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After seeing trip reports from others, both live and after, I thought I would give it a try and hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures as we go along.
We're sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting to board our flight to Munich where we'll spend one night before the cruise. We are staying at the Hotel Schlicker and we will take the train when we arrive in Munich. Wednesday morning we'll take a train to Vilshofen where we'll board the AmaPrima for 7 nights before ending in Budapest.
A little about us.
Us consists of my wife and I and we are empty nesters in our early fifties. We are cruise veterans with about 25 cruises including 1 previous river cruise with Viking also on the Danube. That was last October so we'll be able to do a fair comparison. We are doing the Danube again just because we enjoyed the last one so much. I know it will be somewhat cold but I'm counting on the beer halls to help keep me warm
Hopefully more later but first up, the flight over.
Ciao for now!
So we arrived in Munich this morning from Atlanta and that wonderful overnight flight. That just wears me out. The plan was to drop off the luggage at our hotel and then just do as much as we could until we gave out.
We landed about 7:30am and after claiming our luggage made our way to the train to the Marienplatz stop in the city center. About a 45 minute ride on the S1 and pretty painless. I thought the train might be crowded as it was a Tuesday morning but it never filled up.
We decided to stay at the Hotel Schlicker which is where I'm writing this from. The location is excellent and is basically a block from the train stop. And the area has lots of shops, pubs, restaurants, etc. in the area. The Hofbrau Haus as well as many other beer halls are close by. The room we have is quite small. Smaller than many cruise ship cabins we've been in. And we don't stay in suites while cruising. So it's small but manageable especially for just the one night. Wifi and breakfast are included. The wifi is fine and I'll find out about the breakfast in the morning.
We didn't really plan any tours as we just didn't know how long we would make it after the flight. So I found Sandeman Tours on the internet and facebook and they offer free walking tours in many European cities and Munich is one. Now they do offer other tours as well that you pay for so the free walking tour basically gets you in the door. But there is no pressure to buy a tour and you can just how up and join the free one. The guide does mention that obviously the way they make any money is with tips but it's a very soft sell. And the tour was quite good. Marcin was our guide and he's a Londoner that has lived in Munich for about 5 years. Excellent guide. He works a lot of humor into the tour. As you might imagine he has to entertain in order to hopefully get a tip so just the dry facts are not what this is. There were about 20-25 people on the free tour. A great option for what we were looking for.
It was chilly today and stayed cloudy with temps in the upper 30's I think. It might have hit 40. We stayed bundled up. We did see them bringing in the temporary buildings for the Christmas shops along with starting to put up lights and trees.
Lunch was at Augustiner Am Platzl, which is one of the breweries in Munich and is the most popular. We did walk by the famous Hofbrau Haus multiple times but decided not to go in as it's really become a big tourist attraction.
Dinner was actually a little Italian place recommended by the hotel and it was perfectly acceptable if not outstanding.
In the morning we'll make our way to Vilshofen via the train and board the AmaPrima where our cruise will start. No plan other than walking the town, having some sausages, and drinking a beer or two. Sounds like a pretty good day!
Ciao for now!
__________________ We've been on Carnival: 27 voyages; 184 days Celebrity: 3 voyages; 24 days Holland: 11 voyages 152 days Norwegian: 2 voyages; 16 days Princess: 16 voyages; 154 days Royal Carib: 5 voyages; 35 days Vantage: River 2 voyage 39 days
GRAND TOTAL: 66 Cruises 604 days
NOT YET SAILED Holland Eurodam 8/14 -18 days Princess Coral 10/14-11 days Holland Prinsendam 11/14 -28 days Holland Ryndam 1/15 -14 days Holland Maasdam 3/15 -14 days Holland Rotterdam 4/15 - 18 days Holland Veendam 6/15 - 14 days Vantage River Cruise 8/15 - 21 days Holland Prinsendam 10/15 - 28 days
RCCL Song of Norway-- E. Carib.
NCL Starward-- W. Carib.
NCL S.S. Norway-- E. Carib
NCL S.S. Norway-- W. Carib.
Big Red Boat-- Bahamas
Seawind Crown-- S. Carib.
CCL Paradise-- E. Carib.
NCL Majesty-- Bermuda
NCL Sky-- E. Coast/Canada
NCL Jewel --W Carib.
NCL Pride of Aloha-- Hawaii
RCCL Spendor-- Med.
PCL Golden Princess-- Alaska
HAL Westerdam-- Alaska
NCL Jade-- Med. & Egypt
NCL Star-- Pacific Coast
RCCL Vision--W. Europe Repositioning
Celebrity Equinox--Med. & Transatlantic
HAL Zuiderdam--So. Carib & Panama Canal
Celebrity Equinox--Greek Islands and Turkey
Celebrity Infinity-- British Isles
AMA Prima--Danube Christmas Markets cruise
Well the first day is over and Vilshofen survived. Weather today was overcast all day with a high in the low 40's. The low tonight will be right about freezing.
The train from Munich to Vilshofen was mostly uneventful. We took the SBahn two stops over from Marienplatz to the Central Station where the regional trains were and bought our ticket to Vilshofen and were told it was straight through so no changing of trains. Well he was only half correct. When we got to Landshut the front half of the train went to Vilshofen and the back half went elsewhere. So we jumped to the front half. The train was about two hours and we were in Vilshofen. Taxi's aren't just lined up there so we had a nice lady inside call one for us. And minutes later we were at the ship at about 11:30AM.
After just a few minutes waiting in the lounge they let us know our cabin was ready. We were pretty much alone on the ship. Just about everyone else was either coming from the Munich airport later or from the Prague pre-extension.
The ship itself is beautiful and very well laid out. The cabin is certainly adequate if a little small. They could use more storage space as there just isn't a lot.
We had the "Vilshofen Octoberfest" with some local music, beer, and the highlight of the evening, the beer queen. All good fun.
Dinner was quite good and if tonight was the norm then I'll be impressed with the food.
Tomorrow is Passau and we sail at noon. I'll report back then but in the meantime it's bed for me.
Ciao for now!
Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas - Southern Carib.
Carnival Imagination - Western Carib.
Carnival Valor - Southern Carib.
Norwegian Sun - Baltics
Royal Caribbean Brilliance - Mediterranean
Celebrity Millenium - Alaska
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas, Western Carib.
Royal Caribbean Nordic Prince - Bermuda
Following your posts with great interest...because the Missus and I will board AmaPrima on the 20th for the return (actually Budapest to Nuremberg, followed by a couple of days in Prague). We can't wait.
Give us your overall impressions of the boat, please. It's one of AMA's newer builds. We have seen pictures of it on the River Cruise Reviews site and everything looks very snazzy...
The ship itself is truly beautiful with modern and understated décor. And she's already decorated for Christmas.
We left Vilshofen this morning for the short hop to Passau, just a couple hours or so. We decided not to take the bike tour and just did the regular walking tour instead. And it was very pleasant. After the tour we stayed and walked around and actually shopped just a bit. Temps again in the low 40's and while we woke up to sunny skies it became overcast by mid-morning and stayed that way all day. Tomorrow is Linz and we are scheduled to arrive around noon or just before. More tomorrow.
Ciao for now!
We were waving as the AMABella passed us this morning about 8:30 or so!
Nice day today in Linz. We took the excursion to Gmundan lake and it was quite beautiful. Bus ride of an hour or so each way but other than that is was nice. A lot of the shops were closed but will be re-opening in the next week or so for the Christmas markets.
Temps were in the mid to upper 40's today. We had a little sun this morning, then it got overcast, then sun again for a bit in the afternoon. I'm writing this pre-dinner tonight as I have a little time. I think my best surprise so far has been the food. It is superior to what we experienced on our Viking cruise last year.
Ciao for now!
Another pre-dinner report tonight. Let me again say that the food so far has been fabulous. Last night I had the lamb chops and they were extraordinary. I sailed Viking last year also on the Danube and while I continue to say there are more similarities than differences, AMA wins with food without a doubt.
We had a delay at one of the locks today so instead of docking at Melk the ship stopped prior to that and buses took us to Melk. We have visited the Abby before so we opted to walk around the town instead and stopped for a beer and a snack in a café. We met everyone after the tour back at the bus and went to Spitz where we had a wine tasting in a cellar. It was extremely nice and we really enjoyed that.
Temps today were in the upper 40's and while it was overcast again today, it did not seem quite as cool as previous days.
Dinner is soon so I'll leave for that in just a few minutes.
Ciao for now!
Carnival Inspiration, 5 day Western Caribbean 12/19/2009
Carnival Inspiration, 5 day Western Caribbean Recapture, 10/09/2010
Norwegian Sun, 7 day Eastern Caribbean, 02/26/2011
Carnival Fascination, 5 day Eastern Caribbean, 07/11/2011
Carnival Legend, 6 day Southern Caribbean, 12/26/2011 (New Years Cruise)
Royal Caribbean, Jewel of the Seas, 7 day Canada/New England, 09/30/2012
Golden Princess, 7 day Inside Passage Alaska, 09/08/2013
Royal Caribbean, Enchantment of the Seas, 4 day Eastern Caribbean, 12/02/2013
Viking Helvetia, 8 day Rhine River, Amsterdam, France, Germany, Switzerland, 04/03/2010
Viking Legend, 8 day Danube River from Hungary to Germany, 10/11/2011 (Germany and beer what else can you say)
Viking Odin, 12 day waterways of the Netherlands (Holland, Belgium) 03/24/2013
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany, 10 days in the Alps and Austria, 04/01/2012
The cruise director (Rudy) we had on another line (Scenic) a few weeks ago ended all of his announcements with "Ciao for now", to the point where I started to cringe as he came to the end and I knew it was coming.