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  #1  
Old April 7th, 2012, 10:49 PM
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Quilting_Cruiser Quilting_Cruiser is offline
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Default Questions AboutAMA for First River Cruise

My DD and I are planning a trip to Europe next summer and for a week of the trip we'd like to take a river cruise. The AMA itinerary from Luxembourg to Nuremburg would fit in perfectly with our plans as we want to spend the bulk of the month or so we're there in Germay.

I just watched someone's vacation video on YouTube and they were on the top deck while cruising (I don't know which line) and the deck seemed packed side to side. It was a little offputting to see so many people crowded into a small space. Is this typical? Just wondering if the only way to see the scenery will be to be shoulder to shoulder with everyone on board.

Along the same lines, does it get really crowded in the lounges and dining room? Just trying to get an idea of what to expect. We do like to find quiet time during vacation to sit and read or just watch out the scenery go by.

My DD will be 18 at the time we cruise. She's well aware that it's an older crowd on river cruises than we're used to on ocean cruises and she's looking forward to that. So, she's now curious if there will be children. Obviously, none of you know whether there will be children on the specific cruise we're looking at, but what is your experience with children on board river cruises? Are they few and far between?

I'm also curious about the dress code. I'm hoping to pack light since most of the trip will be via trains. Are there formal nights? If so, how dressy?

Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by Quilting_Cruiser; April 7th, 2012 at 10:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old April 8th, 2012, 04:14 AM
Yggdrasil98 Yggdrasil98 is offline
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Just briefly, not in my experience, perhaps on a perfect sunny day, and passing something of absolute interest to everyone on board, but without knowing this I was say unusual.

Pack light, definitely pack light, I am still trying to pack less each trip and always end up with an outfit I just didn't need.

Casual to smart casual is the best IMO.
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  #3  
Old April 8th, 2012, 05:01 AM
swamp1sg swamp1sg is offline
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We were on the Amalyra but it was in December and it was not crowded plus it was freezing. AMA seems to be a very detailed oriented cruise. I can not imagine them not being able to manage a full cruise. They put out an excellent product. Agree with packing light. Each time we cruise, we are taking less and less.
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  #4  
Old April 8th, 2012, 06:41 AM
caviargal caviargal is online now
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The lounge is rarely crowded and more than adequate for the small number of guests.

We travel independently before and after a cruise so pack light to make taking public transport easy. River cruises are casual and nice slacks and top fine for dinner.

The dining room is generally full as it designed as a single seating venue. It feels busier at breakfast and lunch when there is a buffet as well as menu service. I felt the traffic flow on AMA ships was superior to that of the other line we sailed with.

We have seen children once of 4 river cruises, two girls under ten. They spent most of the their time playing board games in the aft lounge. Some lines offer family friendly sailings.
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  #5  
Old April 8th, 2012, 10:20 AM
alexandra cruiser alexandra cruiser is offline
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Thumbs up Your DD will be among the youngest,BUT,,,if

shes comfortable,,no problem...we ve been on 4 river cruises that had children,,,from 10yrs to 18 or so,,and they seemed to enjoy themselves,were well behaved,and fun to be around on excursions and at dinner. Now,,,my teenage grandkids,,would NOT be good candidates,,like LOTS of activities(like ocean cruises)..so really depends.
The whole top deck is open for viewing areas,,never saw it croweded..Plus,we always get room with balcony(new ships have regular and french).so able to sightsee from there too.
Lounges crowded only at meetings,and evening entertainment,,but no problem to find seat.New ships have 3 rest.venues,,so less crowding for dinners,,etc.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 11:44 AM
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Thank you all for your responses. I agree with the advice to pack light--will just have to figure out how I'm going to accomplish that! I typically overpack, so I'll just have to make a list and stick to it.

I'm very pleased to learn that none of you experienced the crowding I saw on the video. We're planning to get a French balcony--we always get a balcony on ocean cruises and it'll be interesting to have a balcony that isn't really a balcony. So if we were to experience overcrowding, we could go to the room. But, I'm very pleased to hear AMA handles the traffic flow well.

DD will be fine with the much older crowd and thrilled if there are no children or even other teens on board. She's the only child of a single mother and I'm in my 50s, so she's used to being around adults. We travel a lot together (just got home last week from a trip to Ireland) and enjoy each other's company. You'd have to know my kid to understand how comfortable she'll be with older adults. She's a very polite, well-spoken young woman. Yes, I'm proud.

Thank you!
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Carnival Spirit, 06/28/11 (Alaska)
Cruise Review

Carnival Splendor, 08/22/10 (Mexican Riviera)

Carnival Spirit, 08/15/07 (Alaska)

Caribbean Princess, 07/29/06 (W. Caribbean)

Carnival Pride, 12/21/03 (Mexican Riviera)

Carnival Spirit, 12/18/02 (S. Caribbean)

Carnival Spirit, 8/15/01 (Alaska)

Carnival Holiday, 3/10/97 (Mexico)
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  #7  
Old April 8th, 2012, 06:07 PM
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No formal nights for sure. I brought a couple of cocktail dresses, which I wore the first night and last night.
The dining room is VERY crowded. This is the one and only reason I probably won't be able to get my husband to do another river cruise. There are exactly the number of seats as there are passengers on the boat. And it is single seating so no option to arrive late. Really didn't enjoy that.
The deck area never seemed really crowded though.
My sons (now 21 and 25) would be fine on a river cruise, and they would have been at 18. But they are used to being around adults and interacting with adults appropriately. And they
both love to read if all else fails. Your daughter sounds like she will be fine too.
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  #8  
Old April 8th, 2012, 06:44 PM
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Thank you, Rachel. I appreciate your feedback.

I don't like the idea that there are the exact number of seats in the dining room as diners. It's not assigned seating though, right? So, we could choose a table for two sometimes and a larger table other nights? Also, what time is the one dinner seating?

Thanks!
__________________
It isn't that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.
-Sir Francis Drake
Counting Down the Days:




Happy Cruising Memories:

Carnival Legend, 6/21/13 (Baltic)
Carnival Inspiration, 08/10/12
Carnival Inspiration, 08/13/12 (birthday cruise!)

Carnival Spirit, 06/28/11 (Alaska)
Cruise Review

Carnival Splendor, 08/22/10 (Mexican Riviera)

Carnival Spirit, 08/15/07 (Alaska)

Caribbean Princess, 07/29/06 (W. Caribbean)

Carnival Pride, 12/21/03 (Mexican Riviera)

Carnival Spirit, 12/18/02 (S. Caribbean)

Carnival Spirit, 8/15/01 (Alaska)

Carnival Holiday, 3/10/97 (Mexico)
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  #9  
Old April 8th, 2012, 10:23 PM
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Dinner was at 7 as I recall, except for the night in Vienna when it was earlier as a lot of people were going to the music thing at the opera house. We didn't go to that as we had friends in Vienna that we met for dinner. The cruise director was very helpful, arranging a taxi to meet us at the dock.

It is not assigned seating. Indeed, one night we arrived a little late and were unable to sit with our friends that we were traveling with as there were no more 4 top tables. So we got put with another couple (who we had actually met earlier and found very pleasant) and our friends were put with a couple who barely spoke English. Most people on board are American, Canadian, British or Australian, but the people who our friends were seated with were Polish I think. Very nice people I am sure, but hard to communicate.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 10:24 PM
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And there are 2 tops. But you better get there early if you really want one.
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  #11  
Old April 8th, 2012, 10:26 PM
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Thanks, again, Rachel. I really appreciate your taking the time to respond.

We're looking at ocean cruises, too, and found one today that stops for two days in St Petersburg. I learned that St P is high on DD's list (mine, as well) so that may well win out. We'll see.

Thanks!
__________________
It isn't that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.
-Sir Francis Drake
Counting Down the Days:




Happy Cruising Memories:

Carnival Legend, 6/21/13 (Baltic)
Carnival Inspiration, 08/10/12
Carnival Inspiration, 08/13/12 (birthday cruise!)

Carnival Spirit, 06/28/11 (Alaska)
Cruise Review

Carnival Splendor, 08/22/10 (Mexican Riviera)

Carnival Spirit, 08/15/07 (Alaska)

Caribbean Princess, 07/29/06 (W. Caribbean)

Carnival Pride, 12/21/03 (Mexican Riviera)

Carnival Spirit, 12/18/02 (S. Caribbean)

Carnival Spirit, 8/15/01 (Alaska)

Carnival Holiday, 3/10/97 (Mexico)
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Old April 8th, 2012, 11:18 PM
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Definitely recommend st Petersburg. It is very high intensity place. All the sights are absolutely jam packed with tourists in the summer though. Plus you have to get a visa or go on only the ships tours or hire a private guide who arranges the visa for you. But we learned a lot.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 11:27 PM
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We have done both ocean and river cruises. Enjoy both, but the river cruise is special. Probably only 150 people on board. There are excursions on most days then cruising down the river. Seating for dinner is okay, sometimes you don't get the table you would like, but just be flexible . We were on the AmaDolce and our cruise director, Kriss, could not have been more accommodating. Great Crew and staff...even glued my tennis shoe back together!!!! We hope to return for another river cruise on AMA soon. Know you and dd will have a wonderful time!!
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Old April 9th, 2012, 08:52 AM
alexandra cruiser alexandra cruiser is offline
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Wink Just to mention,,they DO have river cruises in Russia

that spend 3 days in St.Pete,,3 days Moscow...and we LOVED ours...

We went on Viking,,but other
ones have them.

Remember,,,the new ships have more than one rest....so finding space won t be a problem. Most have meeting prior to dinner,,then everyone goes at once,,it seems.Can just sit in lounge for awhile,,eat later,we always did.No problem to join another group at large table or eat at single table(on all are cruises,,,these were available early.But fun to join others too.
It s very laidback,,can really do your own thing,dress as YOU want,join groups or NOT...give it a try..if not for you.Can go back to ocean one.We LOVE them both...
PS..your DD sounds like a lovely girl..you re SO LUCKY,,best to both.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RachelG View Post
Definitely recommend st Petersburg. It is very high intensity place. All the sights are absolutely jam packed with tourists in the summer though. Plus you have to get a visa or go on only the ships tours or hire a private guide who arranges the visa for you. But we learned a lot.
I'm happy to say that our Cruise Critic members are very good about advising of the visa situation. I absolutely hate ship's excursions and will likely hire a local guide if we end up going there. I know that's expensive, but I think it will be well worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nole62 View Post
We have done both ocean and river cruises. Enjoy both, but the river cruise is special. Probably only 150 people on board. There are excursions on most days then cruising down the river. Seating for dinner is okay, sometimes you don't get the table you would like, but just be flexible . We were on the AmaDolce and our cruise director, Kriss, could not have been more accommodating. Great Crew and staff...even glued my tennis shoe back together!!!! We hope to return for another river cruise on AMA soon. Know you and dd will have a wonderful time!!
That sounds wonderful! The idea of so many fewer passengers is VERY appealing to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexandra cruiser View Post
that spend 3 days in St.Pete,,3 days Moscow...and we LOVED ours...

We went on Viking,,but other
ones have them.

Remember,,,the new ships have more than one rest....so finding space won t be a problem. Most have meeting prior to dinner,,then everyone goes at once,,it seems.Can just sit in lounge for awhile,,eat later,we always did.No problem to join another group at large table or eat at single table(on all are cruises,,,these were available early.But fun to join others too.
It s very laidback,,can really do your own thing,dress as YOU want,join groups or NOT...give it a try..if not for you.Can go back to ocean one.We LOVE them both...
PS..your DD sounds like a lovely girl..you re SO LUCKY,,best to both.
That's great information, thank you! I'm very aware there are river cruises to Russia and even looked at a few, but they all seem to start and end in Russia and the focus of this trip is Germany. DD will have taken four years of German and this is something I promised her when she was a freshman if she completed all four years instead of just the required two years. The ocean cruise we're looking at is roundtrip out Dover, which would work well as we could spend a few pre-cruise days in England and go to Stratford upon Avon. Touristy, I know, but DD and I absolutely love Shakespear, so I think we'd enjoy it nonetheless. After the cruise we could head over to the continent to spend a few weeks in Germany, so that may be the best way to go.

I do know how very lucky I am to have such an amazing daughter. She's brought such joy to me every day of her life. She's my only biological child and I think she was God's gift to me since I raised my stepchildren. LOL. I love them, but they were certainly a challenge!

Thank you all, again! Cruise Critic is such a great source of information!

Cheers!
__________________
It isn't that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.
-Sir Francis Drake
Counting Down the Days:




Happy Cruising Memories:

Carnival Legend, 6/21/13 (Baltic)
Carnival Inspiration, 08/10/12
Carnival Inspiration, 08/13/12 (birthday cruise!)

Carnival Spirit, 06/28/11 (Alaska)
Cruise Review

Carnival Splendor, 08/22/10 (Mexican Riviera)

Carnival Spirit, 08/15/07 (Alaska)

Caribbean Princess, 07/29/06 (W. Caribbean)

Carnival Pride, 12/21/03 (Mexican Riviera)

Carnival Spirit, 12/18/02 (S. Caribbean)

Carnival Spirit, 8/15/01 (Alaska)

Carnival Holiday, 3/10/97 (Mexico)
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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:57 PM
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Quilting Cruiser,
You have picked a great itinerary and fine cruise line. We did the same cruise on the Amalegro last year that started with several days in Paris. You can see lots of photos of what you will experience in our review on our website www.thepreismans.com. Have a great time.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MVPinBoynton View Post
Quilting Cruiser,
You have picked a great itinerary and fine cruise line. We did the same cruise on the Amalegro last year that started with several days in Paris. You can see lots of photos of what you will experience in our review on our website www.thepreismans.com. Have a great time.

Thank you! I'll get to your website and take a look as soon as possible!
__________________
It isn't that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.
-Sir Francis Drake
Counting Down the Days:




Happy Cruising Memories:

Carnival Legend, 6/21/13 (Baltic)
Carnival Inspiration, 08/10/12
Carnival Inspiration, 08/13/12 (birthday cruise!)

Carnival Spirit, 06/28/11 (Alaska)
Cruise Review

Carnival Splendor, 08/22/10 (Mexican Riviera)

Carnival Spirit, 08/15/07 (Alaska)

Caribbean Princess, 07/29/06 (W. Caribbean)

Carnival Pride, 12/21/03 (Mexican Riviera)

Carnival Spirit, 12/18/02 (S. Caribbean)

Carnival Spirit, 8/15/01 (Alaska)

Carnival Holiday, 3/10/97 (Mexico)
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