Though I was traveling as a guest of AMAWaterways on a familiarization trip for travel agents, I was still responsible for paying my own onboard incidental charges, so I was shocked when I got the bill for my week aboard the Amalyra... I hadn’t spent anything really! How does that happen? As the saying goes, little things mean a lot and many items that help to pad a bill on an ocean cruise are complimentary on an AMAWaterways river cruise.
For instance, daily tours with complimentary quiet box transmitters are included. There are optional tours, if you wish, such as a visit to Salzburg, Austria for a “Sound of Music” day or for a concert at the magnificent Schoenbrunn Palace in Vienna, but for the most part you will enjoy daily sightseeing with expert guides for free.
Elegant - and free - pre-cruise documents include a comprehensive guidebook with maps [Editor's Note: I thought paper documents had gone the way of the dodo bird. Refreshing to see that a cruise line still considers them to be important]
When you have free time and the ship is not immediately accessible to the town center there are shuttle busses provided. And when we were docked on the Buda side of the Danube river our wonderful Cruise Director, Csaba, not only showed us where the free ferry to the Pest side was but walked us down to the landing himself every hour on the hour.
Interactive TV included internet, movies and music on demand - all free.
The internet service is being upgraded this year to offer 4G speeds in addition to satellite coverage
Movies and music on demand are free as well as internet access and wi-fi in each cabin. Room stewards prepare the staterooms with robes and slippers, bottles of water and for our Christmas Time Cruise they even gave us candy dishes full of local goodies.
Homemade Cookies and pastries in the lounge, available for free, anytime. The forward lounge was spacious and comfortable, and felt like spending time in a close friend's living room.
The forward lounge is a comfortable gathering place with a panoramic view of the river. Here you find the magic drink machine, a self-serve push-button gizmo that makes 8 different kinds of hot drinks including, coffee, espresso, latte, hot cocoa, etc. It is available day and night and right next to it is a 3-tiered pastry server full of homemade cookies and cakes. It’s complimentary.
Start your day by visiting the champagne table at breakfast and enjoy the delicious local wines chosen to pair with your dinner every evening all for free.
In milder weather you may want to take out one of the bicycles stored in a large locker on the sundeck and enjoy the picturesque countryside at a leisurely pace. And for more serious cyclists there are opportunities to stretch your legs as some do when they leave the ship in Passau and rejoin the ship in Linz covering 32 miles of breathtaking scenery.
In the aft is a comfortable lounge with a panoramic view that reminds me of a sunroom in a summer cottage. Here you can find games, puzzles and books and a free printer for all to use. Adjacent to the aft lounge is the small gym and toasty warm sauna.
Last but not least, free words of wisdom, such as, “Nothing is worth more than this day”, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, are left on your pillow each evening along with a chocolate.
Complimentary cards with inspirational quotes were left on our pillows each night,
and postcards - free, including postage - were available to send to friends and family back home: "Wish you were Here!"
Yes, all these little details that AMAWaterways so thoughtfully arranged made for a very rich experience without the rich price tag. It’s worth writing home about so don’t forget to drop a line; the post cards and the postage are, as you might guess, FREE!
Thanks, Sharon! An AMAWaterways River Cruise seems like a great inclusive value.