I dreamt of taking this trip for years and finally made it starting in Amsterdam, Netherlands; going through the Rhine River in Germany and the Main River and Canal; then to the Danube River to Austria, Bulgaria and Hungary. The AMA Waterway ships seemed to have more staterooms with balconies than other lines. My ship, the AMA Viola, was constantly being cleaned, banisters being wiped down, windows cleaned and everything sparkling clean. I traveled alone, however, since there was no assigned dining seating I was able to meet people from all over the USA, Canada and England, talk with them and exchange e-mail address. The ship traveled at a slow speed because of the water level while we passed various castles, towns, churches. A lot of the shoreline was forested, but about 3 trees in you could see a walking, biking lane or street. The ship stopped at cities in each of the countries where we could get a view of the history and shops. Guides were very knowledgeable. After the individual tour, there was always time for personal exploring or shopping. One nice part about the excursions was that we each had a Quiet Voxe. Each day we would pair it with the guide and while she talked we could hear her up to two blocks away. If we stopped to take a picture, it was easy to catch up and we could hear without having to stand right in front of her. Each group had their own color and a guide holding a colored paddle. Each day our Cruise Director, Rachael Couto would update our itinerary with pictures and funny antidotes. When we were gathered in the lounge, there was guitar music and disco music at night. Several times, special groups or individual would entertain. Of course sitting on the top deck while cruising was always an option. There was a mixture of time to take in shore excursions, meals (in the main dining room, lounge, or chef's table), visiting with new friends, listening to music, lots of laughing and dancing, enjoying the view on the top deck or a quick nap in the cabin. All the crew members greeted you. My room steward always had the room made up while I was at breakfast. The other room steward on the floor always had a warm 'good morning' and a comment that I was the first one down for breakfast or I was late and was 3rd one down. If a seaman should pass you on the steps, he would always say good morning/afternoon.. If you had a question, there was always someone to help.
My cabin was always clean with the bed made during my breakfast. It was nice to open the outside door to get an idea of weather although I wanted to see both sides of the ship so spent time on the top deck.