We had enjoyed AMA's Porto cruise, so this was a natural next choice. Our cruse tour was organizd by AMA and included 7 nights on the Amacello, followed by the Loire vally and return to Paris.The cruise was A1 from start to finish. ... Read More
We had enjoyed AMA's Porto cruise, so this was a natural next choice. Our cruse tour was organizd by AMA and included 7 nights on the Amacello, followed by the Loire vally and return to Paris.The cruise was A1 from start to finish. Most of the passengers were seniors on this trip. We were met in Paris at the Paris Marriott Opera hotel by the cruise director Rachel, and everything flowed from there. Paris was rained out...the Louvre was flooded and closed, the Metro was flooded and closed, Roland Gaross was rained out. We took the bus trip to Montmartre and found dinner near Sacre-Coeur. Not much of the bohemeian life style left, but the view of the city was worth the effort. The TVG was on strike, so we boarded a bus rather than the TVG for Bordeaux to join our ship.. 9 hours later we arrived in Bordeaux and boarded, having enjoyed a very comfortable luxury coach ride through the French countryside. Our cabin on the Violin deck, port side forward, was very comfortable with a juliet balcony from which we enjoyed watching the river activity. The walkin shower had a multihead arrangement that took some getting used to, but once accustomed worked very well. Excellent hair dryer in the dressing table away from the shower, a nice touch. We exchanged the duvets for light blankets. The lounge is comfortable, with enough good seating for most events. We heard that the ship was 60% on this cruise so the wait staff and housekeeping were very attentive. With a full ship the lounge mght have been a bit crowded. When on board we took our lunches there, usually a soup, sandwiches, salads, a hot entree, fruits, cheeses or a light dessert were provided, More than enough, tasty and beautifully presented. Familiar listenable music on the electric piano in the corner by the ship's musician each day was pleasant and not intrusive. Dinners in the dining room were open seating. The predinner chat in the lounge with Rachel was always fun, interestiing and informative as well as entertaining. Evenng entertainment featured ccomplished young local musicians and dancers.
A walking tour of Bordeaux was offered, but as the guide talked more than she walked we soon abandoned, headed back to the ship, took bicycles and explored Bordeaux on our own. Buses accompanied the ship each day along the rivers. One aftenoon I left my nexus phone on the bus. By the time i realized it was missing the buses had moved on to the next day's rendevous. The ship staff made contact with the bus company, and my phone was waiting for me at the desk the next morning before we departed the ship. The drivers come early to the ship for breakfast, and the driver had had found the phone and brought it back. What excellent service.
Shore excursions led to daily wine tastings in vineyards in the Bordeaux, Garonne and Dordogne rivers. Tastings of various vintages were invariably accompanied by fine cheeses, meats and fresh breads. Many very famous Vineyards could be seen in the area. The cruise ended in Bordeaux and we had time to visit the new Citi du Vin wine museum, just opened. Filled with hundreds of interactive displays it is well worth a visit, to be topped off with a glass of wine of your choice as a treat on the 8th floor, which features a panoramic view of the city of Bordeaux and the river. The ship doesn't actually sail much on this itinerary, as the distances are short. I was left wanting more sea time. Next time , a longer itinerary, perhaps.
All too soon we left our comfortable Amacello, boarded the TVG post cruise for the Loire Valley arranged by AMA. Didn't see much as the tracks run through cuttings much of the way to Tours, then on to Amboise to view Chateau D'amboise, Chateau du Clos Luce which featured working models of many designs and drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, Chateau de Chenonceau, and then to Blois to view Chateau de Chambord. We then bussed to Paris to the Pullman Paris Roissy, CDG airport, where the rooms are comfortable but the food at dinner was awful. Fortunately our flight home was not with Air Fance as they were on strike again, so we left on time. Altogether a memorable cruise tour. Read Less