Value for money
Every single thing was top notch!! The excursions, the food and the boat were all incredible. The staff bent over backwards to fill every need and anticipate any want!! The food portions were appropriate and selection was endless. The wine pairings were local. I cannot say enough about the wonderful food. We did the Chef's table restaurant one night and that too was awesome. We did mostly the bike tours, which were challenging, but not overwhelming. The longer rides had terrain that was actually flatter, than some of the shorter rides. Each one was beautiful with incredible scenery. The Cologne tour was within the city, but very well planned and easy to follow along. When enough bikes were not available, (Strasbourg) we did the active walking tour. The pace was perfect and the local guide was so knowledgeable.She took us to the local spots and was able to tell us the history and well as current use. The cathedral was awe-inspiring.
We initially were only going on this river cruise to accompany and help my senior Mother and her friend. My husband and I are ocean cruisers and love the larger ocean size ships and weren't really interested in doing a river cruise on a tiny little 'boat'. It quickly turned into be so much more for the both of us. What a fantastic time we had! The service on the AMAMORA was beyond anything we had ever experienced before. All of the staff were fantastic, caring, super friendly and you had the feeling they were being genuine and enjoyed their time. We had a french balcony room and although it was a bit smaller than the standard room on the larger ocean cruise ships it was adequate for what we needed as we did not spend much time in our room anyways. All of the food we had on board was fresh and delicious and there were a lot of choices. We also experienced the chefs table dining room and it was a great intimate experience. We thoroughly enjoy all of the ports. My husband and I mostly did the biking tours. All were immersive and we loved our time on shore. Our cruise manager was Rachel C. There is no way to put into words how extraordinary this lovely lady is. You felt like you had known her for years. Her energy was contagious and she always was available around the ship to chat. Her talks each day were very informative and her humor spot on! Rachel was a big part of why this cruise was so amazing. On the day of disembarkation we had to leave the ship ahead of everyone else at 3:30am to catch a train and much to our surprise and delight, Rachel was up to see us off and give us big hugs goodbye. The staff also made us two little goodie to go bags with sandwiches, fruit and sweets inside since we would be missing breakfast. The thoughtfulness of that was beyond for us. Then what totally amazed us is that when we went to go off the ship one of the staff members and the actual Captain of the ship were carrying our luggage for us up the hill to our awaiting taxi that we were taking to the train station. The Captain, imagine that!!! I couldn't believe a Captain would take the time to help out with something so trivial. It still blows my mind to this day. You're lucky if you even see the captain on ocean cruises. So needless to say something that started out as only going for my Mother's well-being has now turned into us looking forward to booking our next river cruise with AMAWaterways. Thank you to all of the staff and crew of the AMAMORA for such an incredible and memorable vacation!
Only gave a three star review due to a failure with their air department. The Cruise Ship was very well maintained and the employees on the ship and pre cruise hotel were fantastic. The food selection could be improved and some activities on cruise days could be added. Spent over $16,000.00 for our cruise package which included air fare, pre-hotel stay, transfers, and the cruise. The failure occurred when I checked in for our flights to Europe to begin our trip. Failure by AmaWaterways right from the start. AmaWaterways indicated that our flights included one carry on and one checked bag for each of us. When we checked in for our flight to begin our trip, the airlines advised we did not have pre-paid checked bags. If we wanted to take our luggage, we would have to pay for our checked luggage. So I paid since we needed our luggage on our trip. Then, when we checked in at the airport for our flight, the airline only had our luggage going to Newark and no further even though our tickets were to Amsterdam with a layover in Newark. AmaWaterways changed our flights and airlines multiple times before our trip began. I believe at some point during these changes, they failed to pay for the checked bags, or what they had paid failed to carry over to the new flights due to all the flight changes they made. In addition, we had reserved seating, but after they changed our airlines at one point, we were informed the airline they moved us to, on one leg of the trip, doesn't allow reserved seating and we would be assigned at check in. After arriving home, I attempted to get assistance from AmaWaterways to recover the out of pocket costs I incurred to get our luggage to Amsterdam to begin our cruise. AmaWaterways advised they paid the airlines for us to have a checked bag, even though the airlines said they didn't. AmaWaterways would not assist in resolving this issue advising I would have to work it out with the airlines on my own. I have been unsuccessful due to the fact the airline indicates any refund, if approved, would be in the form of a travel voucher for future flight and only for half of what I had to pay. I understand there can be errors or glitches, especially when changes take place. But, the issue was between AmaWaterways and the Airlines. Not me, yet it is now up to me to try to resolve their issue if I hope to recover the extra cost I incurred just to take my luggage on our trip. Essentially, I paid twice to take my luggage. Once to AmaWaterways and then again to the Airlines since the reservations AmaWaterways set up with the airlines did not include the checked bags they promised me. I was surprised by the lack of care or support by AmaWaterways in helping me resolve this issue. All they did was send me a copy of a document where it says they paid the airlines. Then told me because of this document, it is my problem to resolve with the airlines directly and not with AmaWaterways. This issue is still unresolved at at this time, and I have no confidence that it will be resolved since AmaWaterways refuses to even look into the issue. I will be out the extra money I had to spend directly to the airlines for our checked bags. (And, this has nothing to do with excess or overweight bags. Our bags were under 50 pounds and we were only taking one bag each.) Even though I selected AmaWaterways due to all of the positive reviews, I cannot recommend using them if you expect your trip to go without issues. And if there are issues, do not expect any support from them to help resolve it.
This was our first river cruise. We chose it to visit the famous German Christmas markets. The ship looked almost new, having been 'dry docked' during the CCP virus. From the first to the last day, I have to say the crew exceeded any expectations we had. Embarkation was fast and efficient, and debarkation was well-organized. I have to give a special shout-out to our Cruise Manager, Marcia. She made our trip very festive and was very knowledgeable about all the areas we passed. She was so helpful with a few of the guests who came down with respiratory issues by setting up virtual Doctor visits, arranging rides to nearby pharmacies, and even giving away her own throat lozenges. I can't imagine anyone more caring. The food was very good, and keyed to the area we were traveling in. The wines always paired nicely. Our servers, Yanko and Nick, as well as our Sommelier Georgi, were super attentive and made mealtimes a lot of fun. With drinks and excursions included, I think river cruising can be a better value than an ocean cruise for those who want a slower, non-resort pace. We'll definitely be sailing with Ama Waterways again very soon.
We had a wonderful time. We started with the Lake Como pre-cruise and it was excellent. The Como Hilton was clean and comfortable. The restaurant had an excellent pizza. There is a lovely rooftop bar and restaurant. The staff was exceptionally helpful and friendly. The tours provide by AMA as part of the package were great. Only downside was George Clooney did not show up for lunch :) Our cruise director, Pau, was unflappable and made sure everything went well on both the pre-trip and the cruise. On the way to the ship, we very much enjoyed to stop in Bellinzona on the way to the ship. The ship is fairly new and beautiful. Tastefully decorated. The crew went above and beyond to assure a great experience. Great touches like a gift of a scarf for women and a cap for men. Two weeks after the cruise, received a hand-written postcard from the crew. They have free postcards they mail for you from the ship so you can make your friends jealous.