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  5. AmaBella (APT) Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: September 2018
We had to change from the AmaVerde to the AmaBella on this APT cruise half way through our cruise because of low water on the Danube. This involved a four hour coach journey. This transfer was only revealed to us two days beforehand even ... Read More
We had to change from the AmaVerde to the AmaBella on this APT cruise half way through our cruise because of low water on the Danube. This involved a four hour coach journey. This transfer was only revealed to us two days beforehand even though the company knew about it months ago; apparently they have had to do this transfer since June 2018. Rather deceitful in my opinion not to tell us from the start. The two ships are virtually identical, but it's the crews that make the difference. On the Amaverde they were all very pleasant, accessible and helpful from the Captain down. It was very different on the Amabella. We found that quite a few of the waiters were cheeky, rude and ignorant. One in particular thought he was a comedian but he was nothing more than an irritating clown. For the thousands of pounds you pay for this cruise the least you expect is to be treated with respect. The reception staff were rather sullen and not very helpful, the head barman was rather lackadaisical, the senior staff were notable for their absence; we hardly ever saw them. The cruise itself was very pleasant, with plenty to do and very good shore excursions. It was helped along by our fellow pasengers, the majority of whom were Australian. All were very friendly but it has to be admitted that some were rather loud although they were the exception. The dining room was very noisy. The Cruise Director was not very impressive, often giving wrong information, and at other times being less than communicative when asked questions. Food was sometimes good, sometimes less so. Presentation was over the top with considerable time obviously having been spent on making it look good. But often there was very little food on the plate so there was plenty of space left for decoration. Vegetables were thin on the ground; half a fleuret of brocolli, a quarter of a carrot for example. Cutlery must have been in short supply too; there were no soup spoons, just dessert spoons. We found the waiter who took charge of the Chef's Table events to be rude, loud and awkward, not the sort of atmosphere for what was supposedly a special event. Cooked breakfast fare was invariably luke warm at best, with no hot plates for your food, only cold. And getting tea or coffee from a waiter was sometimes like looking for an invisible man. Overall a mixed bag. We would not go on AmaBella again, whereas we would go on AmaVerde. Read Less
SamATG, Marketing @ APT Travel Group has responded
Hi There, Thank you for your review. Bringing you the best River Cruising experience is really important to us so we take your feedback seriously. We regret you didn’t have the River Cruising experience you had hoped and we appreciate your feedback as it allows us to continually improve both our journeys and our service. We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your concerns further with you. If you would like to get in touch, then please contact our Customer Relations team at customer.relations@aptouring.com.au and use the reference number #6 so our team can identify you with this review. Kind Regards, Sam
Sail Date: September 2018
The trip was fantastic and the organisation by ATP beyond the call of duty. Everything was taken care of. We had to swap ships from Ama Bella to Ama Verde between Passau and Nuremberg because the water level in the Danube. As the 2 ... Read More
The trip was fantastic and the organisation by ATP beyond the call of duty. Everything was taken care of. We had to swap ships from Ama Bella to Ama Verde between Passau and Nuremberg because the water level in the Danube. As the 2 ships are identical we got the same cabins and the organisation to achieve this was fantastic. They even had a staff member with 50 cent coins at the turnstile to the toilets to let us use the toilets free of charge during the transfer. We had a balcony cabin on deck 2 which was spacious with lots of storage under the beds and in wardrobes. The only problem was on the Ama verde, where the bathroom had a funny sewage smell. They put down lots of cleaner but it was still noticeable. Food was generally good with ample portions and seconds for those with big appetites. As drinks were included with the meals we expected cheap wines but that was not the case. Prosecco flowed freely and the local wines were generally very good. Excursions were very interesting and well organised. A concert in Vienna in the Palais Liechtenstein and Dinner and concert hosted by a german Princess in her castle were the highlights. The cruise director was excellent and took care of any problems as they arose. All the staff were helpful and except for a couple of the waiters in the restaurant who became a bit over-familiar I could not fault them. As it was an APT cruise many of the passengers were Australian who on the whole are much more fun and interesting than some of the brits on board. I would certainly recommend this company and will book with them for my next river cruise. Read Less
SamATG, Marketing @ APT Travel Group has responded
Hi there, Thank you for taking the time to post such wonderful feedback! What great highlights. We hope to have an opportunity to welcome you aboard again soon. Thanks, Sam
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a dream holiday where every possible thing was covered. From the first moment to the last, we saw some wonderful places and the local guides shared so much of the history and legends of each place visited. The staff on board were ... Read More
This was a dream holiday where every possible thing was covered. From the first moment to the last, we saw some wonderful places and the local guides shared so much of the history and legends of each place visited. The staff on board were all lovely - our tour director Gudrum was charming and such an efficient operator to make everything run so smoothly; the reception staff always happy to help; the restaurant staff were unbelievable and the food excellent in both taste and presentation; cabin was kept beautifully. There was a great choice of activities each day to suit different intrrests. Change of ship partway through cruise due to low river water levels was handled seamlessly with no negative impact on guests. The entertainment on board was great and we also met some lovely people during our time on board. Well done APT - certainly would recommend to anyone looking for a relaxing, carefree, luxury holiday!!!!! Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We are on this cruise now, half way through in fact. While so many things are excellent, there are aspects of our experience that are not so good. The ship’s clientele are mostly Australians and to say they are a lively bunch is an ... Read More
We are on this cruise now, half way through in fact. While so many things are excellent, there are aspects of our experience that are not so good. The ship’s clientele are mostly Australians and to say they are a lively bunch is an understatement. The ship can get extremely noisy at mealtimes, something we are not used to on other cruises we’ve been on. Our cabin is very good. Quite spacious and well equipped. It is also very clean and well maintained by the cabin stewardess. The bathroom is one of the best we’ve ever had on a ship, lovely and light and with a wonderful shower. The only thing missing is tea\coffee making facilities. In our cabin we have butler service but have not used this facility as it’s never been explained to us what it entails. Maybe we should ask? We have used the laundry service as we are allowed one bag of free laundry, wash and ironed per week, an excellent service. Another great thing on the ship is the free WiFi which is fast and always available. Now for the bad. The food. The breakfast is Ok but the choice of cereals is very poor. The muesli is very low grade, mostly oats and tastes of nothing. No fruit and fibre cereal, only AllBran and sweetened cereals. The fruits on offer are good, especially the fresh orange segments. Bananas are not always available, getting one is proving very difficult, nor the unsweetened plain yogurt, only sweetened. I only eat cereal and fruit for breakfast so was very disappointed with the choices. I decided to buy some real muesli at one of our port stops and thankfully I bought teabags onboard and get these topped up with boiling water in the lounge! Lunch is either salad choices, always the same with slight variations, pretty boring. There is always plenty of meat on offer but as a non meat eater this is not good for me. Dinner is the worst meal of the day. Choices are usually one meat, one fish and one vegetarian. The meat dishes seem to be the favourites with most passengers and are usually ok according to my fellow diners. The fish dishes are fine, not particularly exciting or tasty, just average. The vegetarian meals on the other hand are dreadful. Really bad. Spinach crepes were thick doughy pastry, tough and tasteless with a teaspoon of thin cheese sauce, we left them.The vegetable lasagne was equally bad, dry tough pasta layers, cubed carrots, peas and potato I think(?) no cheese sauce, just dry layers, all sat on a smear of tomato sauce, it really was appalling. With most meals hardly any vegetables are served. Even the meat eaters are complaining about this. I asked for more vegetables and this was addressed but now I get a bowl of watery broccoli and cauliflower with each meal. This is served with such a flourish I feel as if I should be grateful and not complain any more. Oh dear, I think this is the only Cruise I might actually lose weight......(not a bad thing really!!!) Another thing we are not happy about is the noise from the sundeck which is above us. The thumping of heavy feet from about 5.30-6am is really annoying. Tip. Don’t book a cabin under the sundeck! Generally the Cruise is good with friendly helpful staff and good choice of tours. We just wish the food was up to standard as this would improve our holiday so much. One other thing we don’t like is the over familiarity with the restaurant staff. This may be down to the Australian passengers encouraging them, but some of us don’t need to have all the jokes and hi fives when we enter the restaurant. A little decorum and quiet would be appreciated. Read Less
SamATG, Marketing @ APT Travel Group has responded
Hi Cappycas, thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us so far. We’re delighted you are enjoying our ships facilities. In regards to our Butler Service, they are there to offer you a personalised in-suite service. From ensuring your garments are pressed ready for any occasion, providing tea and coffee service, taking care of your onshore arrangements, shoe shining, packing and unpacking and much more. You are more than welcome to speak to reception for more information about your Butler Service. It is unfortunate to hear you haven’t enjoyed the food on board so far, we appreciate your feedback as it allows us to continually improve both our journeys and our service. We will pass your feedback onto our team. We hope you enjoy the rest of your cruise. If you would like to get in touch to discuss your feedback further, then please contact our Customer Relations team at customer.relations@aptouring.com.au and use the reference number #2 so our team can identify you with this review. Kind Regards, Sam
Sail Date: May 2018
My husband and I travelled on the AmaBella on the Amsterdam/Budapest route on the 11 May. With respect, I vehemently disagree with some earlier comments (but I acknowledge that everyone’s entitled to their opinions). This was the ... Read More
My husband and I travelled on the AmaBella on the Amsterdam/Budapest route on the 11 May. With respect, I vehemently disagree with some earlier comments (but I acknowledge that everyone’s entitled to their opinions). This was the first river cruise for us and won’t be the last. We felt this cruise was seamless with absolutely nothing to complain about. Our Tour Director, Emese, was competent, affable and accommodating. I don’t think she ever slept. She was always at the whim of the passengers organising their on shore tours with the utmost efficiency, and appeasing those passengers who consistently whinge; this woman was the ultimate professional. All tours were very well co-ordinated with great guides, full of enthusiasm and wit. Entertainment was organised on most nights which we found enjoyable. We even got the opportunity to dance on most occasions. The food was always tasty and well presented, in particular the Chef’s Table, in which each passenger had the opportunity to attend on two occasions, for a 5-course dinner in a gorgeous room at the aft of the ship. I am gluten intolerant and all my needs were attended to and catered for. There was a “Gluten Free Corner” set up in the dining room as well as the lounge upstairs, and all restaurant and bar staff were acquainted with all the needs of those passengers with dietary requirements. Hand sanitising was enforced at all times before and after dinner and on the return of onshore excursions. The restaurant was divided into two areas. My husband and myself sat on the so called NOISY side, whereas others elected to dine on the “quiet” side. We loved the jokes, the antics, the high 5’s etc from the happy waiters. We are Aussies and we loved every minute of this camaraderie between the crew and passengers and hence, applaud APT for allowing this. Most of our Australian cohorts on board couldn’t get over how happy the crew were; their enthusiasm was infectious. Cabin details are outlined below. Some reviews mentioned noise emanating from the upper deck and while sailing through the lochs during the night, we never heard a sound or felt any impact......maybe we were just lucky. We were entitled to Butler Service but we didn’t need it as we used to go to the lounge for tea/coffe which was available 24/7. Although he did bring us hor d’oeuvres (gluten free of course) each afternoon. The one bag of free laundry per week was a bonus. Most of the passengers were Australian, a few New Zealanders and a hand full of British. We became friendly with an English couple who had the time of their lives; they couldn’t get over how much fun the Australians were. The three Gold Signature Experiences are not to be missed, namely, the visit to Namedy Castle in Andernach, Germany, a private concert at the Lichtenstein Palace, Vienna and a ride on the Majestic Imperator train from Passau to Salzburg for the day and then onto Linz, to join up with the ship. The age of the passengers varied, mostly 55-75, but I should mention there were some super fit people in this age group who did the 34km bike ride from Melk to Durnstein and two other excursions that required the use of bicycles. In relation to the onshore tours, there was a fast paced group (red group). My husband and I always joined the regular group (green, yellow or blue) as we are photo-taking junkies with cameras. Lots of passengers were using their IPhone and IPad cameras. Those that had mobility issues were catered for and well looked after (pink group). We also had a young couple on their honeymoon who appeared to be having fun with us oldies. In conclusion, I would happily go on another river cruise just to take in the magnificent sights I missed. We were kept busy (by choice) the whole time, we never missed a tour, we never stopped but we loved it. If you go with an open mind, go with the flow, and embrace anything and everything that is on offer, you will have a ball, just like my husband and I did. Congratulations APT, you never disappoint. Read Less
SamATG, Marketing @ APT Travel Group has responded
Hi Allidudz, Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us! We're glad you enjoyed yourself and all staff were able to make your trip memorable. We will pass on your feedback to the crew. We're also delighted to hear you loved your on shore experiences! We hope to welcome you aboard again soon. Kind Regards, Sam
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Should have been a holiday of a lifetime, sadly it hasn't been (and I can't get off yet). I accompanied an elderly aunt :), even though she's lovely and very active, the bulk of the passengers despite being very nice people are simply ... Read More
Should have been a holiday of a lifetime, sadly it hasn't been (and I can't get off yet). I accompanied an elderly aunt :), even though she's lovely and very active, the bulk of the passengers despite being very nice people are simply not. I'm 60 and wanted a river cruise experience but didn't realise even paying a top end price doesn't buy you a better experience. The Amabella I'm told is 10 yrs old. I feel like a captive on a very boring cruise (there are some younger people, even a young honeymoon couple but they are with each other or travelling with a group of friends. Lots are unhappy but they plan to complain at the end of the cruise in the feedback form (not helpful really as that will go nowhere). Emese (cruise director) makes no bones about it that I should have understood that it is mainly "Older people" the cruise is orientated to, which was not my understanding before agreeing to come on this much more expensive than other river cruise ships. Our shared cabin was "UPGRADED" hate to see what we'd have stayed in otherwise as this is tight but at least has a small outside balcony that can be used when the weather permits. Don't get excited about having a butler...we never saw him just other staff when something had to be fixed or you requested something to the cabin. Air was not a problem in the cabin apart from the airconditioning we also can open a large window or go onto the little balcony. When travelling at night especially, the cabin groans and there are many noises, sometimes bumps during the nights. A newer ship may be more buffered from these but this cabin #317 doesn't handle it well (light sleepers may need a tablet or to drink more). The cruise highlights off the ship both featured classical entertainment which were really exceptional. One evening was held in a privately owned castle, the other in a private palace which were both places we'd probably not have gotten to otherwise but to be fair other cruise ships may have similar I didn't look into it. Onboard entertainment otherswise was a very lacklustre experience, with the exception of the night of a visiting UK performer (APT brought in a couple of performers I only heard one as the other was country music but this lady was excellent) sh performed a mixed caberet style show (had an exceptional voice) and injected a much needed change to the usual offerings. Three - four evenings during our cruise was not enough to make the difference though. Some of the staff were terrific especially good was Plamen (barman upstairs, who knew each passengers name - without badges and what they liked to drink). The day we travelled to Salzburg was terrific the train was a special charter, which enjoyed the decor of bygone days - each carriage a little different to the others. Representing the culture well was some operatic/caberet type entertainment on the return journey along with refreshments each way. Accomodation in Amsterdam at the Marriott hotel prior to our cruise was very good. If you need a firm pillow however bring your own (I wish you luck getting one otherwise) they don't understand the need. Onboard they had to reach out to another ship to find me one firm pillow as their ship only caters to people who like hard beds and very soft large square pillows. We were told our laundry was included (and it was only one bag per cabin per week) the drinks were free except if you unwittingly ask for a top shelf item as I did one night . I asked for a Cointreau and had to pay 5.50 euro for it, depite others drinking very heavily and not paying for cocktails etc. seems unfair really (drinks are either free or they are not). The food on the first day or so seemed very nice. After the first couple of days it all seems same, same not very spicy they cater for people with very bland taste, vegetables are mostly just for garnish as they're so hard they fly off your plate when you try to eat them. Overall it's like a small RSL club on the water to me and the staff couldn't care less as I've already paid.....LET ME OFF! Read Less
SamATG, Marketing @ APT Travel Group has responded
Hi There, Thank you for your review. Bringing you the best River Cruising experience is really important to us so we take your feedback seriously. We’re sorry you didn’t have the River Cruising experience you had hoped and we appreciate your feedback as it allows us to continually improve both our journeys and our service. We are however, delighted to hear you enjoyed your shore excursions including your journey on the Majestic Imperator. We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your concerns further with you. If you would like to get in touch, then please contact our Customer Relations team at customer.relations@aptouring.com.au and use the reference number #1 so our team can identify you with this review. Kind Regards, Sam
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
I found this river cruise fantastic, I cannot understand one of the reviews on this cruise, there was absolutely nothing to complain about. Food wonderful, staff so helpful, the people on the cruise very friendly, the tour director Emese ... Read More
I found this river cruise fantastic, I cannot understand one of the reviews on this cruise, there was absolutely nothing to complain about. Food wonderful, staff so helpful, the people on the cruise very friendly, the tour director Emese (spelling) could not do enough for everybody. I have a mobility problem and she went out of her way to make sure I was comfortable, travelling with Australians was fun, friendly and enjoyable. Cabin beautiful, tours fantastic no complaints from start to finish. The dining room staff were second to none, helpful,friendly and could not do enough for you. The Reception desk helpful, staff in the lounge wonderful, people who cleaned the cabins courteous and very friendly and cabins always so nice and clean. The food to die for, fresh and lovely every day. The tours that Emese organized were brilliant all and all a wonderful holiday, a trip of a lifetime. Read Less
SamATG, Marketing @ APT Travel Group has responded
Hi Phoebe, Thank you for taking the time to post such heartfelt feedback! We will pass your congratulations on to the staff. We hope to have an opportunity to welcome you aboard again soon. Kind Regards, Sam
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Highs - Excursions - The daily excursions were great. Well organised with great guides. - Royal Collection - Three highlight tours - Namedy Castle, Majestic Imperator Train to Salzburg and a night of classical music in ... Read More
Highs - Excursions - The daily excursions were great. Well organised with great guides. - Royal Collection - Three highlight tours - Namedy Castle, Majestic Imperator Train to Salzburg and a night of classical music in Vienna. All superb. - Service - The service of the staff in the dining rooms, reception and our rooms were wonderful. All very friendly and helpful. Just ok - The food was plentiful but certainly not to the standard we expected. Selection of beers and wines was surprisingly limited. There were only two beers and they ran out of the one I liked early in the cruise. Despite stopping at a port each day and being told each night they would get the beer tomorrow, it took nearly a week before they got additional stock. Lows - Service - bar staff - it became obvious it was the last cruise of the year and they were tired. At times you felt you were a bother to them. - Entertainment - It was a real mixed bag but average overall - Dining - It looks like their are two different restaurants but in reality they are the same and offer the same food. We were a couple and as you couldn't reserve a table found it difficult at times finding a seat with out upsetting people. There were many larger groups who wanted to sit in the same seats every day, breakfast lunch and dinner. You certainly got the message if you sat in someones seat. - Public Areas - too small for a full cruise. People had to sit on arms of chairs at times. I have little doubt the majority of people on the cruise loved it. I think it depends on age and expectations. We felt that whilst enjoyable there were too many let downs to call it Luxury also considering the price. And please APT don't have you cruise directors tell all and sundry that tips are looked after by APT and if we felt we got good service to could tip. We paid for the staffs tips in our price. It certainly created and expectation to further tip the staff. I'm happy to tip good service but only once. Read Less
SamATG, Marketing @ APT Travel Group has responded
Hi Gavin, thanks for passing on your feedback. We’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed the daily excursions and the crew were able to make your trip memorable although we’re sorry to hear other parts of your cruise didn’t meet your expectations. Bringing you the best river cruising experience is very important to us so we take your feedback seriously. We would really appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further with you. Can you please email our customer relations team on customer.relations@aptouring.com.au so we can follow this up with you? Kind Regards, Sam from the APT team
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Ship shabby and tired albeit staff excellent. Entertainment on board low class. Overall cabins noisy. When perusing details prior were never advised deck would be unavailable for substantial period of cruise due to locks. Majority of trip ... Read More
Ship shabby and tired albeit staff excellent. Entertainment on board low class. Overall cabins noisy. When perusing details prior were never advised deck would be unavailable for substantial period of cruise due to locks. Majority of trip had bad smell in corridors and cabins. Value for money rate 4/5 out of 10. Majestic train trip uncomfortable due to heat and not explained re food and refreshments. Some of excursions too long trying to kill time. Pillows in cabin need to be reviewed. Carpets each level need to be replaced and perhaps colour coded. Air conditioning in cabins need to be addressed. Also in dining areas airconditioning not acceptable. Staff loyal and helpful. Advertising of trip different to actuality. 5 to 6 days were very average scenery. I may not recommend this trip to family or friends due to the price and as stated before this has been disappointing. Will rethink any APT tours very closely in future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This has been on our bucket list for some time. It was very enjoyable with a good mix of relaxation and activity. Some of the APT specials are not to be missed - the Grand Imperatore train (albeit some of the air con failed on a very hot ... Read More
This has been on our bucket list for some time. It was very enjoyable with a good mix of relaxation and activity. Some of the APT specials are not to be missed - the Grand Imperatore train (albeit some of the air con failed on a very hot day) and the Vienna Concert in the Lichtenstein Palace. Food was always excellent with many choices and the staff very willing to keep you pleased with a smile. Entertainment was limited to the space available, but overall enjoyable. Our room was in the lowest level and well maintained, comfortable and with no noise issues. Given it was nearly the cheapest cabin there was nothing to complain about. There was sometimes a smell, which we worked out was only while in major ports, so probably unavoidable. Wasn't an issue on any night we slept on the boat. Cruise operator could make it plain that low bridges will mean top deck is unavailable for 5-6 days while on the Rhine/Danube canal. I know this is mentioned but perhaps made a little clearer. The dining experiences at the special tables in the stern were a highlight, for both food and service. Apart from these small issues (to us at least) you could not fault the whole experience. This is our third APT/TravelMarvel trip and we plan another. Read Less
AmaBella (APT) Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 5.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.0
Family 1.0 3.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 3.7
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.6

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