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I absolutely could not think of anything that would have made my cruise with AmaWaterways better. The staff, tours, tour guides, cabin and food were great. I took the cruise on the Seine from Paris to Normandy on the AmaLyra. It is one of their older ship, having been build in 2008, but was very nice. I had a single room and it was great on the B level, room 221. I loved opening my sliding doors and feeling like the water was at my feet. The guides on the tours at each location were very knowledgeable and entertaining. The entertainment was very nice, but it will never be like a huge ship. If you are looking for big productions, a small river cruise will not be what you're looking for. I enjoyed the small number of people at 115. Made a lot of new friends.
Here's what impressed me the most. I have a gluten and dairy intolerance and have not wanted to travel because it can be a real challenge to avoid these foods. I was so amazed that the chefs had made gluten free bread, desserts, and sauces without gluten or dairy. If you any food limitations, they accommodate them. Also, since this was my first cruise, I asked other cruisers how they would rank this company. They complied by saying that is was the best cruise that they had been on.
I booked a cruise with AMAwaterways - first mistake - through their designated travel agent Avoya Travel - second mistake. I paid $800 deposit. Six months later I was asked to pay the balance. Avoya Travel asked if they could use my credit card. My wife was in hospital and I delayed answering until we discovered what was wrong and when I got the diagnosis and we couldn't travel. I told Avoya Travel and asked them not to charge my credit card. Avoya Travel still charged my credit card account without my permission!!! When I phoned up I discovered the agent was on holidays and I couldn't speak to her. Through major detective work I managed to reach and talk to her and she told me it would be dealt with. It was not and still has not been to this day, six months later.
I asked my credit card company to dispute the amount paid and they are in the process of doing that now but the company is fighting this all the way. Be aware that I cannot get through to anybody in the company and the travel agent isn't responding. This is incredibly frustrating. Be very very careful when using this company, they do not allow direct access on complaints. This is no way to gain customers. I would like to talk to somebody in the company about this but I cannot.
I definitely valued this trip. It was relaxing, it was fun, and it was greater than my expectations. This trip didn't put a hole in my wallet but it wasn't just a small dent either. It was definitely worth every penny. This had to be the best part. The STAY was too good to be a cruise. It was quiet and I didn't really worry about a shipwreck or anything drastic. Well, there were many things I had planned to do while on the cruise and I did everything and more. There were so many options and I did them and I really enjoyed myself while doing them. The heating and those other things relating to that were great and didn't cause any problems whatsoever to me at all.
Cost too much to go around puking my guts up all over the deck so there really was no value I could have got drunk at home and did the same thing. They made me make my own bed. That's **. The maid was hitting on me and I told her I would punch her in the kisser if she did it again. Not much to do on a river. I mean seriously they only had 1 show that they did over and over and over and over and over again every day. Besides the bar which was too expensive at least they had one that I could drink away the memories of the horrible thing. And yes I'm talking about my girlfriend.
It was an amazing experience for me and my family. The food was good, cruise was good. Me and my family are going to try to take at least one a year. I definitely would recommend to anybody who wants to experience a trip like ours.
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AmaWaterways expert review by Michelle Baran
Founded in 2002, AmaWaterways offers river cruises in Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa. The company is headquartered in Calabasas, California.
- Themed cruises: AmaWaterways offers an extensive portfolio of wine-themed cruises, as well as Jewish heritage, beer and art themed cruises. Activities like painting, wine tastings and beer tastings reflect the themes.
- Free bikes: AmaWaterways provides its cruisers with bikes that they can use for free so they can explore cities on their own or on guided biking excursions. Signup is required and a bike is not always guaranteed.
- Safaris: The company offers safaris as part of its river cruise packages in Africa. On the Zambezi Queen, which sails the Chobe River in Botswana, the ship offers floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies for an optimal viewing experience.
- Excursions for varying levels of activity: Excursions allow you to choose between a gentle walkers or an active walkers group. While AmaWaterway does not recommend its trips for children under eight, the company recently partnered with Adventures by Disney, which is offering family-friendly river cruises on AmaWaterways’ AmaViola vessel.
- Best for: AmaWaterways caters to older travelers, couples and younger adults alike.
River Cruises Contributing Editor
Michelle Baran is a senior editor at Travel Weekly, where she has been reporting on the travel and river cruise industries since 2007. Baran has also written about river cruising for Travel + Leisure, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia and Budget Travel, and co-authored Frommer’s "EasyGuide to River Cruising.” She received her Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University.
AmaWaterways Company Information
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- 26010 Mureau Road 200
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 626-0126