2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
It was on a river , my wife has a motion sickness problem. The itinerary looked interesting. My wife uses an electric trike to travel any distance but it is not needed on board. The excursions all had a gentle options so we assumed ... Read More
It was on a river , my wife has a motion sickness problem. The itinerary looked interesting. My wife uses an electric trike to travel any distance but it is not needed on board. The excursions all had a gentle options so we assumed we could cope. Unfortunately mainland Europe has not progress as far the UK and north america in disability access. Another problem was the boat was frequently double or triple parked so we had to get to the top deck, no lift to that and then go up and down over one or two other boats. The crew helped as much as they could but it was still a problem. No idea why they did that there seemed to be unused berths in places. My biggest problem was the quality of the shore excursions the guides seemed to pitch the talks at a very superficial level. The only ones I enjoyed were the tasting options when the guide or subject expert had the time to talk to us as adults. Of the other guests two thirds had booked as a group this appeared to limit social interaction. Given the price I ticked the luxury box and marked accordingly. Enrichment activities not sure any were offered. They had a resident pianist, bland, inoffensive and quiet. Fitness room had a treadmill, 2 bikes and a high tech multi-gym with virtually no instructions, I would have preferred an elliptical machine instead of the second bike. Never saw any of the machines in use. One guide I found really irritating referred repeatedly to the visit the Royal Air Force made to her town on 16/4/1945 and yes we did flatten most of it but we were at war. Very difficult to avoid asking what here parents did in the war years. Another tour the guide sent most time talking about basket ball (ex pro 7ft 2inch) of no interest to me and not what I paid for. We found the almost total absence of both bird life and fishermen along the rivers interesting makes you wounder what is in the water. In-spite of the crew and the food being excellent we would not repeat this or try another cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise as friends wanted to visit Prague, Vienna and Budapest, as well as the Wachau Valley in Austria, and we had lived in the area, so felt comfortable traveling with them. The service onboard was superb, from the trip ... Read More
We chose this cruise as friends wanted to visit Prague, Vienna and Budapest, as well as the Wachau Valley in Austria, and we had lived in the area, so felt comfortable traveling with them. The service onboard was superb, from the trip manager to the individuals waiting on us. Everything was organized, with multiple options daily for each type of group, be they active or unable to do physical activities. The night cruise in Budapest was a highlight. A few quibbles: this was a wine cruise with Dr. Frank from the New York Finger Lakes region. We are familiar with Dr. Frank's wines and were hoping to have more interaction with Fred Frank, who was on the cruise. We found him introverted and uninterested in interacting outside of his small circle. Also, the wines were mediocre for a 'wine' cruise, especially since we spent a few days in the Wachau Valley, which is home to outstanding white wines. Linz is a boring city. I realize it's the place that enables passengers to see either Cseky Krumlow or Salzburg, but any activity there is not worth the time. Perhaps they can redesign this piece. One day in Vienna and one in Budapest are too little. Both cities deserve more time at the expense of Linz, for example. Last, the optional concert in Vienna should have been at the Opera House or Symphony Hall. I realize this would have been much more expensive, but how often do passengers get the opportunity to see world class music? A tourist trap option was a disappointment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
So, why did I choose AmaWaterways? First, I’m not an avid cruiser and usually prefer to drive ourselves and stay at cute inns to explore a country. However, I wanted to try a river cruise and visit Prague and Budapest so this seemed ... Read More
So, why did I choose AmaWaterways? First, I’m not an avid cruiser and usually prefer to drive ourselves and stay at cute inns to explore a country. However, I wanted to try a river cruise and visit Prague and Budapest so this seemed like a good solution although we’d already visited the Austrian ports on an independent trip. Plus, we had friends who also wanted to try one. I liked that AmaWaterways had about 150 vs. 200 passengers on Viking, that it had bikes onboard to use and hosted Backroads mini groups (figured passengers would be more active), that it got great marks for cuisine and shore excursions, and that the AmaLea was a brand new ship in 2018. Also had heard from several friends who had cruised favorably with them. The reason I picked going south to north was that we got to view Budapest’s bridges and buildings beautifully illuminated at night as we cruised along the waterfront, which wouldn’t happen on a north bound itinerary. We boarded the ship about 2p, before most of the guests arrived and was able to grab a quick , self service lunch. Our room included a small balcony with 2 chairs and table, and a french balcony, and was attractive and efficiently laid out, although the bathroom was a tighter fit compared to ocean cruises, it had a decent sized shower. It included a “window” that you could push a button to see into the bedroom and outside or frost it for privacy. I recommend you have collapsable suitcases which we did (Lipault brand) so they could be slid under the bed. Otherwise you’ll be tripping over them in the room. We quickly walked out on the balcony and enjoyed the long river view UNTIL another ship rudely pulled up next to us and the room went dark. Welcome to the ugly truth of “rafting”…or as I called it, being shafted. We were unlucky in that this basically happened every day. I caution you to figure out which side of the ship you’ll be docked on and try to get a room on the other side. This can change day to day and even if you’re on the outside river side, you still can have another ship pull up next to you. It became a joke because our friends were on the opposite side and mostly had clear views. The top deck of the ship had a lovely pool (which we never used although it was HOT for most days) and attractive seating areas. We walked around Vilshoven a bit but everything was closed since it was Sunday. There was an Oktoberfest celebration offered onshore for us with beer, pretzels, accordion music and children dancing. Very enjoyable. From 5:30-6:30 we were subjected to a way too long, stupid safety talk by the captain. Someone needs to edit that guy. Dinner was at a set time, 7pm, but seating was open so we could dine privately or with others. A special cocktail was always offered and wines were served with dinner, which was generally very good. Passau, Germany After a morning spent walking around the now open Vilshoven, we cruise down to Passau, where we went through the Locks for some natural room darkening….like being in a cave. Our selected shore excursion is to climb to Ober Vesterhaus for a view of the confluence of 3 rivers, the Danube, Inn and Els. We have a wonderful tour guide filled with entertaining tidbits who doesn’t stop talking the whole time we climb 38 floors and 12,000 steps (according to my Fitbit) up to the 1499 Castle atop the hill opposite the town. First we cross a suspension bridge and then start climbing. The Prince Bishop used to live here and control the whole region. It’s very hot and sunny…I didn’t pack the right clothes (shorts!) as I expected more fall like temperatures. Afterwards, we had free time to explore the town and we visited St. Stephen’s Cathedral with the world’s largest organ. Would’ve loved to hear it. Tonight was our friend’s birthday and we had made a reservation to eat in their Chef’s Table specialty restaurant for an excellent Tasting menu. Claudio (a double for James Franco) and the Maitre d’ joked around with us all night…very funny. They brought out an amazing chocolate cake for him and upgraded our wine. Wonderful celebration. Linz, Austria We enjoyed a brief view of Danube scenery until we docked at Linz. Then, the dreaded Rafting. We have a walking city tour of Linz, grab an early lunch, then board a bus for an all afternoon excursion to the Salzkammergut region…the Alpine Lake District. Decades ago we had driven and stayed over in this gorgeous region, but now we must be satisfied with a quick jaunt. The bus was very comfortable and our guide is very good. We drive along the sides of several lakes and have time in Mondsee to go inside the Sound of Music church where Maria got married and Wolfgangsee to walk around the tourist shops and have a drink on a terrace overlooking this stunning mountain lake. It’s so hot, I wish we could go for a swim and stay longer. Weissenkirchen, Wachau Valley, Austria 
Today we cruised through the prettiest stretch of the Danube, but the weather didn’t cooperate for photos turning cloudy, windy & cool. In the afternoon, we had a walking tour of the charming town of Durnstein, where we had stayed previously, and shopping only yielded a jar of their famed Apricot (Marille) jam. A tour of the Melk Abbey followed with an excellent guide. Vienna Although we have stayed in Vienna in the past, I had an ambitious touring schedule for us that included some quality shopping. We began with the ship’s city tour, which bussed us around the Ringstrasse for an overview of all the baroque buildings. Then, when they dropped us at the Albertina Museum for a walking tour, we left the group to tour the museum which had an interesting art collection and a wonderful photography exhibit. From here, we walked to the Hofburg Castle complex and toured the Sisi Museum and Imperial Apartments. So far so good, but now the restaurant I had wanted to lunch at was back near the Albertina and didn’t want to double back. Instead we walked into the shopping district and got an outside table at a famous cafe. This was a bad experience as we waited over an hour for our food and then when questioned, was told it would take another half hour for the schnitzel. Think they forgot to submit the order. So, just ended up with a salad and piece of cake which wasted about two hours of precious time. Didn’t help that I was starting to feel miserable from the onslaught of a cold. Didn’t see any good shops and didn’t feel like walking around more so just headed back to the ship. Bratislava, Slovakia Another sunny day as we cruised into this cute little town. Chose another city walking tour with a very funny guide. Not much to see in the town or good shops, but we stopped for an aperol spritz and cake. Tonight is the Captain’s Dinner and we hope he doesn’t talk. Budapest, Hungary We started with a city tour on a bus but the day was cool and rainy. We got to tour the City Market and Mathias Church and climb it’s Belvedere, but the views were dismal due to the weather. Ducked into a popular cafe nearby, Ruzworm, and tried their famous cream cake. I didn’t care for it but DH did. The cappuccino was lukewarm, as usual so far. Back to the ship for lunch, and then we just walked and walked. Watched a wedding party as they left the church…always enjoy that. Pre-dinner entertainment were two Hungarian dancing couples and an excellent violinist. After dinner, was the Illumination Cruise along the waterfront which was spectacular, although chilly from the top deck. An easy disembarkation, compared to ocean cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose AMA because of the itinerary, The Romantic Danube. The ship was beautiful and the staff was amazing. There is not one thing we could say bad about this vacation. Every need of ours was met at every turn. The excursions were ... Read More
We chose AMA because of the itinerary, The Romantic Danube. The ship was beautiful and the staff was amazing. There is not one thing we could say bad about this vacation. Every need of ours was met at every turn. The excursions were amazing with super fun, informative tour guides. Even when we had to disembark and bus from Vienna to Budapest, John, our cruise manager made this a smooth and easy transition. We still had time in Budapest to do the tours we had scheduled and the illuminations cruise we were all looking forward to. Any adversity that came about, John handled professionally and never let the passengers know there was any bump in the plans. The onboard staff was amazing and took care of our every need. The food was fantastic and there were always may options for all. We loved this vacation and can't wait to go on another AMA river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because Dr. Frank Winery was hosting it for their wine club members and their wines were featured. This was an awesome cruise experience. The staff was extremely attentive. The food was excellent. It was a new ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Dr. Frank Winery was hosting it for their wine club members and their wines were featured. This was an awesome cruise experience. The staff was extremely attentive. The food was excellent. It was a new ship with all the amenities. Most everything was first class. Three of the nights' entertainment was outstanding! John Riley, our cruise director, was fabulous. He could turn a disaster into an apple pie! Every attention to detail was given. He was on call probably 16 hours a day. He was always available and approachable. He became a friend to all on board. Because the river was low due to lack of adequate rainfall, the ship could not sail the last leg of the trip so John had to arrange for travel and lodging for a night for all passengers at our final city. It was disappointing to not sail the last day/night, but John made the best of it and made sure we all were comfortable and attended to. There are only two issues I believe that could be improved upon: First, the "in house" pianist was O.K., but not outstanding. He was fine for some light background pieces for lunch and late afternoon, but didn't really cut it for the night life. He was pleasant enough and personable, but just was not of the level we were expecting for this type of cruise. Second, it appeared there was no thought about lighting in the main bar/lounge area. Different lighting is needed for different functions/moods/situations. The lighting seemed helter-skelter. Whatever was on, was on. The staff didn't know how to adjust it and didn't seem to understand the differences in lighting moods. All in all this was an outstanding trip for us and we look forward to once again sailing with AMA in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
In our opinion, the Nov 11, 2018, Danube cruise was one of the best cruises we've ever been on--which had a lot to do with the staff and the cruise manager. The beauty of Vilshofen all the way to Budapest was breathtaking. Most ... Read More
In our opinion, the Nov 11, 2018, Danube cruise was one of the best cruises we've ever been on--which had a lot to do with the staff and the cruise manager. The beauty of Vilshofen all the way to Budapest was breathtaking. Most of the people who took the cruise were over 50, but they were very active and all of the active tours were completely full. The relaxing part was saved for the evening, where AMA spared no expense for incredible meals and libations. Top notch. I really wish I had two to three days in Vienna and Budapest. Wow. That 15 mile bike ride through Vienna was unbelievable. The Danube River was so low, unfortunately, that we could not go from Vienna to Budapest (we took a bus). Even with something that they couldn't control, AMA still managed everything with class by putting us up in a wonderful hotel (on the river) and we all us did a river cruise evening meal to see the evening illuminations . We got to enjoy Budapest in comfort and are so thankful. Which I'm sure was an extra expense to AMA--classy. I will say that the arrangements that had to be taken in order to arrange this last day in Budapest were handled incredibly by John our cruise director. He dealt with things that were very difficult, but yet he calmly met all challenges in such a way that deserves massive credit. His knowledge, professionalism, people skills and ability to handle pressure really came shining through. John--thanks to you from all of us (that cruise was incredible in every way). Thank you AMA - we're already planning our next cruise with you for next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had a terrific time on this cruise, which was our fourth with Ama Waterways. The AmaLea is a lovely new river ship with an exceptionally well-trained and friendly crew. We lucked out with great weather, although this “lovely” ... Read More
We had a terrific time on this cruise, which was our fourth with Ama Waterways. The AmaLea is a lovely new river ship with an exceptionally well-trained and friendly crew. We lucked out with great weather, although this “lovely” weather also caused the Danube to be very low. Supposedly, we were the last ship to sail out of Budapest that day, due to this low water. The itinerary was fun – we were kept busy every day, including taking two lovely bike tours and a hike up to the Castle section of Budapest. Our cabin was small, but perfectly adequate. The bathroom is a good size for such a small ship, and the shower was great, with always enough hot water. The bed was comfortable, and the sliding doors open up the riverside world into your room. The TV/Apple computer was okay, but the keyboard and mouse seldom worked. Getting on and off the ship is a breeze, including when first boarding and when disembarking. Those used to large ocean liners will be amazed. They offer a range of activities each day, so you can be as active as you like. They always offered a “gentle” alternative, and you can certainly just stay onboard and enjoy the ship, which includes a heated pool on the upper deck. The food was very good, and was served by a cheerful and helpful staff. The hotel manager was a delight, and the Captain was low-key, friendly, and very down-to-earth (he helped move our luggage when we left the ship). Our tour manager, Kriss, is a gem. She keeps things very organized, and keeps calm and friendly under every situation (that’s the Canadian in her). I’d love to travel with her again, and I’d be very happy to again sail on the AmaLea. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
An travel agent acquaintance made some suggestions when my sister and I decided we would like to try a river cruise and we are so grateful she suggested AMA. The service was wonderful and the cruise manage, Camille, was terrific. She was ... Read More
An travel agent acquaintance made some suggestions when my sister and I decided we would like to try a river cruise and we are so grateful she suggested AMA. The service was wonderful and the cruise manage, Camille, was terrific. She was friendly and professional and personal. She supplied pertinent information at the exact time we needed it. The excursions were timely and informative and guides were excellent. The time at the excursion sites is relatively quick. If you really want to explore a city, you really don't have time to do so - you mostly get an overview, then move on. We did a bike tour along the Danube, as well as a hiking tour, but the rest were city tours, which are informative, but next time I might do something more specific to the area, such as a wine tasting, etc. The cruise was relaxing but never boring. You can be as active as you wish, or relax as necessary. The excursions were offered for easy walkers, regular walkers or active walkers, along with bike and hiking. Be sure to pack clothing to enjoy the deck. As you travel along the Danube (we sailed from Budapest to Vilshofen) the scenery got more and more beautiful as we sailed up the river. The food was delicious but not in excess like it can be on an ocean cruise. The only thing I would criticize would be the on board gym. It could have used a few free weights and an elliptical machine, but after a few days I didn't have the time or energy to use it anyway! Can't wait to cruise with AMA again! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we liked the idea of a smaller group of people. We didn't want to dress up for dinner and loved the idea of country club casual. This cruise was absolutely wonderful. We were on the bottom deck and did ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the idea of a smaller group of people. We didn't want to dress up for dinner and loved the idea of country club casual. This cruise was absolutely wonderful. We were on the bottom deck and did not feel slighted in the least, the crew took wonderful care of us as if we were in the Ritz Carlton. AMA will always be my choise for a river cruise and I will request Camille Dernis as the cruise manager. She treated us as if we were the only ones on the cruise. She was fabulous!! I lost my passport and she coordinated help with the American Consolate and this was after our cruise was over!! All of our transfers were handled for us and AMA made travel stress minimal. We were met at the airport and the shore excursions were great as well, all of our travel guides were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We had heard a lot of good things about AMA Waterways so when it came to choosing a company we didn't look anywhere else for a river cruise. We chose the 7 night Danube cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest. The brand new Ama Lea ... Read More
We had heard a lot of good things about AMA Waterways so when it came to choosing a company we didn't look anywhere else for a river cruise. We chose the 7 night Danube cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest. The brand new Ama Lea was beautiful and nicely appointed. I can't say enough about the staff who made sure our experience was exceptional. The food was delicious and always beautifully presented. We dined at the Chef's Table one night and everything was exceptional. The tours in each port were well organized and informative. They had tours for different levels of activity so they catered for all levels of physical abilities. We usually chose the active tours, hikes to castles and the bike ride along the Danube in Weissenkirchen. The ride took us through quaint villages, vineyards and apple orchards. The scenery in the Wachau Valley was gorgeous. Thank you AMA Waterways. Read Less
AmaLea Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0

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