AMA Paris/Normandy - last minute questions for veteran AMA cruisers

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!


Unregistered, just back from your river cruise? Get published on Cruise Critic; Write a Review!
River Cruising
Find Others on Your River Cruise! River Cruising Roll Calls
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 02:55 AM.
#1
315 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
We are leaving next week for our first AMA river cruise on the Seine, and I have a few questions from the seasoned AMA cruisers, especially those who have taken this itinerary. I have read the material from AMA, but am still uncertain about what choices to make on 2 of the excursions. For Caudebec-en Caux, can anyone comment on their experiences with either the Honfleur excursion or the Routes des Abbayes tour? I am leaning toward the first, but would appreciate input from others. Likewise, I am really torn between the Conflans offerings: Chateau Malmaison or Artists Walk tours. Both look very interesting. Any thoughts on these?
My other question is a general packing question: the booklet AMA sent suggests dressing up for the captain's dinner, which I am fine with, but all the discussions I have seen here emphasize casual dress. Do many women tend to wear dresses for this occasion, or will I be wasting my limited packing space? And are there other occasions that people also dress up a bit for, like the specialty restaurant?
I always learn so much on these boards. I almost feel ready to embark on this much anticipated French adventure. Thank you to anyone who can help me with these last minute questions.
Cheryl
#2
FL
14,432 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by ConnMom
My other question is a general packing question: the booklet AMA sent suggests dressing up for the captain's dinner, which I am fine with, but all the discussions I have seen here emphasize casual dress. Do many women tend to wear dresses for this occasion, or will I be wasting my limited packing space? And are there other occasions that people also dress up a bit for, like the specialty restaurant?
I always learn so much on these boards. I almost feel ready to embark on this much anticipated French adventure. Thank you to anyone who can help me with these last minute questions.
Cheryl
Hi, Cheryl! We are veteran (8x) AMA cruises and did take this itinerary, but with another line, so I am not able to comment on the tour options. Honfleur was a big hit on our sailing, if that helps at all.

For the Captain's events, as well as for the Chef's Table, most passengers took it up a notch from the norm. Personally, I wear tailored black slacks with a dressy top and am in the majority. I mix and match a lot and will pair these slacks with multiple tops throughout the cruise.

I do like dresses and generally pack a simple jersey wrap dress or sweater dress (depending on season) that I can bling up with accessories. I dress as I would for an upscale restaurant here at home. For these evenings, DH wears a sportcoat and sometimes a tie. About half of the men do so in my experience.

We very much enjoyed the itinerary and AMA is our favorite. Enjoy!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
143 cruises since 1964, 15 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#3
North Texas
595 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
My wife and I did this cruise last May, our only river cruise. We did the Honfleur tour. It was a guided walking tour of the waterfront and the history of the city and some artists. There was also free time to explore. We ejoyed it very much. We did the Artists Walk tour in Conflans because it focused on Van Gogh and the inn he lived in at end of his life. Though it was raining, we found it very interesting. It was also a guided walking tour. We visited the cemetery where he and his brother Theo are buried.

As for dress, almost everyone dressed casually except for the Chefs Table. There was a private group aboard who dressed up on their own.

Hope this helps.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Forums mobile app
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
08-16-2009 Star Princess (Alaska Inside Passage)
11-05-2011 Norwegian Jade (Lands of the Bible)
01-20-2013 Mariner of the Seas (Western Caribbean)
01-24-2015 Norwegian Jewel (Western Caribbean)
01-30-2016 Norwegian Jade (W. Caribbean)
04-27-2017 AmaLyra (Paris to Normandy river cruise)
01-21-2018 Liberty of the Seas (Western Caribbean)



#4
315 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Hawk and Caviargal, many thanks to both of you for the tour and fashion input. I think we will probably go with Honfleur for its charm and the Artists Walk tour as a follow up to our pre-cruise museum visits in Paris.
And, as it seems that clothing is not a big issue, I will let the space in my luggage dictate whether the dress gets to stay or go.
Caviargal, I see that you have included a future cruise on the MS Joy in your signatiure Is that with Tauck? We did their Blue Danube itinerary last summer on the Joy and had a wonderful trip. It also was generally relaxed and casual, except for the evenings when we had dinner and entertainment off the boat. If this is the tour you are going on, I think you will enjoy it.
#5
Reston, Virginia USA
293 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
My reply is probably too late for your packing, but I just returned yesterday from the AmaLyra Paris to Normandy cruise and it was spectacular! I will say it was rainy and cold most of the time, so sitting on the sun deck was not an option. We took the Honfleur excursion (beautiful), as well as the trip to Van Gogh's last residence (wonderful). We did not dress up for the Chef's Table - just a nicer top for the ladies. Everything about this trip was fabulous. Sat at the Captain's table with the adorable Captain Geoffrey Masson - he is on a 2-week break now.

Allyson
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




Cunard Countess - Caribbean - mid '70s, Song of Norway - Caribbean 7/89, Norwegian Sea - Bahamas 12/01, Sovereign of the Seas - Bahamas 12/29/2002, Radiance of the Seas - Alaska 8/23/03, Mariner of the Seas - Caribbean 05/15/05, Brilliance of the Seas - Mediterranean 09/30/07, Jewel of the Seas - Baltics 08/21/09, Navigator of the Seas - Western Caribbean 02/27/10, Enchantment of the Seas - Bermuda 09/04/2010, Celebrity Infinity - South America 03/13/2011, Liberty of the Seas - Jamaica 12/29/2011, Enchantment of the Seas - Bahamas 12/29/2012, AMACerto - Tulip Time - 04/15/2013, Explorer of the Seas - Bahamas - 12/29/2013, Celebrity Reflection - Mediterranean/Greek Isles 06/02/2014, Grandeur of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean 11/11/2014, AMASonata - Romantic Danube 09/06/2015, Grandeur of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean 11/11/2015, Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean 02/14/2016, Grandeur of the Seas - Bermuda 09/10/2016, AmaLyra - Paris and Normandy 09/07/2017, Anthem of the Seas - Bahamas 04/07/2018, Serenade of the Seas - Norwegian Fjords 08/11/2018
#6
315 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Thank you, Allyson. It is not too late for my packing, and I am happy to hear from several women that a dress is not necessary. We leave for Europe on Tuesday, but will spend 9 days in Ireland and Paris before embarking on the Lyra on Sept. 28. I am planning for cool weather everywhere, and will bring rain gear, but hope we don't have too much rain. Our Danube cruise last year at the same time was very rainy. We never saw the sun deck on that trip except for embarkation day.
Both excursions sound excellent; I always want to do everything that is offered and hate to have to make choices, but it is wonderful that the choices exist. We are definitely looking forward to trying AMA after all the excellent comments.I am sorry that the captain will be on vacation; it sounds as if his replacement will have a lot to live up to.
One silly question if anyone remembers: does the boat have decaf tea among its offerings? Not a big deal, but it might save me a smidgeon of space if I don't have to bring a box.
#7
Reston, Virginia USA
293 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by ConnMom
Thank you, Allyson. It is not too late for my packing, and I am happy to hear from several women that a dress is not necessary. We leave for Europe on Tuesday, but will spend 9 days in Ireland and Paris before embarking on the Lyra on Sept. 28. I am planning for cool weather everywhere, and will bring rain gear, but hope we don't have too much rain. Our Danube cruise last year at the same time was very rainy. We never saw the sun deck on that trip except for embarkation day.
Both excursions sound excellent; I always want to do everything that is offered and hate to have to make choices, but it is wonderful that the choices exist. We are definitely looking forward to trying AMA after all the excellent comments.I am sorry that the captain will be on vacation; it sounds as if his replacement will have a lot to live up to.
One silly question if anyone remembers: does the boat have decaf tea among its offerings? Not a big deal, but it might save me a smidgeon of space if I don't have to bring a box.
Captain Masson should be back by then, but you never know what ship he will be on. He is from Avignon, so France is a strong possibility. I am sorry to say I am not a tea drinker, so I don't know about the decaf tea. The crew bent over backwards to please. I hope you have a wonderful time! I am still wishing I were still on the ship!

Allyson
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




Cunard Countess - Caribbean - mid '70s, Song of Norway - Caribbean 7/89, Norwegian Sea - Bahamas 12/01, Sovereign of the Seas - Bahamas 12/29/2002, Radiance of the Seas - Alaska 8/23/03, Mariner of the Seas - Caribbean 05/15/05, Brilliance of the Seas - Mediterranean 09/30/07, Jewel of the Seas - Baltics 08/21/09, Navigator of the Seas - Western Caribbean 02/27/10, Enchantment of the Seas - Bermuda 09/04/2010, Celebrity Infinity - South America 03/13/2011, Liberty of the Seas - Jamaica 12/29/2011, Enchantment of the Seas - Bahamas 12/29/2012, AMACerto - Tulip Time - 04/15/2013, Explorer of the Seas - Bahamas - 12/29/2013, Celebrity Reflection - Mediterranean/Greek Isles 06/02/2014, Grandeur of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean 11/11/2014, AMASonata - Romantic Danube 09/06/2015, Grandeur of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean 11/11/2015, Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean 02/14/2016, Grandeur of the Seas - Bermuda 09/10/2016, AmaLyra - Paris and Normandy 09/07/2017, Anthem of the Seas - Bahamas 04/07/2018, Serenade of the Seas - Norwegian Fjords 08/11/2018
#8
New York
8,309 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by ConnMom
One silly question if anyone remembers: does the boat have decaf tea among its offerings? Not a big deal, but it might save me a smidgeon of space if I don't have to bring a box.
On our AMA Rhone cruise my brother-in-law asked for Extra Virgin Olive Oil for his bread at dinner. He was unhappy with the quality of what they provided, and the next morning they went out and bought a bottle of really good stuff that was presented at our table every dinner afterward! So if they don't have decaf tea, just ask -- they will have it the next day.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Email me: [email protected]
Blogs: Jazzbeaux Blogs

I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

Booked:
Crown Princess Classic Canada & New England 10-2017
Azamara Quest Costa Rica 1-2018
AMA Discover Africa 5-2018
Viking Sun British Isles Explorer 8-2018
Celebrity Edge Caribbean B2B / Celebrity Equinox Caribbean B2B 1-2019 [will choose one!]

Completed:
Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-2016; Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-2016; Celebrity Constellation Greek Isles 5-2016; AmaDagio Provence 9-2015; Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos 5-2015; Celebrity Eclipse Southern Carib 3-2015; Fresco Tours A Kinder Camino walking tour 9-2014; Crystal Serenity Mediterranean 5-2014; Coral Princess Panama Canal 1-2014; AmaCello Rhine 8-2013; Coral Princess Alaska 6-2013; Ireland Fly-Drive 9-2012; Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-1974
#9
FL
14,432 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by ConnMom
One silly question if anyone remembers: does the boat have decaf tea among its offerings? Not a big deal, but it might save me a smidgeon of space if I don't have to bring a box.
I drink a lot of tea and AMA always has a wide selection of herbal and decaf options. Enjoy!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
143 cruises since 1964, 15 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#11
TN
12,219 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
DH and I were on the AMAViola two weeks ago. First River Cruise!

I wore black Chico's Traveler's slacks every evening and paired with a different top, jacket, dressy sweater, etc. For the Captain's Dinner (we dined with a group in the "special" dining room) I wore a different pair of Traveler's, along with a black & gold, slightly sparkly, tunic. Most dressed up a bit. We saw anything from the bicycler's attire ( large group of Backroads on our cruise), to shorts, to a long dress or two. For the the Chef's Table, I wore my black Traveler's with a dressy tank and flowy (is there such a word?) black sweater jacket.

The Captain's Welcome, which is the first night, is very casual. Some people did not have their luggage. Others did not have time to unpack. While others were in a their cycling gear. We managed to shower and change into something other than our travel clothes.

Bottom line is that DH and I felt good with what we wore each evening. DH did not take a jacket. He wore either a Polo, dress shirt, or sweater along with dress pants every evening. We did see a couple of men in jackets or suits, but most wore golf shirts to dinner. Some in Tee's.

Should we try the River Cruising again, the items that I will not pack again are a bathing suit and cover-up. We had mostly rain and some cool weather after the first day or two. Plus, there really is no time to relax up on the deck. We did sit up there a time or two wrapped in blankets while watching the scenery.

Have a great trip and cruise!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
UPCOMING:
Celebrity Solstice - February 3, 2018 - LA, Australia/New Zealand
Celebrity Eclipse - May 10, 2018 - Scotland, Ireland/Iceland
Celebrity Edge - December 16, 2018 - Inaugural Cruise
#12
315 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Now that we are just a day out from our flight, I am removing items from my luggage. I will save my dress and bathing suit for a cruise out of Florida this winter, and even have removed a couple of sweaters to save space. I am learning not to care about repeatedly wearing the same things, and am getting attached to black pants and multiple scarves and shawls. I am glad that AMA is generally pretty casual. The line and itinerary we sailed on last year required some dress clothes for off-ship events, and while it was a fantastic cruise, I am looking forward to a more relaxed atmosphere this year.
I have gotten great feedback from so many happy AMA travelers; my anticipation is high, and I am more than ready to get on with our adventure.
#13
TN
12,219 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
Good idea! I took one thin sweater shirt and my rain jacket and one pair of long work-out pants for cold weather. Wasn't expecting any in late August. I was cold for those 2-3 days that we had rain, and the rain jacket did not keep me dry. It's a Marmot. Next time, I will take a heavier sweater and my Columbia jacket. Oh, and my feet also got soaked. I will ALWAYS carry the provided umbrella from now on.

Safe travels!
#14
Reston, Virginia USA
293 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by ConnMom
Now that we are just a day out from our flight, I am removing items from my luggage. I will save my dress and bathing suit for a cruise out of Florida this winter, and even have removed a couple of sweaters to save space. I am learning not to care about repeatedly wearing the same things, and am getting attached to black pants and multiple scarves and shawls. I am glad that AMA is generally pretty casual. The line and itinerary we sailed on last year required some dress clothes for off-ship events, and while it was a fantastic cruise, I am looking forward to a more relaxed atmosphere this year.
I have gotten great feedback from so many happy AMA travelers; my anticipation is high, and I am more than ready to get on with our adventure.
A nice touch: Ama gives each lady a beautiful scarf at the beginning of the cruise. That's one less scarf for you to take!

Allyson
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




Cunard Countess - Caribbean - mid '70s, Song of Norway - Caribbean 7/89, Norwegian Sea - Bahamas 12/01, Sovereign of the Seas - Bahamas 12/29/2002, Radiance of the Seas - Alaska 8/23/03, Mariner of the Seas - Caribbean 05/15/05, Brilliance of the Seas - Mediterranean 09/30/07, Jewel of the Seas - Baltics 08/21/09, Navigator of the Seas - Western Caribbean 02/27/10, Enchantment of the Seas - Bermuda 09/04/2010, Celebrity Infinity - South America 03/13/2011, Liberty of the Seas - Jamaica 12/29/2011, Enchantment of the Seas - Bahamas 12/29/2012, AMACerto - Tulip Time - 04/15/2013, Explorer of the Seas - Bahamas - 12/29/2013, Celebrity Reflection - Mediterranean/Greek Isles 06/02/2014, Grandeur of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean 11/11/2014, AMASonata - Romantic Danube 09/06/2015, Grandeur of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean 11/11/2015, Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean 02/14/2016, Grandeur of the Seas - Bermuda 09/10/2016, AmaLyra - Paris and Normandy 09/07/2017, Anthem of the Seas - Bahamas 04/07/2018, Serenade of the Seas - Norwegian Fjords 08/11/2018
#15
Coastal NC
3,244 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by aldukenew
A nice touch: Ama gives each lady a beautiful scarf at the beginning of the cruise. That's one less scarf for you to take!

Allyson
And on our cruise the same scarf was given to the men . We had one man traveling solo that got the scarf. He didn't quite know what to do with it since he had no one to give it to.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sharon

Viking, Portraits of Southern France. 2006
Uniworld, Castles Along the Rhine, 2007
Gate 1, Thanksgiving Cruise, 2007
AMA Waterways, Portugal on the Douro, 2008
Grand Circle: Romance of the Rhine and Mosel, 2010
Viking Emerald, China's Cultural Delights. 3/28/2011
Grand Circle: Old World Prague and the Blue Danube. September 7, 2011.
Viking Spirit, Paris to Normandy. 12/11/11.
Grand Circle's [i]Essence of the Elbe: 5/27/12/ to 6/11/12
Grand Circle Russia Revealed with pretrip to Helsinki and Tallinn , 2012. .
Viking Sun, Treasures of the Rhine. Nov 11, 2012.
AMACerto, Istanbul to Budapest. May 30, 2013.
Uniworld River Queen, Classic Christmas Markets, Nuremberg to Frankfurt. Dec 5, 2013.
Vantage Travel, Croatian Odyssey & Venice with Lake Bled, Slovenia pretrip. M/Y Harmony G
Grand Circle, Burma and the Irrawaddy, Thailand and Cambodia. Nov 25, 2014. RV Paukan 2012.
Grand Circle: Spain's Northern Coast & the Bay of Biscay. 4/30/2015 to 5/21/2015. Ship: Corinthian
AMAWaterways: Magnificent Europe. Aug 30 to Sept 14, 2015. AMACerto. Budapest to Amsterdam
Vantage: The Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu. 3/12/2016. Post trip to Lake Titicaca. Ship: RV Amazon Discovery
Grand Circle: Grand Baltic Sea Voyage. . 7/30/2016 to 8/15/2016. Ship: Corinthian
Viking: Castles & Legends. Munich to Budapest. 12/5/16 to 12/16/16. Viking Ve.
Viking Sky: Mediterranean Getaway, Rome to Barcelona, 2/25/17 to 3/4/17.

Grand Circle: Maritime Jewels of the British Isles. 7/23/17. Ship: Corinthian
Avalon Affinity: Burgundy & Provence with London, 10/2/17
Viking RA: Pharaohs & Pyramids. March 8, 2018
#16
FL
14,432 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by aldukenew
A nice touch: Ama gives each lady a beautiful scarf at the beginning of the cruise. That's one less scarf for you to take!

Allyson
We have always received this on the final night of the cruise and never at the beginning. Very classy touch!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
143 cruises since 1964, 15 on the river.
Looking forward to:
MS Joy - Magic of Advent, December 2017

Amadeus Silver III, May 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018
Scenic Eclipse, April, 2019

Our river cruising history:
Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017

Recent cruises:
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
#17
315 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
I love the gift scarf idea - what a nice way to remember a lovely vacation every time it is worn. Well kept secret for newbies - this is the first time I have heard of this. I think I am going to love this cruise (of course, I have never met a cruise that I haven't liked, ocean or river.)