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140 AmaWaterways Budapest Cruise Reviews

Our second cruise with AMA Waterways. We enjoyed our first cruise so much we decided to try a second. And, it met our expectations. Beautiful venue on the Danube, great stops and tours of the area. We also enjoyed the great service and ... Read More
Our second cruise with AMA Waterways. We enjoyed our first cruise so much we decided to try a second. And, it met our expectations. Beautiful venue on the Danube, great stops and tours of the area. We also enjoyed the great service and crew and our cruise manager made sure everything met everyone’s expectations and that everything went off without a hitch. Our start in Budapest gave us ample time to experience Hungary and its rich history. We very much enjoyed walking through the area along the Danube and into town for shopping and experiencing the local atmosphere. Our stop in Bratislava was very enjoyable and gave us the opportunity to experience a taste of Slovakia. Vienna and our other stops in Austria were very enjoyable, getting to experience the countryside and local crafts, food, wine and the opportunity to lean more of certain European history of the region. Our final stops in Germany and Ama’s Octoberfest was a great ending to our trip.We are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had the best time on our Danube cruise with AMA. The AMALea is a beautiful ship, but more importantly, the staff was just awesome. The service was so special, and everyone seemed to know what you wanted or remembered what you had ... Read More
We had the best time on our Danube cruise with AMA. The AMALea is a beautiful ship, but more importantly, the staff was just awesome. The service was so special, and everyone seemed to know what you wanted or remembered what you had before you even asked. We had just about perfect weather and no water issues. Our cruise director, Stephanie, was so much fun, always available and seemed to be everywhere. The captain was out and about as well, and the ship was immaculately maintained. Our room was category CA 325. with a French balcony. It was perfect for us. I did not feel we missed out by not having a full balcony, but I’m very happy we had the French one. The sliding window opened fully and it was nice to be able to see the countryside while sailing. We were rafted several times, but it really wasn’t an issue. The bathroom and amenities were very nice. The iPad that controlled the lighting and temperature wasn’t too difficult to figure out. The room temperature was very comfortable. The room is located near the rear of the ship, nearby the Chef’s Table restaurant. This turned out to be a really good location. There is a coffee machine in the Chef’s Table, so in the morning it was just a short walk for a cup of coffee or tea. You could also sit in the restaurant and enjoy your coffee usually alone as most people didn’t take advantage of this coffee maker. There is also stairs from the Chef’s Table to the sun deck, which we did not discover to the end of the cruise. It would have been a nice short cut to get on the upper deck. The food was outstanding. The pastries and bread were to die for. Wonderful fresh fruits, salads, hot, delicious soups. Lots of choices. The Chef’s Table specialty restaurant was a fun delicious experience. My only complaint about that is the acoustics in the room. It was a bit noisy, but everyone was just having so much fun. We also enjoyed light lunch in the lounge on occasion with soups, small sandwiches, salads and usually a hot entree as well. There was an ice cream social on the sun deck one afternoon. They make the ice cream and it was outstanding. Their wine selection was usually just delicious, local Austrian or German wines. There also was a California selection available. It was free flowing through lunch and dinner and you could top off before leaving the dining area to enjoy on deck, your cabin or lounge. Sip and Sail was a big hit with a cocktail of the day available along with wine or other listed cocktails. Bitburger beer on tap. Local entertainers were brought on board and there was a pianist who played and also dj’d In the evenings. The most fun was the Oktoberfest at the end of the cruise with an oomph band, dancers, singing and lots of beer and pretzels. It was a great end to a great cruise. Shore excursions ran smoothly and all of our tour guides were knowledgeable and entertaining. Our evening in Grein at the castle was very nice but be warned. The walk up to the castle is a hike. Uphill, lots of steps. They did supply a van for people with issues, but most walked. It is a workout. There were lots of fitness classes handled by a very fit trainer. People were enjoying working with him. The swimming pool was heated and getting good attendance after touring days. It was an enjoyable amenity to use. Sitting on the sun deck enjoying the scenery along the Danube was also a relaxing end to the day. So overall, we very much enjoyed our AMA experience, and would not hesitate to book a cruise with them again. It was a first rate experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This 17-day trip centered on a 7 day AmaWaterways "Melodies of the Danube" River cruise from Budapest to Prague on the AmaLea ship. This was our second AmaWaterways cruise in Europe the first being a Douro River cruise in ... Read More
This 17-day trip centered on a 7 day AmaWaterways "Melodies of the Danube" River cruise from Budapest to Prague on the AmaLea ship. This was our second AmaWaterways cruise in Europe the first being a Douro River cruise in Portugal. We added both the 2 day Budapest and the 3 day Prague extension to the river cruise through AMA and thenadded one additional day in each city using cash an Marriott points. Although the capacity for this tour was 156, there were only 111passengers aboard mostly from North America. The hotels for the land portion in Budapest (Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge) and in Prague (Marriott) were excellently located and first class inevery other respect. In summary, AMA did an superb job providing a comfortable environment on the ship, keeping us well fed, showing us interesting things and beautiful scenery along the way, and giving us a good value for our money. The AmaLea was new in 2018 and gleamed in every respect. Our cabin, (C211) was compact but well designed. The queen bed was flanked by nightstands on either side. There were two small easy chairs and a round table in the alcove near the french balcony. There was a desk with drawer storage at the foot of the bed. A slider opened to the balcony that held two patio type chairs between a square table. It was comfortable to sit on the balcony and watch the scenery along the river as we sailed down the Danube. The closet held terry bathrobes, hangers for our clothes, and a combination safe. The food was notable for its creative preparation and flavor. The dining room was always set with cloth tablecloths and the wait staff was always friendly and super efficient. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I booked thru a tour company. Had never heard of this cruise line until then, this was an absolute amazing cruise. The ship is spotless, all the crew is very helpful and friendly. The food was amazing. The excursions were very good. ... Read More
I booked thru a tour company. Had never heard of this cruise line until then, this was an absolute amazing cruise. The ship is spotless, all the crew is very helpful and friendly. The food was amazing. The excursions were very good. Did not have to pay extra for most of them. At lunch and dinner you could have all the wine or beer you wanted to drink. They had a sip and sail every night with other drinks you could have. Our dining room girl Ayu was amazing. We tried to sit in her area every day for our three meals. It was nice to try the different ethnic foods. It was so much nicer than the bigger cruise lines. Only 164 passengers. It was easy to get off and on for the excursions. Used the pool one evening, it was very warm and relaxing. I would recommend this cruise to anyone, but not a cruise for children. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my first time on a river cruise and the AmaMagna did not disappoint. What an incredible ship, itinerary, and experience for the entire family to enjoy. We sailed to destinations I would not have ever imagined of visiting and ... Read More
This was my first time on a river cruise and the AmaMagna did not disappoint. What an incredible ship, itinerary, and experience for the entire family to enjoy. We sailed to destinations I would not have ever imagined of visiting and were able to experience the most delicious, superb dining venues onboard. The staff is the best I've experienced in the industry and by day 3 was greeted by my first name. The service levels are best in the industry. You have non stop wine and beers during lunch and dinner and get to take your full glass with you (something they don't allow on most cruise lines) The cocktail hour drinks vary by day and its a great ambiance before dinner. The four dining venues could not be any better...The Chef's Table experience, just WOW....then there is Jimmy's where we had the most amazing Osso Bucco that I've ever had in my life...Al fresco has the most amazing view od the Danube river. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My first river cruise experience was pretty good, They include wines and beers at dinner. The wines are not all of good quality but they are not bad. They include a happy hour an one hour before dinner, but the bartenders don't know ... Read More
My first river cruise experience was pretty good, They include wines and beers at dinner. The wines are not all of good quality but they are not bad. They include a happy hour an one hour before dinner, but the bartenders don't know how to make drinks. They are very bad preparing drinks and they get upset if I return the drink. Better change for beer or wine before returning the drink. The gym is very small, but nobody uses. Only 2 bicycles and a machine, not weights. The breakfasts are good and the staff serving the restaurant are excellent. We travel with a group of 44 people, so we had a great time on excursions. We paid on the cruise to see a folk dance that would be in an opera building, but the dance was done in a super small room with uncomfortable chairs and without air conditioning, The truth is not worth paying at the dance show cruises in the opera buildings because they only accommodate you in small rooms. The same thing happened to us in the Baltic cruise, it pays dearly for what they give. The room service was quite bad, even one day they put broken sheets on the bed.I had to look for soap because they never left another soap in the bathroom The dinners are very good. DO NOT pay for the Cheff Table, it is not worth paying, even the wine served was three dollars. It is a totally different experience than sea cruises. Very expensive cruise for what they offer. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had previously taken a River Cruise with AmaWaterways in Vietnam and Cambodia and the captain was excitedly talking about the AmaMagna. We booked it right away and so happy we did ! It's the 'widest' riverboat on the ... Read More
We had previously taken a River Cruise with AmaWaterways in Vietnam and Cambodia and the captain was excitedly talking about the AmaMagna. We booked it right away and so happy we did ! It's the 'widest' riverboat on the Danube, so very spacious throughout. The food and restaurant staff were outstanding ! Breakfast and lunch had both 'buffet' offerings as well as menu options. There's also an 'extra' family style restaurant named after one of the Ama founders, Jimmy, that was our favorite restaurant on the ship. This particular cruise happened to be a 'wine' cruise so there were several enjoyable wine lectures which were informative and enjoyable. Most every day we would have the opportunity to wine taste throughout the week! What we love about Ama is that for daily excursions, they always use headsets so that you can always hear what they are saying without having to stand right next to the tour director. It seems that a lot of the people taking the cruise were active and fit. There was a fabulous exercise director who held morning classes varying between yoga, stretching and core strength and also offered personal training for anyone interested. There were also bicycles on board for those that wanted to bike at the various ports. I would highly recommend this ship for anyone wanting a fabulous experience ! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We took the AmaSonata Danube cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen over Easter 2019. We did not do the pre-cruise add on, but did arrive in Budapest a few days early, staying at the Hilton Budapest by the castle. This was our first river ... Read More
We took the AmaSonata Danube cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen over Easter 2019. We did not do the pre-cruise add on, but did arrive in Budapest a few days early, staying at the Hilton Budapest by the castle. This was our first river cruise, and it was generally a great experience (helped by beautiful weather). The embarkation was incredibly smooth. Our taxi dropped us off about 30 minutes after the first cabin access, which worked well because no one else was boarding. Crew members took our luggage and that of our companions. Check in was minimal - mainly picking up the key and getting our picture taken for security. We were whisked to our cabin where our luggage was already waiting. The woman who showed us our cabin (one of the servers in the restaurant we later learned) identified a loose handle and had that taken care of quickly. Dining: buffet at breakfast, though you can order additional items. Buffet at lunch, always with a carving station, but the servers take orders for optional soup and entrees. The soups were always very hot. Sometimes great, sometimes so-so. Dinner was starter-soup-entree-dessert. The food was good but usually not outstanding. The servers were great, though. We were trying to be healthy at least sometimes, foiled often by being given a second dessert or alternate treat. Only one selection of white or red wine at dinner, but they changed each day and were usually local to the country. Lunch and/or dinner each day often offered local specialties. There is a second small restaurant that you have to make reservations for. A menu is posted outside - note that they have the same menu every day during the cruise. We failed to make reservations early so could only get a night that would have been a later dinner. We later canceled the reservation deciding that we preferred the main restaurant. Note also that tables in the main restaurant seat 4 or 6 people. It is open seating, but we found relatively little mixing from night to night (we were a group of 4). Shore excursions: the shore excursions were generally good. At each stop, there was generally a walking tour, a hike and a bike tour. The walking tours always had a gentle walker and regular walkers option. I had read that there were also active walkers options, but that was only true in Vienna. We were a bit frustrated with the Budapest tour because we had already seen several of the places on the tour -- we couldn't figure out in enough detail ahead of time to know how much to avoid going to early. We had a long free time in the market hall (which we had been to) and then very little time in Heroes Square, which we hadn't been to because it was farther out. (The basic tour was a mix of bus and walking). Other than that, the tours were good. They were always led by local guides, and groups tended to be fairly small (12-15 people, more if there was a bus). The buses were very comfortable and never full (perhaps because the boat wasn't at capacity). I also wish I had known earlier that "hike" wasn't what Americans would call a hike. Hikes generally meant up hill (usually to a castle) and often on cobblestones. But these were not difficult or nature walks. We did the hike in Bratislava and found it to be one of our favorites as it was more like a more robust walking tour. Bike trips, on the other hand, tended to be long and pretty strenuous. We worried that things would be closed over Easter, but all the tourist sites were available, including museums that would have been closed on our Monday in Vienna, but were open for Easter Monday. Most of the cities also had Easter markets. Our cruise director, Uwe, was fabulous. His desk was at the end of the hall of our deck, so we passed him all the time and could ask random questions. He had a tendency to pop up all the time when we had shore excursions (tours he wasn't on). We'd walk into town separate from a tour and run into him. He was really a resource person and made you feel taken care of. Entertainment might be a weak spot, but is barely needed. There was always music, and several times local performers came on board. There was one lecture near the end -- few people attended it, but I really enjoyed it. If I did a river cruise again, I'd look for one that was part of an educational tour to get more lectures etc. There was also a wellness lead on the ship who did workouts and similar activities, but I don't think many people took him up on it. We were getting a lot of exercise just on the walking tours. We are in our 50s and were in the middle of the age demographics. There were few very frail seniors, but also few young couples and no kids. All in all, service was wonderful. Disembarkation was handled very well too. We had arranged our own transportation to Prague at the end. We are usually independent travelers and had arranged a private car, but I wish we had known we could use the transport from the Prague add-on despite not doing the add on. We stopped at the same place the Prague bus from the ship stopped (Regensburg), but without the guidance of the tour guide. In fact, at one point when we were there, I joked "where's Uwe when you need him" and right at that moment we caught sight of him on the other side of the square. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I had always been curious about river cruising, but had been reluctant to commit. However, this particular cruise up the Danube was too good to refuse, and I am so glad I did it. The initial draw was that the entertainment on board would ... Read More
I had always been curious about river cruising, but had been reluctant to commit. However, this particular cruise up the Danube was too good to refuse, and I am so glad I did it. The initial draw was that the entertainment on board would be the Alan Doyle Trio; my friends and I are big fans, and the chance to see 4 shows in one week and to interact with them on shore excursions and on the boat was once in a lifetime. Turns out that the vast majority of the passengers were of like mind: ready to have fun and connect with new people. From the first notes of the first show, we were all fast friends. And, even the passengers who had booked the trip independently quickly became fans and were really happy they had chosen this particular trip. Every element of this cruise was top notch. Embarkation was so easy, and the crew made me feel like I was coming home right from the beginning. Every need I had was met almost before I even asked. From housekeeping (wonderful Stephanie who cleaned and set up my room at least twice a day) to the bartender Misha who seemed to be always working (I don't know when she slept), and always with a smile on her face no matter what time of the day or night, to Roman the Wellness Director, who took the time to get to know me and my physical limitations and develop a program for me while on the boat. Our cruise manager was unbelievable. I think he must have had a "time turner", like Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, because he was literally everywhere all day, making sure shore excursions were going as planned, that everybody was safe and accounted for, and that we all had the information we needed to make our daily activity decisions. The ship was terrific. Plenty of room for finding moments of privacy, and great spaces for hanging with people. The thoughtful touch of having blankets available on deck for those cool days allowed us all to be outside as much as we wanted to. The fitness room had a treadmill that was non-functional for our cruise which was a disappointment to some of the passengers, but there were plenty of opportunities for vigorous training on the bike or rower, we well as on land if desired. The food was incredible; the dining room was lovely, and the servers were fantastic. There was no assigned seating, which allowed us to sit with a whole variety of different folks over the week. We made so many friends, and it was wonderful to share our day and our adventures with these new friends. The food ranged from multicourse meals with flexible options to a light breakfast in the lounge. You could have whatever you wanted, and mix and match from the menu or the buffet or the preparation station. And, if you didn't like that, you could order a burger or any number of routine options. The menu included local specialties at every country. I particularly liked the late night snack, for which I was always ready. The shore excursions were plentiful and varied; each day offered a terrific journey at any number of levels, from intensive biking to "gentle walkers" for those with mobility challenges. We primarily did the regular walking tours, and were impressed by the local tour guides on every one. I learned so much, and then had plenty of time for independent exploration. The entire week was low key and no-pressure. You could really do whatever you wanted on any given day. I am definitely planning to do a river cruise again, and will not travel with anyone other than AMA Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first River cruise. The Maitre D, Nicolette, on board the Prague to Budapest route was phenomenal. She bent over backwards to review menus daily with me, and my husband who is vegan. Every moment ran smoothly on the ship ... Read More
This was our first River cruise. The Maitre D, Nicolette, on board the Prague to Budapest route was phenomenal. She bent over backwards to review menus daily with me, and my husband who is vegan. Every moment ran smoothly on the ship including embarking/disembarking, tours, and meal schedules. The AMAcerto ship cabins are immaculate. Breakfast and lunch buffet choices are plentiful and fresh daily. Dinner entrees are artfully presented when you order from the menu. On-shore tours allow for all levels of physical ability. There were no glitches or disappointments except for a tour in Vienna in which the guide was not very well-informed about local history. We are experienced travelers who have hiked, driven, and gone by train throughout Europe. However, AMA waterways is perhaps the very best way to experience the Danube because included in the price are amazing tours of gothic churches, castles, Abbeys, medieval villages, and a Vienna concert as well. There is perhaps not enough time to explore a city on your own, hence you may want to stay for more days at the end of your trip in Budapest. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were on the Iconic Christmas Markets Cruise during Christmas Week, and purchased the additional two nights in Prague though Ama. We have traveled extensively through the years, including ocean cruises, but this was our first river ... Read More
We were on the Iconic Christmas Markets Cruise during Christmas Week, and purchased the additional two nights in Prague though Ama. We have traveled extensively through the years, including ocean cruises, but this was our first river cruise. To say we were completely pleased is an understatement. The entire experience was top notch from the moment we landed in Budapest until our departure from Prague. We traveled with our two children, who are in their 20s. The Boat: Overall, the ship was extremely clean, and the rooms were comfortable. We had two rooms on the Cello Deck (mid-level) with a French balcony and outside balcony. It was too cold to use the outside balcony, but it made the room brighter. Our Housekeeper cleaned the room at least twice a day, including turn down service. The room was quiet and we slept well with nice linens and pillows. Since the boat is small, everything is a short walk and we never felt rushed to get to dinner or to the lounge. The Food: Excellent! Breakfast was primarily buffet style with a great selection of meats, cheeses, fruits, juices, eggs to order, and a huge pastry table. There were a couple of menu options, like Eggs Benedict. There was also a light breakfast option, pastries, in the lounge for late risers. Lunch was primarily buffet too, with different soups and main courses available. We could also order some items off of the menu, like cheeseburgers, which were delicious. Beer and wine were included with lunch, along with different desserts. Dinner was the highlight of the day. Each night featured a different 5 course menu with a couple of choices for each course. The main courses varied from beef to fish to chicken to lamb. We had dinner one night at the Chef’s Table Restaurant, and it was awesome. Beer and different wines included at dinner. Entertainment: There is only one lounge, and it was the meeting place at all hours of the day. There was a coffee/tea/chocolate maker that was available all the time. As far as I could tell, there was always a bartender on duty. People gathered in the lounge to read, socialize, and view the stunning countryside. At night there were some local entertainers, and there was a piano player/DJ to keep the guests entertained. In the rooms, the entertainment system didn’t always work, but it was not a problem for us. Wi-Fi was also spotty in some areas, but we enjoyed the views as we floated up the Danube. The gym is very small, but it was fine. The Cities and Tours: In order, Budapest, Vienna, Melk, Passau, Regensburg, Nuremberg. The Illuminations Cruise in Budapest was amazing. Since it was Christmas week, we only had Christmas markets in Budapest and Vienna (also Prague, but more on that later). The Christmas Markets were fantastic, and having cash was preferable for smaller purchases, like food and drink. Each stop had its own magic and charm. The contracted tour guides in each stop were incredibly knowledgeable. Since this cruise was over Christmas, most shops in the towns visited from December 24th – 26th (Melk, Passau, Regensburg) were closed as Christmas was being observed. Regardless, each was still charming to walk through and some coffee shops and restaurants were open. Each location was also busy with locals out strolling. On Christmas Day, anyone wanting to attend Mass could do so at the Cathedral in Passau, about 10 minutes’ walk from the ship. The Crew: Even though this group had been working for months and had encountered a couple of thousand guests and were almost done for the season, they were all amazingly friendly and helpful and patient. Every crew member I encountered smiled and greeted me and took the time to answer my questions graciously. The service was as good as any we have encountered in our journeys. Due to high water in Germany, the cruise was slightly modified, requiring us to spend the final full day at sail – no stops. The crew adjusted well, hosting a Bavarian themed lunch and ice cream party. We did not mind at all. The Captain and Cruise Manager provided briefings to the passengers on river conditions. Post Cruise Tour: We purchased two nights in Prague for a reasonable price. We were transported by bus from Nuremberg, and were treated to a top hotel, the Cosmopolitan. The Cruise Manager accompanied our group, which was great. The hotel was located just a few minutes from the Christmas Market and historical center of the city. Even though it was after Christmas, the Christmas Market was still open as the holiday is celebrated through January 6th in Prague. The package also included breakfast in the very nice hotel restaurant, and a walking tour of historic Prague. Transfer Service: We purchased from the airport in Budapest to the ship; and from the Cosmopolitan Hotel to the airport in Prague. Both experiences were great. In Budapest, we were greeted by Ama reps and transported in a roomy bus. They had bottled water, which was a godsend after the long trip. In Prague, our Cruise Manager greeted us as we left, even though it was 4:30 AM, and gave us a boxed meal to go. At the airport, an Ama rep met us and guided us through check in, which was much appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose AmaWaterways Melodies of the Danube river cruise to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary, and we could not have made a better choice. We were to embark in Budapest, but unfortunately, due to low water levels on the Danube, ... Read More
We chose AmaWaterways Melodies of the Danube river cruise to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary, and we could not have made a better choice. We were to embark in Budapest, but unfortunately, due to low water levels on the Danube, Budadpest closed its ports, and the ship was in Vienna. This was at no fault of AmaWaterways. Although we were disappointed, AmaWaterways and our cruise manager, Sebastien, made sure that we did not miss a meal, excursion, or port due to the closure. We had arrived in Budapest two days prior to our cruise, and upon learning of the port closure, AmaWaterways arranged a room for us in the Budapest Ritz Carlton. It was here that we met Sebastien and soon realized how valuable he would be to the success of our cruise. He was very knowledgeable of the ports and excursions, and extremely organized. With his guidance, we were bused to Vienna where we embarked the AmaSerena, and the cruise continued its schedule unimpeded. The AmaSerena was impeccably maintained, and AmaWaterways commitment to safety, comfort, and service was at the highest level. Cleanliness was a high priority throughout the ship. The crew of the ship was very friendly and helpful, and exuded a pleasantness that made you feel like family. Our cabin, though on the small side, was very clean and well stocked. Our cabin stewardess was very efficient and timely in maintaining our room. Meals were well organized, and the food was of the highest quality utilizing many locally grown products from the area near our ports. The ship has two dining areas; one being open seating, and the Chef's Table Restaurant, requiring reservations and providing a wonderful fine dining experience. Following meals, entertainment was provided in the lounge for both listening and dancing. Local musicians and entertainers were brought on board to provide a taste of the local culture. AmaWaterways even provided an exclusive "Oktoberfest" in a tent on the pier next to our ship in Vilshofen, Germany, the terminus of our cruise. Lastly, excursions were well planned and used local guides knowledgeable in the customs and history of the city being visited. A brief description of the next day's excursion was placed in our cabin nightly. We could not have been happier with our AmaWaterways anniversary cruise on the AmaSerena. Service was top notch from beginning to end. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had a terrific time on this cruise, which was our fourth with Ama Waterways. The AmaLea is a lovely new river ship with an exceptionally well-trained and friendly crew. We lucked out with great weather, although this “lovely” ... Read More
We had a terrific time on this cruise, which was our fourth with Ama Waterways. The AmaLea is a lovely new river ship with an exceptionally well-trained and friendly crew. We lucked out with great weather, although this “lovely” weather also caused the Danube to be very low. Supposedly, we were the last ship to sail out of Budapest that day, due to this low water. The itinerary was fun – we were kept busy every day, including taking two lovely bike tours and a hike up to the Castle section of Budapest. Our cabin was small, but perfectly adequate. The bathroom is a good size for such a small ship, and the shower was great, with always enough hot water. The bed was comfortable, and the sliding doors open up the riverside world into your room. The TV/Apple computer was okay, but the keyboard and mouse seldom worked. Getting on and off the ship is a breeze, including when first boarding and when disembarking. Those used to large ocean liners will be amazed. They offer a range of activities each day, so you can be as active as you like. They always offered a “gentle” alternative, and you can certainly just stay onboard and enjoy the ship, which includes a heated pool on the upper deck. The food was very good, and was served by a cheerful and helpful staff. The hotel manager was a delight, and the Captain was low-key, friendly, and very down-to-earth (he helped move our luggage when we left the ship). Our tour manager, Kriss, is a gem. She keeps things very organized, and keeps calm and friendly under every situation (that’s the Canadian in her). I’d love to travel with her again, and I’d be very happy to again sail on the AmaLea. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This cruise exceeded all expectations. From the time we arrived, we were greeted with exceptional service from all of the friendly staff. We were amazed at how many of the staff addressed us by name within the first day of arrival. With ... Read More
This cruise exceeded all expectations. From the time we arrived, we were greeted with exceptional service from all of the friendly staff. We were amazed at how many of the staff addressed us by name within the first day of arrival. With so many guests, that was very flattering. Talida was a great cruise manager and kept us informed of happenings each day. The laundry service was fast and not too expensive. The food, OMG, what can we say to express how impressed we were. How they managed to serve everyone at a table at the same time with the right order was amazing. The beds in our cabin were so comfortable that the first night we slept right through breakfast the next morning - slept from 10PM to 10AM Luckily we didn't miss our Pecs Excursion. We really appreciated being able to choose the gentle walking tours and they even had a town train to take us around on one of the stops. The tour we enjoyed most was the Banitsa making one, with Pavel and Ramona's entertaining explanation of how to make it. I plan to try that recipe soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
An travel agent acquaintance made some suggestions when my sister and I decided we would like to try a river cruise and we are so grateful she suggested AMA. The service was wonderful and the cruise manage, Camille, was terrific. She was ... Read More
An travel agent acquaintance made some suggestions when my sister and I decided we would like to try a river cruise and we are so grateful she suggested AMA. The service was wonderful and the cruise manage, Camille, was terrific. She was friendly and professional and personal. She supplied pertinent information at the exact time we needed it. The excursions were timely and informative and guides were excellent. The time at the excursion sites is relatively quick. If you really want to explore a city, you really don't have time to do so - you mostly get an overview, then move on. We did a bike tour along the Danube, as well as a hiking tour, but the rest were city tours, which are informative, but next time I might do something more specific to the area, such as a wine tasting, etc. The cruise was relaxing but never boring. You can be as active as you wish, or relax as necessary. The excursions were offered for easy walkers, regular walkers or active walkers, along with bike and hiking. Be sure to pack clothing to enjoy the deck. As you travel along the Danube (we sailed from Budapest to Vilshofen) the scenery got more and more beautiful as we sailed up the river. The food was delicious but not in excess like it can be on an ocean cruise. The only thing I would criticize would be the on board gym. It could have used a few free weights and an elliptical machine, but after a few days I didn't have the time or energy to use it anyway! Can't wait to cruise with AMA again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because we liked the idea of a smaller group of people. We didn't want to dress up for dinner and loved the idea of country club casual. This cruise was absolutely wonderful. We were on the bottom deck and did ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the idea of a smaller group of people. We didn't want to dress up for dinner and loved the idea of country club casual. This cruise was absolutely wonderful. We were on the bottom deck and did not feel slighted in the least, the crew took wonderful care of us as if we were in the Ritz Carlton. AMA will always be my choise for a river cruise and I will request Camille Dernis as the cruise manager. She treated us as if we were the only ones on the cruise. She was fabulous!! I lost my passport and she coordinated help with the American Consolate and this was after our cruise was over!! All of our transfers were handled for us and AMA made travel stress minimal. We were met at the airport and the shore excursions were great as well, all of our travel guides were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first river cruise after many "big ship" cruises. It was a Danube cruise, with pre and post time in Budapest and Prague. AMA Waterways, which we had no knowledge of, had been recommended by our travel agent. We ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after many "big ship" cruises. It was a Danube cruise, with pre and post time in Budapest and Prague. AMA Waterways, which we had no knowledge of, had been recommended by our travel agent. We approached the trip with some trepidation, but this hesitation turned out to be unfounded. We can't say enough about AMA. The Sonata was beautiful, the food was great, and the staff was unbelievable. They were the best staff by far we have ever experienced on a cruise - headed by their cruise director Bojan Randjelovic. We took a Danube cruise from Budapest to Prague. The second day of pre-cruise in Budapest I fell in the shower at the hotel - at 7:30 at night - and suffered severe injuries. Bojan saw the ambulance come to our hotel, made inquires, found out it was an AMA guest, and from that point forward gave us assistance that made all the difference in the world. He rode in the ambulance with me and stayed with me for 5 hours, past mid-night, at two hospitals He also contacted an AMA guide who spoke Hungarian, she immediately left her home and came to the first hospital, and was invaluable at the two hospitals we visited (no one spoke English at the Hospitals). After another 5 hours, I finally got appropriate care. Were it not for Bojan, and the person he called to help us, my wife and I would have been totally helpless in a foreign country. Apart from this help, on the cruise ship and for the remainder of the trip, he was the nicest, friendliest, most informative and most helpful cruise director my wife and I have even seen in approximately 18 cruises. As I said, the cruise itself was great in all respects - especially the ship appointments, food and staff. Unfortunately, the water level was low, and we were not able to reach our final cruise destination of Nuremberg. AMA, and Bojan, did everything to give us alternate options of ports and places to visit by bus. Amazingly, after our trip was over, AMA gave everyone on the cruise a credit of 45% of their cruise fare towards a future cruise !!! This was unbelievably generous on their part. My wife and I immediately booked another AMA cruise for 2019, this one on the Rhine. We will be recommending AMA to all of our friends and family, and we will always remember that in our hour of need, Bojan was there for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Our Amex travel agent suggested AMA Waterways as the very best onboard service she had experienced among several major river cruise lines, and we went with her recommendation. She was not off base at all. The onboard experience on AMA is ... Read More
Our Amex travel agent suggested AMA Waterways as the very best onboard service she had experienced among several major river cruise lines, and we went with her recommendation. She was not off base at all. The onboard experience on AMA is second to none. All staff and crew were attentive, extremely helpful, and clearly focused on making our onboard experience special. The Tour Manager, Peter Whitehead, was the star of the show. Peter amazed me with his ability to recall details of his passengers and their itineraries, and to ensure that everything onboard was wonderful. Even when telling the passengers at daily briefings things we might not have wanted to hear, Peter was great--tactful, funny, but very direct and clear. Food onboard was very good, especially the once a voyage tasting dinner at the Chef's Table restaurant which was a very special evening open to all passengers once during the cruise. The dining experience in the main dining room was also very good, with a variety of offerings every meal, attentive and friendly service, and complimentary unlimited beer/wine at lunch and dinner. While alcohol was extra outside of those times, every day had a happy hour with free cocktails available. Overall, this was a superb onboard experience. Where the trip fell apart was on land where AMA appears constrained to use local guides of varying levels of skill at managing large groups of people, varying fluency in English, and varying levels of knowledge/interest/sensitivity to the needs of the group members they were guiding. On two occasions guides lost group members (fortunately, Peter Whitehead recovered everyone!), once in Prague where a group of 25 people was simply too large for one guide to manage while navigating the immense crowds on the Charles Bridge and Old Town, even with the QuietVoice headsets we were issued on almost every tour. On only one of the tours in Austria and Germany did the guide address the historical elephant in the room--Nazi Germany and Hitler. This was in Linz where it was probably pretty hard to avoid Hitler as he was born just outside the city and was welcomed into Austria there by cheering crowds in the main square after Germany annexed Austria just prior to WW II. Not sure what AMA can do about the guide issue, but if there is anything they can do (perhaps only hiring local guides who are fluent in English, skilled at managing large groups and knowledgeable, or when a large group format is necessary in a city like Prague, having two guides for each group--one to lead, one to collect stragglers!). The good news about tours was that physically every level of strength was covered. Those who were not able to walk fast were offered Gentle tours, which those hardy hikers among the passengers were led on strenuous hikes up castle promontories, etc.! Bikes and bike tours were also available at some ports. My partner and I felt that some of the stops on this voyage were superfluous. If you've been to Europe and ventured outside of the big cities, you've seen quaint medieval towns. They are all pretty much alike. This tour, however, stopped at three of them. We would have preferred more time in Vienna, where we only had really one day, Linz and Salzberg each only one day to just barely scratch the surface of fabulous histories and attractions! Overall, however, we had a very nice time and would highly recommend AMA Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our very first experience with a river cruise. We selected Ama based on recommendations both from our travel agent and friends. It was an excellent choice and there's really very little in the way of anything negative to ... Read More
This was our very first experience with a river cruise. We selected Ama based on recommendations both from our travel agent and friends. It was an excellent choice and there's really very little in the way of anything negative to say about the cruise or the cruise line. In terms of the positives, the ship was excellent. It was very well taken care of and well maintained by the crew. The cabins were very nicely appointed, and assuming you pick the right class of cabin, much more room than you might expect on such a small ship (more about that later). The food was just superb... very well done with lots of choice and really something available to eat virtually any time during the day if you're feeling a bit peckish. The specialty dining venue is called the Chef's Table and it truly is something special. You're entitled to eat there once during your cruise (no additional charge) and it's very much a "don't miss" affair. The crew was very attentive and willing to accommodate most any request with a smile. On the negative side, not having done a river cruise before, I think we chose not so well in terms of the cabin that we selected (French Balcony). It was certainly comfortable and quiet, however, the size was fairly restricted. The bed took up the majority of the space in the cabin and in fact trying to walk around the bed often required having to move the desk chair to a different location. If it's affordable, I would definitely recommend at least the next cabin class up where the cabin size and layout seems much more practical. Probably the highlight of the cruise was our cruise director, Peter Whitehead. Pete was a fountain of knowledge and had an wonderful sense of humor evident in his daily briefings and simply when chatting. He took the time to patiently answer all questions and go the extra mile to make sure that passengers got the most out of their excursions and time on the ship. Where Pete really shone in his role was when things went a little off the rails. I managed to fall down a flight of metal stairs and injured my hand and badly bruised a few other places (totally my fault, no issue at all with the ship or crew). Not only did the crew immediately jump on getting first aid, but Pete took ownership of arranging for a doctor's visit, and ultimately a visit to the hospital nearby in Melk for stitching and other "repairs." I can't thank him (and the crew) enough for their help and support. Bottom line, an excellent cruise and cruise line and highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We traveled on AmaWaterways upon the suggestion of the other couple we would be traveling with. They had heard good reviews about Ama. Neither of us had taken a river cruise previously. We all agreed that the river cruise was much ... Read More
We traveled on AmaWaterways upon the suggestion of the other couple we would be traveling with. They had heard good reviews about Ama. Neither of us had taken a river cruise previously. We all agreed that the river cruise was much better than any of the ocean cruises we had taken. We plan to take another river cruise. We were greeted warmly and our bags were retrieved from the taxi for us. Embarkation was very smooth. Our cabin was nicely appointed (we stayed in an AA cabin on the uppermost cabin deck) and our cabin steward kept us well stocked with bottled water. The bed was super comfy. The bathroom is decently large for a cruise ship and has a full size shower. Due to the size of the ship, 83 cabins, you will get to know most of the staff and passengers. There is only one dining room (open seating) but lighter fare is served in the lounge most of the day. The food was excellent, usually four course meals, along with a good selection of wines. Breakfast was either the well stocked buffet or menu items. All meals had some local tie-in. The boat is very stable, even when small speed boats passed while we were docked. The sun deck was a pleasant place to hang out and watch the passing scenery (we were on the Danube river). The staff were very pleasant and always able to assist. Only one crew member was rude, the Captain. But everyone else was superb so he was easily ignored. The vessel is not handicapped accessible (this is mentioned on the website). Also, this is not a cruise for children as there are no activities specific for them. Most of the passengers ages ranged between 40 and 70. The live musician was a joy, taking requests and keeping us dancing. I missed the string quartet but heard from other passengers that they were excellent. There are no broadway reviews nor is there a casino but those are not the entertainment draw for me so were not missed. The daily excursions are included in the fare with only a few exceptions. They offer city walking tours, hiking tours, and bicycle tours. I took all three types. Walking tours are separated into gentle walkers and active walkers and are led by local guides. My only complaint is that the gentle walkers should not take the active tours or hiking tours, but this is a passenger issue, not a cruise issue. The bicycles are also available if you want to go for a ride on your own (take the paved trail along the north bank of the Danube in Vilshofen, go west for the planetary displays). When needed, motor coaches were provided to get to towns further than walking distance. The coaches were first class. Disembarkation was easy. We took the post-cruise extension (Prague) so the transportation was provided (motor coach). Our Prague hotel was excellent and situated a block from old town. A note about our particular sailing: the Danube river had very low water levels due to the lack of rain in the area. Our captain decided to sail directly to Vienna (water levels were expected to be a little better west of Vienna) after we all boarded. Most of the other river cruise boats stayed in Budapest. We had a few short stops along the way to drop off and pick up passengers who were driven (motor coach) back to Budapest and Bratislava for tours. The itinerary change gave us an extra day in Vienna which was fine by my group. Much better to have sailed than to stay docked all week in Budapest. The remainder of the cruise was as initially scheduled. The cruise director did an excellent job with the changed schedule. Overall an excellent experience. I would definitely recommend AmaWaterways and plan to take another cruise with them. note: I did not use the fitness room so cannot rate it. I walked, hiked, and biked to work off the wine. :-) Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We asked our travel agent for a Danube cruise. She suggested AMA Waterways vs Viking. saying that since Viking started ocean cruising they have moved some of their best people away from the river boats and AMA Waterways gives better ... Read More
We asked our travel agent for a Danube cruise. She suggested AMA Waterways vs Viking. saying that since Viking started ocean cruising they have moved some of their best people away from the river boats and AMA Waterways gives better service. We had previously taken a Viking Ocean cruise of the Western Med and were very pleased. We flew from Jacksonville, FL to Atlanta and then to Amsterdam using Delta Priority status and found that we did indeed have more seat room. Regardless that 8 hour flight was tiresome. Arriving in Budapest we were met by an AMA driver who brought us to the Sofitel Chain Bridge Hotel where we had a lovely room and perfect service. We walked around the area and ate that evening at the Four Seasons Hotel which is located nearby in a gorgeous old castle. The next day we transferred to the AMAViola, a beautiful ship with the most hospitable staff and a comfortable room with a balcony. Later that day we had a guided tour of Budapest. Evening cruise for Budapest lights From then on each day was at a different city where there were morning guided tours with 3 choices: Active-which meant hiking or biking, Regular- generally a bus to the center of the historic district and then a guided walking tour or Gentle- usually a bus tour with less walking. Afternoons often had second included tours or optional events such as a classical concert in Vienna. Every cities was wonderful, filled with history and beautiful architecture. The guides were marvelous, they actually are schooled as guides for a minimum of 2 years. The regular walking tours were not strenuous but we easily fulfilled our daily 10,000 steps per day. Almost everyone we met understood English as most of these Eastern European countries require English education as early as 3rd grade. Although almost all tourist places accepted Euros you got change in the local currency. Be sure to carry sufficient Euros to tip the guides and drivers. All meals were on the ship and couldn't have been better. There were many meal choices, open seating, and tended to always include local and regional dishes. After the cruise we extended two Prague where the AMA tour manager accompanied us and was constantly available to lead us to both organized tours and free time activities from the Hilton Downtown hotel in the heart of the city. Suggestion: Dining at both The Portfolio restaurant and the White Horse restaurant were great experiences. Both had seating underground in old (like fro 1200AD) basements decorated in absolutely the finest taste. Food Was excellent, perhaps the best I ever had. Unfortunately, the water level in the Danube was very low. The AMAviola had a small draft but the other river ships, including Viking weren’t able to sail and had to tie up and bus their passengers. These folks were pretty upset. Weather was very hot, high 80s to low 90’s. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
room too small for 1 much less 2! hated carpet in cabin vs wood floors lots of complaints from other ppl. Crew not too friendly as was amadera crew who was at your beck and call. Certo looked very cold and uninviting. Lacked ambiance. ... Read More
room too small for 1 much less 2! hated carpet in cabin vs wood floors lots of complaints from other ppl. Crew not too friendly as was amadera crew who was at your beck and call. Certo looked very cold and uninviting. Lacked ambiance. Certo was too sterile! the pool had no privacy greenery just plexigliglass. The girl pouring wine was very pushy even ppl who didn't want more she insisted. don't try to reinvent the wheel. Serious down grade from beautiful Dera. What a disappointment from last year sailing with Dera. No balcony and those annoying were computer screens. Another complaint by others. We put towels to cover I that didn't work. At The recommendation of other guests we disconnected the computer. This computer thing mad me feel I was being watched all the time very bazaar. No i wouldn't go sailing again. The scheduling of excertions was tight. No time to get ready for dinner another complaint from others. Barbara Milloit sailing with Tim Rada. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was my first river cruise, and my husband and I were very impressed. From the excellent service on board to the delicious gourmet meals and multiple shore excursion choices, we felt pampered and relaxed. The ship itself, Ama Serena, ... Read More
This was my first river cruise, and my husband and I were very impressed. From the excellent service on board to the delicious gourmet meals and multiple shore excursion choices, we felt pampered and relaxed. The ship itself, Ama Serena, is clean and beautifully equipped. There was always something to do, on-board or off. There were interesting talks on the history of the local cities/countries and their wines, lounging poolside, listening to live music, or exploring the cities and shops on shore. Maddy, our tour guide was excellent with her knowledge and advice in planning shore excursions. Dining, particularly the dinners, were fun and excellent. Every detail was attended to, and we weren't ready to leave the ship after the week was over! We would definitely recommend AmaWaterways and would cruise again with them on another trip in the future. Our one complaint would be something many others found frustrating as well, and I'm not sure in this day and age with all the boat traffic on the river that this will improve or change any time soon. Be aware that in some ports and depending on what side your cabin is located, you will dock right next to another ship and you will look directly into the cabins of the neighbor boat. You may not be able to enjoy the views from your window/balcony and will want to keep your drapes drawn. When you disembark to go ashore, you will need to walk through the neighbor ship to get on land. This was particularly obnoxious when a neighboring ship (not AmaWaterways) had their laundry hung up all over their balconies (this only happened one time). I still would recommend getting a balcony room, however, because it is so beautiful to sit outside and watch the countryside go by, and even to experience the locks from your balcony. I really enjoyed going through the locks (we went through 12 of them!), especially at night--it was kind of spooky, but fun to experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Superb dining - lots of choice, some of the best meals I've had in any restaurant, including the best local wines. Three places to dine - lounge for casual, quick meals, the restaurant for full service and the Chef's table for ... Read More
Superb dining - lots of choice, some of the best meals I've had in any restaurant, including the best local wines. Three places to dine - lounge for casual, quick meals, the restaurant for full service and the Chef's table for more intimate dining. Drinks are free at lunch and dinner, and quite reasonable other times. Climate on board is friendly and relaxed. Every guest is made to feel so special. Real pampering with such thoughtful touches (cool Spritzers and towels upon return from a hot day trip/small gifts like roses and scsrves/ice cream up top by the pool!) The staff are very professional, yet so friendly. They seem to really enjoy working on the ship. The climate on board is so wonderful. Make the end of the voyage so hard. I could have definitely spent another week. We had so much fun and amazing experiences together. Great - local and special - onboard entertainment. Not run of the mill at all. Just the right size ship. Small enough that you get to know many of the other guests if you like, but big enough that you have different conversation partners each day. Tours were also smaller, so they seemed more special and personalized. Well worth the expense. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My wife and I along with another couple took this cruise from July 27th thru August 5th 2018. We had an excellent time. The ship was very , our cabin adequate in size with a French balcony and the service excellent. From the Cruise ... Read More
My wife and I along with another couple took this cruise from July 27th thru August 5th 2018. We had an excellent time. The ship was very , our cabin adequate in size with a French balcony and the service excellent. From the Cruise Director to the Housekeeper we were proved with great service. We were welcomed to our cabin with a bottle of wine and chocolates. The food was plentiful with a buffet for both breakfast and lunch and at least a 4 course dinner to choose from every night. Wine and beer with lunch and dinner was complimentary and poured freely. We had a great waitress named Nicci that took very good care of us. The entertainment on board was enjoyable from the Hungarian musicians and dancers to the trio playing classical music and very in tune with where we were on the cruise. The guides provided for the shore excursions were all very knowledgeable and we learned so much about the history of each area visited. Even with all that was going on we still had time to relax on the top deck and see the beautiful countryside as we cruised the river. We added on the extension into Munich and were glad we did. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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