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uktog

Join us for a ride on Ama along the Danube

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uktog

 

Thank you for all your posts and photos. Brought back a lot of wonderful memories of our Danube cruise on AMA last holiday season. For our next river cruise would look to Uniworld or Crystal - more for the all inclusiveness and the open seating in the evening option. At this point in our lives - having to be on board for dinner each night for the rush into the dining room at 7 was a big negative for us - sounds like a small nitpick I know but for us even an extra hour would make a difference. We are fine meeting for tours and adhering to a time schedule for those - but want some flexibility when back on board. We enjoy eating late and since there is not much on board entertainment after dinner - happy to climb into bed and get ready for the next day of touring! Our sailing over the holidays was a very multi-generational mix of passengers (like ourselves -myself, wife and two college age daughters - one lives in London and the other about 3+ hours away) so while families mainly kept to themselves there was a wonderful "family" vibe on our sailing - all older teens and college age - only two small unsupervised kids running amok at times!

 

Defiantly would look to AZ for our next ocean sailing - believe they would also be a good fit for us.

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Thank you Uktog and Host Jazzbeau valuable information. We will certainly look into your itinerary suggestions and explore the pre and post cruise packages further before we make a decision.

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Ann, thanks for your review. We have only done one river cruise, on the Nile with Viking, which we loved but possibly a lot to do with the fact that it was Egypt, which we’d never visited in depth before.

We love Azamara and ocean cruising but constantly thinking about trying river cruising in Europe. Your comments are very helpful.

Brenda

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Uktog - Hope you have returned home safely. ;)

 

Thanks it was a very long day but we are safely home and working through lots of photo memories. My visit to the bathroom scales :( was testament to the wonderful food (especially cakes and breads) and wines on Ama.

 

I hope the river levels will work out for everyone else in the coming weeks and months.

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Hello uktog, your blog was of particular interest to me as I am taking an iconic Christmas market cruise on AMA Viola this December. Am also travelling with a 4 year old so am reading up a lot in preparation. Have a few questions for you - if you do not mind. Thanks in advance. 1. If I am on a tour at 9 in say Passau, they do the included tour and bring you back to the ship for lunch ? The afternoons are for priced excursions ? On average when do the day excursions end ? 2. If you remember, in hindsight, any instructions as I check in - say, reserve a particular tour or chefs table, etc. ? thanks again

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Our experience on AMA.

 

Hello uktog, your blog was of particular interest to me as I am taking an iconic Christmas market cruise on AMA Viola this December. Am also travelling with a 4 year old so am reading up a lot in preparation. Have a few questions for you - if you do not mind. Thanks in advance.

 

1. If I am on a tour at 9 in say Passau, they do the included tour and bring you back to the ship for lunch ? Yes

The afternoons are for priced excursions ? Not always. We had many afternoon tours included.

On average when do the day excursions end ? I'd say 4:00 - 5:00. We had some that went up until 6:30-7:00. We barely had time to change for dinner.

2. If you remember, in hindsight, any instructions as I check in - say, reserve a particular tour or chefs table, etc. ? thanks again

We had a booklet (mailed to us) that we filled out ahead of time. It was mainly for our own use, but provided us with insight of each tour. Once onboard, we were given a sheet of paper to check off our excursions. Yes, make Chef's Table reservations ASAP.

Hope this help's. Ann's experience may have been different.

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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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Thank you so much for this review, we board the AMALea in April for the Melodies of the Danube & all of your info is so appreciated as well as the wonderful pictures.

We are doing pre & post on our own & will be going to Prague with a driver via Czesky Krumlov, so glad to hear it is a well worth it stop.

You have raised my excitement level with your post, as this is also our 1st river cruise after quite a few ocean ones.

Many thanks~

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I will be on the AMA Amalea  for the Melodies of the Danube Cruise in July starting in Budapest. I have 2 questions maybe one of you can answer:

 

1. We will be in Budapest for 3 days prior to boarding on the Amalea. I have hired a guide to take me around Budapest for one day and a full day Danube Bend tour the following day. What sites did the ship excursion focus on that I do not want to duplicate with the private tour?

2. What is the best day to plan the Chef’s Table on this particular Cruise?

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We took the same cruise on the AmaLea in late August of 2018. As I recall, the ship’s walking tour began in the Market Hall.  We then got on a bus that took us to Heroes’ Square, where we got out and walked around. We then got back on the bus, drove by the Jewish Quarter but did not stop, and then went over the Chain Bridge to the Buda side. We got out of the bus and went on a walking tour of Buda Hill, with stops at Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church, where we got a tour of the interior. So, lots to see and do on your own! Parliament, Shoes on the Danube, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the thermal baths, Gellert Hill. On our embarkation day, we were docked right near Margaret Island and we took a lovely walk there. Buda Hill is also well worth walking through at night - the lighting is beautiful. Enjoy your cruise - we certainly did!

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We did the Chef’s Table on the night we sailed from Budapest to Bratislava. I would say to try to dine there on a night that the ship is sailing - just in case you want to eat quickly and go into town (or eat in town) on a night that you are docked. 

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For those of you who did the Melodies of the Danube, did you do the day or 1/2 day Salzburg tour? We are thinking about the 1/2 day since that will enable us to see Linz in the morning.

Also, after revisting Uktog's journal of their trip, it sounds as through the food on the ship is well worth having dinner on board. Did any of you choose to dine off the ship in any particular port for lunch or dinner?

ReaderGirl57, when you did chef's table, was that night #2?

Just starting to get into intense planning mode, we are on the April 12th AmaLea from Budapest. We are spending a few days in Belgium, then arriving  Weds in Budapest for Fri cruise. Post cruise we hired a driver to take us to Czesky Krumlov en route to Prague where we will spend 4 nights.

We have booked dinner at Caviar & Bull in Budapest & also an Eat & Meet in a local's home for dinner our other evening pre cruise. Has anyone tried either of these dinner venues?

This is our 1st river cruise, but it is also the 1st time we will be bouncing around this much. We usually go to the port city for our ocean cruise & spend a few days & then come home directly after. Plus the weather will be chilly in April, so it is going to be a very different experience for us & packing will certainly be a challenge. Anyone been on the Danube in April? Thinking I might need a warm jacket for the evenings & layers during the day.

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Yes, it was night #2. IIRC, the Chef’s Table wasn’t open on the first night. We did the Czesky Krumlov trip from Linz so I have no information on Salzburg - but you will love CK!

The food on board was great, but we did get a little tired of shipboard dining. The night we spent in Grein, we went for a walk to see if we could find a restaurant - and met another other couple that we had become friendly with doing the same thing. So we all had pizza at an outdoor cafe!

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Morning mrsm88 - fellow New Yorker! I am up in Rockland County!

Can add our experiences last year of our AMA sailing. We actually did the reverse sailing - and we did the Chefs Table en route to Budapest. Loved the experience except all of us agreed we would have much enjoyed the experience if we were not sailing! We were on the AMASerena and there was quite a bit of vibration since the dining room was at the rear of the ship. We actually dined on the ship all evenings - in retrospect on our next sailing will definitely seek out local restaurants if we are in port late or overnight. Since this was our first sailing we were not sure how close we would be docked - in terms of walkablity into town but we definitely could have. We did have a wonderful lunch in a local restaurant in Vienna (our daughter was in Vienna for several weeks a while back) so she acted as our guide on our day in Vienna. Absolutely loved Budapest - what wonderful surprise - would definitely love to return there and spend a few days pre cruise. Our daughter (same as above) actually returned to Budapest with friends a few months after our sailing (she was living in London at the time) and absolutely loved it - and it was so reasonable price wise! 

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On the AMA Amalea cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen, we have an included 2 nights in Prague with a one day “Golden City of a Hundred Spires” tour included. Does anyone know what is included in this tour (through AMA) and since we are staying on our own for an additional day- what other tour would anyone suggest to book with a private tour operator to compliment the “Spires” tour so not to overlap. We are open to see Czeky Krumlov or Terezin. But with only one day “on our own” we want to make the best of that day before leaving the following day.

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 I am so happy to find your posting .. My Girlfriend just won a 7 day Romantic Danube river cruise on Cruisecritic.   We have never done a river cruise , or have been to this area of the world. Our concern is the language barrier.  We only speak English, and I am worried about in town, getting around ( shopping and eating )..  We will be looking into mid. Sept - end of Oct. to travel. 

  Plus we are already booked on a 13 day cruise on the NCL Bliss for Dec. to the S, Caribbean..  Looking like it will be a very Fun and Busy fall for 2019  🙂   

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2 hours ago, dentagoodman1@aol.com said:

Can anyone comment on the AMA Amalea trip “Melodies of the Danube” on which of the excursions you would recommend?

Hi we enjoyed that itinerary very much. Where are you having a problem choosing excursions? All the excursions are wonderful. I think there were two extra excursions we paid for and we’re glad we did. The palace in Vienna and we also attended the Vienna evening concert. 

 

Being a huge Sound if Music fan we had to choose the all day trip to Salzburg. It was a lovely day. You first stop at the lake region in Austria, with gorgeous scenery. 

 

Any questions just ask 😁

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AMA has asked us to select tours listed below- which ones do you think are best?

 

#1. In Budapest- Queen of the Danube Tour or Castle Hill Hike? Please note we will be in Budapest for 3 nights  prior to embarcation on the amalea

#2. Bratislava-Morning Coronation City Walking Tour or Bratislava Castle Hike

#3. Vienna- Morning-  Highlights of Durnstein and Melk Abbey, or Durnstein Fortress Hike, or Weissenkirchen Walking tour and Melk abbey.

#3. Vienna - afternoon- Castle visit with private reception

#4. Lintz- morning- Unesco City of Media Arts walking Tour or Cultural Mile Bike tour or, Full day Salzburg excursion,

#4. Lintz - afternoon- Cesky Krumlov Excursion, Austrian Lake District Excursion, or Half day Salzburg excusion.

Too bad we cant to the half day Salzburg in the am and Cesky Krumlov in the pm- That's what I would do if it was available.

#5 Passau- morning- City of 3 Rivers walking tour or Passau castle hike

#5 Passau- evening- Octoberfest Celebration.

 

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1 hour ago, dentagoodman1@aol.com said:

AMA has asked us to select tours listed below- which ones do you think are best?

 

#1. In Budapest- Queen of the Danube Tour or Castle Hill Hike? Please note we will be in Budapest for 3 nights  prior to embarcation on the amalea

#2. Bratislava-Morning Coronation City Walking Tour or Bratislava Castle Hike

#3. Vienna- Morning-  Highlights of Durnstein and Melk Abbey, or Durnstein Fortress Hike, or Weissenkirchen Walking tour and Melk abbey.

#3. Vienna - afternoon- Castle visit with private reception

#4. Lintz- morning- Unesco City of Media Arts walking Tour or Cultural Mile Bike tour or, Full day Salzburg excursion,

#4. Lintz - afternoon- Cesky Krumlov Excursion, Austrian Lake District Excursion, or Half day Salzburg excusion.

Too bad we cant to the half day Salzburg in the am and Cesky Krumlov in the pm- That's what I would do if it was available.

#5 Passau- morning- City of 3 Rivers walking tour or Passau castle hike

#5 Passau- evening- Octoberfest Celebration.

 

First question is are you up to strenuous hikes on uneven terrain? Some folks are very active and the hikes are for them. 

 

Another thing to know is that the Tour Director gives a power point presentation on all the excursions the first day. You can sign up then. Don’t worry about signing up beforehand unless it’s something very limited. 

 

1.  The Castle Hill Hike seemed very strenuous to me. Lol 

 

2. Bratslavia — I actually did the hike. It’s not on rugged terrain. Just uphill on pathways and steps. I wouldn’t recommend if you have a heart condition or need to work on cardio. I’m not in good shape but I managed. lol   It was worth it because there’s a beautiful view up there. 

 

3.  Durnstein is very charming. And Melk Abbey one of the highlights. If you are fitness buffs Durnstein hike is something you probably like but for the average person it was too rugged.

 

I would have loved to be able to do Castle with private reception. That wasn’t an option. But anything AMA offers is good so unless you feel you’d be too tired I would go for it. 

 

4. As I mentioned we did the full day Salzburg excursion. We talked to a couple who did the half day Salzburg and there just wasn’t enough time there. So I wouldn’t recommend the half day Salzburg. The lake region tour is part of the Salzburg full day tour. 

 

5. The Passau walking tour is very entertaining and informative. Again the hike is steep. 

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Did anyone see in the brochure for the AmaLea adventures by disney cruise on the Danube that we aren't supposed to wear open-toed shoes???  Does that mean I can't wear dressy sandals to dinner?  Or is that for walking excursions?  

 

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HI Got2Cruise,

We are booked on Ama Lea Danube - Budapest to Villoshofen and would love to add on the concert in Vienna. We did not see any option to add that along with all of the other excursions. Do you know if we can add the concert when we get on board? I didn't really see anywhere to ask Ama questions on the sign-up area.

 

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2 hours ago, yoshi said:

HI Got2Cruise,

We are booked on Ama Lea Danube - Budapest to Villoshofen and would love to add on the concert in Vienna. We did not see any option to add that along with all of the other excursions. Do you know if we can add the concert when we get on board? I didn't really see anywhere to ask Ama questions on the sign-up area.

 

We took this same cruise on the AmaLea last year and IIRC we just signed up for the musical evening in Vienna on board.

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1 hour ago, ReaderGirl57 said:

We took this same cruise on the AmaLea last year and IIRC we just signed up for the musical evening in Vienna on board.

Thank you ReaderGirl57- I am really looking forward to this. Can you also tell me if the concert would be a bit dressier than the typical cruise evening? (dress, sport coat?)

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