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This was our first river cruise so first for other novices I was surprised to find: The wall aren't metal so my magnetic clips and hooks went back in the suitcase There is no movement - even at full tilt it was impossible to tell that we were on the water. In total DH and I travel about 3 months a year, DIY tours, luxury tours, Ocean Cruises, short breaks …. this was the best vacation experience we have ever had - we thoroughly enjoyed just about every aspect of the trip. Cabin We had a cabin on the lower deck with a super comfy bed, plenty of space (though lacking in draws) and a great shower, our view was pretty special too Attention to detail seemed to be real priority for APT so though there was only one European, one Aussie and one UK socket in the room - it came with 3 way European extension cable and assurances that adapters were available from reception. The AC worked in a way that many 5 star hotels could learn from - set the temperature and that is what you got. Bottled water was replaced in the fridge and on the dresser daily, robes, slippers and night time chocolates all standard. Food Breakfast was served in the dining room for two hours each morning. Fruit, cereal, cold meat, cheese, yogurt, smoked salmon, bread, pastries, scrambled eggs, bacon, beans, were from the buffet, fried eggs and omelettes from the egg guy and poached egg, oatmeal and eggs Benedict ordered at the table. The variety and quality of the fresh fruit especially was outstanding. Lunch you had the choice of either a variety of heavy snacks (sandwiches, cheese, soup) in the lounge or a up to four course meal in the dining room. We usually went to the dining room and enjoyed every meal, though did learn to stay away from the freely flowing wine and decadent dessert so early in the day. Dinner Each meal in the dining room consisted of a choice of two or three appetisers, two soups, a meat, fish and vegetarian selection for main courses and three desserts. There were also the always available options of chicken breast, salmon and a couple of others. The wine served at dinner was excellent (especially the whites as were were traveling through a region which specialised in white wine) The wine from the bar and at lunch was fine but not great. Over the 14 days we had maybe one meal in the main dining room which was OK - all the rest were outstanding. The food was much better than on the last luxury ocean cruise line we sailed with. The Chef was one of the highlights of the trip when I complimented him on the quality of the cheese he made me a special dish of Stilton (may favourite) cheese, covered in chocolate - which sounds odd but was amazing. There was a specialty restaurant which was free of charge but needed reservations. This had a single menu for the first week and another for the second week. Some guests were very impressed but our experience was the room was crowded and lacked atmosphere, the welcome drink was some horrid water melon concoction, the sorbet was warm, the meat was cold and the service poor. All the food looked really impressive but we felt we had missed a great meal in the MDR so cancelled our second booking. There was also afternoon tea and late night snacks served in the lounge but really we did not feel the need. Public Spaces In the dining room is a mix of two, four and six seat tables there were always seats available though a little shuffling was needed to manoeuvre around as there was not a great deal of space between tables. Likewise in the lounge there were enough seats but it was sometimes hard to get a good view of what was going on when a lecture or demonstration was going on. Outside the top deck was closed for 4 days as we navigated the locks and low bridges between Rudesheim and Regensburg. There was still outside seats in front of the wheelhouse but the pool and walking track were off limits. In October most of the Australians on board decided that it was to chilly to be out for long so there was plenty of space, I can imagine in warm weather the limited open air space could be a negative. Experiences: Three Experiences were included on this trip and each was truly a memorable occasion. Dinner at the private home of Princess Heide von Hohenzollern was much more than a lovely meal in a stunning location were were encouraged to tour the castle, look at the books and sit on the sofas. Rather than a coach to transport us to Salzburg a copy of the Austrian Imperial family train was ours for the journey. Champagne was served as we wandered amongst the luxurious furniture and polished wood. On the return journey, singers moved from coach to coach with music from the Magic Flute and Sound of Music. Finally we were treated to a Champagne reception at the stunning privately owned Liechtenstein City Palace in Vienna followed by a stunning concert. We were told we would have three royal experiences but actually we had three experiences where we were treated like royalty. Tours At each stop there was included excursions often a walking tour with excellent local guides using Quitevoxes. This was the first time we had encountered these devices and they are truly wonderful. A party of 25 suddenly become just you and the guide as every word they say is clear even when you have wondered off across the street to take pictures or are separated by Amsterdam’s traffic. Some times a bus and walking tour were combined and on six days there was a choice of two or three excursions to choose from. CD Bartel had clearly mastered the art of cloning as he appeared to accompany each of the, up to, six different groups each day. Bicycles were also available to explore the area. The information provided at the end of each day was much more than a schedule of the next days arrangements. It included wonderful information on the history, politics, agriculture, wines and food of the regions we passed through. Included Bartel, our Cruise Director, told us at the beginning of the trip that the only money we needed for the next two weeks was a few 50c coins for the public toilets and he was basically right. Tips - included; excursions - included; sparkling wine at breakfast - included; wine and beer with lunch and dinner - included; drinks from the bar 9am till late - included; tour of the wheelhouse by the captain - included. Before and after Before the cruise I was like a three year old at Christmas as I unpacked the goody bag from APT. Two really sturdy rucksacks with clever small bags which unzipped from them. Quality luggage tags, a document folder for our passports, laundry bags and magnetic name tags. Having been forced to wear ID for work I was at first sceptical about wearing a name tag (first name only) but most people chose to wear them through out the trip and they added to the experience, if you see someone’s name written down you remember it far better - by the end we were so used to them that we almost travelled home in ours. At the end of the cruise you are not kicked of the ship at 8.30 like on cruise ships - at 9am, cabins have to be vacated but you can stay on the ship until 2.30pm have some soup, and leave when you wish. We had arranged our own post cruise extension but still APT arranged a taxi for us at the time we requested and helped us with our luggage - really A Personal Touch.

An Outstanding Trip

AmaVerde (APT) Cruise Review by Catchum

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our first river cruise so first for other novices I was surprised to find:

The wall aren't metal so my magnetic clips and hooks went back in the suitcase

There is no movement - even at full tilt it was impossible to tell that we were on the water.

In total DH and I travel about 3 months a year, DIY tours, luxury tours, Ocean Cruises, short breaks …. this was the best vacation experience we have ever had - we thoroughly enjoyed just about every aspect of the trip.

Cabin

We had a cabin on the lower deck with a super comfy bed, plenty of space (though lacking in draws) and a great shower, our view was pretty special too

Attention to detail seemed to be real priority for APT so though there was only one European, one Aussie and one UK socket in the room - it came with 3 way European extension cable and assurances that adapters were available from reception. The AC worked in a way that many 5 star hotels could learn from - set the temperature and that is what you got. Bottled water was replaced in the fridge and on the dresser daily, robes, slippers and night time chocolates all standard.

Food

Breakfast was served in the dining room for two hours each morning. Fruit, cereal, cold meat, cheese, yogurt, smoked salmon, bread, pastries, scrambled eggs, bacon, beans, were from the buffet, fried eggs and omelettes from the egg guy and poached egg, oatmeal and eggs Benedict ordered at the table. The variety and quality of the fresh fruit especially was outstanding.

Lunch you had the choice of either a variety of heavy snacks (sandwiches, cheese, soup) in the lounge or a up to four course meal in the dining room. We usually went to the dining room and enjoyed every meal, though did learn to stay away from the freely flowing wine and decadent dessert so early in the day.

Dinner

Each meal in the dining room consisted of a choice of two or three appetisers, two soups, a meat, fish and vegetarian selection for main courses and three desserts. There were also the always available options of chicken breast, salmon and a couple of others. The wine served at dinner was excellent (especially the whites as were were traveling through a region which specialised in white wine) The wine from the bar and at lunch was fine but not great.

Over the 14 days we had maybe one meal in the main dining room which was OK - all the rest were outstanding. The food was much better than on the last luxury ocean cruise line we sailed with.

The Chef was one of the highlights of the trip when I complimented him on the quality of the cheese he made me a special dish of Stilton (may favourite) cheese, covered in chocolate - which sounds odd but was amazing.

There was a specialty restaurant which was free of charge but needed reservations. This had a single menu for the first week and another for the second week. Some guests were very impressed but our experience was the room was crowded and lacked atmosphere, the welcome drink was some horrid water melon concoction, the sorbet was warm, the meat was cold and the service poor. All the food looked really impressive but we felt we had missed a great meal in the MDR so cancelled our second booking.

There was also afternoon tea and late night snacks served in the lounge but really we did not feel the need.

Public Spaces

In the dining room is a mix of two, four and six seat tables there were always seats available though a little shuffling was needed to manoeuvre around as there was not a great deal of space between tables. Likewise in the lounge there were enough seats but it was sometimes hard to get a good view of what was going on when a lecture or demonstration was going on. Outside the top deck was closed for 4 days as we navigated the locks and low bridges between Rudesheim and Regensburg. There was still outside seats in front of the wheelhouse but the pool and walking track were off limits. In October most of the Australians on board decided that it was to chilly to be out for long so there was plenty of space, I can imagine in warm weather the limited open air space could be a negative.

Experiences: Three Experiences were included on this trip and each was truly a memorable occasion. Dinner at the private home of Princess Heide von Hohenzollern was much more than a lovely meal in a stunning location were were encouraged to tour the castle, look at the books and sit on the sofas. Rather than a coach to transport us to Salzburg a copy of the Austrian Imperial family train was ours for the journey. Champagne was served as we wandered amongst the luxurious furniture and polished wood. On the return journey, singers moved from coach to coach with music from the Magic Flute and Sound of Music. Finally we were treated to a Champagne reception at the stunning privately owned Liechtenstein City Palace in Vienna followed by a stunning concert. We were told we would have three royal experiences but actually we had three experiences where we were treated like royalty.

Tours

At each stop there was included excursions often a walking tour with excellent local guides using Quitevoxes. This was the first time we had encountered these devices and they are truly wonderful. A party of 25 suddenly become just you and the guide as every word they say is clear even when you have wondered off across the street to take pictures or are separated by Amsterdam’s traffic. Some times a bus and walking tour were combined and on six days there was a choice of two or three excursions to choose from. CD Bartel had clearly mastered the art of cloning as he appeared to accompany each of the, up to, six different groups each day. Bicycles were also available to explore the area.

The information provided at the end of each day was much more than a schedule of the next days arrangements. It included wonderful information on the history, politics, agriculture, wines and food of the regions we passed through.

Included

Bartel, our Cruise Director, told us at the beginning of the trip that the only money we needed for the next two weeks was a few 50c coins for the public toilets and he was basically right. Tips - included; excursions - included; sparkling wine at breakfast - included; wine and beer with lunch and dinner - included; drinks from the bar 9am till late - included; tour of the wheelhouse by the captain - included.

Before and after

Before the cruise I was like a three year old at Christmas as I unpacked the goody bag from APT. Two really sturdy rucksacks with clever small bags which unzipped from them. Quality luggage tags, a document folder for our passports, laundry bags and magnetic name tags. Having been forced to wear ID for work I was at first sceptical about wearing a name tag (first name only) but most people chose to wear them through out the trip and they added to the experience, if you see someone’s name written down you remember it far better - by the end we were so used to them that we almost travelled home in ours.


At the end of the cruise you are not kicked of the ship at 8.30 like on cruise ships - at 9am, cabins have to be vacated but you can stay on the ship until 2.30pm have some soup, and leave when you wish. We had arranged our own post cruise extension but still APT arranged a taxi for us at the time we requested and helped us with our luggage - really A Personal Touch.
Catchum’s Full Rating Summary
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