After speaking to numerous people, we selected AMAWaterways for our Christmas Markets on the Danube and couldn't have been more happy that we did. There was nothing that I would change. The accommodations were comfortable. The food was out of this world. The tours were fabulous and tour guides (except Regensburg) were great. And the Cruise Director Christian was wonderful.
So to start - we went over early and spent a few days in Prague prior to the pre-cruise with AMA. We did a tour starting at the hotel and going up to Prague Castle. Then walked down to the Christmas Markets. The QuietVox headphone system was great in hearing the tour guide. Only complaint is that for me the earpiece was too big and hurt my ear - but otherwise great. The tour guide gave us plenty of information - but didn't overwhelm us.
Then we left Prague on buses to Nuremberg. They had plenty of buses so that not everybody was sitting on top of each other. We had a guide on the bus that gave us lots of information as we traveled from Prague to Nuremberg. Once we reached Nuremberg, we were let off to enjoy some of the Christmas Market and part of the city for a couple of hours while the buses went to the ship and unloaded our luggage. We met the buses and they dropped us off at the ship where we were greated by the staff with champagne. Our luggage was in the rooms already - but we waited in the lounge until our section was called where we went to the front desk, had our picture taken and given our keys to our room. A room steward then took us to our room, explained everything and left us. We unpacked and went to the restaurant for lunch.
Evening we met the staff and had a wonderful first night dinner. Meals on the ship were great. Several options and one thing that was nice was they had a list of allergies and each course showed any allergies for that meal so that you could make sure you wouldn't eat something you shouldn't. The staff remembered your allergies and made sure that they took care of you. Our wait person was Stevan and we LOVED him. Also the wine was continuous. You take one drink and he was there filling your glass back up. Same with water or other drinks you had.
The room was BB201 and was spacious and comfortable. If you lifted the bed - the luggage would fit under the bed and gave you more room. Plenty of room to hang clothes and shelves to put non-hanging clothes and other things. Free Wi-Fi was nice.
Tours - we really loved the tours. We only had one guide that we thought was lacking - the others were full of information and interestingly. Was surprised about how much I learned about each of these sites we visited. Loved the Christmas Markets. I think Thurn and Taxis was our favorite Christmas Market and Salzburg was our favorite city.
Embarkation and Disembarkation was smooth.
On ship entertainment was great. One night was decorating the Christmas Tree, one night was former members of the Regensburg Boy's Choir who sung for us for about 30-45 minutes which was great. One night the staff entertained us with Christmas Markets and we understand that was a first - but they said they had a blast and we did too. They really got everybody involved.
Highlight was the Illumination Cruise in Budapest. It was COLD but breathtaking to go up on the top and see the buildings lit up. Beautiful.
As mentioned - I can' say enough good about this cruise line. The staff was great and I would do this in a heart-beat again.
The room was spacious. Had plenty of hanging space for heavy clothes - note it was cold and we had coats, sweathers, heavy clothes.
There was also several shelves to put non-hanging clothes and other things. There was a safe to put things you wanted to lock up and had plenty of space.
The bathroom was small - but no smaller than any other cruise line. Plenty of room for one person. The soap, shampoo, lotion that they had available was nice. Next time, I would save suitcase space and not bring mine and I'm very picky on my shampoo.
Loved Nuremburg. Day one we arrived from Prague and was let off at a small Christmas Market to be on our own for a couple of hours while the buses took our luggage to the ship. This was nice that we could walk around on our own.
Day two we had a tour guide that took us first to the Rally Grounds of the Nazis. He showed us pictures of what it looked like back then, gave us a lot of detailed information. Was surprised about how large that area was.
Then a bus trip to the Castle in Nuremburg. He provided a lot of information as we drove through the city to the castle. Pointed out important and/or historic information along the way.
Prague Castle gave us a lot of information as we wakled through the castle. Then down to the main Christmas Market. Before leaving us to visit the Christmas Market, made it very clear when and where we were to meet for our return to the ship.
I love WWII history and this had a lot of history to it. Patrick gave us plenty of information and kept our attention.
He paced the walks everywhere so everybody was able to keep up. My partner had fallen at the hotel and was using a walking stick but was able to keep up. After a bathroom break at the castle - he made sure everybody was together before leaving. He always counted and made sure he left nobody behind.
I LOVED Regensburg - but the tour guide was less than interesting. His wife was supposed to do the tour and he does the bike tour. So a high energy, fast walker guy and not interesting. Frequently others in the group had to force him to stop and wait on those not keeping up. It wasn't just one or two it was about half the group because he walked so fast.
When there was a bathroom break - he told us two meeting places. So there were some that went outside where he first told us and others that went upstairs where he ended up being. He was pushing to leave when not everybody was upstairs. He never paid attention to who was there and who wasn't.
The bus trip to Salzburg was breathtaking. It was beautiful seeing the snow-capped Alps in the background. The tour guide was full of information throughout the trip to Salzburg, the city of Salzburg and the trip back to Linz. She was aware of her team and who was missing. She provided ample information and was very interesting.
Salzburg was a beautiful city and we loved every minute of it.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Melk Abbey was breathtaking. We had two tour guides - one that took us to the Abbey and then an Abbey guide that took us through the Abbey. Both were great. Full of information. And the Abbey is absolutely beautiful.View All 182 Melk Abbey Reviews
Vienna was a wonderful trip.
The walking tour through Vienna was very informative and we had a great tour guide. We ended with a little bit of time at a small Christmas Market in town.
After lunch, we had another Christmas Market tour - started with one in Vienna and ended with one at Schonbrunn Palace. In Vienna the Schonbrunn Palace was our favority Christmas Markets. The items for sale seemed to be much more local.View All 183 Walking Tour Reviews
We arrived in the evening and did the Strauss and Mozart concert. Being a person that does a lot of classical concerts in Dallas, I was disappointed in the professionalism of this concert. The orchestra members were not serious, they made faces at each other, played with a lack of enthusiasm. Very very disappointed. Plus it is touted as a Mozart and Strauss but reality it was a Strauss concert with one Mozart piece. Now I will tell you the dancers and the singers on the other hand were fabulous.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Had a great tour through the city of Budapest. Beaufiful city with lots of history. The tour guide was very informative. Didn't realize that Budapest was 65% destroyed by WWII and had to be rebuilt. Many of the buildings left some of the damage by bullets to show the history.
Another piece of the trip was the illumination cruise of Budapest at night. It was absolutely breathtaking.View All 353 City Tour Reviews