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  #1  
Old April 27th, 2012, 08:03 PM
canadianbagel canadianbagel is offline
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Default ama river cruise France

We are thinking of doing the Amawaterways cruise "Provence & Spain" in October. Has anyone done this cruise? Did you like it? What will weather be like in late October?
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  #2  
Old April 28th, 2012, 08:19 AM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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We are booked on that very cruise starting in a couple of weeks, Paris to Barcelona. We had friends that took the cruise a couple of years ago and loved it.
We lived in Germany for four years. The weather in France will be chilly, but still not bad. You would need to layer.
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  #3  
Old April 28th, 2012, 11:49 AM
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4774Papa (or others): We are booked on AMA's cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich in late August-early September. What will the weather be like then?
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  #4  
Old May 1st, 2012, 06:07 PM
Bruce4fun Bruce4fun is offline
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Smile AMA Provence

Just got back from the Amadagio Paris to Barcelona. We did cruise only since have been to Paris and Barcelona many times. Took the TGV to join the ship in Lyon(2 hrs from Paris Charles de Gaulle). Excellent cruise, fantastic food, great ship, really great tour director John! About 1/2 the ship was going on to Spain, more than 1/2 did the precruise in Paris which they all seemed to enjoy. They also arrived by TGV to Lyon on different train than us later in the day.
Loved the wine tasting, ports of call, the Rhone.
Highly recommended!
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  #5  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:08 AM
Aussie Teen Aussie Teen is offline
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We are doing this trip in August but heading to Monte Carlo afterwards.
Did you have a choice in Avignon of touring the Papal Palace or seeing the Pont du Garde? Both look very interesting and it is difficult to choose!
Also I am about to buy a new carry on bag and I am wondering if there is enough space in the cabin for our two larger suitcases and a smaller wheeled bag. In the photos it is difficult to tell just how much space there is!
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 08:21 AM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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Originally Posted by jazzbeau View Post
4774Papa (or others): We are booked on AMA's cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich in late August-early September. What will the weather be like then?
While is rains quite a bit in the low countries (Holland and Belgium), your temps should be in the low 70s. A heat wave is still possible, but the weather should be nice.
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  #7  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 08:26 AM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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Originally Posted by Aussie Teen View Post
We are doing this trip in August but heading to Monte Carlo afterwards.
Did you have a choice in Avignon of touring the Papal Palace or seeing the Pont du Garde? Both look very interesting and it is difficult to choose!
Also I am about to buy a new carry on bag and I am wondering if there is enough space in the cabin for our two larger suitcases and a smaller wheeled bag. In the photos it is difficult to tell just how much space there is!
I noticed a discrepancy between what is on the Internet and what is on the program we received in the mail.
Here is what I asked AMA by email:

Also, regarding the itinerary , what is published on the internet differs from what in included in our travel package (we just received).



The internet states that our options for Day 10 is as follows:



Day 10VIVIERS - AVIGNON
After breakfast, choose one of two excursions. Visit Grignan, a magnificent village perched upon a hill surrounded by lavender fields, topped by a Renaissance castle. From the castle, enjoy a commanding view of the surrounding countryside. In the alternative, you can visit the magnificent gothic Papal Palace of Avignon, home of seven popes. You will also see the well-preserved medieval walls surrounding the historic center of town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, visit the renowned Chateau Neuf-du-Pape winery or in the alternative, take an excursion to the Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct that is a masterpiece of engineering and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour will also visit Uzes, a lovely Provencal small town known for its Castle of the Duke of Uzes (still occupied by the Duke and his family), medieval streets and a picturesque town square framed by archways. Enjoy free time for shopping in Uzes before returning to your ship. This evening, mingle with your fellow guests at the Captain’s Dinner. (B,L,D)



It appears that we have the option of visiting Grignan or Avignon in the morning and for the afternoon visit Chateau Neuf-du-Pape winery or in the alternative, take an excursion to the Pont du Gard.

The travel package booklet indicates that all will visit Grignan and then there is an option for either Avignon or Pont du Gard.




AMA responded to rely on what was in the program, but it didn't convince me. I understand that we will be docking in Avignon, so presumably we will be able to walk to the city after any tours. Still, I would like to see Avignon and Pont du Gard.
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  #8  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 08:43 AM
sand74 sand74 is offline
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Default thanks for the review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce4fun View Post
Just got back from the Amadagio Paris to Barcelona. We did cruise only since have been to Paris and Barcelona many times. Took the TGV to join the ship in Lyon(2 hrs from Paris Charles de Gaulle). Excellent cruise, fantastic food, great ship, really great tour director John! About 1/2 the ship was going on to Spain, more than 1/2 did the precruise in Paris which they all seemed to enjoy. They also arrived by TGV to Lyon on different train than us later in the day.
Loved the wine tasting, ports of call, the Rhone.
Highly recommended!
We're doing Arles to Lyon in July with a Paris extension....glad to know that you enjoyed the trip...we've been to Paris...but there's always something new to see...and AMA included it for free when we booked....it was a special promotion...so we feel that we got a good deal....at the very least to offset the cost of our air...
Are you planning any other cruises? Will you book with AMA again or another company? This will be our second AMA cruise this year...
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  #9  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 05:05 PM
Bruce4fun Bruce4fun is offline
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Default Pont Du Gard

We did the Pont Du Gard and Uzes which I really enjoyed. You are docked about 1000 feet from the Papal Palace in Avingnon. You can walk to it in 5 minutes. The Palace is impressive from the outside, but there is little to see inside, no furniture, etc. The Pont Du Gard is outstanding and to me more impressive than the Colosseum, and Uzes is a charming city with great shopping, pedestrain old town, cafe's, the Dukes Palace, etc.
Our AMA cruise was one or the other so we chose not to "tour" the Papal Palace. We had hours of free time in the early evening to see the palace on our own and walk around Avingnon.
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  #10  
Old May 2nd, 2012, 05:41 PM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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Originally Posted by Bruce4fun View Post
We did the Pont Du Gard and Uzes which I really enjoyed. You are docked about 1000 feet from the Papal Palace in Avingnon. You can walk to it in 5 minutes. The Palace is impressive from the outside, but there is little to see inside, no furniture, etc. The Pont Du Gard is outstanding and to me more impressive than the Colosseum, and Uzes is a charming city with great shopping, pedestrain old town, cafe's, the Dukes Palace, etc.
Our AMA cruise was one or the other so we chose not to "tour" the Papal Palace. We had hours of free time in the early evening to see the palace on our own and walk around Avingnon.
Bruce,
Thanks so much. You answered my question spot on. I am a Roman History buff and excited about many of the sites on this cruise.
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  #11  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:12 AM
Aussie Teen Aussie Teen is offline
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Thanks for the quick replies. We are actually on an APT cruise which is AMA in Australia I believe. Your information has certainly made up my mind for me! The added lure of great shopping in Uzes is definitely a big plus. I just won't mention it to my husband! Lol
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  #12  
Old May 3rd, 2012, 01:55 PM
sand74 sand74 is offline
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Default what to purchase?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie Teen View Post
Thanks for the quick replies. We are actually on an APT cruise which is AMA in Australia I believe. Your information has certainly made up my mind for me! The added lure of great shopping in Uzes is definitely a big plus. I just won't mention it to my husband! Lol
What is the 'thing' to buy in Uzes....I like to window shop...and not spend money on useless things that I won't need/use when I get home....a lot of vacation shopping is impulsive shopping....so I'm wondering if there is anything in particular that Uzes is known for...
thanks
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  #13  
Old May 4th, 2012, 05:13 PM
Bruce4fun Bruce4fun is offline
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Default Shopping

Uzes is known for truffles, so there are shops selling truffle oils, tapenades, pasta's, etc. I also saw many shops with scarves which seemed to be very popular. Also any Provence products like soaps, lavender oils, perfumes, etc. I am not much of a shopper but they had a lot in this town!
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  #14  
Old May 4th, 2012, 10:37 PM
Keystonetraveler Keystonetraveler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce4fun View Post
Uzes is known for truffles, so there are shops selling truffle oils, tapenades, pasta's, etc. I also saw many shops with scarves which seemed to be very popular. Also any Provence products like soaps, lavender oils, perfumes, etc. I am not much of a shopper but they had a lot in this town!
I agree with Bruce4fun that they had a lot in this town. I try to do my Christmas shopping when I travel and look for gifts that are unique to the areas I visit. There is plenty of shopping available in Uzes at interesting stores. These included many very upscale boutiques for those who have really big bucks to spend.

I bought some books for kids about Provence that were printed in both English and French at a nice toy store. Uzes is in the lavender-growing region of France, and there are many stores selling products with a lavender fragrence. However, unknown to many people, Lavender is also an herb, but you need to be careful not to use too much or food can taste like perfume. My sister is a very good gourmet cook, so I bought her some dried lavender and a cookbook on how to use lavender in cooking. The gift was a big hit, and she has now planted lavender in her herb garden. She often serves lavendar butter with warm French bread.

After shopping, I decided to get an ice cream cone. Would you belive that one of the flavors was lavender? So, I tried it and it was very good.
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  #15  
Old May 6th, 2012, 07:58 AM
MotherP MotherP is offline
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Default Traveling in November

Bruce4fun

We are booked on the AMAdagio for the last sailing of the season, Nov22nd, I think as we leave home on Nov 18th for Barcelona. I was wondering what your impressions of the boat and the food were. This will be our 4th cruise with AMA and our last cruise was on the Amakaterina last year in Russia. Simply put, that cruise was not the product that AMA promised and the boat and food were horrible (locations were fabulous!). We loved our previous cruises and are willing to give AMA a second chance, hoping we will not get stuck again. I really would like to know your impressions, especially about the food. We still have time to change our minds and choose another cruise company.

We have been to Paris and Barcelona before and are really excited to get back there again. We are doing those segments on our own as it is less expensive and we can choose to revisit a few places and see a few that we missed. The hotel AMA uses is way out on the marina and in the area of the earlier Olympics. We prefere to be in town. Hopefully we can pick up with the tour and go to Airles and continue from there. Any suggestions?
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  #16  
Old May 6th, 2012, 08:19 AM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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Bruce4fun

We are booked on the AMAdagio for the last sailing of the season, Nov22nd, I think as we leave home on Nov 18th for Barcelona. I was wondering what your impressions of the boat and the food were. This will be our 4th cruise with AMA and our last cruise was on the Amakaterina last year in Russia. Simply put, that cruise was not the product that AMA promised and the boat and food were horrible (locations were fabulous!). We loved our previous cruises and are willing to give AMA a second chance, hoping we will not get stuck again. I really would like to know your impressions, especially about the food. We still have time to change our minds and choose another cruise company.

We have been to Paris and Barcelona before and are really excited to get back there again. We are doing those segments on our own as it is less expensive and we can choose to revisit a few places and see a few that we missed. The hotel AMA uses is way out on the marina and in the area of the earlier Olympics. We prefere to be in town. Hopefully we can pick up with the tour and go to Airles and continue from there. Any suggestions?
The AMA hotel in Barcelona is the Grand Marina and it is right near the Colon monument and the entrance to Las Ramblas. Our last time in Barcelona, my Son and his friend stayed there, we met them at the hotel and it was no more than a 10 minute walk to the entrance of Las Ramblas.

We go back on this tour in just a few days, cannot wait. Then we do the Epic for a seven day Med cruise.
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  #17  
Old May 6th, 2012, 09:11 AM
MotherP MotherP is offline
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Default Hotel in Barcelona

4774Papa
Thanks for your imput. We will book at the Hotel Majestic which is at the other end of the Ramblas and a block between the two Gaudi homes. The location is fabulous and is a beautiful hotel. The cost is half of what the cruise company charges. Hopefully we will be able to catch a taxi to the marina and connect with the group going to Arles. I don't know if AMA will do this but we are in the process of working this out. It should be a great trip.
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  #18  
Old May 6th, 2012, 10:33 AM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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4774Papa
Thanks for your imput. We will book at the Hotel Majestic which is at the other end of the Ramblas and a block between the two Gaudi homes. The location is fabulous and is a beautiful hotel. The cost is half of what the cruise company charges. Hopefully we will be able to catch a taxi to the marina and connect with the group going to Arles. I don't know if AMA will do this but we are in the process of working this out. It should be a great trip.
You should be able to do this. We opted out of two days in Paris, since we have been there five times and only have one night in Paris (we leave for the train station to Lyon at 7am). They gave us a discounted rate that included the transportation.
Arranging transport from Barcelona to Arles or the other way is not easy by train and I didn't want to rent a car. Good luck.
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  #19  
Old May 8th, 2012, 08:13 AM
MotherP MotherP is offline
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We booked our cruise and will be doing the original schedule. We'll have time on our own to do what we want and revisit a few favorites. It was just easier and, in the end, cheaper. AMA was wonderful and everything is set. It wiil be cold but maybe will hit some of the Christmas festivities and decorations. 4777Papa, Have a wonderful cruise and please report when you get back in a few weeks. Have a great trip!
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  #20  
Old May 8th, 2012, 09:43 AM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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Originally Posted by MotherP View Post
4774Papa
Thanks for your imput. We will book at the Hotel Majestic which is at the other end of the Ramblas and a block between the two Gaudi homes. The location is fabulous and is a beautiful hotel. The cost is half of what the cruise company charges. Hopefully we will be able to catch a taxi to the marina and connect with the group going to Arles. I don't know if AMA will do this but we are in the process of working this out. It should be a great trip.
I suggest that you contact AMA about the transport. Note that there are no transportation costs broken down in our invoice. The transport costs for Paris-Lyon and Barcelona-Arles are thrown into the hotel prices. One reason we kept the Barcelona portion of the trip in total was that we know how nice the Grand Marina is, since my Son stayed there last year. We could have saved a bit by using kayak, but the convenience of being with the group (we are doing the tapas boqueria tour in Barcelona since we have been there before).
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