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6 AmaWaterways AmaCello Cruise Reviews

We were invited to a wine cruise by our wine club. We have been contemplating a river cruise for years. This cruise offered a three day end in Barcelona which is a destination we both were excited about. I t was everything and more we ... Read More
We were invited to a wine cruise by our wine club. We have been contemplating a river cruise for years. This cruise offered a three day end in Barcelona which is a destination we both were excited about. I t was everything and more we than we were expecting. The staff was amazing! The food was delicious. Our chef and his staff were so professional and the food was a work of art. Our cruise director Andre was a person who has such a love of his career and the people that handled the excursions were amazing. The whole experience was unforgettable. As a side note, we arrived in Barcelona 40 minutes after the terrorist attack which happened 100 feet from our hotel. Andre kept us safe. He moved us to another hotel within an hour and we were safe . I love him for all of his skills. Great experience!!!! Thanks to AMA for a perfect experience! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our third trip with AmaWaterways. The first two were very good experiences. This one was extremely disappointing. There were many issues. The most upsetting was the cruise manager. He was cranky, rude and intimidating. Every ... Read More
This was our third trip with AmaWaterways. The first two were very good experiences. This one was extremely disappointing. There were many issues. The most upsetting was the cruise manager. He was cranky, rude and intimidating. Every day, without fail, he made me feel bad in one way or another. And I was not alone in this feeling. I guess he felt he could act this way because he was leaving AmaWaterways. However, that’s no excuse and AmaWaterways should apologize for letting someone like him represent the company. Another problem was being mislead by the description of it as being a scenic cruise. One day we stared out our window at a wall. The last two days we got to stare across into the window of another ship. Also, it was very noisy. We had the privilege of paying to be on the highest deck. That means that the sundeck was above us, so people would walk over us until late at night. There were other issues. The fitness room is terrible, and had boring equipment. The rooms need updating, including an antiquated heating/cooling system. The shower was very nice and updated, but the lighting in the room was also poor. There was free Internet, but it was often pretty bad. Food is always an important part of a cruise. The breakfast was good, but the coffee was terrible – cold and either too weak or too strong. The lunches were very good, but dinner usually was either boring or downright bad. The staff tried their best, but clearly some of them needed more training. The good – Marketa, the hotel manager, was very nice and professional. The excursions were very good, and the guides (for the most part) were excellent. This was the cruise's saving grace, and why I gave it three stars, instead of two. Overall, we left thinking that this might be our last trip on Amawaterways: there’s plenty of other river cruise companies to consider. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Having researched all the European river cruise companies we decided on Ama Waterways believing it would be more upmarket than the most popular company Viking. The cruise was 14 days with 18 stops in five countries along three rivers.The ... Read More
Having researched all the European river cruise companies we decided on Ama Waterways believing it would be more upmarket than the most popular company Viking. The cruise was 14 days with 18 stops in five countries along three rivers.The first impression was the clientèle appeared to be older than the ocean cruising fraternity, although most of the passengers suggested they had been on other cruises. The majority of passengers were Americans, Canadians and Aussies, only two couples from Europe. It is clear the advertising budget for Ama in Europe is tiny as compared to their rivals, hence the profile of mainly North American passengers. The cabins as compared to Ocean cruising liners were very small, the boats have to be narrow to enable them to pass through numerous locks, there are over sixty on the journey from Budapest to Amsterdam. Similarly the balconies are Juliet balconies so no space there! The food was generally very good, the menu changed everyday. There would be a choice of 2/3 starters, main course and dessert. If you didn't fancy any of those there were standby options of salads, grilled chicken or steak. We could not complain about the quality or the choice. The drinks are free with dinner, they advertise wines from the various countries you travel through. In reality it was mainly cheap Austrian and German wines. There was no Hungarian Tokaj or German Franken wines, one assumes too expensive. However it was plentiful and the excellent waiters ensured you had as much as you could drink. Because there was only 140 passengers it was always dinner for everyone at the same time, sometimes at strange times. But for European tastes always too early whether it be lunch or dinner, 12 noon for lunch and 7.00p.m. for dinner, much too early! Most of the excursions are included in the price and thankfully there were different trips for the varying groups of people i.e. active, not so active and not active at all. The trips came to be known as ABC, (another bloody church), but you did have a choice, you do not have to go on them. The occasional one had to be paid for, again optional. The one worth while was in Vienna a concert in the Hofberg Palace, 70 euro each and well worth it. One very good feature was the availability of bikes, for the active you could take the bike and cycle to the next port of call along pathways at the side of the river to re-join the boat. Although in the rain it could be arduous. So to the downsides. The entertainment was generally second rate when compared to ocean cruising. The resident piano player was average at best. The dress code for dinner was very casual, no formal nights. Then there is the thorny issue of tipping. The Australian customers paid in the overall price, the majority were recommended by Ama to tip 12 euro per person per day for the crew and 3 euro per person per day for the Cruise Director. If you followed Ama's recommendation the cost was 420 euro per couple and the Cruise Director would benefit to the tune of just short of 6,000 euro all to herself! Needless to say that was not very popular and some said particularly relating to the Cruise Director, scandalous. The crew (mainly from Romania) were excellent, the Cruise Director average, the tipping recommendations are very controversial. Overall an interesting trip, very expensive when compared to other river cruise companies and ocean cruising. It is back to the large ships and the oceans for us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
The positives: Ship was clean and very attractive Cabin was arranged nicely Art work was interesting Scenery was outstanding Weather was warm and clear Fellow cruisers were friendly Cabin stewardess and wait staff were ... Read More
The positives: Ship was clean and very attractive Cabin was arranged nicely Art work was interesting Scenery was outstanding Weather was warm and clear Fellow cruisers were friendly Cabin stewardess and wait staff were very good Easy off and on without security checks The negatives: The food was mediocre The entertainment was awful The tours were poor The cruise director was so bad The piano player was poor Ship left ports at weird times Some ports weren't visited because of low water levels I expected a much better cruise with better food and service. This cruise was like taking a group bus tour except the bus was mostly on the ship. Many things were disorganized. For example, more than once the ship changed departure times and sail off without all the guests. They did return for the missing. The enrichment lecture was a preview of what to expect on the extension in Paris. The cruise director delivered a lot of misinformation. The extension to Paris. Luxembourg city tour was good. Train arrangements were good. The baggage was handled from the ship to the hotel.That was nice. The hotel, the Meridien Etoile was terrible. The rooms were tiny, noisy, filthy, and disgusting. Carpets and linens were stained, lamps were broken, door locks were broken, and bed was very uncomfortable. Obviously they keep the very worst rooms for tours. The included breakfast was a nice buffet with better food than the ship. It included avast assortment of items including a Japanese section. Good omelets, pancakes, and french toast. Pastries were excellent. My suggestion would be to stay at a different hotel For the price of the extension, you can find more centrally location hotels that are clean. Overall, this trip was far below my expectations. I would not recommend AMAwaterways. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
I am a very experienced traveler who has taken many tours,been on several cruise lines,and also has traveled independently. The riverboat cruise was only one part of a longer trip. I booked my own air,arranged my owN transfers, and also ... Read More
I am a very experienced traveler who has taken many tours,been on several cruise lines,and also has traveled independently. The riverboat cruise was only one part of a longer trip. I booked my own air,arranged my owN transfers, and also bookedHotels both before and after the cruise. I flew nonstop to Amsterdam from Philadelphia, took the con ex ion shuttle serVice into town,stayed T the swissotel in dam sq.,booked tours with victor,and enjoyed Amsterdam. Swissotel was excellent...gorgeous room,excellent complimentary breakfast, free upgrade, and champagne to help celebrate a birthday. This was our fourth time in amsterdam. This time we visited the historic museum which was fabulous. It has a vast collection of all types of things that make Amsterdam such a great place. We also enjoyed walking around town, by the canals, in the parks, and the markets. Weather was sunny and warm. Keukenhoff was gorgeous. We took a taxi for ten euros from the hotel to the dock...a bit high for such a short trip...did not want to drag my suitcase. We boarded the ship mid afternoon. It was quick. Our luggage was handled by the staff. There were a few small snacks in the lounge. Our cabin was midlevel with a French balcony,,a sliding door....nice for letting some air into the cabin. The cabin was well organized but small. The bathroom was very nice. Shower was excellent...glass doors, lots of jets, and roomy. The provided soap, shampoo, and conditioner were fair. The towels were thick. There was also robes and slippers. Drawer space was not good. Tiny drawers except for the large drawer under the bed. The closet was good. I hung most things. There was a tv and Internet console. The tv had a very small selection of offerings. The Internet was slow...and often didn't not work. The public rooms on the ship were very well maintained. The forward lounge or sun eck were good places to sit to see the scenery. The scenery was great especially the vineyards along the Moselle river. The people on board were older, quiet, and very interesting. There were no children. The included excursions were good and bad. The best was in Bernkastel...excellent local guide. The worst tour was in cochem where we expected to be driven back to the ship. However he left us in town without maps or directions and just ordered us to find the river and go back to the ship. By the time we figured out how to get back to the ship the guide had already driven his van to the ship and been paid. He even stopped and laughed at us as we walked toward the ship. We also had a problem in koblenz. There were two buses that were to take people to koblenz to see the flower show. We were almost there when we were told that we had to go back and pick up people from the other bus which had broken down. That took a few hours off our flower show time. We had only one hour in the show and the local guide rushed us through everything. We were then supposed to driven to boppard to meet the ship. Instead the guides were told to keep us in koblenz near the water and the ship would pick us up. THat was at 5pm. The ship arrived at 9pm. The tour director said that the water levels were low in the Rhine and that she was sorry. The tour director never went on any excursion, did not pay attention to details, and basically did not do much. She was probably the laziest td that I have ever met. The entertainment was not good. On a few nights there was some local talent...other times there was a pianist who played poorly. The piped in music was mamamia. I love abba, but they kept playing it over a d over again...way too much. The food was good to fair. The included wines were mostly good. The waiters were also good. The maitre d was all s lies but did not listen or accept requests. The bar staff was excellent. The lounge cookies were nice. The evening snacks were just the cookies, cakes and cheese...not much.. The coffee machine in the lounge was good. The bottle of nescafe decaf was awful. The gift shop was small but had a nice selection of stuff...and their prices were good. The library had books that people had left. I used my kindle. The free postcards and postage were a nice idea. The nice part of the cruise was the pace at which we sailed..slow enough to see the beautiful scenery. We disembarked in remich and took the cruise lines extension to Paris. The tour director came with us. After the cruise, the only time that we saw her was when she gave us the train tickets and our hotel room keys. She was not available during the four days in paris. The meridian etoile hotel was huge, dirty, and not convenient. I have been in Paris many times. There is always lots to see. This time, I went to the louvre, le petite palais, the mused de moderne rate, took a boat ride on the seine, went to the Jacque art Andre muses, ate famous food, and enjoyed shopping. That was the end of my cruise line experience. My trip continued on my own. The major question is would I take another riverboat cruise? Maybe...not with amawaterways.. The lack of the td organization was inexcusable.. I loved the scenery and the size of the ship. I still like ocean cruisers. The service cannot compare to the service that you can get on luxury lines like seaboard, Oceania, regent or azamara.. Even some of the larger mass market ships like celebrity have better amenities...and cost a lot less. I do not mind paying top dollar for excellent service. The bottom line for me is...cruise was just okay...not worth what I paid. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Food is at best average - corporate menus with minimal creativity for chefs and local specialties. Dining room at less than full capacity was horribly over crowded - at full capacity many tables were so tight you had to ask the next table ... Read More
Food is at best average - corporate menus with minimal creativity for chefs and local specialties. Dining room at less than full capacity was horribly over crowded - at full capacity many tables were so tight you had to ask the next table to pull in so an average size person could get out. Local wines average to poor. Entertainment - very very little - usually a keyboard artist playing the same music night after night. Included tours are average with mostly very poor local guides pointing out buildings with little conversation regarding history, people, interests etc. Optional tours were priced much the same as other cruise companies however the poor guides and not including what was advertised or counting a "drive by" as including something on the tour left them a very poor value. Cabins were average, public areas a bit below average when compared to those on ships we have traveled on in the past. The Cruise Director was only interested in speaking with you if you had a compliment - if you had a complaint he blew you off or pointed the finger at the crew. He and the crew were clearly and noticeably at odds most of the time. He definitely needs to be enrolled in charm school. Many of the passengers who had traveled with AMA before where shocked at the poor quality of the cruise. Although AMA claims that you must book through a travel agent, they do take direct bookings and give those who book direct free optional tours, discounts on the cruise, and on board credits. So, if you go AMA, forget your travel agent and go direct. Better yet, go with Viking, Avalon or one of the many other companies who can provide the same cruise, same quality for about 1/3 or more less money. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
AmaCello Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 4.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 5.0 4.6
Fitness & Recreation 2.0 N/A
Family 1.0 3.5
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 3.0 4.8
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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