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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have had the Danube on our bucket list for quite a while. We chose the Magical Christmas Markets cruise because we knew our son--currently in graduate school--would be available between academic semesters to join us. Although we were ... Read More
We have had the Danube on our bucket list for quite a while. We chose the Magical Christmas Markets cruise because we knew our son--currently in graduate school--would be available between academic semesters to join us. Although we were excited about the trip and expected to see many wonderful sights, everything about our AMA Waterways experience exceeded our expectations. Every single meal--breakfast, lunch and dinner--was a five-star experience. But that's not to say it was stuffy or pretentious. It's just that the chef, baker, waiters, and other employers were amazing. There were always multiple options--eat a so-called "light" meal in the lounge upstairs, but the choices laid out were the types of hors d'oeuvres and finger food you might expect to find at an expensive wedding reception, plus assorted fruits, breads, and desserts. Meanwhile, in the main dining room, we could always choose to order off the menu or select items from a more extensive buffet. Or both, by which I mean that our waiters were quite fine with us mixing and matching anything we wanted. There was always a special table filled with a variety of fresh breads from the bakery chef, with desserts added to supplement what was featured on the menu. Local specialties were highlighted, as were local wines and beers. Our staterooms were clean and convenient. Towels were thick and spotless. Our housekeeper was friendly and honest to a fault. For example, we threw away an old pair of gloves that were falling apart. (We had found a new pair at a Christmas market and wanted to save space in our luggage.) The next morning, when she saw us in the hall, she expressed concern that if we were missing a pair of gloves, she had found a pair in the garbage. In fact, everyone on the AMACerto seemed to be concerned about our happiness and welfare. There were choices of tours at every stop--a "gentle" tour, a regular tour, a strenuous hike, and bicycle options. Bus tours to Salzburg, Melk Abbey, and other nearby sites were available, all most all of which were included in the price. Before, during, and after these tours, heads were carefully counted to ensure that nobody got lost. When it came time to settle the bill, everything was exactly as I had expected it to be. I could go on, but you get the point. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We really wanted to do a Christmas Markets cruise and selected AMA based on advice from our travel agent. The ship was well laid out and very comfortable. The staff from the cabin attendant, cruise manager and hotel manager, dining ... Read More
We really wanted to do a Christmas Markets cruise and selected AMA based on advice from our travel agent. The ship was well laid out and very comfortable. The staff from the cabin attendant, cruise manager and hotel manager, dining staff, front desk folks were all over the top helpful, caring and pleasant. The food and beverages were very good and offered a broad range in choices each day. The bar service was very good and very attentive. The excursions were broad enough to appeal to all types, very educational and we enjoyed them a lot. Made it really easy to enjoy the vacation as a whole. I was interested in the workings of the ship as well and spent a good amount of time with the Captain understanding it as well. Getting on/off ship before and after was very streamlined and they helped with everything. Will be booking another cruise with them in the very near future! Read Less
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Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise for the reputation of the company, the destinations (Danube and Christmas Markets) and for the romantic time of year. We were welcomed with champagne and a toast by our Captain. We met our outstanding Cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the reputation of the company, the destinations (Danube and Christmas Markets) and for the romantic time of year. We were welcomed with champagne and a toast by our Captain. We met our outstanding Cruise Director, Sebastian Leroy, and the fun began! Sebastian is professional, considerate, attentive to detail, hardworking, and funny! Our ship was clean, lovely, and welcoming. It was easy to get around the ship and enjoy the different amenities. The crew were warm and friendly. They made you feel like you are special, even though you know that six hours ago they said "goodbye" to the last ship full of guests. I did not bring work out clothes so missed the excellent fitness classes (stretch, core, balance were all held indoors due to cold weather) so learn from my mistake and take work out clothes. Laundry facilities are excellent (no dry cleaning) with a 24 hour turn around. For dining, we enjoyed local specialties at each port and there was always a selection of favorites (steak, chicken, cheeseburgers) for those who did not want the local cuisine. Buffets for breakfast and lunch were lavish with lots of options. Beware those who are trying to cut carbs: this is going to be difficult! The breads, cinnamon rolls and desserts are very tempting! (And worth every bite...you'll walk it off!) Service was excellent and the wait staff quickly learns your preferences. Shore excursions were well thought out+ and local guides provided insights that helped you understand the cultural differences of the county you were visiting. A big thank you to the Cruise Director and Captain that scrambled to adapt our itinerary to accommodate the low water levels of the Danube. They more than made up one missed port with additional destinations that met and exceeded our expectations. I know our Cruise Director had to work extra hard to schedule buses and guides to adapt our schedule. Disembarkation was a masterful plan that was well organized by Sebastian. We were impressed with his attention to detail. As busy as it was he saw every guest off to their taxi, or bus. A warm hug and/or handshake sent us on our way to our next adventure. In summary, I highly recommend AMA Waterways and the Magical Christmas Markets adventure! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We just returned from our first River Cruise to the Christmas Markets, Vienna to Nuremberg and because of the low water conditions could not do the published program, or even their plan B. However or cruise manager, Agnes Riley, made sure ... Read More
We just returned from our first River Cruise to the Christmas Markets, Vienna to Nuremberg and because of the low water conditions could not do the published program, or even their plan B. However or cruise manager, Agnes Riley, made sure that we had a vacation to remember. We still visited cities in Eastern Europe that we had never seen and saw five countries instead of the three we thought we were going to. Travel is an adventure and Ama made sure that this was one we will remember. The ship was decked out for the Christmas season, the staff was excellent and the food great. We booked the Prague extension and travel from the ship to the hotel went without a flaw. The hotel was walking distance to old town and the market and was first class all the way. I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from my travel agent yesterday informing us that because of the changes that had to be made we were receiving a very generous credit for a future cruise good through 2021. Again I must say "AmaWaterways is a class act." and they will be our first choice for our next River Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose the Magical Christmas markets to see Vienna, Salzburg, and Nürnberg, to enjoy some Christkindlmarkts, and to acquaint ourselves with river cruising. Ama has work to do. The cruise administration as we approached our travel ... Read More
We chose the Magical Christmas markets to see Vienna, Salzburg, and Nürnberg, to enjoy some Christkindlmarkts, and to acquaint ourselves with river cruising. Ama has work to do. The cruise administration as we approached our travel date was disrupted by the Woolsey Fire in the San Fernando Valley, where Ama is headquartered. Ama needs better contingency plans if they are going to stay in the Valley. Fires in Calabasas, from my youth in Woodland Hills, are NOT uncommon. We were impacted by the water levels of the Danube. Our cruise was shortened from Nürnberg to Vilshofen, and, after we boarded, to Passau. We missed one of the best Christkindlmarkts in all Europe. I recognize Ama is a hotelier, a restaraunteur, and a ship line, but they need better decisionmaking on how to make the traveller's experience the best possible. That includes leaving ship if need be. The sailing plan? OMW. On Monday, for reasons known only to Ama, we left Vienna for Tulin. Guess what? Everything was closed. DUMB. Then, at 11 at night, we sailed back to Vienna to berth in the nest of ships again. Better to have spent another day in Vienna, and help us see more of that great city. Speaking of bad calls, let's talk about Sunday. There were three ships abreast at Handelskai that morning. Three sets of busses, and no one on shore to direct us to which group of busses. We showed our color coded ticket, and the guide said "This is your bus." Welllllll .... no it wasn't. It was the bus of another ship to Bratislava. You need passports for that tour. Turned out a third of the people on that bus were from our ship, misdirected to it instead of the bus for the Eisenstadt tour. It's late fall, early winter. It was raining most days, so the upper outdoor deck was unusable. The lounge was a hospitable place, with free coffee and tea at all hours. I discuss our cabin elsewhere. The dining? Superb. An advantage Ama has over Windstar and their ocean sailings is the free wine and beer at mealtime. I liked that! Service? Superb. Yes, I paid the expected crew's gratuity, and then some, but I also gave some to my cabin housekeeper and two of the waiters. They deserved it. Vienna and Salzburg are grand cities, worthy of much more time than the cruise could provide. We will be back. Overall, this COULD HAVE BEEN A FIVE BUBBLE CRUISE. The administrative and logistics decision cost it points. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We had previously taken an AMA river cruise on the Rhine from Switzerland to Amsterdam and found it wonderful, so decided to take another the Danube. We were actually on the same ship, AMACerto which is very nice. We had a great crew. ... Read More
We had previously taken an AMA river cruise on the Rhine from Switzerland to Amsterdam and found it wonderful, so decided to take another the Danube. We were actually on the same ship, AMACerto which is very nice. We had a great crew. Our Cruise Director, Hotel Manager, the Captain and crew provided us with wonderful service, great cuisine, safety, and comfort on our stay. This wonderful group of people worked beyond expectation to ensure that all guests were treated with exceptional courtesy, professionalism, and service. Please understand that the crew had nothing to do with the problems we encountered, and in fact, did everything possible to help ensure that our onboard experience went as smoothly as possible. Our concern, is only with upper levels of AMA Waterways management and their lack of transparency about communicating river level problems. After being told, we did our own research to better understand the problem. It was extremely disappointing to read an article published in Travel Weekly dated August 1st (two months prior to our cruise) quoting the President of AMA that the river levels were known to be low and causing diversions from scheduled itineraries. Cruise guests weren’t made aware of these problems until just prior to our departure from Prague. The resulting low water levels allowed us only two days of actual cruising on the Danube. Our first cruising day on the river was from Vilshofen to Passau and Linz on October 9th. The second cruising day was from Linz to Melk and Vienna on October 10th. Once again, we weren’t notified about the low waters down-stream until we arrived in Vienna. This again would interrupt our expected final leg to Budapest. AMA management obviously knew of these problems at least two months prior to our cruise. Had we been aware of this in a timely fashion, we could have opted to either cancel or postpone our trip to a different time. Obviously, AMA management used the tactic of keeping cruising guests in the dark and “dropping the news” on everyone just prior to our planned departures, both in Prague and Vienna. This we feel was deceptive on the part of AMA Waterways management. Cruise guests were bussed from Prague via Pilzen to Vilshofen rather than Nuremberg. The two and a half hour stop in Pilzen was very marginal. We had hoped to visit the Pilzen brewery, but it was packed with Germans celebrating the last days of Oktoberfest which excluded AMA guests any opportunity to tour. Our out-of-pocket lunch stop allowed limited choices, and the only excursion options in Pilzen were a loud band in the square that was of no interest to AMA guests, and a beer garden that opened just as it was time to depart. The stop did, however, provide us with a bathroom break. Vilshofen was a very pleasant town. For those who desired to see Nuremberg, guests were required to take a long, tiring bus trip providing minimal time in the city, and then back to Vilshofen. The option of visiting Regensberg was the same issue with another long bus ride. We opted to take a shorter excursion for a walking tour through the charming village of Scharding. Our only highlight in Vienna was a very nice Strauss/Mozart concert, again paid out of pocket. The Vienna city tour was an overly fast and somewhat confusing bus excursion, after which, we were left on our own on a shopping street. On Saturday, October 13, we disembarked AMACerto in Vienna and were bussed to the Budapest Sofitel Chain Bridge Hotel. This bus trip was long and unfortunately without a pitstop. When we arrived at the hotel, there was a rudimentary reception for AMA guests with mediocre food and drinks. Immediately after, the AMA concierge team seemed to disappear and was unavailable to aid guests for the remainder of our stay or provide guidance about transportation to the airport. To complete our extra days in Budapest, we, and another AMA couple, arranged our own in-town excursions. We hired a driver and guide for a very nice city tour and arranged for an evening illumination cruise. Both of these were scheduled to occur as part of our cruise package that we didn’t receive. This was disappointing because we all incurred additional unplanned out-of-pocket expenses. After returning home, our travel agent, called us and forwarded AMA’s letter of apology, with an offer of credit on future cruises. This may seem generous on the part of AMA Waterways management, but it doesn’t help those of us who will not be considering future AMA cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This cruise exceeded all expectations. From the time we arrived, we were greeted with exceptional service from all of the friendly staff. We were amazed at how many of the staff addressed us by name within the first day of arrival. With ... Read More
This cruise exceeded all expectations. From the time we arrived, we were greeted with exceptional service from all of the friendly staff. We were amazed at how many of the staff addressed us by name within the first day of arrival. With so many guests, that was very flattering. Talida was a great cruise manager and kept us informed of happenings each day. The laundry service was fast and not too expensive. The food, OMG, what can we say to express how impressed we were. How they managed to serve everyone at a table at the same time with the right order was amazing. The beds in our cabin were so comfortable that the first night we slept right through breakfast the next morning - slept from 10PM to 10AM Luckily we didn't miss our Pecs Excursion. We really appreciated being able to choose the gentle walking tours and they even had a town train to take us around on one of the stops. The tour we enjoyed most was the Banitsa making one, with Pavel and Ramona's entertaining explanation of how to make it. I plan to try that recipe soon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I booked my first Ama cruise because they offer bike tours for no additional fee. This year, they have added a fitness program on some ships and, hope to have instructors on all ships next year. The river cruise market is changing. Ama ... Read More
I booked my first Ama cruise because they offer bike tours for no additional fee. This year, they have added a fitness program on some ships and, hope to have instructors on all ships next year. The river cruise market is changing. Ama is expanding their programs to include more activity levels. They offer gentle, average and active walking speeds and bike tours. They also make the bikes available for individual rides. The other big positive for me is freedom. When I explained that I prefer to "do my own thing" they went out of their way to make sure I felt comfortable. I said I didn't want a big meal in the evening and they brought a large dinner salad as an entree. Cheese and fruit were available on the buffet table so I could have my favourite - herb cheese, dates and olives - as an appetiser or dessert. All three of my cruises on Ama have had other singles onboard, a few multi-generational families and friends sharing a cabin. I also like the mix of nationalities. Passengers are not just Americans. Canada, Norway, Spain, Hong Kong are the countries I remember. Thru the end of September, they are running a special that includes airfare so check their website if you're considering booking. And, no I don't work for them. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
room too small for 1 much less 2! hated carpet in cabin vs wood floors lots of complaints from other ppl. Crew not too friendly as was amadera crew who was at your beck and call. Certo looked very cold and uninviting. Lacked ambiance. ... Read More
room too small for 1 much less 2! hated carpet in cabin vs wood floors lots of complaints from other ppl. Crew not too friendly as was amadera crew who was at your beck and call. Certo looked very cold and uninviting. Lacked ambiance. Certo was too sterile! the pool had no privacy greenery just plexigliglass. The girl pouring wine was very pushy even ppl who didn't want more she insisted. don't try to reinvent the wheel. Serious down grade from beautiful Dera. What a disappointment from last year sailing with Dera. No balcony and those annoying were computer screens. Another complaint by others. We put towels to cover I that didn't work. At The recommendation of other guests we disconnected the computer. This computer thing mad me feel I was being watched all the time very bazaar. No i wouldn't go sailing again. The scheduling of excertions was tight. No time to get ready for dinner another complaint from others. Barbara Milloit sailing with Tim Rada. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Have traveled on a few large ocean ships so wanted to try a riverboat for comparison. A friend asked me to join a group of 15 on this Danube adventure. I knew little about the countries on the route but was game to go along. We added 3 ... Read More
Have traveled on a few large ocean ships so wanted to try a riverboat for comparison. A friend asked me to join a group of 15 on this Danube adventure. I knew little about the countries on the route but was game to go along. We added 3 days prior and after week cruise in Bucharest and Budapest, respectively. The countries visited were pretty depressing as still suffering from communist control 30+ yrs ago. The worst was Bucharest. Filthy dirty, massage parlours everywhere. Had to skip a western port in Serbia and the one in Croatia so cannot comment on thise two. AMA said Danube water level too low due to drought in Germany and Hungary. As a compensation for this, they brought hungarian dancers to boat to dance for 45 minutes one night and provided a tour in Budapest. As a result, the only nice city we saw was Budapest..perhaps the two we missed would have shown a better transition from war torn, communist controlled towns to modern, clean Budapest. People raved about the food...i thought average as breakfast and lunch pretty much the same buffet choices every day. Soups were excellent. Dinner choices minimal, food presentation excellent. Always seemed rushed. No time to relax and chat as servers seemed extremely intent to get us in and out of dining room. Of all the international travels i have done, both by cruise and otherwise, i have zero interest in returning to this part of eastern Europe. Part of what i like about larger ships is the chance to meet others. Our trip only had 140 passengers, with 90 from one group so meeting others pretty nonexistent. Tour buses were nice, only one guide worth his salt, rest poor to pretty boring. Should i ever go on another river boat, would try different line than AMA. 50 on staff so both the hair dresser and massage woman also cleaned our room. They are completely overworked. Read Less
AmaCerto Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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