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3 APT AmaCello (APT) Cruise Reviews

We booked this APT river cruise fairly late when we saw a special offer. It was our fourth trip with APT and our second river cruise with them. The early morning flight arrived slightly early into Marseille and we headed for the ... Read More
We booked this APT river cruise fairly late when we saw a special offer. It was our fourth trip with APT and our second river cruise with them. The early morning flight arrived slightly early into Marseille and we headed for the information desk after baggage claim as per our itinerary but there was no sign of our guide. We spotted several other APT passengers wandering looking for the guide and eventually found the guide near the baggage hall exit. She was holding a very small badly lit tablet with part of the APT sign displayed so it is no wonder most of us missed her. She told us the bus wasn't here yet so if we wanted the toilet or a coffee we could use the facilities but she didn't specify a time to come back. Consequently when the bus did arrive the guide had a problem rounding everyone up again. When we were all assembled the guide told us that due to works at the airport the coach couldn't pick us up outside so we had to walk to the coach. This turned to be a walk of approximately half a mile to a car park crossing various roads pulling our luggage as no porter's were provided. Given the age profile of the group this really wasn't acceptable. On boarding the ship in Arles we received a very warm welcome from the captain, second captain and the house manager and a light lunch with drinks was available in the lounge. Our cabins were available from 15.00 and announcements were made when cabins were available. The food on board was generally good but not great. We were served a cold main course on a cold plate in the chef's table which should have been hot but the head waiter brushed off numerous complaints. The salad looked a bit tired some lunchtimes and the deserts majored in chocolate. I like my beef "well done" with no red meat but most of the meat was served medium in spite of the waiter asking how you would like it cooked. The service in the restaurant was good but our waiter often served tables randomly so it was a bit of a lottery when you got your food. The wine waiters were really good at topping up your glass. The management of the restaurant was well handled and the house manager was ever present to lend a hand. Given where we were cruising on the Rhone we expected some really nice wines but there appeared to be only 4 reds available during the cruise and only 2 of these were drinkable. The "champagne" on offer was at best a sparkling wine and we gave it a wide berth. The excursions were generally good and well organised but the ship only had 100 passengers. Tour groups were issued coloured tickets but no one checked or collected these so people tended to drift between groups a bit. The wireless communicators worked well with only a couple of problems but guides didn't seem to have spares when a problem cropped up. Most of the guides were good but we did have one that struggled with English and really hadn't done her homework. The signature event was excellent and the food was really good (as you would expect for a Michelin restaurant) and the portions were also surprising large. Crossing the busy road to the venue was handled very well. We weren't able to use the upper deck very much as it was roped off. This was due to low bridges and the deck furniture and handrails were all stowed. Thankfully we had our French balcony so you may wish to think about that when you choose a cabin on this river. We did miss not being able to use the walking track however to burn off some of the calories we had acquired. In conclusion we had a good cruise on a comfortable ship with a great crew and as usual most of the passengers were ok too. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Some Australian friends had told us how good APT river cruises were, so we went with high expectations. Sadly, not all were met. Perhaps we are not the right folk to do this type of cruising, we are used to independent travelling....this ... Read More
Some Australian friends had told us how good APT river cruises were, so we went with high expectations. Sadly, not all were met. Perhaps we are not the right folk to do this type of cruising, we are used to independent travelling....this was very ORGANISED! As it is all-inc the trips are included also...& in the main, they were very interesting. The dinner at Paul Bocuse Abbaye de Collonges plus the visit to the exuberant truffle farmer were memorable. All trips were well organised but often rushed as it seemed they were designed on returning to the ship by 12-30 for lunch, when everyone ( except us!) streamed off the coaches straight into the restaurant! I appreciate we didn't have to return on the coaches, but that could have left us stranded in parts of the area with possbly poor public transport. So we just went with the crowd. Not our usual style, we do not like being herded. Meals were generally good standard, but again, everyone was expected to arrive en masse. This left us non-plussed the first dinner...we arrived in the restaurant about 7.30 after a couple of GnTs in the ( curiously empty!) bar. It was obvious we were latecomers...everyone else had rushed down to feed at 7pm. My main complaint( APT please read this!!) is that sadly most of the wines served- especially in the bar- were of very poor quality( not even Appellation Controllee!) This was a French cruise on the Rhone for goodness sake- why not serve local wines...they are excellent! Instead we were fobbed off with awful unidentifiable "bubbly" rubbish & pretty vile stuff from Pays d'Oc...cheap as chips & rather insulting after paying a high price to be on this trip. When I politely complained to the bar staff I was informed...quite brusquely...that this was "good" wine & given totally incorrect information about its provenance. Actually several of the staff on board were brusque to the point of rudeness...perhaps its an Eastern European cultural thing? Training required methinks!!! The maitre de & the bar manager( a lovely Portugese guy) were more professional & did in fact miraculously find us some slightly better wine. Why was it hidden????? Yes ....I realise we could have actually bought different wines from the somewhat expensive wine list...but this is sold as an all-inc cruise...& sold at a high price...so why??? It was actually an insult to be fobbed off with worse than supermarket cheap plonk. Entertainment on such a small vessel is always going to be lowkey. The problem is that there is nowhere else to go! Just the one lounge area, with chairs remniscent of a nursing home & with the only bar onboard at the back. So, if like us, you do not really wish to listen to an ageing singer performing 60/70s rehash pop songs, then your cabin is the only alternative!! If you dare to sit at the bar & have a quiet conversation with another couple there, you could be told off! We were...but that's just because some of the fellow passengers on board left a little to be desired in standards! To sum up....river cruising- for us the box is ticked...we do not fit the profile of this type of traveller. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We have just completed an APT 8 day enchanting Rhine cruise and it was very ordinary from and activity and tour perspective, the ship, crew, food and cabins were all excellent however the cruising and on shore activities were badly ... Read More
We have just completed an APT 8 day enchanting Rhine cruise and it was very ordinary from and activity and tour perspective, the ship, crew, food and cabins were all excellent however the cruising and on shore activities were badly organised and managed. Don't believe all of the marketing materials on these cruises as you only have about 2 days of good cruising and the rest is industrial and farm land in a very busy shipping channels, also the age group of most people is 60 plus. The on shore guided tours are poor as you are cattle in and onslaught of every ship arriving at the same time and there are many of them and lots of poor guides. If you have mobility issues I would say don't do it as it can be very tough and no one will look after you if you haven't got some good travellers with you. Our trip of a life time was destroyed by this cruise and I would hate it to happen to anyone else so please research carefully before investing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
AmaCello (APT) Ratings
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