European River Cruising aboard ms Amabella
After a very long flight to Nuremburg (Germany), we made our way to our home for the next seven nights, ms Amabella.
I immediately felt at home on this beautiful vessel, lulled by the evident intimacy and understated luxury. With only 81 suites and a maximum of 162 passengers onboard, it's very unlike the big ocean cruise ships in the fact that you'll never have to queue or get jostled at the buffet, and getting on and off the ship for shore excursions is super easy and stress free.
We had a lovely room that was light, airy, spacious and extremely well appointed. The bathroom was huge with a full size shower and marble throughout, plus all the little luxuries you could easily get used to. And to top it all off, a small outdoor balcony to enjoy some fresh air and passing scenery.
As with any cruise ship, all meals are included, plus some specialty morning and afternoon teas. As we were in Germany, we had a Bratwurst afternoon tea with a chance to try all different types of sausages – yum! The main restaurant is well laid out with a different menu offered on the two sides of the restaurant each night. The food was superb with good sized portions and plenty of options. Wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner and the standard of the wines (plus the volume) was outstanding. The waiters - mostly local lads - were excellent, knew their jobs well and got to know everyone quickly. They took exceptional care of us.
A nice touch is the specialty restaurant that only seats a maximum of 20 passengers and that all guests are invited to once a week. This meant that everyone had a chance to partake in some fine dining and service aboard ms Amabella.
The main lounge consisted of some very comfortable chairs, a small entertainment area that included a dance floor and a nice wee bar area. This was where all the night time entertainment, ship talks and updates were held. There was a great little “library” area with a faux fireplace, leather lounge suites and fab assortment of games and books – the perfect place to relax after a busy day out!
On the top deck is where you'll find the very large spa pool - as in swimming pool size! - which was very inviting in the cold weather. Imagine just sitting in the beautiful warm water and watching the gorgeous changing scenery as you cruised down the river. Absolute bliss!!! And for those that way inclined on holiday, there's also a small gym and sauna available.
The cruise part
Our cruise took us from Nuremburg to Amsterdam with plenty of stops along the way. River cruising is very much like having a moving hotel as you only have to unpack once, the rivers are calm so there is no chance of getting sea sick, and you are right in the heart of the small towns or big cities which is nigh impossible to achieve when on an ocean voyage. And whether you want to ride a bike along the shores to meet up with the ship further down the river, join one of the great excursions to all the places of interest or just sit back on the ship to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery as it passes you by.... the choice is yours!