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Sail Date: August 2013
This was our first river cruise. What a great surprise. Cabins are well appointed but smaller than Ocean Cruises. You don't spend that much time in the cabin so the size is not that important. The Cleaning girls were fantastic and ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. What a great surprise. Cabins are well appointed but smaller than Ocean Cruises. You don't spend that much time in the cabin so the size is not that important. The Cleaning girls were fantastic and their towel art was a great delight The two cities of Buda and Pest were very different but the architecture and people were fantastic. We were in Budapest when they were celebrating St. Stephens day. Many stores were closed but the city was crowed with tourists having a great time. We were held for departure until a fantastic fireworks display was completed. Captain and Tour Director were very knowledgeable and made sure that we were on the proper excursion. The food was excellent. With only 148 passengers on board, we were able to meet almost everyone on board. The stops along the way were very educational and interesting. I am not a great walker, but they made sure I saw almost everything that my wife saw, except for the stores. Every port had great attractions. We wish we could have spent more time in Vienna. Prague must be seen. AMA gets a five star rating from us. 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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Just a little about myself and the group we travelled with: my husband and I are in our 50's and have been cruising with Disney and Royal Caribbean fairly regularly since 2003. We're Diamond level with RCCL. Our travelling ... Read More
Just a little about myself and the group we travelled with: my husband and I are in our 50's and have been cruising with Disney and Royal Caribbean fairly regularly since 2003. We're Diamond level with RCCL. Our travelling companions were my sister and her husband (in their 60's ) and their friends--a married couple in the 70's. We travelled from Toronto to Amsterdam to visit family for 4 days before the cruise. Flew into Budapest 1 day before the cruise. In Budapest we stayed at the BEAUTIFUL Prestige Hotel (approx. $290 CA for 1 night). Great central location, but about a 10-15 minute taxi ride to the port. Port is a loose term--it was basically in the middle of a construction site. Very strange! But it was fast. We were greeted by the cruise manager, Dragon, and walked straight on the boat. We had a light lunch in the lounge and waited to be escorted to our cabins. Check-in was speedy (literally under a minute) and we were off! When we booked, we were given cabin #227. We had been moved to the very end of the hall for some unknown reason: 233. We were next to a couple of crew cabins and a stairway that could be busy with crew at various times of the day. My travel companions were all upgraded though! they were given bigger rooms with an outdoor balcony as well as the indoor French balcony. This did not sit well with me at all---as we had all booked at the same time and paid the same price. There was a lot of misinformation given out. When escorted to our room we were told we would be invited to the chef's table at some point during the week--just watch for a card in the room. This never happened, so we never went! Apparently you have to make a reservation yourself. Bar service was erratic and pricing seemed to be a the whim of the server. When we questioned it and asked for a refund, the bartender said 'what can I do?'. The tours were wonderful though and we were exhausted at the end of the week. Busy , busy , busy! Be a good walker because even the slower paced tours involved a lot of walking. Night time entertainment was sparse and not the best. We walked out of one show. Our cruise was a wine themed one and unbeknownst to us, a large group pretty much monopolized it. Be sure to ask if this is the case on your cruise and plan accordingly. Dining room food was adequate. Service again was spotty and often times rude. Getting a glass of wine on a wine cruise shouldn't be a chore, but it was. I'm not sure if we'll river cruise again, if so, we'll do more research and definitely NOT go with AMAWaterways. Re the cabin: Our cabin was freezing! no amount of complaints or fiddling with the thermostat could remedy the fact. There seemed to be a constant draft coming from around the door. The room was TINY, but clean and well appointed. Nice to travel on a new ship! 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
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
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
Sail Date: July 2019
I booked thru a tour company. Had never heard of this cruise line until then, this was an absolute amazing cruise. The ship is spotless, all the crew is very helpful and friendly. The food was amazing. The excursions were very good. ... Read More
I booked thru a tour company. Had never heard of this cruise line until then, this was an absolute amazing cruise. The ship is spotless, all the crew is very helpful and friendly. The food was amazing. The excursions were very good. Did not have to pay extra for most of them. At lunch and dinner you could have all the wine or beer you wanted to drink. They had a sip and sail every night with other drinks you could have. Our dining room girl Ayu was amazing. We tried to sit in her area every day for our three meals. It was nice to try the different ethnic foods. It was so much nicer than the bigger cruise lines. Only 164 passengers. It was easy to get off and on for the excursions. Used the pool one evening, it was very warm and relaxing. I would recommend this cruise to anyone, but not a cruise for children. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my first time on a river cruise and the AmaMagna did not disappoint. What an incredible ship, itinerary, and experience for the entire family to enjoy. We sailed to destinations I would not have ever imagined of visiting and ... Read More
This was my first time on a river cruise and the AmaMagna did not disappoint. What an incredible ship, itinerary, and experience for the entire family to enjoy. We sailed to destinations I would not have ever imagined of visiting and were able to experience the most delicious, superb dining venues onboard. The staff is the best I've experienced in the industry and by day 3 was greeted by my first name. The service levels are best in the industry. You have non stop wine and beers during lunch and dinner and get to take your full glass with you (something they don't allow on most cruise lines) The cocktail hour drinks vary by day and its a great ambiance before dinner. The four dining venues could not be any better...The Chef's Table experience, just WOW....then there is Jimmy's where we had the most amazing Osso Bucco that I've ever had in my life...Al fresco has the most amazing view od the Danube river. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had previously taken a River Cruise with AmaWaterways in Vietnam and Cambodia and the captain was excitedly talking about the AmaMagna. We booked it right away and so happy we did ! It's the 'widest' riverboat on the ... Read More
We had previously taken a River Cruise with AmaWaterways in Vietnam and Cambodia and the captain was excitedly talking about the AmaMagna. We booked it right away and so happy we did ! It's the 'widest' riverboat on the Danube, so very spacious throughout. The food and restaurant staff were outstanding ! Breakfast and lunch had both 'buffet' offerings as well as menu options. There's also an 'extra' family style restaurant named after one of the Ama founders, Jimmy, that was our favorite restaurant on the ship. This particular cruise happened to be a 'wine' cruise so there were several enjoyable wine lectures which were informative and enjoyable. Most every day we would have the opportunity to wine taste throughout the week! What we love about Ama is that for daily excursions, they always use headsets so that you can always hear what they are saying without having to stand right next to the tour director. It seems that a lot of the people taking the cruise were active and fit. There was a fabulous exercise director who held morning classes varying between yoga, stretching and core strength and also offered personal training for anyone interested. There were also bicycles on board for those that wanted to bike at the various ports. I would highly recommend this ship for anyone wanting a fabulous experience ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We took the AmaSonata Danube cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen over Easter 2019. We did not do the pre-cruise add on, but did arrive in Budapest a few days early, staying at the Hilton Budapest by the castle. This was our first river ... Read More
We took the AmaSonata Danube cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen over Easter 2019. We did not do the pre-cruise add on, but did arrive in Budapest a few days early, staying at the Hilton Budapest by the castle. This was our first river cruise, and it was generally a great experience (helped by beautiful weather). The embarkation was incredibly smooth. Our taxi dropped us off about 30 minutes after the first cabin access, which worked well because no one else was boarding. Crew members took our luggage and that of our companions. Check in was minimal - mainly picking up the key and getting our picture taken for security. We were whisked to our cabin where our luggage was already waiting. The woman who showed us our cabin (one of the servers in the restaurant we later learned) identified a loose handle and had that taken care of quickly. Dining: buffet at breakfast, though you can order additional items. Buffet at lunch, always with a carving station, but the servers take orders for optional soup and entrees. The soups were always very hot. Sometimes great, sometimes so-so. Dinner was starter-soup-entree-dessert. The food was good but usually not outstanding. The servers were great, though. We were trying to be healthy at least sometimes, foiled often by being given a second dessert or alternate treat. Only one selection of white or red wine at dinner, but they changed each day and were usually local to the country. Lunch and/or dinner each day often offered local specialties. There is a second small restaurant that you have to make reservations for. A menu is posted outside - note that they have the same menu every day during the cruise. We failed to make reservations early so could only get a night that would have been a later dinner. We later canceled the reservation deciding that we preferred the main restaurant. Note also that tables in the main restaurant seat 4 or 6 people. It is open seating, but we found relatively little mixing from night to night (we were a group of 4). Shore excursions: the shore excursions were generally good. At each stop, there was generally a walking tour, a hike and a bike tour. The walking tours always had a gentle walker and regular walkers option. I had read that there were also active walkers options, but that was only true in Vienna. We were a bit frustrated with the Budapest tour because we had already seen several of the places on the tour -- we couldn't figure out in enough detail ahead of time to know how much to avoid going to early. We had a long free time in the market hall (which we had been to) and then very little time in Heroes Square, which we hadn't been to because it was farther out. (The basic tour was a mix of bus and walking). Other than that, the tours were good. They were always led by local guides, and groups tended to be fairly small (12-15 people, more if there was a bus). The buses were very comfortable and never full (perhaps because the boat wasn't at capacity). I also wish I had known earlier that "hike" wasn't what Americans would call a hike. Hikes generally meant up hill (usually to a castle) and often on cobblestones. But these were not difficult or nature walks. We did the hike in Bratislava and found it to be one of our favorites as it was more like a more robust walking tour. Bike trips, on the other hand, tended to be long and pretty strenuous. We worried that things would be closed over Easter, but all the tourist sites were available, including museums that would have been closed on our Monday in Vienna, but were open for Easter Monday. Most of the cities also had Easter markets. Our cruise director, Uwe, was fabulous. His desk was at the end of the hall of our deck, so we passed him all the time and could ask random questions. He had a tendency to pop up all the time when we had shore excursions (tours he wasn't on). We'd walk into town separate from a tour and run into him. He was really a resource person and made you feel taken care of. Entertainment might be a weak spot, but is barely needed. There was always music, and several times local performers came on board. There was one lecture near the end -- few people attended it, but I really enjoyed it. If I did a river cruise again, I'd look for one that was part of an educational tour to get more lectures etc. There was also a wellness lead on the ship who did workouts and similar activities, but I don't think many people took him up on it. We were getting a lot of exercise just on the walking tours. We are in our 50s and were in the middle of the age demographics. There were few very frail seniors, but also few young couples and no kids. All in all, service was wonderful. Disembarkation was handled very well too. We had arranged our own transportation to Prague at the end. We are usually independent travelers and had arranged a private car, but I wish we had known we could use the transport from the Prague add-on despite not doing the add on. We stopped at the same place the Prague bus from the ship stopped (Regensburg), but without the guidance of the tour guide. In fact, at one point when we were there, I joked "where's Uwe when you need him" and right at that moment we caught sight of him on the other side of the square. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I had always been curious about river cruising, but had been reluctant to commit. However, this particular cruise up the Danube was too good to refuse, and I am so glad I did it. The initial draw was that the entertainment on board would ... Read More
I had always been curious about river cruising, but had been reluctant to commit. However, this particular cruise up the Danube was too good to refuse, and I am so glad I did it. The initial draw was that the entertainment on board would be the Alan Doyle Trio; my friends and I are big fans, and the chance to see 4 shows in one week and to interact with them on shore excursions and on the boat was once in a lifetime. Turns out that the vast majority of the passengers were of like mind: ready to have fun and connect with new people. From the first notes of the first show, we were all fast friends. And, even the passengers who had booked the trip independently quickly became fans and were really happy they had chosen this particular trip. Every element of this cruise was top notch. Embarkation was so easy, and the crew made me feel like I was coming home right from the beginning. Every need I had was met almost before I even asked. From housekeeping (wonderful Stephanie who cleaned and set up my room at least twice a day) to the bartender Misha who seemed to be always working (I don't know when she slept), and always with a smile on her face no matter what time of the day or night, to Roman the Wellness Director, who took the time to get to know me and my physical limitations and develop a program for me while on the boat. Our cruise manager was unbelievable. I think he must have had a "time turner", like Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, because he was literally everywhere all day, making sure shore excursions were going as planned, that everybody was safe and accounted for, and that we all had the information we needed to make our daily activity decisions. The ship was terrific. Plenty of room for finding moments of privacy, and great spaces for hanging with people. The thoughtful touch of having blankets available on deck for those cool days allowed us all to be outside as much as we wanted to. The fitness room had a treadmill that was non-functional for our cruise which was a disappointment to some of the passengers, but there were plenty of opportunities for vigorous training on the bike or rower, we well as on land if desired. The food was incredible; the dining room was lovely, and the servers were fantastic. There was no assigned seating, which allowed us to sit with a whole variety of different folks over the week. We made so many friends, and it was wonderful to share our day and our adventures with these new friends. The food ranged from multicourse meals with flexible options to a light breakfast in the lounge. You could have whatever you wanted, and mix and match from the menu or the buffet or the preparation station. And, if you didn't like that, you could order a burger or any number of routine options. The menu included local specialties at every country. I particularly liked the late night snack, for which I was always ready. The shore excursions were plentiful and varied; each day offered a terrific journey at any number of levels, from intensive biking to "gentle walkers" for those with mobility challenges. We primarily did the regular walking tours, and were impressed by the local tour guides on every one. I learned so much, and then had plenty of time for independent exploration. The entire week was low key and no-pressure. You could really do whatever you wanted on any given day. I am definitely planning to do a river cruise again, and will not travel with anyone other than AMA Waterways. Read Less
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