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We were taking our first river cruise and didn't know anything about river cruise lines other than what we'd seen on PBS. AMA Waterways was recommended to us by friends who are seasoned travelers and have sailed on two different European river cruises. Their opinion was AMA is head and shoulders above the rest. This was confirmed by a passenger on our cruise who had sailed on 3 different river cruise lines and said AMA was definitely the best. 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.

Couldn't Have Been Better

AmaViola Cruise Review by Dakota Gal

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Outside Stateroom with French Balcony and Outside Balcony
We were taking our first river cruise and didn't know anything about river cruise lines other than what we'd seen on PBS. AMA Waterways was recommended to us by friends who are seasoned travelers and have sailed on two different European river cruises. Their opinion was AMA is head and shoulders above the rest. This was confirmed by a passenger on our cruise who had sailed on 3 different river cruise lines and said AMA was definitely the best.

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.
Dakota Gal’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Outside Stateroom with French Balcony and Outside Balcony
Cabin BA 317
From the time we boarded, we were impressed with the cleanliness and decor of the ship. It's a newer one, so no wear and tear on any decor. Our room (Piano Deck, BA room), was very adequate, much larger than on an ocean cruise ship. Room was in middle of ship so very quite...never heard people walking out in the halls, no engine noise and no ship movement. Every day our room was meticulously cleaned; in fact, staff was always working to keep things clean all over the ship. The queen bed was comfortable; pillows not our favorite but small thing. Adequate outlets on one side of the bed and places to plug in phones to charge them; be sure to take converters for C-paps and other electrical devices. No hairdryers needed; there's a good one in the bathroom. Curling irons also not allowed - guess that's a fire hazard or something. Bathroom is compact but they have a very good shower, albeit a small shower and enough storage space for cosmetics. Adequate room to hang clothes but no room to hang long dresses...only double racks in the closet. It's so busy with shore excursions and other activities you don't spend much time in your room!
Violin Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins