We chose this cruise and company based on recommendations of friends and the iitinerary of the trip. The trip and experience were marvelous and i would highly reccommend it . The ship holds a maximum of 146 passengers, but only 104 passengersd were aboard for this cruise.The cabins, while small when compared to most ocean liners, were larger than many river cruises; quite adequate and well decorated. The beds were very comfortable and the cabin staff attentive to the nth degree, especially Georgiana. The bathrooms were quite roomy and well supplied with toiletries and the all important hair dryer for my wife. The in-cabin entertainment system was good, although to be honest we did not use it a great deal other than to watch some news, but they did have a large assortment of films and music available,. Wi-fi is gratis and to my surprise worked very well; much better than on larger ships.
Food and dining were quite good overall. Breakfast was buffet style, but with a young lady making terrific omlets and eggs to order as well as the usual breakfast items and some less than usual items for most Americans.. Breads and pastries were excellent and required a bit of self control in order not to overdo it. The highlight for foodies was the special Chef's dinner to which all guests are entitled to attend. The menu is fixed for all seven nights and only 24 people are accommodated at a time. The items are all cooked in one location and served to each table as the food is ready. The service was superb and most of the items very good. The cod could have used a bit more seasoning.Wine, a nice selection of different reds and whites from the Bordeaux region as well as beer, are complimentary at all meals. Most entrees at the dinners were quite good, but the stand outs for me were the filet mignon and the prime rib.Each night there was always a Chef's Choice menu as well as several other items from which to choose.. If none of the menu choices for that day were appealing, one could always order a steak, salmon or chicken. One of the best ideas the line has instituted is to have a light lunch served buffet style in the lounge rather than the main dining room. Selections are limited, compared to the main dining room, but by no means lacking in many good choices. Salads and soups were always available as well as frog's legs and escargot at one of the lunches. Surprisingly I do not think they offered onion soup st any time. We did have some delicious deserts and the chocolate crepes were outstanding.
The entertainment was limited as one would expect on a very small ship, but they did have a pianist who was quite good and brought aboard several entertainers; Frankly, I found this line offered better entertainment than most river cruises.
The highlight of the cruise was an incredible staff-Kriss the cruise manager was unbelievable even getting up to see us off the boat at 4:15 am and providing us with a packed lunch. The front desk staffed by Ivan and Yasmina, during the day and a night attendant whose name I can't recall, were most helpful at all times and made us feel welcome and important addressing our every request with a smile. The bar staff and all of the waiters and waitresses were attentive, warm and friendly. The tours were excellent and our regular tour guide, Elisabeth, was beyond belief. She even managed to find us a local person on Bordeaux to take three of us on a special tour of the local synagogue. For the biking enthusiasts, they have quite a few bicycles and helmets and a bike tour led by Chris almost every day.
We loved virtually all of the ports and excursions, but the highlight for us was St. Emilion. Not only a great wine producing regions with world famous wineries, but a delightful and charming village retaining much from the Middle Ages , including the catacombs and underground churches.
I have no doubt we would go again and surely will consider another cruise with Ama Waterways