ABOARD THE AmaCERTO – With so many resorts, airlines and other places cutting services or adding new charges for them, it is surprisingly wonderful to see all the complimentary extras on my AmaCerto cruise.
I’ve only been on the ship one day and already I am noticing little pluses that mean so much to travelers. I’m going to list them below – in no particular order – just to show what no-charge things are offered on the AmaCerto. I know there will probably be some that I haven’t discovered yet but I’ll let you know about them later this week.
1. Free ship-wide WiFi that works surprisingly well in cabins. The ship also has a small business office with a computer that passengers can use. It irks me that so many hotels, airports and cruise ships charge outrageous sums for WiFi. Good for you, AmaCerto.
2. Complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks are included with every lunch and dinner. I’m not much of a drinker but I do like Pepsi and it seems stupid to pay what many cruise lines charge for soft drinks.
3. A refrigerator in my cabin. The fridge is already stocked with free bottles of water, a very welcome plus.
4. Shore excursions included in the cruise price. Some cruise lines charge $100 per person or more for a shore excursion. On the AmaCerto, we usually have the choice of several excursions each day. My weeklong Rhine River cruise will visit Basel, Breisach, Strasbourg, Speyer, Rudesheim, Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam. Some of the attractions we’ll see include the medieval town of Riquewihr, a music box museum, the place where fragrant cologne was created, a German brewery, the canals of Amsterdam and much more.
5. Bathrobes and slippers in our cabins. I travel with carry-on luggage so not having to pack a bathrobe sure saves some suitcase room.
6. Umbrellas in our cabins. Also the AmaCerto offers something I have never seen on another cruise line – walking sticks and walking canes that fold out into little seats for folks who have problems walking and standing. These devices are located near the ship’s entrance door and available for passenger use at any time.
7. The AmaCerto’s reservation-only restaurant Erlebnis doesn’t have a dining fee. Specialty restaurants on cruise ships seem to be a big deal now. Passengers pay extra to dine in a smaller restaurant with a bit more ambiance and a menu that offers cuisine just a step above that in the regular dining spots. It’s refreshing to see a ship include that dining option without a charge. In Erlebnis, a chef prepares a sophisticated four-course menu nightly. The same menu is served every night on our cruise but passengers are invited to dine there again as long as seating spots are open. Erlebnis seats only 24 at mostly tables for four with a few larger ones. After my first night dining experience at Erlebnis, I can definitely attest that the dinner was one of the most exquisite I have ever had on a cruise ship.
8. Beautiful postcards of the AmaCerto that passengers can send free of charge to folks back home. Sure, I know that many hotels, ships and resorts also offer gratis postcards. It’s only good business. But AmaCerto also pays the postage to mail these cards free for passengers. That, I have never before encountered.
There you have it – so far.
Photos by Jackie Sheckler Finch