We had a wonderful time on the AmaCello in the south of France. The ship, cuisine, crew, staff, excursions, and scenery were excellent. This was only our second river cruise, the other being with Crystal, and we found Ama to be very good, with the Crystal cruise being better in most every way, but of course, at a higher price point. This Ama cruise was just a notch below Crystal, but a better value, and every element was fantastic, so you can't go wrong with Ama.
SHIP: I had read that the AmaCello was older, but there were no signs of that at all. It was clean, modern, classy, spacious, functional, well laid out, very nice. River cruise rooms are smaller than ocean ships, and these were smaller than Crystal's, but again, at a lower cost. I am 6'-8"/203cm, so I could not stand up in half the ship, especially the shower (which was tiny), but I was expecting that and an average or tall person will have no problems. Everything on board was comfortable and luxurious. There wasn't a big screen TV in the cabin, but there was a Mac computer that doubled as a screen, so that was a win/win. A little small, but we actually watched a couple of on-demand movies and it was fine. Bed & linens were comfy, french balcony was nice- good to be able to open it from floor to ceiling and sit there admiring the view and breeze while cruising the waterways.
The fitness room was adequate and it even had a sauna that my wife used a number of times. There were a few cardio machines and just a few free weights. The heaviest weight was so light I had to put two dumbbells in each hand to get a sufficient weight workout, but I did it. There was a spa for massages, but we never got one.
Small, but usable, nice layout of space, good storage everywhere, so we were able to fit in well. French balcony is wonderful as it opens from floor to ceiling. Bathroom is tiny and has only one sink as opposed to Crystal's double lavatories. I am 6'-8"/203cm, so I could not stand up in the room and especially the bathroom, and certainly the shower which was so cramped it was laughable. My wife could fit in well though, so don't worry if you are short, average or tall. If you're very tall, it will be a issue, but I still had a wonderful time and slept very well in the comfortable room.
Marvelous and quaint, did the Beaujolais wine tasting excursion which was excellent and fun.
papal Palace is fantastic and very interesting. We did the side trip to Grignan, which is jaw-droopingly picturesque, and the truffle farm, which was interesting and fun.
Loved Arles, did the walking tour, a nice Roman Collosseum there and some Van High sites, and we did the Van Gogh Asylum (which was worth it) and the Carrières de Lumières which is a must see, a very cool, underground rock quarry with 3D projection mapping of Van Gogh art and music on the giant, towering rock walls. Quite special and unique.