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Make sure you leave yourself lots of time for the Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest. It is a most stunning place to visit. The Views are amazing and the cathedral is stunning. The illumination sail is beautiful as well.

Sounds great, thanks!

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HI! A friend and I just booked the June 1 cruise. Are you on that one? My first river cruise so I'm open to any info.

We are going into Munich a couple days early (been there 3 times). Looking forward to Budapest!

 

No, we're on the June 15th cruise. Have a great time!

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Does anyone have experience with transfers through AMA? We arrive in Munich very early in the morning. I assume there is some waiting for other guests before the AMA transfer leaves. Could we be waiting until the afternoon to depart for Vilshofen?

 

There will be someone at the airport to pick you up and transport you to your hotel or ship, even if you are the only one(s) arriving. The most I have ever waited for others to arrive from other flights, on any cruise line, has been about 45 minutes.

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Does anyone have experience with transfers through AMA? We arrive in Munich very early in the morning. I assume there is some waiting for other guests before the AMA transfer leaves. Could we be waiting until the afternoon to depart for Vilshofen?

 

The AMA transfer services works very well. We used it from Prague to Vilshofen last year and it included a tour in Regensberg and time for lunch. Not sure how long your trip is from Munich to Vilshofen but I don't think AMA would leave you waiting for long for your pickup. You may want to call them and ask or ask your travel agent for this information. Our AMA experience was amazing, hope yours is too.

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Make sure you leave yourself lots of time for the Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest. It is a most stunning place to visit. The Views are amazing and the cathedral is stunning. The illumination sail is beautiful as well.

Thank you! I've put it on my list. Did you stay an extra night in Budapest? We are thinking of doing that then training back to Munich.

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Thank you! I've put it on my list. Did you stay an extra night in Budapest? We are thinking of doing that then training back to Munich.

Yes, we did, we stayed for a few nights at the Radisson Blu in Budapest. We took a taxi that the ship arranged for us after we disembarked. The Radisson Blu wasn't within walking distance to the waterfront, but we did like the location. We had a newly renovated room, which was lovely. The area was within walking distance to the big Mall and the train station. There were quite a few restaurants in the area as well. We took a taxi to the Fisherman's Bastion and did the Hop on Hop off bus one day. Enjoyed our stay there. One thing of note, we asked our Concierge what it should cost us to take a taxi from the hotel to the Fisherman's Bastion, and he gave us the price and called us a taxi. On our way back, we walked down the hills and across the bridge, and tried to pick up a taxi near the river cruise ship port. The taxi driver we first checked with was trying to overcharge us by a lot, so we walked a few more blocks and picked up a cab that was more in line with what we knew it should cost.

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I appreciate all of the information regarding transfers! Although not sailing until early November I’m so excited already. We have been to Europe before but never on a river cruise.

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I appreciate all of the information regarding transfers! Although not sailing until early November I’m so excited already. We have been to Europe before but never on a river cruise.
Hope you have as great an experience as we did. We sail mid May on our second with AMA Waterways and cannot wait for the day to come. Happy travels.

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Yes, we did, we stayed for a few nights at the Radisson Blu in Budapest. We took a taxi that the ship arranged for us after we disembarked. The Radisson Blu wasn't within walking distance to the waterfront, but we did like the location. We had a newly renovated room, which was lovely. The area was within walking distance to the big Mall and the train station. There were quite a few restaurants in the area as well. We took a taxi to the Fisherman's Bastion and did the Hop on Hop off bus one day. Enjoyed our stay there. One thing of note, we asked our Concierge what it should cost us to take a taxi from the hotel to the Fisherman's Bastion, and he gave us the price and called us a taxi. On our way back, we walked down the hills and across the bridge, and tried to pick up a taxi near the river cruise ship port. The taxi driver we first checked with was trying to overcharge us by a lot, so we walked a few more blocks and picked up a cab that was more in line with what we knew it should cost.

BEACHBUMSNS.......Thank you for the info! I'm looking forward to seeing Budapest! And, yes, it is always good to know, in advance, what a taxi fare should be. Also, at airports, I always ask the police which are the official taxis.

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AMA just released our excustions for 6/9 cruise out of AMS! Great variety! Looks like we will have a busy two weeks!!!

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We sailed the AMA Serena last April. First river cruise after many ocean cruises and we were hooked. Loved everything about the river cruise and AMA Waterways. Be prepared to be somewhat busy if you want to be. We are quite active and took a tour most days. We thought we had picked out our excursions, but realized that when we were sailing and the cruise director was going over the excursions that we had more options to pick from and changed our original choice. From the moment you board your ship, the crew will be there smiling and helping you enjoy your trip. The food was excellent. After many years of ocean cruising, it was nice to have the intimacy of the smaller group and each night you could move to a different table and meet your fellow cruisers. The bonus of having local beers or wines served at meals was a great option. This year, 2018, there is an added cocktail hour each afternoon. You will not go hungry. Food stations are put out mid morning and mid afternoon. There are several options if you do not wish to go to diningroom for your breakfast - they have a late risers breakfast available in the lounge. Coffee/tea/ other drinks are available 24/7 for you to help your self. Afternoon tea time with sweets and sandwiches even if no one is on board. If you decide you do not want to go on a tour you signed up for, you can opt out. We explored several towns on our own getting a later start on days that we just felt we wanted some down time. I cannot say enough about how much we enjoy river cruising and wish there were more threads on Cruise Critic to help newbies like ourselves find out more information before we travel. We are booked for our second river cruise with AMA in May. If you have any questions that I can answer for you, please reply. :)

We just booked AMALea for April 2019, our 1st river cruise. We are doing the Budapest precruise & Prague post cruise. Have you used them to extend your trip? Also, did you have to purchase any shore excursions, or was everything they included enough to see what you wanted?

I agree, doesn't seem to be much info for the river cruises as opposed to the very active roll calls for the Celebrity cruises I have used cc for.

I like that you say you can move tables in the dining room. Hubby & I are going by ourselves, but we are not adverse to socializing. Do they generally have night time entertainment? I recall seeing something about them bringing on local groups.

!st cruise without a "real" balcony too. Since we are going in cooler weather, we opted for the french balcony.

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We just booked AMALea for April 2019, our 1st river cruise. We are doing the Budapest precruise & Prague post cruise. Have you used them to extend your trip? Also, did you have to purchase any shore excursions, or was everything they included enough to see what you wanted?

I agree, doesn't seem to be much info for the river cruises as opposed to the very active roll calls for the Celebrity cruises I have used cc for.

I like that you say you can move tables in the dining room. Hubby & I are going by ourselves, but we are not adverse to socializing. Do they generally have night time entertainment? I recall seeing something about them bringing on local groups.

!st cruise without a "real" balcony too. Since we are going in cooler weather, we opted for the french balcony.

 

We did not book our pre and post stay with AMA. When I figured in the pricing I thought it was very high for hotel rooms even though it included our breakfast and some tours. Many of our fellow passengers did the booking with AMA and were quite pleased. Another reason we didn't book with AMA pre and post cruise was because we wanted to have time to ourselves for the first few days to wander around Prague and do the Hop on Hop Off bus as well as the river cruise, which we enjoyed immensely. It gave us the time we needed to adjust to the time change and not be on any schedule.

 

We did end up booking the same hotels that AMA used but I have memberships in many hotel reward programs and we got a much more decent price for our stay in Prague and Budapest. We stayed at the Hilton Old Town in Prague, (great location) which is where the AMA group stayed and the cruise director was in the hotel daily so we were able to pick up our luggage tags from him for the transfer to the cruise ship. We also stayed at the Radisson Blu hotel in Budapest which was one of the hotels that AMA had recommended. My husband and I too went on our own and we met several people from our home town as well as from the next Province to us. It was great to sit with different people each night at dinner and meet people from everywhere. We too had the French balcony and the weather was such that we could only open it a few times but it was great to have the option for taking pictures while cruising. There is no cost for shore excursions, they are all included even the few special activity excursions.

 

With regards to entertainment, each evening a group of musicians or dancers or a dj come on board and entertain you after the dinner hour. In Vilshofen, there was an Octoberfest event beside the ship where we were entertained and given beer and pretzels. Very nice.

 

Highly recommend a trip to Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest. We are on the countdown to our next AMA cruise on the AmaDante in 41 days. Happy travels.

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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!

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We did not book our pre and post stay with AMA. When I figured in the pricing I thought it was very high for hotel rooms even though it included our breakfast and some tours. Many of our fellow passengers did the booking with AMA and were quite pleased. Another reason we didn't book with AMA pre and post cruise was because we wanted to have time to ourselves for the first few days to wander around Prague and do the Hop on Hop Off bus as well as the river cruise, which we enjoyed immensely. It gave us the time we needed to adjust to the time change and not be on any schedule. That is what I was considering also- I have them booked through AMA as of now, but can cancel & just use their transfers.

 

We did end up booking the same hotels that AMA used but I have memberships in many hotel reward programs and we got a much more decent price for our stay in Prague and Budapest. We stayed at the Hilton Old Town in Prague, (great location) which is where the AMA group stayed and the cruise director was in the hotel daily so we were able to pick up our luggage tags from him for the transfer to the cruise ship. We also stayed at the Radisson Blu hotel in Budapest which was one of the hotels that AMA had recommended. My husband and I too went on our own and we met several people from our home town as well as from the next Province to us. It was great to sit with different people each night at dinner and meet people from everywhere. We too had the French balcony and the weather was such that we could only open it a few times but it was great to have the option for taking pictures while cruising. There is no cost for shore excursions, they are all included even the few special activity excursions. That is so great to hear, I wasn't sure from reading online what that situation was, but no additional costs on the boat is a nice perk compared with ocean cruising & shore excursions.

 

With regards to entertainment, each evening a group of musicians or dancers or a dj come on board and entertain you after the dinner hour. In Vilshofen, there was an Octoberfest event beside the ship where we were entertained and given beer and pretzels. Very nice. Great!

 

Highly recommend a trip to Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest. We are on the countdown to our next AMA cruise on the AmaDante in 41 days. Happy travels.

Great answers, thanks so much!:)

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

Me too, didn't even think to consider that you could see the scenery, wow!

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Great answers, thanks so much!:)

 

If anyone likes beer, Prague is a great place to try different types. If you do the hop on hop off bus, get off at the Monastery stop to try the beer here. There is an outdoor restaurant on site, but if you have time, try the Cave restaurant. The Goulash is amazing served in a rye bread bowl. Here is the link to the Monastery.

 

https://www.eatingpraguetours.com/blog/prague-breweries/

 

We purchased our Hop on Hop off bus tickets including the river cruise from Viator and paid in our own currency before we left for Prague. One thing of note, the HOHO bus is great, but sometimes its hard to find their stops. The advertisement is on the bottom of the light poles, so if something is parked in front of the pole, it makes it a little harder to find. Stop # 1 was very close to our hotel in Prague, but we missed it several times because a bus was parked in front of it.

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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....

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/MqkL3kQRAte9UEr03

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/50os8PL71kPh9n8X2

 

Hope someone has insight on the Rhine!

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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.

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I added my cruise thread in 2018 AMA Christmas Market Cruises

Edited by AutumnColors

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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

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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:

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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:

 

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.

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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:

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.

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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.

 

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

Edited by wednesday

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