We are enroute from Passau, Germany to Vilshofen, also in Germany. The cruise on the Danube is coming to an end. Tomorrow morning a coach will pick us up and take us to Prague, with a stop mid-day at Regensburg, Germany.
We will get into Prague around the dinner hour, spend Tuesday and Wednesday in the Czech capital and return home Thursday.
It has been a good week, a memorable week. We have made new friends and experience the Danube when it’s not necessarily beautiful or blue. It has been amazing.
AMA Waterways beautiful AMADolce is actually the first river cruise I’ve sailed on. I have sailed on several Mississippi cruises and a barge cruise on the Thames from Windsor to Oxford, but sailing in luxury from one European capital to another, seeing castles and cathedrals, tasting wonderful wines and always returning to the ship where a cadre of eager officers and crew do their best to make you comfortable is truly a delightful experience.
It’s what it must be like to travel with a nanny.
· “Can I get you anything else?” is asked a dozen times a day.
· I mentioned the warm washcloths or towels with which we are greeted upon returning on a bitter cold day. (I guess that’s the flip side of cold washcloths in the Caribbean.)
· How about complimentary water in each room?
· Complimentary Wi-Fi?
· Exquisitely comfortable duvets and pillows you’d loved to pack in your suitcase?
· A large shower with three shower heads?
· Roomy marble bathroom?
That’s not a bad list. AMA Waterways, under the direction of owner Rudi Schreiner, is a class act. Fellow passengers – some 35-40 percent of whom are repeat passengers on the line – are well-traveled and well-educated folks who enjoy Europe and its history, want to travel in comfort and have experienced other itineraries.
We also appreciated the complimentary wine – and good ones – with dinner, food that is prepared beautifully and entertainment featuring talented local performers.
Another thing thing singles out this company: their officers and crew. Many members of the crew have worked on ocean liners and have becoming accomplished barmen and women, food and wine servers. The ship is thoroughly cleaned daily – at least twice — and cabins are spotless.
Is there a downside to river cruising?
Yes. A lot of time is spent on buses getting to and from sightseeing opportunities. Guides are well-informed, knowledgeable and speak English well. Yet the time allowed for “free time” is quite limited. I think this is the only weak link in programming shore excursions.
These river ships are not geared to travelers with mobility problems. There is a lift that covers three decks, not including the open sun deck. All tours include some stairs, uneven sidewalks and the ubiquitous quaint but uncomfortable-to-walk-on cobblestone streets. It might be a recommendation that guests with these challenges travel with someone who can provide a steadying arm.
Those are my only negatives.
I told you it has been a great week.