This cruise was chosen because of an interest in the history of the Netherlands and Belgium and the tulips. In advance of the cruise, I spent three days in Amsterdam where I explored the city, visited the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because of an interest in the history of the Netherlands and Belgium and the tulips. In advance of the cruise, I spent three days in Amsterdam where I explored the city, visited the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum. I met the AmaStella at the pier in Amsterdam. Everything was perfect onboard ship and with the excursions planned for the journey. The staff/crew on the ship were amazing and attentive to all needs and foresaw the desires of all onboard. The cruise director was visible and accessible at all times. He made everyone feel like a family member and made sure that everyone was informed and looked after. The ship was beautiful, clean and functional. The bed and bedding were so comfortable that it was difficult to leave it the mornings. The food was excellent and the dining room service was outstanding with attention to every detail. The evening activities were perfectly suited for the journey and the guests onboard. There is absolutely nothing that I would have changed about this adventure. I would go again in a flash.
The cruise line also initiated an app for this cruise which allowed us to follow our route and check information about each port. Further, we were able to add our pictures to this app and then share them with family and friends while we travelled. Read Less
The boat is first class, in first class condition, which is a credit to the crew who are courteous, diligent, conscientious and helpful. The excursions were good, as they should be, and kept to schedule apart traffic congestion around ... Read More
The boat is first class, in first class condition, which is a credit to the crew who are courteous, diligent, conscientious and helpful. The excursions were good, as they should be, and kept to schedule apart traffic congestion around Amsterdam.
The clientele are white elderly British, which was not what we were expecting. While superficially the atmosphere was polite, there was an undercurrent of grumpiness. e.g excursions left too early, too many stairs, too far to walk and other such complaints. I've never been on a cruise more like a floating care home.
We did not like the free for all seating arrangements for meals. Apparently certain tables were claimed by people and that was their table. The was a great queue when the self service restaurant opened and then bags and scarves were placed on chairs "reserving" the table. Om arriving a few minutes later after the initial surge, it was awkward wandering around trying to find two empty seats. Once the seats had been, other at the table would be leaving soon after we arrived as they had finished. This was not conducive to conversation. I feel a member of staff should be guiding people to a table so that people eat together.
The meals with full table service were much better in that respect.
The food was a good as any other cruise we've been on and the price of the drinks was very reasonable.
At the end of the cruise, cash tipping was expected, via an envelope.
The door key, which also doubled for tracking on/off the ship, was not linked to on board purchases. there were several instances of purchases being linked to the wrong cabin, possibly accidentally of course, but it made passengers frequently check their purchases and retain all receipts. There was no on-board e-account for passengers.
The internet link was very slow, but free. It was fine for text based messages, but not good enough for images. The local 4G (still surcharge free until Brexit day) was very good.
The Excursions to Enkhuizen, Keukenhof Gardens and the windmills at Kinderdijk were really good, though crowded.
I would love to have given this cruise five stars, but the disorganised dining prevents from doing so. Read Less
We arrived in Porto Friday April 5 after the pre-cruise package in Lisbon. Lisbon was fine, but Porto is truly an amazing place. Definitely worth a visit!
The inaugural cruise on the AMA Douro was supposed to be Saturday April 6. We ... Read More
We arrived in Porto Friday April 5 after the pre-cruise package in Lisbon. Lisbon was fine, but Porto is truly an amazing place. Definitely worth a visit!
The inaugural cruise on the AMA Douro was supposed to be Saturday April 6. We were initially told via email the ship wasn't ready and it will now be Sunday April 7. They put us up at the Yeatman-- a 5 Star hotel in Porto and paid for everything including our scheduled shore excursion. Then they announced we are delayed another day. (Don't ever do an inaugural cruise-- even if the owners of AMA are on board.) So we got on busses and followed the incomplete ship down the river to another hotel that was 4 Star at best.
We finally met the ship 1/3 of the way down the Douro River on day 3 Monday April 8. Most of the ship was complete, but there were plenty of cosmetic issues that were worked on throughout the week. By now, the ship is probably decorated and 95% as it was intended.
The other issue with the inaugural cruise is that many of the servers didn't know what they were doing and our dinners were regularly incorrect. Most of the staff was very pleasant and tried to do everything they could. For an expensive river cruise the breakfasts were excellent at 5/5, lunch 4/5, but dinners only 3/5.
I'd say the biggest issue going forward is with the Douro River itself. Excursions required long bus rides and most ports had nothing to offer, but a dock and maybe a café. Salamanca Spain was the highlight and that was 2 hours each way by bus. There were no bikes available and no reason to go out at night. You were either on the boat or on a bus. This was not the Danube or Rhine where cities and castles are right by the ports.
We are in our mid 50s and were by far the youngest people on the ship. The piano player was very good, but there was little to do and this is clearly a cruise for retired folks.
We did get three great surprises at the end. We were offered 1/2 our money back in cash or a future free cruise credit; they paid for all our drinks (not just the free wine/beer during meals); and the Christening event on Friday was really special. Read Less
Wonderful way way to see Southern France. Service was incredible. Friendly service staff. The food was deliciously prepared. We saw a little bit of everything from architecture to art museums. Plenty of time if you want to hang out on the ... Read More
Wonderful way way to see Southern France. Service was incredible. Friendly service staff. The food was deliciously prepared. We saw a little bit of everything from architecture to art museums. Plenty of time if you want to hang out on the deck, or by the pool, or walk the town where the ship is docked. Cabins were clean, quiet and efficient. The gym is small, but there is a running track up on top of the ship. There was plenty of walking on the tours, so lots of opportunities to get exercise if you want it.
This is a mature crowd, and children are not allowed which makes for a very quiet good time. The cruise is geared towards an older crowd, so if you are looking for extreme partying or a 24 hour buffet, this isn't the cruise for you. There is always some sort of entertainment at night. There isn't much shopping to do, but for me, I appreciate a more educational trip - the tour guides were very interesting and full of information.
Great Value, great time! Read Less
Having completed one Emerald cruise on the Danube, and been impressed, we decided a second on the Rhone should follow. We were not disappointed! It was the first of this season but the boat, the crew and all hotel staff were bonded as a ... Read More
Having completed one Emerald cruise on the Danube, and been impressed, we decided a second on the Rhone should follow. We were not disappointed! It was the first of this season but the boat, the crew and all hotel staff were bonded as a very competent, friendly and professional team who constantly demonstrated a desire to please. Accommodation, bar and drinks, onboard entertainment, pool/cinema area and especially the food and accompanying wines were all consistently very good. And of course last but not least, the guided land tours and scenery were in excess of expectations. We had a drinks package and struggled thereafter to spend money on board! My wife regrettably made up for it whilst on shore and we came home with marvellous cheeses, mustards, wines and chocolates! Jana the cruise Director and DD the cruise Entertainment director were superb and got to know all 130 passengers personally and treated them as both individuals and as members of the Team Emerald. A glowing review I know but well deserved Read Less
My sister and I just got back from our Tulip Time cruise on the AMAPrima. We started and ended in Amsterdam, with stops in Middelburg and Rotterdam, and in Ghent and Antwerp in Belgium. Each port had several included excursions available. ... Read More
My sister and I just got back from our Tulip Time cruise on the AMAPrima. We started and ended in Amsterdam, with stops in Middelburg and Rotterdam, and in Ghent and Antwerp in Belgium. Each port had several included excursions available. All walking tours offered groups for active, normal, or “gentle” walkers so people could take part regardless of their physical ability. One of our favorite excursions was the Belgian Chocolate, Beer and Waffle Tasting in Antwerp. Of course, the highlight of the trip was the morning spent at the Keukenhof Gardens to view the magnificent tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils in full bloom.
This was our third river cruise, and our second on AMAWaterways. The ship was in beautiful condition and spotlessly clean. Our cabin (Cat.C, 228) was quite a bit smaller than on our first cruise (AMALegro) but since we didn’t spend a lot of time there, it was quite sufficient. The service is impeccable...I don’t think the crew knows the word “no”! The food was excellent and plentiful...as my clothes can attest to! I liked the fact that in addition to complementary beverages at lunch and dinner, they offered a complementary “happy hour” for one hour prior to dinner. They also had a special reception for returning cruisers.
We opted for the pre-cruise hotel, arriving in Amsterdam 2 days prior to embarkation. The hotel, the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, was modern and spotless. It was perfectly located right on Dam Square in center—city Amsterdam. As part of the pre-cruise stay, we had an excursion to Haarlem on Friday, and a canal cruise on our way to the ship on Saturday.
We were especially impressed with the embarkation and disembarkation processes. In both instances, we put our bags outside our rooms but after they were collected we were each asked to identify our bags in the holding room to be sure all our bags were there before loading onto the transfer buses. This was reassuring, since on our first river cruise (on another line) our bags were left behind at the hotel and we weren’t aware of it until we got to the airport. Fortunately, the cruise manager made quick call to the hotel and our bags were brought to us at the airport by taxi. AMA’s system prevented such an occurrence.
Special recognition goes to our Cruise Manager, John Riley. He had everything planned to the smallest detail and as a result, everything went smoothly. He was always available for assistance and was even seen dancing the night away with the guests.
With 2 AMAWaterways cruises under our belts, this will be our river cruise line of choice in the future. Read Less
My sister selected this 10-day river cruise for us because of the size of the ship (about 170 passengers) and the destinations and excursions (Amsterdam, Hoorn, Arnhem, Kinderdijk, Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels, Keukenhof, Haarlem, ... Read More
My sister selected this 10-day river cruise for us because of the size of the ship (about 170 passengers) and the destinations and excursions (Amsterdam, Hoorn, Arnhem, Kinderdijk, Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels, Keukenhof, Haarlem, and back to Amsterdam). We have family connections to the Netherlands and were very excited to see so many cities and enjoy so many activities (biking, walking, eating [eating!], sight seeing, beer tasting, meeting new people, etc.).
We were able to do all these things on this cruise. The excursions were interesting and the local guides were very knowledgable and skilled. The busy touring and dining schedules were maintained by the crew's use of printed daily guides, a daily announcements session before dinner, and overhead PA announcements. The ship's sailing, hotel and dining crews were efficient, friendly, helpful, and put the passengers' safety and pleasure first. The staff were particularly helpful to passengers on this cruise who had mobility or sight limitations or dietary concerns.
We had first-hand experience with the crew's and Viking's ability to maintain safety and manage logistics because of an accident we experienced on the river. Shortly after midnight on the seventh day of our cruise our ship and a tanker collided. Thankfully, a very few passengers and crew sustained minor injuries only. On the other hand, the ship was did not come out as well. The bow and kitchen were heavily damaged and there was lots of broken glassware, dishes and serving dishes, and glass tables and some shower doors were also shattered.
The crew in all departments handled this emergency quickly, efficiently and professionally. We were kept informed of events and crew members checked on passenger safety several times in the minutes and few hours after the collision. We were towed to a nearby port (Terneuzen). The crew and land-side Viking staff worked overnight to arrange for us to be bussed to a hotel for a lovely breakfast and then on to Bruges for the scheduled walking tour. That evening we stayed on board and the crew again worked all day and night so that the passengers could enjoy breakfast together in the ship's dining room. I have no idea how they did it. After breakfast we continued with scheduled events: a tour of the Delta Works and stops at Veere and the Watersnood Museum. At the end of the day we were delivered to a fabulous hotel in Amsterdam because the ship had to be put in dry dock for repairs. Our excursions from Amsterdam (where we would have been in the ship if the accident hadn't occurred) were held as scheduled. Despite the collision, the only excursion that was cancelled was the Flanders Field visit; everything else was accomplished as originally planned.
The Viking Idun crew and Viking corporate staff were available to passengers throughout the rest of our time together. All of them remained calm and kind throughout what must have been a very stressful time for them. Viking extended very generous compensation to passengers. Almost all the passengers completed the tour rather than fly back home early.
I have to mention several crew by name because they truly extended themselves pre-, and especially, post-collision:
Guest Services Sandra Slankandenac who, with her peers, always remembered our room number, greeted us kindly and answered all our questions.
Bartenders Gilbert, George and Yvanna. They were gracious and made a great lemontini!
Hospitality Manager Stefka Koleva supported her staff who kept our staterooms lovely.
Housekeeper Lillya was always ready with a happy greeting and kept us supplied with everything we needed.
Executive Chef Ronald Waarsdrop. I did not really appreciate the quality of his food preparation and presentation, and the skill of his kitchen staff and servers, until we had a typical hotel breakfast on Day 7 of the cruise.
Hotel Manager Harry Berislavic and Maitre D' Nenad Dukanovik. Both men have such a great sense of humor and were always in action.
Servers Istvan, Daniel, Tihomer, Kin were attentive, friendly, helpful and always wanted us to be happy.
Program Director "Joey" Schuijt. I do not know where to begin to list all that Joey did for the passengers and our experience on the Viking Idun. Before the collision he was efficient, funny, professional. After the collision he was those things as well as sensitive, responsive and deeply concerned that our experience be as positive as possible.
Captain Zoran Lukic. My sister and I enjoyed a conversation with the Captain one afternoon and found him to be kind and considerate. We learned about his family and his many years of experience as a Captain. We could plainly see his commitment to his profession and, most of all, to our safety. After the collision Captain Zoran, and Joey Schujit, worked without sleep to take care of us, our needs and the ship.
Overall, despite the accident, I had a wonderful experience on the Viking Idun and will take another cruise with Viking. Maybe Russia!
I wish the Captain and the crew well and hope they are together again on the Idun soon. Read Less
We just returned from another perfect cruise with Uniworld but it’s what we expected being return customers. Every time we get on board it’s like coming home again, we always see some cruise members from a previous cruise on other ... Read More
We just returned from another perfect cruise with Uniworld but it’s what we expected being return customers. Every time we get on board it’s like coming home again, we always see some cruise members from a previous cruise on other boats. This time it was the head chef and our waiter Alexander.
This particular cruise pays special attention to the D-Day landing sites in Normandy. For those of you interested in history and the sacrifices our young men made to free the world of terror, this is the cruise to take. Being there in person gives you a whole different perspective than what you got from the history books.
On board we enjoyed a plethora of gourmet meals accompanied by a superb selection of quality wines. Try the La Cave du Vin for cozy, hands on, fine dining in the boat’s wine cellar. Book as soon you get on board because it fills up quickly. There is an extra charge for this but worth it. And the bar in the Salon Toulouse will amaze you with the selection of fine beverages from all over the world.
Cleanliness on board is beyond reproach as is the friendliness and the service of the entire crew. Special thanks for service above and beyond go to our Hotel Manager Maria and our waiters Nikolay and Alexander. And the shore excursions are always well orchestrated and professionally guided through interesting places.
But as with everything in life there are always some glitches, minor in this case but annoying. This boat was just refurbished so they added some “improvements”. The faucet in the bathroom sink has separate hot and cold water controls. The hot water is scolding hot so it takes you a while to temper it to a usable temperature with the two handles. But the bigger problem is the water spout which comes out from the wall and almost to the outside edge of the sink. It makes it impossible to bring your face over the sink and to bring the water to your face to wash it. You have to stand back and the water goes over your feet and the floor. Hint to the designers; shorten the spout by at least six inches.
The other goof is the new “Do not disturb” notification. They’ve done away with the door handle sign and replaced it with an electronic touch pad inside the cabin. However, this very sensitive unit is just below the wall slot where you insert the key card to turn on the room utilities. It is almost certain that you will touch it inadvertently and alter the setting when you insert and remove the key card. And when the card is in the slot it hides the indicator light. So when we didn’t get our cabin made up for two days I went to the reception desk for an explanation. They knew immediately what was going on because it has happened to others and they very kindly explained how this new system functions.
And lastly, the room thermostat control is another touch pad unit. It is preset to 23 degrees Celsius and has a wide range of temperature settings. But regardless of what temperature you change it to the room temperature never changes from the preset temp.
But these minor glitches will not deter us from sailing on Uniworld again. As a matter of fact, while on board we booked the Bordeaux cruise for May 2020. Read Less
This was our first river cruise. We will definitely do it again, and based on this experience AMA will be our first choice. Everyone on this ship went out of their way to be friendly and helpful, from the captain to the cruise and ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. We will definitely do it again, and based on this experience AMA will be our first choice. Everyone on this ship went out of their way to be friendly and helpful, from the captain to the cruise and hospitality directors, to food service personnel, waiters and bar attendants, and to housekeeping staff. Food was excellent, particularly the Chef’s table which was served with pride by the chef and his staff in the special eating area at the ships stern as we happily took in the (sunny) view of the picturesque waterways. Activities were well organized and interesting with enthusiastic local guides. Was particularly impressed with the cruise director who proved to be a great entertainer while bringing us all up to date on upcoming events and schedule. He seemed to always be there to interact with guests or solve problems. Amazing how he also made challenges of scheduling of supporting transport and guides invisible to ship guests. Appreciated the security of on board entry and the concerns of local guides to always have the right number in the group or safely avoiding the crazy Dutch cyclists and cars. Entertainment highlight was a classical trio who were fantastic. Other entertainers were comfortably appropriate for guest demographics. Judging by the age of cruise guests, this cruise was most frequented by 55+ folk. Often they retreated to cabins after dinner. Despite fitness leader, not a big draw except for small number who usually took more active cycle tours. There were a few kids on this cruise but with much walking and historical focus, probably not best for kids.
I have written reviews for trip advisor on several occasions but have never had the opportunity to be so positive about a trip experience. Keep it up AMA, we’re looking to do this again next year!
A final word on the weather. It was cold and damp for early April so bring warm clothes and rain gear. Fortunately only one day was rainy but our umbrellas saved the day. Despite the weather Keukenhof was beautiful, as was the Florillia flower show that AMA arranged access to before the show opened a few days later. Btw, when in Bruges, make sure to get your chocolates from Dumont’s. Read Less
My husband and I went to France for my 50th birthday. We spent a week prior to the AMA cruise in Paris, Reims and Bordeaux. Boarded the boat in Bordeaux and spent an amazing week with the crew and guests of the AMADolce. If you want to ... Read More
My husband and I went to France for my 50th birthday. We spent a week prior to the AMA cruise in Paris, Reims and Bordeaux. Boarded the boat in Bordeaux and spent an amazing week with the crew and guests of the AMADolce. If you want to relax or be active, AMA accommodates. We road bikes in several ports with a guide along with wine tasting. On the last day we went on our own riding excursion with other guests and had a wonderful day exploring on our own. We like flexibility and AMA did not disappoint. The only thing you need to be sure you are on time for is dinner. If you arrive too late, you may miss some of the available appetizers. Food was delicious!
My husband set up golf in a few of the ports and I participated in the available AMA excursions. Most of which I loved. There was one bus excursion with wine tasting that was good, but the bus ride was too long. We drove around and just looked out the window at sites. After wine tasting, we were all tired, so it was tough.
All in all, the boat was great! Easy to get around and facilities were really accommodating. Would suggest doing the Chef's Dinner one night. It is an overall tasting menu paired with wine. There is a fitness instructor on board and workouts were really good.
We would definitely recommend the AMADolce Bordeaux cruise to anyone! Read Less
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