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Posts posted by Trvlcrazy

  1. Just back from Iconic Christmas markets cruise on Ama Viola.  Kudos to Ama waterways, right from sending me updated emails a week before departure regarding water levels and changes if any to my cruise ports and also a plan B as per their ships and routes.  I have been trawling these boards for months now and have been anxious like everyone else but I realized the reason why there may not be advance notice of changes.  The water levels, the locks, the position of the ship - all these play a factor and as long as the cruise company talks to the travelers, not a lot can be done in advance.  The minute I boarded the cruise, all is forgotten and forgiven - service is top notch.  All the 60 passengers that were bused in from port left their luggage and some of them don't even have tags and not one luggage missed making to the right cabin - THAT IS MAGIC !!!!  Ama Viola ship is 2-3 years old, pretty much travels every day up and down and still looks clean.  The inside glass doors cleaned with steam machine, banisters & stairs cleaned every day, not to say the cabins.  All the crew right from cruise manager to dining room staff - were amazing.  Never once have I seen a bored expression on anyone's face.  They all do deserve more than the suggested gratuities.  I don't know how they do this day in and day out for a whole year and still stay sane.  In keeping with such a busy itinerary, they still managed to include a gingerbread decorating session in keeping with the Christmas time theme, a crew carols singing session, visit of St.Nick with chocolate and gifts - such small things do go a long way in making wonderful memories.  All meals were sit down - good selection of food and wine (no complaints here).  Information regarding excursions provided every day, weather instructions given before we left so we could take what we needed with us.  Umbrellas were provided in every room for use, complements and gifts to every traveler.  The gift shop with limited souvenirs is a godsend nonetheless - there was no time to buy in some of the ports which means we did visit the shop and we did buy stuff - prices trust me were not too bad.  Regarding cabin - I had the smallest one, two adults and a child fit very well.  Yes, its a little tight for suitcases but then there is enough cabinet space, ample water bottles provided daily and all toiletries as well.  Two to three times a day they would come and clean/change.  No noise or smells or anything like that.


    This is just my experience and my opinion.  I feel bad for anyone that did not have a good experience considering how much these little vacations cost.  But I also want to add to the list of good experiences for other people so it sends good vibes their way.


    Feel free to ask questions on anything as these details are fresh in my mind

    • Like 1
  2. Just to say thanks to Notamermaid and dogs4fun.  I am back from my trip.  I used the tram and it was easy peesy like you said.

    Everyone was so nice and helpful and gave us all the directions, information we needed along the way.  We did see the Zeppelin field and walked 30 mins back to documentation center which allowed my 4 year old and she seemed to enjoy the audio piece and the informative movies in there.  We did not go inside the courtroom 600 but did go to the palace of justice as we got a good overview of it at the documentation centre.  Loved Nuremberg, loved Germany - one of my favorite countries now.

  3. 3 hours ago, notamermaid said:



    just in case you cannot get into the sites you want to with a child - some really do have restrictions mainly for safety aspects - you could check out something else. The National Railway Museum in Nuremberg. I have not been myself but I know it is great from hearsay. Children are definitely allowed into that one. :classic_smile:https://www.dbmuseum.de/museum_en/informationen/opening_hours_prices-2613216






    Thanks Notamermaid and dogs4fun

    As you are aware I am on the other thread for danube water levels and most likely my Nuremberg time might be cut short to embark in another port (I am getting mentally prepared for that) which means this will give me really a half day at the most on Friday morning.  At this point I have gathered all info and made a note to myself of option 1, option 2, option 3 and will go for the one that works best with the time given.  I might be a tad disappointed if I miss the WWII sites but looking on the bright side atleast my 6 months of research is not a complete waste, I am still "probably" going to do the trip and will enjoy it no matter what last minute changes happen


    Going to miss talking to you guys after the trip :(

  4. 10 hours ago, Deval said:


    We’re still starting in Budapest but being put up in hotel for 1 night.  Was originally Kempinski but now we’ll be in Sofitel.  We’ll still have illuminations cruise & city tour next morning, then 3 hr bus ride to board Lea in Vienna.  Cruise now ends in Vilshofen & Ama said they will transfer us to Nuremberg (2.5 hrs).  We booked our own flights, we’re flying to Zurich & staying in Lucerne for 2 nights before returning to FL.


    This is reassuring for me.  By all that are using AMA, it looks like AMA is doing its best-est given the circumstances.  Thank you for taking the time to respond

    • Like 1
  5. 30 minutes ago, Deval said:


    We’re on the Iconic Christmas Markets on AmaLea.  When I first accessed the page the table had AmaViola.  They must have realized the error and corrected it by the time I went back in to copy the table.  My wife is calling AMA today just to confirm. The itinerary is pretty different than what we booked:  https://www.amawaterways.com/destination/europe-river-cruises/2018/iconic-christmas-markets

    Hi Deval, I am on the Iconic after yours.  I will probably hear a changed itinerary on mine any time soon.  Did the starting and ending ports remain same or have they changed ?  Nuremberg is not even on your itinerary now.  Did you buy flights from Ama or on your own ?  If on your own, how far are the changed ports to airports with your flights ?  I am following your updates really closely...  thank you for taking the time

  6. 11 hours ago, Deval said:

    So today Ama emailed us with the changes to our 12/2-12/9 itinerary.  After a night at Kempinski Budapest we’ll be bussed to Vienna to board AmaViola instead of AmaLea.  We’re bummed, we purposely booked this Christmas Markets trip to cruise on the brand new Lea!  


    Hi, what was your original trip called ?  original ship Ama Lea ?  The itinerary you copied in your post still shows Ama Lea.

    I want to understand how much of itinerary was changed.  Mine is Ama Viola departing on Dec 7

  7. Thank you Jpalbny.  My flights are non changeable and all that so we will fly in to Nuremberg.  I am travelling with a 4 year old so everything will be twice as slow to change and to do (not complaining, its a fact).  My worry is not that AMA will totally cancel which they won't just based on all my reading on boards these past few months but if they ask me to embark in another port once I am already in Nuremberg, then I will be scrambling with a child and 2 big suitcases.  Especially since my German is limited to Guten morgen and Danke.  Yes, Vienna & Budapest will be an awesome alternative. 

  8. This much of tension is really taking the fun out of this first timer's river cruise:classic_angry:  No update yet from AMA or TA on my Nuremberg to Budapest departing Dec 7 (10 days out).  I fly out a day early on my own to Nuremberg.  As I track where AMA Viola ship is today, its in Vienna.  First itinerary on this Christmas markets cruises for Viola is Nov 30 from Budapest to Nuremberg.  I assume mine would be the next from Nuremberg to Budapest.  I found out finally the ship is 135 m in length.

    Even if I not focus on the actual ship, I am finding it hard to come up with a Plan B considering flights were not thru AMA

    any advise for worst case scenarios ?

  9. I went on the website of the documentation center and it says children over 14 are allowed and ticketed.  does not mean a 4 year old cannot go in.  but I still sent an email off, lets hope they respond.  If I can't go in then I can't go in, will just do the zeppelin field and come back.  Dachau is on my bucket list but for another time

  10. I did google maps as you suggested and its super exciting.  I have most of Friday to do WWII sites before I embark on my cruise in the evening.  The 4 year old has to go where all I go, just don't want to go all the way there only to be turned back because they do not allow a child inside.  Zeppelin field and palace of justice if I can do I am happy, doc center will be a bonus

    so I buy a ticket for U3 @ euro 3 and then one more ticket for city rail 8 ?


    I appreciate your patience in answering me.  thank you

  11. Looking for some logistics help from local Nuremburg specialists.  Ama waterways local Nuremberg tour does not do Zeppelin field or courtroom 600 both of which I am very interested.

    I have Thursday afternoon and Friday morning before I embark on my cruise.  Looked at private tours and that is wa.............y over budget.  Any suggestions from locals or anyone who has done it.  thank you

  12. 9 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:


    I agree.  For most river cruise lines, there isn't any great difference between ships that should concern passengers.  Our two European AMA cruises were on their oldest ships – but both trips were great and we never felt that a newer ship would have been better.  BTW they were both 110m ships, which would actually be a blessing in this year's low-water situations!

    First river cruise on this stretch so any ship is fine just so long as it stays on water :)  Now after reading these boards, I am even ok for ship swaps.  And by the time I leave in 3 weeks, I might even end up ok for "a" bus ride :(

  13. 9 hours ago, gnome12 said:

    I wouldn't concentratr so much on your ship, because there is a good chance that you might be starting on another ship. Just concentrate on the itinerary and any Ama ship on it.

    I should have said Ama waterways ship whichever it was.  But yes, itinerary is important to me as I am arriving a day ahead to Nuremberg so change of ports at that point will be difficult.  But nothing can be done now so will learn as much geography as I can and be prepared.  

  14. Have been reading every single post since September my friend.  Jcat2010, much appreciated for that information, exactly what I am looking for.  I have not come across any Ama Viola cruisers plus the Christmas market cruises have not started yet.  I make copious notes but my precise ship and itinerary does not have many people chiming in so not exactly the same. But I will continue to watch the boards...

  15. Question to experienced/local experts - Ama Viola ship from Nuremberg/Regensberg/Passau/Melk/Vienna/Budapest.

    Looks like some interruption/itinerary change is a surety.  From an AMA size ship perspective what are the difficult/not passable spots ?  If there are going to be alternate bus options, want to be mentally prepared (travelling with 4 year old as well) and be equipped.  Journey begins Dec 7, hoping for better circumstances but want to be aware of options as well.  Expecting documents this week but so far no emails or communication regarding any change to the itinerary.

  16. Embarkation day question - I see on Ama waterways site, my embarkation is 3:00 pm on Dec 7.  I arrive in to Nuremburg on Dec 6 and am staying at a hotel close to the market.  Dec 8 morning 4 hour included excursion (ramparts, castle, fountain & market square)  but the itinerary on Ama website says city tour of WWII highlights.  can someone who has done the iconic markets on ama viola in Dec, clarify this for me.  Are there going to be any programs on embarkation day for which I need to arrive in the afternoon ?  or can I book a WWII hightlights tour on my own and then embark after ?  thanks

  17. 23 hours ago, tazlover said:

    We are in Vienna on the AMAVIOLA. No water here. We can’t go up or down river. We were supposed to go to Budapest. Now we are bussing it. Very disappointed but it is what it is. 

    Hello, you are in Ama viola and in Vienna and bound to Budapest...  I have a similar itinerary in December.  Hoping you did make it to Budapest and you were able to see what you wanted to see there.

    With the water levels, I am curious to know if Ama covered the sightseeing with other means - bus ?  When you can, will you describe your day in Vienna & Budapest ?  thanks kindly

  18. For anyone that's done the AMA waterways iconic Christmas markets cruise in December ending in Budapest - I see an afternoon excursion in Budapest on offer.  wondered if the morning gets us in to Budapest and docking ?  The previous day in Vienna on offer are two big excursions - 4 hours in the morning and 5.5 hours in the afternoon.  Heard there usually is an optional paid concert type thing on offer in Vienna, wonder where that will be squeezed ?  any idea of the approx. cost of this concert ?

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