I totally loved this cruise. I had done a Viking Rhine river cruise last year and enjoyed it enough to book another cruise for this year. But if I were to compare the 2-the AMA waterway experience on the AMA CERTO was superior-the cruise director, the attentiveness of the staff, the variety of excursions each day with very few additional costs except in Vienna were exceptional. Of the two, I think the AMA cruise in the long run was the better value.
5 out of 5
Embarkation was great. Ama waterways had a precruise 3 day stint in Prague and then transported us via bus to Vilshofen, Germany. Luggage, room prep went smoothly. There was a mini-October fest greeting with beer, pretzels and locals singing and dancing. Very nice way to start the cruise
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
The food in the restaurants were a class act each meal. At breakfast, there was a choice of buffet or special orders from the menu, ditto at lunch. In the lounge, there were smaller buffets available for breakfast and lunch. The dinners were 5 course with excellent choices every night-Many of the meals mimicked the specialties in the regions we were visiting
5 out of 5
There was a small pool on deck as well as a small running/walking area. There were plenty of chairs and lounge seating on the top deck and the enclosed lounge. There was a small fitness area as well as a massage area.
4 out of 5
Since this was a river cruise-no elaborate stage shows. However, many nights there was entertainment from local venues which were enjoyable. There was some dancing as well. One night there was a free wine tasting in the town. Another night there was optional tickets to Vienna symphony.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
This staff was top notch. Our cruise manager/director, Peter, was outstanding-easy going, helpful, hilarious, organized. The waiters would bend over backwards to make sure you had what you wanted to eat or drink. After the first day, they anticipated your preferences which was really special. The room stewards were cleaning the room 2x/day-the front desk was available 24/7
5 out of 5
This ship is 5 years old but showed minimal wear. I love the design of the ship-the lounge was very comfortable and was set up to either have you engage with others or have some smaller space. The deck had great seating, pool, track, chess. Some of the rooms were a little small, especially the bathroom but still well updated and maintained
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
We had a French balcony which gave a full window with 2 chairs in front. Dimensionally at 170 square feet, it was a little tight in the bathroom but had everything we needed including a computer, wifi, desk.
While the double balcony rooms have an inside and outside balcony with approximately 40 square feet more than the French balcony, if you are on a budget the additional cost for the upgrade may not be worth it. Seriously, the itinerary is such that you spend little time in your room during the day/early evening.
Also, the Ama Certo may be somewhat older(i.e 5 years) than some of the rest of the ama fleet, the amenities and the staff make this boat a pleasure
It is a sweet little town. There is not that much to do but it gives you an opportunity to get off the boat in the am before the cruise leaves the port. The only plus with Vilshofen is the beer fest/local entertainment that greets you right after embarkation
I did the all day excursion to Salzburg which included a visit to Lake Mondee which is where the interior church for the Sound of Music wedding was filmed. Seeing the Austrian lake AND touring Salzburg AND a small tour of Linz when we returned to the ship made this a great day.
Spent about one hour in Durnsteim which for me seemed like a tourist trap to buy apricot snaps. Then we turned around in the other direction to get to the monastery in Melk which was outstanding. I think it would/ve been better if we spent the entire excursion in Melk the town as well as the abbey.
Vienna is a world class city and there is a lot to do and see IF there was enough time. As it was, there is an extensive tour of the major highlights in Vienna with about 1 hr free time. In the Afternoon, there is an optional visit to the Palace which is worth it, especially to see the beautiful garden. In the evening, there is an optional excursion to the symphony which was outstanding
My wife and I did not go on the tour. Instead we discovered this city on our own and it is a nice place to navigate. There was an excellent fair going on which gave a taste of the crafts produced in the area.
We had only one day and the weather was not that great. However, there was so much to love about this city especially the Hero's Square area and the Castle area. I would recommend you try one of the thermal pools -they are an experience.
The illumination cruise after dinner was a great way to see this beautiful city lit up
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