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47 Amadeus Cruise Reviews

I recently returned from a week long voyage from Basel to Amsterdam on board the Amadeus Silver III. It was a fantastic experience in every way. The staff are exceptional, and seemed very committed to ensuring everyone was happy and ... Read More
I recently returned from a week long voyage from Basel to Amsterdam on board the Amadeus Silver III. It was a fantastic experience in every way. The staff are exceptional, and seemed very committed to ensuring everyone was happy and enjoying the experience. The food was incredible - from the lavish buffets at breakfast and lunch to the beautifully presented multi-course plated dinners in the evening. The featured wines are selected by the sommelier to complement the lunch and dinner and generously poured throughout the service. The itinerary was very interesting starting in Basel and ending n Amsterdam. We had a wonderfully sunny day on the top deck as we sailed through the Rhine Gorge - breathtaking scenery. I have sailed on other River Cruises - also great experiences. We are planning to take our two adults sons and their wives again next Spring. If you're considering a European River Cruise, consider Amadeus. The value and the experience is exceptional! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I would never sail on a Lueftner Amadeus cruise again. No hot water for the shower for 4 of the 6 mornings. Rooms unbearably hot - several of us had to leave the dinner table to cool off outside during meals, despite repeatedly begging ... Read More
I would never sail on a Lueftner Amadeus cruise again. No hot water for the shower for 4 of the 6 mornings. Rooms unbearably hot - several of us had to leave the dinner table to cool off outside during meals, despite repeatedly begging for them to turn down the heat. Always late into port, which meant that our land tours were rushed and cut short. The "hotel" manager was absolutely rude about complaints about the lack of hot water, blaming the passengers for just not knowing how to turn on the water -- and then reversing that and admitting there was a problem with the boiler. The captain - even ruder and more unresponsive - claimed that the lack of hot water was due to the Americans who "ran the water for 10 minutes before getting in the shower." Then when we asked him to repeat that so it could be recorded, denied he said it. Some of the staff were very kind and helpful, but I wouldn't subject myself to another cruise on this line if it were free. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise because we needed a place we had never been and had used the same college to arrange one for us in the past. We embarked in Fiteste, Romania, and disembarked in Vienna for a 9 day, 1200 mile Danube trip in October ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we needed a place we had never been and had used the same college to arrange one for us in the past. We embarked in Fiteste, Romania, and disembarked in Vienna for a 9 day, 1200 mile Danube trip in October 2016. The staff was superb. The rooms comfortable, large, and perfectly maintained. The bathrooms were much larger and easier to use than any boat I had been on. Every day housekeeping cleaned our room between when we started and finished breakfast, leaving darling towel animals on the beds. The balcony doors opened smoothly however it was too cold to leave it open much. The food was well prepared and the service was amazing. The food always looked beautiful, every plate well designed. The food variety seemed to change slightly at different ports. As far as food selection, there was always a choice of meat, fish, or vegetarian. Most fish dishes were pan fried no matter what they called in on the menu. Wine was abundant, no need to bring your own. Breakfast always had fruit, muesli, and yogurt, as well as many cooked dishes and nearly anything custom made. I suspect that each cruise will supply different entertainment, lectures, excursions based on who is organizing it, but as far as the ship goes, it was perfect. I especially liked the staff and the exercise class given by Ileana every morning. I loved the walking deck and walked what seems like several hundred miles during our 9 day trip, each day meeting new people. The deck was comfortable and easy to walk on. I believe the ship was full with 115 passengers but at dinner at least 2 or 3 tables were unused. The lounge could get crowded during a good lecture so go early to get a good seat. The seating was comfortable. There is a little pool on top but never got warmer than 60 degrees so no one used it. Don't expect to get much out of the exercise room either - there are 3 ergometers, old style, one did not work. There is massage and hair dressing on the ship as well as a full bar and small gift shop. At one point we had to walk through two other boats to get to shore, and ours seemed the cleanest. My only advice would be to go downstream not upstream as we did, the trip would be shorter between destinations. There is a lot of emptiness in Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary) but beautiful port cities when you find them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Excellent river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Ship very comfortable, food and staff Excellent. All destinations well worth the visits. Shore guides very knowledgeable. We were very fortunate to have fab weather, which makes all ... Read More
Excellent river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Ship very comfortable, food and staff Excellent. All destinations well worth the visits. Shore guides very knowledgeable. We were very fortunate to have fab weather, which makes all the difference to any holiday. The Gym was very small, but the majority of use were over 60 and not looking for that kind of exercise ! The sun deck had plenty of seating for all passengers, unfortunately we were unable to use this deck foe 3 days, due to low bridges. Service in the restaurant was very good, as was the food. Lunch time was a choice of a snack in the Panorama Bar or 4 courses in the Restaurant - you didn't have to have all the courses. Our only grouse, was the service in the Panorama Bar - very slow indeed. We really enjoyed our trip and would recommend this ship to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This cruise fitted our timetable and needs as seniors. The package was - flights, full board and excursions. Our guide flew with us from Israel to Amsterdam where we got on a bus for a panoramic trip and later on to out embarkation in ... Read More
This cruise fitted our timetable and needs as seniors. The package was - flights, full board and excursions. Our guide flew with us from Israel to Amsterdam where we got on a bus for a panoramic trip and later on to out embarkation in Utrecht. It was smooth. Cabins are small, carpet worn out, not enough sockets (only two) for todays' equipment. Food was plenty and tasty. The service in the dining room was excellent. Other services were good except cleaning the cabin. Shore excursions were too short (1-3 hours). One at least was really bad as it took part on a Sunday morning at 0800 (am) in Koblenz when the city was till fast asleep. The guide, Gady Michaeli was EXCELLENT. Quite a few from the travelers had mobility problems and/or were traveling alone. He did his best to help with grace and understanding. His explanations were accurate, good sense of humor too. While sailing on the Mine the deck was closed due to low bridges which was a bummer, but those bridges are old... All in all it was a satisfactory cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My wife and I decided to start our vacation with the Luftner option to visit Prague before our cruise. We arrived at the Luftner selected Prague Hotel and was immediately disappointed that there was no Luftner representative. Instead, the ... Read More
My wife and I decided to start our vacation with the Luftner option to visit Prague before our cruise. We arrived at the Luftner selected Prague Hotel and was immediately disappointed that there was no Luftner representative. Instead, the hotel staff told us to read the message taped to the desk in the hall way. The message told us that we would have dinner catered by the hotel later in the day. The next day we would be met by a tour guide to see the sights of Prague. The note also told us to be ready for pickup the following day. Obviously, we (about 19 option takers) were very disappointed that there was no Luftner representative to answer questions about the cruise and excursions. Some of the people were supposed to be pick up at the airport but they had to get there own taxi so they could not resolved this issue. After Prague, we traveled to our ship. Our room was okay and the climate control work efficiently to our satisfaction. The dining area was offen warm and uncomfortable at times. Meals: Came with beverage of your choice including house red or white wine for lunch and dinner Breakfast - buffet with the option to order omelettes or eggs prepared to your liking. No real complaint except it became rather boring. Lunch - salad and soup was buffet style but the entree came separately. Entrees were either a small portion of fish or meat with very little seasoning. Salad and soup were very good but the entree was a hit or miss depending on flavor, dryness, or likeability. Dinner - all came with appetitizer, soup, entree, and dessert. The appetitizer was very small and not typically what Americans find palatable. The entrees were very disappointing. You were lucky if you got 2 - 4 ounces of fish or meat. In addition, the entree side item were usually a meager selection of vegetables. In short, you were finished with the entree in 3 to 5 mountful. Most of the entrees were a miss because of the lack of flavor, dryness or being cold. An example was our last night dinner which was surf and turf. The entree consisted of 1 medium shrimp on 2 ounce piece of fillet mignon. Dessert for the most part were good. Entertainment was provided by a electronic piano player/singer and a female singer. They were average for entertainment and not very memorable. The Hungarian folk dancers on the last day were really good but most of us were downstairs packing. Service - our waiter was simply terrible. Our waiter had a vague knowledge of food we were being served. At times he would have to look at the menu to see what the options were. One example, the menu called a type of fish by a unknown name. When we asked the waiter what type of fish is being serve, he told us at the table it was salmon. When it arrive, we all knew it wasn't salmon. We had to call the Matre de to straighten our entree selections. Another time, the dessert was not appetizing for a few on at the table. I noticed at another table, they has the same problem with dessert and asked for and received ice cream. When we asked our waiter, he told us it was not on the menu. When we pointed to the other table, he got indignant and went to see about getting us ice cream. He never returned so I asked the Matre de and he gave us some ice cream. Our assistant server on the other hand was exceptional! I have to say all the rest of the waiters seemed to be very good with smiles on their face at all times and very helpful so I would say our table was just unlucky. Ports and Shore Excurions - we selected Luftner because of their flexibility in selecting excursions. Most of the excursions were very good like the concert program but a few were mediocre in that we were alway rushed and did not have sufficient time to see or do the thing we would have like to do. We did have one very bad excursion...Vienna at Night. The excursion consisted of a visit to a wine garden to sample a red and white wine. The group was given an hour and 45 minutes to enjoy ourselves. However, the wines were poor quality and the side bread came with unappetizing spreads and it was also a hot and buggy night. After an hour, our group told the tour guide we would like to leave. She tried to call the bus driver but he did not answer his phone so we all walked up and down the street looking at closed shops until the time to leave. The bus driver still did not arrive until 20 minutes after the designated time. The rest of the evening was spent on the bus as the guide pointed out some landmarks. Do not waste your money on this excursion. Do not be pulled in by the enticing write up. In short, my wife and I decided not to go on another river cruse. Hindsight, we should have selected a river cruise catered especially to American. Maybe the food and entertainment would have been better. This cruise line is cheaper but it can nickel and dime you as you pay for extras...wifi, beer, soda, bikes. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My friend and I were asked to be joint "faculty hosts" for one of the universities sponsoring this very elegant and educational tour of Europe, via the Danube and Rhine rivers. This was a great opportunity, and we enjoyed ... Read More
My friend and I were asked to be joint "faculty hosts" for one of the universities sponsoring this very elegant and educational tour of Europe, via the Danube and Rhine rivers. This was a great opportunity, and we enjoyed "hosting" and cruising with the people of our university, as well as many of the other travelers. We arrived in Budapest two days before the cruise began, and thoroughly enjoyed touring this beautiful, friendly city. Most of the passengers arrived on Friday, and were brought straight from the airport to the ship. The instant the first bus load arrived, the dining room doors swung open, and lunch was served. We had arrived a couple hours earlier than the others, to confer with the travel directors on board. Even though we arrived early, there were ship staff members waiting on the dock, taking charge of our luggage, and seeing to our every question or request. They were entirely professional, warm, welcoming, and efficient. The ship was still in the process of being cleaned, so we waited in the lobby, and were treated most graciously. At the end of the cruise, the leave-taking was quite smooth and efficient, as well, with staff helping with luggage, and announcing the various taxis and rides as they arrived. Our stateroom was beautiful and designed with every comfort, and every inch put to excellent use. The bathroom was small, of course, but I am a Large Person, and I was completely comfortable with it. There were upper and lower shelves, with plenty of space for all our "stuff." There is space for one suitcase under each bed (standard for cruises), but I had brought a third, bringing gifts for family, and consumables for us. We stowed it between the beds, and gave it away to an appreciative nephew when we got to Vienna three days later!! Very Important Point: Each stateroom had its own thermostat, and could be adjusted to suit the occupants. This is a most proFOUND boon for middle-aged women!!!! :~) The ship was beautifully decorated, and very clean. Very comfortable. The bar was pretty much always open, so far as I could tell. Morning, well into the night, certainly. The dining room was elegant, the service was smooth as glass, and the food was phenomenal. Not only was it beautiful, and professionally served, it was nutritionally balanced. And the portions were well-defined. This was, by and large, an older group of travelers (primarily 60s, 70s 80s, and folks our ages predictably eat less than younger crowds, perhaps. There was always plenty, and there was always somewhere on board to get coffee and a small snack if you wanted it. At mealtimes, there were always choices, including a vegetarian choice, and usually two meat-inclusive entrees. The dessert choices always included a small fruit plate with a bit of cheese. Very Continental, and very delicious. Others have noted the breakfast buffet, the choice of lunch in the dining room or in the lounge, and the single seating for dinner. These were all presented graciously and with ease. There was a separate person serving drinks, and the beer and wine flowed freely at mealtimes. Constantly. Without charge. :~) I do not drink alcohol, and I am all-too-familiar with the state of inebriation of those around me. (There's a reason it is sometimes called "getting stupid".., but I digress....Nobody got stupid on this cruise!) After the second or third day, it occurred to me that, even though the bar staff was constantly refilling all the glasses before anyone even noticed how much they had consumed, no one EVER even appeared to be drunk. A bit of sleuthing revealed that they were serving European wines, often from the areas through which we were passing, and the alcohol content is generally lower than wines here in the States. Everyone enjoyed the wines and beers greatly, and no one complained about them not being potent enough! They were most complimentary, as a matter of fact. And no one had a hangover, either! A remarkable feat!! What this cruise does NOT have, is the flagrant abuse and waste of food, piling it on buffets and serving great gobs of it at all hours. (I can't STAND that!!) There were cookie snacks at the little tea area, and snacks in the bar area, but we were so well-fed, that I didn't ever see anyone eating extra. Not saying that someone DIDN'T, but they didn't do it in front of me. The Kitchen staff prepared special treats for birthdays, anniversaries, and, on this trip, a national holiday. On the Fourth of July, we were treated to an enormous and delicious cake in honor of American Independence. I have enjoyed three previous cruises: Disney, out of Cape Canaveral, Viking, on the Yangtze in China, and Holland America on the Inside Passage in Alaska. The Amadeus cruise handled the food service more to my liking than any of the others. Portions, nutrition, presentation, variety - - all, the very best. Each afternoon, just before dinner, the travelers gathered in the lounge to hear about the activities and plans for the following day. Members of the staff reviewed the goings-on of the day and the morrow, and any questions were answered. Upon occasion, this was the point of locating people who had not, apparently, returned to the ship. You had to turn in your room key as you left, for the purposes of letting the staff know when you returned, and not losing the beautiful, tasseled key. If your key was still at the front desk, a call went out, and scouts were dispatched, to try to locate the missing persons before the ship sailed. Most days there was no call, but a couple of times, people were missing. Since the next boat in is pretty much waiting for the dock space, there is considerable pressure to leave on time!! When the travelers were gathering in the lounge for the "port talks," the ship's musicians would perform to entertain the waiting crowd. I am a professional musician myself (Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Piano), and I enjoyed visiting with the pianist and vocalist there. Any time there was "dead air" where travelers gathered, they would not hesitate to provide background music, although they kept an analytical eye as to how well their efforts were being received - - too loud? Too soft? Too Rock? Too old? They enjoyed performing, and were very well trained and capable. They used their best judgment as to music that would be appreciated by the audience, and, I believe, did a very good job of that. Also, in the lounge, after dinner, there would be a few games to enjoy as a group. I actually only went for those one night, but was sorry I had not gone more often. It was HILARIOUS!! As I mentioned earlier, we were, for the most part, OLD, so we went to bed fairly early. In my opinion, the staff - - tour directors, musicians, all, did a fine job of judging what would be well-received by the group. How to describe the "service." ....... Embarkation, disembarkation, luggage, food, all just excellent. Laundry? There was no do-it-yourself, and there were no irons in the rooms. My clothing came out of the suitcase in bad need of ironing. There was a note that said to put things that needed pressing into "this" plastic bag, and leave it on your bed; that the staff would try to have it back to you within 24 hours. I saw this about the time we were to go to the dining room, so I just grabbed all my dresses, skirts, tops, ALL, and crammed them into the plastic bag. Then we went to dinner. Then we came back from dinner. ALL MY CLOTHES were hanging, beautifully pressed, on the door of the closet!!! It was MAGIC!!! The first night, I rinsed out my undies in the bathroom and hung them in the shower to dry. It was fine, but just aggravating to have to do. After the good result with the pressing, I decided to try the laundry. BINGO!!! Dirties OUT! Cleanies IN! In such a brief period of time. I couldn't believe it!!!! I DO love to have things done for me!!! (I wasn't RAISED lazy; I've had to learn it on my own!!!) Which brings us to the subject of the hair salon. The young woman who staffed the small gift shop in the lobby, was also the hair dresser. I decided I just didn't want to mess with doing my own hair, so I inquired and made an appointment with her. The little room containing the "salon" was at one far end of the boat, near the "library." I dragged off down there at the appointed time, and what a surprise!!! The washing basin was exactly like the washing basins in typical US shops, EXCEPT THAT you could sit straight up and just rest your neck and head on the rim of the basin. No scrunching down in a chair while water (and shampoo!!) run everywhere!! And she (the hair dresser) could stand up straight, as well. No ruining her back, either. Her English was excellent (I think she was Hungarian, but I may be wrong about that), she was charming, and her work was superb. I had a total of three appointments on the trip, and consider it the best money I spent!!! Shore excursions were a major plus with this company. They were all included in the price of the trip (as was airfare), so people did not get fleeced by "bargains" at the port. Almost always, there were three choices for excursions. Sometimes only two, but mostly three. Most choices of excursions were made before the trip started, but the tour directors did everything in their power to change your enrollment if you had decided you wanted to do something different. These excursions were tremendous bargains, when you did the math. About the only thing I heard that someone did not get to do, was the tour of the galley kitchen, and perhaps a tour of the bridge. Those were much in demand, and very limited in number of participants. One point worth contemplating. Most of these excursions require a great deal of walking. I am not able to walk very vigorously or far. It would have been a tremendous boon if the ship had had a golf cart or something similar, to get from the boat to the city streets. In many towns there are taxis, or the pedi-cabs, or just walking and resting on benches, as best one can. But even those are difficult if you wear yourself out, getting up off the dock to the historical areas. DO NOT BE DISTRACTED!!! I LOVED this cruise, even if I had to miss a few things. I saw LOTS and LOTS of things. And I thoroughly enjoyed staying on the boat, resting, reading, or just contemplating the shore, where people were camping or picnicking. The "French balcony" was a great pleasure, especially lowering the big window and listening to the beautiful song birds, and watching the water birds - - ducks, geese, swans - - enjoying the water. That was a real vacation!! Such a pleasure!!! Never too much of that!!! A word about "enrichment activities." There were four major universities that had "hosts" on board for their contingent. (Several other universities were represented, but had only one or two couples in the group. No hosts from them!!) Each Faculty Host was responsible for giving two "academic" type talks. On this ship, each of the four presenters was well-prepared, thoroughly knowledgeable, and very effective. Virtually the entire tourist group attended each of the talks. I was impressed. One more item under the subject of "service." Like a lot of other 70-year-olds, I have a few medical prescriptions that keep me going. Skipping unnecessary detail, I arrived on the boat missing one prescription that helps keep my chronic atrial fibrillation under control. When I realized this loss, I had four days' supply remaining. No time to panic, but also, no time to waste! A futile several hours attempting to locate someone in the medical practice in North Carolina, was a big waste of time. I went to our (Russian) tour director, Sergei. I am told that the meaning of this Russian name is, "shepherd," or "protector." Well, he certainly was!!! He assured me this was no problem, they have a connection with an English-speaking medical clinic that is open on Saturday mornings. He would have a taxi waiting for me the next morning, to go to that clinic. AHA!!! I said - - This needs to be a taxi large enough to accommodate ME (Large Person) comfortably!!! (Cabs in NYC have gotten so small it's ridiculous, but I have gotten familiar with Uber!!!) No problem, according to Sergei!!! It will be a good size! AHA!!! I said - - it needs to have AIR CONDITIONING!!! GOOD air conditioning!! Ambient heat makes me nauseous!! (The weather in Budapest was blistering hot at that point...) NOT TO WORRY, says Sergei!! It will be fine!!!! I was still having little "dreads" the next morning, but when the taxi arrived, it was a Mercedes Benz SUV!!!! The lengthy drive over into Buda (the port is in Pest), gave us another good look at this beautiful city, and a visit with a charming and knowledgeable driver. The clinic staff was totally reassuring. The physician and nurse did a thorough "new patient" intake on me. Totally professional, and totally darling, all at the same time. I left with a prescription in my hand, and a smile on my face. This clinic was in a "shopping center." Rather than the strip malls or boundless covered malls we know, this "shopping center" was in one building, straight up. Different stores on different levels. My companion was able to acquire several items we needed to get for our room, and I was able to have the prescription filled at the small pharmacy on another level. WIN-WIN-WIN!! Our driver had waited for us, and was right outside the door when we emerged. We heard of a couple other medical situations on the cruise, and that the staff handled them ably and immediately. There was only one young person on the trip, a young man who turned 16 during the cruise. He was everyone's favorite, loved to play shuffleboard and got most people to play with him. There were no small children, nor were there any accommodations for them, such as play areas, or special activities. I'm pretty sure Amadeus does not advertise for children. Would I go again? Yes, Yes, and Yes. I was delighted with each of the towns and cities we visited, with Amsterdam crowning the experience as the final port. However, what I am more interested in, rather than to repeat this cruise, would be to find another Amadeus cruise and enjoy different places. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was my first river cruise. I had no idea what to expect. I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed my time. The Amadeus Silver II was very nice and the staff was more than helpful and accommodating. We were part of a larger group on ... Read More
This was my first river cruise. I had no idea what to expect. I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed my time. The Amadeus Silver II was very nice and the staff was more than helpful and accommodating. We were part of a larger group on board. Some of the members of my group were very particular (to say the least) on what they would eat.. ie... no gluten, no sugar, no artificial anything... They mostly ate omelets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kudos to the staff for being able to handle them! If I worked on board I would have been fired! As for the rooms.. my only complaint was that the twin beds were narrower than a standard twin bed and therefore I was fearful of turning over and falling out. The rooms could have had a better layout. ie.. getting rid of the build in desk and nightstand. The bathroom was clean and spacious with a walk in shower with both a shower head and a hand held shower. The features were very modern. Food on board was delicious. Open seating for breakfast and lunch with assigned table for dinner. Two options for lunch.. either a light lunch in the panoramic deck or a sit down lunch in the dining room. Dinner was served around 7-730 with 1 seating. Some cruisers thought this was too late. For me it was just right most of the time. Optional excursions that were included were in my opinion a waste of time. They hired local guides who really guided the group to what they thought was interesting. If you have a copy of Rick Steve with you, you will do much better on his walking tours. The optional paid for excursions.. well, what can I say... your $ gave you the transportation and price of admission... On board activities were limited to a gym, shuffleboard and nightly entertainment (usually from the tour operator). The staff did put on a comedy show which was absolutely hilarious so Kudos to them. We did run into a bit of trouble once leaving Austria headed to Prague... The Danube was too high to continue.. the boat was unable to pass under some bridges. Our captain made a great call. Unfortunately, we had to disembark in Austria and drive 4.5 hrs by bus to Prague. The tour operator paid for this as well as a group dinner. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The Amadeus Royal is a mid-sized riverboat that has been kept in amazing shape. Everything was clean, recently painted and the crew was very attentive and fun to be around. The ship holds approximately 120 passengers and has a crew of ... Read More
The Amadeus Royal is a mid-sized riverboat that has been kept in amazing shape. Everything was clean, recently painted and the crew was very attentive and fun to be around. The ship holds approximately 120 passengers and has a crew of 40. She has a 1.4 meter draft and was able to make it up river to Passau when the larger boats (1.6 meter draft boats) had to turn back or transfer to a smaller boat. The only port we could not make to was Regensburg and Lueftner Cruises chartered a bus and bused us upriver (1.5 hours) and bought us lunch. The Amadeus Royal is available for charter and the tour group we were with, chartered the entire boat, so the tour company (Alki Tours) took care of all shore side activities (and did a great job!). The weather was perfect so most people spent a lot of time topside. But during evening the lounge could accommodate all 120 of us but it was a bit crowded. The food was good, but dinner usually took 2 hours to complete. The breakfast buffet was pretty much the same everyday but you could order off the menu for some variety. The whole crew and especially the cruise director (Andrea) did a great job making sure everything was to our liking. It was a wonderful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
For August 2015, we booked a 14-day cruise through Gate 1 on Luftner’s Amadeus Silver from Amsterdam to Budapest. Because of low water, the first 5 days were a bus tour and we boarded the ship in Passau. This review is not about the ... Read More
For August 2015, we booked a 14-day cruise through Gate 1 on Luftner’s Amadeus Silver from Amsterdam to Budapest. Because of low water, the first 5 days were a bus tour and we boarded the ship in Passau. This review is not about the substituted bus tour (which I will address in a separate posting). This review solely presents my comments and opinions about the 9-day cruise on the Danube from Passau to Budapest. This was our 54th cruise, but only our 3rd cruise on a small riverboat. It is a given that riverboats do not have the amenities and choices that are available on the ocean cruises, but this cruise was the least nice of all our preceding 51 ocean cruises and 2 river cruises. The cabin was fine in all respects. The temperature control for both cooling and heating was the best we ever had on any ship. We could make the room as cool or as warm as we wanted. Cabin size was 172 square feet, which I consider average. We upgraded to a French balcony, but realized during the cruise that this was a waste of money. While the novel power-operated window worked properly, and a French balcony is an interesting concept, we soon learned that we did not to open a cabin-wide window to hot air, humidity, bugs, etc. On a real balcony, you can sit outside with the door closed, which is not the case for a French balcony. The ship’s public areas were okay but not as fancy as on our two previous river cruises. Riverboats have few amenities compared with ocean-going ships and therefore cannot be compared with them. The Amadeus Silver’s public areas were nice, but not as nice as we experienced with Viking River Cruises or on any other ship. The food was wholesome and nicely presented. However, the value and selection of cuts and available food items were well below all of our previous 53 cruises. The breakfast offerings were unremarkable and seemed to be the same every day except for one item. The dinner offerings did not include any nice cuts of beef or lamb. The food was tasty for sure but no more than minimally adequate, and only 2- to 3-star value at best, and not the 5-stars we have always received in the past. The dining room seemed understaffed and the servers overworked. Service was unusually slow most nights. Two of the evening dinners were buffet style for which we had to serve ourselves. We never experienced this for dinner on any of our 53 prior cruises. This is not what a 4- or 5-star cruising should be about! For three of the nine days (33.3%), we were docked more than an hour away from where we wanted to be. For Vienna, we docked in Nussdorf, a distant suburb of Vienna. As written in the Luftner daily program, to reach Vienna one had to walk about 20 minutes along the river, then walk 200 meters from a bicycle store to a tunnel, then through the tunnel to Nussdofer Platz, and then to the nearest tram stop. When we add the time waiting for the next tram, and the tram ride into the city, this trip took approximately 1 hour 10 minutes for just one direction. To my count, there were 3 boats (two of Luftner’s) docked in distant Nussdorf, and 13 boats docked in Downtown Vienna. It turns out that (per a posted sign) Luftner owns the Nussdorf pier and property. Instead docking in Downtown Vienna, Luftner docks in the remote suburb of Nussdorf. This is cheap, cheap, cheap, and very inconvenient for ship passengers!!! Luftner Corporate later wrote me that Nussdorf is a prime location because of its proximity to the wine areas. In my opinion, that is not true from a practical perspective. To get to the wine villages, we had travel into Vienna to board the hop-on/hop-off bus going to the wine area. Docking in Nussdorf is cheap and undesirable. I suggest that you search the Internet for the Nussdorf dock and/or Vienna docking and see what other people are saying. Absolutely no one we spoke with on the ship wanted to be docked in Nussdorf. The onboard entertainment consisted of a female singer and her accompanying pianist. They were okay. Local entertainment was only brought on board for one of the nine nights. This was the worst quality entertainment offerings we have ever experienced in 54 cruises. This Luftner Amadeus Silver cruise had the lowest quality and value when compared to all of our 53 prior cruises. Overall, I rate the cruise we experienced to be about 2 to 3 stars, and the distant docking to be a terrible 0 stars. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The tour guides in our first port called Amadeus Silver/lueftner cruises/Amadeus the McDonald's of river cruises. With an open mind i could not disagree with them..The meals were just adequate a lot of french fries, motel stile buffet ... Read More
The tour guides in our first port called Amadeus Silver/lueftner cruises/Amadeus the McDonald's of river cruises. With an open mind i could not disagree with them..The meals were just adequate a lot of french fries, motel stile buffet breakfast right down to the paper napkins, Lunch was a treat. Entertainment the same duo every night, the were good. Little or no activities on board, the crew was great. Disembarkation was easy , you must be off the ship by 8:30am, no exceptions. The Ship is a couple of years old and is starting to show some ware , carpets etc. The cabins was nice and the drop down window was great except 50% of the time in port there was another ship beside you completely obstructing your view even in our top deck room. The Low water on the river will force lueftner cruises to cancel or force the passengers on to buses for 5 or 6 days , a real nightmare. lueftner cruises does not have the amount of ships on the river to switch ships as other larger operators will do.. Summary:The Cruise was a great value lowest rates on the river, under $100 per day. The crew and tour representatives were great they really try with what was available to them.. lueftner cruises had there hands tied, penny pinching to keep the overhead down and profit up. Hey McDonald's is not all that bad. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We booked the Amsterdam to Budapest 14 night Cruise departing 9 August 2015 on Amadeus Silver. On the way to the airport for an LA stopover of 2 nights we were advised that the first 5 days of the Cruise would be 'on land' as ... Read More
We booked the Amsterdam to Budapest 14 night Cruise departing 9 August 2015 on Amadeus Silver. On the way to the airport for an LA stopover of 2 nights we were advised that the first 5 days of the Cruise would be 'on land' as the Rhine river levels were too low. Also that we could 'cancel' but if we accepted the changed itinerary there would be no further compensation. Of course, there was no choice. So for five days we 'cruised' the autobahns in coaches, arriving at hotels late in the evening. When the ship finally departed Passau we found it cruised overnight, so no lovely lazy days floating along looking at castles on the hills for us. Paying extra for a suite with a balcony (to enjoy all the lovely passing scenery!) was a waste of money unless wanting to sit outside and watch concrete lock walls at night or reaching out to touch the ship berthed so close alongside you could step over the rail on to it. Lovely ship. Good crew. Included 'excursions' for us involved a lot of 'walking tours'. Finally, we were despatched off the ship by 8.30 am. "at the latest" on the final day, rather than the 9.30 a.m. in our booking. Our overall impression was that the passengers on Luftner are definitely not the priority. If you want a river cruise which lives up to the promotional publicity, don't book Luftner. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Ship is new so I can say that is nice place to stay. Food is very good especially desserts, they are very tasty. Shore excursions are good. Entertainment is also good. There are not to much activities on the ship but I didnt expect it to ... Read More
Ship is new so I can say that is nice place to stay. Food is very good especially desserts, they are very tasty. Shore excursions are good. Entertainment is also good. There are not to much activities on the ship but I didnt expect it to be, It is not ocean cruiser. Very bad hotel service, restaurant vaiters are very slow. I think that they have not enough vaiters, they dont speak German. Captain is very nice person, but hotel manager doesnt know his job. Luggage loading and disembarkation is not good, they just put your luggage outside an somebody could easily steal it. Summary of this ship is if you have patient to wait for your meals and know english language, dont have valuable things in yor luggage it is right cruise ship for you! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This is our second cruise on an Amadeus by Lueftner Cruise ship. This time we did the full Amsterdam to Budapest trip on the Rhine, Main, Main-Danube Canal and finally on the Danube. As background, my wife and I have done about 15 ocean ... Read More
This is our second cruise on an Amadeus by Lueftner Cruise ship. This time we did the full Amsterdam to Budapest trip on the Rhine, Main, Main-Danube Canal and finally on the Danube. As background, my wife and I have done about 15 ocean cruises and are in our 60's. We went with a group of about 50. Most of the other passengers were affiliated with some group. The ship was beautiful with a more modern, clean look. Our cabin was on the second (middle) deck and was well appointed. It was not large but was quite functional with all the storage we needed and a cleverly designed, modern bathroom. The suitcases fit under the comfortable bed. The full length window had a motor that dropped the top halfway down. This made an ideal place to stand and watch the river go by. I much preferred it to the usual sliding glass doors in the absence of a balcony. Given that you only see one side of the river and that the public areas are so nice, I wouldn't upgrade to a true balcony. The staff was made of the hardest working, friendliest people we have experienced on a cruise with the exception of one bartender who could have learned from his colleagues. The hotel director was a most pleasant American who went above and beyond in making sure we were well taken care of. Most of the other staff were Romanian with some waiters from the Philipines. All had good English skills. By the end of the cruise, it all felt like one big family. The wife of one of our waiters, Bradford, gave birth back in the Philipines while we were on the cruise. He was so well liked by our group that we collected a significant contribution for them. The food was, for the most part, very good to excellent. Breakfast was a large buffet with all of the usual items and with eggs and omlets cooked to order. I especially appreciated the smoked salmon and marinated herring. Lunch was either sit-down in the dining room or more informal buffet in the lounge. Dinner was five to six courses with usually a choice of two salads, appetizer, soup, dessert and a meat, fish and vegetarian entree. Regional items were frequent (how can you go to Hungary and not have goulash?). There was always chicken and something else for plain eaters, but why go to Europe if you are not going to try European cuisine? Individual portions were not large, but in sum the meals were quite satisfying. The included regional wines were both good and free flowing. Most of the excursions were included; we went on three optional ones. The use of the audiovox system is a real plus. You don't have to crowd around the guide. American excursions should adopt it. All of the guides were local; most were really good and even outstanding. One needed work on her tour skills, but the tour was still fun. For the most part, there was enough time to explore on our own and have a glass of local beer or wine. Thankfully we had no forced stops at gift shops as happens on so many cruise tours. This was port intensive with stops in cities including Cologne, Vienna, and Budapest, but our favorite stops were in the smaller towns like Bamberg, Rudesheim, Wertheim and Rothenberg. We will admit, though, that we became a little Baroque church and castle fatigued. But the best part was cruising on the river, watching the vineyards, castles and hamlets unfold around the bend. I was surprised at how pastoral the scenery was. I was expecting more industrial development along the rivers, but there wasn't much. June proved to be a good time to go. Temperatures were in the 60's with occassional 70's. Some rain but not enough to stop anything. And plenty of water in the rivers thus avoiding the problems that all of the cruise lines experienced later in the season. Our favorite ocean cruise has been on Celebrity to the Norwegian fjords. This trip would rank right up there with that. We would chose this line again for our next river cruise for its food, service, ship and value. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The Amadeus Royal is an old cruise boat that has been recently renovated. However it falls short of being described as luxurious. The cabins are small. It was good to be able to get fresh air, but the "French balcony" was only a ... Read More
The Amadeus Royal is an old cruise boat that has been recently renovated. However it falls short of being described as luxurious. The cabins are small. It was good to be able to get fresh air, but the "French balcony" was only a small sliding window less than a metre wide. The main lounge had very uncomfortable seating. There were some armchairs but not enough for all guests. The restaurant was located at the stern of the boat and it was necessary to walk down a corridor past cabins. Every morning the housekeeping trolley and vacuum cleaner were cluttering this corridor before and during breakfast. Water, tea and coffee were only available at meal times and had to be paid for at other times. We were fortunate to be able to use the upper deck in good weather. If it had rained the lounge was crowded and uncomfortable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
First of all, the food was great at lunch and dinner. Breakfast was the same everyday. Dining room service was exceptional. Our room (Mozart Suite) was large enough with great windows. The air conditioning on the entire ship struggled when ... Read More
First of all, the food was great at lunch and dinner. Breakfast was the same everyday. Dining room service was exceptional. Our room (Mozart Suite) was large enough with great windows. The air conditioning on the entire ship struggled when temps got above 80 outside. The two twin beds pushed together were not connected (constantly pushing apart) and were very short. Not comfortable at all for someone 6'+. Overall, the ship looked run down compared to others we saw on the rivers. The top deck is under utilized. The itinerary had two good stops (Chalon sur Saone, and Avignon). The rest were weak. The excursions were very weak and since the average age of guests was 70+, they moved very slowly. The front desk and cruise director were not knowledgeable about the cities along the way. It was our first river cruise, it was relaxing and very scenic. We had perfect weather which allowed us to stay on top a lot. If it had been rainy weather this would have been a miserable week, stuck inside the ship. Stay longer in Lyon up front or on the back end as it was the best city of all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We took two river cruises (back to back), the first week was with Amadeus Diamond and the second week with Amadeus Symphony. Upon disembarked from Diamond, we took a train from Paris to Lyon and noticed our IPAD was missing. Luckily we ... Read More
We took two river cruises (back to back), the first week was with Amadeus Diamond and the second week with Amadeus Symphony. Upon disembarked from Diamond, we took a train from Paris to Lyon and noticed our IPAD was missing. Luckily we had email contact and informed them that it's likely we left the IPAD in the Cabin. Check-in with Symphony was efficient and organized. While unpacking in Symphony, the cruise staff told us that they found our IPAD and had made arrangement sending to Lyon. This demonstrates their top-notch customer services. All in all we had a wonderful time throughout, the foods and services are second to none. Lyon old town is very beautiful - 2000-year-old city, designated as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Beanune and Burguny wine regions were the highlight of this trip. Avignon in Provence, is a historic Old Town. We strolled through the historic center and Palais des Papes. We also joined the excursion to Pont du Gard - very impressive architectural structure built sometime in the 1st century by Romans. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We wanted to see parts of Europe we had not spent much time in and a river cruise on such an historic waterway intrigued us. We picked a time of year when we thought the weather would be comfortable and the river water level would not be ... Read More
We wanted to see parts of Europe we had not spent much time in and a river cruise on such an historic waterway intrigued us. We picked a time of year when we thought the weather would be comfortable and the river water level would not be too low or too high. We thought going downstream would mean the engines would not have to work as hard and thus would be more quiet. Our planning worked fine and we had a lovely trip We learned much about the history of church and state along the way and were amazed by the reconstruction done after the war. Passau cathedral is wonderful. The high water marks on the buildings show the history of flooding over many hundreds of years. The boat was in excellent condition and the staff very helpful. Food service was very good. We enjoyed the excursions and city tours and made friends we still cherish. I believe you will find this cruise delightful, especially Budapest which is amazing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We travelled with a Gate 1 arranged river cruise on the Amadeus Royal on the Danube from Nuerenberg to Budapest this year. Gate one arranged cruises are cheaper than others, and there is a reason for it. The ships they use (from Lueftner, ... Read More
We travelled with a Gate 1 arranged river cruise on the Amadeus Royal on the Danube from Nuerenberg to Budapest this year. Gate one arranged cruises are cheaper than others, and there is a reason for it. The ships they use (from Lueftner, in our case) are older, in need of modernization, not as attractive an interior, old carpet, tired looking cabins, almost no space for your clothes, etc. This was our first Gate one arranged trip and our last. We will not travel with them again...and we cruise several times a year. For example, the promised internet worked intermittently, more often not. It never worked when underway, and frequently didn't work even in port. No excuse for that. Be wary of the cabin you get! The room we booked was a mid category, but we were shortchanged. The room itself was smaller than the others in the same category and the window was 25% smaller than others in the same category. When we complained to the Gate 1representatives on board, they shrugged their shoulders and told us to contact our travel agent. When we complained to the Lueftner front desk, they said that it wasn't their problem, it was a Gate 1 issue. After NUMEROUS letters, Gate 1 offered us $50 total refund, after paying more than $6000! We wanted the $500 upgrade fee we had paid to be returned, since we didn't have a truly upgraded cabin. If we had known what we were getting, we would have booked alternate dates, or in retrospect, with a different company. But they were not honest with us from the beginning with their description of the cabin. The room was immediately adjacent to the kitchen door, which was used by the crew 24 hours a day. When I say used, I mean slammed. No sleep for the first 3 nights. I complained the first night, and was told that it was in my imagination, that at 2 am there were no crew members going through the door. The next night, at 1 am, I went out into the hallway and saw the back of the crew member who had just gone through and slammed the door. I went up to the desk in my p.j.s to complain. To no avail. It wasn't until the next night's early morning wake up call and the arrival of the chief of the hotel for the shipping line, that something was finally done. He was great and finally solved the problem! The crew was forbidden to use the door after 10 pm. The rest of the trip I was able to sleep through the night. AVOID that cabin at all costs. The only bright spot was some of the Luftner's actual crew members (not the Gate 1 representatives, who were more interested in flirting with the crew members than taking care of the passengers and not particularly the Lueftner front desk staff who were flirting with the Gate 1 reps). The waiters, bar tenders, and cabin stewards were as good as any I have seen. The food ranged from very good to mediocre. No way to predict which evening meals would be good and which not. The port stops were fine. No complaints there. In summary, it depends on what is important to you: service and comfort or a cheap cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We traveled from Amsterdam to Basil with a tour group, and were not given an opportunity to specifically book our cabin. We booked a Category 4 room. We were given room #234, next to the engine room. The noise was deafening and the ... Read More
We traveled from Amsterdam to Basil with a tour group, and were not given an opportunity to specifically book our cabin. We booked a Category 4 room. We were given room #234, next to the engine room. The noise was deafening and the vibration was huge. The ship traveled upstream and was at full throttle some nights. Even when it was traveling at normal speed throughout the night, there was a great deal of noise and vibration making it nearly impossible to sleep. Items literally vibrated off the counters. At times, we felt that we were vibrating off the bed! We could not hear any of the captains announcements, and that was when the boat was at a slower speed. One day, our room was filled with the odor of fuel oil, which remained in the room for several hours. The ship was fully booked, with no available cabins for us to move to. Of great concern to us, was the fact that the crew (captain, hotel manager, housekeeper and bartender) were all aware that this room was a "problem". We were told that they usually "have to move people from this room" on every cruise. The rest of the ship was beautiful. The food was wonderful. The staff were great and the itinerary was fantastic. Unfortunately, we missed 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches and excursions due to falling asleep after the ship docked. We also went through our days often feeling ill and sleep deprived. Room #234 should not be assigned during trips upstream and particularly not in the price category and without letting guests know about the noise. This should have been the "trip of a lifetime" and we are very disappointed that we were unable to fully enjoy it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was a very pleasant week cruising up and down-river from Lyon on a riverboat which could hold 140 passengers but carried only about 50 during the week. This made the public areas such as the lounge and the dining room less than ... Read More
This was a very pleasant week cruising up and down-river from Lyon on a riverboat which could hold 140 passengers but carried only about 50 during the week. This made the public areas such as the lounge and the dining room less than half-full, resulting in better service and more enjoyable surroundings, and allowing getting on and off the boat and shore excursions to be less crowded and hectic. The boat is not as fancy as some I have seen, nor does it need to be. The cabin was very comfortable and everything worked fine. I should note that I was on the bottom deck, and one could notice the noise going through the water, and at night going through the many locks there were a number of bumps and thumps. I was sorry that I could not lie on my bed and watch the world go by through my large window as it was at a higher level. There was a sun deck where one could sit and enjoy the passing scenery, but it was often closed as the boat went under so many low bridges; in fact, during the week there was only one afternoon where I was able to take advantage of the sun deck. The food on the boat was much better than I had expected, mainly French cuisine, but with some other options, especially pasta options. Dinner was a leisurely 5-6 course served affair with complimentary wine and beer (the same house wine all week) served at one sitting at 7:30 or so. The menu, while slightly limited, was quite sufficient with the exception of usually no dinner salad offered. Lunch was served either in the dining room or in the lounge. In the dining room there was a buffet with soup and a great selection of salads and a couple of beginners and desserts, and then you ordered and they brought the main course. In the lounge (with luncheon piano playing) there was a buffet with a limited selection of salad makings, soup, and a couple of hot dishes. Wine at lunch was not complimentary. The ship had one Provincial Buffet lunch in the lounge that was superb with free wine. It included local specialties of mussels, sausage, cheese, and French desserts. They also served a nightly snack every night. There were two receptions with champagne and snacks. Entertainment on the boat consisted of a musical couple. He played piano, flute and accordion; she sang and played the violin. They were really quite good and very entertaining and there was nightly dancing and a couple of trivia-type contests. If you told the piano player you liked a particular song (in my case "Lily Marlene" that became your theme song and you heard it every time you came into the lounge. There were some great shore excursions, usually one in the morning and one in the afternoon, timed so that you were on the boat for lunch, which was never included in the excursions. Trips included scenic rides in the countryside and to quaint villages or historic chateaux or wine tastings as well as guided city walks. Private radio listening devices were provided. Transportation by comfortable bus was provided. I felt that the excursions were good, but slightly overpriced by perhaps 20%, especially since usually no food or drink was provided except at one wine tasting. The city walking tours were not really necessary as the ship provided a local map for personal touring. The ship did have a workout room with two machines and a hair-dresser salon and a small shop selling souvenir items. Everything on the boat was great until the final day. I do not fault the boat for arriving back to Lyon delayed by a number of hours due to lock traffic, and they took action to offload most of the passengers earlier in the morning along the way so they could take a bus to the airport for their flights. However, when we arrived at the dock in Lyon there were nine persons with baggage waiting in the entryway to get off via the one narrow brow (gangway). For some reason, the hotel manager went on the dock and started loading on the baggage of, and two dozen embarking passengers, causing confusion and overcrowding in the small entryway. When I suggested that they should let people off first, he brusquely said, "well come on then." Nobody helped me with my bag, so as I trundled it off the boat and went by him he studiously ignored me. Perhaps this is another example of when you leave a cruise they ignore you as they are too busy getting ready for new guests who have not already tipped them. Except for this one sour note, the service and friendliness of the crew and staff was outstanding the entire week. I booked this particular boat/line primarily due to the excellent rate and low single supplement and was completely satisfied with everything. The other similar cruises I had looked at charged a much higher single supplement on a base fare some 30-40% higher.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We booked this trip and it included three nights in Paris and a train ticket to Lyon to board the ship. We have taken 15+ ocean cruises, but this was only our second river cruise. Cabin assignments were not made until we were on the ship! ... Read More
We booked this trip and it included three nights in Paris and a train ticket to Lyon to board the ship. We have taken 15+ ocean cruises, but this was only our second river cruise. Cabin assignments were not made until we were on the ship! Everyone was welcomed and then assigned a cabin. The crew were great! The cabin was satisfactory, a little "dated" and sparse, but very clean. We were on the middle deck and had a large window that opened. The beds were comfortable and there was plenty of storage space. Meals were fine; there was lots of variety at breakfast and they would make eggs to order if you asked. There was not much of a selection at lunch, but you could order a hamburger and fries if you did not like the daily offering. At dinner, there were just two choices of entree. The soups were excellent, and the salads and desserts were good. Red and white wines were served with lunch and dinner, but if you wanted a soft drink, you had to buy one. The ship docked quite near town so it was an easy walk. We took an optional excusion everyday. They were all interesting EXCEPT for the Carmague Nature Preserve. That was a waste of time and money! If you want to see the Carmague wild animals, you need to walk the paths, not ride by in a bus on the highway! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
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