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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife, 12 y/o granddaughter and I had a trip of a lifetime on the AmaLyra last month. The planning and execution by AmaLyra staff throughout the cruise experience was exemplary. Their transfer services were well worth the money. ... Read More
My wife, 12 y/o granddaughter and I had a trip of a lifetime on the AmaLyra last month. The planning and execution by AmaLyra staff throughout the cruise experience was exemplary. Their transfer services were well worth the money. During our arrival at CDG Paris we were met by AmaLyra reps and driver and proceeded easily to our transportation. Vehicle we rode in was very comfortable. Arrival at our hotel Paris Renaissance Parc du Trocadero was just right. Rooms were ready and while waiting to register we were greeted by Ama's sensational cruise manager Christian (more on him shortly). When we learned about our hotel change (Intercontinental to Renaissance) we were disappointed but we were highly satisfied with our experience at the Renaissance (Marriott property). Super location, rooms were well appointed, good breakfast and nice garden area for afternoon coffee/tea. We enjoyed the tours of Paris and the guides selected were quite impressive. I have visited Paris over 50 times on business but never took the time to learn about all the rich historical aspects of the city. Our tour guide/hostess was fabulous. She led us through Notre Dame (just 4 days before the fire) and our Paris at Night guide Annie, could not have been more gracious, funny and charming during our evening visit to Monmartre. She accepted our invitation to dinner and we enjoyed a wonderful discourse about the culture of France, things the French people value, life in general, etc. etc. Upon completing the two days in Paris, arrival on AmaLyra was perfect. Cabins were clean, orientation swift and all the passengers seemed to enjoy the wonderful welcome to AmaLyra's welcome aboard buffet of light snacks, drink and dessert. During the Captain's welcome reception I realized a river cruise was going to be much more intimate than your standard ocean cruise. The ship's officers were introduced which seemed to delight the passengers. The Hotel/Restaurant manager Violetta stole the show. She has an effervescent personality and was highly visible throughout the cruise. My wife particularly enjoyed the white wine (Sauvignon Blanc) served during the welcome reception and Violetta made sure it was available to my wife at lunch and dinner for the rest of the cruise (same goes for the Merlot offered at the welcome reception). The remainder of staff was excellent and we offer high kudos to several staff members. First goes to Wellness Director, Vladimir. He has enormous credibility by virtue of his study of anatomy in university. Having trained numerous world class athletes and being a former professional basketball player himself, Vladimir kept our attention as he demonstrated how to do particular core strengthening and stretching exercises but also added the why they are done a certain way and the benefit of following his technique. Since many of the early morning classes weren't highly attended it felt like a personal training session for the 4-5 regulars. Outstanding! Our head waiter Ioan, who was assisted by bar waitress Alexandra, made our meal times so special. Both were extremely accommodating in honoring our requests. Their people skills are exceptional and I was so impressed with how they handled insensitive remarks and unusual requests. Our granddaughter thoroughly enjoyed her interactions with Ioan. He really made her feel special which delighted my wife and me. Having been in the people business for almost 40 years, I especially appreciated the high level of professionalism in which they served the AmaLyra passengers. We sat in their section for every single meal - - that's how much we enjoyed our week with them. We were very sad to say goodbye to Ioan and Alexandra. Our dining experience really could not have been better. Our cabin attendant George was excellent as well and we loved his dry Romanian sense of humor. He worked very hard during our week and our cabins looked like Day 1 newly made - - every single day - - which wasn't easy considering some of the messes the girls made in their cabin - - LOL. I don't remember the name of the head chef but he and his staff did an excellent job with menu selection and overall food prep. We gravitated to the chef's recommendations each night and were especially impressed with the high standard of roasted/rotisserie meat preparation at dinner. Some of the entree offerings at lunchtime were wonderful surprises. I loved the champagne and oyster reception hosted by the captain on our 6th day prior to lunch and then the delicious steamed mussels finished in a garlic cream sauce served at lunch. Unbelievable how good that dish was! Lastly the cruise director, Christian, offered a level of enthusiasm and professionalism that would be hard to match at any cruise line (Ocean or River). He was exceptional. He never took anything for granted. His briefings on board about shore excursions were highly useful; his attention to detail to ensure nothing was overlooked (by staff or passengers) was world class. One of my favorite expressions throughout my sales leadership career was, "People don't care how much you know - - until they know how much you care". Every passenger on the AmaLyra knew Christian cared deeply about each of us having a special experience. This was best highlighted by Christian's extraordinary behind the scenes actions to ensure that one of the AmaLyra passengers injured during a biking tour, was well cared for in a Rouen hospital while the ship continued to sail. He also made sure the injured passenger's wife was updated on a regular basis and ensured she was well cared for while her husband was in hospital. If the owners of AmaLyra could have seen Christian in action, they would have been so proud. Just amazing, and inspiring. It was a wonderful, unforgettable memory we made with our granddaughter. We look forward to sailing with Ama again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose AmaLyra since the headquarters is local, based in Calabasas. We want to try local businesses in the area. It also has a very good reputation. We were 100% satisfied with the experience. We had taken a Rhine River cruise before ... Read More
We chose AmaLyra since the headquarters is local, based in Calabasas. We want to try local businesses in the area. It also has a very good reputation. We were 100% satisfied with the experience. We had taken a Rhine River cruise before through Amadeus. What a big difference!!! All excursions with AmaLyra were included with the price. Wifi and water bottles were also included. They also provided a Wellness coach daily. No hidden fees!!! River cruise entertainment are supposed to be boring or non-existent. NOT with AmaLyra - entertainment were provided daily. We specially enjoyed the Normandy World War 2 presentation, Edith Piaf tribute and classical music concerto. The DJ was outstanding too. What can I say about the meals - we even get to do a chef's table tasting (you pay extra on ocean cruises) that can be compared to a Michelin-rated restaurant. I can't say enough about the service. After the first day, the restaurant crews already remembered our table's special request - ex. warm creamer for coffee, soy milk since I'm lactose intolerant, a glass of ice, etc. Overall, first class experience for us!!! We will definitely cruise with Ama again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My friend and I wanted to encourage our husbands to enjoy the Normandy area and we wanted to see parts of France, including Paris.... this trip fit the bill.... We had done our own exploration of Normandy for several days before the cruise ... Read More
My friend and I wanted to encourage our husbands to enjoy the Normandy area and we wanted to see parts of France, including Paris.... this trip fit the bill.... We had done our own exploration of Normandy for several days before the cruise and were very glad that we did.... I think a 1 day 10 hour excursion cannot capture the magnitude of what is available in that region for history lovers..... But, we LOVED our cruise with AMA.... the staff was superb... the food was delicious and ample, the shore excursions were guided by local experts.... I posted photos and notes from our trip at www.parisandnormandy.wordpress.com When we pictured a trip along the Seine, we pictured cute little town and riding our bikes along the river bank.... we were able to do that more than once on this trip. There were exercise classes every morning and afternoon that were available to all and even a small fitness room. It allowed you to work off some calories to be ready to eat the yummy desserts. I would describe our experience with the local guides as spotty.... some were superb and we would not change a thing.... others were so full of knowledge about the subject that they could NOT adjust for an audience of travelers who just wanted to soak in the BEAUTY of a particular site.... No blame to AMA, but a weather event precluded the majority of the people who went to the Normandy excursion to go to the American cemetery.... it was a major disappointment to them, but certainly AMA rebounded by finding other places they COULD go on that excursion... and did it on short notice as well. We would travel with AMA again in a heartbeat! If only we could be PLOPPED in our departure city and not have to make the flight! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
First river cruise and we have always wanted to see the Normandy beaches and cemeteries, so this was chosen. I had always heard of Viking from numerous TV commercials but a travel agent reco'd AMA as an upgrade, and it certainly was. ... Read More
First river cruise and we have always wanted to see the Normandy beaches and cemeteries, so this was chosen. I had always heard of Viking from numerous TV commercials but a travel agent reco'd AMA as an upgrade, and it certainly was. The ship is 10 years old, but stunning, as if it was manufactured yesterday. Every inch of paint is flawless and gleaming, the furniture looks new, and there is not even a speck of dust on this ship. The food choices were ample and I liked that there were buffet choices ready to eat along with many things you could order at each meal. Cruise manager Pau would be successful in any business, perfectly organized and highly competent. You get to know him quickly and he quickly attends to anything you might need. Every employee was cheery and solicitous. You could barely sip some wine before your glass was refilled at meals, all included in the price. The world's best bartender, Elena, made the week. Funny, quick and lovely, we will miss her. Were I to cruise again with AMA, I would try to choose based on what ship she is on. On-board musician Mike Minkoff played for hours and he has the guitar chops of Mark Knopfler(Dire Straits), plus gifted on keyboard and harmonica, with great song choices. We danced every single night. If you are choosing a cruise line right now, I'd pick this one, regardless of destination. It's an exceedingly well-run business with top employees and training. Oh, I really appreciated the small gym and the daily fitness classes. Might not have booked this trip without those. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose Amawaterways because of their solo cabins w/ a french balcony. I removed a star because this was a wine themed cruise and i spoke w/ ama 3x and the reps did not mention this. i do not drink, therefore, i did not attend the 3 ... Read More
I chose Amawaterways because of their solo cabins w/ a french balcony. I removed a star because this was a wine themed cruise and i spoke w/ ama 3x and the reps did not mention this. i do not drink, therefore, i did not attend the 3 enrichment lectures all focused on wine. there was also a wine pairing dinner lost on me. in addition, most shore excursions ended in wine tasting. the last day in Paris only offered a visit to a wine museum. i felt strongly that i was on the wrong cruise. i usually cruise w/ uniworld so i was not expecting luxury and there were no Murano glass chandeliers. however, the service was equal, therefore, outstanding. my cabin stewardess quickly caught on that i went for breakfast at 7 am and cleaned my cabin then. she replenished the body products daily. i always refuse turndown service because i am diabetic and can not eat chocolate, but i was pleased w/ her service. she spoke limited english so i didn't have to chat which for me, as an introvert, was a bonus. i appreciated returning from breakfast to a clean cabin as if by magic. Valentine and Anton, in the dining room, were friendly, but not intrusive. i do not communicate before my morning coffee and again they quickly caught on to my dietary requirements and left me alone at breakfast. as a diabetic, i eat every 3 hrs., therefore, valentine always asked what i would like for my evening snack when he took my dinner order. all the waiters let me order double portions of vegtables. i ordered veggies from one item and the fish entree from another. i am well aware my dietary habits r wierd and appreciated their flexibility. the food was 5 star dining. all river cruises have a coffee machine in the bar, but i have never encountered coffee that was better tasting from the machine, than in the dining room. several cruisers and i marveled at this phenomenon. it was GOOD coffee. ama offers several options for shore excursions, although found it odd that passengers had to book excursions before the cruise. the cruise director, john, was competent. i was surprised a cruise in Normandy didn't offer an excursion to the Bayeux tapestry. .if i had not cruised to Normandy before w/ uniworld and seen the tapestry i wouldn't have taken this cruise. details make a cruise great. i was surprised to find ama had sent a thank u post card when i returned home. also, ama supplies postcards, stamps and mails them free. bonus. my grandchildren luv getting postcards they chagre for stamps if u send a postcard u have purchased. best of all, the postcards arrive. i mailed postcards from Hawaii that never arrived. i also appreciated the stretch classes and yoga. ocean cruises charge extra for yoga. i would cruise amaway again, despite the fact that i resent not being told this was a wine cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We thought for the price it would be an upmarket cruise, having previously done a cruise with Viking who were terrific and thought APT would be the same. The service in the dining room consists of getting your own coffee, trying to hunt ... Read More
We thought for the price it would be an upmarket cruise, having previously done a cruise with Viking who were terrific and thought APT would be the same. The service in the dining room consists of getting your own coffee, trying to hunt up somebody who will get you a wine, the Hotel manager was totally out of her depth, the staff ran the place.Some of the excursions were excellent but a number including a "Signature" excursions were a joke. The nightly wines were undrinkable, the house wines were better, some of the food was excellent, some like the duck and salmon was over cooked dry and terrible , the portion sizes were a joke with men getting a child's serve and the ladies more than they could eat. Finally if you are looking for a travel experience you should be aware the boat is 90% Australian, most very old, but then the nightly entertainment is obviously designed around that demographic. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because we have been with AMA waterways before. We had a poor hotel experience in Paris before this cruise (I must emphasise here that this was an hotel of our choice and absolutely nothing to do with AMA) and so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have been with AMA waterways before. We had a poor hotel experience in Paris before this cruise (I must emphasise here that this was an hotel of our choice and absolutely nothing to do with AMA) and so we needed an uplift. We were not disappointed. From the moment we boarded we found a very warm welcome. Everybody from the captain down was very friendly and helpful. It was nice to meet some members of the crew who we have seen before - the m'aitre d, the head wine waiter and the waiter at our table. Dining was superb. Dinner had a flexible arrival time which was very convenient. The quality and choice of the food and wines was excellent as was the service throughout the entire cruise. A 'happy hour' before dinner was a new innovation - certain drinks and cocktails were available free of charge. Although we only went on a few shore excursions, these were well organised with good guides. We had plenty on room on the coaches, and the tours were organised to suit the abilities and wishes of the participants. The Cruise Director was excellent, very well organised and plenty of time to handle queries. The service throughout the cruise was faultless. Nothing was too much trouble. We have come to expect high quality from AMA Waterways after three earlier cruises with them, and once again they have come up trumps. We have already booked another cruise with them for next year. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
After a lot of research, we chose this cruise Paris/Normandy, with this company, for the best itinerary, value, and guest reviews. Also because they offered a Canadian tour to the Normandy beaches . And we are so thankful we chose AMA! ... Read More
After a lot of research, we chose this cruise Paris/Normandy, with this company, for the best itinerary, value, and guest reviews. Also because they offered a Canadian tour to the Normandy beaches . And we are so thankful we chose AMA! We were welcomed at the airport, handed over to our driver, and whisked away to the AmaLyra, where we were met with the warmest greetings by the crew. I knew right away that we had chosen well. Truly the trip that we had dreamt about, our cabin was perfect for viewing the sights from our french balcony whenever we were cruising. The meals, the service, the excursions, were all first class, the most outstanding thing being the crew, their friendliness and smiles, and every single person always went above and beyond. We enjoyed so much this trip of a lifetime until an unfortunate and unexpected medical problem, very sadly we had to leave the cruise on day 4, my husband being admitted to and having surgery in Rouen hospital. Our Cruise Manager went to hospital with us, and stayed with us as long as she could, she was our support and comfort as everything progressed much faster because of her. She and AMA made sure we were looked after, one of their local guides in Rouen came everyday to the hospital, and was our liaison with medical staff. He was our lifeline and we are so grateful. Our cruise manager kept in contact every day, so caring and supportive, her optimism was my strength. As difficult as it is being sick in a foreign country, we were overwhelmed by the compassion of these two people, and are very grateful to AMA for being and employing the best! After this experience, we hope to do another rivercruise with AMA, they are the very best!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Our trip with AMA Waterways went very well from start to finish. The staff was outstanding and went out of their way to assist us with our every need. The bus excursions and in town tours were well organized. The guides for each tour ... Read More
Our trip with AMA Waterways went very well from start to finish. The staff was outstanding and went out of their way to assist us with our every need. The bus excursions and in town tours were well organized. The guides for each tour were well informed and each tour added to our adventure. Having the voice boxes on the tours was great. (Just a reminder, spare voice boxes and earphones should accompany all guides, in case of malfunctions while touring). The meals were varied and offered enough variety that we could enjoy all the meals. The bag lunch that was prepared for our full day excursion was both delicious and HUGE! No one went hungry on that trip. The Chef’s table was a wonderful experience. What a perfect way to enjoy both the food and presentation in a more intimate setting. It was lovely to try new food, that we may not have tried otherwise. Annie, the cruise director, was such a delight. She was always organized and informed and well versed in the various areas we stopped in. No question phased her! She was always calm, had a good delivery of information and she wove in some humour along the way ... a perfect mix for being a cruise director. As we prepared to depart the boat, to go to the airport, Annie was sure to remind us to make sure our yellow and red suitcases were in the taxi before departing. Yes, she even knew our suitcases personally! Then, we prepared to take our AMA transfer to the airport, we made sure we had everything and got in our lovely transfer vehicle. We had no worries, as Annie had assured us we had enough time at the airport. We arrived at the airport in good time and expected to flounder on our own, but no, one last special touch by AMA... A lovely gentlemen helps us with our luggage, gets us to check in with our airline and with a big smile on his face, he wishes us a good journey home. Such wonderful service and a lovely finish to a memorable holiday. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first river cruise and we had never been to Normandy. The D-Day beaches were the draw but the entire Seine to the Manche journey was beautiful. AmaWaterways is superb. The personal service, warmth and friendliness was ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we had never been to Normandy. The D-Day beaches were the draw but the entire Seine to the Manche journey was beautiful. AmaWaterways is superb. The personal service, warmth and friendliness was outstanding. The excursions were thoughtful and the guides a cut above. The dining rooms were outstanding. Every need was anticipated and every whim was satisfied. I left some items in my cabin after we disembarked. By the time I had emailed the AmaWaterways headquarters, the items had been found and were in the process of being packaged and sent to my home. This is such great customer service. We will never use another cruise line for river cruising. These folks really care about keeping us happy. The Paris hotel for the cruise, the Intercontinental Marceau, was lovely, immaculate, with great service and location. We stayed before the cruise, rather than after because that suited our plans. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I chose this cruise because of the timing, and itinerary. My Mother and I purchased this cruise only 2 months before the departure date and I booked everything directly with the AMA Waterways call centre. the experience was amazing right ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the timing, and itinerary. My Mother and I purchased this cruise only 2 months before the departure date and I booked everything directly with the AMA Waterways call centre. the experience was amazing right from the moment the representative picked up the phone! Helpful, and knowledgeable we had the cruise, the after extension and our flights and transfers all completed within half an hour. We were met at the airport by the cruise line representative, put in a comfortable transport directly to the ship. Although we arrived early we could stay on the ship in the lounge until our room was ready, lunch and hot beverages were served. The Cabins are small but cozy and my only complaint was the beds were uncomfortably hard. But the linens were beautiful and the shower was modern with instant hot water! There was also Apple TV and internet access in the room. The food was outstanding - particularly the Chefs table, but the regular meals were top notch. the soups and the breads deserve special mention. The ship itself was a bit Dowdy, but comfortable. For me the highlights were the tours, and the cruise manager went out of her way to be helpful. My mom is 79 and recovering from knee surgery (we were celebrating here recovery) Everyone on the staff was helpful and kind. Each room came equipped with your own Quietvox for the tours, which was a nice touch, when you met your guide it was simple to link to her/his transmitter so it was easy to hear and i found the transmission to be very good. I felt the tours were all top notch! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I recently completed a river cruise on Amawaterway's Amalyra from Paris to the English Channel and back and included a tour of the invasion beaches in Normandy which is by itself worth the trip. The trip was our fourth on ... Read More
My wife and I recently completed a river cruise on Amawaterway's Amalyra from Paris to the English Channel and back and included a tour of the invasion beaches in Normandy which is by itself worth the trip. The trip was our fourth on AMA and very pleasant, as usual, with a very helpful and attentive crew that saw to every need of the passengers from the time that you steped foot on the dock until you returned. We have traveled on many different river cruise lines and although the worst cruise could only be described as wonderful we find that Amawaterways is exceptional. This trip was made even more pleasant than most by the personal attention displayed by the hotel manager, Sonia Ferrera. The entire crew was great but Sonia went above and beyond to see to the well being and contentment of each passenger and could only be described as the perfect host. Thank you Sonia. We hope to see you on a future cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I recently completed a river cruise on Amawaterway's Amalyra from Paris to the English Channel and back and included a tour of the invasion beaches in Normandy which is by itself worth the trip. The trip was our forth on ... Read More
My wife and I recently completed a river cruise on Amawaterway's Amalyra from Paris to the English Channel and back and included a tour of the invasion beaches in Normandy which is by itself worth the trip. The trip was our forth on AMA and very pleasant, as usual, with a very helpful and attentive crew that saw to every need of the passengers from the time that you steped foot on the dock until you returned. We have traveled on many different river cruise lines and although the worst cruise could only be described as wonderful we find that Amawaterways is exceptional. This trip was made even more pleasant than most by the personal attention displayed by the hotel manager, Sonia Ferrera. The entire crew was great but Sonia went above and beyond to see to the well being and contentment of each passenger and could only be described as the perfect host. Thank you Sonia. We hope to see you on a future cruise. Ronald & Willadean Welch Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I have done numerous ocean cruises in the past. I wanted to go on River cruise as I hear from other people who has experienced great trip on river. And I was so happy that I did with AMA Waterways Paris-Normandy trip with my friend from ... Read More
I have done numerous ocean cruises in the past. I wanted to go on River cruise as I hear from other people who has experienced great trip on river. And I was so happy that I did with AMA Waterways Paris-Normandy trip with my friend from Switzerland. It was excellent in every which ways, great dining experiences, extensive menu with wonderful wines. It was the very best to compare with ocean cruises. I just came back from 2 weeks of Baltic sea cruise in May. River cruise is smaller numbers of passengers, crew were so kind and anxious to help us in every which way. I observed cruise manager helping passengers with physical needs with wheel chairs or make sure that everyone is well taken care of at shore excursions .AMA was so much like big family which made me feel very comfortable. There were several options of shore excursions at each stop to accommodate each ones ability and interest which was greatly appreciated. Accommodation was comfortable, bathroom was well equipped with wonderful shower wit glass door, not like big ocean cruise with plastic shower curtain. As soon as I came home, I wanted to take another river cruise at the soonest. It was such a wonderful experience. I want to thank AMA Waterways for their excellent service Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My husband and I recently sailed with AmaWaterways on the AmaLyra from Paris up the Seine River and back to Paris, stopping along the way in Giverny, Honfleur, Caudebec, Rouen and Les Andelys. Between the two of us, we have been on ... Read More
My husband and I recently sailed with AmaWaterways on the AmaLyra from Paris up the Seine River and back to Paris, stopping along the way in Giverny, Honfleur, Caudebec, Rouen and Les Andelys. Between the two of us, we have been on several ocean cruises (Oceania, Royal Caribbean, NCL and Carnival) but this was our first river boat experience. I was a little unsure in initially booking a river cruise, but I ended up tremendously enjoying the experience and definitely will book with AmaWaterways again in the future. From the moment we arrived at the dock in Paris, where we were greeted enthusiastically and our luggage whisked away to our cabin, to the day we departed, our expectations were met or exceeded. Our cabin was nicely appointed with a French balcony, king-sized bed with comfortable linens, comfy robes and slippers, and a bath with a shower, though not large, was fine for the two of us. The cabin had a flat-screen monitor and computer with WiFi included for surfing the net, or as I did most days when I was in the cabin, accessing a wide selection of classical music. They also had news, movies and documentaries to pick from too. Roxanne, our cabin stewardess kept our room in tip top shape. Additionally, the ship was impeccably clean from bow to stern. The crew members were very friendly, helpful and eager to meet every request. Because this is a riverboat with a passenger capacity of about 140, and with a crew of 45, there always were crew members everywhere we turned. The food on the AmaLyra was delicious and well presented. The Executive Chef on our cruise, Bogdan Draghici, was serving as executive chef for the first time ever on our cruise having just recently been promoted. Many evenings he came around to our table near the end of dinner service with a special extra treat or just to make sure we enjoyed our dinner. AmaWaterways offers an extensive menu of choices, with a Chef’s Recommendation featured each evening. Most evenings the Chef’s Recommendation sounded so enticing that we ordered it precisely as it was presented. But it was easy to make other selections as well. Breakfast is a very ample buffet with many choices, including hot prepared foods, an omelette bar, cereals, breads and pastries, and other more European-style choices such as meats and cheeses to choose from. We also could order Eggs Benedict – which my husband indulged in most mornings -- poached eggs and a few other breakfast selections cooked to order. Lunch was a buffet with other selections available from the galley. Most days there was a theme and we especially enjoyed the Normandy themed luncheon with fresh mussels served in a savory and delicious mustard sauce with fresh baked French bread served on the side to soak up the sauce. Also, I need to mention that each day for lunch and dinner there was a featured soup. Soup is a great specialty for AmaWaterways. Bogdan our executive chef explained to us, when I complimented him on how delicious every soup was, that the line has many special soup recipes and a secret to their success is the amount of time they take in blending the ingredients. All I can say is that every soup was tres bon! Complementing each lunch and dinner were complimentary beer and wine pairings – sparkling wine at breakfast too if you would like! There were many excellent selections of wine to choose from and the pours were very generous. Some of the vintages presented included a Blanc de Camarsac, which paired well with the numerous seafood selections offered; a nice Chateau Malager; a Chateau Belle Cure from Bordeaux, and a I’Ombe des Fontaines from the Rhone River region. We also tried a Bourgonge Aligote from Bordeaux and Beaujolais-Villages from the Beaujolais region. A 6-Eme Sens, Pays Blanc was featured at the Welcome Dinner the first evening along with a Les Collines Cote du Rhone. Again, the pours were generous and our glasses always kept filled by Anton, our favorite waiter. AmaWaterways also offers a Chef’s Tasting dinner with numerous small platings to sample along with paired wines. We booked our tasting dinner for an evening that we were sailing during dinner time – as opposed to being docked in a port -- which turned out to be a scenic delight as well as a gastronomic treat. The Chef’s Tasting restaurant is located at the stern (back) of the ship so we had some nice views as well as the opportunity to see the ship enter one of the many lochs along the Seine and experience the change in levels of the river before sailing smoothly on. Sailing on an intimate river cruise in many ways is like being with family. Our captain, Geoffrey Masson, was gracious and warm and well supported by his staff of Alioscia, the hotel manager; Kinga, the purser; Varu, the Maitre d’Hotel; and Anca, the first cabin stewardess. Captain Geoffrey was gracious and even invited my husband, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and an airline pilot to visit him on the bridge for a ‘behind the scenes’ look. And I can’t say enough about Nick, our cruise manager, who was warm, welcoming and on the spot whenever needed. He was so gracious and knowledgeable about every port and tour. Most evenings we all met in the spacious and comfortable lounge prior to dinner. Nick would share with us information we needed to know about the evening entertainment and the next day’s events before we went downstairs to the dining room. All the crew work especially hard, but Nick has to always be ‘on’ and I know that he was up early in the morning and still at it late in the evening. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Salina, the fitness instructor on board the AmaLyra. Several mornings we went on fitness walks with her, which were a great way to start the day and to burn some extra calories from all of the fine dining and wine we were indulging in each day. Selina is a tri-athlete who was hired by AmaWaterways to create a fitness program to encourage the line’s guests to be more active and healthy. She holds several classes a day and also is available to work with guests one-on-one. She is a great ambassador for AmaWaterways in this role! Regarding tours, AmaWaterways includes port tours in the cost of your cruise. This is an outstanding value, as we have been on other ocean cruises, including one last year with Oceania, where the port tours were additional and ended up adding over $1,500 to the cost of the cruise for my husband and I. In most ports, there were several tour options to select from. We toured Claude Monet’s home in Giverny where we saw his beautiful gardens and the water lily ponds he built and painted so often; the U.S. beaches – Omaha and Utah – in Normandy and the American Cemetery; the quaint seaside town of Honfleur; Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake; Les Andelys where we hiked to the top of Chateau Gaillard; and Conflans where we toured Josephine and Napoleon Bonaparte’s Chateau Malmaison. The tour guides were all so very friendly, spoke fluent English and provided great insights and details to each venue we toured. One last surprise of the cruise was the enjoyable experience of meeting so many interesting and personable fellow passengers. Our first evening for dinner, the Maitre ‘d asked if we wanted to be seated at a romantic table for two or did we wish to meet some new people? We opted for the latter for that dinner and for dinner each subsequent evening. We met some wonderful people with whom we had great camaraderie, shared fun stories and laughs and made new friends, including our new friends Gilles and Diane from Quebec. This for me, was really and truly the highlight of the intimate riverboat cruising experience. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our AmaWaterways cruise and look forward to sailing with them again in the future! #amawaterways Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
My husband and I have traveled extensively and this cruise by far has been the best experience to date. The AmaLyra made us feel like we were in a five star floating hotel. Our cabin was spacious, nicely appointed and the shower was large ... Read More
My husband and I have traveled extensively and this cruise by far has been the best experience to date. The AmaLyra made us feel like we were in a five star floating hotel. Our cabin was spacious, nicely appointed and the shower was large for a river boat. The wifi was excellent and they have a flatscreen TV with a computer in your cabin along with umbrellas. The ship was spotless and the service impeccable. Every member of the crew was friendly, helpful and put customer service first. The food and wine pairings were excellent, the excursions interesting and the entertainment great. A nice touch was returning from an excursion to a moist towel and a refreshing beverage. On this particular voyage AmaWaterways added a fitness director who offered runs, walks, yoga and core classes a great addition to the cruise. If you are looking for a river cruise you will not be disappointed with Ama. A great value. We are looking forward to our next sailing. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
It was amazing and never a dull moment with laughs the entire time. The excursions were very well planned, Rolf was a great coordinator and made it all happen flawlessly. Food was not only beautifully presented, but also flavorful and ... Read More
It was amazing and never a dull moment with laughs the entire time. The excursions were very well planned, Rolf was a great coordinator and made it all happen flawlessly. Food was not only beautifully presented, but also flavorful and true to France. Of course other selections were available for not so exotic tastes or if you just didn't feel the chef's menu! Our entire table of six, mostly ate the chef's recommendation each night with great satisfaction!! Wine and beer don't stop during lunch and dinner and ohh la la, the desserts... wow!!! The ship was very clean and well taken care of and the crew was attentive and respectful. Each excursion was included in the cruise fee with fabulous views at all angles. Tour guides were very knowledgeable, waited for us to take pictures, made sure we were safe when walking in the streets and took us to all the good places with our earphones so we heard every word about each city. Of course you could choose to stay on the boat and sun on the deck, get a massage or possibly visit the wheelhouse which was amazing to see! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had been on a river cruise before with another company and very much enjoyed this kind of experience which you cannot get on an ocean cruise. We were not disappointed this time around. From the shuttle service which took us to ... Read More
We had been on a river cruise before with another company and very much enjoyed this kind of experience which you cannot get on an ocean cruise. We were not disappointed this time around. From the shuttle service which took us to the airport from a hotel in Paris (only four of us in the bus!), we knew we were in the hands of a company that was intent on providing first class service. The food was divine - for lovers of seafood this cruise is a paradise! Snails, mussels, and oysters on the last day! - the wine flowed freely, the staff were super-hospitable and attentive, the shore excursions were well-organized with several options for each venue depending on interest and the level of fitness of the travelers. The cruise director, Helene, is perhaps the greatest asset of this ship, so effervescent, funny and enthusiastic, that I don't think there was a soul on ship who didn't fall in love with her! Add to that the unique pleasure of a river cruise, where you can relax and appreciate the beauty of the scenery along the way and where the small number of passsengers - we were less than 100, I believe - creates a more friendly and intimate atmosphere which enables you to make friends more easily. And of course the beauty of Normandy and of Paris, for those like us who decided to extend our trip by a few days. I cannot think of anything negative to say about this cruise other than the fact it was over too soon! We will definitely go with AMA Waterways on more river cruises, perhaps next time to Vietnam and Cambodia. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
After 10 days in Spain, we boarded the Amalyra in Paris bound for the Normandy coast for a 7-day Seine river cruise. The main highlights for me: - the crew and staff all spoke English and were exceedingly helpful - the small number ... Read More
After 10 days in Spain, we boarded the Amalyra in Paris bound for the Normandy coast for a 7-day Seine river cruise. The main highlights for me: - the crew and staff all spoke English and were exceedingly helpful - the small number of passengers allowed my wife and I to get to know many - the multiple INCLUDED excursions each day were above average in quality with knowledgeable and professional guides - our ship had a pleasant fitness director that offered exercise options throughout each day - their were adequate food options of good quality at all meals - a included bike tour of Paris with two professional guides was wonderful and immersive The only negatives I could come up with: - the on-board entertainment was limited - some tour guides had weak English - food options outside of the main meals were limited - the D-day itenerary seemed poorly coordinated Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose AmaWaterways (Ama) because we have travelled with them before and know what to expect. We wanted something personal and intimate and taking a river cruise with Ama is just that. This was our third time traveling with Ama and ... Read More
We chose AmaWaterways (Ama) because we have travelled with them before and know what to expect. We wanted something personal and intimate and taking a river cruise with Ama is just that. This was our third time traveling with Ama and each experience surpasses the last. The food and presentation is absolutely amazing, top quality and service was outstanding. Our Cruise Director, Sebastian Leroy was charming, hospitable and the staff from top to bottom were extremely friendly and efficient from captain to the the waiters, bartenders, housekeeper et al. We had a wonderful time at the Chef's Table Dinner whereby the Chef hosts guests every night with his speciality. This special event is open to everyone on board on various days. This trip certainly has been a trip to remember fun from beginning to end. Only problem is it ended too soon and went by so fast. It was perfect. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our first River Cruise and found it most enjoyable. The ship's company were friendly and willing to offer assistance whenever needed. The Cruise Director had all the tours arranged and well organized. She is a great asset ... Read More
This was our first River Cruise and found it most enjoyable. The ship's company were friendly and willing to offer assistance whenever needed. The Cruise Director had all the tours arranged and well organized. She is a great asset AMA Waterways. The Captain and First Officer made them selves available to answer questions and socialize with the guests when not on watch. The wait staff and chefs were outstanding and the food was excellent and representative of the region and represented any five star establishment in a relaxed atmosphere. Being only having a 140 passenger it made it easy to socialize and make new friends. It was more intimate than the ocean cruises we have been on.This was our first experience on a river cruise, but will not be our last. Hats of to the Captain and crew, and AMAWaterways. This is a great concept and provide an opportunity to get to now the crew and for them to get to know you and your needs. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our second AmaWaterways cruise and our third river cruise. We have done over 25 ocean cruises. River cruising has become our preference. The small number of people, the exceptional service and outstanding food are all very ... Read More
This was our second AmaWaterways cruise and our third river cruise. We have done over 25 ocean cruises. River cruising has become our preference. The small number of people, the exceptional service and outstanding food are all very attractive features vs. an ocean cruise.Our travel agent contacted us just before Christmas with a very attractive offer on this cruise, and we took it. It was over Easter week, which seems to be a slow period. The ship was not completely full and some of the guests were travel agents and others not paying full or any fare, I believe. Nevertheless it was a great group. Our Cruise Manager was Victor, who although seemingly a bit gruff at first, got to know everyone by name and gave very personal service to each individual. The crew were fabulous and uniformly friendly. One of our favourites was Anton, a waiter in the area where we normally sat in the Dining Room. The excursions included in the fare were all fantastic and we especially enjoyed Honfleur, Monet's Gardens at Giveryney, and the World War 2 beaches and cemeteries in Normandy. Canadians and British (there were no British on this cruise) got their own separate tour to our own WW2 beaches and the Americans went to theirs. The ship, although built in 2009, was in terrific condition, and looked like it had been refurbished in its winter layover. It is shorter than the newer vessels, and so carries a few less people. But I liked the dining room layout better than the AmaSonata we had been on previously. It has quite a few tables for two, which we greatly prefer. An exception is the Chef's Table alternate restaurant at the stern, where everyone is entitled to one meal during the cruise. It seats 24 people, but they are all at tables for six. We did not enjoy this especially, being seated with people with whom we had little in common. I did not enjoy the food here either and would probably skip it next time. Embarkation and especially disembarkationn was flawless. We bought an Ama transfer to the airport at the end of the cruise and it was great- including being met by someone at the airport to guide us through checkin. This kind of personal attention, including Victor coming our to our luxurious van to say goodbye, is long remembered and is such a contrast to ocean cruises where they typically can't wait to get rid of you at the end of the cruise, and where you are on your own once you step off the ship. We will definitely sail on Ama again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Just back from an AMA Waterways river cruise from Paris to Prague. In summary, it was a great cruise and AMA certainly took care of its passengers. The cruise itself is seven nights from Luxembourg to Nuremburg and then we added on ... Read More
Just back from an AMA Waterways river cruise from Paris to Prague. In summary, it was a great cruise and AMA certainly took care of its passengers. The cruise itself is seven nights from Luxembourg to Nuremburg and then we added on extensions in Paris at the beginning and Prague at the end. Overall I would give the 14 days a 4+ Rating. We are Elite plus Captain Club members with Celebrity but this would be our first river cruise and we were somewhat apprehensive on what to expect. Talk about first impressions, we made our flight arrangements through AMA so transfers were included. We arrived in Paris at 6:30 a.m. and when we cleared customs there was our private driver picking us up to escort us to our hotel, the Pullman Montparnsse...and to top it off he drove us in a 2014 Jaguar...beautiful car...so far, oh so good. Check-in at the hotel was a breeze and even at 7:15 a.m. we were able to get right into our room....not everyone was so lucky as they had to wait until 3-4 pm to check-in. Big room pretty good location near a metro stop and restaurants. One complaint from people -- the shower was located in a very high step in tub...difficult to get in and out of. It was great to visit Paris again and after the city tour arranged by AMA we stayed downtown to walk on our own. Next big event was a high speed train (not a bus) to Luxembourg to pick up our river boat but first we boarded a bus in Luxembourg, did a city tour and stopped by the American Cemetery where General George Patton is buried and other soldiers from the Battle of the Bulge. We have been to Normandy before and this was just as impressive. Come to find out there was a lady on our trip (accompanied buy her daughter) whose first husband died in the Battle of the Bulge and was buried here. She met with the cemetery superintendent who escorted her to the gravesite where she placed flowers on the grave.....very moving. Grounds are immaculate. We then boarded the ship and there are only 139 of us. The one big thing about a river cruise vs. ocean cruise is with so few people, you practically get to know them all. Of the 139 who cruised, close to 100 were at the pre-cruise function in Paris and 110 ended up in Prague. Mostly Americans but others from Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Brazil. Ages 40's to 90's with majority between 65-75. Food very good along with excellent service. Chef's table offered at no cost and everyone is afforded at least one opportunity to eat there...Entrees were lamb chops or wild salmon along with other tidbits pre and post main course. The wines offered (as well as beer) at NO CHARGE during lunch or dinner were German whites, French Cabernets or a French Bordeaux which easily would have cost $80-100 on a cruise ship...wines were outstanding. Cocktails (pre dinner) typically cost $7-8....two nights were on the captain. You would not leave hungry on one of these cruises. Staterooms were very nicely adorned and set up like a very nice hotel room....not opposite side sofas that converted to beds at night. Bathrooms were small but hot water plentiful, room cleanup always there, including nightly turndown. All crew members were very polite and helpful. English is the language of all AMA Waterways Ships. Internet and TV are offered in each cabin. Evening entertainment....(here's where we were really skeptical), but here is what was offered, a resident piano player is on board, classical group one night, a Mama Mia dance group another night, trip to a local coffee house or a local museum another. These were actually fun nights and offered something for everyone. Our group was very lively so we enjoyed the Mama Mia dance group and then the piano player filled in playing polkas and other dance songs on the off nights. Much much better than expected. City tours.....Tour guides: You you have to understand Europeans have a very historical insight/perspective into every city and monument and sometimes it can become overwhelming for most Americans. If you did not want the city bus tour one thing that AMA offers is a bike tour using 10-speed easy shifting bikes. Now these tours have 2 guides, one in front and one in back, and the easiest was 26km or about 17 miles taking 4-5 hours. Prague...Outstanding first class hotel Intercontinental only a five minute walk to city square. Breakfast provided at the hotel but lunch and dinner were on your own but the food was very reasonable in cost and very good. Had some rain and cold weather in Prague which did put a damper on the city activities. Attended an evening dance/local custom show in Prague...very good. Leaving for home, AMA had escorts greeting some people off from the hotel as early as 330 a.m. and then someone at the airport making sure you got to the right check-in terminal. Your hotel departure was based on your scheduled air flight home, so you were NOT all required to get up at hauled to the airport in one big bus . AMA was a first class act!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We were lucky enough to go on the first “beer” AND “tulip” themed cruise. In addition to the beautiful flowers/ports the tulip cruise had to offer, we also had to an opportunity to discover new and wonderful breweries and beers, ... Read More
We were lucky enough to go on the first “beer” AND “tulip” themed cruise. In addition to the beautiful flowers/ports the tulip cruise had to offer, we also had to an opportunity to discover new and wonderful breweries and beers, popular in this countries that we visited. Our cruise was extremely well-organized by managers Nick Hartog and Victoria. I believe this was the first “beer” themed cruised (which was also a tulip themed cruise). Nick and Victoria did an outstanding job juggling the needs of “tulip” cruisers and the “beer” cruisers. They were friendly with all the guests and efficiently managed to organize a double themed cruise. Onboard entertainment, speakers and beer tastings were terrific. Meeting individual needs and guest availability is a priority for this pair. The stateroom layout was good with the French and outside balcony. There is ample storage/closet space. Housekeeping staff were excellent. We appreciated the bottled waters which were provided daily and the in-room internet. The food in the dining room was wonderful. I found it very helpful that the menu is allergy coded to enable guests to make informed choices. The beer choices were outstanding and changed each night. I liked that the food choices often reflected the country that we were visiting. The friendly service staff was attentive to all requests. The excursions were well organized and the local guides were exceptional. Since the “beer” was added to this “tulip” cruise, it was a real treat for us to be able mix (for example) a city tour with a brewery tour/tasting. The clean buses were never over-crowded and the group sizes were very reasonable. This cruise exceeded my expectations in almost every way. The entire crews, from the captain to our housekeeper, were efficient, courteous and friendly. Everyone associated with AmaWaterways went out of their way to make the experience enjoyable and worry free. I would definitely recommend this beer/tulip cruise; it meets all your sensory needs! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2014
My husband asked me to arrange this cruise to celebrate our 46th anniversary. We were sure we wanted to cruise the Danube River; so the biggest decision was itinerary and date. I knew I didn't want to go later than September or ... Read More
My husband asked me to arrange this cruise to celebrate our 46th anniversary. We were sure we wanted to cruise the Danube River; so the biggest decision was itinerary and date. I knew I didn't want to go later than September or earlier than April. We arrived in Prague April 29. We took advantage of the 3 day pre-cruise package in Prague, staying at the Intercontinental Hotel, which we enjoyed...great breakfast buffet each morning. We were met by AmaWaterways at the airport in Prague at 9:30 in the morning and taken to the hotel where we met Rachel Coutos-Gomez, our Cruise Manager. Our room was ready for us. For the next almost 2 weeks, Rachel worked tirelessly! I don't know when she slept. She was always on the ball, arranging the city tours, buses, guides, optional tours, etc. And, her suitcase must be huge, because she changed clothes several times most days...and had an outfit to compliment each port, it seemed. She even arranged a special tour of the Doheny Street Synagogue in Budapest, at the request of fellow passengers. And, at the end of the cruise in Budapest, she escorted each passenger off of the ship...even those who left the ship at 3 a.m. She is a gem to AmaWaterways!! Hotel Manager Victoria was also wonderfully helpful and cheerful at all times, as was Maitre 'd Cipi. Captain Andreas had a great crew. He may be short in stature, but he knows how to run a “tight” ship...especially going through those narrow locks! Hats off to him! I thoroughly enjoyed Rachel's talk on the workings of the river lock system...very informative. The ship, itself, was wonderfully decorated. Our cabin had a French balcony, which allowed us to check out the river scenery when we were in the cabin. The cabin had plenty of storage area. We didn't feel cramped. Fahro, our cabin steward, was great! He was very pleasant and he kept our room straightened up, replenishing bottles of water each day. One evening, he had kissing swan towels on our bed, celebrating our anniversary. And, the dining room staff brought out a special dessert for us at dinner. The lounge had plenty of seating. It was nice to sit in there in the afternoon and read or watch the river scenery. After 3 days in Prague and a bus trip to Nuremberg, we began a wonderful cruise down to Budapest. The scenery was exquisite; and, even though it was a little windy and cool out on the deck, most days the sun was shining and the weather was beautiful! Some of my photos look like postcards! We thought all of the city tours did a good job of introducing us to the best that each city had to offer. We mostly had great tour guides in Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Vienna, and Budapest. When we go back on another cruise, we'll know what to concentrate on...or what to see that we didn't get to see on this trip. In Regensburg, we had Henry (Helmut) Winkler....an older version of the Fonz! We only wish that we'd had a little more free time in most cities. It seemed like we were always in a hurry to make it back to the ship. We're not big shoppers; but we would have liked to have done a little more exploring...and eating! Speaking of eating...we thought the food onboard AmaLyra was very good and the waitstaff attentive and pleasant. Breakfast buffet was great! There were plenty of breakfast meats and fruits. We could special order eggs; or have a made-to-order omelet. It seemed there was a special each morning, whether it was grilled mushrooms, baked tomatoes, French toast, etc. The bread and pastry table was so wonderfully tempting. And, in addition to a selection of juices, a bottle of champagne was available to make mimosas! At every meal, there was also a selection of cheeses. For lunch, we could order from the menu...soups, sandwiches, entrees or partake of the buffet. There were plenty of salads and salad makings, meats, and cheeses. Then, there was usually a pasta dish of the day. There was either a cream based or broth based soup at lunch and dinner. Both were delicious; but, personally, I enjoyed the broth soups better. For dinner in the dining room, there was an option of 2 appetizers, 2 soups, 3 entrees, and 2 desserts. If none of the entrees suited you, we could order staples of salmon, steak, or chicken. One of the entree options was always vegetarian. At one meal, the 6 of us at the table made our entree selections and then asked to have the vegetarian entree served for the table to taste! Wine and beer were complimentary at lunch and dinner. On a couple of evenings, entertainment was brought onboard. While it was nice; we didn't think it was anything really outstanding. We did enjoy the piano player each afternoon and dancing in the evening. My husband took advantage of the 3 guided bicycle tours, which he enjoyed. We love river cruising. This is our second river cruise and we're ready to book another one. We like the intimacy. It's so much more easy to meet fellow cruisers. We made some wonderful friends, with whom we will keep in contact. We will definitely book with AmaWaterways again. Read Less
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