Recommend August 2015 - (Page 16)

AmaWaterways' onboardreview A P R I L 2 015 AMACERTO vivian holley When trip-planning clients pounce on a river cruise line bearing a name derived from the Latin word for "love," chances are they're conjuring a vision of themselves as pampered passengers on the receiving end of intimate, nurturing attention. And why not? Such expectations, according to Kristin Karst, executive v.p. and co-owner of AmaWaterways, are right on the mark. "We not only want our guests to feel welcome, we want them to feel at home. From our comforting staterooms to our variety of onboard amenities, we provide the necessary offerings to make guests feel at ease. Our crew's award-winning service standards and warm, friendly demeanor provide a special touch so that guests truly embrace our ships as their home away from home." Indeed, the family-owned company has ways of making a guest feel like part of that family-a pleasant discovery I experienced on a 7-night AmaCerto spring itinerary on the Rhine, sailing from Basel to Amsterdam with stops that included history-rich Heidelberg, Strasbourg, Koblenz, and Cologne (fares start at $2,599 pp). As Karst promises, staterooms are comforting-most notably the big, rest-inducing bed-with emphasis on actual space (mine was 235 sq. ft.) rather than haute decor tricks. In the attractive, well-kept layouts are a flat-screen TV, complimentary WiFi, 14 august 2015 entertainment system with news and current movies, ample closet, fridge with replenished complimentary water, robe/slippers, and a marble bathroom. Hands down, the most uncommon feature is the pair of balconies (most of the staterooms boast these)-a French balcony plus an outside balcony with table and chairs. Also rare on the rivers: A cool glass elevator. And a heated pool with swim-up bar on the sun deck. With no more than 164 passengers aboard, both crew and guests are soon acquainted, which leads to convivial dining. Service is attentive and accommodating; there's even courteous assistance at your elbow for the breakfast and lunch buffets. Cruisers can also order from the menu-while some discover the peace, soft keyboard sounds, and window-wrapped panoramas of the spacious lounge-with-bar, which spreads a lunch buffet that's essentially the same as in the bustling, open-seating dining room. Evening menus are uniformly appealing, with tasty vegetables served separately in family-like fashion. The chef stars in particular during the Farewell and the Chaine des Rotisseurs dinners (AmaWaterways is the only river cruise line to be inducted into the prestigious gastronomic society).

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend August 2015

Editor’s Notes
Hotel Desk: AC Hotels by Marriott
Tour Talk: Cuba Calling
River Cruise Update
AmaWaterways’ AmaCerto
The Girls—& Guys— Just Wanna Have Fun
Martinique Travel Planner
Sint Maarten’s Three All-Inclusive Sonestas
Puerto Rico
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
Update on Air, Hotels & Tours
Israel: A Journey of Divine Discovery
Festival Time: “Step Outside the Ordinary”
Official Florida Travel Industry Education Program–Beaches Course
The Battle Begins: Girls vs. Guys Getaways

Recommend August 2015