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Cruise Critic Chris

Cruise Critic on AMA wine cruise

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Hi everyone. I'm heading out today for a week on AmaSonata. I'll be doing one of their wine theme cruises on the Danube. Let me know if you have any questions while I'm onboard.


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We are doing Christmas markets in a few weeks. Our first river cruise. I've always packed for warm, tropical ocean cruises so I'm a little stressed with my packing list.
I'll be curious how the wifi is so I can use whatsapp. I'll be looking forward to any comments.
Thanks
Marcia


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I'm really looking forward to an on board review of AMA. We will be on Prima next June.

Have a wonderful time.

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I would love it if you posted some photos :) We will be on the Sonata starting Dec 5th for the Christmas markets and I am curious if there are any differences from the Prima that we sailed on in 2014.

Would love to also know what the current dining menus look like if they are not special for the wine cruise, what are the standard wines being offered (not special wine cruise wines)

Thanks!

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[quote name='Cruise Critic Chris']Hi everyone. I'm heading out today for a week on AmaSonata. I'll be doing one of their wine theme cruises on the Danube. Let me know if you have any questions while I'm onboard.


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What makes a wine cruise different from any other river cruise? We are booked on our first river cruise next summer and it is a wine-themed cruise! Not sure what to expect.

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Hi! It's been busy, so sorry for delay.

Wifi is decent. I wouldn't use it to stream a movie but I've been able to stay in touch with email, texting and social media.

The wine cruise has added wine lectures, tastings, wine excursions and more! Very enjoyable. I'm writing up an article on this now and will post next week when it launches.

Because there's a guest vineyard onboard, we've been served a lot of those wines. Otherwise house wines are served at lunch and dinner. These vary, but are usually regional. There's also an always available California white and red.

The wines by the glass selection at the bar isn't great, although you can buy a bottle at a fairly reasonable rate. You can also bring wine onboard without charge. One night was "share a bottle," where we were encouraged to bring a bottle to the lounge to share. That was fun.

All in all, I'm very impressed with AMA, particularly the active tours they offer. Crowd on the wine cruise is also younger than you normally see, with more people in 40s and 50s.


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[IMG]http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161119/8d256563a6d0b654cbfd7944d21a8224.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161119/266058ecfb0bf8a4094f7a37521ccf13.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161119/872c6ac66d87db4f5d561bcaeda9917d.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161119/fdda8847eb19372e1529c572acbcca85.jpg[/IMG]

Some menus


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[IMG]http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161119/48a63bb698b6a12d51896bf8b514f6fd.jpg[/IMG]

House wine served in bar

[IMG]http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161119/95d0f61c08b8cbdb3db7364ef4f41246.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161119/f443a899de58f5f101928898bec7d369.jpg[/IMG]

Wine by the bottle list at bar


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[quote name='Cruise Critic Chris']

The wine cruise has added wine lectures, tastings, wine excursions and more! Very enjoyable. I'm writing up an article on this now and will post next week when it launches.

Because there's a guest vineyard onboard, we've been served a lot of those wines. Otherwise house wines are served at lunch and dinner. These vary, but are usually regional. There's also an always available California white and red.

The wines by the glass selection at the bar isn't great, although you can buy a bottle at a fairly reasonable rate. You can also bring wine onboard without charge. One night was "share a bottle," where we were encouraged to bring a bottle to the lounge to share. That was fun.

All in all, I'm very impressed with AMA, particularly the active tours they offer. Crowd on the wine cruise is also younger than you normally see, with more people in 40s and 50s.

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Thanks for the info and especially for the menus. Our cruise in August will be hosted by a California vintner. I'm especially looking forward to hearing comparisons btwn California and French wines. I'm really looking forward to it.

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Some initial impressions. Bottom line is I really liked this wine cruise. Seems like a great partnership for the line, the participating winery and the passengers. Let me know if you have any questions:

[url]http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=7356[/url]

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Thank you. We are doing a wine cruise in 2017 on the Ama Kristina. Off to read the review


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Are you saying you are in the heart of Europe and the featured wines are from the Willamette Valley?


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[quote name='JPH814']Are you saying you are in the heart of Europe and the featured wines are from the Willamette Valley?[/QUOTE]

Wine theme cruises bring an expert from a US winery who brings lots of cases of their wine. This is in addition to shore excursions to wineries along the route, and the usual wines that are served with meals. The cruise is marketed through the winery's wine club, so the cruise line picks up a bunch of new customers. Edited by Host Jazzbeau

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There were wines from the winery at their events and tastings. The house wines at meals were regional, as were the wines at the wine shore excursions. On the special French dinner, French wines were served.


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I do not think there are laundry rooms. The laundry provided by the ship is very reasonable and they did a great job. Clothes returned the next day. No dry cleaning.

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[quote name='Cruise Critic Chris']

Because there's a guest vineyard onboard, we've been served a lot of those wines. Otherwise house wines are served at lunch and dinner. These vary, but are usually regional. There's also an always available California white and red.

The wines by the glass selection at the bar isn't great, although you can buy a bottle at a fairly reasonable rate. You can also bring wine onboard without charge. One night was "share a bottle," where we were encouraged to bring a bottle to the lounge to share. That was fun.

All in all, I'm very impressed with AMA, particularly the active tours they offer. Crowd on the wine cruise is also younger than you normally see, with more people in 40s and 50s.
[/quote]

We were aboard AmaSonata for a wine cruise last month, our 4th wine cruise with AMA and 9th with AMA total.

I agree with all you posted and we also find the demographic skews younger on AMA's wine cruises. There were more included excursions than ever and good variety. Wine host was our least favorite ever, but Sonata had a great staff and CM aboard and we really enjoyed our cruise.

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We have been on two AMA wine cruises, one on the Rhine and the other in the Bordeaux area. Both had US winemaker "hosts" onboard who brought multiple cases of their own wine. One winemaker was from California and the other from Oregon...both had excellent wines that greatly exceeded in quality the included wine that the ship was serving. We made friends with the winemakers at the beginning of each cruise and often enjoyed their hospitality at dinner even when their wines were not officially being served that evening. Ended up joining the wine clubs for both.
AMA at the time of both our cruises had a policy posted on their website of charging a corkage fee for wines brought onboard and consumed in the dining room and other public areas. However, the Hotel Manager on the Bordeaux cruise, when asked, told us we could bring wine onboard and consume wherever we liked with no charge. We had not inquired on the Rhine cruise.

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At least as far back as 2013 AMA's published corkage policy was that you could bring your own bottle into the dining room for free -- it was only if you brought it into the lounge that you were expected to pay corkage. I don't know if they actually collected it.

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[quote name='jonj']Are there laundry rooms on Ama ships?


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We had laundry done twice on our Rhone trip. Very reasonable and done within 24 hours. There is a bag and list in your room.

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[quote name='jonj']Are there laundry rooms on Ama ships?


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There are not but we have always found the prices to be reasonable and the laundry service excellent.

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Thank you. If anyone has a review of their Ama cruise and / or photos I would love to have a look


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[quote name='Socalev']Thanks for the info and especially for the menus. Our cruise in August will be hosted by a California vintner. I'm especially looking forward to hearing comparisons btwn California and French wines. I'm really looking forward to it.[/QUOTE]

We are sailing on the Wine cruise next August with 2 other couples and can't wait for the adventure! Our first river cruise!

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[quote name='jonj']Thank you. If anyone has a review of their Ama cruise and / or photos I would love to have a look


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I have detailed reviews of all my river cruises on CC.

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[quote name='jonj']Thank you. If anyone has a review of their Ama cruise and / or photos I would love to have a look[/QUOTE]

You can find reviews and photos for my AMA cruises in my signature.

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