Amadeus (AMA) Amalegro European River Cruise on the Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers
Re: Line & Ship: Amadeus (name change to AMA Waterways in 09) Amalegro
May 11, 2008 River Cruise – Amsterdam to Budapest
Written by Kathleen Bodmer, Suzy's cruise client, not Suzy.
All commentary is the opinion of Kathy and not Suzy nor does Kathy represent SuzyCruisy.com.
Every time we take a cruise we say “this is the best.”There is no way on earth we could ever surpass this cruise.Sailing a 150-passenger ship is so entirely different than our ocean cruises.The best part is that by the end of a 14-day cruise you have practically spoken to each person at least once.
This was easy from the standpoint of getting a cab and going to the port.When we pulled up, several people came out to welcome us.They took our luggage and guided us to the lounge for drinks and light snacks.Everyone was extremely gracious and friendly.By design, river cruise ships are not near as attractive as ocean liners, but the inside is every bit as nice.
We really liked our room but my only complaint is partially my own fault.I had read (on CruiseCritic) that the cabins in the back were noisy and experienced vibration but I thought it just might be someone unnecessarily complaining.As the cruise progressed the noise and vibration did increase.This might be something for you to note that when booking a river cruise to try to get cabins up front.The only good thing about the back cabins are that the cleaning girls start from back to front and we were always cleaned first.I am not complaining about this location, just giving you a head’s up for next time you book for a client.
All electrical plugs in our room were 240v which we had prepared for and brought several adapters (a must!).I even brought a 240v power strip which I bought from an online travel company but since there were enough plugs, I never used it.
The amenities in the bathroom included a hair dryer, very nice shampoo, conditioner, shower cap, etc., the same as you would find on ocean cruises.The shower was slightly larger and what we liked the best was the glass shower doors – much different than that sticky shower curtain on cruise ships.There was one plug in the bathroom in the bottom of the mirrored-cabinet.
The vanity/dressing area was nice and contained several drawers and had a large mirror.There was one electrical plug and a telephone.The right side of the cabinet contained drinking glasses and several wine glasses.They had complimentary water bottles also.This was really nice to take along on the tours.These were replaced daily.
Another thing we liked on this cruise as opposed to an ocean cruise was that there were plugs under the nightstands on either side of the bed.These were extremely useful to us because we each took cameras and we could charge our own batteries at the same time.When not charging batteries, I used the plug for my iPod speakers which I kept on my nightstand to play music when we were in the room.
The TV/computer screen is really novel.You just designate on the control whether you want TV or computer.There is also a program to choose if you want to watch the onboard camera to see what is ahead.One word of warning is that the keyboard is European so it is a little harder to use.Since I type for a living I played around with it and finally found the keys I needed.Even though they advertise “Internet hookup” in your room it is a little deceiving.Since you go through over 100 locks on this particular itinerary, the satellite is lowered most of the time and that makes the Internet unavailable.We went about three days in a row without service.Altogether it was unavailable between 3-6 days during the cruise.Also the cruise brochure said WiFi in the aft lounge.I brought my laptop with me and could not get the WiFi to work in the aft lounge.I told the attendant at the reception desk and she said to just go into the forward lounge (which was closer to the ship computers) and use it there.Although it is a little less private, it worked like a charm here.
Breakfast - You could not possibly go hungry on this cruise as on the big ships.The early morning risers could have rolls, fruit and have coffee in the lounge and if you prefer a larger breakfast, you just went to the dining room beginning at 8:00 am and this had just about everything you could imagine.No problems here.
Lunch – The light lunch was my favorite.It usually consisted of a little pasta, soup, little sandwiches and a prepared dessert or cookies.The soups are the best.I had soup every day and loved each one.We had lunch in the dining room a few times but for me it was too heavy.My husband enjoyed their burgers in the dining room.Since he doesn’t know the meaning of cutting back he loved the dining room lunches.
Afternoon Tea – Each day tea was served with desserts between .We never attended because we were usually on a tour.
Dinner – We thought their dinners were excellent.The presentation was beautiful and they looked liked the dishes you get in a fine restaurant.It is true that the portions are smaller than the big ships but there is still plenty of food.There are usually three choices of entrees and lots of other things.Their wait staff was also excellent.It is amazing to have an attendant be the bartender upstairs all day and then have him wait on you in the restaurant at night.Their staff really works hard in all areas.They move each person all over the ship.
I don’t have much to say here.We only attended several shows and they were pretty good.We spent most of our time in the evening in the back lounge with new friends with wine that each of us would buy along the way in each port.You would have thought we were wine gourmets.None of us had much experience but liked to compare each wine.
Having gone on the Mediterranean cruise we thought nothing could beat that scenery.Were we wrong!Taking a cruise down the many rivers was the most fantastic ever.So much to see along the way and the slow pace made it more enjoyable.I never realized how many wineries Germany had along the rivers but it now makes sense to me because they are known for their Rieslings and we saw hundreds of vineyards.The “castles along the Rhine” viewing was unbelievable.We were speechless most of the time.All we could say was “Oh, my God.”
We thought the walking tours were exceptionally good.Upon disembarkation in each city, we would take the walking tour in the cities and hear the local information.Some of the guides were better than others but if we did not like our guide we would just go off on our own.After each tour would end they would give you some time to yourself anyway.I really liked the way they gave us each a color-coded hearing device with an earphone and the guide would only talk into the speaker and not have to yell to be heard.This was particularly good for Jerry because his hearing is not good and he could turn it up as loud as he wanted.They had a special color (pink) for the “gentle walkers” which I thought was cute because it was a nice name for the old folks.This was also geared to the photographers because they could take pictures in a slower fashion.I would not recommend this itinerary for anyone in a wheelchair or have trouble walking.Because of the cobblestone streets, it made for extremely uncomfortable riding for the wheelchair-bound and unsteady walkers.Each tour had fewer and fewer impaired cruisers.
We were very impressed after the tours that this is an included feature in the price of the cruise.Originally we thought the cruise was very expensive but since these tours and the wine are included at dinner it seemed to be a very good value for the money.Let me add that the wines were purchased during each stop so we were always able to taste wines from the regions we were visiting.The wait staff would recite a little commentary before asking your preference for red or white wine about the history of the wine and whether it was tart, sweet, etc.We enjoyed learning the information before we sipped our wine which we felt were all very high quality wines.Amadeus does not skimp on their wine purchases.
We took three of the four optional tours.The Rothenburg tour was excellent, the Mozart/Strauss concert was extremely good and gave us a little “culture” since it was nothing we would consider at home, the SchonbrunnPalace which was unbelievably beautiful and our favorite, the Weltenberg Abbey tour on the Danube.This Abbey was the most beautiful of all the churches we saw on the cruise.We must have looked through 30 churches and cathedrals but we were blown away by the Abbey.This tour was also my first experience enjoying a beer (I hate beer at home).This is the brewery established in 1070 by the Benedictine Monks and is the oldest brewery in Europe.Their beer was much lighter than beer here and I actually thought it was good.
There were plenty of bicycles for the adventurous.They provide helmets and approximately 10 people took the bikes from Miltenberg, Germany to meet the ship in Wertheim, Germany which was approximately 25 miles.It was advertised as “not for the faint hearted.”There was a slight drizzle during the bike trip but the bikers raved about it and loved the scenery.They said they would do it again.
Our cruise director was a Scottish girl named Cheri Coll and was a true asset to Amadeus.She was busy all day long and worked her tail off.She was usually available to talk with and extremely friendly.She coordinated all tours whether walking or bus and kept everything on schedule.
All in all I must sound like a walking advertisement for Amadeus but this cruise was so different from our ocean cruises that we loved trying something new and it was perfect in every way.One funny observation for me was on our morning of departure we had sent our luggage to be placed in the lobby as soon as our taxi became available.The captain was actually the person who look our luggage out to the taxi.Can you see one of the captains for Princess delivering your luggage?It was pretty funny.
I hope this information is helpful to your future river cruise planners.
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