I wish I could fnd your review on AMAWaterways Line. I am going on the AMACELLO in Nov. It's the Celebration of Wine Cruise Nov 7th. What did you think of AMA ? Any information from you is great...thanks once again!
Sadly her review never made it to the approval queue. This happens sometimes. I always urge reviewers to write it up first as a draft e-mail or word processing file and save it, then copy and paste it into the review template. That way you have the review saved in case some server glitch happens.
Janfred, I wish I was going with you! I did a Tulip River cruise on AMA, and I've done two Christmas Markets river cruises, one on Uniworld, one on Avalon. I've also done the Yangtze River in China. I've loved everyone of my river cruises and am starting to prefer them to the big ocean cruising. I don't need the big busy ships with the casinos, broadway shows, bingo, comedians, miles of walking and masses of people. If you think you'll miss all that, then a river cruise might seem boring to you. I love the intimacy of the river cruises. I love walking right off the ship in the heart of the towns and cities, and seeing the beautiful architecture and culture of these old cities. It is so peaceful as you sail down the river and see beautiful scenery the whole time. Nightly entertainment is based on local culture or a one piece band playing easy music. Attentive service sharing the ship with only about 138 other people.
The itinerary you are doing is wonderful. Amsterdam is such a great city. I had some of the best hot chocolate ever in a cafe close to the Cologne Cathedral. I felt like a little pea standing on the ground looking up at the Cologne Cathedral. It is so huge. The only building in the city to survive WWII. It is really something else inside. In Rudesheim we did an optional German dinner show that was so much fun. You'll be going through a section of river of about forty miles with castles all along the way.
I just can't say enough about river cruising. I hope you enjoy yours. The Wine Celebration cruise should be really nice. I'm sure they will have lots of local area wine tasting on the cruise. I've been looking at a river cruise for 2013 from Budapest to Bucharest.
Thank you so much, I have no doubt that I would miss big busy ships. I may end up wanting to do a lot more River Cruising. I do love it all! I was not sure about AmaWaterways, it seems Uniworld and Viking you read about all the time, they are out there but I know little of AMA. Uniworld seems to have the most beautifully decorated cabins! It will be fun to try them all :OD. Have you been on all of them? I forgot I did see Avalon too. I am not sure how they fall in line of ratings. You have me even more excited !
Janfred, Of the "Big Four" river cruise suppliers I have been on three of them. Uniworld, Avalon, and Amawaterways. Believe me, I've got my eye on Viking. . They all pretty much offer the same amenities; included shore excursions, 24hr coffee including lattes, cappuccinos, wine, beer, soda, with lunch and dinner, free internet, some have complimentary bikes to use.
Uniworld does indeed have very elegant looking ships. Their decor is modeled after the Red Carnation hotels which is deluxe. Uniworld and Red Carnation are owned by the same parent company. There are a lot of elegant touches of padded cloth walls, marble bathrooms with heated towel racks, chrome free standing toilet tissue holder, tufted cloth headboards, floor mats by the bed that say "Good Night"/"Good morning".
I would have to say though that which ship you pick can make a difference even in the same cruise line. I went on the brand new Uniworld River Antoinette. Because of water levels on the Rhine River we had to do the first two days of the cruise on the River Princess, and then switch to the River Antoinette. The River Princess wasn't anywhere near impressive as the River Antoinette. Had I only seen the River Princess and not the Antoinette I might not have as high of praise of Uniworld. The service and food is superb though throughout.
I find Avalon and AMAwaterways very much on the same level. The amenities are almost identical, service and food very similar. So things I would compare when choosing between them are age of the ship, itinerary, and price.
It should be noted that some of the newer ships have more amenities such as indoor pool (albeit small), laundry room, al fresco dining on front of ship. It should also be noted too, that some of the newer ships also have more passenger capacity. One of the things I love about river cruising is how quickly you embark/debark because of so few passengers, and the space ratio. Some of the newer ships boast regular balconies over the French balcony. But beware, some of them are taking space out of the room for the regular balcony. The new Viking Longships have two room suites to allow one side for the regular balcony, and the other room with floor to ceiling window and still give you space.
I don't think you can go wrong with any one of the river cruises.