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37 AmaWaterways AmaStella Cruise Reviews

The cruise destinations fit our schedule, and the price was right. The Amastella is a new ship, really clean, even the engine room which I toured. Good activities at all ports of call, everything from hard core biking to gentle walks. ... Read More
The cruise destinations fit our schedule, and the price was right. The Amastella is a new ship, really clean, even the engine room which I toured. Good activities at all ports of call, everything from hard core biking to gentle walks. 30% did the strenuous hikes, 30% did the gentle walks, and the rest did something in between or stayed on board. The food was good, with complimentary drinks offered at lunch and dinner. The crew were vey attentive, always filling your plate or glass. Everyone on the crew was approachable, from the captain, cruise director, bar staff, and room attendants. The pool on the upper deck with a swim-up bar was a nice touch that you don't see on many other vessels. Favorite ports were Vienna, Brattisava and the Budapest Illumination tour. Transiting all the locks was interesting, but maybe doesn't compare to the Panama Canal I would do another cruise, just need to find a destination. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
It was our 40th. wedding anniversary and we wanted to celebrate with a memorable trip and AMAWaterways did not disappoint! Our ship, the Amastella, was a floating boutique hotel, with every imaginable ammenity; an outstanding crew and ... Read More
It was our 40th. wedding anniversary and we wanted to celebrate with a memorable trip and AMAWaterways did not disappoint! Our ship, the Amastella, was a floating boutique hotel, with every imaginable ammenity; an outstanding crew and beautiful ambiance. The guest rooms are very comfortable and well appointed; we had an outside balcony that we enjoyed every night, while sipping a glass of wine and watching the sights along the Danube glide past. The daily shore excursions were great. We had terrific guides through each city or town that we visited and lots of fun at the folk festivals and beer gardens along the trip. The onboard amenities are topnotch, along with the staff. Our meals were sumptuous and plentiful, as my scales have shown, since our return home! Our cruise director, Kris was terrific. She seemed to be able to clone herself, because she was everywhere at once! We didn't hear a single word of complaint, other than "it's over, already!" We are already researching our next river cruise destination! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We went through a cruise club to book The Danube River vacation and had a fabulous experience. The ship was clean, comfortable and easy to navigate. Food was exquisite along with presentation. Entertainment, activities and excursions were ... Read More
We went through a cruise club to book The Danube River vacation and had a fabulous experience. The ship was clean, comfortable and easy to navigate. Food was exquisite along with presentation. Entertainment, activities and excursions were fun and enjoyable. Service on the ship went beyond my expectations. The room and bedding were comfortable.Everyone on board the ship from the Captain, to Cruise Manager, Hotel Manager, Bartenders, Waitstaff and Crew members went out of their way to make sure our needs were met. The scenery on the river cruise was gorgeous. All excursions were with a tour guide and I felt safe everywhere we ventured. There were bikes available, and if you were more active, hiking and active walking tours. I felt pampered and spoiled on the ship by the staff and would definitely use Ama Waterways again. After my first river cruise, I may have to book another one. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
In March of 2016 I wrote a review about my experiences cruising on the Mekong River with AMA Waterways titled "Exceeded My Expectations". After booking the Melodies Of The Danube, a AAA of Western and Central New York Members ... Read More
In March of 2016 I wrote a review about my experiences cruising on the Mekong River with AMA Waterways titled "Exceeded My Expectations". After booking the Melodies Of The Danube, a AAA of Western and Central New York Members Appreciation Trip, I became worried that this trip couldn't possibly live up to my previous experience. I shouldn't have worried! When, as our bus was getting ready to pull away on our first tour in Budapest, I heard our Tour Director Edward quietly say to our Tour Guide "have fun" I knew we were in good hands. From that first experience in Budapest until we were dropped off at the airport in Prague our every need was met with top notch service and professionalism. The Crew, The Tour Director Edward, The Captain, the Ship, the food, the level of service, the Guides, the scenery, the itinerary, the laughs and the friendships formed all exceeded my expectations. The Danube may not be Blue but the scenery is beautiful. The evening Illumination cruise of Budapest was breathtaking. Every town was charming, each castle and church was prettier and more awe inspiring than the next. The rainbow over our ship when we came out of Castle Grein was pretty special too. I'm still not sure how Edward managed that! Please be aware that this is not a restful vacation. You are on the go morning to night. There is a lot of walking, mostly on cobblestone streets. AMA does provide a Gentle Walkers options and you can choose to stay behind on the ship but there is a lot to see and do on this trip. I can't wait for my next adventure with AMA Waterways! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
AMA's reputation was one of the reason for using them, the crew and staff from the Captain down were great...a big thanks to our Cruise director, Mr. John Riley, he was so well organized and worked very hard to make sure everyone was ... Read More
AMA's reputation was one of the reason for using them, the crew and staff from the Captain down were great...a big thanks to our Cruise director, Mr. John Riley, he was so well organized and worked very hard to make sure everyone was very well taken care of. We weren't sure what to expect as this was our first river cruise, so I'll say, better than expected...food was good with lots of selection and Eletsa kept our wine glasses full all the time, which was a nice touch, there were plenty of tours to chose from, I don' think you could do them all, I'm sure some people tried. The transfer from the airport in Prague was very well arranged and easy to do. I believe our ship was probably one of the nicer ones that we saw on a very busy river. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
dIdnt know what to expect,several years since we river sailed,spend more time sailing on the oceans. What a treat,beautiful ship,clean bright lovely fabrics ,would imagine it would be idyllic in summer when you can spend more time on ... Read More
dIdnt know what to expect,several years since we river sailed,spend more time sailing on the oceans. What a treat,beautiful ship,clean bright lovely fabrics ,would imagine it would be idyllic in summer when you can spend more time on the top deck,lovely sitting areas even a swim up bar wasn't used this trip top temp reached about 52c but this didn't detract from the the trip The the crew were great pleasant always Ready to help can't fault the service , Food something for everyone,and well prepared,nice wines with lunch and dinner,if there was room for improvement I would suggest that they have a more varied choice of house wines for purchase Chardonnay seemed to always be served,would have been nice to have had an alternative. The mix of passengers was also very good which made for a very pleasant and happy ship The captain was excellent always around very approachable nice man To describe this trip in one word Excellent Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The food on board was superb and we enjoyed trying the Chef's table dining room on the last night where there was a tasting menu. We had to share a table in the evenings with tables for 4 or 6 mostly. We especially liked the light ... Read More
The food on board was superb and we enjoyed trying the Chef's table dining room on the last night where there was a tasting menu. We had to share a table in the evenings with tables for 4 or 6 mostly. We especially liked the light lunch served in the lounge which enabled us to have room for the evening meal. There is no room service that I could see so you might want to take a travel kettle. The crew were delightful from the Captain down. He interacted with the guests at each port and welcomed visitors to the bridge. The cruise director, Csaba, was active from morning until night and always available for queries. He couldn't have done more. There was plenty choice of tours at each port, for active and not so active walkers and bikers, so everyone was catered for.. Budapest was a great city for the departure port and it is well worth staying a few days before sailing. The Wachau Valley was beautiful. Vilshofen, the final port ,not so interesting, but it is near a train station. Our ship's transfer to Munich at 0900 was $30 which was the easiest way of getting there. We were in time for a 1240 departure. We didn't go to a lot of the post dinner activities as the tours left at 0900 'ish every day, but there was music in the lounge most evenings. We particularly enjoyed a classical trio. We felt as though we were leaving a family when we left and will definitely return to AMA. A nice touch was the post card we received, from the crew, on getting home, thanking us for sailing AMA. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We decided we wanted to go away to celebrate Christmas. My teenage daughter and I had done a Viking River cruise over the summer as part of our European trip. Viking was geared much more to the over 60 crowd and never, even if you book a ... Read More
We decided we wanted to go away to celebrate Christmas. My teenage daughter and I had done a Viking River cruise over the summer as part of our European trip. Viking was geared much more to the over 60 crowd and never, even if you book a suite, allows 3 people in a room. We are a family of 3 and Viking wanted us to book 2 rooms so 1 person would be alone. Not my idea of a family vacation. It would be different if we had 4 people but it was just another reason I'll never sail Viking again. So we looked elsewhere and chose to go on AMA Waterways aboard the AMA Stella. We booked a suite which had a sitting room with balcony, an adjoining room that was separated by a wall with a large TV that could be turned to face either room. The bedroom had a French balcony and one wall was all storage and closet space. The living room area has a couch that makes into a bed, which was quite comfortable according to my daughter. It also had 2 chairs, a coffee table and a built in desk where they had a computer for our use. The mini fridge was stocked with champagne, beer, and soda and juice which was replenished daily. The balcony had 2 chairs and a small table and one afternoon of sailing was warm enough to sit out there and enjoy it! The bathroom had a toilet that closed off with a pocket door so someone else could be using 1 of the 2 sinks, the shower or bathtub. Toiletry items were replenished daily as was the fruit bowl in the sitting room. We embarked in Budapest and after dinner cruised between Buda and Pest to see the beautiful lights of the buildings. We did a tour of Buda and Pest with a local guide and went to the Christmas market which had some very nice Hungarian made items for sale as well as different food stalls. The next day, the Stella usually stops in Bratslavia, Slovakia but since it was Christmas Day, everything was closed so that stop was skipped and we went on to Vienna. We went to another Christmas market in the afternoon. The ship stopped at all the other scheduled stops and at each one we went on the activity we had chosen for that day. AMA Waterways does not only cater to the over 60 crowd. They offer many options for activity. For the very active they have bike tours which ranged from 6 miles to over 20 miles depending on the port. They also offered hikes, usually to the castle or abbey that most people took the bus to. For the "regular" active person, walking tours were at a normal pace. For the less active, or those with mobility issues, they had a gentle group. On tours, the people in this group were brought closer to the attraction by tram or minivans. Much of Austria is now handicapped accessible due to a law requiring it. There were only a few stops that some people could not do because of many stairs or walks inaccessible by vehicles. Each evening after dinner they offered some kind of local entertainment. They had excellent musicians, dancers or you could opt to walk into town and walk around. Meals were scheduled daily, not always the same time to accommodate an excursion or entertainment. Breakfast and lunch were served in the dining room over a 2 hour period of time. Each day there was a buffet and also a small menu for a couple specials of that day. You could order eggs Benedict or whatever was on the menu that day, and go to the buffet for fruits, breads, cold cereal or yogurts. Lunch was served the same way. You could also choose to have a continental style breakfast or light lunch in the lounge. Dinner was served to you. Dinner always had 4-5 choices for entrees and 2 for soup, 3 for appetizer, 3-4 desserts. Then there were 5 dishes that were always available if nothing on the daily menu appealed to you. You could sit at any table you wanted with most tables seating 6 people. This made for a great way to meet many people. We ended up sitting in the same general area because we found a waiter who we really liked. He was very attentive and a jokester, we really enjoyed talking to him. Everyon was very friendly except for one man who served at the bar in the lounge. He seemed cranky every time we saw him. The other bartender, Silvijo was great. He also served the drinks at dinner and after a couple of days, automatically brought my daughter a coke and a small bit of wine for her to try. All the staff, Frederico was our cruise manager/director and was very informative. The cruise managers change with each cruise. The captain was a very young (29years old) and very friendly man who invited my daughter to the bridge when we were leaving a port. She has a boating license that is higher then one would get for a recreational boat so he showed her around the bridge and how it can collapse down if needed to get under a low bridge. Our caibin stewardess Mariya was very sweet and kept our cabin very clean. Our butler Dimitri aka Micko brought us coffee (and anything else we wanted) at a time determined the day before. He was so sweet as he put his fingers to his lips meaning quiet so as not to wake my daughter who was asleep as he carried in the tray. When my daughter and I did a Viking cruise in July, we did not receive the same attention to detail or the friendliness of all the staff like on AMA. Yes, there were a few people who were great and did a great job but beside 5 or so people, they just were not as good. And the cruise on the Stella was the last cruise for the season and the staff would be going home for 2.5 months. Yet despite this, their attention to the guests did not show it. Their attention was on their work, they were happy and friendly and I would never had known that it was the last cruise of the maiden season of the ship had I not been told. After being in service since last March, the ship was clean and still had a new look to it. Another great thing about the Stella is the sun deck pool. Yes, it was open the last week of December! My daughter and I went for a midnight swim one night. You just told someone at reception that you wanted to use the pool and a crew member would fold back the cover which was like a heavy duty solar cover used on home pools. During the warmer months, there is a bar set up and the pool has stools in it. There is also a large chess set, a walking track and a couple sitting areas on the sun deck. On the Stella, they have a second dining room that guests can make a reservation for one time while on the cruise. It's called the Chefs Table and seats about 30 people. The menu is set and they ask about any food allergies. Since I'm allergic to aspartame, when dessert came, one of the 3 items on my plate was different than that of my husband and daughters because the other contained aspartame. The dinner in this restaurant was small portions of many different things and was wonderful!!! This ship also has a small gym with 2 treadmills, 2 bikes and weights on the bottom deck and a spa where you could have your hair done or have a massage. I didn't have time to squeeze in a massage but a woman I spoke with had one when she opted out of a tour and said it was very good, better than expected. The price of a massage was less than having one at home. Because it was Christmas AMA did a special Austrian tradition of putting a shoe out for Father Christmas. If you had been bad, you would get a stick in your shoe and if good you received a gift. My husband did not want to participate so when he fell asleep, my daughter and I put one of his shoes out with ours. The next morning each shoe had a gift and the guests 18 or younger got a gift and a beautiful chocolate Santa. So having experienced 2 different cruise lines within 6 months, I have to say that AMA Waterways is a much better line than Viking. They do many little things that make you feel special. All the female passengers were each given a nice scarf in a box. It is a nice scarf with the company name only on the tag. The little things do make a difference. AMA carries bikes on ship to offer biking to its guests. They have you fill out what excursions you want to do over the week and at what level-active, regular or gentle. On Viking the included tours were a ride around on a bus for the most part, never into an exhibit that cost admission. On AMA you went to see a place and saw it, inside and out and they didn't charge extra for the admission. AMA Waterways Stella was a wonderful place to spend Christmas and the cruise all around was so great that we put down a deposit for our next cruise! A $200 deposit per person to be used in the next 2 years. Oh, where to go? Somewhere on AMA Waterways for sure! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We actually chose this cruise just on the basis of the itinerary and dates. Having sailed with AMAWaterways, however, we would definitely take another cruise with them based on the outstanding experience we had. We sailed from Nuremberg ... Read More
We actually chose this cruise just on the basis of the itinerary and dates. Having sailed with AMAWaterways, however, we would definitely take another cruise with them based on the outstanding experience we had. We sailed from Nuremberg to Budapest on the beautiful new ship AMAStella, visiting Christmas markets along the way. By the end, we had pretty well exhausted our interest in markets. Luckily, the shore excursions (all accompanied by knowledgeable guides) also included city tours and there were on-board activities related to Christmas as well. The food was unbelievably well done. We were so impressed with the variety and the preparation, as well as the wine service. We traveled with a one-year-old in our group, which could have been a recipe for disaster. Instead, we found we could easily take part in meals and activities, and the crew was welcoming and helpful. In fact, the entire crew was as friendly, professional and helpful as one could wish in all aspects of the trip. Embarkation and disembarkation were also expertly done. In short, we felt we hit almost a home run on our first experience cruising. Our only complaint relates to AMA's business office. When in April 2015 we booked 6 adults for December 2016, we also indicated that we would be bringing a 13-month old child. With 6 reservations on the line, they agreed to allow the infant, but wanted our acknowledgement that they had no support for an infant: no crib, high chair, stroller, car seat, dirty diaper pail, car seat or life vest. We agreed, we would provide our own. A week before the trip we were informed that we should have been charged an almost $1000 supplement for the infant, but they agreed they were a little late on that. But we were also informed that the parents of the infant would have to move from Deck 3 to Deck 1 because Deck 3 cabins had a balcony and the infant could fall overboard, so they would apply the rate reduction for Deck 1 against the supplement and waive the balance. Obviously the "balcony" issue was a pretext (who opens a balcony in December from Nuremberg to Budapest, much less what parent opens the balcony with a 13-month old infant). I talked to another parent who had a somewhat similar experience with a young child on another AMA cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Just a little about myself and the group we travelled with: my husband and I are in our 50's and have been cruising with Disney and Royal Caribbean fairly regularly since 2003. We're Diamond level with RCCL. Our travelling ... Read More
Just a little about myself and the group we travelled with: my husband and I are in our 50's and have been cruising with Disney and Royal Caribbean fairly regularly since 2003. We're Diamond level with RCCL. Our travelling companions were my sister and her husband (in their 60's ) and their friends--a married couple in the 70's. We travelled from Toronto to Amsterdam to visit family for 4 days before the cruise. Flew into Budapest 1 day before the cruise. In Budapest we stayed at the BEAUTIFUL Prestige Hotel (approx. $290 CA for 1 night). Great central location, but about a 10-15 minute taxi ride to the port. Port is a loose term--it was basically in the middle of a construction site. Very strange! But it was fast. We were greeted by the cruise manager, Dragon, and walked straight on the boat. We had a light lunch in the lounge and waited to be escorted to our cabins. Check-in was speedy (literally under a minute) and we were off! When we booked, we were given cabin #227. We had been moved to the very end of the hall for some unknown reason: 233. We were next to a couple of crew cabins and a stairway that could be busy with crew at various times of the day. My travel companions were all upgraded though! they were given bigger rooms with an outdoor balcony as well as the indoor French balcony. This did not sit well with me at all---as we had all booked at the same time and paid the same price. There was a lot of misinformation given out. When escorted to our room we were told we would be invited to the chef's table at some point during the week--just watch for a card in the room. This never happened, so we never went! Apparently you have to make a reservation yourself. Bar service was erratic and pricing seemed to be a the whim of the server. When we questioned it and asked for a refund, the bartender said 'what can I do?'. The tours were wonderful though and we were exhausted at the end of the week. Busy , busy , busy! Be a good walker because even the slower paced tours involved a lot of walking. Night time entertainment was sparse and not the best. We walked out of one show. Our cruise was a wine themed one and unbeknownst to us, a large group pretty much monopolized it. Be sure to ask if this is the case on your cruise and plan accordingly. Dining room food was adequate. Service again was spotty and often times rude. Getting a glass of wine on a wine cruise shouldn't be a chore, but it was. I'm not sure if we'll river cruise again, if so, we'll do more research and definitely NOT go with AMAWaterways. Re the cabin: Our cabin was freezing! no amount of complaints or fiddling with the thermostat could remedy the fact. There seemed to be a constant draft coming from around the door. The room was TINY, but clean and well appointed. Nice to travel on a new ship! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I chose this cruise because I was travelling with my elderly mother and we liked the idea of unpacking once. Our travel agent assured us that APT would organise a wheelchair for mum to use for the excursions and the staff/crew were ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I was travelling with my elderly mother and we liked the idea of unpacking once. Our travel agent assured us that APT would organise a wheelchair for mum to use for the excursions and the staff/crew were brilliant. They could not have done more to help us with information about the places we visited and accessibility for the wheelchair. The meals were first class; choices were exceptional. We were able to attend the Chef's Table degustation nights twice and they were both wonderful experiences. Every staff member was helpful, polite and welcoming. They all made us feel special and none of our requests were too much trouble. Of course, we were lucky to sail on such a new, modern ship; it was amazing. The staff were very knowledgeable about everything; the ship, ports of call, planned excursions. The excursions were great and the tour guides were very informative and welcoming. We were impressed with the small group numbers in our walking tours and we were happy to be a part of the 'gentle walkers' - it suited perfectly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After 13 years of Ocean cruises I decided to take my first River cruise. I had been thinking about it for quite a few years but never booked one. Last year I finally made the decision and realized I really wanted to do it. My sister ... Read More
After 13 years of Ocean cruises I decided to take my first River cruise. I had been thinking about it for quite a few years but never booked one. Last year I finally made the decision and realized I really wanted to do it. My sister has been on both Ocean and River cruises and I know she enjoys both. I also know my TA and she and her husband love River Cruising too so I had at least 2 individuals who love them and both have sailed AMA and recommended them to me very highly. I was not disappointed I have always wanted to go to the Netherlands and when I saw the "Tulip Time" itinerary I knew that is the one I was going to choose. I booked this cruise back in the summer of 2015 (very end of July) and so there was a lot of time to wait......(with a Caribbean cruise in between) back in November. ........for a bit about me.....I am 58 and I sail solo. I had done a lot of research and knew this would be very different than an ocean cruise and that was the case for sure. I would say it is 180 degrees different. The Ambiance, food, ship, everything..........totally different. We had (from what I was told) 114 passengers on board on a ship that holds 158. So it was very easy to meet other folks, passengers as well at the staff AMA is a privately owned company and I felt VERY welcomed.....brand new ship. I originally thought this was the Inaugural sailing but it was not...it was the 3rd cruise.....although I would have never known anyone was on board before me. It was spotless...beautifully appointed and in my opinion, she has a warm and welcoming feel to her. That includes the staff and crew and as the Capt stated, a ship can be beautiful but the people are the soul of her and they have a fabulous crew. Backing up a bit........I arrived in Amsterdam a day early and stayed at "The Banks Mansion" hotel. It is a lovely property. A big flower market on one side, with a canal on the other, it is sort of a cross between a B&B and a hotel. The lobby is like a living room with a fire place and complimentary juices/coffees/teas/booze (yes liquors are included). The large breakfast room is downstairs and is also included in the price. The staff (reception) are very warm and welcoming.....and helpful too. My flight actually arrived in Amsterdam 45 minutes early and finding my luggage and a cab was very quick. It cost 60 euros from AMS to Banks Mansion. There were probably cheaper forms of transportation but this worked out fine for me. I got to the hotel about 8:30am and of course there were no rooms ready. I really wanted to shower and change clothes from what I flew in all night but that was not possible. The gals at the front desk were really nice but they were sold out the previous night so nothing much they could do....I had a couple of cups of tea and sat for awhile.......then I walked to Flower Market for about an hour and there are lots of shops/cafes/cheeses and strolled around there until about 11 and then felt myself getting tired again. I went back to the hotel but there were still no rooms ready. Then about 12:15 the gal said they had a room...I wanted to give her a hug!.....I took a hot shower...it was fabulous and changed my clothes. I had done research on different tours/excursions in Amsterdam for my one day and found a company called "HUNGRY BIRDS". It is a culinary tour and sounded like a lot of fun and it was...... It started at 2:00pm (the other big reason I wanted to shower and change) who wants to tour in clothing they slept in all night on the plane...........I had a map of where to meet the tour and found it pretty easily. The guides were 2 gals and we had about 9 others so I think we had 11 of us.....and there were 9 stops....different restaurants/cheese shops/etc. It was an international group.....me, a couple from the UK, a couple from Israel and 4 folks from Germany. Everyone seemed to have a good time. The downside was it rained all afternoon. And by the time we reached stop 7 I had lost all my energy. There were 2 stops after that but I could not continue and it was about 4:30 by then.......you know, 2nd wind is gone and you feel like you cannot do anything more.......I wish I could have stayed but it was just not possible. One of the gals walked with me to the corner and I got a cab back to the hotel. It was about 6.5 euros from where we were so not too far away. I gave the girls (tour guides) a nice tip and the minute my head hit my pillow I fell asleep. I slept for about 4 hours and woke up (thinking it was the next morning LOL.)...... I went back to sleep and then woke up about midnight...watched tv in the room, and fell back asleep about 4am and finally woke up again about 9am (this was finally sail day)! So I did end up sleeping but there were a few hours in the middle night of tv watching........I felt much better after finally getting up about 9am Next up would be sail day.....I woke up about 9am and took another hot shower and proceeded to head downstairs of the hotel for breakfast. They had all sorts of meats/cheeses/fruits and breads, along with cereals and an omelette man who was making whatever you like......omelettes or just scrambled eggs with all sorts of fixings.....mushrooms, cheese, ham, etc....and they had sausage and bacon too. This was included in the price. For anyone interested, I paid for this directly through the hotel. It was 249 euros.....in US $ my total came to 291.00. This is a bit more than I usually spend on hotels but I decided to "go for it" and in my opinion, it was worth it. As I mentioned earlier, I would stay here again. The hotel called a cab for me and the driver comes inside to pick you up. It was about 11 Euros to the ship and yes, the driver knew where to drop me off. If you are sailing on AMA, the birth is listed in your cruise documents. I gave the driver 15 euros and told him to keep the change. I arrived about noon at the ship and there are AMA staff waiting at the curbside for you.....they take your bags and walk with you to the ship. Next up......the ship...etc….. Oh wait, before I get to the ship I want to make sure for those of you who have yet to visit Amsterdam or if it has been many years since your last visit.......one MAJOR tip......PLEASE watch out for the bicycles. Seriously, they own the roads and do not care who else is there...cars, buses, PEOPLE......it seems bike riders have the right of way over anyone else and I heard a joke (I think it is a joke) that every person owns 4 bikes.....that is why some places have so many And the weather, it was cold, windy and rainy. Not that it affects anyone. Everyone just dresses accordingly and goes about their business. But the weather got better for the entire cruise (more on this later). So, Thursday morning I wake up, shower, have breakfast, check out of the hotel and wait for the cab. From the time the hotel called one, he was there within about 10 minutes. So, the staff takes my bags and we walk up to the ship (nice start)....The reception area is right there as you board the ship and they take your bags and let you know there is coffee/tea/etc in the main lounge area. Rooms are not ready till about 3:00 but that is ok. There were already folks on board and I met 2 couples and started chatting with them a bit. The main lounge on this ship is very comfortable with a welcoming feeling to it. This is in place to hang out before/after dinner and also, during the day, if you don't want to eat breakfast/lunch in the dining room, they have "lighter fare" here. There is a bar with about 12 stools (I think it was about 12) and the rest of the lounge is couches and chairs and of course windows with lovely views. And if you are not getting off the ship for a tour, you would definitely sit in the lounge (if not your cabin). Speaking of cabins, AMA offers cabins for the solo cruiser where they waive the Single Supplement in this particular category. It was on deck 1 and was fine for me. Double bed and 2 windows. Complimentary internet in your cabin too. The bathroom was small but fine for me too. Actually it was a nice bathroom with a great shower......doors, not a curtain and the counter top was granite.....really lovely. The cabin comes with a Duvet but I after the first night I had them remove it (too hot for me). I just used a top sheet and there is an additional blanket supplied if needed. Your tv in the cabin is also your computer. I only used it a few times to check my mail and I posted on here a couple of times. Other than that,I didn't have much desire to use it. I do sleep with the tv on though.....it is a sedative for me. More about the ship.....it may be a boat that sails on a River but the apt calls it a ship so I will too Speaking of the Captain, he was always visible and outgoing. I was up on the sundeck after boarding to see what was up there and he was in the Bridge Area. The door was open so I looked inside and introduced myself and shook his hand. Very classy guy. He would be at the doors as folks left for tours and as they returned from them too. The ship has 2 restaurants.......the main dining room and there is a Specialty Restaurant on deck 3, all the way Aft. The meal held in here is called "The Chef's Table" and each person was given the opportunity to eat here once during the cruise. As good as the meals in the main dining room were, this had to be one of the best dinners I have ever eaten, land or sea. The presentation was outstanding as well. This was what would be considered a tasting menu....you did not order anything. They brought it to you, course by course and wine was part of it too. No extra charge for this meal.......and if there was? I would have paid for it......it was FANTASTIC. Food is always a subjective topic so I am guessing it will be here too. I found everything to be good to excellent....food came out hot and cooked as ordered. Since this is such a small forum, there will probably not be anyone to give you another opinion (as on the Celebrity forum, for example). I really enjoyed all my meals.....trying to think back if there was something I didn't like but nothing is coming into my memory bank. The dining room has booths and tables and I sat with different people for dinners, although some were the same a couple of nights. They had 3 entree choices AND they also had 3 other "every night items".....if you did not like what the choices were you could order a steak, chicken or salmon that was on the "every night offerings". The presentation of everything was beautiful. And the wait staff was just that, wait staff. They did the food portion and the beverage staff did just that....your beverages. Really superior service. Oh, yes, there were appetizers, soups and salads too......full menu and the desserts? YUM......and those presentations were always lovely too. I was very impressed with food and service throughout the week. Breakfast and lunch.....same dining room but you could order off the menu or get the buffet or both! They offered quite a few choices and also, they had lighter fare set up in the main lounge if you wanted to eat up there. The food up there was good too...different soup every day, small wraps/sandwiches, different cookies/pastries too Nick was our Cruise Manager and he has worked for AMA for 6 years. This position is quite different than a CD on an Ocean Cruise. He is very approachable and also is the person who handles EVERYTHING....from your tour to how you are getting to the airport on disembarkation day. If you have a chance to sail with him? Do it. He also gives talks about the places you are going to visit. Sort of like a lecture but not boring and he is very knowledgeable. He sat with me and 2 other ladies for dinner on the first night of the cruise. He was always projecting a very positive attitude and really encouraged people to interact with one another throughout the cruise. Not in a fake way either......he has a great personality and it was a pleasure meeting him. Coming up........ports and tours......which of course as most of you regular River cruisers already know....this is what a River Cruise is all about. I know I said ports were coming...they are LOL but I want to say they did have some evening entertainment too. There was a pianist in the lounge who played each night and on 2 other evenings there were others as well. One night there was a trio called "La Strada"....2 Violinists and a guitarist who played classical music but it was very different and very good. And the other evening they had a singer named Rolf who did Broadway tunes. He was also very good and I really enjoyed both. Dress code...during the day it was cold, we were lucky and had sunshine throughout the week but long sleeves and jackets were the attire of day....along with jeans. As for dinner, it was casual. I changed for dinner each night (that is just me).....after being out all day, I wanted to take a shower and change. Now, I did not "dress up" but did bring about 4 different pairs of pants for evenings....most of them black or in the black family......with different tops of course.....you could have worn what you had on during the day and I am guessing some folks did. I chose to change. I felt totally fine in my clothing choices. Oh, I did wear my jeans multiple times during the week....I brought 3 pairs......2 blue and 1 black. But I always wore a new top each day. I also used the ship's laundry service about 1/2 way through the cruise. Everything came back fine and I thought the prices were reasonable. And how good is this......I sent 2 knit tops out.....they washed them but did not put them in the dryer and Head of Housekeeping explained they were hanging them to dry and would have them back to me later in the day....she delivered me everything else folded in a nice plastic bag. Here we go......so, each day they offered multiple choices in the tour area. You could sign up for whatever was appealing. Normally the morning tours started at 9am. Oh, back up again.....they had audio devices (small) for the tours so when your guide spoke you were connected with earpieces. Kind of neat really....you had a card that had different colors/numbers on it and you were given a color for your tour group. You wore the device around your neck (like a lanyard) and put the earbuds in your ears and the guide would not have to yell...they spoke into a microphone and you were connected to them.....sounds a bit strange but it works I would say my tours had no more than 25 people..and that would be a high number. Some of the tours I went on only had 6 or 7 people on them. The audio devices I mentioned above.....well, they looked like a rectangular shape. Not heavy at all. The device and earpieces connected to the tour guide......hope that made some sense. If you are cruising with AMA you will see them in person. Anyway, we stayed in Amsterdam overnight before sailing....I boarded on Thursday and Friday morning I did a canal boat tour and when we got off the boat we walked around an area of Amsterdam.....very good tourguide on that one. We sailed in the afternoon and docked in a town called Hoorn......they had 3 different tours offered and I chose to just walk around Hoorn.... ended up with only 5 others and a tour guide.......loved it...quaint city..... Saturday we were in Arnhem and I decided to sleep in. I had planned to go to a Palace but changed my mind. I went with a group on a tour in the afternoon.....it was the only place I remember having to walk up a hill to get into the city center (HOPE I am remembering this right).... I was out of breath by the time we got to the top Sunday....docked in Antwerp and in the morning I walked around on my own....in the afternoon I did a "Limited Edition Tour".....it was chocolate, waffles and beer. Had a good time with a nice group. I am missing something so trying to think here a moment.......we docked close to a BIG Produce Market and my mind is trying to remember which place.....I walked around on my own and for the life of me I can't remember which port it was I have my daily's so will try to re-read them..I know I walked around on my own...no tour at all. (that was in the morning)....... I do know on Monday we went to Ghent and I took an all day tour to Bruges. If you have a chance to go there, I would definitely recommend it. Had a good day.....a great lunch and the weather was sunny all day. Very interesting place. This tour was extra $ but in my opinion, worth the money. All the other tours were included in the cruise. Tuesday we were in Williamstead in the morning. It is very small town and I got off the ship for maybe an hour to walk around. In the afternoon we were in Kinderdijk and had a tour of windmills ( about 20 of us on this tour). WEDNESDAY.......KEUKENHOF GARDENS.....YOU MUST GO. I went on the 2 hour tour and in the afternoon we were back in Amsterdam and I went on another limited edition tour to the Jordaan area. The Gardens?....it would take more than 2 hours to see it all and you could have the option of staying longer. The flowers were truly magnificent. The colors and choices both………. WED we were docked in Amsterdam and had buses take us to the Gardens. Not sure I posted that already. When we came back to the ship we had lunch and then did the Jordaan tour in the afternoon. A bus drove us from the ship to the area and we did more walking and the bus picked us up and took us back to the ship. I would say there is ALOT of walking on a River cruise and to make sure you have good walking shoes. I don't do walking here at home (yes, I know I should)....but I got a pair of Merrell's and they were the best......wore them every day (with socks) and my feet felt fine. I know I did not list everything/everywhere we walked but I know it was miles and miles.... When we went to Bruge (for example) the busses pulled up and I thought the area looked like a park...it was beautiful. It took a good while to get to the inside of the city....I was speaking with some other folks on the tour and we all thought we walked somewhere between 8-10 miles that day. Thankfully we did have "downtime"...I found a great place for lunch.....try the Mussells......they are delicious. And I know most of you are photographers/picture takers....I am not. I do know you will find lots of flowers/statues/items to take pictures of though. We had our last night on the ship and Thursday morning everyone was off....they had everyone in different colored tags, depending on what time you needed. Get this......it was me and 1 other couple...we had transfers included in our cruise. Well, for just the 3 of us they had regular sized bus.....yes, a big bus for just us lol.....they could have gotten an SUV...... We were on the bus at 8:15am....I gave Nick and the Capt big hugs and Thank you's.....and AMA had staff waiting at the airport for us as well! Had a guy help me get checked in and everything......very classy. Oh, when we got off the ship, they had staff who took our bags to that big bus. I want to say you cannot really compare an Ocean cruise to a River Cruise. They are so totally different it is not a fair comparison (in my opinion anyway). I wish I could put one word on it but it is more than 1 thing....the whole experience is so opposite of a large ship. They do give you what is called a "Safety Card" and you need to take it with you everytime you leave the ship. It is up to you to remember to give it back each time you step back on the ship. There is no machine that you have to use to put said card in out and of.....(like the big ships have). Also, they know you quite well after the first day and are good at remembering your cabin number too. Maybe "Intimate" would be part of it all.....an easy experience and they try to make the week easy for all of us. Again, Kudos to Nick. He seemed to be the type of person who truly loves his job and it comes across that way. I am guessing the other Cruise Managers probably feel the same. I forgot one other thing....at the end of the cruise there was a blue gift box on my bed.....(everyone got one)......AMA gave us beautiful blue scarf's.....I am not a scarf wearer but I was VERY impressed with it.....what a wonderful gesture. I want to say I had such a fantastic time that I have already booked another cruise with AMA for May 2017. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
AmaStella Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.7
Entertainment 3.5 4.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 3.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.6
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 5.0 4.7

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