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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
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
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
AmaCerto Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.8
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 4.8
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 1.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.6
Enrichment 4.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 5.0 4.4
Rates 4.0 3.6

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