My boyfriend and I eagerly anticipated this Danube River Cruise, Vilshofen to Budapest on the Amaprima. We did a lot of homework for it with our travel agent and on our own. We spent 2 days in Prague on our own, with a private guide, ... Read More
My boyfriend and I eagerly anticipated this Danube River Cruise, Vilshofen to Budapest on the Amaprima. We did a lot of homework for it with our travel agent and on our own. We spent 2 days in Prague on our own, with a private guide, which was terrific. do not regret our choice of our private guide, and would have used one more frequently in place of a few of the guides on the Ama trip, as I didn't some of them were at the professional level they should have been.
The Passau walking tour guide was very mediocre, we would have enjoyed Passau more without a guide at all, given the guide's poor skills. Unfortunately, one can't know that until you start the tour-we actually gave up on it, midway through. We have been on many other trips, including cruises, and have never just walked away. The Linz Walking Tour was OK, nothing spectacular. The shorter Salzburg tour was good- we enjoyed it. Salzburg is a great city! The Melk Abbey visit was excellent-though we were surprised at how difficult it was when we wanted to take the little shuttle back to the ship rather than walk- there were not enough seats and there was a lot of griping by other cruisers. There should have been better accommodations for the short ride, maybe a few taxis on hand. The day in Vienna was simply not enough for this great city. The itinerary was poorly panned. I'd prefer giving up the Durstein tours (the Apricots and Sweets Tour was totally misrepresented and a waste of time)- and staying in Vienna for an extra day. The Vienna Hidden Walking Tour was fun but the guide was so unexciting, I thought she was going to fall asleep! We planned our own afternoon and it was one of the best of the whole trip. I would recommend hiring a private guide for the day in Vienna-would be worth it. The Vienna concert was fabulous! And the night tour around the city was great on the way back. A lovely evening. The Danube has some lovely areas, and there were some beautiful views.
Bratislava was pleasant (again, I would have preferred an extra day in Vienna and skip this city), and Budapest was terrific. The tour there though, was underwhelming. We spent half of the tour in a square with the guide just talking at us. Half the tour was a waste. Again, I would have hired a private guide for Budapest. The evening riverboat illuminated tour around Budapest was fabulous!
The food-my boyfriend and I were not impressed with the food, at all. We did not think it was up to the reputation that AMA has for the food, or the wine. I found myself not wanting to even eat the bread after the third day of the same bread. The bread was exactly the same for the entire cruise! The best thing on the cruise was the ice cream. The specialty restaurant is very good-the food there was a notch above the restaurant.
The staff- excellent, really great staff. The cruise director was truly amazing!! She was terrific, helpful, friendly, fun, knowledgeable. The rooms are kept very clean, the housekeeping staff are great. The restaurant manager and servers are terrific. They really work hard to keep everyone happy.
The pool is really small-just manage the expectation there- no separate jacuzzi. The pool is too small to swim in, you can maybe cool off in it.
The ship's layout is pleasant, common areas are pleasant. Well-appointed.
The pianist onboard is nice, local entertainment pleasant.
The gym is very small-not even any free weights.
I should note that we did not feel up to biking-we had planned to take some of the bike excursions and that may affect our opinion on the tours- the biking is a great part of the river cruise experience. But I have to rate the cruise on what I did experience.
Embarkation and disembarkation were easy and pleasant-no issues. We took our own taxi to the airport in Budapest. One cruiser's luggage was left at the ship when she took the bus-that surely isn't worth the few dollars saving. Read Less