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Just Back From Our Absolutely AMAzing Romantic Danube Cruise on the AMA Verde 9/26/21 - 10/3/21. Full trip report and pix!


Sleep7
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🙋‍♀️Hello everyone on the River Cruise board.!

We are just back (literally just back.. last load of laundry waiting to be folded) from our first cruise in 2 years as well as our first trip to Europe since the Pandemic.

Due to the 6 hour time difference I'm up in the wee hours of the morning and thrilled to begin to share our very happy and thankfully very healthy journey with you all.

A little about us.. we are in our late 50's and this is our third river cruise.  First the Rhine on Avalon, second the Seine on Viking and now the "Romantic Danube" on  AMA.

We chose AMA as during the depths of the pandemic last March they generously offered a "Front Line Medical Heroes" buy one get one free discount.  It was an incredibly thoughtful and timely gesture and we signed up wondering when European river cruise travel would begin again.  Well.. 18 months later it did for us and it was truly a fantastic week.  Thanks again AMA Waterways!❤️

Well let's begin!

We started our cruise adventure with a rapid antigen COVID test the morning of our transatlantic flight at a local urgent care center.

Happy to report we were negative and ready to roll! Europe here we come!

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All packed up and ready to go takes on a new meaning these days.  As my mom used to say.. when you travel you have to make sure to pack a lot of patience.😃

We had to keep not only our passports close at hand but our vaccine cards and our printed negative test results as well.   Also.. I had printed back up paperwork for the forms I had filled out online just in case I couldn't pull them up on my phone when needed.  I found all of these forms on the Delta website.  When you sign in and look at your upcoming itinerary you will see "International Destination Entry Requirements" at the top and the forms needed for each country are there.

I filled out the online paperwork to enter Germany as our final destination was Munich. You can't fill it out any earlier than 3 days before your flight.

It was a little confusing as they asked where you were staying in Germany.  I called AMA customer service and they told me to use the address of the dock in Vilshofen as the address of where we were staying.

I also researched whether I needed to fill out the paperwork for France because our connection was in CDG.  It was unclear since we were just going to be in the Paris airport for 2 hours waiting for our next flight.  I printed it and filled it out anyways and brought it along with me as well but it turned out we didn't need it since we were just changing planes there.  When we boarded our Delta flight from JFK to CDG we were each given a European passenger locator form to fill out and they collected them from us.

 

Checked in! Can't believe we are on our way!

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We tried a Delta's new "Premium Select" Economy cabin.  Not quite coach but not quite first class either.  Much closer to coach but the seats were comfortable, the recline was generous without encroaching on the person behind you and the upgraded headphones and remote control for the TV were a nice touch.

 

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Landed ahead of schedule at CDG and went through passport control where they checked our passports (of course😁) as well as our vaccine cards and asked us what our final destination was.  Passed through security again because of our connecting flight to Munich. 

Spent a bit of time at the Air France lounge which has a lovely airy and retro "space age" feel to it.

 

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Walked over to the gate for our 10:10 Air France flight to Munich and that is where they checked our online paperwork to enter Germany.  Upon boarding you pull it up on your phone and show it to the gate agent before you go through the jetway. Most people seemed to have it filled out in advance.

 

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A quick one hour flight and we landed in Munich!  We retrieved our bags and and exited the luggage area.  Waiting for us was a sweet and welcoming AMA representative. There were a few fellow AMA Verde passengers on our flight so once everyone was there she walked us all down to an area in the airport with a small food court and plenty of tables and chairs to relax and wait for our transfer to the ship in Vilsofen, which was leaving at around 2pm.  We met our first cruise friends there.. hello Alberta BC! 👋

Excitement overshadowed exhaustion and everyone sat happily and chit chatted about our upcoming week as well as past travels!  Many of the people were cruising for 2 weeks.. first this leg of the upper Danube and then continuing on to the lower Danube the following week.

The time passed quickly and at 1:45 we were escorted to our bus just outside that was taking us to the port in Vilshofen about an hour and a half away.

 

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First glimpse of the AMA Verde!  A welcome sight as we felt like we had been traveling for days.

Planes, trains, and automobiles.. but minus the train and add a bus.😁

Check in was outdoors and very quick.  We were asked to wear masks in the public areas when we were walking around the ship but we could take them off in the lounge and in the dining room.

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5:30 came and it was time to meet Pau our cruise manager, Captain Ivan and Hotel Manager Constantin in the lounge for a welcome cocktail and a safety briefing.

Pau was incredibly welcoming and funny! A real charmer.. a great master of ceremonies.

We found out there were only 34 of us on the ship this week.

There was instant comradely among all the passengers and crew as we were a pretty small group.

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Posted (edited)

At 6:30 was our own private "Oktoberfest" set up in a tent just next door to the ship.

🥨🍻FUN!! 🥨🍻

Beer, pretzels, music, dancing and our hostess was the reining Beauty Queen of Vilshofen.

We also met our second pals of the trip on the walk to the tent.. hello Florida!👋

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This talented young man did the traditional Schuhplattler dance!

Reminded us of Chevy Chase from European Vacation.😊

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Edited by Sleep7
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7:30 was our delicious welcome dinner.. met our waiter Julian who is truly the nicest waiter we have ever had on a cruise. Always smiling.. always cheerful and sweet.. no request was ever too much.

We were asked to choose a table and keep it for the week for COVID reasons.  We were happy to do so.. made coming to each meal easy and thought free.  Plenty of time to socialize with other passengers besides meals.

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And just like that.. day one of our Romantic Danube cruise adventure was over.. and it was wonderful.😊

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Thank you so much Sleep7 the one and only bonus of this Virus is the extra insight into the various cruise companies as wonderful people such as yourselves go above and beyond to show off there specifications, I think your about the third, I look forward to your next reports.

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Posted (edited)

Glad that you had a nice trip and looking forward to hearing more about it!

 

And, good luck getting your sleep/wake cycles back into sync. I'm out of practice - we got home 2 weeks ago and I'm just now back to a semblance of normal.

Edited by jpalbny
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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the kind words Canal Archives and jpalbny!

I'm so glad you are along for the ride.. or really for the sail.😊

Edited by Sleep7
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It was nice to have a leisurely morning as we were still pooped from our transatlantic travel just the day before.

Gave us time to explore the ship a bit.😊

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Thankfully no umbrellas needed for 99% of the cruise!  Before we left home I checked and rechecked and rechecked again the weather for the week and it appeared as if it was going to rain everyday. 

So into the suitcase went hoods and hats and umbrellas but thankfully every day was either partly cloudy or all out sunny.☀️

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