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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I did the Rhine/Christmas markets cruise over Christmas 2017. This was my second AMA cruise and I was a bit disappointed. First, the staff was, for the most part, very good. It was clear they all had a touch of ... Read More
I did the Rhine/Christmas markets cruise over Christmas 2017. This was my second AMA cruise and I was a bit disappointed. First, the staff was, for the most part, very good. It was clear they all had a touch of "senior-itis", this being their last cruise of the season and they were all going home soon. Still the bar staff was friendly and attentive. The restaurant staff seemed to be in a bit of a fog, but it all got sorted out when I had a brief conversation with the Maitre'd. The food quality was the most disappointing. My first AMA cruise, the food was wonderful. On this cruise, it was mediocre. Many dishes were overcooked and most lacked seasoning. The flavor was just blah. It was all edible, but certainly not the gourmet food that AMA claims to serve (and what I had experienced on my prior AMA cruise). I don't know if this reduction in quality is a result of cost-cutting or if the chef on this ship is just not as good as others in the fleet. The room I had was small, but fine for just one person. If there were two in here, you might be tripping over each other, but I think a couple or two good friends could make it work. Your not in your room very much anyway. There was room under the bed to store luggage. The cruise itself was nice. Lovely ports and beautiful holiday scenery/decor in all towns we visited. The weather was not great (not the fault of the cruiseline and not considered in the review score), but it's Europe in December, so you know what you are signing up for. One thing that was lacking was the support for solo travelers. The AMA marketing material says that solo travelers on AMA enjoy the following (direct copy from AMA site) • Service of an attentive crew that recognizes their preferences • An invitation to an exclusive Welcome Cocktail Reception • A welcoming dining environment made possible by the restaurant’s seating plan • An invitation to dine at the Captain’s Table • Assistance with planning their ideal shore excursion program during the cruise None of these was offered on my cruise. One important note for anyone considering this cruise is that the ports are a bit far from the towns you want to visit, so you either have to take an excursion or arrange for your own transport. AMA should offer a shuttle service to/from the town centers in locations where they do not dock right in the city. I am glad I went on this cruise. It was a nice way to spend Christmas. I don't think I would do this exact cruise again but I haven't ruled AMA out for future trips. I will give them another chance (in fact I have a trip booked on the Mekong in October) since my first cruise with them in April 2017 was so wonderful. I am hoping the shortcomings encountered on this cruise were an anomaly and that future cruises live up to AMAs reputation. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Our family of eight (3 generations) traveled with AmaWaterways from Nuremberg to Budapest, visiting Christmas markets in Germany, Austria and Hungary along the way. Embarkation was quick and pleasant. We were greeted when we arrived and ... Read More
Our family of eight (3 generations) traveled with AmaWaterways from Nuremberg to Budapest, visiting Christmas markets in Germany, Austria and Hungary along the way. Embarkation was quick and pleasant. We were greeted when we arrived and shown directly to our stateroom. Our luggage soon followed. After settling in we attended the Welcome Cocktail Party, safety briefing and dinner. The Ship: The public spaces include a large comfortable lounge with access to a small deck, two dining rooms, a large sundeck with a fitness track and pool, a fitness room and a massage & hair salon. An elevator provides access to all but the sun deck. Internet is available throughout. Dining: Incredible! Breakfast and lunch were primarily buffet, with several kitchen prepared options. Early risers could also get a light breakfast in the lounge. Dinners were gourmet, multi-course meals offering several options and often featuring regional specialties. We had 3 children in our party and the kitchen made a special effort to provide kid friendly food for them. Service: Excellent. The crew went out of their way to assure that our needs were met. Ports & Shore Excursions: As this was a Christmas Market cruise, most of the excursions included visiting Christmas markets at each port. A market highlight was at the Thurn und Taxis Castle in Regensburg. Each day's activities were offered for a variety of fitness and ability levels, from gentle walkers to hiking and bicycling. Most of the local guides were very knowledgeable, personable and spoke excellent English. My husband and I attended an optional Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna and really enjoyed it. We had a wide range of ages and interests in our party, which ranged from 10 years old to 72. We all had a wonderful time and were able to break apart and come back together with ease. (Grandma and Grandpa liked the "gentle walkers" group while the kids were more energetic!) Disembarkation was well organized. Although we were asked to vacate our cabins by 9 a.m., we were comfortable in the lobby until our transportation for the next leg of our journey arrived. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise line on the advice of a well-traveled friend. The dates suited us as we wanted to enjoy the Christmas feel of Europe. Although out flight into Basel was quite early we were able to head straight to the ship, leave ... Read More
We chose this cruise line on the advice of a well-traveled friend. The dates suited us as we wanted to enjoy the Christmas feel of Europe. Although out flight into Basel was quite early we were able to head straight to the ship, leave our luggage and enjoy snacks in the lounge while our stateroom was readied. The housekeeping staff had our room ready in a short time and we were able to unpack and get settled. From day one we were impressed with our cruise manager, Dejan and the other staff. Everyone was cheerful and eager to make our trip a pleasure. We found the food in the main restaurant to be plentiful, varied and quite delicious. The special German lunch and Captain's Gala dinner were highlights. Our frequent waiter, Stanley and beverage waitress, Diana, were always looking out for our needs and wishes. We also had an amazing meal one night at the Chef's table which was a gourmet delight. We took excursions each day and were impressed with the quality of the tours and guides. The weather was cloudy and drizzly most days, but we still enjoyed the history, charm and Christmas Markets of all the towns we visited. Amawaterways Impressed us with their generous hospitality that included free-flowing sparkling wine several nights at cocktail receptions, small gifts in our stateroom and even a generous lunch allowance one day when a river accident below a dock delayed our schedule. We thoroughly enjoyed several of the evening entertainments as well. Overall we had a wonderful cruise and would highly recommend Amawaterways to our friends. We are already looking to schedule another river cruise with them soon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
AmaWaterways was our second choice when we discovered Viking had booked up this particular Danube Cruise. Our experience up to this point has been 2 ocean cruises on Viking and both experiences were 5 star. We were not sure we would even ... Read More
AmaWaterways was our second choice when we discovered Viking had booked up this particular Danube Cruise. Our experience up to this point has been 2 ocean cruises on Viking and both experiences were 5 star. We were not sure we would even like a river cruise much less go with a cruise line we had never heard of before. Our adventure on AmaStella was above and beyond our expectations! River cruising is definitely a different experience than ocean. Our ocean cruise carried approx. 800 and I believe our river cruise had somewhere around 135. That in itself changes every aspect. I cannot say that i even prefer one to the other...now I know they are each simply unique. Also unique to this particular cruise is the atmosphere on ship. The entire ship is decorated for Christmas - so lovely, sparkling and festive. One night we even helped decorate some of the trees that only had the lights trimmed. The crew provided us with entertainment one evening by "caroling". Absolutely hysterical !!!! And of course the emphasis of the excursions was on the Christmas markets in each port. Excursions: Cannot say enough about quality of tour guides, tour buses used, itinerary, etc. Again, this cruise had a special theme so no doubt excursions in the same towns and cities another time of the year are going to differ. AmaWaterways provides an incredible choice of INCLUDED excursions - high quality ones in fact. Sometimes there was one offered for those who just wanted to visit the Christmas Market and perhaps drive through the town seeing points of interest, while offered at the same port was an excursion that included walking and exploring interiors of points of interest and adding the market at the end. In Passau, there were several of included choices, one of which a 2 hour ride into Salzburg and the opportunity to spend approximately 5 hours exploring Salzburg either independently or with a guide and then the return to the ship through the gorgeous snow covered mountains to Linz where the ship had sailed while we were in Salzburg. That excursion was a no-charge. Amazing. A wonderful aspect of Ama excursions is that for almost every one, they provided an option for 2-3 levels of "walkers"...gentle, normal, active. Each level was given their own guide. Again, we found this to be ever so accommodating. Cabin: We had a room with a balcony and french balcony and it was fairly roomy. Even though we rarely used the balcony due to weather, it did provide us with more space in the actual room. Be aware that there is not a lot of useable space underneath the bed for storing actual suitcases that are very deep. Fabulous that they provide a TV that is also a computer with a keyboard. You can pull up your boarding passes for your flight home and it will print directly to the Cruise Director's printer. Same thing for tickets to concerts or whatever extra you might have booked separate from what Ama was offering. Bathroom is decent size and very bright and "new". Beds were comfortable enough. We were well taken care of by the sweet young man in charge of our room - he anticipated our every need. Dining: I rarely eat breakfast but when I was ready mid morning, I could grab a cappuccino from the machine (love!!) and a pastry from the restaurant buffet. We were rarely on the ship during lunch. Dinner was always very good but the best meal we had onboard was definitely at the Chef's Table. And just a tip: one meal at Chef's Table is included, however if you check, there most likely will be another night that they are not booked and you can enjoy a second meal there. Worth checking on! This is the only area that i prefer the ocean over the river cruise. Some nights, we were looking forward to spending at a table with others (no tables for 2) getting to know them and having a very social dinner but most nights we were tired from the day's excursions and would have preferred being able to go to dinner when we wanted, self serve a few items from a buffet, sit just the two of us and spend much less than 2 hours on dinner. That's just a personal preference and it was obvious that most other cruisers wholeheartedly embraced the "dinner experience". We are not wine drinkers so that may be some of the lure and enjoyment for some at dinner and would cause them to want to linger. Just not for us. The Ama Cruise Director for our ship was John Riley and we cannot even come up with words worthy enough to describe this man. How he does it...we just cannot fathom. His attention to detail and organization is just short of being physically and mentally impossible. He lacks in absolutely nothing (unless it's sleep)!! We are certain that our delightful experience on AmaStella can be attributed to his talents and his ability to inspire those who are working with him. He spoils you. Our plane out of Budapest did not depart until 2:00 in the afternoon yet we needed to be out of our cabin by 9:00. We were so warmly encouraged and welcomed to stay in the lounge of the ship by John until we needed to get to the airport. Despite the crew trying to get ready for the next batch of cruisers who were set to arrive at any time, again we were urged to stay onboard and partake of the food being set out for the new group and remain comfortable until it was time to leave. Oh and one most lovely thing...those who were needing taxi service to the airport that day...John personally arranged for a taxi driver to appear at the dock for every single cruiser that needed it and for every single time they needed to depart. We all waited in the lounge and he would announce when each of our taxis had arrived, we would walk off and there were our bags being loaded by the driver. We were the next to the last couple to leave the ship and the entire time we were made to feel more than welcome. So from start to finish this was a lovely, very special experience for us. Will we do it again with AmaWaterways? Absolutely!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
This was my first experience of trying this River cruise and it was also my first Winter time travel which I hate to go during cold weather. I was bit scare at first and a bit of wonder why it too small from the outside but once I went ... Read More
This was my first experience of trying this River cruise and it was also my first Winter time travel which I hate to go during cold weather. I was bit scare at first and a bit of wonder why it too small from the outside but once I went inside, I was shock of how neat and beautiful the it was. The crew did an amazing job of help everyone and cabin room was something that I will never forget. I love the dining room. The River Cruise is not for Teenage or toddler. Activities and Entertainment was not the best but it was nice to have everyone enjoy a little bit but the big way I like about it was the Shore excursions and Ports. The ship did go very smooth and I didn't have no problem sleep. The only disappointment I have it there wasn't no one taking picture just like those on the big ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
After speaking to numerous people, we selected AMAWaterways for our Christmas Markets on the Danube and couldn't have been more happy that we did. There was nothing that I would change. The accommodations were comfortable. The food ... Read More
After speaking to numerous people, we selected AMAWaterways for our Christmas Markets on the Danube and couldn't have been more happy that we did. There was nothing that I would change. The accommodations were comfortable. The food was out of this world. The tours were fabulous and tour guides (except Regensburg) were great. And the Cruise Director Christian was wonderful. So to start - we went over early and spent a few days in Prague prior to the pre-cruise with AMA. We did a tour starting at the hotel and going up to Prague Castle. Then walked down to the Christmas Markets. The QuietVox headphone system was great in hearing the tour guide. Only complaint is that for me the earpiece was too big and hurt my ear - but otherwise great. The tour guide gave us plenty of information - but didn't overwhelm us. Then we left Prague on buses to Nuremberg. They had plenty of buses so that not everybody was sitting on top of each other. We had a guide on the bus that gave us lots of information as we traveled from Prague to Nuremberg. Once we reached Nuremberg, we were let off to enjoy some of the Christmas Market and part of the city for a couple of hours while the buses went to the ship and unloaded our luggage. We met the buses and they dropped us off at the ship where we were greated by the staff with champagne. Our luggage was in the rooms already - but we waited in the lounge until our section was called where we went to the front desk, had our picture taken and given our keys to our room. A room steward then took us to our room, explained everything and left us. We unpacked and went to the restaurant for lunch. Evening we met the staff and had a wonderful first night dinner. Meals on the ship were great. Several options and one thing that was nice was they had a list of allergies and each course showed any allergies for that meal so that you could make sure you wouldn't eat something you shouldn't. The staff remembered your allergies and made sure that they took care of you. Our wait person was Stevan and we LOVED him. Also the wine was continuous. You take one drink and he was there filling your glass back up. Same with water or other drinks you had. The room was BB201 and was spacious and comfortable. If you lifted the bed - the luggage would fit under the bed and gave you more room. Plenty of room to hang clothes and shelves to put non-hanging clothes and other things. Free Wi-Fi was nice. Tours - we really loved the tours. We only had one guide that we thought was lacking - the others were full of information and interestingly. Was surprised about how much I learned about each of these sites we visited. Loved the Christmas Markets. I think Thurn and Taxis was our favorite Christmas Market and Salzburg was our favorite city. Embarkation and Disembarkation was smooth. On ship entertainment was great. One night was decorating the Christmas Tree, one night was former members of the Regensburg Boy's Choir who sung for us for about 30-45 minutes which was great. One night the staff entertained us with Christmas Markets and we understand that was a first - but they said they had a blast and we did too. They really got everybody involved. Highlight was the Illumination Cruise in Budapest. It was COLD but breathtaking to go up on the top and see the buildings lit up. Beautiful. As mentioned - I can' say enough good about this cruise line. The staff was great and I would do this in a heart-beat again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Chose because this line had such good ratings and rankings. After one week on the Christmas market cruise we saw why. Completely blown away by every aspect of this ship and cruise. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and they take all the ... Read More
Chose because this line had such good ratings and rankings. After one week on the Christmas market cruise we saw why. Completely blown away by every aspect of this ship and cruise. Everyone is so friendly and helpful and they take all the stress out of everything. Their pace especially with the excursions is so relaxing. They even provide "gentle tour" for those that prefer a slower pace.The cruise had everything laid out for you and the dining was some of the best we have ever had and we ocean cruise often. I give them an A PLUS on every aspect of this cruise. One of the great things about AMA is there is no extras, no hidden cost whatsoever. There is no doubt that we will cruise with AMA again and I give it my highest recommendation possible. We are so thankful that we chose AMA and cannot thank the entire staff enough. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
This was my first riverboat cruise and it was absolutely fantastic. Everything was perfect, the ship was beautiful and the cabin was great. Loved the entertainment, even the crew sang Christmas Carols one night! The dining was exquisite ... Read More
This was my first riverboat cruise and it was absolutely fantastic. Everything was perfect, the ship was beautiful and the cabin was great. Loved the entertainment, even the crew sang Christmas Carols one night! The dining was exquisite and the waiters certainly looked after any diabetic and allergy concerns. The tours and guides were wonderful. Interesting to see the boat going through the locks. The service was outstanding too. Loved the Welcome and Farewell cocktail parties when the champagne was overflowing! With fewer passengers we certainly felt we were treated like royalty and for sure I would book another cruise with AMA. Perhaps one in September or October would be my choice! Our Cruise Manager was amazing and looked after us very well. Our luggage was always where it should be. We did the extra days in Lucerne and Zurich and again the tours and guides were excellent. An AMA Waterways helped us at Zurich Airport on our departure. When I got home, there was a lovely handwritten postcard from AMA, personally signed by some of our crew favourites! AMAzing holiday and I would give AMA Waterways five stars for everything and would definitely recommend them to one and all. Can't wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
This was the first river cruise for my husband and I. We chose this cruise line because it had received many great reviews and our travel agent strongly recommended them. We were not disappointed! We met the ship in Budapest in the ... Read More
This was the first river cruise for my husband and I. We chose this cruise line because it had received many great reviews and our travel agent strongly recommended them. We were not disappointed! We met the ship in Budapest in the early afternoon after almost twenty-four hours of travel. We were so excited and we were greeted with enthusiasm and kindness. Although we could not go to our rooms, there were sandwiches, drinks, cakes and cookies ready in the lounge. They also had a shuttle bus available for anyone who wanted to explore Budapest for the afternoon. The cruise director, John Riley, was also a wonderful and extremely knowledgeable person. Every port was an adventure and the staff tried to make it a pleasant experience for all the travelers. The Christmas markets were beautiful at night and you had time to really see all the vendors. The meals were amazing with a variety of choices, if you have any diet restrictions. You were never hungry! The room we had with the balcony was perfect. I cannot say enough positives about this Christmas Market cruise. Do not hesitate going because you will cherish every moment. Read Less
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