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The New AmaCerto.

A day onboard the AmaCerto

A week ago I was lucky enough to fly over to Amsterdam where I spent the day onboard the magnificent AmaCerto – one of Amawaterways new river cruise vessels. A tour of the ship and 5-course lunch later and its safe to say I am a fully converted River Cruiser!

My day began at Birmingham airport where I was able to fly with Flybe directly out to Amsterdam airport in just over an hours flight. There are many low-cost and scheduled flights available from all major regional airports for this route which is ideal if you don’t want to travel too far to the airport.

I was unable to print my boarding passes at home so used the ‘Self-check in’ device at the airport which meant I avoided the queues and was able to go straight through security and to the gate – this was probably one of the most efficient check in processes I have ever experienced!

On arrival in Amsterdam we took the train (which you can catch directly from the airport) to the port itself. The journey takes about 20 minutes in total and there is a regular service running every 15 minutes or so. From the station it is only a very short walk along riverside to the port where you can board the ship. There is also the possibility here of getting a taxi from the airport to the port which takes approximately the same time as the train but of course is a little more expensive.

On first viewing from the dock, I was very surprised at the size of the ship. It’s hard to determine from pictures but these luxury vessels are 440 feet long and do not at all look small on the river.

Having cruised onboard several bigger cruise ships, the very first thing that I noticed was how simple and smooth embarkation was. There was no chaotic security process and it really was as easy as ‘stepping onto the ship’ – Which in my mind is the right way to start your holiday as often the hustle and bustle of airports and ports can be a very gloomy way of beginning your trip.

On entering the ship you are greeted by welcoming faces, a hot towel and beverage in the reception area. There are staff on hand to take your coats and attend to any other queries you have. Rooms generally are ready from around 3pm but understanding that many of their customers may arrive earlier than this (particularly those flying internationally) Amawaterways allow passengers to board the ship at any time during the day. To accommodate this, their luggage is stored safely onboard until their room is ready and passengers are allowed to use the amenities onboard at their leisure until then. There are also light snacks available to customers in the lounge as well as tea and coffee.

The grand reception area felt similar to that of a small boutique hotel and to the left a striking elevator with stairs leading from both sides. This area mirrored the same style of an atrium you would expect to find on an ocean vessel.

Beginning our tour of the ship we were first shown the Main lounge which is large area at the front of the ship with a piano and dancefloor and leads on to an outdoor area where customers can eat a light lunch when the weather is nice. There were already passengers in this area enjoying refreshments and you immediately felt the sense of tranquillity in this room as people were beginning their holiday.

We were next shown downstairs to the main dining area with can hold all passengers onboard. We were told as we were shown this area that although the restaurant could cater for everyone cruising, it was never at full occupancy as once a week passengers could dine in an alternative dining venue. This meant that for passengers who would like to sit alone or in a pair were able to do so – Amawaterways were able to accommodate for passengers who preferred to dine alone. A great feature in this room was the central oval bar area which had ‘booths’ for dining coming of from it. Directly off from the restaurant there were also two separate private dining areas which could seat 8/10 people in each for those that wanted a more intimate dining experience. These areas can be requested by anyone at the front desk and our especially popular with groups travelling together.

Onboard Al Fresco Dining is also available to passengers providing the weather is nice of course!

We were next shown a library area off from the restaurant which was filled with books and newspapers as well as fireplaces to create a calm atmosphere – a great place to relax!

Then taken to the aft off the ship we were shown all varieties of staterooms offered onboard. Starting with the suite, initially I was overwhelmed with the size of the stateroom. At 350 sq ft, the suites have a full bathroom with bath tub, a sitting area, double or twin beds. The twin balconies have floor to ceiling French windows in the bedroom area and a full step out balcony from the seating area.

The ‘Wow’ factor continued as we moved on to see a Twin Balcony stateroom which had all the same features as the suite apart from the bath tub. At 235sq ft, these cabins are also very spacious and wonderfully decorated.

The final stateroom we saw was the lowest category onboard – the fixed window stateroom. Having seen many oceanview cabins on larger vessels, I was interested to see the amount of light that the windows brought through as I know this is often a concern for potential customers. I was surprised to see that the stateroom had two large picture windows which brought through a significant amount of light through the stateroom and the room felt very airy and bright.

Its also worth mentioning that every stateroom onboard features an impressive infotainment system with wifi and Movies on demand showing all the latest releases.

We were then shown my favourite part of the ship – The Sun deck. The deck area onboard the AmaCerto takes up the entire length and width of the ship and offers passengers 360 views of the river and river banks as your cruise by. At the front there are numerous seating areas and lounge chairs and a Jacuzzi and heated swimming pool with swim up bar for those lovely summer days.

We were then served dinner in the alternative dining room which as mentioned before is available to guests once during their weeks cruise. This restaurant is Erlebnis Chef’s Table, where a private chef prepares a special tasting menu for the passengers.

We were served a wonderful 5-course dinner were the food was excellently prepared to the very highest of standard and the service was second to none! We were offered a mouth-watering a la carte set menu with a choice of three dishes our main. Wine, Beer and Soft drinks are included with dinner (and lunch in Europe) with Amawaterways and the wine is free-flowing throughout dining.

Before I knew it my wonderful day onboard was coming to an end and it was time to leave the Amacerto to head home. Filled with jealousy at those who were continuing on with a wonderful 7-night cruise we departed the ship with the same friendly service which we found on embarkation.

 

So…….When can I do the full week?

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