AmaWaterways Tulip River Cruise
We sailed on the AmaWaterways Prima for a spring trip in the Netherlands and Belgium during tulip season. It was a delightful trip and I would recommend the itinerary for couples as well as groups of friends. It was a seven-day river cruise that departed and returned from Amsterdam.
You can click on the locations to read about my experiences in each port.
The 162-passenger ship was well-appointed and modern. I traveled with a couple of girlfriends and we each booked a separate cabin with a French balcony. AMA does have some single supplement cabins, but we basically paid double for cabins on the Cello deck with a better location and the French balconies, figuring it would enhance our experience (which it did). For a couple, I would suggest one of the larger cabins or suites, riverboat accommodations are traditionally small. The Beds, bedding, and pillows were super-comfy. Two of the three of us had to have our in-room hairdryer changed for one that was hotter.
Staff & Activities
We had a wonderful time. Staff was super-friendly and the Cruise Director did an excellent job. The tours were extremely well-organized and everything ran on time. There were lots of great options for tours and everything I wanted to do was included. The guides they used were very good and the walking tours were interesting. Bikes are available but my friends did not want to ride, which I would’ve done if I was with my husband. Although I would not have ridden in Amsterdam since riders there are so intense. I do love countryside bike rides. And, of course, we opted to see lots of flowers and were not disappointed. For much more about how we spent our time in each port visit my blog posts:
The Prima has a nice Vox (voice) system for hearing your guides and newly packaged earphones along with the hand-held sets (complete with lanyard to hang around your neck) are in your room waiting. Large umbrellas, bathrobes, slippers, and nice toiletries were also in the room. There is a very active fitness program, but we were always busy off the ship and never participated.
Dining, Bar Service, & Entertainment
I felt the dinners and wine selections were just OK. They have complimentary cocktails from 6-7, then dinner from 7-9 every evening; wines tended to be from Germanic regions. The star of the food service was the Chef’s Table multi-course gourmet dinner. Everyone goes once to the Chef’s Table and they serve the same menu each night, so all passengers can have the experience. You can book your desired night once you are on board, but keep in mind it is helpful to talk to the staff and find out what special night(s) you may not want to miss in the dining room. Breakfast was excellent and lunch good. I would prefer to eat off the boat whenever possible, but this trip we were on board for dinners. Lots of times we were in port til 10 – 10:45 PM so you could easily be off the boat.
Evenings are very quiet, there might be a little classical music or a DJ, but you are so busy during the day a quiet evening is not the worst thing.
They gave some nice souvenir gifts and since it was Easter, we even got cute little baskets of chocolates. Onboard, I did use the hair salon and the stylist was great (but hours are very limited, so book quickly); sadly, I never had time to try a massage.
BTW, the gift shop was not well-stocked, if you have ship credit it would be hard to spend. My only purchase was a map of the waterways. The intricate system of rivers and locks in the Netherlands and Belgium is fascinating and I enjoyed tracing our route on the detailed map.