We completed the Melodies of the Danube crusie: Budapest to Vilshofen, October 13 to October 20, 2016. This was our second cruise with Amawaterways. The first cruise, two years ago with the AmaLegro on the Seine, became the benchmark against which all other vacations since have been judged and found lacking. We were worried we had built up our expectations too high and might be disappointed by our second river cruise with Amawaterways. We were delighted to find the Amaviola, her Captain and crew, not only met our expectations, but exceeded them. Our cabin and the entire ship was tastefully decorated. The cabin had ample storage space to allow us to store our clothing and other belongings for the journey and the bed allowed for a comfortable night’s sleep.
This newer ship has included more electrical outlets and charging stations to accommodate the electronic devices most of us use today. The bathroom was also equipped with what I assume were tiny LED lights to softly illuminate the room in the night, to allow you to use it without the blinding glare of turning on the overhead light: a small, but thoughtful inclusion. Warm cosy robes and slippers are also provided, but for the colder months, to improve an already wonderful experience, we would welcome heated tiled floors in the bathroom for future upgrades to the accommodations.
The housekeeping staff did an exceptional job of keeping our cabin and the ship spotlessly clean. The culinary staff ensured every morsel of food offered was delicious, with eye-pleasing presentations; it was next to impossible not to at least sample a bite of everything! The fresh local foods were well-complemented by very nice wine pairings. We would have also liked to have had the opportunity to sample some of wide variety of the locally brewed beers with our meals. The servers in the dining room and bar were warm, friendly and very professional and efficient in the performance of their duties, helping to keep us all relaxed, comfortable and very well-fed.
Thank goodness for all the well-thought out excursions with knowledgeable, English-speaking local guides, to accommodate differing interests, activity and mobility levels, allowing for all to enjoy as much or little exercise and sightseeing as they may wish and in our case to burn off some of the calories accumulated to allow more guilt-free enjoyment of the next offerings. We very much enjoyed the opportunity to explore our embarkation city of Budapest, it was a delight, as were each of those we toured on our cruise. The on-board briefings regarding the areas through which we were passing were interesting and the entertainment enjoyable. Our favourites for this cruise were the Slovakian dancers and the opera duo. We prefer to be kept both mentally and physically active on our vacations and Amawaterways does not disappoint in this regard. The cosy, ship atmosphere encouraged more social interaction among the guests, allowing for friendships to develop.
From the warm welcome aboard, including a rose from the Captain to the ladies, to the last farewell, we were pampered by the crew who went beyond our expectations to provide exceptional service and make us feel relaxed and at home. For most vacations, we are ready to leave and eager to get home to our own beds, not so with this holiday! We were sad to go and look forward to our next opportunity to enjoy the comforts and exceptional service provided by the accommodations and staff of AmaWaterways. Well done!
We found the cabin to be cosy, quiet, well-appointed and comfortable. It was a bit tight for space when walking around the bed, but we felt it was more than adequate to our needs, as we only really used the space to sleep, shower, and change clothes. The shower was a bit tight for two, but was spacious for one and offered both a hand-held shower head with adjustable water pressure and an overhead rainfall showerhead. The water pressure was quite good. The lighting was excellent, offering both soft recessed lighting, lighting in the wardrobe, and task lighting for reading in bed and more than adequate outlets for chargers, etc. The in cabin entertainment: internet, television, movies, etc. was quite good, although we were rarely there. There was so much to do and we enjoyed the company of the other passengers and new friends we met that we spent all our free time out of our cabin.