This was our second AmaWaterways cruise and our third river cruise. We have done over 25 ocean cruises. River cruising has become our preference. The small number of people, the exceptional service and outstanding food are all very attractive features vs. an ocean cruise.Our travel agent contacted us just before Christmas with a very attractive offer on this cruise, and we took it. It was over Easter week, which seems to be a slow period. The ship was not completely full and some of the guests were travel agents and others not paying full or any fare, I believe. Nevertheless it was a great group.
Our Cruise Manager was Victor, who although seemingly a bit gruff at first, got to know everyone by name and gave very personal service to each individual. The crew were fabulous and uniformly friendly. One of our favourites was Anton, a waiter in the area where we normally sat in the Dining Room.
The excursions included in the fare were all fantastic and we especially enjoyed Honfleur, Monet's Gardens at Giveryney, and the World War 2 beaches and cemeteries in Normandy. Canadians and British (there were no British on this cruise) got their own separate tour to our own WW2 beaches and the Americans went to theirs.
The ship, although built in 2009, was in terrific condition, and looked like it had been refurbished in its winter layover. It is shorter than the newer vessels, and so carries a few less people. But I liked the dining room layout better than the AmaSonata we had been on previously. It has quite a few tables for two, which we greatly prefer. An exception is the Chef's Table alternate restaurant at the stern, where everyone is entitled to one meal during the cruise. It seats 24 people, but they are all at tables for six. We did not enjoy this especially, being seated with people with whom we had little in common. I did not enjoy the food here either and would probably skip it next time.
Embarkation and especially disembarkationn was flawless. We bought an Ama transfer to the airport at the end of the cruise and it was great- including being met by someone at the airport to guide us through checkin. This kind of personal attention, including Victor coming our to our luxurious van to say goodbye, is long remembered and is such a contrast to ocean cruises where they typically can't wait to get rid of you at the end of the cruise, and where you are on your own once you step off the ship.
We will definitely sail on Ama again.
Very comfortable cabin in middle of staterooms, although a bit on the small side. Quiet - very little engine noise or from adjoining staterooms. Everything worked well. Ample storage. Only drawback was no refrigerator and bed could have been a bit more comfortable.