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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I was expecting a 5 star luxury river cruise similar to a Seaborne ocean cruise. How wrong was I. River cruising is similar to bus touring. There is very little time to do your own thing as you have to leave the ship to join a coach ... Read More
I was expecting a 5 star luxury river cruise similar to a Seaborne ocean cruise. How wrong was I. River cruising is similar to bus touring. There is very little time to do your own thing as you have to leave the ship to join a coach which takes you to whichever town you are going to. You do a quick tour, maybe 1.5 hours and then back on the coach to the ship. Dining is very crowded. There is only 1 restaurant and everyone goes at the same time. There is no outdoor barbecue area and so every night you are in the dining room at 7pm. There is a “Chef’s Restaurant “ which caters for about 20 guests but although it is really promoted as being fantastic, it is good, at best. There is no alcohol in your mini bar and no champagne on arrival. It is very basic. The rooms are very nice and the staff ensure they are cleaned well. The Tour Director dies the job of at least 2 people - I have never seen anyone with so much responsibility or so much to do. She really needed an assistant. My husband and I are currently aboard AMABELLA and yes, we are enjoying our holiday but we thought it would be much better. Originally, we were on AMAVERDI and have just had to swap ships. During the first 5 days virtually every passenger was sick with a gastric/vomiting bug. We were not surprised as the dining is very cramped. With 151 passengers helping themselves to a buffet with no covering, what do you expect? I think the ship designers need to undertake a course on Food Safety so they understand how bacteria is spread. One passenger vomited on the dining room floor at Namedy Castle. It was a serious problem. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We got a two-for-one deal which made the price of the trip better value. The ship, which is not one of the latest models despite being Constellation class, was decorated in rather dull shades of brown and beige. It had a serious design ... Read More
We got a two-for-one deal which made the price of the trip better value. The ship, which is not one of the latest models despite being Constellation class, was decorated in rather dull shades of brown and beige. It had a serious design flaw in the restaurant, where there were two sides, separated by banquette seating. This meant difficulty in moving around for waiters and passengers and a bottleneck and very little room at the buffet. Banquette seating really doesn't suit the demographic because it is not easy to get in and out. Bread and pastries were at the other end of the room so if you wanted toast with breakfast it meant queueing twice and either cold toast or cold food ( it was never very hot in the first place). Service at lunch, where main courses were largely waiter ordered, was very slow. Sometimes we were not asked if we wanted to order and the wine frequently did not arrive until after we had finished our starters. The cheese selection was poor and despite a promise from the hotel manager to go out and source new varieties, this never happened. We were not told that the two sides of the restaurant served different food on most evenings until 2 days before the end of the cruise (we missed the briefing on the first night where this was explained due to flight delays and no other ship has ever had this arrangement). Staff were helpful and friendly - there were just too few of them, especially wine waiters in the restaurant. The bar manager was fantastic and a couple of the restaurant staff really went the extra mile. Food wasn't exceptional. Beef consommé featured nearly every day in some form. They almost always served rice with fish, although fries or wedges could be requested. Breakfast was always the same - only one "chef's special" item varied each day and this was sometimes something which was available to order anyway. The bacon was rarely crispy and there was always a big queue in the small space by the egg station. Pastries were varied but could have been crisper and flakier. Bread was good. There was usually a good variety and the little bread balls which came with meals were excellent. Wine was average. We had far superior wine with Scenic. Trips were largely good. The tasting tour of Budapest market was interesting, although the guide spent too long wittering on about local specialities. Schönbrunn was stunning but like an oven inside on a very warm day. We didn't bother with some trips ( e.g. the dinner at Namedy castle because people who went on a previous cruise were not impressed. Opinions varied this time too. Nor did we go on the trip to the windmills in Amsterdam as it was wet and windy. We had been to a similar place and only booked it because we'd done all the other trips before, having been to Amsterdam on at least 5 previous trips. Speaking to other passengers who went gave us the impression that we didn't miss much.) The train trip to Salzburg aboard the Majestic Imperator was great - shame about the pouring rain! In Salzburg, after a rather lengthy bus tour round sites used in THAT film, we waited for ages in a downpour at toilets which were insufficient for the number of people. Then by the time we had walked round with the guide and had lunch there wasn't sufficient time to see much of the old town, which was a pity, because even in the rain, Salzburg is beautiful.The bus trip should be optional and people who are not interested in the film sites should be given the chance to be dropped off to have more time in the town. The ship moored a long way out of Würzburg - so far that we wondered if we were actually going to stop there! It would have been a taxi ride into the town if we had chosen to go in after the Rothenburg trip but we had been to Würzburg several times, fortunately. Rothenburg is a very beautiful place but there wasn't enough time to walk round the town and the walls. It should have been a day trip. We loved the little fairytale towns of Dürnstein and Miltenberg, which we had not visited before. In Dürnstein the recommended walking route mentions steps. They should point out that there are LOTS of steps (I lost count and my husband had to turn back and catch the little tourist train at extra cost.) Actually the route is a much easier walk the other way round because you can walk up a road which is much easier and then come down the steps. Steps also meant that my husband couldn't do the gondola ride at Rüdesheim - again we only found out just how many steps there were on the day before the trip and I didn't want to go on my own. We had already been to the Siegfried museum a couple of times so we decided to walk round by ourselves, not realising that most places didn't open until shortly before we sailed and the ship was berthed a long walk from the town - quite why that was, with lots of empty spaces, I don't know. Cost-cutting, probably. There was quite a bit of evidence of this since our trip with APT last year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Never done river cruise before. Can only compare to ocean cruise . Was first class . The staff could not have done any more for anyone at any time . Mixed ages and fitness level. They accommodated everyone. Hedleigh our tour director ... Read More
Never done river cruise before. Can only compare to ocean cruise . Was first class . The staff could not have done any more for anyone at any time . Mixed ages and fitness level. They accommodated everyone. Hedleigh our tour director was outstanding. His cool ,calm and very easy manner meant everyone was informed well and catered for at every level . Port excursions. Great choices or choice your own . Dining first class . Drinks abundant and great service . Ship was clean tidy and well maintained . People got cold / flu but I am not sure what more the crew could have done to prevent. People just don’t do the right thing. Use the handwash Use the tongs at meals etc. stay in cabin if sick - some have disregard for all this . Could not have been more done. Only thing I would add is. If they ask for dress code ie long pants for men and women at night Stick to it . Thongs and shorts and t shirts without collars are not night attire . Dress that little bit better Aussie men. You let the side down ! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first river cruise so first for other novices I was surprised to find: The wall aren't metal so my magnetic clips and hooks went back in the suitcase There is no movement - even at full tilt it was impossible to ... Read More
This was our first river cruise so first for other novices I was surprised to find: The wall aren't metal so my magnetic clips and hooks went back in the suitcase There is no movement - even at full tilt it was impossible to tell that we were on the water. In total DH and I travel about 3 months a year, DIY tours, luxury tours, Ocean Cruises, short breaks …. this was the best vacation experience we have ever had - we thoroughly enjoyed just about every aspect of the trip. Cabin We had a cabin on the lower deck with a super comfy bed, plenty of space (though lacking in draws) and a great shower, our view was pretty special too Attention to detail seemed to be real priority for APT so though there was only one European, one Aussie and one UK socket in the room - it came with 3 way European extension cable and assurances that adapters were available from reception. The AC worked in a way that many 5 star hotels could learn from - set the temperature and that is what you got. Bottled water was replaced in the fridge and on the dresser daily, robes, slippers and night time chocolates all standard. Food Breakfast was served in the dining room for two hours each morning. Fruit, cereal, cold meat, cheese, yogurt, smoked salmon, bread, pastries, scrambled eggs, bacon, beans, were from the buffet, fried eggs and omelettes from the egg guy and poached egg, oatmeal and eggs Benedict ordered at the table. The variety and quality of the fresh fruit especially was outstanding. Lunch you had the choice of either a variety of heavy snacks (sandwiches, cheese, soup) in the lounge or a up to four course meal in the dining room. We usually went to the dining room and enjoyed every meal, though did learn to stay away from the freely flowing wine and decadent dessert so early in the day. Dinner Each meal in the dining room consisted of a choice of two or three appetisers, two soups, a meat, fish and vegetarian selection for main courses and three desserts. There were also the always available options of chicken breast, salmon and a couple of others. The wine served at dinner was excellent (especially the whites as were were traveling through a region which specialised in white wine) The wine from the bar and at lunch was fine but not great. Over the 14 days we had maybe one meal in the main dining room which was OK - all the rest were outstanding. The food was much better than on the last luxury ocean cruise line we sailed with. The Chef was one of the highlights of the trip when I complimented him on the quality of the cheese he made me a special dish of Stilton (may favourite) cheese, covered in chocolate - which sounds odd but was amazing. There was a specialty restaurant which was free of charge but needed reservations. This had a single menu for the first week and another for the second week. Some guests were very impressed but our experience was the room was crowded and lacked atmosphere, the welcome drink was some horrid water melon concoction, the sorbet was warm, the meat was cold and the service poor. All the food looked really impressive but we felt we had missed a great meal in the MDR so cancelled our second booking. There was also afternoon tea and late night snacks served in the lounge but really we did not feel the need. Public Spaces In the dining room is a mix of two, four and six seat tables there were always seats available though a little shuffling was needed to manoeuvre around as there was not a great deal of space between tables. Likewise in the lounge there were enough seats but it was sometimes hard to get a good view of what was going on when a lecture or demonstration was going on. Outside the top deck was closed for 4 days as we navigated the locks and low bridges between Rudesheim and Regensburg. There was still outside seats in front of the wheelhouse but the pool and walking track were off limits. In October most of the Australians on board decided that it was to chilly to be out for long so there was plenty of space, I can imagine in warm weather the limited open air space could be a negative. Experiences: Three Experiences were included on this trip and each was truly a memorable occasion. Dinner at the private home of Princess Heide von Hohenzollern was much more than a lovely meal in a stunning location were were encouraged to tour the castle, look at the books and sit on the sofas. Rather than a coach to transport us to Salzburg a copy of the Austrian Imperial family train was ours for the journey. Champagne was served as we wandered amongst the luxurious furniture and polished wood. On the return journey, singers moved from coach to coach with music from the Magic Flute and Sound of Music. Finally we were treated to a Champagne reception at the stunning privately owned Liechtenstein City Palace in Vienna followed by a stunning concert. We were told we would have three royal experiences but actually we had three experiences where we were treated like royalty. Tours At each stop there was included excursions often a walking tour with excellent local guides using Quitevoxes. This was the first time we had encountered these devices and they are truly wonderful. A party of 25 suddenly become just you and the guide as every word they say is clear even when you have wondered off across the street to take pictures or are separated by Amsterdam’s traffic. Some times a bus and walking tour were combined and on six days there was a choice of two or three excursions to choose from. CD Bartel had clearly mastered the art of cloning as he appeared to accompany each of the, up to, six different groups each day. Bicycles were also available to explore the area. The information provided at the end of each day was much more than a schedule of the next days arrangements. It included wonderful information on the history, politics, agriculture, wines and food of the regions we passed through. Included Bartel, our Cruise Director, told us at the beginning of the trip that the only money we needed for the next two weeks was a few 50c coins for the public toilets and he was basically right. Tips - included; excursions - included; sparkling wine at breakfast - included; wine and beer with lunch and dinner - included; drinks from the bar 9am till late - included; tour of the wheelhouse by the captain - included. Before and after Before the cruise I was like a three year old at Christmas as I unpacked the goody bag from APT. Two really sturdy rucksacks with clever small bags which unzipped from them. Quality luggage tags, a document folder for our passports, laundry bags and magnetic name tags. Having been forced to wear ID for work I was at first sceptical about wearing a name tag (first name only) but most people chose to wear them through out the trip and they added to the experience, if you see someone’s name written down you remember it far better - by the end we were so used to them that we almost travelled home in ours. At the end of the cruise you are not kicked of the ship at 8.30 like on cruise ships - at 9am, cabins have to be vacated but you can stay on the ship until 2.30pm have some soup, and leave when you wish. We had arranged our own post cruise extension but still APT arranged a taxi for us at the time we requested and helped us with our luggage - really A Personal Touch. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Departure Day minus one: Packed – one huge ( approx. 23Kg) case, plus 2 small wheelie hand luggage cases Sunday October 15 - Day 1 Up at 6.25am. Taxi to Heathrow arrived 7.25. Driver ignored the warning gantries about probs on ... Read More
Departure Day minus one: Packed – one huge ( approx. 23Kg) case, plus 2 small wheelie hand luggage cases Sunday October 15 - Day 1 Up at 6.25am. Taxi to Heathrow arrived 7.25. Driver ignored the warning gantries about probs on the M4.....so we sat for 20 mins thereon. Driver very stressed – “anxiety makes me nauseous.” Arrived terminal 5 at pam. Checked. Decided not to buy Hungarian Florints, but to wait and see how many we need. By 9.30 all complete, then sit and sit people watching – til 10.55 gate announced. 11.05 board. 11.45 leave.20 mins taxiing, 40 mins flight, 20 mins taxiing at Schipol. Long walk to baggage hall. Why is our luggage always last? Coach to ship - the Amaverde – including another road closure ( Amsterdam Marathon). Cabin miles along the corridor. Folder of info about itinerary, tours’ booking forms etc. unpacked. Also contains dressing gowns and slippers, lanyard for doorkey. Magnetic name badges came with tickets… Walls only magnetic on corners unlike Ocean ships Went to lounge for cuppa ( no kettles in cabins) explored ship. Door key took some persuading to work (operator error). Safety talk/ general info / meet the team/ port talk before dinner. 151passengers 99 x Oz 45 x UK 4 x NZ 1 x Malaysian, 1 x Canadian, 1 x US Dinner – full order taken (starter, soup, main and dessert) at start. All drinks included Dinner with 2 NZs Coffee in lounge Was asked, “Do the crew sleep on board? I know they do on Sea cruises, but this is a river….” Monday October 16 – Day 2 Up at silly o’clock for 8.30 departure of tours. Chris to canals, M to supervise the movement of the ship to a new dock. Sailed to Wijk bij Duurstede where the tour rejoined the ship. A shame there was no option for independent exploration of Amsterdam From there thro’ lock into the Rhine canal Captain’s welcome reception before dinner. Dinner with Italian Aussies Today’s quote: “It’ll be good to go to Bonn now the wall is down” “Sorry, that’s Berlin…” M was up all night in the loo every 20 mins from 2am…. (either the change of diet, last night’s crab cake, or ( most likely, the soft cheese) Tuesday October 17 – Day 3 Cologne – either walking tour of Cologne and bus to Bonn, or bus to Bonn, then walking tour. OH to Bonn. M stayed onboard nursing dodgy tum. Trips back by lunch. Had minute lunch, then watched the Rhine valley float by. Docked for night at Andernach - Dinner at Namedy Castle. M didn’t go, had dinner in the lounge with 3 others (plus one had room service dinner). OH had good time Wednesday October 18 – Day 4 A quiet night – the engines didn’t start until 5.30ish. Sailed thro’ Rhine Gorge – past the Lorelei to Rudesheim Foggy first thing, but cleared as the sun came out mid-morning. Chilly on top deck which was best vantage point. Ship provides blankets with sleeves for the less hardy. Also Rudesheim coffee – a bit like a brandy floater Arrived Rudesheim at 1.30pm. Took land train to the Music Museum. Loads of mechanical instruments – pianos, organs, organs, violins, music boxes etc. Could have taken train back, but preferred to walk. Stuck at level crossing as 3 trains went thro’ – one passenger, plus 2 l-o-ong goods trains. Others could go to the Gondola ride to above the town. Thursday October 19 – Day 5 The day started with a glass blowing demo in the lounge – while we cruised to Miltenberg. There was a ‘treasure hunt’ – a list of questions to find out the answers from the tour guides…. \we did our own thing. Fave thing? The ‘pissing men’ statue outside the public loos! We had 1.5 hours before had to be back onboard- treasure hunters were bussed to Freundenberg. After dinner we teamed up with the Italian Aussies to form the Britalianoz music quiz team Friday October 20 – Day 6 Wurzburg. OH went on trip to the Residenz (Prince Bishops). M explored town. After lunch both did more exploring including a bridge full of bishop/saint/prince statues Saturday October 21 – Day 7 Bamberg. Watched, and videoed the lock operations (68 in total on trip). ln afternoon OH did bus trip to town. M decided to keep an elderly lady company onboard Singer entertainer in evening Sunday October 22 – Day 8 Nuremburg. OH took the day off from tours – and the town was too far to walk, so we ambled along the river bank Lecture about locks on the Main Danube canal in afternoon. Mega deep locks – 82ft! At 5pm we crossed the European watershed….. downhill from here on! After dinner entertainment – an ‘oompah‘ band Monday October 23 – Day 9 Regensburg. We set off with map to diy the town. Including find a department store for some shopping. After lunch we did the ‘wheelhouse tour’ Fascinating Tuesday October 24 – Day 10 Passau, Salzburg/ Linz OH went off on the 8am coach for the Imperator train to Salzburg, and on the Linz while M stayed onboard to sail all the way. Were late sailing cos the german police were onboard checking passports and visas. The scenery was wonderful – Autumn colours exquisite. Lunch in state in the lounge – with 2 others. Arrived Linz 5.15, OH back at 6.45 Wednesday October 25 – Day 11 Melk/Durnstein OH did the Abbey tour (unimpressed at the wealth of the community – very glitzy), M did the town. Still haven’t found out who Barwig Bear is (other than a sculpture in the park). After lunch we waved off the brave 30 or so people who were cycling to Durnstein. We sailed. Durnstein Castle was where Blondin found Richard the Lionheart imprisoned. Had time to explore the town Thursday October 26 – Day 12 Vienna day1. OH on walking tour – difficult cos it was a public holiday and many roads/ sights shut ( including RingStrasse). M to Prater and the Ferris wheel. After lunch we crossed the bridge to the Danube Island. Very hot day. Early dinner at 5.30. Desserts after the concert! Concert at Lichtenstein Palace – Chamber Orchestra plus girls’ choir Friday October 27 – Day 13 Vienna Day 2 OH to Schonnbrunn. M declined cos not enough time allowed for the bits she wanted to see (the gardens). In the event it poured with rain at that point , so very little garden seen at all as everyone ran for the bus! M explored on foot - after watching the Lippizaner introductory talk – keeping an eye on the grey skies. Had intended to metro into town in the afternoon, but still teeming, so played scrabble instead! Disembarkation briefing Captain’s farewell dinner (M avoided the soft cheese canapes this time….) Sailed through Bratislava during dinner. Crew entertainment – seemed mainly the hotel manager on electric guitar, so we didn’t stay til the end Saturday October 28 – Day 14 Budapest Day 1. Arrived mid-morning. Announcement that you can go to the market this morning, then after lunch there’s a coach/walking tour. OH decided he’d done enough tours/ castle/palaces/burgs and he was coming with me and the map. Did market in the morning, then walked to Parliament in afternoon. Past the Shoe memorial. Said memorial wasn’t included in the organised trip much to the annoyance those I told about it…. Hungarian folkloric music/dancing before dinner, then lighted sail-by after dinner Sunday October 29– Day 15 Budapest Day 2 Raining heavily. We were off ship by 10 on way to airport. Flight an hour late taking off cos too windy to load luggage. In the end we left it behind. It arrived home via a courier 2 days later. Hadn’t booked a taxi from Heathrow. Initially were going to get the X 26 bus, but cos now only hand luggage, decided to go by tube ( rejected initially cos too many steps in the stations. Bad move – the bus would have been better – less crowded APT pros and cons Name badges for all – a brilliant idea Lanyards for all on which we could hang our door keys. Many tucked their trip tickets in it too Excellent maps in all ports BUT………Very few diy possibilities Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Having cruised with APT in Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia we were thrilled to be able to cruise in Europe and in perhaps one of the best ships doing so. The AmaVerde was a fantastic experience from the moment we boarded up to the ... Read More
Having cruised with APT in Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia we were thrilled to be able to cruise in Europe and in perhaps one of the best ships doing so. The AmaVerde was a fantastic experience from the moment we boarded up to the disembarkation. The crew and staff were as professional as they were friendly. There was not one crew member who did not try their best and nothing was too much to request. It was fantastic service on a beautiful ship. Everything went to plan and any changes made for weather etc. were seamless and handled very well. Everyone of the crew went out of their way to make you feel welcome, special and relaxed. The food in all areas was fabulous. Every meal was a banquet, beautifully presented and served. The Chefs Table dinners are a must and we enjoyed two wonderful five course meals with matched wines with our new friends. Day or night, there was always something good to snack on too! The schedule of the cruise is just right, not too busy with time to relax and simply do your own thing. The shore trips were generally great with not too much walking but always well conducted and the shore briefs were very useful to decide or prepare. And the scenery, wow! We had noted other reviews where people were critical of going through the locks and walking on cobble stones; c'mon people! You're traversing most of Europe, what do you expect. And anyway, most of the locks were passed at night and rarely did we notice. We treated ourselves to an Owners suite which, if you can, you should request. The extra space and butler service was the icing on the cake. We can't wait to do this again but we have already signed up for another APT adventure in Africa first! To all you prospective river cruisers, don't delay! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We have just returned from an APT Cruise -Budapest to Amsterdam and wholeheartedly give this company 5 stars. From our airport welcome (our plane was over an hour and a half late) to our disembarkation I give this company the thumbs up. ... Read More
We have just returned from an APT Cruise -Budapest to Amsterdam and wholeheartedly give this company 5 stars. From our airport welcome (our plane was over an hour and a half late) to our disembarkation I give this company the thumbs up. The ship itself was spacious (there were 129 on board but it accommodates 160) with our balcony cabin well set out and a small but adequate bathroom. Our cabin crew were most obliging as were all the crew. The dining room and staff were first class. Most people sat at a selected table from day one so we did get to know our waiters and they likewise. The food was excellent with a wide variety to choose from, with formal dining downstairs and casual dining upstairs. The entertaining area was large enough to seat everyone and this also was where the bar was, hence passengers socialised in this area. The variety of drinks were amazing as well as coffee and nibbles. The entertainment was low key but we didn't choose this cruise for entertainment; that is left to the bigger cruise liners. The ports we called into (apart fro Nuremburg) breathtaking as was the countryside we sailed through, the castles we passed and the towns we glimpsed at. Our cruise director was very informative and helpful as was the guides in each port we had. The only small criticism I had of this cruise was I would like to have seen the sanitisation of hands in the public areas enforced to stave off infections. Otherwise a wonderful cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
Just came back from a brilliant river cruise on the APT AmaVerde. We were on the ship from 19 July 2014 for 13 days sailing from Amsterdam to Budapest. One of the locks broke down on the way to Budapest so sadly missed out on sailing into ... Read More
Just came back from a brilliant river cruise on the APT AmaVerde. We were on the ship from 19 July 2014 for 13 days sailing from Amsterdam to Budapest. One of the locks broke down on the way to Budapest so sadly missed out on sailing into Budapest and had to get there by bus. Apart from that, this was one of best holidays we had ever had. We paid a bit more to get a twin balcony suite which was a bonus especially when trying to get our washing dry. It was also great to have for the few days we were cruising on the Main River as, due to the low bridges, most of the top sundeck was closed. We would like to thank Vlad, Marion and all the wonderful crew who did everything within their power to make this holiday the best it could be. The local guides who we met up with in each town were just fantastic. They were passionate about their jobs, spoke excellent English and were more than willing to answer whatever questions we had. We were surprised at how much free time we usually had after the guided walking tours which usually lasted about an hour. APT gave us maps and info sheets on every town we stopped at but we had a GPS which made our lives a lot easier. We were probably walking up to 8 kms a day depending on how much time we had at each stop. At times, lunch was scheduled on-shore in local restaurants but generally it was local cuisine. So we went off on our own and generally found pizza or pork schnitzel for lunch - normally at very reasonable prices and we were served a lot quicker than if we ate with the rest of the passengers. We also got to eat outside where we could watch the world go by, instead of being stuck indoors in restaurants which, in Europe, don't seem to have air conditioning, and it was very hot when we were over there. In Amsterdam, it reached 35C on the first day we were there. This meant we had more time to do sight seeing and got to try out our very limited German and non-existent Hungarian. We learnt to look for menus with lots of pictures so that we could just point to what we wanted. For most of the trip we did not really have to worry about other cruise ships - certainly not on the Rhine River - there seemed to be more ships around once we sailed into the Danube. The etiquette, when having another ship moored alongside is to have all the curtains on that side of the boat drawn, both in our rooms and in the dining room. It happened to us in Vienna and, apart from not being able to use our outside balcony, we also could not see the city of Vienna unless we went up on the sundeck. This would have been fine except that it was bucketing down with rain while we were there. In the Czech Republic, we met up with our guide, Adele whose nickname was Bubbles. She was wonderful and really looked after us, right up to phoning to check that a car was on its way to take us to the airport to get our plane home. Just a tip here, the meal options at Prague airport aren't that great or numerous so have a meal in Prague before heading to the airport. Would thoroughly recommend this trip except that it can be a big risk when it comes to bad weather and/or locks breaking down. I don't know what the deal is with lock maintenance but, other than holding up cruise ships, cargo boats were also unable to get through. Maybe more regular maintenance needs to be carried out on the locks? Other than that, it is the best way to travel. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2012
We booked the 'Magnificent Europe' Cruise as part of a 6 week holiday. Amaverde is used by APT Cruises, in conjunction with AMA Waterways, for the Australian market. Most of our sailing companions were Aussies, with a sprinkling ... Read More
We booked the 'Magnificent Europe' Cruise as part of a 6 week holiday. Amaverde is used by APT Cruises, in conjunction with AMA Waterways, for the Australian market. Most of our sailing companions were Aussies, with a sprinkling of Kiwis. The best things about the cruise were the wonderful staff who we all came to know on a first name basis, and our fellow cruisers. Because there were only 180 people on board, by the end of the cruise we were good friends with a core group of people, and had talked with most of the other cruisers. There is enough space to avoid people if required, but we didn't need to! We booked 2 nights independently in Budapest prior to the cruise, allowing us to unwind and enjoy the many delights of that city. We chose the Bohem Art Hotel on Molnar Street, that was 5 mins walk from where the ship docked. Embarkation was quick and easy, and the cabin was ready on time. Our cabin was 210 sq feet, on the middle, or Cello deck. It was situated toward the rear of the boat. There was no noise from above us, or from cabins next to us. Engine vibration was limited to a low 'thrum" that did not interfere with sleep. We had a balcony with 2 chairs and a table, which was very pleasant to relax on. Storage space was sufficient. The bathroom was well organised, and the shower amazing!! You have both waterfall and a standard shower - wonderful. The cabins were attended to twice a day. Often the cabin steward would make origami out of the towels, which caused great delight. The staff were always cheerful and very polite. We saw a couple of friends' cabins. One was a twin balcony like ours, but slightly bigger. These made up the majority of cabins on the ship. The other cabin had no outdoor balcony, just sliding doors, and their bathroom was a bit pokey. Our first night's dining was not a success, with the food looking and tasting stodgy, and service was a bit rushed. I felt very apprehensive about the meals to come. However, that was a fluke, and every other meal was fine. Don't expect fancy molecular gastronomy, or Michelin star quality food. Dishes often had a regional influence, and there were always choices. Food was always fresh and well presented. All food on the ship is made from scratch, including the bread. Lunch and Dinner were at set times, and we were expected to arrive within 15 minutes of mealtime being announced. This also made sure you got your favourite table and waiter, and sat with friends. Breakfast time was flexible to cater for early, usual and late risers. Breakfast was mixed buffet style, and a la carte for items such as eggs Benedict and omelettes. Portions at dinner were not huge, but given there were 4-5 food courses, this was plenty. Complimentary Wine, Beer and soft drinks flowed freely at dinner, while lunchtime saw most people limit their intake to one or two glasses. Our wait staff were attentive, and tailored their sense of humour and manner to suit each person. I think they enjoyed looking after Australians with our relaxed sense of humour! Everyone had the opportunity to dine at the 24 seat fine dining 'Erlebis' restaurant twice. We enjoyed the experience with friends we'd made, and both nights were very enjoyable. All the tours are included in the cost of the cruise. Standouts for me were the Audi Factory, Bamberg Bike ride, Vienna, and Wertheim. I spent a couple of afternoons relaxing on the ship instead of touring, and enjoyed the magnificent scenery. The small pool on the ship was warm, and a great spot from which to watch the world go by. The Sun deck was closed for 4 days while passing through the Danube - Main canal. Everyone was warned about this, so there were no grumbles. Our Cruise Director, Nick, was always helpful, and gave some informative talks. All the staff worked incredibly hard. Tipping is included in the price, but we chose to tip several staff who we felt were outstanding. Evening entertainment was variable, and a bit sedate for the younger members of the cruise. Ages seemed to range from 45 - 80, with most people being young at heart 65 year olds. The oldies partied hardest!! The classical trio 'La Strada', were excellent. We had a 60s themed night, where everyone danced. Most people were in bed by 11pm, as the days were usually busy. There was a small gym and sauna, and massage and hairdresser services. Laundry is done by the crew, and is very cheap in comparison to hotels. Most items were between 1 and 4 euros to have cleaned. Small items could be washed and dried in the bathroom on the line provided. Dress code was casual by day, and smart casual at night. My husband wore a jacket and tie to the Captains dinner, and Erlebnis restaurant, but most men were more casual. Ladies were a bit smarter, but again, no long dresses or cocktail dresses were worn. Disembarking was also stress free. Suitcases didn't have to go out until the morning of departure. Reading other reviews, I think it depends on which crew you have, rather than which ship. Also, people need to do there research carefully. The people on the ship that grumbled (and it was only a couple) were the ones that didn't pay attention to announcements, or who hadn't read their travel brochure properly. I would definitely recommend a river cruise with APT - we had a wonderful experience. Read Less
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