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janfred 11-23-2012 05:00 AM

Back from AMAWaterways AMACello
This was so very nice, relaxing, informal and no crowds. I really can't compare with big ship cruising because I feel that they are 2 totally different vacations. I loved all the excursions which were included. You always had 2 or more to choose from. It was so very nice to go on one with 12 - 20 people only. Food was excellent and they did a wonderful job. Always lots to pick from and you couldn't go hungry! Always at dinner was 2 local wines featured and it was free flowing to the point you had to more please! I loved how we docked in Kloblenz at 10PM and we were asked who wanted to go to some Pubs and have beer with the locals and who just wanted to take a nice long walk around the city, it is that easy just step off and go ! Cabins are smaller but we did not stay in the room much at all except to sleep and shower. The shower was so nice and a surprise ! Cruising down the Rhine Gorge was so beautiful. I loved the entire crew they, were so much fun. AMAWaterways is an excellent line and I would use them all ended too soon ! Of course there are no Casinos, big shows, Bingo,specialty restaurants and long lines..I didn't miss any of it :OD

Cruise Fanatic 11-23-2012 06:21 AM

I thought you would love river cruising! The older I get the more I enjoy the river cruises. I have one booked now for next October from Romania to Hungary. I wish I had one sooner. You might want to try one of the Spring Tulip cruises. I did one in 2011 on AMAwaterways. The Kuekenhof Tulip gardens are beautiful. I ordered Tulip bulbs from them and they shipped them to me in the Fall for planting. This past April they all came up and looked gorgeous.

I don't miss the big entertainment at all on a river cruise. I love being able to walk right off the ship into the quaint towns. I love the old European architecture.

alexandra cruiser 11-23-2012 06:48 AM

Told you so!!!
Once you give it a try, can easily become "hooked".I try to vary one ocean,then one river and have best of both worlds.
Glad you like AMA,has been my favorite,,so far..have next one in 1 Vietnam and then next Sept.on Oceania to Canadian Maritimes...then June 2014 hold on Scenic river cruise from Budapest to Bucharest.Will give them a try for first time(have heard good things about them and scedule is better for us then AMA for similar cruise),
Will review all of them,of course.
Trying to whittle down my "bucket list".

janfred 11-23-2012 06:57 AM

Cruise Fanatic
You are so right I too love the old European architecture. It has been years since I was at the Kuekenhof back when I was stationed in Rhein Main ! I would love to do Paris to Normany..oh heck there are so many. Which line did you book with? I also wanted to try UniWorld but now I not sure I liked AMAWaterways so much. Some passengers said they had been on all most of them but AMA had a lot more little details they added and they liked that so who knows many choices LOL

Alexandra, yes I can see I am already hooked. I also liked not having to keep changing for dinner..very casual and that is a plus with only 50lbs allowed on the plane. I also loved all the free time we had to do whatever. Sometimes on big cruises you are lucky to get 30 min. Every Time I try to whittle down my list I seem to add a few more places LOL

alexandra cruiser 11-24-2012 07:34 AM

Remember when(or IF) you book again with AMA
do ASK for past passenger discount.$100 off final best price. Some also offer this,plus AARP discounts,etc. I always ask ...
Found a travel agent(online),,by just googling...who offers best price,,THEN 5% cash back.Sorry,can t give proper names ..but many, I m sure. Getting $500 back on next one,I always double check right before on website to make sure it s the lowest available.Once got $1000 discount on a Seabourn cruise because of last minute sale.
Love to SAVE.PS...just for fun of it,its sometimes nice to at least TRY a different line,since ea.ship in ea.line can be such a different experience.As said before, I ve TRIED all the major ones,but not ALL the ships in ea.Did Avalon in France,Viking in RUssia,Uniworld in Portugal.Some lines go to limited countries too.

janfred 11-24-2012 03:25 PM

What line are you using for Vietnam? I can't wait to read that review the trip should be so interesting. I too have saved checking things out before finale payment. I almost was considering Azamara to Vietnam in April not sure, my husband wants to go back to Norway. Well your getting close to your exciting trip, have a fantastic time !!

alexandra cruiser 11-25-2012 10:33 AM

Using AMA for Vietnam
because I wanted to see MeKong river and go to Cambodia sites too. When using Ocean lines you just see main cities on coast. Will post review after.
I did Norway with Seabourn, was advised to use smaller ship to get in some more remote ports.Looked at Hurtigruten but a little too "basic" and too little time spent in ports for us.
It was gorgeous, similar(but better than)an Alaskan cruise.
Was thinking of Azamara for Black Sea in 2014? but still in early planning phase for that one.

Cruise Fanatic 11-26-2012 09:58 AM

I am using Avalon for my Bucharest Romania, to Budapest Hungary. There were several reasons, one because the length of the cruise and land was a little shorter than AMA's. My husband couldn't get as much time off. Then I also got what I felt was a good discount of $1000 off, plus another $500 off from a special Facebook offer that Avalon had. On top of that I got another 5% for being a past guest.

I feel AMA and Avalon are very similar in food, entertainment, shore excursions, and their amenities of free flowing wine at dinner, 24-hour teas and cappuccinos, and complimentary internet.

As Alexandra pointed out there can be differences of your experience within the same cruise line depending which ship you pick. I went on the new Uniworld River Antoinette last December and absolutely loved the upscale decor, the new amenities of an indoor pool spa, small movie theatre, and self-laundry. However; the older Uniworld River Princess was not as impressive to me. The newer ships with Avalon like the Luminary and Panarama, also have newer features and amenities. Most of the newer river ships of Uniworld, AMA, Avalon, and Viking, are boasting the ceiling to floor windows, actual balconies with sitting area instead of just French balcony, and added features of pools, whirlpools, Al Fresca dining.

River Cruising has been exploding and the cruise lines are adding new features and amenities just as the ocean cruises have done over the years.

Personally, for me I pick the itinerary and date first, and price. If it happens to be on a newer ship with more amenities, than that's great. But if it happens to be on an older ship thats ok too.

janfred 11-26-2012 11:35 AM

Cruise Fanatic
Very good and thanks for all the great information. Have a wonderful and do let me know how it was. I do appreciate all the great information from everyone!

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