We have been on a bunch of Ocean Cruises but this was Our First River Cruise and I always wanted to travel the Danube - so we did. We travelled with another couple and while cruising we met a bunch of new friends. We ended up being a group of 9 hanging around together for dinner and cocktails, catching up on our day of tours.
We started with a few days at The Hilton Old Town in Prague arranged by AMA Waterways which included a get together and a couple of tours with our Fantastic host David Rosell. On Embarkation day, Ama Waterways took us to our ship in Vilshofen Germany. Everything worked out great, very smooth transfer. AMA thinks of everything.
David Rosell was our Cruise Manager and if you ever have him on your cruise consider yourself very lucky. David was absolutely fabulous - with Everyone!! He took the time to talk and laugh with each person, help you with whatever you needed and entertain you with his stories.
The crew of the AMA Viola is amazing. They all work so very hard, very helpful, polite, pleasant and they can't do enough for us to make our cruise special. The engineers who hook up and un-hook our ship at each port work so extremely hard. It was great just watching them. I cannot say enough about this crew - FABULOUS!
Dining on The AMA Viola is fantastic. If you have a special dietary need, just let them know. They will remember you and therefore will take care of your needs for the duration. They even knew which day we were going to dine at The Chef's Table restaurant and told me in advance that they had everything set up. WOW! AMAZING!! The meals were great. Lots to choose from. Presentation was amazing at the buffets, A la Carte Dining and The Chef's Table.
Your beverages at lunch and dinner (yes, you can have free champagne at breakfast) are included as well as happy hour each day before dinner. The wait staff remembers what you like to drink so they are well prepared.
There is nightly entertainment (and also during Happy Hour) on board. This takes place in the lounge which is where the onboard entertainment is and yes, it holds everyone - they have set it up quite well. Some nightly entertainment is better than others.
Ports and Shore Excursions keep you very busy... everyday. Each port is very well set up for all excursions with lots to choose from. Everyone has their own listening device so you can hear the very knowledgeable guides. Yes, there is a lot of walking but remember, you are in Europe to explore and enjoy and that is exactly what we did.
When Docking at some of the busier ports, you definitely dock beside / with other cruise ships. It makes it very interesting. Not only do you walk thru the other ships lobbies (where you can be snoopy) but you can also see what the other ships / cruise lines look like. I have to say that the Top Deck of AMA Viola was far superior than any other river boat we saw. No other ship had a pool, some did have a hot tub but it wasn't rare to see a 'boring sundeck' with just a few chairs - no cushions on these other ships.
AMA is a very relaxed and casual way of cruising the rivers. If you want to get dressed up then you can but if you want to just be 'smart casual' - no jeans then that works also. Gentlemen, bring a jacket if you want but you don't need one. Not even at The Chef's Table Restaurant. Another great thing..... there are no photographers running around trying to take your picture for $$$$ so don't forget to bring your own smart phone or camera.
One of my favorite things was cruising during the morning and watching the beautiful scenery go by. I wish we had more of that.
I absolutely LOVE AMA Waterways and will definitely travel with them again. AMA is now my first and only choice for River Cruising.
Our cabin was perfect. We could have gone up a size but this worked very well. There is enough space for everything. Luggage under the bed, large closet with lots of hangers. A table and 2 chairs beside the french balcony. Bathroom had enough room for everything we needed with shelves and cupboards.
Lots of electrical outlets, ( we didn't see the American outlet but we weren't really looking as we brought our European adaptors).
We never really watched TV (no time) but when in our room we enjoyed having it on the the Bow camera.
Awi, our cabin attendant was fabulous. He took great care of us and the cleaning of our cabin with no problems at all.