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10 Budapest AmaWaterways AmaStella Cruise Reviews

Our second cruise with AMA Waterways. We enjoyed our first cruise so much we decided to try a second. And, it met our expectations. Beautiful venue on the Danube, great stops and tours of the area. We also enjoyed the great service and ... Read More
Our second cruise with AMA Waterways. We enjoyed our first cruise so much we decided to try a second. And, it met our expectations. Beautiful venue on the Danube, great stops and tours of the area. We also enjoyed the great service and crew and our cruise manager made sure everything met everyone’s expectations and that everything went off without a hitch. Our start in Budapest gave us ample time to experience Hungary and its rich history. We very much enjoyed walking through the area along the Danube and into town for shopping and experiencing the local atmosphere. Our stop in Bratislava was very enjoyable and gave us the opportunity to experience a taste of Slovakia. Vienna and our other stops in Austria were very enjoyable, getting to experience the countryside and local crafts, food, wine and the opportunity to lean more of certain European history of the region. Our final stops in Germany and Ama’s Octoberfest was a great ending to our trip.We are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My first river cruise experience was pretty good, They include wines and beers at dinner. The wines are not all of good quality but they are not bad. They include a happy hour an one hour before dinner, but the bartenders don't know ... Read More
My first river cruise experience was pretty good, They include wines and beers at dinner. The wines are not all of good quality but they are not bad. They include a happy hour an one hour before dinner, but the bartenders don't know how to make drinks. They are very bad preparing drinks and they get upset if I return the drink. Better change for beer or wine before returning the drink. The gym is very small, but nobody uses. Only 2 bicycles and a machine, not weights. The breakfasts are good and the staff serving the restaurant are excellent. We travel with a group of 44 people, so we had a great time on excursions. We paid on the cruise to see a folk dance that would be in an opera building, but the dance was done in a super small room with uncomfortable chairs and without air conditioning, The truth is not worth paying at the dance show cruises in the opera buildings because they only accommodate you in small rooms. The same thing happened to us in the Baltic cruise, it pays dearly for what they give. The room service was quite bad, even one day they put broken sheets on the bed.I had to look for soap because they never left another soap in the bathroom The dinners are very good. DO NOT pay for the Cheff Table, it is not worth paying, even the wine served was three dollars. It is a totally different experience than sea cruises. Very expensive cruise for what they offer. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I was looking for a trip that everything was taken care of and we found it with AmaStella. Top level of service, food and entertainment. Every crew member was so welcoming and fun. I had some health issues last year and was concerned ... Read More
I was looking for a trip that everything was taken care of and we found it with AmaStella. Top level of service, food and entertainment. Every crew member was so welcoming and fun. I had some health issues last year and was concerned about the shore excursions, but quickly discovered that there were three levels to choose from and I was able to take the regular pace. Slower pace was available and more active pace for those who wished a higher activity level. The ship was beautiful and the meals outstanding. I especially liked that seating was not assigned for meals. This gave us a chance to meet and learn about many of our fellow travelers (148 passengers was a great size). Our cabin was very comfortable with everything you could need. The attention to detail was amazing. We had an issue with printing our boarding pass for our returning connecting flight in Amsterdam and the Cruise Manager was very helpful. It seems something triggered a VISA requirement on line before we could get back to the States. Reka assured us that as we were US citizens, a VISA wasn't necessary. She arranged to have a guide stay with us at the airport in Munich until we were assured the matter was corrected. Needless, as it was our first trip to Europe, it was great to be looked after personally. We highly recommend AMA Waterways. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 2017
It was our 40th. wedding anniversary and we wanted to celebrate with a memorable trip and AMAWaterways did not disappoint! Our ship, the Amastella, was a floating boutique hotel, with every imaginable ammenity; an outstanding crew and ... Read More
It was our 40th. wedding anniversary and we wanted to celebrate with a memorable trip and AMAWaterways did not disappoint! Our ship, the Amastella, was a floating boutique hotel, with every imaginable ammenity; an outstanding crew and beautiful ambiance. The guest rooms are very comfortable and well appointed; we had an outside balcony that we enjoyed every night, while sipping a glass of wine and watching the sights along the Danube glide past. The daily shore excursions were great. We had terrific guides through each city or town that we visited and lots of fun at the folk festivals and beer gardens along the trip. The onboard amenities are topnotch, along with the staff. Our meals were sumptuous and plentiful, as my scales have shown, since our return home! Our cruise director, Kris was terrific. She seemed to be able to clone herself, because she was everywhere at once! We didn't hear a single word of complaint, other than "it's over, already!" We are already researching our next river cruise destination! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We went through a cruise club to book The Danube River vacation and had a fabulous experience. The ship was clean, comfortable and easy to navigate. Food was exquisite along with presentation. Entertainment, activities and excursions were ... Read More
We went through a cruise club to book The Danube River vacation and had a fabulous experience. The ship was clean, comfortable and easy to navigate. Food was exquisite along with presentation. Entertainment, activities and excursions were fun and enjoyable. Service on the ship went beyond my expectations. The room and bedding were comfortable.Everyone on board the ship from the Captain, to Cruise Manager, Hotel Manager, Bartenders, Waitstaff and Crew members went out of their way to make sure our needs were met. The scenery on the river cruise was gorgeous. All excursions were with a tour guide and I felt safe everywhere we ventured. There were bikes available, and if you were more active, hiking and active walking tours. I felt pampered and spoiled on the ship by the staff and would definitely use Ama Waterways again. After my first river cruise, I may have to book another one. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
In March of 2016 I wrote a review about my experiences cruising on the Mekong River with AMA Waterways titled "Exceeded My Expectations". After booking the Melodies Of The Danube, a AAA of Western and Central New York Members ... Read More
In March of 2016 I wrote a review about my experiences cruising on the Mekong River with AMA Waterways titled "Exceeded My Expectations". After booking the Melodies Of The Danube, a AAA of Western and Central New York Members Appreciation Trip, I became worried that this trip couldn't possibly live up to my previous experience. I shouldn't have worried! When, as our bus was getting ready to pull away on our first tour in Budapest, I heard our Tour Director Edward quietly say to our Tour Guide "have fun" I knew we were in good hands. From that first experience in Budapest until we were dropped off at the airport in Prague our every need was met with top notch service and professionalism. The Crew, The Tour Director Edward, The Captain, the Ship, the food, the level of service, the Guides, the scenery, the itinerary, the laughs and the friendships formed all exceeded my expectations. The Danube may not be Blue but the scenery is beautiful. The evening Illumination cruise of Budapest was breathtaking. Every town was charming, each castle and church was prettier and more awe inspiring than the next. The rainbow over our ship when we came out of Castle Grein was pretty special too. I'm still not sure how Edward managed that! Please be aware that this is not a restful vacation. You are on the go morning to night. There is a lot of walking, mostly on cobblestone streets. AMA does provide a Gentle Walkers options and you can choose to stay behind on the ship but there is a lot to see and do on this trip. I can't wait for my next adventure with AMA Waterways! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The food on board was superb and we enjoyed trying the Chef's table dining room on the last night where there was a tasting menu. We had to share a table in the evenings with tables for 4 or 6 mostly. We especially liked the light ... Read More
The food on board was superb and we enjoyed trying the Chef's table dining room on the last night where there was a tasting menu. We had to share a table in the evenings with tables for 4 or 6 mostly. We especially liked the light lunch served in the lounge which enabled us to have room for the evening meal. There is no room service that I could see so you might want to take a travel kettle. The crew were delightful from the Captain down. He interacted with the guests at each port and welcomed visitors to the bridge. The cruise director, Csaba, was active from morning until night and always available for queries. He couldn't have done more. There was plenty choice of tours at each port, for active and not so active walkers and bikers, so everyone was catered for.. Budapest was a great city for the departure port and it is well worth staying a few days before sailing. The Wachau Valley was beautiful. Vilshofen, the final port ,not so interesting, but it is near a train station. Our ship's transfer to Munich at 0900 was $30 which was the easiest way of getting there. We were in time for a 1240 departure. We didn't go to a lot of the post dinner activities as the tours left at 0900 'ish every day, but there was music in the lounge most evenings. We particularly enjoyed a classical trio. We felt as though we were leaving a family when we left and will definitely return to AMA. A nice touch was the post card we received, from the crew, on getting home, thanking us for sailing AMA. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We decided we wanted to go away to celebrate Christmas. My teenage daughter and I had done a Viking River cruise over the summer as part of our European trip. Viking was geared much more to the over 60 crowd and never, even if you book a ... Read More
We decided we wanted to go away to celebrate Christmas. My teenage daughter and I had done a Viking River cruise over the summer as part of our European trip. Viking was geared much more to the over 60 crowd and never, even if you book a suite, allows 3 people in a room. We are a family of 3 and Viking wanted us to book 2 rooms so 1 person would be alone. Not my idea of a family vacation. It would be different if we had 4 people but it was just another reason I'll never sail Viking again. So we looked elsewhere and chose to go on AMA Waterways aboard the AMA Stella. We booked a suite which had a sitting room with balcony, an adjoining room that was separated by a wall with a large TV that could be turned to face either room. The bedroom had a French balcony and one wall was all storage and closet space. The living room area has a couch that makes into a bed, which was quite comfortable according to my daughter. It also had 2 chairs, a coffee table and a built in desk where they had a computer for our use. The mini fridge was stocked with champagne, beer, and soda and juice which was replenished daily. The balcony had 2 chairs and a small table and one afternoon of sailing was warm enough to sit out there and enjoy it! The bathroom had a toilet that closed off with a pocket door so someone else could be using 1 of the 2 sinks, the shower or bathtub. Toiletry items were replenished daily as was the fruit bowl in the sitting room. We embarked in Budapest and after dinner cruised between Buda and Pest to see the beautiful lights of the buildings. We did a tour of Buda and Pest with a local guide and went to the Christmas market which had some very nice Hungarian made items for sale as well as different food stalls. The next day, the Stella usually stops in Bratslavia, Slovakia but since it was Christmas Day, everything was closed so that stop was skipped and we went on to Vienna. We went to another Christmas market in the afternoon. The ship stopped at all the other scheduled stops and at each one we went on the activity we had chosen for that day. AMA Waterways does not only cater to the over 60 crowd. They offer many options for activity. For the very active they have bike tours which ranged from 6 miles to over 20 miles depending on the port. They also offered hikes, usually to the castle or abbey that most people took the bus to. For the "regular" active person, walking tours were at a normal pace. For the less active, or those with mobility issues, they had a gentle group. On tours, the people in this group were brought closer to the attraction by tram or minivans. Much of Austria is now handicapped accessible due to a law requiring it. There were only a few stops that some people could not do because of many stairs or walks inaccessible by vehicles. Each evening after dinner they offered some kind of local entertainment. They had excellent musicians, dancers or you could opt to walk into town and walk around. Meals were scheduled daily, not always the same time to accommodate an excursion or entertainment. Breakfast and lunch were served in the dining room over a 2 hour period of time. Each day there was a buffet and also a small menu for a couple specials of that day. You could order eggs Benedict or whatever was on the menu that day, and go to the buffet for fruits, breads, cold cereal or yogurts. Lunch was served the same way. You could also choose to have a continental style breakfast or light lunch in the lounge. Dinner was served to you. Dinner always had 4-5 choices for entrees and 2 for soup, 3 for appetizer, 3-4 desserts. Then there were 5 dishes that were always available if nothing on the daily menu appealed to you. You could sit at any table you wanted with most tables seating 6 people. This made for a great way to meet many people. We ended up sitting in the same general area because we found a waiter who we really liked. He was very attentive and a jokester, we really enjoyed talking to him. Everyon was very friendly except for one man who served at the bar in the lounge. He seemed cranky every time we saw him. The other bartender, Silvijo was great. He also served the drinks at dinner and after a couple of days, automatically brought my daughter a coke and a small bit of wine for her to try. All the staff, Frederico was our cruise manager/director and was very informative. The cruise managers change with each cruise. The captain was a very young (29years old) and very friendly man who invited my daughter to the bridge when we were leaving a port. She has a boating license that is higher then one would get for a recreational boat so he showed her around the bridge and how it can collapse down if needed to get under a low bridge. Our caibin stewardess Mariya was very sweet and kept our cabin very clean. Our butler Dimitri aka Micko brought us coffee (and anything else we wanted) at a time determined the day before. He was so sweet as he put his fingers to his lips meaning quiet so as not to wake my daughter who was asleep as he carried in the tray. When my daughter and I did a Viking cruise in July, we did not receive the same attention to detail or the friendliness of all the staff like on AMA. Yes, there were a few people who were great and did a great job but beside 5 or so people, they just were not as good. And the cruise on the Stella was the last cruise for the season and the staff would be going home for 2.5 months. Yet despite this, their attention to the guests did not show it. Their attention was on their work, they were happy and friendly and I would never had known that it was the last cruise of the maiden season of the ship had I not been told. After being in service since last March, the ship was clean and still had a new look to it. Another great thing about the Stella is the sun deck pool. Yes, it was open the last week of December! My daughter and I went for a midnight swim one night. You just told someone at reception that you wanted to use the pool and a crew member would fold back the cover which was like a heavy duty solar cover used on home pools. During the warmer months, there is a bar set up and the pool has stools in it. There is also a large chess set, a walking track and a couple sitting areas on the sun deck. On the Stella, they have a second dining room that guests can make a reservation for one time while on the cruise. It's called the Chefs Table and seats about 30 people. The menu is set and they ask about any food allergies. Since I'm allergic to aspartame, when dessert came, one of the 3 items on my plate was different than that of my husband and daughters because the other contained aspartame. The dinner in this restaurant was small portions of many different things and was wonderful!!! This ship also has a small gym with 2 treadmills, 2 bikes and weights on the bottom deck and a spa where you could have your hair done or have a massage. I didn't have time to squeeze in a massage but a woman I spoke with had one when she opted out of a tour and said it was very good, better than expected. The price of a massage was less than having one at home. Because it was Christmas AMA did a special Austrian tradition of putting a shoe out for Father Christmas. If you had been bad, you would get a stick in your shoe and if good you received a gift. My husband did not want to participate so when he fell asleep, my daughter and I put one of his shoes out with ours. The next morning each shoe had a gift and the guests 18 or younger got a gift and a beautiful chocolate Santa. So having experienced 2 different cruise lines within 6 months, I have to say that AMA Waterways is a much better line than Viking. They do many little things that make you feel special. All the female passengers were each given a nice scarf in a box. It is a nice scarf with the company name only on the tag. The little things do make a difference. AMA carries bikes on ship to offer biking to its guests. They have you fill out what excursions you want to do over the week and at what level-active, regular or gentle. On Viking the included tours were a ride around on a bus for the most part, never into an exhibit that cost admission. On AMA you went to see a place and saw it, inside and out and they didn't charge extra for the admission. AMA Waterways Stella was a wonderful place to spend Christmas and the cruise all around was so great that we put down a deposit for our next cruise! A $200 deposit per person to be used in the next 2 years. Oh, where to go? Somewhere on AMA Waterways for sure! Read Less
Sail Date December 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
Sail Date October 2016
AmaStella Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.5 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 3.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.6
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.7

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