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7 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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to ... Read More
After sailing on many cruise lines throughout the world we decided this year was when we would sample a river cruise. We booked on a Ukranian cruise with another company and really did not enjoy for several reasons , however we were not to be deterred as we had heard so many good reviews from people and decided to jump straight back in. We chose the Xmas markets cruise on the Mozart in November 2018 as it is something that my wife had wanted to do . Feeling slightly anxious that this would not end up feeling as though it would be throwing good money after bad I contacted Crystal concierge regarding a few queries such as change of itinerary, arriving late on the ship and transfers from the airport as we were arriving independently. We received responses straight away and were given the information that we required. Transfers are free with Crystal even if you arrange your own flight which was great news as sometimes finding exact location of river cruise vessels can be difficult. On arrival which was late the embarkation was really smooth and within 10 minutes of arriving we were in our suite ordering room service.The suites are compact yet of good quality . The wardrobe is a pretty tight squeeze but their is more than ample storage space. The bathroom is top quality and the products offered are also top quality. The next we wandered round the ship and as expected everywhere was top quality , the sauna and pool area was really nice. For a ship which only caters for 151 guests there is plenty of seating areas and the restaurant is a good size and there are plenty of tables for 2 should you wish to dine by yourself. We very early eat breakfast but lunch and dinner are of a high standard and if you wanted something different from the menu the waiters were always happy to see if they could help. The menus are small compared to larger ships but I would imagine that it would be quite difficult to have a large menu for so few guests. The food was always of a good standard and you could use 2 restaurants for lunch and a choice of 3 dining venues if an evening. The guests were mainly American , Canadian , Chinese and a few from other countries so we were the only people from the United Kingdom aboard. Everybody seemed to get on and in the bar if an evening there was a good atmosphere whether it be quizzes, dancing or the entertainers James & Ros playing music. James & Ros were really good in getting the guests to mingle and take part in the activities. The excursions were mainly Xmas markets in Bratislava, Salzburg , Vienna and a few walking tours in Passau , Linz and Melk. These were well organised and most of them guides were knowledgeable and interesting. The Crystal coaches were excellent and very comfortable and even had Nespresso coffee machines onboard . We have travelled with many cruise lines and have always had good service on the ships and until now my favourite was Seabourn because the staff were so friendly and professional and always smiled when they spoke and took the time to talk to you . I always believed that was the best cruise crew we had been with . They have been matched by Crystal as we found the staff to be so helpful , professional and friendly. Wherever we went on the ship they all seemed happy . The staff on the Mozart are such an asset because we booked another cruise whilst on board and that is something we have never done before.There was no one area that we could make a negative criticism even when we received a letter in the cabin saying that we were not sailing to Bratislava because of the low level of the water , they took us by bus and gave us 250UD off a future cruise and I already knew that there were problems with the water level. I would definitely recommend Crystal to anybody who likes the nice things in life and like being looked after. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first river cruise after several ocean cruises. We chose Crystal because of its reputation and the itinerary (Vienna to Belgrade and back) offered the opportunity to visit cities we otherwise would never get to. ... Read More
This was our first river cruise after several ocean cruises. We chose Crystal because of its reputation and the itinerary (Vienna to Belgrade and back) offered the opportunity to visit cities we otherwise would never get to. Unfortunately, due to the prolonged drought, the itinerary changed to the opposite direction (Passau). Doubly unfortunate was that we were not notified of the change in itinerary until the day before sailing, when we were already in Prague. The crew mentioned that only once since July had the eastern route been possible. We were committed at that point, so chose to continue. Others have commented on the dining facilities and menu. Waterside is lovely and the service was superb. The standard wines were average and the optional wines seriously overpriced. Choices at breakfast and lunch were varied and very well prepared. Dinner choices were somewhat limited, but excellent. Others have also mentioned the cabin. We had a "deluxe" suite. When we embarked, I inquired about an upgrade and was told that none of the larger suites was available. We later learned that that wasn't true. After all, from an original passenger list of 145, only 86 actually embarked. The suite we were in was cramped and drawer space totally inadequate. But the bathroom was very nice and the HVAC worked well. The shore excursions were, by and large, well done, especially considering that several had to be improvised. We found all the staff to be very professional and courteous. 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
First on Crystal River cruise and will be last. Have had great experiences on their ocean voyages; but the river line is a separate division and vastly inferior in most areas. Company was not forthcoming in notifiying us of the low ... Read More
First on Crystal River cruise and will be last. Have had great experiences on their ocean voyages; but the river line is a separate division and vastly inferior in most areas. Company was not forthcoming in notifiying us of the low water level until 2 days before we were scheduled to leave. Itineray changed to all but a couple of ports in the Netherlands. The highlights of the trip were to be the areas where the ship didn't travel. To make matters worse, tour director was disorganized, ship Captain did not speak English, ship docked so far from destination ports it was ridiculous. Other ships were providing buses to take passengers to destination. Not our ship. The few tours offered were primarily ones of walking around the town plazas, etc. And the majority of passengers were over 65! I understand the couple of buses they had were shuttled back and forth between the Danube groups and the Rhine. They seemed to always be with the Danube folks. We were not offered bus/hotel choices to make up for all the ports we did not see. That is standard with other river cruise lines. Passenger complaints to the officers and tour director fell on deaf ears and it was clear the disorganization and confusion came down from the top. The service staff tried their best; but they were understaffed. The spa was good but very limited; the food good except there was a problem keeping the buffet dishes hot. The rooms were way too small for the large beds. We booked 2 rooms for a family of 4 at last minute and top dollar and I never felt like we had spent so much money on something so disappointing. Our trip was in August and now in January we are still waiting for any compensation from Crystal. We all had out of pocket expenses because we had to change return flights from Basel Switzerland (which we never got to see) to Frankfurt. Additional transportation, hotel etc. all added up to more than they promised to reimburse. And there was no compensation even promised for the missed excursions and ports. My advice is to avoid this line at all costs. We are seasoned cruisers on several small luxury lines and have never had an experience like this! How could such an esteemed company as Crystal allow this group to be a part of their company??? We want to go back to take a Rhine cruise; but it sure won't be with Crystal. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our first river cruise and we looked forward to the ease of river cruising: seeing many ports without the hassle of driving/packing and unpacking. However, due to the water shortage on the Danube, this ease of travel was not ... Read More
This was our first river cruise and we looked forward to the ease of river cruising: seeing many ports without the hassle of driving/packing and unpacking. However, due to the water shortage on the Danube, this ease of travel was not delivered. We were forced to bus to two destinations and pack a small overnight bag. Crystal put us up in a four star hotel and gave us a food allowance but we also had to endure a long bus ride between Vienna and Budapest and back. This is not the fault of Crystal but they were not forthcoming about the problem when asked prior to leaving for the cruise. I should add Crystal's lack of transparency was in contrast to Viking Cruise Line which had a website devoted to itinerary changes due to the drought. Many passengers were unhappy with the abrupt change of plans. I think if it had been handled more honestly, the passengers would have adjusted more easily and been happier.. On the other hand, the Mozart delivered on many aspects of the trip. The crew was fantastic. They were always pleasant, smiling and helpful. The food was quite good and plentiful with lots of options. Our cabin was quite nice and well-equipped with a comfortable bed, seating area, a large screen TV and an unending supply of wine, soda and water. The tours for the most part were informative and entertaining, conducted by knowledgeable local people. My only criticism is they should have offered a few more openings for some of the popular bike tours which booked up early. The special event in Budapest was a knockout. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I have cruised on many ocean lines with Seabourn being my favorite. This was my first river cruise. The service was great, food ok, room well designed, but, we had a huge problem. The river water was too low for us to navigate the ... Read More
I have cruised on many ocean lines with Seabourn being my favorite. This was my first river cruise. The service was great, food ok, room well designed, but, we had a huge problem. The river water was too low for us to navigate the Danube so we did a 3 day round trip from Vienna to Wachau valley and did not sail to Slovakia or Budapest. That was a major disappointment to not sail into Budapest. The ship made a weak attempt to still cover the itinerary by booking us into a 4-star hotel in Budapest and giving us an $80 euro dining credit for our final day! Does not begin to cover the cost of the cruise which was around $1600 a day. The worst part was how while we were in Vienna for so many days we were sandwiched between two boats so had to keep the curtains closed at all times as the boat next to us was literally 2 inches away from us and a guest room on that boat! Claustrophobic! It was very overpriced for what was delivered and I will not cruise agin on Crystal. I consider it to be a total rip off. Horrible experience, never again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
The cruise was a wonderful adventure, my husband, our children, and I would do it again. The staff, especially the waiters, were a great help. Great service, plus they had wonderful recommendations. The local dishes tasted tremendous and ... Read More
The cruise was a wonderful adventure, my husband, our children, and I would do it again. The staff, especially the waiters, were a great help. Great service, plus they had wonderful recommendations. The local dishes tasted tremendous and everything else was definitely high quality products. The room staff was always keeping the cabin fresh and stocked with towels and whatever else was needed. We had absolutely no complaints with the services provided. The ship is extremely quiet and made it very pleasant to sleep. The only time it was slighly loud was when it was transiting locks. Temperature control was great. There wasn't any American outlets which the brochures had implied that it would have. Only European outlets were available, so an adapter is needed. Room cleaning was perfect and they seem to know when you are gone. The room as always clean when you come back! All in all, it was a great trip! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The moment we arrived on board till the time we left we were looked after like royalty, nothing was too much trouble for Sonia (Hotel Manager) and her staff. The whole ship was immaculate, the food and presentation was magnificent. The ... Read More
The moment we arrived on board till the time we left we were looked after like royalty, nothing was too much trouble for Sonia (Hotel Manager) and her staff. The whole ship was immaculate, the food and presentation was magnificent. The cabin (246 on the middle deck) was so clean, with a full picture window, not that we spent much time there. At each served meal, the staff correctly served the ladies firstly every time. The main places we visited were fabulous, Vienna, Bratislava and of course Budapest. Walking through these lovely places in gorgeous weather, although tiring in 32 degrees was a wonderful experience, even smaller places like Melk, Kalocsa and Esztergom were interesting. We also enjoyed the cruising aspect of the trip, just looking at what goes on on the bank and listening and watching bird life.What a fabulous trip, we cannot recommend this ship and company highly enough, we will without a shadow of doubt be travelling with Croisi Europe via Mercury again. Thank you Sonia and team for making this trip such an unforgettable experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Mozart, R/T Vienna, June 23-Jul 3 The Danube cruise on Crystal Mozart had its fine moments but I was ultimately disappointed with the whole package. Butler service in the cabin was excellent, and worth the extra money. The variety and ... Read More
Mozart, R/T Vienna, June 23-Jul 3 The Danube cruise on Crystal Mozart had its fine moments but I was ultimately disappointed with the whole package. Butler service in the cabin was excellent, and worth the extra money. The variety and presentation of food and drinks were more than acceptable though not matching what we found on Crystal Serenity's Hawaii R/T voyage from San Francisco in 2016. An egg dish served to me was probably contaminated by uncooked egg. Waitress service and the entertainer were very good the entire trip. Budapest is among the most beautiful cities I've ever visited and I'd not been there before. The entire itinerary was varied and well chosen. On the other hand, our cabin was the size of a hotel toilet and not as well designed or furnished. Shore excursions produced surprisingly contrasting moments. The tour of Melk Abbey was great. So's the choice of Michelin-starred restaurants in Vienna and Budapest. But, although the guide at the Austrian concentration camp was well versed in history, he chose to treat us to offhand homophobic remarks, the kind of thing I doubt he would dare apply to Jews. I called him on it and reported him to Svjetlana, the boat's excellent hotel manager, to the boat's tour manager and in my report to Crystal. Decorations at the Hungarian horse farm included an American Confederate battle flag, probably not an accident in such a country. My well-traveled friend and I both think some of this may be laid on the company trying to expand too fast - e.g., crew were being trained for the newbuild river boats that are coming on line. A bartender, for instance, was moving up to butler status the morning we disembarked. All in all, I would not recommend this trip right now. Read Less

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