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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
This trip centered on a 7 day AmaWaterways Port Wine & Flamenco Douro River cruise from Vega Terron to Porto, Portugal on the AmaVida ship. When we first started to look at river cruising on the Douro, it seemed like Viking was ... Read More
This trip centered on a 7 day AmaWaterways Port Wine & Flamenco Douro River cruise from Vega Terron to Porto, Portugal on the AmaVida ship. When we first started to look at river cruising on the Douro, it seemed like Viking was the only player where we were likely to have mostly English speaking fellow passengers. After the only Viking cruise we took in 2014 did not live up to their slick advertising hype (see review by 'atkinsonguy' on this board) we vowed never again to spend any money with Viking. A web search led us to AmaWaterways. We added both the 3 day Madrid, Spain and the 3 day Lisbon, Portugal extension to the river cruise through AMA and then added one additional day in each city using Starwood and IHG points. Although the capacity for this tour was 106, there were only 75 passenges aboard. 36 of the 75 were clients of backroads.com an adventure travel company. They had their own hiking and biking tours each day, took many of their meals off the ship, and were not with us in either Madrid or Lisbon. The result was we got to know the 39 "regular" passengers quite well over the two weeks. We were all from the USA or Canada; mostly retired couples over 55, no one under 40. The hotels for the land portion in Madrid (Westin Palace) and in Lisbon (Intercontinental) were first class in every respect. In summary, AMA did an excellent job providing a comfortable environment on the ship, keeping us well fed, showing us interesting things and beautiful scenery along the way, and giving us a good value for our fares. If we do another European river cruise in the future, it will certainly be on AmaWaterways! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
The hotels in Madrid and Lisbon were excellent, as were all the short trips and the Ama staff. HOWEVER, the experience on the ship was among the worst we have experienced in many years of travel. The air conditioning in the public spaces ... Read More
The hotels in Madrid and Lisbon were excellent, as were all the short trips and the Ama staff. HOWEVER, the experience on the ship was among the worst we have experienced in many years of travel. The air conditioning in the public spaces (lounge, dining room, etc.) was absolutely inadequate: temperatures were always above 85 degrees, and were above 90 by the end of meals. In addition, the "free Wi-Fi" was cancelled on an individual basis almost every day because of "overuse." The Wi-Fi could only be reset at the home office, requiring shipboard personnel to send a message and then wait helplessly, frequently for hours, for the folks at headquarters to get around to it. This is a wonderful trip and the Ama staff couldn't have been more helpful, including arranging last-minute transport to the airport when our airline decided to make things "interesting" for us. Portugal is a wonderful country to visit, and the winery tours and meals were a real highlight. But the ship????? Read Less
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