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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
Loved, loved, loved our cruise along the Danube River. The Ama prima was beautiful, new, clean. The crew was delightful, helpful and always cheerful. Our cruise director, Czaba, was patient, helpful, friendly and enjoyable. Cruising a ... Read More
Loved, loved, loved our cruise along the Danube River. The Ama prima was beautiful, new, clean. The crew was delightful, helpful and always cheerful. Our cruise director, Czaba, was patient, helpful, friendly and enjoyable. Cruising a river is wonderful--even when traveling during the day, the views are beautiful. Lots to do or you can choose to just relax. The Lounge was nice, comfortable and had great views if you didn't want to go outside. The Chef was fabulous. All meals, but especially dinner, were delicious. My husband and I enjoy trying new and innovative restaurants and our dinners on the Amaprima were as good as any we have had at 5 star restaurants. I liked the "gentle" tours which suited by knee problem situation.(but there were certainly "active" tours for those with more stamina). I would highly recommend this trip to anyone. I wish I were there now! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
The AMA Certo is a beautiful new ship in the AMA fleet. It is bright and well maintained. We had a category BB cabin on the Cello Deck. At 210 sq. ft., the cabin was compact; the bathroom was even more so. Our cabin had both a French ... Read More
The AMA Certo is a beautiful new ship in the AMA fleet. It is bright and well maintained. We had a category BB cabin on the Cello Deck. At 210 sq. ft., the cabin was compact; the bathroom was even more so. Our cabin had both a French balcony and an outside balcony. The use of the outside balcony was very limited when we were docked because there were so many other riverboats and they tied up alongside each other. It was not uncommon to have to walk across one or two other boats to get to shore. This meant that our balcony was only 6” from another balcony or boat so it was often of no use in port. But very little time was spent in the cabin so this was not bothersome. The dining room is nicely laid out with a double row of booths down the middle and tables on the outsides. There are two smaller separate areas with a large table in each which were used by two of the groups on our trip. It is very noisy during mealtimes due to the low ceiling and high number of people. The food was uniformly good. Breakfast was a bountiful buffet. Lunch was buffet with some menu choices and table service. Dinner was off a menu with multiple choices. Any time you did not care for a dish, the waiter would offer to replace it with something else. Beer, wine and soft drinks were unlimited at lunch and dinner. You literally had to put your hand over your glass or it would be regularly refilled. The sundeck is a plus. There were several parts of the cruise when it was essential to be up there. The departure evening included a tour up the Danube to the beautifully lighted Parliament building. Get a blanket early from the storage boxes. There were not enough to go around that cool evening. The day touring the iron Gorge was sunny and warm. There were plenty of seats and most were shaded. The staff spoke excellent English and everyone was cheerful and ready to assist. Our cruise director, Nicola, was probably the best one we have had on any cruise anywhere. He delivered his daily briefings with a lot of comic genius. We were most impressed that he accompanied the pre-cruise tours to Vienna and Budapest as well as the post-cruise tour to Istanbul instead of passing us off to someone else. This was a winning point in our minds. We did the pre-cruise part on our own. We flew into Vienna, stayed at a hotel a half block from the Opera and easily saw all of the main sights without needing a guide. We took a train to Budapest and checked into the gorgeous Sofitel hotel where the AMA pre-cruise tour also stayed. This location is right next to the Chain Bridge, on a tram line, near a metro, included an incredible breakfast buffet and our room was upgraded to a view of the river. From here, we could walk or use the public transportation to see everything. Nearly every guide in each port spoke English well and filled us in on the history of the town/country as well as often giving personal insights into local life. AMA offers a ‘gentle walkers’ tour plan where those who might wish to walk slower but see a little less are given their own group guide. Pecs was our first port. The morning walking tour included a church and some underground Roman ruins. It ended in a city square where we had time to explore a bit more or shop. During lunch we cruised to Mohacs. This was the first chance to take a bicycle tour. The ship carries 20 well-maintained 7-speed bikes suitable for both men and women. The tour went about 5 miles down the flat riverside levee path to a small town where we toured the Stock Museum and then biked back. It was a great way to get out in the country and take an easy, refreshing ride. If you have ridden a bike within the last several years, this is for you. The rest of the port stops were equally well done as the first. We had very nice buses and informative guides. Many of the other countries we visited were Communist ruled up until recently and the poorly built apartment blocks, incredible snarls of exterior wires, and stressed economy were evident. We heard many stories about the hardships of Communist rule and visited several sites with heartbreaking stories. My personal favorite excursion was a visit to a Bulgarian home where we learned to make banitsa. The lady was very welcoming and opened her home completely. The lunch in Bucharest was also unique. The restaurant endeavored to recreate a dining experience in the golden years of the city. Waiters in long black aprons delivered soup served in individual large pewter tureens. The décor was like a movie set. We were serenaded by a violin player and then an opera singer. My husband and I elected to take the Istanbul extension. We were very surprised at how modern the city suburbs are … modern malls and architecturally stunning buildings. The center of this city of 16 million has buildings mixing a broad span of history and there is also evidence of abandoned buildings from their fairly recent earthquake. There were both morning and afternoon tours which covered everything on our bucket list. We felt that we had enough time at each site such as the Topkapi Palace and mosques and weren't rushed. Our guides also led those who wanted help through the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar while the rest of us could wander alone. The hotel was the Istanbul Intercontinental which was in a great location for strolling and eating. Overall, I would rate this AMA Waterways trip highly. We visited countries that we would not have traveled through independently and saw off-the-beaten path areas which all had interesting stories.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
This was our first River Cruise and we are so glad that AMA Waterways was the line our Tour Company used. The service was Excellent, the staff were the most amazing professionals, you felt like family. Everyone knew when you needed ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise and we are so glad that AMA Waterways was the line our Tour Company used. The service was Excellent, the staff were the most amazing professionals, you felt like family. Everyone knew when you needed something, they keep an eye on you, and if your cup or glass was empty refills were always forthcoming. Our tour started in Budapest with a two night stay, then our transportation to the ship was quick and efficient. The embarkation process was very seamless, and we were escorted to our cabin. The room was spacious enough for us, the closet held our luggage, so we never felt crowded. River cursing is a different experience from ocean cruising, and I totally loved it! Shore excursions were well planned, many of the walking tours were separated into, active, regular & gentle walkers. Many excursions included were of great interest to us, there were also optional tours of interest to many of our fellow travellers. This trip was a celebration of our 40th anniversary, and it was a Stellar Trip, Thanks AMA. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
This was my first river cruise and I honestly don't feel it could have been better. We were treated like royalty from the moment we boarded. John, the cruise manager, was so well organized that we never had a doubt about where to go ... Read More
This was my first river cruise and I honestly don't feel it could have been better. We were treated like royalty from the moment we boarded. John, the cruise manager, was so well organized that we never had a doubt about where to go or what was available to us. the local guides were great and the on-board entertainment just right. In addition, the food was amazing, especially in their very fine restaurant which you can book once during the trip. I also enjoyed the free-flowing local wine and beer and found a few I hope to get here in the states. The only suggestion I would have is to try to make a reservation at least a year in advance so you can get a bigger room. The ones on the first floor are very small. I didn't really care about that because I was only there to sleep and change clothes. All in all, this was a great trip (Melodies of the Danube). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
We had made many ocean cruises before this river cruise. We were amazed with all of this cruise. Hospitality, comfort, food, tours; everything was beyond expectations! Every cruise member were always going out of their way to help, to ... Read More
We had made many ocean cruises before this river cruise. We were amazed with all of this cruise. Hospitality, comfort, food, tours; everything was beyond expectations! Every cruise member were always going out of their way to help, to cheer, to make our experience the best one possible. The fact that we are about 168 passengers on board makes it a very intimate atmosphere. Our room wich was a few feet above water level had 2 sliding patio doors wich we could open wide; the feeling was awsome! The itinerary was great; remember, you're on a river. You're always close to great scenerys without the motion of the ocean. Always nice and calm. I could go on and on! You just can't go wrong with this kind of cruise.We will be back and tip of the hat to AMA for offering such a great product! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
Cruising on the Amaprima was a complete delight. The staff were like a big family, inviting us as guests to thoroughly enjoy ourselves. The food was delicious, our cabin was quite comfy, and our visits on shore were well planned, nicely ... Read More
Cruising on the Amaprima was a complete delight. The staff were like a big family, inviting us as guests to thoroughly enjoy ourselves. The food was delicious, our cabin was quite comfy, and our visits on shore were well planned, nicely guided, and gave us a true taste of the regions we travelled through. Entertainment on board ship was also delightful, especially the gypsy music and the local folk dancing. dancing. Our group made several presentations with powerpoint and the Techies actually knew what they were doing! All in all, a memorable experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
After ocean cruising, I was ready for a smaller,easier, friendlier experience of a river cruise.While AMA Waterways is not inexpensive, it was well worth the excellent food,wine included,personable staff,music on board entertainment, ... Read More
After ocean cruising, I was ready for a smaller,easier, friendlier experience of a river cruise.While AMA Waterways is not inexpensive, it was well worth the excellent food,wine included,personable staff,music on board entertainment, choice of tours,handsome cabin design and general public area ambiance.The Danube River cruise began in Budapest and allowed us to unload our luggage before 3:00 pm boarding. We spent a fun morning in one of the oldest mineral baths that included a rapid water circular" human bumper car "experience. Everyone was laughing like a bunch of kids and it was a great start to our adventure.I particularly enjoyed docking right next to the small and large cities and not having commercial hawkers meeting you as you disembarked. Almost every tour included a head set and you could choose slow, medium or fast walk groups to join.Learned a lot about the history and culture of Eastern Europe. Several fun side trips to a local restaurant/wine tavern in impressive motor coaches. We added an optional end of the trip stay in Prague and I am so glad to have had the experience of traveling first class with AMA Waterways... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
We cruised on the AMASonata, Melodies of the Danube itinerary, from Budapest to Prague from October 22 to October 29 with a 3 day Prague extension through November 1. There were 5 of us - my husband and I and 3 single friends. My husband ... Read More
We cruised on the AMASonata, Melodies of the Danube itinerary, from Budapest to Prague from October 22 to October 29 with a 3 day Prague extension through November 1. There were 5 of us - my husband and I and 3 single friends. My husband and I have taken several large ship cruises so some of this review will compare that with our experience on a river cruise. We spent a couple days in Budapest on our own before the cruise started. The day of embarkation we found the whole process organized but far more friendly and welcoming than a big ship. Our rooms were immediately ready and our luggage followed us - no waiting until after dinner to hope the suitcases arrived! All 150 passengers fit in the ship's lounge for the orientation meeting. Our fellow passengers were a varied and friendly group - mostly Americans and Canadians but also some from Europe, South America and Australia. Overall, our ship experience was great - the ship is new, launched in 2014, so everything is in impeccable order. The crew were mostly from Romania and Bulgaria but all of them spoke English and were unfailingly cordial and helpful. They were a mix of veteran AmaWaterways employees and new hires. The cruise manager, Balasz, impressed us with his competence, maintained communication with us throughout and had a sense of humor that was very much appreciated. Captain Chirazica went out of his way to speak to passengers - one afternoon we heard about how he worked his way up to being a captain. While on a large ship cruise you may never see the captain, here you see almost all the crew every day and really get a sense of how they work together in running the ship. In the middle of the week heavy rains to the north caused Austria and Germany to close the Danube to ship traffic for about 2 days. As the situation developed the captain and cruise manager held several meetings with passengers, kept us informed of the situation and explained the possible, likely and then actual options they would use to keep us on track. (This is where the sense of humor helped a lot!) This involved staying in a port overnight, providing last minute evening entertainment on board ship, hiring buses the next day to transport us to the next port (Vienna) to timely meet our next day's tours and providing lunch money since the ship would not be available in Vienna for lunch that day. Yes, there was one evening program that had to be cancelled but it was apparent that everyone at AMA was working hard to reduce the disruption. I was very impressed with a crew and a company that communicated so well and truly made an effort. Ultimately, while I know there a lot of work was done behind the scenes, we, as passengers hardly noticed any disruption. We had a cabin midship on the Violin deck (220) which had a floor to ceiling window and a balcony. The weather was a bit cool to use the balcony, although exactly what we expected for mid to late October (highs in the low to mid-50s). When we wanted to sit outside on the upper deck, the crew brought out blankets and we quickly learned to also stop and get hot chocolate or coffee from the lounge. Compared to a large ship there was only a single lounge but it was very comfortably furnished and spacious. It was used for general meetings and evening entertainment. On the one afternoon we did not have an off-ship program, I took my Kindle up there and quietly read. There were other groups of passengers doing the same and there was plenty of room. I would imagine in summer the upper deck would also be a very comfortable place to spend time. We chose our cabin (category BA) to have a bit more room for the 2 of us and were glad that we did. The cabin does have less space than a large ship but it was well designed. There was a long desk with a chair and a small seating area with a second chair and table. The bed takes up most of the rest of the space with just enough room to walk around it. There is a large 2 tier closet and a large built-in cabinet with top to bottom shelves, a safe and a small refrigerator. I did miss the usual bank of drawers you have in a large ship, but the shelves held just as much. If weather had permitted us to sit on the balcony, we would have appreciated the space. The bathroom was small but had shelves were needed and plenty of toiletries. The shower was easy to use with plenty of water pressure. Our single friends were in somewhat smaller cabins without balconies at the back of the ship. Their rooms were slightly different and slightly smaller than ours but they reported that they had plenty of room for one person. They also greatly appreciated that AMA offers a single supplement, unlike some other river cruise lines. We noticed that perhaps for that reason there were other groups of singles traveling together on this cruise. Overall, the location of the cabin in the ship was much less important than on a big ship. It really didn't matter if you were on one deck or the other, front or back - the movement is the same and it only takes a few minutes to get anywhere on the ship. Each room had a Mac desktop computer that had the ship information system and could be used for internet access. We did not use any of the available entertainment features. We did use the wifi with our iPad and iPhones - my only complaint. Wifi was unpredictable and slow even to check email or download newspapers, especially in the afternoons when everyone returned to the ship. If you wanted to download or stream a movie, you would have been waiting a long, long time. On the other hand, it was great to have free wifi rather than having to pay extra for access! The quality of dining on the ship was appreciably better than we have had on the big ships. There was one dining room and there was no assigned seating - you are seated at available tables as you arrived for meals. Since we had a party of five, we would always get one round table. If we had been a couple or a single, we could have been seated with different people every night. Full breakfast was available between 7:30-9:30am - there was a generous buffet with made to order omelets, offering usual American fare and more European choices plus amazing fruit pastries. Lunch was served beginning at varying times between 12 and 1pm, depending upon the timing of tours. There was a buffet or you could order from 2-3 menu choices. Dinner was at 7 or 7:30pm and was 4 courses, with 3 or 4 choices for each. We did not have a bad or even mediocre meal the whole week. There was great variety, usually including local specialities. At lunch and dinner, wine and beer were included. The wines changed each evening and came from the local vineyards in the areas we visited. We had some very good and interesting wines! One evening, a dinner in the smaller chef's dining room was included - it was a truly special meal! When we planned this cruise we thought the great advantage was the ability to have a moving home base that followed you while you visited many different cities and countries along the Danube. In that sense, a river cruise is less about having a vacation and entertainments on a boat and more about the cities and countries that the boat is taking you to. The AMASonata was a great home base but as this trip unfolded, I realized that the tours and excursions arranged by AMA off the ship were just as important as the ship itself. Unlike a big ship cruise where you pay extra for most activities in port, on our cruise almost all the tours and excursions were included. During the cruise we paid extra for only one tour. For every port, you had choices of what to see and do. For every walking tour, there was a gentle, regular or active group. They also offered bike tours - my husband, who is a regular rider enjoyed riding 20 miles along the Danube from Durnstein to Melk and another shorter bike ride in Passau. On every tour we had local guides, hired by AMA who were uniformly excellent. I can't emphasize enough how much the quality of these tours affected our cruise experience. Every guide was interested in sharing their home town's history and culture with us. We did not feel that we were on "canned" tours - each guide had their own personality and approach that made each day's tour a bit different. If I had any frustration, it was that the guides engaged us and showed us so much to explore that I found myself wishing that we had more hours and days to spend in each city. Our disembarkation from the ship was quick and organized - based on our extension to Prague, we had a time to place suitcases in the hall and we were asked to confirm it was all there before it was loaded on the bus. The extension in Prague also included a city tour and we took an optional tour to Terezin as well. The cruise manager travelled with us to Prague, gave us an orientation tour from our hotel and was available for help. Our Prague tours were of the same quality as those from the ship but we also enjoyed the leisure of extra days in the city to return to interesting sites and to do some shopping. The hotel in Prague (Old Town Hilton) was a bit of a disappointment after the brand-new ship but it was in a good location, included breakfast and had free wifi (if you went down to the lobby). In summary, I would highly recommend the AMASonata And by extension AMAWaterways for a river cruise on the Danube. If you can spend additional time at the beginning or the end in Budapest or Prague, those extra days are well worth it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
My husband and I just returned from a fabulous cruise on the Ama Sonata to the Christmas markets on the Danube. This was one of my "bucket list" cruises and it certainly met all my expectations. The ship is lovely and the service ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a fabulous cruise on the Ama Sonata to the Christmas markets on the Danube. This was one of my "bucket list" cruises and it certainly met all my expectations. The ship is lovely and the service is excellent. Peter, the Cruise Director, was wonderful, caring for everyone's needs and quickly making changes when needed, always with good humor. There were many options along the way and plenty of opportunities for shopping at markets in Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Regensburg, Nuremburg, and Prague. The guides were knowledgeable and helpful. The food on the ship was very good and different wines reflective of the region were provided each night. There were some special Christmas activities on the ship. On Dec. 5 we put out our shoes outside the cabin door for St. Nicholas and received either a candy "Santa" or "Devil' the next morning. We also had a Christmas party with carols from the crew and a gift from Santa. The experience was superb and we definitely will go on another Ama cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
My husband and I did the Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg. Wonderful food, service and staff on the ship were outstanding. You didn't need to ask for anything; everything was well organized. The ship and cabin were ... Read More
My husband and I did the Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg. Wonderful food, service and staff on the ship were outstanding. You didn't need to ask for anything; everything was well organized. The ship and cabin were clean; the cabin a good size and a great bathroom. Christan our cruise director payed attention to every detail. The tours were so organized and wonderful local guides, clean buses, and efficient. We couldn't have asked for anything more than AMA Waterways offered. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
One of the things we liked the most about Ama is the way they cater to all activity levels. We prefer to be active, and they did a great job always having higher energy tour options from biking, hiking and walking tours. However, even if ... Read More
One of the things we liked the most about Ama is the way they cater to all activity levels. We prefer to be active, and they did a great job always having higher energy tour options from biking, hiking and walking tours. However, even if you prefer a slower pace, not a problem, there were excellent options. It certainly felt customized that way. Our cruise was the Gems of Southeast Europe (Budapest to Giurgiu), so it was different than other river cruise trips we've been on. Obviously you're not going to have the same level of sights, beauty and charming villages like you will elsewhere. But, if you are interested in this part of the world, the history and its current place in the world, you'll find it quite fascinating. Overall, the food was good, at times great, other times just good. They did a nice job incorporating some of the local cuisine depending upon where we were sailing. Shortcomings? In comparing to some other river cruises (and ocean) we've done, it would have been nice to have one more entree choice and one more appetizer. There were some meals where the choices were a bit limited. One meat, one fish, one veggie for mains. Also, desserts were not that indulgent. Maybe a good thing? But, there was a lot of ice cream. Hey, I love ice cream, but it seemed like it was the go to in almost half the meals. Some variation would have been welcome. The wifi is not that great. That is possible due to our location on the river but it was non-existent quite a bit, or horribly slow. I actually used a Glocal router and had better luck, but that was on my dime. Most of the staff were great. There might have been a couple of exceptions, but will say there was plenty of friendly, smiling, helpful faces. One thing to keep in mind. This was different than our other experiences. Ama does try to get you to interact with your fellow passengers. There are basically no 2 top, and very, very few 4 top tables at meals. You will likely be sitting with others. Not usually my choice but have to say, there were great people on our trip and we had plenty of nice conversations. Just know that going in. We would definitely sail Ama again. The number of excursions and choices of activity levels really won us over. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We have been on several ocean cruises and had enough of the giant ships. We decided to give river cruising a try and were so happy we chose the AmaSonata. The whole experience, from the moment we got on, until our departure from the Prague ... Read More
We have been on several ocean cruises and had enough of the giant ships. We decided to give river cruising a try and were so happy we chose the AmaSonata. The whole experience, from the moment we got on, until our departure from the Prague extension, left nothing to be desired. The staff was incredibly friendly... A big shoutout and thanks to our waiters, Janos and Alex. They anticipated our every need. The food was delicious with many local touches and the wines kept flowing. The ports were very interesting and, with the exception of Linz, beautiful, historic and so "European". However Linz was also the starting point for the Alpine Lake Region tour..perhaps the most extraordinary scenery ever!! The cabins, though not huge, were spacious enough..(happy we had a balcony). Sitting on the huge sun deck on those lazy afternoons sailing between ports, was extremely pleasant and so interesting watching the process of moving through the locks. We thought that most of the excursions were very good, and liked having choices. A couple of small complaints..the small pool on the sun deck was way to hot to be refreshing on those very warm afternoons. It was a nice touch to have a swim-up bar in the pool, but I never saw anyone tending the bar. Finally, there was a small fire on the ship on evening when most were off the ship. While it was all handled smoothly Captain Hank and the staff, the should have kept the passengers better informed..especially when they sent us back to our cabins for the night..without telling us that the water in the cabins had been turned off..toilets included. However these very small complaints in no way lessened our cruise experience. We wouldn't hesitate to book anothe vacation on AmaWaterways!!! 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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We have done 2 previous cruise on AMA and decided this time to do 2 weeks as we just loved the 1 week cruise but it was too short for us. AMA does and excellent job in catering to your needs as all you have to do is ask and they will try ... Read More
We have done 2 previous cruise on AMA and decided this time to do 2 weeks as we just loved the 1 week cruise but it was too short for us. AMA does and excellent job in catering to your needs as all you have to do is ask and they will try their best to accommodate the request. I love a soft mattress, so they added another mattress on top to make it softer. I don't eat spicy food, their food is not spicy for almost all folk, however every morning the manager of the dining room would come over with the menus for the rest of the day to ensure that I could have my pick of items and that they would not be at all spicy. The food on this trip was the best yet, the quality was very good. I'm a meat eater, but the fresh cooked veggie almost convinced me to become a vegan. We were met at the airport and taken to our hotel without any problems. Embarkation for the ship is always a breeze, just hand in your passport and they will check you in, you get it back the next day. There are plenty of shore excursions, both fast walkers, normal, and slow. They have walking sticks as well as walking sticks with chairs for those who need a seat to rest. They have biked on board and I love to bike and went out almost every day either by myself or on a bike tour. They bring on local entertainment almost every evening if you can last that late after a big day out. The ship is kept sparkling clean, they are always cleaning the public areas and restocking bottles of water in your cabin. The free Wi-Fi works well all over the ship, plus your cabin has a TV/Computer combination. The cabins are just the right size for us as we are hardly ever in them except to sleep. The shower is great, instant hot water and lots of pressure from all directions. We love AMA because of the staff who go out of their way to attempt to please you. That is why we have already booked another 2 week cruise next summer. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Day 1 Flight LHR to BUD, met at airport by AMA reps then to the ship by coach with running commentary about Hungary and Budapest. The running commentary became a bit of an issue during the week as I felt that most of the guides considered ... Read More
Day 1 Flight LHR to BUD, met at airport by AMA reps then to the ship by coach with running commentary about Hungary and Budapest. The running commentary became a bit of an issue during the week as I felt that most of the guides considered it necessary to never leave a quiet moment or allow space for questions. Arrived ship around 1500 hours in time for coffee and sandwiches. Most reviewers have described the ship so not much to add, we were satisfied with the size of our cabin and the bed. Don't see much necessity to have two large chairs in the cabin which greatly restricted space. One chair would be fine at least in our "bilge" cabin where we would prefer to be up on deck. Lovely shower and wifi works (when in port) Day 2 Coach tour of Budapest in the morning bike tour in the afternoon Day 3 Bratislava "communist" tour. Would have loved more time in this city Day 4 "Hidden" Vienna walking tour - not particularly hidden except the visit to the the catacombs Day 5 Walking tour of Durnstein followed by 22 mile bike ride to Melk Day 6 Linz bike tour in the morning and a visit to Cesky Krumlov in the afternoon Day 7 Passau walking tour Day 8 Early start coach to Munich airport flight to LHR Highlights for me were the three bike tours, Bratislava and Cesky Krumlov. Food - always good (but not great) but could be hotter. Drinks - not a lot of choice in the included wines and only red or white - no rose. They were perfectly drinkable. Fellow passengers - 95% from US/Canada which was a bit of a surprise to us. Age group virtually all over 55/60. Met some really lovely people. Service by all staff impeccable. Would we choose AMA again - absolutely. The initial price seemed high but then we hardly spent any money Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was my first river cruise and it was great . I traveled with a friend, this being our annual trip together. We boarded in Budapest. The river cruise is on a flat bottom boat, much smaller in size to the huge ocean liner cruise ... Read More
This was my first river cruise and it was great . I traveled with a friend, this being our annual trip together. We boarded in Budapest. The river cruise is on a flat bottom boat, much smaller in size to the huge ocean liner cruise ships. The passenger load is about 164. The river cruise allows you to get to know the other passengers because you see them all day every day. Almost all of the passengers on our ship were over age 50. Which was great for us no children or babies. There was one dining room and everyone ate at the same time. Lighter meals or snacks were served in a lounge area. The food was delicious the wait staff was good. However, most meals lasted about 2 hours. My favorite part about the river cruise is that we docked right at the pier, no tender required. The land tours are included in your price so we tried to do all the tours we could that didn't conflict with another one. Entertainment of some sort is nightly but no big fancy shows. I would do another river cruise in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
My husband and I have taken eleven ocean cruises since 2006. This was our first river cruise and it was recommended by my daughter's in-laws. What can I say? It exceeded ALL of our expectations in all areas: ship size, more ... Read More
My husband and I have taken eleven ocean cruises since 2006. This was our first river cruise and it was recommended by my daughter's in-laws. What can I say? It exceeded ALL of our expectations in all areas: ship size, more intimate number of fellow cruisers (158 vs. 3,000), tours, service, cleanliness and on and on. Our cruise manager, Karen Bies, did an outstanding job. She was at her desk from early morning to late evening (by late I mean 11 pm). The difference between her and ocean cruise managers is that they are only available for about four hours a day, if that. Karen was always available, she even joined us on several tours, she worked miracles when we decided to change tours at the last minute. Our captain was always visible, friendly, genuine. The food was excellent and it was representative of whatever town/city/country we were visiting on that day. Sailing along the coastline gave us a view and insight into each town's history and beauty. We made friends that we will probably have for a lifetime because of the intimacy and coziness of a small vessel. We felt like we were traveling with family and friends and we looked forward to what adventure each day, each tour would bring. We placed a deposit on a future river cruise and look so forward to traveling on AMA Waterways in the near future! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
From start to finish my husband & I thoroughly enjoyed our first river cruise on Amaprima. It was great to be able to get on the ship when we arrived & straight away we felt at home waiting in their lounge with lots of snacks ... Read More
From start to finish my husband & I thoroughly enjoyed our first river cruise on Amaprima. It was great to be able to get on the ship when we arrived & straight away we felt at home waiting in their lounge with lots of snacks available until our bags were brought to our cabin.. We were shown to our cabin which was small but with loads of drawers & hanging places for our clothes lovely shower & very comfortable queen bed. After we had unpacked we were introduced to our Captain & Staff. Later that night after a superb meal we went on a cruise to see Budapest alight it was such a magical experience & one we will never forget. All of our tours etc were very well organised & it was great to be able to take the gentle walks as my husband has some difficulty with walking Our two managers Karen & Gemma were amazing always around to see if everyone was ok & always smiling. We went on many amazing places along the Danube had great entertainment with the great traditional Viennese traditional evening...great fun also The Strauss & Mozart concert in Vienna was excellent & eventhough we paid for this it was well worth it. Breakfasts lunches & dinners all superb. We loved having the free dining & meeting & becoming friends with all nationalities. We would definitely go again with Amawaterways. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Crew was good. Food on board average. Spent way too much time on buses. Extension not at all worth it. Hotels average. Food below average. One of the hotels was so bad you were reluctant to take your socks off at night. Extension meals ... Read More
Crew was good. Food on board average. Spent way too much time on buses. Extension not at all worth it. Hotels average. Food below average. One of the hotels was so bad you were reluctant to take your socks off at night. Extension meals were real bad. Extension tours were horrible. Over a hundred people per tour in Istanbul. Cruise itinerary not very interesting. Overall not at all worth it. Pay $500 a day per person on a high end ocean cruise and have a much better time. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We boarded this vessel along with several other couples we know. We didn't pick the dates-- HUGE MISTAKE!!! We set sail in October and encountered rain, dreary gray skies and weather cold enough to make a few of the passengers ill. ... Read More
We boarded this vessel along with several other couples we know. We didn't pick the dates-- HUGE MISTAKE!!! We set sail in October and encountered rain, dreary gray skies and weather cold enough to make a few of the passengers ill. Pumps on the locks weren't working properly in some cases (not necessarily the ship's fault), but it did shorten excursions that day and even canceled at least one of them. Food was good but with so little to do who needed the calories?? Far too surface of a treatment for the towns visited, except in two cases. We had the better staterooms and to be honest they were very small but all river cruiser rooms are small and unimpressive. To do over again I would have never agreed to go on this cruise and I won't even think about another "river cruise". They are for the birds! The ill-fit and well-healed but nearly demented set should do fine on them! Tremendous waste of money, and this comes from a veteran independent European traveler! 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Everything about this cruise and ship was perfect. The ship is amazing. The accommodations are wonderful, the dining is out of this world and the service is second to none. The crew to a person seems to be truly interested in you having ... Read More
Everything about this cruise and ship was perfect. The ship is amazing. The accommodations are wonderful, the dining is out of this world and the service is second to none. The crew to a person seems to be truly interested in you having a great time. We chose a water view cabin on the lowest deck and this was perfect because most days it was too cold to use a balcony. Keep in mind that this is the only cabin deck not accessible by elevator. The cabins are very comfortable, well thought out, more than enough space for clothing and we never felt cramped. Meals are exquisite and feature local cuisine. For breakfast and lunch you can order from the menu and/or from an extensive buffet and dinner is from menu only. Complimentary beer and wine is offered at lunch and dinner. Also afternoon snacks, early morning pastries and always specialty coffees in the lounge. Entertainment is in the lounge after dinner. Not like big cruise ship production shows, but very intimate and fun. You're usually so tired after a fully day of exploring that you just want to go to bed anyway. I would highly recommend a two week itinerary when cruising in Europe...its a long way to go for just one week and two weeks lets you really get a good feel for the ship, crew and getting to know your fellow passengers. The shore excursions were very well planned and allowed you to get a good overview of the various port cities and towns. There were also several choices of excursions in each port from various walking tours to hiking to biking to specialty excursions. It was fun trying to make decisions each day. Captain Jan, the officers and crew were all very approachable and interesting to talk to. We had low water on the Danube for several days so the Captain would talk to us in the lounge before dinner and explain any deviations or itinerary changes. He could be very serious, but interesting and at times even funny. Cruise director Frederico did an amazing job with all excursions, local guides and low water problems. Hotel Director Christian and Restaurant Mgr. Romeo both worked very hard making sure passengers were happy, comfortable and well fed. Receptionist Lawrence was awesome fielding all types of questions, giving advise and generally being a friendly face. A couple other crew members who made our cruise more enjoyable are cabin steward Adrian, bar server Carmen, butler Elvis, night receptionist Lizzy and head chef Gino. AmaWaterways has done an outstanding job with their ships, personnel and level of service. I can't imagine sailing a European river with any other cruise line. 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I don't know where to begin! From the moment we arrived until the day we left, every single thing was absolutely perfect. The staff were wonderful. By the end of the cruise, we were sad to leave as we felt like we were leaving our ... Read More
I don't know where to begin! From the moment we arrived until the day we left, every single thing was absolutely perfect. The staff were wonderful. By the end of the cruise, we were sad to leave as we felt like we were leaving our family behind. Lissa was our cruise director and she is wonderful! I wish I could remember all their names but every single crew member we encountered was warm and friendly from the captain on down to housekeeping. The food was amazing. The BEST food we have ever had on any vacation. My husband and I are vegan and the chef had at least 2 choices for us every evening. Our food was so delicious and looked so amazing that others at our table started asking for the vegan options instead of the meat options for their dinners every evening. We enjoyed every outing and I like how they have 3 categories for your walking ability. My favorite place we visited was the tiny village of Durnstein. What a beautiful quaint town! If you are able to hike, it is well worth hiking up to the castle ruins to see the stunning views of the valley below. My second favorite was the 1/2 day trip to the town of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. This is a must see! I know that these river cruises tend to be for the older crowd but I really don't know why as I believe my 15 year old would have really enjoyed this cruise. I think children 13 and older would appreciate the beauty and history. That being said, there is nothing for kids to do onboard except swim and watch the limited TV stations. I believe there were board games available in the lounge. When we would dock at various locations, the other river cruise lines were there also. I can tell you that the AMA ships were the most well-kept compared to the others. At every port, there were crew outside washing and/or doing maintenance - we did not see this occurring on the other cruise lines. I also was told that the other cruise lines would not have been as accommodating to our dietary needs so if this is important to you, check with them before you book. Read Less
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