AmaViola Cruise Review by Dakota Gal
- Sail Date: May 2017
- Destination: Europe River
- Cabin Type: Outside Stateroom with French Balcony and Outside Balcony
We loved the fact that the river cruise setting is much more intimate and friendlier than large cruise ships. You see the same people (only 148 guests) in the lounges, on shore tours, in the dining room and just meeting in the hallways, so it's very easy to make new friends. The majority of passengers on this cruise were from U.S., several from Canada, one from UK and several from Australia, so conversation was easy. All staff speaks English very well, too, again, a big plus. There were actually very few places we went where shop keepers didn't speak English as well.
Oh, the food...it was truly wonderful. My husband needed a low sodium diet. Every morning when we went for breakfast, Voila, there was a special menu for him to make selections for lunch and dinner...same as our menus but low sodium. The food is always so fresh and varied. The breads and pastries....well, just divine. Wine and beer plentiful if you want it at lunch (we didn't) but also at dinner (we did!)
Port and shore excursions are wonderful, and meet different physical requirements. if you want to bike or hike, you can, or ride a bus and go slow, you can. There's a LOT of walking on shore excursions, some dicey terrain (cobblestone streets, hills), but very doable even for older people like us. Tour guides who work for AMA are very knowledgeable and engaging. Recommend good walking shoes, a hat and no heavy purse...use a money belt. .
Dress is pretty casual. Didn't see many guys in sport jackets, and no women in fancy cocktail type dresses. That's nice because you don't have to drag along a lot of extra clothing to wear only one time! Many days we came back from shore excursions at 6:00 with dinner at 7:00 so just went to dinner in what we wore that day or put on a clean shirt and different pair of shoes. You can rinse out things like underwear and hang to dry in shower or send to laundry. Prices for washing, drying or ironing were very reasonable.
The staff was wonderful, especially Drago, Cruise Director, and Jemma. hotel manager And the wait staff is so attentive and always handles the same tables at breakfast, lunch and dinner, so if you got a favorite, you could sit at their table. They knew our preferences (like red or white wine) or if my husband had the low sodium meal. They are really efficient.
All in all, just a truly wonderful experience for my husband and me...the sites you see are like something out of a movie or book. So much history. We hope to one day sail again with AMA, next time on the Seine or Rhine.
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