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I should start this review out with a word regarding my rating. It would have to be OUTSTANDING for me to give a 5, so in most cases my "4" should be considered very good. Now to our trip: " Melodies of the Danube" (Wine themed cruise) Our cruise itinerary was slightly modified from the standard since it included 2 tours not generally available on the regular " Melodies of the Danube" cruise. Our Itinerary: Budapest VIENNA plus Viennese Heuriger Tavern Evening KREMS plus evening at Schloss Gobelsburg Wine Tasting WEISSENKIRCHEN GREIN plus Exclusive Clem Castle Visit with Private Wine Reception LINZ PASSAU VILSHOFEN Our embarcation was at Mahart-Garam1 which at first seemed odd and a bit inconvenient since this pier is located up river in north Budapest and really doesn't provide very good views and isn't really near many of the hotels or sites. However, once on board it became clear why this pier was selected. Earlier in the year an accident during an "illumination cruise" resulted in all such cruises to be suspended for safety.( this cruise provided beautiful views of the lighted parliament, bridges and other government buildings). AMAWATERWAYS found that after our embarkation that our ship needed to be moved to the usual International pier (directly across from the Parliament building) and this move "needed" to be made in the evening to allow everyone to board. The result was a fantastic view of lighted Budapest at at night (clever). The tour stops were all interesting and provided multiple levels of tour depending on your ability. I injured my knee before the cruise and keeping up with the tours was a concern. The "level 1" tours were just right and maybe even a bit slow paced at times ( this did allow for easy setup of pictures along the tour though). For the most part the tours covered the same routes just at a slower pace with the exception of areas with many steps, where the slower tour would deviate. Being this was a "special wine themed" version of the cruise our it included wine activities on board and extra stops as noted in our itinerary. Most of the days tours started at 9:30am which made the morning a bit less hectic however,(here's a negative). The first 2 added excursions took place AFTER dinner starting at (8:00PM or 8:30PM) so with the bus rides and event we didn't get back to the ship until about 11:00. The next days tours started at 9:00 (half hour earlier than most) which resulted in not much sleep and barely time for breakfast. I think a bit better planning by AMA can correct this issue. This wan't our first river cruise , but it was our first with AMA , and overall everything was "VERY GOOD" and we hope to take another cruise with AMAWATERWAYS in the future.

Overall an enjoyable week

AmaViola Cruise Review by mikemonster

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Europe River
  • Cabin Type: Outside Stateroom with French Balcony
I should start this review out with a word regarding my rating. It would have to be OUTSTANDING for me to give a 5, so in most cases my "4" should be considered very good.

Now to our trip:

" Melodies of the Danube" (Wine themed cruise)

Our cruise itinerary was slightly modified from the standard since it included 2 tours not generally available on the regular " Melodies of the Danube" cruise.

Our Itinerary:

Budapest

VIENNA plus Viennese Heuriger Tavern Evening

KREMS plus evening at Schloss Gobelsburg Wine Tasting

WEISSENKIRCHEN

GREIN plus Exclusive Clem Castle Visit with Private Wine Reception

LINZ

PASSAU

VILSHOFEN

Our embarcation was at Mahart-Garam1 which at first seemed odd and a bit inconvenient since this pier is located up river in north Budapest and really doesn't provide very good views and isn't really near many of the hotels or sites. However, once on board it became clear why this pier was selected. Earlier in the year an accident during an "illumination cruise" resulted in all such cruises to be suspended for safety.( this cruise provided beautiful views of the lighted parliament, bridges and other government buildings). AMAWATERWAYS found that after our embarkation that our ship needed to be moved to the usual International pier (directly across from the Parliament building) and this move "needed" to be made in the evening to allow everyone to board. The result was a fantastic view of lighted Budapest at at night (clever).

The tour stops were all interesting and provided multiple levels of tour depending on your ability. I injured my knee before the cruise and keeping up with the tours was a concern. The "level 1" tours were just right and maybe even a bit slow paced at times ( this did allow for easy setup of pictures along the tour though). For the most part the tours covered the same routes just at a slower pace with the exception of areas with many steps, where the slower tour would deviate.

Being this was a "special wine themed" version of the cruise our it included wine activities on board and extra stops as noted in our itinerary.

Most of the days tours started at 9:30am which made the morning a bit less hectic however,(here's a negative). The first 2 added excursions took place AFTER dinner starting at (8:00PM or 8:30PM) so with the bus rides and event we didn't get back to the ship until about 11:00. The next days tours started at 9:00 (half hour earlier than most) which resulted in not much sleep and barely time for breakfast.

I think a bit better planning by AMA can correct this issue.

This wan't our first river cruise , but it was our first with AMA , and overall everything was "VERY GOOD" and we hope to take another cruise with AMAWATERWAYS in the future.
AmaWaterways, Manager, Customer Engagement has responded
Dear mikemonster, Thank you for taking a moment to write about your recent cruise with us. It was wonderful to read your kind words regarding our tours, and Budapest docking location. We are delighted to hear you enjoyed yourself on board. We will be sure to send your suggestion on excursion timing to our operations team. We truly appreciate your feedback, as it helps us to grow and improve our practices. We look forward to welcoming you back on board! Warm regards, From all of us at AmaWaterways
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
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Cabin Review

Outside Stateroom with French Balcony
Cabin CA
This cabin is a bit small however, acquit since our feeling it really only needed for sleeping and getting ready. The storage is a bit limited we pack semi-lite with 2 carry-ons and 1 larger suitt case. There was just enough room under the bed to store the empty luggage. There is a fairly good size closed and a side set of 5 shelves. Additionally there are 2 drawers in each night stand. Only one side of the bed has controls for lights and a power outlet. ( the headboard does have reading lights for each side. The desk is a bit awkward with the TV/PC screen located above the mini fridge you need to sit at an angle when using the PC. (it's Apple based so may take PC users a bit of getting used to, also the mouse can loose its charge and you need to disconnect the keyboard to charge it.
Violin Deck Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins