I chose Amawaterways because of their solo cabins w/ a french balcony. I removed a star because this was a wine themed cruise and i spoke w/ ama 3x and the reps did not mention this. i do not drink, therefore, i did not attend the 3 enrichment lectures all focused on wine. there was also a wine pairing dinner lost on me. in addition, most shore excursions ended in wine tasting. the last day in Paris only offered a visit to a wine museum. i felt strongly that i was on the wrong cruise.
i usually cruise w/ uniworld so i was not expecting luxury and there were no Murano glass chandeliers. however, the service was equal, therefore, outstanding. my cabin stewardess quickly caught on that i went for breakfast at 7 am and cleaned my cabin then. she replenished the body products daily. i always refuse turndown service because i am diabetic and can not eat chocolate, but i was pleased w/ her service. she spoke limited english so i didn't have to chat which for me, as an introvert, was a bonus. i appreciated returning from breakfast to a clean cabin as if by magic.
Valentine and Anton, in the dining room, were friendly, but not intrusive. i do not communicate before my morning coffee and again they quickly caught on to my dietary requirements and left me alone at breakfast. as a diabetic, i eat every 3 hrs., therefore, valentine always asked what i would like for my evening snack when he took my dinner order. all the waiters let me order double portions of vegtables. i ordered veggies from one item and the fish entree from another. i am well aware my dietary habits r wierd and appreciated their flexibility. the food was 5 star dining.
all river cruises have a coffee machine in the bar, but i have never encountered coffee that was better tasting from the machine, than in the dining room. several cruisers and i marveled at this phenomenon. it was GOOD coffee.
ama offers several options for shore excursions, although found it odd that passengers had to book excursions before the cruise. the cruise director, john, was competent. i was surprised a cruise in Normandy didn't offer an excursion to the Bayeux tapestry. .if i had not cruised to Normandy before w/ uniworld and seen the tapestry i wouldn't have taken this cruise.
details make a cruise great. i was surprised to find ama had sent a thank u post card when i returned home. also, ama supplies postcards, stamps and mails them free. bonus. my grandchildren luv getting postcards they chagre for stamps if u send a postcard u have purchased. best of all, the postcards arrive. i mailed postcards from Hawaii that never arrived. i also appreciated the stretch classes and yoga. ocean cruises charge extra for yoga.
i would cruise amaway again, despite the fact that i resent not being told this was a wine cruise.
solo cabins have a single bed, chair and table. works for me. i sat by my french balcony and drink my morning coffee while i watched the sunrise and the river flow. i would request a cabin on the even numbers, however. in Paris i faced a brick wall and 2 days i looked out my window into another cruise ship window. closing the drapes makes the cabin claustrophobic.