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Posts posted by wednesday

  1. Have you had your cruise already? I am going on this trip on July 7th with my mother. I'd love to hear any feedback you might have, the good, the bad, and the ugly! Thanks.


    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.


  2. 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.

  3. Can anyone tell me if there is free time in the afternoon in Budapest? The activities list a morning tour of 4hours in duration. I’m hoping to see Great (grand) market hall and possibly another site in the afternoon. Not able to extend a few days at the end of the cruise. Thanks to everyone for posting here. The information is so helpful.


    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.

  4. I don't know if you have loaded the new AMA Cruiser App for Apple devices but its an interesting and useful tool. Unfortunately it is only working so far for two cruise ships, AmaViola and AMA Kristina. But I've loaded the cruises and if you are lucky enough to have this up and running for your cruise its pretty neat. You can share posts with your family and friends, pictures, your day by day itinerary is there plus once the cruise starts, your Dailies are shown. I found it very interesting to see the new changes that AMA made this year, such as the cocktail hour. Each day they feature a signature cocktail, as well as other drinks included during that time frame. For anyone who is doing the Amsterdam Tulip Time cruise you can add the AmaKristina which is cruising on April 9, you will be able to get an overview of what is happening each day of the cruise. I know some people like me read everything they can ahead of time so they can get familiar with what to expect. This is a great way to give you a heads up. I've checked out that Brewery and Restaurant in Lucerne and its a definite must for us. Thanks again.


    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:

  5. When we do the Rhine in May there will be 8 of us. There was a wine tasters group on our last river cruise and they pretty much stuck to themselves. They were given the large front area that is closed off from the other diners. Our experience was that with groups, you have a tendency to stick together and don't meet as many people. Two of the people in our group are people we met on the river cruise last year and stayed in touch with. Its so nice to be able to meet so many nice people and dine with different groups each night. Although the 8 of us will be mostly meeting at the ship, we still plan to mingle and change up our dining partners each night. Hope your cruise goes well with the partial charter on board. I was told that AMA didn't reserve tables for large groups, so not sure how this will work for the group on your tour.


    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


    Thanks for the information on the tour guide in Switzerland. We plan on hopping on the train from Zurich to Lucerne and the train stop is minutes from our hotel in Lucerne. After our three days in Lucerne, we plan to hop on the train to Basel. I priced private tours for 4 of us and they seemed way overpriced, almost $800 for 4 people. We normally do private tours, but everything is expensive in Switzerland, lol. If we have time, we hope to get to Interlaken from Basel by train just for the one day. Its great to chat will all of you about these trips, and share ideas and options. Thanks a bunch.


    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.:')

  6. 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.

  7. Wonderful info, much appreciated.

    I was planning on just taking the train from Basel to Lucerne on our own. Do you have a different type of transfer?


    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.

  8. Thanks I will check out Viator for sure.

    I believe Beachbumsns is cruising before me (I am July 23rd) and I think Wednesday is after me. What I am mostly interested in is what type of tour AMA takes us on in Amsterdam, I believe it is just a canal cruise.Wednesday what company did you use to book your sunset cruise? We only have one full day in Amsterdam before we board the ship so need to use our time wisely. We also are going to Lucerne but also only have 2 full days there. We then have our teenagers fly out of Zurich and my husband and I have another week in Italy.


    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.

  9. Hi to you Wednesday. I would be interested in knowing who you booked your private guide with in Lucerne as we are there 3 days pre cruise. We have planned to do the trip up to Mount Pilatus, as well as the Lake Lucerne cruise. Your tour sounds great too. If you don't mind sharing this information, I would like to check it out compared to what we have planned as we are always open to suggestions. We also enjoy Brewery tours, is this booked with the same company? Thanks for your help.




    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



  10. Has anyone done Amsterdam to Basel? We arrive in Amsterdam a few days early (on our own not with their pre tour) and wondering what tours I should book. I am a bit confused but it kind of looks like we board the ship on July 20th and spend the first night on the ship in Amsterdam and then they take us on a tour the next day and we meet the ship downstream and begin the cruise at some point on the 21st. Thinking of booking a city tour but not sure what kind of tour they do take us on. Also really looking forward to replies from a previous question on good nights on the Rhine for a captains table dinner.

    Thanks again, this group is full of wonderful information.


    Have you heard of an online company called Viator? They have tours in mostly every city and you can book ahead and pay in your own currency. You get a confirmation and print your email and take it to the tour pickup. We have used this company many times and have had great service from them. We also like to do the Hop on Hop off Busses in each city, which we find very easy to get around and see the main sights without having to worry about transportation. Not sure if Amsterdam has a HOHO bus system but if they do its a great way to see it. Hope this helps. Since we are on the Rhine from the 17th of May to the 24th, we would also like to know what a good night would be to book the Captain's table for scenery. Thanks
    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:

  11. Basel being in Switzerland I am not familiar with observance of holidays and closures from first-hand knowledge. Perhaps a past cruiser can help. I cannot imagine restaurants being closed, though, as Basel is such a large town I am sure they will find something that suits their needs. Perhaps the tourist information centre (contact details at the bottom of the page) can help with specific questions: https://www.basel.com/en




    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.

  12. Great question. I’d love to know the same in regard to the Danube cruise.


    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....






    Hope someone has insight on the Rhine!

  13. Thanks for the updates Notamermaid.


    I have clients arriving in Basel on Monday, I forget that the religious holidays are celebrated a greater length in Europe. Do you think they will find it an issue to have dinner in Basel on Monday?


    Glad to hear the river levels appear to be okay for cruising.:)


    I will be cruising the Rhine the first week of August, I will be sure to keep an eye on this very helpful thread.

  14. I am part of a group of 13 that are doing our own thing post cruise in Switzerland. Because there are so many of us I am afraid it will be a challenge with bags on the train so I am looking into private transfers both from Basel to Lucerne and Lucerne to Zurich.


    Has anyone used a private transfer company in Switzerland and if so what are your thoughts?



    Some of the ones we are looking at are airportstaxitransfers, airport shuttle express and shuttle direct.




  15. Hope I didn't come across as rude when I said it was on the 5 day not the 2 day track. I couldn't figure out why it wasn't showing when I knew I had seen it earlier. I've been watching it becaue of travel plans and when I couldn't see it on the above link, I couldn't figure out why it had disappeared. So apologies if I was short or rude. I shouldn't post late at night!


    To the OP, hopefully it won't cause any problems for your ports. I have had itineraries altered due to hurricanes in the past and honestly it was no biggie for us, but I understand that for some people with specific plans for a port (like weddings, etc) it can be a very big deal. In the instances where we've had changes we've had either an alternate itinerary (like they'd do the Roatan/Costa Maya route instead of Grand Cayman/Jamaica) or they reversed the order of the ports (like instead of Cozumel being first it ends up last). They will tell you as soon as they know if they have to alter the itinerary.


    Are you driving or flying?


    No not rude at all, so no worries. I was just so tired I did not think to look at those and I am well versed with the NOAA website.

  16. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/


    I dont think you have to worry. First a storm has to form off the coast of Africa. As it drifts west it picks up moisture from the warm ocean and starts to rotate. It is then a tropical depression. Then if the trade wins dont destroy it, it grows larger and becomes a tropical storm. When it gets strong enough with winds over 80 mph it becomes a hurricanre. The depression your hearing about is way out between here and Africa. Even if it formed it probably wouldnt effect you


    I think she is talking about the disturbance over the Yucatan, it has been all over the weather here but has not formed anything yet and is not showing even as a possibility on the NOAA website but our local forecasters believe it will somewhat develop and move North or West.

  17. NHC.NOAA.GOV doesn't show anything yet but our local channels have been talking about a disturbance over the Yucatan bringing rain to Florida.


    A depression is what a TS or Hurricane generally forms from, it will be mostly just a lot of rain, Tropical storms are a depression that has further strengthened with more wind, possibility of tornadoes and heavy rain and hurricane is the next step in the strengthening process and is the spinning cyclone with a visible eye and high wind, heavy rain, tornadoes. Best I can explain it as a Florida native. Keep an eye on the nhc.noaa.gov though, it is a good resource for tracking storms.


    We sail out of FLL on Saturday for a Western itinerary and I hope it has moved along by the time we make it to Mexico.


    Hope this helps!

  18. Awesome! Wish I could wear yellowbox shoes, they are cute but way too wide for my sticks! :loudcry: Volatile tends to run smaller and I have several different kinds of their sandals, they are a total lifesaver and living in Florida I can wear them year round.



    Are you kidding? Absolutely not. I wore these babies almost every night at dinner a month ago on Liberty.

    nou43b.jpg Real sparkly!

  19. Sorry for resurrecting this thread but it's been a while since I've cruised Royal and I need to make sure I will not get turned away from the MDR if I wear my dressy thong sandals.


    Like some other people here, I have foot issues, one they are super slim so nearly all strappy sandals and closed in shoes just plain do not fit. Secondly I have a cyst on the ball of my foot that requires some cushion so that I am not in pain.


    If I wear a pair like this with a dress I would not think it would be an issue but I know with Celebrity it can be, do you think it will cause me any problems on Royal?


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