We had to change from the AmaVerde to the AmaBella on this APT cruise half way through our cruise because of low water on the Danube. This involved a four hour coach journey. This transfer was only revealed to us two days beforehand even though the company knew about it months ago; apparently they have had to do this transfer since June 2018. Rather deceitful in my opinion not to tell us from the start.
The two ships are virtually identical, but it's the crews that make the difference. On the Amaverde they were all very pleasant, accessible and helpful from the Captain down. It was very different on the Amabella. We found that quite a few of the waiters were cheeky, rude and ignorant. One in particular thought he was a comedian but he was nothing more than an irritating clown. For the thousands of pounds you pay for this cruise the least you expect is to be treated with respect.
The reception staff were rather sullen and not very helpful, the head barman was rather lackadaisical, the senior staff were notable for their absence; we hardly ever saw them.
The cruise itself was very pleasant, with plenty to do and very good shore excursions. It was helped along by our fellow pasengers, the majority of whom were Australian. All were very friendly but it has to be admitted that some were rather loud although they were the exception. The dining room was very noisy.
The Cruise Director was not very impressive, often giving wrong information, and at other times being less than communicative when asked questions.
Food was sometimes good, sometimes less so. Presentation was over the top with considerable time obviously having been spent on making it look good. But often there was very little food on the plate so there was plenty of space left for decoration. Vegetables were thin on the ground; half a fleuret of brocolli, a quarter of a carrot for example. Cutlery must have been in short supply too; there were no soup spoons, just dessert spoons.
We found the waiter who took charge of the Chef's Table events to be rude, loud and awkward, not the sort of atmosphere for what was supposedly a special event.
Cooked breakfast fare was invariably luke warm at best, with no hot plates for your food, only cold. And getting tea or coffee from a waiter was sometimes like looking for an invisible man.
Overall a mixed bag. We would not go on AmaBella again, whereas we would go on AmaVerde.
Quite good. Comfortable and warm with adequate storage and facilities.