We recently had a wonderful holiday with AMA Waterways on their Provence and Spain itinerary. This was our second river cruise in just over a year and we are hooked! The trip started with a 3-night stay at the conveniently located Pullman Montparnasse in Paris. This hotel was very busy as it catered to tour groups so the downside was line-ups and not such great service for breakfast but, apart from the very awkward to access bathtub, the room was well-appointed and we had a great view of Paris. Save on expensive taxi fares by taking the Air France shuttle bus from the airport. It only cost 16 Euros and stops at the Gare de Lyon and Gare Montparnasse right opposite the hotel. Our charming, efficient and excellent Tour Director, Abel, met us at the hotel and stayed with us throughout our entire trip. He did a wonderful job and we were sad to say goodbye to him.
We boarded the cruise in Lyon after an efficient TGV high-speed train ride from Paris (lovely train but smelly washrooms). We were impressed with the ship. It has a very welcoming feel to it and we soon made ourselves at home. The public areas were well designed and very conducive to meeting fellow cruisers. The food was delicious with plenty of variety and the service throughout the ship was exemplary. Wine and beer were included both at lunch and dinner. The in-house entertainment was a bit weak with a pianist who played "elevator music" where everything pretty well sounded the same. He was very nice and friendly but didn't play anything we could dance to. He rarely sang. Some of the guest entertainers were better.
We thoroughly enjoyed the entire itinerary. We loved Lyon-such an interesting city with so much to do. The included excursions offered a wide variety of things to see with some ports offering several options. We particularly enjoyed visiting the hilltop villages of Oignt in the Beaujolais region, pretty Grignan and the picturesque Les Baux-de-Provence. We also loved just being able to wander around the towns where we were docked. We were busy all the time but it was still relaxing and we had plenty of time to explore on our own. With the odd exception, the tour guides were excellent.
We didn't feel the cabin layout was as well-designed as on our last cruise with Avalon. The entry was dark. There was no lighting by the closet so it was difficult to see inside it, especially when using the eye-level safe or full length mirror. The rest of the cabin was well lit. There was virtually no surface space. The only counter space was occupied by the computer. We greatly appreciated having our own computer but would also have liked more counter/dresser space. Our Avalon cabin had counter space that ran the width of the cabin with a mirror above it. On the AmaDagio, the mirror was above the bed so was not functional. We enjoyed the rain shower in the bathroom but, again, there was no counter space so I found it difficult doing my hair or putting on makeup and there was nowhere to do that in the bedroom area either. We had a cabin with French doors which we enjoyed. We did have a cupboard with shelves as well as drawers under the comfortable bed.