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3 APT Cruise Reviews

October 13th 2018: apt river cruise amersterdam-budapest- 15 nights ama venita. “A glorified bus trip with a gruelling schedule” This apt river cruise should never have left amsterdam. Low levels of water, and continuing good ... Read More
October 13th 2018: apt river cruise amersterdam-budapest- 15 nights ama venita. “A glorified bus trip with a gruelling schedule” This apt river cruise should never have left amsterdam. Low levels of water, and continuing good weather forecasts meant the cruise was doomed for problems, and APT camouflaged the issue, well knowing the cruise schedule was going to be significantly affected Apt river cruising -5 freedom principles applies-, none of which occurred on this journey-, began on saturday october 13th, with the ama venita boarded by 164 passengers. the ama venita was replaced by the ama- reina at engelhartszell on saturday 20 october near (passau) during this cruise journey. On the 2nd day of the voyage the first schedule change occurred, with a diversion to nijmegen, then onto to cologne. At cologne, we were advised the ship could not proceed further, and it would be impossible to sail through the rhine gorge. The schedule would change with 36 hours at dusseldorf, with passengers then to disembark, travel by bus to frankfurt (overnight hotel), procced by bus the next day to nuremburg (hotel overnight) and then re-board a new vessel at the passau area, and the normal cruise schedule 7 days into the cruise to re-commence. However on boarding the new vessel at engelhartszell, moored for 36hrs, we were informed it was impossible to cruise from vienna to budapest, so again all would disembark at conclusion of vienna component, bus to budapest (hotel again overnight) and the cruise end. Re the above new excursions replaced, most of the advertised ones, and one of the Premier events Candle light Dinner at Namedy Castle, became a luncheon visit, while en-route to Frankfurt the journey began on a positive note, picked up at the airport by an apt agent, and whisked to the riverside in a lovely modern vehicle. We had paid for a P+ room on the 2nd level, with inside and outside balcony, room service and Porter attention The first twinge of disappointment was noting the ship was parked between a numbers of others, a theme which was to apply from that day on. When in port (which was most of the time the apt boat was normally sandwiched between others, affording no balcony or view age opportunity, effectively negating any reasonable opportunity to observe the world from ones balcony). When i say the view was impeded i am talking about a vessel as big as or bigger than our boat, within 12 inches of the viewing windows, and if this did not occur, the view was replaced by a concrete or similar wharf view. Once on board, (our first dinner aboard) was served, while seated in the ships dining room, a large river boat, completely obstructed any views of the water. This issue is very significant, and from this experience and some post event research on the internet, if one is contemplating a river cruise, don’t bother to take a premium cabin, just not worth it, day 2 freedom of choice touring took place as planned. very pleasant. That evening we were advised the ships schedule was to be changed with a detour to nijmegen and then onto cologne. Day 3 Nijmegen Day 4 Cologne Advised that the boat could not cruise past cologne, there would be no full rhine cruise, and passengers would have to depart the ship at cologne, being bused to frankfurt (hotel overnight), and then bused again to nuremberg (hotel overnight) then to re-board a new vessel at engelhartszell. Note this cruise ended with 10 pack/unpack components, 3 nights in hotels , long bus trips, new schedules and largely amended freedom of choice excursion options. Once on board the new boat, advised unable to cruise the vienna to budapest leg and would complete the cruise by bus and overnight hotel. The changes in schedule, excursions, all detailed in the “Daily Cruiser” are in my possession showing a litany of changes, amendments, turning this trip into a glorified bus tour, with a punishing schedule SHIP FACILITIES Cabin 207: our room with an inside/outside balcony was very pleasant with an excellent bathroom. Free internet and one’s own computer was a very nice touch, but reception marginal and affected significantly when parked amongst other boats, a frequent occurrence. Room service and porter availability, took some sorting out, with all calls through reception in the first instance, and reception was not always clear that they were talking to a customer with room service and butler privileges. Apt needs to spell out the detail of what room service and butler service is, and for the reception desk to clearly identify the call has or does not have those privileges. GYM A nice boutique gym, but the television components of the equipment monitor, are starting to play up, and this component needs to be maintained by apt at regular intervals. Nobody aboard knew what to do about rectifying that issue. DINING The promised 2nd dining option italian fare served in the bella cucina restaurant did not exist. This requires a specific explanation. The verde dining restaurant served breakfast, lunch and dinner, part buffet at breakfast and lunch with main course order options, and the evening, 5 course menu options. the food and service was sound, similar to large ship traditional dining cruising without the width of choice. The upstairs’ river bistro lounge, offered a mini version of the lunch and evening menu downstairs, café style snacks available at set times. Pleasant, but very time restrictive. Chefs table (28 guests) was excellent, similar in standard to specialist dining options on big ship cruising. Room service: available to guests in the premier rooms. The continental breakfast options were very limited, but with request, items like some fruit were added, but nothing cooked was available. In the evening room service dining was available from the verde dining main menu. ON BOARD DRINKS The selection of available no cost wines, cocktails etc. Was excellent, and generous proportions. I am wine versed, and thought apt did an excellent job in this area. SUN DECK Large and pleasant area, but due to the schedule issues, very rarely used. STAFF No issues. Enthusiastic bar staff, waiter service geared to groups but over all a solid standard. Reception was adequate, room attendant’s service excellent, and once butler service clarified and identified, competent. HEALTH The focus on noro virus and similar ailments on big cruise ships was not a feature of this cruise. While there was the usual hand cleansing equipment, there was little attention in the daily newsletter or shipboard announcements, and no staff member, reinforcing the need to clean hands etc. At meal times or food events. The cruise was severely affected with many suffering from a cough and throat virus. A very senior couple embarked with severe symptoms of flu and there appeared to be little effort to have them quarantined or similar in their cabin. This is a difficult area to police, but I would recommend APT pay more attention to this Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Should have been a holiday of a lifetime, sadly it hasn't been (and I can't get off yet). I accompanied an elderly aunt :), even though she's lovely and very active, the bulk of the passengers despite being very nice people ... Read More
Should have been a holiday of a lifetime, sadly it hasn't been (and I can't get off yet). I accompanied an elderly aunt :), even though she's lovely and very active, the bulk of the passengers despite being very nice people are simply not. I'm 60 and wanted a river cruise experience but didn't realise even paying a top end price doesn't buy you a better experience. The Amabella I'm told is 10 yrs old. I feel like a captive on a very boring cruise (there are some younger people, even a young honeymoon couple but they are with each other or travelling with a group of friends. Lots are unhappy but they plan to complain at the end of the cruise in the feedback form (not helpful really as that will go nowhere). Emese (cruise director) makes no bones about it that I should have understood that it is mainly "Older people" the cruise is orientated to, which was not my understanding before agreeing to come on this much more expensive than other river cruise ships. Our shared cabin was "UPGRADED" hate to see what we'd have stayed in otherwise as this is tight but at least has a small outside balcony that can be used when the weather permits. Don't get excited about having a butler...we never saw him just other staff when something had to be fixed or you requested something to the cabin. Air was not a problem in the cabin apart from the airconditioning we also can open a large window or go onto the little balcony. When travelling at night especially, the cabin groans and there are many noises, sometimes bumps during the nights. A newer ship may be more buffered from these but this cabin #317 doesn't handle it well (light sleepers may need a tablet or to drink more). The cruise highlights off the ship both featured classical entertainment which were really exceptional. One evening was held in a privately owned castle, the other in a private palace which were both places we'd probably not have gotten to otherwise but to be fair other cruise ships may have similar I didn't look into it. Onboard entertainment otherswise was a very lacklustre experience, with the exception of the night of a visiting UK performer (APT brought in a couple of performers I only heard one as the other was country music but this lady was excellent) sh performed a mixed caberet style show (had an exceptional voice) and injected a much needed change to the usual offerings. Three - four evenings during our cruise was not enough to make the difference though. Some of the staff were terrific especially good was Plamen (barman upstairs, who knew each passengers name - without badges and what they liked to drink). The day we travelled to Salzburg was terrific the train was a special charter, which enjoyed the decor of bygone days - each carriage a little different to the others. Representing the culture well was some operatic/caberet type entertainment on the return journey along with refreshments each way. Accomodation in Amsterdam at the Marriott hotel prior to our cruise was very good. If you need a firm pillow however bring your own (I wish you luck getting one otherwise) they don't understand the need. Onboard they had to reach out to another ship to find me one firm pillow as their ship only caters to people who like hard beds and very soft large square pillows. We were told our laundry was included (and it was only one bag per cabin per week) the drinks were free except if you unwittingly ask for a top shelf item as I did one night . I asked for a Cointreau and had to pay 5.50 euro for it, depite others drinking very heavily and not paying for cocktails etc. seems unfair really (drinks are either free or they are not). The food on the first day or so seemed very nice. After the first couple of days it all seems same, same not very spicy they cater for people with very bland taste, vegetables are mostly just for garnish as they're so hard they fly off your plate when you try to eat them. Overall it's like a small RSL club on the water to me and the staff couldn't care less as I've already paid.....LET ME OFF! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We travelled on this boat last year and were bitterly disappointed and had a number of problems. They used completely false advertising, they state that there are 3 restaurants when in truth there is only one. There are 2 side by side ... Read More
We travelled on this boat last year and were bitterly disappointed and had a number of problems. They used completely false advertising, they state that there are 3 restaurants when in truth there is only one. There are 2 side by side but they are serving the same food but under different titles for example one restaurant had chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella the other had chicken breast stuffed with buffalo cheese! The third restaurant fits no more than a dozen people and you basically have to book as soon as you step onto the boat but no one informs you of this. Having sailed on other cruises where the food and service was wonderful, APT was very disappointing on both counts. While we were on board there were numerous complaints and both the staff on board and back in Australia could not have cared less and were very rude. They advertised that on a number of occassions you will eat on the top deck with great views. Not once did this happen and when we complained along with others they did nothing to correct it. We paid extra for the privilege of having a balcony however they dont state in their advertising that half the time when you pull into dock, you're literally pressed up against another ship which has full view of your accomodation and you're forced to pull your curtains. Their descriptions of the tours were completely false. The tours were run to the convenience of the staff not the travellers and we were stuck in hot coaches going nowhere for the majority of the time. Finally, when spending this amount of money you expect first class food, service, accomodation and tours. A tour to the opera which was an added expense was bitterly disappointing and all the passengers from this cruise were stuck behind huge barriers and were unable to see anything. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
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