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Cruise Ship Information
Christened in 2007, the AmaLegro's decor combines beautiful shades of terra cota with golds to create an elegant, yet inviting environment. The Main Lounge is a stunning yet comfortable public space and exhilarating backdrop for meeting your fellow guests and enjoying nightly entertainment. A fitness room with sauna; walking track and whirlpool; plus a Beauty Salon will refresh the body while the river views and incomparable AmaWaterways service "sweeten" the soul.
 
AmaLegro launched in 2007 for European river cruise line AmaWaterways. The custom-built boat is joined a bevvy of nearly identical sister vessels including AmaDolce and AmaLyra (2009), AmaCello and AmaDante (2008), and AmaDagio (2006). The boats sail itineraries along Europe's great waterways, including the Rhine, Mosel, Main and Danube.
 
Atmosphere on board
Here's what you can expect on an AmaLegro cruise:
Cruising is a nearly all-inclusive affair. Beyond the standards –- food, accommodation, entertainment -- there's wine and beer with dinner, unlimited Internet use and tours in each port. There are also about 20 bikes available for use.
 
Standard cabins are 170 square feet. (AmaLegro also has four 255-square-foot suites.) All cabins have "Infotainment" setups, basically flat-screen TV's with Internet, movie and music libraries, bow and navigational cams and more. 82 percent of cabins feature a French balcony, a sliding glass door with railing. Cabins on the lower Piano deck feature picture windows right at the water line instead of French balconies.
 
AmaLegro features two lounges -- a large main lounge at the bow and a more intimate lounge located aft -- that offer panoramic views of Europe, as well as a sun deck with whirlpool. Other onboard amenities include an elevator, small fitness area and a treatment room.
 
Family with Kids/Teens
AmaWaterways cruises are primarily designed for the adult traveler. Children are allowed; however, there are no child-specific programs or child-minding facilities.
Minimum age to sail on AmaWaterways is 4 years. Children 4-17 must be in a cabin with an adult.
 
Past Passenger Programs
Blue Members: Qualify on your 2nd Cruise! Benefits include:
An exclusive $100 per person savings on the cruise price
A private AmaWaterways guest reception on board
 
Silver MembersSilver Members: Qualify on your 3rd Cruise! Benefits include:
An exclusive $100 per person savings on the cruise price
A private AmaWaterways guest reception on board
Dinner with a senior crew member
A delightful welcome amenity
Complimentary coach transfer to and from the airport
A 50% discount on a one-category stateroom upgrade (excluding suites)
 
Gold MembersGold Members: Qualify on your 4th Cruise & Onward! Benefits include:
An exclusive $100 per person savings on the cruise price
A private AmaWaterways guest reception on board
Dinner with a senior crew member
A delightful welcome amenity
Complimentary coach transfer to and from the airport
A complimentary one-category stateroom upgrade (excluding suites).
 
Fitness And Spa
AmaBella's gym, with a handful of machines (treadmill, Technogym weight machine and two stationary bikes), is thoughtfully equipped, complete with television screens for entertainment. Water is provided. The ship also offers salon services, such as massages and hairstyling.
There's also a walking track on the Sun Deck.
 
One of AmaBella's highlights is its fleet of two dozen bicycles. These are free to use in port; towpaths run alongside the Danube offering generally flat terrain.
One of the ship's most interesting features is its small pool; it's not big enough for "real" swimming, but it's a lovely place to cool off on hot days. It's also heated for use on chillier ones.
 
Food & Dining
The Amalegro food was very good, with some dishes excellent. Meals are served in the main dining room on the Cello Deck. Breakfast and lunch are mostly buffet style, although both meals have menu offerings. Passengers order from the menu for dinner, and the meal is served course by course. Breakfast is usually served from 7 am to 9 am, with early riser breakfast of pastries and coffee available much earlier. Lunch and dinner are served at an open seating with a set time (usually 7 or 7:30 for dinner).
 
Entertainment
Like other river ships, the Amalegro does not have elaborate onboard evening entertainment. The Amalegro has an excellent piano player who travels with the ship, but all other entertainers are local -- they come aboard, entertain, and go home to sleep that night. We did have a nice variety of entertainment including La Strada, which was a small group who played light classical music, and Quick Silver, an improvisational theater troupe. One evening we played a game, and another evening we had a fun "Roaring Twenties" party, where Cheri Coll, the cruise director, dressed up in a flapper costume, and boas and bowlers were passed out at the door. It was a fun party, with lots of dancing and laughing.  Each evening, Ama delivers a copy of the Daily Cruiser, an informative newsletter that spells out the events for the next day. The newsletter also includes information on each port of call. In addition, the reception desk always had maps and other useful information on every place, including a map of the "red-light district" in Amsterdam!
 
The AmaWaterways ships only have one cruise director, rather than a cruise director and several assistants/cruise managers as seen on other river cruise lines. Since the local guides always joined us at the ship, this wasn't a problem on our Tulip Time itinerary. However, it might be an issue on other itineraries where there isn't an AMAWaterways representative or local guide on each bus to answer questions when you are traveling overland for a day trip.
 
The AMAWaterways Amalegro has an impressive, destination-oriented Tulip Time cruise schedule. The excellent cruise director and knowledgeable, English-speaking local guides made the day trips ashore interesting and educational.
 
AmaWaterways has some outstanding features that set the cruise line apart from some other river cruises. First is the use of complimentary bicycles. The ship carries 20-30 bikes, and they are available to ride in almost every port. (Amsterdam was not one of them, although  if any of the passengers would have wanted to tackle the very busy Amsterdam streets.) Most European rivers and canals are lined with bike paths, and many are easy, scenic rides.
 
AmaWaterways uses audio headset units (audio VOX) on every walking tour. These units make touring so much more effective. The guides can provide their insightful commentary in a normal voice (rather than trying to speak louder than the other nearby guides), and passengers can hear the guide even if they have wandered off a half-block or more to make photos or examine a sculpture, building, or flower. The audio VOX are expensive for the cruise lines to purchase, but they allow for larger groups since you don't have to all stand within five feet of the guide to hear him/her.
 
AmaWaterways lets cruisers choose their own speed on guided walking shore excursions--a "fast" group, "normal" groups, and "gentle walkers" group. "Fast" walkers move a little faster, spend less time at each stop, and either see more or have more time for exploring on their own at the end of the walking tour. "Gentle walkers" move at a leisurely pace and might not cover as much ground. "Normal" walkers are just that.
 
Overall, Tulip Time cruise on the Amalegro excellent and AMAWaterways is one of the newer cruise lines, but it certainly does most things very well. The schedule was packed with ports and tours, but not exhausting. The ports were fascinating, and I'd like to return to them all. Crew of the Amalegro  provide  a wonderful Tulip Time cruise.
 
Where you will pick up excellent insights is on tour; Ama's shore excursions, most of which are included in cruise fares, stray beyond the usual staple of guided city tours. Particularly intriguing on our Danube River trip was a culinary tour of Vienna, a communist-era look at Bratislava and a trip to Austria's lake district. Via the ship's fleet of bicycles, there were numerous opportunities to tour ports like Durnstein and Linz on two wheels. Walking tours were offered at a variety of paces. Wireless transmitters, so passengers can hear guides without being right on top of them, are provided. Because of the good variety of offerings, tours rarely were too crowded.  Onboard, a pianist plays a variety of music before and after dinner, and quite a few passengers on our sailing had enough energy later to dance. On some nights, local entertainment plays in the lounge. The cruise director's nightly talks, mostly focusing on the events of the following day, are humorous and enjoyable, as well as informative.
 
Staterooms
The Amalegro standard cabins are larger than those found on many other river ships--170 square feet compared to about 150-160 square feet. This additional 10 or so square feet doesn't sound like much, but it provides more room at the end of the bed, a larger shower, and space for a chair between the bed and the French doors (large window in cabins on the Piano Deck).
The cabin is quite comfortable and has plenty of hanging and shelf storage space for a one or two-week river cruise. The closet is lighted and has a safe. Robes, slippers, and umbrellas are provided for use on the ship.
 
Each cabin has a combination television/Internet Infotainment system. The television features English language programs via satellite, along with a selection of complimentary movies. The television doubles as an Internet monitor, and each cabin also has a keyboard and complimentary Internet access. However, most passengers seem to prefer accessing the Internet from the computer provided in the Aft Lounge, which was much faster than in the cabins. Free WiFi is also available in the common areas for those who have brought along their own portable computers. You just have to secure a code from reception.
 
The cabins also have a telephone and their own climate control. Passengers can call home for a fee--check with reception. One note for American cruisers--the voltage is the standard European 220 volt, so you will need to bring along a converter and adapter for any appliances or battery chargers. A hairdryer is provided in each cabin.
 
The cabin stewards restock the cabin daily with complimentary bottled water and bathroom amenities (soap, bath gel, shampoo, hair conditioner, and body lotion).
 
The cabins all have two nightstands, beds that can be made into queen or twin, a dressing table with mirror and chair, and an overstuffed chair. The floor to ceiling French balcony doors open into the cabin and provide wonderful views of the river/canal scenery as it slips by.
 
As noted on the previous page, the bathshower on the Amalegro is the best I've seen on any ship. It is large with a glass door, and has three shower nozzles/jets with good water pressure. This amazing shower was a terrific surprise and a real plus for those of us who love a good shower!
 
Amalegro Junior Suites The Amalegro has four 255-square foot junior suites on the Violin deck. In addition to all the amenities found in the standard cabins, the junior suites have a full-size tub and separate shower in the bath. They also have a sitting area and sofa and two sets of French doors.
 
Tipping
Europe: For good service, 3 Euros per passenger, per day for the Cruise Manager and 12 Euros per passenger, per day for the crew, which will be divided up among the ship's personnel is recommended. It is also customary to acknowledge a particularly good performance of a local guide by leaving a tip of 1-2 Euros per tour. Gratuities on most vessels, but not all, may be charged on credit card as well as cash.
 
Fellow Passengers
AmaWaterways generally appeals to well-traveled, 50-plus passengers with a strong interest in culinary arts and active exploration. Geographically, passengers are strongly drawn from North America, but the cruise line attracts a solid representation from the U.K. and Australia, where its partner, APT Touring, also markets the line.

Our recommendation
Every ship is nonsmoking (except on the sundeck) and features a beauty salon and massage therapist. Unlimited local wines, as well as beer and sodas, are included with each open-seating lunch and dinner, which consists of indulgent regional cuisine with special selections from local European ports.
 
AMA ships feature international staffs. The majority of workers onboard are Hungarian, Romanian and Slovakian, and all staff members speak English. Each cruise also features a knowledgeable cruise director who does everything: leads shore excursions, arranges for airport transportation and offers running commentary during scenic cruising.
 
Daily sightseeing programs are included with each cruise, and tours include wireless audio devices so cruisers don't miss a word on history or culture. All ships offer roughly 20 bicycles that passengers can use to explore ports.
 

Entertainment is focused on local customs and culture -- performances by European dancers or an orchestral group keep passengers occupied in the evenings. There are also some more down-to-earth offerings such as an always entertaining crew talent show and wacky trivia night.