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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have had the Danube on our bucket list for quite a while. We chose the Magical Christmas Markets cruise because we knew our son--currently in graduate school--would be available between academic semesters to join us. Although we were ... Read More
We have had the Danube on our bucket list for quite a while. We chose the Magical Christmas Markets cruise because we knew our son--currently in graduate school--would be available between academic semesters to join us. Although we were excited about the trip and expected to see many wonderful sights, everything about our AMA Waterways experience exceeded our expectations. Every single meal--breakfast, lunch and dinner--was a five-star experience. But that's not to say it was stuffy or pretentious. It's just that the chef, baker, waiters, and other employers were amazing. There were always multiple options--eat a so-called "light" meal in the lounge upstairs, but the choices laid out were the types of hors d'oeuvres and finger food you might expect to find at an expensive wedding reception, plus assorted fruits, breads, and desserts. Meanwhile, in the main dining room, we could always choose to order off the menu or select items from a more extensive buffet. Or both, by which I mean that our waiters were quite fine with us mixing and matching anything we wanted. There was always a special table filled with a variety of fresh breads from the bakery chef, with desserts added to supplement what was featured on the menu. Local specialties were highlighted, as were local wines and beers. Our staterooms were clean and convenient. Towels were thick and spotless. Our housekeeper was friendly and honest to a fault. For example, we threw away an old pair of gloves that were falling apart. (We had found a new pair at a Christmas market and wanted to save space in our luggage.) The next morning, when she saw us in the hall, she expressed concern that if we were missing a pair of gloves, she had found a pair in the garbage. In fact, everyone on the AMACerto seemed to be concerned about our happiness and welfare. There were choices of tours at every stop--a "gentle" tour, a regular tour, a strenuous hike, and bicycle options. Bus tours to Salzburg, Melk Abbey, and other nearby sites were available, all most all of which were included in the price. Before, during, and after these tours, heads were carefully counted to ensure that nobody got lost. When it came time to settle the bill, everything was exactly as I had expected it to be. I could go on, but you get the point. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We really wanted to do a Christmas Markets cruise and selected AMA based on advice from our travel agent. The ship was well laid out and very comfortable. The staff from the cabin attendant, cruise manager and hotel manager, dining ... Read More
We really wanted to do a Christmas Markets cruise and selected AMA based on advice from our travel agent. The ship was well laid out and very comfortable. The staff from the cabin attendant, cruise manager and hotel manager, dining staff, front desk folks were all over the top helpful, caring and pleasant. The food and beverages were very good and offered a broad range in choices each day. The bar service was very good and very attentive. The excursions were broad enough to appeal to all types, very educational and we enjoyed them a lot. Made it really easy to enjoy the vacation as a whole. I was interested in the workings of the ship as well and spent a good amount of time with the Captain understanding it as well. Getting on/off ship before and after was very streamlined and they helped with everything. Will be booking another cruise with them in the very near future! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first river cruise. When traveling, I prefer to stay in luxury hotels and spas. Prior to the cruise, I was anxious about the quality and space onboard, since I had read many reviews of small cabin space. We opted for the suite ... Read More
This was our first river cruise. When traveling, I prefer to stay in luxury hotels and spas. Prior to the cruise, I was anxious about the quality and space onboard, since I had read many reviews of small cabin space. We opted for the suite upgrade and was given suite 304. I was pleasantly surprised at the space and finishes. We were given little extra tokens of appreciation such as in room champagne upon arrival, ama logo travel bags and luggage tags, Ama scarf and ama cap. These were nice little surprises that made us feel appreciated. There were numerous small things that they did for us that made us feel like family and that we mattered. The saying that people may forget what you say and do but never forget about how they make you feel, is so true with this ship. The entire staff was professional and considerate. Our bathroom had both a full sized tub and a smaller shower. The shower was a little tight for my husband as he is 6’3” and a big guy but he managed. The tub was full length and comfortable. We had both a French and traditional balcony. It was too chilly to sit on the balcony but would be nice in warmer weather. We had a computer and a wall of closet space. Very limited drawer space but plenty of hanging space and shelving The Amaserna is a beautiful boat. The interior looks new and well cared for. Due to staying busy with tours, food and finding new friends, We didn’t use the spa or small gym. They also have a small hair salon.a nice walking track and heated pool which were on the top deck. We were told they offer fitness classes in the top deck during warmer weather. The captain was pleasant and efficient. We had no issues with docking, locks or travels. The food was good and at times exceptional. The chefs table was a nice surprise and a fun and excellent dining experience. The breakfast was standard and good. I didn’t have lunch any day on the ship. We were constantly offered food - early breakfast, breakfast and late breakfast, lunch, tea time, sip and sail, dinner, and late night snack! Plus, we are at the Christmas Markets or stopped in small cafes in town. The tours were small groups of around 10-15 people. They offered active, regular and gentle walkers. My husband was having hip pain. So, a few days we did the gentle walker and it was so nice to have door to door service to and from the Abbey and Churches. We were given audiovox headphones to hear the tour guides. This was helpful. We could move away to make pictures while still hearing what they were saying. Of course, there was never enough time at any location. But, this was a 7 day cruise and we had 7 days of towns and cites to visit. It was nice that we were given the opportunity In Linz to (1) stay entire day in Linz (2) short Linz tour and half day excursion to Salzburg (3) full day In Salzburg. (4) morning in Linz and excursion to Chesky Krumlov I wanted to do all of them but chose the morning in Linz and half day to Salzburg. Great choice for us. On board entertainment was what I expected. Not the best and not the worst. We had a pianoman full time and some “lock hoppers” who hopped on board between the dam locks and provided unique local entertainment. We had a trio of classical musicans, “Von Trapp family of singing and dancing, lastly a one man acoustic guitar rock and roll oldies entertainer. These were fine and what one would expect on a small boat. Our transfers to and from the airport were easy and the staff was helpful. We had someone at the airports (arrival and departure) from Ama who helped with our luggage and finding our way to checkin and to security. Overall, it was a great experience and makes us want to do it again with Ama. If we had planned to visit all these cities and towns with tours and food , the cost would’ve been so much more. Currently, we are planning our next trip with Ama Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
After 5 spectacular river cruises with a rival company I took a chance on AMA based on their superior reviews, big mistake. The water level was too low to do our original itinerary (not AMA's fault) but the substitutions they made ... Read More
After 5 spectacular river cruises with a rival company I took a chance on AMA based on their superior reviews, big mistake. The water level was too low to do our original itinerary (not AMA's fault) but the substitutions they made were ridiculous and certainly not comparable to what we booked and paid for. To date, no compensation or consideration has been offered. But besides the bugled itinerary there was a lot of problems that were not related to water level. The "light lunches" and "late night snacks" were the same three sandwich combinations every day...salmon, tomato-cheese or peanut butter and jelly. Really! There are no food options offered outside of designated meal and "snack" times. Cabin interiors were a bit worn but adequate. The desk staff seemed overwhelmed and quite frazzled. The entertainment was basic at best. The over-all staff attitude seemed to be one of simply herding people about rather than one of service and a few were border-line rude. I will never sail AMA again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose the Magical Christmas markets to see Vienna, Salzburg, and Nürnberg, to enjoy some Christkindlmarkts, and to acquaint ourselves with river cruising. Ama has work to do. The cruise administration as we approached our travel ... Read More
We chose the Magical Christmas markets to see Vienna, Salzburg, and Nürnberg, to enjoy some Christkindlmarkts, and to acquaint ourselves with river cruising. Ama has work to do. The cruise administration as we approached our travel date was disrupted by the Woolsey Fire in the San Fernando Valley, where Ama is headquartered. Ama needs better contingency plans if they are going to stay in the Valley. Fires in Calabasas, from my youth in Woodland Hills, are NOT uncommon. We were impacted by the water levels of the Danube. Our cruise was shortened from Nürnberg to Vilshofen, and, after we boarded, to Passau. We missed one of the best Christkindlmarkts in all Europe. I recognize Ama is a hotelier, a restaraunteur, and a ship line, but they need better decisionmaking on how to make the traveller's experience the best possible. That includes leaving ship if need be. The sailing plan? OMW. On Monday, for reasons known only to Ama, we left Vienna for Tulin. Guess what? Everything was closed. DUMB. Then, at 11 at night, we sailed back to Vienna to berth in the nest of ships again. Better to have spent another day in Vienna, and help us see more of that great city. Speaking of bad calls, let's talk about Sunday. There were three ships abreast at Handelskai that morning. Three sets of busses, and no one on shore to direct us to which group of busses. We showed our color coded ticket, and the guide said "This is your bus." Welllllll .... no it wasn't. It was the bus of another ship to Bratislava. You need passports for that tour. Turned out a third of the people on that bus were from our ship, misdirected to it instead of the bus for the Eisenstadt tour. It's late fall, early winter. It was raining most days, so the upper outdoor deck was unusable. The lounge was a hospitable place, with free coffee and tea at all hours. I discuss our cabin elsewhere. The dining? Superb. An advantage Ama has over Windstar and their ocean sailings is the free wine and beer at mealtime. I liked that! Service? Superb. Yes, I paid the expected crew's gratuity, and then some, but I also gave some to my cabin housekeeper and two of the waiters. They deserved it. Vienna and Salzburg are grand cities, worthy of much more time than the cruise could provide. We will be back. Overall, this COULD HAVE BEEN A FIVE BUBBLE CRUISE. The administrative and logistics decision cost it points. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We just returned from our first River Cruise to the Christmas Markets, Vienna to Nuremberg and because of the low water conditions could not do the published program, or even their plan B. However or cruise manager, Agnes Riley, made sure ... Read More
We just returned from our first River Cruise to the Christmas Markets, Vienna to Nuremberg and because of the low water conditions could not do the published program, or even their plan B. However or cruise manager, Agnes Riley, made sure that we had a vacation to remember. We still visited cities in Eastern Europe that we had never seen and saw five countries instead of the three we thought we were going to. Travel is an adventure and Ama made sure that this was one we will remember. The ship was decked out for the Christmas season, the staff was excellent and the food great. We booked the Prague extension and travel from the ship to the hotel went without a flaw. The hotel was walking distance to old town and the market and was first class all the way. I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from my travel agent yesterday informing us that because of the changes that had to be made we were receiving a very generous credit for a future cruise good through 2021. Again I must say "AmaWaterways is a class act." and they will be our first choice for our next River Cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have gone on 4 River Cruises in 4 years, first two on Viking and now AMA for two. The first three river cruises the Activity Directors were outstanding. They were Always visible, socializing with the passengers, you see them on your ... Read More
We have gone on 4 River Cruises in 4 years, first two on Viking and now AMA for two. The first three river cruises the Activity Directors were outstanding. They were Always visible, socializing with the passengers, you see them on your tours and in the dining room and lounge. This cruise was a little different. I know the director had to deal with a lot of changes with the itinerary (and he did a great job) because of low water levels but that is part of the job description. The director’s visibility is all about PR and marketing. Having gone on three other cruises I was able to compare and that is the reason for my comment and evaluation. Embarkation was excellent. Ship was very clean and personnel was outstanding. Loved the evening entertainment, housekeeping and dining room service. Hotels that AMA select are in walking distance to the city and very accommodating. River Cruising is definitely the way to travel. We always meet outstanding people which results in lifetime friendships via social media. Because of itinerary changes excursions were long because of long bus rides which was not a problem. They can’t control ‘Mother Nature.’ I felt that there should be an early bus to take people those people who were tired back to the ship because of the very long day, Maybe a hour plus earlier. We will definitely travel on another River Cruise next year. I thank AMA for a memorable River Cruise. AMA treats people like royalty. Hopefully we will see AMA people next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose Ama Waterways for a number of reasons, one being a recommendation by cruisecritic, that if we were looking to be active on our cruise, this was the cruise line for us. And active we were - went on four bike rides, one being a 22 ... Read More
We chose Ama Waterways for a number of reasons, one being a recommendation by cruisecritic, that if we were looking to be active on our cruise, this was the cruise line for us. And active we were - went on four bike rides, one being a 22 mile ride through vineyards, villages, farms - gorgeous! We also hiked straight up to a fortress and I mean straight up. Another recommendation by cruisecritic was the food offered by Ama. Lovely, beautiful, delicious, gourmet cuisine, with service to match. Our accommodations were so comfortable, the pool on the top deck divine after a day of biking or hiking. Our cruise manager, Chuaba (apologies if misspelled) was perfect in his role of overseeing all the needs of the cruisers. Also want to mention that I met a travel consultant vacationing on this cruise. Her comment, "This is my fifth cruise with Ama and it's the best cruise line in the business." We couldn't have been happier and we will be going on another Ama river cruise in the near future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise was amazing! We chose a Danube cruise for the destinations. My husband is a musician and wanted to go to places where the famous composers actually wrote and performed the music so this itinerary was perfect. Everything about ... Read More
This cruise was amazing! We chose a Danube cruise for the destinations. My husband is a musician and wanted to go to places where the famous composers actually wrote and performed the music so this itinerary was perfect. Everything about this cruise was easy. Checkin was easy, they took our luggage to our room while we were checking in and they explained all the room features to us. We had been traveling for almost a week prior to getting on the ship so we sent out laundry that first night and asked to have it back in 2 days, it was back in our room same night when we came back from dinner! The cabin was well appointed and we opted for a balcony which we enjoyed. The food was great and service was top notch in both the restaurant and the lounge. The DJ in the evenings was entertaining and played great music and the dance floor was always full. The water level in the northern part of the Danube was too low so our itinerary had to change to accommodate that. No one wants a ship to get stuck! They reworked the itinerary on the fly and found other great locations for us to stop at and wonderful tour options. Every night before dinner we met the cruise director Csaba in the lounge and he updated everyone on the changes and let us know where we would be the next day. You could tell he was working really hard to come up with Plan B and he did not disappoint. As a result we did miss out on a few of the scheduled ports but all in all I don't think we really missed anything and we thoroughly enjoyed the options we did have. This was our first river cruise and we were anxious to compare it to the big ocean liners and we were pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed the smaller, quieter atmosphere. We plan to do another cruise with AMA in the next year or so. We had a fantastic time and the level of detail and service was above and beyond our expectations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
This was a company trip so many of the decisions were made for us. We are so glad that AmaWaterways was the choice. The cabins were much bigger and more comfortable than previous cruises. They are beautifully decorated and had the latest ... Read More
This was a company trip so many of the decisions were made for us. We are so glad that AmaWaterways was the choice. The cabins were much bigger and more comfortable than previous cruises. They are beautifully decorated and had the latest in entertainment technology. The dining staff was professional yet very friendly and the food was outstanding with menus to please everyone. The wines were exceptional. The housekeeping staff was very helpful, friendly and kept the cabin in top shape. The staff at the main desk always greeted us with a smile and ever ready to answer any questions and give assistance. The excursions were wonderful and the details were presented in print in our cabin for the next day every evening. Dragan, the cruise director, is very outgoing and kept us well informed as well as entertained when speaking to our group. This cruise was a short one from Vienna to Budapest with a port of call in Bratislava. We would love to cruise with AmaWaterways in the future! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
I was lucky enough to win this cruise through my job. I was hesitant to go I was not familiar with this area of Europe. It would have been the biggest mistake of my life if I would have skipped this cruise. The entire crew was helpful ... Read More
I was lucky enough to win this cruise through my job. I was hesitant to go I was not familiar with this area of Europe. It would have been the biggest mistake of my life if I would have skipped this cruise. The entire crew was helpful from start to finish. Special appreciation to Jo Anna our server (Dracula). She is the queen of happy!!!!!. Ship was perfectly clean and had everything that you could possibly want on board. The ship was like new in every way perfect inside and out. In motion the boat was amazing smooth as silk. Fun to sit on my balcony and watch the world go by. So smooth that I never woke from sleep from any vibration or noises even as we docked. It was fun to wake up each morning to see where they have taken me next. Ride this ship you will not be sorry. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
Actually sailed from Vilfshoven, Germany after 3 days pre cruise in Prague. Those were three expensive and wasted days followed by a horribly uncomfortable bus trip backwards to the port of embarkation in Germany. Shocked when we entered ... Read More
Actually sailed from Vilfshoven, Germany after 3 days pre cruise in Prague. Those were three expensive and wasted days followed by a horribly uncomfortable bus trip backwards to the port of embarkation in Germany. Shocked when we entered the reception area of the ship-dirty carpet and a smell of the just departed last cruisers. More shocked when entering the tiny room, with a tiny, tiny bath and a closet that did not make any provision for travelers that had to carry enough to last 2 weeks. The beds are hard as rocks-felt mattresses on metal slabs and so very narrow that at first we thought they were rollaway cots. The pillows were so flat that we had daily headaches from failing to get neck support. If one sat at the desk, the other person had to crawl over the bed to reach the window area. We felt like prisoners sharing a cell ! Television channels had sporadic reception and facebook communication was slow or impossible. The public areas are small and in the dining room it was very hard to squeeze in and out between tables that were packed tightly together. We had 2 good entrees all week and the rest were poor to very poor. Every meal was loaded with salt and we soon had to deal with tissue swelling and sore tongues from the excessive use of salt. Breakfast was boringly repetitive with watery eggs, burned bacon, and rubbery fruit although there was too little choice of that to bother. Made to order was not much better. The Eggs Benedict were covered with a greasy sauce that tasted suspiciously like salad cream/mayonnaise and omlettes were crusty. Reasonably good soups and lots of breads and rolls which were good in the morning but the bread was always stale at dinnertime. There was no warning that the cruise was unsuitable for anyone with mobility issues. Someone confined to a wheelchair would have been left on the dock and with a rollator-walker it was a bone jarring endurance test, even on the so-called "gentle" tours. With a few happy exceptions, most of the guides were not interested in persons with mobility issues and just frog marched us through miles of cobbles. Many could not be understood as their accents were far too pronounced. On many tours there was no time available for self exploration and if one did want to stay somewhere to have a closer look, the drop point was so far from the ship that a return on foot was impossible for a physically challenged person. There were days spent in dull, uninteresting, and historically insignificant ports and then we were raced through Vienna when a 2 day visit there would have been sensible. A good concert in Vienna helped us to forget a poor one in Prague. We paid an additional 500 euros for tours so do not be fooled when they advertise "all inclusive" and do not look for free drinks at any time other than at meals. Most of the staff members were hard working and friendly but the Cruise Manager was unimpressive and clearly had his "favourites" among the guests. We were ready to abandon this cruise an hour after it started and by the end of it we were really desperate to get off the ship. We have many, many ocean cruises behind us and found most of them perfect. This was our first, and will be our last, river cruise. The price, compared to an ocean cruise, was prohibitive in relation to what was received in value. Easily our very worst holiday in over 40 years.   Read Less
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