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Sail Date: July 2018
The entire crew was excellent -- efficient, helpful, and attentive to all needs. The Captain's Table tasting dinner was also excellent and beautifully presented. The food in general was great. But the overall plan of the trip and its ... Read More
The entire crew was excellent -- efficient, helpful, and attentive to all needs. The Captain's Table tasting dinner was also excellent and beautifully presented. The food in general was great. But the overall plan of the trip and its cost was the issue. In each city, we had a local guide, and they varied wildly in quality from excellent to worthless. The trip was short and expensive for the time it covered, esp. when airfare was not included, and so I always felt rushed at most of the stops and without a good feel for the people and places. This was very much a trip that felt like "If this is Tuesday, this must be Vienna." I would recommend the Budapest to Prague trip to friends as the cities and countryside are beautiful and full of history. But I used AMA for reasons involving travel companions; I've been much more satisfied with two Grand Circle cruises I've gone on and will always use them from now on. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
First ever river cruise, so based on reviews we chose AMA. The ship was very nice and checkin was very easy. We were surprised at age of clientele quite geriatric, we are in mid 60's but quite active. The cruise had some challenges we ... Read More
First ever river cruise, so based on reviews we chose AMA. The ship was very nice and checkin was very easy. We were surprised at age of clientele quite geriatric, we are in mid 60's but quite active. The cruise had some challenges we were delayed through no fault of AMA because of an accident which put us about 3 days behind on a 14 day cruise, we caught up about day 12. So for the first number of days I felt like it was a bus tour, and we barely saw Vienna and had a very long bus trip to see Salzburg and had to return spending over 7 hrs on bus. I think they should have cancelled one of these and played catch up (may have been difficult because of number of locks)any way for a number of days we were being rushed through everything including meals. Oh and almost everyone got sick and they said nothing even having to call Drs on board to help people, they should have made announcement perhaps warning and asking people to be respectful of there rather than coughing in buses for numerous hrs. The food is quite good , wine not so much they must have a deal with an Austrian winery which is what they serve overall I would give them a 2 for their wine. Dress code forget it people wear worn out jeans and hats for dinner. The staff were well trained and excellent, all of them. In summary may take another cruise never for 14 days.Last but not least most excursions had very good guides but they were very quick. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We went from Heathrow, there was some confusion at Budapest airport however that was soon resolved and we had a posh taxi to the boat. Firstly the good news, the boat was very clean and the maid service exceptional. The staff were ... Read More
We went from Heathrow, there was some confusion at Budapest airport however that was soon resolved and we had a posh taxi to the boat. Firstly the good news, the boat was very clean and the maid service exceptional. The staff were excellent, a tribute to the enforced tipping system which adds perhaps £10 a day to your costs. Due I suspect to the cost, the average age was perhaps 70 and there were no children on our trip. The choice of guided and unguided excursions was very good although I was disappointed to miss out on a bike tour due to basic maintenance which should have been done. The cabins are small but acceptable, the equipment o/k but had a tendency to malfunction. The shower wasn’t designed for someone of my stature and half the buttons didn’t work but again, o/k. The TV broke on day 4 but we could still use the limited range of films. The food was o/k, there were a couple of good dishes and the majority were acceptable. The soups were poor with the exception of the fish soup which was excellent. There is small restaurant for fine dining at the rear of the boat which you are only allowed to use once. Again the fine dining was o/k, individual items were cooked very well but the combinations showed a confused pallet from the chef. I didn’t understand how one night only 6 people were in the fine dining restaurant, why not open it up if you are low on covers? Wine was free and generously provided at mealtime, probably £6 to £10 quality range. Would have been good if there was a wine list for the week since the wines changed almost daily and it took a long time to get the waiter to find the bottle from two days ago you liked instead of the bottle today you didn’t. I was surprised that the officers didn’t eat in the dining room when the guests ate, this might have given them a less aloof air. The tour manager Orloff was very good and frequently held together events and outings which would otherwise have been a disaster (see comments about entertainment). The entertainment was terrible I think the person who chose the various earnest acts must have been depressed at the time of choosing same. To be fair to the various “singers” the maintenance crew were incapable of repairing a hands free microphone for our entire voyage which made their (and the tour managers) job far more difficult than it need have been. Perhaps the best fist was made by Valerie May who had the sense to provide her own equipment. Finally, I know it sounds picky but if my wife has paid for a bath robe for 7 days, don’t take it away on day 6 because you haven’t enough robes to wash them in time for the next guests! In summary the group maintains it strives for excellence. It needs to gird it’s loins…… Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
I was referred to this site by Trip Advisor to write a review. On Trip Advisor I am known as "Beaune." I generally agree with the editor's extensive review of the AmaPrima which sailed up the Danube to Vilshofen. But I have ... Read More
I was referred to this site by Trip Advisor to write a review. On Trip Advisor I am known as "Beaune." I generally agree with the editor's extensive review of the AmaPrima which sailed up the Danube to Vilshofen. But I have two serious gripes to pass along. First, I paid over 10,000 dollars for a 7-day cruise. Compared to ocean cruises, such as Silversea or Oceana, that is a bit expensive. I spent this to have an ample cabin with the featured twin balconies. My first gripe is that I spent a total of 5 minutes on the veranda during the entire week. Generally, that was not by choice. The dirty little secret of river cruising is that in major ports, and some minor ones as well, the ships are stacked in port. So when we arrived on the ship in Budapest, we opened the door to our cabin to be greeted by darkness--our cabin was about 3 feet from the wall of the adjoining AmaDolce. These cruise lines are adding more ships each year and undermining the pleasure of the concept of river cruising. While others note this development and move on, I find it quite damning. This unfortunate occurrence was repeated throughout the trip, as the AmaDolce was tracking us most of the way. As a corollary to this, I suggest that the "twin balconies" concept is flawed. The queen bed in our cabin left about 12 inches on the veranda side. If the room had the French balcony all across, I would have enjoyed the extra space inside as opposed to the unusable space outside. My second gripe is with the "free" wine. It is terrible. It is plonk, short and simple. It is a shame that an company supposedly offering luxury cannot offer anything better than it does. On half the nights the red offered was Zweigelt, named after the man who created it. Check your wine publications and see if anyone is recognizing the merits of this obscure grape. I have written articles for wine magazines in the past, and all I can say is shame on Ama for serving such stuff. They should know better. And the problem I found is that there was no alternative. On ocean cruises, one can ask for yesterday's choice (I was told that was too warm when I asked) or ask for a wine list to buy something better. That did not work here. There is a wine list at the bar, but the connection between the bar and the restaurant is inefficient. Some other guests were smart enough to buy wine at the bar before starting dinner and carried their wine into the restaurant. So this is how luxury works? Now if you are just looking for alcohol rather than taste, the servers are very generous with their pours. Nevertheless, we did have a good time. The crew is just great. Very helpful and pleasant. Everyone. All the time. The excursions were excellent and well planned. The schedule of activities on board and the dining times were tailored to fit the excursion schedule. Very well done. Most important, the Danube was very low after a very hot summer. I heard that some ships could not sail, and passengers were bussed to the ports on their itinerary. AmaPrima sailed the entire itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
The August AMA Waterways Danube Discovery cruise aboard AmaLyra was underwhelming even though AMA Waterways is supposed to provide a higher end experience than its competition. The AmaLyra was built in 2009 & therefore does not have ... Read More
The August AMA Waterways Danube Discovery cruise aboard AmaLyra was underwhelming even though AMA Waterways is supposed to provide a higher end experience than its competition. The AmaLyra was built in 2009 & therefore does not have all the "bells & whistles” of more modern ships (e.g. it has French balconies which allow passengers to open a sliding door to the outside but not a true balcony which permits passengers to actually sit outside on a balcony). It carries fewer passengers (ca. 143) than most (ca. 160-190) of its competition. Cabins: Although there was plenty of closet & drawer space, mid priced cabin floor space felt somewhat cramped. The bathroom was remarkably spacious with a modern fully enclosed shower. Linens were high end. The bed was uncomfortably hard even with two duvets used for cushioning. There was good climate control & soundproofing. The TV, which provided entertainment & information, was small, ornery & navigation was not user friendly. The free internet/Wi-Fi in one’s room, & throughout the ship, was, to be kind, not state of the art. Capturing & maintaining a usable signal was frustratingly slow and not as reliable as it should have been even while docked in a reasonable large port city where one would have expected a better signal. And, at speeds of 9 mph the ship doesn’t cover huge swaths of geography that might account for such problems. River cruise ships often do not have their own berth in port. In nearly every port, 2-3 ships from the same cruise line tied up to one another. When nested in this manner, one had to walk across one or more ships in order to get to your ship. Depending upon where your ship is docked in the nest (outside or inside), cabins of different ships are across and within a few feet of one another privacy concerns requiring closed curtains and therefore no view and limited natural light. Public Space: When relaxing on deck was undesirable (too dark or weather issues), there was little interior quiet space. Other than a multi-purpose lounge (bar, entertainment, dance space &/or lecture hall), the one interior space that could have been used for reading was also used for games and socializing as well as adjoining a tiny fitness area with an extremely noisy fitness machine. Too often one’s cabin was the only place for quiet space. At those times, a true balcony was missed. Dining: Everyone was required to eat at the same time. Seating was comfortable and tables were well spaced. One did not have the feeling of being crowded as friends have described on other river cruise lines. Menu choices were much more limited than on ocean cruising. Food was generally mediocre with occasional flashes of "good.” We found at least one of the meal time wine offerings was good. Bar prices were on the high side. After some just adequate service, we discovered, & stayed with a waiter, who was excellent. Although tips were pooled, passengers were advised that it was acceptable to tip additionally. Waiters (and cabin attendants) understood what was required & behaved appropriately. With one or two exceptions, the entertainment brought onboard was forgettable. Unfortunately, the one man keyboard/vocalist who was supposed to provide in house music for dancing and general entertainment was musically challenged in addition to having some language issues. Ports: The slow pace of river cruising (about 9 mph) means that not much distance is covered in a 24 hour period. The ports are relatively close together and notwithstanding significant differences among them, one has a greater sense of homogeneity (architecture, food, general culture) compared to ocean cruising where ports are generally much farther apart exposing one to much greater diversity. Tours: Free bus or walking tours gave an overview of each port. The bus tours were mostly drive-by’s. Tour guides were knowledgable with lots of esoteric commentary & forgettable detail. Optional tours were limited and marginally interesting.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2011
This started out just wonderfully with being met at the airport in Budapest, taken to the Hotel Sofitel, where we were greeted by the lovely and charming Pili, our cruise director. She has a way of getting along with everyone, and I know ... Read More
This started out just wonderfully with being met at the airport in Budapest, taken to the Hotel Sofitel, where we were greeted by the lovely and charming Pili, our cruise director. She has a way of getting along with everyone, and I know she had some challenges on this trip. We had a lovely suite because there was not another room available when we arrived. The hotel is in a great location on the river at the beautiful Chain Bridge. Breakfast at the hotel was a buffet with everything one could want, except--the coffee left a lot to be desired. When the afternoon to board the Amalyra came, we were taken across the river to the boat and welcomed aboard and shown our rooms. We were quite happy with the size, especially the bathroom, for such a small ship. After we boarded we had the usual lifeboat drill, and Pili gave a talk on procedures on the boat and introduced the captain, hotel manager, and restaurant manager. As we left Budapest that night, the captain took the boat down the river a bit and turned around to head north. What breathtaking sights and photo-ops we all had. We had all breakfasts and lunches on the boat in the lounge area, because we learned the first night that the dining room was a helter-skelter rushed and loud affair--more later on this. All of the stops were most interesting, and we had terrific guides. They set up walking groups for active, medium and slow. The active suited us, and was not rushed--we just didn't take as long at each place so we could have time to revisit those we were really interested in. The active groups started out small, but as more people learned that they were hearing more than they needed, they joined the active group. By the end of the trip, the active group was really too large. We ould have used another day in Vienna. We took the optional side trip to Salzburg, and were so glad we did. On the way we visited the little town of Monsdee--quite charming with an ultra baroque cathedral. We had one day of just cruising the river. This was fun and relaxing, with everyone upstairs and listening to Pili give the history of the places we went by. Whenever we met another river cruise boat everyone waved in a happy shared experience mood. When we got to Nuremburg, we had our interesting tour, and it was the only town we visited that we didn't think was impressively clean. The next morning we boarded buses for the long (about 5 hours) trip to Prague--but it was a beautiful trip, with a stop in the resort spa of Karlovy Vary. We had lunch and beer there--our first experience with how much the Czechs love beer--good stuff. The Olde Town Hilton was our hotel. It was in a very good location with lots of nearby restaurants, and was within walking distance to the castle, the Charles Bridge, and all the good things to see in Prague. Now as to the Dreaded Dinners: First, the boat was at full capacity. Secondly everyone eats at the same time. This means a busy dining room. It is small with a low ceiling and tables are close together. There was a group of about thirty traveling together who were extremely and I mean extremely noisy. Wine is complimentary at dinner so as the meal progressed, their noise level progressed--upward. We learned quickly to sit at the back away from where they congregated for dinner. this put us by the kitchen doors which were constantly banging open and shut with the manager RUNNING--not walking--in and out of there. It just plain was not relaxing at all. The food was ok at best, and sometimes it took a long time even for the menu to arrive. I think a more spread out dining situation--timewise--would help this situation. Why can't they set dining seating from 6:30 until 8? I asked someone this question, and was told that the crew would have to work too much. We did meet some travelers from another AMA boat in PRAGUE. They told us that their dining was wonderful...so I just don't know what to think. Was it the manager not being able to handle things, or was it the noise and demands of the passengers? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2011
Having researched all the European river cruise companies we decided on Ama Waterways believing it would be more upmarket than the most popular company Viking. The cruise was 14 days with 18 stops in five countries along three rivers.The ... Read More
Having researched all the European river cruise companies we decided on Ama Waterways believing it would be more upmarket than the most popular company Viking. The cruise was 14 days with 18 stops in five countries along three rivers.The first impression was the clientèle appeared to be older than the ocean cruising fraternity, although most of the passengers suggested they had been on other cruises. The majority of passengers were Americans, Canadians and Aussies, only two couples from Europe. It is clear the advertising budget for Ama in Europe is tiny as compared to their rivals, hence the profile of mainly North American passengers. The cabins as compared to Ocean cruising liners were very small, the boats have to be narrow to enable them to pass through numerous locks, there are over sixty on the journey from Budapest to Amsterdam. Similarly the balconies are Juliet balconies so no space there! The food was generally very good, the menu changed everyday. There would be a choice of 2/3 starters, main course and dessert. If you didn't fancy any of those there were standby options of salads, grilled chicken or steak. We could not complain about the quality or the choice. The drinks are free with dinner, they advertise wines from the various countries you travel through. In reality it was mainly cheap Austrian and German wines. There was no Hungarian Tokaj or German Franken wines, one assumes too expensive. However it was plentiful and the excellent waiters ensured you had as much as you could drink. Because there was only 140 passengers it was always dinner for everyone at the same time, sometimes at strange times. But for European tastes always too early whether it be lunch or dinner, 12 noon for lunch and 7.00p.m. for dinner, much too early! Most of the excursions are included in the price and thankfully there were different trips for the varying groups of people i.e. active, not so active and not active at all. The trips came to be known as ABC, (another bloody church), but you did have a choice, you do not have to go on them. The occasional one had to be paid for, again optional. The one worth while was in Vienna a concert in the Hofberg Palace, 70 euro each and well worth it. One very good feature was the availability of bikes, for the active you could take the bike and cycle to the next port of call along pathways at the side of the river to re-join the boat. Although in the rain it could be arduous. So to the downsides. The entertainment was generally second rate when compared to ocean cruising. The resident piano player was average at best. The dress code for dinner was very casual, no formal nights. Then there is the thorny issue of tipping. The Australian customers paid in the overall price, the majority were recommended by Ama to tip 12 euro per person per day for the crew and 3 euro per person per day for the Cruise Director. If you followed Ama's recommendation the cost was 420 euro per couple and the Cruise Director would benefit to the tune of just short of 6,000 euro all to herself! Needless to say that was not very popular and some said particularly relating to the Cruise Director, scandalous. The crew (mainly from Romania) were excellent, the Cruise Director average, the tipping recommendations are very controversial. Overall an interesting trip, very expensive when compared to other river cruise companies and ocean cruising. It is back to the large ships and the oceans for us. Read Less
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