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About wednesday

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Photography, reading, cars, gardening, binge watching British period drama
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, RCCL, AmaWaterways, NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The Mediterranean
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  1. No we haven't, our departure is July 30 so you might have to give me the good, the bad and the ugly.;p Although from my past Ama experiences there really was no bad and ugly. We did choose the second night of the cruise, sailing away from Amsterdam for the Chef's table because there are no special meals in the main dining room that evening (at least on our sailing,) it won't interfere with going into port on the late stops and there should be some okay views. We are a group of 13 so I didn't want to tie up anyone's port time with reservations. One thing that helped me decide (in addition to getting the special meal days) was this blog post I found. Although the time of year she cruised was earlier than ours so the sun probably won't be setting for dinner for us like it was for her. https://www.christinascucina.com/introducing-amawaterways-and-the-enchanting-rhine-river-cruise/
  2. We made final payment yesterday for our cruise!:champagne-toast: :cool: Hoping the Ama app gets the Stella before our trip, I see they have added a few more ships.
  3. wednesday

    AMA Air?

    I can't answer as to whether or not you can deal directly from Ama due to your circumstances but I will tell you, that in my experience, Ama's contracted air is generally slightly less expensive than booking direct with the airline. Typically you only pay a deposit ($350 USD per person) on the air and you have until final payment to pay the remainder, again I do not know what the charter organizer has arranged so this could be different. Oh and one thing on the transfers, they are only included if you are traveling in/out on the day of the cruise begins/ends or are on an Ama pre/post cruise land extension. If you deviate they are not included.
  4. I am not sure if it is still the case but in 2014 on our Nuremberg to Budapest Itinerary, Ama took us to the big market hall, it was within walking distance of the ship so we walked there with the cruise manager.
  5. You're Welcome! I did download the app but we are cruising on the Stella so nothing yet for me, hopefully they will have it up and running by July. I think the cocktail hour is a nice touch too. We also received $150 per person on board credit when we booked so every hour can be cocktail hour:wine-glass::cocktail::tropical-drink::beer-mug::beer-toast::champagne-toast:
  6. Meeting new friends is one of the best things about traveling and river cruising does make it easy. We have many new friends as a result of traveling. My group is large enough that at dinner we likely won't eat with new people but last time I went with a group we managed to meet people at breakfast or in the lounge. When I booked my group the ship was relatively empty and then overnight almost all the cabins were gone so I know this is a large group.... hopefully it will go well.:o You're welcome, hope some of the info comes in useful, I have been planning and working on this trip since January 2017. Switzerland is CRAZY expensive, it is not helping my efforts in trying to talk my husband into moving there.:')
  7. I just have to say, I wish those of you on the Rhine were doing our sailing, you seem like a really great bunch!:) I have had no responses to my roll call except from my friend who is traveling in my group. Our sailing was also pretty much overtaken by a partial charter of which I have no idea exactly what kind of group they are or what to expect.... I really wish they would not allow partial charters on the river cruises, the ships are too small.
  8. I think the train is a great way to go and very much less expensive, especially if you do the Swiss travel pass. In case you aren't aware of the travel pass, you can use it for free and discounted tickets on the train and I think busses and boats (most of the mountain lines are not free and very expensive but the travel pass gives a discount so depending on what you end up doing it might be cheaper to get the pass or it might not, for us I don't think it will be cheaper.) The reason we are not taking the train is that there are 13 of us and I just felt it would be easier not lugging 13 people's bags on the train. We could also have taken the train directly to ZRH, again we chose to do a transfer because there are 13 of us traveling together. We have a 13 or 14 passenger van with a separate luggage trailer attached for our transfers.
  9. This is the info I was given from Ama and that I relayed to our guide. Sorry it was buried in a mountain of emails and took a while to find. Ama mentions they include for their tour: "Get acquainted with Amsterdam on a scenic canal cruise, where you will see the beautiful wooden Skinny Bridge and Anne Frank's House. Continue on with a walk to the Begijnhof and be charmed by its Middle Age buildings followed by a city tour that includes the Royal Palace and Westerkerk. Later in the day, enjoy scenic cruising.
  10. Hello! I booked through Tours by Locals for the private guides. If you go to their website you can search by location and then it gives you the option to look at all of their guides. This will be my first experience with Tours by Locals but they have been around a while. My guide in Amsterdam is Frank K, he has been great to deal with so far. The canal cruise was booked with www.privateboattours.nl after recommendations from a friend who did a cruise with them. The two restaurants we booked, based on getting Dutch food that was not too eclectic and fancy and that had good reviews, were Bleu Bistro https://www.facebook.com/bleuamsterdam and Van Speyk http://vanspeyk.amsterdam. The guide in Switzerland is Jutta S. who is also very pleasant to deal with but she may be a little slower in responding because she guides trips to Costa Rica in the winter and is gone a lot. She has even assisted us in booking our transfers from Basel to Lucerne and Lucerne to ZRH, they were a little more expensive than using a 3rd party booker but I feel more confident that there will be no issues. The brewery and restaurant that we are touring and dining at is Restaurant Rathous Braurei www.rathausbrauerei.com . Christoph, who handles reservations has been very good to deal with, it is suggested to make reservations well in advance for the brewery tour and the last tour is at 6 pm. If you are interested in the folk show it is Stadtkeller.com and appears to be affiliated with the brewery. I think that is everything!;p Wendy
  11. We are a group of 13 so we have planned a private half day walking tour to include going in the Anne Frank house (Ama does not go inside and if you want to do it I believe you need to book at the 2 month prior mark when the tickets become available because they sell out) and a full day private Dutch countryside tour. We also booked a private sunset canal cruise on a boat that is used by the Dutch royal family on occasion, I am really looking forward to that! All (except the canal cruise) were booked with tours by locals. I can vouch for Viator as well, I have used them a lot for myself and for clients and not ever had an issue, they have more small group shared tours which are good if you are not traveling with other's to split the cost of a private tour. I also extensively looked at yelp and trip advisor to get restaurant ideas and made my dinner reservations in advance. We are doing 3 days in Lucerne post cruise on our own as well with a private guide taking us to Titlis, the Rhinefalls and Black Forest, Pilatus and a walking tour of Lucerne. We have also lined up a brewery tour, folk show and dinner reservations. Gosh I am getting excited just thinking about it all!:hearteyes:
  12. Thanks! :) They fly today and already Lufthansa has a delay on their flight:rolleyes:.... that airline causes me the most grief.... so hopefully they will make it in time for dinner. I told them that their hotel concierge should be able to assist.
  13. We were on a Christmas market cruise so it was dark early and I would say hands down, Budapest. I am thinking it would be just as pretty in the summer. Here are links to two photos, sorry I don't know how to add a decent quality photo now that photobucket has gotten greedy.... https://photos.app.goo.gl/MqkL3kQRAte9UEr03 https://photos.app.goo.gl/50os8PL71kPh9n8X2 Hope someone has insight on the Rhine!
  14. We have cruised Ama two times previously on the Danube and are cruising the Rhine this August. Anyone that has done the Rhine itinerary Amsterdam to Basel, can you tell me the best night to dine at the Chef's table as far as having nice scenery to watch float by? Thanks!
  15. I am hoping that someone that has done the Amsterdam to Basel route with Ama can suggest the best day to dine at the Chef's table as far as having nice scenery to view. Thanks!
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