So, why did I choose AmaWaterways? First, I’m not an avid cruiser and usually prefer to drive ourselves and stay at cute inns to explore a country. However, I wanted to try a river cruise and visit Prague and Budapest so this seemed like a good solution although we’d already visited the Austrian ports on an independent trip. Plus, we had friends who also wanted to try one. I liked that AmaWaterways had about 150 vs. 200 passengers on Viking, that it had bikes onboard to use and hosted Backroads mini groups (figured passengers would be more active), that it got great marks for cuisine and shore excursions, and that the AmaLea was a brand new ship in 2018. Also had heard from several friends who had cruised favorably with them.
The reason I picked going south to north was that we got to view Budapest’s bridges and buildings beautifully illuminated at night as we cruised along the waterfront, which wouldn’t happen on a north bound itinerary.
We boarded the ship about 2p, before most of the guests arrived and was able to grab a quick , self service lunch. Our room included a small balcony with 2 chairs and table, and a french balcony, and was attractive and efficiently laid out, although the bathroom was a tighter fit compared to ocean cruises, it had a decent sized shower. It included a “window” that you could push a button to see into the bedroom and outside or frost it for privacy. I recommend you have collapsable suitcases which we did (Lipault brand) so they could be slid under the bed. Otherwise you’ll be tripping over them in the room.
Don't get a starboard room when traveling north to south! Our side was almost always rafted! The bathroom was tight and they had a ridiculously large hairdryer that was difficult to fit into the cabinet. Need a more compact size. The shower was a good size though and the optional see through window was nice when we could see out to the river (not when rafted to another ship) The bed was very comfortable. The balcony just large enough for two people to sit but seldom got to use this because of being rafted. Make sure your suitcases can collapse to be stowed under bed or you'll be tripping over them. Lovely colors and decor.
Funny tour guide but just a walk around old town.