdam to Basel. Simply amazing. The cabin was a 10 plus with plenty of room and George my housekeeper was excellent.Food was ... Read More
The ship and crew I can’t say enough good things. EXCELLENT personal service 24/7. Took the cruise from Amsterdam to Basel. Simply amazing. The cabin was a 10 plus with plenty of room and George my housekeeper was excellent.Food was spectacular. When I cruise again in Europe this truely will be my only choice. All the shore excursions were handled correctly, on time, and very interesting. The details they took were great. Reception and housekeeping remembered my name. Waiters remembered what I drank and what I wanted. There was great entertainment with a violins one night and disco the next. So a wide variety. One night they have a Chefs table where 15 or so partake in a special meal put on by a special chef in a separate room. It’s a 5 course meal you won’t forget. Everything, even the desserts are made fresh each day.Thank you Crew and especially Marcia the cruise director. She was so kind and accommodating for everyone.... Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My wife and myself chose this cruise for our golden wedding anniversary celebrations. A bonus was that it was a wine theme cruise. The crew/staff are amazing. You feel totally pampered. The evening meals were just superb with accompanying ... Read More
My wife and myself chose this cruise for our golden wedding anniversary celebrations. A bonus was that it was a wine theme cruise. The crew/staff are amazing. You feel totally pampered. The evening meals were just superb with accompanying wines. The lunchtimes and breakfasts gave you a very good choice which offered both a buffet style as well as a table waiting system.The stateroom on Cello deck was on the small side but very well equipped. The whole week we were aboard sadly just rushed by. We took part in a few of the land excursions and was well planned allowing the facility of us slower walking people the opportunity not to feel hurried. Your luggage on embarkation and leaving the ship was very well organised and there was a lot of assistance for those who required it. Taxis and coaches to take you to your next destination all appeared on time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this cruise because I was travelling with my elderly mother and we liked the idea of unpacking once. Our travel agent assured us that APT would organise a wheelchair for mum to use for the excursions and the staff/crew were ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I was travelling with my elderly mother and we liked the idea of unpacking once. Our travel agent assured us that APT would organise a wheelchair for mum to use for the excursions and the staff/crew were brilliant. They could not have done more to help us with information about the places we visited and accessibility for the wheelchair. The meals were first class; choices were exceptional. We were able to attend the Chef's Table degustation nights twice and they were both wonderful experiences. Every staff member was helpful, polite and welcoming. They all made us feel special and none of our requests were too much trouble. Of course, we were lucky to sail on such a new, modern ship; it was amazing. The staff were very knowledgeable about everything; the ship, ports of call, planned excursions. The excursions were great and the tour guides were very informative and welcoming. We were impressed with the small group numbers in our walking tours and we were happy to be a part of the 'gentle walkers' - it suited perfectly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After 13 years of Ocean cruises I decided to take my first River cruise. I had been thinking about it for quite a few years but never booked one. Last year I finally made the decision and realized I really wanted to do it. My sister ... Read More
After 13 years of Ocean cruises I decided to take my first River cruise. I had been thinking about it for quite a few years but never booked one. Last year I finally made the decision and realized I really wanted to do it. My sister has been on both Ocean and River cruises and I know she enjoys both. I also know my TA and she and her husband love River Cruising too so I had at least 2 individuals who love them and both have sailed AMA and recommended them to me very highly. I was not disappointed I have always wanted to go to the Netherlands and when I saw the "Tulip Time" itinerary I knew that is the one I was going to choose. I booked this cruise back in the summer of 2015 (very end of July) and so there was a lot of time to wait......(with a Caribbean cruise in between) back in November. ........for a bit about me.....I am 58 and I sail solo. I had done a lot of research and knew this would be very different than an ocean cruise and that was the case for sure. I would say it is 180 degrees different. The Ambiance, food, ship, everything..........totally different. We had (from what I was told) 114 passengers on board on a ship that holds 158. So it was very easy to meet other folks, passengers as well at the staff AMA is a privately owned company and I felt VERY welcomed.....brand new ship. I originally thought this was the Inaugural sailing but it was not...it was the 3rd cruise.....although I would have never known anyone was on board before me. It was spotless...beautifully appointed and in my opinion, she has a warm and welcoming feel to her. That includes the staff and crew and as the Capt stated, a ship can be beautiful but the people are the soul of her and they have a fabulous crew. Backing up a bit........I arrived in Amsterdam a day early and stayed at "The Banks Mansion" hotel. It is a lovely property. A big flower market on one side, with a canal on the other, it is sort of a cross between a B&B and a hotel. The lobby is like a living room with a fire place and complimentary juices/coffees/teas/booze (yes liquors are included). The large breakfast room is downstairs and is also included in the price. The staff (reception) are very warm and welcoming.....and helpful too. My flight actually arrived in Amsterdam 45 minutes early and finding my luggage and a cab was very quick. It cost 60 euros from AMS to Banks Mansion. There were probably cheaper forms of transportation but this worked out fine for me. I got to the hotel about 8:30am and of course there were no rooms ready. I really wanted to shower and change clothes from what I flew in all night but that was not possible. The gals at the front desk were really nice but they were sold out the previous night so nothing much they could do....I had a couple of cups of tea and sat for awhile.......then I walked to Flower Market for about an hour and there are lots of shops/cafes/cheeses and strolled around there until about 11 and then felt myself getting tired again. I went back to the hotel but there were still no rooms ready. Then about 12:15 the gal said they had a room...I wanted to give her a hug!.....I took a hot shower...it was fabulous and changed my clothes. I had done research on different tours/excursions in Amsterdam for my one day and found a company called "HUNGRY BIRDS". It is a culinary tour and sounded like a lot of fun and it was...... It started at 2:00pm (the other big reason I wanted to shower and change) who wants to tour in clothing they slept in all night on the plane...........I had a map of where to meet the tour and found it pretty easily. The guides were 2 gals and we had about 9 others so I think we had 11 of us.....and there were 9 stops....different restaurants/cheese shops/etc. It was an international group.....me, a couple from the UK, a couple from Israel and 4 folks from Germany. Everyone seemed to have a good time. The downside was it rained all afternoon. And by the time we reached stop 7 I had lost all my energy. There were 2 stops after that but I could not continue and it was about 4:30 by then.......you know, 2nd wind is gone and you feel like you cannot do anything more.......I wish I could have stayed but it was just not possible. One of the gals walked with me to the corner and I got a cab back to the hotel. It was about 6.5 euros from where we were so not too far away. I gave the girls (tour guides) a nice tip and the minute my head hit my pillow I fell asleep. I slept for about 4 hours and woke up (thinking it was the next morning LOL.)...... I went back to sleep and then woke up about midnight...watched tv in the room, and fell back asleep about 4am and finally woke up again about 9am (this was finally sail day)! So I did end up sleeping but there were a few hours in the middle night of tv watching........I felt much better after finally getting up about 9am Next up would be sail day.....I woke up about 9am and took another hot shower and proceeded to head downstairs of the hotel for breakfast. They had all sorts of meats/cheeses/fruits and breads, along with cereals and an omelette man who was making whatever you like......omelettes or just scrambled eggs with all sorts of fixings.....mushrooms, cheese, ham, etc....and they had sausage and bacon too. This was included in the price. For anyone interested, I paid for this directly through the hotel. It was 249 euros.....in US $ my total came to 291.00. This is a bit more than I usually spend on hotels but I decided to "go for it" and in my opinion, it was worth it. As I mentioned earlier, I would stay here again. The hotel called a cab for me and the driver comes inside to pick you up. It was about 11 Euros to the ship and yes, the driver knew where to drop me off. If you are sailing on AMA, the birth is listed in your cruise documents. I gave the driver 15 euros and told him to keep the change. I arrived about noon at the ship and there are AMA staff waiting at the curbside for you.....they take your bags and walk with you to the ship. Next up......the ship...etc….. Oh wait, before I get to the ship I want to make sure for those of you who have yet to visit Amsterdam or if it has been many years since your last visit.......one MAJOR tip......PLEASE watch out for the bicycles. Seriously, they own the roads and do not care who else is there...cars, buses, PEOPLE......it seems bike riders have the right of way over anyone else and I heard a joke (I think it is a joke) that every person owns 4 bikes.....that is why some places have so many And the weather, it was cold, windy and rainy. Not that it affects anyone. Everyone just dresses accordingly and goes about their business. But the weather got better for the entire cruise (more on this later). So, Thursday morning I wake up, shower, have breakfast, check out of the hotel and wait for the cab. From the time the hotel called one, he was there within about 10 minutes. So, the staff takes my bags and we walk up to the ship (nice start)....The reception area is right there as you board the ship and they take your bags and let you know there is coffee/tea/etc in the main lounge area. Rooms are not ready till about 3:00 but that is ok. There were already folks on board and I met 2 couples and started chatting with them a bit. The main lounge on this ship is very comfortable with a welcoming feeling to it. This is in place to hang out before/after dinner and also, during the day, if you don't want to eat breakfast/lunch in the dining room, they have "lighter fare" here. There is a bar with about 12 stools (I think it was about 12) and the rest of the lounge is couches and chairs and of course windows with lovely views. And if you are not getting off the ship for a tour, you would definitely sit in the lounge (if not your cabin). Speaking of cabins, AMA offers cabins for the solo cruiser where they waive the Single Supplement in this particular category. It was on deck 1 and was fine for me. Double bed and 2 windows. Complimentary internet in your cabin too. The bathroom was small but fine for me too. Actually it was a nice bathroom with a great shower......doors, not a curtain and the counter top was granite.....really lovely. The cabin comes with a Duvet but I after the first night I had them remove it (too hot for me). I just used a top sheet and there is an additional blanket supplied if needed. Your tv in the cabin is also your computer. I only used it a few times to check my mail and I posted on here a couple of times. Other than that,I didn't have much desire to use it. I do sleep with the tv on though.....it is a sedative for me. More about the ship.....it may be a boat that sails on a River but the apt calls it a ship so I will too Speaking of the Captain, he was always visible and outgoing. I was up on the sundeck after boarding to see what was up there and he was in the Bridge Area. The door was open so I looked inside and introduced myself and shook his hand. Very classy guy. He would be at the doors as folks left for tours and as they returned from them too. The ship has 2 restaurants.......the main dining room and there is a Specialty Restaurant on deck 3, all the way Aft. The meal held in here is called "The Chef's Table" and each person was given the opportunity to eat here once during the cruise. As good as the meals in the main dining room were, this had to be one of the best dinners I have ever eaten, land or sea. The presentation was outstanding as well. This was what would be considered a tasting menu....you did not order anything. They brought it to you, course by course and wine was part of it too. No extra charge for this meal.......and if there was? I would have paid for it......it was FANTASTIC. Food is always a subjective topic so I am guessing it will be here too. I found everything to be good to excellent....food came out hot and cooked as ordered. Since this is such a small forum, there will probably not be anyone to give you another opinion (as on the Celebrity forum, for example). I really enjoyed all my meals.....trying to think back if there was something I didn't like but nothing is coming into my memory bank. The dining room has booths and tables and I sat with different people for dinners, although some were the same a couple of nights. They had 3 entree choices AND they also had 3 other "every night items".....if you did not like what the choices were you could order a steak, chicken or salmon that was on the "every night offerings". The presentation of everything was beautiful. And the wait staff was just that, wait staff. They did the food portion and the beverage staff did just that....your beverages. Really superior service. Oh, yes, there were appetizers, soups and salads too......full menu and the desserts? YUM......and those presentations were always lovely too. I was very impressed with food and service throughout the week. Breakfast and lunch.....same dining room but you could order off the menu or get the buffet or both! They offered quite a few choices and also, they had lighter fare set up in the main lounge if you wanted to eat up there. The food up there was good too...different soup every day, small wraps/sandwiches, different cookies/pastries too Nick was our Cruise Manager and he has worked for AMA for 6 years. This position is quite different than a CD on an Ocean Cruise. He is very approachable and also is the person who handles EVERYTHING....from your tour to how you are getting to the airport on disembarkation day. If you have a chance to sail with him? Do it. He also gives talks about the places you are going to visit. Sort of like a lecture but not boring and he is very knowledgeable. He sat with me and 2 other ladies for dinner on the first night of the cruise. He was always projecting a very positive attitude and really encouraged people to interact with one another throughout the cruise. Not in a fake way either......he has a great personality and it was a pleasure meeting him. Coming up........ports and tours......which of course as most of you regular River cruisers already know....this is what a River Cruise is all about. I know I said ports were coming...they are LOL but I want to say they did have some evening entertainment too. There was a pianist in the lounge who played each night and on 2 other evenings there were others as well. One night there was a trio called "La Strada"....2 Violinists and a guitarist who played classical music but it was very different and very good. And the other evening they had a singer named Rolf who did Broadway tunes. He was also very good and I really enjoyed both. Dress code...during the day it was cold, we were lucky and had sunshine throughout the week but long sleeves and jackets were the attire of day....along with jeans. As for dinner, it was casual. I changed for dinner each night (that is just me).....after being out all day, I wanted to take a shower and change. Now, I did not "dress up" but did bring about 4 different pairs of pants for evenings....most of them black or in the black family......with different tops of course.....you could have worn what you had on during the day and I am guessing some folks did. I chose to change. I felt totally fine in my clothing choices. Oh, I did wear my jeans multiple times during the week....I brought 3 pairs......2 blue and 1 black. But I always wore a new top each day. I also used the ship's laundry service about 1/2 way through the cruise. Everything came back fine and I thought the prices were reasonable. And how good is this......I sent 2 knit tops out.....they washed them but did not put them in the dryer and Head of Housekeeping explained they were hanging them to dry and would have them back to me later in the day....she delivered me everything else folded in a nice plastic bag. Here we go......so, each day they offered multiple choices in the tour area. You could sign up for whatever was appealing. Normally the morning tours started at 9am. Oh, back up again.....they had audio devices (small) for the tours so when your guide spoke you were connected with earpieces. Kind of neat really....you had a card that had different colors/numbers on it and you were given a color for your tour group. You wore the device around your neck (like a lanyard) and put the earbuds in your ears and the guide would not have to yell...they spoke into a microphone and you were connected to them.....sounds a bit strange but it works I would say my tours had no more than 25 people..and that would be a high number. Some of the tours I went on only had 6 or 7 people on them. The audio devices I mentioned above.....well, they looked like a rectangular shape. Not heavy at all. The device and earpieces connected to the tour guide......hope that made some sense. If you are cruising with AMA you will see them in person. Anyway, we stayed in Amsterdam overnight before sailing....I boarded on Thursday and Friday morning I did a canal boat tour and when we got off the boat we walked around an area of Amsterdam.....very good tourguide on that one. We sailed in the afternoon and docked in a town called Hoorn......they had 3 different tours offered and I chose to just walk around Hoorn.... ended up with only 5 others and a tour guide.......loved it...quaint city..... Saturday we were in Arnhem and I decided to sleep in. I had planned to go to a Palace but changed my mind. I went with a group on a tour in the afternoon.....it was the only place I remember having to walk up a hill to get into the city center (HOPE I am remembering this right).... I was out of breath by the time we got to the top Sunday....docked in Antwerp and in the morning I walked around on my own....in the afternoon I did a "Limited Edition Tour".....it was chocolate, waffles and beer. Had a good time with a nice group. I am missing something so trying to think here a moment.......we docked close to a BIG Produce Market and my mind is trying to remember which place.....I walked around on my own and for the life of me I can't remember which port it was I have my daily's so will try to re-read them..I know I walked around on my own...no tour at all. (that was in the morning)....... I do know on Monday we went to Ghent and I took an all day tour to Bruges. If you have a chance to go there, I would definitely recommend it. Had a good day.....a great lunch and the weather was sunny all day. Very interesting place. This tour was extra $ but in my opinion, worth the money. All the other tours were included in the cruise. Tuesday we were in Williamstead in the morning. It is very small town and I got off the ship for maybe an hour to walk around. In the afternoon we were in Kinderdijk and had a tour of windmills ( about 20 of us on this tour). WEDNESDAY.......KEUKENHOF GARDENS.....YOU MUST GO. I went on the 2 hour tour and in the afternoon we were back in Amsterdam and I went on another limited edition tour to the Jordaan area. The Gardens?....it would take more than 2 hours to see it all and you could have the option of staying longer. The flowers were truly magnificent. The colors and choices both………. WED we were docked in Amsterdam and had buses take us to the Gardens. Not sure I posted that already. When we came back to the ship we had lunch and then did the Jordaan tour in the afternoon. A bus drove us from the ship to the area and we did more walking and the bus picked us up and took us back to the ship. I would say there is ALOT of walking on a River cruise and to make sure you have good walking shoes. I don't do walking here at home (yes, I know I should)....but I got a pair of Merrell's and they were the best......wore them every day (with socks) and my feet felt fine. I know I did not list everything/everywhere we walked but I know it was miles and miles.... When we went to Bruge (for example) the busses pulled up and I thought the area looked like a park...it was beautiful. It took a good while to get to the inside of the city....I was speaking with some other folks on the tour and we all thought we walked somewhere between 8-10 miles that day. Thankfully we did have "downtime"...I found a great place for lunch.....try the Mussells......they are delicious. And I know most of you are photographers/picture takers....I am not. I do know you will find lots of flowers/statues/items to take pictures of though. We had our last night on the ship and Thursday morning everyone was off....they had everyone in different colored tags, depending on what time you needed. Get this......it was me and 1 other couple...we had transfers included in our cruise. Well, for just the 3 of us they had regular sized bus.....yes, a big bus for just us lol.....they could have gotten an SUV...... We were on the bus at 8:15am....I gave Nick and the Capt big hugs and Thank you's.....and AMA had staff waiting at the airport for us as well! Had a guy help me get checked in and everything......very classy. Oh, when we got off the ship, they had staff who took our bags to that big bus. I want to say you cannot really compare an Ocean cruise to a River Cruise. They are so totally different it is not a fair comparison (in my opinion anyway). I wish I could put one word on it but it is more than 1 thing....the whole experience is so opposite of a large ship. They do give you what is called a "Safety Card" and you need to take it with you everytime you leave the ship. It is up to you to remember to give it back each time you step back on the ship. There is no machine that you have to use to put said card in out and of.....(like the big ships have). Also, they know you quite well after the first day and are good at remembering your cabin number too. Maybe "Intimate" would be part of it all.....an easy experience and they try to make the week easy for all of us. Again, Kudos to Nick. He seemed to be the type of person who truly loves his job and it comes across that way. I am guessing the other Cruise Managers probably feel the same. I forgot one other thing....at the end of the cruise there was a blue gift box on my bed.....(everyone got one)......AMA gave us beautiful blue scarf's.....I am not a scarf wearer but I was VERY impressed with it.....what a wonderful gesture. I want to say I had such a fantastic time that I have already booked another cruise with AMA for May 2017. Read Less
Sail Date April 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 4.6
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.7

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