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This was our first European river cruise, after having been on more than a dozen ocean cruises (predominantly HAL, some Royal Caribbean, and a Seabourn). We sailed Budapest to Vilshoven and were absolutely delighted with the service, atmosphere, food and wine. We opted for a cabin in the lowest deck, which was "cozy," but totally fine for our needs. Possible drawbacks: closer to the water line, only a porthole for window, and occasional vibration from the engines, and lack of elevator access. That all said, none of those were issues for us and we would seriously consider staying on that level again, for the cost savings. We found the food to be excellent - always plenty of options and all were well-prepared. Dinner in the "Chef's Table" dining room (no additional charge) was especially elegant. We appreciated that they accommodated diners who needed gluten free (GF) meals and that their menus and food signage were labeled with allergens. We were part of a group that was GF and the crew provided a "GF corner" of snacks in the lounge every day, as well as a section at breakfast and dinner - AND a dedicated toaster (hurrah!). I believe that this may have been a special accommodation for our group; a very classy touch. The wine pours at lunch and dinner were VERY generous and we were pleased with the quality of all the wines that were served. The excursions and guides were all very good; in some locations, there were options for more than one excursion in a day. Options were provided for different levels of fitness/mobility. The entertainment that was provided was great, although we missed some of the after-dinner shows in the lounge, opting to rest, instead. Unlike ocean cruising, there are no "sea days" that enable you to rest/recover from a busy day of sightseeing. The embarkation process was NOTHING compared with ocean cruise embarkation. We purposely went a little later, to avoid a long wait for embarkation. We were shocked when we arrived at the ship and there was absolutely no line. I think it might have taken a total of five minutes to check in. Disembarkation was also very smooth. The cruise director, Talida, was outstanding. Always cheerful and ready to assist, incredibly well-organized and willing to go the extra mile. We stayed in Budapest for a few nights prior to the cruise and went on to Prague after the cruise; we were independent travelers in both cities. It was nice to be able to travel to Prague with the ship's post-cruise excursion group. Although it was more expensive to do a river cruise (vs ocean cruise), it was so relaxing to know that so many amenities were included: wine/beer/sodas with lunch/dinner, Internet service (always a good connection in our cabin), almost all excursions, etc. We so enjoyed this experience, that we put down a deposit for a future sailing, which we'd NEVER done on any of our (many) ocean cruises. So we look forward to sailing with Ama again!

Excellent! Looking forward to another cruise on Ama!

AmaSerena Cruise Review by TravelerSacCA

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Outside stateroom with fixed window
This was our first European river cruise, after having been on more than a dozen ocean cruises (predominantly HAL, some Royal Caribbean, and a Seabourn). We sailed Budapest to Vilshoven and were absolutely delighted with the service, atmosphere, food and wine.

We opted for a cabin in the lowest deck, which was "cozy," but totally fine for our needs. Possible drawbacks: closer to the water line, only a porthole for window, and occasional vibration from the engines, and lack of elevator access. That all said, none of those were issues for us and we would seriously consider staying on that level again, for the cost savings.

We found the food to be excellent - always plenty of options and all were well-prepared. Dinner in the "Chef's Table" dining room (no additional charge) was especially elegant.

We appreciated that they accommodated diners who needed gluten free (GF) meals and that their menus and food signage were labeled with allergens. We were part of a group that was GF and the crew provided a "GF corner" of snacks in the lounge every day, as well as a section at breakfast and dinner - AND a dedicated toaster (hurrah!). I believe that this may have been a special accommodation for our group; a very classy touch.

The wine pours at lunch and dinner were VERY generous and we were pleased with the quality of all the wines that were served.

The excursions and guides were all very good; in some locations, there were options for more than one excursion in a day. Options were provided for different levels of fitness/mobility. The entertainment that was provided was great, although we missed some of the after-dinner shows in the lounge, opting to rest, instead. Unlike ocean cruising, there are no "sea days" that enable you to rest/recover from a busy day of sightseeing.

The embarkation process was NOTHING compared with ocean cruise embarkation. We purposely went a little later, to avoid a long wait for embarkation. We were shocked when we arrived at the ship and there was absolutely no line. I think it might have taken a total of five minutes to check in. Disembarkation was also very smooth.

The cruise director, Talida, was outstanding. Always cheerful and ready to assist, incredibly well-organized and willing to go the extra mile.

We stayed in Budapest for a few nights prior to the cruise and went on to Prague after the cruise; we were independent travelers in both cities. It was nice to be able to travel to Prague with the ship's post-cruise excursion group.

Although it was more expensive to do a river cruise (vs ocean cruise), it was so relaxing to know that so many amenities were included: wine/beer/sodas with lunch/dinner, Internet service (always a good connection in our cabin), almost all excursions, etc.

We so enjoyed this experience, that we put down a deposit for a future sailing, which we'd NEVER done on any of our (many) ocean cruises. So we look forward to sailing with Ama again!
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