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Lower Danube from Rousse to Budapest

Natalie Ford AmaWaterways UK Sales Manager is experiencing life on board AmaPrima this week whilst sailing the Lower Danube from Rousse to Budapest

Day 1

An early start with the alarm sounding at 02:00. My flight was from Stansted with Ryanair who I have to say I brightened my early start with their new rule of allowing 2 pieces of hand luggage. Checked in and ready to go the excitement started to kick in. The Black Sea Voyage (Lower Danube) has been on my list for a while and I was really looking forward to experiencing this part of the Danube.

A three hour flight later and we arrived in Bucharest, Romania. The airport was far more modern then I had expected. We had a short wait for our transfer so decided to grab some lunch and sit out in the glorious sunshine. We were travelling to the ship on an AmaWaterways timed group transfer which is approx £60 per person. The ship was docked in Rousse, ‎Bulgaria which is around a 2 hour drive away.

Bags loaded and off we set on a lovely air conditioned coach to make our way across the boarder where we showed our passports and crossed into Bulgaria.

Arriving to the ship‎ around 18:00 we were greeted with a warm welcome from the crew with beaming smiles. It still astounds me at how fast the check in process is, literally takes less then two minutes and you are then being whisked to your cabin with your luggage being carried by one of the crew. It is always exciting to open the cabin door and see the beautiful decor of the cabin, by now I know what to expect but I still can’t help but open and peak at the bathroom with the multijet shower and look in the wardrobe at the plentiful storage space for all of my luggage and shoes 🙂 The infotainment TV system is on showing a picture of your cabin steward for anything you may need.

After a very quick change it was time to attend the safety briefing and welcome cocktails in the mail lounge. It was 18:30 and we met our Cruise Manager Dragan who welcomed us to the stunning AmaPrima, who may I just add has just been voted the Best River Cruise Ship in the Berlitz Guide! The lounge is full of guests, listening and learning more about the ship and sailing. Dragan introduces the Captain and Hotel Manager along with some other key members of the crew and then conducts the safety briefing. There is free-flowing champagne being served by the bar staff and we all start to relax and meet our fellow passengers.

At 19:30 dinner is served. Leaving the main lounge you can either walk down two small flights of stairs or take the glass elevator. We are greeted by the Maitre D and shown to our table. We offer an open dining policy and tables range from 2 – 10 so you can chose if you would prefer a smaller or larger table. It is so relaxed and a great way to meet fellow guests. Our waitress explains the menu to us and suggests the chefs recommendations, attached is a copy of the menu and to really get your tastebuds going are some photos of the beautifully presented food. Included with the gourmet cuisine is also free-flowing wine, beer and soft drinks – the drinks waiter keeps popping up through the meal to ensure you have a full glass and everything you need.

It doesn’t matter how many times I have been onboard, I am still blown away with the service and the quality of the food being served, it is only night one, I have another six evenings of this wonderful trip to enjoy and savour.

After eating far too much and indulging myself, we headed to the bar for a nightcap. All of a sudden there was a bolt of light through the sky that lit up the whole lounge, there was a storm heading our way. Now, I am a sucker for a storm so went up to top deck to sit and watch….simply amazing. Bolt after bolt of lightening lit up the skyline as I was tempted to take a dip in the heated pool on the sundeck but after a long day travelling I was looking forward to getting into the plush white on white bedding and having a good sleep.

Tomorrow we have a city tour of Bucharest and some options to choose for excursions so a good sleep is needed, so on that note it’s good night from me…….

To be continued…..



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