We had a perfect family trip with AMA Waterways on the AMA Certo. We traveled with my 3 teenage daughters ages 18,16 and 15. Two of the girls shared cabin 109, my oldest had cabin 111 to herself (both category D) and my husband and I treated ourselves to a cabin with a French balcony 226, category C. The cabins are lovely, well decorated and with room to store all your necessities. The bathrooms are small but make efficient use of the space and have luxurious touches, like a rain shower and beautiful tile work.
River cruising does attract an older clientele, however there was another family with younger children on our trip. I DO recommend this company and this trip for families. The ship had plenty of bikes, excursions for the more active crowd and a lovely pool. There was a small evening activity every night, but we only participated one or two nights as we were generally exhausted and fell asleep quickly.
My family loved the dining experience. They treated us like royalty, always asked “where are the girls ?” if we arrived without them. The food choices were all excellent. Portions sizes were perfect for having a little bit of everything. We did not go hungry and my 15 year old said that she gained 4 pounds on board.
Our trip was interrupted by an accident on the river (a barge got stuck in low water), which had river traffic backed up for miles. We only made it a little beyond Passau, Germany instead of our final destination of Nuremberg; so we had to take long bus rides to experience 2 days of excursions which wasn’t the best, but no fault of the AMA.
The first stop was Bratislava, a beautiful town, where we hiked to the castle and then explored a local fair and locally made ice cream. Vienna was lovely, but we took the optional Schonbrunn Palace tour in the afternoon so we had to rush back to the ship and didn’t have a lot of time in Vienna.
The girls loved Durnstein. We took the Apricots and Sweets tasking excursion which was lovely and then took a leisurely stroll back to the ship. Then my husband and I biked through the Wachau Valley while the girls sat in the sun on the boat. It was our favorite day.
We also did the optional excursion to Salzburg. We thought Salzburg was beautiful but actually liked Regensburg (the next day’s excursion where we did another tastings tour) better. The tour of Nuremberg was an issue because of the river back up. To experience the tour you had to take a 3 hour bus ride (only because the boat never made it all the way to Nuremberg). My husband and 2 of my daughters went and enjoyed it, but mostly because some of the crew treated them to some entertainment after the tour.
The crew was wonderful, the food was great. It’s an awesome way to see some parts of Europe. Plan on being flexible, the company has no control over weather or the river or other boat traffic. Yes take this trip or any other that AMA Waterays offers and BRING YOUR CHILDREN !
My travel agent discouraged me from upgrading to a more luxurious twin balcony suite. She said that many times you are tethered to other ships while docked and then the balcony is not comfortable to use. We found that our side of the ship was frequently on the open air side and an outside balcony might have been nice, but it rained a lot on our trip and would not have been used anyway. Plus the Sun deck is gorgeous and even more comfortable for lounging with large cushion couches and lovely reclining sun chairs.
Cabin 109 and 111 that my girls stayed in were on a lower deck. They each had 2 fixed portal windows which added some natural light, but other than that seemed identical to our cabin (226).