Amadeus Silver II Cruise: Spending Christmas on a new ship

When my sister Elaine and I were kids, we would sing in the choir on Christmas Eve at our small Ohio church. A landmark in town, the Bethel Church of Christ was founded in 1866 and was where my family had gone for generations. This Christmas, however, I will be attending Christmas Eve services at Speyer Cathedral in Germany. This amazing place of worship was founded in 1030 and was the burial place of German emperors for …

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Amadeus Silver II Cruise: Final blog – To me, what this ship has is what it doesn’t have

ABOARD THE AMADEUS SILVER II – Walking off the ship to take a tour on my own in Cologne, I was asked by a couple standing on shore what there is to do on the Silver II. Visiting from Munich, the couple said they had seen the ship cruising on the Rhine and were curious about what is offered onboard. Since I was carrying the ship’s daily program in my pocket, I pulled it out and let …

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Amadeus Silver II Cruise: Visiting museum for ‘Father of Modern Printing,’ seeing famous Gutenberg Bible

ABOARD AMADEUS SILVER II- His hometown calls him “the Man of the Millennium.” The technology he invented changed the world, our tour guide says. Can’t say I disagree with those glowing tributes. After all, it might be because of what he perfected that you are reading these words today. When the Amadeus Silver II docked in Mainz, Germany, I was excited to take the afternoon shore excursion. Seven of us signed up for the walking tour that …

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Amras Silver II Cruise: Discovering naughty spitting boy, gigantic thumb, much more on Koblenz walking tour

ABOARD AMRAS SILVER II – Oh, the things you can learn from a good tour guide. On a two-hour walking tour of Koblenz, Germany, with Heinz Gerd Reis, I learned about: – The naughty spitting boy – The woman in a boat who brought wine to Germany – The horse statue with its rear end turned toward France – The meaning of chalk marks on a cathedral door –  A robot vacuum cleaner in a holy spot …

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Amadeus Silver II Cruise: Visiting Cologne – the city and the scent

ABOARD AMADEUS SILVER II – Women in Napoleon’s days were prone to fainting. After smelling the heavy perfume men and women used to mask their stinky body odor back then, I can sure understand. My head started swirling, too. “They didn’t shower in those days because they were afraid that water had germs,” said Maria Munoz Orantes, guiding me through the history of Eau de Cologne at the Farina House Museum in Cologne, Germany. “Instead, they used …

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Amadeus Silver II Cruise: Sharing recipe for delicious Amras Apple Strudel

ABOARD AMADEUS SILVER II – I could get used to this afternoon tea thing. Every day at 4 or 4:30 on the Silver II, we have tea time in the Panorama Bar. Of course, it is much more than tea. Coffee is also served, plus there is a huge buffet of fresh pastries and sandwiches to enjoy while pianist Slavi plays lovely easy-listening music. Today’s tea time was made even more special when program director Lorelay announced …

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Amadeus Silver II Cruise: Learning history of chocolate, tasting treat from huge chocolate fountain at Cologne Chocolate Museum

ABOARD THE AMADEUS SILVER II – The woman behind me said she feels as though Willy Wonka might pop up any moment and that the Oompa Loompas will come traipsing out singing their strange song. I know what she means. The Chocolate Museum in Cologne or Köln, as the Germans call this city, is definitely an unusual sweet treat. Made of glass and steel, the futuristic-looking Chocolate Museum seems like a ship floating on the Rhine River, …

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Amadeus Silver II Cruise: Exploring the ship, finding exercise room and more

ABOARD THE AMADEUS SILVER II –  Since we will be cruising this morning with no shore excursions planned, I thought I’d show you around the Silver II. The biggest and most popular areas, of course, are the Restaurant and the Panorama Bar. But there are several other places on this beautiful ship to discover. I’ve walked from one end to the other, from top to bottom and here are some interesting spots. Some are quite visible. Some …

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Amadeus Silver II Cruise: See how old-time musical devices were rare, expensive at Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum

ABOARD THE AMADEUS SILVER II –  Today, people can walk around with music in their ears whenever they want. They can plug in and tune out. But back a couple hundred years ago, people didn’t have that luxury. Only the rich could afford musical devices. And those pieces of equipment were huge. My shore excursion today from the Silver II was to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum in Rüdesheim, Germany. Three of us boarded a mini-train to …

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Amadeus Silver II Cruise: Amras Cruises shares recipe for traditional glühwein

ABOARD THE AMADEUS SILVER II – The brightly colored mugs are hard to resist. In fact, I like the collectible mugs far more than I like the glühwein they contain. So far I have five mugs tucked into my luggage and I think I had better stop. “It is tradition,” tour guide Renata said. “Many people collect the mugs every year and each Christmas Market has its own mug.” Glühwein stands are scattered around the various Christmas …

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