My first cruise of any sort but my current worry is how on earth do I ever equal it in the future. I am interested in ships, so took notice of those we moored against and those we passed and Amasonata was unquestionably the smartest, most advanced, best designed ship on the Danube. Well - perhaps Amaserena, which we passed, was nearly as good:)
Ama had guides based at the airport when we arrived to welcome us (in English!) and get us onto the coach that took us to the ship. Embarkation was quick and easy and not really any different to checking-in at any good hotel. Disembarking was also well organised and again, a guide accompanied us to the airport. It is a shame that the flights themselves were not as luxurious.
Our cabin was a mid-sized one which meant that it had a proper rectangular ensuite with no corners cut and adequate space around the bed. It also had an outside balcony which was nice to have but perhaps not essential. It was very comfortable. It was also the closest cabin to the reception, lounge and main restaurant making those facilities easy for us to use. Cabins at the back of the ship had quite a long walk before they could sit in the lounge for example.
I was very happy with the cabin though generally, we only used it for sleeping. There was a bit of vibration when the ship was working hard against a strong current but generally the air conditioning was the only noise and that was under our control. The bed was very comfortable, furniture very adequate with plenty of hanging space in the wardrobe and space under the bed for our two cases. There was also an underbed drawer which we used in preference to the shelved part of the wardrobe.
The ensuite was excellent, spotlessly clean with plenty of hot water.
I enjoyed watching the view from the bow camera on the entertainment system - I found I could wake up early and see the scenery going past without getting out of bed! I found time to enjoy one film and watch a few bits from BBC World but there were better things to do outside the cabin.
Having an outside balcony was nice but no more than that. It was often blocked by other ships moored alongside and I prefered the view from the main lounge and outside areas when cruising. Having an outside balcony made the French balcony section pointless other than the extra bit of useful space it provided within the cabin. Really, this arrangement is a good way of giving the cabin an outside balcony without taking more room out of the cabin than necessary.
Overall, the cabin could compete with any land-based luxury hotel except for size. That said, the best part of the cabin was the service provided by the steward. He kept the cabin spotless and in good order. It was far better service than I have ever received anywhere else.