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Review of AmaBella Romantic Danube Nov 22nd Vilshofen to Budapest


canaturelover
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Another wonderful trip.

My 80+ mother and I were on the Romantic Danube cruise, our 2nd AmaWaterways cruise. Last year in October we did the Enchanting Rhine.

 

 

We did our own pre-cruise in Prague so that mother could see things at her pace. Stayed at the Hotel Lippert and enjoyed Prague.

 

We missed our transfer bus from the Hilton Hotel to Vilshofen. Got there late. However the Cruise Director Veronika -who was on the bus - made arrangements for us to meet the bus in Regensburg, where we joined our fellow cruisers.

 

 

Embarkation was easy and as we were a small group, everyone was upgraded! We were now in 209 and had a real balcony! There was also champagne with an apology for our late start, and an invitation to join the Captain for dinner.

 

 

Disembarkation: Well organized and a very early start for Cruise Director Veronika. We left around 10ish as we were staying an extra day in Budapest. Loved Budapest and will certainly return. We were docked across from the Liberty Statue on the Pest side. Took a cab to the Intercontinental.

 

 

 

Features:The Lobby was similar to AmaLyra, but the Lounge was a bit different. It was bigger, with a library section where one could relax in front of the fireplace and read the daily news or magazines. The Bar was the same. There was no dedicated dancing area in the Lounge - which did not deter us.

There was another Peter at the piano, and he knew Peter from AmaLyra. Just reinforces the fact that AmaWaterways is one big family. We even got news about some of the AmaLyra staff we had last year.

The Sun deck was nearly the same, but this hot tub was bigger, and did get used. Towards the end of the cruise the Christmas decorations were put up and everything looked lovely and festive.

 

I never used the room internet as the wifi was sufficient for my needs. My 2 prong outlet with USB port was enough to recharge my phone and camera.

 

 

Ports: Vilshofen: lovely. Passau, Linz, Alpine Lake District (instead of Salzburg or Cesky Krumlov for us), Melk, Wachau Valley and Dürnstein -Krems, Vienna, Bratislava (Slovania), Budapest. All beautiful places with differing charm, fabulous architecture and very good guides. Tours at the active, regular and gentle pace. Don't think anyone did the bike tours due to it getting dark fairly early. We saw Christmas markets being set up for the next weeks, but were lucky to see the Vienna Christmas markets which had just opened. Couldn't get any better! The warm towels and hot drink on returning after our tours were welcome. Umbrellas were available if needed.

 

 

Food: Delicious and very chic but included burgers, sandwiches and fries for those who desired. Unlimited wine, beer, soft drinks with lunch and dinner. Local beers, wine and local delicacies offered everyday complimenting our port tours. AmaWaterways buys all local produce and everything including the bread and pastries are made fresh daily. The Lounge served early meals, tea time, late night snacks and the 24 hr. machine serving, hot choc, tea, coffee, cappuccino, espresso etc. Missing the food as I write this.

 

 

Staff: Captain Cristian Creteanu, Hotel Manager Bogdan Stefanescu, Cruise Manager Veronika Holikova, Maitre' D Bobby Bozhinov, Chef Robert Kellerhaus, Purser Aleksandra Panaytova and my Special Favorite: Cabin Service Mariya. Two examples of going the extra mile:

1: I have a cream suede fur trimmed jacket. In Bratislava, during the tour the back of my jacket got wet varnish stains from the stalls being set up. Back on the ship, I explained the situation to Bogdan who took it to be cleaned. The next morning, it was returned wonderfully clean and dry but one spot the size of a quarter remained. Mariya told me that when I returned after my Budapest tours, she would try and see what she could do. So that evening I gave it to her. That night on returning to my cabin after the illumination tour and saying my goodbyes, there hanging in the closet was my jacket, looking brand new- with no stain. She had worked her magic. Cost: one time charge of 2.40 euro.

 

2: Due to the small number of cruisers, the Schönbrunn Palace tour was cancelled as the bus did not get the 14 it needed. However, Veronika went and notified those signed up that if they still wanted to go, after the Vienna day tour, she would take them by train, and I think most took her up on that.

 

 

 

Fellow cruisers: We were a small group, mostly USA with 1 Brit, 3 Canadians, 2 Dominican Republic and 4 Hong Kong, and everyone came to know each other, and I think we all got along very well. A lovely surprise was having 4 friends we made on AmaLyra last October, come meet us on the AmaBella in Budapest. They had done the same cruise on the AmaSonata but were 3 days ahead of us. We had a great reunion and they did a mini tour for future reference.

 

 

AmaWaterways -which does very little advertising - offers unbeatable value and service, carries fewer passengers than other ships and their Staff is extremely well trained and loyal. I heard others share the same sentiment or experience it after comparing with other cruises. With AmaWaterways my mother feels safe, relaxed and wonderfully happy - so much so that I have been given 2 itineraries to plan for the future. Hope to see you!

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<AmaWaterways -which does very little advertising - offers unbeatable value and service, carries fewer passengers than other ships and their Staff is extremely well trained and loyal. I heard others share the same sentiment or experience it after comparing with other cruises. With AmaWaterways my mother feels safe, relaxed and wonderfully happy - so much so that I have been given 2 itineraries to plan for the future. Hope to see you!>

 

Thanks for the review. We were on AmaBella in April for the Tulip Time cruise. It was our 3rd with AMA and we could not agree more about their value and service.

 

My mom (83) has been on 2 AMA cruises with us after also sailing with another river cruise line several years ago. When we got back from our first AMA cruise, she informed us that she threw out the stack of brochures she had received from the other lines and, after experiencing AMA, she was hooked.

 

We find a river cruise the perfect vacation when we are traveling with my mother. She takes the "gentle" tours and we are off either on our own or on an "Active" excursion. She is totally comfortable hanging out with a book in the lounge or chatting with other guests. She is coming with us next year for our Rhine cruise and we are already making plans.

 

Glad you had a great time!

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We leave in four days on AmaWaterways Sonata Budapest to Amsterdam Christmas cruise. Our first. You have reinforced that we made the correct decision on our cruise line.

 

Thanks for taking the time to write your review. I plan to do the same upon our return.

 

Merry Christmas to all!

Edited by goinsoon
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