It seems to happen every cruise. When I first step on the ship, the days stretch before me so leisurely. What I will see and what I will learn will be my traveling treasures. Then, before I know it, the trip is over.
Here it is departing time aboard the AmaCerto. A week wasn’t long enough. A return visit would be wonderful.
The vessel is beautiful. The cuisine is delicious. My stateroom with its double balconies is a comfortable haven. The itinerary is intriguing. And the crew. Ah, the crew is perhaps a top reason for taking this cruise.
Debuting in 2012, our 164-passenger AmaCerto had 24 return cruisers, plus guests from America, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, Canada, Germany, Netherlands and Australia. “It’s a very diverse group,” cruise manager Réka Piros noted.
Every evening, Réka would have us gather in the lounge for a brief chat about what we would be doing the next day. Réka also would share little tips for our cruise. For example, she gave some great uses for The Daily Cruiser printed by AmaWaterways and put in our staterooms every evening.
“Take it with you when the leave the ship for a shore excursion,” Réka advised on our first evening. At the bottom of the first page of The Daily Cruiser is the daily docking location of the ship, the ship’s phone number and Réka’s phone number.
“If you become lost, all you have to do is show a taxi driver or someone the docking location,” Réka said. “Or you can call us and we will come and find you.”
The Daily Cruiser also gives the time of the day’s sunrise and sunset, along with the weather forecast. I particularly like the saying printed under the name of the newsletter: “Every day is a new life to the wise one.”
The second page of the newsletter gives the cruise schedule for the day, along with the name of the daily specialty cocktail. The third and fourth pages of the newsletter have some background information on the destinations we will be visiting that day.
Réka also shared a photo tip using the newsletter. “When you get home and you look at all those beautiful pictures you took, you might not remember the name of each place. You might think, ‘Where was that one? What day was that one?”
To help organize photos, Réka suggested taking a photo of the newsletter’s first page each day when you get up or the night before when going to bed. “That way you will know that all the pictures you took after that picture of the newsletter were taken in the places we visited that day.”
Another handy tip was part of Réka’s debarkation talk the last night of the cruise. To be sure nothing is left in a passenger’s stateroom safe, Réka shared what she does.
“The night before the cruise ends, before I go to bed, I take a shoe and put it in the safe,” she said with a smile. “I might forget that I have something in the safe when I’m in a hurry in the morning. But I won’t forget my shoe because I certainly won’t be leaving the ship barefoot.”
As a parting gift, AmaWaterways shared a recipe for European Jägertee. In English, this translates to “hunter tea,” a specialty beverage that originated in the 19th century and was enjoyed during the cold winter days by hunters and foresters.
Made with spices, wine, rum and tea – and served hot – this drink is packed with flavor and warmth. It seems like the perfect drink to toast AmaCerto for a cruise well done, a joy to remember and a hope to meet again someday.
1 cup red wine
1 cup black tea
1 cup spiced rum
1 cup orange juice
1 cup plum brandy or Schnapps
2-3 whole cloves
2 lemon slices
¼ cinnamon stick
Pinch of sugar
Place tea, wine, rum, brandy, orange juice, spices and lemons in large pot. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes – do not boil. Remove from heat. Use ladle to fill mugs. Sprinkle with sugar to taste. Serves 6-8.
Photos and video by Jackie Sheckler Finch