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AMA Waterways - AMAMagna - Melodies of the Danube

AMA Waterways - AMAMagna - Melodies of the Danube

Sep 16th, 2019, 12:46 AM
  #1  
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AMA Waterways - AMAMagna - Melodies of the Danube

I have a thread going on the Europe board called Romania and Beyond. Part of our five week trip includes one week on this ship so I thought I would post my report here and add the link to the other thread. This is our first river cruise. We have cruised several times with Oceania.

We finished our three days (independently) in Budapest and boarded the boat last night. This boat has has only been sailing since May of this year. It’s one of AMA Waterways larger boats. Bicycles on board. Spa and fitness equipment.

At the time we booked this cruise there were very few cabin choices left. Our cabin is on the main deck. It is about 225 sq feet including a balcony. Our first impression

Our first impression in walking in was that it is small! It has a desk and one chair along with the two chairs and small table on the balcony. It also has a TV mounted on the wall. They provide an IPad and computer. The bathroom has a nice walk in shower and the vanity area is small but adequate. Closet space is limited although what’s really strange is that there is room for more but the area doesn’t open. No drawers and limited shelves. I don’t mind the shelves since I can leave my clothes in my packing cubes and just stack them. The balcony is fine so far. They also provide water, one cabinet with a small safe and glasses and a corkscrew.

Check in was fine. There was a desk dockside that prescreened and then directed you to reception to get your key cards and take your picture. I had already preregistered on line with passport and credit card information. Unlike the ocean cruises, you simply roll your luggage with you on board. No drop off and waiting for it to be delivered to your cabin.

Last evening was the safety briefing which we thought was way too long. Unlike ocean cruises, no roll call and held in the main lounge. The boat moved from the original embarkation point down river to a different spot so it would be ready for the morning shore excursions.

There are 4 restaurants on board. All but the Main Dining Room requires dinner reservations. In addition you can only make reservations at 2 out of the 3 so you have to decide which ones you want.

Dinner last night was Main Dining Room. We both had the chef’s suggestion of prime rib which was good. Wine, beer and soft drinks are included and unlimited. The food was good. In my opinion there wasn’t much in the way of atmosphere. Lights are turned up really high.

Age group looks like it is in the range of mid-late 40’s to early 80’s with most being in their mid-60’s to late 70’s. Most of the passengers are Americans although there is a large group of French Canadians (about 25) travelling as a group together. In addition there are a few Europeans and a couple of people from Columbia and Venezuela. No children noted.

So this morning while everyone else is out on their tour, I’m doing some laundry that has accumulated from our earlier travels. The boat has a small guest self service laundry which is nice.

More to come!



patandhank is offline  
Sep 16th, 2019, 02:59 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Following. Nice to get details of a river cruise.
Sassafrass is online now  
Sep 16th, 2019, 10:42 PM
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Budapest

Our first full day on the boat was while still docked at Budapest. Because we had already done our sightseeing, we decided to have a day of leisure.

There is a small guest laundry on board with 2 washers and 2 dryers. I decided to take advantage of everyone else being on tour and catch up with some laundry. There was no cost for the use of the machines and they even supplied the detergent.

After laundry was complete, we simply relaxed on deck in the shade for the day. I read and napped.

Dinner was at the Chef’s Table Restaurant. It was very good! The chef (actually a junior sous chef) was very personable. He would pose while fixing some of the dishes. We had several courses that included a salmon amuses bouche, a wonderful ginger and carrot soup, a perch appetizer, and a beef main dish. He came over and talked with us for awhile. So many of the diners simply ignored watching his preparation of the food which was a shame.

Our surprise was was the special cake they brought to us and made a room announcement about our 20th Anniversary Very thoughtful.

A lovely evening.

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Sep 18th, 2019, 06:24 AM
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Bratislava

Yesterday we visited Bratislava. It was a 10 minute walk to the old town from the boat. It was a very picturesque area with some whimsical statues that everyone wanted to have their picture taken with and I’ve put a photo of one here.

It was a pleasant stroll just to see some of the sights.

Vienna

Gliding on down the river we docked in Vienna late last night. The boat provided a city tour. When we take an ocean cruise we never take the ship’s tour because we learned from experience they are notoriously bad and not worth the extra money. With the river cruise the tours are included. Of course you are paying for them in the long run. Some of the tour was by bus (about 20 minutes) and then there was a walking tour.

The tour here wasn’t bad, but I can’t say it was great either.
The boat provides ear plugs with a system that is like a walkie talkie so you can hear the guide. The problem is you have no control on the sights you see and the length of time you’re at a sight. Plus having so many people in a group isn’t the best option either. Luckily they ran shuttle buses to and from the boat so we could ditch the group and go on our own.

We enjoyed some some apple strudel with coffee and then later lunch by having some wurst.

The Princess of Japan was making a visit so we saw the honor guard out for her along with some of the Lipizzaner stallions that we’re brought out for the occasion. St. Stephen’s Cathedral was beautiful.

​​​​​​​We came back to the boat late afternoon.
patandhank is offline  
Sep 20th, 2019, 02:37 AM
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Dürnstein

We docked in Melk and took a tour to Dürnstein to do some Apricot Brandy and wine tasting. The drive through the Wachau Valley was beautiful. We had cruised through part of the valley and all the little villages along the shoreline added to the appeal of the area. Now we had the chance to walk through this beautiful town where the full time residents totaled 73 we were told.

A castle tile high on the hill and the guide pointed out the “spy holes” in some of the buildings in the village itself. After being given information about the history, we headed for some apricot brandy tasting. Apricot brandy is very popular in this area and apricots are used to make a lot of products to include a special apricot mustard. The tasting was fun - maybe because the alcohol volume in the brandy was so high!
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Sep 21st, 2019, 04:48 AM
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Grein

After leaving Durstein, we docked in Grein a very small town in Austria. DH and I walked up to the town square which was very quaint. We enjoyed just looking at all the homes with their colorful flower boxes and seeing people stroll down the street.


That night we went to the castle for a short tour and reception. There we had the chance to listen to some different music being played. It was an enjoyable evening.

patandhank is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2019, 11:46 AM
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Enjoying your report. We had a so so Danube cruise on Viking and a fabulous river cruise with AMAWaterways on the Mekong, our favorite river cruise of the four we’ve taken.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2019, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
Enjoying your report. We had a so so Danube cruise on Viking and a fabulous river cruise with AMAWaterways on the Mekong, our favorite river cruise of the four we’ve taken.
Thanks HappyTrvlr - actually our thoughts on the cruise itself I will mention at the end.

Linz

A big town! Our walking tour went to the old part of town and the town square. There was a farmers market happening in the square which was fun to walk through and see the stalls. The large statue in the square was covered completely with scaffolding and being renovated so unfortunately it did detract from the appearance of the square. We enjoyed a cup of coffee in the square and did a little people watching which is always fun!

The boat was quite because most people took the full day tour to Salzburg. We had been to Salzburg before on our own so we spent the afternoon relaxing on deck and just enjoying the views.

Upon returning to our cabin, we had a surprise invitation to the Captain’s Table for dinner. The evening was very pleasant and of course the Captain was asked a hundred questions by the people ( three couples) at the table. He’s a young captain - only 33 years old. It was a very nice evening.

Passau

The City of Three Rivers as it is known because of the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers all meeting. Our walking tour included St. Stephen’s Cathedral which had one of the largest pipe organs in the world with over 17,774 pipes and 233 registers.
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Sep 22nd, 2019, 09:53 PM
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Vilshofen

Our disembarkation point!

We arrived in Vilshofen after leaving Passau for the night. DH and I walked up to the town but because it was Sunday everything was closed. However we did a short walk around the town and enjoyed the architecture of the buildings.

In the evening the ship put on an Oktoberfest celebration complete with beer tent and band. Pretzels were provided and it was fun. A little dancing demonstration of some Bavarian dances. Then off to dinner and later packing.



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patandhank is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2019, 10:25 PM
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Disembarkation Day and Thoughts

Disembarkation was the easiest process. The boat provided color coded luggage tags based upon how you were leaving the boat. Everyone had to be out of their staterooms by 9:00 am but you could keep your luggage till the morning and didn’t have to set it out the night before. You were also welcome to sit in the lounge till you needed to leave.

We had arranged a private transfer so waited in the lounge. We are headed for Cesky Krumlov where we were spending the night before heading for Prague.

Our transfer arrived right right on time and we simply walked off the boat, pointed at our bags and off we went.

Thoughts of the Cruise

Overall we enjoyed it but some things were so so. For example, while the tours were included, we felt the majority of them were just O.K. We will probably continue to be OYO people or private tour people. We did really like how close to the towns the boats docked.

The food on board was, for the most part, pretty bland. An exception was the Chef’s Table Restaurant which was excellent. The main dining room felt like a cafeteria to me. Absolutely no atmosphere and the set up during breakfast and lunch could be very awkward given the location of some of the stations as those 2 meals were always buffet style.

Wines were very good. Staff were friendly and excellent.

The boat itself we were told would spoil us because it is their largest boat. Common areas were big. However, if were in the common areas, you needed to plan on going down 2 decks to find a restroom, or you had to go back to your cabin. I also missed the ability to have coffee in my cabin as nothing was provided to do so.

Would we we take another river cruise? We’re not sure at this point. So not horrible and not great. #amamagna

Now back to my Romania and Beyond thread as our journey continues!
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