This cruise was a classical-music themed charter, sailing from Amsterdam to Basel.
Having sailed on a river cruise before with another company, I had a good idea of what to expect. The AmaSerena crew certainly lived up to expectations in terms of service at the front desk, housekeeping service in the cabins, and the all-important role of the Cruise Director -- Bojan did a marvellous job of organizing daily tours and activities for all of us to enjoy, all while dealing with the necessity to keep fitting the daily concert into the schedule on top of everything else. The three stars are for these aspects of the trip.
The big disappointment was the service (or lack of it) in the dining room. And believe me, I am not a demanding, special-attention-greedy customer at all.
Every day, at one or more of the meals, things went wrong either for me or for others at the table where I was sitting.
Here are a few examples:
-- two servers whose English was so poor that they could barely understand simple questions. The company advertises that English is the working language of the cruise.
-- one server who was particularly grumpy in the mornings, and spent far more time talking with colleagues than helping customers.
-- a server who poured coffee for two of six people at breakfast, then left and didn't return to pour for the other four.
-- similar problem with wine at dinner.
-- a salad delivered to the table without all the ingredients mentioned in the menu.
-- several instances of people being given some dish other than what they had requested.
AmaWaterways makes a big deal in their advertising of being a member of the international gourmet network, "La chaine des rotisseurs." The food by and large lived up to that reputation but the service definitely did not.
And finally: when I submitted my customer survey at the end of the cruise, with contact details, I asked specifically for a personal contact to discuss these issues. I have not received any reply to this request.
This cavalier attitude towards service and customer feedback is the biggest single reason why I don't plan on sailing with AmaWaterways again.
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