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AMA -- Bike and general river cruise question


tomculb
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Looking at doing a river cruise for the first time, and AMA river cruises caught my attention since its excursions are said to be more active than most.

 

With regard to its bicycles, are there plenty to go around?  Or do you have to sign up for a bike excursion in advance to be assured of getting one? Any problems getting a bike when you want one?

 

More generally, in choosing a stateroom, in addition to the obvious size difference, you pay more to get an outdoor deck and to be further off the water.  I understand that in some ports on river cruises two or more boats may tie up along side each other, so at least while in port you may be looking straight into a stateroom on an adjoining boat, negating those two advantages completely. On a typical river cruise, do you spend some significant daylight hours not tied to a dock, in addition (I assume) to being underway most of the nighttime hours?

 

Thanks

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I can't speak for AMA, but I would assume they are like other lines that will have some bicycles onboard for guests, and if there are excursions, they will bring in enough for the tours.  We sailed Avalon with 2 bike excursions, and both times they had bikes waiting onshore for the excursions.  I have heard other lines do the same.

 

As for cabins, when we sailed during the day, we spent our time up on the top deck or in the front viewing area.  You are on a river that isn't overly wide, so you want to see both sides.  We chose a cabin at water level and enjoyed watching the swans swimming along beside the boat, but honestly, we were only in our cabin waiting to go to breakfast, getting ready for lunch after a tour, or getting ready to go back out on a tour, or sleeping.  You sail over night mostly in order to have more time in port to visit, so if you are sailing during the day, you will want to see what you are passing.

 

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You won't be able to sign up for bike excursions until you get to the ship.  They want to evaluate your fitness level before allowing you to take these excursions.

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Plenty of bikes to go around.  As far as the cabin, I agree with Daisi.  We took the aquarium level cabin and didn’t feel like we missed anything.  We were only there to sleep, shower, freshen up, etc.       I wouldn’t be happy to pay for a balcony room to be tied to another ship.   Plus we felt we prefer to spend the funds on something else.   Everyone has their opinion, some might feel the cabins are too small, but the luggage stores under the bed. There is plenty of closet space.  For an 8 day cruise, we were fine.  

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You need to sign up for the bikes even for independent use as you have to sign a waiver. And they need to know how many bikes they have to prepare so they wait for you at the landing.

 

steamboats

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I’ve seen Scenic hire extra bikes because so many wanted to do one particular tour and Scenic have quite a lot of bikes on board. I don’t know about all boats but the ones I’ve been on a mixture of electric and pedal only power.

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The bike tours filled up fast for our Ama Waterways cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg 3 years ago. There were more people than bikes that wanted to do some of those tours - and they were really great tours - not too difficult.  

 

We are heading to France next week for the Ama Waterways Colors of Provence tour from Avignon -Lyon departing Aug. 5. We were able to pre-register for all of our excursions, including the bike tours. This might just be due to needing to arrange for more tour guides for smaller groups due to COVID restrictions --but I was quite happy to be able to sign up before getting to the boat! 

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DH and I are booked on AmaLyra September 9 Paris and Normandy. Not possible to book bike tours until we're on board. Fine print on the website says Please Note: Guests may sign up for guided Bike Tours once on board the ship. Your Cruise Manager will provide more details on board and will assess each guest to ensure they are physically able to participate. Because the health and safety of our guests is the utmost importance, our guided Bike Tours are capacity controlled. Safety helmets are provided and must be worn by every participant. 

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