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steamboats

Review: AmaKristina 9/8/2020 - 9/13/2020 Rhine / Moselle rivers

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This is a very special year for cruising and for everyone of course. AmaWaterways gave it a try and cooperating with a German online TA started out the AmaKristina on the Rhine and Moselle rivers for German, Swiss, Dutch and Belgian guests. Prices are far below the regular ones. They offer 5 night cruises out of Cologne - South and North - which can be combined to a 10 nighter. Dutch guests board either in Amsterdam or Rotterdam (not sure how this is going on as now there´s a travel warning in Germany regarding both cities). Of course it´s not the full regular AmaWaterways product but for us it´s a chance to try it out. Cuts are made especially regarding food - not quality but variety (no every day items, smaller menu). Shore tours are extra and not included. Due to Covid-19 there´s no onboard entertainment besides the piano player (who´s not allowed to sing). These are some basic differences between the regular product and the current offer. There are some more.

 

If you want to follow... my review has just started with the first two entries - ship and extra costs. Lots of photos as usual, text can be accessed via google translate.

 

Enjoy!

 

steamboats

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Love the pictures! I will have to open it up in another browser to read since my German is non-existent!

 

On a side note - often on bulletin boards, one never knows the gender of the poster. For some reason, I always thought you were male. I don't know why. It was great to see your picture after reading all of your wonderful posts!

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😂 No, I´m a woman... Anyway there´s is a man involved who wrote this short artice for CC. You can see me in front of the ship on the bike and DH at the end of the article... "See", uhm, Covid-19 style... 😉

 

steamboats

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4 hours ago, steamboats said:

😂 No, I´m a woman... Anyway there´s is a man involved who wrote this short artice for CC. You can see me in front of the ship on the bike and DH at the end of the article... "See", uhm, Covid-19 style... 😉

 

steamboats

Cool!!

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Thanks for linking to the gentleman's article. Franz now writing for cruisecritic, lovely! Unexpected positive developments in weird times.

 

Language, a big deal for most that are not so versed in a foreign language. In part three of your blog you briefly mention the subject as "try to speak a few words in German", referring to the restaurant staff. Perhaps you will address this later in the blog, but I am wondering what the situation is. I expect the cruise director is German-speaking as well as the staff needing to explain things to guests. With limited or no English could a guest feel comfortable throughout the cruise?

 

Thank you for the detailed texts with many photos. I am surprised I actually found a question to ask. Looking forward to the next entry.

 

notamermaid

 

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The bar and restaurant crew is speaking English with some German words. The hotel manager is German as well as the cruise director. All menus (except for the main bar menu) are in German. Also at the reception they do speak German (but no native speakers).

 

The table next to us there was only one person speaking English pretty well so this person placed the orders. But it usually works when you point with your finger on the item in the menu ;-)! I didn´t think that anyone felt uncomfortable not being able to speak English.

 

All announcements were in German. The wellness host (Spaniard) did speak German pretty well as he studied in Cologne for a year.

 

steamboats

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On 9/17/2020 at 7:49 PM, Coral said:

often on bulletin boards, one never knows the gender of the poster. For some reason, I always thought you were male. I don't know why. It was great to see your picture after reading all of your wonderful posts!

 

I did as well. I have no idea why.

 

I have started to read your review, and enjoyed the pictures as well. My German is schwach but it is coming along. I was able to understand enough to follow most of the report. Thanks for allowing us to travel along with you!

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@steamboats, add me to the list of CC members who thought you were a man!  

 

I've pointed at menu items more than once when in a foreign country.  Sometimes I've been surprised at what ends up on plate. 😄  My reading ability in French, German, and Russian is much better than my speaking ability, and I'm able to decipher signs and menus in several languages due to having a base in a Romance, Germanic, and Slavic language.  

 

Off to read your review....

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I´m finally finished working on the photos and text. Today´s entry was Cochem. The rest of the cruise follows - one entry per day until we´re back in Cologne.

 

@Roz, actually I do point on the items on a menu as well. Sometimes the waiters on cruise ships do not really speak good English and then it´s easier to point on the menu and say "the fish please" ;-).

 

And good to read that my review can fresh up your German as well!

 

Enjoy following along!

 

steamboats

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Hello Steamboats,

WOW, what a review. I am so enjoying reading it and loving all the pictures. I do have a question. Did you get any indication what would happen on the Northern Route (Dordrecht / Rotterdam / Amsterdam) now that Noord Holland and Zuid Holland are on the list for Germany? Just curious. Thanks again for your incredibly detailed and enjoyable 'reportage'.

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@Jb-lhr the Northern route right after our cruise was the last one going to Amsterdam. The ship left Amsterdam early to be within the non travel warning rules which set in by midnight that day.

 

The next Northern route starting tomorrow won´t go farther North than Düsseldorf. Other ports are now Frankfurt, Mainz and Mannheim. The Dutch guests disembark in Düsseldorf or Cologne.

 

steamboats

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steamboats, I was wondering if you can explain to us the way e-hoi works as regards the cruises on AmaWaterways ships (the Amakristina will be moved to the Rhone and the Amastella will take over on the Rhine for the rest of the year). Normally e-hoi is an online travel agent but I have noticed the sign "hin&weg" on the itineraries. Is this a kind of separate thing where e-hoi is the cruise operator?

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
Autocorrect edited

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I thought you were a guy too!......not sure why so many us had the same thought about it. 

And thanks for sharing the pictures with us😀

 

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Steamboats - I think I consider steam boats male vs I consider cruise ships and river boats female. That is the only reason I thought you were male, it was the type of boat your CC name was. It had nothing to do with your writing or your posts.

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@Coral, don´t worry about it... The nickname and photo are just because my first river cruise was onboard the Delta Queen (and this was also my first cruise at all - I didn´t start ocean cruising until 2007). Yes, the photo is showing the Belle of Louisville and not the Delta Queen. But that was something I had in stock ;-).

 

@notamermaid I didn´t ask yet. But the ship is managed by AmaWaterways (if you can say that - hotel operations is Sea Chefs). I think e-hoi is more an advisor and marketing / selling the cruises - so mainly doing all the booking operations (you can´t book directly with AmaWaterways). But there are others who are able to book you on those cruises too. There was an e-hoi representative onboard but we didn´t talk with him. I´ll let you know if I do know more (and are allowed to talk about this).

 

steamboats

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@steamboats Thanks for the info so far. I have found this article in "touristik aktuell" that helps to explain the cooperation: https://webreader.touristik-aktuell.de/de/profiles/0cde453b5c6d-touristik-aktuell/editions/touristik-aktuell-35-36-20/pages/page/16 

Not sure if this format is easy to send through a translation machine for the English language CC friends. To the right of the page is also some info on Uniworld.

Any comments or additional info if you have would be great to read.

 

Thank you for the great blog on the Amakristina. So much detail. Seriously considering copying Kaiser Wilhelm riding into the sunset. So typically touristy lovely romantic it hurts. :classic_laugh: 

 

notamermaid

 

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Thanks, notamermaid! Feel free to copy the photo for private use!

 

The article doesn´t say anything else than "full charter". But the whole staff including the mentioned German hotel director and cruise director are AmaWaterways. There´s a representative of the German charterer onboard for future cruise bookings. I think it´s a bit different from a regular charter. The charterer in this case has a big customer database and therefore is a good partner to sell the cruises. Everything onboard is AmaWaterways - of course on a lower level regarding some stuff as the cruise fare is much lower than regular. There is less variety on the menu and the Chef´s Table is not operated (except to accomodate all guests for the regular dinner). The bar menu is limited for the Happy Hour. Only one shore tour is available for booking. Service is the same. But the daily program and entertainment is adapted to the current situation (no singing, no guest entertainers, no gala dinner, no Captain´s dinner, no introduction of the whole crew - I know that other river cruise lines do that, but that´s part of AmaWaterways´ concept of prevention not to do this).

 

steamboats

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Steamboats-  I really like your post on the Douro on your blog, tried to leave a comment, but it is being reported as spam.  I promise it isn't!  Just wanted to say thanks again for all the great info you've put out over the years. Now I've found another site to bookmark and read over morning coffee.

 

I had no idea you've been on so many river cruises in the US.  Did you have the chance to do some independent driving around?

 

 

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Steamboats-  Regarding your cruise, the Moselle is my favorite over the Rhine or Danube.  It could be our late sailing date in November, but we seemed to have the river to ourselves.  Vantage stays on the Moselle for several days/nights and we didn't see another cruise ship, nor many other types of ship either.  Beautiful scenery and small towns.  Got lucky with a small festival for Carnival? in Bernkastel.

 

In Cochem, we didn't have time to visit the cross, so another great reason to return, your pictures make it look like it was worth the effort, and the cable car option works for spouse for one direction.  Meeting 'The Count' of Reichsburg castle, wandering through the rooms, and wrapping it up with some wine and music in the courtyard was a nice tour.  That frog/prince statue must feature in lots of pictures stored across the globe.

 

Thanks again for all the info you've shared over the years.

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23 minutes ago, ural guy said:

Meeting 'The Count' of Reichsburg castle, wandering through the rooms, and wrapping it up with some wine and music in the courtyard was a nice tour.  That frog/prince statue must feature in lots of pictures stored across the globe.

 

ural guy,

yes, that photo is a classic. It has intrigued me since I first saw it. A frog? How weird, I thought. I solved the mystery after having consulted several websites. It turned out to be a helmet on the head of a lion that makes the animal look like a frog, it is called a "toad head helmet". The lion holds the coat of arms of the castle.

 

Would love to see the castle, still have not been.

 

notamermaid

 

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Thanks, @ural guy! I usually have to confirm a comment which is classified as spam. I´ll check it.

 

Yes, I started river cruising in the US back in 1995 onboard the Delta Queen. And our first trip (which was my first trip to the US too) we started out with 3 days in NYC, then took the Amtrak to Pittburgh and boarded the Delta Queen. The cruise ended in Cincinnati and we had a rental car for the next two weeks and drove down via Louisville, Memphis, Natchez, Vicksburg to New Orleans and back via Birmingham and Chattanooga to Cincinnati (one way rental was almost twice the price). We usually combined a river cruise with a land trip and spent at least 3 weeks in the US.

 

We do much more traveling per year since and therefore time is limited. Right now we wouldn´t have the time to spend more than 2 weeks off. We have a lot of friends along the US rivers and met a lot of interesting people.

 

steamboats

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