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Sail Date: May 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 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
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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first time on AmaWaterways, but our second river cruise. We did the Gems of Southeastern Europe which started in Budapest, Hungary, went through Croatia, Serbia, and Bulgaria, and ended in Bucharest, Romania. The ship was very ... Read More
This was our first time on AmaWaterways, but our second river cruise. We did the Gems of Southeastern Europe which started in Budapest, Hungary, went through Croatia, Serbia, and Bulgaria, and ended in Bucharest, Romania. The ship was very nice, very well maintained and clean, with plenty of spots in the lounge to sit and relax. Our cabin was just enough room and laid out very well. The food was fantastic, although not reflective of the local regions we were visiting (we had that experience on another cruise line, they served food local to where we were cruising to). But, they did serve local wines from Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary. The service was excellent, top notch, and even the cruise director, hotel manager, and other prominent folks were often visible and completely approachable. Our excursions were also amazing. Everything was extremely organized, the tours were jam-packed with things to see and do (we were out all day, every day), and the local tour guides were all amazing. They were very friendly, informative, had great English speaking skills, and were very patient with us. The only thing I wish I had was more free time in each town. We barely had a chance to buy souvenirs, much less relax at a café or just stroll around on our own. But, I'm one who wants to see as much as possible of a city, so that matters more to me. The itinerary change was quite unexpected and gave us cause for concern before we left, but I want to say that Ama handled it in the best way possible. A week before our sailing, we were told that a bridge in Serbia was being repaired, blocking all ships from getting up the Danube from Serbia to Hungary. This meant that we could not actually sail out of Budapest. Within one week, Ama rearranged our itinerary to stay overnight in Budapest in a 5-star hotel (instead of getting on the ship), complete with a wonderful local buffet dinner in the hotel's restaurant and a private sailing around Budapest that night. The next day, we took a bus to Serbia--which I actually thought was awesome because we got to stop at a gas station and buy fun local food, and get our passports stamped in person by Hungarian and Serbian border controls! Then we were treated to a wonderful local meal in Novi Sad, Serbia, complete with a local band playing, and a short tour of town. Sure, it was most of the day on the bus, but it didn't feel like it. There was a guide with us who was very informative and talked about both Hungarian and Serbian lifestyles, cultures, and histories. We still got to take a short walking tour of Novi Sad, but we missed going to the fortress because we had to still drive to Belgrade that night, where our ship was docked. Driving through Belgrade at night was pretty cool. The rest of our itinerary shifted up one day as a result--we missed out on going to a couple of Hungarian towns before going to Serbia, and missed out on a little half-day excursion to a town in Croatia. BUT, for the last day of the cruise, we spent the day in Costanta, Romania, on the Black Sea--an excursion that Ama had never done before. We had a wonderful, long tour of the town, went to museums, saw the Roman mosaic boardwalk, went into the cathedral, and even put our hands in the Black Sea!! I felt really privileged to be able to do this, and was extremely appreciative of the Cruise Director literally whipping up this new stop and excursion within one week's time! After returning home, we also received a letter from Ama giving us nearly $2,000 in credit towards a future cruise as reimbursement for the messed-up itinerary. Woah! I was just happy with this new itinerary, and was delighted that I got to go to a seaside town in Romania. The cruise credit was just the icing on the cake and shows how well Ama treats their customers. We will certainly return to Ama to use our credit on a future cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
The main disappointment on this first time riverboat was the service by waiters and wine sommeliers. This does not mean that on the AmaStella staff was not excellent and hard working, but I felt there were not enough personnel to serve us ... Read More
The main disappointment on this first time riverboat was the service by waiters and wine sommeliers. This does not mean that on the AmaStella staff was not excellent and hard working, but I felt there were not enough personnel to serve us without being rushed or waiting for wine at dinner. It was not the experience expected for wine service since they only had to two serve 2 types of wine and beer. The ratio of personnel to guest on this boat is approximately 0.5 to 1. I inquired with Viking, and their ratio is it closer to 1.5 to 1. It is also more favorable to sail down stream instead of up stream. Boat noise interrupted sleep at least three nights, and it is important that you select a cabin away from the engine noise and vibrations. I would not recommend AMA Waterways. I think they are cutting corners to save money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We had heard good things about AMA and had previously travelled with Viking, Avalon, and Amadeus. The ship was 4 years old and well maintained. The restaurant was on the lower deck as usual but I found the windows to be small and the view ... Read More
We had heard good things about AMA and had previously travelled with Viking, Avalon, and Amadeus. The ship was 4 years old and well maintained. The restaurant was on the lower deck as usual but I found the windows to be small and the view limited. The food? Very good on the whole with lots of choice with wine or beer included. The cruise director was young but very assured and had a good sense of humour and was clearly dedicated to providing everyone with a memorable cruise. This cruise was for 15 days and covered three rivers; The Danube, Main, and Rhine. At the midway point one of the ship's propellers was damaged which caused vibration issues. To his credit, the captain immediately made this known to everyone and his plans to deal with it. A new propeller was to be fitted on the last day of the cruise just before we reached Amsterdam. This caused some disruption to the schedule. How was it handled? Everyone had to leave the ship early in the morning at a dry dock south of Amsterdam and board buses for the city. Time was at a premium so we cancelled our original excursion and went with a city bus and canal boat tour. Having been to Amsterdam several times this was not time well spent, however we were all treated to an outstanding lunch at a very old and famous restaurant D'Vijff Vlieghen...booked at short notice. The buses went back to the ship and then back to Amsterdam by nightfall. Bad luck with the propeller but they handled it well; however it made for a somewhat negative ending for our cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
The cruise was fantastic for the first 5 days, then the low water hit. Although, AMA says they are not affected by this, that is not the truth. We had to dock and be bussed to Regensburg and Nuremburg. The bus rides were 3 to 5 hours long. ... Read More
The cruise was fantastic for the first 5 days, then the low water hit. Although, AMA says they are not affected by this, that is not the truth. We had to dock and be bussed to Regensburg and Nuremburg. The bus rides were 3 to 5 hours long. Very disappointing but not AMA's fault. Although, Viking, who is very upfront about their itinerary changes, did a boat swap during this period, which would have been preferable to being bussed. The transfer to Prague was also changed. Instead of visiting a quaint small town as planned we drove for 7 hours wasting 2 hours in a forgettable Pilzen with nothing to see. Even the tour guide couldn't think of anything to say. There was a brewery (not enough time to visit) and a church. Finding a place to eat lunch was a challenge. The cruise, itself was great. The ship was beautiful and the crew terrific! I would take another trip with AMA, I just wish they were more forthcoming with itinerary changes. We lost two days of cruising, which is the reason we took this trip---not the destinations. Bussing may be necessary but a big disappointment to the guests. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our very first river cruise and we chose AMAwaterways based upon reviews and sailing dates and embarkation point. Aside from the weather - clouds or showers the entire trip - the cruise met our expectations and more. The cruise ... Read More
This was our very first river cruise and we chose AMAwaterways based upon reviews and sailing dates and embarkation point. Aside from the weather - clouds or showers the entire trip - the cruise met our expectations and more. The cruise manager was very accommodating and helpful. The staff very friendly and good at their tasks. The tours offered gave us a good feel for the people and towns we stopped at. The evening entertainment offered was very good and added to the enjoyment of the cruise. As said previously, the weather was lousy but we weren't going to let that spoil our first river cruise. If we choose to do another, we would certainly opt for AMA. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
My husband and I are veteran ocean cruisers, but this was our first time on a river. There were many differences, most of them wonderful--in fact, we enjoyed our Amadolce experience so much, we were reluctant to turn in our keys! The ... Read More
My husband and I are veteran ocean cruisers, but this was our first time on a river. There were many differences, most of them wonderful--in fact, we enjoyed our Amadolce experience so much, we were reluctant to turn in our keys! The reception upon arrival was overwhelmingly friendly with a personal escort to our room. No time consuming stops to check in and pull out our credit cards for the drink packages and heavy sell spa services. Our luggage arrived in minutes instead of hours, and we were immediately free to explore the boat, which to our amusement, took about 15 minutes. After all of the 140 or so passengers came aboard, there was an entertaining safety talk and general orientation from the captain and cruise manager and soon we were sailing down the Danube with the beautiful lights of Budapest reflected in our wake. We enjoyed our first dinner aboard that evening as well as all of the food offerings on the cruise but I do have one and only criticism that prevented me from giving the experience a full five stars. I have a blood sugar issue and I did mention it in advance during the online check in well before the sail date. I requested sugar free desserts, all available in variety and abundance on ocean ship lines. I was disappointed in that regard on this cruise, mostly contenting myself with one flavor of SF ice cream and a few small mousse treats. Adding some SF cookies to the afternoon tea or some SF puddings or pastries would be an easy thing to do, and not terribly expensive, especially since people in my situation also limit or refrain from wine and other alcohol. The ports visited on this cruise were a good mix of large cities and smaller towns. After living in Europe for two years, my husband and I have developed an appreciation for the latter with their slower pace and quirky monuments. The excursions were all wonderful and handled well with an amazing ease of selection. We especially liked choosing between the active, regular and slow paced groups. The limited option tours were perfect and worth the cost, especially the Mozart/Strauss concert and Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, and the day trip to Salzburg. The guides all knew their stuff and were enthusiastic about their particular city. They did a great job of describing the history and culture in each area and their stories entertained us and inspired our imaginations. Unlike our ocean cruise experiences where 2000 or more people wandered the ship in anonymity, the much smaller group on the Amadolce gave us the chance to see the same friendly faces each day and and get to know them a little. The same was true for the ship's crew, all of whom had a kind word or smile to offer. The very much loved Cruise Manager became ill halfway through the trip and was temporarily replaced by another very enthusiastic, professional woman who, with the support of the crew, did a seamless job of serving the passengers. My husband and I tended to wander back to our cabin after dinner on most evenings, so we didn't participate in a lot of the lounge entertainment. It was plentiful though with a skilled musician on board and acts from local areas invited in. We enjoyed an all too brief performance by Lindsay Hamilton, a former London West End actress and singer who amazed us with her talent. As a physical structure, the boat was exquisitely cared for and maintained. This became even more evident to us as we were among the few remaining passengers on board while awaiting our transfer to the airport at the end of the trip. We saw every surface of the cabins cleaned, including the air duct screens, the upholstery on every piece of public area furniture was brushed and vacuumed and the windows were all shined and polished. Fresh flower arrangements arrived and were decoratively placed and new potted herbs were unpacked and taken to the kitchen. A tempting tray of sandwiches for the new passengers appeared on the long buffet table, and it was all we could do to resist the urge to rush to the front desk and beg to have our cabin back and continue on down the river. This cruise is worth a repeat. Read Less
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