Friday, September 30, 2016

Life On Board

So have you ever seen those commercials for river cruising in Europe. Well that's what I did for my vacation this year, a river cruise on the Rhine River.

I went with two of my sisters and a brother-in-law, our cruise was with Amawaterways and we sailed from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands with a pre-cruise extension of two nights in Zurich and two nights in Lucerne. I'll do some blog posts about our travels but this post will be about life on board the AmaCerto.

Since we did the pre-cruise, we were transferred from our hotel in Lucerne by bus to the ship which was docked in Basel.  Amawaterways took care of transferring all of baggage, when we got on board we were introduced to our room steward who took us down to our cabin and made sure that all of our things had arrived. After  unpacking there was a Welcome On Board Reception along with introductions to the senior crew and safety briefing.

French Balcony Cabin
The cabin was quite well designed, not overly large but storage was very good. With a double closet with two hanging rails, another closet with shelves, two bed side tables we had lots of storage for clothes and there was also storage in the bathroom under the sink and in a medicine cabinet. The bathroom itself was also quite well laid out, the shower was angled in the corner which gave you quite a bit of room to move around. It had a rain head and an hand held shower as well as a clothes line. The windows of our stateroom opened the full width of the room so you could watch the world sail on by but we didn't figure that out until near the end of the second day. We were on the top deck near the back of the ship which was quite nice since only the weight room, hair dresser and massage room were at the back of the ship so it was quite quiet. The Twin Balcony staterooms are larger and have both an indoor and an outdoor balcony. They would have more room at the end of the bed and a bigger desk where we only had the desk in the corner. Under the desk is a bar fridge and over the desk is a cabinet with the room safe. As well there was the infotainment system, an Apple computer with internet that was also connected to on board cameras and movies and music as well.

Welcome Reception

Front Lounge

Who'll be the first to cut the cake?

Champagne, wine, sandwiches, desserts and cake also were laid out to greet us at the Welcome reception. Food was to be a big part of our time on board the AmaCerto.

Sun Deck looking toward wheel house

On the sun Deck

Chess anyone?

Library and games room

At the end of the reception all the ladies were given a rose. Of course, now they are just a memory

The reception was followed by our first dinner in the dining room. There was no set seating but we tended to sit in about the same place as you got to know the wait staff and the bartender and they, of course got to know you.

Must have been good!

Fancy Desserts

Wine and beer were available with lunch and dinner and there was also champagne available at breakfast but we never got around to making those mimosas.  It felt like they were always feeding you, early risers breakfast in the lounge, breakfast in the dining room, late risers breakfast in the lounge, lunch in the dining room, tea in the lounge in the afternoon, dinner in the evening, capped off by late night snacks in the lounge.

Tea Time
As well there were some special events; a Sundae party on the sun deck with freshly made ice cream and, on one morning, we had second breakfast, something commonly done in Germany after going to church. This breakfast consisted of bratwurst, sausage, cheese sandwiches, pretzels and beer.

The room steward also had some nice little touches. There was a turn down service with chocolate placed on your pillow each night and some friendly guests came to visit us in our room.

Towel Elephant

Towel Dog
The AmaCerto also has a second dining room called the Chef's Table, all guests were able to make reservations to eat here at least once during the cruise. It was the same menu for the week,

a Taster's Menu so we got to try everything on the menu. The Chef's Table dining room seats 28 but the night we ate there we only had 20 people at the sitting. It was also my sister's birthday the evening we ate there so in addition to the three desserts on the menu there was also birthday cake; there were actually two people celebrating that night so everyone enjoyed a little birthday cake

Birthday Cake
Another surprise awaited my sister back in her cabin, a towel birthday cake and a card from the crew.

There is also some evening entertainment while on board. We had an accordion player and singer one night, a piano player and singer another night and a classical trio on a third night. As well the ship has a piano player who performs in the lounge in the evenings and some afternoons.

Evening Entertainment

Ship's Piano Player
But the best thing about life on board was being able to relax and watch the world sail by either from our cabin or from the sun deck. We had lovely weather and were even able to enjoy the pool a couple times.

Sailing through a lock
 If you look at the picture of the ship going through the lock compared to one of the photos above, you'll see that the wheel house has been lowered and the walls of the pool are down. This had to happen a couple times so that the ship would fit under the lock gate or a low bridge. And, of course, the view from the cabin changed quite dramatically while going through the locks too.

The pool at night

Sailing on the Rhine

View from the main lounge

Sailing the Rhine Gorge


Castle view near Rudesheim Germany

Countryside churches

Watching the world go by

View from our cabin while docked

I wish we had more time in each of the places we docked to just wander around and explore but overall the river cruise was a great experience, one I would certainly do again. You are so well treated on board it makes you feel so very special and you can't help but relax.


Hotel Manager, Sylvia and Cruise Manager, Csaba

Amawaterways AmaCerto


  1. What fun - and the trip of a lifetime!

  2. Looks amazing! Glad you had such nice weather too.

  3. That looked like a pawsome trip! Loved the towel animals. A second breakfast sounds wonderful.


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