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Coming to the end of our July 28 AmaMagna Cruise


Hbgyergers
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Our group of 6 has one more day in Prague before heading home from our July 28 AmaMagna cruise.  We also took the 2-day pre and 3-day post portions, which is why we're still here.   First off, we flew into Vienna and had to be bused into Budapest.  No problems whatsoever (I should mention that everyone in our party is vaccinated) and  no one checked us at all in Budapest.  Had to complete a simple form to enter Slovakia and also one online for entry into the Czech Republic - I believe only if we were staying overnight as we did not have to complete one for our excursion to Cesky Krumlov.  The only places they checked our vaccination cards was in a restaurant in Vienna and also at Szechneyi baths in Budapest.  Masks do not need to be worn outdoors; only indoors and cloth mask are acceptable.  The cruise line took us to be tested for Covid for our return to the U.S. as soon as we got into Prague (the cost was $100) and we just got notice that are results are back but we can't access them -- not getting an SMS confirmation code on our phones.  Our cruise director is working on this, but I anticipate that he will solve the problem.  Please keep in mind that rules change all the time, but we have been very lucky so far to not have any of these regulations ruin our vacation.  And if anyone has any questions, I'll be glad to try and answer them but don't expect a quick reply until we get home -- still on vacation you know!!!  Just had a bit of free time late in the day on a rainy afternoon in Prague!

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As I happen to be here, let me just say thank you for saying hello from your post-cruise in Prague. A great city to be in.

 

Just one short question: does Prague seem to be busy or is tourism still much reduced? Of course I do not know if you are familiar with Prague from a former trip or have heard of the situation before last year. Perhaps someone else has mentioned their observations to you.

 

Enjoy the rest of your time in Europe.

 

notamermaid

 

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Prague is the busiest city we've been in but it appears to be mostly European visitors and not U.S. citizens.  Our guides have said that we would be packed on the Charles Bridge and at Prague Castle and rather than being maybe 100 - 150 crowded around the Astronomical Clock when it strikes at the top of the hour there would be 10 times that many.  Attached is a photo taken on the Charles Bridge around 12:30 p.m. (Prague time) today to give you an idea.  

4025eafc-78d6-49dc-830d-31e52a593cca.jpg

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Glad you had a wonderful trip. Can you describe the dining situation for AMA?  Our prior cruise with them was pre-COVID and there were buffets for breakfast and lunch.  How do meals work now?  Thanks! 

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Thank you for checking in from Prague.   We look forward to a cruise review when you get home.

I follow a young man on YouTube from Prague.  'Honest guide Prague' who has been reporting on things to do and about the crooks at currency exchange offices, among all sorts of other topics.  He does report how empty the streets are now.

RB 

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It sounds like you spent some time in Budapest!  How long did you stay?  Are there time limits on how long visitors can stay when entering by boat or land?  We sail in 3 weeks, end in Budapest and have accommodations booked for after the cruise there.  Thanks so much!

 

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Thanks for sharing. We are sailing on the Amacerto on August 21!  We arranged our own air transport and have changed to fly into Vienna and will take a train to Budapest for the AMA pre cruise.  How was the pre cruise tour?  We’re you able to do much sightseeing on your own. When did you have time to visit the baths?  I really want to visit one but my husband is a little nervous.  Did you ship cruise the Danube at night in Budapest?  Thank you so much and safe travels home.  

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On 8/5/2021 at 7:07 PM, hoosier2017 said:

Glad you had a wonderful trip. Can you describe the dining situation for AMA?  Our prior cruise with them was pre-COVID and there were buffets for breakfast and lunch.  How do meals work now?  Thanks! 

We sailed on the AmaMagna so they have a few more choices of venues than on other Amawaterway ships.  There were no buffets in any of the venues.  I think we did all our breakfasts (and most lunches) in Al Fresco and you ordered off the menu.  Everything available in the MDR was also available in Al Fresco.  Even coffee and pastries were "no-touch" -- you simply asked the wait staff for them.  Service was very quick but keep in mind that we were at about half capacity.  The Chef's Table was a set menu and I believe it always was, so apparently no changes there.  Jimmy's still served family-style.  We ate there two times and both times our group of 6 were the only ones at the table.  Not sure how it was done for smaller groups, but I believe you had the option of adding others to your table if you chose to do so.  

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On 8/5/2021 at 7:10 PM, Ritabob said:

Thank you for checking in from Prague.   We look forward to a cruise review when you get home.

I follow a young man on YouTube from Prague.  'Honest guide Prague' who has been reporting on things to do and about the crooks at currency exchange offices, among all sorts of other topics.  He does report how empty the streets are now.

RB 

I remember watching some of his videos prior to our trip and he has excellent advice.  All our currency exchanges were done at bank ATM's, always declining the currency conversion option.  And you usually don't have to accept their currency withdrawal options.  Simply choose "other amount" and type in the actual amount you want to take out.  One issue we did find was that we often had larger bills and not "smaller" change that you would want to give for tour guide and driver tips, and for using the water closets.  So after getting money out of the ATM, get something cheap at a store so that you'll have some change on hand.

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On 8/6/2021 at 12:48 AM, itsawonderfullife said:

It sounds like you spent some time in Budapest!  How long did you stay?  Are there time limits on how long visitors can stay when entering by boat or land?  We sail in 3 weeks, end in Budapest and have accommodations booked for after the cruise there.  Thanks so much!

 

We arrived in Budapest in the early afternoon on a Monday, boarded the ship on Wednesday, and sailed Thursday afternoon. I believe I recall seeing somewhere else that you can stay for as long as 90 days if you like without obtaining a visa.

I should also mention that we boarded the AmaMagna on Wednesday afternoon (they had a shuttle from our hotel to the ship) while it was docked across from Margaret Island.  The ship then sailed down river to just below the Elizabeth Bridge to re-dock for the excursions the next morning.  It did NOT do an evening after-sunset cruise past Parliament and I HIGHLY recommend that you do this!  It was one of the highlights of our time in Budapest.  On Tuesday night we took the 9:30 p.m. one-hour cruise with Legenda Cruises (right across from the Budapest Marriott, where we stayed) and seeing Parliament at night is simply magical!   I mentioned the "Rick Steves" discount and they gave it to us, so that was another bonus.

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On 8/6/2021 at 12:48 AM, itsawonderfullife said:

It sounds like you spent some time in Budapest!  How long did you stay?  Are there time limits on how long visitors can stay when entering by boat or land?  We sail in 3 weeks, end in Budapest and have accommodations booked for after the cruise there.  Thanks so much!

 

I forgot to mention one other thing if you're staying in Budapest.  The tram and subway systems are excellent!  However I made one big mistake when purchasing transit tickets for our group.  I thought that the 5/30 ticket meant that you could get five 24-hour transit tickets and that you had to use them within 30 days.  So I purchased that and got scissors from the hotel desk to cut them up to hand out to four other members of our group!  WRONG!   The 5/30 ticket is only good for one individual - you do get five 24-hour passes but only that one individual can use them within the 30 day time limit.  No cutting the strip apart!   Found this out the hard way as we were checked (you WILL get checked - almost every time on the subway!) at the Szechenyi Baths and ended up getting a roughly $20 fine/person for this mistake.  The irony is that the REAL group pass for five people for 24 hours is actually cheaper than the 5/30 pass.  We tried to talk our way out of the fine, but they're pretty hard core about it.  She was nice enough to walk up to the vending machine to show me what I should have selected, but no getting out of the fine.  It certainly didn't ruin the trip -- only added to the adventure! -- but I certainly know better now!

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On 8/7/2021 at 8:51 AM, laurobella said:

Thanks for sharing. We are sailing on the Amacerto on August 21!  We arranged our own air transport and have changed to fly into Vienna and will take a train to Budapest for the AMA pre cruise.  How was the pre cruise tour?  We’re you able to do much sightseeing on your own. When did you have time to visit the baths?  I really want to visit one but my husband is a little nervous.  Did you ship cruise the Danube at night in Budapest?  Thank you so much and safe travels home.  

We were able to do as much as we wanted in all of our stops.  We visited the Szechenyi baths and had no problems (other than the transit ticket issue I just mentioned in my previous post!).  We got the regular entry plus locker tickets and the attendants speak English so if you have any questions they will help you.  One of the members of our group was also a bit hesitant but she mentioned afterwards that she was glad that she went, so go for it!  It was one of the highlights of our trip.  I would also suggest going to the Great Market Hall and getting some langos on the second floor.  We did that right after arriving in Budapest and it was a great way to start our journey.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for all the helpful information you've provided here. My husband and I board the AmaMagna on Sept 8. We are truly looking forward to getting back to river cruising and just love AmaWaterways. I'm hoping to pack as light as possible and am wondering if Ama still provides the lovely bath toiletries as they've done so in the past.  Thank you.

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3 minutes ago, Pink Cruiser said:

T I'm hoping to pack as light as possible and am wondering if Ama still provides the lovely bath toiletries as they've done so in the past.  Thank you.

On the AmaLyra there are bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in pump bottles in the shower along with a bottle of lotion on the vanity.

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36 minutes ago, Pink Cruiser said:

Thank you for all the helpful information you've provided here. My husband and I board the AmaMagna on Sept 8. We are truly looking forward to getting back to river cruising and just love AmaWaterways. I'm hoping to pack as light as possible and am wondering if Ama still provides the lovely bath toiletries as they've done so in the past.  Thank you.

Not having sailed with AmaWaterways before, I don't really know what was provided previously, but the AmaMagna also had bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in pump bottles in the shower along with a bottle of lotion on the vanity.  They also provided a shower cap and a small makeup remover kit.

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Not sure how this is going to work, but one of the things that I thought would have been nice to see ahead of our trip was the Daily Cruisers for our itinerary.  So I'm going to post ours in multiple posts -- this one is for our pre-cruising days in Budapest.  Please keep in mind that these schedules are developed the day before, so even if you're doing the same itinerary as we did, your actual schedule may vary a bit.  And even some of our schedules changed as we encountered some hold-ups.

July 26 - 28 Front.jpg

July 28 Back.jpeg

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Bratislava -- note that this schedule is NOT the actual one that we followed!  We didn't get into Bratislava until about 10:00 a.m.  Because of our late arrival, it was decided to stay in Bratislava for the afternoon, so we didn't actually get to Vienna this evening.  Instead, we arrived early the next morning.

July 30 Front.jpeg

July 30 Back.jpeg

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